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Below is a family biography included in The History of Washington County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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James C. Cunningham. Among the honest and prosperous tillers of the soil of Prairie Grove, Washington Co., Ark., worthy of mention is Mr. Cunningham, who was born in Bedford County, Tenn., November 29, 1841. His parents, M. T. and Nancy G. (McGill) Cunningham, were born, reared and married in Tennessee, and there spent their days. The father was a blacksmith, wagon-maker and miller by trade, and followed those occupations throughout life. James C. received a good education in the Flat Creek Academy, acquiring a thorough knowledge of the common and higher English branches and the higher mathematics. He remained with his father until eighteen years of age, and in the fall of 1859 came west to seek his fortune, locating in Washington County, Ark., where he has since made his home, with the exception of a few years. He raised a crop in 1860, and part of one in 1861, but the breaking out of the war interfered with his labors, and he enlisted in the Confederate army, in McCrea’s regiment, for three months, at the end of which time be returned home. In October, 1861, he enlisted In Hart’s battery of Arkansas troops for twelve months, but when it was reorganized, about three months later, he joined the Third Texas Cavalry, with which he remained until April, 1862. He was then detailed on detached duty for a short time, and afterward joined the Nineteenth Texas Infantry, serving with the same until the close of the war. In June, 1865, they were disbanded at Hempstead, Tex., and he remained in that State until 1866, engaged in teaching school. After returning to Arkansas he was engaged in teaching the young idea for about one year, and then turned his attention to farming and stock raising, which occupation has received the most of his attention up to the present time. He rented land for some time, and in 1880 purchased his present valuable bottom land farm of 280 acres, 175 acres of which are under cultivation. He also owns 120 acres of land at Viney Grove, eighty acres of which are under cultivation. He was married in Washington County, January 24, 1867, to Miss Jennie Rollins, a native of the county, and daughter of Moses Rollins, deceased, and by her became the father of three daughters: Nancy N., Mary and Susie. The wife died in October, 1871, and in January, 1877, Mr. Cunningham married his second wife, Miss Fannie Shofner, a native of Bedford County, Tenn., and daughter of Newton K. Shofner. Four children have blessed this union: Newton, William, Tennie and Earl. Mrs. Cunningham is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

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This family biography is one of 300 biographies included in The History of Washington County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Washington County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Washington County, Arkansas family biographies, click here

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