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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Ashley County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  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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John W. Morris, merchant and planter, Poplar Bluff, Ark. This prominent and successful business man was originally from North Carolina, his birth occurring on October 8,1841, and is a son of William and M. (Forehand) Morris, and one of eight children, five now living. William Morris followed farming all his life, and moved from Carolina to Arkansas in June, 1848, remaining there until 1868, after which he resided in Jackson Parish until his death. His widow is still living. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity. John W. Morris, the only one of the children in Arkansas, came with his parents to Ashley County, Ark., and there his father opened a farm in Beech Creek Township. There John W. grew to manhood and received a limited education in the common schools, not attending more than a year altogether. In 1861 he shouldered his musket and enlisted in Capt. Lambert’s company, and soon after entered a company organized by Dr. Reece, of Poplar Bluff. He was stationed on the Mississippi River most of the time, and participated in the battle of Island No. 10, and Uptonville, where he was captured. He was confined in Camp Butler, Ill., six months, and was then sent to Vicksburg, where he was exchanged. From there he went to Jackson, then to Port Hudson, and after this was home on a furlough. Later he joined Daugherty’s Command, and was with Gen. Price on his raid through Missouri. While on the east side of the river Mr. Morris belonged to the Fortieth Tennessee, and while on the west side to the Fifteenth Arkansas. On the return from Missouri, and at the Arkansas River, his division left the main command and came on home. Mr. Morris began farming on the old home place, where he remained until 1866, and then farmed for two years on the bayou. In the fall of 1868 he engaged in business with White, and they at that time did a flourishing business. Mr. Morris has been in business here ever since. He is the owner of 6,000 acres of land, has opened 1,442 acres. The most of this he rents out, cash rent at $4 per acre. He has been twice married, the first time to Miss Georgia Scogin, daughter of Berry Scogin, and they became the parents of three children—one who died when quite young, Mary Frances (wife of Dr. Holliday, living in Poplar Bluff), and George (age twelve years). Mrs. Morris died in 1878, and our subject’s second marriage was to Miss Mollie H. Hawkins, daughter of Capt. M. L. Hawkins, of Hamburg. They have two children—a son and daughter—Johnny and Herman. Mrs. Morris is a member of the Methodist Church. Socially Mr. Morris is a member of the Masonic fraternity, the K. of P., the K. of H., and the Eastern Star. In politics he is Democratic.

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This family biography is one of 97 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Ashley County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Ashley County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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