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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Clark 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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William I. Meeks has been engaged in tilling the soil and following the occupation of a lumberman for many years, and in both these occupations he has done well. He settled on his present farm shortly after his marriage, which occurred in 1851, but the most of it was then heavily covered with timber, only a small portion being improved. He now has about 2,000 acres, of which 300 are cleared and under cultivation. For several years he has operated a good steam saw-mill, and the property which he now has been acquired by hard labor and judicious management. When the county seat of Clark County was changed from Greenville to Arkadelphia, Mr. Meeks hauled the records to the latter place with an ox team, and also brought the county clerk and his family thither. For quite a number of years he had the contracts for and operated several mail routes in Southern Arkansas, and as he expected to make his home here he, during this period, did much to build up and improve the country. He served for about two years in the State Troops during the Civil War, and although formerly a Whig in politics is now a stanch Democrat. He has been a member of the A. F. &A. M. since he was twenty-two years of age, being first a member of Arkadelphia Lodge and now of Robert Morris Lodge No. 106, of Okolona. He was born in Independence County, Ark., in 1829, and was married, in 1851, to Margaret E., a daughter of Alex. T. W. and Mary M. Long, the former a native of Fairfield District, S. C, and the latter of Alabama. They removed to Tennessee, in which State Mrs. Meeks was born, but in 1830, when she was three years old, they came to Pike County, Ark., and a year later to Clark County, where both parents died, the father in 1879, and the mother in 1875. Mr. Meeks and his wife have had a family of seven children born to them but only two sons and two daughters are now living. His parents, Thomas and Mary (Dodd) Meeks, were born in Tennessee, the former's birth occurring in 1804, and when three or four years old he was taken by his parents to Illinois and soon after to Ste. Genevieve County, Mo., and still later to Independence County, Ark., where he married and lived until 1840. He then came to Clark County and settled about twenty-two miles west of Arkadelphia on the old military road, which place has continued to be his home up to the present time. In early days he did considerable teaming between Little Rock and Washington, and became a man of considerable means, and owned a large number of slaves. He is a man of intelligence and ability, has led a life of activity, but for the past ten years he has been totally blind. He is now living with his fourth wife. His father, John Meeks, came to Clark County some years after his son Thomas did, and died prior to the war. Mrs. Mary (Dodd) Meeks, the mother of the subject of this sketch, died in 1833. having borne a family of two sons and one daughter.

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This family biography is one of 99 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Clark County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Clark County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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