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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Cleveland 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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Dr. C. D. Niven, physician and surgeon, Rison, Ark. This young but very successful physician is a native of Jefferson (now Cleveland County), Ark., and was born six miles north of Rison, in 1856. His father, Hon. John Niven, was born in Anson County, N. C., and was married there to Miss Elizabeth Timmons, a native also of Anson County, N. C. In 1854 the parents moved to Mississippi and soon after to Arkansas, settling in the woods north of Rison, where the mother died in 1869, at the age of forty-one years. She was a member of the Methodist Church, having joined the same when thirteen years of age. Mr. Niven was married the second time in 1870, and died in May, 1888, at the age of sixty-six years. He was also a member of the Methodist Church for many years; was a member of the Masonic fraternity, Culpepper Lodge No. 186, Rison, and was also of the Royal Arch Chapter. He was a very prominent Mason and a man well and favorably known. In 1874 he was elected to represent his county in the Legislature, and in 1884 he was elected to represent his district in the State Senate. After this he was for some time supervisor of the county, and later still was probate judge a number of years. During the war he served as a kind of general commissary to supply the families at home with provisions. He was formerly a Whig, but later a decided Democrat in his political views. He was a man of sober, sound judgment, broad intelligence and liberal, progressive ideas. His father, John Niven, was a Scotchman, but came to the United States when a young man and settled in North Carolina, where he died at the age of eighty-one years. The maternal grandfather, Samuel Timmons, was a farmer and died in North Carolina. Dr. C. D. Niven, the fifth of eleven children, four now living, grew up to a farm experience, received the rudiments of an education in the common schools, and in 1874 graduated from the University of Alabama, at Greensboro, after a four years’ course. In 1877 he graduated from Hospital Medical College, of Louisville, Ky., and spent about a year practicing in the hospital there. After this, he was about a year at Center, in Cleveland County, and later located at Toledo, where he remained until 1883, when he spent about a year at Hot Springs. Since then he has been located at Rison, where he has a good practice, is ever ready to obey the call of all classes, and is in truth a physician of thorough learning and experience. He is a member of the County Medical Board of Examiners. He was married in 1879 to Miss Bettie Boyd, a native of Alabama, and the daughter of William and Elizabeth (Worthington) Boyd, and the fruit of this union has been one child, a daughter. Mr. and Mrs. Boyd were probably born in Alabama and came to this county at an early date. The father is still living, and is eighty-three years of age, but the mother died a few years ago. The Doctor has a fine house in Rison, has several dwellings, two good business houses, a farm of 138 acres, and has now an excellent practice, yielding annually $2,000. He is a Democrat in politics, and his first presidential vote was cast for S. J. Tilden in 1876. He and Mrs. Niven are members of the Methodist Church.

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This family biography is one of 75 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Cleveland County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Cleveland County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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