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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Independence 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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Benjamin Magness is one of the influential men and enterprising farmers of White River Township, Independence County. His birth occurred in Rutherford County, N. C., January 27, 1821, and he is a son of Jacob and Eda (Webb) Magness, who were also natives of Rutherford County, N. C. Of their family of eleven children, five grew to maturity, and but two are now living, our subject and a sister, Mrs. Sallie Chetwood, of North Carolina. Benjamin Magness was an extensive and successful farmer in his native State, where he spent the whole of his life, his death occurring at the age of seventy-seven years; his wife died when sixty-three years old. Both were consistent members of the Missionary Baptist Church, in which church he served as deacon for over forty years. The paternal grandfather of our subject was also named Benjamin Magness; he was a native of North Carolina, and served in the Revolutionary War. Mrs. Magness was a daughter of Robin Webb, also of North Carolina. Benjamin Magness, subject of this sketch, received his education in his native county, and remained on his father’s farm until 1840. In the latter year he married Charlotte McBrayer, daughter of Samuel McBrayer, of Cleveland County, N. C. Mrs. Magness only lived a short year after her marriage. Mr. Magness next married Adaline Sweega, who was a native of Rutherford County, N.C. Her father was Elijah Sweega. To this union were born seven children, five sons and two daughters, viz.: Robert L., a farmer of Independence County, Ark.; Alonzo, also a farmer; Almina, wife of John McFarland, of North Carolina; George O., merchant at Newark, Ark.; Elijah, engaged in farming in Independence County; Susan, who died in North Carolina, and Jacob, engaged in merchandising in Independence County. Mrs. Magness died in 1865, at the age of thirty-two years. Mr. Magness subsequently married Barbara Ann Rice, who was born November 24, 1843. The following children have blessed this union: Martha A., wife of Frank Martin, of Newark; John M., a farmer; William W., also a farmer; Ella (deceased), Amanda W., Julia, Benjamin A., Hugh T. E. D., Gertie A. P., Bonnie B. and Leona. After his first marriage, Mr. Magness worked a farm of 365 acres, which his father gave him in Rutherford County. In 1858 he removed to Arkansas, locating in Independence County, where his first purchase consisted of 330 acres; he now owns 1,000 acres of good farm land, and is one of the most extensive farmers in the county. For forty-eight years he has been a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. He is also a member of the Masonic fraternity, and though taking no active part in politics, his sympathies are with the Democratic party. He supports liberally the cause of education, and is ever ready to assist in the advancement of its interests. Mr. Magness is one of the most substantial men of Independence County, and is highly respected by all who know him.

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This family biography is one of 158 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Independence County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Independence County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Independence County, Arkansas family biographies here: Independence County, Arkansas Biographies

View a map of 1889 Independence County, Arkansas here: Independence County, Arkansas Map

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