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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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Col. Morgan Magness (deceased) was one of the earliest settlers and most prominent residents of the State of Arkansas. He was a son of Jonathan Magness, and was born in Davidson County, Tenn., December 18, 1796, his death occurring in Independence County, Ark., September 1, 1871. When sixteen years of age he removed with his parents from Tennessee to Independence County, Ark., locating on Miller’s Creek, northwest of Batesville; one year later the family removed to a point six miles southeast of Batesville, and subsequently settled in Big Bottom Township, where they entered land, and from that time were most prosperous. Col. Magness won very distinguished success as a farmer, and at the time of his death was one of the most substantial men in the State; he was also extensively interested in stock raising and planting. He represented Independence County in the lower house of the State legislature several years, and his honorable service in that capacity will long be remembered by his constituents. His first wife was Keziah Elliott, a native of North Carolina, who died in Independence County, Ark., leaving no children. In 1845 Col. Magness married Susan Dunnigan, who was born in Dickson County, Tenn., in 1815. To this union were born five children, four of whom grew to maturity, viz.: William D., D. P. W. (a planter and stock raiser, died in November, 1875, at about the age of twenty-five years), Elizabeth F. (now the wife of Joseph J. Waldrop, a prominent farmer of Independence County, Ark.), and Morgan J. (who was born in 1855, and died December 2, 1882). Mrs. Magness died March 16, 1877. William D. Magness was born in Big Bottom Township, Independence County. August 1, 1846. He received the advantages of a common school education, and remained at home the greater part of the time until his father’s death, having spent some time with him in Texas during the latter part of the war. He then began farming for himself, and is now the owner of about 1,000 acres of fine land. February 5, 1879, he married Mary E. Edgar, a native of Jefferson County, East Tenn., who was born March 15, 1852. They have one son, Morgan E. Politically, Mr. Magness is a Democrat; his father was formerly a Whig, and during the latter part of his life sympathized with the Democratic party.

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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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