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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi 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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Thomas H. Musgrave. The following is a brief sketch of the career of Mr. Musgrave, a man whose present substantial position in life has been reached entirely through his own perseverance; and the facts connected with his agricultural operations, and their results only show what a person with courage and enlightened views can accomplish. He first saw the light of day in the Old North State, in 1847, and eleven years of his youth and early manhood were spent in attending school. His primary training was received in the schools of Branchville, Charleston and Columbia, S. C., and in 1855, he came with his father to Somerville, Tenn., where he attended the academy three years; in 1859 he went to Peoria, Ill., and attended the High School one year; in 1863 he entered the St. Louis University, where he remained till he completed his collegiate career, graduating in 1868. He came immediately to his home in Arkansas, where he rested for a short time, and then obtained employment at Hale’s Point, Tenn., as a book-keeper, which position he held until 1873, when he returned to his farm in Mississippi County. His property then consisted of 560 acres of land, with about twenty acres in cultivation, but with an encumbrance of $1,700, part of the purchase money due the vendor. He set earnestly and persistently to work to clear his land of debt, which he soon did, and then began to clear it of the timber and prepare it for cultivation. He not only succeeded in paying for his land and clearing 150 acres more on the same farm, but also added to his lands from time to time, until he has owned over 4,000 acres, and now owns about 2,500 acres of superior land, with 150 acres this year in cultivation, and two small farms “lying out” for want of tenants. He has sold considerable property, some of which was well improved, and a part of which he cleared. On his extensive domains is some of the choicest land to be found in the State. A bale of cotton can easily be raised to the acre, some of his tenants occasionally making more. Nine families now live on and cultivate his lands, but Mr. Musgrave says he has room for and would gladly furnish fifty more with homes. A large area, which, twenty five years ago, was the bed of the Mississippi River, has been added to this tract of land by the river shifting its channel, and now, where a few years since steam boats plowed the turbid waters of this mighty stream, can be seen some of the finest fields of cotton and corn in the State. Mr. Musgrave possesses decided literary tastes, and has been quite an extensive student of both law and medicine. He has never taken a very active part in the political affairs of his county, though he served three terms as justice of the peace, but refused to qualify after having been elected the fourth time. He was nominated by the Democratic convention for county surveyor, and fully indorsed by the Republican convention for the same position, all without his knowledge; but, when elected, declined to discharge the duties, preferring the quiet and easy life on his farm. Although not an active politician, he is a close and diligent student, keeping well posted and fully abreast with the times; possessing a bold and vigorous mind, he does not swerve one iota from what he deems to be just and right. His reputation for honesty and integrity has been often tried and found pure, and his financial ability has been more than once put to the test, but never without credit to himself; his social qualities are well known and appreciated, and he has hosts of friends whose confidence and esteem are his highest eulogium. An excellent portrait of him appears in this work. He was the second of three children born to William R. and Mary E. Musgrave, both of whom were born in North Carolina, and were there reared and married, moving shortly after to South Carolina, where the father engaged in the steamboat business, and later worked in the machine shops at Charleston. He afterward became connected with the railroad business, which he discontinued in 1857, prior to coming to Arkansas, following this occupation in Somerville, Tenn., to which State he removed in 1855. Upon coming to Arkansas he located in Mississippi County, and there engaged in the saw-mill business, which was continued until 1860. At that date he bought 556 acres of land in Hickman Township, a portion of which land was cleared and under cultivation. He continued to improve his property, and soon had over 100 acres in cultivation, the rest being devoted to raising stock. In 1862 the war put an end to these operations, and he engaged in commercial life, operating mainly in Lauderdale County, Tenn., though he bought large quantities of cotton in the adjoining counties of that State, and some in the northeastern counties of Arkansas. He died at Columbus, Ky., June 14, 1864, ending an active and well-spent life. William R. Musgrave was a very affable and well-known man, greatly esteemed by numerous friends. His widow died in the spring of 1884, at Rocky Mount, N. C.

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This family biography is one of 162 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Mississippi County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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

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

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