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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Phillips 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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Peter Mengoz. In all ages of the world, industry, perseverance and energy, where intelligently applied, have achieved excellent results, and Mr. Mengoz is an excellent example of what can be accomplished when the spirit of determination is exercised in connection with the everyday affairs of life. His farming and stock raising operations have resulted most satisfactorily, and he now owns 1,600 acres of land and has 600 acres in a fine state of cultivation. He is also the owner of the Grand Opera House at Helena, and is a director and the main stockholder in the Fair Association. He has some fine thoroughbred horses on his plantation, and makes a specialty of Alford cattle and Berkshire hogs. Although a native of France he has become thoroughly Americanized, and takes a deep interest in the affairs of his adopted country. His birth occurred on April 27, 1837, and he is a son of Franco A. and Lucile (Vouron) Mengoz, who were born, reared, educated and married in France. After residing there until 1853 they concluded to cross the “big pond” and seek their fortune in America, and, upon reaching the United States, settled first in Stark County, Ohio, but not liking the situation, moved the following year to Iowa, and purchased land in Black Hawk County, Iowa, being among the first to locate at Gilbertville. Here the mother’s death occurred in 1860, at the age of fifty-five years, and, after this event, Mr. Mengoz returned to France, and after a few years’ stay there, came back to Iowa to settle up his affairs, realizing on the sale of his property quite a handsome sum of money. While in New York City, on the eve of returning to his native land, he was unfortunately robbed of all his money, and was compelled to join his son, the subject of this sketch, and with him made his home until his death, August 25, 1878, at the age of seventy-seven years. He was a stone cutter and contractor by trade, and was compelled to leave France on account of his political views, and after reaching “the land of the free and the home of the brave’’ gave his attention to farming exclusively. He served in the French War seven years, and he and his wife were members of the Catholic Church. Of five children born to them, their son Peter is the eldest, and only three of the family are now living: France (who has been working in the gold mines of Oregon since 1867), Mary (wife of Nicholas Deisch) and Peter. Eugene was born in 1842, was a farmer by occupation, and died in Phillips County in 1876. Charles died in France at the age of five years. Peter Mengoz received the most of his education in the schools of his native land and came with his parents to this country, remaining with them until 1858, when he came to Arkansas and became an employee of a New Orleans firm, and was foreman of different forces of men in the State of Arkansas until the opening of the war, when he joined the Confederate army and was in the commissary department, or rather was a contractor furnishing beef for the army. He drove his cattle from Texas, and was in this business until the close of the war, when he came to Helena and engaged in farming, but at the end of one year became a salesman in the grocery and provision house of John Meadow, remaining with him two years. He then became associated with William Baggett in the grocery business, but at the end of one year began business alone, and opened a wholesale and retail grocery, provision and liquor establishment, which he continued to conduct until 1880, when, as stated above, he retired to his plantation. His property has been acquired through his own business ability and energy since the war, as at that time what property he had accumulated was swept away. He is a devout member of the Catholic Church, socially belongs to the K. of H., and in his political views is a Democrat. In 1873 he returned to his old home in France, and visited Switzerland the same year, and in 1889 again went to Europe and traveled through England, France, Switzerland, Bavaria, Baden, also other provinces of Prussia, and then returned to the United States fully contented to make his home here for the remainder of his days. He has been quite an extensive traveler in the United States also, and in 1855 made a trip to the Rocky Mountains for a St. Louis Fur Company.

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This family biography is one of 103 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Phillips County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Phillips County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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