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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Sharp 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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William G. Meeks, a pioneer farmer of Sullivan Township, was born in Breckinridge County, Ky., in 1819. He is a son of the Rev. William and Nancy (Goatley) Meeks, of North Carolina and Maryland, respectively, who moved to Kentucky, and were married there at a very early day, and when young William was sixteen years old, settled in Spencer County, Ind., where the father died about 1846, and the mother some time afterward, in Illinois. The elder Meeks was a Baptist minister, and well known for his eloquence in the pulpit. He is a son of Priddy Meeks, of North Carolina, who was one of the first settlers of Kentucky, and an associate of the famous Daniel Boone. William G. Meeks’ grandfather, John Goatley, was a native of Scotland, who came to America with his parents when four years old. He served through the Revolutionary War, with the exception of one year, in which he was badly disabled, and died in Kentucky, with honors showered upon him for his record through that period. William G. Meeks is the seventh child of eight sons and four daughters, and in his youth received a very limited education, as the facilities for attending school were quite scarce in those days. He commenced in life for himself at the age of twenty, and, in 1843, was married to Millie, daughter of Pleasant and Rebecca Galloway. Mrs. Meeks’ mother is still living at the age of ninety-six years, but the father died in the State of Indiana, where Mrs. Meeks was born. In 1846 Mr. Meeks came to what is now Sharp County, but did not move on his present place until 1849, which was then but very little improved. He now owns about 280 acres of land, with some 120 acres under cultivation, all the result of his own energy, and is one of the most enterprising farmers of Sharp County. Mr. Meeks enlisted in the Confederate army during the war, and was enrolled in Company D, Fourteenth Arkansas Infantry, holding the rank of lieutenant. He afterward became a member of Freeman’s regiment of cavalry, and later took part in Price’s raids through Missouri and Kansas. Mr. Meeks performed some creditable work during the war, and won a reputation as being a gallant and efficient soldier. He surrendered at Jacksonport in June, 1865, and returned to his home. When Mr. Meeks first settled in this vicinity the country was nothing but a wilderness, and had no inhabitants but a few venturesome spirits like himself, who were seeking a home in the West, unless, indeed, the wild animals that infested the country at that time could be called its inhabitants. His nearest post office and trading post was at Batesville, some twenty miles distant; but since that period he has lived to see this portion of Arkansas grow up into a populous and thriving country, and can now tell the younger generation how the streets and by-ways of the present civilization were once the path of the fleet-footed deer and the prowling wolf. The names of Mr. Meeks’ children are: Nancy, wife of Francis Kent; Sarah, wife of A. J. Green; Benjamin F., Thomas J., Eliza, wife of J. E. G. Ball, and Willie Ann, wife of J. D. Cargle.

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This family biography is one of 43 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Sharp County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Sharp County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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

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