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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Izard 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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Capt. Ransom W. Luther was born in the “Keystone State” in 1837, and is a son of Enoch Luther, whose birth occurred in Sugar Creek, Penn., in 1787. The latter received a limited education, and when quite a youth, learned the carpenter’s trade, which occupation he followed for a number of years, then learning the wheelwright’s trade. He was married in his native State, in 1807, to Miss Polly Bennett, her father being Elisha Bennett, and to them a large family of seventeen children were born, ten of whom are living at the present time: Roswell, David, Enoch, Elliot, Ransom, Burton, Laura, Mary, Angeline and Adaline. Mr. Luther served in the War of 1812, and after hostilities had ceased, he returned home, and entered a tract of land embracing 160 acres, which he farmed for several years; then erected two large saw-mills and a grist-mill, which have been rebuilt, and are in good condition at the present time. For services rendered in the War of 1812, he received a grant to 160 acres of land in Knox County, Ill., from the government, and at the time of his death, on the old “Luther’s Mill Farm,” in Pennsylvania, in 1859, he was the owner of 300 acres of land. Capt. Ransom Luther received a good business education in the “Luther’s Mill Farm” school, and he has since put the education he acquired in this institution to the best use. He learned the millwright’s trade under his father, afterward worked at the carpenter’s trade, and in time became a very fine architect, although in more recent years he has given his attention principally to milling as his chief calling. He is an experienced carpenter and builder, and many evidences of his ability and skill in this direction are to be seen in his native State, Illinois, Iowa and Arkansas. He has always been of an enterprising disposition, and in 1856 started out in life for himself, and moved to the State of Illinois, but two years later went back to his old home, and was married there, in 1859, to Miss Sarah Knapp, a daughter of Charles Knapp, by whom he had one child, Alice. He wedded his second wife, Miss Edna C. Scott, of Cherokee, Iowa, in 1871, and two interesting children, Eugene W. and Maud S., have blessed their union. Capt. Luther removed from the State of Iowa to Benton County, Ark., in 1878, and purchased eighty acres of land near Maysville, which he used as a small cattle ranch. From this place he went to Eureka Springs, in 1880, and erected a neat little cottage on Spring Street, near the Crescent Spring, his place being generally known as “Eagle Cottage,” and it is of his own architecture. Here he resided until 1883, when he sold out to Dr. Swartly, of Chicago, for $2,350. After this the Captain and his family traveled for some months, and visited various places of interest in Missouri, Illinois, Dakota and Arkansas, and in 1884 returned to this State, and located on Lafferty’s Creek, six miles west of Barren Fork, where, with his brother-in-law, Mr. Scott, he erected a large saw-mill, which has been of great benefit to the surrounding country. In 1889 he sold his interest to Mr. Scott, and erected a grist-mill and cotton-gin just south of his former place of business, and at the present writing he is preparing to erect a commodious residence, and build a large dam to afford water power for his mill. In 1888 he ginned 150 bales of cotton, and in his new mill he expects to bale at least 300. Capt. Luther is a jovial and hospitable gentleman, a thoroughly capable business man, and is ever ready to assist any good cause, either practically or financially. He approves of secret organizations, and is an active member of the I. O. O. F. His wife and daughter, Alice, are consistent members of the Baptist Church. In 1861, upon the bursting of the war cloud, which had threatened the country for some time, he enlisted in the infantry, under Col. Dodge, of Pennsylvania, and was in the battles of Williamsburg, Four Oaks, Richmond and Melbourne, and was also in the seven days’ retreat at Harrison’s Landing. He entered as a private, but for gallant services rendered, he was promoted to the rank of captain. He was honorably discharged, in 1865.

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This family biography is one of 98 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Izard County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Izard County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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

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