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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Jackson 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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R. W. Anderson, one of the pioneer merchants, and a highly esteemed resident of Jacksonport, was born September 12, 1846, in the State of Ohio. His parents, John and Jane (Kerr) Anderson were both natives of Dublin, Ireland, who emigrated to America about the year 1830, and located in Pennsylvania, from which State they moved to Ohio, and from there to Iowa, about the year 1850. In September, 1859, they came to Jacksonport, Ark., where the father died on February 28, 1888, the mother preceding him in 1887. They were the parents of nine children, of whom only one survives — Robert W. The father was a Presbyterian minister, and had been ordained in Ireland. He preached the gospel up to within a few years of his demise, and was one of the most intellectual and scholarly men that ever spoke from a pulpit at that period. He afterward left the Presbyterian and joined the Methodist faith, and was also engaged for some years in mercantile life at Jacksonport. His son, Robert W., was born in Ohio, but principally raised and received his education in Iowa. He was still quite young, however, when his parents moved to Jacksonport, and he there received the higher branches of education from his father. The commercial instinct was early in life developed in Robert, and he was brought up behind the counter from a boy. The training he received in his young days was well calculated to fit him for a mercantile life, and his after career reflected the highest credit on himself and his father, who had instructed him. He has one of the largest and best stocked stores in the city, and owns about 480 acres of land, most of which is under cultivation, and is adapted to almost any growth, the soil being a rich, sandy loam. Mr. Anderson has been twice married, his first wife being Miss Mary A. Jones, by whom he had four children, three of them yet living — John, Fannie, and Lizzie. The first wife died, and Mr. Anderson married a second time, being united to the next wife in 1884, who was Miss Ella Nixon, of Indiana. This union gave them four children (of whom three are living): Robert W. (deceased), Robert W., Pearl and Allie. Mr. Anderson is a Royal Arch Mason, and a member of the Knights of Honor. He was one of the first men to start in business at Jacksonport, and his fortitude and pluck in struggling through the adversities of a young business venture and coming out victorious have won for him the admiration and respect of his fellow-merchants and citizens.

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This family biography is one of 144 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Jackson County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Jackson County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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

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

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