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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Johnson County, Arkansas published by Southern Publishing Company in 1891.  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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J. R. Brown is the oldest merchant of Coal Hill, and throughout this region has won an excellent reputation as a man of business. He was born in Tennessee in 1850, being the third of fourteen children born to Benjamin A. and Elizabeth (Real) Brown, who were born in North Carolina and Tennessee, respectively, the former, a farmer, who came to Arkansas in the fall of 1866, and is still residing in Logan County of this State. His son, J. R. Brown, like so many of the substantial citizens of this country at the present time, was initiated into the mysteries of farming from the very first, and after his removal to Arkansas, in 1866, was favored with good opportunities for obtaining an education, and was an attendant of Pleasant Grove School at Cabin Creek. In 1878 he began business at Coal Hill, after having been a clerk in the establishment of J. W. May, of Clarksville, for some years, and he now has the facilities for doing a large trade, his stock of goods being worth $10,000, and his annual sales amounting to $45,000. He handles wagons, farming implements, and buys all kinds of farm produce. He owns two farms, comprising 214 acres, and has 120 acres under cultivation, the fine steam cotton-gin which is erected thereon being the best in the county, its capacity being twenty bales per day. He also has a good corn-mill, and is the owner of four residence buildings and the post-office building. He has been one of the active citizens of Coal Hill, and has identified himself with every worthy enterprise of the place. His marriage, which occurred in December, 1878, was to Miss Lucy, daughter of Col. John S. Houston, of Clarksville, by whom he has two children, Howell Houston and Lucile. Vivian died at the age of one year, and another child died in infancy, unnamed. Mr. and Mrs. Brown are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and he belongs to the I. O. O. F. An annual statement taken in February, 1890, gives a showing of $30,000, all of which is the result of his own labor. He was in debt when he began clerking for Capt. May, but is now a wealthy man. He owns three lots in Van Buren, on one of which he is erecting a handsome residence.

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This family biography is one of 65 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Johnson County, Arkansas published in 1891.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Arkansas family biographies here: Johnson County, Arkansas

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