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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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M. M. Nichols is one of the largest land owners of Johnson County, Ark., and in addition to this is the owner of an excellent mercantile establishment which brings him in a handsome income annually. He was born on his father’s plantation, in South Carolina, and when about seven years of age he was taken to Cass County, Ga., but his early scholastic opportunities were of the most meager description. After he had married, and when his children were old enough to enter a school, he had them review their lessons to him at night, and in this way obtained sufficient education to enable him to successfully transact all his own business, both agricultural and mercantile. He remained in Georgia until twenty-three years old, at which time he left home and secured a position as overseer at the Choctaw Mission, at Fort Coffee, Ind. Ty., and this position he retained, at a good salary, for two years, at the end of which time he went to Lawrence County, Mo., where he worked for wages on a farm for one year. At the expiration of this time he came to Johnson County, and almost immediately, or in 1858, he purchased eighty acres of land on which he settled and which he cultivated until 1862, when he enlisted in Col. Hill’s regiment of Arkansas Cavalry, and after Lee’s surrender he was discharged at Marshall, Tex., having participated in a number of engagements, among which were Oak Hill, Holly Springs, and many others of less importance. He was also in the commissary department for some time, and during his entire service did not receive a wound. At the close of the war he returned to Arkansas to find his farm laid waste—buildings torn down and burned, and hogs, of which he had 400 head when he entered the army, were slaughtered or driven off, nothing, in fact, was left but the bare land. He met his wife and two little ones at Roseville, and near that place he rented land for two years, then returned to improve his place, but instead sold it soon after and purchased the property on which he is at present residing. He again engaged in the stock business, but at the present time deals principally in horses and mules. He devotes but little attention to the culture of cotton, but corn receives considerable attention at his hands. He first purchased forty acres of this farm, but from time to time, as he was able, he added to it and now has 410 acres of as good farming and stock-raising land as there is in the township. His residence and all outbuildings are all excellent, and on this land he has also a good store building, in which is a stock of goods well calculated to meet the wants of the citizens hereabouts. Clover, timothy and red top grow luxuriantly on his place, and cotton could also be raised in paying quantities did Mr. Nichols so desire it. In 1887 he and his son opened a mercantile establishment at Coal Hill, consisting of a general stock of goods, but it is now conducted by his son-in-law, B. F. Pyron (see sketch). Although Mr. Nichols does not care to state what he considers the value of his property, it has been learned from other sources that $60, 000 approximates very closely the amount. He was born on June 16, 1826, and was married December 15, 1858, to Miss Louisa J. Lee, daughter of Russell Lee, of this county. They have four sons and four daughters: Manus M. (a physician of Morrillton, Ark., married to Cynthia Holman, by whom he has two children), Amanda J. (wife of B. F. Pyron, of Coal Hill), George N., Elva I., James Malvin, Emily N., Margaret W. and William A. Mr. Nichols has given his children liberal educations, for he has often felt the need of a better knowledge of books, and decided that his children should not want in that respect. He and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and has taken an active interest in the Sunday-school for years. He is treasurer in Spring Hill Lodge of the A. F. A. M., and in politics is a firm Democrat, at all times supporting the measures of that party. He is a man who has always made the most of his opportunities and has at all times tried to raise something that was salable and wanted by the public. He says that no man is so far from market as the one that has nothing to sell, hence he has always tried to keep near some wide awake and pushing town. He is a man who reads a great deal, is a deep thinker, and is accordingly one of the well-informed men of this section, his family, as well as himself, commanding respect from all. His parents, John and Elizabeth (Tusineur) Nichols, were South Carolinians by birth.

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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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