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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Monroe County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  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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George A. Rich, chief engineer of the Brinkley, Helena & Indian Bay Railroad, was born in Wayne County, N. Y., in 1843, and like the majority of the native citizens of the “ Empire State,” he is energetic, intelligent and enterprising. He is the youngest of three sons and three daughters, and was reared on a farm in Hillsdale County, Mich., from the time he was four years old till he reached manhood, but his educational advantages were not of the best. After becoming his own man he remedied this defect by considerable self-application. In 1865 he was married to Caroline Nickerson, a native of Hillsdale County, Mich., and his second marriage was consummated in December, 1885, his wife, Jane Hanna, being a daughter of John and Ann Hanna, natives of Ireland, where they were reared and married. They afterward moved to Canada, where Mrs. Hanna died, her husband’s death occurring in Michigan. Mrs. Rich was born in Canada. In 1874 Mr. Rich came to Brinkley, and was in the employ of Gunn & Black until that company was dissolved, serving them in various capacities, and cut the first ties and laid the first iron on what is now the Brinkley, Batesville Railroad. In 1881-82-83 he was in Mexico in the interests of the Mexican Central Railroad, and after a short stay in Arkansas he went to the Isthmus of Panama, where he spent one year having charge of a number of employees on the construction of the Panama Canal. Since then he has resided in Brinkley, and is connected with the Brinkley Car Works & Manufacturing Company. Some years prior to coming West he was engaged in civil engineering in Michigan, and is a thorough master of that science. He is a conservative Republican in his political views, and is a member of the A. F. & A. M., K. of H., K. & L. of H., K. of P., and the I. O. O. F. His parents, Butler J. and Clarissa (Redfield) Rich, were born in Connecticut and Massachusetts, respectively, but their marriage took place in the State of New York. In 1847 they moved to Michigan, and here the father was engaged in farming until his death in 1865, his wife’s death occurring in 1880. The paternal grandfather came from England to America with four brothers, and all were active participants in the Revolutionary War, taking part with the colonists. He died in the State of New York.

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This family biography is one of 86 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Monroe County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Monroe County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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