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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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James Benton Hughes, planter, Lamberton, Ark. On August 8, 1841, there was born to Joshua and Nancy (Bookout) Hughes, a son, James Benton Hughes, who was one of a family of thirteen children, the result of their union. The father was born in Tennessee in 1814, and was of English descent, his ancestors having emigrated to America previous to the Revolutionary War. The Grandfather Hughes participated in the struggle. James Benton Hughes’ birth occurred in De Kalb County, Ala., and of the large family of which he was a member, only eight are now living. He was educated in the subscription schools of his native county, and subsequently attended Sulphur Springs Academy. He was reared to the arduous duties of the farm, and this has been his principal occupation during life, although for about three or four years he was engaged in rafting on the White River, between Indian Bay and New Orleans, their cargo being cypress logs. In 1859 Mr. Hughes went to Texas, where he was engaged in farming and herding for a year or two. He contracted with the Government to deliver supplies to the troops at Fort Colorado, and in March, 1862, he enlisted in Company C, Twenty-fourth Texas Cavalry, afterward the Twenty-fourth Texas Infantry, serving until the close of the war. He participated in the battle of Helena, was in the Missouri raid under Gen. Price, and at Pilot Knob, where he received a wound in the hand. He was also in a number of skirmishes previous to the Missouri raid. He went from his home to take the oath of allegiance at Jacksonport, but was not successful. In 1866 he worked on Dr. Washington’s farm on shares, for one year, and then engaged in rafting as before mentioned. On March 5, 1871, he was united in marriage to Mrs. Sallie (Simmons) Stunson, the daughter of John and Jennie Simmons, who were among the first settlers of Eastern Arkansas. One child, Rosabell, was born to this union, her birth occurring on August 16, 1872, and her death on November 1, 1885. Mrs. Hughes died on April 14, 1876. Mr. Hughes made his first purchase of land, a tract comprising forty acres of wild land, in 1873, and has since added to this, until he now owns 380 acres, with about ninety acres under cultivation, his principal crops having been corn and cotton. He has a fine young apple and peach orchard, and raises as fine peaches as can be found anywhere. In his political views he coincides with the Democratic party. He officiated in the capacity of deputy sheriff for eight years by appointment, and was a capable and efficient officer. He is a member of the K. of H., Indian Bay Lodge No. 2491, and is also a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

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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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