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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 Park is one of the foremost and progressive farmers of this region and a sketch of his life is essential in this work in giving a history of its prominent men. His birth occurred in Lawrence County, S. C, November 24, 1824, and he is a son of Andrew and Isabella H. (Park) Park, both born in that county in 1797 and 1808, respectively, and were first cousins. They lived in that county until 1844, when they removed to the State of Mississippi, and soon after settled in what is now Calhoun County, but came to Monroe County, Ark., in 1856. Mr. Park was a practical and scientific planter, and owing to his progressive views and his energy he became quite wealthy. He died in 1868, and his wife in 1880, both having been members of the Presbyterian Church from early youth. The paternal grandfather, who also bore the name of Andrew, came with his only brother, James, also the grandfather of our subject on his mother’s side, to America, and both were private soldiers of the American side throughout the Revolution. They settled in Lawrence County, S. C., and became extensive planters of that region, and were well known for their unimpeachable honesty and uprightness of character. They were men of exemplary habits in every respect, of religious natures, and were leaders in whatever enterprise they took an interest in. They left many descendants, who have followed in their footsteps, and all are upright and honorable citizens, some of whom became eminent in South Carolina in different professions and offices. They did much toward molding the moral and religious sentiment in the county where they lived, and were stanch members of the Presbyterian Church. Their native birthplace was County Tyrone, Ireland. Their grandson, James Park, the subject of this sketch, like the rest of their descendants, has followed their precepts and examples, and has won the respect and esteem of all with whom he has come in contact. He was the eldest of six sons and three daughters, three sons and three daughters being now alive. He received excellent educational advantages in his youth, and at the age of twenty-nine years was married at Okolona, Miss., to Catherine, a daughter of Uridge and Sarah (Smith) Whiffen, who were born, reared and married in England. After becoming the parents of two children, previous to 1832, they came to the United States, and after living in different localities in New York, they settled at Utica, where Mr. Whiffen died in 1837, at the untimely age of thirty-six years. His wife’s death occurred on her farm near Carmi in the State of Illinois in 1887. Mr. Whiffin was a professor of languages and mathematics, and filled that position in both Buffalo and Utica. His wife was a teacher of music and French, and followed this occupation many years after the death of her husband in North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and Illinois. Mrs. Park was born in Buffalo, N. Y., in 1835. Mr. Park came to Monroe County, Ark., in 1856, and settled on a woodland farm, and now owns 320 acres, and has 180 acres under cultivation. During 1868-69 he was engaged in merchandising in Clarendon, but since that time he has given his attention to farming. Prior to the late Civil War he was a Whig, but since that time has affiliated with the Democrat party. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M., and he and wife belong to the Christian 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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