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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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Maj. John B. Baxter is a real estate and insurance agent at Brinkley. In all business communities the matter of insurance holds a prominent place and deservedly so, for it is a means of stability to all commercial transactions, and is a main stay against disaster should devastation by fire sweep property away. He was born in Wilson County, Tenn., in 1839, and is a son of George W. and Rebecca A. (Hooker) Baxter, who were born in North Carolina and Tennessee, respectively, and were married in the latter State, their union taking place in Wilson County, about 1833, when the father was nineteen years of age and the mother fifteen. They remained in Wilson County until after the birth of our subject, then removed to La Grange, Tenn., and here the father died May 25, 1844, having been a farmer throughout life. George Baxter, the maternal grandfather, was of Scotch-Irish descent, and was born in North Carolina, but died in Tennessee. Joshua Hooker, the maternal grandfather, was also born in North Carolina, but after residing many years in Wilson County, Tenn., he removed in 1840 to Fayette County, Tenn., and in 1851 he came to Monroe County, Ark., where he died of small-pox in 1866. He was the father of a large family, a farmer by occupation, and was a soldier in the War of 1812, and was with Jackson at New Orleans. Our subject came with his mother to Monroe County, Ark., in 1851, but soon after removed to Des Arc, where they resided until the opening of the war, then returned to Memphis, where the mother’s death occurred in July, 1867, she being in full communion with the Methodist Church at that time. Maj. John B. Baxter is the fourth of six children, and only he and his youngest brother, Hon. George W. Baxter, of Hot Springs, Ark., are now living. The former received his education in the common schools of Tennessee and Arkansas, and upon the opening of the war in 1861, he joined Company K, Fifth Arkansas Infantry, and operated in Kentucky. He soon after assisted in organizing Company F of the Twenty-third Arkansas Infantry, of which he remained a member until the fall of Port Hudson, when he was captured and imprisoned at Johnson’s Island, Point Lookout, Fort Delaware, Morris’ Island off Charleston, Fort Pulaski off Savannah, Ga., and was returned to Fort Delaware just before the close of the war. He was released in June, 1865, and at once went to Memphis, Tenn., where his mother was still living. In 1866 he traveled in Arkansas for a Memphis cotton and wholesale grocery house, but before his marriage, in April, 1866, to Josephine, daughter of William A. and Mary Pickens, he removed to Cotton Plant, Ark., but removed shortly afterward to Clarendon, from which place he entered the army, where he followed mercantile pursuits. He next engaged in farming near Cotton Plant, but since 1872 he has lived at Brinkley, and until 1882 was engaged in the practice of law, having prepared himself for this profession prior to the war. He has been a prominent politician since his residence here and served several terms as sergeant-at-arms of the lower house of the State legislature, and in 1882 was elected to represent Monroe County in that body, and was reelected in 1884, serving four years. He has been mayor of Brinkley several terms, and in 1887 was chosen sergeant-at-arms of the State senate, being elected by the Democratic party to his various official positions. His first presidential vote was cast for Breckenridge. He is Worshipful Master of Brinkley Lodge No. 295, A. F. & A. M., and is Dictator of Brinkley Lodge No. 3127, K. of H., being also a member of the K. & L. of H. Maj. Baxter is one of only three of the original settlers of Brinkley, who are now residing in the town. His wife was born in Mississippi, but her parents were Tennesseeans who moved to that State, and in 1859 came to Cotton Plant, Ark. They both died here during the war.

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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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