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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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S. W. Davis, planter, Cotton Plant, Ark. The subject of this sketch needs no introduction to the people of Monroe County, for a long residence here, and above all a career of usefulness and prominence, have given him an acquaintance which shall last for years. He was born in La Fayette County, Miss., in 1845, to the union of Chesley and Mary E. (Simpson) Davis, natives of South Carolina and Alabama, respectively. Eight children were the fruits of this union, two daughters and six sons, three of whom only are living: S. W., Mary E. (wife of Ben Glover) and R. S. Chesley Davis was reared to agricultural pursuits and this was his chief occupation during life. He immigrated from Mississippi to Arkansas in 1851, locating in St. Francis County, and there entered and traded for land until he had 380 acres. He was a member of the A. F. & A. M.; was justice of the peace for several years, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and died in Woodruff County in 1859. His wife died in 1865 and was a member of the Baptist Church. S. W. Davis began life upon his own resources in 1867 and hired to work in a gin-house. In 1868 he began farming on rented land, continued at this until 1872, when he fell heir to some land from his father’s estate. He was married, in 1867, to Miss Mollie C. Harbour, a native of Tennessee, born in 1851, and the daughter of and Eliza B. Harbour, of Woodruff County, Tenn. The result of this union were eight children, six of whom are now living: E. B., Samuel T., John C., William A., Mattie and an infant not yet named. The parents of Mrs. Davis are originally from Kentucky, immigrating from that State to Tennessee, thence to Mississippi and finally settling in Arkansas, where they both died; E. B. died in 1861 and his wife in 1879. During the late war, or in 1864, Mr. Davis was in the Confederate cavalry, Company B, under Captain Wilson, and served until the surrender at Wittsburg, Ark., in 1865. After this he resumed farming and has followed this pursuit ever since. He is one of the prosperous and leading citizens of this township, has a fairly improved farm of 160 acres and has 109 acres under cultivation. He was justice of the peace for eight years and was appointed deputy sheriff in 1886. He erected a large gin in 1885 and this he has run ever since.

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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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