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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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Rev. Thomas J. Brickell. No calling in which a man can engage is so truly noble and unselfish as that of the man who devotes his life to the saving of souls, and although Mr. Brickell is a local minister, he has been instrumental in bringing many erring ones to the feet of the Master. He has been established in business in Brinkley since 1885, and deals in furniture and undertaker’s goods, his stock being valued at from $1,500 to $2,000. He is a Georgian by birth, born in Palmetto, Coweta County, in 1849, and is a son of Nicholas and Martha J. (Sanders) Brickell, natives of North Carolina, their nuptials being celebrated at Palmetto, Ga. Since 1870 they have resided in Phillips County, Ark., and are there still living, both having been members of the Methodist Church, South, many years. The father, the oldest of a family of four sons and one daughter, was born May 11, 1824. About 1844 he went to Rockford, Surry County, N. C, living with an uncle, J. F. Harrison, and in 1846 moved to Palmetto, Ga. His wife’s mother was formerly Fannie Harris. Mr. Brickell upon leaving Palmetto, was located at Franklin several years, and in 1870 moved to Trenton, Phillips County, Ark. He now lives at Poplar Grove in the same county. He served the Confederate cause for three years during the Civil War, as a mechanic in the saltpetre works, being in Georgia most of the time. He belongs to the A. F. & A. M., and is a grandson of John B. Brickell, a Frenchman who came to the United States with Gen. La Fayette during the Revolutionary War. After that conflict he settled in the lower part of North Carolina, subsequently going to Union District, where he died. His wife, Frances Gregory, a Virginian by birth, went to Surry County, N. C., and reared a large family. At that place our subject’s grandparents were married. Rev. Thomas J. Brickell is the eldest of nine children, and in addition to attending the common schools in his youth, he worked in his father’s cabinet shop. He began for himself as a clerk in 1869, in Atlanta, Ga., but a short time afterward he came to Arkansas, and taught school and farmed for a few years. In 1873 he joined the White River Annual Conference, and for five years was an itinerant preacher of the Methodist Church. On account of his wife’s health he then located at Poplar Grove, and was there a partner with his father in business until his removal to Brinkley, where he has established a good home and a profitable business. He owns eighty-five acres of timber land, four miles from Brinkley, together with six town lots, all his property being acquired by his own exertions. He was for some time a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, joining when sixteen years of age, and at the age of twenty, upon removing to Arkansas, united with the Congregational Methodist Church, and was licensed to preach. Some three years after he returned to the Methodist Episcopal Church, and now preaches the doctrine of that denomination as a local minister. His wife, whom he married in 1872, and who was born in Alabama, April 16, 1853, was a Miss Martha J. Morris, a daughter of William D. and Harriet A. (Curry) Morris. She was reared principally in Phillips County, Ark. Her father was born in Lawrence County, Ala., November 23, 1820, subsequently moving to Phillips County, Ark. His wife was born in Maury County, Tenn., September 17, 1823. Mr. Morris died May 21, 1888, but his widow still survives him. Our subject and his wife have one son, now sixteen years of age.

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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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