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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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Washington Simpson, planter, Cotton Plant, Ark. Of that sturdy and independent class, the farmers of Arkansas, none are possessed of more genuine merit and a stronger character than he whose name stands at the head of this sketch. Mr. Simpson first saw the light in Morgan County, Ala., January 21, 1823, and was one of eleven children, eight sons and three daughters, born to the union of Samuel and Elizabeth (Owen) Simpson. The father was born in the Old Dominion, was a farmer by occupation, and, in connection, carried on the tanner’s trade for many years. He immigrated from Alabama to La Fayette County, Miss., in 1837, and there carried on both his former occupations, until 1852, when he moved to Arkansas, locating in St. Francis County. He took up land, built a cabin, and there remained until his death, which occurred in 1860. His wife died in Monroe County, in about 1857. She was a member of the Baptist Church for many years. Of the large family born to his parents, Washington Simpson is the only one now living, although all were reared to maturity. He was married in 1847 to Miss Martha Davis, and they became the parents of seven children, of whom only three are now living: Josiah A., Allice M. and Mary E. (the widow of John C. Madox). The mother of these children died in 1860; she was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Two years later Mr. Simpson took for his second wife Miss Frances Henderson, who died in 1869. In 1871 he married Miss Mary A. Anderson, who bore him nine children, six daughters and three sons, seven of whom are living: Alexander A., John W., Anna P., Mittie E., Mary O., Margaret A. and Hassie P. Mr. Simpson owns 207 acres of land, has about 120 acres under cultivation, and is a very successful farmer. In 1863 he enlisted in the infantry under Capt. Wilson, and served until the surrender at Wittsburg, in 1865. He filled the position of constable for eight years in this county, and he and Mrs. Simpson are members of the Baptist Church. Mrs. Simpson was born in La Fayette County, Miss., in 1853, and came to Arkansas with her father in 1859. He was a farmer, and died in 1862. Her mother died in 1885. Both were members of the Baptist 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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