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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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William L. Benton is a farmer and blacksmith, of Pine Ridge Township, but was born in Jackson County, Ga., in 1834. His parents, Thomas and Sarah (Norman) Benton, were Virginians, spending most of their life in Georgia, in which State Mr. Benton died, September 1, 1889, at the age of eighty-six years, his wife’s death occurring in 1872 or 1873, when sixty-seven years old. They were farmers, and of Irish descent. The paternal grandfather, Reason R. Benton, died in Georgia before the war, aged eighty-seven years, and the maternal grandfather’s (Joseph Norman) death occurred in the State of Mississippi. William L. Benton is the sixth of fourteen children, and although his educational advantages were of a very limited description, he became a well-informed young man, and when twenty-two years of age went to Mississippi. He was married there in 1857, to Catherine Eavenson, but her death occurred in 1863, after having borne two children, only one now living, named Andrew. His second marriage took place in December, 1865, his wife being a Miss Eliza Latimer, but he was called upon to mourn her loss by death in 1878, she having borne him three sons and three daughters. Mr. Benton’s third marriage was consummated June 14, 1884, his wife being a Mrs. Catherine (Aldridge) Graham, by whom he has one son. Mr. Benton resided in Mississippi until 1870, when he came to Monroe County, and in 1872 purchased a woodland farm, comprising 160 acres, of which seventy-five acres are in a state of cultivation. In 1862 he joined Company H, First Mississippi Partisan Rangers, and operated with his command in Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia, and participated in nearly all the leading battles of those States, among others the battles of Shiloh, Franklin, Nashville, and was all through the Georgia campaign, and in the siege of Vicksburg, and during his entire service was never captured or wounded, surrendering at Selma, Ala. He is a conservative Democrat in his political views, and his first presidential vote was cast for Buchanan, in 1856. He belongs to Clarendon Lodge No. 2328, of K. of H., and was formerly Vice Dictator in Oak Grove Lodge. 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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