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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Perry County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889. 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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W. G. Rankin, a prominent stock dealer residing in Perryville, is a son of Robert Rankin and Frances (Hogan) Rankin, of Tennessee and Georgia, respectively, the former a son of George Rankin, of Guilford County, N. C., and the latter a daughter of Edmund and Jane Hogan, it being said that Edmund Hogan was the first white man who ever cut a piece of timber in Little Rock, he having arrived there in 1817. He was a colonel in the War of 1812, and took part in the battle of New Orleans. Among the early settlers associated with Mr. Hogan were the Rankin, Pyatte, Kellogg and Carnahan families. George Rankin and his son, Robert, in company with several others, traveled up the Arkansas River as far as Cane Hill, Washington County, looking for a suitable location, but finally returned to Little Rock, and shortly afterward settled on the Maumelle River, about fourteen miles southeast of Perryville, where he resided until his death. His wife died in 1858, a few years after his decease. Edmund Hogan resided in Little Rock until within a few years of his death, in 1836. He was a candidate for election to the first legislature, but was killed by his political opponent. The bodies of himself, wife and son were first interred where the State house now stands, and it has only been a few years since the coffins were exhumed. Robert Rankin moved with his father to the settlement on Maumelle River, where he entered eighty acres of land, while Edmund Hogan entered the land upon which Little Rock now stands. Robert was married when quite young, being only twenty-two years old on that occasion. He sold forty acres of land which he had previously entered, and entered 120 acres more in the neighborhood of his eighty acres upon which he made his home and resided until his death, in the fall of 1863, being murdered by a bushwhacker. His wife lived five years afterward and followed him to the grave. W. G. Rankin was born March 2, 1830, in what is now Faulkner County, and received all the advantages to be derived from the schools of that period. He remained at home and worked on the farm with his father until March, 1852, when he was married to Miss Parmelia Ellsberry, by whom he has had three children: C. C. (who resides in Perryville), Edmund H. (also of Perryville) and Margaret (wife of Robert Long, who resides eight miles from that town). Mr. Rankin lost his wife on November 7, 1868, and in November, 1871, he was again married, his second wife being Miss Julia Bagly, by whom he had one child: Mary Josephine. This wife died in 1878, and about one year and nine months later Mr. Rankin married Mrs. Missouri Brazeale, by whom he has had two children: Egbert and Quinlen. After his first marriage he bought forty acres of land and entered 160 acres more eight miles east of Perryville, where he resided from 1853 to 1876, and then moved to Perryville, where he has lived ever since. During the war he enlisted in the army, but after three months’ service, the long marches, exposure and hard life of a soldier affected his health, and he was forced to return home and hire a substitute to fill his place for the remainder of the war. Mr. Rankin has made industry and good management accumulate a comfortable amount of property. He owns land east of Block 14 in the town of Perryville, also forty acres just across the river with twenty acres under cultivation, besides having a half interest in 215 acres ten miles down the Fourche; of which twenty-five acres are under cultivation. He is a member of the Masonic order and belongs to the Perryville lodge. In politics he is a Democrat, and has always voted that ticket. He is one of the old landmarks of the county, and any history of the State of Arkansas would be incomplete without his name. Besides himself, Mr. Rankin has two brothers and one sister still living: Edmund H. (residing in Perry County on the old homestead), Charles (residing three miles south of Perryville) and Martha (now the wife of Willis Y. Russell, living in Effingham County, Ill).
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This family biography is one of 53 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Perry County, Arkansas published in 1889. For the complete description, click here: Perry County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps
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