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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Phillips 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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Roland J. Cook, planter, Barton, Ark. Phillips County is acknowledged by all to be one of the best agricultural portions of the State, and as such its citizens are men of advanced ideas and considerable prominence. A worthy man of this class is found in the person of Roland J. Cook. He was originally from Yalobusha County, Miss., where his birth occurred October 27, 1839, and is the son of James and Frances (Brooks) Cook, natives of North Carolina and Tennessee, respectively. The father was born in 1810 and the mother in 1814. They were married in Mississippi, moved from there to Phillips County, Ark., in 1856, and located on the farm where Roland J. now resides. The principal part of this land was then covered with wood, but it was cleared by Mr. Cook and his son. James Cook was a carpenter by trade, and built the house in which our subject is now living. After coming to Arkansas he turned his attention exclusively to farming, and this continued up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1873. The mother died in 1866. The father was a Whig in politics, sympathized with the South, but never approved of secession. There were born to their marriage eight children, six now living, Roland J. being the eldest. The latter spent his school days in Mississippi and Arkansas, and in June, 1861, enlisted in the Second Arkansas (Confederate) Infantry, serving in the same until after the battle of Chickamauga, when he was severely wounded by a gunshot in the right hand and the left breast. He was orderly sergeant, and was in many prominent engagements: Shiloh, Murfreesboro and Perryville, Ky. After being wounded he was taken prisoner, but only retained for a short time. Returning home after the war, he turned his attention to farming, following the same for one year in Mississippi, and subsequently resumed agricultural pursuits on the old home stead, where he now lives. He is the owner of 300 acres of good land, and has 150 acres under cultivation. In 1866 he married Miss Lucy Winbourn, daughter of Rev. A. K. Winbourn, of De Soto County, Miss. The result of this union has been five children. Mr. and Mrs. Cook are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and Mr. Cook is steward in the same. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, the K. of H., and in politics is a Democrat, but is conservative in his views.

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This family biography is one of 103 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Phillips County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Phillips County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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