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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Poinsett 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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J. H. Allen, farmer and teacher, Harrisburg, Ark. It has long since been acknowledged that no matter what a man’s occupation in life may be, a very necessary element to his success is a good education, and doubtless this is one cause of Mr. Allen’s success in life. He was born in Mecklenburg County, N. C., on the 30th of September, 1839, and is the son of Col. William Allen, one of the early settlers of North Carolina, and a native of that State. When a young man, the latter was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Hunter (subject’s mother), also a native of North Carolina. After his marriage the Colonel settled a large plantation in Mecklenburg County, N. C., and entered land in the Catawba purchase. The grandparents of J. H. Allen, on both sides, were natives of Dublin, Ireland, and the grandfathers were Revolutionary soldiers, and fought for American liberty. The ancestors on both sides were among the Irish peasantry. Grandfather Hunter was in the battle of King’s Mountain. J. H. Allen’s time in early life was divided between assisting on the farm and in attending the common schools. Subsequently he entered Davidson College, and graduated from that institution in the freshman class of 1856. Mr. Allen is one of three survivors of that class of twenty-two, who left the college on that memorable June day. One, James Steward, a farmer in Brazil, South America; another, George Morrow, tilling the soil in South Carolina, and the subject of this sketch, are the ones living; the rest are with the honored dead of the late struggle. Mr. Allen took the course of 1858-59 in Cokesbury Theological Institute, in South Carolina, and left that institute to marry Miss H. R. Thrower, a beautiful lady, to whom he had been betrothed for seven years, but only reached her bedside in time to see her die. In 1861 he enlisted in the cause of the South, was in the battle of the Wilderness, and was severely wounded at Malvern Hill; was a brave and gallant soldier. He was paroled at Richmond, at the general surrender in 1865, and returned home, only to find all his property destroyed. He then engaged in his chosen profession, teaching, and followed this in Mississippi and Arkansas for many years. He has been three times married, and is the father of fourteen children. He came to Arkansas in 1870, and has taught in the schools of this State for eighteen years. He has 160 acres of land, forty acres under cultivation; is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and of the I. O. O. F., Lodge No. 77, White Hall. He takes much interest in public enterprises. His word is his bond, always careful to perform his promise, and “owes no man anything,” thereby fulfilling the Divine injunction.

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This family biography is one of 70 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Poinsett County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Poinsett County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Poinsett County, Arkansas family biographies here: Poinsett County, Arkansas Biographies

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