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Below is a family biography included in the Woodruff County portion of Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Eastern 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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James Felker, a farmer of prominence, also stock raiser and ginner of Pumpkin Bend Township, is the son of Peter and Nancy (Eaves) Felker, and was born in Tennessee, in 1822. Peter Felker (his father) was born in Tennessee, and his wife in Abbeville District, S. C. They were married in South Carolina, and soon after settled in Tennessee, but when James was a boy they changed their location to Cherokee Purchase, near Chattanooga, and there spent the remainder of their lives. After a happy marriage of nearly eighty years, Mr. Felker passed away in 1877, aged one hundred and three years, his wife surviving him until 1883, dying at the age of ninety-seven. Mr. Felker was a very successful farmer, and amassed a large fortune, but during the war became financially embarrassed. He was one of the early settlers in Southeast Tennessee, and carried the mails at an early period. He was the son of William Felker, a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and while enroute for home with his wife, or after getting home, was assassinated by British soldiers. Grandfather Eaves was of English descent, a farmer, and at the time of his death was living in Abbeville District, S. C. James Felker was the third in a family of four sons, all of them living as follows: William (a merchant of Franklin County, Ark.), Stephen (a farmer of Missouri) and Jesse (farmer and merchant of Georgia). They are all enterprising men, and have accumulated very comfortable fortunes. James received a limited education, as the schools of Tennessee at that date were inferior in quality and few in number. He was married in Hamilton County, Tenn., in 1847, to Caroline, daughter of William and Polly Brewster. Mrs. Felker was born in Tennessee, and died in 1867, having borne a family of seven children, four now living: Misnier (wife of Ensley Ball), Margaret (wife of Hughey Gilluly), Jesse and Louisa. Mr. Felker was again married in 1872 to Mrs. Charlotte Guest, a native of Georgia, and born in 1833, who died in 1878, and in 1882 Mr. Felker was wedded to his present wife. She was Mrs. Adrain Hawkins, a native of Mississippi, and born in 1848, the daughter of William Worthington. Mr. Felker’s first home in Arkansas was in St. Francis County, where he resided until the year 1869, then came to Pumpkin Bend, and settled in an almost complete wilderness. Of this he owned 830 acres, and has 130 cultivated, all the result of his own labor, with little or no assistance. He raises a great many cattle, horses and hogs, and for nearly fifteen years has run a gin and corn mill, and for a short time had a good steam saw-mill attached. For some years Augusta was the nearest post-office and market, which made it quite a long distance to go, the journey being contemplated and talked of a long time before its execution. Mr. Felker enlisted and served about three years in the Confederate army, in Company C, with Col. McGee of Price’s army. He participated in the battle of Helena, Fitz Hugh, Wallace’s Ferry, Little Rock and all through the Missouri raid. He served as lieutenant most of this time, and surrendered at Wittsburg. Mr. Felker is a strong and thorough Democrat, and voted for Polk, in 1844, and every Democratic candidate since, with the exception of the war period. His financial condition is based on a solid foundation, which is all due to hard work, perseverance and close attention to business. He is one of the most prosperous of Pumpkin Bend citizens, and enjoys the respect of the entire community. Although he has lived thirty years in the bottom lands, he has always had very good health, and is still well able to stand and endure the varying changes of weather. He comes of a long-lived race, and bids fair to carry the record of his ancestors. Mrs. Felker is a member of and in high standing in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

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This family biography is one of 69 biographies included in the Woodruff County portion of Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Eastern Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Woodruff County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Woodruff County, Arkansas family biographies here: Woodruff County, Arkansas

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