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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Yell County, Arkansas published by Southern Publishing Company in 1891.  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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Dr. Andrew J. Dyer. In the compilation of the history of Yell County and its representative men, particularly among the medical profession, it has been found that the name of Dr. A. J. Dyer ranks as that of one of the best known physicians of Dardanelle, thoroughly conversant with, and well posted in, medicinal lore. Dr. Dyer was born in Smith County, Tenn., January 13, 1831, being the second child in a family of five born to James S. and Martha (Hallum) Dyer. The paternal grandfather, Joel Dyer, originally of Virginia, was brought with his parents to Tennessee when but a mere youth, and was what the world terms a self-made man. Being very popular with his fellow-citizens, he was twice elected to the Senate, presiding over that august body as a special officer or chairman one term. He was ever active as a citizen and died at a ripe old age. The maternal ancestors, the Hallums, were formerly of North Carolina, it is believed, but for many years have been numbered among Smith County’s (Tenn.), most prominent citizens. Dr. Dyer’s sister Mattie, married John Hallum, the historian of Arkansas, and was of valuable assistance to him in the compilation of that work. Dr. James S. Dyer, our subject’s father, was born in Smith County, Tenn., where he studied medicine, and practiced in that and Sumner County for fifty years. Being a recognized member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, he was prominently identified with its working interests as class leader and Sunday-school superintendent for many years, and often officiated as lay delegate to the annual conferences of the church. Both he and his wife are deceased, his wife dying November 6, 1856, and he April 20, 1875. The subject of this sketch was reared and educated in Tennessee, being an attendant at the Academy of Hartsville, and other schools of Sumner County and Wilson County. Being seized with the gold fever in 1850, he journeyed to California to seek his fortune in the gold mines of that State, remaining here but a year, at the expiration of which he returned to Tennessee matriculated and was one of the first in the medical department of the Nashville University. Graduating in 1853, he at once began the practice of medicine, locating at Hartsville, and in 1854 came to Arkansas, settling at Dardanelle, where on December 5, of this same year, he married Miss Margaret E. Toomer, daughter of Col. Joshua Toomer, known as one of the earliest and most extensive planters of this section. Not having any children of their own, this worthy couple have reared several, and now have three orphans under their supervision, to whom they are giving every advantage which will make them useful and creditable citizens in any community to which kind fortune will lead them. Dr. Dyer remained in Arkansas till 1856, when he again went to Tennessee, sojourning there until the outbreak of the war, when he once more came to Dardanelle, and in response to his country’s call took his place in Capt. Daniel’s company, First Arkansas Rifles, under command of Col. Churchill. Soon after his enlistment, he was appointed assistant surgeon, serving in this capacity till 1864, when ill health compelled him to leave the army, and return home. Settling on a farm eight miles from Dardanelle, which consisted of some 600 acres, 200 under cultivation, he resumed his practice, which extended over the country about twenty miles. In 1875 he retired from active practice, and in 1881 he purchased the beautiful home in town, where he now resides. Buying property on the bench of Mount Nebo, he erected a house on it, in which he takes his summer’s recreation. The Doctor fellowships with the Methodist Episcopal Church South, being one of its most earnest workers, and for the past sixteen years has been chosen as a lay delegate to represent its interests in the annual conference. At the last annual conference he was elected one of the alternates to the general conference. Politically he is a Democrat.

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This family biography is one of 124 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Yell County, Arkansas published in 1891.  For the complete description, click here: Yell County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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