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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. J. H. Harkness, another of Bellville’s progressive physicians claims Northern Georgia as his birthplace, he being born in that State in 1850. His parents, R. W. and Eveline (Bacon) Harkness, were natives of South Carolina and Georgia, respectively, and were farmers by occupation. The father served his country as a private in the late war, and came to Arkansas in 1869, and settled on the La Fourche River, owning one of the finest farms in this county, and on which he still resides, his wife having departed this life in May, 1888. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. The paternal grandfather, Robert Harkness, of Irish descent, early came to this country and located in Charleston, S. C, and engaged in business, and later, moving thence to Georgia, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. The maternal grandfather, William H. Bacon, was a Georgian by birth, and a planter. The Doctor was early taught the rudiments of farming, and attended school till ten years old, when he was obliged to drop his studies, and did not take them up again till attaining his majority, when he worked and studied, and in 1873 began the study of his chosen profession with an uncle, in Georgia, and the next year attended lectures at Atlanta, and in the spring of 1874, while yet a student, he came to Arkansas, and began to practice, and in 1885 returned to Little Rock to complete his studies, graduating here with high honors. On coming to Bellville he established a practice and opened a drug store, carrying a full line of drugs. He owns a fine tract of land, 100 acres in extent, seventy of which are cultivated, and five acres and a residence in town. He married Miss Kate Hamilton in the fall of 1875, who bore him one child, Edna. The Doctor, wife and daughter worship with the Methodist Episcopal Church South, to which they belong, and he is well worthy the reputation he has earned as a citizen and physician.

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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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