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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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Hon. J. T. Harrison, of Dardanelle, was born in Virginia in 1827. His parents, Joseph and Athana (Rollins) Harrison, were of Virginian nativity, but came to Tennessee in 1838 or 1839, and here followed farming as a means of maintenance, the father dying in 1840. His mother was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and died in 1862. Our subject’s early life was spent in Tennessee, where he received but a limited education, and at the age of fourteen began life’s career as a farmer. After a complete mastery of the study of law, which he had chosen as his profession, he was admitted to the bar for practice in 1855. In 1858 he came to Arkansas, and purchased land in what is now Logan County (then Scott), and cleared and improved some forty acres of his 400. At the bursting of the war cloud in 1861, he enlisted in the Confederate Army, taking part in the battles of Oak Hill, and Elk Horn, was dispatched east of the Mississippi River, and after the battle of Corinth his company was reorganized, choosing him as its captain; was a participant in battles under Gen. Bragg in Kentucky, and fought at Richmond and Jackson, Miss. Ill health soon overtaking him, the Captain was obliged to resign, and coming home joined the State troops as lieutenant, remaining with this till the close of the war. In 1860 he moved to Danville and resumed his law practice, and about 1870 changed to Dardanelle, where he bought his present place of residence, besides owning 500 acres in Carden bottom, sixty of which are under cultivation. He has served his State in many of its official positions, being a member of the State Constitutional Convention in 1874, and a representative in 1877, and in 1880 was State Senator for four years, and since the expiration of this office has again taken up his practice. He is a most estimable citizen, vigorous Democrat in politics and recognized by that party as a leader, and has a most enviable reputation as an office-holder, and is the citizens’ friend. He married Miss Mary C. Hill, of Perry County, in February, 1866, she being the daughter of Dr. L. D. Hill, one of the early settlers. To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Harrison were born six children, four living: Mattie G., Mary A., Cora L. and John Hill.

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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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