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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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James M. Caviness, farmer, Gravelly Hill, Ark. Thoroughgoing and enterprising Mr. Caviness has made a complete success of his chosen calling, farming, and is today one of the substantial agriculturists of Yell County. He was born in Tennessee, and came to Arkansas with his parents when an infant. The parents settled in Scott County, and there the father purchased a large tract of land, which he improved and cultivated. There James M. grew to manhood, received his education, and at the breaking out of the war, when but seventeen years of age, he enlisted in Company H, De Bosa Carroll’s regiment and served through the war. Among the important engagements in which he took part, were Oak Hill, Elk Horn and several other smaller engagements. After this he was transferred to Gen. Pike’s division, and went with him to Indian Territory, where he served for about a year. He then returned to Arkansas, and the post of Arkansas and Little Rock, and after the war he went to Texas, where he ran a ferry across Trinity River, also carried on a farm for one year. He then returned to Arkansas and settled in this township. Soon after, in the fall of 1866, he was married to Miss Louisa, daughter of Col. Parks, one of the earliest settlers of Yell County. In 1867 he bought a tract of wild land, which he improved and which is still his home. He erected good buildings on the same, and from time to time, as his means allowed, he has added to his estate until he now owns 900 acres of as good land as the average in this valley. He raises a great many horses, cattle, hogs and sheep, and has been unusually successful. His principal crops are corn, cotton and oats. He has on his farm this year about 150 acres of cotton, which promises a good crop, about 300 acres of corn, and about fifty acres of oats. To Mr. Caviness’ marriage were born nine children, six of whom are still living: Willie T., John C., James B., Walter G., Allie L. and Chester. Willie T. married Miss Lizzie Campbell. Mr. Caviness and family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and he is steward in the same. He is a Democrat in his politics, and is a member of the A. F. & A. M. lodge of Gravelly Hill, being treasurer in the same.

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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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