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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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John A. Grace, one of the pioneer settlers of Dardanelle Township, emigrated from Gibson County, Tenn., in 1849, with his father and mother, Jesse G. and Phoebe (Gatley) Grace, and seven children, he being the youngest of the family. His parents were natives of Kentucky, the father born July 27, 1805, the mother deceased in this State, in 1857. On arriving in Yell County, the father bought and settled on 160 acres of timberland adjoining his son’s present farm, and has since added 100 acres more to this, one-half of which is tilled. Our subject was born in Gibson County, Tenn., September 5, 1843, where he grew to manhood. The advantages for an education being very limited, he remained with his parents, assisting in the farm duties, till July, 1861, when he responded to the war-cry, and enlisted in the Fifteenth Arkansas Regiment, Company D, commanded by Capt Hollowell and Col. McRay. He was a participant in the battles of Oak Hill and Elk Horn, thence crossing the Mississippi River to take part in the engagements of Corinth No. 1 and 2, and Iuka, and Baker Creek. Soon after, just before the siege of Vicksburg, he, with one-half of his regiment, was captured by Gen. Grant, and on May 17, 1863, were taken to Indianapolis, thence to Fort Delaware, and Point Lookout, Md. In December of this same year, they received their paroles, and started for Richmond; upon reaching this city they were given a New Year dinner by the ladies of that place. Leaving Richmond for their homes, they were obliged to travel in a round about way, going through the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. From Jackson, Miss., they were compelled to walk the entire distance, arriving safely at home after many trials. During this journey, they found it necessary to pass through the Mississippi swamps, breaking the ice and wading through water, which was from the shoetop to the arm’s pit in depth. On his arrival at home, our subject purchased the eighty acres on which his homestead now stands, adding to it till he now owns 360 acres, 170 being tilled and producing such commodities as cotton, corn and wheat. On his farm will be found a good residence, barns and sheds. In October, 1867, he was joined in matrimony to Bettie Thomas, being born in Middle Tennessee, November 23, 1846, and a daughter of C. Thomas (see sketch). To this union were born ten children: John, Jessie, Bennie, William, Mollie, Anna, Ray, Allen, Columbus and Maggie. He and wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church. John A. is comfortably fixed with this world’s goods, enjoying life and the confidence of his fellow-citizens, which he justly merits; all charitable enterprises, and any enterprise contributing to the welfare of his county, receives his most liberal support. Politically he is a Democrat, casting his vote with that party.

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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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