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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 B. Howell, Sr., owner of the large and extensive mill plant of Danville, was born on a farm in Logan County, Ky., May 12, 1815; here his early youth was spent assisting his father in the duties of the farm, and in 1836 came with his parents, John and Mary (Jones) Howell, to Johnson County, this State, and settled on land which they farmed, and in connection with this ran a store of general merchandise, which they had opened at Pittsburgh. In 1838 our subject severed his connection with this business to go to Van Buren and take charge of the mail route between Old Dwight, Mo., and Fort Smith, I. T., carrying the semiweekly mail for four years, when he changed to the tri weekly stage running between Little Rock and Hot Springs, in it, passing over a stretch of country for thirty miles without a post-office, and while acting as mail-carrier was associated with Lewis Snap in the inland service, known as the pack routes, the mail being carried on horseback. In 1846-47 he ran the steamer on the White River, from Napoleon to Rock Craw Creek, where it met the stage line. His health failing, he sold his boat at the expiration of two years and came to Danville, and settled on a farm, and when that terrible scourge of the sixties visited the land, was well fixed financially, owning 3,000 acres of land, 500 of which were in a thorough state of cultivation, the labor of this immense plantation being performed by seventy-five servants. Soon this was laid waste by the devastating armies of the war, stock confiscated, houses and other buildings destroyed, and soon nothing remained of this once beautiful and vast estate but the land. At the close of this long and bloody struggle, he returned to Danville, and engaged in farming and milling, erecting, in 1869, his large mills, comprising a flouring-mill, ginning and wool-carding machinery, and a saw-mill attached, all costing in the neighborhood of $10,000, and in 1886 this entire plant with all its contents, was destroyed by fire, it being a total loss to him, as it was not insured. In 1872 he opened the popular Danville, famed throughout the county for its genial proprietor, its good cheer, and its first-class accommodations. He was wedded to Miss Eliza Hurd, of Crawford County, who lived to bless his home with her presence but a short time. She departed this life in 1842, leaving an infant son to the care of her husband, who lived to be but two years of age. He is not connected with any church, and, although voting the Democratic ticket, has never held any political office. Our subject has one brother, who resides at Clarksville, at the advanced age of eighty-one years, and three sisters, all deceased.

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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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