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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Ashley County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  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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Rufus L. Denson has been a resident of this county all his life, for he was born here in 1846, and here also received his education, although a somewhat limited one. His father, Albert Denson, was born in Alabama, and his wife, Emily Ely, was born in North Carolina, the former being of Welsh and the latter of English descent. Albert Denson died in 1847, in the State of Arkansas, having come thither with his father, Isaac Denson, in 1830, the latter’s father being Nathaniel Denson. The maternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch was Josiah Ely, a native of North Carolina. Rufus L. Denson was reared in Arkansas, his schooling being limited, and owing to the early death of his father, he had no means with which to commence life, but with the hopefulness of youth started out in life for himself at the early age of fourteen years. In the spring of 1864 he joined Company H, Second Arkansas Mounted Infantry, and the first engagement in which he took part was at Jefferson City, Mo., being with Price on his celebrated raid. He was next at Boonville, and from there went to Independence, afterward to Fort Scott and from there came South, being in almost daily encounters with the Federals. After they had reached Louisiana, Mr. Denson was taken sick, but before he had recovered the war had closed and his command had disbanded at Marshall, Tex. He returned to Ashley County in the spring of 1865, and has since devoted his attention to farming, being now the owner of 160 acres of hill land, with forty under cultivation, which is devoted to cotton and corn, the yield of each being quite satisfactory. In the spring of 1872 he was married to Miss Denson, by whom he has six children: Elbert Claud, Ely Elmer, Ruth J., Henry S., Cassandra L. and Orin. Mr. Denson is a worthy member of the Missionary Baptist Church, his wife belonging to the Methodist Episcopal Church, and both are highly esteemed residents of this section.

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This family biography is one of 97 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Ashley County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Ashley County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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