My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of Benton County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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Elder Dr. George Washington Robertson is a son of William and grandson of John Robertson. The latter was born in the highlands of Scotland. A tanner by trade, he came to America at an early day, going through the Revolutionary War. He married Sarah Gill, settled in North Carolina, then moved to Kentucky. He was a member of the old Seceder Church of the old Scotch Church. He moved to Missouri and died at the age of one hundred and fourteen. The Doctor’s father was born in Barren County, Ky., April 25, 1798; married Mary, daughter of James and Sarah Morris, Pennsylvania Dutch; moved to Missouri in 1827, where he spent the remainder of his days. He was therefore a pioneer of Missouri. The Doctor was born in Cole County, Mo., January14, 1834. In this early day deer ranged everywhere. Bears were plentiful; turkeys everywhere. His father was a great lover of a gun, and killed wild meats to live on a great part of the first few years of his new home in Missouri. Indians were his neighbors. Fish abounded in great abundance in every stream. His father soon began stock-raising and farming—farmed extensively; was a slave-holder, and a great trader. Drove hogs and cattle to St. Louis, a distance of 125 miles. Here our subject was trained in droving, trading and farming, hunting, fishing and sporting. He says he loved a gun and dogs, and many times he spent all night in the woods after his dogs, coon and opossum hunting, and says opossum is the best meat he ever eat. Wishes he was in such a land again. He roved along the banks of the Moreaw picking out large fish. Has stood in the door-yard and shot wild turkey. Killed deer in the field in daylight, as they were tame in early days. His father was an elder in the Christian Church nearly forty years. Died at the age of eighty-four. The Doctor’s mother died in 1848, and in the spring of 1850 he went to California, engaged in mining and in mercantile business, and boasts of his greatest success depending on his never drinking or gambling. This, he says, was from his mother’s training, a Godly woman, His education was self-made, having poor chances for good schools, but has been an incessant student all his life. He says he has burned out many a midnight candle in his studies. Returning from California he united with the Christian Church. He married Sarah L., daughter of David and Margaret (Leslie) Vanpool. Her father was Dutch and her mother Irish. He was married December 17, 1854. He moved to Texas in 1857, and two years later he was set apart to the work of the ministry in the Christian Church. He then began in a new field, entering on his favorite theme. Soon he was drawn into public discussion, of which he has held seventeen, and says he is proud of his success in each. He has always had advantage of most men in this, as he is hard to confuse; always pleasant, mild in his address, but positive and unwavering, never lost for words, a fluent speaker, with a ready flow of language. He is positively opposed to mixing the world and church. Organs, festivals, lotteries, or anything not Scriptural, he opposes in the church. He has been a regular writer for many religious journals for over twenty-two years, and is now writing and preaching the greater part of his time. He was corresponding editor one year for the Christian Watchman, edited by Ashley Johnson, in Knoxville, Tenn. He wrote one little book, of which he sold 800 in one year. He has always had a thirst for literary work. He moved from Texas in 1866, settled in Benton County, Ark., but soon returned to Moniteau County, Mo., read medicine, and attended lectures in the Eclectic Medical Institute, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and entered the practice in 1870. He moved to Southwest Missouri, where he practiced and preached for ten years, and had a very extensive practice, but by overwork he broke down. He here lost his first wife, on the 23d of September, 1874. She had borne him five children: David P. Mary Jane, G. M. (a teacher), W. O. (a preacher) and James N. He was married again to Elizabeth D. Jones (widow), daughter of Dr. Mulkey. In 1881 he moved to his present locality, where he has a pleasant location, and spends most of his time preaching and writing, principally writing on religious subjects, on which he loves to dwell. He says everything he ever engaged in has been successful, but he never got rich, and never desired to. Converts under his preaching number thousands, but he lost his journal and does not remember the number. He says he always tried to be on the right side of everything, and never allows any man to beat him with kindness if he could help it. He is a friend to all worthy enterprises, and does all he can to build up society and extend improvements, and is liberal in his support. He is a strong advocate of good schools, and improvements of the various classes, loves fine stock and good farms, works for good order, and has perfect control of an audience. He says he never has to reprove his audience. He says if you want to be treated like a man act the man yourself; if you want to hold an audience, interest them; if you want to live well, work and make it; if you want good stock, take good care of them; if you want to feel well, keep in a good humor. A man makes himself what he is; to be well thought of, keep good company, and live up to your word.

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This family biography is one of 240 biographies included in The History of Benton County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Benton County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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