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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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Henry B. Woolsey, farmer and nurseryman of Osage Township, three miles southeast of Bentonville, is a native of Hempstead County, Ark., born in 1830, and is the son of Samuel and Matilda (Thompson) Woolsey. The father was a Kentuckian by birth, the same occurring in 1787, and was also married in that State. In 1808 he moved to New Madrid, Mo., from there to Hempstead County, Ark., in 1811, and in 1829 he moved to Washington County, of the same State, where he passed the last years of his life. He was one of the first settlers of both Hempstead and Washington Counties, and during his first year’s residence in the former county his principal diet was buffalo meat. He was a great hunter, a skillful marksman, and was fond of the rude life of the pioneer. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and fought the Creek Indians in the State of Kentucky. His father, John Woolsey, was born in New York State, was in the Revolutionary War, also the War of 1812, and in the latter war he and his son, Samuel, enlisted in the same company and regiment, and were at the battle of New Orleans. John Woolsey died in 1839, at the age of one hundred and five years. Samuel Woolsey’s wife, Matilda Thompson, was born in Kentucky in 1791, and died in 1877. She was the mother of thirteen children, six of whom are now living, Henry B. being the tenth child. He was but an infant when his parents moved to Washington County, and here he was reared and educated. He worked on the old home place, which consisted of 200 acres, four miles west of the county seat, until twenty-four years of age, and in 1854 married Miss Margaret Neale, who was born in Boone County, Mo., in 1834. To their marriage were born six children: Josephine, wife of Richard Collins; James M., who died in 1880, at the age of twenty-one; Lillie G., wife of Alvin Dickson; Anna S., deceased, who died in 1870, at the age of six years, and George. Mr. Woolsey resided in Washington County, Ark., until 1857, when he became a resident of Bentonville, Ark. and worked in a wagon-shop. In 1861 he purchased eighty acres of land in Section 33, Township 20, Range 30, where he located and has since resided. About 1866 he started a nursery on a small scale, and continued to increase his stock year by year until about seven years ago, when his son-in-law, Alvin Dickson, became a partner, and since then they have devoted their time and attention to this work. They have at least 300,000 trees, at present writing, in fine growing order. Mr. Woolsey is one of the old settlers, and is a man well respected by his friends and acquaintances He is a Democrat in politics, and Mrs. Woolsey is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

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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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