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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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Prof. J. W. Scroggs. Prominent among the educators of Benton County, Ark., stands Prof. Scroggs, who is principal of, and an able instructor in, Rogers Academy of that county. He is a native of Dade County, Mo., born October 26, 1852, and is the second child born to William L. and Leah C. (Mitchell) Scroggs, who were natives, respectively of North Carolina and Mississippi. Thee father was twice married, Miss Mitchell becoming his second wife. She died on the 25th of December, 1883, but he is still living, and resides in Dade County, Mo. Prof. Scroggs spent the healthy, happy and busy life of the farmer’s boy, and was educated at the common schools and at Lafayette College, Easton, Penn., in which institution he took a very thorough and extensive course in the languages and sciences, and graduated from the same in 1875. He took the degree of A. B., and the final degree of A. M., and during the close of his collegiate career published a book of college songs, entitled “Songs of Lafayette,” on which he realized considerable money. He has also revised Smith’s Astronomy, published by Charles H. Whiting. Boston, Ma. The work is intended for a text book. He has written considerable music, one of the most successful pieces being a meditation for the piano, “The River of Life,” published by J. M. Russell, Boston. Mass. Another popular piece is the “Honey Moon Polka,” which has been played several times at Rogers Academy commencements. On leaving college his health was somewhat impaired by close application to his studies, and for some time he gave his attention to music, holding conventions in various places in the State of Missouri. He gained in in health so rapidly that in 1878 he took the principalship of the Pierce City Public Schools, and held the position for about two years. He then resigned his position and became principal of the public schools of Vinita, I. T. He built a church there, mostly with his own hands, and also a parsonage, and was the founder of Worcester Academy in that place. He became a minister of the Gospel while in the Territory, but at the end of five years was obliged to seek a more healthy location. He made two tours over the New England States, soliciting money for the academy which he had founded at Vinita, and in 1884 came to Rogers, and in connection with his school acted as pastor of the Congregational Church the first year. Since that time he has given his attention to his school. He has several other books in preparation, which he is finishing as fast as his school duties will permit. August 31, 1878, he was married to Miss Flora Beckwirth, who was born at Pana, Ill., August 24, 1861. They have two children: Maurice and Wendell.

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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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