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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James B. Stephens is a son of William and Delilah (Short) Stephens, and was born in Tennessee December 20, 1824. The father and mother were born in North Carolina and Kentucky, respectively, the former being yet alive and almost one hundred years of age. The latter’s birth occurred in 1811, and she died in 1883. After leaving North Carolina Mr. Stephens resided successively in Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, and in 1843 located in Arkansas, where he yet resides. The following are his children: James B., Jeremiah, who was killed by lightning in Sebastian County, Ark., and Riley, Zerilda, Frances and Elizabeth, who are dead; Amanda, wife of Franklin Moore, died in 1865; Sarah, who died when a child; Nancy, wife of Joseph Merrill, died just before the close of the war; Cynthia A., who resides in California, the wife of J. J. Rogers, and William T. James B. Stephens served in the Mexican War under Scott, and belonged to the body guard of Gen. Franklin Pierce, who afterward became President of the United States. He has some interesting relics of that conflict in his possession. In 1850 he went to California and engaged in mining gold, meeting with good success. He was then engaged in stock raising for five years, and while in California married Matilda Watson. After returning to Arkansas he took for his, second wife Miss Margaret Hughes, and she and her infant son, Franklin, died during the war, while Mr. Stephens was in the Union service. He served under Col. John E. Phelps, a son of ex-Gov. Phelps, of Missouri, as first lieutenant. December 21, 1865, Mr. Stephens married Elizabeth Douglass, who was born in Missouri. She became the mother of nine children: Margaret D., wife of Samuel Shipley; James R., William T., Sarah L., Cora A., Ollie B. (deceased), George F., Daisy B. and James B. Mr. Stephens represented Sebastian County in the State Legislature during the session of 1871, and was also captain of a company of the State Guard of Arkansas, receiving his commission from Gov. Powell Clayton. Mr. Stephens owns 220 acres of very fine land in the Osage Valley, and is a member of the Masonic fraternity and G. A. R. He is a Republican, and cast his first presidential vote for Franklin Pierce.

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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

To view additional Benton County, Arkansas family biographies, click here

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