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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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James M. Wilks is a native of the “Hoosier” State, born in 1835, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Fields) Wilks. The father was born in Tennessee, and came to Indiana in the very early settlement of the State, and settled down to farming, but, thinking he could better his fortunes, he moved to Illinois in 1865, and in 1868 concluded to try Illinois. In 1872, however, he moved back to Illinois, and there died in 1878, leaving seven children: Henry, Jasper N., Andrew S., Edward, Francis M., Margaret and James M. The latter was educated in Illinois, and remained with his father until he attained man’s estate. Owing to ill health he returned to Missouri in 1882, and followed the occupation of farming for two years, when he engaged in general merchandising, but met with reverses by fire in 1886, being burned out, and again returned to farming. A year later he again opened a general mercantile establishment, and is still engaged in that line of business. His stock is valued at $1,000, and he has a fair and increasing trade. In 1856 his marriage with Miss Mary A. Poe, of Iowa, was celebrated, and their union resulted in the birth of three children: John A., who is in partnership with his father; Francis M. and Frances Elizabeth. Mr. Wilks and family are among the esteemed citizens of the county, and are worshipers in the Christian Church.

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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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