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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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John B. Steele, mayor of Rogers, Ark., and secretary of the Rogers Canning & Packing Company, was born in Bedford County, Tenn., in 1838, and is a son of C. D, and Catherine Steele, who were also Tennesseans by birth. After residing on a farm until thirteen years of age he began serving an apprenticeship at the turner’s and machinist’s trades, and in connection with this attended school until 1859, From that time until the breaking out of the war he worked at the turner’s trade, and at the latter date joined Col. Carroll’s Arkansas Cavalry, and served in different companies for four years. He was lieutenant for the First Battalion Arkansas Cavalry, and was finally promoted to brevet-major. He was in a number of hotly contested battles, and was in over fifty skirmishes. He was wounded twice, was in prison six months, and was paroled from Vicksburg, Miss., at the close of the siege. After the close of the war Mr. Steele went to Texas, but after a short time returned to Arkansas, and engaged in the saw-mill business, which occupation he followed for about five years, and then turned his attention to merchandising at Springdale, Ark, About three years later he moved his stock of goods to Van Winkle Mills, but about six months later (in 1880) he abandoned this business and opened the Van Winkle Hotel, in Fayetteville, which he successfully managed for two years. He then returned to Van Winkle Mills, and spent one year in the wholesale and retail lumber business, when he sold out and followed the same occupation in Rogers for some time. Since 1885 he has held the position of mayor of Rogers, except about nine months, and has also been justice of the peace for several years. Since November, 1887, he has been connected with the Rogers Canning & Packing Company. In 1868 he was married to Miss Mary Van Winkle who was born in Illinois in 1841, and by her is the father of three children: Guy C., Richard St. Clair and Harry. Mr. Steele is a stanch Democrat, and a member of the A. F. & A. M.

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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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