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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 Riley Woods, farmer, ex-sheriff and ex-county clerk of Benton County, Ark., was born in Carroll County, Tenn., in 1828, and is a son of Dysart and Sarah (Holmes) Woods, who were born in Bedford County, Tenn., in 1806 and 1811, respectively. The father was of Scotch-Irish descent, and at the age of thirteen years was taken by his parents to Carroll County, and was there married in 1827 to Miss Holmes. In 1836 he became a resident of Pope County, Mo., and the following year came to Benton County, Ark., where he became the owner of 160 acres of land, and died in 1882. He was one of the very early settlers, a useful citizen, and his death was universally lamented. He was a son of John Woods, a North Carolinian, who immigrated to Bedford County, Tenn., and was there married, and moved to Carroll County, Tenn., in 1819, when Dysart was thirteen years of age. He died in Carroll County in 1846, at the age of seventy-two years. His father, Samuel Woods, was an early settler and resident of Tennessee, and a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Dysart Woods’ wife died in 1859. They were the parents of fourteen children, ten of whom lived to be grown. Seven are now living, John Riley Woods being the eldest. He was about nine years old when his parents located in Benton County, Ark. He made his home with his parents until twenty-two years of age, and in 1849 was married to Miss Margaret Ann Woods, a daughter of Samuel P. Woods. She was born in Carroll County, Tenn., in 1832. and became the mother of fourteen children, ten living: Samuel L., John R., Jr., Dewitt C., William P., Cephas D., Margaret E., Sarah G., Finis H., Charles R. and Annie. In 1858 Mr. Woods was elected sheriff and ex-officio collector of the county. In 1860 he was elected county and ex-officio circuit court clerk and ex-officio recorder, being re-elected to the latter office in 1862. In April, 1882, his wife died, and in 1884 he was married to Jane Ellis, a daughter of David and Margaret Ellis. Mrs. Woods was born in Shelby County, Ill., in 1845 and is the mother of one child, Clyde. Mr. Woods is a Democrat, and his wife is a member of 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

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