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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 W. Peel, one of the old and highly respected citizens of Bentonville is a native of Livingston County, Ky., born November 7, 1806, and is a son of Richard and Elizabeth (Wilson) Peel, and grandson of Thomas Peel who was a native of Ireland, and who immigrated to the colonies previous to the Revolutionary War, and was a soldier in the same under Gen. Washington. At an early date, about 1790, he moved to Christian County, Ky., and in 1815 he with his family, together with fourteen other families, immigrated to Arkansas, and located in what is now Independence County. Here Thomas Peel died. His son, Richard Peel, was a native Virginian, born January 6, 1780, and was but a small boy when his parents moved to Kentucky. He was married in Livingston Ky., and was one of the fourteen families who immigrated to Arkansas in 1815. In this State he passed his last days, dying in 1864. He was one of the leading spirits of Northeast Arkansas for years, and was judge of the court of common pleas for some time, and was afterward judge of the county and probate court for twelve years. His wife was born in South Carolina in 1797, and was the daughter of John Wilson, who was born in South Carolina three days after his father landed in the United States from Scotland. John Wilson was a colonel in the Revolutionary War, under Gen. Washington. Mrs. Elizabeth Peel died in 1871, She was the mother of twelve children, four of whom are now living John W. being the eldest. He was thirteen years of age when his parents moved to Arkansas, was there reared on a farm, and remained with his parents until twenty-two years of age. In 1828 he married Miss Elizabeth West who was born in Rutherford County, Tenn., in 1809. She was the mother of two children, Alice, widow of D. W. Hull, who lived in New York City; Samuel W., a member of the United States Congressional District of Arkansas and who resided in Bentonville, and is now serving his second term. Mr. Peel removed to Carroll County, Ark., in 1837, and here followed farming and also speculated in lands. In 1848 he was elected county clerk, circuit clerk ex offico recorder, and held the office ten years. Mrs. Peel died in 1835, and in 1838 Mr. Peel married Miss Malinda Wilson, a native of Lincoln County Tenn., born in 1813. They have nine children living: Elizabeth, wife of W G. Rice; Thomas; Margaret, wife of Judge J. M. Pittman, present judge of the circuit court; John C., attorney-at-law; Alfred M., Joseph H. and Ellen, wife of J. C. Knott. In 1873 Mr. Peel became a resident of Bentonville, Ark., and in 1875 while his wife was on a visit to Fayetteville, she was taken sick and died. Four years later Mr. Peel married Mrs. Elizabeth M. Caldwell, nee Phipps, who died in 1880. Mr. Peel was deputy circuit clerk for two years of Benton County, and for the past thirteen years he has been justice of the peace of Bentonville. Mr. Peel has never been a member of any secret society, church or any other organization. He has been a life-long Democrat, casting his first presidential vote for Van Buren in 1836. He is one of Benton County’s eldest citizens, and is a man universally respected. He has a large circle of friends, and is known as Uncle John throughout the entire northern part of the State.

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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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