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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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Joseph Newton Woods was born on the farm on which he now resides in 1852 and is a son of Samuel P. and Eliza G. (Dickson) Woods, both of whom were born in Tennessee in 1809. Samuel Woods, the grandfather of Joseph N., was born in the “Old North State,” but became a resident of Tennessee in 1832. He afterward located in Benton County, Ark., where he passed the remainder of his days. Samuel P. Woods was married in 1831, and the following year located in Benton County, Ark., where he entered a large tract of land, on which his son, Joseph Newton, now resides. They were among the first white settlers of Northwestern Arkansas, and were compelled to suffer the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life. Here the father passed the remainder of his days, and died in 1882. He was a member of the first grand jury of Benton County and the last before the war and the first after the war. He was taken sick while in the grand jury court-room, on Wednesday, October 12, 1882, and died the following Thursday, October 13, of cholera morbus. He and wife became the parents of eight children, four of whom are living: Robert D.; Eliza J., wife of A. J. Maxwell; John S. E. and Joseph N. The latter was educated in the common schools of the neighborhood, and was reared on his father’s farm. In 1872 his marriage with Miss Nancy A. Chambers was celebrated. She is a daughter of James Chambers, and was born in Benton County in 1855. Their union has resulted in the birth of seven children: Harvey, James, Alexander, Allan, Grace, Nellie and an infant daughter. Mr. Woods always resided with his parents on the old homestead, and in 1880 assumed complete control of the place. He has 350 acres of land. His mother lives with him, and has a life lease on the old homestead. Mr. Woods is very conservative in politics, and he and wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, his parents being also members of that 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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