My Genealogy Hound

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 R. Rutherford. Among the prominent men and enterprising citizens of Ball Township, Benton County, stands the name of the above gentleman, who was born in the Hiawassee Purchase, now East Tennessee, February 24, 1826, and is the son of John M. and Alice (Young) Rutherford. The father was born in North Carolina, and when a young man came to East Tennessee, where he passed the remainder of his days, his death occurring about 1855. The mother died about the beginning of the war. Their son, Joseph R., was reared in the vicinity of his birth, and at about the age of twenty-one he went to Mexico and regularly enlisted in a company of the United States troops in the Mexican war, and is a pensioner of that war. After this eventful struggle he returned to his native county, attended school for some time, and in 1850 married Miss Louisa E. Pearce of East Tennessee. Four children were the result of this union; Alfred P., farmer; Lewis, farmer; Lenora, wife of Henry Wright, and Mary, wife of Joseph England. The mother of these children died in 1860, and October 2, 1862, Mr. Rutherford married Miss Tennessee P. Snodrass, who was born in Tennessee and reared in Benton County, Ark, Four children were the fruits of this union: Elizabeth, wife of J. W. Hunton; William McIlroy, farmer; Simmie, wife of Zachary Thomason, and Fannie A., wife of J. P. Farley. After his first marriage Mr. Rutherford farmed for a year, and then moved to Northwestern Missouri, but in 1851 he returned to East Tennessee, and in the fall of that year located in Benton County, Ark., where he has since lived, engaged principally in farming. During the war he was connected with the militia m the Federal service. He commanded the militia in Phagan’s attack upon Fayetteville, and there suggested to Gen. Harrison the idea of organizing those of Federal inclinations, yet at home, into companies for mutual protection and for raising crops. Mr. Rutherford was then permitted to raise the first company for that purpose, and his company was known as Company A, Arkansas Home Guard Militia. It was stationed near Ray’s Mill, in Washington County, where stockades were made and crops were raised, which saved Northwestern Arkansas from probable starvation during the years 1864-65. During the stay there he was permitted to buy rations of the Government for the general provision of the citizens. In his hands were entrusted the work of investigating and reporting the actual condition of the people and the necessary purchases to meet the emergencies. He sold to those able to buy, and distributed freely to those in urgent need. He paid the Government for these provisions out of his own money, at Government prices, and he sacrificed from his own pocket whatever he gave out. He received the surrender of several Confederate companies, under the instruction of Gen. Harrison, at Union Valley, After the war he sold goods at Cincinnati, Ark., one year, thence going to the farm, where he was elected clerk of Benton County in 1868. While filling this office he purchased a press and published a liberal Republican paper at Bentonville, named the Traveler. In 1873 Mr. Rutherford returned to the farm, where he has remained ever since. He was a dealer and manufacturer in timber, lumber, etc. In 1886 he started his store at his home, and when the post-office at Trident was established he was made postmaster, in March, 1887, and is now occupying that position. He is the owner of about 640 acres of land now, and has deeded about 160 acres to his children, Mr. Rutherford and wife are members of the Christian Church, as was also the first wife. He is a Master Mason, was a Whig before the war, and is now a Republican. Mr. Rutherford is a man whose experience and success is indicated by this sketch and by the general esteem in which he is held by the citizens of the county.

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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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