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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Leonard West, a retired merchant of Bentonville, Ark., was born in Randolph County, N. C., May 26, 1823, and is the son of David and Amelia (Varner) West, and grandson of Daniel West. The father was born in North Carolina in 1794, was of English descent and a farmer by occupation. He was married in North Carolina, and in 1824 he immigrated to Marion County, Ind., where he resided until 1839, when he moved to Polk County, Mo. He died in 1877. His wife, Amelia Varner, was born in Randolph County, N. C., in 1799, and was of German descent. She died in 1857, and was the mother of thirteen children, seven now living: Joel, Leonard, John, Robert, James, Mary (wife of B. Wilkinson) and Sarah (wife of Marion Parris). Leonard was only an infant when his parents moved to Marion County, Ind. He was reared and grew to manhood on the farm, and remained with his parents until twenty years of age. He went to Missouri in 1839, and about 1846 he began teaching and continued at this one term. Not liking the business he abandoned it, and in 1853 he commenced merchandising at Bolivar, Mo., and sold goods until the war. He was postmaster at Bolivar eight years under Pierce and Buchanan, and six months under Lincoln. In the spring of 1862 he went to Texas, and the same year he enlisted in Company K, Twenty-ninth Regiment Texas Cavalry. He was in the battles of Poison Spring, Elk Creek, and numerous skirmishes, his duties being mostly scouting and raiding. He was in service about three years. After the war he sold goods at Pilot Point, Denton Co., Tex., two years, and in 1868 he became a resident of Bentonville, Ark., and for nineteen years from that time followed merchandising at that place. He sold his stock of goods in 1887, and since then has been living a quiet, retired life. He is an honest, upright citizen, and is respected by all who know him. He was justice of the peace in Bolivar, Mo., a short time; is a member of the Masonic fraternity, an Odd Fellow, a Democrat in politics, and 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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