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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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Mrs. Mary Jane Rodgers, widow of Alexander McQueen Rodgers, was born in Claiborne County, La., March 4, 1838, and is a daughter of Philo and Margaret Ellen (Reiner) Alden, who were natives of York State, born July 4, 1800, and July 23, 1808, respectively. The father was a carpenter by trade, and in 1832 went to Louisiana, where he worked at his trade and was also engaged in the milling business. He was a man of public spirit, enterprise and energy, and was filling the office of sheriff at the time of his death, in 1867. His wife was a lady of culture, and was a member of the Baptist Church. She died in Benton County, Ark., July 28, 1868. Mrs. Mary Rodgers grew to womanhood and received her education in Louisiana. In November, 1853, at the age of sixteen years, she was married to Alexander McQueen Rodgers, who was a son of Parmenio and Rachel (Adams) Rodgers, natives, respectively, of North and South Carolina. The father was a school-teacher by occupation, and was a son of Seth Rodgers, who was a soldier of the Revolutionary War. Both Parmenio and Mrs. Rodgers were members of the Old School Presbyterian Church. Alexander McQueen Rodgers was born in Mecklenburg County, N. C., February 20, 1824 and when a young man went to Louisiana, where he met and married Miss Alden. He moved his family to Benton County, Ark., in 1867, and here followed the occupation of farming until his death, May 28, 1886. He commenced life without any property whatever, but by push, energy and good management became blessed with a fair portion of this world’s goods long before his death. He was a Mason, and was judge of the police court in Bellevue, La., for two years. After coming to this State he was one of the delegates to assist in framing the Constitution for the State of Arkansas. He was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. His son, Parmenio Austin Rodgers, was born in Louisiana August 31, 1857, and was educated in the common schools, the Pea Ridge Academy and the Arkansas State University. He entered the latter institution in 1879, took the classical course, and graduated with the degree of A. B. in 1882. Soon after graduating he engaged in teaching in Bloomfield, Ark., and there erected a school building which took the name of the Bloomfield Academy, and became a very successful school under the management of Prof. Rodgers. In May, 1886, shortly after the death of his father, he removed to the old homestead, where he has since been engaged in farming and stock raising, December 29, 1880, he was married to Miss Sallie E. Hall, who was born on Pea Ridge, in Benton County, Ark., August 16, 1862, She was educated in the Pea Ridge High School, and is the mother of three children: Alexander McQueen, Mary Kate and Ida. Prof. Rodgers is a prominent candidate for State representative, and if elected will make a faithful and efficient officer. He is a man of unquestionable intelligence, integrity and refinement, and is highly esteemed and respected by his fellow men. Mrs. Rodger’s parents are John and Lavina (Finch) Hall, who were born in Tennessee. They are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and the father is a well-to-do farmer of Benton 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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