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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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Rev. Peter Carnahan, who resides one mile east of Bentonville, Ark., is a native of Washington County, Ark., born in 1838 at Cane Hill. He is a son of Samuel and Mary (Pyeatt) Carnahan and grandson of Rev, John Carnahan, who was a South Carolinian, a Cumberland Presbyterian minister and an immigrant to Tennessee in 1800. Eleven years later he moved to Arkansas Post, and a year later went to Pulaski County. He was the first Protestant minister in the State of Arkansas. His son, Samuel, was born in South Carolina in 1794, and made his home with his father until 1827, when he moved to Cane Hill, Ark., where he passed the remainder of his days. During the time he was living at Crystal Hill his father moved back to Tennessee, but after Samuel moved to Cane Hill his father made his home with him. Samuel Carnahan died in 1867. He was the owner of 500 acres of land at the time of his death. His wife was of French descent, born in South Carolina in 1797, and died in 1879. She was a daughter of Jacob Pyeatt, and became the mother of twelve children, nine of whom are living, Peter Carnahan, our subject, being the eleventh child. He was reared on his father’s farm, and was attending the Cane Hill College when the war broke out, and he immediately espoused the cause of the Confederacy, serving as third lieutenant of Capt. Buchanan’s company. In 1862 he enlisted in Company B, Thirty-fourth Arkansas Regiment of Infantry, and was elected second lieutenant of the same, and after the battle of Prairie Grove was promoted to adjutant, holding the latter position until the close of the war. He participated in the battles of Oak Hill, Prairie Grove and Jenkins’ Ferry. After the war he returned home and farmed on the old homestead until 1870. He was ordained a minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in 1866, and was given charge of a church at Pleasant Hill and one at Cincinnati, Ark. In 1870 he was called to Bentonville to take charge of the church at that point, and was pastor of the same for fourteen years. During this time he also had charge of the Mt. Vernon congregation, on Pea Ridge, which charge he still retains. In 1884 the Bentonville congregation was divided, and Rev. Carnahan took charge of the new congregation, known as Wood’s congregation, the church being about two miles east of Bentonville. In June, 1862, Mr. Carnahan was married to Martha J., daughter of Rev. John Buchanan, one of the pioneer Cumberland Presbyterian ministers of Washington County, Ark., and by her became the father of six children: Stella (wife of D. C. Lewis), Otho, Edgar, John Hurley, Harry Pyeatt and Earl. He has a good farm of ninety-four acres, and is a Democrat and an Ancient member of the Masonic fraternity. He is noted for his many Christian virtues, and the fact that he has been eighteen years the pastor of the same two congregations speaks volumes in his praise.

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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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