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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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William R. Clark, farmer and dealer in fresh meats, of Bentonville, Ark., was born in that city in 1846, and is the son of James W. and Jane M. (Dickson) Clark. James W. Clark was born in Giles County, Tenn., in 1825; was of Scotch descent, and a saddle and harness maker by trade. In 1842 he located in Benton County, Ark., and commenced working at his trade in Bentonville, establishing the first business of the kind in town. He carried this on until his death which occurred in 1879. He was married about 1844, and soon after commenced keeping hotel. In 1849 he erected a hotel known as Clark Hotel, and is yet known by that name, and operated this up to the time of his death. Gen. Sigel made this hotel his headquarters previous to and during the fight of Pea Ridge. Mr. Clark was an honest man, and a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for many years. James W. Clark donated six acres of land for the public school buildings of Bentonville, and upon this they are now standing. He was very charitable in all his acts. His wife, who is yet living was born in Bedford County, Tenn., in 1828, and is the daughter of Maj. John B. Dickson. She is the mother of nine children, six now living: William R., Pierce, Charles T., Oscar P., Carson E. and Belle (wife of Joseph Peel). William R. was educated in Bentonville, and after reaching his majority commenced gardening, raising small fruit and vegetables. He was at Eureka Springs two years. He afterward turned his attention to farming, and followed this until 1884, when he commenced the butchering business. He continued this occupation until May, 1884, when he sold out. Mr. Clark now expects to return to raising small fruits and vegetables again. He is the owner of ten acres adjoining Bentonville, also seventy acres a short distance from Bentonville, and eighty acres near Royar. He was in the army two years (Confederate States Army) and was in Capt. C. C. Waters’ company. He was in the fights at Fayetteville, Cabin Creek and Prairie Grove. In 1866 he married Miss Martha Elzey, daughter of Benjamin Elzey, and a native of Benton County, Ark., born in 1848. They have eight children: Albert M., Arthur, Mabel, Robert, Bessie, Minnie E., Charles and William. Mr. Clark is a Democrat in politics, was marshal of Bentonville several years and deputy sheriff of Benton County four years. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., and he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. South.

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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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