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Below is a family biography from the book,  The History of Crawford 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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Ben Decherd was born in Franklin County, Tenn., in 1828, being a son of Peter Spyker and Frances Holder Decherd. The father was of German descent, born in Abingdon, Va., in 1800, and was a son of Michael Decherd, a native of Pennsylvania, and a hatter by trade. In an early day he went to Franklin County, Tenn., where he died about 1835. Peter S. was a young man when he went to Tennessee. He was there married in 1827, and after accumulating a handsome estate he moved to McLennan County, Tex., in 1854, where he owned large landed estates and many slaves. In 1869 he came to Western Arkansas, and spent his remaining days on a farm near Van Buren. He died in 1879. The mother of our subject was born in Kentucky in 1812, and died in 1868. She was the daughter of John W. Holder, and the mother of eight children, of whom Ben was the eldest. He was educated in the literary and law departments of Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tenn. In 1873 he located near Alma, Crawford Co., Ark., where he farmed on Clear Creek. In 1886 he was elected circuit clerk and ex-officio county clerk and recorder of Crawford County, by thirty-six majority, and in 1886 was re-elected by 160 majority, and is now filling the position satisfactorily. In politics he is a Democrat, and his first presidential vote was cast for Pierce in 1850. In 1852 he married Miss Mary McClain, a daughter of Josiah S. McClain, who was county clerk of Wilson County, Tenn., for forty years. Mrs. Decherd was born in Lebanon, Tenn., in 1830, and bore our subject three children, all of whom are deceased. Mrs. Decherd had three children by her first marriage: Edward A., now city attorney at Springfield, Mo.; Mary E. and Annie. Mr. Decherd is an elder in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

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This family biography is one of 222 biographies included in The History of Crawford County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Crawford County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Crawford County, Arkansas family biographies here: Crawford County, Arkansas

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