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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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James A. Dibrell, M. D., was born in Nashville, Tenn., in 1817, and is a son of Edwin and Martha (Shrewsbury) Dibrell. The father was a descendant of a French Huguenot family which fled from France during the reign of Louis XIV into South Carolina, and later into Virginia. His father, Anthony, was a member of the Virginia Legislature. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, was wounded at Guilford, and carried off the field by a giant named Peter Francisco. He was a politician, and had some sparring tilts with John Randolph. For about twenty years Edwin Dibrell was recorder and ex-officio clerk of the mayor’s court at Nashville. He subsequently conducted a tobacco commission house in Richmond, Va., and under President Polk was a clerk in the Federal treasury department. He was a self-educated man, and a stanch supporter of justice. He died in Richmond. Martha Shrewsbury Dibrell was of English descent, a native of Kentucky, and the mother of nine children. Our subject was chiefly educated in the University of Nashville, under the distinguished Dr. Lindsley. He was fond of the classics, and studied medicine in Nashville three years under Dr. Thomas R. Jennings, and graduated from the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania in 1839, and fifteen years later reviewed his studies at that place. Since graduating he has practiced continuously in Van Buren for forty-eight years, with the exception of four years spent at Little Rock during the war, whither he went for personal safety. For some time he was assistant surgeon of both armies. Dr. Dibrell has devoted his entire attention to his profession, and has performed a large number of difficult operations. His eldest son, J. A. Dibrell, Jr., is professor of anatomy in Little Rock, and president of the medical college there. He is a man of sterling integrity. His profession yields him an annual income of about $3,000 a year, and he is one of the prominent physicians of this part of the State. In 1841 the Doctor married Miss Ann Eliza Pryor, who was born in Nashville, Tenn., in 1825, and died in 1854. She was the mother of the following children: Angela Medora, wife of Dr. Elias R. Du Val, a physician of Fort Smith; James A., M. D., graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, and resident of Little Rock; Ann Eliza, wife of George Sparks, of Fort Smith. In 1855 the Doctor wedded a sister of his first wife, Jane Emily Pryor, a lady of culture and beauty. This union has been blessed with four children: Sarah Susan, wife of Dr. George F. Hynes, of Fort Smith, Ark.; Edwin R., M. D., graduate of the State Industrial University of Little Rock, of the University of Pennsylvania, and post-graduate of New York, now a resident of Little Rock; Irene Griffith, wife of Albert Shibley, of Van Buren, and Matt. Shrewsbury, who is studying medicine under his father. Dr. Dibrell joined the Masonic Lodge No. 6 in 1841, has occupied all the chairs, and has been Master of the lodge several years. He is also a Knight Templar. He was medical examiner of the New York Mutual Life Insurance Company for several years, and in 1886 was president of the State Medical Society, of which he is a member. He is chairman of the county examining medical board, and a member of the American Medical Association. He has been a ruling elder of the Presbyterian Church since 1848.

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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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