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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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Joseph Starr Dunham, editor and proprietor of the Van Buren Press, was born in Connecticut in 1823, and is a son of the late William H. and Frances (Starr) Dunham, he being the third of a family of five children. He was apprenticed to his uncle, William D. Starr, at the age thirteen, thus learning the printer’s trade, at Middletown, Conn. In 1859 he left Middletown and immigrated to Van Buren, where he established the Van Buren Press, the same year, having purchased the materials for a printing office in Cincinnati. For a few years he was assisted in the management of the paper by his son, Joseph Starr Dunham (deceased), but with that exception has been the sole proprietor. He is a strong writer, a leading journalist of Northwestern Arkansas, and his paper is the oldest in the county. It contains the current news and has a weekly circulation of 550 copies. In 1846 he married Miss Mary C. Ward, who was born in Middletown, Conn., in 1825, and bore him four children: Frank Augustus (deceased), Mary Starr (deceased), Fanny Ingersoll, (wife of Phillip D. Scott, superintendent of ice factory at Van Buren), and Joseph Starr, Jr., who died June 23, 1888, in Van Buren, aged twenty-five. Mr. Dunham is a Democrat, and at the commencement of hostilities was for the Union, but afterward seceded with the State of Arkansas. He conducts the paper on strictly Democratic principles, and is a firm advocate of the nominees of that party. He supported Douglas in 1860, George B. McClellan in 1864, and all of the Democratic candidates in succession, to the present date. He also supported Baxter in the famous Brooks and Baxter quarrel in Arkansas. He is a prosperous man, a stockholder in the Van Buren Ice and Coal Company, and a citizen of high standing.

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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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