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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Cross County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  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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Robert Lee Block, county school examiner, of Cross County, Ark., was born in 1866, about sixteen miles northeast of Vanndale, being the youngest child born to Maurice and Anna Block [see sketch]. At the age of six years he was taken by his parents to Wittsburg, where he received the benefits of the schools of that place for eight years. The three following years he spent in the Christian Brothers’ Institute at Memphis, and, being of a studious turn of mind and very industrious, he succeeded in acquiring an excellent education, and graduated from that institution as an A. B. in June, 1884. His first start in life for himself was in the capacity of a clerk in a drug store, at Jonesboro, where he continued to remain until September 28, 1884, after which he went to Springfield, Mo., to accept a position as cashier and book-keeper for Priest & King, remaining with them until August, 1885. His next position was as bill clerk with the Springfield Grocery Company, and after continuing in their employ until May, 1886, he went to Memphis and became stock clerk for Robson, Block & Co., remaining with them until October 12, 1886, when failing health compelled him to seek change of employment. From that time until January 16, 1887, he was an employee of Buck & Trexler, at Crawfordsville, Ark., and then worked for C. O. Richards & Co., as commissary clerk on the Memphis branch of the Iron Mountain Railroad. On June 10, 1887, the work on the west end of the road was finished, and the day following he became book-keeper and clerk for William M. Block, real-estate agent at Vanndale, and with him still remains. January 12, 1889, he was appointed county school examiner, and since filling this position has striven to raise the grade of teachers and the standard of schools by recommending only those who hold the higher grade certificates, and the excellent education which he has eminently fits him for this responsible place. Being enterprising and ambitious to rise in the world, he, in partnership with E. L. Applewhite, on September 9, 1889, started a stock farm on a tract of 700 acres of land, they being joint owners of the same, which they stocked with 130 head of cattle, a one-half Norman horse, seven broodmares, four horses, two Kentucky jacks and eight mules. They have recently put up twenty-five tons of hay, for winter use, besides 1,000 bushels of corn, and, as can readily be seen, are admirably equipped to keep their stock in good condition throughout the winter. They have seventy acres planted in rye, timothy and clover, for spring pasture. Mr. Block belongs to an old and influential family of the county, and has five brothers, all prosperous and intelligent men, and, like himself, are progressive and enterprising in their views.

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This family biography is one of 103 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Cross County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Cross County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Cross County, Arkansas family biographies here: Cross County, Arkansas Biographies

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