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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Dallas 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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Dr. A. S. Holderness, physician and surgeon, Fordyce. Ark. A prominent physician and surgeon, who by his own great abilities has attained distinction in his profession, is Dr. A. S. Holderness. This gentleman was born in Caswell County, N. C, in 1834, and is the son of Robert C. and Elizabeth (Brooks) Holderness, natives also of Caswell County, N. C, where the father passed his last days, dying in October, 1833, four months before Dr. A. S. Holderness was born. The mother came to Arkansas in 1851 and died in Calhoun County in 1859. Robert C. Holderness was a farmer by occupation and the son of William Holderness, who was a native of England, but who came to America when a young man, served in the Revolutionary War, and died in Caswell County, N. C. He was a successful tiller of the soil. The grandfather, Charles Brooks, was a native of Caswell County, N. C, and there passed his entire life engaged in farming. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Dr. A. S. Holderness was the youngest of seven sons and one daughter born to his parents, and received a good education. He attended three and a half years at Dan River Institute, Yanceyville, N. C, and finished at Caldwell Institute, at Hillsboro. He came to Calhoun County, Ark., in 1850, and four years later graduated in medicine from the University of Pennsylvania. Since then he has practiced his profession in the immediate vicinity of Fordyce, where he has lived since 1850. He is one of the oldest physicians of Southern Arkansas, and one of the most successful. He was nearly all through the war, in the Confederate army, as assistant surgeon of the First Arkansas Cavalry, and operated in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Texas. For a short time he held the rank of first lieutenant of Company B. He was discharged in Texas, May 27, 1865, and the same year was married to Catherine B. Dixon, a native of Chambers County, Ala. When her father died she was quite small and came with her mother to Arkansas at a very early day. The mother died at the home of Dr. Holderness, in Fordyce, about 1888. To the Doctor’s marriage have been born nine children —five sons and three daughters living, and all have received excellent educational advantages. The Doctor owns several thousand acres of land, and considerable property in Fordyce. When he first came to Arkansas he and family settled near Chambersville, where they resided until 1882, and then removed to Fordyce, where he erected a saw mill, which he operated for three years. He owned the site where Fordyce now is, was first to settle where the town is and was the first mayor of the place. In politics he is Democratic, and his first presidential vote was for J. Buchanan, in 1856. The entire family, except the youngest child, are members of the Methodist Church, and Dr. Holderness has been a steward in the same since 1859. His wife has been a member for many years, or since early girlhood.

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This family biography is one of 55 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Dallas County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Dallas County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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