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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. E. H. M. Parham, physician and surgeon, Fordyce, Ark. Dr. Parham, whose time since residing here has been entirely devoted to the relief of suffering humanity, was born in Brunswick County, Va., in 1816, and is the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Parham, natives of Dinwiddie County, Va., where they resided many years after marriage. They then removed to Brunswick County, of that State, and there the father died, in 1857, at the age of ninety-three years. His wife died a few years before. He was justice of the peace for some time, was deputy sheriff of Petersburg, and was a successful agriculturist. His father, Ephraim Parham, was of English descent, and was among the early colonists of Virginia. He passed his last days in that State. The maternal grandfather, William Batte, was of English descent, and was a wealthy farmer of Prince George County, Va. He also died in that State. Dr. E. H. M. Parham was next to the youngest of thirteen children born to his parents, and is the only one living. Of the children, Thomas and William were both successful physicians, and graduates of the University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia. The former died in Dallas County, Ark., and, with the exception of our subject, was the only one who ever came West. Dr. William died in Virginia, and was the father of Prof. William C. Parham, who is known throughout Arkansas as one of that State’s best educators, and is at present a professor of ancient languages in the Female College, at Williamsburg, Ky. Dr. E. H. M. Parham received a good common-school education, and later took up the study of Greek and Latin, Sacred History, etc., and prepared himself for college. In 1843 he graduated in medicine at the same place where his elder brother had graduated, and at once began practicing in the county of his birth, meeting with unusual success until 1857, when he moved to Northern Mississippi, and one year later to Dallas County, Ark. There he continued his practice with his usual success until 1884, since which time he has lived in Fordyce, where he still has a good practice. He is one of the oldest physicians in Dallas County, and one of the oldest in Southern Arkansas, having practiced for nearly fifty years. He was for some time a prominent member of the Arkansas State Medical Association. He is the owner of about 1,000 acres of land, and good property in Fordyce, all the result of his own efforts since the war. He was married in March, 1843, to Miss Tobitha A. Barner, a native of Brunswick County, Va., and was the daughter of John and Sarah Barner, natives of the Old Dominion, where Mr. Barner spent all his life. He was a well-to-do farmer. His brother, Harrison Barner, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and was in the battle of Guilford Court House. To the Doctor and wife were born two children: Robert W. (a farmer), and Sarah Elizabeth (who died at her father’s, in Dallas, Ark.). In politics the Doctor has been a Democrat all his life, and his first presidential vote was for Van Buren, in 1840. He has been a member of the A. F. & A. M. for over thirty years, demitted from Holly Springs Lodge. He has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in good standing, for forty five years. Dr. Parham lost his helpmate and faithful companion through life May 21, 1889. She was sixty-six years of age. Their son, Robert W., when about seventeen years of age, joined the Confederate army, with Capt. Earl, Third Arkansas Cavalry, and fought in nearly all the Confederate States, and at the close of the war was a special scout of Capt. Shannon, of Texas. He was with Gen. Johnston’s army in many severe engagements, and was absent nearly five years. He was educated in Virginia, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas, and was married January 3, 1867, to Miss H. J. English, who was born and reared in Texas, and died August 25, 1887, at the age of thirty-nine years, leaving six children, four sons and one daughter living. She was also a member of the Methodist Church. Robert W. also lives in Fordyce, but still carries on the farm.

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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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