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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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James N. Butler, farmer and lumberman, Pine Grove, Ark. What is usually termed genius has little to do with the success of men in general. Keen perception, sound judgment and a determined will, supported by persevering and continuous effort, are essential elements to success in any calling. Mr. Butler was born in Mecklenburg County, Va., in 1839, and was the eldest of four children born to John W. and Eveline S. (Hutchinson) Butler, only one besides our subject now living, John W. The parents were natives of Virginia, where they were reared and married and where Mr. Butler’s death occurred about 1845. Two years later the family removed to Carroll County, Tenn., and January, 1850, they came to Dallas County, settled in the woods, and the children, all sons, improved a good farm. The mother died in August, 1867, and was for many years a worthy member of the Methodist Church. She was the daughter of Joseph Hutchinson, who died in Virginia. James N. Butler was reared by his widowed mother mostly in the wilds of Arkansas, received a good education in the country schools, and later attending school at Tulip, where he studied numerous higher branches. He taught school for one year, and was married in 1861, to Miss Laura Pride, a native of Virginia, and the daughter of William and Caroline Pride, natives also of the Old Dominion. They came with Mr. Butler’s people to Arkansas, and there the father died in 1860. Both were members of the Methodist Church, and the mother is still living. To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Butler were born six children, two sons and one daughter now living, all married and residing near where they were born. Since 1850 Mr. Butler has lived in his present neighborhood, with the exception of two years, when he resided in Arkadelphia to educate his children, and is the owner of about 2,000 acres in different tracts and several hundred acres in Texas, with about 500 acres under fence and part cultivated. He is one of the leading farmers of Dallas County, and from 1865 to 1874 was engaged in merchandising on the farm. He ran a good gin for many years, and is now the owner of two and also has a good steam saw-mill. He established and named Pine Grove post-office, of which he was postmaster until his removal to Arkadelphia. In politics he is Democratic. Socially he was a member of the Masonic fraternity, demitted from Manchester Lodge No. 16, and now a member of Russell Lodge. He and wife have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church from childhood.

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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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