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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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Rev. Jesse O. Browning, planter, Dalark, Ark. In preparation of this brief outline of the history of one of the representative citizens of the county, appear facts which are greatly to his credit. His intelligence, enterprise, integrity and many estimable qualities, have acquired for him a popularity not derived from any factitious circumstance, but a permanent and spontaneous tribute to his merit. Mr. Browning was born in Montgomery (now Lowndes) County, Ala., on May 29, 1827, and is the son of Francis J. and Sarah P. (Veazy) Browning, natives of Greene and Jones Counties, Ga., respectively. Francis J. Browning was born October 1, 1800, and died in Clark County, Ark., on September 1, 1885, and his wife was born on October 21, 1805, and died in Clark County, Ark., on April 17, 1875. They were married in 1825, and were members of the Missionary Baptist Church for many years, always taking a great interest in religious matters. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and was made a Master Mason by his son, Rev. Jesse O., who was master of Meely Lodge, in Clark County. While living in Alabama he was assessor, but after coming to Arkansas he would hold no office higher than that of justice of the peace, which position he filled in a creditable manner for a number of years. He was a very successful farmer, and spent his money with a liberal hand, being widely known for the interest he took in church affairs. During the late war his sympathies were with the North, and during his lifetime he never took the oath of allegiance. He was a Democrat in politics. His father, John Browning, was a native of North Carolina, and died in Clark County, Ark., in 1844. He was captain of a company in the War of 1812, and was wounded in a battle with the Indians. He was a farmer by occupation, and represented Greene County, Ga., in the Legislature several times. He was also a member of the Baptist Church. He died in North Carolina. His father was a Revolutionary soldier. Sarah P. (Veazy) Browning was the daughter of Jesse Veazy, a native of Virginia or North Carolina, and also a soldier in the Revolutionary War, serving seven years in all. He was the express courier from Gen. Washington to Gen. Green, before the battle and before the surrender of Gen. Cornwallis at Yorktown. He was shot at many times, but escaped without injury, and rode in all, in two days, and with the same horse, 240 miles. He died in Georgia when about sixty years of age. He had accumulated a comfortable fortune as an agriculturist, and although a Baptist in his belief, was not a member of any church. His wife, Sallie Veazy, joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, under direct supervision of John Wesley, and was excluded from that society for marrying Jesse Veazy, because he was not connected with that society. She afterward joined the Baptist Church, and died in Alabama. There were born to the marriage of Francis J. Browning and wife eleven children, five daughters and two sons now living, of whom our subject is the eldest. The latter received his education by the fireside, while others were sleeping, and finished at Oakland Academy, eight miles west of Arkadelphia, when twenty-one years of age. After leaving school he commenced farming, first, in what is now known as Anderson Township, Clark County. In January, 1881, he moved to Manchester Township, Dallas County, and with the assistance of numerous negroes, amassed quite a fortune, a considerable share of which he lost during the late war. Since then he has been very successful, and is today the owner of 640 acres of land, and has a large share under cultivation. He joined the Missionary Baptist Church at the age of sixteen years, was licensed to preach in 1856, and ordained the same year. He took charge of Pleasant Hill Church, and has since that time remained in charge. He volunteered as a regular soldier, but was not accepted, and was in the State Militia a short time. In 1854 he was elected magistrate of Beech Creek Township, Clark County, but soon resigned, becoming thoroughly disgusted with that office. In 1874 he was elected by the Democratic party to represent that county in the Legislature, without working for the honor, and served during A. H. Garland’s administration. In 1888 he was again elected by the Democracy of Dallas County, and discharged the duties of the position in such a manner as to give assurance to honorable people that they had the right man in the right place. He became a Mason in 1850, and has taken the Chapter Degrees. In 1849 he was married to Miss Caroline Farrington, daughter of Capt. John Farrington, who served under Gen. Jackson in the War of 1812. She was born in Crawford County, Ala., on March 16, 1830, and two children were the fruits of this union: Rosellia (was the wife of James A. Skillern, who is a farmer of Clark County; she was born on August 22, 1850, and died at Arkadelphia on April 1, 1884), and Frank J., Jr. (was born in the State of Louisiana in 1854, May 15, and died at his father’s home in Dallas County on July 27, 1887). Mrs. Browning is a member of the Baptist Church, as were both children.

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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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