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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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Neil A. Clark, sheriff, Princeton, Ark. This popular and successful official owes his nativity to Tennessee, his birth occurring in Shelby County April 17, 1845, and is the son of Peter and Louisa Jane (Shaw) Clark, natives of North Carolina and Hardeman County, Tenn., respectively. The father was born in Cumberland County in 1818, read medicine with Drs. Robertson and McCoy, of Fayetteville, N. C, and moved to Haywood County, Tenn., in 1838. There he married Miss L. J. Shaw in 1841, and resided until 1845, when he moved to Shelby County of that State. On January 1, 1846, he moved to Arkansas, settled in Dallas County, and there his death occurred February 3, 1853, when but forty-five years of age. The mother was born February 27, 1827, and after the death of Mr. Clark, or in 1861, she married James B. Thrasher. She is still living, makes her home with our subject, and is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Her second husband died in 1854. Of the six children born to his parents Neil A. Clark is fifth in order of birth, and only three are now living. He divided his time in youth in assisting on the farm and in attending the common schools where he obtained a good practical education. When sixteen years of age, or in 1862, he enlisted in the Eighteenth Arkansas Confederate Infantry, and later joined the Twelfth Arkansas Battalion of Sharpshooters, with which he remained until captured on May 17, 1863. He was captured at Big Black and taken to Camp Morton, Ind., thence to Fort Delaware and to Point Lookout, Md., in December, 1863. He was then exchanged and afterward joined the Twelfth Arkansas Confederate Infantry, with which he remained until cessation of hostilities. He was in many battles, the most prominent of which were Corinth, Port Gibson, Champion’s Hill, and at Big Black Bridge, where he was captured. After the war Mr. Clark was left without means, and for several years he was engaged in teaming from Pine Bluff to Princeton, and afterward began farming again in Princeton Township. He continued this occupation until 1880, when he was elected assessor, and in 1882 he was elected to the office of sheriff, which position he has filled in a very satisfactory manner since. On April 11, 1869, he was united in marriage with Miss Mollie Gray, daughter of Joseph Gray, of this county, and this marriage resulted in the birth of seven children: Mary L. (wife of A. J. Fuller, resides at Fordyce, Ark), Madora (at home), Gracie, Neil, Carrie, Helen B. and Hugh (who died July 10, 1873, when three years of age). Socially Mr. Clark is a member of the A. F. & A. M., the K. of P., and is a Democrat in politics. He and Mrs. Clark are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

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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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