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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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P. H. Thomas, editor and general manager of the Enterprise, Fordyce, Ark. Printing, the first and finest of all mechanical arts, has ever counted in the ranks of its prosecutors the best talent of all communities. So peculiarly has its uses been recognized and developed that a distinct difference has been made by it between a civilized and an uncivilized people. The Enterprise, one of the newsiest and most interesting newspapers in Southern Arkansas, has for its editor and manager Mr. P. H. Thomas, a great reader, a deep thinker, and a man of sound judgment and good practical common sense. Mr. Thomas was born in Dallas County, Ark., in 1854, and is the son of Philip H. and Mary E. (Rounsabill) Thomas, who were born in Virginia in 1826 and North Carolina in 1825, respectively. The parents spent the principal part of their lives in Dallas County, Ark., and there died, the father in 1878 and the mother in 1880. He was a merchant of Princeton, Ark., for a good many years, and was a man universally respected. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity (Royal Arch) for many years, and during the late war he was enrolling officer. P. H. Thomas was reared on the farm, and as he attended school but about thirteen months altogether, his education was obtained almost wholly by his own exertions. He remained with and took care of his mother until after her death, and in 1881 was married to Nannie W. Smith, a native of Dallas County, Ark., and the daughter of Samuel W. and Hester A. Smith, early settlers of Dallas County, where they passed their latter days. The mother died in 1880, but the father died in 1864, from the result of imprisonment in the prison at Little Rock during the late war. Both were members of the Methodist Church. To Mr. and Mrs. Thomas were born four children—two sons and two daughters. Mr. Thomas farmed until 1888, when he removed to Fordyce, and in 1889 was the means of establishing the Fordyce District Fair, of which he is secretary. In 1890 he became manager and editor of the Enterprise, and his being a man of ability and energy accounts for his success as a journalist. In politics he is Democratic, and his first presidential vote was cast for Gen. Hancock. He and wife are members of the Methodist Church. Her father was one of the first settlers of Dallas County, and for many years one of the foremost citizens in many respects. He accumulated a fortune, which he lost the principal part of in the late war. He owned immense salt works and during the war manufactured salt for the Government.

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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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