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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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Col. Robert Martin, one of the most prominent citizens of Dallas County, owes his nativity to Wilkes County, N. C, where he was born February 4, 1819, and is the son of William and Matilda (Mitchell) Martin, natives of North Carolina also. The father was born November 6, 1786, and died November 3, 1867, when eighty one years of age. He was married in North Carolina in 1805, to Miss Mitchell, who was born in 1776, and who died December 22, 1855, when sixty-nine years of age. They emigrated from North Carolina to Alabama, in 1820, located in Madison County, and there resided until the autumn of 1855, when they came to Arkansas to live with their son, the subject of this sketch. The parents were devoted Christian people, Baptists in sentiment, but not members of any church. He was a Whig in politics, and until the war was a Union man, but when the crash came he was with the South. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and was the son of Robert Martin, who occupied a prominent position in North Carolina, at different times, being clerk the principal part of his life, and also holding other official positions of prominence. Robert Martin was in the Revolutionary War, under Gen. Washington, and died in Wilkes County, N. C. The Martin family was of Irish, and the Mitchell family of Scotch descent. The maternal grandfather of our subject, Andrew Mitchell, was born in Iredell County, N. C., followed farming in that State the principal part of his life, and there received his final summons. Col. Robert Martin, the eldest son and sixth child of twelve children, received a very liberal education at Huntsville, Ala., graduating at the Huntsville Academy, and in 1839, he turned his attention to the general mercantile business in Huntsville. In 1844 he moved to Lincoln County, Tenn., and four years later to Dallas County, locating at Princeton. In 1854 he again began to sell goods, and continued to carry on this business until 1860. He was unusually successful, and at that time had made up his mind to retire. Before the war he was colonel of the State Militia, and after that he became the conscript officer. On October 12, 1863, he was taken prisoner by Col. Powel Clayton, but was soon afterward released. In 1866 Mr. Martin went to Pine Bluff, and again engaged in a commercial life with the firm known as Lee, Martin & Co., but failed, financially. He afterward paid up all his indebtedness. Since 1867 he has been farming, and is the owner of large tracts of land, 4,000 acres or more. Many years previous to the war, or on March 13, 1844, he married Miss Mary Smith, a native of Granville County, N. C, born April 10, 1826, and the daughter of Dr. William S. Smith of Lincoln County, Tenn. To this union the following children were born: Thomas B. (a prominent attorney of Little Rock), Smith C. (an attorney at Pine Bluff), Richard H. (at home), William S. (who died in infancy), James R. (deceased, was an attorney), and Dr John W. (who died at Collins Station, Ark.). Col. Martin and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, she having been a member for fifty years or more. He is a Democrat in his political preferment, and socially is a member of the Masonic fraternity. In 1877 he was elected to represent Dallas County in the State Legislature, and has held other positions of note.

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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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