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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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Judge Thomas Peterson, farmer, Pine Grove, Ark. Among the many substantial and successful agriculturists of Dallas County, stands the name of Mr. Peterson, who is not only a tiller of the soil but is an honored and much respected citizen. He owes his nativity to Bibb County, Ala., where he was born in 1821, and is the second of five children—three sons and two daughters—subject and one sister now living, born to the union of Thomas and Susannah (Shaddock) Peterson, natives of Edgefield District, S. C, and born in 1784 and 1799, respectively. The parents were married in Jasper County, Ga., in 1817, and in 1818 removed to Bibb County, Ala., thence, in 1822, to Perry County, and in 1837 to Coosa County, Ala., where Mr. Peterson died in 1847, his wife following him to the grave in 1864. Both were members of the Primitive Baptist Church for many years. Mr. Peterson was a farmer and wheelwright by occupation. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, stationed at Georgetown, S. C, and was a man who had the respect and esteem of all who knew him. The paternal grandfather, Thomas Peterson, died in Edgefield District, S. C., and was of Welsh descent. The maternal grandfather, Samuel Shaddock, was born in South Carolina, but when Mrs. Peterson was young, removed to Alabama, where he passed his last days. He was a farmer and a member of the Methodist Church as was also his wife. Judge Thomas Peterson received two and three months schooling each year until grown, and then engaged in the teacher’s profession in Alabama. He was married in 1841 to Miss Louisa C. Mahan, a native of the Blue-Grass State, and the daughter of Thomas and Amy Mahan, the former receiving his final summons in Kentucky. The Mahan family removed to Jackson County, Ala., about 1826, and in 1835 moved to Coosa County. Mrs. Mahan came to Arkansas with our subject, and died there in 1857. She was a member of the Baptist Church for many years. To the marriage of’ Mr. and Mrs. Peterson were born nine children, eight of whom are now living: Alfred M., Amy S. (deceased), Ruth J. (widow of James Walker), Parmelia E. (wife of Thomas J. Everett), Sarah A. (wife of J. N. Seale), Thomas, James S., Eliza M. (wife of Jasper Seale), and Lucy A. (wife of Perry Seale). In 1850 Mr. Peterson moved to Dallas County. Ark., settled near Holly Springs, improved a farm and there resided until 1860 when he moved to the town and engaged in merchandising. This he continued until 1864, when he returned to the arduous duties of the farm, and in 1868 moved on his present farm consisting of 260 acres. He was in the Confederate army from October, 1863 to April, 1864, of the State troops, and fought at Poison Springs and Mark’s Mill, where he was badly wounded in the left arm and hip, which disabled him from further duty. He was justice of the peace for a number of years, and in 1880, was elected county and probate judge of Dallas County, being re-elected three terms in succession, serving six years in all, when he declined further service. In politics he has been a Democrat all his life, and his first presidential vote was cast for James K. Polk in 1844. He has been a member of the Primitive Baptist Church since 1851, and his wife has been a member of the same since 1838 or 1839. While living in Coosa County, Ala., from 1848 up to the time he removed to Arkansas, Judge Peterson was commissioner of roads and revenue.

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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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