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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Desha 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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William B. Dumas is of French lineage, and is an example of what can be accomplished when industry and perseverance hold sway. His farming and stock-raising operations, as well as his mercantile and manufacturing interests, have resulted most satisfactorily, and he is now one of the wealthiest and best known citizens of the county. He was born near Paris, Henry County, Tenn., June 12, 1841, his parents, Jeremiah and Louisa (Dismukes) Dumas, having been born in North Carolina and Davidson County, Tenn., in 1807 and 1809, respectively. The father was a farmer, an Old Line Whig in politics, and for many years prior to his death was a minister of the Missionary Baptist Church. In his business operations he was very successful, and at the time of his death which occurred in Henry County, Tenn., in 1859, left a handsome fortune to be divided between his widow and children. His relict is now living in Henry County, Tenn., is the wife of John Gilbert, of Carroll County, Tenn., whom she married in 1870. Mr. and Mrs. Dumas were married in 1828 in Davidson County, and in time a family of eleven children clustered about their hearthstone, only five of their family being alive: William B., Thomas J., Lutie E. (wife of Morris Southerland, of Paris, Tenn.), Joseph T. (a wealthy farmer and stock raiser of Tennessee), and Don D. (a resident of Henry County, Tenn., and a farmer and stock-raiser). Those deceased are Martha, Mary, James, Winfield S., Mary I. and Bettie. William B. Dumas was reared and educated in his native State, his early advantages for acquiring learning being exceptionally good. He attended the Cumberland University of Lebanon, Tenn. Upon the opening of the Rebellion, he, May 14, 1861, enlisted in Company B, Wigfall Grays, Fourth Tennessee Infantry, and was in Bragg’s and Johnston’s divisions, and took part in the battles of Shiloh, Belmont, all the skirmishes in and around Corinth, after which he was transferred to the engineers’ department, and was in many more skirmishes and small engagements. He was paroled on May 15, 1865, at Paducah, Ky., and returned home. He began farming for himself at the age of twenty-five years, after the Civil War, and has been more or less interested in agricultural pursuits ever since, being now the owner of 940 acres of fine land in the Arkansas Valley, and cultivates about 300 acres, 150 acres being in a fine state of cultivation, cotton and corn being raised thereon in large quantities. He raises considerable cattle, and is the owner of about twenty-five head of horses and mules, and on his property is a large steam cotton gin which brings him in a paying annual income. He is also largely engaged in the timber business, manufacturing staves for the Eastern and Northern markets, and as this industry is admirably handled it is proving very profitable. Mr. Dumas is also a successful merchant of Dumas, and carries a stock of goods valued at from $3,000 to $5,000. From Henry County, Tenn., he removed to Shelby County in 1868, and in 1870 came to Arkansas and settled in Desha County, where he now resides at the town of Dumas, which place is on the Little Rock, Mississippi River & Texas Railroad, and was named in his honor, as he was the first, and is now a prominent resident of the place. He was married in February, 1866, in Gibson County, Tenn., to Miss Elizabeth Edmonds, a native of that State, and a daughter of Preston B. Edmonds. She died July 13, 1876, having become the mother of one son and four daughters, Lutie H. being the only one living. The rest are Arthur P., Ida B., Allie I. and Bettie. Mr. Dumas’ second marriage took place in Desha bounty, December 29, 1887, to Miss Margaret V. Childress, a native of Drew County, and a daughter of Charles S. and Victoria C. (Crute) Childress. She was born on February 8, 1865, and has borne her husband two sons, both of whom are deceased. Mr. Dumas is a Democrat in politics, and takes a prominent and active part in all his party’s movements and campaigns, and was a member of the State convention which nominated the present governor of Arkansas. He has been surveyor of Desha County for a number of years, has also been constable and deputy sheriff of his township, has filled the position of school director for many years, and in the discharge of the duties incumbent upon these offices he has acquitted himself with honor and distinction. He is a man who has the confidence and respect of all, and his word is as good as his bond. He is a member of the K. of H., and his wife belongs to the Methodist, Episcopal Church, South.

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This family biography is one of 80 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Desha County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Desha County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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