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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Greene County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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Mrs. Isabella Highfill, widow of Hezekiah Highfill, and daughter of Samuel and Rebecca J. (Ellis) Medlock, was born in Henry County, Tenn., October 25, 1831, and as the country was very sparsely settled in her youth, and schools were few and far between, she received only a common school education. While growing to womanhood, all the clothing the family wore was home made, and she became very skillful in the use of the loom and all kinds of women’s work. At the early age of seventeen years she was married to John A. Hargrove, a native of Southern Alabama, and a farmer by occupation, by whom she bore a family of three sons and five daughters, all of whom are deceased except Ann M. and Francis V., who live with their mother. On the 15th of December, 1870, Mr. Hargrove died, leaving his wife with a farm to be improved, and four small children to care for. She entered bravely upon her work, succeeded in paying for her home, and bought another farm, which she also improved. In 1854 she moved with her husband to Poinsett County, Ark., made three crops, and was raising the third, when the memorable overflow of 1858 inundated that section to such an extent that all had to seek for higher land. They removed to Buffalo Island, Craighead County, where they homesteaded and improved 160 acres of land, but after Mr. Hargrove’s death his widow traded her farm for land in Greene County, which she also disposed of shortly after her marriage with Mr. Highfill, in 1876, and purchased the farm upon which she is now living, which consists of eighty acres, forty of the same being in a high state of cultivation, furnished with good buildings and an excellent orchard. The land is a fine, sandy loam, and is devoted equally to cotton and corn. Mr. Hargrove was a leading member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which Mrs. Highfill is now a member, and was a man of exemplary habits and character, and for many years held the office of the justice of the peace. He was allowed to remain at home unmolested during the Rebellion. He was a Democrat, and was in sympathy with the Union. Hezekiah Highfill was an elder in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was not a participant in the late war, but sent out two sons, who enlisted in the Confederate army, Isaac being killed by a cannon ball in the battle of Shiloh, and Hezekiah, the other son, was wounded in the same engagement by a minie ball, in the left shoulder, from the effects of which he died in March, 1880, having suffered from the same for seventeen years. Another son, J. M. Highfill, has a sketch in another part of this work. His three daughters are as follows: Sarah A. (Woods), widow of William Woods; Fanny (Lloyd), and Mary, wife of Rev. Isaac Verner, a Methodist minister of Lake County, Fla. Mrs. Highfill is a very interesting and intelligent lady, and having lived in this section for thirty-five years, can recount many interesting incidents in the early settlement of this section. She says that during the first years of her residence here the men would devote the summer to raising crops, and would hunt and trap during the winter months, their game consisting of deer, bear, wild cats, wolves and turkeys for food, and otter, beaver, mink and raccoon for their furs. These were taken by ox team to Wittsburgh or Memphis, and often realized $100 on one load. Prices ranged as follows: bear meat, 25 cents per pound; deer, 10 cents; turkeys, $1 each; wild cat, 10 cents and wolf 10 cents. Otter hides brought $5 each; beaver, $7.50; mink, $3, and raccoon 50 cents, thus making the hunting season much more profitable than the farming season, hence there was very little done toward developing the country prior to the war. Everything was plentiful in the way of wild game and fruits, and the range was so good that stock could live the year round without being fed. In those days the women made all their own clothing, and raised their own cotton and sheep. Mrs. Highfill is now residing about one-half mile from two large mounds, containing the skeletons and relics of the pre-historic Mound Builders, but the Indians who were here when she first settled could tell her nothing about them. Mrs. Highfill’s father and mother were born in South Carolina; the former was a farmer and mechanic by trade, and owned a fine farm of 320 acres in his native State, on which he resided until his death in April, 1879. The mother died in 1868. They were members of the Baptist and Methodist Churches, respectively, and in his political views he was a Democrat.

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This family biography is one of 120 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Greene County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Greene County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Greene County, Arkansas family biographies here: Greene County, Arkansas Biographies

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