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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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J. W. Craven, a successful planter residing near Paragould, was born in Randolph County, of the “Old North State,” February 22, 1834, being the fourth of eleven children born to Andrew R. and Elizabeth W. (Garner) Craven, who were also born in that State. In 1840 the father emigrated to Georgia, and two years later to Mississippi, where he opened up a large plantation on which he resided thirteen years, moving then to Tennessee. In January, 1855, he came to Greene County, Ark., and settled near where his son now resides, on 640 acres of land, 100 acres of which he cleared and improved, and here lived until his death, March 30, 1867, at the age of sixty-five years. His wife died in Mississippi in the fall of 1845. J. W. Craven received a common education in the schools of Mississippi, and besides becoming familiar with the details of farm work, learned the blacksmith’s trade, which occupation he followed for some years. He assisted in clearing the home farm, and was married in Hardeman County, Tenn., in 1853, to Miss L. M. Daniel, a native of that State, and a daughter of Ephraim and Penelope (Mundon) Daniel, who were born in North Carolina, and emigrated to Tennessee in 1840, and in 1855 to Greene County, Ark. Here the father died on his farm, in 1876, his wife’s death having occurred four years earlier. After his marriage, Mr. Craven settled down to farming in Tennessee, but in 1855 bought an eighty acre timber tract in Greene County, Ark., on which he erected a cabin, and commenced clearing and improving. He now has 120 acres, with eighty-five under cultivation, which he devotes principally to raising corn. In 1863 he enlisted in the Home Guards under Capt. Kirkendall, and in September of the same year, joined the infantry under Capt. Anderson, holding the rank of second lieutenant. In December, 1863, he was honorably discharged, but in 1864 joined the cavalry, and was in the fight at Little Rock, and several other engagements. Since the war he has been engaged in farming. He votes with the Democratic party, but is not active in politics. He has held the office of justice of the peace for about seven years, and being an active supporter of the cause of education, is now a member of the school board. He also assisted in re-organizing the county. Socially he is a member of the Agricultural Wheel, and also a member of Paragould Lodge No. 368, F. & A. M. He and wife are members of the Baptist Church, and are active workers for the cause of Christianity. Seven of their nine children are living: Andrew Nelson (died in 1863, at the age of ten years), Mary Jane (died in 1858, aged two years and six months), Julia Ann (Mrs. Morgan), Martha T. (Mrs. Gwyn), John W., Lillie C., Eliza C.; Sarah Elizabeth and William L., all members of the Baptist Church. Mr. Craven can remember when there was only one public road in the county, and when Cape Girardeau was their nearest market.

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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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