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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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L. T. Dennis, a successful farmer and justice of the peace of Cache Township, Greene County, Ark., is a native of the county, born in 1843, being the second of ten children born to Robert and Ellen (Tompkins) Dennis, natives of Tennessee and Kentucky, respectively, who came to Arkansas with their parents during the early history of this State. On his arrival in Arkansas, in 1837, Robert Dennis entered and purchased land in what is known as St. Francis Township, and on this he lived and made improvements until about 1848, when he sold out and entered a tract of forty acres on the west side of Crowley’s Ridge, on which he lived ten years. This he sold and bought eighty acres in the same locality, clearing nearly the entire tract, and making many other improvements, and here resided until his death on the 20th of December, 1867, followed by his widow, February 14, 1881. The maternal grandfather, Lawrence Tompkins, came from Kentucky to Arkansas about 1833, and settled on the east side of Crowley’s Ridge, and was one of some six families that were among the first settlers. Here he resided until his death, being an active participant in the development of the county. L. T. Dennis, whose name heads this sketch, was reared to farm labor, and in his youth received quite meager educational advantages, but by applying himself to his books at home, secured a fair education. He remained with his father until twenty-two years of age, then married Miss Nancy Ann Newsom, a daughter of Sterling Newsom, who was a Tennessean, and came to Arkansas at an early day. After his marriage Mr. Dennis bought a slightly improved farm of seventy-five acres, and on this tract he located and began making improvements in the way of clearing and building. After about ten years his house caught fire and was consumed, but the same year he purchased 325 acres of land, erected a new dwelling and began a fresh start in life. He has opened about seventy-five acres, set out orchards, and otherwise greatly improved his property. In 1885 he erected a new residence on a natural building site, and his surroundings are now most pleasant. On the 16th of December, 1874, Mr. Dennis lost his estimable wife and the following year he married Miss Martha Jane Gramlin, a daughter of Rawlins Gramlin, who came from North Carolina to Arkansas in 1857, and settled on the west side of Crowley’s Ridge. To his first union were born the following children: William Pleasant and Mary Jane living, and Henry Albert, Robert Sterling and an infant deceased. His second union has resulted in the birth of seven children: Lawrence M., who died at the age of four years; James Edward, Walter Anderson, Leopold Leaton and Gopel Wiley, twins; Lucy Ellen, and Thomas Jefferson. In 1862 Mr. Dennis enlisted in Jefferson Thompson’s artillery company and was sent to the division of the Missouri, and was on the Arkansas Ram when she ran the blockade past Memphis; he was also on the same vessel when she ran the blockade at the mouth of the Yazoo River. He was then transferred to the infantry, and in the fall was in the battle of Corinth, and was also at Grand Gulf, Port Gibson, Baker’s Creek, and in Vicksburg during the siege of forty-nine days, after which he was paroled and returned home, but again enlisted in July, 1864, joining a cavalry company, and during the remainder of that year was in and around Little Rock. While there he met with an accident and was compelled to return home, and took no further part in the war. He is now engaged in general farm work and devotes about seventy-five acres of his farm to the culture of corn, forty acres to cotton and ten acres each to wheat, oats and clover. He is quite an active politician, votes with the Democratic party, and has served as justice of the peace ten years, and as school director six years. He belongs to the Baptist Church and his wife to the Methodist.

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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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