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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Hempstead 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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Joseph W. Breed, planter and ginner, Hempstead County. One of the foremost men among the agriculturists of Hempstead County is he whose name appears above, and who has borne an influential part in promoting the various interests of the county. His birth occurred in Randolph County, Ala., July 1,1847, being a son of William J. and Eliza (McDonald) Breed. The grandparents, William and Frances (Brontly) Breed, were born in North Carolina in 1765 and Georgia in 1781, respectively, and died in Alabama, he in 1837 and she in 1853. William J. Breed was born in Georgia in 1813, but subsequently moved to Alabama, where he met, and in 1837 married Eliza McDonald, by whom he was the father of eight children —four sons and four daughters—only five of whom are now living, as follows: Joseph W., Benjamin J., James M., Samantha J. (wife of B. J. Campbell), and Sarah C. (wife of T. F. Fisher). The father immigrated to Arkansas from Alabama in 1866, and settled in Hempstead County, where he now lives. He is a farmer by occupation, and has passed all his life in the pursuit of that calling, in which he has achieved a signal success. Forty-nine years ago he united with the Baptist Church, of which he is still a member, as was also his wife, who died in 1881. In his political views he sides with the Democratic party, and cast his first vote for Jackson. The immediate subject of this sketch grew to maturity in the State of his nativity, but left his home at the age of seventeen (in 1864) to participate in the late war, enlisting in Company I, Sixty-second Alabama Infantry, under Capt. Shortridge. He took part in the battles of Spanish Fort and Blakely, Ala., at the latter battle being captured and taken to Ship Island, where he was kept a prisoner for three weeks. He was paroled at Big Black, Miss., and immediately after came to Arkansas and engaged in farming, which occupation he has followed together with ginning and milling ever since. He owns 296 acres of good farming land, with 150 acres in cultivation, and is one of the leading planters of Hempstead County. His marriage to Miss Rosa J. McMillen was consummated in 1878. She was a daughter of Bluford and Malvinia V. (Samuel) McMillen, and was born in Ouachita County, Ark., in 1861. Mr. and Mrs. Breed are the parents of six children—two sons and four daughters—viz.: Nobia B., Agnes, Louis, Luther (the two latter twins), Carrie and Lena. Mr. Breed erected his large steam cotton-gin and grist-mill combined in 1886, and besides his own ginning and grinding does considerable work for his neighbors. He votes the Democratic ticket.


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This family biography is one of 131 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Hempstead County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Hempstead County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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