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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Hot Spring 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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Judge Alphonzo Curl is one of the best known attorneys of Hot Spring County, and one of the oldest residents in the southwest-central portion of the State, having emigrated to this locality in 1847 with his parents, from Tennessee. He was the son of Larkin J. and Martha J. (Shepard) Curl, both natives of Tennessee. The paternal great grandfather, William Curl, was a native of North Carolina, but of English descent, and was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. The paternal grandfather was also a native of North Carolina, in 1806 emigrating to Hickman County, Tenn. He married Keziah Gambling, a native of North Carolina; her father was an officer in the Revolutionary War. Larkin J. Curl was born in 1814, in Hickman County, Tenn., and was married in Perry County, Tenn., in 1838, to Martha J. Shepard. They were the parents of seven children: Alphonzo (the subject of this sketch), William (in the employ of the Hot Springs Railroad), Mary M. (deceased wife of Allen M. Thornton), Keziah J. (wife of M. B. Thornton, of this county), Frances, (wife of James C. Burk, now of Fayetteville, Ark.), Lindsey J. (who lives on the old homestead) and Louisa E. (wife of Peyton McCullers, of this county). Judge Curl was born in Perry County, Tenn., July 11, 1839. When he was seven years old his parents moved to this county and settled on a wild piece of land of 160 acres. Here his youthful days were passed, his education being had in such schools as frontier life might offer. At the age of twenty-one he left the farm, and taught school until the breaking out of the Civil War, when he enlisted in the Eleventh Arkansas Infantry, under Col. J. M. Smith, in which he served for four years, taking part in the battle of Island No. 10, and a number of others. At the last named engagement he was captured and held prisoner for five months at Camp Butler, Ill. After his release he was in the siege of Port Hudson, and on a raid by Col. John L. Logan was again taken prisoner near Natchez, Miss., being at that time first lieutenant. He was taken to Johnson’s Island, where he was held twenty-two months, until the close of the war, after which, returning home, he engaged in teaching school and clerking in a store until 1872, during this time also studying surveying. In 1873 Gov. Baxter appointed him justice of the peace of Hot Springs. He then took up the study of law, and was admitted to the bar in June, 1875, and in 1878 was admitted to the bar of the supreme court. The following year he moved to Malvern, and commenced the practice of law, where he still follows his profession. He has been elected by the bar as especial judge several times. Judge Curl was married on September 15, 1867, in Hot Springs, to Adelaide A. Keeler, a native of Broom County, N. Y., and a descendant of the Puritans who came to this country in the Mayflower. They were the parents of six children: Edith L. (an artist), Martha A. (a student at Ward’s Seminary, at Nashville, Tenn.), Irene and Whitney (both students), Edna Aleen and Beulah. Mrs. Curl died on October 22, 1885, at the age of thirty-nine years. She was a devoted and active church member and a practical friend of the poor. Judge Curl is a member of the Methodist Church, and also belongs to the A. F. & A. M. and the I. O. O. F., having held the office of D. D. G. M. in the former lodge. He is a member of the Sunday school board of Little Rock conference, and has been for a number of years regarded as among the leading Sunday school workers in this portion of the State. He is a prominent Democrat, has always been a strong advocate and worker for educational interests and literary societies, and is one of the leading men in the community.

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This family biography is one of 52 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Hot Spring County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Hot Spring County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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