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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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Hiram Jackson Clift, a pioneer of Hot Spring County, and one of its esteemed citizens, was born in Tennessee, and is a son of William and Polly Ann (Wyandus) Clift, both natives of the same State. The father was a successful farmer, and a man of ability, being a natural born mechanic as well as farmer. He left Tennessee with his parents when a boy and moved to Alabama, settling near Somerville, in Morgan County, where he grew to manhood. In 1838 he came to Arkansas, and located in the eastern part of Hot Spring County (then forming a part of what is now Saline County). After residing here until 1856 he moved to Texas, and remained there twelve years, but finally came back to where his son Hiram lives, where he died on January 9, 1876, the mother dying on January 10 the year previous. The paternal grandfather, Joseph Clift, left Alabama in 1826, and was one of the first settlers of Hot Spring County. Nine children were born to the parents, of whom four are yet living. Two of the sons served in the Confederate army; Joseph died while in prison at Little Rock, and James, who was a lieutenant in the Third Arkansas, was captured at Island No. 10, and died after the war, it is supposed from the exposure and hardships he underwent at that period. Hiram J. was reared on a farm in Hot Spring County, and received a limited education on account of the poor school facilities to be had at that time. He assisted his father in cultivating the land, and learned the blacksmith trade under the elder Clift’s able instructions, soon becoming an expert in that line himself. In March, 1851, he was married to Miss Caroline Sanford, of Mississippi, by whom he has had nine children, of whom four lived to maturity, and two are yet living: Gilbert (a farmer), and Mary (wife of Shelby Bud, of this county). The mother died in January, 1868, a firm believer in the doctrines of the Baptist Church. In December, 1871, Mr. Clift was again married, his second wife being Miss Martha A. Davenport, of Mississippi, by whom he had eight children, five of them yet living: Cornelia, Rosa Lee, Madie A., Hiram G. and Anna. Mr. Clift is a member of the Baptist Church, and has belonged to it from childhood. For many years he has been a deacon, and has reared his children to be Christian men and women. They have followed his precepts and example faithfully, and are an honor to his name. During the Rebellion, Mr. Clift was a soldier in the Confederate army, enlisting in September, 1861, in the Third Texas, and afterward transferred to the Eleventh Texas. He served throughout the entire period, taking part in the battles at Richmond, La., Mansfield, La., Yellow Bayou, Jenkins’ Ferry, and a great many others, performing his duties in a gallant manner, and often the hero of a thrilling escape. He has applied himself strictly to his agricultural interests since the war, and now owns about 565 acres of choice land. He takes a deep interest in fruit growing, in fact makes it a specialty, and has been very successful in that direction. He is now one of the leading and most influential men in that section and a generous supporter of every enterprise that helps forward his county’s progress.

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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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