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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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John J. Miles is prominent among the substantial citizens of Fenter Township. He has been a resident of the county since September, 1865, though a native of New York State, and the son of James H. and Abigail (Tyler) Miles. His father was of Pennsylvania nativity, born in Erie County in 1805, and was a maker of edge tools by trade. In 1841 James H. Miles emigrated to Osage County, Mo., where his wife died in 1846. He was afterward killed in an accident. Both he and his wife were members of the Methodist Church. John Miles’ paternal grandfather, Thomas Miles, was a native of Ireland, and followed the profession of civil engineering. He came to this country at an early day and received a large tract of land from the United States for his services as engineer. Mr. Miles also took part in the War of 1812. The maternal grandfather was of Scotch birth and became located in America prior to the Revolutionary War, in which he took part, being with Washington at Valley Forge. J. J. Miles left home at the age of thirteen, and was employed on a canal-boat driving mules for about a year. The next season he was engaged as cabin boy on a vessel on the lakes, after which he shipped on board an Atlantic vessel, where he was occupied for eight years, filling almost every position from cabin-boy to mate, and during which time he visited the coast of Africa, West India Islands, South America, England, France and the Baltic Sea. He was crippled by falling from the rigging of the ship to the deck, and consequently was compelled to give up the life of a sailor. He then embarked as a mate on a Mississippi steamer and followed the river for about five years. When the Civil War broke out he enlisted at Fort Smith, Ark., in Reid’s battery (which was attached to the Third Louisiana Regiment) and served in that company until the fall of Vicksburg. Mr. Miles took part in the battles of Oak Hill, Elk Horn and Vicksburg. After the war he came to Rockport, where he ran a ferry for about twenty years with J. H. Alexander. He afterward bought a piece of wild land, which he improved, living upon it until his removal to the farm he now owns. Mr. Miles was first married in 1860 to Elizabeth Margaret Young, a native of Tennessee, who died June 19, 1871. He was again married July 29, 1880, to Mrs. Davis, a widow lady, whose maiden name was Sallie A. Braly, a native of Tennessee. Mr. Miles now has no children of his own, having lost five, but he has a step-son. He now owns a fine farm of 600 acres, and has a splendid home. He has served as justice of the peace for twenty years, deputy county clerk for six years, and at the same time holding the office of deputy sheriff, and has held the position of school director for a number of years. Mrs. Miles is a member of the Methodist Church. Mr. Miles belongs to the A. F. & A. M., in which he has held the office of secretary for several years.

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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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