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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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Rev. Robert M. Thrasher, one of the prominent citizens of Hot Spring County, has been a resident of this locality since January 15, 1867. He was born in Fayette County, Tenn., on December 14, 1827, being a son of Robert T. and Sarah (Burleson), natives of Georgia and North Carolina, respectively. The father was the first white child born in Franklin County, Ga., his birth occurring in 1787. He was also a soldier in the War of 1812, and was reared on a farm near Huntsville, Ala., and there married. He afterward moved to Missouri, but returned later to Tennessee, then to Mississippi, and from there to Arkansas, in the autumn of 1845, settling on a farm on Tulip Creek, in Dallas County, where he made his home until his death, October 11, 1851, at the age of sixty-five. The paternal grandfather of Robert M. Thrasher, also named Robert, came from Wales before the Revolutionary War, in which he served. The mother of the subject of this sketch died on July 11, 1875, at the age of eighty years. She and her husband were both members of the Baptist Church. They were the parents of ten children: Elizabeth (deceased), Joseph (deceased), James B. (deceased), Henrietta F. (deceased), Margaret A., Rachel W., Robert M., Sarrah C. (deceased), Jane F. (now Mrs. Dunnahoe) and Thomas J. (of Malvern.) Mr. Thrasher, Sr., was sheriff of Hardeman County, Tenn., and was also a justice of the peace of Dallas County. The maternal grandfather of Robert M. Thrasher was James Burleson, the son of Aaron Burleson, who was the son of Aaron Burleson, a native of Wales, who came to this country and settled in North Carolina, in 1726. He had seven sons in the Revolutionary War, three of whom survived: Thomas (who remained in North Carolina), Jesse (who went to Mobile, Ala.) and Aaron (who with his sons, Aaron, James, Joseph and John, and three married daughters set out in 1784 to join Daniel Boone in Kentucky). Aaron Burleson was killed on the route by the Indians, at the crossing of Clinch River, in Tennessee. His son Aaron was also killed by the Indians at Campbell Station, Tenn. The others all pressed on into Kentucky, but subsequently fell back into Tennessee and North Alabama. James Burleson was a commissary in the War of 1812, under Gen. Jackson, and was in the battles of Horseshoe and New Orleans. In 1816 he moved to Missouri; returned to Tennessee in 1825, and in 1829 he went to Texas with seven sons and three married daughters, and settled on the Colorado River, twelve miles below Bastrop. He died in old age in the bosom of his family. The history of his family is interwoven with the history of Texas. His son, Gen. Edward Burleson, greatly distinguished himself as an Indian fighter and in the War of Independence. He was the hero of thirty battles; was vice president of the Republic of Texas, and died a member of the senate, in 1851, at Austin, Tex. The voters of the Burleson family in Texas number about 1,200. R. M. Thrasher was reared on the home farm, and received a common-school education in youth, in Mississippi, coming to Arkansas with his parents when sixteen years old. In 1850 he attended the Arkansas Military Institute two terms, and the following year accepted a position as teacher in the same. In the fall of 1851 he took charge of his father’s farm, where he remained until 1857, and in 1862 enlisted in the Eighteenth Arkansas Infantry, being at once elected second lieutenant, after which he was promoted to captain. He participated in the battles of Farmington and Iuka, Port Hudson, Corinth and several skirmishes. At the last-named battle he was taken prisoner, but was shortly after released. He was also taken prisoner after the siege and surrender of Port Hudson, July 9, 1863, and was taken to Johnson Island, Lake Erie, and held until March, 1865. He was paroled and delivered on the James, below Richmond, in feeble health. He then started for his home in Arkansas, having to walk 110 miles of the way, and to travel seventy-five miles of the way in a canoe. He arrived home in May, where he again engaged in farming and teaching until 1867, when he came to Rockport and engaged in teaching school, He also spent two years as a Sunday-school missionary in the employment of the American Baptist Publication Society, Philadelphia. Mr. Thrasher was licensed to preach the gospel of Christ in 1850, and was ordained, November 22, 1852, an elder in the Baptist Church, and has been engaged in ministerial work ever since. While in the army he preached and baptized many. Mr. Thrasher was married July 15, 1858, to Caledonia McKoy, a native of North Carolina. Her father, W. R. McKoy, was a native of Scotland. They were the parents of five children, two of whom died in infancy: Sallie B. (is the wife of Mr. C. R. Adams, a merchant, of Malvern), Robert W. (a clerk in a store at Malvern) and Anna C. (who is a teacher of instrumental music and English literature.) Mr. Thrasher owns 810 acres of land in Hot Spring and Dallas Counties, and has a comfortable home. He has held the office of county examiner, and has also represented his county in the legislature. Mr. Thrasher has been moderator and clerk of the Saline Baptist association, and secretary of the Arkansas Baptist State convention, and has been very active in establishing churches and Sunday-schools; he also takes a great interest in all things tending to the interest of the community, and is now engaged as a teacher in the Malvern graded school, and bids fair for several years of active service in church and State. He still takes great pleasure in agriculture and horticulture, and makes fine fruit a specialty.

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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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