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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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Dr. W. T. Morehead was born in Washington County, Ky., in the year 1818, the son of J. T. and Sarah A. (Thomson) Morehead. Both parents died when the prospective doctor was but twelve years old, leaving him to the care of his grandfather, an old Revolutionary soldier and a successful farmer. At the latter’s death, the lad was left to shift for himself. While his parents lived, he had mastered the rudiments of an education, and when his grandfather died he left his native county for Fayette County. Here he worked in various capacities for two years, husbanding his means thus gained for the acquisition of more learning. He was assisted some by his two great-uncles, J. T. Morehead, then Governor of Kentucky, and Charles S. Morehead, United States senator from Kentucky. At the expiration of two years W.T. Morehead began teaching school. He taught nine months in Fayette County, then returned to his native county, where he taught a term of six months. At this time, 1838, meeting an uncle who had been traveling in Arkansas and Texas, he learned of the beauty and fertility of that country and immediately concluded to go west. Adopting the primitive mode of locomotion, he struck out for the Ohio River. Reaching that, he continued his journey on water. After six days of traveling he reached Little Rock, on the 6th of June, 1839, tarried there six days, and then again starting forth, he arrived at Benton, the county seat of Saline County, on June 14. Leaving this place in a few days, he crossed over into Hot Spring County, finally arriving at the home of Dr. P. S. Phisick, who had located in this section some nineteen years previous. On the 8th of July Mr. Morehead commenced a school on Blakely’s Creek, ten miles from the present location. During this school he boarded with Dr. Phisick, having access to his medical library. Here he began his study of medicine, pursuing it after school hours, assisted by the Doctor. When his school closed, Mr. Morehead obtained an ox team from his preceptor and engaged in freighting goods, provisions, etc., from Little Rock, the distance being fifty-three miles. The money thus obtained was the first start young Morehead had in the country. Hot Spring County embraced at that time the counties of Garland and Montgomery and a portion of Grant, west of Saline River, and contained a voting population of about 200. On the 15th of December, 1842, Mr. Morehead was married to the widow Nancy Cates, who had at that time four children, three boys and one girl. After his marriage, he entered forty acres of land. Here he has resided since 1842, with the exception of three years which he spent in Hot Springs practicing his profession. In 1861 he moved his family to the old place and joined the Confederate army, enlisting in the Second Arkansas Mounted Riflemen, Mclntosh’s regiment. He served eighteen months, when his health gave out and he returned home, resuming his profession when the war closed. In 1841 he was appointed constable, serving one year. Three years later he was chosen justice of the peace, which office he held for four years. In 1846 he was elected county judge, serving two terms. During 1851 and 1852 he acted as deputy sheriff. Under the administration of Gen. Grant he was appointed postmaster in 1871, serving eight years. In 1876 he was elected judge of the county and probate court of Hot Spring County, being re-elected in 1878. He has frequently been appointed by the Governor to set on special cases. His first wife, Nancy Lee, bore him four children: W. T. (born September 1, 1844, died December 26), P. C. (born January 16, 1847), A. J. M. (born September 1, 1848), Araminta Susana (born April 12, 1851). The Doctor’s second wife was Jennie Smith, born in March, 1845, in Tennessee. Her mother was a Walker, a native of South Carolina, she having a brother in the Confederate army. By this marriage Dr. Morehead became the father of nine children: J. T. (born April 8, 1864, present surveyor of Hot Spring County), Mary E. G. (born April 18, 1867), Rosalee (born October 1, 1869), Andy W. M. (born May 17, 1873), Cassanna G. (born July 31, 1878.) His third wife was Mary Andrews Criner, born in Tishomingo County, Miss., in 1843. The Doctor has always been a Democrat, casting his first vote for James K. Polk in 1844, and supporting each successive candidate, except during the war and reconstruction days, when disfranchised. He was made a Mason in 1855, and has filled the different chairs. He is also a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, becoming identified with it as early as 1854, and always contributing freely toward any church enterprise. Being quite a hunter in his earlier days, he has killed over 200 bears, many weighing as high as 600 pounds. He is at this date hale and hearty, always ready to entertain, possessing a varied store of interesting experiences.

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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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