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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Independence 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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J. N. Churchill, farmer and merchant, of Black River Township, and postmaster at Charlotte, Ark., is one of the representative citizens of Independence County, and is a recognized leader in the public affairs of his locality. He was originally from North Carolina, born in Iredell County, in January, 1835, and the son of Charles C. and Matilda (Johnson) Churchill, natives, respectively, of Connecticut and North Carolina. The former was a relative of the three Churchill brothers, who came to one of the early colonies of Connecticut. Charles C. Churchill was born in 1791, and emigrated to North Carolina in 1829, where he met and married Miss Johnson. His principal vocation was tilling the soil, but he was well educated, and his true worth was soon appreciated. He was elected sheriff of his county, and served with credit in that capacity for some time. In 1842, he removed to Tennessee, bought a plantation, and successfully tilled the soil until his death, which occurred in 1845. He was an old-line Whig, and exerted quite an influence in the politics of his county. He was a Mason, and a man universally respected. His excellent wife survived him until in April, 1887, and then died at the ripe old age of seventy-four years. She was for sixty years a devoted Christian, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. J. N. Churchill is the third of a family of seven children (five of whom are living): Samuel B., died at the age of fifty-four years (1885), and was a farmer and stock raiser of Texas; Harriet J., consort of one Grady Pickens, who was killed in Hood’s retreat from Nashville; J. N. (subject of our sketch); W. P., a farmer, married, and is living in Independence County; Curtis J., died on the 7th of April, 1877, at the age of forty-five years, a farmer and justice of the peace; Mary A., widow of William Hammond, who was a farmer of Black River Township; Marcia M. V., wife of W. H. Walden, a merchant and farmer of Black River Township and postmaster of Hazel Grove. J. N. Churchill was reared from early boyhood to the arduous duties of the farm, and secured his education in the common schools of North Carolina and Tennessee. At the age of nineteen, or in 1852, he came to Independence County and joined his brother, who had made his appearance in that county the year previous. In 1854 J. N. returned to Tennessee and spent one year in Oak Grove Academy (Fayette County), having earned the money in Arkansas which enabled him to obtain that part of his education. Having completed the year at school, he returned to Arkansas in 1855, and spent the ensuing four years in wielding the ferrule, conducting private schools in that State. On May 12, 1858, he wedded Miss Charlotta T. Hogan, daughter of Elijah Hogan, one of the first settlers of Arkansas. Heaven blessed this union with four children, all of whom are living: Charles D., born August 1, 1859, is a merchant of Charlotte, but contemplates merchandising in conjunction with his brother, Curtia J. (who was born in 1860), under the firm name of Churchill Bros., in Sulphur Rock; Mary M. was born on the 11th of March, 1861, and is the wife of W. H. Ward, a school teacher and farmer of Black River Township; and Lucy, wife of Dr. Robert C. Door, a successful physician of Black River Township. Mrs. Churchill departed this life on the 23d of March, 1889. She was a model mother and wife, and had long been a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Since his marriage, Mr. Churchill has followed the different avocations of teaching, cotton-ginning, threshing grain, and has also been engaged in merchandising. He built the first steam gin in Independence County, reduced the toll of ginning, and brought the second separating thresher into the county. In 1872, he embarked in the mercantile business on his farm, the present site of Charlotte post office, and established a branch store at Sulphur Rock, which he conducted for five years. At present he is erecting a large store building in Sulphur Rock, in which to do a general mercantile business. The first land Mr. Churchill ever secured was from land bought with wages received in compensation for teaching his first school in Arkansas ($80 in gold), with which he purchased eighty acres of land. This policy he followed for several years, or until 1859, when he bought 320 acres, and lived on the same for fifteen years, clearing about seventy-five acres. He then bought 160 acres, cleared forty acres of the same, and in 1873 moved to that place (Charlotte), where he has ever since lived. He now owns about 3,000 acres of land, and has cleared over 200 acres. He served in the late war about six months, but having been elected justice of the peace, and being a teacher, he was allowed to remain at home unmolested. However, he lost most of his personal property, and so, like a number of the old citizens of this county, had to begin anew when the war was over. In addition to his own family, Mr. Churchill has reared, and given the same opportunities in the common schools as his own children, ten orphan children. He votes with the Democratic party, and has a great deal of influence, politically. He holds a membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and also belongs to the Masonic fraternity. He was W. M. of Bayou Dota Lodge No. 126 for twenty years, and is the only charter member left of that lodge. He is a member of the Chapter and Council at Sulphur Rock. Mr. Churchill has always taken an active interest in and given his support to all public enterprises for the good of the county, and is now chairman of the executive committee on removal of county site from Batesville to Sulphur Rock.

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This family biography is one of 158 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Independence County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Independence County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Independence County, Arkansas family biographies here: Independence County, Arkansas Biographies

View a map of 1889 Independence County, Arkansas here: Independence County, Arkansas Map

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