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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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John S. Dodd, a well-known resident and farmer of Independence County, was born in that county on the 17th of May, 1841, and is a son of Abner H. and Mary Jane (Martin) Dodd, natives of Tennessee and Kentucky, respectively, the latter coming to Arkansas, with her parents, when only three years of age. The father moved to that State with his father, in 1812, when the country was very sparsely settled. At that time, as well as John S. Dodd can recollect from his father’s account, there were but one or two families in Greenbriar Township, and a few in Oil Trough. There was also a settler living at what is now known as Magness Ferry, from whom that place received its name. John S. Dodd received his education in Independence County, and grew to manhood in that place. It was here he met and won his wife, and also where he enlisted in the army, when the Confederacy’s call to arms was heard. He became a member of Company D, Eighth Regiment, Arkansas Volunteer Infantry, in 1861, and served until December of the same year, when he was discharged at Nashville, Tenn., and returned home. In 1862 he re-enlisted, becoming a member of Col. Ganse’s regiment of infantry, and remained with that regiment until 1864, but having only one opportunity to engage in battle, and that at Helena, Ark. He was afterward detached from his regiment and served in the engineer corps until the army disbanded, in 1865, when he returned home. Mr. Dodd was united to Miss Mary Ann Wood at the home of the bride’s parents, in Independence County, on September 26, 1867, and this happy marriage has given them seven children, of whom six are still living: Mary Ann, born November 3, 1869; Joseph Abner, born March 21, 1871; William M., born February 21, 1873, (deceased); Melville J., born April 10, 1876; Benjamin Hardin, born November 17, 1878; John H., born June 20, 1880; Edna E., born May 22, 1880. Mrs. Dodd was a daughter of William M. and Lydia A. Robertson, who moved to Arkansas in 1851, where the father carried on his trade of wagon-making in connection with his farming interests. From his father’s estate Mr. Dodd inherited eighty acres of land in Christian Township, with about twelve acres under cultivation. He now has 150 acres under cultivation, besides owning considerable more, and has erected some good buildings, barns and cribs upon the land. He also owns a grist-mill and cotton-gin, and is looked upon as one of the most progressive men in that section. He is certainly deserving of success for the enterprise displayed to make his community the foremost in that county. His children are being educated at the public schools, although the eldest children have attended the subscription schools principally. Mrs. Dodd and her eldest daughter are members of the Missionary Baptist Church and devout Christians, while Mr. Dodd, although not a regular attendant, is one of the most liberal and open-hearted men in the community toward religious and educational matters.

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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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