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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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Richard Madison Duck, farmer and stock raiser, Oil Trough, Ark. Prominent among the many enterprising and industrious farmers of Independence County appears the name of Mr. Duck, whose birth occurred in Rutherford County, N. C., on the 2d of November, 1816. He is the son of Robert and Margaret (McClure) Duck, both natives, also, of North Carolina. The paternal grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and the maternal grandfather was a captain in the Continental army, and participated in the battle of King’s Mountain. Richard Madison Duck received his education in his native State, and, after remaining upon a farm until about seventeen years of age, sought employment at the carpenter’s trade. At the end of a year he found work with a carpenter and cabinet-maker by the name of Smith, a New Englander, with whom he worked about one year, receiving all his instruction from this man. The thorough drilling he obtained enabled him to become very proficient in his trade as a carpenter, and this business he followed until he came to Arkansas, which was in the year 1850. Mr. Duck selected as his wife Miss Martha Jane Redwine, of Chattooga County, Ga., and was united in marriage to her on the 22d of December, 1842. They became the parents of nine children, five daughters and four sons: Olivia D., born on the 15th of January, 1844, and the wife of John Bratton, of Searcy County, Ark.; George A., born August 19, 1845, and died May 13, 1886; Melvin Lafayette, born August 17, 1847, married, and now resides in the Lone Star State; James B., born August 23, 1849; Robert D., born on the 29th of December, 1851, and now resides with his parents; Nancy A. married Jesse McCroskey, who died in February, 1885; Mary S. married Elijah Nichols, and now resides at Oil Trough; Martha Jane resides at home, and Margaret O. married Alfred P. Aydelott, of Independence County, Ark., and now resides on a farm in Christian Township. After coming to Arkansas Mr. Duck purchased a tract of land in Searcy County, in partnership with Samuel P. Williamson. This tract consists of about 300 acres, some fifty-five acres under cultivation, and Mr. Duck soon became the owner of 260 acres. Later he sold this tract, and in 1860 moved to Independence County, bought land in Liberty Township, and there lived until after the war. He was in the Confederate service, enlisting in the latter part of 1861, in Col. Crabtree’s regiment of Arkansas Volunteers, and served principally on detached service, as tanner and shoemaker for the army of the Confederacy. In 1865 he was mustered out, and in 1869 he bought the farm upon which he is now living. There were at that time 113 acres in the lot, but at present he has 233 acres, with about 100 acres under cultivation. He has a fine orchard, with fruit of all kinds in abundance. Mr. and Mrs. Duck have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church since 1845, and he has contributed liberally to the support of the church. Mr. Duck is also a member of McGuire Lodge No. 208, Oil Trough, Independence County, Ark., of which he was one of the charter members, and the only one now living. He is Democratic in his political views, and is a friend to progress.

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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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