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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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Robert A. Childress, a prosperous farmer of Independence County, was born in Franklin County, Va., in 1813. He is a son of John W. and Sarah (Ferguson) Childress, both native of Virginia. The Childress family are of English origin, but the family has lived in the State of Virginia for several generations. The grandparents, Robert and Rachel Childress, both lived and died in that State. John W. remained in his birth place until the year 1817, when he moved to Missouri, and in 1819 again changed his location, settling in Randolph County, Ark. In 1829 he came to Independence County, and was one of the earliest settlers of that section, where he made his residence until old age began to creep upon his shoulders, when he went to live with a son in Galveston, Tex., where he died. His wife resided in Independence County up to the time of her death, in 1840. Robert A. was the oldest child of this couple, and in his youth received a somewhat limited education in Independence County, on account of the very meager facilities for learning offered in that State. But after reaching his majority he returned to Virginia, where the educational advantages were greater, and attended some of the higher schools of that State until he had procured a satisfactory education. In 1841 he was married to Miss Martha A. Waugh, who was born in Virginia in 1823, and died in 1860. This marriage gave them nine children, of whom four are yet living: Thomas B., Julia C. (wife of Joseph B. Pritchett), Lewis W. and John W. In 1862 Mr. Childress married again, his second wife being Mrs. Josephine Sullivan, an amiable and pleasant widow lady, raised in Mississippi, and a daughter of Dr. Samuel Halliburton, who has also passed away. This union gave them four children, of whom two lived to maturity, and those yet living are Samuel K. and Sarah J., wife of J. E. Moore. His third wife was Mrs. Lucilla J. Cross, a widow, youngest daughter of Col. John Miller, an influential and prominent citizen of Independence County. Mr. Childress has resided at his present home since 1840, excepting five years spent at Batesville, where he was engaged in business. He owns 642 acres of land, and has about 325 acres under cultivation, all of it comprising some of the richest land in the State. He has held the office of justice of the peace for a number of years, and has proven himself to be an efficient officer, and a valuable man for the position. He is held in high esteem by the entire community, and enjoys that distinction which an old settler is entitled to. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity until the war, but since then has not been identified with any secret society. He has been a member of the Presbyterian Church since 1833, and an elder for over forty years. His wife is a member of the Baptist Church, and the children, excepting two, belong to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. In politics Mr. Childress is a stanch Democrat.

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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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