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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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William A. Allen, an extensive and highly-respected farmer of Batesville, was born in 1842, within eight miles of that place. His parents were Abraham and Isabella Allen, of North Carolina, who, on their journey to the West, first settled in Tennessee, and then in the State of Arkansas. They moved to Independence County in 1827, and located within six miles of Batesville, and afterward to a point south of the river, where the father died, in 1873, over eighty years of age. He left a fortune of $20,000, and considerable landed estate at the time of his death, and had been one of the most successful farmers of that period. He was upright and honest in all his dealings with mankind, and his name was one that commanded respect in every grade of society. William A. Allen was the youngest of the family, and remained with his parents until the latter days of the war between the North and South, when he enlisted in Company C, of Col. Dobbins’ regiment, and fought for the Confederate cause. His career through the war was short, but brilliant, and though not on the victorious side, after the surrender at Jacksonport, he still bore the honors of a brave soldier. In 1866 he was married to Miss Nancy A., daughter of Joel and Matilda McClendon, of Mississippi. Mrs. McClendon, the mother, died three years after her arrival in Independence County, and the father survived her for four years, leaving four sons and six daughters at the time of his death, of whom five are yet living. Mr. Allen and his wife have had their union blessed with six children, although one of them has since died. The names of those living are Abraham, Andrew, George William, Ida and Emily. The family resided on the old farm south of the river until February, 1889, and then moved to Batesville, where Mr. Allen has a fine residence. He owns three tracts of land comprising about 840 acres, and has some 300 acres under cultivation. Part of his land he inherited from his father, and his own good judgment and natural ability have added the rest. He is a Democrat in politics, and a strong upholder of the principles of that party, and is a member of Neill Lodge No. 285, A. F. & A. M., of Jamestown. Mr. Allen also belongs to the I. O. O. F., being a member of the Batesville Lodge. He is one of the leading farmers of Independence County, and a man whose opinion and advice are always received with the fullest confidence. Mrs. Allen is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and is well known for her generosity and the interest she takes in all matters pertaining to that church.

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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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