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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Jefferson 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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Joseph H. Baldwin is one of the most prominent figures in social and business circles in Jefferson County. He was born in what was then Cass County, Ga., on May 25, 1842, and is a son of Joseph M. and Harriet E. (Edmondson) Baldwin, of Virginia and Georgia, respectively. The father moved from his native State to Georgia when a young man, and was there married, and resided for a number of years near Greensboro. He afterward moved to what is now Bartow County, in the same State, and from there to Cherokee County, Ala., some years later, where he died in 1853. The mother is yet living in Floyd County, Ga., with several of her children, at the age of sixty-five years. Both parents were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and in politics the father was a Democrat. He served through the Florida War against the Seminole Indians, and during the Mexican War he volunteered and went as far as New Orleans for the purpose of fighting, but the war was over, and he was never mustered out. He was a general mechanic and a genius at wood carving, being able to take an ordinary piece of wood and turn out anything from a chicken coop to a steamboat, in proportion to the size of the wood. He built several fine vessels during his life, and amassed a considerable fortune, but unluckily he ventured into steam boating himself, and his wealth was swept away entirely. He was also interested in farming to some extent. His parents were English people, who settled in Virginia at an early period. Seven children were born to their marriage, of whom five are now living: James M. (a well-known farmer in Cherokee County, Ala.), Elizabeth (widow of William Miller, residing in Floyd County, Ga.), Julia Ann (wife of Martin Ingram, of the same county), Mary C., and Rebecca (wife of Elijah Morris, of Floyd County, Ga.), and Joseph H. The latter was reared and educated in Cherokee County, Ala., and left his home in September, 1861, to join the Confederate army. He enlisted in Company I, of the Nineteenth Alabama Infantry, and served until May 16, 1864, when he was captured and taken prisoner at Resaca, Ga. On April 14 of the same year, he was released after a cruel confinement, in which he was almost starved, and was forced to enter the Union ranks. Later on, his company was sent out West, where they were engaged in fighting the Indians until November, 1866, when he was mustered out at Fort Leavenworth, Kas. While in the Confederate army, he took part in a number of battles, the most important being at Shiloh, Missionary Ridge, Resaca and Murfreesboro, being severely wounded at the latter place by a gun shot in the right hip. Mr. Baldwin served with distinction, both in the Confederate and Union armies, and has the honor of knowing that though he was pressed into the Union service afterward, he never fought against his former comrades, his duties being performed on the Western plains. During his term of imprisonment, he was held at Alton, Ill., and also at Camp Douglas, in Chicago. Ill. After the war was over he returned to Alabama, and remained in that State until the fall of 1868, when he came to Arkansas and settled in Jefferson County, which he has made his home ever since. In 1867 he was married to Miss Mary M. King, of Cherokee County, Ala., who was born in 1849, and died on December 16, 1874. Three children were born to this union, of whom two are still living: Charles W. (a farmer in Grant County, Ark.), and James W. (who resides at home). The one deceased is Cornelia H., who died in third year. On June 17, 1875, he was married to Miss Nancy A. Ricketts, a daughter of Stephen Ricketts, of Marshall County, Ala., where she was born in 1847. This wife died in Jefferson County, Ark., in 1883, having given birth to five children, of whom two are yet living: Joseph B. and Enoch M., both residing at home. Those deceased are Henry, Jacob and Lewis. March 6, 1884, he was married to Mrs. Anna Russell, a daughter of Reuben Short, his third wife having been born in Mississippi in 1853. Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and the former is a trustee of Bethlehem church. He has been a Mason for a number of years, and is one of the most prominent politicians in that section, giving his support to the Democratic party.

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This family biography is one of 136 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Jefferson County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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