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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Johnson County, Arkansas published by Southern Publishing Company in 1891.  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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R. J. Butts is one of the thrifty, far-seeing and successful merchants and farmers of Johnson County, Ark., his post-office address being Hagarville. He has become well and favorably known to the many residents hereabouts, for, notwithstanding the old adage that “familiarity breeds contempt,” his case has proved the exception to the rule, and he is universally esteemed. He was born in Arkansas in 1856 to Henry J. and Rachel (Clark) Butts, they being natives of Tennessee and Arkansas, respectively, the former coming to this State when a youth. At the early age of eighteen years R. J. Butts started out in search of Dame Fortune, and as he had acquired a liberal education in Boone County at Prof. Clark’s Academy at Berryville, and in the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, he was admirably equipped to begin the battle of life for himself, and until the summer of 1890 followed the occupation of teaching school from three to ten months each year during the greater portion of that time. He received from his father the gift of 120 acres of land, partly improved, which he further improved by erecting substantial buildings thereon, clearing and cultivating and putting up good fences. By good management and economy he was afterward enabled to purchase 180 acres adjoining his original tract, a dwelling in Hagarville, forty acres on the mountain, and, in 1890, 100 acres adjoining Hagarville, the same year purchasing a half interest in the store of N. C. Johnson in Hagarville. In 1879 Mr. Butts was married to Miss Mary Johnson, a native of Arkansas, and a daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Johnson, and by her has three children, all of whom are living: Annice (born December 25, 1879), Elva (born May 21, 1881), and Lizzie (born October 20, 1883). Mr. Butts is one of a family of five children born to his parents named: Hugh, Lucretia (wife of Thomas Adkins), Riley J., Alexander W. and Alice (wife of R. J. Johnson). The father of these children was in the Mexican War, and was stationed on the frontier. Prior to the Rebellion he represented Johnson County in the State Legislature, and during the war was captain of a company in Hill’s regiment, C. S. A., serving until the battle of Pilot Knob, when he was wounded and captured, being held a prisoner of war until after Gen. Kirby Smith’s surrender. He and his wife were both members of the Christian Church, in which he held the office of deacon and elder at different times. His death occurred in 1884, but his widow survives him, and is making her home with a son in Hagarville. E. J. Butts and his wife are also church members.

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This family biography is one of 65 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Johnson County, Arkansas published in 1891.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Arkansas family biographies here: Johnson County, Arkansas

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