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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Lafayette County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  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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James G. Olive, of the firm of Lester & Olive, the well-known merchants of New Lewisville, is one of the prominent and enterprising citizens of this county. Born in Chambers County, Ala., in 1858, a son of H. H. and Sarah E. Olive, he is the second of a family of four children, all boys, three of whom still live, viz.: B. F. (a farmer and ginner, residing in this county), J. G. (the subject of this sketch), and O. E. (also a farmer of this county). His parents were natives of Georgia and Alabama, respectively. His father came to Alabama at an early day, and when the subject of this sketch was but two months old, in 1858, he moved to Arkansas, settling in Columbia County, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits, farming for fifteen years continuously, with the exception of a time during the war, when he was appointed by the Confederate Government as overseer on the estate of Dr. Lomax, a surgeon in the Confederate army. Dr. Lomax was exempt, but preferred to go into the service. At the close of the war he returned to his home in Columbia County, resuming his farming operations until 1873, when he moved to Lafayette County, and has since been identified with the farming interests of this county, also serving as justice of the peace and school director. Mrs. Olive died in 1879, a member of the Baptist Church. In 1880 Martha E. Averette, of this county, became Mrs. Olive, and by this later marriage there are five children, all living, viz.: Lillie, Haywood, Exer, Alma and one unnamed. Mr. Olive has been a member of the A. F. & A. M. since his twenty-fifth year, serving as master of Mars Hill Lodge as long as that lodge was in existence, and he has been master of Lewisville Lodge No. 14, A. F. & A. M., since its organization. Both he and wife are members of the Baptist Church, Mr. Olive serving as clerk of the Mars Hill Church. The immediate subject of this sketch was reared in Columbia and Lafayette Counties, attending two sessions of the University at Fayetteville, where he finished the freshman and sophomore courses. He was graduated at the Commercial School at Little Rock in 1883. Immediately after his graduation he returned to his home and engaged in teaching school in the summer and fall of 1883. In the latter part of 1883 he embarked in mercantile pursuits at Mars Hill, in company with W. G. Boyette, under the firm name of Boyette & Olive, doing an extensive business until 1885, when Mr. Boyette died. Mr. Olive then purchased the interest from the administrator, and conducted the business alone for two years. He then purchased Mr. J. T. Martin’s interest in the firm of Martin & Lester in the spring of 1888 [see sketch of M. D. Lester), and he and Mr. Lester are now doing a successful business under the firm name of Lester & Olive. In 1885 Mr. Olive was united in marriage to Miss Lena M. Lester, daughter of James Lester. They have had two children, one of whom, James L., is dead. The other, a bright and interesting little girl, is named Susa. Mr. Olive is one of the leading citizens of this place, as well as a successful merchant, and is deeply interested in the welfare of his community. He is now serving a term as school director, being secretary of the board, and is also alderman of the town. He is a member of the Baptist Church.

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This family biography is one of 44 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Lafayette County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Lafayette County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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