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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Little River 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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Dr. J. T. Butler, the present efficient postmaster of Richmond, was born in Overton County, Tenn., in 1841, but educated in Cassville, Barry County, Mo., whither his parents had moved while he was quite small. He was a son of James M. and Elizabeth (French) Butler, both of whom were natives of Tennessee. The father was a black smith and bell-maker by occupation, and worked at his trade in Tennessee for a number of years, but he subsequently moved to Cassville, Mo., and there died in 1854. After his death the widow married Q. B. Odell, with whom she came to Arkansas, and took up a residence in Carroll County, Ark., and here he passed from life in 1803. She afterward became the wife of Aaron Fitzgerald, with whom she passed her life, dying in this State in 1884. Of the four children born to her first marriage, but two survive: J. T. (our subject, and brunette, wife of D. A. Cobb, of this county). J. T. Butler first came to Arkansas in 1849, being brought here by his parents, who only remained one year, and then moved to Cassville. In 1856 he accompanied his mother and step-father to this State, and made his home with them in Carroll County, until the commencement of the war in 1861. On June 13, of that year he joined the State Service, in which he remained for three months, and during this time was engaged in the battle of Wilson's Creek. At this place he was taken sick, and for six months was unfit for military duty. Meantime his family had removed to Scott County, this State, and when able to again bear arms, he joined Capt. Acuff' s company of cavalry, which was a part of Maj. Gibson's battalion, but was afterward dismounted and commanded by Col. A. T. Hawthorne, and served until the close of the war. During this time he was at the battles of Cane Hill, Helena, and Jenkins' Ferry, on April 30, 1864. At this latter battle he lost his left arm, and being unfit for field duty was placed on the retired list, and afterward served as drill master. He enlisted as private, but was afterward elected lieutenant, and at the time of his last engagement had command of his company. On May 20, 1864, he came to this place and took up his residence, studying medicine under Dr. F. M. Mottu. In the fall of 1865 he moved to Bowie County, Tex., but practiced his profession there for only one year, and then returned to this county, and here he studied and practiced medicine with the intention of entering a medical college, until 1870. It was at this time he met with an accident which completely upset all his calculations, his injuries being of such a nature as to disqualify him for his chosen profession. Disheartened, he engaged as a clerk in the large house of Mims & McCrary, and was thus occupied for three years, and for two years acted as manager of their large farm on Red River. From that time until 1889, he has been engaged in the steam-mill business, in connection with farming, but at the above-mentioned date he was appointed postmaster of Richmond, and has ever since been discharging the duties of that office. During his residence here he has been justice of the peace, deputy clerk, and has filled various other positions of trust. In 1872 he moved to the farm on which he now resides, close to the village, consisting of ninety-five acres, with thirty-five acres finely improved; he also owns 160 acres in Red River Valley, and on the hills he owns 110 acres, with forty acres improved. He has been damaged considerably by fire at different times, at one time losing two mills and cotton-gins, and again having his residence on which there was no insurance, totally destroyed; but notwithstanding these losses he has been very successful, having accumulated all his property since the war. His marriage to Miss Maggie A. Head (daughter of James A. Head, mention of whom is made elsewhere) was consummated on May 19, 1866, and their marriage resulted in the birth of one child (deceased). The Doctor is an elder in the Old School Presbyterian Church, of which both he and wife are worthy members. He belongs to the A. F. & A. M., and in politics is a very prominent Democrat.

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This family biography is one of 38 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Little River County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Little River County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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