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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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John B. McKnight, farmer of Johnson Township, Little River County. He whose name heads this sketch is well known in the agricultural circles of this section, and to the many readers of this volume, a brief outline of his life will prove interesting. Originally from South Carolina, he was born in 1843, the fourth of seven children born to Thomas McKnight and wife, nee Mary Morrow. They were among the leading families of South Carolina, where, previous to the war, the father owned a large plantation and a number of slaves, which, however, were all swept away in the struggle, leaving him comparatively poor. He died in his native State, in 1868, his wife having passed away in 1862. John B. McKnight was reared to man hood and educated in York County (his birthplace), and at the age of twenty years, enlisted in Company B, Twelfth South Carolina Regiment, and was assigned to the Army of Northern Virginia. He was in a number of engagements, among them being the seven days' fight around Richmond, Manassas, and at the battles of the Wilderness, Sharpsburg and Gettysburg. At the latter battle he served as a non-commissioned officer; was wounded in the right knee at the battle of Manassas, and at the battle of the Wilderness was captured and sent to Fort Delaware, where he was retained until the close of the war. After the surrender he returned home, and finding himself a financial wreck, he set to work to repair his fallen fortunes, and to that end rented land and engaged in agricultural pursuits. He tilled the soil with good success until 1867, when he left his native State, and chose a location in Jefferson County, Ark. Here he rented land, and farmed for two years. In 1870 he moved to Hempstead County, locating northwest of Washington, where he took charge of Dr. Williamson's plantation for two years. In 1873 he took charge of, and managed A. O. Stewart's plantation for five years, and in 1878 he and L. R. Muldron purchased a plantation, known as the Moore plantation, and for the next five years he was occupied in cultivating this. He then worked Edward Jett's plantation for six years, and then purchased a plantation in the county, consisting of 200 acres, with 100 acres under a fine state of cultivation, which he farmed very successfully until 1889, raising annually about forty bales of cotton. At the above-mentioned date he leased a farm in the Red River bottoms, in this county, of about 600 acres, on which he raises an average of two-thirds of a bale per acre, his crop for 1889 being 185 bales of cotton. He still retains his farm in Hempstead County. Mr. McKnight has never been married. He is a very public-spirited gentleman, and at all times takes a deep interest in the welfare of the county, contributing liberally to all laudable public enterprises.

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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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