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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 Read, a leading merchant of Rocky Comfort, Ark., owes his nativity to Huntsville, Ala., where he opened his eyes to this world on October 12, 1821, being the son of Edmond Read and wife, nee Edna Harvey, natives of North Carolina. The former moved from his native State to Alabama in early life, and there made his home for a number of years, but in 1824, when John was about three years of age, he moved to Rutherford County, Tenn., and departed this life in Bedford County, that State, in 1866. During his life he was occupied in farming, a calling in which he was eminently successful. The paternal grandfather, David Read, was born in North Carolina. The subject of this sketch is one of a family of nine children—two sons and seven daughters—born to their marriage, their names being: William R., Martha L., Sarah A. L., Betsy A., John, Dorothea A., Susan A. L., Melinda J. and Matilda A., the two latter being twins. John Read was educated in the common schools of Rutherford County, Tenn., where he attained his growth. December 26, 1839, witnessed his marriage with Miss Mary E. Spain, a native of Tennessee, who passed to her final home on August 10, 1864, and on November 30, following, he formed a matrimonial alliance with Miss Mary Elizabeth Campbell, his present wife. She was born in Lauderdale County, Ala., October 22, 1846, and was the youngest of eight children born to James E. and Alsa (Reader) Campbell, natives of Tennessee and South Carolina respectively, both of whom died in this county. Having no children of their own, Mr. and Mrs. Read have taken three orphaned nieces to their home and are rearing them to honest womanhood. Their names are: Leona Davis (Mrs. Read's sister's child), and Mally and Mattie Campbell (her brother's children). When Mr. Read first came to Arkansas, in December, 1861, he chose a location in Monroe County, but after making his home there for two years, he came to Little River County, and in September, 1863, he took up his residence in this county, and has ever since been prominently identified with its material interests. In 1868 he was appointed county treasurer, and stepped out of that office at the end of four years to accept that of sheriff, to which he had been elected in November, 1872. He discharged the duties of this latter office in a highly satisfactory manner, and at the end of his term was re-elected by a large majority. He has also acted in several official capacities, and for one term served as justice of the peace, of Red River Township. He was formerly a Whig in politics, and cast his first presidential vote for Henry Clay, but since the reorganization of that party, he has been a stanch Republican. In June, 1869, Mr. Read embarked in the saw-mill business, and this occupied his attention until 1872, when he disposed of his milling interests. He opened up his mercantile establishment in Rocky Comfort, in 1878, and he has successfully conducted this ever since, and he now enjoys a liberal trade with Rocky Comfort and the surrounding country. He carries a stock and securities valued at $40,000, and in addition to merchandising, is a large cotton buyer. Besides these interests, he owns several town lots, and is acting as agent for a Mr. Charles, managing about 900 acres of land. He and wife are both members of the Christian Church.

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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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