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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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Edwin R. Freeman, whose success as a farmer is proverbial, was born in the State of Tennessee, in 1831, and is a son of James A. Freeman, of North Carolina, who was one of the pioneers of Tennessee, and was known as having built the first chimney in what is now Dyersville. After submitting to the dangers and hardships of an early settler’s life, the elder Freeman moved to Arkansas in 1849, but the following year returned to Tennessee, where he died in 1850. On September 15, 1851, Edwin R., in company with his brother James and sister Annie, moved to Mississippi County, Ark., and settled in Chickasawba Township, where they bought and entered some 247 acres of unimproved land. They immediately began to cultivate the soil, and make a great many improvements, and also started in the business of raising hogs. In 1854, they had a drove of 350 hogs, and from that period began to farm and raise stock on an extensive scale; they also helped to erect the first corn-mill put up in this township. In 1857, Edwin R. was married to Miss Matilda Hutchins, a daughter of one of the old settlers of Mississippi County, but lost his wife in 1860. Two children were born to this marriage: Susan Ann (deceased), and Thomas, who is married and residing in this county. Mr. Freeman contracted a second marriage, in 1861, with Miss Allina Hutchins, a sister of his first wife, and to this union were born five children: Nixon, married and living in Missouri; Edwin R., Jr.; Martha Jane, wife of Harry Springer, living in Missouri; Charlie and Alice. In 1862, Mr. Freeman enlisted in the Confederate army, and was assigned to duty on the Arkansas River. He was engaged in many sharp skirmishes, but no regular battles, as his duty was principally scouting, in which he was an adept. He returned home about the time of the surrender, and as the war had stripped him of everything he possessed, he was compelled to begin life anew. He commenced farming, and with the aid of a determined will soon placed himself in an independent position again, and now owns about seventy-one acres of fine land, all under cultivation, having given his children about as much more. Mr. Freeman brought the first cotton seed that was ever planted in this county, and after raising that plant upon a small tract of land in 1852, it became a nine days’ wonder to the neighboring farmers. In 1859 he brought 100 bushels of cotton seed from Tennessee, and distributed it among the farmers of that vicinity, and the cotton now grown upon the land averages a bale to the acre. Judge Daniels, a brother-in-law of Mr. Freeman, erected the first cotton-gin in Mississippi County, and his brother James was one of the projectors of the Barfield road in 1853.

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This family biography is one of 162 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Mississippi County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Mississippi County, Arkansas family biographies here: Mississippi County, Arkansas Biographies

View a map of 1889 Mississippi County, Arkansas here: Mississippi County, Arkansas Map

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