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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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Hon. Henry T. Blythe, a prominent citizen of Blythesville, was born in Virginia in 1816, being the fourth in the family of ten children of John and Elizabeth (Cobb) Blythe, natives of Southampton County, Va., where the father followed farming. In 1826 the family moved to Henry County, Tenn., bought a farm and were among the pioneers to that county. The father put many improvements on his place, and made it his home mostly till his death in 1839. The mother survived him several years and died about 1845. Henry T.’s paternal grandfather, also John Blythe, was a native of Scotland, and emigrated to Virginia from that country before the independence of the United States. He served a portion of the time in the Revolutionary War. The maternal grandmother was a native of Virginia. This man was one of four brothers, one of whom, David, was the grandfather of Thomas H. Blythe, who died in California in 1883. Our subject was reared on the farm in Virginia till ten years of age, when the family moved to Tennessee, and there he attended the common schools till eighteen years of age, when he went to Mississippi, spending about six years in the early settlement of the northern part of that State, a part of the time being among the Indians. In 1841 he returned to Tennessee and settled in Lauderdale County, where he followed farm labor. About twelve years later he came to Arkansas and located on Crooked Lake, Mississippi County, settling on a farm in the woods, and cleared about sixty acres, erected buildings and made many improvements. This was his home till 1873, when he moved on a tract of land previously purchased in partnership with Mr. Moseley in 1864. This is the tract upon which he now lives, and where the town of Blythesville has since been built. Upon the small clearing then made he at once built a steam saw-mill and gin — the first steam mill in this section. He has since added about 300 acres to this place, and now has a fine tract of 500 acres of some of the best farming land in the county. Of this 185 acres are under a high state of cultivation. In 1880 he laid off a tract for a village, which was named in his honor, Blythesville. He was soon appointed the first postmaster, and served in that capacity till the summer of 1889, a term of nearly nine years. Mr. Blythe’s saw-mill and cotton-gin were the first business enterprises here, where now are several stores, and the pleasant homes of many families. In 1886 Mr. Blythe was elected by the people of Mississippi County to represent them in the State legislature, serving one term. During this time he introduced several bills of importance to the State at large. This family from remote times have been earnest workers in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and our subject was reared under Methodist influence. In 1841 he was given a license as an exhorter, and was a constant worker in the church till 1862, when he was granted a preacher’s license; in due time after this he was made deacon and elder, which offices he still fills. In 1875 he was instrumental in building a church at Blythesville, which still retains the name of Blythe’s Chapel, so christened in honor of the recognized patronage of our subject. He has been married five times, and has had nine children, seven of whom are yet living. His first marriage occurred in 1842, to Miss Mary Jane Fisher, a native of Tennessee. She died in 1844, leaving one child, a boy named William W., who died soon after. His second marriage was, in 1851, to Miss Elizabeth Willis. She lived only about one year, and died without issue. In 1854 Mrs. Julia A. Young, a native of Tennessee, became his wife. She died in Arkansas in 1865 without children. In 1868 Mr. Blythe married Mrs. Amanda Drew, a native of Georgia, who only lived about one year and left one child, Margaret Ann; the latter also died in her fourteenth year. In 1871 Mrs. Millie E. Murry became Mr. Blythe’s wife. This lady was a native of Alabama. To their union seven children were born, all of whom are living: Alice F., Henrietta J., Emma F., Eva Harris, Henry Thomas, Nola Ada and John Wesley. This interesting family is the pride of our subject’s heart. Coming to him when the weight of years bore with a heavy hand upon his head, these children renewed his youth, for in their merriment he threw a bridge across the gulf of time, and lived again in fancy the freedom of a child. As years have come and gone these little ones have all passed through infancy and youth to maturer years, and are now developing in character and mind, with a purity in which a parent’s heart can rejoice, proving sources of the greatest comfort. They are justly esteemed by all who know them for their pleasing manners and their winning ways. In the summer of 1889 Mr. Blythe spent three months in the State of California, but in his journey through other localities he saw no place that pleased him so well as his home in Arkansas. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, was one of the charter members of Chickasawba Lodge No. 134, and was a member of the committee sent to secure the charter from the Grand Lodge of the State.

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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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