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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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J. E. Felts, a physician of Osceola, was born in East Tennessee, in 1817, being the third in a family of four children born to Tilman and Rebecca (Ellis) Felts. The father was a carpenter by trade, and also followed farming. The paternal grandfather was a native of Germany, and came to this country before its independence, serving seven years during the Revolutionary War. He died at an old age in Sussex County, Va. Tilman Felts was a pioneer settler of Kentucky, locating in Warren County, near Bowling Green, where he remained till 1836, and then removed to Jackson’s purchase, Hickman County, making it his home till 1856. Then he came to Arkansas to live with our subject. He died in Mississippi County, in 1857, at the age of eighty-four. Young Felts spent his youth in Kentucky, remaining at home till eighteen years of age, when he moved to Hickman County, and began farming. In 1839 he married Miss Eliza Pickett, a native of Tennessee, after which he entered upon the study of medicine, under Dr. J. A. Wording, at Columbus. He studied and practiced with this doctor for three years, and then began practicing for himself in the same place, where he remained till 1855, when he came to Arkansas, and located at Mill Bayou, in this county. Resuming farming on rented land, he also followed the practice of his profession till 1868, when he moved to Osceola, where he has since made his home, enjoying an extensive practice till 1875, when failing health caused him to practically retire. Dr. Felts has always been active in the political affairs of Mississippi County. In 1878 he was elected county judge, and served for two years; also acting as deputy clerk in 1881 and deputy sheriff from 1883 to 1886. He has seen many changes in these years, and has taken part in most of those that promised to promote the welfare of this section. He had two sons who served in the Confederate army: David C, who was a member of Capt. E. H. Fletcher’s company, and William T., who was a member of Capt. Grider’s company. David was taken prisoner, and died at Nashville in 1862. William served till the close. To the union of Dr. and Mrs. Felts, who have been married now nearly fifty-one years, were born the following children : David C., Sarah Jane and William T., all deceased; Martha C., wife of H. M. Pope, residing at Nodena; Mary E., wife of John Pierce, living at Caruthersville; John E., deceased, and Daniel H., married, and residing in Dunklin County, Mo. Dr. and Mrs. Felts are members of the Baptist Church of Osceola. Dr. Felts belongs to Osceola Lodge No. 27, A. F. & A. M., and Osceola Chapter No. 57. He has held nearly all the offices in both lodge and chapter. He is enjoying the autumn days in the declining years of an active and well-spent life among the friends whom he has served so long, esteemed and respected by all.

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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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