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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Ouachita 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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Eli Lide Dawson, M. D., is a leading physician of Buena Vista, and of Marion Township. The South Carolina branch of the Dawson family has been and is distinguished throughout the South for its wealth and culture, numbering among its members and being connected in matrimonial relations with many of the old planters and leading men in business and politics throughout that State, and retaining much of the old time spirit, which esteems with just pride the memory of a virtuous and honorable ancestry. The founder of this branch of the family was John Dawson, who was born April 14, 1735, at Rowell, Westmoreland, England, and who emigrated to the American colonies and settled in South Carolina, previous to 1759, locating at Charleston, where he engaged in the mercantile business, becoming one of the leading and most popular merchants of that city, also owning several large and extensive plantations. He was one of the leading men, in politics, of that State, and was a member of the South Carolina Conventions of May, 1788, which adopted the Federal Constitution of the United States. He died May 7, 1812, leaving a large estate. Mr. Dawson was married in South Carolina, October 9, 1760, to Miss Joanna Broughton Monch. She was born at Milton Plantation, Parish of St. John, Berkeley, S. C, October 7, 1743, and was the daughter of Col. Thomas Monch, and granddaughter of Col. Thomas Broughton. She died July 5, 1819, leaving eleven children, all now deceased, viz.: Mabel, Joanna M., John, Mary, Thomas, Elizabeth, Anna, William, Martha, Lawrence M. and Charles P. John Dawson was born at Charleston, S.C., July 8, 1765. He became a large merchant, and filled several public offices in his native city, with great credit and honor to himself. He was elected mayor of Charleston in 1806, and held the office three years. He was also one of the trustees of the Orphan Asylum, and on account of his benevolence to the poor, was called the “Howard of Charleston.” In 1811 he became cashier of the State Bank of Charleston, which position he held until his death, which occurred June 3, 1823. It is said that when a boy of fifteen he ran away from home and joined the continental army, under Gen. Greene, shortly before the battle of Eutaw Springs, in which he took part. His father wrote to Gen. Greene, who sought him out and caused him to be sent home. He was married, November 17, 1788, to Miss Mary Huger, daughter of Col. John Huger, of Huguenot descent, who was a man of large wealth, and filled many positions of honor in society, and who was one of the members of the Council of Safety for the Province of South Carolina, which was composed of twelve of the most prominent gentlemen of the province, nominated and appointed by the Provincial Congress, in 1775. Mrs. Dawson died November 11, 1823, leaving twelve children, the sixth of whom, Lawrence Edwin, is the grandfather of the subject of this sketch. He was born in Charleston, December 9, 1799. He studied law under Col. William Drayton, of South Carolina, and was admitted to the bar January 12, 1821; he was also a graduate of Judge Gould’s Law School, of Litchfield. He practiced in Charleston until 1829, when he removed to Beaufort District, near Coosawhatchie, where he was engaged in practicing his profession, until he was forced to abandon a very heavy and lucrative practice, on account of ill health, in 1834. He then removed to St. John’s Parish, Berkeley, where he was occupied in agricultural and literary pursuits until 1842, when he emigrated to Alabama, and at the time of his death had acquired a large and lucrative practice. He was several times a member of the South Carolina Legislature, and in 1833-34 was offered the nomination as Congressman from his district, which he declined, preferring the profession to which he had been reared, and the ease and happiness of domestic life. He was a State’s Rights man, and in the exciting contests which resulted in nullification, gave the weight of his influence and talents to what he conscientiously believed to be the true doctrine of the constitution. He was a communicant of the Episcopal Church from his seventeenth year, and as he lived, so he died, February 8, 1848, in his forty-ninth year, a devoted member of that church. He was gifted with a fine and manly person, was tall and well formed, and possessed of features exceedingly striking and attractive. Mr. Dawson was married, in 1826, to Miss Mary Wilkinson Rhodes, of Beaufort, S. C, born January 8, 1808, eldest daughter of Dr. Nathaniel H. Rhodes, and granddaughter of Paul Hamilton, ex-governor of South Carolina and secretary of the United States navy under President Madison. Mrs. Dawson died June 6, 1851, leaving six children, Lawrence Edwin Dawson, the fourth of the family, being the father of our subject. He was born in Beaufort District, S. C, June 20, 1831, and married, in January, 1853, Caroline E. Lide, daughter of Eli H. Lide, Esq., of Dallas County, Ala. Eli Lide Dawson, the subject of this sketch, was the second son in a family of nine children, and was born January 3, 1856, in this township, on the farm on which his father first settled on coming to this country. He received a common school education, after which he worked on his father’s farm until he was twenty-five years of age; then, in November, 1881, he went to New Orleans and attended the Medical Department of the University of Louisiana (now called the Tulane University), from which he graduated March 29, 1883, having taken two full courses. He then returned to this township, and has been engaged in the practice of medicine in the community in which he was born, until the fall of 1887, when he went to Philadelphia and took a course in the Jefferson Medical College, and from which he graduated April 4, 1888. Since that time he has been engaged in the practice of his chosen profession in this township. Dr. Dawson is a member of the Baptist Church. He owns twenty-five acres of land in Buena Vista, on which he lives. He, also, in partnership with his brother, John Huger Dawson, of this township, has some 1,500 acres of land in this township, of which about 300 acres are under cultivation. The balance is fine timber, mostly pine and white and black oak. Dr. Dawson is a Democrat, but devotes all of his time to his chosen profession, for which he has been rewarded by having the respect and confidence of the community.

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This family biography is one of 91 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Ouachita County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Ouachita County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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