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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Pike 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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Jim P. Copeland, planter and minister of Pike County, Ark., is a native of Arkansas, born in Pope County, May 8, 1837. His father, a farmer and school teacher by occupation, was born in 1801, and August 9, 1825, was married to Miss Sarah Webb, a native of Tennessee, born in 1803, and the results of this union were eleven children, viz.: Newton W., Paulina D., David M. (deceased), Sarah V., Jim P., Meredith W., Minerva K., Mary M. (deceased), Harriet W., John W. (deceased) and Elizabeth (deceased). In 1828 he emigrated from Tennessee to Pope County, where he took up land and began farming. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Pisgah Lodge No. 250. He served in the Mexican War, in Capt. Moffit’s company, Yell’s regiment, and participated in the battles at Cerro Gordo and Buena Vista. In his political views, he was a stanch Democrat. He and wife were both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in which he has held office as steward and class-leader for a number of years, and was one of the charter members of the church at Sulphur Springs. His wife died October 17, 1873, but Mr. Copeland is still living at the advanced age of eighty-nine years, in good health, although he has been totally blind since 1876. His son, the immediate subject of this sketch, was reared and educated in Pope County, attending the common country schools. January 11, 1857, he married Miss Minerva Corethers, a native of Pope County, and a daughter of Andrew N. and Frances Corethers, and the same year purchased 100 acres of good land, and settled down to farming. In 1861 he enlisted in the late war, in the Confederate cause, under Gen, Churchill, in Company I, First Arkansas, McNair’s brigade, and participated in many severely fought battles, among the principal ones being Oak Hill, Elkhorn, Corinth, Richmond, Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga (where he was wounded through the left arm), Dug Gap, and Resaca. At one place he had his right leg broken. He was then paroled by Col. Stevens, and returned home, and in 1865 emigrated to Dallas County, where he remained until 1870, when he moved to Pike County, purchased 240 acres of land, and commenced farming, and preaching the gospel, being the first minister who had an established home in this county. He was one of the charter members, and assisted in organizing the churches at Pisgah and Brockton. He is a minister in the Missionary Baptist Church, of which his entire family are members. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Copeland has resulted in the birth of eleven children, viz.: Eudora S. (deceased), Mary A., Jim P., Jr., John S., William D., Robert T. (deceased), Patrick H., Guss Garland, Sallie F., Hicks H. and Minnie M. Mr. Copeland owns one of the finest and best stocked farms in Pike County, consisting of 1,200 acres of good land. He is a Royal Arch Mason, belonging to Pisgah Lodge No. 250. He has taken a deep interest in the politics of his county, and has served as sheriff for four years. In 1884 he was elected to the Lower House, and in 1886 to the Senate. He is one of the representative men of the county, and is highly respected by all in the community.

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This family biography is one of 71 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Pike County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Pike County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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