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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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John T. Stevens, merchant and miller, Murfreesboro, Ark. In the development and growth of Pike County and its continued advance to a community of wealth and influence in the county, Mr. Stevens has borne a prominent part. His career through life has been one of success, and he is to day acknowledged as one of the first-class business men of Murfreesboro. He was born in Mississippi in 1859, and is the second in a family of four children born to T. P. D. and Mary (Taylor) Stevens, natives of Mississippi. The parents came to Arkansas in 1875, settled in Prescott in March of the next year, and later came to Pike County. The mother died in 1862. The father is now living on a farm three and one-half miles east of town, and is a successful agriculturist. It fell to the lot of John T. Stevens to grow up with a farm experience, and until sixteen years of age he tilled the soil and attended the common schools. He then began farming for himself, and in 1878 was married to Miss Mary F. Smedley, a native of Tennessee, and the daughter of William and Minerva Smedley, old settlers of Tennessee, who came to Arkansas just before the war. Mrs. Smedley is still living. In 1883 Mr. Stevens went to Texas, worked on the railroad a short time, and in 1884 returned to Pike County, where he resumed agricultural pursuits. In 1887 he bought the large mill and cotton-gin at Murfreesboro, with a capacity of twenty-five bales, as he is about to put in another gin. In partnership with J. D. Owens, he erected a large store-house in Murfreesboro in 1889, 20x80 feet, at a cost of $640, and after conducting this for a short time sold out to Mr. Davis, but in February, 1890, repurchased a half interest. The result of his marriage was the birth of five children—three deceased: Willie, Anna L. (deceased), John Henry (deceased), an infant daughter (unnamed), and the eldest child (who died unnamed). Mr. Stevens is not particularly active politically, but was elected justice of the peace in 1888. He is a worker for the cause of education, and is a man who has made all his property by individual effort.

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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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