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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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R. F. Smedley, farmer, Murfreesboro, Ark. Personal popularity, it cannot be denied, results largely from the industry, perseverance and close attention to business which a person displays in the management of any particular branch of trade, and in the case of Mr. Smedley this is certainly true, for he has adhered so closely to farming, and has aided in so many ways to advance all worthy interests in this community, that he is held in the highest esteem. He is a typical Arkansas farmer, substantial, enterprising and progressive. His birth occurred in Pike County in 1860, and he is the fourth of nine children born to William R. and M. Smedley, natives of Tennessee. The parents came to Arkansas in 1859, settled in Pike County, and purchased a farm in the northern part of it. After remaining there a year they removed to Murfreesboro, and the father opened a hotel and saloon, which he carried on until after the war. He then returned to farming, and for several years carried on his trade, that of tanner. In 1875 he bought a farm south of Murfreesboro, where he resided until his death, in 1877. The mother is still living and resides on the old farm. R. F. Smedley, as soon as old enough, was taught the duties of the farm, and after his father’s death took charge of the home place, assisting his mother in rearing the younger children. He remained at home until twenty-two years of age, and in 1885 was married to Mrs. Adelia Davis (nee Evans), who bore him three children: Maud, Oscar (who died in infancy), and David Marcus. Mrs. Smedley had by her former marriage two children: James Oliver (deceased), and Martha Lucinda. Mr. Smedley owns a farm of 375 acres, 150 acres of which are under cultivation, has cleared thirty acres of this and is working at it all the time. He has a good frame building, four tenant houses, and will average one-half bale of cotton to the acre. The family resides in Murfreesboro.

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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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