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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Polk County, Arkansas published by Southern Publishing Company in 1891.  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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M. A. Dilbeck. Among the many sturdy and energetic agriculturists of Polk County, Ark., who have attained their property by hard labor and economy, may be mentioned Mr. Dilbeck, who was born in Lumpkin County, Ga., in 1840, a son of John and Salina (Goss) Dilbeck, the former born in North Carolina and the latter in Georgia, their marriage taking place in the latter State, where they lived until about 1851, when they came to Polk County, Ark., and settled on Big Fork. Here Mr. Dilbeck made his home until his death in August, 1890, his widow surviving him, both having been members of the Missionary Baptist Church for a great many years. Mr. Dilbeck was a wagon-master in the Confederate Army, and at the battle of Wilson’s Creek, Mo., was captured. His father, David Dilbeck, died in Georgia, a farmer. The mother’s father, Benjamin Goss, came to Polk County, Ark., before the Rebellion, and passed from life on his farm on Big Fork. The subject of this sketch is the eldest of seven children, but received but very little schooling. In 1850 he was married to Eliza, daughter of Fleming and Mary A. Bates, North Carolinians, who first moved to South Carolina, then to Georgia, and in 1853 to Polk County, Ark., where the mother’s death occurred in 1884, and the father’s in 1882, the latter being a minister of the Primitive Baptist Church. Mrs. Dilbeck was born in Georgia, and has borne her husband ten children, five sons and two daughters now living. In 1862 Mr. Dilbeck joined Company C, Fourth Arkansas Infantry, and fought at Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, the Atlanta campaign, Franklin, Nashville and Mobile, after which he rejoined Johnston, with whom he remained until the final surrender. On his way home the train was wrecked in East Tennessee, and both of his arms were broken. He lived in Big Fork Township until 1876, but since that time his home has been in Mountain Township. He is the owner of three good farms on each of which is an excellent steam cotton-gin, saw and grist mill, the steam-mill on his home place being the first erected in this vicinity. He is the wealthiest man in the township, and his property is all the result of his own unaided efforts. Socially he is a member of Cherry Hill Lodge No. 167 of the A. F. & A. M., and also belongs to the Farmers’ Alliance. His wife belongs to the United Baptist Church.

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This family biography is one of 32 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Polk County, Arkansas published in 1891.  For the complete description, click here: Polk County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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