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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Randolph County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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W. T. Bispham, circuit clerk, Pocahontas, Ark. The subject of this sketch needs no introduction to the people of Randolph County, for a long residence, and, above all, a career of usefulness and prominence, have given him an acquaintance which shall last for many years. He is a native of Westmoreland County, Va., born in 1841, and is the son of John F. and Martha C. (Templeman) Bispham, both of whom were born in the same county in Virginia. The paternal grandfather, William Bispham, was a native of Lancaster, England, and came to America with an older brother, when a child. He was a successful agriculturist, and died in Richmond County, Va., about 1852. The maternal grandfather, Samuel Templeman, was a native of Virginia, a minister in the Baptist Church, and was in the Home Guards during the War of 1812. He was one of the early settlers of Virginia. John F. Bispham was a successful agriculturist and followed this occupation until his death in 1872 at the age of fifty-two years. The mother died in 1870, at about fifty-four years of age. Both were members of the Baptist Church, and the father was for many years a deacon in the same. Both took a great interest in church work. They reared to maturity a family of five children, W. T. Bispham being the eldest. John H. was a soldier in the Ninth Virginia, Confederate army, and was killed at the battle of Hatch’s Run; Robert A. is a carpenter in Washington, D. C.; Samuel T. is a coach maker by trade, and resides in the District of Columbia; Emma died in 1875, and Lou H. married James May, and resides in Washington, D. C. W. T. Bispham remained on the farm until sixteen years of age, and received his education in the private schools. At that age his father engaged in merchandising and W. T. acted in the capacity of clerk, continuing as such until the breaking out of the war. In April, 1861, he enlisted in Company C, Montrose Guards, attached to the Forty-seventh Virginia Regiment, Confederate Army, and served until the close of the war. He participated in the battle of Seven Oaks, and was in the entire Richmond Campaign, at Cedar Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and was appointed commissary of his regiment after the last mentioned battle. After the war he returned to merchandising in Virginia. His father was at that time sheriff of Westmoreland County, which office he held a number of terms, and W. T. was made deputy sheriff, filling this position for about a year. In March, 1867, he moved to Brownsville, Tenn., and entered the employ of Yancey, Wilder & Co., merchants, as salesman. In January, 1868, he accepted the agency of the Carolina Life Insurance Company, and finally located in Randolph County, Ark., and engaged in teaching school, after which he became salesman in a store for Levi Hecht, of Pocahontas and continued in this capacity for a few months, when he engaged as book-keeper for E. B. Burr & Co. This position he held until July, 1869, when he again resumed the position as local agent for the insurance business, and continued that about a year. He then engaged as book-keeper for J. P. Black & Co. In 1872 he went to Walnut Ridge, Ark., and kept books until the fall of 1873, when he returned to his native State and remained there and taught in the public schools until the fall of 1877; then returning to Pocahontas, he kept books for R. N. Hamil, merchant, until 1885, when he engaged with L. E. Imboden in the same capacity, and remained in that position until 1886. He was then elected clerk and recorder of Randolph County, Ark., and has held that office ever since, being re-elected without opposition by the people of his county in 1888. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, a Royal Arch Mason and member of the Knights of Honor. He is unmarried.

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This family biography is one of 110 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Randolph County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Randolph County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Randolph County, Arkansas family biographies here: Randolph County, Arkansas Biographies

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