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Below is a family biography included in The History of Sebastian 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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Jeremiah P. Durden, treasurer of Sebastian County, Ark., is a native of Muscogee County, Ga., and was born July 15, 1841, being a son of Asa R. and Nancy (Ransom) Durden. Asa R. Durden was born in Northeastern Georgia, in 1795, and was of Irish-English descent. He was a mechanic and carpenter in early life, but later followed the farmer’s occupation. In 1849 he moved to Barbour County, Ala., where he passed the remainder of his life. He died in 1858. His wife was born in Northeastern Georgia, is yet living, and is residing with her children in Sebastian County, Ark., coming here in 1885. Of the eleven children born to her marriage eight are now living, and Jeremiah P. Durden is the seventh in order of birth. He attained his growth on the farm, and remained with his mother until twenty-four years of age. March 10, 1862, he enlisted in Company A, Forty-fifth Alabama Regiment, Infantry Volunteers, and participated in the battles of Murfreesboro, Missionary Ridge, Chickamauga, Jonesboro, Resaca and Springhill, Tenn. At the battle of Murfreesboro he was wounded in the right leg by a rifle-ball, and was absent from command sixty days. He was again wounded at Springhill, Tenn., November 29, 1864, being struck in the left leg by a minie-ball below the knee, but the wound was so severe that in March, 1865, amputation was necessary to save his life. He was held in prison until June, 1865, when he was sent to the prison hospital at Nashville, Tenn. He remained there until the latter part of July, when he was released, and in the fall returned to Alabama. After the war he attended school, and in 1867 engaged in the teacher’s profession, teaching in Alabama until 1872, when he immigrated to Sebastian County, Ark., and located six miles east of the county seat, where he resumed teaching. He continued this for two years, and in 1874 was appointed deputy assessor of Sebastian County, and in 1875 he was elected county assessor at a special election. He was re-elected in 1876, 1878 and 1880 to the same position, serving in all eight years. The four years after this he followed farming, and in 1886 he was elected county treasurer of Sebastian County, Ark., his majority being over 1,300, thus forcibly showing his popularity among the people. Mr. Durden is a fine business man and a good citizen. He is the owner of 300 acres of land, and is a successful farmer. In 1868 he married Miss Martha R. Thames, who was born in Sumter County, Ga., in 1844. Eight children were born to this marriage: Pruett (who was killed accidentally by being struck by a base-ball bat at Fayetteville, Ark., June 24, 1888, at the age of eighteen years), Harman, Reuben O., Eula F. (deceased, who died at the age of one year), John J., Lemuel P., Ida L. and Abbie M. Mr. Durden is a member of the K. of H., also a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, south, and he is Democratic in his political views. Mrs. Durden is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and Democratic also.

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This family biography is one of 217 biographies included in The History of Sebastian County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Sebastian County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Sebastian County, Arkansas family biographies here: Sebastian County, Arkansas

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