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Below is a family biography included in The History of Barry County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  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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Lorenz J. Blankenship was born in Lee County, Va., on April 4, 1820, and is a son of Wilkinson and Naomi (Moncey) Blankenship. Wilkinson Blankenship was born in Russell County, Va., in 1796, and is a son of Arthur Blankenship, a native of North Carolina, who immigrated to Virginia. The latter was familiar with many of the scenes of the Revolutionary War. He was a farmer, miller, blacksmith and tanner, and died after the close of the Civil War in Lee County, Va., leaving a very large estate. Wilkinson Blankenship was married in Virginia. He and wife were born in the same house, there being but six months difference in their ages. They became the parents of several children, five of whom grew to maturity. In 1840 Wilkinson Blankenship came with his family to Missouri, locating in Polk County. He was a farmer and bricklayer. He died in Montgomery County, Mo., in 1863, and his wife died in 1885, aged eighty-five years. Lorenz J. Blankenship is a natural mechanic, and has never failed in any of his mechanical undertakings. He made his start in life as a plasterer and bricklayer, at which he became very proficient. He erected the first brick house in Polk County, Mo., in 1842. His first speculation was in the Christian County carding and milling establishment, but as he had a partner addicted to the use of strong drink, he soon became dissatisfied, and sold his share in the business and came to Barry County, Mo. Here, in 1851, he entered into the carding business near Cassville, erecting his own buildings. He ran a successful business for four years, when he sold out and came to his present location at Corsicana, and again engaged in the milling and carding industry. He put up the first smut-mill in the county. During his life he has built five carding machines, three mills and owned thousands of acres of land, and although he has done business to the amount of several thousands of dollars, he has never asked for credit. He built the first hotel in Eureka Springs, Ark., a frame building; also the first brick building in Eureka Springs, Ark., in the years 1880-81. It is of a V shape, four stories high, and at present occupied by the Eureka Bank, Adams Express office, law office, telegraph office, etc. On his farm he has five large fish ponds, well stocked with German carp. In 1850 Mr. Blankenship was united in marriage with Martha Garrison, a native of Tennessee, and to them have been born eight children who are still living, viz.: Mary L. (Mrs. John McNatt), Elihu, Alice (Mrs. H. R. Williams), John R., Dow, U. S. G., Arminta (Mrs. Lafayette Swindle) and Emma. Mr. Blankenship is a man of perfect habits, and he and family are highly respected by all who know them. They are communicants of the Christian Church.

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This family biography is one of 103 biographies included in The History of Barry County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Barry County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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