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Below is a family biography included in The History of Jefferson 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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J. W. Garrison, general merchant of Hillsboro, and a native of Georgia, was born in 1842, and is the son of Saulsbury Garrison and Sarah (Brawner) Garrison, natives of Georgia, where they spent their entire lives. The father was of French descent on his mother’s side, and was a farmer by profession. He died in 1855, and the mother followed him in the same year. Our subject was thus thrown upon his own resources at an early age, and, as a consequence, his education was neglected. In his boyhood he learned cotton spinning and manufacturing from Henry Merrell, a machinist and manufacturer, at Sackett’s Harbor, N. Y., and in 1857 went to Arkansas, where he had charge of a cotton factory until 1863, when he went to Texas and here operated a cotton factory for the Confederate Government until the close of the war, when he returned to Arkansas, and here remained for three years. He then resumed the charge of a cotton factory, and continued at this occupation until 1872, when he located at Hollywood, Ark., and engaged in mercantile pursuits. In 1855 he came to Hillsboro, and has since continued the business with success. Although starting life with small means, Mr. Garrison, by his industry and good judgment, has accumulated considerable of this world’s goods, and is well respected by all who know him. He was postmaster for three years at Hollywood. While in Texas, in 1865, he married Miss Seline Brownfield, a native of Arkansas, and the daughter of Theron Brownfield and Miss Elizabeth Terrell, natives of St. Clair County, Ill. Of the six children born to our subject and wife only two are now living, Elizabeth and John T. Our subject is a Democrat in politics, and cast his first presidential vote for Greeley, in 1872. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Mr. Garrison has a fine farm in Arkansas, adjoining the town of Hollywood, also a residence, storehouse, warehouse, blacksmith and wood-shop, hotel, etc., which he left on account of ill health. At Hillsboro he has 200 acres of fine land, on which are 2,000 bearing trees of apples, peaches, pears, and plums, and two acres of grapes. Mrs. Garrison was educated at Mary Sharp College, at Winchester, Tenn., and her daughter, Elizabeth, was educated principally at Nashville, Tenn.

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This family biography is one of 224 biographies included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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