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Below is a sample of a family biography included in the Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Howard County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details in 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.

John K. Props, born in Hempstead County, Ark., January 22, 1830, is now a prominent planter of Holley Creek, Howard County, Ark. His father, John H. Props, a native of Tennessee, married Miss Line Scoby, also of that State. They had eleven children, of whom J. K, M. S., Elizabeth, Sarah B. and Mary B. are now living. Mr. Props' two grandfathers were the first settlers in Southern Arkansas, in what is now known as Howard County. He passed his youth in Centre Point, commencing business on his own behalf at the age of twenty-four. He was married to Miss Nancy E. Briscoe, who was born February 13, 1834; and died April 30, 1857, in Western Texas. They had two children: Henderson L. and Nancy C., both of whom are dead. Mr. Props married Miss Hannah Price, July 22, 1858. She was the daughter of Robert and Mary Price, and was born December 11, 1825. Mrs. Props is living at the present writing. Of their children Montgomery and Laura C. are dead; Robert W. and Cerro Gordo P. are living. Soon after his marriage Mr. Props moved to Texas, devoting his attention to agriculture, but in a short time returned to Arkansas, settling in what was then Pike County. At the end of eleven years he sold his property there, buying at the same time his present valuable farm of 200 acres. He enlisted June, 1862, in an Arkansas regiment, under Col. Dawson, but became disabled from sickness and was discharged, after which he served with the Home Guards until the close of the war. Then he again turned his attention to farming, and is also very much interested in stock. In politics he is a Democrat; is a member of the Methodist Church, and a Master Mason. George L. Rector is a prominent merchant of the town of Nashville, and having lived in this county from the time he was seven years of age, is well known and highly respected. His birth occurred in Tennessee, in 1851, being the second of five children born to William H. and Augusta M. (Cox) Rector, who were also native Tennesseans, the former a successful merchant of Philadelphia. He began the battle of life for himself when quite a young man, and after his marriage moved to Post Oak Springs, where he did a good business for about five years, after which he removed to Texas, and a year later to what was Hempstead County, Ark., now Howard County. He settled on a farm on the present site of Nashville, which comprises 200 acres of fine land, and here he continued to make purchases from time to time, until he became the owner of 800 acres. In 1860 he opened a store in Nashville, being one of the first merchants of the town, and here he continued in business until he was closed out by the war. In the fall of 1865 he reopened his mercantile establishment, in partnership with W. C. Sypert, the firm name being Rector & Sypert, and this connection lasted until Mr. Rector's death, in January, 1868. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for many years, taking an active part and holding offices in the same, but a few months prior to his death he united with the Christian Church. His widow survives him, and is in the enjoyment of good health. The paternal grandfather, Jesse Rector, was a prosperous planter, his land being situated on the Tennessee River in Tennessee, and here he passed a quiet, unassuming and truly Christian life until his death in 1862. The immediate subject of this sketch has been a resident of Nashville, Ark., from his earliest youth, but his education was received in his native State and in Virginia, attending Hiwassee College of the former State and Emery and Henry of the latter. He then spent three years as a clerk in a shoe store in Louisville, Ky., thus laying the foundation for his business education. In 1876 he returned to Nashville, Ark., and, in partnership with F. P. Holt, opened a general supply store, which he continued for one year, at the end of which time he formed a partnership with J. G. W. Yowell, the name of the firm being Rector & Yowell for six years. They were very successful during this time, but Mr. Rector withdrew and started a hardware business, now known as the Rector Hardware Company, his stock being valued at $17,000. He keeps all kinds of farming implements, including carriages, buggies and wagons, and he also sells entire saw-mill plants, and has a trade that extends throughout the adjoining counties and into Indian Territory. His annual sales amount to $40,000. He is an earnest advocate of public schools, and is at the head of all enterprises that promise to benefit Nashville, and was an earnest worker for the building of the railroad through the county, being sent to Memphis at the railroad convention. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and his wife, who was formerly Miss Willie Kelley, and whom he married in 1883, is an Episcopalian. She was born in Missouri, a daughter of Dr. William Kelley, who was a surgeon in the Confederate army and died while in the service. Mr. and Mrs. Rector are the parents of four children: Henry, Nellie, Lillian and Jesse.

This family biography is one of 116 biographies included in the Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Howard County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Howard County Arkansas History, Genealogy and Maps

 View additional Howard County, Arkansas biographies here: Howard County, Arkansas Genealogy


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