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Below is a sample of a family biography included in the Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Arkansas 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.

Capt. Leroy Ferrell, retired steamboatman and stock raiser, is a native of Tennessee, and a son of David C. and Celia (Boren) Ferrell, natives of North Carolina and Tennessee, respectively. Mr. Ferrell went to Tennessee when a young man, where he was married and made his home until 1825, then removing to Gallatin County, Ill. In 1836 he came to Arkansas, and located in the wilds of Arkansas County, eight miles from Arkansas Post, then the capital of the Territory. The country at that time was full of bears, deer, panthers, wolves, etc., with a few Indians as pioneer inhabitants. The swamps were covered with canebrakes, which grew to the height of a house, and so dense that it was almost impossible for one to pass through. Here Mr. Ferrell improved one of the finest farms in that region, but it was eventually washed away by the river. He was a blacksmith by trade, at which he worked in connection with farming and hunting, the latter occupying a large part of his time. He served in the War of 1812 under Gen. Jackson, as blacksmith, and died in 1858, when over seventy-six years of age. His wife had preceded him three years. Mr. and Mrs. Ferrell were the parents of nine children, Leroy Ferrell being the third one, and the only one living. He was born in Maury County, Tenn., in 1822, and has resided in this county since fourteen years of age. In 1842 Mr. Ferrell and an associate chartered a steamboat, which they ran about one year; since that time he has been engaged in boating on the Mississippi for about thirty-five years. Since settling in this county he has been interested in fanning and stock-raising, and in the mercantile business to some extent. He was married, in 1850, to Miss Eleanor Smith, a native of Indiana, who died in 1868, leaving four children; one of these (Thomas B. F.) only is living. He was born in Desha County in 1851, and was educated at the common schools, and later in the Business College at Memphis, Tenn., from which he graduated in 1870. He then commenced business for himself at New Gascony, Jefferson County, continuing until 1880, when he came to Arkansas Post. Here he has since carried on merchandising, and also owns and operates a large cotton-gin. At the present time Mr. Ferrell and his father own about 8,000 acres of land. During the war he was repeatedly urged by his friends to join the Confederate army, but although born and reared in the South, he refused to take up arms against his country. This position he firmly maintained until the close of the war, remaining at home and providing for his family and those whose supporters were in the Confederate army. Capt. Ferrell, although nearly seventy years of age, is of strong bodily health and vigor (save a slight affliction of rheumatism), is of pleasant address, and a good talker.

This family biography is one of 50 biographies included in the Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Arkansas County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Arkansas County Arkansas History, Genealogy and Maps

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


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