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

Walter C. Halley is a retired planter now engaged in the hotel and grocery business at Pine Bluff, Ark. Although born in Marion County, Georgia, in 1837, he has been a resident of Arkansas since he was eleven years of age, and has always been identified with the interests of the community in which he has resided. He is one of four surviving members, the others being Martha A. (widow of J. A. Mason), Mary F. (wife of Benjamin McGehee), and Samuel F., of a family of eighteen children born to Dr. Samuel and Sarah A. (Lumpkin) Halley, both of whom were born in Georgia, the former in January, 1801, and the latter about 1804. The father was an eminent medical practitioner, and followed this calling for thirty or thirty-five years. He was captain of a company in one of the early Indian wars, was a Master Mason, and after coming to Arkansas in 1848, identified himself with the interests of Bradley County, and was an earnest advocate of and a stockholder in the railroad from Eunice to Warren, making the first speech in favor of its being built. He first removed from his native State of Georgia to Alabama, and then came to Arkansas, where he was in the active practice of his profession at the time of his death, November 13, 1862. Walter C. Halley was married January 28, 1869, to Miss Addie Vining, a daughter of Thomas Vining, of Desha County, she being born in the State of Mississippi, March 31, 1846, and died February 19, 1870, being in full communion with the Baptist Church at the time of her death. Mr. Halley's present wife, formerly Miss Eddie T. Jones, was born in Arkansas County, Ark., in 1868, their union taking place in 1886. She is a daughter of William and Maggie Jones, of Arkansas County, Ark., and is a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. In 1862 Mr. Halley enlisted as a private Company B, infantry service, and was on duty until 1865, when he was captured by the Federals and put in prison at Memphis, Tenn. Later he was paroled and came home and took up his former engagement of farming. He also followed saw-milling until 1871, when he gave up this work to engage in the grocery business at Chicot City, Ark., at which he has been doing well. He owns 200 acres of good farming land, with 130 acres under cultivation, and being a man of enterprise and push everything has prospered well to which he has turned his attention. He is a Democrat, and holds the position of worshipful master in the Arkansas City Lodge No. 296, of the A. F. & A. M. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

This family biography is one of 80 biographies included in the Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Desha County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Desha County Arkansas History, Genealogy and Maps

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


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