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Below is a sample of a family biography included in the Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Saline County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed in 1889.  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.

Wilburn Hensley Allen, farmer and stock raiser of Shaw Township, Saline County, Ark., first saw the light of day on November 4, 1848, in the little town of Benton, Ark. His parents, William D., born April 14, 1811, died December 6, 1871. and Rhoda (Ramsey) Allen, born May 25, 1820, died June 3, 1880, were among the very early settlers of Benton, coming to that town in 1847. They were natives, respectively, of North Carolina and Georgia. William Allen moved to Georgia when but a young man, met the mother of our subject, and was married November 18, 1837. He also spent three months in the Florida War, taking part in the battle of Pea River, and being one of the force that removed the Indians from the territory. After his marriage he lived in Georgia seven years, after which, moving to Mississippi, he made that State his home until 1847. Coming to this State at the latter date he engaged in farming. He purchased the place one and one-half miles from Benton, known now as the Allen field, and later moved to Benton and opened a blacksmith shop which he ran in connection with farming. He was for years a member of the Masonic lodge at Benton, and together with his wife was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. During the war he served in the commissary department of the Confederate army, but saw no active field service. After the Federal capture of Little Rock he followed the army in company with Col. Crawford. About 1863 he moved to Ouachita County for greater safety, returning to Saline when the war was closed. He spent the latter part of his life in retirement, dying from dropsy at the age of sixty. He was the father of ten children: George W. (born September 2, 1839, deputy sheriff of Grant County), Cynthia (wife of H. S. Glenn, a merchant of Benton, born November 27, 1841, died June 28, 1863), Sarah (wife of Dr. John W. Cole, of Shaw Township, born January 15, 1844), Thomas J. (born January 17, 1846, died May 8, 1860), W. H. (the subject of this sketch), John W. (born January 11, 1851, died September 19, 1853), Uriah E. (born September 29, 1853, died August 20, 1868), Joseph B. (born September 25, 1856, died November 25, 1857), and Benjamin F. (born November 3, 1858, farms in Shaw Township). W. H. Allen was reared on a farm, spending his school days in the common schools of Saline County. At the age of twenty-one he began life for himself, but lived with his parents until his marriage, October 18, 1877. His wife was formerly Miss Mickey C. Kinkead, daughter of Rev. James and Susana (Hughes) Kinkead, residents of Farmington, Mo. The father, a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, was born July 6, 1807, resided, labored and married in Missouri, dying near Irondale September 27, 1864. His wife, Susana (Hughes) Kinkead, was born November 25, 1817, in Missouri, the daughter of John Hughes, a farmer and stock raiser, and an early settler of Southeastern Missouri. She was married the first time September 15, 1835. She survived her husband, and some years after his death moved to Illinois, where she married Spruce Boggs. Two years later she again became a widow. She remained in Illinois until 1874, then coming to Saline County, where she died May 18, 1879, at the home of her son-in-law, Wilburn Allen, on the Tomlinson place. Mrs. W. H. Allen was the eighth in a family of ten children: Eliza J. (born August 31, 1838, wife of John Bean, a farmer of Irondale, Mo., died about 1875), J. M. (born May 18, 1840, is a mechanic, and lives in Mississippi), Mary N. (born February 6, 1842), James C. (born December 23, 1843, is deputy constable of Big Rock Township, Pulaski County, but lives in Benton, on the Hackersmith farm), Alex. E. (born July 4, 1846, is constable of Big Rock Township, and lives in Little Rock), Susan S. (born August 8, 1848, is the wife of Newton Maxey, a mechanic of Oak Grove, Ill.), Elizabeth (born October 4, 1850, is the wife of D. C. Hays, postmaster at Benton, Ark.), Marthy F. (born June 12, 1854, is the wife of Hays Maxwell, a farmer and mechanic of Irondale, Mo.), Mickey C. (wife of W. H. Allen, born September 8, 1856, and died September 30, 1889), and Eleanor (born November 6, 1858). Mr. Allen and wife became the parents of Clara Lillian (born August 16, 1858, died October 4, 1879), Finis Ewing (born December 9, 1879), Fiamen W. (born October 12, 1881, died August 6, 1882), Mickey Gertrude (born October 30, 1883), and George C. (born August 14, 1886). After his marriage Mr. Allen began farming on an inheritance of eighty acres from his father, on the Saline River, to which he added ten acres. In 1879 or 1880 he sold his farm and bought the eighty acres on which he now lives. He has about forty acres under cultivation, and has erected some excellent farm buildings. During the years 1887 and 1888 he was engaged as lumber contractor for the Brushe mill. Later he held an interest, and on September 9, 1889, sold out to his partner, S. H. Glover, and is now engaged as sawyer at the same mill. He is a member of the school board of his township, and votes with the Democratic party, though taking very little interest in politics. He is a member of Benton Lodge No. 34, A. F. & A. M., and (as did his wife) belongs to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mr. Allen is classed with the most public-spirited men of Saline County. He is a liberal donator to all worthy public enterprises, and a zealous worker for the welfare of his adopted home.

This family biography is one of 100 biographies included in the Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Saline County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Saline County Arkansas History, Genealogy and Maps

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


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