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Goodspeed histories in PDF files

When you order these files in electronic format, we'll e-mail you a link to download your file. You should receive our e-mail within one business day. If you don't, contact us at desmondwallsallen(at)gmail.com. No shipping charges are added for electronic delivery.

Click here to return to the Historical Reprints page

In the 1880s and 1890s, Goodspeed Publishing Company of Chicago produced dozens of county history compilations covering many of the Southern and Midwestern states. Eight of the books include Arkansas folks. We're offering them in electronic form with searchable text.

Goodspeed volumes usually follow a standard format. The first 112 pages are a general history of Arkansas, then chapters are devoted to each included county. County chapters are laid out with a detailed history covering early settlement with a list of the earliest settlers, boundary changes, geographic data, climate, crops, livestock, transportation, population figures, county government (with lists of officials), attorneys, industry, businesses, towns and cities, newspapers, Civil War events and units, schools, churches, hangings and lynchings, followed by biographical sketches of the prominent citizens (anyone who paid the fee) of the county.

The publisher apparently sent out questionnaires as the biographical data submitted follows a routine pattern. The information collected was typed and sent back to submitters for corrections. Volumes were sold on a "subscription" basis, that is, commissioned salespeople sold them, probably taking most of their orders when the biographical data was collected. The books themselves are lovely-large, gilt-edged tomes, but they're very rare now. A few of the submitters (about one in a few hundred) included portraits of themselves. In our list of the 7,350 people covered, an asterisk ( * ) denotes an included portrait.

Click here to view the list of all the people whose bio sketches are included in the eight Goodspeed volumes which cover Arkansas (and the Ozark portion of Missouri). There are thousands more people mentioned in these books and the searchable text in the files will turn up those references. This list is just the tip of the iceberg.

In order to more clearly identify these folks who head the biographical sketches, we put in their years of birth and birthplaces if they were given in the first part of the bio sketch. The sketches themselves contain much more detailed information.

Folks included aren't all white men. Nearly, but not all. There are 25 "colored" men (we've added "AfAm" to their names in our index), and fifty women (we put in their maiden names, too).

Click here to see an example of what these biographical sketches contain. (This one is about Tyre M. Lingo, and if you're related to him, we're cousins.)

Goodspeed's Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northeast Arkansas in electronic format ISBN 978-1-56546-381-3, $9.95
Covers Greene, Clay, Fulton, Craighead, Randolph, Mississippi, Poinsett, Independence, Sharp, Lawrence, Jackson, and Izard Counties. Originally published 1889, 1,020 pages.

Goodspeed's Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Eastern Arkansas in electronic format
ISBN 978-1-56546-382-0, $9.95

Covers White, Woodruff, Cross, Crittenden, St. Francis, Monroe, Lee, Arkansas, Prairie, and Phillips Counties. Originally published 1890, 822 pages.

Goodspeed's Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Central Arkansas in electronic format
ISBN 978-1-56546-383-7, $9.95

Covers Pulaski, Jefferson, Lonoke, Faulkner, Grant, Saline, Perry, Garland, and Hot Spring Counties. Originally published 1889, 812 pages.

Goodspeed's Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas in electronic format
ISBN 978-1-56546-384-4, $9.95

Covers Clark, Miller, Sevier, Howard, Pike, Lafayette, Hempstead, Columbia, Little River, Nevada, Cleveland, Ouachita, Dallas, Bradley, Calhoun, Union, Ashley, Drew, Lincoln, Desha, and Chicot Counties. Originally published 1890, 1,093 pages.

Goodspeed's Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas and Goodspeed's Historical Reminiscences and Biographical Memoirs of Conway County, Arkansas in electronic format
ISBN 978-1-56546-385-1 & 978-1-56546-388-2, $9.95

Covers Yell, Pope, Johnson, Logan, Scott, Polk, and Montgomery Counties. Originally published 1891, 504 pages.
Separate volume, published 1894, 130 pages, covers Conway County.

Goodspeed's History of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian Counties, Arkansas in electronic format
ISBN 978-1-56546-386-8, $9.95

Covers Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian Counties. Originally published 1889, 1,388 pages.

Goodspeed's A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region in electronic format
ISBN 978-1-56546-387-5, $9.95

Covers (in Arkansas) Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Cleburne, Crawford, Franklin, Fulton, Garland, Hot Spring, Howard, Izard, Johnson, Logan, Madison, Marion, Montgomery, Newton, Pike, Polk, Scott, Searcy, Sebastian, Sevier, Stone, Van Buren, Washington, and Yell Counties.

Covers (in Missouri) Barry, Carter, Christian, Dallas, Dent, Douglas, Greene, Howell, Laclede, Iron, Jasper, McDonald, Newton, Oregon, Ozark, Phelps, Polk, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, Stone, Taney, Texas, Webster, and Wright Counties. Originally published 1894, 791 pages.

Attention Librarians!

Index to Arkansas Goodspeed Biographical Sketches
Compiled by Desmond Walls Allen, ISBN 978-1-56546-390-5, 134 pages, $22.00

If you already have a set of Arkansas Goodspeed volumes on your library shelf, here's a comprehensive index to the people in all the Arkansas volumes who are the subjects of biographical sketches. Put this book with your collection so patrons can quickly look for ancestor and go directly to the volume and page they need.

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