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Biography of John Davis

John Davis, of Jonesburg, familiarly known as “Uncle John,” is the oldest son of the late Thomas Davis, of Shenandoah Co., Va. John was born October 30, 1791, in Shenandoah County, and is now nearly 85 years of age. When he was about sixteen his parents removed to Bourbon Co., Ky., and when the war of 1812 began, he enlisted in the army and served under Generals Winchester and Payne. He was stationed at Forts Wayne and Laramie, in Ohio, for some time. In 1820 he came to Missouri, and stopped a short time in St. Louis, which then had only one principal street, and most of the houses were made of square posts set upright, with the spaces between filled with straw and mud, the chimneys being built of the same material. The court house was surrounded by a post-and-rail fence, and young Davis was sitting on this fence when the announcement was made that the Territory of Missouri had become a State. From St. Louis Mr. Davis went to Pike County, and settled in Clarksville, where he lived forty-six years. In those days rattlesnakes were much more abundant than they are now, and the old pioneers would occasionally go on “snaking” frolics. They always came back vomiting from the effects of the poisonous smell of the snakes. On one occasion Mr. Davis and his neighbors went to a knob near Clarksville, and killed seven hundred rattlesnakes in one day. This is a pretty large snake story, but it is nevertheless true. Mr. Davis had failed in business in Kentucky before his removal to Missouri, but he worked...

Biography of Col. John Colgate Bell

COL. JOHN COLGATE BELL. – Colonel Bell, enjoying a wide reputation from Southern Oregon to Idaho, and back again to the Pacific seashore throughout the state in which he has successively lived and made a multitude of personal acquaintances, merits a special recognition on account of his public services in official relations and in the early Indian wars of Southern Oregon. He was born at Sterling, Kentucky, February 24, 1814. His parents were from Virginia; and among his ancestors were those distinguished in the early history of the nation, his father having served with General Harrison in the war of 1812. The young man received his education at the Mount Sterling Academy, and began business at his native town in the dry-goods store of David Herren. In 1834, he began his western career by removing with his father to Missouri, engaging with him in mercantile business at Clarksville, Pike county. Eight years later he entered into business on his own account at Weston, and in 1845 was married to Miss Sarah E., daughter of General Thompson Ward, of honorable fame in the Mexican war. In 1847 he was engaged with the General in organizing the regiments of Donovan and Price and the battalion of Major Powell sent to new Fort Kearney on the plains for the protection of emigrants. It was in these operations that he received his military rank. In 1849 he gratified his desire for a life wider than that of the east by setting forth with Doctor Belt, a brother-in-law, for the El Dorado of the Pacific. The journey was accomplished amid the usual difficulties of...

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