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Biography of George M. Follett

GEORGE M. FOLLETT. The creditable condition of business life in West Plains, Missouri, is due in a great extent to the enterprise, energy and intelligence of her prominent merchants and manufacturers. Among these may be mentioned the firm of Holt & Follett, manufacturers. George M. Follett was born and reared just outside of the city of New York, his birth occurring February 25, 1852, son of D. B. and Eliza (Mason) Follett. The father was a farmer and resided on the Delaware River. Our subject passed his boyhood and youth on the old home farm and received but limited educational advantages. Early in life he started in the lumber business, working in the lumber fields of West Pennsylvania and those of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and continued there until 1883, when he came to south Missouri. Here he took a position with the South Missouri Land Company, and had charge of a planing mill at Willow Springs. A year later he took charge of the Burnham Mills as engineer. He is a practical engineer and electrician. He remained at the Burnham Mills until September, 1888, and then went to Winona, Missouri, where he took a position with the Ozark Lumber Company, holding the same one year. Following this he bought a saw mill south of Winona and continued this until 1891, when he came to West Plains and opened a lumber yard, in company with Mr. Holt. Since then they have been in business together and are doing well. Mr. Follett has been in lumber business about twenty-five years and thoroughly understands the same. The firm is doing all...

Biography of L. G. Eblen

L. G. EBLEN. Coming to Howell County, Missouri, when ten years of age, L. G. Eblen has since made for himself an honored position among the repre-sentative men of the county, and has been closely identified with many of its best interests. He is at present the county collector and his reputation is not merely local, but extends over a wide stretch of country. Mr. Eblen is a native of Tennessee, born in Weakley County, July 17, 1859, and the fourth in order of birth of seven children born to Isaac and Sarah (Harvey) Eblen. The elder Eblen was born in Henry County, Tennessee, in 1824, and is descended from an old and honored family in this country. He grew up in Tennessee, attended the early schools of that State, and there remained until 1870, when he came to Missouri and located northeast of West Plains. He homesteaded a farm and is still living in the same part of the county. He has always followed agricultural pursuits and is a well to-do, useful citizen. Before leaving Tennessee he was married to Miss Harvey, whose father was an early settler of that State, and she died in January, 1892. Their children were named as follows: Mexico, now the wife of J. W. Weatherly, a farmer of this county; Rufus died in infancy; Oscar died when twenty years of age; L. G., subject; Francis C., a farmer near the old homestead; L., a farmer in the same neigh-borhood, and Joseph is living at Alton, Oregon County, and is editor of the south Missouri paper. The elder members of this family were...

Biography of Levi Smith

LEVI SMITH. Among the many agriculturists who have devoted their attention to the occupation of tilling the soil in Howell Township, Howell County, Missouri, Levi Smith is one of the foremost, and he owes the success which has attended his operations in this respect to his own good fighting qualities. He owes his nativity to Surry County, N. C., where he was born in 1838. Son of Rev. Thomas and Candace (Snow) Smith, who were born in Wilkes and Surry Counties, N. C., in 1812 and 1814, respectively. They were reared, educated in a limited way, and married in their native State, and about 1860 made the trip to Howell County, Missouri, by wagon, the journey thither lasting just two months. They located on an unimproved farm, near West Plains, on which Mr. Smith spent the rest of his life, dying August 7, 1879, having been a life-long and industrious farmer, and a justice of the peace in Howell County for a good many years. Although a Union man in principle, he took no active part during the Civil War. He was a local minister of the Methodist Church for many years, was a great reader, was a well posted man on all general topics, and was in every respect self-educated. He was something of an orator also, and made many speeches on topics tending to the advancement of the country, and was an ardent temperance worker. He never used tobacco in any form, and was never known to have liquor of any kind in his house; and although he reared a large family of sons none of them...

Biography of T. J. Ferguson

T. J. FERGUSON. Prominent among the early pioneer families of Howell County, Missouri, stands the name of Ferguson. T. J. Ferguson, a prominent farmer of the same, resides four and a half miles west of Willow Springs. He was born in Greene County, Tennessee, August 12, 1849, to the union of William and Elizabeth (Hogan) Ferguson (see sketch of J. A. Ferguson). Our subject received his scholastic training in the schools of Tennessee and those of Howell County, Missouri However, the war put a stop to his schooling, but not until he had obtained a fair education. When twenty-one years of age he came to Howell County and lived on the old home farm at Willow Springs until 1875, when he married Miss M. Harris, daughter of James and Parmelia J. (Davis) Harris, natives of Tennessee. Mr. and Mrs. Harris came to Howell County at an early day, and the father died here in 1885. Mrs. Harris is still living and makes her home south of Willow Springs. They were among the early settlers of that section, and he was a soldier in the Civil War. Mr. Harris was born in Tennessee, and moved thence to Terre Haute, Indiana, and thence to this county, when a single man. The Davis family settled early in this section of Missouri. Mrs. Ferguson was one of a family of twelve children, as follows: J. M., M. A., W. L., S. E., Jane, J. A., M. M., M. J., A. R., S. S., and R. J. Mrs. Ferguson was born in Shannon County, Missouri, February7, 1861. After marriage our subject and wife located...

Biography of Lewis Harvey De Priest

LEWIS HARVEY DE PRIEST, sheriff of Shannon County, Missouri, is a young man, but there is not one in the county more capable of discharging the duties of that position or better qualified in every respect than he. He was born in Jefferson County, Illinois, near Mount Vernon, in 1865, and is a son of Abraham and Elizabeth (Aden) De Priest. The father first saw the light in south Missouri, probably Shannon or Oregon County. He was married in this State to Miss Aden, who died May 3, 1882, when fifty-three years of age. His second marriage was with Mrs. E. J. Gardner, who is still living. Mr. De Priest was a farmer by occupation, but for a number of years he sold goods at Eminence. After the war he handled a great deal of stock and resided at Eminence most of the time. In 1862 he went to Illinois, but returned to this State in 1869. Following the war he was circuit and county clerk, also served as assessor several terms and held other positions. He was a prominent and substantial citizen. He was both a Mason and an Odd Fellow, and in politics supported the Democratic party. His death occurred June 2, 1891, when sixty-one years of age. Of the five children born to his first marriage four are now living, three in this county and one in Oklahoma. During his boyhood and youth, which were spent in Shannon County, our subject was engaged in looking after his father’s stock, but as he reached mature years he turned his attention to mercantile pursuits and for some time...

Biography of R. S. Hogan

R. S. HOGAN. No man in West Plains is more respected and liked than R. S. Hogan, who has achieved distinction in politics, and who has made a name for himself as a public-spirited citizen and a promoter of new enterprises. Greene County, Tennessee, was the birthplace of Mr. Hogan, as it was also of his parents, James H. and Amanda F . (Loutrell) Hogan. James H. Hogan was the son of Hiram Hogan, who came from Ireland to this country at an early day, and died when his son James was but four years old. The latter grew up with a farm experience in Greene County, Tennessee, attended the log schoolhouse of his native county, and farmed there until 1872. From there he went to Kansas, but one year later he came to Howell County and located near Willow Springs. He bought a good farm and resides there at the present time. During the Civil War he served in Longstreet’s command. In politics he is an ardent supporter of Democratic principles, and has held the office of justice of the peace twelve years. While a resident of Tennessee he married Miss Amanda F., daughter of James Loutrell, who died when she was a child, but who was an early settler of Tennessee, coming from North Carolina. Mrs. Hogan died in 1886. They were the parents of eleven children, all reared, and eight now living as follows: R. S., subject; David, a farmer, resides near Willow Springs; Sarah, now Mrs. Smith, of Willow Springs; John, a farmer near Willow Springs; Thomas, farming near Willow Springs; Alice, now Mrs. Daniels,...

Biography of W. F. Cook

W. F. COOK. In looking over a comparative statement of the institutions of a financial character doing business in Willow Springs, we find them, in comparison with the same class of organizations elsewhere, solvent, prosperous and useful in the highest degree. The Willow Springs Bank adds no little to this, and is one of the best and most substantial of its kind in the county. Mr. W. F. Cook, its well-known cashier, was born in Lewis County, Missouri, February 2, 1868. Son of Dr. J. F. Cook, who is president of La Grange College, at La Grange, a position he has held many years. He is the oldest educator in the State of Missouri, and has held his present position twenty-eight years. The elder Cook is a native of Christiansburg, Kentucky, born in the year 1834, and a son of Joseph Cook, who was a pioneer farmer of Shelby County, Kentucky The Cook family came from Virginia to Kentucky, and the grandfather of our subject was a soldier in the early Indian wars. Still farther back his people were Revolutionary soldiers. W. F. Cook’s grandmother was a Flood, another of the early families. The father of our subject passed his early life in his native State, and secured a good education in Georgetown College. When still quite young he branched out as a teacher, and followed this in Kentucky until 1866, when he came to Missouri and took charge of the college he now controls. The building had been used as a hospital during the war, but he soon had things in order, and his college became noted throughout...

Biography of John Goldsberry

JOHN GOLDSBERRY. The parents of this much esteemed citizen, William H. and Elizabeth (Fouts) Goldsberry, were natives of the Old North State, born in either Davidson or Randolph Counties. In 1836 or 1837 they left their native State and came to Missouri, locating on Gasconade River, in Pulaski County, where they made their home until 1846. From there they moved to Polk County and after living there a short time moved to Hutton Valley, Oregon County, before Howell had become a county. From Hutton Valley they moved to the place where Mountain View now stands, and there the mother died in 1870, when about sixty-three years of age. The father afterward lived with his children until his death in July, 1893, when eighty-one years of age. He was a minister in the United Baptist Church from the time he was a young man. He had a severe attack of the gold fever in 1849, which a trip to the Pacific coast alone would allay, and he crossed the plains with ox teams. At the end of six months, on account of sickness, he returned home by the Isthmus, New Orleans and Mississippi River. He helped to organize a great many of the pioneer churches and became one of the best known and best respected citizens in the section. Goldsberry Township, in Howell County, was named in honor of him. In politics he was a stanch advocate of the Democratic party. His family were old North Carolina people and his wife’s were of German origin. Of the seven children born to this worthy couple only one besides our subject is...

Biography of D. S. Ferguson

D. S. FERGUSON. Nowhere within the limits of Howell County, Missouri, can there be found a man who takes greater interest in its agricultural affairs than does D. S. Ferguson, who is also a prominent fruit-grower of this section. Every life has a history of its own, and although in appearance it may possess little to distinguish it from others, yet the connection of Mr. Ferguson with the agricultural and fruit interests of this region has contributed to give him a wide and popular acquaintance with nearly every citizen of the county, if not personally, then by name. His farm, one of the best in the county, consists of 220 acres, and is situated two and one-half miles west of Willow Springs. Mr. Ferguson is a native of Tennessee, his birth occurring in Greene County, May 13, 1853, and is a son of William and Elizabeth (Hogan) Ferguson, who came to Howell County in 1871, and here passed the remainder of their days. (See sketch of E. C. Ferguson.) Although the late war interfered to some extent with our subject’s schooling he managed to secure a fair education, which he has since improved by observation and study. He was nineteen years of age when the family came to this county and settled on land now occupied by the city of Willow Springs. In 1876 young Ferguson started out to make his own way in life, and his first venture was to marry Miss Martha I. Young, a most estimable young lady, and the daughter of William Young, of Willow Springs. After this union they settled on the farm where...

Biography of J. A. Truex

J. A. TRUEX, editor of the Journal and postmaster of West Plains, was a native of the Buckeye State,and was born in Marion County, November,6, 1843. The Truex family is of Dutch origin and an old Colonial one. The father of our subject, Benjamin Truex, was a native of Pennsylvania, and a farmer and carpenter. He raised a family of eight children, of whom our subject was third in order of birth. The latter grew to mature years in his native country, received his primary education in the schools of the same, and subsequently entered the High School at Goshen, Indiana Later he attended the Heading College at Abingdon, Ill, and the Kalamazoo Baptist College. About the year 1856 the family moved to Elkhart County, Indiana, and settled on a farm in Lock Township. Early in life young Truex became a teacher, and continued this until 1869, when he emigrated to Kansas. There he located in Geary County and taught school until 1874, when he was elected county superintendent of schools and held that position up to 1884, five terms of two years each, thus showing his popularity. During that time the county took the premium three times for the best display at the State fair. In 1881 Mr. Truex established the Davis County Republican and edited it until 1884. In that year he bought the Journal and moved to West Plains, where he has since owned and edited that paper. He has had about fifteen years’ experience as a newspaper man, is very successful as such, and his paper commands an ever widening area of circulation. In April,...
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