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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 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 J. W. Garman

J. W. GARMAN. This gentleman, who is the most efficient cashier of the Citizen’s Bank of Willow Springs, Howell County, Missouri, is a native of Summit County, Ohio, born in the city of Akron, June 30, 1858. His father, Daniel K. Garnan, was a native of the Keystone State, but died in Summit County, Ohio, about 1888. He was a contractor by occupation. Our subject was one of nine children, and four of his brothers are farmers in the Buckeye State. J. W. Garman passed his early life in Akron, and attended the schools both at Smithville in Wayne County, and at North Springfield, Ohio. In 1884 he branched out for himself and was in a drug store for some time. Later he took up the study of medicine, and attended the Missouri Medical College at St. Louis, taking nearly a two-years’ course in that institution. He had engaged in the drug business before starting for college, and after finishing his education he took the agency for the Waters Pierce Oil Company, and located at Willow Springs. He acted as the agent for this company for seven years, or up to 1892, and then helped to establish the Citizens’ Bank in October of that year, with a capital stock of $1o,000. The officers are: H.J. Rowe, president; J. J. Angersbach, vice-president; and J. W. Garman, cashier. The bank has been doing a good business, and the average deposit is $40,000. The directors in this bank are business men of Willow Springs. The bank has been a paying investment, and the business has been in charge of Mr. Garman since...

Biography of J. B. Thomas

J. B. THOMAS. There is no enterprise of equal importance in Howell County, Missouri, than that of insurance. Among those engaged in this business is our subject, J. B. Thomas, one of the representative men of Willow Springs and abstracter and notary public of that city. Mr. Thomas came from southern Iowa and has made his home in Willow Springs for the past five years. He is a native Kentuckian, born in Mason County August 27, 1859, and his father, James C. Thomas, is farming in that county at the present time. The latter is also a native of that State, and a son of one of the early pioneers. J. B. Thomas passed his school days in Kentucky and Ohio, where he attended college at Yellow Springs. In 1886 he went to Iowa and embarked in merchandising, which he continued until he came to this city. After locating in Willow Springs he followed merchandising about a year, and in 1890 engaged in the insurance business. The same year he was elected notary public. Subsequently he was elected to the office of alderman of Willow Springs and police judge, and he is also coal oil inspector of the city, appointed by Gov. Francis. Mr. Thomas is engaged in loaning money and is agent for the Missouri Guarantee Savings and Building Association. He is one of the directors in the Citizens’ Bank at Willow Springs, and an energetic, enterprising and public-spirited citizen. Mr. Thomas has shown his appreciation of secret organizations by becoming an Odd Fellow and a Knight of Pythias. Of the former he is a charter member of...

Biography of S. W. Wilkinson

S. W. WILKINSON. This prominent general merchant of Willow Springs, Missouri, was born in Alton, Illinois, January 6, 1856, son of Simon and Anna (Lea) Wilkinson, both natives of England. The parents came to the United States about 1850 and settled in the Prairie State, where the father followed farming until his death in 1859. The mother is now living in Missouri. Their family consisted of five children, and our subject is the only one now living. S. W. Wilkinson passed his early life in Missouri, whither his mother had moved before the war, and when he was about thirteen years of age began clerking in a store. In about 1883 he embarked in business for himself at Leesburgh, this State, continued this for one year, and then in 1884 came to Willow Springs. Here he engaged in general merchandising, and in 1890 he erected the large commercial house in which he now carries on business. This is one of the best business buildings in the city, 28×90, two stories in height and a basement. Mr. Wilkinson carries a stock of goods valued at from $6,000 to $7,000 and his trade extends over a wide scope of country. He employs two clerks, is doing a good business, and is a young, energetic business man. Mr. Wilkinson started for himself in a small way, but by industry and close attention to business has made a success of his calling. In politics he is a Republican and is prominent in the affairs of the city. He selected his wife in the person of Miss Phoebe Elizabeth Knight, and they have six...

Biography of James A. Ferguson

JAMES A. FERGUSON. This prominent citizen, who is a member of the firm of Ferguson, Lucas & Kennedy, of Willow Springs, and president of the Willow Springs Bank, has been a resident of this city and vicinity since 1871. He was born in Greene County, Tennessee, May 9, 1851, and is a son of William M. and Elizabeth (Hogan) Ferguson, both natives of Tennessee. The grandfather, Alexander Ferguson, was a native of Virginia, but at an early date came to Tennessee. Some of the early members of this family served in the Revolutionary War. The father of our subject came to Howell County, Missouri, in 1871, and located a quarter of a mile from Willow Springs. There his death occurred in 1888. He was a blacksmith and farmer, and a man well and favorably known throughout the county, being one of the early settlers of his section. In politics he was a Republican. While a resident of Tennessee he held the office of justice of the peace, and was elected to the same office in this neighborhood but did not serve. For many years he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, held the office of steward in the same, and was an excellent citizen. The old home place is only a quarter of a mile from Willow Springs, and part of the town is built on it. Mrs. Ferguson died in 1892. She was a sister of Squire James H. Hogan, of Willow Springs, and a lifelong member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They were the parents of ten children, eight of whom grew to mature years,...

Biography of James Chilton

JAMES CHILTON. This descendant of one of the most prominent families of Shannon County first saw the light of day on the old homestead near Eminence, his birth occurring April 3, 1854. He was but about eight years of age when his father was killed, and he attended the schools in the county until fifteen years of age. After this he commenced farming for himself and has continued this occupation up to the present time. He bought a farm near where his brother Perry now lives, 200 acres, and this he improved and resided on for some time. From there he moved to Willow Springs and after running a hotel for one winter, returned to Shannon County, and for some time resided on the old home place. In 189- he bought the place where he now lives and has as fine land as is to be found on Current River. He is wide-awake and progressive, his house and outbuildings are all in good condition, and it needs but a glance to show that an experienced hand is at the helm. Mr. Chilton enjoys not only the reputation of being a substantial and thorough-going farmer, but of an intelligent and thoroughly posted man on all the current events of the day. He chose his wife in the person of Miss Mary E. De Priest, daughter of Abraham De Priest, and their nuptials were celebrated in 1876. Mrs. Chilton passed away to that borne whence no traveler returns, on April 15, 1884. She was the mother of four children, three now living: Charles O., Nora E. and Isaac M. One, Walter...

Biography of H. M. Watchorn

H. M. WATCHORN. Among the most noted and enterprising men of the flourishing city of Willow Springs, Missouri, stands the name of H. M. Watchorn, the most efficient and capable mayor of the same. He has made his home in this city since 1883, and during that time his name has been inseparably linked with its progress and development. He is a native of the Emerald Isle, born May 27, 1862, and there grew to mature years and received a part of his education. He came to America with his father, Thomas Watchorn, who is now living on a farm in Lincoln County, Miss. After coming to this country our subject attended school for some time, but while still young started out to make his own way in life. He first became a foreman in the lumber business, and in 1883 he came to Willow Springs, where he took charge and was manager for the South Missouri Land Company, of the railroads and timber lands. He remained with this company seven years. In 1892 he bought a mill in Douglas County, Missouri, and this he still operates. It is located in a good pine country, and the mill is sawing 15,000 feet per day. This lumber is shipped from Willow Springs. Mr. Watchorn bought the planing mill, formerly the property of the South Missouri Land Company, employs forty-five hands, and is doing the largest business in this section of the county. He has made a success in a business way, and is the owner of four handsome dwelling houses in Willow Springs, besides his fine residence. All his property...

Biography of J. H. Hogan

J. H. HOGAN. Among the many successful men of Howell County, Missouri, none have made a more desirable reputation than J. H. Hogan, of Willow Springs. Born and reared on a farm in Greene County, Tennessee, from 1826 until his marriage he remained with his parents, receiving his education in the common schools. His father, Hiram Hogan, was a native of the Keystone State, but at an early age he moved to Tennessee, where he met and married Miss Sarah Bales. Their children, four in number, were named as follows: Mary (deceased) was the wife of Robert Caughran; Elizabeth (deceased) was the wife of W. M. Ferguson and the mother of James Ferguson, of Willow Springs; J. H. (our subject), and David B., who is living on the old home place in east Tennessee. The father of these children was a molder in an iron furnace and died when our subject was quite small. The mother was born and reared in Tennessee. After the death of Mr. Hogan she took for her second husband John Lutterall and reared a family of four children: Jesse, who is living in Howell County; Sarah (deceased) was the wife of George Patterson, of this county; Susan, widow of E. Shaw, and William, who is living near Willow Springs. Mrs. Hogan died about the year 1871. Equipped with a good common school education our subject started out to fight life’s battles for himself as an agriculturist, and, believing that man should not live alone, he selected a life companion in the person of Miss Amanda Lutterall, daughter of James and Mary Lutterall, both natives...

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