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Biography of John W. Souder

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JOHN W. SOUDER. Prominent among the farmers and representative men of Douglas County, Missouri, we are gratified to present the name of Mr. John W. Souder, whose success here has certainly entitled him to consideration.

His parents, John and Polly (Carter) Souder, were natives of Pennsylvania and Virginia respectively. The Souder family moved to the Hoosier State at an early day, and later came to Gasconade County, Missouri, where they remained for a short time and then moved back to Indiana. In 1852 they returned to Gasconade County, made their home there until 1868, and then came to Ozark County, settling eight miles east of Gainesville, where the father of our subject took up a homestead. There his death occurred in 1870, after a long and useful career. He was a Republican in his political views. Mrs. Souder died in Ozark County in 1888. Both were prominent members of the Christian Church, in which Mr. Souder was an elder, and they were the parents of an old-fashioned family of thirteen children, our subject being among the younger members of the same.

He was born in Washington County, Indiana, April 8, 1846, but his scholastic training was received in the State of Missouri. When fourteen years of age he lost his right hand in a mill, and has had to make his way in life with one hand since. After reaching the age of twenty-one he started out to do for himself, and first engaged in farming in Gasconade County, where he remained until 1868. From there he moved to Ozark County and took up a homestead, remaining on the same for fifteen years. In 1882 he came to Douglas County and bought his present farm on Fox Creek. He now has 446 acres with about 175 acres under cultivation, and no where in the county can be found a better farm. He carries on stockraising in connection with farming, and has met with more than ordinary success in this industry. In politics he is a Republican. In 1878 and 1879 he represented Ozark County in the Legislature. He has ever been a stanch Republican, and has been active in all public affairs.

In the year 1868 Mr. Souder was married to Miss Nancy T. Ridenhour, a native of Gasconade County, Missouri, born October 15, 1851, and the daughter of Barnell and Susan (Williams) Ridenhour, natives of Tennessee, but early pioneers of Gasconade County, where the father died before the war. The mother passed away in Douglas County. Our subject’s marriage has been blessed by the birth of ten children, nine of whom are living: Louise A., died young; Nettie R., wife of William F. Sutherland, a farmer and stock man of Douglas County; Mary E., wife of Andrew Blankenship, a farmer of this county; Isa D., Emma E., Louis E., Homer G., Walter Otis, Pearly T. and Goldie G. In the Christian Church Mr. and Mrs. Souder holds membership, and in that and in the community in which they live they are held high in the estimation of the people. They have taken great pains to educate their children, and part of the year they live in Mt. Grove in order to give their children better schooling.

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