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Biography of Lewis Harvey De Priest

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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 was in the store of James F. Norton, at West Plains and Willow Springs. His father built the second house at Willow Springs. Later our subject returned to Shannon County and was made assistant postmaster in the House of Representatives in 1885. After that, but the same year, he was married to Miss Josie Boyd and became the father of three sons. For three years he worked as deputy sheriff under W. M. Freeman and in 1890 was elected sheriff. Two years later he was reelected to that position. He is an Odd Fellow, and a Democrat in politics.


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