HENRY J. HINKLE. No better proof of the advancement of Sparta in the last few years can be shown than the dimensions which the hardware trade has assumed. Among those prominently engaged in that line of business in the county is Henry J. Hinkle, who is a gentleman of standing and repute, his business being the outgrowth of his own energy and push. Mr. Hinkle was born in Fremont County, Iowa, March 8, 1856, and is a son of William and Alvira (Winstow) Hinkle. The elder Hinkle was a native of the Keystone State and of German descent. The father moved from his native State to Iowa and from there to Lawrence County, Missouri, where he remained until 1870, and then settled in Taney County, that State. There his death occurred in 1876. He was a blacksmith and followed that together with farming all his life. The mother is still living and finds a comfortable home with our subject. She was also a native of Pennsylvania. Eleven children, seven of whom are living, were born to this worthy couple. They were named as follows: Henry, subject; Frank, who is a farmer near Sparta; Albert, residing in Taney County; Minnie, the wife of Mac Adair, of Indian Territory; Daniel, a farmer of Taney County; Ida, the wife of George Bullock, of Clay County; Lillie, a widow, residing in Clay County; James, Mahala, and two infants deceased. The family attend the Christian Church, and in politics the father is a Republican. He was a wealthy man, a good citizen, and was well liked by all acquainted with him. With credit to herself Mrs. Hinkle has reared a large family, and is a most estimable lady. She is now about sixty years of age.
The early days of our subject were passed in Iowa, but he came to Missouri with his parents and secured a fair education in this State. He learned the blacksmith’s trade with his father and when grown started a shop for himself in Taney County at Kirbyville, where he remained for six years. He then emigrated to Texas and in connection with his trade carried on farming. About 1883 he came to Sparta, Missouri, and opened a shop, working at his trade until about 1892. He then embarked in the hardware business, and has been unusually successful in this pursuit. He started a hotel and is proprietor of the same at the present time. Since the age of sixteen years he has been a member of the Christian Church and has ever contributed liberally to its support. Politically he is a Republican. He has a pleasant and comfortable home in Sparta and this is presided over by his wife, formerly Miss Ellen Stephens, a native of Illinois, and the daughter of Thomas A. and Elizabeth (Davis) Stevens, of Taney County. Mr. and Mrs. Hinkle became the parents of five children, two dying in infancy. The others are William T., Jasper N. and Tulela A. Mrs. Hinkle is a lady of much business capacity, and performs the duties of landlady with much command and ability. Mr. Hinkle carried a stock of goods valued at about $3,000 until December, 1893, when Mr. James B. Dixon bought a half interest. They are both influential business men and are making a success of the hardware business.