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Biography of Jebez Ham

Jabez Ham, brother of John, was born in Madison Co., Ky., in 1797, and came to Missouri in 1817. He had no education, was of a roving disposition, and did nothing for several years but hunt and fish. His mind was naturally bright, and if he had been educated he would have made a remarkable man. Rev. Aley Snethen and Lewis Jones taught him the alphabet and learned him to read, and in 1824 he began to preach, having united with the Old or Hard Shell Baptist Church. In 1826 he organized a church of that denomination on Loutre Creek, and called it New Providence. For some time after he began to preach he always carried his gun with him when he went to church, both on week clays and Sundays, and often killed deer on his way to and from his preaching places. He also manufactured powder, which he had a ready sale for at high prices; and by this means and from the proceeds of his rifle he made a living and did well. He was a large, stout man, and often added emphasis to his opinions by the use of his fists. On a certain occasion he forgot the text that he had intended to preach from, and when he arose in the pulpit he announced the fact by saying to the congregation that he had a text when he left home, but had lost it, and he had looked for it, and Hannah (his wife) had looked for it, but they could not find it; but to the best of his belief it was ” somewhere in the hind end of Job, or thereabouts, and it went about this way”Do any of you all know the good old woman they call Mary, or Sal of Tarkus, who said you must not put new wine in old bottles, for the bottles will bust and the good stuff will all be spilled.” Mr. Ham often compared his sermons to an old shot-gun loaded with beans, which, when it went off, was almost sure to hit somebody, or somewhere. He died in Callaway County in 1842, and was buried at New Providence Church, in Montgomery County. His wife was Hannah Todd, of Kentucky, and they had fourteen children. Rev. Stephen Ham, brother of John and Jabez, married Jane Johnson, of Kentucky, and came to Missouri in 1828. He settled in Montgomery County where he still lives, in his 72d year. He also is a Baptist preacher. He had eight children, and John and Hardin Ham, the well known and popular merchants of Montgomery City, are his sons.

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