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Biography of John D. Forbis

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JOHN D. FORBIS. Among the worthy residents of Lincoln Township, Christian County, Missouri, it is but just to say that Mr. Forbis occupies a conspicuous and honorable place, for he has always been honest, industrious and enterprising, and as a result has met with more than ordinary success. He is a man well known in agricultural circles, and is recognized as a careful, energetic farmer and stockdealer, who by his advanced ideas and progressive habits has done much to improve the farming and stockraising interests of his section. He has a native pride in this township, for he was born here in 1848, and it is but natural that he should strive to see all its matters placed on a footing equal, if not superior, to the affairs of other counties in the State. His father, Joseph G. Forbis, was probably born in North Carolina about 1815, but when quite small immigrated with his parents to Kentucky. While but a youth he left his parents and went to the Prairie State, where he remained until about 1830, when he came to what is now Christian County, working as a farm hand there for some time. Later he married Miss Sarah Dixon, mother of our subject, and located in the woods near where the James Bridge is on James River, nine miles east of Billings and sixteen miles south of Springfield. Here he improved a good farm, but subsequently settled on another farm in the woods near by, on which he spent the remainder of his days, dying in 1882. He was a lifelong farmer and an honorable, upright and industrious citizen. This worthy man was one of the very first settlers of Christian County, and one of its most thrifty and progressive citizens. He settled in this county long before the Indians were removed. His first wife died in 1862 and his second union was with Mrs. Louisa Owens (nee Hinds), by whom he had six children. Our subject was second in order of birth of five children: Robert A., a prominent farmer of this township; subject; Samuel D., another farmer of this township; Elizabeth, deceased, was the wife of William Owens, and Martha A., who died young.

Our subject has spent all his life in this neighborhood, and received but very little schooling. In July, 1864, when but seventeen years of age, he joined Company H, Seventy-second Missouri Volunteer Cavalry, for sixteen months and served until the close of the war. His principal service was on Gen. Price’s raid, during which time he fought at Booneville, Jefferson City, Fort Scott, Kan., and Newtonia. He was discharged at Springfield in 1865. Mr. Forbis selected his wife in the person of Miss Sarah Lucy O’Bryant, a native of this county, and their nuptials were celebrated in 1873. Her parents, Jackson and Louisa O’Bryant, were very early settlers of what is now Christian County, and the former is now residing in Republic. Mrs. O’Bryant died a number of years ago. Mr. and Mrs. Forbis’ union was blessed by the birth of eight children, as follows: Sarah, wife of H. F. Bledsoe; Robert J.; Mary, died when fifteen years of age; Martha; Cretia Beulah; and Joseph J., Noah and Martha died in infancy. The mother of these children died in August, 1889. For about twenty years Mr. Forbis has lived on his present farm of 335 acres, adjoining the farm on which he was born, and has it well improved and well cultivated. He devotes all of his attention to farming and stockdealing, and is engaged in buying and feeding. Mr. Forbis has made his property by his own exertions and is now a stock-holder in the Bank of Billings. In politics he is a Democrat, but has never sought for office.


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