JUDGE SHADRACH CHILTON. Among the citizens of Van Buren, Carter County, Missouri, who have carved their way from a modest beginning to the rank of its prominent men, not one occupies a more enviable position than Judge Shadrach Chilton. Possessed of excellent ability, grafted upon a stock of sturdy honesty, he also possesses a goodly degree of those personal attributes that spring from a kindly heart, an honest purpose, a broad liberality and a fraternal sympathy. He is a descendant of one of the earliest pioneers in the county, John Chilton, who was born in Ray County, Tennessee, on May 9, 1805.
The latter was a son of Thomas and Susan (Inmann) Chilton. Thomas Chilton was born in the State of Virginia, and at an early date moved to Tennessee. There he married and resided until 1816, when he came to Madrid County, Missouri. Two years later he moved to Carter County and settled on the Current River, being the first man to settle that high up. He improved a farm at the mouth of Henpeck Creek, and as he delighted in hunting and fishing, his table was seldom lacking meat. A few years later he moved to Shannon County and carried on a mill until his death in 1863. He was a soldier in the Creek Indian War in Tennessee, and in politics was a Democrat. He reared nine sons and one daughter, as follows: Clementine, wife of Zimri Carter; Mark, died when a young man; John, the father of our subject; Charles T.; Thomas; Shadrach; Joshua; William; James and Francis M.
The father of our subject was about eleven years of age when he came to Missouri, and in this State he received but a limited education, only such as was gained by his own reading. Later he embarked in the sawmill business for twelve years and then farming, following the latter on a farm northwest of Van Buren, where he made his home until his death in April, 1874. He served one term as representative of Ripley County about the year 1844 or ’45. After the organization of Carter County he was elected judge of the County Court, which office he held until the late Rebellion. He held the office of assessor in Shannon County prior to the organization of Carter, which was also a part of Shannon County. He was a strong Democrat, and although a Southern sympathizer during the war, he took no active part in that struggle. Mr. Chilton was married in Shannon County to Miss Sophia Chilton, daughter of Thomas Chilton. She is still living on the old home place and although seventy-two years of age, enjoys comparatively good health. Eight children were the fruits of this union: Louise, who is living with the mother; Shadrach, subject; Emaline, deceased, was the wife of Noah Clark; Zimri, died in 1891; Joshua, died when seven years of age; Van Diemon, died when five years of age; John J., a farmer on Current River and Thomas, who is living on the old home place.
Our subject was born in Carter County, Missouri, February 8, 1847, and he there grew to mature years and received his education. When twenty-two years of age he married Miss Cynthia Coleman, a native of Tennessee, born August 14, 1846, and after this union they located on the farm where Mr. Chilton now resides and he has since followed farming and stockraising. In his political views Mr. Chilton is a Democrat and in 1876 he was elected county assessor, to which position he was reelected in 1878. In 1886 he was elected probate judge and held that position up to 1890. He has been active in politics and is an ardent supporter of his party. In his social relations he is a Mason, a member of Van Buren Lodge. His marriage resulted in the birth of six living children, as follows: Anderson; J. W.; Mary J., at home; Rose M.; Cora and Oliver. Two children, Thomas and Robert L., died young. The mother of these children passed away November 6, 1891. Judge Chilton has a good farm of 325 acres and has sixty acres cleared.