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Biography of William H. Branson

Very few American families can trace their ancestry beyond three or four generations. This is due to the lack of a historical spirit among the early settlers of a country. They make no records, and only vague traditions carry their histories down to other generations. When the Branson family came to America cannot be accurately determined. It is, however, certain that early in the eighteenth century Thomas Branson came from England and settled in Chatham County, N. C. This makes the Branson family one of the old families of North Carolina, and identifies them with all the periods of the State’s growth. William Henry Branson belonged to the fifth generation from Thomas Branson. William’s father was named Thomas, doubtless for the original Branson, and was born in Randolph County, near Asheboro, in the year 1800. For four generations the Branson family remained in this section of the State, a fact which indicates an indisposition to rove from point to point in search of easier fortunes. Thomas Branson, the father of William H. Branson, was twice married; the first time to Miss Mary Lewellyn, the second time to Mrs. Prescott, who was a Miss Buck. William was the only child by this second wife. He was born near Cedar Falls, Randolph County, May 23, 1860. His father was a blacksmith, a vocation of large importance in the first half of the nineteenth century. The blacksmith was then a manufacturer, making not only all the implements of farming, but all the pieces of iron furniture in the best homes. Longfellow’s “Village Blacksmith” commemorates the true dignity and character of the hero...

Biographical Sketch of Jacob Branson

Jacob Branson was one of the early settlers of Douglas County and a leader of the free-soilers. His home was at Hickory Point, about ten miles south of Lawrence on the old Santa Fe road. Many of the early settlers in that region were Hoosiers, some of whom temporarily returned to the East. Their claims were at once jumped by Missourians and other pro-slavery men, and the quarrels over these land contestants were especially fierce. Franklin Coleman, a pro-slavery man, and Charles W. Dow, who lived with Branson and was a free-state man, quarreled over their claims and on November 21, 1855, Coleman shot and murdered Dow on the road. The assassin gave himself up to Samuel J. Jones, the sheriff of Douglas County, and a friend of the pro-slavery party, but after Dow’s funeral, the settlers of Hickory Point, under the leadership of Branson, organized a committee to see that justice was done. A warrant for his arrest was sworn out by one of Coleman’s friends, and Sheriff Jones, with his posse, attempted to serve it on Branson. But the sheriff and his force withdrew when he found the extent and quality of the opposition. Branson offered to leave Lawrence to prevent the enemy from sacking the town, but that misfortune was not to be until the following...

Biography of Reuben S. Branson

REUBEN S. BRANSON. This gentleman, who is the ex-county clerk and recorder of Taney County, occupies a conspicuous place among those who have achieved eminence solely by excellence of character, without any of the modern appliances by which unworthy persons gain undeserved and transient popularity. He is a native of Missouri, born in Gasconade County in 1853, and the son of Valentine and Alpha M. (Sherrill) Branson, natives of Bledsoe County, Tennessee, the former born in 1810 and the latter in 1819. The parents were married in that county, and soon after removed to Gasconade County, Missouri This was about 1844, when they located in the woods, and improved a good farm, on which Mr. Branson died in 1876. Mrs. Branson, who was a Baptist in her religious views, died in Greene County in 1885. The father followed farming all his life, and became quite well-to-do. He was a soldier in the Mexican War and served in the militia during the Rebellion. In politics he was a Republican, and was quite prominent in supporting his party. His father, Andrew Branson, came to Gasconade County, and died there before the war. He was a farmer, and inherited a great amount of push and energy from his Dutch ancestors. Our subject’s maternal grandfather, Samuel Sherrill, came from Tennessee at an early date and located in Maries County, where his death occurred before the war. He was also a farmer. The thirteen children born to our subject’s parents are named in the order of their births as follows: Alfred P., who resides in Mansfield, Tex., was captain of the State militia during...

John W. Branson

Corpl., Co. F, 29th Div., 116th Reg.; of Guilford County; son of W. E. and M. A. Branson. Entered camp at Petersburg, Va. Sent to Camp McClellan. Sailed for France June 15, 1918. Fought at Defensive Center Sector, Hauta, Alsace, July 25, 1918 to Sept 23; Meuse-Argonne offensive Sept. 26 to Oct. 11; Mallbrook Hill, Oct. 8; Molvile Farm Oct. 10, where he was gassed. Was on Mexican border seven months. Returned to USA May 20, 1919. Mustered out at Camp Lee, Va., May 27,...

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