Location: Benton Missouri

Biographical Sketch of William Ward

William Ward was born in Clinton county, Missouri, December 8, 1844. He is a son of Rev. A. J. Ward, a minister in the Baptist Church and now laboring in this and adjoining counties. His father was a native of Kentucky, and his mother whose maiden name was Nancy. Sharp, was a native of Tennessee; she died when he was about ten years of age. At about the age of seventeen years he enlisted as a member of Company C, Eleventh Missouri Cavalry, and served about three years and was with the regiment in its many scouts and marches and always able and ready for duty; was never wounded, taken prisoner, nor in the hospital; and all of this service was rendered in defense of his country while yet a minor. At the close of the war he engaged in farming till February, 1881, when he began his present drug business. He was married March 5, 1870, to Miss Delilah Williams. She was born in December, 1853, in Daviess county; her father, William Williams, was born in Kentucky, and her mother, Amanda Williams, nee Webb, was a native of Ohio; they are still residents of this county. Mr. Ward has always had to depend upon his own resources and as a result now owns sixty acres of land, a town residence, and an interest in the drug store. He...

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Biographical Sketch of William P. Erwin

Was born in Wayne county, Indiana, October 30, 1829. His parents, John and Elizabeth Platt Erwin, were natives of Delaware and of Scotch-English descent. They moved to Indiana in 1828. Young Erwin was brought up on a farm and received his education at the excellent schools in the neighborhood where he lived and received a good English education. In August, 1851, he married Miss Eliza Cabberly, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, born in 1827. After marriage he was engaged in farming in Indiana till 1879, then moved to Missouri and located in Daviess county. Here he owns a fine farm of one hundred and forty acres. One child, Edwin P. Erwin, born December 28, 1852, has blessed their union. Mr. Erwin has been a life-long Republican and glories in the name. He had no means when he was married but now is possessed of a fine home and is a highly esteemed and respected citizen. He devotes much of his time in the interests of education” and says the best investment he makes is when he pays his school tax. He was reared a Hickite Quaker, but because he married out of the church was turned out, and is now very liberal in his religious...

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Biography of William M. Williams

William M. Williams was born in Greenup county, Kentucky, February 9, 1834. His parents, John D. and Eleanor Williams, nee McCosky, were among the first settlers of Kentucky. They came to Missouri in 1841, and, on April 20th, of that year, camped on Grand River in this county near where William M. Williams now lives. His father was a member of the legislature for two terms from this county. He sold goods in Old Pattonsburg for quite a number of years and had an extensive acquaintance over northwest Missouri. He died January 31, 1872; his wife, the mother of the subject of this sketch, died in 1854. In 1858 young Williams started for the far West and spent one winter in Texas, then in the spring of 1859, in company with two other men, procured an outfit and started for Pike’s Peak and when in the Osage Nation they lost their teams and had to dispose of their wagons and provisions, and falling in with men driving cattle to California he engaged with them and drove through, being seven months on the trip. He engaged in mining till 1862, then went to Carribo Mines, in British Columbia, remained but a short time till his means were exhausted. (It was during the time of high prices there, when flour and beans were one dollar per pound, and other things in...

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Biography of William Earl

William Earl was born in Monroe county, New York, April 13, 1816. His parents, John and Frances Earl, were natives of New Jersey. They located near Rochester, New York, and Mr. Earl engaged in the mercantile business. When young Earl was five years of age his father died and four years later his mother also died. At this early age he started to earn his own living. He first worked near Buffalo, New York, next in different parts of Ohio; and after making a little money attended school at Carthage and by hard study acquired a fair education in the common school branches. He then began steamboating on the Ohio River, first, shipping as a deck sweeper and from that through all the intermediate duties till he secured the position of mate, and after this came to Missouri and located in Ray county, but bought land in Daviess county. In 1853 be married Miss Paulina Linnville, of Gentry county, and settled upon his land in Daviess county and began improving it. He now owns 380 acres of fine, well improved land. Five children have blessed their marriage; namely, Mary J., a teacher in Gallatin; George D., in business in Gentry county; F. B. and Lee Ann, both at home; John.. H., died January 10, 1875, at the age of nineteen years. Mr. Earl has filled many positions of honor...

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Biography of William C. Atkinson

William C. Atkinson is a native of Rockingham county North Carolina, born April 25, 1809. His parents, William and Mary Atkinson, nee Clark, were both born in Maryland; his father forty miles east of Baltimore and his mother in Annapolis. His grandfather, Royal Clark, was the founder of Clarksville, Maryland. The parents of our subject moved to North Carolina and both died in Rockingham county, his mother in 1835 and his father in 1843. His half brother, Thomas Atkinson, was one of the first settlers in Daviess county and died near Gallatin in 1837. At the age of twenty-two years William C. Atkinson left his Kentucky home to do for himself, and January 10, 1832, was united in marriage to Miss Mary F. Shores, a native of North Carolina, born October 27, 1811. By this union sixteen children were born; namely, Melinda, wife of Seth Macy; Martha, wife of W. S. Boyce; Bianca, wife of William F. Boyce; Mary J., wife of R. Shores; John H., in Nebraska; Elzena, wife. of S. Atkinson; Nancy A., wife of John Heath; Emily A., wife of H. N. Elam; and William Monroe Atkinson, died January 22, 1864, while a member of the Twelfth Missouri Cavalry; the others died in infancy. Mrs. Atkinson died March 23, 1861. He married, October 2. 1861, Miss Susan Deering, a native of Bedford county, Virginia, born April...

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Biographical Sketch of W. T. Miller

W. T. Miller was born in Hawkins county, Tennessee, December 4, 1828. His parents Obadiah and Susan A. Miller, were early settlers of Missouri; his mother died May 5, 1876, and his father, May 25, 1878. When twenty-one years of age he began by renting a small piece of land, was industrious and saving, and in 1853 was able to buy forty acres of raw land. He has kept steadily increasing his possessions until he now owns over four hundred acres of highly improved land. On June 23d, 1853, he was married to Miss Charity W. Nance, a native of Bedford county, Virginia, born September 1, 1832. She was the daughter of Allen B. and Polly Nance, who were natives of Virginia, but very early settlers of Daviess county. Her mother is dead, but her father is still a resident of this county. Ten children have blessed. this union, nine of whom are still living: Ethelbert W., born April 26, 1855; Charles M., born April 8,1858; Archibald W., born April 15, 1862; Davis L., born July 2, 1864; Connelly J., born October 4, 1866; Gustavus-T., born September 20, 1868; Lucy L., born June 12, 1871; Bob H., born December 29, 1874; Josie L., born August 20,’ 1877; and Mary C., born April 23, 1860, died in infancy. Mr. Miller is one of those men who have worked up from...

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Biographical Sketch of W. H. Deskin

W. H. Deskin is a native of Pike county, Kentucky, born June 5, 1854. His parents, W. H. and Louisa Deskin, nee Atkins, were natives of Kentucky and are now both dead. January 26, 1863, his father was commissioned lieutenant of cavalry to rank from October 4, 1862, by Governor John Letcher of Virginia; served till the close of the war, and participated in many memorable battles; was taken prisoner at Alexandria and while in prison contracted a disease that ended in his death, August 8, 1866. His wife, the mother of the subject of our sketch, only survived him ten years. Young Deskin, when but thirteen years of age, began supporting himself, working on the farm in summer and attending school in the winter; from that age he clothed and boarded himself and bought his own books. February 13, 1861, he came to Daviess county, Missouri, and worked at farming and attended school till he received a good business education. He then learned the barber’s trade, which occupation he followed for five years. He has so conducted himself and won the confidence of the people that in the spring of 1881 he was appointed city marshal, which position he is at present filling with...

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Biography of W. G. Weldon

W. G. Weldon was born in Hart county, Kentucky, November 29, 1835; son of Jonathan and Sarah Weldon, nee Burch. They were both natives of Pittsylvania county, Virginia, and were reared there, but moved to Hart county, Kentucky, and were there married and lived from 1830 till 1856, then moved to Missouri and located in Harrison county. His father died on April 20th, 1880, but his mother is still a resident of Daviess county. Young Weldon was an apt and industrious student and after graduating at Camden Seminary, Kentucky, he began school teaching and after coming to Missouri was engaged for ninety-six months teaching in Harrison and Daviess counties, and was considered one of our leading and most successful educators. During the war he was a member of the Missouri State Militia, and in 1864 became orderly sergeant of Company E, Forty-third Missouri Volunteer Infantry, and served till the close of the war. He was captured by Price’s forces on October 15th, 1864, and kept a prisoner for three months, then exchanged. After the close of the war he engaged in the mercantile business and farming in Daviess counties, and has made a success of both. He has acquired some very fine property and established an enviable reputation as an accommodating and thorough business man and today takes the lead among the active and public spirited men in this...

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Biographical Sketch of Thomas Walker

Thomas Walker is a native of Stokes county, North Carolina, born December 9, 1814. His parents, Owen and Susannah Walker, were also natives of North Carolina, but moved to Monroe county, Indiana, and lived there about two years, and there, in 1846, the father died. The mother and family then moved to McLean county, Illinois, and lived there two years, then in the fall of 1849 they moved to Missouri and located in Daviess county, and here the mother died in 1856. On January 19th, 1835, Mr. Walker was united in marriage to Miss Cynthia Evans, born in Stokes county, North Carolina. Two children were born to them: Mary A., now wife of Marion Graves, of Indiana; and Eli, now living in Gentry county, Missouri. Mrs. Walker died and Mr. W. was married, the second time, in August, 1856, to Mrs. Jane Low, nee Rice. She was born in Indiana, but came with her parents to Harrison county, Missouri, at a very early day. By this marriage, they had three children; namely, Henry, born June 19, 1858; Martha and Mary, born -November 21, 1861; Martha is now the wife of William Howard, and Mary is residing with her parents. Mr. Walker owns a fine farm of 120 acres, well improved and stocked. He has served as school director although he never had an opportunity of attending school a day...

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Biographical Sketch of Thomas J. Mattingly, M. D.

Thomas J. Mattingly is a native of Richmond, Madison county, Kentucky, born September 30, 1828; son of Ignatius and Mary Daft Mattingly, both natives of St. Marys county, Maryland, and early settlers of Kentucky. His father died in 1832 and his mother in 1867. At the age of eighteen years he went to Lawrence county, Indiana, and there began the study of medicine and lived in various parts of the State till 1852, when he came to Missouri and located at Plattsburg. He was engaged in the land office department till 1861, and then began the practice of medicine at Pattonsburg. He began the study of his profession without any assistance, but by perseverance and care succeeded, having graduated at Louisville, Kentucky; he has an extensive practice and is one of the best and most favorably known physicians in this part of the country. He has been married three times, first to Miss Catherine Woodward, of Lawrence county, Indiana; she only lived six months after marriage. The second marriage was in 1856, to Mrs. E. Embry ; by this second marriage six children were born: Noble, now living in Texas; Nannie, wife of E. D. Powell; Ida, Francis E., Edward and Florence; his second wife died May 9, 1876. December 4, 1878, he married Mrs. Josie B. Stearns, of Chillicothe, Missouri. Dr. Mattingly has a good town residence and...

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Biography of Rev. Robert R. Witten

Rev. Robert R. Witten is one of the pioneers of the Methodist Church in Missouri. He was born October 8, 1831, in McMinn county, Tennessee, and is a son of Rev. James Witten, who was born in Tazewell county, Virginia, January 5, 1793. The parents of Rev. James Witten with their family, moved to Sequatchie Valley, Tennessee, James then being sixteen years of age and the oldest of the family, and his father being quite feeble, nearly all the work of opening up a new farm in a heavily timbered country devolved upon him; he never attended school to exceed six months in his life, but so thoroughly did he mingle hard study with hard labor that he mastered all the branches of mathematics and also acquired a fine knowledge of all branches of an English education. Iie served as first lieutenant in the war of 1812, and shortly after the close of the Civil War was licensed as a preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church and labored in various pastoral charges in Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. In the year 1820 he married Miss Eliza S. Ewing, of Lee county, Virginia. In 1848 he came to Missouri and labored as an itinerant, his field of labor being all of north-west Missouri. He was once threatened by a mob in Clay county, that if he did not quit...

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Biographical Sketch of Obadiah Persinger

Obadiah Persinger was born in Botetourt county, Virginia, January 3, 1815. His parents, John and Rachel Persinger, were both natives of Virginia, of German de-scent. They came to Howard county, Missouri, in the year 1821, and settled at Old Franklin. After residing there two years they moved to Clay county, where they lived ten years, then moved to Clinton county and remained for four years. On February 23d, 1837, Mr. Obadiah Persinger married Miss Rebecca Elliott, a native of Anderson county, Kentucky, born May 14, 1816. Her parents, John and Ruth Elliott, were born in Kentucky and came to Missouri in 1832, and settled in Clinton county. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Persinger settled in Buchanan county, and were among its earliest settlers. They lived there four years, then moved to Gentry county, and in the fall of 1859 permanently located on what is now their beautiful farm in Benton township. Ten children have beeu born to them, nine of whom are still living and grown to manhood and womanhood; viz., Elizabeth, Rachel, John, Susan, Joseph, Martha, Thomas, Rebecca, James W.; and Lewis E., who died when five months old. When this couple started in life together they had nothing, but moved into a small log cabin without floor, door or chimney, but they were young and had strong hands and were determined to win for themselves and...

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Biographical Sketch of Mrs. Nancy Meadows

Nancy Gwinn is a native of Monroe county, Virginia, born October 17, 1809. Her parents, Joseph and Mary Gwinn, were both natives of Virginia. Her father died April 3, 1862, and her mother, June 23, 1872. November 27, 1832, she was married to John Meadows, a native of Monroe county, Virginia, born May 24, 1809. Soon after marriage, this couple started out empty handed, but determined to win for themselves a home, and after working nine years in Virginia, they secured a team and started for Missouri, and on November 12th, 1841, after a long and tedious travel, they landed and located on the present homestead in Daviess county. Mr. Meadows died March 10, 1880; he was a strict member of the Presbyterian Church; was president of the Farmer’s Bank, of Gallatin, for many years; and was a man widely and favorably known, and one in whom the people had great confidence; his loss was deeply mourned by his family and a large circle of friends. He left a fine estate worth about 830,000 and some 650 acres of choice land. Eight children were born to them; viz., Mary E., Sylvester S., Joseph T., Martha B., Hudson C., James A., Susan P., and Miriam J. Mrs. Meadows resides upon the old homestead, which is one of the finest in Benton town-ship. She is a member of the Presbyterian Church...

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Biography of N. G. Dillon

N. G. Dillon was born in Benton township, Daviess county, Missouri, January 27, 1845. His father, William Dillon, was born in Ohio, but removed to Illinois when quite young and in the year 1838 came to Missouri, and located about six -miles north of Pattonsburg: thus he stands entitled to the honor of being one of the first pioneers of Daviess county. His mother, Lydia Dillon, nee Poe, was born in Tennessee, but married William Dillon in Illinois, and shortly afterwards the young couple came to Missouri and located in this county and selected for themselves out of the then wilderness a tract of land which they have converted into a beautiful home and where they reared their family, the subject of this sketch being the eldest of the only two now living. His brother, Seth, who is a minister of the Missionary Baptist Church in Gentry county, being the other son. The mother died April 28, 1880, on the old homestead where she had lived for over forty years, and the father is still living and making his home with his children. The subject of our sketch was educated at Grand River College and there qualified himself for the profession of teaching and subsequently taught in this and Harrison county. On February 28th, 1868, he was united in marriage to Miss Sarah E. Safer, a native of Illinois....

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Biographical Sketch of Mrs. Mary A. Newcomb

Mary Ann Ross was born in Bedford county, Virginia, January 13, 1812. She deserves a prominent place among the pioneer women of Daviess county, for early in November, 1839, she and her husband landed and located upon the farm now occupied by them in Benton township. February 1, 1837, she was married to Philip R. Ellis, a native of Monroe county, Virginia, born August 23, 1815. After marriage they lived in Monroe county, Virginia, until 1839, then with one team and just enough to bring them through, they came to Missouri and settled as above mentioned, when this was but a wilderness. They were poor, but hopeful and willing to work, and struggle lovingly together to prepare a home for their family. Although they had but little, still their wants were few, and they lived happily and comfortably together. They had four children; viz., John N., born November 28, 1837; Nancy E., born October 22, 1842; Owen, born December 21, 1844; and Marion, born December 28, 1850 John N. and Nancy are both dead. Mr. Ellis died September 28, 1852. He was a man highly esteemed by all. March 9, 1878, she was married to John K. Newcomb. Shortly after marriage, Mr. Newcomb was injured while working in a well, and only lived three weeks after. He was class-leader in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a useful and honest...

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