Location: Reynolds County MO

Biography of William Shy

WILLIAM SHY. It is always a pleasure to deal with the history of one who is a member of one of those grand old pioneer families whose bravery, fortitude and determination paved the way for the present advanced state of civilization, and William Shy is one of these. He is a successful farmer and merchant at Lesterville, Reynolds County, Missouri, and was born here in 1841. His parents, Eli and Mary Elizabeth (Smith) Shy, were born in Kentucky in 1802 and 1807, respectively, and were reared and married on Blue Grass soil. They made their home in the State of their birth until about 1830, when they moved to New Madrid County, Missouri, soon after to Bellevue, and one year later to what is now Reynolds County, settling on a tract of woodland in the vicinity of Lesterville, where they opened up a good farm after many years of hard toil, and there spent the remainder of their days, the father’s death occurring in March, 1855, and the mother’s in November, 1876. They were worthy members of the Missionary Baptist Church, became widely known and highly respected in this section and lived upright and useful lives. In addition to tilling the soil Mr. Shy was also engaged in blacksmithing, in fact turned his hand to anything by which he could earn an honest livelihood. He and his wife experienced...

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Biography of Dr. Tolman W. Cotton

DR. TOLMAN W. COTTON. Among those of Carter County, Missouri, who successfully follow the “healing art” as a profession is Dr. Tolman W. Cotton, who was born on the old home place in Reynolds County August 12, 1868. His grandfather, Aaron Cotton, was a native Tennessean, who came to Missouri about 1844, and took up his home in Reynolds County. He was already quite an aged man when he came to this State, and here was passed the remainder of his days. He and his wife, Nancy, reared a large family of children, who grew up honorable men and women. His son, S. W. Cotton, was born in Tennessee in February, 1830, and was about fourteen years of age when he came with his father to this county. Here he finished his growth and assisted his father on the farm until his marriage with Miss Mary A. Barnes, of a prominent family of this county. During the late unpleasantness between the North and South Mr. Cotton enlisted in the Confederate Army and served all through the war with Gens. Price and Marmaduke. He was taken prisoner and was kept in the prisons at St. Louis and Alton. Like his father he selected agricultural pursuits as his occupation in life and in that calling met with fair success. His political views were Democratic. His death occurred in February, 1892, but...

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Biography of D. H. Allison

D. H. ALLISON. There is nothing which adds so much to the pleasure and convenience of the public as a well-stocked, thoroughly appointed and ably managed livery stable. In such connection we make due reference to the livery establishment of Mr. D. H. Allison, whose reputation in that respect, as well as a trainer, is known throughout the length and breadth of the county. Mr. Allison has made his home and carried on business in Van Buren, Carter County, Missouri, for about two years and has met with well-deserved success. He was born at Irondale, Washington County, Missouri, and was reared in Reynolds County, where his parents, James and Nancy (Johnson) Allison, passed the closing scenes of their lives. The father following farming on Block River and was a soldier in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Both parents died in 1870. Their children, eleven in number, were named as follows: Jane; Jesse A.; Bettie; Mattie and Peggie died young; Haney; Mary; John; D. H.; Nancy E. and Charles. Our subject received a good, practical education in the common schools of St. Genevieve County, and assisted in farm work at home until eighteen years of age, when he started out to fight his own way in life. He continued working on farms until twenty-one years of age, and then became part owner of a saw mill. This he...

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Biography of Baley Smith

BALEY SMITH. One of the early pioneers of Reynolds County, Missouri, owes his nativity to Tennessee, his birth occurring in Scott County on November 10, 1841. His parents, John and Nancy (Cotton) Smith, were both born in that county. His grandfather, Isaac Smith, died in that State. John Smith and his brother, Barton, came to Reynolds County at an early date, about 1844, and for one year followed farming on Webb’s Creek. After that John came to Kelley’s Creek and bought the land where his son, Isaac Smith, is now living. He opened up this farm and by industry and perseverance became the owner of a good farm. He made the trip from Tennessee with ox team and came with quite a company of emigrants, the Cottons, Chitwoods and others, all of whom settled in this county. Part of the time Mr. Smith sold goods, and he was also a large dealer in stock, continuing the business until his death in 1868. Politically he was a Democrat, but he took no part in the Civil War. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and one of the most prominent men in the county. His wife was a daughter of Aaron Cotton, a pioneer and well-known man of this county. She was born in Tennessee, and was there married to Mr. Smith, whom she accompanied to Missouri in...

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Biography of Anderson Coleman

ANDERSON COLEMAN. It is a pleasure to chronicle the history of a man whose life has been one of honor and usefulness, and although he is considerable past the zenith of his career, Mr. Coleman has accumulated sufficient means to pass his declining years in peace and plenty. He is one of the old pioneers of Carter County, Missouri, to which section he came in 1858, and is honored and esteemed throughout its length and breadth. Mr. Coleman was born in Tennessee, October, 14, 1822, and the son of William and Betsey (Vaughan) Coleman, both of whom died in North Carolina. The father was a soldier in the War of 1812. The grandfather, Spencer Coleman, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. His ancestors came from England to America prior to the Revolutionary War, and settled in Virginia. Anderson Coleman was one of eleven children and when a young man removed to North Carolina. Later he returned to Tennessee, and in 1858 he came to Carter County, making the journey with ox teams, and settled in Carter County, on a farm near Van Buren, where he resided seventeen years. For some time during his residence in Carter County he held the office of constable, elected in 1866 or 1867. From there he moved to Wayne County and later to Reynolds County. All his life he has tilled the soil...

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Biography of Hon. William Alexander Ramsey

HON. WILLIAM ALEXANDER RAMSEY. This able associate  the Shannon County Court, from the Western District, is a native of Stanley County, N. C., born in 1845, and a son of Sanders Taylor and Leah (Light) Ramsey, who were also born in the Old North State, where they lived until 1846, when they removed to Tennessee, and four years later to Alabama, and two years from that time to Iron County, Missouri, where Mr. Ramsey died in January, 1894, aged about seventy-five years, and his wife in 1866, both having been members of the Southern Methodist Church. Mr. Ramsey was a farmer, a mechanic, and was an exceptionally skillful wheelwright and chairmaker. He led a very active life, made a good living for his family, was honest and upright, and although an uneducated man, was naturally intelligent. His second wife was Martha Howell, who still survives him. The paternal grandfather, Nathaniel Ramsey, is supposed to have been a North Carolinian, but nothing is positively known of him. Christopher Light, the maternal grandfather, came to Iron County, Missouri, about 1852, and finally settled in Dent County, where he died about 1879, a farmer and blacksmith by occupation. His wife died in Iron County in 1879. William Alex. Ramsey was the fifth of eight children born to his parents: John Franklin was a soldier for two years under Price, and died in...

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Biography of William W. Coleman

WILLIAM W. COLEMAN. Some men are possessed of such remarkable energy and activity that they are not content to do business in as extensive a manner as their competitors, but strive onward with restless zeal to excel them all and place their own establishment foremost in the ranks of industry. Men of this kind are valuable citizens, and are always foremost in advancing the public welfare. William W. Coleman is a representative man of this class. He conducts a first-class mercantile business in Van Buren, Carter County, Missouri, and this establishment is a worthy example of what energy and ambition can perform. Mr. Coleman is a native of North Carolina, born January 4, 1848, and the son of Anderson and Martha (Allen) Coleman (see sketch of father). Our subject was one of a family of children, as follows: Ambrose B., who died during the Civil War; Cynthia, deceased, was the wife of Shadrach Chilton; W. W., subject; Jas. Spencer, who died in 1882, left a family; Isaac, died during the war; Emilla J., died about the time of the breaking out of the war; Amanda, died young; Absalom, is a farmer of Carter County; and John, who died in 1887. Our subject passed his early life on a farm, and received limited educational advantages on account of the breaking out of the Civil War. When he became a man...

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Biography of Hon. John L. Greene

HON. JOHN L. GREENE. This well-known and prominent citizen of Pike Creek Valley is a native of Roane County, Tennessee, where he was born in 1835, a son of Theodrick and Mary (Hassler) Greene, natives of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, and Tennessee, born in 1799 and 1805 respectively. In 1811 Theodrick Greene was taken by his parents to Tennessee, grew to manhood there and was there married. In 1857 they removed to Marion County, Arkansas, by wagon and there the father spent the rest of his life, being killed during the war while at home. He was a Southern sympathizer and by occupation was a farmer. He was captain of a company of militia in an early day and led an active and busy life. His father, Thomas Greene, was a native of Virginia, but died in Roane County, Tennessee, a farmer. His wife, Amy (Kissee) Greene also died there. They reared a large family and two of their sons, William and John, were soldiers in the War of 1812. Michael Hassler, the maternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, came to Tennessee from New York in an early day, was of German descent, and followed farming and milling until his death. His wife, Agnes Scarboro, also died in Roane County. The wife of Theodrick Greene died in Sharpe County, Arkansas, in 1880, having become the mother of eight...

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Biography of Judge W. G. Mathes

JUDGE W. G. MATHES. Reynolds County, Missouri, has the distinction of being the place where, on September 4, 1839, Judge W. G. Mathes came into this world to make a record for integrity and uprightness which will be remembered as long as Stone County lasts. For over fifty years he has resided in this county, is a representative citizen of the same, and perhaps has done as much for its advancement as any other man. His parents, David and Elizabeth (Allen) Mathes, were natives of Warren County, Tennessee The father was reared in that State, and in 1843 came to Missouri, where he passed the closing scenes of his life. The mother moved to Stone County the same year that he died and settled on what is known as the McCord farm, where she resided about sixteen years. Her family consisted of these children: James, Polly, Rebecca, Nancy, Elizabeth, John, William, Wilson, Margaret, W. G. Mathes. (the subject of this sketch) and Minerva. The mother died about 1867. She was a member of the Baptist Church, in which the father also held membership. He was a lifelong farmer, and, in the early settlement of this county, underwent many hardships and privations. This family is of Scotch-Irish origin, and, on the paternal side, descendants of a soldier of the Revolution and of the Black Hawk War. For the father’s service...

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Biography of Edward Hampton Sutterfield

EDWARD HAMPTON SUTTERFIELD. This gentleman is the capable surveyor of Reynolds County, but his usual occupations are farming and stockraising, in following which he has met with more than ordinary success and has accumulated a competency. He owes his nativity to White County, Tennessee, where he first saw the light of day in 1830, a son of William and Dovie (Tap-ley) Sutterfield, who were also born in Tennessee in 1800 and 1810, respectively, and there made their home until 1840, when they came by wagon to what is now Reynolds County and located on a woodland tract on the west fork of the Black River, at which time but three or four settlements had been made on the creek. Mr. Sutterfield was a gunsmith, blacksmith and farmer, but lived only about one year after locating in Missouri. He was a Mason, and politically a Democrat. His father, Edward Sutterfield, came from Tennessee to what is now Reynolds County in 1839, and died here in 1849, his birth having occurred in old Virginia. He was of English ancestry, was a soldier of the Revolution, and afterward gave his attention to the peaceful pursuit of farming. The maternal grandfather, Tapley, was also a soldier of the Revolution, was a farmer by occupation, and passed from life in Tennessee. The wife of William Sutterfield remained a widow for thirty-seven years, and died...

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Biography of M. L. Copeland

M. L. COPELAND. The subject of this sketch is one who has built, by years of industry and good management, a business that is recognized as being one of the best of its kind in this section, a credit to Reynolds County. Mr. Copeland is a man who possesses the inherent qualities requisite to commercial success, in a very high degree, and in his chosen calling has attained an enviable position among his compeers. He is a prominent merchant at Barnesville, and was born in Reynolds County, Missouri, December 24, 1855, to the marriage of William and Elizabeth (Ellington) Copeland. The elder Copeland was born in North Carolina as was his father, Landon Copeland, who came to Reynolds County at an early day, settling on Logan Creek, where he followed farming. He came to this county by wagon and was one of the prominent men in the county in his day. He reared a family of eight children: James, William, Lott, and others not remembered. William Copeland came to this county when a small boy, grew to mature years, and became one of the successful and enterprising farmers and merchants of the same. Early in life he began merchandising at Barnesville at a time when he was obliged to have his goods hauled by ox teams from St. Louis. Until 1876 he carried on this business, when his death...

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Biography of H. R. Dickson

H. R. DICKSON. It seems impossible to think that where are now magnificent fields of corn and thrifty farms, less than half a century ago was a wilderness inhabited by wild animals and savages. Still stranger is it to think that we have in our midst one of those old settlers who spent his best energies in subduing the wilderness and bringing it to the state of perfection apparent to all. H. R. Dickson was born in Ashe County, N. C., July 31, 1824, and was the eldest of twelve children born to the marriage of William and Frances (Cross) Dickson, both natives of the Old North State. William Dickson was the son of Douglas Dickson and the grandson of Thomas Dickson, who was a native of Scotland and who came to this country at an early day. The latter settled in North Carolina, and there followed farming, as also did his sons, in Ashe County. There his death occurred. Douglas Dickson died in that county also. The father of our subject grew to manhood in North Carolina, and about 1856 came to Missouri locating on a farm in Reynolds County. He was a prominent man in the county, a leader in the Baptist Church, and an excellent citizen. Previous to coming to Missouri he was a resident of Scott County, Tennessee, for some time, and while there held...

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Biography of M. B. Chitwood

M. B. CHITWOOD, another of the early pioneers of Reynolds County, Missouri, was born in Campbell County, Tennessee, on the 6th of July, 1828, to the marriage of William and Cecili (Whitecotton) Chitwood, both natives of that State also. The paternal grandfather, Pleasant Chitwood, passed his entire life in Tennessee, engaged in farming. The maternal grandfather, Aaron Whitecotton, came to this county in 1844, and followed farming on Webb’s Creek until his death about 1866. The parents of our subject were married in their native State, and in 1841 they moved with ox-teams from that State to Reynolds County, Missouri They settled on a farm on Webb’s Creek, in the woods, and there the father died a few years later, leaving our subject, who was the eldest of the family, although but sixteen years of age, to take charge of affairs. Mrs. Chitwood reared her family and after all were married she was wedded to J. Odell. Both are now deceased, her death occurring in 1878. Her children, eight in number, were named as follows: M. B. (subject), Kizzie, Sallie, Helen, Pleasant, Aaron, Elizabeth and William. Only Helen, Aaron and Elizabeth, besides our subject, are living, and the latter is the only one living in this county. When sixteen years of age young Chitwood assumed control of affairs on his father’s farm and managed this successfully for many years....

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Biography of William Rayfield

WILLIAM RAYFIELD. This well-known and successful farmer and stock-man of Middle Fork, Reynolds County, Missouri, was born in Cumberland County, Kentucky, in 1829, of which State his parents, John and Nancy (King) Rayfield, were also natives. They resided in Kentucky until the subject of this sketch was about one year old, then came by wagon to what is now Reynolds County, Missouri, and were among the very first settlers of this section, and for many years experienced severe hardships and privations, which always fall to the lot of the pioneer. Indians were very numerous in that early day, wild animals abounded in the woods, and there was a marked scarcity of white settlers. They improved a fine farm in this section, but it was long before they had anything but the barest necessities of civilized life. Their nearest market and post-office was Potosi, forty miles away, but they were very frequently compelled to go to St. Louis to market their farm products. Mr. Reynolds died just prior to the opening of the Civil War, having been an industrious farmer, a substantial citizen and an accommodating friend and neighbor. He and his wife, who died soon after the war, were worthy members of the Missionary Baptist Church. The maternal grandfather, William King, also came to Reynolds County in a very early day and here was engaged in farming until his...

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Biography of James Moore

JAMES MOORE. One of the men who have controlled circumstances in life and commanded success is James Moore, a representative farmer of Reynolds County, Missouri He is a man of advanced ideas and tendencies and is well known all over the county. By industry and good management he has become the owner of 284 acres of land, and he has been exceedingly liberal in his contributions to all charitable and philanthropic causes. Mr. Moore was born in Stokes County, N. C., August 13, 1844, and his parents, William and Polly (Westmoreland) Moore, were natives of the same county and State. The grandfather, Alexander Moore, who died in North Carolina, was a farmer. He was born in Ireland and came to America at an early day. In connection with farming he also followed teaching in the Old North State. William Moore grew to manhood in North Carolina, and in 1859 made his way toward the setting sun and settled in this county, on Logan’s Creek. There he and his wife are still living. They made the journey to this State by wagon, settled on a new farm, and here they have since made their home, the father engaged in tilling the soil. Previous to the war Mr. Moore was a Whig in politics, but since that time he has affiliated with the Republican party. Nine children were born to this...

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