Location: Sparta Missouri

Biography of A. C. Crain

A. C. CRAIN, ex-sheriff of Christian County and one of the representative men of the same, is now living a retired life at Sparta, Missouri He is a native of Tennessee, born in Franklin County October 2, 1833, and the son of William B. and Alice (Ford) Crain, natives of Tennessee. The grandfather, William B. Crain, was a native of North Carolina and came to Tennessee at an early day. Later he moved with his family to Stoddard County, Missouri, and in 1842 settled with his family in Greene County. Previous to this, in 1839, the father of our subject died and the mother followed him to the grave the following year. Both died in Stoddard County. The grandfather reared the three children born to this union. William Crain resided in Taylor Township, Greene County, for three or four years and then moved on the James River, near Galloway. Two years later he moved to Newton County, Missouri, before it was organized and made his home there for three years. There his death occurred and the family subsequently moved back to Greene County, settling in the same neighborhood where they had formerly lived. Some years later the grandmother went back to Newton County and there received her final summons. She and her husband were the parents of eleven children: Mahala, Lucinda, Hannah, Dollie, Mary, James, Hiram, William B. (father...

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Biography of Taylor Bray

TAYLOR BRAY. The Bray family is of Irish extraction and the family tree took root on American soil at an early date. Our subject’s grandfather, William Bray, was a native of North Carolina, in which State he passed his entire life. His son, Mark Bray, father of our subject, was also a native of the Old North State, born December 21 796, and died December 19, 869. The latter was married in his native State to Miss Margaret Patterson, also a native of North Carolina, and there their nine children were born. About 1840 or 1841 they, in company with about sixty of their friends, among whom were the McDaniel and Marley families and others, emigrated to Christian County, Missouri, and settled near Sparta. The McDaniels and Marleys settled near Ozark. Mr. Bray, who settled near Sparta also, bought a tract of land, which was afterward known as the Bray settlement, and subsequently became the owner of a large tract of land and one of the wealthiest men in the county. The Bray family became very prominent in this section and were highly esteemed by all. Mr. Bray was an excellent shot and killed many deer and turkeys, for the woods abounded in game at that time. Mrs. Bray did her own spinning and weaving. In political matters Mr. Bray was a Democrat and previous to the Civil War...

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Biography of Hon. J. J. Bruton

There are men, and the number is by no means small, who drift into what we are accustomed to look upon as the learned profession in the same way that thousands of men in the lower walks of life drift into the ordinary bread-winning occupations. Having no special preference for any calling, and without feeling that they have any particular fitness for a certain profession, they find themselves drifting in that direction as a result of associations or environment, and in the course of time they find themselves shouldering responsibilities for which they have scant liking, carrying burdens which rest heavily upon them, and laboring in a field which has for them no attraction other than what is yielded in the way of annual incomes. The prominent lawyer whose name heads this sketch impresses even those who meet him in a casual way as a man who has drifted easily and naturally into his calling, who realizes he has made no mistake in the choice of his vocation, and feels thoroughly at home in the position which he occupies. This first impression deepens as a more intimate acquaintance and familiarity with his life leads to the unbiased and impartial view that the success he has achieved is the logical sequence of talent rightly used, together with energy and industry never misapplied. Mr. Bruton is a native of this State,...

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Biography of Dr. C. B. Elkins

DR. C. B. ELKINS. The noble profession of medicine affords to the student in that science a never-ending source of investigation and experiment. New remedies are constantly being discovered, steady progress is being made in surgery and new diseases are presenting themselves under varying forms of civilization. In the noble army of workers in this great field may be found the name of Dr. C. B. Elkins, who, since 1888, has resided in Ozark, Christian County, Missouri. He came from Cannon County, Tennessee, in 1870, and with his father settled in Christian County about three miles from Ozark. There his father, H. R. Elkins, still resides. Dr. Elkins owes his nativity to Tennessee; in which State his birth occurred in 1862. His mother, Ruth Neely, was also born in that State and was a daughter of Alexander Neely. The Elkins family have been known in America ever since colonial days and have been residents of Tennessee from the very early history of that State. When Dr. Elkins was five years old he was left motherless with a brother and sister. The former, Euclid Elkins, became a man of family and died in Ozark County, Missouri, in 1881, and the latter, Melissa, became the wife of W. L. Phillips of Christian County. After the death of the wife and mother, the father married again and by his second wife became...

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Biography of Martin V. Tyndall

Martin V. Tyndall is also a native of Christian (then Greene)County, Missouri born March 7, 1864, on the old farm. His parents, William V. and Hannah (Huff) Tyndall, were natives of Georgia and Arkansas, respectively, the father born April 19, 1818, and the mother in Fulton County. Our subject’s great-grandfather came from England to this country at an early date, and settled at Baltimore, Md. His son, the grandfather of our subject, was a soldier in the War of 1812. William V. Tyndall, father of the subject, remained in his native State until three years of age, and, when grown, or in 1841, he emigrated to Missouri. He first settled in Christian County, about two miles southeast of Sparta, and bought a farm, on which he remained for eight years. Thence he moved to a farm four miles northeast of that town, and on this passed the remainder of his days, dying February 15, 1893, of pneumonia. He was a hearty, strong man up to the time of his death. He was also a good man, for his career was marked by uprightness and truth, and his life was filled with acts of usefulness. He was one of the pioneers of this section, and a man highly esteemed by all. He came to this county on horseback, and after settling here married Miss Huff, daughter of Samuel Huff, who...

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Biography of William T. Tyndall

William T. Tyndall, a successful teacher in the High School of Sparta, was born on the old home place of the Tyndall family, three miles east of Sparta, January 16, 1862, and there grew to mature years. His parents, William V. and Hannah (Huff) Tyndall, were natives of Georgia and Arkansas, respectively, the father born April 19, 1818, and the mother in Fulton County. Our subject’s great-grandfather came from England to this country at an early date, and settled at Baltimore, Md. His son, the grandfather of our subject, was a soldier in the War of 1812. William V. Tyndall, father of the subject, remained in his native State until three years of age, and, when grown, or in 1841, he emigrated to Missouri. He first settled in Christian County, about two miles southeast of Sparta, and bought a farm, on which he remained for eight years. Thence he moved to a farm four miles northeast of that town, and on this passed the remainder of his days, dying February 15, 1893, of pneumonia. He was a hearty, strong man up to the time of his death. He was also a good man, for his career was marked by uprightness and truth, and his life was filled with acts of usefulness. He was one of the pioneers of this section, and a man highly esteemed by all. He came...

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Biography of W. G. Holland

W. G. HOLLAND. When a grain of wheat is cut across the middle and examined under a glass the central parts are found to be composed of a white substance; if the grain is dry this interior readily becomes a pearly powder. Near the outside of the kernel the texture is more compact, and at the surface it becomes horny. This added firmness is produced by the increasing quantity of gluten as the analysis advances from center to circumference. Under-standing the structure of the grain, it has been the object of the miller to separate the various parts, so as to get different grades of flour. It is the gluten which gives to flour its strongest property, and it is in the nice separation of this constituent that the roller process excels. As one of the finest examples of the application of this process and machinery generally to the manufacture of fine flour the Sparta Roller Mill deserves a detailed description. This concern was established in 1891 and is owned by H. H. Lee, J. J. Bruton and W. G. Holland. The cost of erecting the mill was $7,000 and it is well equipped with the full roller system, having three double set of rollers. The capacity per day is fifty barrels, the power being a forty-horse power engine. The brands, especially the ” Extra Patent ” and Belle...

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Biography of Charles R. Fulbright

CHARLES R. FULBRIGHT. In tracing back the genealogy of the Fulbright family we find that it sprang from good old German stock. William Fulbright, the great-grandfather of our subject, was a native of the Old North State, and spoke the German language fluently. He married Miss Ruth Hollingsworth and went to Tennessee where he became the owner of a large farm and many Negroes. In the spring of 1830 he came to Greene County, Missouri, with his family, making the trip in wagons; he also brought thirty slaves. He had four brothers who came to Missouri with families: David, John, Martin and Daniel, and from these brothers sprang the Fulbrights. Several of them settled in Laclede County, William being the only one to remain in Greene County, and he settled near a spring near the Gulf Railroad shops. This spring was ever after called the “Fulbright Spring.” He entered a large tract of land, and most of the south part of Springfield is now on that land. The country was open, covered with grass and with large trees scattered about, presenting a beautiful appearance. The country was full of game-deer and wild turkeys. Mr. Fulbright was a practical farmer, which business he carried on extensively, and provided the largely increasing migration which came into the county with farm products. He had one unvarying price for his products without regard...

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Biography of James F. Adams

JAMES F. ADAMS. James F. Adams, clerk of Christian County, Missouri, and a young man of much intelligence, force of character and determination, was born near Sparta, this county, April 21, 1861. He is the youngest child born to Leroy and Mary A. (Cummins) Adams (pioneer settlers of this region), the family coming from middle Tennessee to this county as early as 1833. Of the nine children born to Mr. and Mrs. Adams only three are now living: John N., who resides on the old homestead; Thomas D., also on the old homestead, and our subject. It was a good thing for the latter, as it is for thousands of our best citizens at present, to have been reared on a farm in the country, away from the contaminating influences of the city. It thus came to pass that he attended the district school until nineteen years of age and then went to Ava, where he was in school for some time. Later he entered the Academy at Henderson, Webster County, and there remained until twenty years of age, when he entered upon his career as a teacher in the home school. This he followed until 1886, when he was elected county clerk by the Republican party with a good majority. He has always identified himself with the Republican party and has been active in all public matters. He...

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Biography of Jasper N. Farmer

JASPER N. FARMER. The peculiar responsibility which attaches to the compounding and dispensing of prescriptions and kindred functions, imparts to the calling of the druggist an interest and importance somewhat unique in this respect among the arts and sciences, and therefore it is that accuracy and vigilance become elements closely akin to knowledge and skill in the laboratory. In such connection we make due reference to Mr. Jasper N. Farmer, the prominent drug man at Sparta, whose neat and popular pharmacy com-mends itself to all. This prominent business man was born in Christian County, on the old home place, July 2, 1855 and is the son of Andrew J. and Nancy (Preston) Farmer, natives of Roane County, Tennessee Our subject attended the schools of Sparta and began his business career about 1878. The drug business has occupied his attention for the most part, but he was engaged in other occupations for the short time he resided in Springfield. In selecting his companion in life Mr. Farmer chose Miss Eliza Smith, a native of this county and a daughter of Eason Smith, of Ozark. Four children are the fruits of this union: Claude, Donnie B., Rose and Anna. In his political views Mr. Farmer is a Democrat and takes a deep interest in politics. He has made a complete success of his business and is the owner of considerable real...

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Biography of Prof. J. M. Johnson

PROF. J. M. JOHNSON. This gentleman has resided in Christian County for the past six years, and though young, he is full of energy, business qualification and thoroughly fitted for the drug business which he is now following. He is a native of Webster County, Missouri, born February 24, 1862, but was reared principally in Wright County, this State. He is a son of J. C. and Mary (Russell) Johnson and the grandson of Spencer Johnson who was a Virginian by birth but of Scotch-Irish origin. The latter was an early pioneer of Tennessee, and some of the members of this family were active in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. J. C. Johnson and his mother, who was a widow at that time, came to Missouri as early as 1832, about the time the Indians were moved westward by the Government, and settled in Wright, now Webster County, four miles from Seymour. There they resided until the breaking out of the Civil War, then moved to Arkansas. The father of our subject enlisted with Gen. Price and was with him in the Arkansas campaign and in the raid through Missouri. Previous to this he was married in Webster County to Miss Russell, and after cessation of hostilities he returned to Wright County. He participated in a number of hard-fought battles and was a fearless soldier....

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Biography of Samuel G. McCracken

SAMUEL G. MCCRACKEN. Among the active and energetic business men of Ozark is Samuel G. McCracken, grain dealer and grocery merchant. He has acquired an enviable reputation as a business man and citizen, and well deserves the large competency he has acquired by honest methods and strict business integrity. The McCracken family is of Scotch-Irish origin and the first members of this family to come to America settled in Tennessee, where they were esteemed as honorable and upright men and women. Thomas McCracken, grandfather of our subject, was born in Tennessee, as was also Nathaniel McCracken, the father of our subject, whose birth occurred in Williamson County in 1813. The latter married Miss Arissa Cates and our subject was one of the children born to this union. Samuel G. McCracken was born in Hickory County, Missouri, March 30, 1851, and there remained until ten years of age, attending district school and assisting on the farm. The breaking out of the Civil War interrupted his studies at the above mentioned age, but he remained in his native county until after the war, when he entered the high school at Bolivar. Two years later he entered Drury College, when it was first opened in 1871, and passed three years in that well-known institution of learning. After leaving college he was employed as shipping clerk by J. M. Doling, grain merchant, and...

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Biography of Andrew J. Farmer

ANDREW J. FARMER (deceased). When a citizen of worth and character has departed from this life, it is meet that those who survive him should keep in mind his life work, and should hold up to the knowledge and emulation of the young his virtues and the characteristics which distinguished him and made him worthy the esteem of his neighbors. Therefore, the name of Andrew J. Farmer is presented to the readers of this volume as a public-spirited citizen and a man well and favorably known throughout the county. He was born in Roane County, Tennessee, in 1824, and at an early date came to Missouri, being the first of the family to settle in this county. This was about 1845 and he made his home here until his death in 1862. He was a son of Archibald Farmer, who was also a native of Tennessee, the family being an old and prominent one of that State. Our subject grew to mature years in his native State, received his education there, and was there married to Miss Nancy (Preston) Farmer, a native of the Big Bend State, born in Roane County in 1826. As above stated, Mr. and Mrs. Farmer came to Missouri in 1845, making the trip by wagon, and took up land near the present site of Sparta. Mr. Farmer was a prominent man of this county,...

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Biography of John Hornbeak

Success in business life is a guerdon that is very cautiously bestowed upon a person by the goddess, who in a measure guides, and invariably decorates, man’s efforts. And this same success is far more apt to come because of the pursuer’s genius or adaptability for his calling, than from any mere luck, ambition, push or demand. There are favorable opportunities in men’s lives, which, if taken advantage of, will take them far along the road toward the consummation of their ideals, and, too, there are those who have a strange intuition of that time and avail themselves of it. But never does this mysterious aid come to those without ambition and fixed purpose. Determined effort invites success. Included in the narrow circle of men who have fought the battle successfully is John Hornbeak, a prominent merchant of Sparta, Missouri He was born in Warren County, Tennessee, August 12, 1830, and is of German descent. His ancestors came to this country at an early date and settled in North Carolina, where they made their home for many years. The parents of our subject, James F. and Sarah (Johnson) Hornbeak, were natives of Tennessee, and in that State were married. The father was born in Grainger County in 1800, and about 1841 he and family moved to Greene County, Missouri, locating about six miles south of Springfield. There he resided...

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Biography of Dr. D. F. Hedgpeth

DR. D. F. HEDGPETH, a young but promising physician of Sparta Mo, although still in the dawn of the success which has attended his efforts in a professional way, has already given abundant evidence of the ability which qualifies him for a high place in the medical profession. Truly ambitious and with an ambition whose aim is high, there seemed no reason why his unquestioned ability should not find full scope to relieve the pains which a suffering world is heir to. He was born in Sparta, December 4, 1862, to the union of Emanuel I. and Lurannah J. (Farmer) Hedgpeth. Judge Hedgpeth, grand-father of our subject, came from Tennessee, and was one of the earliest pioneers of this section of the country, settling in this region when it was Greene County. He located two miles north of Sparta and followed farming until his death. The Hedgpeth family came originally from Germany and settled in this country at a period antedating the Revolution. The father of our subject was born in what is now Christian County (then Greene), Missouri, and like his father before him, he chose agricultural pursuits as his calling in life. During the Civil War he enlisted in the Union Army, Company G, First Arkansas Cavalry, under Capt. Mack, and served about three years, participating in all the engagements of his regiment. In politics he was...

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