Location: Springfield Missoouri

Biography of Fenton T. Stockard

In this country where so many young men are thrown upon their own resources at an early age and are often obliged, while yet inexperienced and unfamiliar with their own tendencies and inclinations, to choose their occupation in life, it can not be expected that the most suitable or congenial pursuit will be selected. Consequently it should be impressed upon the minds of youth that they ought to begin at an early age to practice introspection and seriously study the famous Delphic oracle, ” Know thyself.” They will thus find as suitable an occupation as did Fenton T. Stockard, who from an early age evinced a strong liking for law, which was apparently just suited to his qualifications and desires. Mr. Stockard is now one of the prominent attorneys of Billings, and has been a resident of that city for the past twelve years. He came originally from Gibson County, Tennessee. his birth occurring December, 16, 1867, and is one of a family of six children born to C. H. and Patience E. (White) Stockard. The father is also a native of Gibson County, Tennessee, and is now a prominent farmer and highly esteemed citizen of Christian County, residing near Billings. The Stockards are of Irish origin, and our subject’s great-great-grandfather was born on the ocean while his parents were coming to this country. William Stockard, grandfather of our...

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Biography of F. M. Richards

F. M. RICHARDS. The calling of the merchant is one of the utmost importance in any community, and one of its most successful followers at Rome, Douglas County, Missouri, is F. M. Richards, who has been a resident of the county since 1867. He was born in Monroe County, Tennessee, March 31, 1836, a son of Frederick and Elizebeth (Renfro) Richards. the former of whom was born in Kentucky, a son of John Richards. Mrs. Richards was also born on Blue Grass soil and was a daughter of William Renfro. The subject of this sketch was but two years old when he was left fatherless, and was but fourteen years of age when his mother died. He was one of five sons and three daughters: Samuel, John, Halloway, Peter, F. M., Mallissa, Margaret and Martha. Halloway and the subject of this sketch were soldiers of the Civil War. The latter came to Missouri in 1856, while still unmarried and engaged in farming in the vicinity of Springfield, in Greene County, and there lie was married after a time to Miss Elizabeth, daughter of John and Barthena Nablett, who died in Arkansas and Greene County, Missouri, respectively. When the war opened the subject of this sketch enlisted in the Twenty-fourth Missouri Infantry, and served three months in the Home Guards, after which he was for three years in the regular...

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Biography of Capt. Jared E. Smith

CAPT. JARED E. SMITH. This prosperous merchant of Roy, Missouri, was born in Tennessee, October 8, 1826, a son of William P. and C. (Patterson) Smith, who were born in North and South Carolina, respectively, were pioneers of Tennessee and moved from that State to Texas in 1851, settling in Ellis County, where both were called from life. They reared eight children; Jared E.; Benjamin Franklin (deceased); Henry W. (deceased); William H., who is a resident of Texas; Melissa, and the following daughters, who are dead: Mary J.; Eliza A. and Ona. The subject of this sketch is the only living member of the family except William H. and Melissa, both of whom were alive in 1873. Jared E. grew up and was married in Maury County, Tennessee, to Miss Sarah R. Mack, a daughter of John and Sarah Mack, the former of whom was a resident of Greene County, Missouri, and died in Springfield in 1854. In the spring of 1851 Capt. Smith came to Missouri and located in Springfield, where he made his home until 1882, at which time he became a resident of Roy. His attention was first given to the building business, and to him is due the credit of having put in operation the first steam power in southwest Missouri in March, 1858, consisting of a planing mill, grist mill, foundry and machine shop,...

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Biography of Andrew J. Coffey

ANDREW J. COFFEY. Ozark County, Missouri, is well known for the richness of its soil, and among those industrious farmers who have assisted in making this section the rich agricultural district that it is may be mentioned Andrew J. Coffey, who was born in Ashe County, N. C., in 1833, of which State his parents, Cleveland and Susan (Hayes) Coffey, were also natives. During the early boyhood of Andrew J. Coffey, he was taken by his parents to Hawkins County, Tennessee, and soon after to Granger County, where the mother died some fifty years ago. Mr. Coffey remarried afterward and then returned to the Old North State, where he died about 1866, having been a farmer and mechanic throughout life. He was a man of much industry, led an active and upright life, and in religion was a Missionary Baptist. His father, Jesse Coffey, was an early settler of North Carolina and breathed his last in Burke County when Andrew J. was a small lad. He was of Irish ancestry, a farmer by occupation, and was a minister of the Primitive Baptist Church. The children born to Cleveland and Susan Coffey are as follows: Andrew J.; William, who was a soldier of the Confederate Army and was killed at Mission Ridge; Thomas was a Federal soldier, but nothing has been heard of him since the war; Martha died young;...

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Biography of Col. S. H. Boyd

COL. S. H. BOYD was born May 28, 1828, in Williamson County, Tennessee, and grew up to sturdy manhood, ambitious to excel and possessing much energy and determination, attributes which are essential to success in any calling and which have been his stepping stones to success, his parents being Marcus and Eliza (Hamilton) Boyd, the birth of the former also occurring in Tennessee. The paternal grandfather was William G. Boyd, a native of Mecklenberg County, Virginia, and a son of a Scotchman, John Boyd, who was the founder of the family in America. The Boyds were residents of the Old Dominion for a number of years, but gradually branched out into different States, and those of that name in Kentucky and Tennessee are members of the same family. Marcus Boyd removed with his family to Green County, Missouri, in 1840 and settled on a farm two miles east of Springfield, where they made their home for a number of years, but the mother did not long survive the removal, for her death occurred six years after their arrival in Missouri. She bore her husband eight sons and one daughter, and some time after her death the father formed a second marriage, and became the father of six more children. A number of his sons served in the Civil War, but their sympathies were with the Southern cause and they...

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Biography of Judge James J. Gideon

There is no man better known throughout the Ozark region than Judge James J. Gideon, the subject of this sketch. Born on the soil and reared among the descendants of the pioneers, he is one of those self-made sons of Missouri, who, while he has distinguished himself as a lawyer and jurist, has a far greater claim to the respect of the people in his sturdy integrity of character and his lifelong course as a friend of justice. He springs from a sterling Irish-Scotch ancestry of Colonial American stock. James Gideon, the great-grandfather of our subject, was the founder of this branch of the family in America. He came from Dublin, Ireland, with his brothers, Reuben and Edward, bringing his wife, Nancy. His sons were: Edward, William, Isham, James and John. They all settled on land in Southwest New York. Edward, brother of James, was killed in battle during the Revolutionary War. All of the family moved to North Carolina about 1781 and settled on the Yadkin River. James Gideon moved to what is now Hawkins County, Tennessee, in 1821, where he settled on land. He took with him the apple trees with which to plant his orchard. Several members of the Gideon family went with him besides his own immediate family. He was a substantial farmer and lived to be an aged man, passing the remainder of his...

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Biography of John S. Phelps

JOHN S. Phelps; This well-known citizen of the State of Missouri was born in Sunburn County, Conn., December 22, 1810, and came of English stock, his early ancestors having come to this country from England and settled in the State of Massachusetts some time prior to the year 1630. In about 1633 they migrated to Connecticut and founded the town of Windsor, where the family became well known and many of its members attained posi-of prominence. His father, Elish Phelps, was a distinguished lawyer, who for many years held a front rank at the bar of Hartford, and he was frequently honored with public trusts, having been at different times a member of the upper and lower house of the Connecticut Legislature, and twice Speaker of the House. He was also comptroller of the State and was a com-missioner to revise the statutes of that State. He represented his district three times in Congress, where he distinguished himself as an able legislator. He was called from life in 1847. His father, Noah Phelps, served his country as a Revolutionary soldier, in which he attained the rank of captain, and his eldest son was also a soldier in that war. Noah Phelps was a member of the committee that planned the capture of Ticonderoga and lent his country great service in the capacity of a scout and spy. He served...

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Biography of John L. Cook

JOHN L. COOK. In scanning the lives and careers of the citizens of Swan Township, it is pleasant to note the exercise of enterprise in every walk of life, and the achievement of success in every department of business. Thus one is enabled to discern in the career of Mr. Cook, who has for man years been a successful farmer and stockraiser of Taney County. He was born one mile from where he now lives in 1841 and is a son of James and Catherine (Steward) Cook, natives of Simpson County, Kentucky, the former born about 1805 and the latter in 1803. The elder Cook was reared in his native county, secured a fair education for his day, and was there married to Miss Steward who accompanied him in 1838 to Taney County Missouri, the journey being made by wagon and occupying six weeks. They located in the woods on Swan Creek, when that region was sparsely settled, and improved a good farm on which he lived half a century, the wife dying about 1879 and he in 1888. They were Methodists for many years and no people were better respected in the community. Honorable and upright in every walk of life, the father’s character was above reproach. He was a Democrat in politics and was in sympathy with the South during the war, but did not take an...

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Biography of D. R. Riggs

D. R. RIGGS. This prominent and law-abiding citizen has been a resident of Douglas County, Missouri, for many years, and his career here has been an exceptionally honorable and useful one. He was born in Maury County, Tennessee, May 20, 1832, a son of Alvis and Petronila (Ray) Riggs, natives of the Old North State, where the grandparents were also born. Samuel Riggs, the paternal grandfather, was a soldier of the Revolution, and died in the State of his birth. The maternal grandfather, David Ray, was a merchant by occupation, and was an honorable, upright man. Alvis Riggs became a resident of Tennessee in an early day, and after following the useful and honest life of the farmer in Maury County, died there in 1849. His widow came to Missouri with her son, D. R. Riggs, later returned to Tennessee, but during the progress of the war she was brought back to Missouri by her son, and quietly breathed her last in Springfield in 1890. Her union with Mr. Riggs resulted in the birth of nine children: Griffin, who died in Illinois in 1855; William S., who is living in Springfield, Missouri; David R., in Douglas County; Margaret J., who lives in Springfield, has been married three times, and is now the wife of Mr. Shaw; John C. is a farmer four miles northwest of Ava; Robert was killed...

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Biography of J. S. Cowdrey

Among the representative business men of Yellville, Arkansas, none hold a more prominent place than J. S. Cowdrey, whose high reputation and material prosperity came as the reward of unusual natural abilities, industriously applied. The establishment which he now owns has a good share of patronage and support, and his trade is increasing in a very flattering manner. He was born in this county July 15, 1846, a son of Dr. J. M. and Agnes (McCubbin) Cowdrey, who were among the early pioneers of this section of the country. Dr. James M. Cowdrey, the father, was born in South Carolina in 1795, and there the early years of his life were spent, but about 1825 he emigrated to Arkansas, and after a short residence in Izard and Washington Counties, came to Marion County, and here died in 1866, aged seventy-one years. He studied medicine in some of the old colleges of the East, and was a graduate, being the first one to build up a practice in northern Arkansas. He followed a general practice, became eminent, and his name was almost a household word. He was surgeon of the Fourteenth Regiment of Arkansas Infantry, C. S. A., and passed through much experience during the war-experience so trying to the constitution that it undoubtedly shortened his days. He first located at Batesville on coming to Arkansas, but later settled in...

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Biography of Hon. J. W. McClurg

HON. J. W. McCLURG, ex-governor of the State of Missouri. A man’s life work measures his success, and the man who devotes his powers to the accomplishment of an honorable purpose is to be honored. If a careful study is made of the motives which actuate every man’s life, there is always to be found some object for which he lives. In Hon. J. W. McClurg it seems to have been an ambition to make the best use of his native and acquired powers and to develop in himself a true manhood. A native of St. Louis County, Missouri, he was born February 22, 1818. Son of Joseph and Mary (Brotherton) McClurg and grandson of Joseph McClurg, who came to America during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. He succeeded in making his escape to this country by concealing himself in the hold of a vessel, and his family soon after followed him to America. He was a man of much energy, and a worker in iron, and soon made his way to Pittsburgh, Penn., where he erected the first iron foundry ever put up in the city, and in or near Pittsburgh he passed the remainder of his days. Although he owned a farm, the most of his attention was given to his foundry, and after he had retired the business was continued by his sons. Joseph McClurg, the...

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Biography of Col. J. C. Cravens

COL. J. C. CRAVENS. Among the most esteemed and respected citizens of Springfield, Missouri, there is not one who has been a more faithful soldier, a more pleasant or agreeable member of society, or a more thorough or sagacious attorney than the gentleman whose name is mentioned above. He is a native of Saline County, Missouri, where he was born February 18, 1838. The son of Dr. John and Ruhannah (Chaplin) Cravens, the former of whom was born at Harrisburg, Rockingham County, Virginia, a son of Dr. Joseph Cravens. This family is of Scotch-Irish descent and first took root on American soil in the early part of the eighteenth century. For a long period they were known in Virginia alone, but the members finally separated and branched out for themselves until now their descendants are found in all parts of the United States. The grandfather of the subject of this sketch was a soldier of the Revolution and was present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis. The branch of the family of which Col. Cravens is a member left Virginia and settled in Indiana, and there Dr. John Cravens and his brothers became distinguished citizens. James H. still resides in the Hoosier State; Oscar was a participant in the Florida War, and who is a resident of Madison, Indiana All of the male members of this family were Whigs...

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Biography of Judge Austin Brown

JUDGE AUSTIN BROWN. The object of this sketch is to place before the public the record of a well-spent life, abounding in useful and charitable deeds. Mr. Brown was born in Ray County, Missouri, in April, 1835. His parents being William M. and Sidney (Cravens) Brown, who were born in Culpeper County, Virginia, where they were reared, educated and married. About 1830 they removed to the then far West Ray County, Missouri, but eight years later settled in Taney County, Missouri, where the mother died the following year. Mr. Brown was thus left with a family of small children, and he soon after removed to Stoddard County, Missouri, where he was called from life about 1845, having followed the occupation of farming with considerable success for some years, although he was a shoemaker by trade. He had three brothers and one sister: John, who is supposed to have died in Virginia when quite advanced in years; George, who died in South Carolina; Thomas, who died in Ray County, Missouri; and Mrs. Allison, who died in Dade County, Missouri. Their father, William Brown, who was of English origin, was an early emigrant to America, and was a soldier in the Colonial Army during the Revolution. To William M. and Sidney Brown the following children were born: Eliza, who died in Texas, was the wife of Bolter Teague; Lucinda died in...

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Biography of B. C. Burgess

B. C. BURGESS. There are few men in business circles who show as much fitness for their avocation in that they are wide-awake, experienced, reliable and energetic as B. C. Burgess, the prominent miller at the old Watkin Mill, the most historic mill in Missouri. He was born and reared in North Carolina, his birth occurring June 8, 1833. He is the son of Emsley and Nancy (Cavness) Burgess, both natives of the Old North State. There the father resides at the present time, but the mother is deceased. Some of the early members of this family served in the War of 1812. Until thirty years of age our subject remained in his native State, and then moved to Indiana and made his home in Indianapolis. In 1870 he came to Springfield, Missouri, and embarked in the carpentering trade, following the same up to 1891, when he bought the mill he now owns. He was a resident of Springfield for twenty-eight years and became well known in Greene County. He showed considerable taste for mechanics when young and followed that in connection with other occupations until he engaged in milling. He had a water mill, the same having been put in in 1840, but in 1893 Mr. Burgess put in other power. The capacity of this mill is twenty barrels per day and the brands are straight. The country...

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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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