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Location: Stone County MO

Biography of Thomas L. Viles

THOMAS L. VILES. To attain success in any calling, it is necessary that a man should be possessed of a keen and discerning mind, with the energy and determination to push his business or profession instead of allowing it to push him. These qualities are possessed in an eminent degree by Thomas L. Viles, who is the able prosecuting attorney of Stone County, in which he has made his home for many years. He is a native of Roane County, Tennessee, where he was born October 3, 1850. The son of John and Martha (Roberts) Viles, who were also Tennesseans. They left the State of their birth when their son Thomas L. was a small boy, and located in Illinois; but after remaining in that State for two years, came to Missouri, and in 1854 took up their residence in Stone County, in the northern part of which they settled on a farm, being among its pioneer settlers. In 1862 they moved to Christian County, Missouri, and there the mother was called from life the same year; she was a devoted member of the Baptist Church. The father enlisted in the Fourteenth Missouri Cavalry, and served about eighteen months, first as orderly sergeant, for a few months, and then as first lieutenant of Company F. His regiment was consolidated with the Eighth Missouri Regiment in 1863, and then, receiving...

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Biography of William Hembree

WILLIAM HEMBREE. This well-known business man and successful farmer of James Township, Stone County, Missouri, is a product of the Hoosier State, born in Dubois County, March 9, 1836, to the union of John and Maggie Hembree. The father was born in Knox County, Tennessee, and when a young man went to Indiana, was married in Dubois County, and when our subject was six or ten years of age the family came by horse and ox teams to what is now Taney County, Missouri, locating on Bull Creek, where Mr. Hembree improved a farm. Later he moved to White River in Stone County, and still later, farther up White River, where he made his home until the war broke out. He then removed to a point near Buffalo, in Dallas County, and resided there until peace was declared, when he returned to Stone County, locating just below Galena, where he died soon after. He was a lifelong and successful farmer, and was one of the pioneers of the upper White River country. He was a militiaman during the war, a man whose upright, honorable career commended him to all. His father, Drew Hembree, also came to Taney County and there died when our subject was a boy. He was probably born in Tennessee and was a farmer by occupation. The mother of our subject died in Dallas County during...

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Biography of Hervy A. Massey

HERVY A. MASSEY. This worthy citizen, who is one of the leading farmers and stockraisers of Stone County, Missouri, was born in Greene County, Missouri, in 1846, and is a son of Nathaniel and Nancy (Ellison) Massey, who were natives of Tennessee. Previous to marriage, and when children, they came with their parents to Greene County, Missouri, and there, after growing up, their nuptials were solemnized. After marriage they located four miles east of Springfield, on the wild prairie, where they improved a good farm and spent the balance of their days, he dying in 1869, when about forty-seven years of age, and she in 1860. The mother was a Cumberland Presbyterian in her religious views. Mr. Massey was a successful farmer and stock trader and a public-spirited, self-made man. During the war he was a Government contractor, furnishing stock and general supplies to the army. In politics he was a Democrat and a Union man. His father, James Massey, was probably born in the green isle of Erin, but came to this country at an early day and settled in Tennessee. Later he moved to Greene County, Missouri, and located a few miles east of Springfield, where he became the owner of a good farm. There his death occurred during the war. He was twice married and was the father of twenty-two children. His last wife, who died...

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Biography of J. D. Melton

J. D. MELTON. The question of food supplies is one that agitates the whole human family, and is the first with which they have to grapple. Without doubt the well-appointed grocery establishment furnishes the best solution of feeding the masses, and in this connection due reference is made to that over which J. D. Melton presides and of which he is the proprietor. He was born in the neighborhood of Galena, Missouri, December 6, 1842, a son of Austin and Elsie (Haley) Melton, and grandson of Ansel Melton, who was one of the pioneers of Tennessee. In that State Austin Melton was born in 1805, and from that region he came to Polk County, Missouri, in 1834, and there made his home for some three or four years. He then came to Stone County and settled about one mile south of where Galena now stands, on 100 acres of Government land, which he entered. Oh this land he built a log house in which he lived until 1858, when he moved to the town of Galena. After the death of his wife there he moved to Laclede County and from that time until his death, which occurred in 1892, he resided on a farm about eight miles from Lebanon. All his life he was a Democrat and held a number of township offices. His wife, a Tennessean by birth,...

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Biography of James Harlin Hale

JAMES HARLIN HALE. In all ages of the world industry, perseverance and energy, where intelligently applied, have achieved results which could only have been gained by having one end in view, and by improving every opportunity of ultimately attaining that object. Mr. Hale is an example of what can be accomplished when the spirit of determination is exercised, in connection with the every-day affairs of life. His farming and stockraising operations have resulted most satisfactorily, and he is one of the substantial men of his section. Like so many of the representative men of Christian County, Mr. Hale is a Tennessean, born in Washington County, October 10, 1832. His parents, Mark and Polly (Mulkey) Hale, were natives of that county also, the former born in 1809 and the latter in 1811. They were reared and married in that county, and, when our subject was a boy, they removed to Barren County, Kentucky, where Mrs. Hale died two years later. Mr. Hale returned to Tennessee, and was married in McMinn County, that State, to Miss Long. Soon after, he removed to Barren County, Kentucky, where he made his home until 1850, at which date he removed to McMinn County, Tennessee, and thence to Bradley County the following year. In 1852 he came to what is now Christian County, Missouri, but later settled in Stone County, where he remained until 1858,...

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Biography of Elbert H. Butler

ELBERT H. BUTLER. Neely Butler, the grandfather of our subject, was a native of North Carolina, where he grew to mature years and married Miss Amy Osier, also a native of that State, where he lived for several years until he moved to Tennessee, from where he came West with his family, locating in Stone County, Missouri, some years prior to the Civil War. Subsequently he moved to Carroll County, Arkansas, where he remained until the secession of the State from the Union. Being substantially in favor of the Union of States it became necessary for the protection of his life and property to migrate to the North, which he did, but returned soon after the close of the war to Stone County, Missouri, where he made his home until his death in 1880, in which county his wife, the grandmother of our subject, also died but a few years previous, both being quite aged. Wilson S. Butler, father of our subject, was also a native of the Old North State, where he was born in 1819. While yet a young man he came West with his parents to the State of Missouri and soon after was married, in Wright County, to Miss Margaret P. Dedman, a native of Virginia. Mr. Butler chose for himself the occupation of a farmer and became a successful tiller of the soil, and...

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Biography of William L. Robertson

WILLIAM L. ROBERTSON. Among the worthiest of the representative business men of Christian County, Missouri, stands the name of William L. Robertson, whose standing is high for character, ability and enterprise. He is the eldest but one of the children born to James W. and Martha J. (Payne) Robertson, his birth occurring in Stone County, Missouri, February 23, 1858, at the mouth of Finley Creek. There our subject resided with his parents until three years of age, when they removed to Greene County on Grand Prairie, a mile and a half south of Republic and made their home there for two years. Thence they moved to Iowa, where they remained until 1864, when they came to Ozark, Christian County, Missouri Our subject received the rudiments of an education in the common school and finished in Drury College. After leaving school, he engaged in farming and followed that for three years near Ozark, on the old home place, a mile and a half from that city. He married Miss L. F. Crain, a native of this county, born about four miles north of Ozark, and the daughter of one of the old pioneers, A.C. Crain. (See sketch.) Mr. and Mrs. Robertson are the parents of three living children and have lost two: Annie S. (died in infancy), Ross, Clyde, Myrtle (who died at the age of thirteen months) and Arthur....

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Biography of Thomas L. Robertson

THOMAS L. ROBERTSON. A man’s life work is the measure of his success, and he is truly the most successful man who, turning his powers into the channel of an honorable purpose, accomplishes the object of his endeavor. In the study of every man’s life we find some mainspring of action, something he lives for. In Thomas L. Robertson it seems to have been an ambition to make the best use of his native and acquired powers, and to develop in him self a true manhood. A native of Stone County, born October 26, 1856, his early life was spent in Ozark, attending the schools of that place. Later he became a clerk in his father’s store, and when about twenty years of age went to St. Louis, where he was with a wholesale house for about a year and a half. Returning to Ozark he bought out the interest of Mr. Yoachum and embarked in business with his father. In the year 1874 he entered Drury College and there remained for about a year and a half, thus securing a good, practical education. The business in which he is now engaged is one of the oldest in Christian County, having been established in 1864, and they carry a fine line of dry goods, boots and shoes, hats and caps, clothing, etc., valued at about $10,000. This business is...

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Biography of William F. Webster

The social, political and business history of this section is filled with the deeds and doings of self-made men, and no man in Stone County, Missouri, is more deserving the appellation than Mr. W. F. Webster, for he marked out his own career in youth and has steadily followed it up to the present, his prosperity being attributable to his earnest and persistent endeavor, and to the fact that he has already consistently tried to follow the teachings of the “Golden Rule.” He is a native Missourian, born in Ralls County, June 18, 1828, The eldest but one of four children born to the marriage of Elizure D. and Jane (Fourman) Webster. The grandfather, Daniel Webster, who was related to the famous Daniel Webster, was a native of the Old Bay State, and he was with Jackson at the battle of New Orleans. He and wife died in Massachusetts, within twelve miles of Boston, where the family was a noted one. The father of our subject was born in Massachusetts in 1799, and when eighteen years of age, or in 1817, he turned his face west-ward and settled in Ralls County, Missouri, where he soon became the owner of a farm. He learned the blacksmith’s trade, was handy with tools, and could work at the millwright’s trade as well as at all kinds of wood work. Mr. Webster was...

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Biography of Capt. George W. Moore

Among the many prominent eastern families who at an early day migrated westward with a view to bettering their fortunes was the Moore family, an honored and respected member of whom, now residing in Stone County, is the subject of this sketch. His father, James M. Moore, was born in North Carolina May 13, 1811, and when about five years of age moved with his parents to Tennessee; where they remained until 1829. There James M. grew to mature years and married Miss Rachel W. Patton, a native of Tennessee, born in 1817, and the daughter of John and Sarah Patton, both Tennessee people, who came to Missouri as early as 1830, or near that time, settling in Lawrence County, where they passed the remainder of their days. In 1829 James M. Moore moved to Lawrence County, Missouri, and there remained for thirty-six years, becoming, one of its respected and highly-esteemed citizens. In 1861 he moved to Stone County and made his home here until his death, which occurred in Jefferson City, March 5, 1873, while a member of the Twenty-sixth General Assembly. Previous to the war he was a Democrat in politics, but during that eventful period he became a Republican, and ever after remained a stanch supporter of that party. In 1862 he was made captain of a company in the Enrolled Missouri Militia and served in...

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Biography of Sigel Henson

SIGEL HENSON. This gentleman, who is a prominent merchant at Cape Fair, is a descendant of one of the early pioneer families of Stone County, his parents, Zachariah and Armala (Williams) Henson, having settled on Flat Creek, this county, in 1835. He is a product of this county, born August 20, 1861, but just ten days after the battle of Wilson Creek, and the youngest in an old-fashioned family of twelve children. His youthful days were passed in attending school (taught in the old Jones’ schoolhouse of his district) and assisting on the farm. When sixteen years of age he was left an orphan, his parents both dying the same year, the father in June and the mother in August, 1877. For some time after this he did not attend school, but later he entered Marionville College, where he attended one term, working his own way through the school. Afterward he began clerking in Marionville, where he continued as clerk in the store about six years, then entered a partnership with Mr. David, firm name being Henson & David, which firm remained in business for two years. When Aurora began to build up he sold out, expecting to start in business there, but he gave that up and took a position in that town, remaining there until the death of his wife. He was married October 23, 1888, to...

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Biography of Francis M. Henson

FRANCIS M. HENSON, who lives on the old homestead of the Henson family on Flat Creek, about a mile from the Barry County line, is a native of Stone County, Missouri, and the seventh in order of birth of twelve children born to Zachariah and Armala (Williams) Henson, both natives of Tennessee. Grandfather Thomas Henson and family came to Stone County, Missouri, in 1835, when there were very few settlers, and located on land now owned by our subject. The Williams family came here at the same time and on the way the father of our subject, who was then twenty-one years of age, was married to Miss Williams. The journey to this State was made in a two-wheeled cart drawn by oxen, and on arriving here Zachariah built a rude log cabin in which he and his bride began housekeeping. They had very little to start with, but they were ambitious and enterprising and soon decided improvements were made. They resided in the log cabin for a number of years, but Mr. Henson, who had cut pine logs up the creek, rafted them down and had them sawed with the old-fashioned sash saw. With this lumber he built a house which still stands and which has the date of 1850 on the old stone chimney. When they first settled in this county it was almost a wilderness, inhabited...

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Biography of William W. Kimberling

WILLIAM W. KIMBERLING. It is owing to the enterprise and push of such men as Mr. Kimberling that Stone County, Missouri, owes much of its prosperity, for he has been one of its thrifty, industrious and intelligent agriculturists for many years, and is at the present time the proprietor of a fine and well-improved farm of 110 acres on the south side of White River. He was born in Franklin County, Arkansas, April 16, 1840, a son of Nathaniel and Nancy (Birchfield) Kimberling, native Tennesseans. The father became a resident of Stone County a few years after the disposal of the land by the Indians, and here made his home. The greater part of the time, although he resided for about a year in Texas and Arkansas. His death occurred in the Lone Star State in 1862, at the age of sixty years. He was of German descent, a Republican in politics, a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and, through-out life, he followed the honorable occupation of farming, at which he obtained a comfortable competency. He was truly one of the pioneers of Stone County, and as he was a skillful marksman and fond of hunting, had numerous opportunities of gratifying this taste, and many a bear fell a victim to his unerring aim. He was married in Stone County to a daughter of John Birchfield, who...

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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 Henry H. Stone

HENRY H. STONE. If industry, hard work and ceaseless activity, united with a strong and determined pers everance can accomplish anything in this world, then Mr. Stone is bound to succeed, for in him are to be found all the characteristics mentioned, and indeed he is deserving of more than ordinary credit for his career thus far in life. He is a product of the Sucker State, born in Johnson County February 12, 1845. He is the son of Thomas and Esther (May) Stone, both natives of Kentucky. The grandfather, Reuben Stone, was born in North Carolina, but at an early age emigrated to Kentucky, where his son Thomas grew to manhood. The latter is a mechanic by trade and has followed that all his life. He moved from his native State to Johnson County, Illinois, where he married Miss Esther E. May, and made his home there for a number of years, holding while there the office of justice of the peace for some time, moving thence to Jackson County, where the subject of our sketch was raised and educated. About 1889 he came to Billings, and there his wife died in October, 1892. She was a worthy member of the Baptist Church and Mr. Stone holds membership in the same at the present time. He is still living in Billings, and is retired from the active duties...

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