Location: Taney County MO

Biography of Benjamin F. McKinney

BENJAMIN F. McKINNEY. The incidents in the early life of the original of this notice were not materially different from those of other boys living on farms. He was taught to work, to make himself useful around the pioneer homestead, and, in common with other boys, to attend the winter schools at intervals, and to assist in improving the farm during the summer. His birth occurred in Smith County, Tennessee, in 1838. He was the eldest of six children born to R. S. and Ann S. (Roe) McKinney. The other children were named as follows: William died in infancy; Jordon Stokes died in Tennessee; Mary, wife of Richard Moore, died in Taney County; Sarah, wife of William Hinsley, resides in this county; and John died in Taney County. The mother of our subject was a native of Smith County, Tennessee, and resided there for some time after her marriage. Later the parents came by ox-team to Cedar County, Missouri, and a few years later settled in Taney County, where they purchased a claim a few miles east of Forsyth. They were among the pioneers of Taney County, and contributed their share toward its improvement and advancement. Mr. McKinney was the only one of his family to settle in Missouri. He was never much of a hunter, although the woods abounded in game when he first settled here. After living...

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Biography of Prof. G. M. Siler

PROF. G. M. SILER. This able, experienced and successful educator of Douglas County, Missouri, is a native of Holt County, this State, where he was born July 28, 1864, a son of Granville L. and Nancy J. (Bohart) Siler, for a history of whom see the sketch of J. G. Siler, of Taney County. Prof. George M. Siler received his education in the schools of Arno, Ava and Silver Shade, and eventually graduated in the teacher’s course from the well-known Bradleyville School. He was brought up on a farm, and while following the plow or wielding the hoe he learned lessons of perseverance and industry which were of the most material use to him when he started out to fight life’s battle for himself, as well as strengthened and improved his naturally strong constitution. He began teaching school in 1882 and has followed that occupation in this and Taney Counties up to the present and has won an enviable reputation as an educator, being thorough, painstaking and firm in his management. At the present time he presides over the school at Rome, and as he has given much attention to school work and has taken every means of improving his methods of instruction, he has made a success of this work. In addition to teaching he has given considerable attention to farming and owns a fine tract of land,...

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Biography of Jasper N. Ray

JASPER N. RAY. Jasper N. Ray belongs to that class of American citizens who are enterprising, thoroughgoing and industrious, and who rise in a few years from a condition of dependence to one of prominence and the possession of considerable wealth. In fact, he is a self-made man in all which that much-abused term implies, and the property he has accumulated is the result of his own honest industry. He first saw the light of day in what is now Maries County, Missouri, his birth occurring in 1846, to the union of Hubbard and Vashti (Moon) Ray, the father, a native of Grainger County, Tennessee born in 1820, and the mother born near Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1826. Then young Mr. and Mrs. Ray went with their parents to what is now Phelps County, Missouri, where they grew to mature years and were married. Afterward they came to what is Maries County, Missouri, but, a few years later, moved to Greene County, where they resided for about five years. Their next move was to Barry County, where they were among the pioneers; but they only remained there about three years and returned to what is now Phelps County. From 1861 to 1865 the family resided in Arkansas, and then returned to Phelps County, where Mr. Ray died in 1867. He was a successful farmer, and was upright and honorable during...

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Biography of Albert Hodges

ALBERT HODGES. Albert Hodges is an attorney at law of wide reputation, a man of unquestioned integrity, a close reasoner and a profound thinker. He is a Missourian by birth, and has inculcated in him the sterling principles of the better class of citizens of the State. He was born in Taney County (afterward Douglas County), November 2, 1848, and is a son of Edmond and Sarah (Garrison) Hodges, the former a native of Kentucky, and the latter of Warren County, Indiana, born in 1827. The grandfather, John Hodges, was a native of Kentucky, and the family moved from that State to Indiana at an early date, and thence to Missouri in 1835- After reaching the latter State, the grandfather settled at the mouth of Beaver Spring Creek, in Taney County, afterward Douglas and Taney Counties, and followed farming the rest of his life. He was one of the earliest pioneers of that section. His son, the father of our subject, followed in his footsteps and became an agriculturist. He is still living on the tract of land where he settled many years ago, in Douglas County. In 1846 he married Miss Sarah Garrison and immediately afterward began his career as an agriculturist. He has met with unusual success and has a fine farm of 360 acres, the same being an ornament to the county. During the Civil War...

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Biography of David J. Smith

DAVID J. SMITH, general merchant and farmer of Walnut Shade, Taney County, Missouri, is emphatically a business man, the leading points of his character being energy, quick conception and an excellent judgment of men and their motives. No man in the county occupies a higher position for energy, enterprise, public spirit, integrity and business rectitude than he. This worthy gentleman first saw the light in Madison County, Illinois, in 1838, and is a son of Jason and Elizabeth (Forbis) Smith, natives of McMinn County, Tennessee, the father born in 1799, and the mother in 1803. The father never attended school but one day in his life, but by his own efforts obtained a fair education. He was married in his native State, and at an early date removed to Madison County, Illinois, where he made his home until 1872. He then came to Taney County, where he and wife died in 1880, she in March and he in June, after a happy married life of over half a century. In every walk of life Mr. Smith was honest and straightforward, and although not a professor of religion, he was foremost in all good work and assisted in organizing the first Sunday-school at Walnut shade. He was a blacksmith by trade, but also followed farming through life. At the time of his death he was postmaster at Walnut Shade. He...

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Biography of John S. May

JOHN S. MAY. The energy and perseverance of a man’s character have nowhere a better field for manifestation than in agricultural pursuits and stock-raising, and from small beginnings often become wealthy and influential citizens. The original of this notice is a native of Missouri, born in Taney County in 1843, and is a son of John D. and Elizabeth (Sittsworth) May, natives respectively of Tennessee and Arkansas. When a boy John D. May went to Arkansas, where he married and soon after removed to Taney County, Missouri, locating in the woods on Bear Creek, where he improved a good farm. In December, 1861, he joined Company 1, Twenty-sixth Missouri Infantry, enlisting at Jefferson City, and died at St. Louis in the winter of 1861-62. He held the office of constable at one time and was a thoroughgoing, wide-awake farmer all his life. In political matters he affiliated with the Democratic party. Honorable and upright in every walk of life, he was highly esteemed in the community where he made his home. His father, John May, was a Tennessean by birth and bringing up, but at an early day came to Taney County, being among the first settlers of that county. The Indians were there in great numbers and Mr. May became a great hunter, killing many bears, wolves, deer, etc. He was also quite a bee hunter and gathered...

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Biography of John May

JOHN MAY. The grandfather of our subject, Caswell May, was a native of the Keystone State, but at an early date came to Tennessee, and was among the pioneers there. He descended from prominent Dutch stock, and became one of the representative men of Tennessee. His son, Adam May, father of subject, was born in Tennessee, and was married in that State to Miss Elizabeth McGinnis. After his marriage he located on a farm in Washington County, and there he and wife passed the remainder of their days. The following children were born to them: Mary, Anna, Emaline, Elizabeth, Caswell, David, John (subject), Catherine, Jesse, Martin, Amanda and Adam. Of these, Caswell, John, Jesse, Emaline, Elizabeth and Adam came to Missouri, settling in the southwest part of the State. All married and all reared families. The original of this sketch was born in Washington County, Tennessee, November 7, 1825, and was a young man when he came to this State. He resided one year in Greene County, and then came to Taney County, where he worked on a farm. During the Mexican War he enlisted in Rall’s regiment at Springfield, and served about eighteen months, fighting Indians in the mountains for the most part. Returning from the war, he was married in 1848 to Miss Amanda Morgan, daughter of Washington Morgan, who lives on Beaver Creek above Kissee Mills,...

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Biography of J. G. Siler

J. G. SILER. County and circuit clerk and county recorder of Taney County, Missouri, belongs to that army of intelligent, persevering, courageous people who have gone forth from the States of their birth to become respected and esteemed in the States of their adoption. Although of American parentage, he is of German descent, and has inherited the energy, thrift and integrity of that race of people, attributes which placed him in his present responsible position. His grandfather, Jesse Siler, was one of three brothers who came from Germany to this country previous to the Revolution, and settled in North Carolina, where they became prominent and influential people. Members of this family fought in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and in the Rebellion, and were brave and trustworthy soldiers. The father of our subject was born near Nashville, Tennessee, and was one of the Georgia colony who came up White River in 1872 and made a landing at Lead Hill, in Boone County, Arkansas, whence they took wagons to the valley of Beaver Creek, where they made a settlement. The father of our subject took up a tract of land and made his home there for many years. In 1893 he moved to Webster County, Missouri, where he is engaged in farming. He is a Mason and a member of the G. A. R. The early years of...

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Biography of James K. P. McHaffie

Among the early families to come to this State and carve out homes for themselves in the then almost unbroken forest, were the McHaffies, who settled in the Ozark Mountains, where they identified themselves with progress and development. They were of that moral and personal integrity which go to make up the model American citizen, and were valuable acquisitions to the region in which they settled, which was then in need of honorable, substantial and permanent residents. David McHaffie, the father of our subject, was one of the early pioneers and came to the Ozark region with two brothers, John and Hugh McHaffie, and David McHaffie. He took up land in what is now Christian County. Hugh, who had a wife and child, died many years ago. John died in 1887. He reared a family and one of his sons is living on the old homestead, first settled by the father. David McHaffie was born in the grand old State of Virginia, November 4, 1806, and was a son of Andrew McHaffie, one of the pioneers of Virginia. David was a young man, twenty-eight years of age, when he started to the far West, and he made the trip by wagon from Knox County, Tennessee, where he had lived from the time he was five years of age, his father having moved from Virginia to Tennessee, when David was...

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Biography of Jeremiah J. Wood

JEREMIAH J. WOOD. Our subject is an intelligent farmer and stockraiser who keeps abreast of the times in the improvements and progress made in his calling. He is a successful farmer, using the best methods of fertilizing the soil and improving the land, and his enterprise has made him a man of note in his section. He owes his nativity to the Hoosier State, born in Martin County in 1837, and is seventh in order of birth of nine children born to James and Sarah (Pifer) Wood. The father was born in Kentucky, but when a young man went to Martin County, Indiana, where he married Miss Pifer. There he died when our subject was but three years of age. He followed agricultural pursuits all his life. Mrs. Wood afterward removed to Coles County, Illinois, and married one Ransom Haddock, and there she died in 1867 or 1868. She was a Free-Will Baptist in religious belief. Her children were named as follows: Irene, deceased, was the wife of George Lytle; Cynthia, deceased, was the wife of Thomas Peak; Dorcas, deceased, was the wife of Randall Haddock; John, deceased, was a soldier in the One Hundred and Twenty-third Illinois Infantry; Mary, who was the wife of Alex. Black, died in Illinois; Solomon, also a soldier in the One Hundred and Twenty-third Illinois Infantry, died at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in 1862; Jeremiah...

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Biography of Hon. Patrick C. Berry

HON. PATRICK C. BERRY. The position occupied by Patrick C. Berry as one of the prominent and influential citizens of Stone County, Missouri, has been gained by personal worth and unquestioned integrity. He is well and favorably known all over the county, few men more so, and is now enjoying the fruits of a well-spent life. In the grand old mother of States, Virginia, he was born, August 22, 1830, the seventh son and next to the youngest of the eight children of Samuel and Sarah (Hickey) Berry, both natives of Washington County, Virginia. Our subject’s grandfather, William Berry, was born in the Emerald Isle, but at an early date came to this country and settled in Virginia or Pennsylvania, dying in the former State. He was a farmer, and the old homestead in the Old Dominion is now owned by members of the family. Samuel Berry was born on this old farm in 1799, grew to manhood and married Miss Hickey. All his children were born in that State, and he remained there until 1843, when he started for Missouri, arriving here the following year. He located in Wright County and died there the same year. The family bought an improved farm, on which they resided many years and on which the mother died in 1856, when about sixty years of age. Her parents, William and Rachel (Martin)...

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Biography of Robert A. Smith

ROBERT A. SMITH, better known as “Mac” Smith, is a prominent farmer and stockraiser of Swan Township, Taney County, Missouri, and is classed among the wide-awake, progressive men of his section. His birth occurred in Christian County, Missouri, January 1, 1846, and he is one of eight children born to William and America (Bryant) Smith, both natives of Cumberland County, Virginia, where they were reared, educated and married. Later they left their native State and moved to Kentucky, but remained there only a short time, and then settled in Hickory County, Missouri The following year they removed to Christian County of that State and settled in the woods on Swan, near Cedar Creek, where Mr. Smith began improving a small farm. Thence they removed to a point near Sparta, where Mr. Smith improved another farm, and there died in 1865. He was very successful as a tiller of the soil, and was also quite a prominent horse raiser. During the war he was a Union man, but took no part except to serve in the Home Guards. He was a pioneer of Christian County. His grandfather, Spencer Smith, a native Virginian, and a mechanic who followed farming in that State, passed his entire life there with his wife, Sarah Crecy. He had three sons and one daughter. On the maternal side, his grandfather, Eli Bryant, was also a native...

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Biography of David B. Pratt

DAVID B. PRATT. The name mentioned above is well known in the agricultural districts of Douglas County, Missouri, and is a synonym for all that is pushing, enterprising and successful. Mr. Pratt was born in Maury County, Tennessee, September 10, 1828, a son of Joseph and Mary (Buchanan) Pratt, the former of whom was born in Georgia, but when a young man removed to Tennessee, where he spent the remainder of his days. He was a cabinet maker by trade, was a soldier of the War of 1812, and was an upright and honorable man. His wife was born in Tennessee and was a daughter of David Buchanan, who was a participant in a number of the early Indian wars in Tennessee. She died in 1870, having become the mother of six children: Andrew J., who was killed in the battle of Monterey during the Mexican War; Margaret, who died after her marriage with H. S. Blakemore; David B.; and Fidelia A., who is the wife of G. W. Reese, of Tennessee, being the only ones who reached maturity. The early life of David B. Pratt was passed on a farm and his advantages for obtaining an education were very meager indeed. In 1849 he began farming on his own responsibility, but in 1850 was severely attacked by the “gold fever ” and he made the overland trip to...

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Biography of Washington M. Wade

WASHINGTON M. WADE. Washington M. Wade, ex-clerk and recorder of Christian County, and a prominent banker of the county, was born in Carroll County, Arkansas, January 21, 1858, and was the youngest of ten children born to the union of Joseph and Nancy (Sivley) Wade. The father was born in Warren County, Kentucky, near Bowling Green, March 4, 1814, and the mother was born in Lawrence County, Ala., in 1816. The latter was the daughter of Mr. and Rachel Sivley, and was the only one of the family to come to Missouri. Our subject’s paternal grandparents were Joseph Wade and his wife, formerly Miss Mounts. The father of our subject came from Alabama to Greene County, Missouri, in 1840, but subsequently moved to Arkansas, where he made his home until 1861. He then moved to Rolla, Missouri, for being a strong Union man his ideas did not accord with his neighbors’, and he thought it prudent to leave. He enlisted in the army, but was rejected on account of his age. His wife took the family and located in the northeast part of Christian County, but after residing there one year, moved to Grand Prairie, in Greene County, north of Republic. In 1866 the family moved to the southwest point of Christian County, Galloway Township, near Highlandville, and there resided until the death of the father, on the 29th...

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Biography of Charles H. Groom

CHARLES H. GROOM. Charles H. Groom, one of the most progressive and successful young attorneys of Taney County, Missouri, was born in Holt County, Missouri, January 16, 1861, to the union of Sylvanus L. and Semira E. (Boswell) Groom, natives, respectively, of the Empire State and Indiana, the former born May 19, 1818. Isaac Groom, grandfather of the subject, was a native of the green isle of Erin and was probably the first of the family to come to America. He passed the remainder of his days in the State of New York. Sylvanus L. Groom and his brother, Edward, were the only surviving members of the father’s family. They emigrated to Detroit, Mich., at an early date and studied law, medicine and theology. In 1859 Sylvanus came to Nodaway County, Missouri, and began practicing law at Marysville. When the war broke out he enlisted from Holt County in the Thirteenth Missouri Infantry, and served as a private, although he was offered a higher rank, which he refused. He served faithfully up to the battle of Pittsburg Landing, when he received a gunshot wound and subsequently a furlough for thirty days. Upon reporting for duty he was again sent home for ninety days; but before that time had expired he again entered the army, enlisting in the Twenty-fifth Missouri Infantry, Company H, with which he remained until the cessation...

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