Location: West Plains Missouri

Biography of George M. Follett

GEORGE M. FOLLETT. The creditable condition of business life in West Plains, Missouri, is due in a great extent to the enterprise, energy and intelligence of her prominent merchants and manufacturers. Among these may be mentioned the firm of Holt & Follett, manufacturers. George M. Follett was born and reared just outside of the city of New York, his birth occurring February 25, 1852, son of D. B. and Eliza (Mason) Follett. The father was a farmer and resided on the Delaware River. Our subject passed his boyhood and youth on the old home farm and received but limited educational advantages. Early in life he started in the lumber business, working in the lumber fields of West Pennsylvania and those of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and continued there until 1883, when he came to south Missouri. Here he took a position with the South Missouri Land Company, and had charge of a planing mill at Willow Springs. A year later he took charge of the Burnham Mills as engineer. He is a practical engineer and electrician. He remained at the Burnham Mills until September, 1888, and then went to Winona, Missouri, where he took a position with the Ozark Lumber Company, holding the same one year. Following this he bought a saw mill south of Winona and continued this until 1891, when he came to West Plains and opened...

Read More

Biography of L. G. Eblen

L. G. EBLEN. Coming to Howell County, Missouri, when ten years of age, L. G. Eblen has since made for himself an honored position among the repre-sentative men of the county, and has been closely identified with many of its best interests. He is at present the county collector and his reputation is not merely local, but extends over a wide stretch of country. Mr. Eblen is a native of Tennessee, born in Weakley County, July 17, 1859, and the fourth in order of birth of seven children born to Isaac and Sarah (Harvey) Eblen. The elder Eblen was born in Henry County, Tennessee, in 1824, and is descended from an old and honored family in this country. He grew up in Tennessee, attended the early schools of that State, and there remained until 1870, when he came to Missouri and located northeast of West Plains. He homesteaded a farm and is still living in the same part of the county. He has always followed agricultural pursuits and is a well to-do, useful citizen. Before leaving Tennessee he was married to Miss Harvey, whose father was an early settler of that State, and she died in January, 1892. Their children were named as follows: Mexico, now the wife of J. W. Weatherly, a farmer of this county; Rufus died in infancy; Oscar died when twenty years of age; L....

Read More

Biography of Lewis Harvey De Priest

LEWIS HARVEY DE PRIEST, sheriff of Shannon County, Missouri, is a young man, but there is not one in the county more capable of discharging the duties of that position or better qualified in every respect than he. He was born in Jefferson County, Illinois, near Mount Vernon, in 1865, and is a son of Abraham and Elizabeth (Aden) De Priest. The father first saw the light in south Missouri, probably Shannon or Oregon County. He was married in this State to Miss Aden, who died May 3, 1882, when fifty-three years of age. His second marriage was with Mrs. E. J. Gardner, who is still living. Mr. De Priest was a farmer by occupation, but for a number of years he sold goods at Eminence. After the war he handled a great deal of stock and resided at Eminence most of the time. In 1862 he went to Illinois, but returned to this State in 1869. Following the war he was circuit and county clerk, also served as assessor several terms and held other positions. He was a prominent and substantial citizen. He was both a Mason and an Odd Fellow, and in politics supported the Democratic party. His death occurred June 2, 1891, when sixty-one years of age. Of the five children born to his first marriage four are now living, three in this county and one...

Read More

Biography of J. A. Truex

J. A. TRUEX, editor of the Journal and postmaster of West Plains, was a native of the Buckeye State,and was born in Marion County, November,6, 1843. The Truex family is of Dutch origin and an old Colonial one. The father of our subject, Benjamin Truex, was a native of Pennsylvania, and a farmer and carpenter. He raised a family of eight children, of whom our subject was third in order of birth. The latter grew to mature years in his native country, received his primary education in the schools of the same, and subsequently entered the High School at Goshen, Indiana Later he attended the Heading College at Abingdon, Ill, and the Kalamazoo Baptist College. About the year 1856 the family moved to Elkhart County, Indiana, and settled on a farm in Lock Township. Early in life young Truex became a teacher, and continued this until 1869, when he emigrated to Kansas. There he located in Geary County and taught school until 1874, when he was elected county superintendent of schools and held that position up to 1884, five terms of two years each, thus showing his popularity. During that time the county took the premium three times for the best display at the State fair. In 1881 Mr. Truex established the Davis County Republican and edited it until 1884. In that year he bought the Journal and moved...

Read More

Biography of Henry Dixon Green

HENRY DIXON GREEN. The American bar offers the finest opportunities for preferment of any country upon the face of the earth, its members being privileged, if the talent is not wanting, to attain not only the grandest distinction in the profession, but it is the easiest way of approach to the highest official places in the land. What is more, the American bar can show an array of eminent talent, of profound erudition and of judicial ability equal to that of England, France or Germany. The Howell County bar has, during the past half century, been greatly distinguished for the learning and talent of its members, who know no such word as fail when pitted against lawyers of other sections. A very bright and most successful young attorney of the above mentioned county is Henry Dixon Green, who has won victories at the bar that would have reflected credit upon its oldest members. He is one of the best known lawyers of south Missouri, is affable and genial, making friends wherever he goes, and prominent attorneys in his section say he is one of the best trial lawyers in the State. Mr. Green was born in Henderson County, Kentucky, in 1851. His father, H. D. Green, was a captain in the Confederate Army. and died while in service. In 1876 our subject left his native State and went to...

Read More

Biography of R. V. Lasater

R. V. LASATER. The American people not only travel more extensively than any other nation, but they patronize to a greater extent the numerous establishments for the hire of horses and carriages. One of the best known, most deservedly popular and liberally patronized livery stables in this city is that conducted by R. V. Lasater, a wide-awake, thorough-going business man. Mr. Lasater was born in St. Francois County, Missouri, November 28, 1858, and is a son of Reuben and Elizabeth (Govreau) Lasater. The father was born in Tennessee, and when but a boy came to Missouri. About 1868 he located in Howell County, at West Plains, and became the owner of a large farm on which a considerable portion of the city now stands. Farming was his principal occupation in life, but he was public-spirited and progressive and was holding the office of sheriff and collector at the time of his death, which occurred in West Plains in 1874. He served in the Union Army all through the Civil War, was in many hard-fought battles, and was one of the best of soldiers. Politically he was a Republican and socially a Mason. He gave the Oak GroveĀ  to both lodges. Mr. Lasater was a man of considerable means and a good, law-abiding citizen. He was a good judge of fine horses and made a business of raising fine animals....

Read More

Biography of Dr. J. C. B. Dixon

DR. J. C. B. DIXON. One of the old and honored medicine men and citizens of Howell County, Missouri, is Dr. C.B. Dixon. This gentleman was born in Tennessee, August 20, 1823, and is a son of Thomas and Ann (Maybury Dixon. The grandfather, Edam Dixon, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He moved from North Carolina to Tennessee while the Indians were still in that section, and was one of the nine pioneers in East Tennessee. The father of our subject was born in North Carolina, became a substantial farmer, and died in Tennessee, as did also his wife, when the Doctor was but a child. The latter was the youngest of seven children, and from an early age was obliged to make his own way in life. He grew to boyhood among the Cherokee Indians in Tennessee, secured but a limited education, and at an early age began working on a farm. As he grew older he saw the need of a better education and began to apply himself. In the year 1845 he took up the study of medicine under Dr. Miles of Kentucky, and subsequently attended the Louisville Medical College of Kentucky. Five years later he began practicing in Bullitt County, Kentucky, and made his home in that State until 1865. During a part of that time he was engaged in merchandising, and met...

Read More

Biography of Edward Coker

EDWARD COKER. This gentleman is one of the active stockmen of West Plains, Missouri, and an influential and progressive citizen of the same. He is a product of Arkansas, born in what is now Boone County, at Lead Hill, August 30, 1856, to the marriage of William and Margaret (Holt) Coker. The Coker family is probably the oldest in north Arkansas. The mother of our subject was a native of Tennessee, and a daughter of William Holt who moved from Tennessee to Marion County, Arkansas, in the thirties. Mr. Holt was a farmer and a prominent man in his section of the State, and he and wife passed their last days there. Our subject was fifth in order of birth of six children, as follows: Sarah, died young; G. W., a merchant of Lead Hill; Winnie; Sarah and Mary. He grew up in Lead Hill, attended the public schools of that place and in 1875 started out to make his own way in life. He first opened up a store at Isabella, Ozark County, Missouri, and continued in business there until 1881, when he moved to Gainesville. Later he went from there to West Plains, embarked in general merchandising by himself, and continued this successfully for six years. After that he engaged in the stock business, buying, selling and shipping, and is now one of the foremost business men...

Read More

Biography of Clinton M. Pease

C. M. PEASE and GEORGE A. PEASE, owners of the Enterprise Roller Mills, of West Plains, Howell County, Missouri, are conducting one of the largest concerns of the kind in south Missouri. The mill was built in 1889, at a cost of $10,000, by Dr. Pitts and George H. Carter (who is now of the Howell County Bank), and was operated by the above-mentioned gentlemen from July until October, 1889. G. A. and C. M. Pease then bought the mill and since that time have successfully operated it. In 1893 the present owners increased the capacity from 75 to 125 barrels, and changed the bolting system to that of plansifter, and probably adopted the first full plansifter mill used in the United States. The mill has six sets of rollers, and has all the equipments to do first class work. Work is done both day and night with two sets of hands, and a first-class grade of flour is turned out. The mill is located on the Gulf Railroad tract, west of the depot, and consists of the mill proper, 32×60 feet, two stories and basement. It is operated by a 75-horse power Corliss engine. The elevator stands fifty feet from the mill, and has a capacity of 12,000 bushels. The grain used is raised in the section, and the brands of flour are Plansifter Patent, Fancy Patent and...

Read More

Biography of D. F. Martin

D. F. MARTIN, circuit clerk of Howell County, Missouri, is closely identified with the welfare of West Plains, widely known as a politician, popular as a citizen and who hasbeena resident of south Missouri since 1851. Born in Lincoln County, Tennessee, December 9, 1833. He is a son of St. George and Emaline (Gaither) Martin, natives of Virginia, the former born in 1806, and the latter in 1807. The grandfather, George Martin, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and a friend of George Washington. He was born in the Old Dominion, but moved from there to Georgia, and thence to Tennessee, and was an early pioneer of that State. Settling in Lincoln County, he practiced medicine there the remainder of his days, and in connection carried on farming. He reared a family of four sons and two daughters, and all the sons became physicians. The Martin family is of English origin. St. George Martin was reared in Georgia and Tennessee, secured a medical education, and practiced this profession all his life. In 1851 he emigrated to Oregon County, Missouri, and resided there until the breaking out of the war, when he moved to the Lone Star State. In the year 1868 he started to move back, but died in Arkansas while on the way. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and was a man...

Read More

Biography of Dr. N. C. Berry

DR. N. C. BERRY. Our subject, a prominent and leading physician of West Plains, Missouri, was born April 5, 1838, in Union County, Kentucky, of which State his father, Dr. J. T. Berry, was also a native. The elder Berry was born in Fayette County in 1810, and was the son of John Berry, who was a native Virginian and an early settler of Kentucky. Dr. J. T. Berry took up the practice of medicine nearly sixty years ago in Kentucky, and came to Missouri in 1869. He located in Camden County, but subsequently moved to Carthage, where he is now practicing. He is about eighty-four years of age, a prominent physician, and member of the board of pension examiners at Carthage. He was married in Kentucky to Miss Susan M. Hodge, daughter of James Hodge, formerly of Kentuky, now deceased. She is still living, and is seventy years of age. Of their seven children our subject is eldest in order of birth. The others are as follows: C. L. and H. A., residents of Carthage; John J., deceased, was a soldier in the Fourth Kentucky Infantry, Confederate Army; C. C., who died when a child, and two daughters who died young. Our subject passed his boyhood and youth in his native county, attended the schools there and the high school in his native town, and early in life...

Read More

Biography of W. L. Stowers

W. L. STOWERS. A popular resort for the traveling public and people of this city is the West Plains Hotel, which was first opened in 1883, and is conducted by W. L. Stowers, one of the prominent business men in the city. Mr. Stowers, who is a most genial and obliging host, was born in Marion County, Missouri, August 2, 1843, son of Samuel and America (Whaley) Stowers. Samuel Stowers was born in Virginia in 18O5 to the union of Colman and Nancy (Conway) Stowers, natives of the Old Dominion. The grandfather came to Ralls County, Missouri, as early as 1825 and followed farming, but he was a manufacturer of machinery while residing in Virginia. He was one among the early pioneers of Missouri, and made his home in Ralls County until his death in 1853. He was with the old Whig party and was a prominent man in the county. His wife died in Ralls County about 1851 or 1852, and they were members of the old Ironside Baptist Church. Three daughters and two sons were born to them: Anna, Susan, Nellie, Thomas and Samuel. None of these are living. Samuel Stowers, father of subject, was a young man when he came to this State, this being a year or so before his father came, and he settled in Ralls County and married Miss Whaley. From there they...

Read More

Biography of Rufus McLelland

This worthy citizen has made his home in south Missouri and this county since 1851, and by his upright, honorable career has won the respect and confidence of all. He was born May 17, 1822, in North Carolina, of which State his parents, William R. and Clarissa (Crawford) McLelland, were also natives. The father was a prominent business man and a large slave owner although he prayed for the day to come that would set the slaves free. That day he was not destined to see, for he died before the war. He passed away in North Carolina, as did also his wife. Our subject was one of a large family and he grew to manhood on the old plantation of his father, four miles northwest of Statesville, N. C. His education was received in the common schools of his day, and he was married in his native State to Miss Mira Piercey, daughter of Squire W. W. Piercey, who was a surveyor and prominent man in the Old North State. Mr. and Mrs. McLelland came to this county in 1851, and were forty-seven days on the road. Mr. McLelland stopped at Thomasville, then the county seat of this county, and made the acquaintance of Judge Couch, by whom he was persuaded to stop in this section of the country. He located in what is now Oregon County, became...

Read More

Biography of S. G. Ramsey

Our subject is a man whose business career is a decidedly interesting one, showing the shrewdness, executive ability and competency which can be attained when one is so determined. Among all the industries that are carried on in the flourishing city of West Plains none succeeded so well as the ones that are conducted by practical men. An instance in mind is the success attained to by S. G. Ramsey, one of the prominent and influential citizens of that city. Mr. Ramsey was born in Franklin County, Missouri, October 20, 1836, and his father, J. A. Ramsey, who was a native Kentuckian, was one of the pioneers of Missouri. The grandfather, John Ramsey, was a native of Scotland, who came to this country and first settled in Virginia. Later he moved to Kentucky and from there to Missouri, where he died in 1845. Some of the early members of the Ramsey family served in the Revolutionary War. The father of our subject was a single man when he came to Missouri in 1830, and he first located in Franklin County, and tilled the soil for many years. He was an influential citizen and was county surveyor at one time. His death occurred near New Haven, that county, in 1852. Mr. Ramsey married Miss Naoma Miller, who was a native of Franklin County, where she was born in pioneer days....

Read More

Biography of S. J. Holt

S. J. HOLT. S. J. Holt, manager of the West Plains Electric Light Company, of which Holt & Fallett are the proprietors, is one of the most successful and prominent business men in the city. The above mentioned business was established in 1889. This company is running the city lights and is doing a milling business, in all about $20,000 per year. Mr. Holt is a native of Grand Rapids, Mich., and his father being a prominent saw mill man, our subject grew up in that business. He became interested in a saw mill at that place, but left there and came to West Plains and bought out the planing mill business here. He has made a success of this venture, and Mr. G. M. Fallett, who came to this section from the Empire State, became connected with him in business. Both are honorable and energetic business men who have been active supporters of all measures for the benefit and upbuilding of the localities in which they live. Mr. Holt came to south Missouri in 1883 and first took a position as general manager for the South Missouri Lumber Company at Burnham, this county. He continued with this company a number of years and then embarked in the saw mill business at Birch Tree, Missouri, continuing this one year. After this he was general manager for the Kansas City...

Read More


Free Genealogy Archives

It takes a village to grow a family tree!
Genealogy Update - Keeping you up-to-date!
101 Best Websites 2016

Pin It on Pinterest