HON. JOSHUA SHOLAR. The free country of America affords numberless instances of men who have made their way alone in life, having nothing on which to depend but their own strong arms and a determination to do and to succeed. Such men are always self-reliant, their necessities having taught them that what is done must be done through themselves alone. They are worthy and well qualified to perform what duties they are called upon to discharge and are almost without exception leaders of thought in their community, and lead lives of great usefulness. In considering the gentlemen of this class in Shannon County, the name of Hon. Joshua Sholar suggests itself forcibly, for the reason that he has attained his distinguished position without the backing of family or friends, but has made his way onward and upward in the world by the force of his own talents.
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Mr. Sholar was born in Washington County, Missouri, January 8, 1845, and is a son of Whitmel and Mary Ann (Neves) Sholar, natives, respectively, of North Carolina and Henry County, Kentucky The parents were married in Washington County, Missouri, whither the mother had come with her parents when quite small, and the father when twenty-four years of age, and here the father died on the 24th of November, 1857, when fifty-six years of age. The mother was born September 6, 1814, and is still living and a resident of Carter County, Missouri The father was a teacher and surveyor, and was surveyor of the county at the time of his death. He was a graduate of the college at Louisville, Kentucky, and was a man of acknowledged ability. As an educator he was classed among the best and as a surveyor he was well known. He surveyed the Iron Mountain from Riverside to Pilot Knob and made the permanent survey, but died before the railroad was built. In politics he affiliated with the Whig party. To his marriage were born twelve children, four now living, our subject and three daughters: Mrs. Abigail Barnes, of Carter County, Missouri; Mrs. Elizabeth Franklin, of Carter County, and Mrs. Martha Kinnard, of Shannon County.
From the age of eight years to that of thirteen our subject attended school in Washington County, Missouri, but he had limited educational advantages and most of his schooling was received at home. He was a great student and all the books he could find were read with great avidity. In 1866 he turned his attention to teaching and farming in Carter County, Missouri, and remained there until 1870, when he commenced teaching in Shannon County. Five years later he was elected school commissioner and in 1876 he was elected assessor. The following year he was reelected school commissioner, and in 1878 was elected to the position of clerk of the County Court, which he held for twelve years. Then on account of ill health he gave up the office. In 1885 Mr. Sholar, in connection with C. S. Seaman and James Orchard, purchased the Current Cave, which they established at Eminence and owned in partnership until 1889, when Mr. Seaman died. In January, 1890, Mr. Sholar purchased the interest of Seaman’s widow and that of James Orchard, and in April following moved the paper to Illinois. In 1891 he sold the paper to a party who moved it to Eminence. In February, 1892, Mr. Sholar again became proprietor of the paper which he continues to own and publish at Eminence. Mr. Sholar was married April 5, 1878, to Miss Lydia Creagar, a native of Lovington, Illinois, who died October 16, 1884. Their two children, Lenoir C. and Guy E., died when quite young. On the 15th of July, 1891, Mr. Sholar married Miss Laura P. Wetzell, of Washington County. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity at Winona, and in politics he is a Democrat.