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JOSHUA T. DEEDS. Christian County has long had the reputation of being one of the best agricultural and stockraising counties in the State. Not only do the farmers here give much of their attention to stockraising, but they are generally men of enterprise and information, who take pride in agricultural affairs also. Prominent among those who have done their full share in advancing every interest in this county is Mr. Deeds, who owes his nativity to Greene County, Missouri, born October 4, 1845.
He is a son of Dr. John and Melissa (Davis) Deeds, and the grandson of John Deeds, Sr., who was one of the pioneers of Greene County, Missouri The latter came from Tennessee to the last named county and located just north of Springfield, where he improved a good farm and passed the closing scenes of his life. He was of Dutch extraction, as was also his wife, and both were worthy members of the Baptist Church. Our subject’s maternal grandfather, Joshua Davis, was also an early settler of Greene County and settled in the same neighborhood about 1836. There he developed a good farm from the woods and there he and his wife passed away. He was a very prominent character, and although a cripple and something of an invalid, he had a very brilliant mind. An eloquent orator and an able, active politician, he wielded no small influence in the State of Missouri. For twelve years he was clerk of the court of Greene County and he edited and published The Lancet as well as The irror in Springfield for many years. His death occurred in 1856 and his son William P. succeeded him in journalistic work.
The original of this notice was reared by an aunt, Mrs. Muessida A. McGaugh, north of Springfield, until about twelve years of age, and then she came to Christian County and she now makes her home with our subject. As the latter grew up he became familiar with farming in all its details and secured a liberal education in the common schools. When twenty-two years of age he began farming for himself and agricultural pursuits have continued to be his chosen occupation. Early in 1863 he enlisted in Company H, Sixteenth Missouri Cavalry, and operated in Kansas and North Missouri for about twenty months, or until the close of the war. He participated in a number of prominent engagements and was discharged at Springfield. In the year 1866 he was married to Miss Frances E. Collins, daughter of Dr. John D. Collins (see sketch), and a native of Marshall County, Tennessee Nine children have been born to our subject and wife, viz.: Mary, an infant, Maude, Stella, Marshall, John, Pearl, William and Edward, all deceased except the four last named. After his marriage our subject moved four miles south of Ozark, but only remained there one year when he moved to his present farm, three miles southwest of Ozark, where he has 270 acres with about 150 acres cleared. Aside from farming he is engaged quite extensively in buying and feeding cattle, etc., and is one of the substantial men of this section. He has put nearly all the improvements on his farm and attends strictly to business. He and Mrs. Deeds are members of the Baptist Church, in which they are active workers.