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M. V. GIDEON. The gentleman whose name is given above is the popular and efficient circuit clerk and recorder of deeds, and one of the representative men of this county. Integrity, intelligence and system are the characteristics which tend to the prosperity to which all aspire, and such are some of the traits of Mr. Gideon, who is well and favorably known throughout the county, his birth having occurred here February 22, 1860.
His father, William C. Gideon, who was an early pioneer of Missouri and a man whose uprightness and honesty were well known, was killed by the bushwhackers in this county in 1863. The mother, whose maiden name was Malinda Bird, is still living in Christian County, two miles south of Highlandville, and is now about sixty-six years of age. She is the mother of seven sons and two daughters, all now living except one daughter, Mary, who died when five years of age. The eldest child, T. J., is a prominent attorney of Springfield; Judge J. J. also resides at Springfield; F. M. is attorney for the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, and resides in Washington, D. C.; W. W. resides at Springfield, and is manager of the Gideon Mercantile Company of that place; Dr. J. M. is a successful physician of Ozark; Mary is deceased; Matilda, now Mrs. Hammond, of Highlandville, Christian County; M. V., our subject, and George B., who is deputy clerk of Christian County. This family, among the oldest and best respected ones of Christian County, came originally from east Tennessee. The father of our subject was a soldier in the Civil War, and served from 1861 until he was killed. He was a farmer by occupation and an extensive dealer in live stock, becoming quite well off. At an early date he settled on the farm where the mother is now living, two miles south of Highlandville, and there some members of the family have since resided.
The youthful days of our subject were spent on this farm, and he secured a fair education in the schools of Ozark and at Marionville College, where he remained for four years. After finishing his education he was engaged in the real estate business for two years, and soon after that was appointed deputy assessor of Christian County, holding that position for two years. He again engaged in the real estate business, continued this two years more, and was then appointed deputy collector. For two years he filled that position in a very satisfactory manner, and in 1890 was elected to his present position. In politics he is a Republican. He is a man of marked intelligence and broad information on political and other leading topics of the day, and his integrity and reliability give him the confidence of the community. He is a member of Finley Lodge No. 206, I. O. O. F., at Ozark, and attends the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which his wife holds membership. This lady was formerly Miss E. F. Nelson, born August 27, 1864, in Christian County, daughter of John T. Nelson, who now resides in this county. Four children have been born to this union: Lulu May, deceased; Thomas Roscoe, John Byron and James Lovell. Mr. Gideon and family make their home in Ozark, and Mr. Gideon has been quite successful in a business way, being the owner of a good property. He is also interested in the Gideon Mercantile Company, of Springfield, Missouri, and is a thorough business man. He is filling his present position in a very creditable and efficient manner, and has won many warm friends by his upright, honorable career.
His father-in-law, John T. Nelson, is one of the prominent men of Christian County. He was born in Tennessee September 3, 1839, and is a son of Samuel D. and Elizabeth (Berry) Nelson. Samuel D. Nelson was born December 29, 1812, and in 1839 came to what is now Taney County, Missouri, where he built a mill on Beaver Creek. Later he removed to Stone County and there died in 1863. John T. Nelson was reared in the wilds of Taney and Stone Counties, with such educational advantages as the country afforded in that day, and on the 23d of September, 1863, married Miss Louisa C. Keltner, who was born January 7, 1839, in what is now Christian County. Two children, Mrs. Gideon and Samuel D. (deceased) were born to this union. Mr. Nelson resided for a number of years in Greene and Stone Counties, and in 1888 built one of the best flouring mills on the James River at Griffin. This he has since operated, and he also owns a distillery at Ponce de Leon, Stone County. He is one of the most progressive and industrious citizens of Christian County.