Biography of Alexander C. Kissee
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A descendant of good old Virginia stock, Mr. Kissee inherited the fundamental principles of industry, integrity and deter-mination of purpose which became the attributes of his whole after life. He is a native of the Prairie State, born in Edgar County November 2, 1834, and the son of Arter and Ufins (Bledsoe) Kissee and grandson of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Weddill) Kissee.
The grandparents were both natives of the Old Dominion and early settlers of Kentucky, where they passed their latter days, the grandfather living to be over one hundred years. The great-grandfather, Stoball Kissee, was a native of Virginia, but it is thought was of French descent. The family emigrated from Kentucky, to Indiana, and thence to Illinois, but later returned to Indiana, and settled in the northwest part of the State, where the father of our subject took up land. He was born in Pulaski County, Kentucky, in 1810, and was married in Kentucky, to Miss Bledsoe, who was born in North Carolina, October 14, 1805. Mr. Kissee made his home in Indiana, until 1846 and then came to what is now Christian County, settling on Swan Creek, and later near Ozark. Thence he moved to Sparta and there passed the remainder of his days, dying in 1887. Formerly a Whig in politics he espoused the principles of the Republican party later, and was obliged to leave home on account of his political views. He served eight months in the twenty-fourth Missouri Infantry, and was in a number of skirmishes in this section. He was well known in southwest Missouri, and by his industry and good management became the owner of much valuable property. He reared a family of eight children as follows, Elizabeth, deceased, was the wife of Jacob Propes, of Indiana; Mary J., residing in Christian County, is the widow of Milton Eldridge, Willis was a soldier in the Civil War and fought all over the southwest country; he commanded a company in guerrilla fighting and was noted as a brave and valiant soldier; he returned to his farm in Taney County, became well and favorably known all over the section, and accumulated considerable wealth; later, he moved from Taney County, to Colorado, and engaged in mining, but was also in the liquor business; he was shot and killed by a man named Kellogg, whom he killed at the same time; during his time, as a soldier he killed thirty-two guerrillas, Alexander C. our subject; Nancy Jane was married four times, died a number of years ago; Sylvanus,who is living three miles northeast of Sparta, in Christian County, is married and has a family; he was a soldier in the Union Army during the Rebellion and was in twenty-six engagements, Caroline, is the widow of Steven Bolar; George W., who is living in Ozark County, volunteered with his father in the army and was a good soldier, fighting in twenty-seven engagements. Mrs. Kissee’s parents, Benjamin and Elizabeth (Morton) Bledsoe, were early pioneers of Kentucky. Mrs. Kissee died in 1878, and was a worthy member of the Christian Church. Mr. Kissee was a member of no church.
The youthful days of our subject were spent in Indiana, attending the early schools, but he learned to read, write and figure by his own efforts. When a young man of twenty he started out for himself, splitting rails at 55 cents per hundred. On January 21, 1855, he was married to Miss Catherine McHaffie, daughter of David McHaffie, who was born in Springfield, Missouri, on December, 15, 1837. Ten children were born to this marriage, six of whom survive: David, died when two years of age; Arter is married and has a family of three children, and is in the mill business with his father, Mary U. married C. C. Casey of Kissee Mills, Catherine G. married James K. Davis, a farmer of the Indian Nation; Elizabeth J. is the wife of William R. Stuart, a farmer of Kissee Mills; Julia A., wife of James R. Wyatt, resides in Kissee Mills; Schuyler C. is a farmer and is with his father in the store at Kissee Mills. He is married; Abraham L., Emily and a daughter who died in infancy, when the mother died, January 15, 1876.
Our subject’s second marriage was with Miss Cordelia M. Davis, daughter of Louis and Nancy C. (Hammer) Davis, both of whom were natives of Greene County, Missouri The Grandfather, John L. Davis, was a native of Tennessee, as was also Grandfather Hammer. The Davis family came to Taney County at an early date and settled near Kissee Mills, where the father and mother died in 1887. Nine children were born to them, five of whom are living: Susan T., wife of Spenser Tate; James K., resident of the Indian Nation; William S., living in Arkansas; Louis B., residing in Arkan-sas, and Frances, who died when fifteen years of age. The remainder of the children died young. Mrs. Kissee was born in Greene County, Missouri, March 12, 1861, and was seven years of age when the family came to this county. She married Mr. Kissee in 1876, when fifteen years of age. Eleven children were born to this Union: Alexander, Ulysses S. G., William S. and Robert L. (twins), Cordelia, Hiram Obiff, (deceased), Alfred C., Benjamin H., Ethel and two daughters who died young and were not named. The six eldest children died young, but four were named.
Our subject came to Kissee Mills in 1869, and is now the owner of a large tract of land, all well improved, and also the owner of the old home in Christian County, where the father lived many years. In 1886 he started to lay out the town of Kissee Mills, but later sold out and went to California where here remained but a short time. He then returned and bought back some of the land he had owned. There are now two stores, a grist mill, saw mill and cotton gin, for which Beaver Creek gives good water power. Fraternally Mr. Kissee is a Mason, a member of Forsyth Lodge No. 453, and Mrs. Kissee has taken the wife and daughter degree and also the Eastern Star degree. He is also an Odd Fellow. In politics he has ever been identified with the Republican party. During the war he resided in Christian County and served in the Home Guards, and was second lieutenant in Company H, Seventy-second E. M. Militia. He participated in the battle of Springfield, the Marmaduke fight, and was stationed at Ozark during most of the war. Mr. Kissee is a liberal contributor to all worthy movements, and is one of the progressive, wide-awake men of the county. For about three years he published a paper called the Taney County Times, which was considered the best paper in the county at that time. Pushing and enterprising, he got the post-office in Kissee Mills in 1870 and became the leading business man of his neighborhood. He was postmaster at Kissee Mills for some time.