J. G. SILER. County and circuit clerk and county recorder of Taney County, Missouri, belongs to that army of intelligent, persevering, courageous people who have gone forth from the States of their birth to become respected and esteemed in the States of their adoption. Although of American parentage, he is of German descent, and has inherited the energy, thrift and integrity of that race of people, attributes which placed him in his present responsible position.
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His grandfather, Jesse Siler, was one of three brothers who came from Germany to this country previous to the Revolution, and settled in North Carolina, where they became prominent and influential people. Members of this family fought in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and in the Rebellion, and were brave and trustworthy soldiers. The father of our subject was born near Nashville, Tennessee, and was one of the Georgia colony who came up White River in 1872 and made a landing at Lead Hill, in Boone County, Arkansas, whence they took wagons to the valley of Beaver Creek, where they made a settlement. The father of our subject took up a tract of land and made his home there for many years. In 1893 he moved to Webster County, Missouri, where he is engaged in farming. He is a Mason and a member of the G. A. R.
The early years of our subject were passed in Taney and Douglas Counties, where he attended the best schools of both counties. After attending the Walnut Grove School in 1885 he became a teacher and followed that profession in Taney, Ozark and Douglas Counties for some time. In 1887-8 he attended the Henderson Academy and became principal in 1889 of the Mansfield School in Wright County, subsequently attended Mt. Grove Academy in Wright County, Missouri, and would have graduated in 1891, but instead was elected by a large majority to fill the offices which he now holds. He is a very popular young man and although a stanch Republican in politics, received a large Democratic vote. He began his duties January 5, 1891, and has discharged the same with more than ordinary ability. He was elected to that position when twenty-two years of age and will hold the same until 1895. During the three years he has held this position, he has given universal satisfaction and those who know him best look upon this much as but a preparation for even better work in the future. He is the owner of a nice residence and six lots in Forsyth, also the owner of 160 acres near Forsyth, 160 acres near St. Louis Park, and 160 acres near Protem; he also owns other and smaller tracts. In 1893 he brought from Janesville, Wisconsin, six fine imported horses, all registered, and was the first to introduce the imported stock into the county.
In April, 1894, Mr. Siler purchased the general merchandise store of R. W. Cline, which invoiced $5,000. He has refused to become a candidate for reelection, and will, after his present term of office expires, devote his entire time to mercantile business. Mr. Siler was married June 3, 1892, to Miss Emma A. Small, a native of Dade County, Missouri, and the daughter of Dr. James and Mary Small. She is a lady of education and was a teacher in the public schools of West Plains, Missouri. She has filled the office of deputy recorder and has held other positions. One child, Eunice, was born to this union October 11, 1893. Mr. and Mrs. Siler are leaders in society, and he was superintendent in the Sunday-school of Forsyth.
Mrs. Siler’s father, Dr. James Small, was born in Tennessee in 1841, and was the seventh son born to Rev. James and Mary A. (Wallace) Small, both of whom were of Scotch descent. James Small attended the schools of his neighborhood and when the Civil War broke out he enlisted in the Union Army, Second Kansas Infantry, and later in the Sixteenth Missouri Cavalry, serving until the close of the war. In 1864 he married Miss Mary Noe, of Lee County, Virginia, and five children were given them: Mary J., born April 3, 1866, the wife of W. F. Patterson of Nebraska; Emma A., born March 23, 1868, now Mrs. Siler; Nellie, born June 23, 1872, the wife of J. H. Bunyard; R. Walter, born July 19, 1878, and J. Arthur, born January 12, 1884. After the war Mr. Small took charge of the old home, belonging to his father, and began the study of medicine under Dr. E. H. Mover. Later he moved to Arkansas and continued to study medicine, under Dr. W. M. Noe, his brother-in-law, and he also attended the American Medical College, graduating from that institution in 1880. Soon after this he began practicing at Isabella, Missouri, but later moved to Marion County, Ore. where he remained until 1882, when he moved to Oakland, Arkansas, and soon after was appointed postmaster at that place. In 1887 he moved to Douglas County and built up a large practice. He established the post office at Smallett, Douglas County, and was one of the most prominent citizens. In 1890 he was appointed physician of the Nuyaka Mission, Indian Territory. Dr. Small has a fine farm of 120 acres in Douglas County, and owns other valuable property.