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JOHN F. PATTERSON. Among the prominent county officials of Ripley County no man is more popular or better fitted for his position than John F. Patterson, the efficient sheriff. He is a native of this county, born October 9, 1848, and has here spent the most of his life, and the people have had every opportunity to judge of his character aud qualifications. They have found him prompt and fearless in the discharge of his duties, trusty and honorable, and fully alive to the duties of his office.
His father, George Patterson, was born in Malcomb County, Tennessee, and his mother, Sallie (Ferrill) Patterson, was a native of Illinois. They both came to Missouri with their parents when young, married here and here passed the balance of their days, the father dying in 1875, when fifty-one years of age, and she in 1892, when sixty years of age. Mr. Patterson was a farmer, and when starting out for himself settled on Fourche, twelve miles west of Doniphan, and was one of the first to locate in that section. He and the Daltons were about the first settlers, and he helped move the records from Thomasville to this place when Doniphan was made the county seat. He was a successful farmer, and a worthy member of the Christian Church. In his political views he was with the Democrats. He and wife reared seven children, of whom our subject was the eldest.
The latter received his education in the early schools of this section, and after growing up began his career as a farmer on Fourche, where he owned a farm. He still owns a farm there and has been fairly successful. His first office was constable of the township, and in 1893 he was elected sheriff, a position he is almost sure to hold another term as his party (Democratic) has brought his name forward. In 1872 Mr. Patterson was married to Miss Mahala J. Merrill, of this county. She died in 1879 leaving two children: Cornelius Russell and George Rufus. Mr. Patterson selected Miss Martha Riley, of this county, as his second wife, and they have four living children: Ed., Sallie May, Walter and Thomas J. One child, Flora, died when in her third year. Mr. Patterson is a member of the Christian Church, and a man who has won many warm friends by his upright, honorable course in life.