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JOSEPH C. BLAIR. The success which has attended the efforts of Mr. Blair in the various occupations he has filled is by no means a matter of chance, nor was he in any sense an especial favorite of fortune, for when he started out in life for himself he began near the bottom of the ladder. In his case fortune smiled upon him as an agriculturist and as a public official because of his untiring efforts, his close and intelligent application to his duties, and his uprightness and honesty, which should bring success under any circumstances and in any field of labor. Mr. Blair is now the genial, courteous and capable county collector of Taney County, Missouri, and was born in Harlan County, Kentucky, at the headwaters of the Cumberland River, June 22, 1848. He was the eldest but one of a family of nine children born to Absalom and Nancy (Campbell) Blair.
The father was also a native of Harlan County, Kentucky, born in 1816, and the son of Joseph Blair, who was a native of North Carolina. The latter married in North Carolina, and he and wife were early set-tlers of Kentucky, in which State he lived to a good old age, engaged in tilling the soil. Absalom Blair became a farmer in his native county, and there passed his entire life, dying in 1886. He was a Republican in politics, and during the late war served eighteen months in Company F, Forty-seventh Kentucky Regiment. He was a good soldier and took part in some of the prominent battles. He married Miss Nancy Campbell, a native of Perry County, Kentucky, born in 1815, and the daughter of William Campbell and Elizabeth (Cornett) Campbell. Mr. Campbell was a soldier in the War of 1812, and was with Jackson at New Orleans. In politics he affiliated with the Democratic party. He was a well known farmer of his county in Kentucky, and resided there all his life. His parents came originally from Georgia. Mrs. Blair is still living, is about seventy-three years of age, and finds a pleasant and comfortable home with our subject. Ten children were born to her marriage, as follows: William, married and resides in Harlan County, Kentucky, was a soldier in the Forty-seventh Kentucky Regiment during the war; Joseph C., subject; Enoch, a farmer and a resident of Kentucky, held the office of justice of the peace in his county for eight years; Elizabeth and Celia are deceased; Louis W., a farmer, resides on Big Beaver Creek; Sally and Polly, twins, are living in this county, the former the wife of John Huff, and Polly the wife of John M. Gates; John S., married and resides in this county, and Absalom, married and resides in this county. The Blair family came to this county in 1887, most of the members locating on Beaver Creek and Brown Branch, and all have good farms.
Our subject spent his youth in his native county, attending the common schools, and early became familiar with the duties of the farm. During the war he enlisted in Treadway’s battalion of Kentucky Infantry, and served six months, participating in many skirmishes. After the war he began farming in Perry County, Kentucky, and subsequently was married in Letcher County, that State, to Miss Charlotte Hall, a native of Kentucky, born October 28, 1848, and the daughter of Eli and Polly (Holcomb) Hall, natives of North Carolina, but early settlers of Tennessee. For about twenty years Mr. and Mrs. Blair lived in Perry County, Kentucky, and in 1889 came to Taney County, Missouri, where they bought a farm on Beaver Creek, near Bradleyville. This is one of the finest farms in the county and consists of 120 acres with eighty acres under cultivation. Mr. Blair is engaged in general farming and stockraising, and is classed among the best citizens of the county. In his political views he is a stanch Republican, and in November, 1892, he was elected to the office of county collector. He has ever been interested in political matters, and while a resident of Kentucky was justice of the peace for eight or ten years. Nine children have been born to his marriage: Ira; Eli married a Miss Barnes; Absalom; Polly; William; Louis and Enoch (twins), the latter now deceased; Jackson, deceased, and Boyd. Mr. and Mrs. Blair are excellent citizens and have the high regard of all who know them.