Biography of William A. Maples
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WILLIAM A. MAPLES. Mr. Maples, though just in the prime of life, has made his way to the front ranks among the energetic farmers of this county, and owing to the attention he has always paid to each minor detail, he has accumulated a fair share of this world’s goods. He is a native of Tennessee, born in Bradley County in 1842, and is a son of Thomas and Rhoda (Maples) Maples, natives of East Tennessee, where they made their home until about 1855. This worthy couple then made their way to Christian County, Missouri, and located on a claim on Terrell Creek. On this they remained for many years, improving and adding to the place, but a few years ago Mr. Maples moved to near Highlandville, where he now resides. Although eighty years of age, time has dealt leniently with him and he is unusually bright and active for his years. For some time Mr. Maples was a teacher, but in connection also carried on farming and continued that until recently. Now he is retired. For a number of years he was justice of the peace of Polk Township. During the early part of the war he was in the Home Guards, and although once captured, he was soon released. For many years he has been an exemplary member of the Missionary Baptist Church. His brothers and sisters were: Ephraim. Absalom, Pleasant, Noah, Perry, Hannah and Polly Ann. The sons all came to Christian County. Their father, Josiah Maples, came to Christian County, where he and wife died before the war. He was a farmer and he and wife were members of the Methodist Church. Our subject’s maternal grand-father, Ephraim Maples, was a brother of Josiah Maples, and he too came to Christian County, Missouri He also followed farming and his death occurred soon after the war. He was the father of a large family. The mother of our subject died in Christian County in 1860, and the father subsequently married Miss Fannie Caventer, by whom he has two children, James and Curtis, both farmers and residents of Christian County. The following children were born to our subject’s parents: Catherine, wife of Oliver Gardner, of Stone County; Eliza J., was the wife of James Wells and died during the war; Mary, wife of M. Johnson, of Stone County; subject; Leander; Adeline, wife of Jeff. White, of Stone County.
The educational advantages of our subject were limited but early in life he became familiar with every detail of farm life. In 1861 he joined the Home Guards for three months and then enlisted in Company D, Twenty-fourth Missouri Infantry for three years, participating in many of the leading engagements of the war, viz: Nashville, Mobile, Franklin, Pleasant Hill and many others. At the expiration of three years he joined Company K, Twenty-first Missouri Infantry, and served three months, being discharged at Montgomery, Ala., in May, 1865. He came by steamer to St. Louis and then by railroad to Rolla, Missouri, after which he made the rest of the way on foot. He resumed the implements of husbandry and in 1865 was married to Miss Martha Maples, daughter of Simeon Perry and Elizabeth Maples (see sketch of Simeon P. Maples). Ten children have been the fruits of our subject’s union, as follows: Dillworth, Elizabeth, Eli, Marion, Columbus, Jerome, Rebecca and Mary. The two eldest, Edward and an infant, died in youth. For five years after his marriage Mr. Maples lived in Stone County, but since then he has been on his present farm of 210 acres, 125 acres under cultivation, ten miles southeast of Billings. All this is the result of his own industry and good management. He is a member of the G. A. R. at Republic, and he and wife hold membership in the Missionary Baptist Church. The Maples family is one of the best known in the county. Fifty members of this family are voters, all of whom vote the Republican ticket, and not one but what is respected and esteemed as an honest, upright citizen.