William Henry Folmsbee was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, June 22, 1831. His parents were Isaac and Deborah Folmsbee; his father, who was major in the United States regular army, died when the subject of this sketch had reached the age of seven years, and his mother followed him to the grave “some two years later. Thus thrown upon the world at this early age to provide for himself, he found a kind friend in the person of Dr. William Ensign, who gave him a home, reared and educated him. He attended the common and higher schools of Cincinnati, and while yet a lad, began medical studies in the office of Dr. Ensign, remaining under his kind friend’s instruction, until he was twenty-two years of age, when he took a partial course at the Miami Medical College, of Cincinnati, and, in 1855, graduated at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Keokuk, Iowa. He began practice in Richland, Keokuk county, Iowa, remaining there until 1859, when he removed to this county and located in Gallatin, where he has secured a large and remunerative practice.
In the fall of 1861, Dr. Folmsbee joined the Federal army as assistant surgeon of Colonel Pody’s regiment, but resigned the same year on account of poor health. However, in the latter part of 1861 he was again in the field and organized the first company, under the call of Governor Gamble, for six months troops, and, at the expiration of that time, became captain of Company B, First Cavalry Regiment, Missouri State Militia, serving until the fall of 1862 when he resigned. While in the service he was elected a member of the State Legislature for the term of 1862-63, and it was during that session that provisions were made for the calling of the State Constitutional Convention, which met in St. Louis in the winter of 1864-65, and of which he was a member, having been elected by his senatorial district. Dr. Folmsbee has always been an uncompromising Republican in politics. He is a member of Gallatin Lodge No. 167, I. O. O. F.