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Collection: History of Greene County Missouri

Biography of Ransom D. Blades, Sr.

This old settler and prominent citizen is the son of Edward and Ellen (Maynar) Blades, and was born in McMinn county, Tennessee, January 29, 1821. He was the second child and oldest son. His parents were natives of North Carolina, but moved to Tennessee shortly after their marriage. In 1836, when Ransom was fifteen years of age, they came to Greene county, Missouri, and settled on section 10, township 28, range 24. Then that part of the county was settled by only two or three families, and to the southwest of them there were no neighbors nearer than forty miles. They went through all the hardships incidental to early pioneer life, and the wild, open country that they found upon arriving they redeemed from the wolves and foxes, and the glad earth yielded bountiful crops to bless the hardihood and pluck of these pioneers. The schools, both in the eastern part of Tennessee and here at that early day were poor and scarce, and Mr. Blades received but six weeks’ schooling. But in the great school of experience he learned his lessons well, and in due time arose to be one of Greene’s foremost citizens. In April, 1841, Mr. Blades was married to Frances, daughter of Samuel Garoutte, Esq. She belonged to that noted family of that name which appears frequently in these pages, and whose family history appears...

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Biographical Sketch of Dr. William H. Park

Dr. Park is a son of John and Elizabeth (Waggoner) Park, and was born January 8th, 1825, at Milton, Pennsylvania. When he was about six years of age his parents moved to Tiffin, Ohio. He was educated at Tiffin and at the Wesleyan University, at Delaware, Ohio. In the spring of 1855 he graduated from Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia. He was appointed resident physician at the alms house of the city of Baltimore, Md., but soon after returned to Tiffin, Ohio. In August, 1862, he was commissioned as surgeon of the 49th Ohio Regiment, Col. W. H. Gibson. He was mustered out at Victoria, Texas, in Nov. 1865. He was at the battle of Shiloh, Stone River, Liberty Gap and Chickanaauga. He was captured and taken to Atlanta, and afterwards confined at Libby Prison and at Andersonville. Afterward he was at the battle of Nashville and went with the army to San Antonio, Texas. In May, 1866, he came to Greene county, Missouri, and settled upon Leeper prairie, near Bois D’Arc, and was one of the first to settle upon that celebrated prairie after the war. He followed his profession and at one time owned about seven hundred acres of land. He came to Springfield in September, 1881. He is now of the firm of T. E. Crank & Co., druggists, of North Springfield, and at Golden City....

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Biographical Sketch of Jeremiah C. Cravens

This gentleman was born in Saline county, Missouri, February 18th, 1838. He is a son of Dr. John Cravens, who for many years was the peer of the finest physicians and surgeons of the State. They are of Virginia ancestry, Jeremiah’s grandfather, Dr. Joseph Cravens, being for many years a leading physician of Rockingham county, Virginia. Jeremiah C. graduated from the Missouri State University in the class of 1860, taking the degree of Bachelor of Arts. The civil war breaking out soon after leaving school, he cast his lot with the fortunes of the Confederacy, and followed its flag until its brilliant star set forever at Appomattox. He was promoted by Gen. Slack to the position of aid-de-camp, to rank as lieutenentcolonel. He was at the battle of Pea Ridge, in March, 1862, by the side of General Slack, when that gentleman fell mortally wounded. After the battle he went with the army to Corinth, Mississippi, and shortly after the evacuation of that place, he returned to Missouri, with Col. Hughes, and participated in the battles of Independence and Lone Jack. At the last named engagement, Lieut. Colonel Cravens commanded a company of recruits who fought desperately upon that sanguinary field. After the battle he was chosen captain and served with his company in the 6th Missouri Cavalry, under Generals Marmaduke and Shelby, until the war closed. He then...

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Biography of Hon. John S. Phelps

The prominence, both State and national, of this most distinguished citizen of Greene county, may well serve as a reason why this sketch is given at greater length than that of other citizens mentioned; however, even this is but the merest outline of a life whose long public service makes up a history which would require a volume in itself, if given in a matter anything like that merited by the distinguished subject. John S. Phelps is the son of Elisha Phelps, and was born in Simsbury, Hartford county, Connecticut, December 22, 1814. The father, Elisha, was a lawyer of great prominence in that State, who served his fellow citizens in the Legislature, in State offices, and three terms in the national Congress. Noah Phelps, father of Elisha and grandfather of John S., was a captain in the Revolution and a most successful scout and spy. He was one of the “committee of safety” that planed the capture of Ticondero. Like his son and grandson, he, too, served the people in legislative and other capacities of public trust. Mr. Phelps was reared in his birthplace, receiving his education in the public schools and in Washington (now Trinity) college at Hartford, completing his course there in 1832. Subsequently, he studied law under his father for three years, and was admitted to the bar on the twenty-first anniversary of his birth....

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Biography of Rev. William Jackson Haydon

Rev. Haydon is the son of Jarvis and Harriet Ann (Mitchell) Haydon, and was born near Lynchburg, Virginia, June 8th, 1835. His father (Jarvis) was born in the same State, February 1st, 1797, and died there February 10th, 1852. His mother was a daughter of John Mitchell, and was born in Amherst county, Virginia, April 18th, 1805. She was married at sixteen years old, and died August 7th, 1850. William Jackson Haydon was the third born in a family of six children, all but two of whom are dead. The other surviving one, Alexander, still lives in Virginia, engaged in railroading. The subject of this sketch received his education at Lynchburg, and Lewisburg, West Virginia, and at an early age professed religion and joined the Old School Presbyterian church. After leaving school Mr. Haydon engaged in the mercantile business at Lewisburg, and was afterwards engaged in teaching. He came to Missouri in the spring, of 1860, landing at Louisiana, where he remained for some time engaged in teaching in Pike county. Subsequently he was engaged in merchandising in Mexico, Missouri, for about five years. Although the war was raging, Mr. Haydon’s zeal in the Christian cause would not allow him to remain idle and he promptly and earnestly engaged in church and Sabbath schoolwork. He was elected a deacon in the church, and his devotion to church work was...

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Biography of Judge William Cecil Price

William Cecil Price was born in Russell county, Virginia, April 1st, 1816, and is the third child of Crabtree and Linny C. Price, the family being of Welsh descent. His father was a farmer, who emigrated to Greene county, Missouri, in 1836. William had the advantage of a common English education in boyhood, and at twenty years of age was sent to Knoxville college, Tennessee. On returning from college he taught school in this county, and subsequently clerked in a general merchandise store, reading law whenever he had any spare time. In 1840 he was appointed deputy sheriff of Greene county, and one year later was appointed justice of the Greene county court, filling out an unexpired term. He was admitted to the bar in 1844, practiced law till 1847, and was then elected probate judge, holding the position for two years. In 1854 Judge Price was elected to the State Senate, but resigned in 1857 to accept appointment as judge of the 27th judicial circuit. In 1859 Gov. Stewart appointed him to represent Missouri as agent at the general land office at Washington, on the subject of swamp and overflowed lands, in which service he saved several hundred houses and acres of land for his State. President Buchanan appointed Judge Price, in 1860, to fill the unexpired term of Judge Casey as U. S. treasurer, which position he...

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Biography of Col. Fidelio Sharp Jones

Col. Jones is the son of Col. Joseph and Matilda (Sewell) Jones, and was born in Tazewell, Claiborne county, Tennessee, July 19th, 1835. His father and mother were both Virginians, and the former was once colonel of militia in times of peace. Fidelio S. was the oldest of ten children, eight of whom lived to be grown. In 1837, his parents moved to Greene county, Missouri, locating at Springfield, where the subject of this sketch was reared and educated, and where both his parents died, the father in 1865, and the mother in 1881. In 1852 he began his business career as a live stock trader, and made a successful turn on cattle and mules. His father had purchased a farm in the country, and Fidelio went on the farm where he remained till 1856. He then began clerking for Sheppard & Kimbrough, and three years later bought an interest in the store, the new firm being Layton Jones & Co. Selling out this interest, he opened a general merchandise stock at Springfield, with a branch at Fayetteville. A. B. Stevenson was in charge of the latter, and Jones received no proceeds till after the war, when Stevenson, who had been a Confederate soldier, brought him $3,000 in Confederate money, which he had carried with him through the war after having closed out the stock. After the battle of...

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Biography of Charles Warrington Rogers

This distinguished gentleman and successful railway manager was born at Exeter, N. H., Oct. 7, 1834. His parents were of English parentage, and he is a lineal descendant of the martyr John Rogers. His maternal Grandfather, Enoch Poor, was a general in the Revolutionary army. His father, a banker, died when Charles was two years of age, and his mother died eight years later, thus leaving him an orphan at that tender age; nevertheless his early education was not neglected, as his native New England is proverbial for good schools. At the age of fifteen be went to sea as a sailor boy, and when sixteen years old he made the voyage to California round Cape Horn. He remained in California three years and then resumed seafaring and engaged upon a vessel trading between that State and the East Indies. He afterwards became captain of the merchant-ship “Winfield Scott,” and upon that vessel circumnavigated the globe. In 1863 he placed his services at the disposal of the Federal government and was appointed acting ensign and commander of the gunboat “Hydranga,” remaining in the service until November, 1865, participating in the naval operations in the vicinity of Charleston, S. C. After being promoted to the grade of acting master, he within four months embarked again in the California and East India trade as captain and part owner of the merchant-ship...

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Biography of Capt. George M. Jones

Capt. Jones is the son of Henry F. and Mary (Waller) Jones, and was born in Shelby county, Tennessee, Oct. 19th, 1836.His father is still living there, aged eighty-one. His mother died in l856. George M. grew up on the farm, receiving his education at the common schools of the county where he lived. At the age of seventeen he went to Memphis, Tenn., and sold dry goods for the firm of Cossitt, Hill & Talmadge. He remained with them something over three years, receiving for his first year’s service, $75.00 and board; for the second, $100.00, and the third, $150.00. He came to Springfield, Missouri, in January, 1858, but went back to Tennessee after a short time. In the fall of the same, year he returned to Springfield and engaged in the general merchandising business, the firm being Miller, Jones & Co. He only remained here a year when be went to Dillon, Phelps county, Missouri, and embarked in the forwarding and commission business, which he carried on until the war broke out in 1861. In June of that year he enlisted as a private, in Capt. Dick Campbell’s company of Independence, Mo. State service, in the interest of the South. He was next transferred to Foster’s regiment, Company A, McBride’s division, C. S. A. He was shortly afterward made quartermaster, with the rank of captain. On account...

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Biography of Capt. S. H. Julian

Captain Julian is the son of Isaac and Nancy (Wood) Julian, and was born, in Monroe county, Tennessee, April 4, 1822. When he was fifteen years of age his parents moved to Greene county, Missouri, and settled the farm in Cass township, where they both afterwards died. Stephen grew to manhood upon the farm, and on May 15, 1842, was married to Miss Sarah L. Vestal, of Putnam county, Indiana, but a native of North Carolina. They were blessed with six children, Flavius C., Melcena M., Mary L., John C. (deceased), Robert F. and William R. He built a house where he now lives, and in 1852, he took a drove of cattle across the plains to California. He returned by the isthmus of Panama to New Orleans and reached home in 1853. In 1857, he made another trip for the same purpose, returning via New York, reaching home in 1858. When the war came he espoused the Union side, and raised a company of cavalry for three years’ service in April, 1862, for the M. S. M. He commanded that company a year, and, was then appointed recruiting agent for this district. In January, 1864, he was elected captain of a battery, and was with Gen. A. J. Smith, who followed Price when that general was on his last raid into Missouri. In the fall of 1864 his...

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Biography of Daniel C. Kennedy

Mr. Kennedy was born in Queens county, Ireland, February 14, 1841, and is the third child of Michael and Elizabeth (Condron) Kennedy. His parents emigrated to America in 1843, and in 1848 his father went back to Ireland to assist his countrymen in their struggle for independence. The agitation being suppressed by the government, he returned to America and settled permanently with his family in St. Louis, where be died in 1863, in the sixtieth year of his age. Daniel C. received a common school education in the city of St. Louis, and at the age of fourteen entered the printing office of Keith & Woods, and imbibed a taste for work of that nature, which ultimately led to his being one of the loading journalists of the Southwest. He worked in different offices and read law in his leisure moments. At the beginning of the late war he espoused the cause of the South, and joined the St. Louis militia, and was captured by Captain Lyon at Camp Jackson. When exchanged young Kennedy went to Memphis, Tennessee, where he joined an artillery company, which was ordered to reinforce Gen. Price at Springfield, Missouri. His company was with Price when he retreated to the Boston Mountains, Arkansas. After the battle of Pea Ridge it was ordered to reinforce Johnston at Shiloh. At the fall of Vicksburg, upon the 4th...

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