Collection: Reminiscent History Of The Ozark Region

Biography of William A. Wyatt

WILLIAM A. WYATT. This gentleman is one of the prominent residents of Richland Township, and one whose constancy to the business in hand, and whose thrift has added so greatly to the agricultural regions of Searcy County. He is a native of Warren County, Missouri, born October 2, 1828, and is a son of Lewis L. and Caroline (Tutt) Wyatt, natives of Kentucky and Tennessee, respectively, their marriage in all probability occurring in the latter State. At a very early day they removed to Missouri and first located in Warren County, but in 1843 took up their residence in Searcy County, Arkansas, locating on the farm on which the subject of this sketch is now residing, one and one-half miles from the mouth of Richland Creek, which place was at that time but little improved. On this farm the father spent the rest of his days, dying about 1846. He was a soldier of the War of 1812, was a lifelong farmer, and was honest, industrious and well-to-do. He had one brother and one sister, John and Polly, both of whom died in Warren County, Missouri, the latter the wife of James Bland. Their father died when they were young and their mother afterward married Hedgeman Anderson, both of whom died in Warren County, Missouri, where they were early settlers. The grandfather, Richard Tutt, probably removed from Tennessee to...

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Biography of Robert E. Lee

ROBERT E. LEE. Robert E. Lee, president of the J. L. Lee Lumber Company at Sparta, Christian County, Missouri, has held that position since the retirement of the first president, J. L. Lee, who is now residing at Springfield. This company was organized in 1891, and is now operating on the Chadwick & Baltimore branch and on the main line of the ‘Frisco, between Springfield and St. Louis. The vice-president is B. F. Hobert, the secretary is F. W. Fisque, and our subject acts also as general manager of the company. The business is conducted on a very large scale, and the company owns large tracts of timber land, besides buying timber from others. A specialty is made of rail-road lumber and ties, and business is carried on at Sparta, Chadwick, and at all other points on the Chadwick branch. This county has lumber very suitable for the business, and the company turns out a large amount of railroad ties and bridge timber. It also handles large quantities of cord wood, and has a mercantile establishment at Sparta, carrying a stock of goods valued at from 5,000 to $10,000, and doing an annual business of from $35,000 to $40,000, and that, with the mill business, amounts to about $120,000 per year. This is by far the largest enterprise in this part of the country, and is managed in a...

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Biography of John S. May

JOHN S. MAY. The energy and perseverance of a man’s character have nowhere a better field for manifestation than in agricultural pursuits and stock-raising, and from small beginnings often become wealthy and influential citizens. The original of this notice is a native of Missouri, born in Taney County in 1843, and is a son of John D. and Elizabeth (Sittsworth) May, natives respectively of Tennessee and Arkansas. When a boy John D. May went to Arkansas, where he married and soon after removed to Taney County, Missouri, locating in the woods on Bear Creek, where he improved a good farm. In December, 1861, he joined Company 1, Twenty-sixth Missouri Infantry, enlisting at Jefferson City, and died at St. Louis in the winter of 1861-62. He held the office of constable at one time and was a thoroughgoing, wide-awake farmer all his life. In political matters he affiliated with the Democratic party. Honorable and upright in every walk of life, he was highly esteemed in the community where he made his home. His father, John May, was a Tennessean by birth and bringing up, but at an early day came to Taney County, being among the first settlers of that county. The Indians were there in great numbers and Mr. May became a great hunter, killing many bears, wolves, deer, etc. He was also quite a bee hunter and gathered...

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Biography of John May

JOHN MAY. The grandfather of our subject, Caswell May, was a native of the Keystone State, but at an early date came to Tennessee, and was among the pioneers there. He descended from prominent Dutch stock, and became one of the representative men of Tennessee. His son, Adam May, father of subject, was born in Tennessee, and was married in that State to Miss Elizabeth McGinnis. After his marriage he located on a farm in Washington County, and there he and wife passed the remainder of their days. The following children were born to them: Mary, Anna, Emaline, Elizabeth, Caswell, David, John (subject), Catherine, Jesse, Martin, Amanda and Adam. Of these, Caswell, John, Jesse, Emaline, Elizabeth and Adam came to Missouri, settling in the southwest part of the State. All married and all reared families. The original of this sketch was born in Washington County, Tennessee, November 7, 1825, and was a young man when he came to this State. He resided one year in Greene County, and then came to Taney County, where he worked on a farm. During the Mexican War he enlisted in Rall’s regiment at Springfield, and served about eighteen months, fighting Indians in the mountains for the most part. Returning from the war, he was married in 1848 to Miss Amanda Morgan, daughter of Washington Morgan, who lives on Beaver Creek above Kissee Mills,...

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Biography of John H. De Priest

JOHN H. DE PRIEST was born in Thomasville, Oregon County, Missouri, October 5, 1844, but grew to manhood in this county and is one of its representative citizens. His father, Isaac C. De Priest, was a native of Smith County, Tennessee, but when a small child was taken to the Hoosier State, where he grew to manhood. From there he went to southern Illinois, and thence to south Missouri about 1839 or 1840. He located near Thomasville, probably in the woods on upper Eleven Points, and made his home there until 1856, when he moved to Birch Valley, a short distance from where the town of Birch Tree now stands. In 1863 he moved from there to Jefferson County, Illinois, but returned two years later and located again in the same neighborhood. There he died in 1878 when seventy-two years of age. For many years before the war he was assessor of Oregon County, and after the war he was appointed assessor of this county and held the position four years. He was also justice of the peace for some time. For the most part Mr. De Priest followed farming, but for a number of years before his death he sold goods on his farm. In politics he was a Democrat. He was married in south Illinois to Miss Elizabeth Buffington, a native of Blenerhasset Island, where Aaron Burr...

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Biography of Christopher Columbus Hughes

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS HUGHES. This prominent and successful tiller of the soil owes his nativity to Jefferson County, Arkansas, where he was born, in 1840, to Matthew and Clara (Hill) Hughes, who were born in Crittenden County, Kentucky, and Maryland, respectively. Their marriage occurred on Blue Grass soil, and in Crittenden County, where Mr. Hughes has spent his entire life, with the exception of a few years when he resided in Jefferson County, Arkansas He is now over eighty years of age, has been a lifelong and successful farmer, and prior to the war had accumulated a comfortable fortune, but lost heavily during that time. His life has been active, industrious and honorable, and he has long been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and socially a member of the A. F. & A. M. His father, William Hughes, removed to Crittenden County, Kentucky, from South Carolina in a very early day, and there died in 1852, a wealthy farmer. He served in the Revolutionary War when quite young, and was also a participant in one of the later wars. He was of Irish origin. His wife, Nancy Rowe, died in Kentucky after bearing him a large family. The maternal grandfather, William Hill, came from Maryland to Kentucky with his second wife, engaged in farming in Crittenden County, and here passed from life. His first wife, the mother of...

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Biography of Milton G. Pattillo

MILTON G. PATTILLO. He whose name heads this sketch is a fair representative of the better class of men who began life’s battle at the lower rounds of the ladder, and through his own efforts he has gained a substantial place near the top. Practically speaking, he is today in comfortable financial circumstances, and the position he now occupies is direct evidence that he possesses the confidence and esteem of his fellow-mortals. He was born in Gallatin County, Illinois, February 11, 1826, a son of John S. and Mary (Trawsdale) Pattillo, the former of whom was born on Blue Grass soil in Kentucky, and the latter in Tennessee. They were among the very early settlers of Illinois, and there they tilled the soil successfully and reared a family of nine children; but when the Lone Star State was opened up to settlers Mr. Pattillo was one of the first to emigrate there, and there died. His widow survived him until a few years ago, and breathed her last in the State of Illinois. The subject of this sketch was reared on a farm in the State of his birth, and there continued to make his home until 1872, when he moved to Jackson County, Arkansas, later to Baxter County of the same State, and in 1874 came to Ozark County, Missouri, his home being situated about eight miles from...

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Biography of William Bain

WILLIAM BAIN. The farming class of America, and especially of the State of Missouri, is notable for the degree of intelligence that is possessed among its representatives. William Bain, who resides in Finley Township, owns a fine farm, which attests by its value and productiveness the excellent qualities of thoroughness and system which mark the owner. Like many other first-class citizens of the county he came originally from Tennessee, his birth occurring in the eastern part of the State in 1821. His parents, Arthur and Mary (McFerren) Bain, were natives of that part of Tennessee also. There the father and mother passed their entire lives, dying in McMinn County soon after the war. Mr. Bain was a hatter by trade, and a man whose industrious habits and honorable, upright career endeared him to all. He inherited sturdy Scotch blood from the paternal side of the house, and his wit and activity from his mother, who was a native of the Emerald Isle. The father, William Bain, was a weaver by trade. One of his sons, Rev. John Bain, was a prominent Presbyterian minister in Nashville, Tennessee, at one time. Our subject’s maternal grandfather, Samuel McFerren, was of Irish origin, and followed farming and teaming in Knox County, Tennessee, until his death. William Bain is the eldest of nine children, who are named in the order of their births as...

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Biography of William Thompson

WILLIAM THOMPSON. The man from Tennessee has always been a potential element in the civilization and development of Missouri, and in early days along the woodsman’s trail came men of all avocations and of every degree of social life. No better blood ever infused pioneer life; no sturdier arm ever set about the task of subduing the wilderness and no less vigorous mental activity could have raised a great commonwealth, amid the unbroken elements of nature, within.the limits of half a century. William Thompson, who is one of the pioneers of the county, is now retired from the active duties of life and is living in peace and quiet at Billings. He was born in Williamson County, Tennessee, May 10, 1832, and is a son of Thomas and Lucinda (Baker) Thompson, natives respectively of Indiana and Kentucky. The parents moved to Tennessee at an early date and there passed the remainder of their days. The Thompson family is of Scotch-Irish and the Baker family of Irish descent. Our subject was one of nine children as follows: Hugh, Elizabeth, Joseph, Nancy, Richard, Alexander, Jane, William and Lucinda. Joseph, Alexander and our subject were in the Civil War, while Hugh, Joseph and Richard participated in the Mexican War. The only ones now living are Alexander, Richard, William and Lucinda. Richard resides on the Wilson Creek battle-ground in Christian County, and is...

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Biography of George W. Legg

GEORGE W. LEGG. After an industrious and well-spent life devoted to the occupation of farming, George W. Legg is now living in retirement at McDonald Station, Missouri, and is in the enjoyment of a competency which his early industry has brought him. He is a Virginian by birth, and first opened his eyes on the light in 1827, being a son of Willis and Susannah (Land) Legg, natives of Virginia also, who removed to Ohio when the subject of this sketch was a small lad, but a few years later returned to their old home. The father was successfully engaged in tilling the soil, but also run a keelboat on the Kanawha, Ohio and Mudd Rivers, and in the last named stream eventually lost his life. His father, Davenport Legg, resided in Virginia many years. After the death of her husband Mrs. Susannah Legg returned to Ohio, and there she was called from life prior to the opening of the Civil War. She bore her husband two sons and five daughters: James, of Illinois; George W., Sarah, Lucinda, Lydia; Lettie, who died in Ohio, and Nancy, who died young. George W. Legg obtained a thorough knowledge of farming in his youth, and received a fair education in the common schools near his rural home. He was married in 1852, in Lawrence County, Ohio, to Charlotte, daughter of John and...

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Biography of Levi Smith

LEVI SMITH. Among the many agriculturists who have devoted their attention to the occupation of tilling the soil in Howell Township, Howell County, Missouri, Levi Smith is one of the foremost, and he owes the success which has attended his operations in this respect to his own good fighting qualities. He owes his nativity to Surry County, N. C., where he was born in 1838. Son of Rev. Thomas and Candace (Snow) Smith, who were born in Wilkes and Surry Counties, N. C., in 1812 and 1814, respectively. They were reared, educated in a limited way, and married in their native State, and about 1860 made the trip to Howell County, Missouri, by wagon, the journey thither lasting just two months. They located on an unimproved farm, near West Plains, on which Mr. Smith spent the rest of his life, dying August 7, 1879, having been a life-long and industrious farmer, and a justice of the peace in Howell County for a good many years. Although a Union man in principle, he took no active part during the Civil War. He was a local minister of the Methodist Church for many years, was a great reader, was a well posted man on all general topics, and was in every respect self-educated. He was something of an orator also, and made many speeches on topics tending to the advancement of...

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Biography of William Shy

WILLIAM SHY. It is always a pleasure to deal with the history of one who is a member of one of those grand old pioneer families whose bravery, fortitude and determination paved the way for the present advanced state of civilization, and William Shy is one of these. He is a successful farmer and merchant at Lesterville, Reynolds County, Missouri, and was born here in 1841. His parents, Eli and Mary Elizabeth (Smith) Shy, were born in Kentucky in 1802 and 1807, respectively, and were reared and married on Blue Grass soil. They made their home in the State of their birth until about 1830, when they moved to New Madrid County, Missouri, soon after to Bellevue, and one year later to what is now Reynolds County, settling on a tract of woodland in the vicinity of Lesterville, where they opened up a good farm after many years of hard toil, and there spent the remainder of their days, the father’s death occurring in March, 1855, and the mother’s in November, 1876. They were worthy members of the Missionary Baptist Church, became widely known and highly respected in this section and lived upright and useful lives. In addition to tilling the soil Mr. Shy was also engaged in blacksmithing, in fact turned his hand to anything by which he could earn an honest livelihood. He and his wife experienced...

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Biography of James K. P. Conner

JAMES K. P. CONNER. The subject of this sketch is a gentleman of ripe intelligence, and a man of large benevolence and broad sympathies. He is a citizen of Jobe, Missouri, and the most efficient postmaster at that place. Mr. Conner is a native Hoosier, born in Dubois County, December 23, 1844, and the son of Rial and Clara (Berry) Conner, natives, respectively, of Tennessee and Illinois. The parents were married in Indiana, and the father died in Dubois County, that State, in 1861. The mother is still living and finds a comfortable home with her children. All his life Mr. Conner was engaged in agricultural pursuits, and met with substantial results. Like many of the representative citizens of the county Mr. Conner was reared to farm life, and remained engaged in the duties on the same until August, 1862, when he joined the Ninety-third Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Company G, as sergeant, and served three years lacking eighteen days. During the war he was in the Southern States, and participated in the battle of Vicksburg, Jackson, Franklin and Nashville, Guntown, Holly Springs, and other battles and skirmishes. June 10, 1864, he received a gunshot wound in the right side, which at the time was pronounced a fatal wound. He was in the hospital at Memphis three months. This was the only wound he received, and he was never taken...

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Biography of P. J. Ponder

P. J. PONDER. This successful and worthy citizen, residing ten miles west of Doniphan, at the town of Ponder, is a native Tennesseean, born in Hickman County in 1838. His parents, Amos and Nancy (Dudley) Ponder, were married in the State of Tennessee, but moved from there to Ripley County, Missouri, in 1843. Mr. Ponder bought land on Fourche, a mile and a half below where the town of Ponder now stands, principally in the woods, and began immediately to improve and clear the land. There he worked and delved and gathered around him many of the comforts of life, but died soon after the war. His wife passed away about the same time. They reared a family of eight children, four of whom are now living. Of the children our subject is one of the youngest. He was about five years of age when his parents moved to Ripley County, Missouri, and as a consequence nearly all his recollections are of this county. Here he reached manhood and here he was married to Miss Martha Sandling, who died soon afterward. Later he married Miss Julia Murdock, who died during the war. His third marriage was with Miss Matilda Murdock, a sister of his second wife, and three children were the result of this union: Elizabetth, wife of Joseph Dalton, of this county; Nellie, at home, and Mary L.,...

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Biography of T. J. Ferguson

T. J. FERGUSON. Prominent among the early pioneer families of Howell County, Missouri, stands the name of Ferguson. T. J. Ferguson, a prominent farmer of the same, resides four and a half miles west of Willow Springs. He was born in Greene County, Tennessee, August 12, 1849, to the union of William and Elizabeth (Hogan) Ferguson (see sketch of J. A. Ferguson). Our subject received his scholastic training in the schools of Tennessee and those of Howell County, Missouri However, the war put a stop to his schooling, but not until he had obtained a fair education. When twenty-one years of age he came to Howell County and lived on the old home farm at Willow Springs until 1875, when he married Miss M. Harris, daughter of James and Parmelia J. (Davis) Harris, natives of Tennessee. Mr. and Mrs. Harris came to Howell County at an early day, and the father died here in 1885. Mrs. Harris is still living and makes her home south of Willow Springs. They were among the early settlers of that section, and he was a soldier in the Civil War. Mr. Harris was born in Tennessee, and moved thence to Terre Haute, Indiana, and thence to this county, when a single man. The Davis family settled early in this section of Missouri. Mrs. Ferguson was one of a family of twelve children, as...

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