Collection: Reminiscent History Of The Ozark Region

Biography of Samuel D. McSpaden

SAMUEL D. MCSPADEN. We present with pleasure a sketch of the life of one of the most substantial and prominent farmers and stockraisers of Pike Creek Valley, Carter County, Missouri This worthy citizen was born in Gordon County, Ga., in 1847. The son of Joseph and Edith (Dillard ) McSpaden, the father a native of Virginia, born October 16, 1820, and the mother of east Tennessee, born October 1, 1827. Mr. and Mrs. McSpaden met for the first time in Gordon County, Ga., whither they had removed with their parents, and here they were married. In 1869 they moved to Carter County, Missouri, and settled on a small improved farm in Dry Valley. There they passed the closing scenes of their lives, the father dying January 24, 1882, and the mother August 15, 1883. During his entire life Mr. McSpaden followed farming, and he was quite a wealthy man at one time, although he lost all by paying security debts. He led a very active life and was one of the truly good men, a Christian in its true sense. His father, Samuel McSpaden, died in Maury County, Tennessee, when our subject was a small boy. He was a native Virginian, but moved from there to Tennessee and thence to Georgia, where he died. He was a farmer and an extensive stock trader. He and wife, whose maiden name...

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Biography of Lewis R. Pumphrey

LEWIS R. PUMPHREY, of the well-known firm of Pumphrey & Cantrell, general merchants and cotton dealers, of Lead Hill, Arkansas, was born in Cannon County, Tennessee, in 1839, to the marriage of Thomas and Margaret (Holt) Pumphrey, also natives of Tennessee. The parents were reared and married in their native State, and about 1839 moved by wagon to Ozark County, Missouri, where they were among the first settlers. There they resided for six or seven years and then moved to Fulton County, Arkansas, where Mr. Pumphrey died soon after. Mrs. Pumphrey then moved to what is now Boone County, Arkansas, where she died about 1859. Mr. Pumphrey was a successful and enterprising farmer and a man of conservative views and habits. He was one of seven or eight sons and daughters born to the marriage of Lewis Pumphrey, who also came to Missouri in 1839, but subsequently settled in Fulton County, Arkansas, where he died when quite aged. He was also a farmer. The maternal grand-father, William Holt, was a native Tennessean, but in 1838 he came to Ozark County, Missouri, subsequently settling in what is now Boone County, Arkansas, where he followed farming and stockraising successfully until his death in 1859. He was a pioneer of the Ozark Region and a man universally respected. His wife died at Lead Hill about 1888. They were the parents of thirteen...

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Biography of Lewis Harvey De Priest

LEWIS HARVEY DE PRIEST, sheriff of Shannon County, Missouri, is a young man, but there is not one in the county more capable of discharging the duties of that position or better qualified in every respect than he. He was born in Jefferson County, Illinois, near Mount Vernon, in 1865, and is a son of Abraham and Elizabeth (Aden) De Priest. The father first saw the light in south Missouri, probably Shannon or Oregon County. He was married in this State to Miss Aden, who died May 3, 1882, when fifty-three years of age. His second marriage was with Mrs. E. J. Gardner, who is still living. Mr. De Priest was a farmer by occupation, but for a number of years he sold goods at Eminence. After the war he handled a great deal of stock and resided at Eminence most of the time. In 1862 he went to Illinois, but returned to this State in 1869. Following the war he was circuit and county clerk, also served as assessor several terms and held other positions. He was a prominent and substantial citizen. He was both a Mason and an Odd Fellow, and in politics supported the Democratic party. His death occurred June 2, 1891, when sixty-one years of age. Of the five children born to his first marriage four are now living, three in this county and one...

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Biography of George R. Norman, M. D.

GEORGE R. NORMAN, M. D. One of the noblest professions, one of the most beneficial to mankind, the profession of all professions, which, while it is prosecuted for gain is in its very nature nearest to beneficial charity, is that of medicine. At the same time it is one of the most exacting upon its devotees. Shannon County, Missouri, is very fortunate in the number and character of its physicians and surgeons, and among those who have already been prominent in that calling is Dr. George R. Norman, who is a native of this State, born in Oregon County February 21, 1861. He is a son of Maj. M. G. and Mary A. (Wait) Norman, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. In his native county Dr. Norman received his education and when eighteen years of age he entered the store of T. J. Boyd & Co., as salesman. One year later he took charge of the store at Garfield for a year, and then engaged in the drug business at Alton. This he continued from 1882 to 1884, when he was elected collector and served two years. In 1886 he commenced farming, but soon after engaged in the mercantile business, taking charge of Boyd’s affairs at Garfield. During this time he studied medicine and in 1889 came to Winona where he served as clerk for the Ozark Lumber...

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Biography of Judge William Keener

JUDGE WILLIAM KEENER. Success in professional life is cautiously bestowed upon people by the goddess, who, in a measure, guides and invariably decorates man’s efforts. And this success is more apt to come because of the pursuer’s genius or adaptability for his calling than from any other cause. This is particularly the case in law, a profession which Judge William Keener’s talents caused him to adopt when starting out for himself. He is now a prominent attorney at Lead Hill, Arkansas, and United States commissioner for the Western District of the State. Judge Keener came originally from the Keystone State; born in Slate Lick Armstrong County, November 30, 1833. The son of John and Sarah (Hetselgeser) Keener, also natives of that State, the father born in 1804 and the mother in 1821. The grandfather, John Keener, was also a Pennsylvanian by birth and passed his entire life as a farmer in that State. He served his country in the War of 1812. His father, Christian Keener, also a native of Pennsylvania, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. The Keener family originated in Switzerland, eleven brothers of that name having emigrated to America at an early day and located in Pennsylvania. Our subject’s maternal grandfather, William Hetselgeser, was a Pennsylvania Dutchman and a wealthy and influential farmer and stockman. He reared a family of fourteen children. His wife’s parents,...

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Biography of Simeon P. Maples

SIMEON P. MAPLES. In no part of Missouri is agriculture in a more flourishing condition than in Christian County, and here Mr. Maples is considered one of the leading tillers of the soil. Like two-thirds of the representative citizens of the county he is a native of Tennessee, his birth occurring in Bradley County October 2, 1842, but he is now a law-abiding and public-spirited man of his adopted county. He is a son of Simeon P. and Elizabeth (Webb) Maples, the grandson of Josiah Maples and the great-grandson of Josiah Maples, Sr., who was born in France. At an early date the latter crossed the strait to England with two brothers, and subsequently came to the United States. This was prior to the Revolution, and he served under Gen. Washington during that war. He married and reared a family in Virginia, but later removed to Tennessee, where he tilled the soil in McMinn County until his death. Josiah Maples, Jr., was born in the Old Dominion, and when but a boy he moved with his parents to McMinn County, Tennessee, where he married. In 1854 he came to Christian County, Missouri, and followed farming until his death the following year. He was the father of nine children. Our subject’s maternal grandfather, Thomas Webb, was a blacksmith by trade, but in connection also carried on farming. He married Miss...

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Biographical Sketch of Willard Sitton

WILLARD SITTON. Although Oregon County, Missouri, is well known for the energy, enterprise and push of its farmers, Willard Sitton stands at the van in this industry, and has shown much wisdom and good judgment in the conduct of agricultural affairs, and, through his own endeavors, has won an enviable reputation. He is a prominent resident of Johnson Township, this county, and is deservedly ranked among its successful farmers and stockmen. Mr. Sitton was born in Washington County, Missouri, October 14, 1856, and received a fair education in the common schools of the same. His youthful days were spent in assisting his father on the home place and in the mines, and he remained with him until twenty-three years of age, after which he worked at the black-smith’s trade in The Dalles, State of Oregon, and Ventner, Idaho. He was also in Glendale, Mont., two years, engaged in the blacksmith’s trade, but he came East and located in Oregon County, where he embarked in merchandising, with his brother, Capt. J. J. Sitton. Three years later he commenced farming here, on the river, where he now owns 360 acres of land, 160 acres on the river. He also owns a farm on Frederick Creek, and is one of the most enterprising, industrious citizens of the section. In the year 1892 he led to the altar Miss Mittie George, daughter of...

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Biography of John Short

JOHN SHORT. John Short, who is a native of east Tennessee, born in Roane County in 1826, but who has long been a resident of Stone County, is a son of Willis and Nancy (Kindrick) Short, who were also natives of east Tennessee, where they owned the farm upon which our subject was reared. The parents were hard-working, industrious people, and by their thrift and enterprise accumulated a fair competence. They passed their entire lives in their native State, the mother dying in 1873. Aaron Short, grandfather of our subject, was a native of Kentucky, but early moved to Tennessee, where he was an early settler. He was a Revolutionary soldier. Grandfather Kindrick was a farmer of Roane County, Tennessee, and there he and his wife passed their last days. To the parents of our subject were born fourteen children as follows: Franklin, an old settler and farmer of Stone County; Elias B., of Greene County; Melsena, the wife of Wesley McCullah, died in Stone County; Samuel, of Christian County; John, our subject; Jasper, died in Tennessee; William, was in the Federal Army and died in Virginia; Edom, of Tennessee; Julius, died in Clinton, Missouri, since the war; Jackson died in Tennessee; Lauriett of Tennessee; Diannah, died in Arkansas, and two others of whom no record is extant. In the district school our subject received a limited education and...

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Biography of George W. Couch

GEORGE W. COUCH, one of the county’s most worthy citizens, is descended from substantial Virginia stock, for in that State his father and grandfather were born. The family afterward moved to North Carolina, thence to South Carolina, from there to Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri, in which State the grandfather, Lindley Couch, passed the closing scenes of his life, after a long and useful career. Simpson Couch, father of subject, was born in Virginia and was there married to Miss Rebecca Roberts, who is still living although seventy years of age. Mr. Couch died in 1868. After his marriage he went to Illinois and later to Missouri where he located a number of years before the birth of our subject. He entered land, the same our subject now owns, and as it was all in the woods, on the head of Frederick River, he went immediately to work to clear and make a home. He followed farming for the most part, but in an early day he erected a store and embarked in merchandising, meeting with good success. He held the position of judge two or three terms and was a prominent man in the county. In politics he was a Democrat, and in religion a Baptist. His marriage resulted in the birth of ten children, of whom Judge Couch of this county is the eldest and our subject...

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Biography of J. H. Walters

J. H. WALTERS. To attain happiness we strive for the acquisition of wealth or position, and, if one is possessed of the first and has native ability and ambition, the second falls to him as his natural heritage. In the acquirement of wealth fortune smiles on those alone who are watching for the opportunity she offers, and J. H. Walters is one of those who has shown himself to be a wide-awake, systematic business man, and has made the most of every opportunity that has presented itself. He was born in Virginia, October 26, 1823, a son of William and Tally (Ingram) Walters, who were of Irish and English descent, the former a native of Virginia. The paternal grandfather was a captain in the Revolutionary War. J. H. Walters spent his youthful days on a farm, was married in the State of his birth, and in 1847 moved. to Yalobusha County, Miss., where he made his home until after the war, in which struggle he participated, and during which time he lost the handsome fortune which he had accumulated. He has devoted his attention to merchandising the greater part of his life and is still to some extent engaged in this occupation, his home being in Bellefonte. He has been largely engaged in the buying and selling of cattle and mules, and is the owner of about 15,000 acres...

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Biography of Hon. Robert L. Coleman

HON. ROBERT L. COLEMAN. It is the men of broad and comprehensive views who give life to communities and build cities-men who have foresight and energy, pluck and push to forward their enterprises and still retain an untarnished reputation through it all. Such a man is Hon. Robert L. Coleman, now circuit clerk and recorder and ex-representative of Carter County. He was elected to his present responsible position in 1890 by the Democratic party, of which he is a zealous member. Previous to this, in 1886, he was elected school commissioner, held that position two years, and was elected to represent the county in the Thirty-fifth General Assembly of the State. At present he is a candidate for the office of circuit clerk and recorder, with fair prospects of success. Mr. Coleman is a young man who was born in Carter County, Missouri, August 17, 1863. Son of Francis M. and Adaline (Fancher) Coleman, natives of Tennessee. His grandparents, William and Nancy (Hackett) Coleman, were probably natives of the Old North State, moving from there to Tennessee, and thence to Kentucky, where they remained until about 1859. They then moved to Carter County, Missouri, and there passed the closing scenes of their lives. William Coleman was a farmer and held the office of treasurer of Carter County for a number of years. Our subject’s maternal grandparents, Wesley and Celia...

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Biography of Taylor Bray

TAYLOR BRAY. The Bray family is of Irish extraction and the family tree took root on American soil at an early date. Our subject’s grandfather, William Bray, was a native of North Carolina, in which State he passed his entire life. His son, Mark Bray, father of our subject, was also a native of the Old North State, born December 21 796, and died December 19, 869. The latter was married in his native State to Miss Margaret Patterson, also a native of North Carolina, and there their nine children were born. About 1840 or 1841 they, in company with about sixty of their friends, among whom were the McDaniel and Marley families and others, emigrated to Christian County, Missouri, and settled near Sparta. The McDaniels and Marleys settled near Ozark. Mr. Bray, who settled near Sparta also, bought a tract of land, which was afterward known as the Bray settlement, and subsequently became the owner of a large tract of land and one of the wealthiest men in the county. The Bray family became very prominent in this section and were highly esteemed by all. Mr. Bray was an excellent shot and killed many deer and turkeys, for the woods abounded in game at that time. Mrs. Bray did her own spinning and weaving. In political matters Mr. Bray was a Democrat and previous to the Civil War...

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Biography of Benjamin F. Evans

BENJAMIN F. EVANS. The life of Mr. Evans has been marked by deep conviction of duty, which has led him to conscientiously regard all trusts reposed in him. Possessed of praiseworthy ambition to succeed he has applied himself with great diligence to business, seizing all opportunities for informing himself thoroughly as to minor details. This explains his ready grasp of the whole field of operations and the signal success that has attended his business career. Such a man is capable of filling any position, for the people know that he will act for them as he would for himself. Mr. Evans is now the capable mayor of Winona, Missouri. and was elected to that position by the Democratic party, of which he is a strong advocate. He was born in Union City, West Tennessee, in 1845, and is a son of Benjamin and Mary (Scott) Evans, natives, respectively, of Virginia and Kentucky. The parents were married in Tennessee and passed their entire lives there, the father engaged in farming. He enlisted in the War of 1812, but too late to take part. At the time of his death, which occurred in 1885, he was three months over ninety years of age. He was treasurer of Obion County Tennessee, at the commencement of the war and in politics was a Democrat. He was also a prominent member of the Missionary...

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Biography of R. S. Hogan

R. S. HOGAN. No man in West Plains is more respected and liked than R. S. Hogan, who has achieved distinction in politics, and who has made a name for himself as a public-spirited citizen and a promoter of new enterprises. Greene County, Tennessee, was the birthplace of Mr. Hogan, as it was also of his parents, James H. and Amanda F . (Loutrell) Hogan. James H. Hogan was the son of Hiram Hogan, who came from Ireland to this country at an early day, and died when his son James was but four years old. The latter grew up with a farm experience in Greene County, Tennessee, attended the log schoolhouse of his native county, and farmed there until 1872. From there he went to Kansas, but one year later he came to Howell County and located near Willow Springs. He bought a good farm and resides there at the present time. During the Civil War he served in Longstreet’s command. In politics he is an ardent supporter of Democratic principles, and has held the office of justice of the peace twelve years. While a resident of Tennessee he married Miss Amanda F., daughter of James Loutrell, who died when she was a child, but who was an early settler of Tennessee, coming from North Carolina. Mrs. Hogan died in 1886. They were the parents of eleven children,...

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Biography of Levi L. Munsell

LEVI L. MUNSELL. Among Shannon County’s younger business men are many whose interests in this section of the Ozark Region are going to make it a few years hence what it is today as compared with a generation ago. Many of these have already made their mark, but few have attained the distinction that Levi L. Munsell can justly claim and is proud of. He is a live and enterprising citizen, and is considered to be one of the best, if not the best, posted real estate dealers in the county. Mr. Munsell was born at Centerville, Gallia County, Ohio, in 1850, to the union of Rev. Levi W. and Mary T. (Dean) Munsell. Rev. Levi W. Munsell was born in Mason County, W. Virginia, November 13, 1817, and was a son of Levi and Lucretia (Oliver) Munsell, natives, respectively, of Connecticut and Massachusetts, the former was born in 1864 and the latter in 1772. Levi Munsell went to Ohio in 1785 among the early settlers of the then Northwestern Territory, and settled at Marietta, where he was married in 1789 to Miss Oliver, a daughter of Alexander Oliver, a native of Massachusetts, but who was one of the original settlers of Marietta, on April 7, 1788, when the first settlement was made in what is now the State of Ohio. He died about 1828, and was a colonel...

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