BIGGS, Austin Wesley
Labor commissioner; born, Jacksonville, ILL., Mar. 17, 1868; son of Joseph G. and Mary E. (Smith) Biggs; educated public schools; married, St. Louis, July 16, 1890, Emma C. Birchard; two children: Austin W., Jr., Helen M. Began business career in 1885 as apprentice in printing trade, with the St. Louis Chronicle, continuing until 1911; appointed state labor commissioner by Governor Hadley, June 14, 1911. Member 43d and 44th General Assemblies, Missouri. Republican. President International Association of Labor Commissioners, 1912. Protestant. Mason and Odd Fellow. Offices: 104 N. 10th St., St. Louis, and Jefferson City, Mo. Residence: 107 W. McCarty St., St. Louis. (Source: The Book of St. Louisans, Publ. 1912. Transcribed by Charlotte Slater)
Clergyman and legislator, was born in North Carolina, in 1805, and, in 1827, settled in the vicinity of Waverly, Morgan County, Ill., where he pursued the vocation of a farmer, as well as a preacher of the Methodist Church. He also became prominent as a Democratic politician, and served in no less than nine sessions of the General Assembly, besides the Constitutional Convention of 1847, of which he was chosen President. He was first elected Representative in the Seventh Assembly (1830), and afterwards served in the House during the sessions of the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Thirteenth, Fifteenth and Twenty-seventh, and as Senator in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth. He was also Clerk of the House in 1844-45, and, having been elected Representative two years later, was chosen Speaker at the succeeding session. Although not noted for any specially aggressive qualities, his consistency of character won for him general respect, while his frequent elections to the Legislature prove him to have been a man of large influence. [Historical Encylopedia of Illinois", 1901, transcribed by KT]
DAVENPORT, Ira F.
Farmer and stock dealer, section 23, was born in Morgan County, Illinois, November 22, 1839, and lived there until February, 1867, when he moved to Prairie Township, Jackson County, Missouri, near where he now lives. His occupation through life has been farming and feeding and shipping stock. He was married April 15, 1860, to Eliza A. Cox, who was born in Illinois October 13, 1836. Two children were born: Corydon, born February 14, 1861, and Albert, born August 25, 1864. Mrs. Davenport died May 1, 1865. He was again married March 22, 1866, to Susan J. Cobb, of Morgan County, Illinois, she having been born in McMinn County, Tennessee, July 29, 1845. By this marriage three children were born: Frank R., born April 15, 1871; Herbert, born February 7, 1874, and Katy May, born November 6, 1879. Mr. Davenport was a son of Henry Davenport, who was a commissioned officer in the Black Hawk War, and a native of North Carolina, he being the son of William Davenport, who was a renowned soldier at the battle of New Orleans. Mr. Davenport owns 252 acres of choice land stocked and improved with good buildings and orchard. He has had no financial assistance, but what he owns has been accumulated by his own industry. He has been a heavy loser by having to pay security debts. Mr. Davenport and wife and two eldest sons are active members of the Baptist Church at Greenwood. [Source: The History of Jackson County, Missouri, Illustrated, Union Historical Company (1881) Transcribed by K. Mohler]
Farmer and stock dealer, section 24, was born in Morgan County, Illinois, February 3, 1844, and was a son of M.C. Davenport, who was a native of Kentucky. Was educated in Illinois in the common schools, afterward at the High School in Jacksonville, and was a graduate of the Jacksonville Business College, in the class of 1872. He was engaged in dealing in stock from 1870 to 1875, when he moved to Jackson County, Missouri, and settled on the farm which he now occupies. He was married September 10, 1877, to Ella Shepherd, a daughter of Rev. S. Shepherd, of Jackson County, Missouri, but formerly of Wort County, West Virginia. She was born May 5, 1859. One child was born to them, Grace M., August 5, 1878. Mr. Davenport now has 240 acres of fine land, well improved and stocked. He is a man of good education and fine business ability. He and wife are both members of the Baptist Church. [Source: The History of Jackson County, Missouri, Illustrated, Union Historical Company (1881) Transcribed by K. Mohler]
DOWNING, James M.
James M. Downing, of Aspen, one of the most prominent and successful lawyers in his section of the state, and one of its most progressive, enterprising and liberal-hearted men, was born in Illinois on March 6, 1856, the son of David R. and Mary Downing, prosperous farmers of that state, who were early settlers in Virginia and pioneers in Kentucky, where they lived until 1840, when they moved to Illinois. There they passed the remainder of their lives, cultivating the fruitful soil and holding and elevated place in the regard of all who knew them. The father died in 1897, at the age of ninety, after having been for some years retired from active pursuits. Four children were born of their union, of whom three survive: John F., president of the New England National Bank of Kansas City, Kate (Mrs. C. W. Creus), who lives at Pueblo, Colorado, and James M. The last named was reared on a farm in his native state, and obtained his education in the public schools and an excellent college at Jacksonville, Illinois, from which he was graduated in 1879. He came at once to Colorado, locating at Leadville, where he followed mining and studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1881, then moved to Aspen, his present home, where he has lived ever since, except during two years which he passed in Denver. He has been very successful in his practice, and his success is due to his studious habits, close attention to business, and fine natural abilities. He has the largest law library on the Western slope, it is said, and his success at the bar and in counsel shows that he has made a diligent and judicious use of it. He has been in active practice at Aspen since 1881, and has for years been at the head of the bar there. He has also been actively associated with the mining industry as a member of the Cowenhaven Mining Company of Aspen and one of its leading men and chief inspiration and controlling force. He is well posted in both the technique and practical side of the law and mining, and undertakes nothing that he does not do well and with success. In political faith he was a Republican until 1896, and frequently represented his district in the state conventions of that party. In the year last named he joined forces with the Silver Republicans and at once became one of the most influential forces in the organization. He was once a candidate for the office of district attorney, and in 1892 was nominated as lieutenant governor. In 1885 he was united in marriage with Miss Alice Ritter, a daughter of Col. Richard of Ritter, of Sedalia, Missouri. They have one daughter, Alice. (Source: "Progressive Men of Western Colorado", Publ 1905. Transcribed by Nancy Overlander)
ENGLISH, Judge John W., B.A.
The Hon. John Warth English, the subject of this brief memoir, was the son of Job English, one of the early salt manufacturers of the Great Kanawha Valley, was born in Jackson County, Virginia, January 31, 1831. When he was four years of age his father moved to Maiden, Kanawha County, where the son attended the common and select schools of that locality until he was sixteen years of age, when he was sent to Illinois College at Jacksonville, Illinois, where he took the complete academic course, graduating with honors when he was twenty years of age with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. When he returned home he assisted his father in his store at the salt furnace for two or three years, while he was reading law under the tutelage of his uncle, John A. Warth, and Judge George W. Summers, of Charleston. After becoming qualified he passed the required examination, and in 1855 he was admitted to the Kanawha County Bar. A short time thereafter he located at Point Pleasant in Mas on County, formed a partnership with Henry J. Fisher, the leading lawyer of that locality, and one of the best known attorneys in that section of the State. The firm of Fisher and English carried on a very large legal business not only in Mason County, but in all of the surrounding counties, until the beginning of the Civil War, when Mr. Fisher went South and remained until the close of hostilities. Mr. English, however, remained at home and carried on an extensive practice in Mason and the adjoining counties, in which he established a reputation as one of the leading lawyers of Western Virginia. In his practice he was honest in his convictions, honest with the courts before whom he appeared, and honest with his adversaries. He was an upright man and was four-square in all of his acts and purposes. Such men are always successful in their undertakings. Such was his character and reputation during the many years he was engaged in active practice. In 1888 he was nominated by the Democratic party for a seat on the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, and was elected by a large majority over the opposing candidate, and served twelve years with great acceptability to both suitors and attorneys. He was a man of quiet and retiring disposition and was exceedingly modest in his demeanor. He engaged but little in the political controversies of the State, preferring to devote his time and energies to the practice of his profession. His literary education and studious habits fitted him especially for the position of a judge. He was honest, industrious and painstaking in all the cases that came before him during the twelve years he served on the Appellate Court. Through his entire life his reputation for integrity was never questioned. Judge English was a man of marked personal appearance. He was six feet tall, wore long whiskers, had strong features, a kindly disposition, and would command attention in any audience. His career as a lawyer and judge was a record of manliness, complete in every detail. May 6, 1862, he was united in marriage with Miss Fannie Lewis, a descendant of General Andrew and Colonel Charles C. Lewis of the Continental Army, who commanded the American troops in the historic battle of Point Pleasant against the Indians in 1774. At this now prosperous town, at the confluence of the Great Kanawha with the Ohio River, Judge English spent the greater portion of his honorable and distinguished career, and where on the 18th of July, 1916, in the quietude of a delightful home, respected by all the people, he disappeared into the "Great Beyond." No cleaner and purer man ever donned the judicial ermine in this or any other State. He was a faithful member of the Protestant Episcopal Church. [Bench and Bar of West Virginia by George Wesley Atkinson, 1919 - Transcribed by AFOFG]
SYLVESTER LANHAM was born in Madison County, Kentucky, 1790, a son of Thomas and Patience (Sappington) Lanham, and married JANE (Jeanne) ESTES, who was born in 1797, the daughter of William Estes, of Richmond, Virginia. They married probably in Kentucky about 1810/15. This continues our direct Lanham line.
Sylvester's Uncle John Sappington ( Jr) went to St. Louis County, Missouri in 1804 and bought a Spanish Grant from Pierre Didier, then returned in 1805 and brought his wife and 17 children and a number of other families from Kentucky to Missouri, where he established a Trading Post. About 1811, Sylvester Lanham joined them in Missouri. Sylvester's brothers: Hartley and Stephen were already in Missouri by this time. In 1814 Sylvester enlisted in the War of 1812 (1812-1815), but saw no service. He also patricipated in the Winnebago Campaign.
April 12, 1815, Sylvester sold to his brother, James Lanham, househould goods, horse and saddles, nine hogs, 400 pounds of bacon and other property . (Deed Book K, page 496 Madison Co.,Ky.).
Sylvester moved to Morgan County, Illinois about 1828. During this seven year period at Morgan County many of the children were born. In the 1830 Morgan Co. census, the Silvester Lanum household consisted of: 2 males under 5, 2 females under age 5, 1 female under 10, 1 male and 1 female under 15 and 1 male and 1 female under the age of 30.
Sylvester Lanham was a government patentee as of 21 January 1829, 87 acres in the W 1/2 SW 1/4 Section 6 Township 13 North Range 8 West of the Third Principal Meridian. This is in the area of present day Waverly, Morgan Co., Illinois. Records indicate he sold this land to John C. Caldwell, 29 June 1830. Taxes on this property in 1836 was $1.30, plus $.75 road tax.
About 1835 they moved to Adams County, Illinois, and about 1839, they moved to the Platte Purchase northwest corner of Missouri. Sylvester's Father, Thomas Lanham dies in 1840, Madison Co. Kentucky. [Submitted by Cliff Lanham] View Lanham tree diagram.
LOWRANCE, G. W.
The person whose name introduces this biography is a merchant well and favorably known in Thayer and the proprietor of a leading general store in that city. He was born in Morgan county, Illinois, July 10, 1841, and William and Mary E. Lowrance were his parents. The father died in Illinois in 1868 at the age of sixty-three, a member, for years, of the Cumberland Presbyterian church and an official of its local board. The mother resides in Green county, Illinois, at the age of eighty-three years (1902). Six of their eight children are living and our subject is the second born. G. W. Lowrance had scarce more than finished his common school education when he enlisted, August 4, 1861, in Company G, 59th Illinois volunteer infantry, fighting his first real battle at Pea Ridge, Arkansas. The only wound he received was in this engagement but it was of so slight a nature as not to cause him any inconvenience. The siege of Corinth followed next in order and then the battle of Perryville, Kentucky, where Buel turned Bragg and started him on the retreat south. His next battles were Stone River, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Rock Face Ridge, Resaca and the others on the Atlanta campaign. After the fall of Atlanta he returned north with "Pap" Thomas and fought at Franklin and Nashville, where Hood's army was all but annihilated. Here the field work of the 59th Illinois ended, on the east side of the Mississippi, for it was transferred to Texas and remained there under General Post and other commanders till his muster out at Brownfield in December, 1863. He was discharged at Springfield, Illinois, January 16, 1866, having served four years, five months and fourteen days, a record of active service seldom surpassed in the annals of the civil war. The war over Mr. Lowrance went to farming in Illinois and continued at there till 1870, when he engaged in the mercantile business in Palmer, Christian county. After several years in this vocation he sold his stock and returned to the farm till 1881, when he engaged in the hardware and implement business in Greenville, Illinois, running the same four years, when he came west to Vernon county, Missouri, and spent another year and a half on the farm. Disposing of his real holdings there he went to Schell City, Missouri, and opened a general store, such as he conducts in Thayer. Two years later he located in Foster. Missouri, in the same business, selling out after six years and coming to his present location in 1892. Wherever he has been located Mr. Lowrance has been an interested citizen in municipal affairs and has performed whatever public service has been required of him with fidelity and ability. He has served on the board of education in nearly every place in which he has lived and was chosen the first mayor of the new town of Foster, Missouri.
March 8, 1864, Mr. Lowrance married Miss Mary M. Stout, a daughter of Charles and Belinda Stout, the latter of whom still survives at the age of ninety-three (1902) and resides in Greenville, Illinois. The former died at the age of sixty-four. Mr. Lowrance took advantage of the opportunity and was married while at home on a veteran furlough. Eight children have graced the household of Mr. and Mrs. Lowrance. They are, H. G., partner in the store and postmaster at Thayer, is married to Miss Kate Russell and their four children are Lillian M., Lena M., Russell O., and Mark H.; Harry W., who died at two years of age; Lena J., who died at nineteen years old, the wife of M. D. Russell; Arthur D., another partner in the father's store, is married to Blanche Palmer and has one child, Wayne; Ethel; Anna, wife of Dr. Murphy; Cora E. and George C., twins, the former dying at the age of two years and the latter deputy postmaster of Thayer. He was born February 20, 1880, was educated chiefly in the Thayer high school and, May 3, 1898, enlisted in Company G - his father's company letter - 20th Kansas, Col. Fred Funston, who won a brigadier's star in the regular army. The regiment spent six months in camp in San Francisco drilling and otherwise preparing itself for efficient service in the field. October 28th it sailed aboard the "Indiana" for Manila, P. 1. Three days were spent in Honolulu sight-seeing and the remainder of the trip was one long watery waste to Manila, where the vessel arrived December 1st. Eleven days waiting in the bay for the preparation of quarters on shore and the regiment disembarked and was introduced to the Philippines. Its history from this time forward till the end of its short but remarkable campaign in the island is a matter of public record and the personal incidents, alone, of the privates and officers of the regiment form its unwritten history. On the 28th of October, 1899, the 20th Kansas was discharged at San Francisco after a service of eighteen months. They were in thirteen engagements, had some fatalities and made a record for daring and bravery that startled the country and won the admiration of enlightened nations everywhere. Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Lowrance are members of the Methodist church in which he has been an officer nearly a third of a century. He is a Master Mason and has pessed [sic] nearly all the chairs of the lodge. He cast his first presidential vote for General Grant and is yet an ardent and enthusiastic Republican. His son, H. G. Lowrance, has served as chairman of the Republican county central committee for the past three years and has served on the committee for seven years. His work at organization in Neosho county contributed its full share toward the 25,000 majority for President McKinley in 1900. [Source: History of Neosho and Wilson Counties, Kansas, Pub. by L. Wallace Duncan, Fort Scott, Kansas, Monitor Printing Co., 1902; transcribed by Vicki Bryan]
MUSSON, William T.
WILLIAM T MUSSON, son of Richard and Rebecca Musson, was born in Morgan County Illinois, June 12, 1836. He was married November 03, 1868, to Margaret Post, daughter of Benton and Clarissa Post. They have had ten children: Clarissa R, born October 04, 1869; Deloss R, January 06, 1871; Eddy, October 26, 1872; Alice May, May 15, 1874, now Mrs. Dr. S.J. Conner; Sarah A, March 14, 1876, now Mrs. C.N. Wood; Mary O, March 14, 1878, now Mrs. John Henry; Stella E, February 15, 1880; Eva C, January 13, 1882; Henry A, September 01, 1885; Alvin B, July 11, 1888. Eddy died August 25, 1873. Mr. Musson came to Adair County Missouri, November 20, 1868. He has lived in Kirksville continuously since August 1898. Besides his city residence he owns a farm of forty acres, situated six miles southeast of Kirksville. He is a Republican in politics, a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and belongs to the G.A.R. [Source: "A History of Adair County Missouri" by E.M. Violette (1911) - DR - Sub. by FoFG]
SMITH, Comfort D.
The subject of this article, Comfort D. Smith, has the rare distinction of being one of the oldest settlers in Centerville township, Neosho county. He was born in Macoupin county, Illinois, February 10, 1840, and his father, Comfort Smith, was a native of Connecticut, and his mother, Clarissa Phelps, was of Pennsylvania origin. The parents were married in New York state and moved out to Illinois and became settlers in an early day. They passed their lives as farmers in Macoupin county, that state, and died at seventy and seventy-five years, respectively. Comfort D. Smith was one of nine children in the family and remained in Illinois till past his twenty-fourth year when he came to Kansas and stopped first near Atchison where he worked by the month on a farm. He became a teamster at Fort Leavenworth next and did hauling for the government during the summer of 1865. He went to Nebraska in the fall of 1865 and took a homestead in Johnson county where he resided four years, coming thence to Neosho county, Kansas. Here he purchased a claim which he has developed into the productive farm which he now resides on. He was one that helped to organize his school district. His land was included in the disputed belt and the famous suit with the railroad for possession and title was one of the many hardships through which he had to pass. He planted the seed for a maple grove on his farm and has survived to see large trees forming a pretty grove, the inviting feature of the farm. April 26, 1866, Mr. Smith married Priscilla Wood, born in Morgan county, Illinois, February 24, 1846, and a daughter of James and Rebecca (Coulee) Wood, both native Kentucky people. The parents moved to Nebraska in 1864 and in 1871 came to Kansas where they resided till 1876 when they went back to Illinois and died in Morgan county. To Mr. and Mrs. Smith have been born six chuldren [sic], as follows. James, of Neosho county; Cora, wife of William Knapp, of Colorado City; Zella, who married Ira Hicks, of Chanute, Kansas; Oscar, died in infancy; Nellie, wife of Jacob Waggoner, and Edith.Mr. Smith has contributed of his means and his service toward the up building of the internal affairs of his community and as a citizen belongs to that numerous and Worthy class whose thoughts do not feast upon their achievements but are content to perform their modest portion without ostentation or show. He has been clerk of his township and was chosen by his friends as a candidate on the Democratic ticket. [Source: History of Neosho and Wilson Counties, Kansas, Pub. by L. Wallace Duncan, Fort Scott, Kansas, Monitor Printing Co., 1902; transcribed by V. Bryan]
Was born near Jacksonville, Illinois, September 04, 1870, a son of Richard and Athalia Hatcher. He was united in marriage December 26, 1897, to Mary E Petree, daughter of Bailis and Mary A Petree. They have four children: Loyd B, born November 10, 1901; Orville R, October 27, 1903; Mary *Imo, July 19, 1906; Earl W, October 06, 1909. Mr. Hatcher came to Adair County in June 1900. He has been in the abstract, loan and insurance business in this city for ten years. He was formerly a student at the Missouri State Normal at Kirksville for three years. His wife is a graduate of that institution, graduating with the class of 1895. Mr. Hatcher taught school for the last two years as principal of the school at Lathrop, and at Birmingham. Mr. Hatcher is a Democrat in politics, and a member of the Yeoman and Woodman lodges. He has been for five years the superintendent of the Sunday School of the Christian church, and has been an active worker in all the departments of church work. For ten years he has served in various official positions in the church. He takes part in politics, and stands for progressive improvement. [Source Info: "The History of Adair County Missouri" by E.M. Violette (1911) * Signifies that the spelling or wording is put here, exactly as from source.- DR - Sub by FoFG]
WILLIS, John William
The clarion call of duty to a man of high aim and the insurance of a just employment is like the bugle sound of a charge in battle, awakening his highest powers and nerving him for any contest. It puts everything else out of his mind except the work immediately before him, and stimulates him to bend every energy to the accomplishment of that. Such a call was heard and obeyed by John William Willis, of Saguache county, this state, when, in 1888, the voice of southern Colorado proclaimed the merits of the section to him and invoked him to come forward and take a share in the benefits here awaiting for men of enterprise and endurance, who were willing to work and wait. He came hither armed with his physical health and determined spirit, and taking his place in the ranks of the developing army, fought against nature's opposing forces and all the hardships, dangers and privations of frontier life until the region began to grow docile and obedient and yield its rewards to honest and continued effort. And although he afterward abandoned his enterprise temporarily, he never lost interest in the section and soon returned to engage once more in the good work of building up a healthy portion of a mighty commonwealth which was rich in material advantages and worthy of man's best energies in their use and improvement. Mr. Willis is a native of Macoupin county, Illinois, born near the town of Palmyra on July 31, 1839. His parents, Elijah and Lucilla (Solomon) Willis, were natives of North Carolina though reared in Kentucky. Soon after their marriage they located in Morgan county, Illinois, near Jacksonville. There they were farmers until 1829, when they moved to Macoupin county, in which they lived until 1850, taking up wild land and improving it to value. In the year last named the family moved to Texas, where the father bought a farm, but after a residence of three months on it, he sold it and changed his residence to Barton county, Missouri, where he purchased a farm on which he and his wife passed the remainder of their lives. The father was an earnest working Democrat in political faith, and served his country as constable and justice of the peace many years in his early days. John W. and his brother Josiah are the only living members of the family. The former was educated in the common schools and remained at home until he reached the age of nineteen. He then learned the carpenter trade and after working at it some years farmed in Macoupin county, Illinois, for a period. In the years 1873 and 1874 he served as treasurer of that county and also was at one time assessor and tax collector of his township. In 1883 he came to Barton county, Missouri, and there he was engaged in farming five years, holding the office of township assessor a portion of the time. In 1888 he came to Colorado, and locating in Saguache county, homesteaded on a tract of land in the "Forty-one Country," on which he remained two years, then returned to Illinois and during the next two years conducted a hotel at Chesterfield in his native county. In 1892 he came again to this state and took up his residence at Center, Saguache county, buying a ranch there and settling down to its permanent improvement and occupancy. He was made county assessor soon after his arrival, and his previous work in this line enabled him to give the people excellent and satisfactory service in the office. His ranch comprises one hundred and sixty acres, all fenced and well supplied with water. Good crops of hay and grain are raised, and the ranch is provided with buildings suitable to its needs, making it one of the comfortable and productive rural homes in this prolific region. The dwelling is a modern house of ample dimensions, and all of the appointments of the place are in keeping with it. The town of Center, five and one-half miles from the ranch, affords a good market easily attainable for its productions, and the surroundings are all favorable to a high state of advancement and a steadily increasing value in the property. Mr. Willis is a third-degree Freemason and in politics an ardent and active Democrat. On November 25, 1868, he was married, but his wife died on March 6, 1901, leaving four children. One of these, a daughter Mary, died on March 6, 1903, and the others are living. They are Arthur, Merida and Robert. When Mr. Willis settled in this neighborhood there were but five settlers in the "Forty-one Country," but the work of improving it, although for a time left to a few hands, and trying them to their utmost capacity, has gone steadily forward, and the results of their labors are a sufficient proof of their enterprise, breadth of view and skill. No citizen of the region is more worthy of public esteem, and none enjoys it more generally or more considerably. [Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado, Publ 1905. Transcribed by Kim Mohler]
© Copyright by Genealogy Trails