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Bates County
Missouri


Biographies
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William Oscar
              AtkesonAtkeson, William Oscar, a Representative from Missouri; born on a farm near Buffalo, Putnam County, Va. (now West Virginia), August 24, 1854; attended the public schools and the University of Kentucky at Lexington; taught school in Mason County, W.Va., in 1874 and at New Haven, W.Va., in 1875; was graduated from Fairmont (W.Va.) Normal School in 1875; moved to Point Pleasant, W.Va., in 1876 and edited and published the West Virginia Monitor; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1877 and commenced practice in Council Grove, Kans.; moved to Rich Hill, Bates County, Mo., in 1882 and to Butler, Bates County, Mo., in 1889, and continued to practice law; prosecuting attorney of Bates County, Mo., 1891-1893; unsuccessful candidate for circuit judge of the twenty-ninth judicial circuit in 1892; owner and editor of the Butler Free Press 1894-1902; unsuccessful candidate for election in 1906 to the Sixtieth Congress and in 1908 to the Sixty-first Congress; served as deputy State hotel inspector in 1910 and 1911 and as deputy State labor commissioner 1911-1913; owner and editor of the Bates County Record 1915-1918; elected as a Republican to the Sixty-seventh Congress (March 4, 1921-March 3, 1923); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1922 to the Sixty-eighth Congress; served as State warehouse commissioner in Kansas City, Mo., from July 1, 1923, until February 5, 1925, when he resigned; resumed the practice of law and also engaged in literary pursuits; died in Butler, Mo., October 16, 1931; interment in Oak Hill Cemetery.
(Source: Biographical Directory of the US Congress 1774-Present. Submitted by Linda Rodriguez)


JAMES T. ACKERMAN – Hard work and rigid economy was the program for the early life of James T. Ackerman, well-to-do farmer and stockman of Howard township. The Ackerman farm was purchased by its proprietor during the winter of 1871. Mr. Ackerman made his first investment in Bates county land when the ground was covered with snow to a depth of nearly two feet but has never regretted his purchase. His first quarter section cost him ten dollars an acre – unbroken prairie land which he fenced and improved. The farm now consists of four hundred acres of rich, valuable soil which produces bountiful crops each year. His handsome home stands on a commanding knoll which affords a view of the surrounding country for miles in every direction, the rich bottom land lying about the farm buildings on all sides. During his residence of forty-seven years in Bates county, Mr. Ackerman has never purchased any flour, the farm producing his needs each year. He has sown one hundred acres to wheat for next year’s harvest. During the past  year he harvested ninety acres of corn which yielded an average of forty bushels to the acre; forty acres of oats which produced forty bushels to the acre. At the present time (December, 1917) he is feeding seventy-head of cattle and thirty hogs and keeps ten horses and mules to do the farm work. Mr. Ackerman has expended over fifteen thousand dollars for improvements on his farm and it is his proud boast that he “owes no man a dollar.” The farm is equipped with natural gas obtained from a well drilled in 1912 to a depth of two hundred eighty-six feet.
James T. Ackerman was born at Salem, Forsythe county, North Carolina, January 13, 1850, a son of William and Jeanette (Spock) Ackerman. William Ackerman was a son of John Ackerman who emigrated from Germany to America when a young man and settled in North Carolina. The Ackerman family came to Missouri in 1868 and resided at Montserrat, in Johnson county for a period of fifteen years, then removed to Warrensburg. When James T. Ackerman came to Bates county in 1881 the father accompanied him and he cared for him until the end of his days, the father dying in 1911 at the age of eighty-three years. The mother departed his life in 1858. While a resident of Montserrat, James T. Ackerman worked as a section hand on the railroad and drove a team for the coal mines for a period of eleven years at a wage of one dollar and fifty cents per day. During this time he carried the burden of supporting and rearing his father’s family but managed to save money each year. He was never averse to earning an honest dollar aside from his regular employment and managed to earn a good many extra dollars which he carefully saved. Opportunities for loaning money at 10 per cent, interest were plentiful in those days and he increased his hoard by doing this. It was and always has been his contention, that it matters not what a man earns, “it is what he saves that counts in the end.” When he had accumulated a total of one thousand six hundred dollars, he said one day to his wife, “I guess I’ll go and buy me a home.” This he did in Bates county where he now ranks as one of the oldest of the pioneer settlers and one of the most substantial and best respected of his section.
The marriage of James T. Ackerman and Lesta Stultz took place on October 18, 1874 and has been blessed with the following children: Minnie, wife of J.P. Adams, assistant cashier of the Bank of Hume, Hume, Missouri; Arthur, born in 1877, resides on one of his father’s farms, married Lola Liggett, and has four children: Vivita, Oscar, Golden and A.J.; Alfred, born in 1879, lives at El Dorado, Kansas; Cleveland, born 1885, United States railway mail clerk since 1905, and resides at Kansas City, Missouri. The mother of these children was born in 1853 in North Carolina, first came to Indiana in 1865 and came to Montserrat, Johnson county, Missouri with her parents, Elisa and Matilda Stultz, in 1866.
The Democratic party has always had the steadfast allegiance of Mr. Ackerman and he has generally voted the straight Democratic ticket. He has never had any time for political matters and has never cared for nor ever sought political office. He and Mrs. Ackerman are members of the Presbyterian church. He is a genial, kindly, shrewd, and capable citizen whose word is considered as good as his bond, one who has found Bates county a profitable and a good place in which to live and rear a family. Mr. Ackerman’s unswerving loyalty to Bates county is inspiring and he is certain that there is no better plat of ground in America than this county.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

JAMES PERRY ADAMS, assistant cashier of the Commercial Bank, Hume, Missouri, was born in Pettis county, Missouri, January 9, 1874, a son of James D. and Martha A. (Siceloff) Adams, natives of Virginia and North Carolina, respectively. Both father and mother of J.P. Adams came with the respective parents to Pettis county directly after the close of the Civil War and were married in that county. James D. Adams was a son of John Adams, who became well known and prominent in the affairs of his adopted county. James D. Adams removed to Bates county in 1879 and located on a farm two miles south of Hume in Howard township. He spent the remainder of his days in the cultivation of his farm and died at his home January 25, 1895, at the age of fifty-three years. To James D. and Martha A. Adams were born ten children, as follow: H.V., Wichita, Kansas; Mrs. Callie McLean, of Tempe, Arizona; Emmet, residing at Tempe, Arizona; Eugene, Gentry, Arkansas; James Perry, subject of this review; Mrs. Bettie Crews, Houstonia, Missouri; Jessie, at home with her mother; Mrs. Myrtle Wood, Hume, Missouri; John, at home; and Neville, Pueblo, Colorado. The mother of the large family was born in 1848 and now makes her home in Hume.
J.P. Adams was educated in the district schools and the Hume High School. Having been reared on a farm, he quite naturally made the pursuit of agriculture his vocation and began farming on his own account in 1895. He rented land until 1900 and then made a purchase of one hundred sixty acres located southeast of Hume in Howard township. Success attended his efforts and with good business management he made a pronounced success of his farming operations. His farm is well improved and is one of the most productive tracts of land in Bates county. Mr. Adams remained in direct charge of his farm until 1910, after which he rented the place and has since made his home in Hume. On December 15, 1910, he became identified with the Commercial Bank of Hume as a director and assistant cashier. His success in banking circles is as pronounced as was his first venture as a farmer and landowner.
Mr. Adams was married on September 4, 1895, to Miss Minnie Ackerman, who was born in Johnson county, Missouri, a daughter of James T. Ackerman, now a substantial farmer and stockman of Howard township, concerning whom a biographical sketch is presented elsewhere in this volume. Mr. and Mrs. Adams have a son, J. Walter, born December 5, 1898, now a student in the Hume High School. Mr. Adams is politically allied with the Democratic party and he and Mrs. Adams are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, to which religious denomination they are liberal contributors.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.


C.A. ALLEN, abstracter of the Walton Trust Company of Butler, proprietor of “Highland Stock Farm” in Mount Pleasant township, is one of the able financiers and progressive agriculturists of Bates county. Mr. Allen is a native of Iowa. He was born in 1870 in Warren county, a son of F.M. and Mary J. (Allen) Allen, who settled in Bates county, Missouri in 1876. F.M. Allen was one of the leading merchants of Butler, Missouri for twenty years, conducting a music store in this city from the time of his coming to Missouri until his death in 1895. Mrs. Allen joined her husband in death a few days after he died and interment was made for both father and mother in the cemetery at Butler. F.M. and Mary J. (Allen) Allen were the parents of four children, who are now living: Mrs. W.E. Walton, Mrs. E.A. Bennett, Frank, and C.A., all of whom reside at Butler, Missouri.
In the city schools of Butler, C.A. Allen received his elementary education. Later, he attended Butler Academy and was there instructed by Professors Naylor and Allison, and the Butler Commercial College. After completing a business course at the latter institution, Mr. Allen began life for himself employed as bookkeeper by the Butler National Bank and with that financial institution remained until it was merged into the present Missouri State Bank. For many years, he was treasurer of the Walton Trust Company of Butler and, at the time of this writing in 1918, is the company’s abstracter and is residing at “Highland Stock Farm” in Mount Pleasant township.
C.A. Allen and Maud A. Porter, a daughter of Dr. H.P. and Margaret S. (Blakeslee) Porter, were united in marriage in 1891. Dr. Porter was one of the most prominent citizens of Butler, a late surgeon-general of the National Grand Army of the Republic at Butler. He died in 1912 and burial was made in Oak Hill cemetery. Mrs. Porter resides at Kansas City, Missouri. To C.A. and Maud A. Allen have been born two children: Horace, who is now a junior in the Butler High School; and Mildred. Mr. and Mrs. Allen are widely and favorably known in the county and they are numbered among the best families of Mount Pleasant township and Butler.
“Highland Stock Farm” in Mount Pleasant township lies one mile north of Butler and is one of the best equipped dairy farms in the state of Missouri. Mr. Allen is the owner of probably the finest herd of Holsteins in western Missouri. He became interested in keeping only registered cattle in the autumn of 1917 and, at the time of this writing in 1918, has ten head of remarkably good, registered dairy cows. The improvements on “Highland Stock Farm” are well worthy of notice and they include a handsome, modern, two-story residence, substantially built upon a stone foundation and having a roomy basement; a dairy barn, having concrete floors and stanchions for sixteen cattle; a garage and machine shed; the best chicken house in Bates county, constructed of doubled matched lumber, with concrete floors; a granary, a coal house, and a comfortable tenant house. “Highland Stock Farm” comprises one hundred sixty acres of land located on the Jefferson highway and is one of the beautiful country places of Bates county. Mr. Allen is an enterprising farmer and stockman, and his methods combined with his interest, industry, and thorough understanding of business principles have been rewarded by a large measure of well-deserved success.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

GEORGE F. ALSBACH, of Butler, proprietor of one of the best restaurants in Bates county, is a native of Illinois. Mr. Alsbach was born March 10, 1869, in Monroe county, the first-born of three children, who are now living, born to his parents, George and Mary (Powderly) Alsbach, a prominent pioneer family of Shawnee township, Bates county. George Alsbach was born in Germany and in his youth emigrated from the old country and came to America. He first located in Illinois, where he was married and his son, George F., was born. In 1869, the Alsbachs moved from Illinois to Missouri and settled on a farm in Shawnee township in Bates county, where the father and mother spent the remainder of their lives. Mary (Powderly) Alsbach was a cousin of T.V. Powderly, who was an influential leader in Knights of Labor circles and in the latter part of his life was labor commissioner at the port of New York and the head of the immigration department there. Mrs. Alsbach was a native of Ireland. To George and Mary Alsbach were born the following children: George F., the subject of this review; William H., of Butler, Missouri; and Mrs. Annie E. Yates, Kansas City, Kansas. The father died on the farm in Shawnee township, September 23, 1900, and three years afterward his wife joined him in death. Both parents are interred in the cemetery at Butler.
George F. Alsbach attended the public schools of Bates county, Missouri. He well recalls the early days in School District Number 3, Shawnee township, when “spelling schools” were the attractions of the long winter evenings and contests held at the different schools in the township furnished entertainment for the neighborhoods and “literary societies” and “debating societies” met regularly. Mr. Alsbach enjoys recalling those old days of “Town Ball” and “Whip Cracker” and delights in relating an amusing incident in his school-boy life. He was to be whipped at school the next day for some infringement of the strict school laws. Mr. Alsbach has always been an ardent advocate of “preparedness,” and that morning went to school with his back well padded with hay, tucked in securely under his vest. Of course, he let the big girls in on his secret preparation and when the "master” commanded him to remove his coat and proceeded to lay on the switch with much force and determination, they laughed heartily – behind their books. And George F. enjoyed it, too!
Until about ten years ago, George F. Alsbach was engaged in farming, and in raising, buying, feeding, and shipping cattle. He then resided on a farm in Shawnee township in Bates county. He left the farm in 1907 and came to Butler, where he opened a restaurant on the southeast side of the public square in this city. Three years ago, he moved his place of business to his present location, on the west side of the public square. Mr. Alsbach has an exceptionally fine restaurant and he enjoys a splendid trade. The Alsbach Restaurant opens at 5 a.m. and closes at  12 p.m. He has the following motto hanging in a conspicuous place in the restaurant:
“Don’t Get a Divorce. If your Wife can’t Cook, Eat Here and Keep Her for a Pet.”
In 1899, George F. Alsbach and Nettie Jenkins, daughter of S.M. Jenkins, of Mound township, Bates County, were united in marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins are the parents of eleven children, all of whom are now living, and the grandparents of thirty-eight children. Mrs. Alsbach’s parents still reside on the home farm in Mound township. To George F. and Nettie (Jenkins) Alsbach have been born four children: George C. and Viola, who are students in the Butler High School; and Mary Catherine and Annie Rose, who are pupils in the graded schools of Butler. The Alsbach residence is in Butler on East Dakota street.
Mr. Alsbach is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Fraternal Aid. He has always pursued an industrious, honorable course in life, constantly adhering to the upright principles in which he was reared, and he is highly respected and valued as a citizen. At the present price of food stuffs, only an exceptionally capable and cautious business man could possibly make a success of the restaurant business, and Mr. Alsbach has been and still is making a marked success, and he is destined to continue in the future as in the past one of the enterprising, substantial, influential men of the city in which he labors and lives.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

J.W. ANDERSON, the pioneer druggist of Rockville, Missouri, is a member of one of the most prominent pioneer families of the state. Mr. Anderson was born in Henry county, Missouri in 1852, a son of Dr. Z. and Susan (Gilkeson) Anderson. Dr. Z. Anderson located with his family at Papinsville, Missour in 1856. He was a native of Tennessee, born in 1826, and a graduate of the McDowell Medical College, of St. Louis, Missouri. Susan (Gilkeson) Anderson was a daughter of William Gilkeson, an honored pioneer of Johnson county, Missouri. At about the time the Andersons came to Papinsville, Missouri, Doctor Bedinger located at Papinsville. He was a native of Germany and is still remembered by many citizens of Bates county, who may recall his tragic death. The canoe upset and the doctor was thrown into the icy cold water and when found several hours later by a negro it was too late to revive him and Doctor Bedinger chilled to death in the canoe while being taken to Papinsville. Dr. Z. Anderson conducted a drug store and practiced medicine at Papinsville until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. He enlisted with the Confederates and served two years. In 1863, he returned to Missouri and located for a short time at St. Louis, whence he went to Illinois to remain until the war had ended. Doctor Anderson again came back to Missouri in 1866, returning this time to his old home at Papinsville, where he was engaged in the practice of medicine until his death in October, 1868. Mrs. Anderson survived her husband for nineteen years. She departed this life in 1887 and was laid to rest beside her mother in Rockville cemetery. The father’s remains rest in the cemetery at Papinsville.
The following children were born to Dr. Z. and Mrs. Anderson: Mrs. Rilla Anderson, Rockville, Missouri; Ella, the wife of Clyde Murphy, of Springfield, Missouri; Mrs. Jennie Evans, of Glasgow, Kentucky; M.L., deceased; and J.W., the subject of this review. In the public schools of Papinsville, J.W. Anderson received his education. The first teacher, whom Mr. Anderson recalls, was a gentleman from New York, whom the school boys called a “Blue-bellied Yankee” and “Yank” in its shortened form. Following the New Yorker came Mr. Burnsides, from Ohio and he in turn was succeeded by Mr. Johnson, from Virginia. The school house was built of logs and among all the boys who attended school there in the early days J.W. Anderson knows of but three who are now living, namely: D.O. Bradley, Rich Hill, Missouri; J.L. Richardson, Nevada, Missouri; and J.W. Anderson. The merchants of Papinsville, in the days before the Civil War, were Mr. Eddy, Mr. Duke, and Phillip Zeal. The Indians were want to come to Papinsville each autumn for their winter supplies and well J.W. Anderson remembers seeing bands of red men in the little village. He states that in religious matters the Presbyterians were in those days in the ascendancy at Papinsville, they having the only church in the place. The brick court house was destroyed during the Civil War and the bridge near the town was burned by a division of Price’s army.
In 1874, J.W. Anderson entered the drug business at Papinsville and remained there until 1884, when in September of that year he moved to Rockville and has since continued in business at this place. Mr. Anderson has been engaged in the drug business continuously for forty-four years. He carries an exceptionally fine line of drugs, stationery, cigars, and toilet articles and his thorough knowledge of pharmacy, in conjunction with his courteous manner and evident desire to please his customers, has brought him a flattering patronage.
J.W. Anderson and Arabella Barrows, a daughter of Freeman Barrows, the first county clerk of Bates county, Missouri, were united in marriage in 1880. Freeman Barrows died about 1860 and his remains were interred in the cemetery on the Barrows home place and afterward removed to the cemetery at Rich Hill, Missouri. To J.W. and Mrs. Anderson have been born three children, all of whom are now living: Mrs. Medora Corbin, of Sterling, Colorado; L.W., who is a graduate from the St. Louis Pharmacy School, St. Louis, Missouri and is now a successful pharmacist at Joplin, Missouri; and Clyde Murphy, a graduate of the Rockville High School, Springfield Academy, Randolph-Macon Academy, and of the St. Louis Pharmacy School, St. Louis, Missouri, who has been stationed at Camp Doniphan since August 5, 1917 in the service of the United States.
Mr. Anderson began life a poor boy, with no special preparation in the way of educational training, and all that he has and all that he is has come as the inevitable result of honest, earnest effort and consecutive and persistent endeavor. Among the people with whom he has lived for so many years he occupies a high standing and possesses countless warm personal friends. The Andersons have for more than fifty years been respected and honored among the best families of Bates county, Missouri.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

M.W. ANDERSON, a prominent and prosperous farmer and stockman of Spruce township, is one of the successful, “self-made” men of Bates county. Mr. Anderson was born October 10, 1860, in Lafayette county, Missouri, a son of Jesse and Marinda Anderson, who came from Virginia in the early days and settled on a farm in Lafayette county. Jesse Anderson died when his son, M.W., the subject of this review, was a small lad, ten years of age. Mrs. Anderson moved to Arkansas, where she died, and the son, M.W., was left to the protection and care of a neighbor, J.H. Hobbs, and he was reared by Mr. Hobbs in Johnson county.
Mr. Anderson, whose name introduces this review, obtained his education in the public schools of Johnson county, Missouri. At the age of twenty-one years, he came to Bates county. He had just fifteen cents in his pocket and that amount meant the sum total of his financial resources. Mr. Anderson obtained employment at once and for his services received an overcoat and a pair of overshoes, which he was needing badly, and then served as apprentice with I.N. Paulline, a prominent contractor of Butler, Missouri, until he had mastered the carpenter’s trade, which he followed in connection with farming in Bates county for thirty years. The first work which Mr. Anderson did in Bates county was husking corn in the snow for which he received the munificent sum of twenty-five cents a day – and it was real work, at that. By 1889, he had saved a sum of money sufficient to purchase a farm and he bought his first land in Mingo township, a place he later sold. Mr. Anderson then moved from this county to Urich in Henry county and was there engaged in buying and selling town lots and improving city property. He disposed of his interests in 1894 and purchased his present country place, a farm comprising one hundred twenty acres of land originally, from A.J. Allen and to his first holdings later added forty acres more, a tract purchased from John Winegardner. On this place in Spruce township, Mr. Anderson is profitably employed in raising horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs, and purebred Barred Plymouth Rock chickens.
The marriage of M.W. Anderson and Mary F. Kenney, a daughter of Rev. William and Martha A. (Drennan) Kenney, honored and revered pioneers of Sangamon county, Illinois, was solemnized December 7, 1910. Reverend and Mrs. Kenney came to Bates county, Missouri in the autumn of 1868 and located in Spruce township, where they both died. The remains of both father and mother were interred in Bethel cemetery in Bates county, Missouri. Mrs. Anderson had the following brothers and sister, two living: C.E., Santa Barbara, California; B.F., of Spruce township; Mrs. Effie M. Sparkman, who died at Portland, Oregon; and Arthur E., who died at the age of sixteen years at the old homestead in Spruce township, Bates county. Mr. Anderson’s brothers and sisters were, as follow: John, deceased; Alfred, Osceola, Missouri; Isaac, deceased; Mrs. Jennie Gregory; Mrs. Lizzie Paul, of Johnson county, Missouri; Mrs. Mattie Forney, Enid, Oklahoma; Mrs. Huldah Allen, Gypsum, Kansas; Mrs. Belle Rich, of Deepwater township, Bates county; and Mollie. To M.W. and Mary F. (Kenney) Anderson have been born two children: Nina May and Benjamin Wesley. By a former marriage, Mr. Anderson is the father of four sons: Arthur P., a well-to-do merchant of Los Angeles, California; Robert E., a successful farmer and ranchman of Great Falls, Montana; Archie B., a well-known farmer and stockman of Mingo township, Bates county; and William R., a prosperous farmer of Henry county. The Anderson name is widely and favorably known in western Missouri.
The Anderson farm lies ten miles southwest of Creighton, twenty miles northeast of Butler, and sixteen miles east of Adrian. Mr. Anderson has himself improved the place, adding all the buildings except the old ones erected by Mr. Mingus in the fifties. The improvements, which M.W. Anderson has placed on the farm, include a handsome residence, a ten-room structure, two stories and with a basement, built in 1905; a barn, 46 x 50 feet in dimensions, constructed of native lumber; a cattle and hog shed, 18 x 60 feet in dimensions; a sheep shed, 16 x 60 feet in dimensions; a ninety-ton silo, erected in 1911. Mr. Anderson feeds silage to his herds of horses, cattle, and sheep and is an enthusiastic advocate of it, but insists that it should be fed properly. He raises fine Percheron horses and is the owner of a Kentucky Hambletonian mare, a splendid saddle horse and trotter, seven years of age. Mr. Anderson has raised Shropshire sheep for twenty-five years and at the present time has a number of registered animals in his herd.
In the election of 1917, M.W. Anderson was elected trustee of Spruce township, the first Republican to be so honored. He is now serving his first term in office and is attending to all his official duties with the skill and excellence of an experienced man. In all the affairs of life, Mr. Anderson has manifested the same zeal, enterprise, business tact, and excellent judgment, which now characterize him as a public official. His unflagging industry and perseverance have enabled him to carry to a successful issue every undertaking to which he devotes his time and attention. He is in sympathy with all movements which tend to promote the public welfare and his public-spiritedness, his candor, and his integrity have won for him the respect of all with whom he has come in contact. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson are worthy and valued members of the Walnut Grove Presbyterian church.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler

ALBERT ARGENBRIGHT, a prosperous farmer and stockman of Summit township, is one of the successful citizens of Bates county, a member of a sterling pioneer family of this section of Missouri. Mr. Argenbright was born in Morgan county, Missouri, in 1861, a son of Preston and Rebecca (Harrison) Argenbright, the former, a native of Virginia and the latter, of Tennessee. Mrs. Argenbright was reared and educated in Missouri. Preston Argenbright came with his family to Bates county in 1865 and they settled on a farm near Altona in Grand River township, twenty-five miles northeast of Butler. Their trading point was Austin in Cass county. Mr. Argenbright purchased a tract of eighty acres of land, when he first came, and to this he constantly added until at his death in 1904 he was the owner of four hundred acres of valuable farm land in Bates county. To Preston and Rebecca (Harrison) Argenbright were born eight children: Albert, the subject of this review, who was born November 20, 1861; John A., Little Rock, Arkansas; J.E., Adrian, Missouri; C.H., Butler, Missouri; Anna Steele, deceased; Lena May, the wife of J.E. Hook, Rockville, Missouri; Daisy, the wife of Joe Gardner, Little Rock, Arkansas; and Mrs. Bertha Hardin, deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Argenbright moved from the farm to Butler in 1899 and in this city Mr. Argenbright died April 19, 1904. Mrs. Argenbright did not long survive her husband. She departed this life February 1, 1908. The father and mother were laid to rest in the cemetery at Butler.
Albert Argenbright received an excellent common-school education in the public schools of Grand River township, attending at Mingo school house. He remained at home with his parents until he was twenty-five years of age and then began farming in Grand River township, where he was a resident for eighteen years. Mr. Argenbright purchased and improved a ninety-five-acre farm in that township, made it one of the best stock farms in the county, and then sold it. He purchased his present country home in 1905 and since he acquired the ownership of this place, he has been tirelessly at work improving it until he now has one of the finest rural homes in this part of the state, the well-planned arrangements of the buildings, the nicely-kept, high-grade stock, the general neat appearance of the surroundings silently bespeaking the industry, thrift, and care of the owner.
February 9, 1885, the marriage of Albert Argenbright and Katie Gloyd, daughter of Daniel and Katie Gloyd, of Cass county, was solemnized. Mr. and Mrs. Gloyd entered land from the government in the days prior to the Civil War. They are both now deceased and their remains are interred in old Dayton cemetery in Cass county. To Albert and Katie Argenbright have been born seven children: Cleo, the wife of W.A. Eichhorn, of Pilot Grove, Cooper county, Missouri; Grover C., who enlisted in the service of the United States in August, 1917, and is at present with Company One Hundred Twenty-eighth, at Fort Sill, Oklahoma; O.R., a successful farmer of Summit township; Lyle, Walter, Celeste, and Glenn, all at home with their parents. Mr. and Mrs. Argenbright have been married thirty-three years and in that time they have changed their place of residence but twice, which is an unusual record in this age of restlessness and discontent.
The Argenbright farm in Summit township embraces two hundred acres of land, conveniently located, well watered and drained, and splendidly improved. Mr. Argenbright has himself placed all the buildings on the farm, including a beautiful residence, a ten-room structure, modern throughout, a barn, 56 x 54 feet in dimensions, used for stock and grain and with a silo attached, 16 x 32 feet in dimensions, a barn 38 x 54 feet in dimensions, with a silo 14 x 30 feet in dimension and covered with sheet iron, in addition to numerous other buildings needed in the handling of stock. The place is well stocked with seventy head of cattle, (of which Mr. Argenbright is at present milking six Jersey cows) sixty head of Poland China hogs, eighteen head of high-grade horses, and one hundred turkeys. The Argenbright place is situated on the Summit road on the way from Butler to Clinton and was formerly owned by Mr. Smith. The highest point on the farm is in the center and there are more than four hundred rods of tile used on the place. Mr. Argenbright pumps the water to the stock yards by means of a gasoline engine.
Albert Argenbright is a gentleman of remarkable industry and energy. He has improved and developed considerable land in Bates county and incidentally has accumulated a goodly competence. A progressive husbandman, an upright, public-spirited citizen, a courteous gentleman, Mr. Argenbright has made an enviable reputation in Bates county.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

J.B. ARMSTRONG, secretary of the Bennett-Wheeler Mercantile Company of Butler, Missouri, is one of Butler’s most widely and favorably-known citizens. Mr. Armstrong is a worthy representative of a splendid, old, pioneer family of Missouri. He was born in 1861, at Pleasant Hill, Missouri, a son of Samuel and Sallie Emily (Hon) Armstrong, the former, a native of Virginia and the latter, of Kentucky. Samuel Armstrong was a son of John M. and Elizabeth (Gibbons) Armstrong. John M. Armstrong was also a native of Virginia. He came to Missouri with his family in the earliest days and was a pioneer merchant at Pleasant Hill prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. Elizabeth (Gibbons) Armstrong was an aunt of the Gibbons, twin brothers, John and Hank, who at the time of the death of John Gibbons were the oldest twins in Missouri. The land which is now the site of the Missouri Pacific railway station was formerly owned by John M. Armstrong and he often related how he was want to kill deer, when he first came to Missouri, on the land which is now the present townsite of Pleasant Hill. Both he and his wife died at Pleasant Hill and their remains are interred in the cemetery at that place. Samuel Armstrong was a lover of fine horses and was recognized as an exceptional judge of high-class horses. He won a silver loving cup at a Bates county fair in the days before the Civil War for the best saddle horse presented. This cup is still treasured by his son, J.B. Armstrong. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Samuel Armstrong enlisted with the Confederate army at Pleasant Hill. He died while in service one year after he had enlisted, his death occurring in Indian Territory. The widowed mother died at Butler, Missouri, in 1890, where her home was at that time, and she was laid to rest in the cemetery at Pleasant Hill. To Samuel and Sallie Emily Armstrong were born two children, who are now living: Fannie Bertha, Tulsa, Oklahoma; and J.B., the subject of this review.
J.B. Armstrong attended the city schools of Pleasant Hill. He had made his own way in life since his early boyhood days. He began his first mercantile work in the business establishment of E.D. Harper, his stepfather, working nights and Saturdays. At a later time, Mr. Armstrong was employed by Russell & Gustin, of Pleasant Hill, for nearly one year. Prior to that, he was in the employ of Myers & Cooley. Mr. Armstrong came to Butler on February 4, 1882, and accepted a position with C.S. Wheeler & Company. In the autumn of the same year, the firm changed to Bennett & Wheeler, E.A. Bennett becoming a member. Mr. Armstrong purchased an interest in the business establishment in January, 1884, and the name was changed to Bennett, Wheeler & Company. The firm was incorporated as the Bennett-Wheeler Mercantile Company in 1890. At the present time, Mr. Armstrong’s two sons, Edward H. and Samuel M., have interests in the company. When he began working in the employ of the C.S. Wheeler & Company, J.B. Armstrong was bookkeeper and he held this position for many years. He now calls himself “the general roust-about,” as he knows every department thoroughly. The present capital stock is thirty-five thousand dollars and the officers of the company are as follow: O.A. Heinlein, president and business manager; S.E. Heinlein, vice-president; J.B. Armstrong, secretary; and Edward H. Armstrong, treasurer.
October 9, 1884, J.B. Armstrong and Mary Maud Harriman were united in marriage. Mrs. Armstrong was a daughter of J.R. and Helen (Morrell) Harriman, of Butler. Both Mr. and Mrs. Harriman are now deceased. To J.B. and Mary Maud Armstrong have been born five children: Helen, who is now Mrs. Day, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Edward H., treasurer of the Bennett-Wheeler Mercantile Company, Butler, Missouri; Samuel M., who has been engaged in the banking business for the past seven years at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and is soon to be called into service in France; John, who died in childhood at the age of four years; and Dorothy, a graduate of the Butler High School, who is now at home with her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong purchased their present residence in 1904, which home was formerly the Doctor Everingham property, comprising nearly three acres of land in the grounds surrounding the house, located within the city limits at 500 North Main street. The Armstrong home is one of the beautiful, modern residences of Butler.
Mr. Armstrong started in life empty-handed, but he surmounted all obstacles and has pushed aside all barriers that would have obstructed the pathway to success of the ordinary man. He was endowed with both ambition and ability, and with an indomitable will and courage he has pushed steadfastly forward overcoming difficulties and accumulating a handsome competence. Honest and honorable, upright in all relations of life, true to family and friends and to the best interests of his city and county, J.B. Armstrong is justly enrolled among the most respected and valued citizens of Butler.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler

WILLIAM M. ARNOLD, of Butler, is a native of Lafayette county, Missouri. He is a son of John E. and Maggie C. (Allen) Arnold. John E. Arnold was born near Leesburg, Virginia, and in childhood came with his father, Reverend Mosby Arnold, to Missouri. Reverend Arnold was a leading pioneer preacher, a gifted Methodist minister, who entered government land near Lexington, Missouri, paying one dollar and twenty-five cents for each acre of his large tract, and on his farm built the home of walnut logs, even the shingles being of walnut. He died on the Missouri farm at the age of eighty-six years. John E. Arnold and his family resided eleven miles west of Lexington until 1882, when they left the farm and moved to Butler. Mr. and Mrs. John E. Arnold were the parents of eleven children, as follow: Allen R., Kansas City, Missouri; Henry B., Big Spring, Howard county, Texas; Walter S., Kansas City, Missouri; Dr. T.W., a well-known and successful dentist of Butler, Missouri; Mrs. T.A. Black, deceased; Mrs. G.W. Logan, formerly of Cairo, Illinois, and now deceased; Mrs. Jesse E. Smith, Butler, Missouri; Agnes, Butler, Missouri; William M., the subject of this sketch; and two children died in infancy. Mrs. Maggie C. Arnold, the widowed mother, still resides at Butler and she is now eighty-two years of age.
William M. Arnold was reared and educated in Lafayette county, Missouri. He recalls how, in the sixties, the James and Younger boys were want to call at his grandfather’s home and demand food – which never failed to be forthcoming immediately. On the occasion of one of their visits, one of the intruders promised to bring him a revolver, such as he himself carried, when he came again, but much to the boy’s disappointment the promise was never fulfilled. As William M. Arnold was then but a very small lad, it was perhaps best that it was not. He remembers, too, the throngs of settlers, who camped for many weeks near a large spring on his grandfather’s pasture, when Order Number 11 compelled Jackson county people to leave their farms and find sustenance elsewhere. Amid the scenes of pioneer life and war, Mr. Arnold grew to manhood. He has made his own way in life since he was eighteen years of age. For several years, he was engaged in farming in Lafayette county. After coming to Butler he entered the employ of the Charles Sprague Grocery Company and later the Ed Steele Grocery Company. Mr. Arnold served as constable of Mt. Pleasant township for six years. He has been employed for the past twenty-two years by Mrs. E. Angela Scully, owner of the Scully lands in Bates county, as clerk at Butler, Missouri.
In 1886, William M. Arnold was married the first time to Lillie Patton, at Foster, Missouri. She died in 1899, leaving three children: Mabel, now the wife of W.L. Hodge, a prosperous merchant of Petty in Lamar county, Texas; Kate, the wife of J.H. McBee, manager of a large cotton plantation near Petty, Texas; and W.D., of Salt Lake City, Utah, who is a printer by trade. The mother was interred in the cemetery at Butler. Mr. Arnold was married a second time in 1900. Mrs. Arnold was formerly Mrs. Annie E. Smith, of Butler, Missouri. To William M. and Annie E. Arnold have been born two children: Marion F. and Asenith E. Mrs. Arnold, by her former marriage, is the mother of one son, Walker T. Smith, who enlisted with Company A, Twelfth Missouri Infantry, soon after the declaration of war by the United States and is at the present time located at San Francisco, California. Mr. and Mrs. Arnold reside in Butler at 501 West Fort Scott street.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

W.O. ATKESON, the author and editor of this book, was born in Putnam county, West Virginia, in the valley of the Great Kanawha river, and was reared to manhood there. He is the son of a farmer and had the usual experiences and passed through the ordinary vicissitudes of farm life in that country. He attended the country schools and quit the public schools a pupil of the Buffalo Academy. At the beginning of the college year of 1873-74 he entered the Kentucky University at Lexington, matriculating in the Agricultural and Mechanical College and pursued a special course in mathematics, literature, history, book keeping and military training with recitations in chemistry. He remained in the university one about seven months, and on account of sickness returned home, and went to work on the farm. The following winter he taught school in Mason county, West Virginia, and with the money so earned matriculated in the West Virginia State Normal School at Fairmount, and graduated from the same in June, 1875. The following winter he was principal of the New Haven graded schools, and in the spring of 1876 he became one of the editors and proprietors of the “West Virginia Monitor,” published at Point Pleasant, West Virginia. After a few months he disposed of his interest in the paper and returned to the farm and began the study of law, and was admitted to the bar in Winfield, West Virginia, in 1877. In 1878, he removed to Council Grove, Kansas, where he resided and practiced his profession until he came to Rich Hill in 1882. He was elected justice of the peace in Council Grove, Kansas, and served out a term of two years. In October, 1889, he removed with his family to Butler, where he has since resided. He was elected prosecuting attorney of Bates county in 1890 and served a term of two years successfully. In 1892, he was a candidate for circuit judge on the People’s Party ticket and was also nominated by electors, and carried three counties out of the four composing the 29th judicial circuit, but was defeated. The election of his opponent was contested, the opinion of the supreme court being recorded in 115 Missouri Reports. He became the editor of the “Butler Free Press” in 1894 and has been with the paper ever since, and is regarded by friends and foe as a clear, decisive writer, a fair and honorable editor, and a good citizen. He lives in a comfortable cottage home with a family of five children, having recently lost his wife, who was a daughter of George G. and Mary A. Warnick and whom he married in Barton county, Missouri, in 1884. In 1894, the Kentucky Central Normal School conferred on him the honorary degree of A.M. He is a man of varied culture, firm convictions and great tenacity of purpose; and his home has always been an open door to all who wish to come and share its modest and cordial hospitality. (The foregoing is from the “Old Settlers History of Butler County,” published in 1902.)
In 1902, Mr. Atkeson sold the “Butler Free Press” and returned to the practice of law. After the dissolution of the People’s Party he became a Republican, and in 1906 he was unanimously nominated for Congress by the Republican convention of the Sixth Missouri district held in Rich Hill. His Democratic opponent was Hon. David A. De Armond, the sitting member; and after an earnest canvass he was defeated. In 1908, he was renominated for Congress by the Republicans at the primary election, and again made an earnest canvass of the district, but was again defeated by De Armond. In January, 1910, he was appointed a deputy hotel inspector under the Hadley administration and served about sixteen months, retiring from that position to accept an appointment as deputy state labor commissioner, in which capacity he served two years. His elder daughter, Miss Virginia Wheat Atkeson, died March 10, 1912; and in September, 1914, the other children removed to Columbia, Missouri, where Miss Gladys C. had a position as stenographer to Dean J.C. Jones, of the State University. Floyd W. continues his studies in the College of Agriculture; Ralph W., entered the College of Arts and Sciences; and Clarence F., entered the city high school, sophomore year. In December following, the subject of this sketch followed and remained in Columbia until March 1, 1915, when he returned to Butler and on April 12 purchased the “Bates County Record” from the widow of Col. O.D. Austin, who had recently died. For the last three years he has edited and published the “Record.” The plant was destroyed by fire December 27, 1916, but the paper was continued by contract until April 26, 1918, at which time it was sold and discontinued at the end of its fifty-second volume. At this time, May 1, 1918, Gladys C. Atkeson, now Mrs. J.W. McCreery, resides in Columbia and has one child, Robert A.; Floyd W., will graduate from the College of Agriculture of the University in June; Ralph W. is second lieutenant, “A” Company, One Hundred Twenty-ninth Machine Gun Battalion, Thirty-fifth Division, United States Army, at Camp Mills, Long Island, on his way to France; Clarence E. is in Kansas City, Missouri, attending a business college.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.


 

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