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Bates County
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JOSEPH A. INNIS. The present efficient incumbent of the office of county surveyor of Woodward County has served consecutively in this position since 1900, and is one of the sterling pioneers and honored and influential citizens of the county, where he established his residence at the time when this section was thrown open to white settlement, as a part of the historic Cherokee Strip, or Outlet. Mr. Innis is the owner of valuable farm property in the county and has been one of the valiant and resouceful men who have been foremost in the development of Woodward County along both civic and industrial lines.
     On the homestead farm of his parents, in Ripley County, Indiana, Joseph A. Innis was born on the 8th of May, 1861, and he thus came into the world about the time when his native land was plunged into the vortex of fratercidal war. He is a son of James and Sarah (Runner) Innis, both natives of the Hoosier state, and representatives of sterling pioneer families of that commonwealth. James Innis was born in Ripley County, Indiana, in 1832, and at the time of his death, in 1901, he was a resident of the Village of May, Woodward County, Oklahoma, his entire active career having been one of close and successful identification with the basic industries of agriculture and stock growing, though in his youth he served for a time as a teacher and a civil engineer. He first came to what is now the State of Oklahoma in 1887, but after remaining for a time in the section long designated as No Man's Land, which included the present County of Beaver. He thus became a resident of Oklahoma even before the territory of this name had been created from the original Indian Territory. His son, Joseph A., subject of this review, had preceded him to this frontier region by about a year. The marriage of James Innis to Miss Sarah Runner was solemnized in 1853, and Mrs. Innis died in what is now Beaver County, Oklahoma, in 1889, the year that the new territory was thrown open to settlement. She was born in 1833 and was a daughter of David Runner, who immigrated from Germany and became a pioneer settler in Indiana. Of the children of James and Sarah (Runner) Innis the eldest is Milford Taylor, who was born in 1859; Joseph A., of this sketch, was the second in order of birth; John Newton was born in 1863; Eward was born in 1867 and died in 1869; James D. was born in 1870; William Isaac in 1873; Robert E. in 1878; and Archibald D. in 1882. All save one of the children are living.
     Joseph A. Innis was reared and educated in his native state, where he was reared to the sturdy discipline of the home farm and made good use of the advantages afforded in the public schools of the locality and period. In 1884, as a young man of twenty-three years, he came to the West and established his residence in Barber County, Kansas, as a pioneer of that section of the Sunflower state. In 1886 he came to the No Man's Land of the present State of Oklahoma, and in that section of the Indian Territory he became a pioneer agriculturist and stock grower. He there continued operations until the Cherokee Strip was thrown open to settlement in 1893, when he participated in the rush into the new country, and entered claim to a homestead in what is now Woodward County. He vigorously instituted the reclamation and improvement of this property and on his land was eventually established the now thriving Village of May, of which he was virtually the founder, and which was named in honor of the only daughter of his first marriage.
     Mr. Innis developed his land into one of the well improved and valuable farms of Woodward County and there he continued to maintain his home until 1900, when he was elected county surveyor and removed to the City of Woodward, judicial center and metropolis of the county. He had gained broad and practical experience as a civil engineer in the days of his youth, and his technical facility has been reinforced by careful study, so that he is eminently qualified for the important office which he has held consecutively since the year noted, the popular estimate placed upon his official services being indicated by his re-election at successive intervals of two years. He has done a large volume of important surveying work in the county and has had supervision also of much other civil engineering, of even more technical order. He still retains ownership of his farm, is significantly vital and progressive in his civic attitude, is always ready to give his co-operation in the furtherance of measures and enterprises advanced for the general good of the community, and is a citizen who is not only one of the well known pioneers of this section of the state, but also one whose circle of friends is limited only by that of his acquaintances. He is a stalwart advocate of the cause of the republican party, is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and both he and his wife hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
     At Butler, Missouri, on the 2nd of August, 1881, Mr. Innis wedded Miss Mary Maple, who was born in Bates County, that state, in 1864, a daughter of Jehu and Harriet (Fuller) Maple, and she died on the 23rd of April, 1888, soon after the family home had been established in what is now Beaver County, Oklahoma, and about one month after the birth of her only daughter, the three children who survive her being: Harry B., born in 1883; Asa J., born in 1885; and Mary Prudence, born March 11, 1888.
     On the 23rd of June, 1904, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Innis to Miss Etta C. Strong, who was born in Parke County, Indiana, on the 21st day of August, 1877, and who is a daughter of John and Mary (Jones) Strong, likewise natives of that county. Mr. and Mrs. Innis have five children, whose names and respective dates of birth are here noted: Joseph T., March 9, 1905; Eva May, December 13, 1907; Charles T. Bruce, November 29, 1909; Lester Gail, February 6, 1913; and Crystal Elnora, February 14, 1915.
[Source: “A Standard History of Oklahoma” Volume IV; by Joseph B. Thoburn; copyright 1916; Transcribed by Andaleen Whitney]

BENJAMIN IRELAND, an honored and respected pioneer of Bates county, Missouri, one of the proprietors of “Ireland Brothers’ Stock Farm” in Spruce township, is one of the successful stockmen of western Missouri. Mr. Ireland was born September 13, 1848 in Kentucky, a son of Samuel and Ann (Tyler) Ireland. The father died in Henry county, Kentucky in 1866. Mrs. Ireland came to Bates county, Missouri in 1870 to make her home with her sons, Benjamin and Charles, who had come West the preceding year. The mother died at the Ireland homestead in Spruce township in 1885 and her remains were laid to rest in Bethel cemetery.
In the public schools of Pleasureville, Henry county, Kentucky, Benjamin Ireland received a good common school education. He was a young man, twenty-one years of age, when he left his native state and came to Missouri with his brother, Charles, born in 1842, and settled on the farm in Spruce township, where the two brothers have ever since resided with the exception of one year spent in Vernon county, Missouri. They purchased an eighty-acre tract of land in Vernon county and resided on it just one year and then returned to Spruce township and for five years were engaged in farming on the John Winegardner place, when they purchased one hundred sixty acres of their present home place for eleven dollars an acre. This tract of land had a ten-rail fence enclosing twenty acres of it. The Ireland brothers now own two hundred forty-five acres of land in Spruce township and eighty acres of land in Shawnee township, one of Bates county’s prairie farms. Their neighbors in the days of the long ago were Mr. Loggins, the Shrewsburys, the Pogues, the Webbs, the Greers, the Johnsons, the Sheltons, the Pettis family, and the Andrews family, all of whom resided along the creek. In the year 1874, the Ireland boys were obliged to drive their cattle to Barton county, Missouri to winter them on account of the devastation wrought in Bates county by drouth and the grasshoppers. The two brothers, Benjamin and Charles Ireland, came together to this country and have remained together throughout all these years. The older brother, Charles, has never married and is now seventy-six years of age. They have been partners all their lives and have together resided on a farm in Bates county for nearly half a century. It would be difficult to find a similar case or two brothers like the Ireland brothers in the state of Missouri. The “Ireland Brothers’ Stock Farm” lies twelve miles northwest of Montrose, twenty miles northeast of Butler, and three miles southeast of Ballard.
The marriage of Benjamin Ireland and Callie Harmon, a daughter of Adam and Nancy Harmon, of Spruce township, Bates county, was solemnized in July, 1884. Both the father and mother of Mrs. Ireland are now deceased, their deaths occurring in old Indian Territory. To this union have been born seven children, all of whom have been reared to maturity and are now living: Charles, a successful farmer of Spruce township; H.C., who is engaged in farming on the home place; Grover, a well-to-do farmer and stockman of Spruce township; Emzey Vest, a prosperous stockman of Spruce township; Carrie, the wife of Henry Jones, of Henry county, Missouri; James F., a well-known farmer and stockman of Spruce township; and Sudie, at home with her parents. Emzey Vest and H.C. Ireland are prominent stockmen of Bates county and are widely known in western Missouri as successful breeders of big bone Poland China hogs. H.C. Ireland has a fine herd of good grade cattle on the home farm in Spruce township, in the raising of which he has been interested for several years. James F. Ireland has an established reputation in producing high grade Hereford cattle, having at the present time in 1918, twenty-five head of white face cows, four red Polled Herefords, and a pure-bred Hereford steer, in addition to a splendid Percheron horse, “Komar,” weight two thousand pounds, and two fine jacks, “Sam” and “Monte Cristo,” each fifteen and a half hands high, a saddle stallion, and a herd of big bone Poland China hogs. James F. Ireland resides on the Catterlin place adjoining the “Ireland Brothers’ Stock Farm” on the east. (The Irelands have sown two hundred acres of wheat in 1918.) He is one of the most enterprising stockmen in the township and enjoys his work. He purchased three jennets last season, of 1917. Each of the Ireland children is doing well in life, all are assuming honorable places of influence in their respective communities, sons and daughters of whom their parents may well be proud. The Ireland family has long been regarded highly and valued among the best families of this section of the state.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

GROVER C. IRELAND, a progressive and energetic young farmer and stockman, is one of Bates county’s worthy citizens. Mr. Ireland was born at the Ireland homestead in Spruce township, Bates County, September 9, 1887, a son of Benjamin and Callie (Harmon) Ireland, pioneers of Spruce township, a sketch of whom appears in this volume.
In the district schools of Spruce township, Bates county, Grover C. Ireland obtained a good common-school education. At the age of twenty-one years, Mr. Ireland with a mule-team began farming on land five miles northeast of Butler. He purchased eighty acres in January, 1918, and forty acres additional in March, 1918, now owning one hundred twenty acres of valuable land. He has leased two hundred forty acres of the Scully land, one mile east of Ballard, Missouri. At the time of this writing in 1918, Mr. Ireland has on his farm twenty head of Shropshire sheep; thirty-two head of high-grade white-face cattle, all cows, with the exception of a registered male at the head of the herd; thirty head of Duroc Jersey hogs, two being registered sows, one costing ninety-one dollars, the other eighty-six dollars; twelve head of horses, one a registered stallion, “Tam O’Shanter,” two years old, from Jacob Baum’s herd, and six brood mares; and three head of mules. Mr. Ireland has some very excellent views on stock raising and it is his opinion that keeping poor-grade stock on any farm doesn’t pay and he is giving a practical demonstration of the truth of the converse.
In February, 1909, Grover C. Ireland and Lillian Nina Speers, of Spruce township, a daughter of William and Dolly Speers and a granddaughter of “Uncle James” Speers, a widely-known resident of Johnstown, Missouri, who came to Bates county in 1859 and located at Johnstown and is still living there, were united in marriage. To this union have been born three children: Harland, Letha, and Donald. Mr. and Mrs. Ireland reside one and a half miles northeast of Ballard, Missouri, and they receive their mail on Rural Route 26 from Urich, Missouri. They are highly respected and esteemed in Spruce township and in Bates county, and the number of their friends is myriad. Mr. Ireland is carving a name for himself and has now established a reputation which might well be emulated by many citizens much older than he. He is one of the successful Bates county boys of whom all are justly proud.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler

 


 

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