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Bates County
Missouri


Biographies
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Thomas W. SilversTHOS. W. SILVERS.
The subject of this sketch was born in Davis County, Iowa, and grew to manhood in Decatur County, Iowa. Was educated in the public schools and in an academy at Leon, Iowa. Was admitted to the bar at the age of 21, at Leon, Iowa, and soon afterward came to Bates County—in 1877—and began the practice of his profession in Butler in 1878. Was elected prosecuting attorney of Bates County for a term, January 1st, 1880. He has also served the people as city attorney several terms.
As a lawyer he is regarded as among the ablest attorneys at the bar of this county and state. His forensic ability is of the first-class, and few lawyers have had a more uniform success. Quiet, unassuming and companionable he has many warm friends in all the walks of life.
(Source: The Old Settlers' History of Bates County. Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Linda Rodriguez)

HENRY WILLIAM SCHAPELER, a late leading farmer and stockman of Prairie township, was a native of Germany. Mr. Schapeler was born in 1851 and came to the United States when he was a youth, sixteen years of age. He located first in the state of Texas, where he remained more than two years, going thence to Kentucky and from that state coming to Bates county, Missouri, where he, his mother, and his two brothers, Ferdinand and Hermann, located on a tract of land east of Prairie City, Missouri, for a few months, when they removed to a country place south of the Redford church. Mrs. Schapeler and her three sons made their home together for several years, until each of the boys married, Ferdinand being united in marriage with Mrs. Catherine Link and Hermann with Minnie Drawe. The Schapeler brothers were associated in business and together purchased a large tract of land in Bates county. For many years, the three boys had but one pocket-book. They made the brick for the construction of their first residences in Bates county, Missouri, building a small house for each one in the early seventies. These houses are still standing and are in use, but additions have since been made to the original structures. The Schapeler brothers during the early days, drove large herds of cattle from Texas and fattened them in Bates county.
In the early days, Henry William Schapeler experienced a never-to-be-forgotten attack from a large rattlesnake. Mr. Schapeler was bitten on the foot, while barefoot plowing corn. He killed the reptile and then drank one and a half quarts of whiskey. The men who were him in the field started with him to Papinsville, but before they arrived the whiskey had taken effect and that saved his life. Mr. Schapeler had never before been or afterward became intoxicated.
The marriage of Henry William Schapeler and Albertina Steffan was solemnized in 1883. Albertina (Steffan) Schapeler is a daughter of Tobias and Catherine Steffan. Mrs. Schapeler came to this country alone in 1880. To Henry William and Mrs. Schapeler were born three children, who are now living: Frederika Catherine, who is at home with her widowed mother; Hermann Tobias William, at home; and Carl Ferdinand Henry, at home. Mr. Schapeler died May 25, 1916. He was a devout Christian gentleman, an earnest and conscientious member of the German Reformed church and one of its most faithful workers and willing supporters. The Schapelers materially assisted in the founding of the Reformed church of Prairie township, the mother of Henry William Schapeler donating a tract of land embracing three acres for the site of the present church building and cemetery.
The Henry William Schapeler estate comprises nine hundred twenty-three acres of valuable land in Bates county, Missouri, of which four hundred forty-three acres are in the home place. Mr. Schapeler was engaged in cattle raising and general farming. He was all his life a busy man, strong, active, energetic. His splendid estate is but a monument to his industry and thrift. His two sons, Hermann Tobias William and Carl Ferdinand Henry, are now in charge of the home place. They are successful and progressive, young agriculturists and stockmen, following the vocations of dairying and stock raising and general farming. They have a large herd of Shorthorn Durham cattle, usually keeping a registered male at the head of the herd, and they keep on the place from sixty to one hundred head of pure-bred Duroc Jersey hogs. For the past eight years, he Schapeler boys have been raising a few sheep. Politically, they are affiliated with the Republican party.
In 1870, Henry William Schapeler settled in Prairie township, Bates county, and for nearly fifty years he was one of the honored and respected builders of western Missouri. He was a gentleman of pleasing personality and his record in business is well worthy of emulation for he made it his policy to meet all obligations and no confidence reposed in him or trust confided to his keeping was ever betrayed. He and his most estimable wife always worked hard and as a result of their persistent efforts, sound judgment, and wise economy they were in later years enabled to live in the ease and comfort, both so richly merited. Mr. Schapeler’s influence was ever thrown to the side of morality and his manly, upright, God-fearing life won the respect and esteem of all who knew him.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

HERMANN A. SCHAPELER, a late prominent farmer and stockman of Prairie township, was one of Bates county’s prosperous and successful citizens. Mr. Schapeler was born in Germany in 1847. He emigrated from his native land and located in Texas in the United States in 1870, going thence to Kentucky, where he remained but a short time, when he came to Missouri in 1873 and settled in Bates county on the farm now owned by his widow, Mrs. Minnie Schapeler. Hermann A.W., Ferdinand, and William Schapeler, three brothers, with their widowed mother, Mrs. Frederika Schapeler, settled on a tract of land in Prairie township, Bates county. Mrs. Schapeler donated the land which is the present site of the Reformed church and cemetery, a tract of three acres, and she was the second person to be laid to rest in the cemetery. “Johnny” Flick was the first to be interred in the cemetery of the Reformed church. Mrs. Schapeler died July 26, 1879.
The marriage of Hermann A.W. Schapeler and Minnie Drawe was solemnized May 20, 1879. Minnie (Drawe) Schapeler was born August 8, 1859, in Fayette county, Texas, and is a daughter of Louis and Katherina Drawe, who were residents of Texas at the time of the marriage of their daughter. To Mr. and Mrs. Schapeler were born the following children: William L., of Hudson township, Bates county, Missouri; Hermann H., of Prairie township, Bates county, Missouri; Louis F., of Pleasant Gap township, Bates county, Missouri; Frederika, who died at the age of nine years; Henry J. and Edward E., who reside at home with their widowed mother.
For many years, Hermann A.W. Schapeler fed cattle extensively and was one of the progressive men of his community. Mr. Schapeler increased his holdings until he had at one time an estate of eight hundred acres of valuable land. He and his two brothers, Ferdinand and William, were in partnership in farming and stock raising until all three were married. To his sons Mr. Schapeler gave at the time of his death one hundred sixty acres of land each. Hermann A.W. Schapeler died May 2, 1916. He was one of the most substantial and enterprising stockmen of Bates county and as a citizen, neighbor, and friend his record was an honorable one, his good name being far above reproach. Mr. Schapeler was a man of much public spirit and stanchly supported every laudable movement made in behalf of the general good of his township and county. He was a faithful and consistent adherent to the creed of the Reformed church and contributed freely of his means and influence in support of the Gospel and those who knew Mr. Schapeler best know that he fearlessly met his “Pilot, face to face,” when he had crossed the bar. He has been sadly missed in his home and in the community.
The Schapeler farm lies two miles north and one mile west of Prairie City, Missouri. Henry J. and Edward E. Schapeler have charge of the place and their mother is their homemaker, housekeeper, and counselor. Mrs. Schapeler recalls many old settlers of Bates county, among whom were the following: Leonard Hegnauer, Samuel Kaiser, Tony Hammer, Peter Grop, John Camp, William Burris, John Barrows, and George Malbley. She states that “Nick” Johannas was the merchant of Prairie City in the early seventies. Reverend Kinerem was the first minister of the Reformed church of Prairie township. He died in St. Clair county, Missouri, and was succeeded by Reverend Hinski. The church was organized shortly after the Schapelers came to Bates county, and from the time of their coming here they have been active in promoting the moral and spiritual welfare of their township. Mrs. Schapeler’s boys have gained recognition and prestige as capable and energetic agriculturists and public-spirited citizens. Mrs. Schapeler is a devoted member of her church and a lady of refinement and true culture.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

CHRISTIAN SCHMIDT
– When Christian Schmidt of Mound township came to Bates county thirty-six years ago, he was a poor man with neither money nor friends to assist him in getting a start in this county. By industry, close application to the work at hand, and the exercise of good financial ability he has become one of the substantial farmers of this county and one of the county’s most highly respected citizens. Mr. Schmidt was born in Baden, Germany, in 1860, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Christian Schmidt, the former of whom never left his native land but died in the place of his birth in 1871. Mrs. Schmidt came to America, in 1880, with her two daughters, Catherine, now Mrs. William Mueller, and Sophia, now Mrs. William Jenney. Mrs. Schmidt died January 20, 1916. When Christian was twenty years of age, he immigrated to America in search of a permanent home and wealth. For the first two or three years, he worked as farm laborer in Illinois and then came westward to Bates county where it seemed to him that on account of land being cheaper in price he would stand a better chance of eventually becoming a land-owner. He first located in Deer Creek township and was engaged in farming in that township until 1898, when he located in Mound township and purchased eighty acres of land which formed the nucleus around which he has built up a splendid and rich farm of two hundred and forty acres, adding tracts from time to time as he was able financially. He maintains a fine herd of Durham cattle and raises Poland China hogs. Most of the grain and fodder produced on the Schmidt farm is fed to livestock on the place, thereby insuring the continued fertility of the soil.
Mr. Schmidt was first married to Elizabeth Jenney, who bore him one son, Christian, at home with his father. After the death of his first wife he was married in November, 1894, to Ida Hess, of Bates county, and to this marriage have been born five children: Lena, at home; Albert, who assisted his father on the home place; Herman, a student in Adrian High School; Walter and Christine, attending the public school. Mr. Schmidt is a Lutheran in his religious belief.
Mrs. Ida (Hess) Schmidt was born January 25, 1872, in LaSalle county, Illinois, daughter of Gotthard and Catherine Hess, natives of Baden, Germany, who came from Illinois to Bates county, in 1879, and located on a farm two miles west of Adrian. Both are deceased. Gotthard Hess died in 1896 and Catherine (Kern) Hess died in 1907. A sketch of Mr. and Mrs. Gotthard Hess appears elsewhere in this volume in connection with the review of Edward C. Hess.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

WILLIAM A. SEARFUS, farmer and stockman, Lone Oak township, was born in Vermilion county, Illinois, June 19, 1866. He is a son of Reuben W. and Amanda (Darety) Searfus, the former of whom was born in Pennsylvania and the latter in Ohio. Reuben Searfus was reared in Ohio and served in the Union army during the Civil War as a member of the Fifty-fourth Regiment of Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He enlisted at Camp Denison, Ohio, in 1861 and served for four years in the Federal service. His active career as a soldier in the ranks ended at the battle of Shiloh, where he was severely wounded, and after his wound was healed at the army hospital he was detailed for duty in the commissary department during the remainder of his four years of service. In 1869, he came to Bates county and made a permanent location in Lone Oak township. He purchased a farm of eighty acres from Felix Bonnett and at the time of his death in 1892 he owned one hundred twenty acres. Both he and his wife are buried in Butler cemetery. Reuben Searfus was prominent in the affairs of Lone Oak township and served as a justice of the peace and member of the township board. He helped to organize School District No. 4 in 1871. The first teacher of this school was William Glatfelter, who was also W.A. Searfus’ first teacher. Nellie Norton, of Butler, was the second teacher of this school.
After attending the district school in Lone Oak township, William A. Searfus spent three years in St. Louis applying himself to the science of electrical engineering and for a time had charge of the Citizens Electric Light and Power Company. When his father died he returned to the home farm and took charge of the property. Mr. Searfus not only owns the old home place of the family, but has added two hundred acres to his own holdings, making three hundred twenty acres in all, which is known as the “Star Stock Farm.” Star school house is located on this farm. For the past twelve years he has been a breeder of registered Red Polled cattle and is also a breeder of Chester White hogs, having begun the breeding of the O.I.C. hogs three years ago.
In 1891, William A. Searfus and Mattie Frances Adams were united in the bonds of matrimony. Mrs. Mattie Searfus is a daughter of Charles and Martha (Woody) Adams. Her father was a pioneer in Bates county and one of the citizens who selected the site for the court house at Butler. Both Mr. and Mrs. Adams are deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Searfus have six children: Ethel, wife of J.F. Rogers, living on a farm near Butler, Missouri; Mary, wife of J.G. Burch, Butler, Missouri; Elizabeth, wife of John Deems, Butler, Missouri; Ella, at home with her parents; Sager, and William A., Jr., at home.
Mr. and Mrs. Searfus are members of the Church of the Latter Days Saints of Butler, of which religious denomination Mr. Searfus was ordained a minister in 1914. This church was organized in 1894 and has sixty members at the present time. For many years, he has been prominent in the affairs of the Republican party and was his party’s candidate for representative in 1916. In 1908 he was a candidate for the office of county surveyor and ran ahead of his ticket during the election. He has filled the office of justice of the peace two terms, and has been a member of the township board. For the past twenty years, Mr. Searfus has served as a member of the school board. He served as township committeeman for several years, and was secretary of the Republican central committee in 1910. Mr. Searfus was a candidate for county surveyor in 1912. He is considered to be one of Bates county’s ablest and best citizens and is keenly alive to every movement for the betterment of conditions in his home township and county.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

W.G. SELLON, owner of a splendid tract of two hundred forty acres in Charlotte township, was born in Pike county, Illinois, January 3, 1853, but has lived in Bates county, Missouri, since 1881. He was a son of Benjamin and Harriet (Grimshaw) Sellon. His father was born in England and accompanied his parents to America when he was two years of age. When he attained young manhood he located in Pike county, Illinois, during the early thirties. The mother of W.G. Sellon was born in Ireland, a daughter of William Grimshaw who immigrated to America and settled in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Benjamin Sellon was industriously engaged in tilling his farm in Illinois when the Civil War began. Like Cincinnatus of the old, he left his plow in the furrow and organized a company of Unionists in his neighborhood and joined the Third Missouri Cavalry Regiment, serving for four years in the United States army. Later, he was appointed to the captaincy of a colored company and was badly wounded at the battle of Blakely, Alabama. This was near the close of the war and hostilities had ceased by the time he had recovered from his wound. After the war he received the appointment of deputy internal revenue collector at Quincy, Illinois, and served for six years in this important official position. Prior to the war he had filled the post of census enumerator of Pike county, Illinois, in 1850. He died in July, 1881, and after his death the widow came to Missouri in the fall of 1883 and died in 1885, at the home of the subject of this review. There were five children in the Sellon family: John, deceased; Harriet, deceased; Sidney, deceased; Charlotte J., deceased; and W.G., subject of this biography.
The early education of W.G. Sellon was obtained in the schools of Pike county, Illinois. When he attained young manhood, he came West in 1881, and in the spring of that year made a permanent settlement in Bates county. He and his brother, John, purchased a farm of two hundred forty acres and farmed it together in amicable and lucrative partnership until the latter’s death in 1912, possession then passing to the survivor. Mr. Sellon raises Shorthorn cattle, and has one of the finest herds of pure-bred cattle in this section of Missouri. The Sellon herd numbers from sixty to eighty head at all times and are of the pure-bred, registered stock which brings high prices when placed upon the market for disposal. Mr. Sellon also maintains a drove of pure-bred Poland China swine and raises mules for the market. He is a stanch Republican who has been prominently identified with the party in Bates county for a number of years. He has served as a member of the township board and filled the post of justice of the peace of his township for two terms. He is a member of the Episcopal church and is highly regarded as a substantial and desirable citizen of Bates county.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

JEFFERSON SELLS, father of C.J. Sells of Butler, came to Bates county in the early fifties and located in Walnut township. When the war broke out, being of Southern sympathies, he decided to go to Lawrence county, Missouri to escape the danger of the Kansas raiders. His father, John Sells, came with him to Bates county and he was leaving for the same destination. He had gone ahead with his wagon and Jefferson and John Sells, his sons, were driving the stock. As they came to the crossing at Walnut, bushwhackers supposedly Kansas jayhawkers, ambushed them and both brothers were killed. Of the seven or eight men in the party all escaped but the two brothers. The home on the John Sells farm in Walnut township was one of the few that escaped the ravages of the war.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.
C.J. SELLS, now living in Butler, Missouri, was left an orphan when about three years of age and his grandmother reared him. He farmed for some years in Walnut township prior to coming to Butler. His wife was Bell Osburn of Pleasant Gap township whose father also was killed in the border warfare. He was called out from his residence on Double Branches and shot. Mr. and Mrs. Sells have five children: Charles Sells, Horseshoe Bend, Idaho; Ethel, who married Jason Woodfin, now dead; Inez, now Mrs. Ira Rockhold of Butler; Cannie, a daughter, at home. Clyde L., the third of the children, is now in France. He attended Missouri University at Columbia, Missouri, and took military training there as well and enlisted with a Montana company with a lieutenant’s commission.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

DR. J.T. SHADBURNE, a well-known and successful dentist of Butler, is one of the capable young professional men in Bates county. Dr. Shadburne is a native of Missouri, born at Windsor in 1889, a son of Dr. R.L. and Mary Garnet (Fowler) Shadburne, the former, a native of Henry county and the latter, of Benton county, Missouri. Dr. R.L. Shadburne is a son of Dr. T.P. Shadburne, a prominent pioneer physician of Troy, Missouri, who located at that place prior to the time of the Civil War and later moved to Windsor. The senior Dr. Shadburne is now deceased and his son, Dr. R.L., is still one of the leading men of his profession at Windsor. To Dr. R.L. and Mary Garnet Shadburne have been born three children, all of whom are now living: Mrs. R.E. Ball, Windsor, Missouri; Lieutenant L.W., National Army, who was one of the first boys in attendance at Fort Riley Officers’ Training School; and Dr. J.T., the subject of this review.
Dr. J.T. Shadburne is a graduate of Windsor High School and of Kansas City Dental College. He completed the dental course at the latter institution, graduating with the class of 1916. After leaving college, Dr. Shadburne located at Dexter, Missouri for a short time, coming to Butler in March, 1917 and opening his present office.
July 28, 1917, Dr. J.T. Shadburne and Marjorie Scott, daughter of L.H. Scott, of Steelville, Missouri, were united in marriage. Mrs. Shadburne was left motherless when she was a child, five years of age. Dr. and Mrs. Shadburne reside in Butler at 404 Delaware street.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

ALONZO WILSON SHAY, a prosperous and successful farmer and stockman of Lone Oak township, is a native of Kentucky. Mr. Shay was born October 20, 1858, in Allen county, a son of Thomas and Nancy (Dobbs) Shay, the father, a native of Ireland and the mother, of Kentucky. Mrs. Shay died in Kentucky in 1859. Thomas Shay enlisted with the Federal army and served throughout the war of 1861 and died at the close of the conflict at Louisville, Kentucky.
Mr. Shay, whose name introduces this review, was educated in the public schools of Bates county, Missouri. He came to this state in 1869 with his guardian, James Wygal, and with him resided for many years. Mr. Wygal went to California about thirty years ago and there his death occurred. He owned a farm in Lone Oak township, the place now owned by the Lyons brothers. Alonzo Wilson Shay was first employed in Bates county by Dr. Decatur Smith at a remuneration of ten dollars a month. Doctor Smith is still living at Butler, Missouri and a sketch of him appears elsewhere in this volume. Mr. Shay labored by the month until the time of his marriage in 1881. During the autumn and winter of 1869, Mr. Shay and twenty-six others from Illinois camped at Rocky Ford in Lone Oak township, all in one building having a fireplace fourteen feet in length. Dr. T.C. Boulware, of Butler, was the first physician whose services were needed that winter at Rocky Ford. When Alonzo Wilson Shay was a boy, eleven years of age, he assisted in hauling the lumber from Pleasant Hill, Missouri, fifty-five miles away, used in the construction of the residence of Laben Warren, which is across the road from Mr. Shay’s present home. L.P. Carlton was the proprietor of the country place, now owned by Alonzo Wilson Shay, in 1869 and the latter recalls that in the autumn of that year Mr. Carlton was putting out an orchard on his farm. Mr. Shay purchased his first tract of land in New Home township, Bates county, in 1882 and at the present time is the owner of one hundred thirteen acres of land in that township, a nicely improved farm, in addition to his sixty-eight acres of land in Lone Oak township, where he resides. Mr. Shay farms both places and is profitably engaged in general farming and stock raising, keeping cattle, hogs, and horses. The Shay residence was built in 1911 and is one of the attractive, comfortable homes of the township. The Shays receive mail on Rural Route 6 from Butler, Missouri.
March 15, 1881 Alonzo Wilson Shay was united in marriage with Ella B. McClintock, a daughter of Dr. H.D. McClintock, an early pioneer physician from Virginia, who settled in Bates county in 1869. Mrs. Shay was born in Virginia. To Alonzo Wilson and Ella B. (McClintock) Shay were born the following children: Wilson, who died September 21, 1914; Clarence L., of El Paso, Texas; Lulu, the wife of Howard Hooper, of Midland, Texas; George Emmett, of El Paso, Texas; Charles F., who died November 12, 1911. One son, Henry Arthur, died in infancy on February 14, 1885. The mother died November 20, 1893 and her remains were laid to rest in Morris cemetery. On March 9, 1897 the marriage of Alonzo Wilson Shay and Mrs. Emma (Spicer) Morgan, widow of Henry Morgan, was solemnized. Mrs. Shay’s father, James Spicer, was a native of Delaware and her mother, Margaret (Reesor) Spicer, of Ohio. He died February 2, 1890 and his wife was united in death with him on July 29, 1899. Both parents died in Jewell county, Kansas. Mrs. Shay was first married to Henry Morgan and to them were born three children: Maud Ethel, who is employed as teacher in Black district in Bates county, Missouri; Odie, who died November 17, 1892; and Mrs. Stella M. Rowden, of Jamestown, Colorado. All the children were born in Jewell county, Kansas. Their father, Henry Morgan, was a native of Illinois. He had resided in Lone Oak township, Bates county but one year when his death occurred on December 12, 1893.
There is no man in Bates county more worthy of the title “a self-made man” than is Mr. Shay. Left motherless in infancy and fatherless at the age of seven years, a poor orphan boy, Alonzo Wilson Shay has by industry, thrift, and perseverance proven his sterling worth and is now one of the most substantial citizens of Lone Oak township.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

GENERAL JOSEPH O. SHELBY, a dashing and beloved commander of Confederate forces during the Civil War and a resident of Bates county during the latter years of his eventful life, was born at Lexington, Kentucky, in 1831. At the age of nineteen years he removed from Kentucky to Lafayette county, Missouri, and established a rope factory. His manufacturing venture flourished with able management and he was in a fair way to amass riches when the border warfare began. He espoused the cause of the South and went to Kentucky and raised a company of cavalry and took the field in Kansas with Clark, Atchison and Reid. The border troubles over, he returned to Waverly, Missouri, and his company was disbanded at St. Joseph, Missouri.
With the firing of the first gun upon Fort Sumter in 1861, young Shelby was one of the first in the field. He organized a company of cavalry and marched to Independence, Missouri, which was then threatened with attack by the Federal forces stationed at Kansas City. This was his first actual entrance into the war in 1861 at the age of thirty years. He joined General Price’s forces in western Missouri. His first battle was fought at Boonville, where the Confederate army was defeated by the Federals under General Lyon. The history of Shelby’s military career would be a minute history of the entire war fought west of the Mississippi River. He was a participant in every hard-fought battle fought in this section of the country and he was always the first to charge the enemy and the last to retreat. He had charge of the most important raids made by Price’s army and had command of a splendid fighting force of ten thousand men, of whom four to five thousand were constantly under arms and always on duty. General Shelby knew the name of every man enrolled in his command and knew where to call him when needed for service. In 1862 he was commissioned a colonel of cavalry; in January, 1863, he was created a colonel in command of a brigade; and in May, 1864, he was commissioned a general of brigade or brigadier general.
He distinguished himself by exceptional bravery at the battle of Pea Ridge, March 4, 1862, where he was exposed to a heavy fire and by a brilliant maneuver he saved one of Price’s battalions from capture or annihilation. After the battle of Cane Hill, General Shelby’s command was the last to evacuate Corinth when it was abandoned by the Confederate forces. He was severely wounded during the attack on Helena, July 4, 1863, but he recaptured his battery from the Federals after receiving his wound. He then made a raid through Missouri to Boonville, during which many farms and homes were destroyed. From Boonville, he marched to Marshall and then retreated with his command into Arkansas, going into winter quarters at Camden, Arkansas. His activities were resumed in the spring of 1864 and he fought numerous minor battles in northern Arkansas. When the last raid into Missouri was decided upon in 1864, General Shelby was found to be the youngest general in the list west of the Mississippi river. The Confederates had planned to attack St. Louis, but this was given up upon learning of the strength of the St. Louis defenses. They advanced upon Jefferson City, and this city was also found to be too strongly fortified for attack, and the plan to attack the capital was abandoned. The army then moved westward and was engaged with the Federals in several sharp encounters. On October 20, 1864, General Price's army reached Independence and Blue river and in the movement which followed, both Generals Marmaduke and Shelby were engaged and drove the Federals back to Westport. On October 22, Shelby received orders to capture Westport and a desperate battle ensued during which Shelby lost eight hundred of his men, but so great was his strategy and so quick were his movements that Price’s army was saved from capture by the Federals although the battle was lost and the retreat through Missouri was begun. He was placed in command of the rear guard of Price’s retreating army and fought his way foot by foot to Newtonia, Arkansas. The last battle of the war west of the Mississippi was waged there. When it came to a question of final surrender, Shelby advocated further resistance to the Union forces. Kirby Smith, then in command, was unpopular and was in favor of surrender. At Shelby’s request he withdrew from the command, turned over his power to General Buckner, who in turn surrendered to the United States.
The cause of the Confederacy being lost, General Shelby conceived the idea of doing further fighting in Mexico which at that time was under the rule of Emperor Maximilian who had been placed upon the throne by the French forces. He organized a force of six hundred men who armed themselves in Texas and marched through the state toward Mexico. At Houston, Texas, were vast supplies which were in danger of being despoiled by a force of one thousand renegades. Shelby wanted the suffering women and children to be nourished from these supplies. In line with this desire he sent one hundred picked men into the city to accomplish this purpose. So great was the terror of his name that the evil-doers agreed to desist from the proposed attack and the city was quieted. When near the city of Austin, he was called upon by the citizens to assist them in preventing the looting of the state treasury and vaults which contained besides the entire monetary wealth of the state government, much valuable wealth placed there by business firms and citizens for safe keeping. The citizens had knowledge of a plot to loot the capital. Shelby very willingly gave his services to this cause and the Texas treasury was saved from spoliation. At the first station in Mexico he left it to a vote of his men as to which side they should join in the Southern country. They decided that, inasmuch as the French were supporting the Emperor Maximilian and had promised to furnish money and supplies to still uphold the Confederacy, they would offer their help to the Emperor. Maximilian refused Shelby’s proffer of the services of his men and the adventure was ended. General Shelby returned to Lafayette county and remained there until his removal to Bates county in 1885. He purchased a farm of seven hundred acres in Elkhart township and was engaged in the peaceful pursuits of agriculture and stock raising until his death, February 23, 1897. His funeral was attended by a vast concourse of people and he was interred with military and civic honors at Forest Hill cemetery, Kansas City. The final obsequies over the burial of this famous soldier were made the occasion of a public demonstration of the great esteem and love which was borne his memory by the thousands of Missourians who had known him in civil and military life.
During Grover Cleveland’s administration, General Shelby served as United States marshal for the Western District. He has never inclined to seek political preferment but accepted the appointment of recorder under Governor David R. Francis, however, his magnanimity and sense of honor being so great that he turned over the salary he received to the widow of the former deceased incumbent. This was like General Shelby and similar acts of kindness characterized his whole life. He held his personal honor inviolate and always extended mercy and kindness to the captured foe whom he respected for playing the game of war according to his code of honor.
He was married to Elizabeth Shelby who bore him seven children: Orville, living in Montana; Joe, Kansas City, a police captain; Ben, living in Texas; Webb, Bates county, Missouri; Samuel, residing in Kansas City; John, living at La Cygne, Kansas; Annie, wife of F.W. Jersig, Texas, with whom the widowed mother is now residing.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

WEBB SHELBY, a leading farmer of Elkhart township, was born in Lafayette county, Missouri, a son of General Joseph O. Shelby, whose biography immediately precedes this sketch. Mr. Shelby was reared partly in Lafayette county where he was born December 6, 1870. When fifteen years old he accompanied his parents to Bates county and has since lived in Mound township. Since coming to Bates county with his father in 1885, Webb Shelby has made farming and stock raising his chief occupations. He began life for himself at the age of twenty-two years and is self-made. What he has accomplished and accumulated has been with his own hands and brain. Mr. Shelby purchased his present home farm in Mound township in 1905. This place comprises one hundred sixty acres, and to look at the well-kept appearance of this farm and the neatness of the buildings and farm arrangements thereon is to conclude emphatically that Mr. Shelby is a thoroughly good farmer, somewhat better than the average. He raises good crops of grain and his acreage and feeds the product to cattle for the market.
Mr. Shelby was married in 1902 to Miss Cassie Johnson, of Belton, Cass county, Missouri. They have one child, John. Mr. Shelby, like his illustrious father before him, is a Democrat of the old school and takes a prominent and leading part in Democratic politics in Bates county. At present he is serving as Democratic committeeman for Mound township. He is genial, industrious, well-liked, prominent in his own right, and recognized as a worthy son of a great father.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

P.L. SHELTON, superintendent of the Hickory Hill Mining Company, Foster, Missouri, is a native son of Bates county who has achieved a striking success in the coal mining field of this county. At the present critical period of our nation’s history (1918) when there is hardly a locality, industry, or city which is not crying for coal, and more coal, in order to ward off the chills of winter and keep the wheels of industry going, the individual who is doing his utmost to assist in supplying this demand is performing a public service of great value. The mines in Mr. Shelton’s direct charge give employment to over fifty men at high wages and the only difficulty experienced in conducting mine operations is in securing the necessary cars in which to ship the output. A strip mine is operated near Foster which has a capacity of forty tons daily and employs fifteen men. The Hickory Hill Mine, one of Mr. Shelton’s newest ventures, is a slope mine, located about one and one-fourth miles west of Foster upon a tract of two hundred ten acres underlaid with a splendid coal deposit and having an average output of one hundred tons. This mine is in the infancy of its development and was opened by Mr. Shelton in January, 1917. From twenty-five to fifty men are given employment at this mine, which is equipped with modern hoisting machinery operated by gas engines at a cost of eighty dollars per month, making a distinct saving in the hoisting expense of the coal to the top of the mine tipple for screening and loading. A tramway one-fourth of a mile in length conveys the coal to the railway spur or independent switch on the Missouri Pacific railroad.
The birth of P.L. Shelton occurred on a farm in New Home township, May 25, 1871. His parents were James C. (born in 1847, died in 1895), and Susan (Eads) Shelton (born August 29, 1845), the latter of whom is now making her home in Kansas City. James C. Shelton was born on a pioneer farm in Deepwater township, a son of Robert Shelton, a native of Kentucky, who was among the very earliest pioneer settlers of Bates county, coming here in 1845 when this entire section was an unsettled wilderness of prairie and forest. In 1849, Robert Shelton drove a freight wagon to the Pacific Coast on the hunt for gold in the mining country. He made the entire distance while driving a slow-moving ox-team. James C. Shelton was accidentally killed while employed in a strip mine ditch, his death being caused by the caving in of the sides of the ditch, so-called. Susan (Eads) Shelton, was likewise a member of one of the oldest pioneer families of Missouri, her birth occurring at California, Missouri. To James C. and Susan Shelton were born eight children, seven of whom are living: P.L., eldest of the family; Edward A., Kansas City; Mrs. S. Cordelia Blackburn, Kansas City; Mrs. Melissa Snuffer, Kansas City; Mrs. Mary Pierce, Kansas City; H.C., also living in Kansas City; and Mrs. Anna Stuart, Utah.
Not long after the birth of P.L. Shelton, his parents located in Walnut township, on a farm one-fourth of a mile east of Foster. He was educated in the Walnut township schools and assisted his parents in the support of the family until he was twenty-six years old. He began to make his own way in 1897 and has been employed in coal mining on his own account since 1891. Mr. Shelton has been carrying on farming and mining operations for the past twenty years and is an enterprising, energetic citizen who is considered the busiest man in the town of Foster. During the greater part of this period he has been an operator and an employer of labor and knows every phase of the mining industry, having learned his business in the hard school of practical experience. He has a substantial interest in the Hickory Hill Mining venture and is the practical owner of the strip mines near Foster.
Mr. Shelton was married on March 31, 1897, to Jennie B. Webb, who was born in Ray county, Missouri, December 6, 1878, a daughter of H.H. and D.E. (Stevens) Webb, natives of Tennessee and Missouri, respectively. Her parents came to Bates county in 1885. Her father is deceased and her mother resides in Moberly, Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Shelton have a fine family of five sons and three daughters, namely: Pleasant H., a student in the Kansas City Business College; Myrtle, a student in Westport High School; DeWitt, Herbert, Paul, Arlo, Mildred, and Marie, at home. It is worthy of mention that Mr. Shelton’s father operated the old Campbell’s Crossing ferry boat located on the Marais des Cygnes on the route of the old overland trail to Fort Scott. An uncle of P.L. Shelton, Will Lee Shelton, served four years in the Confederate army during the Civil War.
Mr. Shelton is a Democrat who takes a proper interest in political affairs but has little time for politics. He and Mrs. Shelton are members of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Shelton is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Mystic Workers, and the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and the Rebekahs. Mrs. Shelton is a member of the Daughters of Rebekah, and the Royal Neighbors Auxiliary lodges. Mr. and Mrs. Shelton have good and just right to be proud of the fact that they are members of two of the oldest pioneer families of western Missouri. The Shelton home is a cheery and hospitable one, and Mr. Shelton is deservedly popular with his employees and the men with whom he is doing business. He is one of the most successful business men of Bates county and a hustler of the most energetic type.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

JOHN A. SILVERS, attorney-at-law of Butler, Missouri is a native of Iowa and a worthy representative of an old and honored, pioneer family of Decatur county. The Silvers family were originally from Kentucky, but in the early days before Iowa was admitted as a state to the Union they moved to the territory of Iowa in 1840, having first located in Missouri about 1836. From Iowa, in 1873, they came to Bates county, Missouri, and settled on a farm one and a half miles west of Butler, where the father died in 1889. Thomas Silvers was a successful farmer and stockman, a citizen who throughout life maintained an unimpeachable record and in Bates county no one has ever been more highly regarded than he was. Elizabeth (King) Silvers was a native of Tennessee. She died recently at Parsons, Kansas and interment was made in the cemetery at Butler, Missouri. John A. Silvers was born in Decatur, Iowa, in 1864, a son of Thomas and Elizabeth (King) Silvers.
When John A. Silvers was a child, nine years of age, he came with his parents to Bates county, Missouri, and was here reared and educated. He attended the public schools of Bates county and Butler Academy and later studied law, reading with his brother, T.W. Silvers, and in December, 1889, was admitted to the bar. Mr. Silvers has been engaged in the practice of his profession in Bates county ever since that date. He first opened a law office with W.O. Atkeson, on January 1, 1890, at Butler and afterward dissolved partnership and opened an office where he labored at law independently for many years. In 1907, Silvers & Dawson formed a law firm, which partnership still continues. Mr. Dawson is the present county attorney of Bates county, Missouri. Mr. Silvers resided at Rich Hill, Missouri, for six years and was living in that city at the time he was elected probate judge of Bates county, taking office January 1, 1903, and serving two terms, until January 1, 1911. He was associated with Judge C.A. Denton in 1895 and 1896. Mr. Silvers well recalls the “boom days” of Rich Hill, when the streets were crowded with miners and men from the smelteries and when “booze” was plentiful and easily obtained, eight saloons doing a flourishing and prosperous business. While in Rich Hill, Mr. Silvers was appointed city attorney during the administration of William W. Ferguson, the mayor of the city, and in one year cleaned out the houses of prostitution and gamblers that had infested the city, but refused a second appointment as city attorney.
In 1888, John A. Silvers and Emma Hixon, a daughter of Amos Hixon and Barbara (Weaver) Hixon, of Clearfield, Pennsylvania, were united in marriage. Mr. Hixon died in Pennsylvania in the late sixties and Mrs. Hixon joined him in death in 1907. Mrs. Hixon died at Butler, Missouri. To Mr. and Mrs. Silvers have been born six children: Guy E., a graduate of Butler High School and of Columbia University, who was admitted to the bar in 1916 and is now deputy clerk in the Supreme Court of Missouri; Ada, who died in the sixteenth year of her life; Elsie B., a graduate of the Warrensburg State Normal School and a teacher of the fifth and sixth grades of the Webster school in Butler, Missouri; Bertie J., who was taught two terms of school in the Franklin school of Butler, Missouri, and is now in his senior year at the Warrensburg State Normal School; Anna L., an undergraduate of the Warrensburg State Normal School, who is now employed as a teacher of the fifth and sixth grades at the Washington school in Butler, Missouri; and Mildred, who is a sophomore in the Butler High School. Mr. and Mrs. Silvers reside in Butler on South Mechanic street. Both have always manifested a deep interest in education and Mr. Silvers has been a member of the Butler school board for twelve years. They are just proud of their fine family of boys and girls, upon whom they have lavished all the advantages obtainable.
Missouri has long been noted for the high rank of her bench and bar. Probably not one of the newer states can boast of abler jurists or attorneys. Some of them have been men of national fame, many who were distinguished in the days gone by have long since laid down their briefs, still there is scarcely a city in the state but that can produce a lawyer capable of crossing swords in forensic combat with the best and most noted legal lights in the country. In John A. Silvers we find many of the rare qualities which make the successful lawyer and jurist. Perhaps he possesses few of those dazzling, brilliant, meteoric qualities, which have at times flashed along the legal horizon, riveting the gaze of the multitudes and blinding the vision for a moment, then disappearing, but rather the more substantial qualities which shine with a constant luster. In all that goes to make up sturdy and upright manhood, John A. Silvers has stood pre-eminent and he has always commanded public confidence and universal esteem.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

MERLE SIMON, a prosperous, young agriculturist of Mount Pleasant township, is one of Bates county’s successful citizens, a progressive farmer and stockman, and a comparatively new man in this part of the country. Mr. Simon is a native of Iowa. He was born in 1881 at Des Moines, a son of Martin and Margaret (Brown) Simon, both of whom were natives of Ohio. The mother died about 1890 and Mr. Simon resides in Oklahoma.
When Merle Simon was a small child, his parents moved from Iowa to Kansas and in that state in the schools of Fort Scott, Bourbon county, and of Wichita, Sedgwick county, he received his education. Mr. Simon has followed stock raising for twenty years in the states of Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota, and New Mexico. He slept for twelve years out in the open, while a “cowboy” on the plains. He came to Bates county, Missouri, on December 5, 1915, after purchasing his present country home in Mount Pleasant township in August of the previous year, a place formerly known as the Carpenter & Shafer farm, a dairy farm. This place is well supplied with water from a well, thirty-six feet in depth and eight feet in width, in which the water always stands within a few feet of the top, thus affording a bountiful supply in every pasture. Mr. Simon has placed a concrete cover on the well, the cover having an opening in which to insert the hose when filling, and this with an iron pump facilitates the handling of the tank problem. Since coming to Bates county, Mr. Simon has given much attention to sheep raising. He is a lover of fine horses and has on the farm an imported Percheron horse, weight two thousand pounds, a good grade Percheron, and a registered jack in addition to a herd of twenty-five good grade cattle. The stock barn is 50 x 64 feet in dimensions and has a concrete floor in the feeding stall.
The marriage of Merle Simon and Addie Hawkins was solemnized March 14, 1906. Addie (Hawkins) Simon is a daughter of G.A. and Sarah Hawkins, both of whom were born in Kentucky. Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins were formerly residents of Texas county, Oklahoma, and they are now residing at Tyrone, Oklahoma. Mrs. Simon was educated in private schools in Pendleton county, Kentucky, and in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was reared in Kentucky and she and Mr. Simon were married in Stephens county, Oklahoma. To Merle and Addie Simon have been born two children: Luther and Benjamin. Mrs. Simon is doing all in her power to make the farm pay, in addition to making the home attractive, and she is capably managing the poultry industry, raising fine, large flocks of Buff Orpington chickens.
Bates county, Missouri, is noted for the many excellent stock and dairy farms within its boundaries and for the enterprise and progressiveness of the county’s husbandmen. Merle Simon is “doing his bit” to sustain this reputation. He is the owner of one of the prettiest country places in Mount Pleasant township and he will find that in the years to come his well-directed efforts have not been in vain but have amply repaid in the increased value of his property and in the respect and esteem in which he is held. Mr. and Mrs. Simon have made many friends in Bates county since taking up their residence among us and Mr. Simon is even now rated as a broad-minded, industrious, and honorable gentleman and he has won the confidence and good will of all who know him.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler

JAMES R. SIMPSON, Bates county pioneer, ex-sheriff, and ex-recorder of this county, is likewise a son of one of the oldest of the pioneer families of Missouri. The life time of James R. Simpson extends over a long, long period of seventy-five years in Missouri, during which he has witnessed a great state in the making, took part in a great war, and been an influential figure in the settlement and development of Bates county, where over sixty years of his long life have been spent to his own advantage and decidedly to the well being of Bates county. Mr. Simpson was born at Old Westport, Missouri, June 24, 1843, and is a son of James M. and Frances E. (Cummins) Simpson. His father, James M. Simpson, was born in old Kentucky in 1808 and was a son of Richard Simpson, who was one of the early pioneers of Westport, and who died there, his remains being interred in the cemetery at Kansas City. He came to Missouri in 1826 and first settled in Cooper county, later moving to Westport. Frances E. (Cummins) Simpson was born in Tennessee in 1816 and was a daughter of Richard W. Cummins, who was an early pioneer of Cooper county, and served in the first legislative assembly ever held in Missouri, representing Howard and Cooper counties in 1820. He, Richard W. Cummins, came to Bates county in about 1853, and located in Deepwater township, where his death occurred in 1860, his remains being interred in Stratton cemetery.
James M. Simpson was eighteen years old when he came with his father to Missouri. He moved from Westpoint to Cass county and had a farm in Peculiar township which he cultivated for some years previous to locating in Harrisonville, where he engaged in business in partnership with Hugh Glenn, father of Judge Allen Glenn, of Harrisonville. He moved to Bates county in 1856 and brought a number of slaves with him. When the Civil War broke out he went to Texas, where he died in 1863. James M. and Frances E. Simpson were parents of the following children: Henrietta W., deceased wife of William Ludwick; Alzira, deceased wife of Dr. J.C. Maxwell; John K., deceased; Charles William, deceased; James R., subject of this review; Mary Elizabeth, deceased wife of J.H. Fletcher; Duke Williams, Ardmore, Oklahoma; Roberta Pauline, wife of Dr. Milton Godbey, both of whom are deceased; Frank Simpson, Ardmore, Oklahoma.
James R. Simpson attended the primitive schools of Peculiar township, Cass county, and also the public schools at Harrisonville in the same county, his last schooling being obtained in Bates county. In March, 1861, he enlisted at Harrisonville, under Capt. W.H. Erwin for service in the Confederate army and served for four years, the greater part of his service being under the command of General Joe Shelby. For details concerning the campaigns and battles in which Mr. Simpson took an active part the reader is referred to the biography and military history of General Shelby, which is given elsewhere in this volume. Mr. Simpson fought in the battle of Wilson’s Creek, Helena, Arkansas, and at Little Rock, Arkansas. His service extended over Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas, being in the latter state when the war closed. After the war was over, he returned to Bates county and has since been profitably engaged in the peaceful pursuits of agriculture. Mr. Simpson purchased his present farm of one hundred sixty acres in 1880. This farm is located in Deepwater township. In addition to his home farm, Mr. Simpson owns another tract of forty-eight acres not far away. The Simpson farm was entered from the government by J.L. Ludwick, who came to Bates county in 1839.
On March 24, 1870, James R. Simpson and Abiah Lutsenhizer were married and to this marriage have been born the following children: Olive L., wife of W.E. Dickison, Spruce, Missouri; Stella May, wife of C.V. Peacock, Spruce, Missouri; Clyde, deceased. Mrs. Abiah Simpson was born in Deepwater township, October 30, 1844, and is a daughter of Jacob and Katherine Lutsenhizer, who came to Bates county in 1839 and settled in Deepwater township within four miles of the Simpson place, the former dying here in 1844 and the latter dying in 1863. Mr. and Mrs. Lutsenhizer were parents of nine children, all of whom grew to maturity and are now deceased excepting Mrs. Simpson. The names of these children were: Mrs. Sarah Durand, Henry, Oliver, Margaret, Esther, Susan, William W., Thomas B., and Mrs. Abiah Simpson.
Jacob Lutsenhizer was a son of Henry Lutsenhizer, who lived and died in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania. The wife of Henry Lutsenhizer was Judith Marchand, of Pennsylvania, a daughter of Dr. David Marchand (II), of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, who served as a surgeon in the Continental army during the War of the American Revolution with rank of captain and who was a son of Dr. David Marchand (I), descended from French-Huguenots who came from France to America in 1700.
For many years Mr. Simpson was a breeder of Red Polled cattle and Duroc Jersey hogs and was the pioneer breeder of these varieties of livestock in his section of Bates county, bringing the first of these fine breeds here in 1880. It was only natural that a citizen of his pronounced abilities would take an active part in politics and he became prominently identified with the Democratic party in Bates county. He was elected sheriff of the county in 1878 and re-elected to this office in 1880, serving in all for four years, during this time giving entire satisfaction to the people of the county. In 1882 he was elected recorder of deeds and so well did he perform the duties of this important office that he was again elected to the office in 1884, serving in all four years. It has probably been given to no living pioneer citizen of Bates county to have seen so much of the development of the great state of Missouri as has Mr. Simpson. It can truly be said that he is one of the oldest of the widely-known pioneers of the state of Missouri and Bates county. No man living has been more closely identified with the upbuilding of the county than he. He has seen this county emerge from an unsettled wilderness state to become one of the thickly settled garden spots of the west and has seen Bates county take her place among the great counties of the state through the united efforts of her citizens. When the story of the county is completely written, one of the most honored places in this history belongs rightly to him and his family.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

MATTHEW S. SIMPSON, proprietor of “Valley View Farm,” located upon the Jefferson Highway southwest of Butler in New Home township, widely known livestock dealer, is a “self-made,” successful citizen, who has lived in Bates county for nearly forty-eight years and can rightly be classed with the old settlers of the county. Valley View farm comprises one hundred seventy-seven acres, the odd acreage being due to the fact that the Missouri Pacific Railroad runs through the farm. Mr. Simpson has resided on his present place since October 2, 1907, and during his tenure on the farm has rebuilt practically all of the fences, replacing the worn out and dilapidated fences, which formerly divided the land into fields, with woven wire fencing of the best quality. He has remodeled by residence and barns and liberally used paint until the Simpson place is one of the most attractive farmsteads along the Jefferson Highway. As a usual business venture, Mr. Simpson feeds about four car-loads of cattle annually and at the time of this writing, December of 1917, had about three loads of cattle on the place. He feeds all grain raised on the farm and also buys grain to complete his feeding. The splendid grain crops raised on the place in 1917 obviated the necessity of buying grain during the past winter season. For a number of years, Mr. Simpson has been an extensive buyer and shipper of cattle, an occupation which has given him a wide and favorable acquaintance throughout Bates county.
M.S. Simpson was born October 30, 1864, in Hancock county, Illinois, a son of William Harrison and Sarah Ellen (Zinn) Simpson, natives of Illinois. William H. Simpson was a son of Irish parents and the parents of Mrs. Sarah Simpson were natives of Virginia. In 1870, the family came to Bates county and located on a farm seven miles northwest of Butler, on Miami creek in Charlotte township. William H. Simpson developed a good farm and is still residing on the place upon which he settled forty-eight years ago. He was born in 1838 and is one of the oldest settlers of Charlotte township. His children are as follow: William A, died March 9, 1915; Matthew S., subject of this sketch; E.E., living in Kansas City; C.A., resides in Butler; Harry H., living in Charlotte township; L.P., living on a farm one mile southwest of Butler; Fred G., residing near Centralia, Oklahoma, and Mrs. Josephine Wilcox, Butler, Missouri. The mother of these children died in 1887.
The small amount of schooling which M.S. Simpson received was at Hazel Dell school house. Being the second son of the family, it was necessary for him to begin working on the farm when still a youth. Being strong and hardy, he was able to do a man’s work while still in his teens, and his boyhood days were spent in tilling the acreage upon his father’s farm, planting and harvesting the crops from year to year. When he became of age, he began farming on his own account. His first farm was located in Elk county, Kansas, where he engaged in grazing stock for a period of six years. In 1891 he left Elk county, Kansas, and went to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he was employed with the Waupam Wind Mill Company for one year. He then moved to Edgar, Clay county, Nebraska, and farmed in that county for a year, returning to Bates county in 1894. He rented land for two years after his return and then purchased eighty acres. Upon the opening of the Kiowa Indian reservation in Oklahoma in 1901 he drew homestead claim No. 3213, located sixteen miles northwest of Anadarko, McKinley township, McAdoo county, September 19, 1901, he located on his claim and sold it in the spring of 1903 to W.C. Mason, of Ainsworth, Iowa. He returned home and purchased eighty acres in section 18, Mound township, upon which he resided until October 2, 1917, when he moved to his present farm on Section 1 of New Home township.
Mr. Simpson was married May 25, 1889, to Laura M. Dunbar, who was born in Nebraska, a daughter of James A. and Margaret (Tripp) Dunbar, native residents of that state. To this marriage have been born the following children: Mrs. Nellie B. Osborne, living on a farm nine miles southwest of Butler; William H., married Olive Nightwine, and lives near Nyhart; Sarah Ellen, wife of Orlen Eggleson, Butler, Missouri, has one child, Anna Laura; James A., employed in a Kansas City bank; Charles, farming on his own account in Bates county; and Leona, Cleo, Joseph and Louise, at home. Mrs. Nellie Osborne is the mother of three children: William, Christina and Robert. Mr. Simpson is a Republican in politics.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

DECATUR SMITH, M.D., a retired pioneer physician of Bates county, Missouri, is one of Butler’s most honored and valued citizens. Doctor Smith is a native son of Missouri. He was born June 29, 1841, in St. Louis county, a son of Henry and Mary J. (Watson) Smith. Henry Smith was one of the earliest settlers of St. Louis county, Missouri, a resident of that section of the state when the red men of the forest still claimed the land and resided there on their hunting grounds.
Doctor Smith received his higher education at McDowell College at St. Louis, Missouri. He was a young college student at the time of the outbreak of the Civil War and in February, 1862 he enlisted as a private and served as assistant surgeon in Company D, Sixth Missouri Cavalry, three years and two months, receiving his honorable discharge at Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1865. After the war had closed, Doctor Smith returned to his home in St. Louis county, Missouri, and remained there one year, coming thence to Bates county in May, 1866. He intended at that time to locate at Butler, but the war had so devastated the town and the prairie surrounding the townsite was not yet settled and there were so few people left in the little village that the young physician changed his mind and decided to open his office at Pleasant Gap, a larger, more populous and prosperous town at that time. Doctor Smith was offered eighty acres of land located near Prairie City, Missouri, for two dollars an acre and he had the money in his possession with which he might have purchased the land, but he refused the offer. In September of the same year, the eighty acres of land were sold for twenty dollars an acre. Doctor Smith opened a drug store at Pleasant Gap in connection with his office, but this proved to be an unsatisfactory venture, as he practice interfered with the proper care of his business interests and it was impossible to obtain competent assistants. Doctor Smith disposed of his store after a short time. He relates how he was want to travel in the early days on horseback across the prairies and how he would sometimes be gone four days and nights before he could return to his office. The settlers would follow after him and he would answer a call direct from one sickbed to another, oftentimes traveling seventy-five miles on horseback in a single day. He made it a rule to carry medicines and all things needed in an emergency case in his old-style saddlebags. The doctor closed his office at Pleasant Gap in 1870 and moved to Rockville, where he was engaged in the practice of his profession until the spring of 1871, but as Mrs. Smith was unhappy and dissatisfied in the new home they moved on a farm lying four miles south of the city and then Doctor Smith retired from the active practice of medicine. The Smiths moved from their farm to Butler in 1876 and have since been residents of this city, where he practiced medicine for seven years and freighted goods from Kansas City, Pleasanton and Appleton City for some years. Their home is located at 200 South Mechanic street in Butler.
October 18, 1866, Dr. Decatur Smith and Mary Jane Atkison were united in marriage at Pleasant Gap, Missouri. To this union were born two children: Alice Elizabeth, who died at the age of fourteen years; and Edgar D., who has been a mail carrier on a rural route out of Butler for the past fifteen years. Their mother, and the doctor’s faithful companion and helpmeet for fifty years, died August 1, 1916.
Doctor Smith recalls Doctor Tousey, who was located on Round Prairie near Hudson in the early days. Doctor Tousey had been engaged in the medical practice in this vicinity before the Civil War and was quite an aged man at the time young Doctor Smith located in Bates county, a man of probably eighty years of age. He and his young colleague frequently held consultations. Doctor Patten located at Butler at about the same time as did Doctor Smith at Pleasant Gap and he is now deceased. Dr. William Requa, who was located at Harmony Mission, was well known by Doctor Smith and he has often heard him relate how he journeyed up the river and established the Mission.
Endowed by nature with a remarkable sturdy physique and a splendid intellect, Doctor Smith has been able to withstand the wear and tear of time and fatiguing labor remarkably well and is now well past the three score years and ten allotted to man. He is a gentleman of such traits of character that in all his years of practice and activity in Bates county, he could not but leave the impress of his personality wherever he was known. While Bates county has to its credit many men of prominence in all spheres of endeavor, and while its historical annals teem with the records of hundreds of unselfish lives and deeds, the name of Dr. Decatur Smith will always occupy a high place among the county’s respected and representative citizens, not alone because of his useful career as physician but also on account of his broad human sympathies and sterling honor.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

JUDGE ESTES SMITH, a late prominent citizen of Bates county, Missouri, was a native of Daviess county, Missouri. He was born February 6, 1856, a son of Stephen H. and Catherine (Harsha) Smith, honored and respected pioneers of Daviess county. Stephen H. Smith was born June 6, 1819, and Mrs. Smith was born May 14, 1823. They were united in marriage in 1840 and to them were born thirteen children. Stephen H. Smith died May 26, 1896, at Marceline in Linn county, Missouri. His wife died in Idaho in Latab county, near Troy.
Judge Smith came to Bates county, Missouri, in 1878 and located in Mingo township. He was in business in Mayesburg for one year, after which he moved to the country place where his widow now resides, a farm comprising one hundred twenty-seven acres of choice land located seven miles southwest of Creighton. Judge Smith was one of the leading men of affairs in his township and during his lifetime filled many different township offices. He was a lifelong Democrat. He filled the office of judge from the northern district of Bates county, serving one term. He was appointed superintendent of Drainage District No. 1 while the drainage work was in progress and in 1914 he was re-elected judge of the county court. Judge Smith has served but six months of his second term in the capacity of judge when his death occurred on June 16, 1915.
The marriage of Judge Estes Smith and Missouri E. Staley was solemnized May 15, 1883, at the Staley homestead in Mingo township. Missouri E. (Staley) Smith was born May 31, 1859, in Mingo township, Bates county, a daughter of Stephen M. and Elizabeth (Leflar) Staley, the former, born in Virginia in 1820 and the latter, in Illinois in 1838. Mr. Staley came to Missouri prior to the outbreak of the Civil War and settled on the farm where Thomas Staley now resides. The Staley estate comprised three hundred sixty acres of land at the time of the death of Mr. Staley in 1875. Mrs. Staley now makes her home with her children, in Bates and Cass counties, Missouri. To Judge Estes and Missouri E. (Staley) Smith were born the following children: Stephen E., principal of the Osceola, Missouri schools; Robert, who is engaged in lumbering in Idaho; Marvin, who joined November 2, 1917, in Wyoming with the Army of the United States, a Mingo township boy, educated in the public schools of Bates county, born March 30, 1888, now thirty years of age, with Company M, One Hundred Sixty-first Infantry; Clyde B. and Clarence Estes, at home with their widowed mother; Lillie May, who died at the age of four years in 1889; and Mary Lee, who died at the age of four years in 1895. Clyde B. Smith, born May 26, 1896, and Clarence Estes Smith, born October 14, 1898, above named, are engaged in farming and in raising Shropshire sheep and Shorthorn cattle. Judge Estes Smith died June 16, 1915, and interment was made in West cemetery. He was a highly valued member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Johnstown, Missouri, with whom he affiliated in 1880, and was past master of the Wadesburg Lodge No. 348 of Creighton. Judge Smith was a devout Christian gentleman, an earnest and conscientious member of the Aaron Methodist church.
From sterling pioneer ancestry Judge Estes Smith was descended, and the family of which he was a most creditable representative was one of the best in western Missouri, of whom devotion to duty was a marked characteristic. He was long esteemed as one of Bates county’s most honorable citizens, as one who had at heart the public good, who strived to do the right in every sphere to which he was called. The confidence which the people had in Judge Smith and in his ability was proven again and again by elevating him to responsible positions and the manner in which he invariably discharged all duties incumbent upon him demonstrated the wisdom of their choice, proved that their trust was in the keeping of a high-minded, efficient, and honest gentleman. Though his labors here are ended, the memory of his exemplary life will ever linger like a sweet incense to cheer the sorrowing hearts of those who loved him and the influence of his good deeds will encourage others to emulate his virtues and to trust the God whom he served and worshipped.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

JUDGE J.F. SMITH, a prominent attorney of Butler, Missouri, the efficient city clerk and city attorney of Butler, ex-judge of the probate court, is a native of Franklin county, Missouri. Judge Smith was born March 31, 1859, a son of Nathan L. and Martha Ann (Adams) Smith. Nathan L. Smith was born in 1815 in Virginia. He was reared to maturity and educated near Richmond of that state. About 1835, Mr. Smith, then a young man, heard the call of the West and he left Virginia and came to Missouri, walking all the way. He was a blacksmith by trade and he followed his line of work at Old Port William for a number of years. He followed farming during his later life. Martha Ann (Adams) Smith was a native of Warren county, Missouri. She was born in 1826. To Nathan L. and Martha Ann Smith were born eleven children: David L., a retired farmer residing at Gray’s Summit in Franklin county, Missouri; William P., deceased; Alphonso Theodore, deceased; Theopholis, deceased; Charles Wesley, who resides in Texas; Thomas D., Sedalia, Missouri; James Fletcher, Butler, Missouri; Mary Elizabeth, Martha Ann, Nathan L., Jr., and Daniel, who died in infancy. The mother died in 1889 at the age of sixty-three years and the father died February 7, 1908 at the age of ninety-three years. Both parents were laid to rest in the family burial ground at the old homestead in Franklin county, Missouri.
Judge Smith attended the common schools of Franklin county, Missouri. On leaving school, he alternately taught school and engaged in farming in Franklin county. He began the study and reading of law in the office of Crews & Booth in Union, Franklin county and in that county was admitted to the bar. He then came directly to Bates county and began the practice of his profession. Judge Smith came to Butler in 1882 and shortly afterward located at Rich Hill, where he remained for fifteen years in active legal practice. During this period, he served as mayor of Rich Hill for several years. In 1897, he removed to Butler. One year afterward, a vacancy in the probate court occurred due to the death of Judge Dalton and Mr. Smith was appointed to fill the vacancy. He served two years as a judge of the probate court and since that time has been engaged in the practice of his profession at Butler. At the time of this writing, in 1918, Judge Smith is satisfactorily filling the positions of city clerk and city attorney, which offices he has occupied eight years.
In 1899, Judge J.F. Smith and Miss Hattie Scott were united in marriage. Mrs. Smith is a native of Bates county, Missouri, a daughter of Ben F. and Elizabeth Ann Scott, honored pioneers of this county. Ben F. Scott was widely and favorably known and universally respected. He formerly resided on a farm north of Butler and he held several different offices of public trust in his township. Afterward, the Scotts moved from the farm to Butler and resided here until death called them. He died in 1914 and Mrs. Scott joined him in death three years later, in 1917. Mrs. Smith was reared in Butler and educated in the city schools. She is deeply interested in church work and takes an active and prominent part in the work of the Butler Christian church, of which she is a valued member. Mr. Smith is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Woodmen of the World, the Yeomen and the Masonic order, all fraternal orders of Butler. The Smith home is located in Butler on Ohio street.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

JESSE E. SMITH, cashier of the Missouri State Bank of Butler, Missouri, is one of Bates county’s most enterprising, young “hustlers.” Mr. Smith is a member of a highly respected and prominent family of Butler, a native of Saline county, Missouri, a son of John W. and Susan P. (James) Smith, who came from Kentucky to Missouri in 1870 and located in Saline county, coming thence to Bates county in January, 1888, settling at Butler, where Mr. Smith followed the livery business and blacksmithing and later the stock business, buying and selling horses and mules. John W. and Susan P. Smith were the parents of the following children: James H., Arkansas City, Kansas; John R., Arkansas City, Kansas; Jesse E., the subject of this review; Mrs. J.A. Carey, Pittsburg, Kansas; Dr. G.R., a successful dentist of Duncan, Oklahoma; and Mrs. C.W. Knipple, Wichita, Kansas. The father died at Butler in May, 1916 and interment was made in Oak Hill cemetery. The widowed mother now makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. C.W. Knipple, at Wichita, Kansas.
Jesse E. Smith received the first part of his elementary education in the public schools of Saline county, Missouri. He later attended the city schools of Butler for four years. Mr. Smith began his business career in the employ of W.G. Womack, a grocer of Butler, Missouri, about 1892. He was for six years employed by Deacon Brothers and ten years by F.H. Crowell, agent for the Scully lands in Bates county. In 1908, Mr. Smith accepted a position with the Missouri State Bank of Butler as assistant cashier and five years later, in 1913, was appointed cashier of the institution, which position he is capably filling at the time of this writing in 1918, one of the most responsible positions to Bates county. Since Mr. Smith entered the field of business at Butler several years ago, he has never had to ask for a position. The other man has always done the asking – a mute tribute to the intrinsic worth of this promising, alert gentleman, a tireless worker.
Jesse E. Smith and Sallie L. Arnold, a daughter of John E. and Margaret (Allen) Arnold, a native of Lafayette county, Missouri, were united in marriage and to this union have been born two children: Arnold and Agnes. Mr. Arnold is deceased and Mrs. John E. Arnold is a resident of Butler, Missouri. The Smith residence is located at 514 West Fort Scott street in Butler.
The Missouri State Bank of Butler, Missouri was organized in 1880 by William E. Walton, who was for thirty-seven years its well-known president and cashier. Mr. Walton also organized the Walton Trust Company, the latter financial institution in 1896, and was president of the same for twenty-one years, when at his request he was succeeded by his nephew, J.B. Walton, on January 1, 1917. The capital stock and surplus funds of the Missouri State Bank of Butler and the Walton Trust Company exceed a  half million dollars. The present capital stock of the former bank is fifty-five thousand dollars and the deposits at the time of the last official report published on March 4, 1918 amounted to one million, eighty-seven thousand, four hundred seventy-three dollars and twelve cents.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

JOSEPH T. SMITH, ex-sheriff of Bates county, member of one of the honored pioneer families of Missouri, proprietor of one of the best improved farmsteads in western Missouri, located in Walnut township, near Foster, was born in Clay county, Missouri, July 23, 1854. His parents were William S. and Mary M. (Birkhead) Smith, natives of Kentucky.
William S. Smith immigrated to Missouri in the early forties with his parents when he was but a youth, and became one of the famous “forty-niners,” making the long overland trip to the newly discovered California gold fields in 1849. He crossed the plains via the ox-team route in company with other adventurous spirits and remained for two years in the gold country, returning home by the sea route with a small fortune in gold. After his return in 1851, he was married in Lincoln county, Missouri, to Mary N. Birkhead and then moved to a farm in Clay county. In 1855 he came to Bates county, and first settled near Papinsville, then the county seat. When the decision was made to locate the county capital at Butler in 1856, he went there and erected the first store building. He later traded his stock of goods and store building for a tract of land located one mile west of Butler, engaged in farming, and died in 1862. He left a widow and the following children to mourn their loss: Margaret, deceased; Mrs. Sarah Ann Spicer, Clay county, Missouri; Alice Ruth, deceased; Joseph T., subject of this sketch; Reuben B., James N., William W., deceased, and two children died in infancy.
Joseph T. Smith was reared in Butler and upon the family farm west of the city and the family resided there until Order No. 11 was issued in 1863, after which they went to Lincoln county, Missouri, and resided with Mrs. Smith’s people until 1868. They then returned to the farm in Bates county and set about rebuilding and repairing the damage which had been done during the war. Mr. Smith lived upon the home place for ten years, assisting his mother in supporting the family. In 1878, he moved to Butler and for thirteen years was engaged in the livery business. In 1880, he went to Colorado, and remained in the western mountain country from the spring of that year until 1883, when he returned to Butler and again entered the livery business. In 1885, he made a visiting trip to Nevada points and remained in that state until 1888, when he returned home. He received the appointment of deputy sheriff of the county soon after his return and served for four years. He then engaged in the livestock business, entered politics and was elected sheriff of Bates county in 1899, taking up the duties of his office on January 1, 1900. He served two terms of two years each as sheriff, and the concensus of opinion is that Mr. Smith made the best sheriff Bates county had had up to that time. During his term of office, the hanging of James B. Gartrell for the murder of D.B. Donnekin in the western part of Bates county, took place. Following his term in office, Mr. Smith bought a farm one mile east of Butler upon which he and his family resided until 1909. He then disposed of his farm and lived in the city of Butler until purchasing his present home farm in Walnut township in March, 1912.
The Smith farm is beautifully located in a fertile valley just southwest of the town of Foster and is considered the best improved tract in Walnut township. The farm consists of two hundred acres of rich bottom land and is devoted to the raising of cattle, hogs and horses. Mr. Smith prefers the Shorthorn breed of cattle.
On November 8, 1882, Joseph T. Smith and Nora May Porter were united in marriage. Mrs. Nora May Smith was born at Ottawa, Illinois, in 1867, and is a daughter of Samuel B. and Mary E. (Burwell) Porter, natives of Ohio, who first located in Illinois, then went to Minnesota, from there to Iowa, thence to Colorado, resided in Nebraska and Iowa and from there went to Montana, finally making their home with Mr. and Mrs. Smith when old age came upon them. Her father died in Butler in 1911, her mother following him in death two years later in 1913. The parents of Mrs. Smith were descended from Pennsylvania ancestry, her mother, Mary E. (Burwell) Porter, a daughter of Samuel and Celia (McKinley) Burwell, the latter a sister of President William McKinley’s father.
The Democratic party has always had the firm allegiance and support of Mr. Smith and he and Mrs. Smith are members of the Christian church. He is fraternally affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. He is one of the most popular and best-known pioneer citizens of Bates county and enjoys a wide and favorable acquaintance in the county.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

W.H. SMITH, proprietor of the Red Ball Garage in Butler, is one of the enterprising business men of Bates county. Mr. Smith is a native son of Butler. He was born August 13, 1879, a son of Frank and Elizabeth Smith, the former, a native of Michigan and the latter, of Indiana. Frank Smith came to Montrose, Missouri, in 1866 and thence to Butler and for thirty-five years was engaged in the hardware business in this city, a merchant widely and favorably known throughout the county. He now resides in the city of Butler at 312 Adams street, where he is living in quiet retirement after nearly two score years of active labor in the strenuous fields of merchandising. To Frank and Elizabeth Smith were born four children who are now living: W.H., the subject of this review; Pearl, Butler, Missouri; Mrs. P.A. Delameter, Winterhaven, Florida; and Frank, Jr., who is with his brother, W.H., in the garage business at Butler.
Mr. Smith, whose name introduces this review, attended the city schools of Butler, Missouri, and later Butler Academy. Since 1908, Mr. Smith has been engaged in the garage business at Butler, Missouri.
The marriage of W.H. Smith and Louise Endres, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Endres, of Butler, Missouri, was solemnized in 1901. John Endres was for many years one of the leading bakers of Bates county, conducting a bakery at Butler, and after his death Mrs. Endres conducted a restaurant in this city for several years. To Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Smith has been born one child, a son, “Billy,” who is now eight years of age. The Smith residence is in Butler at 19 South Main street. Both the Smith and Endres families are widely known and highly respected in Bates county.
The Red Ball Garage was opened January 15, 1908, and is located at 17 and 19 South Main street. The building has a frontage of ninety-five feet and a depth of one hundred fifteen feet, and is constructed of reinforced concrete, with an iron roof, and not a post in the entire structure. This building was erected in 1917 and is a strictly modern garage in every respect. The north apartment, a room 65 x 115 feet in dimensions, is used for storage and display and the south room, 30 x 115 feet in dimensions, is used for shop purposes. Mr. Smith has a general repair shop in which all kinds of machine work is done, batteries recharged, cars put in first-class condition. He has installed a complete vulcanizing plant for casings and inner tubes and in addition carries a general stock of automobile accessories. The Red Ball Garage has the agency for the Buick automobiles. W.H. Smith is a wide-awake salesman, an expert mechanician, and a “hustler.” He is making a deserving success in his line of work.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

JOHN SPEER, proprietor of the “Round Barn Farm,” located in Mound township, on the Jefferson highway, two and a half miles south of Adrian, was born in Summit township, Bates county, on a farm located nine miles southeast of Butler, July 1, 1871. He was a son of Henry and Emma (Boyd) Speer, the former of whom was a native of Shelby county, Ohio, and the latter, of Illinois. Henry Speer was a solider in the Union army and served throughout the Civil War. He is now deceased and the widow now resides in Butler. Three children were born to Henry and Emma Speer, as follows: John Speer, subject of this review; Minnie, wife of Louis Deffenbaugh, Butler, Missouri; and William Percy, of Independence, Kansas.
The early education of John Speer was obtained in the public schools of Bates county, after which he graduated from the old Butler Academy. He remained on the farm until he was eighteen years of age and then removed to Butler, where he became associated with his father in the nursery business under the firm name of Speer & Son, succeeding Halloway & Speer. He was engaged in the nursery business for seven years, and was then employed by the Logan Moore Lumber Company for four years, following. In 1890, he took possession of his present farm of one hundred sixty acres and has established a reputation as a dairyman and breeder of registered Jersey cattle. Mr. Speer maintains an average of thirty head of purebred Jersey cows upon his place, which is fitted with modern conveniences for the economical conducting of the business with the least possible labor. Mr. Speer is a member of the Southwest Jersey Cattle Breeders’ Association. The circular barn which he has had erected, has a circumference of one hundred ninety-two feet, if fifty feet in height, and equipped with a silo, in the exact center, which is forty feet high and eleven feet in diameter. This barn was erected in 1908 and is one of the most convenient in this section of the state for dairying purposes. The interior is so arranged that the stock are placed in stalls facing the center of the building, thus enabling the stock tenders to fee from the filled silo very conveniently and quickly with little or no waste. The Speer place is equipped with gasoline power which is used for many purposes, such as running the cream separators, churning, and doing the family washing each week, besides cutting wood and crushing the silage for filling the silo.
Mr. Speer was married on December 19, 1900, to Miss Maud Garrison, who was born and reared in Bates county, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Garrison, natives of Wisconsin. Mrs. Garrison died in the spring of 1917 at the age of eighty-six years. J.C. Garrison was a millwright by trade and he built the original Powers’ mill in this country, and is accounted one of the earliest of the Bates county pioneer settlers.
The Republican party claims the support of Mr. Speer and he has served as justice of the peace of Mound township and has been a member of the township board. He is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America and the Presbyterian church of Butler.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

ROBERT J. SPROUL, farmer and dairyman, New Home township, was born in 1879, in Vermilion county, Illinois, a son of William and Flora (Pribble) Sproul, who came to Bates county in 1880 and settled on a farm three miles south of the Sproul place in New Home township. William Sproul cultivated his farm in New Home township until 1914, when he went to Montana and filed upon a government homestead and has since proved up on the place. There were seven children in the Sproul family, four of whom are living.
Robert Sproul was educated in the public schools of Bates county and has resided on his present farm of two hundred ninety acres since 1904. This father was formerly owned by his wife’s father, and Mr. and Mrs. Sproul are gradually improving the place, one of the most recent of the improvements being the handsome bungalow. The Sproul homestead is located just north of Nyhart, which furnishes a convenient shipping point for the farm products. Mr. Sproul maintains a fine herd of Jersey milch cows, to the number of twenty, on the place and ships the product of his dairy to the creameries.
Mr. Sproul was married in 1904 to Miss Lettie Daniel and to this marriage have been born four children: Max, born June 16, 1905; Clare, born August 22, 1908; Zyx, born June 2, 1911; and Bill, born December 27, 1914. Mrs. Lettie (Daniel) Sproul was born in New Home township within a short distance from her present home. She is a daughter of William and Sarah A. (Winston) Daniel, natives of North Carolina. William Daniel was born in 1837 and died in November, 1895. When Mr. Daniel was a child his father died and the lad came to Missouri with his mother in 1848. The family first settled in Pettis county and William Daniel made a settlement in Bates county after completing his service in a Missouri Union regiment during the Civil War. He came to this county in 1865 and located in New Home township, first purchasing a tract of fifty acres which he improved and added gradually to his holdings until he became owner of five hundred twenty acres in one large tract. Mrs. Sarah A. (Winston) Daniel was born in 1838 in North Carolina and accompanied her parents to Lafayette county, Missouri, in the early forties, later settling in Pettis county where her marriage with William Daniel took place. She met her death under tragic circumstances while living on the Daniel home place with her brother, Jess. She was all alone at the home and was busily engaged in raking leaves and tidying up the lawn in the fall of 1906. As she piled up the leaves she built a fire in order to consume them and make a clean job. While plying her rake too near the fire of blazing leaves and brush, her clothing was ignited and she was burned to death while at the pump trying vainly to quench the flames.
Mr. Sproul is a Socialist, politically. Mrs. Sproul is a member of the Baptist church. Mr. and Mrs. Sproul are both intelligent, enterprising, hard-working citizens, who are making a pronounced success of their farm and dairy work and have many friends.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

DR. STEPHEN LAFAYETTE STANDISH – The truly heroic and self-sacrificing figure in the early redemption of any unsettled country from wilderness state is the “country doctor.” It is his duty to administer to the sick and dying who all too frequently are not blessed with much of this world’s goods and the remuneration of the country physician is small compared to what his brothers in the city are accustomed to earn. The early doctors in Bates county rode horseback across country following the trails wherever possible and no call, no matter how distant or how difficult to make, and no matter what the condition of the weather would stop the doctor from performing his duty. He was the counselor and friend of the settler and always became a leader in the community where he made his residence. The late Dr. Stephen L. Standish was one of the early physicians in Bates county, who did not win a fortune by the practice of medicine, but wisely supplemented his active practice with tilling the soil and raising cattle upon his homestead in Walnut township. Doctor Standish was one of the most successful of physicians and enjoyed the respect and esteem of the people of the country side. He was a veteran of the Civil War and used to hardships. Combining farming activities with the practice of his profession he would ride all night long to minister to ailing patients and then spend the daylight hours in looking after his farming interests and livestock. Such energy and enterprise met with due reward and he became one of the wealthy citizens of Bates county.
Stephen L. Standish was born in DuPage county, Illinois, September 6, 1843, the son of Hiram and Polly (Bronson) Standish, both natives of New York. Hiram Standish was a descendant from the famous Standish family of Plymouth, Massachusetts, which was founded by Miles Standish, whose exploits were immortalized in the poet Longfellow’s “The Courtship of Miles Standish.” The warrior spirit of Miles Standish was evidently bequeathed to his descendants, inasmuch as Stephen L. Standish enlisted in Company C, Twelfth Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry, in 1862 and had arduous service during the Civil War, serving until the close of the war. He was second lieutenant of his company. He was never wounded while in the service but suffered spells of illness which would incapacitate him for a time. After the close of this war service he studied medicine for two years at Rush Medical College in Chicago, graduating from Rush College in 1868. He came to Bates county in that year and began the practice of his profession. At the same time he settled on a farm located on Walnut creek in the township of the same name. At this period the prairie was unfenced and there was much open range. Doctor Standish took advantage of this condition and engaged in cattle raising on an extensive scale. His home place was located in section 28, of Walnut township and he bought and shipped cattle, driving them to Pleasanton, Kansas, where they were loaded on the train for city markets. He followed his profession and engaged in cattle raising until his removal to Hume, Missouri, in 1885. He then engaged in banking and established the Hume Bank of which he was cashier and virtual head until the bank was merged with its successor, the Commercial Bank of Hume. Doctor Standish was a large stockholder of this bank. For a number of years he was a breeder of thoroughbred Hereford cattle and owned one of the first herds of these fine animals ever brought to this section of the county. He frequently exhibited his fine stock at the Royal Stock Shows held in Kansas City, and local fairs, winning many premiums. Doctor Standish became a large land owner, accumulating nearly one thousand acres of Bates county land, and prior to the building of the north part of the town of Hume he owned the land which is now known as the Standish addition to Hume.
Doctor Standish was married May 19, 1869, to Miss Serepta Standish, who was born September 25, 1852, in Livingston county, Illinois, a daughter of Chauncey and Mary (Truman) Standish, natives of Kentucky. Her parents moved to Missouri in 1867 and settled on Walnut creek in Bates county. Both of Mrs. Standish’s parents died in this county, her father dying at the age of sixty-four years. The children of Doctor and Serepta Standish are as follow: Orra, at home with his widowed mother; T. Lyle, deceased; Chauncey, at home; Nellie, deceased; William Roy, a sketch of whom appears in this volume; Roscoe, deceased.
Politically, Doctor Standish was allied with the Republican party, and, while interested in the success of his party at the polls, he was never a seeker after political preferment. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and was affiliated with the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, attaining the Royal Arch degree in that order. Doctor Standish accomplished a great work in Bates county and his name will always be honored as that of one who did much to assist in the building and the development of his adopted county. His death occurred May 5, 1911 at his home in Hume, Missouri, and his remains were laid away in the everlasting sleep from which the godly are destined to awaken to the higher and better life. He endeavored to live a Christian life according to the precepts of the Methodist denomination of which he was a member and liberal supporter. His was a useful life, and his hundreds of friends mourned with his widow and family their great loss when he was called to the bosom of his Maker.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

WILLIAM ROY STANDISH, progressive young farmer of Walnut township, is a native son of Bates county whose father, Dr. Stephen L. Standish, was one of the best known and most successful physicians of Bates county. A sketch of the life of Dr. S.L. Standish appears in this volume. William Roy Standish is proprietor of the old home place of the family on Walnut creek, which is one of the most attractive and best improved farmsteads in his township. The Standish home farm consists of a fertile tract of three hundred and twenty acres which is well watered by the never failing water supply furnished by Walnut creek. Mr. Standish has remodeled the old home, adding concrete verandas and otherwise beautifying and modernizing the residence until it presents a likable sight from the roadway. The house is flanked on the east by a natural grove of forest trees bordering the stream. Mr. Standish is a heavy feeder of livestock and has thirty-five head of cattle on his place at the present time. During 1917 he harvested one hundred fifteen acres of corn, forty acres of which made the great yield of fifty-seven and a half bushels of grain to the acre, the rest of the tract averaging a little over forty bushels to the acre. He follows the latest methods of farming and generally gets good yields of crops from his well tilled land.
W.R. Standish was born April 23, 1884, on the farm which he now owns but was reared to young manhood in the town of Hume, where he attended the public schools. Following the completion of his public school course he completed a commercial course in business college at Kansas City and Sedalia, Missouri. Since that time he has followed farming and it is evident that he has chosen wisely and well his life vocation.
Mr. Standish was married on May 11, 1903 to Miss Grace Mabel Shellenburger, of Metz, Missouri. To this marriage have been born two children: Edra Beryl, born December 13, 1907; and Wynston Vere, born July 23, 1914. Mr. Standish is a Republican in politics, belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church, and is fraternally affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America, the Mystic Workers and the Knights of Pythias.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

O.W. STANFILL, of Elkhart township, like a great number of successful Bates county citizens, began his career in this county without a dollar which he could call his own. He has, by tireless industry and decided ability coupled with good financial management during the thirty-two years of his residence on his farm in this county, accumulated a fine farm of two hundred acres with good improvements thereon. He was born in Bath county, Kentucky, February 14, 1857 and was a son of John and Jane (Rice) Stanfill, both of whom were born and reared in Kentucky. The family came to Missouri in 1858 and settled in Jackson county. The Stanfill farm in that county was destined to become a historic spot inasmuch as the famous battle of Westport was fought on the very ground where the subject of this review was want to roam as a boy. After the Civil War, the Stanfills moved to Cass county, later locating in Bates county, Missouri where they made a permanent home. Mr. Stanfill resided in Bates county from 1875 until his death in 1888. The wife and mother died in 1891. Eight children were born to John and Jane Stanfill, three of whom are living: Mrs. Jackson Bennett, of Joplin; Letcher Stanfill, living in Pittsburg, Kansas; and O.W. Stanfill, subject of this review.
The boyhood days of O.W. Stanfill were spent in Jackson and Cass counties and his early young manhood was spent in Elkhart township. He has always followed farming as a life vocation and has resided at his present home since 1885. Upon his splendid farm of two hundred acres he carries on general farming and stock raising, producing average native cattle and hogs for the markets. Mr. Stanfill was married on November 20, 1883 to Miss Virginia McGuire, who was born in Illinois, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William McGuire, of Jackson county, Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Stanfill have three children: May, wife of James Wilson, Amsterdam, Missouri; Annie, wife of Milton Reeves, of New Home township; Albert Freeman, residing in Elkhart township.
Mr. Stanfill has generally been allied with the Democratic party, thought at one time he embraced the doctrines of the Peoples party and supported the principles of that party, for a time. He is one of the sterling, upright citizens of this county, one who has won a firm and substantial place among the great body of well-to-do citizens of the county.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

JUDGE FRANCIS M. STEELE, a late prominent citizen of Bates county, an ex-judge of the county court of Bates county, was one of the leading and most influential citizens of this county. Mr. Steele was born in Callaway county, Missouri, December 21, 1833. His father was Hardin Steele, a native of Kentucky, and his mother was Minnie Ann Howell before her marriage. Hardin Steele came to Missouri in 1827 and was one of the early pioneer settlers in Callaway county, where he resided until 1836 when he took up his residence in Jackson county. F.M. Steele was reared in Jackson county and learned the trade of carpenter and builder which he followed for some years in Kansas City. In 1857 he came to Bates county and was engaged in working at his trade until after the Civil War. In the fall of 1869 he located on a farm in Hudson township and became owner of three hundred sixty acres of excellent farm land which he developed and improved. In 1878 he was elected justice of the peace in Hudson township and in 1880 he was elected a judge of the county court, positions which he ably filled to the satisfaction of the people of the county. Mr. Steele resided on his farm until the year 1886 when he and Mrs. Steele took up their residence in Butler and Judge Steele served as deputy sheriff under Sheriff Colyer, for four years. He maintained his residence in Butler until his death.
December 12, 1860, Francis M. Steele and Rebecca W. Myers were united in marriage, the Reverend Horn, of Johnstown, Missouri, officiating at the altar. Rebecca W. (Myers) Steele was born July 2, 1841 at Evansville, Indiana, a daughter of John D. and Mary M. (Hall) Myers, both of whom were natives of Virginia. John D. Myers came with his family from Indiana to Missouri in 1845 and they located on a farm in Hudson township, Bates county, on a tract of land comprising three hundred sixty acres which Mr. Myers entered from the government for two dollars an acre. He built their cabin home and spent many years improving the place and in general farming and stock raising. John D. Myers was a gentleman of much intelligence and ability. He served as county judge of the Bates county court for many years and as registrar of deeds in the first years following the Civil War. Mr. Myers enlisted in the Union army during the Civil War and served under Captain Donnohue. After the war had ended, John D. Myers located at Butler, later removing to Appleton City, where he died in 1876. Interment was made in Pleasant Ridge cemetery. Mary M. (Hall) Myers had preceded her husband in death many years. She died in 1849 and her remains were laid to rest in Pleasant Ridge cemetery. Mrs. Rebecca W. (Myers) Steele has one sister living, Mrs. Susan Snodgrass, Spokane, Washington. Mrs. Steele recalls her first teacher, “Uncle Peter” Stratton, a gentleman of strong southern sentiments employed in teaching the young people of the southeast corner of Hudson township in the days prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, who, in 1861, went south and never again returned to Missouri. Her last teacher was Miss Margaret Lutsenhizer, who is now deceased. Mrs. Steele states that she is a “graduate” of the old Willow Branch school in Hudson township. Henry Myers, the present United States senator from Montana, is a nephew of John D. Myers, the father of Mrs. Rebecca W. (Myers) Steele. To Francis M. and Rebecca W. Steele were born five sons: Emmett A., a prosperous hardware merchant of Parker, Linn county, Kansas; Robert E., of Piedmont, Oklahoma; Charles Bruce, of Lamar, Colorado; John H., of Kansas City, Missouri; and Arthur F., of Fort Laramie, Wyoming. All these sons are doing well in life and each is admirably maintaining the splendid reputation established by his father and the name Steele is the synonym of honesty, honor, and moral rectitude wherever it is known, whether it be in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, or Wyoming. The father died at Butler January 28, 1917, and interment was made in Oak Hill cemetery.
When the Civil War broke out in 1861, on account of “Order Number 11,” in 1863, Francis M. Steele moved with his family to Pettis county, Missouri and there remained until the conflict closed. When they left their home, the Steels put all their household possessions of value in a wagon drawn by oxen, leaving only the house and lot located in the southern part of Butler. When they returned, the lot only was left. Mrs. Steele is an eyewitness of the two burnings of Butler, one by the Union men and the other by the Confederates. Francis M. Steele took an active and interested part in public and political affairs and for several years was a judge of the county court and later the deputy sheriff during the administration of Sheriff Colyer. As an official, citizen, gentleman, Francis M. Steele established a record far above reproach and he was widely known in Bates county as a man of honorable dealings, upright conduct, and strict integrity, commanding the respect and esteem of his acquaintances and neighbors to an unlimited degree. Although he has passed from the scenes of his earthly labors into "that mysterious realm where each shall take his chamber,” Francis M. Steele still lives in the memory and affection of the people of Bates county. His widow, Mrs. Rebecca M. (Myers) Steele, one of Missouri’s pioneer women, still survives her husband and now at the age of seventy-five years is as active physically and mentally as many women a score of years her junior. Mrs. Steele enjoys recalling the days gone by, the happy times of her girlhood and early womanhood spent on the prairies of Bates county and in the city of Butler, and she has attracted to herself a large circle of friends who admire and respect her for her sterling worth.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

H. STEINER, a successful and prosperous merchant of Prairie City, Missouri, was born June 30, 1880, a son of Rudolph, Sr., and Elizabeth (Wertz) Steiner, both of whom were born in Switzerland. Rudolph Steiner, Sr., located at Rockville, Missouri, on coming to the United States and engaged in his trade of blacksmithing for several years. In later life, the senior Steiner moved with his family to Prairie City, Missouri. He died about 1915 and interment was made in the cemetery at Rockville. Rudolph Steiner, Sr., is survived by his widow, who resides at Nevada, Missouri, and seven children, as follow: Rudolph, Jr., a well-known hardware merchant of Rockville, Missouri; John, Galveston, Texas; H. Steiner, the subject of this review; Emma, Nevada, Missouri; Walter, a highly respected grocer of Rockville, Missouri; Mrs. Mary Theno, Nevada, Missouri; and Albert, who is one of our “Sammies” in the service of the United States in the present world war.
In the city schools of Prairie City, Missouri, H. Steiner obtained an excellent common-school education. After leaving school Mr. Steiner was engaged for nine years in blacksmithing. He opened his present general store in 1904, at Prairie City, Missouri, erecting a new building in 1912, a building 24 x 50 feet in dimensions. Mr. Steiner carries a general line of merchandise and since he entered the mercantile business fourteen years ago he has enjoyed a liberal patronage and at the time of this writing in 1918 has a splendid and lucrative trade.
H. Steiner and Johanna Caroline Filgus were united in marriage in 1901. Mrs. Steiner is a daughter of August Filgus, a prominent citizen of Rockville, Missouri. To this union have been born three children: Wilbert, Delmer, and Fern. Mr. and Mrs. Steiner are widely known in Bates county and they are held in the highest regard in Rockville, where the Steiners have long been respected as good neighbors, faithful friends, and honest, substantial citizens.
Politically, Mr. Steiner is a Republican of the orthodox stamp and he has always manifested a lively interest in public and political questions. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America. He is one of the progressive men of the county and is ever ready to give his support and influence to aid every enterprise calculated to promote the prosperity of the country and to elevate the standards of citizenship.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

JOHN H. STONE, the widely and favorably known treasurer of Bates county, Missouri, is a native of Kentucky. Mr. Stone was born December 27, 1861, a son of William and Agnes (Raney) Stone, both of whom were natives of Kentucky. William Stone was a son of Joseph Stone, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, who lived to be almost a centenarian. Joseph Stone died at the Stone homestead in Harrison county, Kentucky. Agnes (Raney) Stone was a daughter of James Raney, who settled in East Boone township, Bates county in 1876. He lived but a few brief years to enjoy the new Western home. Mr. Raney died in 1886. To William and Agnes (Raney) Stone were born two sons: J.W., a farmer residing near Adrian, Missouri; and John H., the subject of this review. In 1876, William Stone moved with his family from Kentucky to Missouri and located on a farm, of two hundred forty acres located in East Boone township, which place was originally owned by Henry Tamer. This farm, when purchased by Mr. Stone, was a raw prairie and at that time farm land in Missouri was valued at five and eight dollars an acre. Mrs. Stone lived but a few months after the family came West. She died July 4, 1878, and was laid to rest in the cemetery at Everett, in Cass county. For twenty years, Mr. Stone resided on his farm in East Boone township, engaged in farming and improving the land. He then retired from the active labor of the farm and moved to Butler to spend the closing years of his life quietly at the home of his son, John H. William Stone died in 1913 and his remains were laid beside those of his wife in the cemetery at Everett. Mr. Stone occupied a high place in the ranks of Bates county’s most enterprising and successful agriculturists. He believed in progress and spared no trouble or labor in making his country place one of the best farms in the county. He was a public-spirited citizen and for more than a score of years was one of the dominant factors in the growth and development of East Boone township.
John H. Stone attended school in Kentucky and in Bates county, Missouri. His early life was the same as the boyhood days of the average lad in the rural districts. He is a “self-made” man, for almost since childhood he has made his own way in the world. He began farming for himself on the home place in 1880 and there resided until 1896, when he moved to Adrian to engage in the work of carpentering and contracting. Mr. Stone was thus employed when, in the election of November, 1912, he was elected treasurer of Bates county and April 1, 1913, assumed the duties of his office. In the following election of November, 1916, he was re-elected county treasurer and he is the present incumbent in that office. While always interested in public and political affairs, Mr. Stone has not been an active partisan and, until the time of his nomination for treasurer, he had not been known as a politician or party worker. For a number of years, his well-defined business policy and sterling honesty has been noted, and duly recognized, by his countless friends throughout the county, and it was by reason of these, and other qualifications, that his name was placed on the county ticket in the autumn of 1912. When he first entered upon the discharge of his official duties, the people, irrespective of party affiliations, predicted that Mr. Stone’s career as a servant of the public would fully justify the wisdom of their choice and so far he has measured up to all expectations and has proved himself worthy, capable, and obliging, in every way deserving of the esteem and confidence in which he is held.
December 24, 1884, the marriage of John H. Stone and Mattie Webb, daughter of T.B. and Sarah (Sharpe) Webb, was solemnized. Mr. and Mrs. T.B. Webb were both natives of Jackson county and they are now deceased. To John H. and Mattie (Webb) Stone have been born four children, three of whom are now living: Ethel, wife of H.D. Chaney, of Kansas City, Kansas; John Webb, who was accidentally killed at the age of nineteen years; Dr. W.H., a prominent dentist of Hiawatha, Kansas; and Winifred, who is serving as deputy treasurer of Bates county. Mr. and Mrs. Stone and their younger daughter, Miss Winifred, reside at 204 North High street in Butler.
Mr. Stone is a valued member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Butler, and of the Blue Flag Lodge of the Knights of Pythias of Butler. As a skilled mechanic, Mr. Stone enjoys more than local repute and as a business man, he is careful and methodical, possessing executive ability of a high order, sound judgment, keen discernment and foresight. John H. Stone is a man of scrupulous integrity. His word is as good as a Liberty Bond and for many years he has enjoyed the distinction of being one of the broad-minded, representative citizens of Bates county.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

JAMES L. STRIEN – The Strien family is one of the oldest and most historic of Bates county and the old homestead in New Home township contains many reminders of the days of long ago when this thickly settled country was a wilderness. A wide open fireplace sends out a cheery blaze on cold, wintry days to the visitor upon entering the large living-room of the house. Natural forest trees shade the yard bordering on the highway. An account of this old family covers a period of four score years of their part in Missouri’s history and sixty-three years of the history of Bates county.
The late James L. Strien, of New Home township, was born September 11, 1842, in Franklin county, Missouri, a son of William P.H. and Levicy Cole (Boles) Strien, the former, born October 22, 1812, and the latter, born August 16, 1813. Both parents were natives of White county, Tennessee. William P.H. Strien was one of the earliest of Missouri’s pioneers. He came from Franklin county to Bates county in 1854, after two years’ residence in Vernon county, Missouri. He pre-empted and also purchased land in what is now the northeast part of New Home township. The Strien place was practically covered with timber which required the hardest kind of labor to clear and place in cultivation. William P.H. Strien died November 17, 1862, and his remains are interred in the family burial plat near the homestead. Levicy Strien, his wife, died May 30, 1860.
James L. Strien was twelve years old, when his parents came to Bates county, and he was a strong lad for his years. He wielded an axe and drove an ox-team, thus assisting clear the place of timber and place it under cultivation. About 1861, or 1862, he crossed the plains with a freighting outfit and for a period of three years served as a “bull whacker” or ox-team driver in the West. His first overland trip was made from St. Joseph to the famous mining camp of Virginia City in Nevada and he made the return trip mostly by boat on the Missouri river. While in the Western country, he hauled goods over the mountains and handled flour, when it retailed for one hundred dollars per sack. He drove for the Diamond R. Freighting Company and had many interesting and exciting experiences during his three years as plainsman. He drove a freight wagon pulled by six yoke of oxen. Mr. Strien freighted between Helena, Montana, situated at the head of navigation on the Missouri river, to Virginia City, and it is said that he hauled the first load of goods into Virginia City, when the famous mining city was in process of building. When he returned to his old home in Bates county in 1865 he found nothing but the ruins of the house which his father had built, and of necessity, was compelled to erect another home for himself. Mr. Strien returned home in 1865 and settled on the old home place of the family, residing there until his death, June 19, 1915. He became owner of four hundred twenty acres of well-improved land in New Home township and was highly regarded by all who knew them.
November 3, 1878, James L. Strien and Sarah J. Berry were united in marriage. To this union have been born the following children: Lydia Frances, born October 23, 1880, at home with her widowed mother; Annie Catherine, born October 21, 1882; and James Walter, born October 9, 1884, is operating the home farm.
Mrs. Sarah J. (Berry) Strien was born August 19, 1851, in Pettis county, a daughter of John and Polly Ann (Adams) Berry. Her father was born in Cooper county, Missouri, in 1823 and died in 1898. Her mother was born in Kentucky in 1829 and died on May 14, 1892. John Berry was the son of Tyree H. Berry, who came to Missouri from the South and lived at old Fort Boone as early as 1870. When John Berry was reared to young manhood, he located in Pettis county and there married. He resided there until 1854 and then made a settlement in Bates county, settling near the site of Nyhart. During the Civil War, both the Strien and Berry families returned to Pettis county, where they remained until the end of the war.
No honor is too great to bestow upon the memory of hardy pioneers like James L. Strien, his father and John Berry, for the great work accomplished in assisting to open up this country for settlement and to prove to others that Bates county soil was capable of sustaining a considerable population. Since the old days, when these men plied their axes in the woods and broke the first furrows in the virgin soil, a wonderful transformation has taken place – the forests, prairies which stretched in unbroken lines as far as the eye could reach, with but here and there the smoke from a settler’s lonely cabin or from the campfires of the nomadic Indians rising in the clear air, have given way to the march of civilization. Now a prosperous and contented community of intelligent people reside in amity where once was such a wilderness.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

ROBERT STURGEON, a highly respected farmer and stockman of Summit township, is a member of one of the pioneer families of Carroll county, Missouri. Mr. Sturgeon is a native of Henry county, Ohio, a son of Rowland and Elizabeth (Barton) Sturgeon, natives of Starke county, Ohio. The Sturgeons came to Missouri in 1869 in an emigrant wagon and settled on the farm afterward known as the Sturgeon farm in Carroll county. Rowland Sturgeon died at the Sturgeon homestead in 1901. Mrs. Sturgeon makes her home at Hale, Missouri, and she is now eighty-four years of age, one of the most valued of the brave pioneer women of Carroll county. Mr. Sturgeon was a Union veteran of the Civil War. He enlisted in Henry county, Ohio, and served with Company D, One Hundred Eleventh Infantry. His son, Robert, was born April 1, 1853.
Robert Sturgeon is the only son and oldest living child now of the five children born to his parents, Rowland and Elizabeth Sturgeon, the children being, as follow: John, deceased; Robert, the subject of this review; Mrs. Lillian Dailey, Hale, Missouri; Alice, who died at the age of sixteen years; and Maggie, who died at the age of five years. Mr. Sturgeon attended the public schools of Ohio. He remained at home with his parents until he was twenty-two years of age and then he traveled in the West, spending two years in Colorado, 1878 and 1879. He returned to Carroll county from Colorado in 1880 and engaged in agricultural pursuits there until 1909, when he came to Bates county. While a resident of the former county, Mr. Sturgeon filled the position of township collector for two terms in 1883 and 1884. Mr. Sturgeon purchased the R.J. Thomas farm, comprising two hundred acres originally, which is located about two and a half miles east of Butler on the Butler and Summit road. Mr. Sturgeon has since disposed of eighty acres of his farm and now has a tract of one hundred twenty acres, which he has improved. He has built a handsome residence, a structure of eight rooms, since he acquired the ownership of the farm. He is engaged in general farming and stock raising.
Robert Sturgeon and Melcena Elledge, of Carroll county, Missouri, were united in marriage in 1883. Melcena (Elledge) Sturgeon is a daughter of G.M. and Mary J. (Parish) Elledge, natives of Illinois. Mary J. (Parish) Elledge was a daughter of Abednego Parish, a prominent citizen of Illinois. James Simms, a great-grandfather of Mrs. Sturgeon, was an emigrant from Scotland and he settled in Illinois in the earliest pioneer days of that state. Mrs. Elledge died in January, 1900, and interment was made in the cemetery at Tina, Carroll county, Missouri. Mr. Elledge now resides at Halfway, Baker county, Oregon. Two brothers of Mrs. Sturgeon are still living: D.M., Bird City, Kansas; and Wesley, Powell, Wyoming. To Robert and Malcena (Elledge) Sturgeon have been born five children: Nellie, the wife of Fred Jeffries, Havelock, Nebraska; Elmer, Sterling, Colorado; Ray, Butler, Missouri; Jessie, the wife of G.G. Wirt, Harrisonville, Missouri; and Eulalie, who is a sophomore student in the Butler High School.
Although Mr. Sturgeon keeps himself well informed upon the important issues of the day and upon current events in general, his quiet, unobtrusive, domestic tastes have kept him from entering the arena of public affairs in Bates county. He defends his opinions intelligently, votes his sentiments fearlessly, and leaves public distinction and the emoluments of office to others. The Sturgeons are numbered among the best families of Summit township. Robert Sturgeon is an excellent neighbor and true friend, esteemed by all who know him. In his mental and moral makeup are combined the intelligence, industry, sterling worth, and courtesy of the pioneer and gentleman.History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

GEORGE W. SUNDERWIRTH, president of the Prairie City Cheese Company, was born in Gasconade county, at Hermann, Missouri, in 1854, a son of Henry William and Charlotte Sunderwirth, one of the first families of Missouri. Henry William Sunderwirth located in Gasconade county, Missouri, in 1817, coming thence from St. Louis, Missouri. Both Mr. and Mrs. Sunderwirth died in Gasconade county. The father died in 1865, and his son, George W., was then but a child eleven years of age.
George W. Sunderwirth attended the Methodist College at Warrenton, Missouri, for three years and then was employed as teacher in the public schools of the state for fifteen years. Mr. Sunderwirth came to Bates county, Missouri, in 1882, and has resided at Prairie City for the past thirty-six years. He has been interested in the manufacture of cheese at Prairie City for more than a quarter century and is now successfully demonstrated the fact that Bates county, Missouri, can produce as good cheese as any county in the state or in the United States.
April 9, 1885, George W. Sunderwirth and Ida Schneiter were united in marriage. Ida (Schneiter) Sunderwirth is a native of Switzerland. She was born in the canton of Berne, town Briens, and when an infant came to America with her parents, Melchior and Elizabeth Schneiter, who located at Prairie City, Missouri, in 1870. Mr. Schneiter resided on a farm located east of Prairie City and was engaged in general farming until his death in 1901, at the age of sixty-four years. Mrs. Schneiter died in 1902, at the age of sixty-years, and both father and mother were laid to rest in the German Reformed cemetery. The former assisted in organizing the first German Reformed church at this place. The cyclone of 1886 blew away the first church building, but another was erected soon afterward. To George W. and Ida Sunderwirth have been born four children: Clara C., who is a graduate of Tarkio College, receiving degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science, and is now principal of the Winchester High School, Winchester, Kansas; George A., who is a graduate of Tarkio College in the class of 1916 and is now the well-to-do proprietor of a valuable dairy farm in Bates county, Missouri; Clarence H., who is a graduate of the Butler High School and is now secretary and manager of the Prairie City Cheese Company; and Wilbert W., a junior student in the Butler High School.
The Prairie City Cheese Company was organized March 22, 1890, a stock company having a capital stock of eight hundred dollars. The first officers were Judge Fred Fix, president; and George W. Sunderwirth, secretary and treasurer. The company was incorporated March 3, 1904, with a capital stock of two thousand dollars, forty shares of fifty dollars each. Two years ago, dating from the time of this writing in 1918, Mr. Sunderwirth purchased the interests of the different stockholders and since acquiring the ownership of the factory has installed a refrigerator valued at actual cost three thousand dollars and has placed his son, Clarence H., in charge of the cheese-making department, an experienced cheese-maker, who learned the art under R.A. Murray, who is now located at Adrian, Missouri. This cheese factory did not always have smooth sailing. At one time, the owners paid their cheese-maker thirty dollars when the amount of milk received was valued at twenty-eight dollars. In December, 1917, a DeLaval whey separator was installed at a cost of five hundred dollars and the value of the plant is now approximately ten thousand dollars. Ninety thousand three hundred ninety-nine pounds of cheese were made in 1917 and sold for twenty-two thousand five hundred dollars. The cheese is made in two styles: the round print, called the “Daisy Cheese,” twenty pounds to a cheese; and the square print, ten pounds to a cheese. Orders are daily received by mail from wholesale grocers and packing houses and the demand for the cheese far exceeds the supply. An interesting part of the plant’s fixtures are the vats, two in number, having a capacity of seven hundred gallons of milk. One hundred pounds of milk make ten pounds of cheese and the whey is returned to the farmer, who finds it excellent food for his hogs. The refrigerator, previously mentioned, has been a most profitable investment, having made a great saving. The factory is sanitary throughout and kept scrupulously clean and the products have proven their quality by selling at higher prices than do those from the Wisconsin factories. The present officers of the Prairie City Cheese Company are: George W. Sunderwirth, president; Ida Sunderwirth, treasurer; and Clarence H. Sunderwirth, secretary and manager. The Sunderwirths deserve much praise and respect for the splendid success which they are making of their most valuable factory. Mr. Sunderwirth has advanced steadily, overcoming a myriad of obstacles and discouraging circumstances, has forged to the front in the business world and now ranks with the most successful and prominent manufacturers of western Missouri. Industrious and energetic, he took advantage of every opportunity that came, his dealings have been honorable, his integrity unquestioned, and his good business judgment and keen discernment have borne legitimate fruitage in the comfortable competence which is now his. The career of George W. Sunderwirth is only additional proof of the old adage that “Fortune is a fickle goddess to be wooed before won,” and his example may well be emulated by the ambitious young man just beginning life for himself. Mr. Sunderwirth is a valued member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and the Modern Woodmen of America. He and Mrs. Sunderwirth are highly respected and consistent members of the Presbyterian church.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

 CLARENCE C. SWARENS, a leading citizen of New Home township, proprietor of a splendid farm of one hundred thirty acres, candidate for the nomination for the office of clerk of the circuit court of Bates county, is one of the best-known of the second generation of Bates county’s citizens. Mr. Swarens was born in Sangamon county, Illinois, August 9, 1867, a son of John and Ann (Ray) Swarens, who migrated from Illinois to Bates county, Missouri, in 1882 and made a permanent settlement in New Home township, where they reared a fine family. For further information regarding the parents of C.C. Swarens, the reader is referred to the biography of Frank R. Swarens, brother of the subject of this review.
Mr. Swarens attended the public schools of Springfield, Illinois, and completed the prescribed course in the Springfield public schools at the early age of twelve years. After studying for one year in the Springfield High School, he spent one year in Business College. He accompanied his parents to Bates county and assisted his father in the operation of the home farm during his boyhood days. As early as 1892, he engaged in the profession of teaching and successfully taught in the public schools in Bates county and Texas for twenty or more terms. During 1892 and 1893 he pursued the study of law at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, and graduated from the law department of the university. Following his graduation, being admitted to the bar, he went to Houston, Texas, and practiced law for one year in that city. He then taught school near Houston for some time.
Following his teaching experience in Texas, he was employed as chief night clerk in the Houston postoffice for a period of three years. He then returned to Bates county in 1898 and has since resided here, with the exception of one year (1915) spent as clerk in the mailing department of the Kansas City postoffice. Mr. Swarens, having been born and brought up on a farm, is an excellent farmer, progressive in his agricultural methods. The Swarens place in New Home township is one of the most attractive in Bates county and is well equipped with a handsome farm residence and good buildings.
Mr. Swarens was married on February 3, 1895, to Miss Lizzie Thomas, born in New Home township, March 6, 1876, a daughter of James P. Thomas, the patriarch of New Home township, one of the oldest of the Bates county pioneers, concerning whose career an extended review is given elsewhere in this volume. Two children have been born to Clarence C. and Lizzie Swarens: Goldie, born August 14, 1897; and Lewis, born April 5, 1901. Goldie Swarens was married February 5, 1916, to Eugene Casebolt, of Warrensburg, Missouri.
The Democratic party has had the unswerving allegiance of Mr. Swarens at all times and he has been prominent in the affairs of his party in Bates county for a number of years. He has served as central committeeman for his township and has generally been active in the support of his party’s activities and policies. He is one of the best-known of the leaders of the Democracy in Bates county and at the present writing (March, 1918) is a candidate for the nomination for clerk of the circuit court at the August primaries. The candidacy of Mr. Swarens for this office has met with considerable encouragement and it is universally conceded that he is equipped educationally and mentally, and possesses ability above the average to enable him to perform the duties of the office sought. He is popular with all classes and is deserving of the support of his fellow citizens for the office. Mr. Swarens is a member of the Church of Christ, Scientist. Mr. and Mrs. Swarens taken an active part in the social life of their neighborhood and are well esteemed in their home neighborhood.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

FRANK RAY SWARENS, grain dealer and successful farmer of New Home township, whose place of business is at Foster, Missouri, was born June 10, 1865, in Menard county, Illinois. His father was John Swarens, born in 1837, and died in 1899, a native of Woodford county, Illinois, and of German ancestry. He, John Swarens, was left an orphan at the early age of eleven years and was reared in the home of a married sister. When he reached mature age, he married Miss Anna Ray, who was born in 1843 in Sangamon county, Illinois, a daughter of Samuel Ray, who moved from his home state of Kentucky to Illinois, in an early day. She died in 1908. In 1867, John Swarens moved from Menard county to Sangamon county, Illinois, and resided there until he came to Bates county, the entire family arriving in this county on March 1, 1882, making a permanent settlement in New Home township. John Swarens prospered exceedingly in his new environment and became one of the leading and most substantial citizens of Bates county. Prior to his death he was owner of five hundred thirty acres of rich farm land.
John and Anna Swarens were parents of the following children: Ella, wife of N.L. Livingston, died at Foster, Missouri; Frank Ray, subject of this biographical review; C.C., a leading farmer of New Home township; Mrs. Laura Bowman, Kansas City, Missouri; Mrs. Hattie Barron, Kansas City; Mrs. May McCombs, deceased; Mrs. Joe Stetter, Kansas City; Iva and Emma, deceased. Mr. Swarens was a pronounced Democrat in his political affiliations. He and Mrs. Swarens were members of the Christian church and Mr. Swarens was a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. Mr. and Mrs. Swarens were a valuable addition to the civic and agricultural life of Bates county and left a reputation for honest, upright, industrious living, for a high plane of right thinking and doing, which will make them long remembered in this locality. Their virtues and habits of life were visited upon their children, who occupy respected niches in the various communities in which they reside.
The early education of F.R. Swarens was obtained in the schools of his native county in Illinois, and, at the time of his coming to Bates county with his parents, he was a sturdy boy of seventeen years, who was able and willing to do a man’s work in the fields. He assisted his father in developing and cultivating the home place and, after his father’s death, elected to remain there, subsequently purchasing the various interests of the other heirs in the family homestead. In 1913, he moved to Foster, where he had become interested in the grain business. In 1918, this year, he deemed it the best policy, in view of the scarcity of farm help, to remove to the farm in New Home township where he could personally oversee the cultivation of his land. His home place in New Home township is a splendidly improved farm of two hundred forty acres. For the past five years, Mr. Swarens has been residing on the Mort Campbell place of one hundred twenty acres adjoining Foster on the east, and which he sold in December, 1917.
On September 4, 1889, Frank Ray Swarens and Vida, eldest daughter of James P. Thomas, of New Home township, were united in marriage. The reader is referred to the biography of James P. Thomas, the oldest pioneer resident of this township, for further information regarding the Thomas family. Eleven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Swarens, nine of whom are living: Nona, wife of Charles Cobb, living on the home place in New Home township; Mrs. Mamie Sieg, living on an eighty acre farm in Howard township; James and Raymond, at home on the farm; Mrs. Oneta, wife of E.C. Cullison, Archie, Cass county, Missouri, where Mr. Cullison is employed as book-keeper for the Hurley Lumber Company; Leslie, book-keeper for Swift & Co., Trenton, Missouri; Leonard and Ruth, at home; Viola, deceased; Forrest, at home; and Martha, deceased.
Mr. Swarens has always been allied with the Democratic party and has held various township offices in New Home township, during the course of his residence there. He is a member of the Christian church and is fraternally affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Mr. and Mrs. Swarens are highly esteemed citizens of Bates county, and are of that sturdy, progressive class who have done so much to bring Bates county to the front.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

 

 


 

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