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Bates County

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DARIUS TEETER, a late honored pioneer of Bates county, was a native of New York. Mr. Teeter was born in 1834 in Cayuga county, a son of Conrad and Mary (Hall) Teeter, the father, a native of New Jersey and the mother, of Cayuga county, New York. In the common schools of Wisconsin, Darius Teeter received his education. His parents moved to Wisconsin five years before it became a state, in 1843, and there the mother died when the son, Darius, was still very young. When he was twenty-one years of age, his father sold the homestead and Darius and his brother bought a tract of government land in the northern part of the state of Wisconsin and engaged in farming. From there, Darius Teeter and a friend, Thomas Springsteen, started for Pike’s Peak, Colorado in the spring of 1860 driving ox-teams. They arrived at Denver on July 4, 1860 and for two years engaged in mining and freighting in Colorado. Mr. Teeter left Colorado once, going thence to Omaha, Nebraska and returning the following spring to Colorado with freight. In the summer of 1862, he went to Oregon with his oxen and was there outfitted for a prospecting tour in Idaho and in that state, then a territory, he prospered, making enough money with which to get a “good start” in life. Mr. Teeter filed a claim to the land which is the present townsite of Boise, Idaho in Ada county and the log cabin built by Darius Teeter and William Richie, partners, is preserved by the Historical Society of Boise. A large influx of people from different sections of the United States soon settled the country. Charles Teeter, a brother of Darius Teeter, came to Boise, Idaho in 1863 and after the latter disposed of his land interests the two brothers engaged in the mercantile business at that place until Darius Teeter returned to Wisconsin in 1866. His first partner never returned to the old home, the one with whom he left Wisconsin, Thomas Springsteen. Mr. Teeter remained in that state until 1870, when he came to Missouri and settled on land in Bates county, section 7 in Spruce township, a tract comprising one hundred six and two-thirds acres, which he purchased from James Armstrong for eight dollars an acre. To his original holdings, Mr. Teeter added until he owned one hundred ninety-two acres of choice land in this county. He had been a resident of Bates county for forty-eight years and had been constantly at work all these years improving and bettering the condition of his farm. The improvements, which have all been placed on the land by Mr. Teeter, include a nice residence, a two-story structure built in 1894, two well-constructed barns, a granary, a tool shed, and a splendid windmill, which pumps the water, from a well that is never dry, into the feed lots for the stock. Mr. Teeter’s first residence in Bates county was a house, 16 x 24 feet in dimensions, built by himself  from lumber which he hauled from Holden, Missouri, forty miles away. One pleasing feature of the Teeter farm is the orchard, covering four acres of land, planted when he first came to this part of the country.
In 1866, Darius Teeter and Emma Abbott, of Wisconsin, were united in marriage. Mrs. Teeter was born in Indiana. To this union were born three children, who are now living: Mrs. Cora Embree, of Butler, Missouri; George D., who is engaged in the furniture and undertaking business at Apache, Caddo county, Oklahoma; and Clarence A., who is at home with his father and manages the farm in Spruce township. The faithful wife and loving mother, one of the bravest, noblest pioneer women who ever came to Missouri, died in 1901 in California, while she and Mr. Teeter were there on a visit. Her remains were brought back to Bates county, Missouri for burial and interment was made in Cloud cemetery. Mr. Teeter died in February, 1918.
Few men in Spruce township were as well and favorably known as Darius Teeter. A gentleman, a representative of one of the old colonial families of New York, of a sterling pioneer family of the old Northwest Territory, a man, who by sheer pluck, industry, and will-power subdued adversity and conquered fortune and won success, a pioneer, himself, of western Missouri surely deserves  more than passing notice in a work of this character. He was a life-long Republican. Mr. Teeter was in many ways one of the most remarkable men to be found in our county. He possessed many admirable traits of character, a high sense of honor, honesty, justice, and integrity, and he was always interested in the development and prosperity of his township and county and did his full share in laying broad and deep the foundations of the county’s progress. Although Mr. Teeter was far past the allotted span of human life, he retained much of his youthful vigor, both physically and mentally, to the time of his last fatal illness. He lived his life in such an upright and exemplary manner that his soul was quietly gathered to the bosom of his Maker upon “sunset and evening star and one clear call.”
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

M.N. TEETER, an influential agriculturist of Shawnee township, is one of the successful sons of a sterling pioneer family of Bates county. Mr. Teeter was born December 9, 1878 at the Teeter homestead in Shawnee township, a son of C.N. and Eliza (Hill) Teeter, the father, a native of New York and the mother, of Pennsylvania. The Teeters came to Missouri in 1865 and settled on a prairie farm in Bates county, after a few months residence in Butler. C.N. Teeter built their residence in Butler from lumber which he hauled from Pleasanton, Linn county, Kansas and the old house still stands in this city, located about three blocks from the public square on the north side of the city. Mr. Teeter was an enterprising and capable farmer and stockman and succeeded well in raising and feeding large herds of horses, cattle, and hogs. At the time of his death, in 1907, he was the owner of a valuable farm in Bates county, a place embracing three hundred twenty-three acres of land. The remains of C.N. Teeter were laid to rest in Cloud cemetery in this county. The widowed mother still resides at the old home place in Shawnee township.
At Griggs school house in Shawnee township, a building named in honor of William Griggs on whose farm the school house was located, M.N. Teeter obtained his education. School was held in the same school house in the days before the Civil War, and Mr. Teeter attended school at the old school house. When he was thirteen years of age, he had mastered the trade of blacksmithing and for seven years was engaged in following his trade in Bates county. When he had attained maturity, Mr. Teeter moved on the farm which had formerly been his father’s and entered the stock business, in which he has ever since been engaged. He raises, buys, and sells cattle, hogs, horses, and mules and is the owner of one of the nice country places in his township, a farm embracing one hundred twenty acres of valuable land located ten miles east of Adrian and two and a half miles northwest of Ballard. The Teeter farm is well improved and equipped for handling stock.
The marriage of M.N. Teeter and Millie Gilbert, a daughter of J.F. and Jane (Hammond) Gilbert, of Grand River township, was solemnized December 24, 1899. Both the father and the mother of Mrs. Teeter are now deceased and their remains are interred in Hart cemetery in Bates county. Mr. and Mrs. J.F. Gilbert were the parents of thirteen children, all of whom have been reared to maturity and are now living, the oldest being fifty-five years of age and the eleventh is Mrs. M.N. Teeter: William, John, Howard, Charles, Victor, William, Mrs. Florence Hammond, Mrs. Grace Russell, Mrs. Dora Witterman, Mrs. Ruth Burk, Mrs. Blanche Embree, Mrs. Hilda Shield and Mrs. Millie Teeter. Mr. Teeter has only one sister living, Mrs. Ella Mosher, who resides in Shawnee township. To M.N. and Mrs. Teeter have been born the following children: Madge, a student in the Adrian High School; Gladys, Orpha, Don, and Hurley, all at home with their parents.
The history of every community is but the aggregation of the biographies of its citizens and the record of the relations which they have sustained one to another. Some may be of little interest to the casual reader, still they occupy important places in the record, and many lives that attract but light attention from the world at large are often the most indispensable, being in many cases the lives of men and women who are moulding public sentiment and directing the destiny of their particular community. Mr. and Mrs. Teeter are widely and favorably known in the county and they are justly enrolled among its best and most representative citizens.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

JOSEPH TIPTON, a highly respected farmer and stockman of Mount Pleasant township, is a member of one of the oldest pioneer families of Missouri. Mr. Tipton is a grandson of James Tipton, an honored pioneer of Benton county, Missouri. James Tipton came from Tennessee to Missouri in a “prairie schooner,” having four fine Kentucky horses for motor power. As far back as they are known, the Tiptons have been lovers of good horses and these particular ones were draft horses of the type used in the forties, strawberry roan in color, with proudly arched necks, they created quite an impression upon the early settlers of Benton county. Joseph Tipton was born in 1848 in Benton county, Missouri, a son of Thomas, Sr. and Nancy E. (Henderson) Tipton, both of whom were natives of Tennessee. Thomas Tipton, Sr., came to Missouri with his father, James Tipton, about 1840. James Tipton died many years ago in Hickory county, Missouri. To Thomas, Sr., and Nancy E. Tipton were born five children, three of whom are living: Thomas, Jr., Benton county, Missouri; William, who resides at the Tipton homestead in Benton county, Missouri; and Joseph, the subject of this review. The father did not live long amid the pioneer surroundings of their new western home. He died in Benton county. Mrs. Tipton remarried, her second husband being William Wright. To Mr. and Mrs. William Wright were born two sons and two daughters: John, who has been baggage master at Sedalia, Missouri, for the past twenty-five years; George, who is engaged in farming in Hickory county, Missouri; Martha, deceased; and Lucinda, deceased. Mrs. Nancy E. Tipton Wright departed this life in Benton county.
Prior to the Civil War, there were no public schools in Missouri and Joseph Tipton was educated in the “subscription schools” of the early days in Benton county. In his boyhood days, the Indians of the vicinity frequently visited the Tipton home and traded their hand-woven baskets for articles which they wanted. Mr. Tipton remained at home with his parents until he was thirty-two years of age. He left home at that time and traveled in the West, staying six months in Oregon and two years in California. In the autumn of 1882, he returned to Missouri and located in Bates county near Appleton City. He rented land for a time and then purchased a farm, which he afterward sold and then went back to California. On his second coming to Bates county, Missouri, Mr. Tipton bought a farm located eight miles east of Butler. He again disposed of his land and left Missouri for California. In 1905, he returned to Bates county for the third time and at this time bought his present country home, a farm comprising forty acres located two and a half miles south of Butler on the Butler and Appleton City road. Mr. Tipton has himself improved the place, building and planting. He has a pleasant and comfortable residence of eight rooms, a large barn, and a smoke-house, now on the farm.
The marriage of Joseph Tipton and Cynthia J. Taylor was solemnized in 1880. Cynthia J. (Taylor) Tipton is a daughter of James Wesley and Sarah (Rice) Taylor, of Benton county, Missouri, both of whom were natives of Kentucky. James Wesley Taylor was a cousin of Zachary Taylor, the twelfth President of the United States, the soldier-statesman, who was born in Virginia in 1784 and died July 9, 1881, and he was a veteran of the War of 1812 and of the Civil War. In the War of 1812, Mr. Taylor and a comrade were so weak from prolonged marching that they were left behind by the troops to die. An acorn, which they divided, partially restored their strength and with a mighty effort they managed to regain their company the next day. In the Civil War, Mr. Taylor made up a company of men, Company I, Missouri State Militia, and of it was chosen captain. In times of peace, he was engaged in the profession of teaching. Mr. Taylor was intensely interested in horticulture and planted the first orchard ever planted out south of the Osage river at Warsaw. He carried the trees on the back of his horse from Jefferson City to his home. Mrs. Tipton still has a variety of rosebushes, which came from the Taylor homestead and were planted by her father there. Mrs. Taylor was always proud of the distinction of having been present to see the first steamboat sail up the Missouri river to Jefferson City, which was in her day as much of an event as the passing of the first aeroplane across our city would be to us. Mr. and Mrs. Tipton have no children of their own, but they have reared and educated as their own two girls: Jessie Miller, a niece of Mrs. Tipton, the wife of Fred Nickly, of Butler, Missouri; and Cecil Nickly, the oldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Nickly, who is employed as teacher in the Appleton City High School and will graduate from the Warrensburg Normal School in the class of 1918.
Joseph Tipton is a man of strong character, practical mind, and of enterprise and thrift. As citizens, both he and Mrs. Tipton are all, and more, than any community could desire, lending their support liberally and cheerfully to all good enterprises for the social, moral, and intellectual improvement of the township and county in which they reside.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

EDWARD LESLIE THOMAS or “E.L.” Thomas, as he is more familiarly known, owner of “Capital Hill Farm,” a splendid farm place of two hundred forty acres in New Home township, is a native son of Missouri and was born on a farm in New Home township, Bates county, August 8, 1873. He is a son of James P. Thomas, one of the oldest of the living pioneer settlers of this county, concerning whom a biographical review is given elsewhere in this volume. The Thomas place is a beautiful one, the well-kept residence being located upon an eminence which overlooks the surrounding country for miles in every direction. One hundred sixty acres of this farm comprise the original home place owned by Mr. Thomas in New Home township and eighty acres are located just across the highway in Walnut township. The residence and farm buildings are reached by a driveway coming from the west. Mr. Thomas carries on general farming operations and raises cattle and hogs. He was reared and educated in Bates county, attending the Virginia district school. At the age of nineteen years he began farming for himself upon his father’s farm. His father made him a present of a team of horses and later, in 1896, gave him a deed to one hundred eighty acres of farm land, eighty acres of which his residence has been erected upon. Later he gave him another forty acres. Mr. Thomas placed all of the improvements upon his place and has added one hundred twenty acres to his original holdings.
Mr. Thomas has been twice married, his first marriage occurring in 1892 with Ella Woods, who died on September 7, 1898. On June 10, 1902, he was united in marriage with Miss Maude Woodfin, who was born in Walnut township, February 28, 1878, a daughter of Jason and Prudence (Miller) Woodfin, pioneer residents of Bates county, concerning whom an extended review is given in this work. Her father is deceased and her mother resides upon the old home place in Walnut township. Both the Miller and Woodfin families were among the first pioneer families in this section of Bates county and are among the most honored and respected. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas have no children of their own, but are rearing a boy, Chan Calloway. In politics, Mr. Thomas has always been a Democrat. Mrs. Thomas is a member of the Christian church. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas are popular in their home community, enjoying life to the utmost and are loyal citizens of Bates county, who count among their many friends the best and most substantial people of the county.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

JAMES ARTHUR THOMAS, proprietor of a splendid farm of one hundred fifty-seven acres in New Home township, known as the “Lone Elm Farm,” was born September 10, 1887, on the farm which he now owns. He is a son of James P. Thomas, concerning whom an extended biography is given in this volume. Mr. Thomas was educated in the Virginia district school and attended the Foster high school. His farm is well improved with a handsome, comfortable residence, a substantial barn, and silo, and other buildings in a good state of repair. Mr. Thomas is a breeder of O.I.C. hogs all of which are registered stock to the number of forty head on the place. He is specializing as a breeder of thoroughbred stock of this famous variety and is making a success of the venture. Mrs. Thomas specializes in Barred Rock poultry and has about two hundred thirty head of fine chickens at this writing, January, 1918.
On July 31, 1906, James Arthur Thomas and Rose Cobb were united in marriage. Mrs. Rose (Cobb) Thomas was born July 30, 1889, in New Home township, a daughter of S.E. and Mary Jane (Hopkins) Cobb, the former of whom was a native of Harrison county, and the latter a native of Morgan county, Missouri. They came to Bates county in 1870 and settled in New Home township, where the father, S.E. Cobb died in 1904. Mrs. Cobb departed this life in 1907. They were parents of the following children: Mrs. Emma Irvin, Bussey, Iowa; Charles C., New Home township; Jesse R., of Sheridan, Wyoming, killed in a railroad wreck December 30, 1917; Mrs. Rose Thomas; Samuel L., now living at the Thomas home; the first two children born, Sterling Price, died at the age of 32 years, and John Thomas, killed by a mine explosion at the age of 23 years. Four children have been born to J.A. and Rose Thomas: Arthur Lee, born August 20, 1907; the second child died in infancy; Herschell Maxwell, born May 24, 1911; Woodrow Pendleton, born February 20, 1912. Mrs. Thomas is a member of the Baptist church and Mr. Thomas is a Democrat in politics.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler

JAMES PENDLETON THOMAS, better known probably as J.P. Thomas, one of the oldest of the pioneer settlers of Bates county, now living in peaceful retirement among his children in New Home township, has a record for achievement which any man of his age may well be proud. Mr. Thomas has reared one of the best families in Bates county and accumulated during his life time a fortune in lands and money, starting from the foot of the ladder without hardly a dollar to his name when he began his career. Probably the best thing which can be said of this patriarch is the fact that he did not require his children to wait until his death in order to share in his accumulations, but he wisely chose to give each child a tract of land upon which to begin his own career. That he did wisely is evident as every son and daughter has a good home, is well provided for, and nearly all of them live in the vicinity of the old home where the aged father can see them frequently and have the comfort of their companionship during his declining years. If every father would do as he has done with his children there would be fewer sons to leave the home community and seek in other lands for the fabled “pot of honey” which is always said to be a few hundred miles away.
James P. Thomas was born October 10, 1836, in Franklin county, Kentucky, the son of Richard Henry (born in 1800, died in 1842) and Nancy (Ellison) Thomas (born in 1812, died in 1887), both of whom were natives of Kentucky. Richard Thomas was son of James Thomas of Virginia, a pioneer settler of Kentucky. Nancy (Ellison) Thomas was a daughter of Col. Jacob Ellison, a native of Kentucky who was a colonel of volunteers in the War of 1812 and commanded a regiment of Kentucky and Tennessee sharpshooters under Gen. Andrew Jackson at the famous battle of New Orleans, wherein the British invaders under Generals Packenham and Gibbs were defeated with great loss of life. Richard Henry Thomas was killed by a falling tree in 1842. He was the father of ten children, six of whom grew to maturity: Sarah, Betsy, and Martha, deceased; James Pendleton, subject of this review; Richard Hiter, Sheldon, Missouri; Jacob E., Rich Hill, Missouri. In the autumn of 1854, Mrs. Nancy Thomas and her family came to Missouri from the old home in Kentucky and lived for two years in Johnson county. In 1856, Mr. Thomas came to Bates county and entered a tract of government land in New Home township. He erected a log house thereon and was soon joined by his mother and two brothers who came down from Johnson county. Their nearest neighbor was O.H.P. Miller. The new settlers got along nicely until the “jay-hawkers” began making raids from Kansas into Bates county during the latter part of 1861. In January, 1862, a party of marauders visited the Thomas home, drove the occupants from the house, looted it and burned it to the ground. After a week’s stay with friends the family moved to Henry county, Missouri, and from there went to Pettis county and planted crops for the ensuing season. The Federal Militia came there and James P. left his mother in Pettis county and returned to Bates county. He then joined General Cockrell’s company and in the spring of 1862 became a member of Gen. J.O. Shelby’s command. He served with the Confederate forces until the surrender of his command at Shreveport, Louisiana, at the close of the war. His first battle was at Fort Smith, Arkansas; then Dartnell, below Fort Smith on the Arkansas river. He took part in General Shelby’s raid in Arkansas and Missouri as far as the vicinity of Springfield, Missouri, where the projected attack on Springfield was abandoned. Shelby’s army turned back here and the next raid was made as far as Cape Girardeau, where a stiff fight took place, and Shelby’s command retreated to the St. Francis river and built a breastwork, and withstood the attacks of the Unionists. They again retreated southward and were engaged in many skirmishes en route, fighting a battle in Saline county, Missouri, while on their way. They again returned to Arkansas and fought a battle at Du Ball’s Bluff on Grand Prairie. Later they captured a Union gunboat on White river in the spring of 1864. During the summer of 1864 his command operated along the Arkansas river and on one occasion were shelled by Union gunboats but succeeded in driving them off from the attack. Going up the river, the Unionists landed and came down the river to attack the Confederates. Several skirmishes took place, and Mr. Thomas says “We killed a good many niggers.” His command started with General Price upon his great raid through Missouri to Kansas City, but Mr. Thomas was granted furlough to visit home folks in Pettis county in the fall. He with about eighty of his comrades with their captain started to White river, Arkansas, to rejoin Shelby’s army but were attacked by the Federals east of Springfield, and for many miles they had a running fight of it. They rejoined Shelby on the Arkansas river and stayed there during the winter of 1864 and 1865. At one time when their army was chasing after General Steele, Mr. Thomas had his horse shot from under him. After the surrender at Shreveport he boarded a steamer named “Old Kentucky,” which sank on Red river fourteen miles below Shreveport and many were drowned. Mr. Thomas climbed on top of the wheel house and in this manner saved his life. After the war he returned to Pettis county and remained there until the fall of 1867, when he came to Bates county and rebuilt the home and commenced to mend the family fortunes. How well Mr. Thomas succeeded in his farming and stock raising enterprises is evidenced by the fact that he accumulated a total of twelve hundred acres of land. Of this large acreage he has given each of his children one hundred and twenty acres and now owns a tract of one hundred fifty-five acres.
In November of 1867, J.P. Thomas and Mary Anne West were united in marriage. This marriage was blessed with the following children: Mrs. Vida Swarens, New Home township; Robert died in infancy; Edward Leslie, New Home township; Mrs. Elizabeth Kate Swarens, New Home township; Mark Henry, Walnut township; Mrs. Martha Jane Clouse, Walnut township; Eveline died in infancy; James Arthur, living on the old home place of the family in New Home township.
The mother of the foregoing children was born in 1852 and departed this life in 1889. She was a daughter of Mark and Minerva (McHenry) West, natives of Tennessee, who settled in Bates county during the early thirties. Minerva (McHenry) West was a daughter of Capt. John McHenry, who was the first representative from Bates county, and died at Jefferson City while serving in the Assembly.
In politics, Mr. Thomas has always been a Democrat. He is a member of the Baptist church, having been associated with the first Baptist church organized in this section of the county and also assisted in the building of the Foster Baptist church. And now, in the eventide of his life, this patriarch lives in peaceful retirement surrounded by the children whom he reared to upright manhood and womanhood and who have taken their places as useful members of society. James P. Thomas is one of the grand old men of Bates county who has lived to see this county develop into one of the richest and best in the great state of Missouri. It can be said truthfully of him that when he lays down the burdens which his sons and daughters have taken up, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Although well past four score years of age, Mr. Thomas or “Uncle Jimmy,” as he is known to all the country side, is well preserved and hale and hearty, able yet to take a keen interest in affairs from day to day, and no doubt good for many more peaceful years of living.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

MARK HENRY THOMAS, better known as “Mark” Thomas, proprietor of the “White Rock Farm” in Walnut township, consisting of one hundred thirty acres of excellent land, is a native of Bates county, a member of one of the oldest and most honored pioneer families of western Missouri. The Thomas home is a pretty cottage situated upon a rise of ground, overlooking Walnut township to the westward, located just a short distance from the town of Foster. The improvements on the place were all built under Mr. Thomas’ direction and the farm is equipped with a large white barn, 36 x 40 feet in size with a height of sixteen feet to square, and a sixty-ton silo. Mr. Thomas is engaged in general farming and raises cattle and hogs for the markets. He was born September 11, 1878, in New Home township and is a son of James Pendleton Thomas, familiarly known as “Uncle Jim,” one of the oldest of the Bates county pioneers and a patriarch in his own right because of his great age and his long residence in New Home township. (See biography.)
M.H. Thomas attended the school in the Virginia district near his home and also studied in the Foster public schools. When twenty years of age, he began farming on his own account on rented land. Some time later, his father, in making a division of his estate among his children, gave him a tract of eighty acres of land which he improved in December of 1900, and January of 1901. In 1910, he received another gift of forty acres, and to this has added ten acres, making one hundred thirty acres in all, which he owns.
On December 21, 1898, M.H. Thomas and Emma Jane Clouse were united in marriage. Mrs. Emma Thomas was born October 25, 1881, in Walnut township, Bates county, a daughter of William Henry and Lavina (Shroyer) Clouse, natives of Ohio and Illinois, respectively. Mr. and Mrs. Clouse came to Missouri in the early seventies and later made a settlement in Walnut township. Mr. Clouse is now making his home in Oklahoma. The reader is referred to the sketch of W.D. Clouse, a brother of Mrs. Thomas, for further and more detailed information regarding the history of the Clouse family. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas: Glenard, born May 6, 1902, a student in Butler High School; and Lelia Orlena, born October 19, 1899, wife of Lawrence Galvin, a farmer living in New Home township. While Mr. Thomas is a professed Democrat, he is inclined to vote independently in local political elections. He and Mrs. Thomas are members of the Christian church and Mr. Thomas belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

R.J. THOMAS, a prosperous farmer and stockman of Mount Pleasant township, is one of Bates county’s successful citizens. Mr. Thomas is a native of Illinois, born in Schuyler county, in 1866, a son of Daniel and Sarah (Guinn) Thomas. Daniel Thomas was a native of Ohio. He came with his family to Missouri in 1869 and located at Butler. He drove through from Illinois. He was a well-digger by trade and after locating at Butler followed his vocation in this city and vicinity. Probably half the wells in Butler which were dug from 1869 until 1880 were dug by Daniel Thomas. He was a genial man of kindly disposition, industrious and capable and popular with the residents of this city. His death in 1887 was long lamented by all who knew him. Mrs. Thomas departed this life in February, 1917, at the age of eighty years. She was one of the noblest of the brave pioneer women who settled in Bates county. The remains of both father and mother were interred in Oak Hill cemetery. Daniel and Sarah Thomas were the parents of the following children: Fleetwood, Butler, Missouri; David, who died at the age of fifteen years; R.J., the subject of this review; Mrs. Phoebe Taylor, Butler, Missouri; Daniel, Jr., St. Louis, Missouri; and John, who died in youth.
R.J. Thomas attended the city schools of Butler. Since he was twelve years of age, he has made his own living, working by the day, month and job. When he was twenty-five years of age, he began farming for himself. Mr. Thomas first purchased the John Keeton place of forty acres of land, to which he later added one hundred twenty acres adjoining land and then sold the farm and returned to Butler. Two years afterward, Mr. Thomas purchased a tract of land comprising eighty acres and he had successively added tracts of forty acres each to his original holdings until he was the owner of two hundred acres of choice land in Bates county, a farm located three miles east of Butler. This place he sold seven years ago and purchased his present country home from Lott Warren, a farm embracing one hundred sixty acres of land situated one mile east of Butler. Mr. Thomas’ place is splendid stock farm and he has twenty acres of it in pasture, forty acres in hay, and the remainder under cultivation. He devotes much time and attention to raising Duroc hogs and to horses and mules. The Thomas farm is abundantly supplied with water from wells and a spring. The improvements are in excellent repair and include a comfortable residence, two barns, a hog shed, cribs, and numerous other farm buildings.
The marriage of R.J. Thomas and Luella Martin was solemnized in 1884. Mrs. Thomas is a daughter of R.F. Martin, of Butler. Mr. Martin was a Union veteran of the Civil War. He died at Butler and his remains were interred in Oak Hill cemetery. To R.J. and Luella (Martin) Thomas have been born five children: Charles W., at home with his parents; James Virgil, at home with his parents; Nellie, the wife of Clarence Bolin, Butler, Missouri; Ada May and Helen Louise, who are at home with their parents.
Nearly half a century ago, the Thomas family settled in Bates county, and for nearly fifty years members of the family have been connected closely with the development and growth of the county. He has invariably given his support cheerfully and his influence liberally to all worthy enterprises for the public good and by living a good life himself. R.J. Thomas exerts a potent influence upon all with whom he comes in contact.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

DAVID W. THOMPSON, postmaster, Hume, Missouri, is a native-born Missourian. He was born on a farm in Cass county, April 20, 1868, a son of J.L. and Nancy (Elliot) Thompson, natives of Ireland. Both J.L. Thompson and Nancy Elliot came to America from their native land when children with their respective parents, and were reared in Cass county, Illinois. They were married and, in 1866, migrated to Missouri and made a settlement in Cass county. After a residence of fourteen years in Cass county, they removed to Bates county and settled on a farm located two miles south of Hume in Howard township, in 1880. Two years later, the father died in 1882. The widow finished rearing the fine family of eight sons and a daughter and now resides in Hume. The children of J.L. and Nancy Thompson are as follow: Mrs. Emma R. Hern, Hume, Missouri; William M., a farmer living at Hume; John M., prosperous farmer and live-stock buyer, Hume, Missouri; Joseph F., farmer, Hume; James B., farmer, Hume; Robert A., who lives on the old home place south of Hume; David W., subject of this review; Edward W., Kansas City, Missouri; Arthur A., window trimmer for the firm of Browning, King & Company, Kansas City, Missouri. All the eight sons of J.L. Thompson are Democrats of the tried and true variety.
David W. Thompson was twelve years of age when he came to Bates county with his parents. His common school education was completed in the district school of his home locality and he attended the Normal School at Ft. Scott, Kansas, for one year. His first employment, other than working on the home farm, was a clerk in a general store at Hume, prior to his marriage. For a period of two years, he was engaged in the mercantile business in Hume on his own account, and, in 1894, disposing of his business in town, he purchased a farm of eighty acres in section sixteen of Howard township. This tract of land had been devastated by a tornado, which had swept through this section of Missouri, and Mr. Thompson erected practically all of the improvements on the place. Some time after making his initial purchase of eighty acres, he added a forty-acre tract, making one hundred twenty acres in all, which he owns. This farm is well improved and highly productive. Mr. Thompson cultivated his farm until his appointment as postmaster of Hume, at which time he removed to a residence in the town.
D.W. Thompson was married in 1892 to Miss Dana Ellis, of Vernon county, Missouri, a daughter of Robert Ellis, now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson have two children: Ceran E., aged twenty-five years, who is employed in the offices of the Kansas City & Southern Railway at Kansas City, Missouri; and Mildred E., aged eighteen years, a student in the Hume High School, class of 1918.
Mr. Thompson is a Democrat in his political allegiance and takes a good Democrat’s interest in politics. He was appointed to the position of postmaster of Hume on January 21, 1915, and took up the duties of his office on February 1, 1915. His conduct of the affairs of the office during the past two years of his incumbency has been such as to please the most exacting of the patrons. He is a member of the Baptist church and is a member of the Fraternal Aid Society.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

GEORGE W. THOMPSON, of Elkhart township, a well-known horseman and stockman, was born in Calhoun county, Illinois, in 1850, a son of Charles W. and Julia (Anderson) Thompson. Charles W. Thompson was a native of New York who removed to Calhoun county, Illinois and there married Julia Anderson, a native of Kentucky. He departed this life in 1853. His widow later married Dr. G.W. Christopher. To Charles W. and Julia Thompson were born three children: James, who died in Illinois; Charles, who was drowned in Calhoun county at the age of twenty-five years; and George W., subject of this review. Elizabeth, an adopted daughter, makes her home with the subject of this sketch. After the mother’s marriage with Dr. Christopher, the family returned to Indiana and resided there for a number of years and then came again to Illinois, where the mother died in 1872. In 1876, Dr. G.W. Christopher and his family came to Bates county, and located in Elkhart township on the farm now owned by G.W. Thompson. For some time after coming here, Doctor Christopher practiced his profession while developing his farm. He became widely known as a successful physician. He resided here until his death in 1890. To Dr. and Mrs. Christopher were born two children, Nancy Ann, the oldest, deceased; and Francis Marion, of Elkhart township.
At the time G.W. Thompson came to Bates county, much of the land was open prairie and the countryside was thinly settled. Good land could be purchased for as low as six and seven dollars an acre and it was practically necessary for Mr. Thompson to place all the needed improvements on his place. The Thompson farm consists of one hundred forty acres of land with splendid improvements thereon. The farm is noted for its fine livestock. Mr. Thompson is the owner of a very valuable stallion of the American Shire breed which is considered to be one of the finest animals of its kind in the county. He raises Duroc Jersey and Poland China hogs and high-grade Shorthorn cattle. Mr. Thompson keeps a considerable part of his land in pasture and produces much grain and hay. No better nor productive farm of its size is to be found anywhere in this section of Missouri than the Thompson place.
Mr. Thompson is a Republican in his political affiliations and takes an active part in the affairs of his party, being accounted one of the Republican leaders of the county. He has filled the post of road foreman several times and is a member of the Farmers’ Union and of the Methodist Episcopal church.
JAMES F. GRAGG, owner of a splendid tract of three hundred twenty acres of highly productive land in Mound township, located four miles south of Adrian, was born July 16, 1850, in Macoupin county, Illinois, on a farm located three miles south of the town of Bunker Hill. He is a son of John and Mary (King) Gragg, the former born in Madison county, Illinois, in 1810, and the latter, born in England and came to this country with her parents when she was nine years of age. John Gragg lived in Illinois and there the wife and mother died in 1872. Mr. Gragg came later to Bates county, Missouri and died here in January, 1893, at the age of eighty-three years, at the home of James F. He was father of twelve children, nine of whom are living: Carrie, widow of Thomas Elliman, Butler, Illinois; George, Nokomis, Illinois; Frank, Lovell, Oklahoma; Charles, Crescent, Oklahoma; Ella, wife of Hiram Ellis, Guthrie, Oklahoma; Jane, wife of William DeWitt, Lovell, Oklahoma; Laura, wife of Edward Caffee, of Lovell, Oklahoma; Samuel Taylor, Crescent City, Oklahoma; and James F., the subject of this review.
The early boyhood days of James F. Gragg were spent in a little log cabin 12 x 14 feet in dimensions, built of logs hewn from forest trees which originally covered his father’s farm in Illinois. He grew up in the environment of these primitive surroundings and lived in Illinois until 1883, at which time he went to Clay county, Nebraska. He remained but one year in Nebraska and in the fall of that same year he came to Bates county, Missouri. For a period of thirteen years he rented his present place of three hundred twenty acres and then purchased his farm. Upon this large tract, he carries on successful general farming operations and stock raising and has become one of the most substantial and enterprising farmers of Bates county.
Mr. Gragg was married in 1874 to Melissa Evans, who was also born in Macoupin county, Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Gragg have had eight children: Charles, deceased; Lawrence Clayton, Rockville, Bates county; Clarence Edward, Kansas City, Missouri; Benjamin, deceased; Archie L., on the home place; Mae, wife of Cleave Chambers, Elkhart township; Bessie, at home; and Eva B., wife of Carl Laycox, Kansas City, Missouri. Mr. Gragg has always been a consistent Democrat and is a member of the Central Protective Association and the Farmers’ Club which is composed of the progressive farmers of his neighborhood. He and Mrs. Gragg are members of the Baptist church.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

ALBERT B. THURMAN, a successful and prominent agriculturist and sheep raiser of Mingo township, is a representative of one of the pioneer families of Warren county, Missouri, a son of F.A. Thurman, who came to Missouri from Franklin county, Kentucky, when two years of age, in 1831, with his parents. The Thurmans settled on land in Warren county and there F.A. Thurman was reared to maturity. He came to Bates county, Missouri, in 1879 and located on the Highley place in Mingo township, purchasing later forty acres of prairie land from the widow of Doctor Tuttle, of Adrian. To F.A. and Armilda (Sherman) Thurman, the latter a native of Warren county, Missouri, were born the following children: Henry, who died at the age of fifteen years; Mrs. Susan Robinson, deceased; Mrs. Mollie Laughlin, who died in Colorado; Mrs. Huldah Mickleberry, deceased; Mrs. Rebecca Jones, who died in Colorado; Albert B., the subject of this sketch; Mrs. Maggie Crow, of Wenatchee, Washington; and five children died in infancy. The mother died in October, 1886, and interment was made in West cemetery. Mr. Thurman survived his wife five years, when in July, 1891, they were united in death and he, too, was laid to rest in West cemetery.
Albert B. Thurman attended school at  Peter Creek school house in a district composed of the west half of Mingo township. This school house was erected before the Civil War and during the conflict was used as a dwelling. It was about 24 x 32 feet in dimensions, and for many years one of the land-marks in Bates county. John Witten, of Johnstown, Missouri, was Albert B. Thurman’s first instructor. The following families sent children to Peter Creek school house to be educated: Thornburgs, Settles, Staleys, Gilberts, Wolfenbergers, Utleys, Cumptons, Graggs, Lakeys, and Mays and Judge Nicholas and Dr. Lee Bradley, of Warrensburg, Missouri. After leaving school, Mr. Thurman engaged in farming and stock raising in Mingo township and with the exception of two years has been continuously employed in these vocations in this township to the date of this writing in 1918. Mr. Thurman purchased his present home in 1901 for seventeen and a half dollars an acre from Thomas J. Suttles and since acquiring the ownership of the farm has made it one of the splendid country places in Mingo township. He has followed sheep raising for the past twelve years and has had as many as two hundred head of Shropshires and Oxfords on the farm at one time, but he now has probably one hundred. He raises high-grade animals and finds the production of wool very profitable. Mr. Thurman sold the first wool produced for eleven cents a pound, which price compared with the present market quotations of ninety cents to one dollar presents a striking – and to the producer – very satisfactory difference.
March 27, 1894, Albert B. Thurman and Eva Stayton, a daughter of J.W. and Nancy (Hendrickson) Stayton, were united in marriage. Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Stayton were both born in Adair county, Kentucky. The Staytons came to Bates county in 1881 and Mr. Stayton now resides on his farm near Aaron, Missouri. To Albert B. and Mrs. Thurman has been born one child, a daughter, Ruey, who is now the wife of George Wells, of Mingo township. Mr. and Mrs. Wells are the parents of two children: Eva and Lucille. Mr. Wells is the owner of a valuable farm comprising eighty acres of land located two and one-fourth miles northeast of Aaron, Missouri, a part of the old John Massey place.
Mr. Thurman takes a most commendable interest in public affairs and he has held the office of constable and of collector of Mingo township. He was a candidate for judge of the county court from this district in 1916.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

THOMAS HENRY TILSON, proprietor of “Blue Grass Valley Farm,” consisting of four hundred fifty-five acres in New Home township, and owner of one hundred seventy-six acres of rice land in Liberty county, southeastern Texas, is one of the real “old timers” of Bates county, having been born on a pioneer farm situated just a half mile north of his present home. His sixty-six years in Bates county have been industriously and profitably spent in accumulating a substantial competence. Not content to sit down and rest upon his hard-won laurels and take life easy, Mr. Tilson has only recently begun the pioneer life all over again in a new and hitherto undeveloped country. On October 3, 1916, he entered a homestead in Campbell county, Wyoming, consisting of a half section of good farming land. He spent the summer season on this tract and has filed upon another half section.
T.H. Tilson was born December 20, 1851, in New Home township, a son of William Stewart Tilson (born in 1815, died January 28, 1858). William S. Tilson was a native of Washington county, now Unicoi county, Tennessee and came to Bates county in 1838. In September of that year he arrived at Balltown in Vernon county, Missouri, and then came to Bates county. Upon his pre-emption tract in New Home township he built a one-room log cabin with a chimney at the end built of sandstone. After Mr. Tilson’s death, the roof of the cabin was enlarged and extended so as to make covered porches on two sides, one end of each porch being boxed in so as to make two additional rooms. This cabin stood until 1911. In those early days, deer, wild turkeys and prairie chickens were plentiful and the Tilson larder was never empty of plenty of good meat. Wm. S. Tilson was married in this county to Judith Turner, born in old Virginia, September 30, 1826, a daughter of George W. Turner, who came to Bates county from his native state in the early thirties and here spent the remainder of his days in farming pursuits. Mrs. Tilson died in 1881. During the dark days of the Civil War, times were bad, and when Order No. 11 was issued the entire family went to Vernon county and resided near Balltown until 1866, when they returned to the home place in Bates county. All of the live stock owned by the family had been stolen or run off but one old mare. There were not boards enough about the place sufficient to build a pig pen. The floors, windows and doors were gone from the cabin, and they were in poor circumstances for some time. There were seven children in this pioneer family, as follow: George W., died in October, 1911; Mary E., deceased; John F., died in 1864; Thomas H., subject of this sketch; William Stewart, died in infancy; James Edward and Marion Francis, deceased.
During Thomas H. Tilson’s boyhood days, the only school house was located four miles distant, and he was enabled to attend but little during the winter term of three months, securing in all about thirty-two days’ schooling in his boyhood. Being strong and willing, he assisted in the support of the family for a number of years before he attempted to make a start for himself. Before his mother’s death he became owner of the old homestead by purchasing the several interests of the other heirs. His father pre-empted the forty-acre tract upon which his own residence is built and he settled upon this farm in 1875. This farm was the nucleus around which he has built up his splendid large estate. During former years, Mr. Tilson was an extensive feeder of cattle for the market, and dealt heavily in mules for a period of seven years. He has made considerable money through handling hogs and cattle.
His first marriage took place in 1881 with Mary Ann Floyd, who died in 1896, leaving two sons and a daughter, namely: John W., a ranchman near Gillette, Campbell county, Wyoming; Mrs. Audrey B. McCauley, Washington; Thomas Francis, now in France with General Pershing’s National Army, a member of Headquarters Company, One Hundred Sixty-third United States Infantry Regiment, Forty-first Division, which had been stationed at Camp Merritt, New Jersey. Mr. Tilson’s second marriage occurred on January 11, 1911, with Anna L. Thompson, born in Kansas, a daughter of T.C. Thompson, a Union veteran, who died in Bates county in 1915. Two children have blessed this marriage, Charles Burnett, aged five years, and Opal Lucille, aged three years.
The Democratic party has generally had the allegiance and support of Mr. Tilson and he has filled the office of constable of New Home township. He is a member of the Christian church and is affiliated with the Rich Hill Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. During the sixty-six years in which he has lived in Bates county he has seen wonderful changes and has done well his part in the development and upbuilding of this county, besides having the honor and distinction of being one of the few remaining pioneers who were among the first to brave the loneliness and hardships of the pioneer life on the frontier of civilization in this county in order to carve a home from the wilderness. Too much credit and encomiums can not be given the memory of the brave men and women, such as were the parents of Thomas H. Tilson, who were in the vanguard of the people who settled and developed Bates county and made it habitable for mankind.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

J.R. TRENT, foreman of the A.H. Warren Cattle Ranch in Bates county, was born at Humansville, Cedar county, Missouri, in 1890. He is the son of T.S. and Jennie (Knapp) Trent, the former of whom was a native of McDonald county, Missouri. Mrs. Jennie Trent was born in New York state and came to Missouri with her parents in 1880. Mr. and Mrs. Trent came to Bates county in 1913 and are now living in Summit township. J.R. Trent was reared and educated in Cedar county, Missouri, and took up the vocation of farming and stock raising. He came to Bates county in 1909 and managed the Frank Robinson farm until he took charge of the A.H. Warren ranch in 1913. This ranch comprises a total of two thousand one hundred and thirty-one acres in Summit, Shawnee, and Mound townships and has been in operation for the past ten years. It was first placed in operation by Messrs. Huffington and Warren, of Kansas City, but upon Mr. Huffington’s death, Mr. A.H. Warren became sole proprietor of the ranch. There are now two hundred sixty-two head of cattle on the ranch, sixty-three of which are on full feed. This number is somewhat below the usual number of cattle kept on the place and there is usually a carload of hogs in feeding for the markets. The land comprising the ranch is all in lease and is part of the Scully lands in this county, all being owned by the Scully estate excepting ninety-three acres, which is owned by Mr. Warren. The residence on the place was built by Green Walton, and is situated four miles north and three and three-fourths miles east of Butler, Missouri. Four men are employed to assist in the operations of the ranch.
J.R. Trent was married on October 18, 1908, to Miss Freda Nelson, a daughter of N.Y. and Mary Nelson, of Cedar county, Missouri. Mrs. Trent was born in Princeton, Illinois, Bureau county, and came to Missouri in 1906. Mr. and Mrs. Nelson are parents of four children besides Mrs. Freda Trent, as follow: Palmer E.; Mrs. Selma Mitten; Mrs. Jennie E. McDonald, Kansas City, Missouri; and Mrs. E.G. Ward, Butler, Missouri. A brother of Mr. Trent, named Loren Trent, resides on a farm at Manzanola, Colorado.
Mr. Trent is one of the best stockmen in this section of Missouri and has learned thoroughly how to care for livestock by being associated with stockmen, applying himself, and being by nature possessed with a natural liking for his profession. His employer says of him that he is one of the best stockmen he ever employed. The Warren Company ships from eight to ten cars of livestock to the markets each year and modern methods of feeding are used on this large ranch. It is equipped with the largest silo in Bates county having a capacity of two hundred and fifty tons of silage, and erected in 1914. Mrs. Trent attends to the poultry department on her own account and has at the present writing over one hundred and fifty Barred Rock chickens on the place. Mr. and Mrs. Trent are energetic, industrious and ambitious people who are determined to make a success of their lives and will without doubt meet with the greatest success in their chosen vocation.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

WILLARD TROUT – Thirty-four years ago, Willard Trout, leading farmer and stockman, of Howard township, Bates county, came to Bates county without a dollar to his name. He began his career in this county as a farm hand and is now one of the wealthy and influential citizens of the county. Mr. Trout owes his continued success to the fact that, when he had determined upon a certain method of procedure, to follow it, whatever the result, and in almost every instance, his judgment has resulted to his profit. For many years he has been an extensive feeder of livestock, and continues year in and year out to feed stock for the markets, regardless of conditions. This unvarying method of trusting nothing to chance, but in pursuing an undeviating and decided policy as regards his farming operations, has resulted in one of the remarkable successes in this section of Missouri. The “Trout Stock Farm” is one of the most complete and best equipped in Bates county, comprising four hundred acres of land, three sets of farm buildings, a recently completed feeding shed eighty by eighty feet in extent with concrete floors, a large granary, and two concrete silos, sixteen by forty feet in dimensions, with a capacity of two hundred tons of silage each.    At the present writing, December of 1917, Mr. Trout is feeding forty head of hogs and one hundred twenty-five head of cattle. He and his sons have harvested one hundred fifty acres of corn which made the great yield of forty to sixty bushels per acre, eighty acres of which actually yielded sixty bushels to the acre. They harvested one hundred ten acres of wheat which yielded a total of eighteen hundred bushels; and have sown two fields to wheat for the 1918 harvest, one field of one hundred fifteen acres and another of fifty acres. They also harvested eighty acres of oats which made a substantial yield of forty bushels to the acre. The foregoing figures are direct and irrefutable evidence that the Trout farm is one of the most productive and best managed agricultural plants in this part of Missouri.
Willard Trout was born April 7, 1864 in Pendleton, Indiana, a son of Isaac and Amelia (Wanbaugh) Trout, natives of Pennsylvania, who located in Henry county, town of Greensboro, Indiana, in 1865. Isaac Trout was a miller by trade and operated a flouring and grist mill at Greensboro until 1870 when he took charge of the Stone Quarry Mill in Henry county and operated this mill up to within a few years of his death which occurred in October, 1898 at the age of seventy-six years. He was widely and favorably known throughout that section of Indiana. He was the owner of a farm “near the mill” which he cultivated and upon which his family of eleven children were reared. Twelve children were born to Isaac and Amelia Trout, eleven of whom were grown to maturity and nine of whom are yet living: Willard, subject of this review; Robert, in Colorado; Frank, a resident of Indiana; Joseph, Pittsburg, Kansas; Burt, New Castle, Indiana; Mrs. Jennie Duncan, Knightstown, Indiana; Mrs. Ida Whitely, Pittsburg, Kansas; Mrs. Dora McNew, Howard township, Bates county; Mrs. Adonis Rogers, New Castle, Indiana. The mother of this large family was born in 1841 and died in March, 1913.
Opportunities were poor for securing an education in his native county, and Willard Trout found it necessary to begin work at an early age in order to assist in providing for his father’s large family. He worked in the mill during his boyhood days and until 1884 was employed in the cultivation of his father’s farm. He then decided to come to Missouri in search of a home and fortune if possible. Arriving here during the harvest season, he secured employment as a farm hand, and his first work consisted in shucking twenty-five hundred bushels of corn at three cents per bushel. This was the first real money he earned in Missouri and was paid him by S.P. Wilson for his first winter’s work. For the next two years he was employed at a wage of seventeen dollars per month. He then rented land until 1893, at which time he bought an “eighty” at a cost of one thousand eight hundred dollars. This farm was raw land which he improved first with a small shanty and afterward built a frame dwelling. This farm was located west of his present home place and formed the nucleus around which he has gathered his present acreage, buying his present home “eighty” in 1900; another eighty-acre tract in 1903; a quarter section in 1915 at a cost of nine thousand dollars.
Mr. Trout was married March 11, 1888 to Miss Della Brown, and to this marriage have been born six children: Francis Wayne, farmer, Howard township, married Cecil Wilson; Howard Collier, farmer, on the home place; Isaac Harrison, at home; Mary Amelia, Minnie, Maude, and Adeline Marie, at home with their parents. Mrs. Della (Brown) Trout was born in Vernon county, Missouri, January 31, 1869 a daughter of Harrison and Marie (Miller) Brown, the former of whom was born in Anderson county, Kentucky in 1842, and the latter having been born in Fulton county, Illinois in 1851. Harrison Brown went to Illinois in 1864, removed to Texas in 1867, married in 1868 and located in Vernon county, Missouri in the fall of 1868, dying at the age of seventy-four years in 1916. In 1906 he retired to a home in Hume, Missouri, where his death occurred in July, 1916. There were seven children in the Brown family: Mrs. Willard Trout, wife of the subject of this review; Mrs. Nova Perrine, deceased; Mrs. Lillie Rhodes, Kansas City, Missouri; Miles Alonzo, living near Fulton, Kansas; Mrs. Maude Criss, Bates county, Missouri; Charles, a dairyman at Rich Hill, Missouri; Neville, a druggist at Springfield, Missouri.
Mrs. Della Trout had a painful and terrifying experience during the cyclone or tornado which devastated this section of Bates county on April 21, 1887. She was visiting at the home of her uncle, Miles Miller, located just northeast of the Trout place. The time was six o’clock in the evening and the family consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Miller and children were in the house, she making preparations for the evening meal. The sky was overcast and a storm was brewing. A roaring noise was heard, and Mr. Miller, looking out of the door, observed a twisting, funnel shaped cloud bearing directly down upon the buildings. All of them including Mr. Miller, his wife and babe, a son, Weaver Miller, three years old, and Mrs. Trout fled toward the outside storm cellar for safety. Just as Mr. Miller had opened the cellar door the tornado reached them in all its fury and Mrs. Trout knew nothing more until she found herself caught in the hedge some distance from the home and badly bruised about the body. The bodies of Mr. Miller and his wife and the two-months-old infant were found dead in the well where some freak of the “twister” had thrown them. The little three-year-old boy was found uninjured and was afterward reared by Mrs. Brown to manhood and is now a druggist in Nevada. The Miller homestead was one of the finest in Bates county, but every building was totally demolished by the fury of the tornado and the boards and parts of the buildings scattered to the four points of the compass as a result of the twisting power of the wind.
Mr. Trout takes a good citizen’s part in matters political and is one of the influential members of the Democratic party in Bates county. He served for six years as township treasurer, and is fraternally affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America. The Trout home is a very hospitable one and the several members of the Trout family are held in high esteem in Bates county.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

WILLIAM BENJAMIN TYLER, retired farmer, Butler, Missouri, was born on September 7, 1844 in Kentucky, the son of Charles (born March 10, 1818, died September 2, 1912) and Susan (Brown) Tyler (born 1825, died September 3, 1879). Charles and Susan Tyler were both natives of Kentucky, Henry county. They came to Missouri in 1853 and settled in Johnson county, near Knob Noster, where Mr. Tyler entered government land, his first quarter section costing him twelve and one-half cents per acre and he also secured another tract of one hundred and sixty acres southeast of Knob Noster at a cost of one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre. He sold his Johnson county land in 1860 and bought land in Pettis county, where he resided until the close of the Civil War. He then came to Bates county on March 1, 1866 and settled in Spruce township, south of Ballard. He bought a farm here and sold it after some years, and then bought a farm in Deepwater township which he later sold. He died at West Plains, Howell county, Missouri.
In 1864, W.B. Tyler enlisted in Johnson county, Missouri for service with the Confederate forces under Capt. Palm Smith and his company was attached to Fighting Joe Shelby’s brigade. He served for one year and was with General Price’s army when the general made his last raid into Kansas. Mr. Tyler was stationed at Corsicana, Texas when the war closed. He went to Shreveport and there surrendered with Shelby’s forces on June 14, 1865. He returned home and on March 1, 1866 he came to Bates county. He rented land for ten years in Spruce and Deepwater townships and resided in Spruce township until 1892. He then moved to Summit township and bought the Winsett farm which he sold to the Scully interests in 1894. He next bought the farm now owned by B.P. Powell and later sold it to Mr. Powell. His next venture was the improvement of a forty-acre farm located three miles east of Butler which he sold in the fall of 1915. Mr. Tyler now resides in a modern bungalow in North Water street just outside of the city limits of Butler and one of the most attractive suburban places in the vicinity of Butler. During his residence in Summit township he served four years as township trustee and treasurer.
On December 31, 1868, W.B. Tyler was married to Rachel Moore of Pettis county, Missouri, a daughter of Jefferson and Elizabeth (Coates) Moore. Mr. and Mrs. Tyler have the following children: Fannie, wife of W.R. Hall, Nevada, Missouri; Mrs. Alice Hoskins, who has a daughter, Mildred; Jessie, wife of Quintus Kaune, Everett, Washington; Susan, married Everett Grant, and lives near Butler, Missouri; Percy E., Parsons, Kansas, in the employ of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railway, married Mary Frye and has one son, William Benjamin; three children died in infancy. Mr. Tyler has been a director of the Missouri State Bank for the past ten years.
When W.B. Tyler first came to Spruce township he leased a farm of forty acres and made his home in a little cabin on the place. He was poor but industrious, and his neighbors were all in like condition. In 1870, a stranger came along accompanied by his wife and inquired if there were any vacant houses in the country. He desired shelter for the winter. Mr. Tyler did not know of any house that was vacant at the time, as there were very few houses of any kind on the prairie at that time. They talked further about the matter and the stranger then asked Mr. Tyler if he did not wish to sell his place. Upon learning that Mr. Tyler had only a lease on the farm he offered to buy it and a deal was made. The stranger referred to was Thomas Cuddeback, who became well known among the early settlers of the county. Cuddeback eventually bought the forty acres of land and added one hundred twenty acres a few years later. He created one of the best farms in Spruce township which he later sold and removed to Johnson county, Kansas, where he died in 1914. He sold his Spruce township farm for the high price of thirty-five dollars an acre. He and Mr. Tyler were very close friends for many years and had a brotherly affection for each other. During the hard times of the seventies when dollars were scarce and seemed to be as big as cart wheels, with farm products very low in price, they frequently assisted one another, by going on each other’s notes at the banks and when buying goods at public sales. When they had to pay their taxes each followed the custom of “Henry Clay and Daniel Webster,” who frequently indorsed the other’s notes when in need of money. Thomas Cuddeback was vice-president of the Spring Hill, Kansas, Banking Company for many years and stood high as a citizen. His brother, Frank Cuddeback, bought a farm in Spruce township in 1873 and later sold it and made his home in Johnson county, Kansas, where he died in 1917.
During the winter of ’66 and ’67, W.B. Tyler hauled corn from Spruce township to Butler with two yoke of oxen and sold the corn for one dollar and one dollar and twenty-five cents per bushel to a Captain Wally, a liveryman, who charged seventy-five cents for a feed of hay or corn to one horse. One evening, after he had unloaded his corn, a storm of snow and sleet came on and Mr. Tyler decided it would be impossible to drive home, a distance of sixteen miles at night as he had no lantern and the roads were not good. A squatter lived on the land now occupied by the Butler cemetery. Mr. Tyler drove out there and ask for lodging for the night. The man told him that he was shy of bed covers and could not accommodate him. Tyler told him he would be willing to put up with any inconvenience rather than to brave the storm, and the man told him to come in and stay. He sat up in a chair all night long and left his oxen tied to the wheels of his lynch-pin wagon. The lynch-pin wagon of that day would be a curiosity now. The tongue of the wagon was morticed solidly to the front axle and the wheels with their long hubs were held in place by lynch-pins which were dropped through slots cut in the hubs and axles. Mr. Tyler talks interestingly of the old times, and is well satisfied with conditions as they are at the present day, when he and his wife can enjoy the many comforts of modern civilization.
History of Bates County, Missouri, by W.O. Atkeson, (1918). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

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