Buchanan County, Missouri
Biographies
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SAMUEL A. GANN, a retired agriculturist and real estate owner of St. Joseph, is a veteran of the Mexican War, in which he did valiant service, and is one of the very oldest settlers of the Platte Purchase. Our subject was born in eastern Tennessee, in Washington County, twelve miles from Jonesboro, January 12, 1819. His father, Isaac, was also born in that locality, where his father, Nathan, a native of Scotland, was an early settler and a large plantation-owner. The latter was a captain in the Revolutionary War and died in Tennessee. Our subject's father, who took part in the war of 1812, was a farmer by occupation, and in 1832 removed with his family from Tennessee to Missouri. In the spring of 1833 he made the distance on horseback of over one thousand miles, locating in the southern part of La Fayette County on a good farm of one hundred and sixty acres. After raising one crop there he settled on a larger farm in Johnson County, and in 1838 bought a claim of one hundred and sixty acres in Buchanan County, where his death occurred some eight years later, he then having reached his sixty-second year. Politically he was a Democrat, and in his native state was united in marriage with Ann Clark, whose father was a silversmith and a Lieutenant in the Revolutionary War. Mrs. Gann did not long survive her husband, passing away some seven weeks after his death.
In a family of thirteen children, twelve grew to mature years and only three are living, our subject being the ninth in order of birth. He was reared on the old Tennessee homestead until his fourth year, when his father located in Newport, Tenn. He had no school advantages, and in 1833 made the journey to Missouri on horseback. Five years later he became a resident of Buchanan County, where wild game and Indians were still numerous. He had frequent visits from the Sioux, Fox and Kickapoo Indians, and learned to speak some of their languages. In 1839 he went on a prospecting tour to Texas, going through Arkansas on horseback. He was made overseer on a large plantation near Jefferson, where he was for eight months.
In 1846 Mr. Gann, after his return home, volunteered and enlisted in the Mexican War, under Capt. Jesse Moran, of Platte County. He was mustered in and drilled at Leavenworth, and on August 9 started on a six weeks' march to Santa Fe, joining Price. He took part in many important battles of the campaign, often fighting with the bayonet hand to hand. In the battle of July 6, 1847, they lost about one-eighth of their men, as the United States troops fought under great disadvantages. Our subject was made Corporal, and was mustered out in the fall-of 1847.
Previous to the war Mr. Gann had owned an eighty-acre farm, which he sold before his return and then purchased one of about the same size in Crawford Township, where he built a log house and engaged in farming until 1849, when he started for California, with oxen and wagons, going by way of Fort Kearney and the North Platte. Later he traded his outfit for mules. When crossing the Humboldt Range be nearly starved to death, and on the South Platte was obliged to fight the Indians. On his arrival at his destination he obtained employment at teaming for $16 per day, which business he left after a while, engaging in trading in stock. Going to the southern part of the state he bought and drove stock and engaged in freighting. In 1850 Mr. Gann opened a store on Deer Creek, at Nevada City, which, after running it nine days, he sold for more than he had invested, and had moreover sold $900 worth of goods. He then opened a store on Yuba river, where he continued successfully, and next invested in cattle, selling them to good advantage. He returned to Missouri in steamers by way of the Isthmus and New Orleans to St. Louis. In 1853 he went to Texas in a wagon, locating within twenty-one miles of Austin, where he purchased three hundred acres of land, and for the following three years engaged in raising cotton. In 1856 he returned to this county, buying land in Crawford Township, where he has since been engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was an extensive dealer in land during all these years, owning at one time eight hundred acres, three hundred of which was within five miles of the city and well improved. In 1888 he retired from business cares, and has since made his home at No. 2019 Edmond street.
In Texas, on May 20, 1854, Mr. Gann and Miss Martha Brooks were married. The lady was born in Johnson County, Mo., where she was reared, and removed to Texas with her father, John Brooks, who was a farmer. Of the eleven children born to our worthy subject and wife, only six survived to reach mature years, and only three are now living. Breckenridge, Robert E. Lee, and Frances (the wife of J. W. Mitchell) are all deceased. Victoria, the wife of Samuel Crumpley, lives in St. Joseph; Julia is the wife of John A. Flournoy, a lawyer of this city, who was born in Ray County, where he studied law under Col. John Donipban, being admitted to the bar in 1890. Josephine, who lives at home, completes the family.
In 1887 our subject was waylaid on the night of August 18 when he had gone some sixty yards from his door to get a bucket of water. When under the shadow of the trees he was accosted by two men armed with revolvers. Though he was shot twice through the lungs he belabored them with the bucket and succeeded in gaining the mastery. Mr. Gann formerly raised blooded horses, and for some time was engaged in packing and shipping pork. For nine years he was School Trustee and was at one time Supervisor of Roads. In politics be is a Democrat, having been a delegate to several conventions, and fraternally is a Royal Arch Mason.
(Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Buchanan and Clinton Counties, Missouri. Publ. 1893. Transcribed by Charlotte Slater)

 

COL. ELIJAH GATES, of St. Joseph, who has held several important official positions, ' is very popular, and in the late war was a prominent colonel in the Southern Army. Among other positions he has filled with great credit to himself are those of State Treasurer and Sheriff, having held the former place from f877 to 1881 and the latter from 1873 to 1877.    Our subject was born in Garrard County, Ky., December 17, 1827, and passed his boyhood in Lincoln County. His grandfather, Elijah Gates, was a prominent farmer in Kentucky and a native of Virginia. Our subject's father, John, was also born in Garrard County, where he was engaged in farming until his death in 1829, Elijah being then only eighteen months old. The mother, whose maiden name was Mary Maupin, was born in Madison County, Ky., and was a daughter of Thomas, an old Virginian and a Revolutionary soldier under Washington. He lived to be nearly one hundred years of age and was one of the early pioneers in Kentucky. Mrs. Gates after her first husband's death was again wedded, still making her home in Kentucky, until her death in Lexington, when she was about sixty-five years of age. By her first marriage she had three children, and by her second union, one.
Col. Gates was reared on a farm in Kentucky until his nineteenth year, attending the district subscription schools of the old-fashioned log kind. His sister died in Kentucky in 1891, and his brother John, who was a private in our subject's regiment, was killed at the battle of Elk Horn, Ark. In 1848 the Colonel came to Missouri by way of the rivers and for a few months worked on a farm in Piatte County and then removed to Livingston County, purchasing a farm of one hundred and sixty acres for $4 an acre. This he greatly improved and during those early days experienced life on the frontier. He has often ridden between his home and St. Joseph and thought the prairie would certainly never be settled. In 1857 he sold his former place, buying a farm of one hundred and seventy acres in Freemont Township, to the cultivation of which he gave his attention until the war, making a specialty of raising hemp.
In May, of 1861, our subject entered the state militia as Captain of Company A, for three months' service, taking part in engagements at Carthage, Dry Wood, Lexington and Springfield. He afterward organized a regiment at Lexington, known as Cornell's Regiment of the State Militia, and was commissioned Lieutenant-colonel. Three months later he assisted in organizing a regiment for the Confederate service at Springfield, Mo., and was commissioned Colonel of the same, being attached to Gen. Price's army. After camping some time at Springfield, he returned to Arkansas and after engaging in the battle of Elk Horn was ordered to join Beauregard at Corinth.
During the remainder of the war Mr. Gates was in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, and was in the battles of Iuka, the second battle of Corinth, Grand Gulf, Champion Hills and Big Black river, in the last of which he was captured by the Twenty-Second Iowa troops and but two days later made his escape. His command was then in Vicksburg and he made his way to Canton, Miss., to Johnston, with whom he remained until after the surrender of Vicksburg, when he joined his regiment, going to Demopolis, Ala., being in a parole camp until his regiment was exchanged.
Mr. Davis then went with Gen. Cockrell, taking part in the siege of Atlanta, which continued for forty days and nights.
After participating in the battle of Jonesboro he proceeded toward Nashville in a roundabout way and was engaged in the battles of Spring Hill and Franklin. On the way to Atlanta he was wounded in the left shoulder, but it soon healed, and when in command of his regiment, as Gen. Cockrell was in the hospital, when charging the breastworks at Franklin he was shot with a minie ball in the left arm and was wounded in the right arm below the elbow at the same time. He was sent to the field hospital where it was found necessary to amputate one of his arms. He was captured by the Federals and at the end of thirty-five days when nearly well was ordered north to prison. Just before starting from Franklin he escaped from the ears, it being night, and made his way to Mobile where his regiment was stationed. He took charge of them and went to Ft. Blakely. The command was captured in April, 1865, and sent to Ship Island as prisoners of war, remaining there for three weeks when they were sent by way of New Orleans to Vicksburg. The Colonel's war record is very thrilling, as he was wounded five times and three times captured, twice making his escape. During the war he had three horses shot from under him.
In 1865 Mr. Gates located in St. Joseph starting in the livery business on Fourth street, and continued it until he was nominated and elected Sheriff in 1872, on the Democratic ticket, being re-elected and serving until 1877. In the fall of 1876 Mr. Gates was nominated And elected State treasurer, leading the ticket, and receiving the largest majority of any man ever elected in the state. He was in office until January, 1881, when he bought an interest in the omnibus and transfer line, the firm having been since known as Piner & Gates. They handle all mails to the trains and have an exclusive business. In December, 1885, the Colonel was appointed United States Marshal of the Western District of Missouri, comprising seventy-two counties, holding that place until March, 1890, and in the meanwhile traveling all over his territory. At one time he was interested in coal mines, being President of the Iowa and Missouri Coal Mining Company for two years, when he sold out
In the spring of 1852 our subject was united in marriage in Livingston County, Mo., to Miss Maria Stamper, a native of Monroe County, Mo. To them have been born twelve children nine of whom are living: Elmina, wife of H. E. Lyon, of Kansas City; John L., who is manager of the omnibus line; Joel E., County Recorder of Deeds; Luella, who became the wife of John D. McCarthy, and lives in this city; Elijah, Jr., Charles O., Maggie C. and Benjaim D. (the latter two twins), and Georgie C.
Col. Gates went to California in the spring of 1852, crossing the plains with six yoke of cattle, and landing at Stockton where he engaged in different pursuits, at the end of a year returning home by way of the Isthmus of Panama and New York. For years past he has been a member of the Masonic Fraternity, and is one of the Vice-presidents and Managers of the Confederate Soldiers' Home at Higginsville from the Fourth Congressional District.
(Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Buchanan and Clinton Counties, Missouri. Publ. 1893. Transcribed by Charlotte Slater)

 

Dr. Jacob GeigerJACOB GEIGER, M. D., of St. Joseph, is one of the most famous surgeons in the West, and is favorably known both here and in St. Louis. He is heart and soul in his work and is actively connected with many of the most prominent medical associations. He is President of the Ensworth Medical College and Hospital of this place and is professor of surgery. In 1890 he helped to organize the Marion-Sims College of Medicine at St. Louis where he is professor of surgery, delivering lectures once a week, during the College year from September to March. There is now connected with the College the Rebecca Hospital where the doctor treats patients.
The birthplace of Dr. Geiger was Wurtemberg, Germany, the date being July 25, 1848. His father, Anton, was also born in the same city and was a real-estate dealer. Grandfather Geiger was a manufacturer of the place in his day. Our subject's father died in 1851. His mother, who was formerly Maria G. Eberhart, was born in 1800 and was the daughter of a miller. She was the mother of five children. Two of the sons emigrated to America about 1854, first locating in Pennsylvania and later in Champaign County, Ill.
Our subject and his mother came to America in the fall of 1856, leaving Havre in a sailing vessel which took forty-six days on the voyage. They joined the brothers in Illinois, remaining there until the spring of 1858, when our subject came to St. Joseph. The family almost immediately went to Brown County, Kans., settling on a farm where the death of the mother occurred the following November. A short time after this event the doctor returned to St. Joseph where he made his own living by working for a milkman. In 1860 he went to Illinois, spending the summer in farm work and attending the district schools during the winter. He then entered Homer Seminary, where he remained until the war closed.
In 1865 Jacob Geiger returned to St. Joseph, clerking in a grocery store for his brother. In 1866 he graduated from Bryant's Business College and in the winter of the following year was a clerk at a Pork House and weighmaster there. In this way he made sufficient money to take up the study of medicine, and in the fall of 1868 was in a drug store. From 1865 until 1868 he studied medicine with Dr. Galen E. Bishop, and in the latter year he hung out his sign on Francis Street, between Second and Third Streets. He practiced until the fall of 1870 when he entered the University of Louisville, Ky, and was graduated from the medical department two years later. Returning, he opened his old office and carried on a general practice until 1890 when he became a surgeon, exclusively.
In 1878 the St. Joseph Hospital Medical College was organized, our subject being one of the prime movers. He tilled the chair of Anatomy during the first year, and two years later, in company with Dr. Heddens and others, organized the St. Joseph College of Physicians and Surgeons, being elected to the chair of Surgery, and Secretary of the Faculty. In 1883 the two colleges were consolidated, the new institution being known as the St. Joseph Medical College. The Doctor was again elected to the chair of Surgery and was also made Dean of the Faculty, which position he held until 1889, when the name of the college was changed on account of the bequest of Samuel Ensworth. They put up good buildings and in 1889 the school was opened, our subject being Dean, and Dr. Heddens, President. The latter position was assigned Dr. Geiger in 1891. He is a life Trustee of the College, which has a larger hospital connected with it than any western college.
Dr. Geiger started the Medical Herald in 1884 and has been editor or associate editor of the same ever since. He has dealt considerably in real estate, owning large tracts both here and in St. Louis. He owns the Geiger Block, including the Nicoiett Hotel. He belongs to the following Medical Associations: The Missouri Valley, The State Medical, The Western Association of Obstetrics, The Grand River, The Northern Kansas, The District Medical of Northwestern Missouri, The Buchanan Medical, The St. Louis Medical, and American Medical Association.
In 1887 Dr. Geiger married Louise Kollatz, who was born in Atchison, Kans., and grew to womanhood in this city. Our subject is an active politician of the Republican party, having been for two terms Alderman of the Third Ward. He was also President of the Board of Health for two terms, and served for two years as President of the Council. He is a Master Mason, and in religion is a Presbyterian, belonging to the First Presbyterian Church of the city.
(Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Buchanan and Clinton Counties, Missouri. Publ. 1893. Transcribed by Charlotte Slater)

 

Henry E. George. It requires successful business enterprise to develop an establishment that produces an average of $40,000 worth of stock every year, and in his success as a farmer and cattle raiser Henry E. George deserves to rank among the leading business men of northwest Missouri. About twenty-five years ago Mr. George began on a modest scale as a stock farmer, and has since demonstrated that his peculiar fitness among the world's workers has been for the development of farming and stock enterprise, and through this avenue has done his greatest service, not only to himself but to society. His splendid farm of 600 acres lies about three miles north of Plattsburg, and there are few estates in Clinton County which rival the George ranch. It has a wealth of rich farm land, a commodious country dwelling, with large lawn and trees, modern barns and cattle sheds, and all the improvements that are to be found on the best stock farms in this section of the state. For some years Mr. George has maintained his home in Plattsburg, while he gives close supervision to his farm through his son, C. E. George.
Henry E. George was born in Buchanan County, Missouri, on a farm, June 28, 1860. His father, T. S. George, who was of English ancestry and of an old Virginia family, was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, fought in the Civil war as a Confederate soldier and married Lucy Duncan. His death occurred at the age of seventy-six years, and his wife passed away aged sixty-five. They were both Baptists, and he was a loyal democrat. They left three sons: Henry E.; S. T., of Apache, Oklahoma; and S. C., who lives in the State of Oregon.
Henry E. George grew up in the country, developed bone and sinew by regular labor, and finished his education in the Plattsburg College. On March 5. 1890, he married Miss Flora Martin, who has been his faithful companion and capable adviser as well as wife and mother for twenty-four years. She was born, reared and educated in Clinton County, a daughter of John and Harriet (Bevins) Martin, of Clay County, Missouri. Her mother is now living in Plattsburg. Mr. George in 1911 built one of the fine homes of Plattsburg, located in the residence district, and with a large expanse of grounds surrounding, set out in shade trees and lawn, and the entire place comprises about seven acres. Mr. George and wife have three children: C. E. George, a young man of twenty-three who is his father's partner in the farm and stock business; and twin daughters, Eva and Neva, both in the high school. Mr. George affiliates with the Modern Woodmen of America, and with his wife is a member of the Christian church. Mrs. George is active in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the Ladies' Aid Society of her church. Mr.- George is a large man physically, and his energy and clear judgment on business matters equal his physical effectiveness. It is said that during the past twenty-four years his business has netted him about $150,000, and that is sufficient to place him among the very successful men of northwest Missouri.
[A History of Northwest Missouri, Volume 2; edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1918; Donated and Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]

 

Hathon G. Getchell; A man of distinctive and forceful individuality, eminently capable and enterprising, Hathon G. Getchell is numbered among the successful business men of St. Joseph. The descendant of an old and honored New England family, he was born in Bath, Maine, but was brought up in Ohio.
Zerah Getchell, his father, was a native of Maine, and of early colonial ancestry. Learning ship carpentry when young, he conducted the business of ship building in Bath, Maine, for a number of years. Removing to New Orleans in 1860, he remained there throughout the Civil war, and there raised a company for the Union army. Being well acquainted in that locality, he rendered General Butler valuable assistance while he was in command there. Coming northward in 1865, he located in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was there a resident until his death, in 1913. The maiden name of his first wife, mother of Hathon G., the subject of this sketch, was Betsy Haggert. She died in Bath, Maine, leaving two sons, namely: Hathon G. and Marcus E., of Seattle, Washington. He married for his second wife, in New Orleans, Sarah Laster, who died in 1913, leaving children as follows: Mildred, wife of W. H. Shaffer, of Cincinnati; Iola, wife of W. B. Bishop, of Savannah, Georgia, and Warren, of Chicago, who died in 1911.
Acquiring a practical education in the public schools of Cincinnati, Hathon G. Getchell subsequently became associated in business with his father as a general contractor, and continued thus employed until twenty five years of age. Migrating then to Memphis, Tennessee, he was there during the two years' siege of yellow fever, when many of the natives fled the city. He was a general contractor while there, and was likewise engaged in the wholesale music business. Coming from that city to St. Joseph in 1884, Mr. Getchell was for three years associated with the natural gas company, and the following five years was engaged in the paving business with James N. Burns. He then embarked in the laundry business as president of "My Laundry Company," the plant being located on Seventh Street.
The building in which he was there located burned, and he then organized the Getchell Laundry Company, which, in 1913, was consolidated with the Pearl Laundry Company, and now operates two plants, one on the corner of Third and Robidoux streets, and the other on King Hill Avenue. Both plants are fully equipped with all the most modern appliances for doing first-class work, being up-to-date in every respect, and both use auto delivery wagons.
On February 10, 1880, Mr. Getchell married Minnie M. Whetstone, who was born in Cincinnati, a daughter of Hon. Thomas and Esther (Mears) Whetstone, pioneers of Hamilton County, Ohio. Her father was very prominent in public affairs, and served several terms in the Ohio State Senate. Mr. and Mrs. Getchell have five children, namely: Sadie, Fannie, Clarence, Hathon G., Jr., and Esther. Mr. Getchell was one of the promoters of the Auditorium, and has served as managing director since its erection.
Fraternally Mr. Getchell is a member of Zeredatha Lodge No. 189, Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons; a charter member of Hugh de Payne Commandery No. 51, Knights Templar; a charter member of Moila Temple. Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; and life member No. 1 of the Moila Temple, and captain of the Moila Patrol, which he organized in 1898. He was elected by Moila Temple as a delegate to the Imperial Council of North America, and was reelected each succeeding year for seventeen years. He also belongs to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and is a member of the Lotus Club. Politically Mr. Getchell is a stanch republican, and has served as a delegate not only to different county and district conventions, but as a delegate to every state convention held for a period of twenty-five years, and has served on city and county committees. It is said of him that in the past thirty years he has devoted more time to the up building and advertising St. Joseph than any other one man in the city.
[A History of Northwest Missouri, Volume 2; edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1918; Donated and Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]

 

James H. Gillespie. Among the early settlers of Gentry County, who have been prominent factors in the affairs of this part of Northwest Missouri since ante-bellum days, is James H. Gillespie, now a resident of Albany, and a citizen whose activities have covered successful ventures in business, agriculture and public life. Mr. Gillespie came to this county in 1856 as a youth of nineteen years, accompanying his father and family hither from Tazewell County, Virginia, where he had been born, near Jeffersonville, July 15, 1837. His father was Thomas S. Gillespie, a native of the same state, and county, too, perhaps, born in 1808, and his life was devoted to the pursuits of the farm. Mr. Gillespie, Sr., died in Tazewell County, in 1863, whither he had returned three years previously. He belonged to a slave-holding family and was a small possessor of slaves until they were freed during the Civil war, and as a citizen voted with the democratic party. His religious faith was that of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
Reese B. Gillespie, the grandfather of James H. Gillespie, was born in Ireland and came to America during Colonial times, being one of the early settlers of Tazewell County, Virginia, where he passed his life as a planter of the slave-holding class, residing about two miles from Tazewell Courthouse and selling goods in the town just prior to his death. It is believed that Mr. Gillespie served as a soldier during the War of 1812; at any rate, he was well known in his locality and held a number of minor public offices. His first wife was a Miss Williams, by whom, it is believed, he had the following children: Sallie, who married Sinna Cherub Williams, a school teacher; Thomas S., the father of James H., of this review; John, who came out to Missouri and died near St. Louis, leaving a family; William, who died in Virginia; and Henry, who came to Missouri with his brother, Thomas S., and spent his remaining years here, leaving a large family at his death. Reese B. Gillespie was married the second time to Miss Tiffany, and they had six children, namely: Serilda, who married Doctor Crockett, and died in Gentry County, Missouri; Mrs. Isaac Chapman, of Tazewell Courthouse; Letha, who was married and died in Virginia; and Hugh, Charley and Reese, all of whom died in Virginia.
Thomas S. Gillespie married Miss Maria Peery, a daughter of Sam Peery, a Virginia farmer, and she died at the old Virginia home in 1890, their children being: Crockett, who came to Missouri with the family and lived and died in Gentry County, leaving issue; Reese B., who also resided here and passed away with children; Samuel, who lived in Gentry County until the opening of Oklahoma, when he went to that locality, settled in Oklahoma County and there passed away; Polly J., who became the wife of Oliver Crabtree, who met his death as a Confederate soldier, following which she came west to Oklahoma, but subsequently went to Idaho, in which state she died; Thomas Edward, who died in Gentry County; James H., of this notice; Ellen, who married William Shawver and died in Virginia; John F., who died in Gentry County, leaving a family; William W., of Albany, Missouri; and Rufus H., a resident of Lone Wolf, Oklahoma.
James H. Gillespie received his education in the public schools of Virginia, and accompanied the family on the overland trip to Missouri, made in true pioneer fashion by wagons. The caravan was composed of Thomas S. and Henry Gillespie and Doctor Crockett and their respective families, and left Tazewell County, Virginia, and wended its way to the West through Kanawha, where it crossed the Ohio River, and then on to St. Louis, where the Mississippi River was crossed. At Gallipolis, Ohio, the abolitionists endeavored to free a negro woman belonging to Thomas S. Gillespie, and were only prevented when she was shipped by boat to St. Louis, some of the party accompanying her. As the little party proceeded westward from St. Louis the conditions encountered indicated the near approach of the frontier and the white population found in Gentry County was very sparse. The party found friends at Albany. Missouri, who had sought the West ahead of them, and James H. Gillespie found employment on a farm among his first connections as a citizen. He was a wage earner by the month until his marriage, the prevailing wage for a good, steady hand being $15 a month. During the war between the South and the North he continued his farming around Albany and his service as a soldier was given in the Missouri militia of the Confederate troops. When he felt the effects of the federal draft he sent a substitute instead and continued farming, and for his first property bought land two miles west of Albany, on which he resided until 1872, when he moved to this place and has since continued to make it his home.
Mr. Gillespie left the farm because of a gradual breakdown of his health. He was elected constable of his township at this time and served capably for four years in that office, following which he engaged in brick making, forming a company known as the Gillespie & Meek Brick Company, a business with which he was identified for six years. In 1878 he was elected sheriff of Gentry County, an office which he filled for two terms, or four years, and his administration as peace officer covered a period of rivalry between mischief-makers, there being a great deal of horse stealing and some robberies, while other lawbreakers followed the advent of the railroad here. Although Mr. Gillespie's duties during this time were of an active and dangerous character, he was not forced to administer capital punishment, and left the office with an admirable record. At that time he became a farmer again and until ten years ago superintended operations on his property in Gentry County. He had parted with his old farm home in 1873, but always owned land until 1913, when he disposed of his last tract. As a builder of Albany he has erected his home, and his official connection with the county seat has been as a justice of the peace.
While "Mr. Gillespie was actively engaged in politics he attended a number of the state conventions of Missouri, and was a delegate to the convention which nominated John S. Phelps for governor at Cameron, as well as those that named Marmaduke, William J. Stone and Dockery, and took the last-named statesman over Gentry County when he was making his first campaign for Congress. He continued in the support of Dockery during all his congressional activities and is still a Dockery man. Mr. Gillespie was an attendant of the convention at Kansas City when William J. Bryan was nominated for the presidency the last time.
Mr. Gillespie was married in Gentry County, Missouri, February 20, 1858, to Miss Catherine Thompson, a daughter of James Thompson, of Tennessee, and she died May 8, 1906, leaving children as follows: Ellen, who died in childhood; John Alexander of Albany, who married Flora Hamilton; Addie, who is married and resides at Colorado Springs, Colorado; Agnes, who married Charles Staton of De Kalb, Missouri; and James Albert, who married Minnie Simmons, and resides near Brush, Colorado. Mr. Gillespie's second marriage was to Mrs. Barbara Ellen Weese, daughter of Joseph Everly, with whom he was united February 16, 1908. Mrs. Gillespie's first husband was Talton Bales and her second Solomon Weese. By her first marriage she was the mother of three children: Myrtle G., who became the wife of Ira D. Smith; Edith, who became the wife of William Jones; and Clarence E.
Mr. Gillespie has been a member of the Christian church since 1870, while Mrs. Gillespie is identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
[A History of Northwest Missouri, Volume 2; edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1918; Donated and Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]

 

Michael Karl Goetz. A large and distinctive contribution to the manufacturing and business prosperity of St. Joseph was made by the late M. K. Goetz, founder and for many years president of M. K. Goetz Brewing Company, an enterprise which was built up from very small beginnings and which represented in its extent and in its standards of excellence for its productiveness the thoroughness and worthy character of its founder.
The late Michael Karl Goetz was born in Alsace-Lorraine, Germany, but then a province of France, January 16, 1833, a son of Michael K. and Mary C. (Koel) Goetz. The father died at the age of twenty-eight in the same year of the birth of the son. The mother also lived out her life in Germany, and she had two children, the daughter also spending her life in the old country.
The late St. Joseph brewer and citizen during his youth attended school steadily, and was well prepared for a career of usefulness. As his mother earnestly desired him not to join the army, as soon as he became of military age he left Germany, and on June 24, 1854, embarked on a sailing vessel, named the Connecticut, at Havre, France, and at the end of sixty days was landed in New York City. From there he proceeded to Buffalo, New York, where he had a cousin in the grocery business. Under his employ he not only learned the details of the grocery trade, but also acquired a familiarity with the customs and language of the new world, and remained in Buffalo until 1857.
When he started west in that year it was his intention to continue to the Pacific coast and seek his fortunes in the great mining section of California. By railroad and by steamboat he got as far as St. Joseph, which was then a small but flourishing frontier city, and its advantages appealed to him so strongly that he determined to stay, and that was the beginning of a continued residence of more than forty years. Henry Nunning was at that time proprietor of a small brewery in St. Joseph, and Mr. Goetz took a position in the plant and worked there ten months. He was industrious and observing and quickly learned the details of the business, and in 1859 was prepared for an independent venture along the same lines. With J. J. Max he erected a small frame building at the corner of Sixth and Albemarle streets, and there on a small scale, but with infinite care and with close supervision over the character and excellence of products, the first Goetz beer was brewed. While the business was started on a small scale, Mr. Goetz employed scientific principles and is said to have been one of the first really scientific brewers in the West.
He manufactured a beer which by its very excellence quickly became popular, and needed little exploitation to increase the trade. The plant now occupies several blocks of ground, and is equipped with all the most modern machinery and appliances. Mr. Max continued in partnership with Mr. Goetz until 1881, and the latter then became sole proprietor. In 1895 the business was incorporated under the name of M. K. Goetz Brewing Company, and the founder of the business became president of the corporation, and continued its active direction until his death on August 11, 1901. In 1885 an ice plant was installed, and the Goetz Brewing Company was one of the first in the West to undertake the manufacture of artificial ice. His success as a brewer was also extended to his investments and interests in other affairs, and he acquired a large amount of city real estate, including both business and residence property.
At St. Joseph the late Mr. Goetz married Caroline Wilhelmina Klink. She was born in Leutenbach, Wuertemberg, in March, 1844. Christian T. Klink, her father, also a native of Wuertemberg, in 1853 brought his family to America, coming by sail vessel and, after a voyage lasting several weeks, landing at New Orleans. Thence they came up the river to St. Joseph. At that time St. Joseph was without railroad communication, and comparatively speaking the country was still in the state of a wilderness. Christian Klink bought a tract of land in township 56, range 35, situated about ten miles south of the St. Joseph courthouse. The only improvements on the land when he bought it were a log house and a few acres of cleared ground. He established his family in that home, bent his efforts towards increasing the area of plowed fields, and remained one of the substantial and practical farmers of Buchanan County until his death. There were eleven children in the Klink family. Mrs. Goetz, who was nine years old when she came to America, had a good memory for scenes and events in the old country home, and also recalled many incidents concerning the struggles and hardships of the early settlers in Buchanan County. She died about six months after her husband, in March, 1902.
The valuable business interests built up and founded by the late Mr. Goetz are now continued and managed by his children. There are six children, namely: Emma, William L., Frank L., Albert R., Henry E., and Anna L. Emma is the wife of Theodore Benkendorf, and has one son, Theodore. William L., who is a graduate of the American Brewing Academy, is president of the M. K. Goetz Brewing Company, and by his marriage to Anna L. Pate has two sons, Wilfred L. and Horace Raymond. Frank L., who graduated from Ritner's College, in St. Joseph, learned the trade of machinist at St. Louis, is now vice president of the company, and has charge of the mechanical department. He married Lena Meierhoefer, and their three children are Mildred, Michael K. and Ernestine Frances. The son Albert, also a graduate of Ritner's College, in St. Joseph, is secretary and treasurer of the company, and married Flora Widmeier. Henry is assistant secretary and treasurer of the company, and married Inez Moore. Anna, the youngest, married E. A. Sunderlin, and they have four childrenóCaroline, Eugene, Robert and Van Roesler. The late Michael K. Goetz was an active member of the St. Joseph Turnverein, and both he and his wife worshiped in the German Evangelical church and reared their children in the same religious belief and practices.
[A History of Northwest Missouri, Volume 2; edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1918; Donated and Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]

 

Joseph Porter GrubbJOSEPH PORTER GRUBB is the oldest active practicing attorney of St. Joseph and has served for more years as Judge of the Circuit Court than any other man in Buchanan County. He is said to be the best posted attorney in the city in regard to fine distinctions in law, and is justly considered a very impartial and righteous judge. Mr. Grubb was born in Pike County, Ill., February 3, 1833. His parents were Alfred and Eliza J. (Porter) Grubb, natives of Bedford County, Va., and Pulaski County, Ky., respectively. His paternal grandfather, Jacob Grubb, was of English descent, and raised tobacco extensively on his plantation in Virginia. His maternal grandfather, Joseph Porter, was a civil engineer and surveyor, who taught those branches, Judge S. D. Cowan, of this city, being numbered among his pupils.
Our subject's father followed agricultural pursuits, was married in Virginia, and removed to Kentucky, going west in a wagon in true pioneer style. In 1830 he took his family to Illinois with teams, locating on new land in Pike County. He was one of the pioneers and in 1832 took-part in the Black Hawk War. About eight years later he was admitted to the bar and practiced at Pittsfield.
For several years he was sheriff of the county, and in the winter of 1846-47 was a representative in the Legislature. He later served as County Judge for a number of years, having probate and civil business. He continued in practice until 1867, when he died at the age of sixty-six. In politics he was a Democrat, and both he and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The latter, who was the mother of twelve children, died in 1873. Seven of these are now living, our subject being the third in order of birth. By his first marriage Alfred Grubb had four children, two of whom are deceased.
The school advantages of Judge Grubb were limited in his youth, but in later years this deficiency was amply atoned for. He lived on the homestead farm in Illinois until seventeen years of age, when he became a clerk in a country store and there continued for several years. In 1853 he came to Weston, Mo., by boat and entered the service of D. & T. D. S. McDonnell, general merchants and dealers in produce. For this company he was bookkeeper for a year. They were largely engaged in shipping hemp, and at that time Weston was the largest point for the shipment of this product in the world. Mr. Grubb was engaged in the general commission business in St. Louis during the following year.
In 1855 Judge Grubb began reading law with ex-Governor Silas Woodson and the late Bela M. Hughes, of Denver, Colo. He was admitted to the bar in the following year, and at once began the practice of his profession, being elected in I860 to the city attorney ship, to serve one year. The following year he was appointed Circuit Attorney of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, which then embraced the entire "Platte Purchase," and which now constitutes the Fourth Congressional District. He continued in the difficult position during the border troubles and until January 1, 1865. He then resumed his general practice, in 1868 being elected City Attorney for two years. In November, 1872, Mr. Grubb was nominated Judge of the Circuit, on the Democratic ticket, to fill an un-expired term, while holding this office having charge of the civil and criminal cases of Buchanan and DeKalb Counties. In 1874 he was re-elected without opposition, but when he ran for the position in 1880 he was defeated by William H. Sherman. The successful candidate, however, soon died and Judge Grubb was again chosen to fill the unexpired term, which he held until the end of 1886, when he declined further service. In 1869 he revised the laws and ordinances of St. Joseph, and the great assistance he lent toward strengthening the foundations of law and order in this district by his numerous and practical suggestions, can scarcely be over estimated.
In October, 1857, a marriage ceremony performed in St. Joseph united the destinies of Judge Grubb and Miss Cora A., daughter of Dr. Daniel G. Keedy, who was a prominent pioneer physician of this place. Two children grace the union of our subject and wife, namely, Joseph and Cecelia K., wife of C. A. Taney, a wholesale dealer in teas.
(Source: Portrait & Biographical Record of Buchanan & Clinton Counties Missouri, Publ. 1893. Transcribed by Linda Rodriguez)


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