Buchanan County, Mo.
Biographies
~ S ~



John H. Sampson, M. D.;
A well-known and prominent physician and surgeon of St. Joseph, John P. Sampson, M. D., possesses in an eminent degree the skill, knowledge and ability that insure success in the medical profession, which is one of the most exacting of all the higher occupations. A son of Benjamin Sampson, he was born, January 29, 1857, in Buchanan County, Missouri, on Bloomington Township Farm. He is the descendant of an honored pioneer of Buchanan County, his grandfather, John Sampson, having been one of the earlier settlers of this part of Missouri.
John Sampson was born in Kentucky, near Danville, Boyle County, and there grew to man's estate. Learning from his father the millwright's trade, he followed it in Kentucky until about 1829, when he migrated to Indiana and thence to Knox County, Illinois, about 1834, where he remained three years. The Platte Purchase being then opened for settlement, he came to Missouri, locating in what is now Bloomington Township, Buchanan County, the removal being made across the country with ox teams. The entire Platte Purchase was then owned by the Government, and was on sale at $1.25 an acre. Settlers were at that time few and far between, and the principal market was at St. Joseph, where for several years a Mr. Robideaux had a trading post. Securing 160 acres of land, John Sampson made an opening in the underbrush and trees, and the log cabin that he therein erected was the first home of the Sampson family in Missouri.
A short time later he built a saw mill and a grist mill, both of which he operated for a time with oxen power. A few years later he built another mill, and operated that with a boiler and engine that he secured from a steamboat which had sunk in the Missouri River, near Weston. He also worked at the carpenter's trade, and had the contract to build the first courthouse in Buchanan County, it having been located at Sparta. He was very successful in his undertakings, and as his means increased he invested his accumulations in other tracts of land, acquiring title to 640 acres. He cleared a large farm, erected substantial frame buildings, and there lived until his death, in 1874, at the age of seventy-one years. His wife, whose maiden name was Ann Kays, was born near Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky, a daughter of William Kays. She died in 1843, leaving seven children, namely: William, Jane, Polly, Benjamin, James, Henry and John, who died in infancy. The name of John Sampson is still well remembered in Buchanan County on account of the creek near St. Joseph, which he called Contrary Creek, because it runs through Contrary Lake, in an opposite direction from the Missouri River, into which it flows.
But an infant when brought to Missouri by his parents, Benjamin Sampson was reared in the Platte Purchase amid pioneer scenes, and as soon as old enough to be of use, he assisted in the pioneer tasks of his day. While working with his father he learned the trade of a millwright, which he followed to some extent. Subsequently inheriting 160 acres of land, he erected a good set of frame buildings, and there lived for a time. In 1881, he rented his land, and moved to Platte County, where he bought land, which he managed successfully for twenty years. Returning then to the old homestead in Bloomington Township, he has there been a resident since.
The maiden name of the wife of Benjamin Sampson was Eliza J. Ewell. She was born in Elkhorn, Ray County, Missouri, January 18, 1839, a daughter of Layton Ewell, and a niece of Gen. Richard Stoddard Ewell, a noted officer of the Confederate Army. Layton Ewell, a native of Virginia, was a pioneer of Ray County, Missouri, and one of its earliest merchants. Retiring from mercantile pursuits, he bought a farm near Rushville, and operated it with slave labor, living there until his death, in 1845. His wife, whose maiden name was Arfanna Fox, died in 1842. On February 21, 1906, Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Sampson celebrated their golden wedding, the occasion being one of much joy and pleasure. Among the guests were two daughters, ten sons, twenty nine grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. The combined weight of the twelve children and father and mother was 2,626 pounds, an average weight of 186 pounds each. Fourteen children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Sampson, namely: John H.; Maggie M., now Mrs. Finch; James M., ex-sheriff; Belle M., now Mrs. Gaunt, who is postmaster at Inza, Mo.; Richard M.; George Thomas; P. H. Grant; Benjamin F.; Albert D.; Lewis C.; William H.; Charles C.; Jesse C.; and Nellie M.
Obtaining a practical education in the public schools, John H. Sampson began teaching at the age of twenty-one years, and while thus employed turned his attention to the study of medicine, and later attended lectures at the Missouri Medical College, in St. Louis, where he was graduated March 2, 1881. He has always been a close student, keeping up with the times in regard to everything pertaining to medicine and surgery, and in 1891 took a post graduate course at his alma mater. Commencing the practice of medicine at New Market, Platte County, Doctor Sampson remained there until 1885, and the following year was located in De Kalb, Buchanan County. From there he came to St. Joseph, in February, 1896, where he has met with unquestioned success in his chosen work. From 1895 until 1913 the doctor was professor of children's diseases at the Ensworth Medical College, with which he is still connected, being now, in 1914, professor of medical diseases. The doctor belongs to various medical organizations, being a member of the St. Joseph, the Buchanan County, the Andrew County, the Missouri State, and the Missouri Valley medical societies, and is a fellow of the American Medical Association. He is likewise a member of Enterprise Lodge, No. 232, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Doctor Sampson married, August 7th, 1878, Mary Josephine Parnell. She was born in Bloomington Township, a daughter of James M. and Parmelia Emeline (Hall) Parnell, and granddaughter of James Hall, a pioneer of Buchanan County. The doctor and Mrs. Sampson are the parents of seven children, namely: Myrtle V., deceased, Chris. M., Eliza E., Laura C, Elsie J., Mary L., and Maude P. Chris M., a graduate of the St. Joseph High School, and of Ensworth Medical College, and now associated with his father, married Ora D. La Verne. Eliza is the wife of George Keith Kennard, and has two sons; Ralph Kennard and George M. Laura married Frank M. Welch. Mary L., wife of R. W. Spurlock, has one son, Royal Jack Spurlock. Elsie J., married James E. Smith and they have one son, Darrell Smith.
[A History of Northwest Missouri, Volume 2; edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1918; Donated and Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]

 

GEORGE WARREN SAMUEL is one of the oldest settlers of the "Platte Purchase" and has been one of the most prominent merchants in the state. He is one of the wealthy citizens of St. Joseph, with the prosperity of which he has been most intimately connected from the early days. He is a director in the Commercial Bank, of which he was one of the organizers, and is also a stockholder in the Nebraska National Bank at Omaha.
Mr. Samuel's birth occurred June 4, 1810, at Newcastle, Henry County, Ky. His father, Reuben Samuel, of Carolina County, Va., was a son of Judge William Samuel, an early settler of Carolina County, Va. The family is of Welsh descent, and numerous members have been prominent in different parts of the Union. Our subject's father is one of nine children: William, Jr., Reuben, John, Robert, Nancy, Elizabeth, Agnes, Fanny and Phoebe. These children all married well. The oldest son became a wealthy farmer; John was both prominent and rich, and often served his county in the Legislature; and the third son settled in Newcastle, Ky., where he owned a valuable farm. A son of the last-named was High Sheriff of Henry County, Ky., before his eighteenth year.
Reuben Samuel and his four sons may be justly claimed as among the early settlers of Randolph County. The former was a carpenter, builder and contractor. He once was prevailed upon to ask of the Elective Magistrates, of which he was one, the office of Recording Clerk of the Circuit and County Court.. His opponent's father had held the office for forty years. The result of the election was a tie, and Mr. Samuel himself held the deciding vote, and cast it for his opponent, Edmond P. Thomas. With his large family, Mr. Samuel sought a home in Missouri and seeing the prospective greatness of St. Louis, invested his limited means in lots. The value increased rapidly and after selling the properly he bought a cargo of flour and chartered a boat, which was the second or third that had ever ascended the Missouri river, but the boat was sunk and his fortune with it. His life was saved only by swimming ashore. After these reverses he returned to Kentucky and was given a good official position.
Our subject's mother, Martha Bartlett before her marriage, was born in Newcastle, Ky. Her father was a farmer and a colonel in the War of 1812. Mrs. Samuel was the mother of eight children, two of whom died in infancy. They were Thomas J., Ed. Madison, Sarah, our subject, Clinton (who died from the effects of his service during the Mexican War), and William R. The eldest son, Thomas J., was a noble and most dutiful son, and cared for his aged parents with filial care until their death. Sarah, the only sister, was noted for her energy and perseverance. She was charitable to the degree that she robbed herself of the very comforts of life. Edward Madison, the second son, was most closely connected with the history of Missouri, shaping its policy when the state was in its infancy. He was an able writer and a good speaker. He was one of the most wealthy and extensive merchants of northwestern Missouri. He established the Commercial Bank of St. Louis of which he was president at the time of his death. Hon. William R., the youngest of the family, engaged in the merchandising business in Huntsville. He afterward carried on a tobacco business and later turned his attention to real estate. In 1852 he was elected to the State Legislature by the Whigs, and four years later was elected Circuit Clerk and County Recorder, serving as such for ten years.
We will now take up more specially the history of George Warren Samuel, of this sketch. At the age of seventeen, he left school, not being able for want of means to obtain a collegiate course. Though not in robust health he started out to seek his fortune in the west, and in November, 1828, reached Howard County, Mo., with only fifty cents in his pocket. He entered the mercantile house of Harrison, Glasgow & Ross, then the largest dealers in the west above St. Louis. After remaining with them for two years he gained the implicit confidence of his employers and with their aid embarked in business for himself in Chariton, Mo. On account of the unhealthiness of the locality he removed to Huntsville, Randolph County, but that sparsely settled region not affording sufficient trade, he removed to Columbia in 1834, forming a partnership with the Lammes, and erecting a mill which was the first paper-mill west of the Ohio. This was unfortunately consumed by fire.
To add to the discouragement of Mr. Samuel at this time, his health was constantly declining and it seemed necessary for him to take a sea voyage. He accordingly did so, but the fates still pursued him for the vessel was wrecked near Bernini Island and though Mr. Samuel managed to get back to Missouri, he was a mere skeleton and penniless. He erected the first house ever erected in the Platte Purchase by a mechanic. This house was afterward occupied by David R. Atchison, who was President pro tern of the United States for one day.
Thomas Smith, of Kentucky, assisted him to embark in the packing business, but the experiment was unfavorable. Another venture seeming necessary and 8 team boating promising to be remunerative, he built a steamboat, but this speculation proved disastrous. In 1838 our subject removed to Platte City. Seeing the place where St. Joseph now stands he at once believed a city would be there founded. He was eager to possess the tract and was one of a company formed to buy the preemption right for $1,600. A trivial thing, however, prevented the consummation of this plan.
In Savannah, Mo., Mr. Samuel next embarked in the mercantile business, continuing until 1860, when he found his fortune again restored. He was obliged to stop on account of the war, being crippled financially, and removed to St. Joseph, where in 1868 he organized the St. Joseph Fire & Marine Insurance Company, of which he was for a time President. In the course of time he became interested in stores in six or eight different counties, and for over half a century success has crowned his efforts.
In 1838 Mr. Samuel married Rebecca T. Todd, daughter of the late Judge Todd, who was a captain under Gen. Harrison in the War of 1812. He was a leading member of the bar in St. Joseph for forty years. On July 26, 1865, our subject was bereft of his wife and just one month later his only son, Col. D. Todd Samuel, was killed at the battle of Kenesaw Mountain, and buried with the honors of war at Atlanta, Ga. His father had his remains brought to St. Joseph and placed by the side of his little brother and sister.
The young colonel was only a youth when he was captured at Camp Jackson and was a major under Col. Sanders. He returned home but could not stay on account of the excitement of the hour. The last words spoken to his father were: "Father, I would rather fall in battle than forsake my comrades with whom I have enlisted." As major, assisted by Col. Jeff Patton, he raised a small regiment, with which he fought at Blue Mills, Lexington, Pea Ridge, Corinth, Vick-burg, Eenesaw, Iuka, Atlanta and Jonesville. At the time of his death he was colonel of the Third Confederate States Army and was the youngest officer in rank west of the line of the southern states. Our subject's oldest daughter is Eliza B., Mrs. H. W. Yates, of Omaha, her husband being President of the Nebraska National Bank. His other children, Florence T. and Insley J., are residents of St. Joseph. The former is the wife of J. T. Johnson and the latter is Mrs. John S. Lemon, her husband being a banker. His biography may be found in another part of this work.
Mr. Samuel was interested in building the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railway and also the Kansas City line. He is a stockholder and director in the Rock Island Road, and was a stockholder and helped to build the first railroad west of the Alleghany Mountains. This line was run by horsepower between Booneville and Franklin. Mr. Samuel was at one time a partner of ex-Gov. Clay Jackson. Peter Birney, who became Governor of California later, and ex-Gov. Conways and ex-Gov. Elias of Arkansas were all his employes. Mr. Samuel has had the pleasure of seeing all of the Presidents from John Quincy Adams down to the present time, with the exception of five. He built the library building on the corner of Sixth and Charles streets, and has backed up the enterprise with generous contributions. Our subject was trained in business under John T. Cleveland, an uncle of President Cleveland. It was during this period that our subject wrote a petition to Congress asking the protection of Santa Fe traders, and a company of soldiers was sent out and threw up mounds or hills by means of which the teams could follow one course and keep together.
(Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Buchanan and Clinton Counties, Missouri. Publ. 1893. Transcribed by Charlotte Slater)

 

OLIVER A. SANDUSKY is the proprietor of the oldest commission house in St. Joseph. This, with the exception of the one belonging to A. L. Charles of Kansas City, is the oldest of the kind on the river. Our subject is also engaged in general merchandising at Hamlin, Brown County, Kans., and is a stockholder in the Llano Live Stock and Land Company, an extensive concern owning thirty thousand acres in Texas. He is considered one of the most enterprising and prosperous business men of the county and has been blessed with great success in whatever business he has turned his hand to.
Oliver A. Sandusky was born near Lexington, Ky., on February 7, 1832, and is a son of Jacob E., who was born in the same locality in 1808. Our subject's paternal grandfather, who bore the Christian name of Ephraim, was also a pioneer in Kentucky, while his father, in turn, had emigrated from the Old Dominion with Daniel Boone, settling in the Blue Grass region, where he improved a farm. The country was extremely wild and unsettled, and while with a surveying party at a place called Salt Licks he was attacked by Indians. The party believing that "discretion was the better part of valor" made for the woods, hiding in bushes and finally making their escape. He was truly one of the pioneers of the coming civilization, and his services were of inestimable value. He helped survey the country and in after years, indeed, when he was over eighty years of age, he was called upon to testify in a suit as to the surveys and location of old lines, made so many years previously. His memory was clear and decisive and his opinions were held with marked respect. Our subject's paternal grandfather participated in the War of 1812 and was the owner of seven hundred acres of fine farming land, only ten miles from Lexington.
Jacob E. Sandusky, our subject's father, was also an extensive farmer near Lexington, where he engaged in extensive agriculture. He purchased land in 1838 in Clarke County, Mo., with the intention of locating upon it, but gave up that plan, settling in Shelby County, which is still his place of residence, though he is past eighty-five years of age. The family are originally from Virginia and in the early days the name was spelled Sodowsky, the cognomen being of Polish origin. Our subject's mother, who was also a native of Kentucky, was before her marriage Miss Hannah Middleton. Her father, Joseph, was born in Maryland and was an early and respected settler in Kentucky, locating on the old Shelby Pike in Shelby County, between Franklin and Louisville. Both parents of our subject were personal friends of Henry Clay and were old Line Whigs back to the early days. The mother, who died in Shelby County, Ky., had a family of three children, two of whom are living. After her death her husband was again married, Miss Nancy Bladyes becoming his wife. Of their union five children were born, all of whom are living. James M., our subject's own brother, is in his employ as a salesman and during the late war was in the Confederate Army.
The boyhood days of Oliver Sandusky wore passed in his birth-place ten miles from Lexington. He removed with his parents when seven years of age to a farm in Shelby County, near Shelbyville, and from the age of eight years was reared to hard farm labor. At that time he was set at plowing and until the age of twenty-three he worked faithfully and untiringly on his father's homestead. Such education as he acquired was obtained during the three months' winter term in the old fashioned log school-house with its accompanying conveniences. In 1855 he came by way of boat to this state on the "Polar Star" and landed at St. Joseph, near which city he took charge of a two-hundred-acre farm, fifteen miles north in Andrew County.
In that county in the year 1857 occurred the marriage of Mr. Sandusky and Serelda Potter, who was born in Caldwell County, Mo., and whose father, John Potter, was an early settler in this state. Our subject located on a farm of eighty acres in Andrew County, which he purchased and operated until the war. He then enlisted in the Ninth Missouri Cavalry, Company M, being mustered in at St. Joseph and campaigning in this state under Gen. Odin Guitar. In 1864 he did considerable skirmishing and fighting and was captured at Glasgow by Shelby of Price's Army, was paroled and sent to the barracks at St. Louis and afterward to Macon City, where he remained until the war closed, when he was discharged. He then returned to his farm, which he soon sold, and in the fall of 1805 engaged in the grocery business at the corner of Sixth and Edmond streets, St. Joseph, for about eight years. He gradually worked into the general produce business and was very successful.
In 1873 Mr. Sandusky located on Market Square and handled as a specialty certain lines of fruit, particularly apples. He now buys and sells from two hundred to two hundred and fifty cars of apples a season, shipping to various points in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska, doing all business from this office. He has his men begin packing the fruit in August, and has expert workers in that line, as in order to have the fruit keep perfectly it must be exceedingly carefully dealt with. This firm also deals extensively in eggs and butter, of the former commodity sending as many as twenty cars east in a season. They deal in potatoes in carload lots and general farm produce, berries, onions and various small fruits. They have large sales in all parts of the country and are among the most enterprising firms in the county. They occupy a brick store 20 by 140 feet on North Market Square, which is admirably fitted in every way for their special line of trade.
In 1891 Mr. Sandusky started a general merchandising store in Hamlin, Kans., and has placed a nephew in charge of it. He has erected a pleasant residence at No. 720 South Tenth street. Politically he is a Democrat and personally he is very popular, as he is of a jovial and friendly disposition, being very fond of good jokes or flashes of wit and humor.
(Source: Portrait & Biographical Record of Buchanan & Clinton Counties Missouri, Publ. 1893. Transcribed by Linda Rodriguez)

 

John G. Schneider. The City of St. Joseph has in John G. Schneider, vice president of the German-American National Bank, one of her ablest financiers, and one who has been active in the affairs of the city, both in business and in public life, continuously since 1879. He was born in St. Joseph on May 12, 1862, and is the eldest son of Ulrich and Katherine (Schott) Schneider.
Ulrich Schneider was a man who was prominent in this city for a good many years, and it is fitting that at least a brief space be devoted in this sketch to a recital of the more prominent activities of his life. He was a native German, born at Wurtemberg, Germany, on March 30, 1837, and he died in this city on November 10, 1902. He came to the United States with his parents in 1852, arriving at Baltimore, Maryland, and until he came to St. Joseph, in 1861, lived for the most part in Ohio. He came to this city and state at the time of the outbreak of the Civil War, and he served three years in the enrolled militia of the state, during his service being promoted to the rank of second lieutenant, Company B. In August, 1864, he enlisted in the Forty-third Missouri Volunteer Regiment and was wounded and made a prisoner in the latter days of the conflict, though he saw much hard service and participated in some of the severest struggles of the war. On the close of the war, when he secured his release, he came to St. Joseph, later moving to DeKalb, where he engaged in the boot and shoe business and was so occupied for four years.
In 1871 Mr. Schneider returned to St. Joseph and was soon thereafter appointed deputy county clerk of Buchanan County, a position he filled with all of satisfaction to the public for four years. Then, in 1875, he became secretary of the Home Loan and Building Association. Two years later he engaged in insurance and real estate activities in St. Joseph, and he continued to be active in that enterprise until he died in 1902.
Mr. Schneider was a man, who was prominent in Masonic circles, and he was past eminent commander of St. Joseph Commandery No. 4, Knights Templar, and he was also a member of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias and other fraternal bodies of the city, and at the time of his death he was a director in the German-American National Bank, of which his son is now vice president. He and his wife were the parents of twelve children. The mother died in 1880.
John G. Schneider was educated in the St. Joseph Public Schools and when he was fifteen years of age became associated with his father in the real estate and insurance, business, continuing so from 1877 to 1887. In the year last named he was one of the organizers of the German American Bank of St. Joseph, now the German-American National Bank and he began then to serve the bank as assistant cashier. In 1892 he became vice president, and he has continued in that office ever since.
Mr. Schneider is a member of the directorate of the St. Joseph Stock Yards Company, of the Buchanan Hotel Company, of the St. Joseph and Savannah Interurban Railway Company, of the Kansas City, Clay County and St. Joseph Railway Company, and a number of other business enterprises of similar importance.
Like his father, Mr. Schneider has become identified with the leading fraternal societies, including the A. F. & A. M., St. Joseph's Lodge No. 78; Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Woodmen of the World, the Court of Honor, and the Independent Order of Red Men. He is a member of the St. Joseph Turnverein, St. Joseph Swaben Verein, a director of the St. Joseph Country Club, a member of the Benton Club of St. Joseph, of the Lotus Club of St. Joseph, and of the St. Joseph Commerce Club. In all of these he is active and prominent.
On October 12, 1887, Mr. Schneider was married to Miss Helen Garth, a daughter of Maj. Samuel Garth, of St. Joseph, and a member of one of the pioneer families of Buchanan County. Major Garth served in the Union Army during the Civil War and was long a prominent citizen in St. Joseph.
Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Schneider—Ulrich Schneider; Helen, married to Henry Walker, and John G. Schneider, Jr.
The family have a comfortable residence at No. 1125 Krug Park Place, and they are prominent in social activities in the city, where they have a wide circle of stanch friends.
[A History of Northwest Missouri, Volume 2; edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1918; Donated and Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack] 

 

COL. A. N. SCHUSTER. Among the prominent business men of St Joseph is our subject who is at the head of the largest clothing house in the west and has been very successful in his various commercial enterprises. Mr. Schuster was born in Rhenish, Prussia, and educated in the schools of his native land. He came to America in 1857 when he was just twenty-one years of age and proceeded at once to Savannah, Mo., the county seat of Andrew County. There he entered the employ of an uncle, August Schuster, a thrifty merchant, and applied himself earnestly to the acquisition of our language. His diligence and perseverance were unremitting, these traits having been apparent through his entire career. He became proficient in English before much time had elapsed and he now speaks it without the slightest foreign accent.
In those early days in Savannah there were no amusements nor any place of recreation to which a young man of exemplary habits could go, so a mock legislature was organized in the town in which questions of the day were discussed, and as it was during the war and the members differed in politics, the questions were serious ones, which were argued with great warmth oftentimes. Young Schuster was called a black Republican on account of his pronounced Union sentiments and was known as the "Senator from St. Louis" that district being strongly Republican. The debates of this body assisted him very much in attaining a fluency in English. His business success also was immediate and he had advanced so far by May 1, 1862, that he felt sufficiently justified in sharing his joys with another.
The lady of our subject's choice was Miss Lucreti Price, the accomplished daughter of W. A. Price, a man of prominence in the state, and a representative merchant of Savannah. To this union were born three daughters—Luda, wife of Mr. Judson Cole Clay, of St. Joseph; Florence, and Edna, deceased. In 1865 the Colonel removed to St. Joseph and took charge of the United States Revenue Collector's Office for the District, which now includes two Congressional Districts. He was made Deputy-Collector, his father-in-law being the Collector. With great credit to himself be performed the duties of the office for about a year, when he began merchandising on his own account in St. Joseph, and for six years following was actively engaged in retail, mercantile pursuits. In addition to his St. Joseph business he had establishments in three other towns, and at the end of a few years went into the wholesale trade. Notwithstanding his immense trade and exacting demand on his time he was appointed in 1869 as collector of Internal Revenue to succeed Gen. James Craig, and successfully and satisfactorily conducted business in that office for a district embracing twenty five counties, until 1871.
In 1872 the Colonel was a member for his district of the famous Electoral College, which discussed so strongly the question of enfranchising the ex-Confederate element. He warmly and zealously advocated enfranchisement, although he was and always has been an intense Republican, politically. His views were antagonized by some of his colleagues whom he has since had the satisfaction of having fully endorse his views. Col. Schuster has always been a public-spirited man, ready and anxious to advance the interests of St. Joseph. He was one of eight men, who, from their private means built and equipped the St. Joseph & Des Moines Railroad, then a narrow gauge, but since changed to the standard width by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Company. Besides managing the establishment of A. N. Schuster & Co., he is the principal owner in that concern of wholesale clothing, and gives also some attention to the business of the Schuster & Hax National bank, of which be is President. In the past he has been president of several banks in Kansas.
In church and philanthropic work the Colonel takes an earnest interest, and is exceedingly liberal with his means as well, in relieving the necessities of the poor and destitute. Many a struggling man and woman have been helped onward and upward by the kindly sympathy or timely assistance rendered by him, and those who know him well are his devoted friends. The Young Men's Christian Association building in St. Joseph is one of the handsomest structures of its kind in the country, beautiful in architecture and imposing in dimensions. It is furnished with libraries, school, gymnasium, and all modern appliances, and has a lecture hall capable of seating one thousand persons. This superb building was erected with our subject as its master spirit, for he furnished many thousand dollars from his own fortune toward its construction, and succeeded in obtaining donations from his fellow-citizens toward the good work. He was the President of the Association for nine years. He is universally regarded as a model man in private life, and his example has been felt in society, particularly among the young people. A long history could be written of instances showing the goodness and kindness of the man, but space and his own modesty forbid.
(Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Buchanan and Clinton Counties, Missouri. Publ. 1893. Transcribed by Charlotte Slater)

 

Albert Selle. An honored and respected citizen of Clinton County, Albert Selle is a worthy representative of the successful agriculturists of Clinton County, he having by persevering and well-directed labor improved a fine farm in Shoal Township, where he has lived for many years. He was born, in 1849, in Saxony, Germany, which was likewise the birthplace of his father, Henry Selle, and of his grandfather, John F. Selle. His grandfather emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1849. and having settled in Clinton County, bought land in Shoal Township, where he was subsequently actively engaged in tilling the soil until his death, at a ripe old age. He was a man of honest integrity, and a faithful member of the German Lutheran Church.
Henry Selle was bred and educated in Saxony, living there until after his marriage. Learning the trade of a stone cutter when young he was for some time superintendent of a large stone quarry in Saxony. In 1852. accompanied by his wife and children, he embarked on a sailing vessel, and after an ocean voyage of four weeks landed in Baltimore, Maryland. From there he came by way of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to St. Louis, and thence with ox teams to Shoal Township. Buying a tract of timbered land, he cleared and improved a homestead, on which he lived and labored until his death, at the age of sixty-seven years. His wife, whose maiden name was Eva Wagner, survived him, attaining the age of seventy-nine years. Of the eleven children born of their union, seven are now living, as follows: Gustave, an ex-soldier, of whom a brief sketch appears elsewhere in this volume; Albert, the special subject of this sketch; Agnes, who married Louis Hartell, of Plattsburg; Minnie, wife of Edward Klein, of Shoal Township; Augusta; Clara; and Anna. Gustave served as a soldier in the Civil war, as did three other of his sons, Julius, A. H., and Frederick A. Julius and A. H. both died in the South while in the army, the body of the latter being buried at Bridgeport, Alabama. Frederick A. served on the staff of General Shields. Both parents were members of the Lutheran Church.
Scarce three years old when he came with his parents to Clinton County, Albert Selle obtained his elementary education in the district schools, completing his early studies at Oak Grove. During his early manhood he was for two years engaged in mercantile pursuits in Plattsburg, but has since successfully carried on general farming and stock raising and dealing on the old Selle homestead in Shoal Township. Since assuming its possession, Mr. Selle has added much to the improvements already inaugurated, and in 1897 erected a seven-room house containing modern conveniences. The farm contains 220 acres of choice land, lying very near the city limits. He also owns the well-kept farm of 140 acres on which his son, Truman A., lives.
Mr. Selle married, October 31, 1883, Ella F. McComb. Her father, Thomas McComb, was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, of Scotch-Irish parents, and in 1869 came with his family to Missouri, and was here a resident until his death, at the age of eighty-one years. Mr. and Mrs. Selle have two children, Truman A. and Erwin S. Truman A. Selle, born May 15, 1885, was educated in the public schools, and is now ably managing his father's farm, as above stated. He married, in 1908, Jennie E. Williams, a daughter of Allan Williams, of Shoal Township, and they have one son, Rolland T. Selle. Erwin S. Selle, born January 16, 1887, was graduated from Columbia University, New York City, with the class of 1911, and is now superintendent of schools of Sanborn, Iowa. He married, in 1909, Miss Vada Felger, of Osceola, Iowa, and they have one daughter, Marjorie.
[A History of Northwest Missouri, Volume 2; edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1918; Donated and Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]

 

Benjamin F. Shelman. The development of intelligence and practical ideas has advanced agriculture to a combination of business and science the great possibilities of which can be but partially mastered by the ordinary individual during his comparatively brief span of years. Man whose energies are concentrated upon the development of the soil, and whose activities are centered in using its stored fertility for the most enlightened needs of civilization, has brought the pursuits of agriculture to a state of usefulness not attained in any other walk of life. To such must come the greatest material satisfaction also, as evidenced in all prosperous farming communities, of which De Kalb County is one of the best examples. For forty years Benjamin F. Shelman has been engaged in tilling the soil of this section of Northwest Missouri, and through intelligent and well-directed effort has brought himself to a foremost place among the substantial men of this locality, at this time being the owner of 360 acres in Adams Township and 160 acres in Dallas Township. His career is one of interest, for he has fought his way to the top from modest beginnings and is an excellent example of self-made manhood.
Mr. Shelman was born in Perry County, Indiana, March 15, 1850, and is a son of Adam and Julia (Broomfield) Shelman. His parents, natives of Kentucky, were reared in the Blue Grass State, and after their marriage, in 1840, went to Indiana. They resided in Perry County until 1854, when they moved to Illinois, later going to Iowa and subsequently to Gentry County, Missouri. Still later the father moved to Daviess County, this state, where the family resided until the father moved to Texas, in which state he spent about fifteen years. The father, who was a blacksmith by trade, was an industrious workman, but was in modest circumstances, and passed away in Daviess County, Missouri,, leaving only a small estate. The mother died at Weatherby, Missouri. Adam and Julia Shelman were the parents of eight children, of whom three are living, all residents of De Kalb County, Robert B., Thomas J., and Benjamin F.
Benjamin F. Shelman was granted only ordinary educational advantages in the district schools of the various communities in which the family resided, and remained as his father's assistant until his twenty fourth year, when he embarked upon a career of his own.
In 1874 he rented forty acres of railroad land in De Kalb County, for which he paid by installments, and from time to time, as the years passed and his finances permitted, added to this original purchase until at this time he has 520 acres of well-developed farming land, in addition to five acres located within the limits of Maysville. His success may be accredited to strict economy, close attention to business, earnest and continuous labor and clean living, it being Mr. Shelman's record that he has never used tobacco or intoxicating liquors in any form. His career is one which is eminently worthy of emulation by those who are embarking upon their careers, and should be of an encouraging nature to the individuals who are handicapped by lack of financial resources with which to make their start in life.
Mr. Shelman was married to Miss Martha A. Poteet, who was born in De Kalb County, Missouri, and to this union there have been born five children: one who died in infancy; Bevie, who is the wife of John Bradford, of Weatherby, Missouri; Ralph O, who is a resident of Wyoming; Harold B., who is engaged in farming in association with his father; and Belvie S., who graduated in May, 1914, from the St. Joseph High .School. Mrs. Shelman died in 1911 in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Shelman is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, being affiliated with the lodge at Fairport.
While Mr. Shelman has devoted the greater part of his attention to general farming, he has also met with well-merited success in the raising of stock, making a specialty of Shetland ponies, English shire and draft horses and Hereford cattle. Mr. Shelman has at the head of his stable an imported English shire horse, and his animals have taken numerous valuable prizes in fairs and expositions. At the St. Louis World's Fair, in 1904, he took first premium as a Missouri draft horse breeder, and his exhibit took fourth prize in eighteen exhibited against the world. His Shetland pony, "Prince," took fourth premium against the world, and others of his animals have been large prize winners. Mr. Shelman's farm is one of the finest to be found in his part of the county and shows the presence of able and practical management, the buildings being of modern architecture and substantial construction, while his machinery and equipment are of the latest and most highly improved manufacture. As a citizen Mr. Shelman is held in the highest esteem, being public spirited and progressive, and among those who have had business transactions with him is accounted a man of the strictest integrity. His friends are as numerous as his acquaintances.
[A History of Northwest Missouri, Volume 2; edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1918; Donated and Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]

 

HON. WILLIAM M. SHEPHERD is the present mayor of St. Joseph, Buchanan County, and is now serving his fourth year as such. One rather remarkable feature in connection with this period is that the first year there was a tie in the city council, there being eight Democrats and eight Republicans, the second year a Democratic majority of one, and the last two years again a tie in the council. To the initiated this statement alone is sufficient to show bow very discreet and cautious must be the line chosen by the chief executive. Notwithstanding this, he has proved entirely satisfactory and has made one of the best mayors this enterprising city has ever boasted. He is very popular as a man and by his pleasant and affable ways has won hosts of friends. Mr. Shepherd's birth-place was Medina, Lena-wee County, Mich., and the date of his birth July 3, 1846. His grandfather, Alexander Shepherd, of Scotch-German descent, was born in Pennsylvania and removed to Seneca County, N. Y., where he was married and engaged in farming. Our subject's father, Rev. Paul Shepherd, was born in La Fayette township, Seneca County, N. Y., where he was reared to manhood. He studied medicine with Dr. Bryant, of Utica, N. Y., and after a short time engaged in practice, went to Oberlin, assisting in building the College, and was associated with President Mahan and President Finney. After the College was built he entered the theological course and at the end of three years graduated and began the work of a Presbyterian minister. It was his idea to fit himself for missionary labors. He went to Michigan as an evangelist to the Otto-was and Chippewas on Lake Michigan, being stationed at the mouth of the Kalamazoo River for several years. Thence going to eastern Michigan, he took charge of the church in Medina, of which he was pastor for ten years. Subsequently he went to Dover in the same county and there preached for five years.
In 1855 Rev. Mr. Shepherd took his family to Kansas and organized the first Presbyterian Church in Topeka. At the end of two years he returned to Dover, Mich., and had charge of the church there until his death, in 1860, at the age of fifty-eight years. He was a member and chaplain of the Old Free State Legislature at Topeka, and in 1850 was one of the delegates to the convention at Osawatomie, Kans., where the Republican convention was held. His wife, Asenath, daughter of Johnathan Mack, was born in Canandaigaa County, N. Y. The father was an early settler and enterprising farmer of the Empire State. Mrs. Shepherd died in Dover, Mich., in 1877. Of her five children, who attained to adult years, our subject is the fifth in order of birth. James H. is a farmer near Dover; Jane E., deceased, was the wife of Samuel Benham of Topeka; Martha, widow of Rev. Robinson, is a resident of Nashville, Tenn.; Saunders R. is a real estate dealer in Leavenworth, Kans. He was Secretary of State under Gov. Robinson of Kansas and for nine years was editor of the Topeka Tribune.
William Shepherd was reared and educated in Dover and Adrian, Mich. He attended the Adrian College. Afterward be accepted a position in a drug store of the place and held the same for five years. In 1870 he came to the west, opening a drug store in Troy, Kans., which he carried on for about five years. Next coming to St Joseph, he yielded to the wishes of Colonel Tracy and became business manager of the Herald, and as such con-tinned under the several different editors.
On the 10th of June, 1880, our subject gave up his position on the newspaper and became assistant postmaster under Col. Tracy. As the latter was an invalid, the responsibility of the postal service fell almost entirely to Mr. Shepherd. In 1884 he returned as business manager to the Herald, which was then controlled by Col. J. W. Strong, who was the following year killed by Doctor Richmond. A year later he assumed the management of that paper, which position he held for two years. In 1890 he was nominated on the Republican ticket as Mayor, being elected by a good majority, and two years later was re-elected by a still greater majority. The duties of this position he has ably discharged, and the people feel that in him they have one on whom they may safely rely to advance their interests.
Mr. Shepherd is the father of one son, Warren (a talented young man), who is a graduate of the Rasieu Academy of Michigan, and was a student at the State Agricultural College, which is located in Lansing. He is now teaching in the village of Ousted, Mich.
Fraternally Mr. Shepherd belongs to Charity Lodge, No. 331, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; St. Joseph Chapter, No. 14, Royal Arch Masons, of which he is scribe; Council No. 0, R. & S. M.; St. Joseph Commandery, No. 4, Knight Templars, of which he is Past Eminent Commander; to Moila Temple Mystic Shrine, in which he holds the office of Chief Rabban; and to St. Joseph Royal Arch Chapter, No. 198, O. E. S.
(Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Buchanan and Clinton Counties, Missouri. Publ. 1893. Transcribed by Charlotte Slater)

 

William E. Sherwood. One of the distinguished members of the St. Joseph bar, since 1876, Mr. Sherwood represents a pioneer Missouri family, and one whose members through several generations have been prominent in the great epochs of American history. William E. Sherwood was born in New Madrid County, Missouri, December 9, 1853.
His parents were Jesse and Emeline (Dunklin) Sherwood. The Sherwood family ancestry is traced back to Thomas Sherwood, who emigrated from England about 1640, and settled in Connecticut colony, being one of the founders .of Stratford in that colony. Later the family moved out to Indiana, where Eli Sherwood. Jr., grandfather of the St. Joseph lawyer, married Nancy McAllister. Nancy McAllister was a daughter of Jesse McAllister, of the prominent Pennsylvania family of that name. The McAllister’s did as much probably as any other individual family in the development of Pennsylvania's coal and iron resources. Eli Sherwood, Jr., was an ensign in the Tenth Indiana Regiment engaged in the Indian wars, and his commission was signed by Governor Jennings, the first governor of Indiana. Four years later, in 1824, he was commissioner major of the Tenth Indiana Regiment by Governor William Hendricks. Eli Sherwood, Jr., moved to Mississippi settling at Vicksburg where Jesse Sherwood, father of William E., was born.
Jesse Sherwood lived in Mississippi until he came to Missouri, early in the last century, settling in New Madrid county. There he met and married the daughter of one of the pioneers, Emeline Dunklin. Her parents were William and Susan Dunklin, among the settlers of New Madrid county about the year 1820. It will be remembered that their settlement occurred not long after the great earthquake in southeastern Missouri, and about the time Missouri became a state. William Dunklin was born in South Carolina, moved to Kentucky, and during the War of 1812 belonged to the Fifteenth Kentucky Regiment, known as "Slaughter's Regiment," serving as a private in the company of Captain McAfee. He took part with his regiment in the Battle of New Orleans, the concluding battle of that war. He went with his regiment down the Mississippi River on flat boats, and after the war walked the entire distance home to Kentucky.
He was mustered out of service, May 10, 1815, and about 1820 settled in Missouri. Among the company of Missouri settlers, to which he belonged were also Daniel Dunklin, his first cousin, who was lieutenant governor in 1828 and governor of the state of Missouri in 1832, and his administration is notable in the early history of the state, especially for his advocacy and practical leadership in the matter of establishment and enlargement of the system of public schools. One of the earlier Dunklin ancestors was John Dunklin, who served as captain in the South Carolina militia, during the Revolutionary war. Emeline (Dunklin) Sherwood, who is now living in New Madrid, in her eightieth year, is a descendant on her mother's side from Philip Cole, who was Colonel of the Fourth Battalion of the Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, Militia and took an active part in the struggle for independence. It is from such distinguished ancestors that the St. Joseph lawyer is descended.
It is a fact well demonstrated by science and history that what we are is in part only of our making; the greater part of ourselves has come down to us from the past; and fortunate is the individual or a community whose forebears were of a high type intellectually and physically and morally. What America is as a nation is due largely to the fine qualities of the early settlers, and as an individual few are more fortunate than Mr. Sherwood, whose people were not only among the early comers to Missouri, but bore important parts in the Colonial, Revolutionary and all subsequent epochs of our nation's history.
William E. Sherwood was educated in the University of Missouri, attending the collegiate law schools, and graduating in 1876 with the degree LL. B. In the same year he was admitted to the bar, and took up the practice of his profession in St. Joseph. From 1884 to 1886, Mr. Sherwood was city attorney of St. Joseph; in 1888 he served as prosecuting attorney of Buchanan County, being elected on the democratic ticket, for two years. Since leaving the office of prosecuting attorney, Mr. Sherwood has devoted all his attention to the general practice of law, and has attained many distinctions, having been entrusted with the management and direction of a large mass of important litigations, and his services being retained in many of the most celebrated cases in the local, state and federal courts in this district, as is attested by the records and appellate reports of the various courts.
Mr. Sherwood belongs to the Missouri Alpha Chapter of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, and is president of the Alumni Association of this fraternity at St. Joseph. Through his direct relations with Revolutionary sires, he has for a number of years been active in the Society of the Sons of the Revolution, is a member of the State Board of Managers of that Order, and since 1910 was treasurer of the St. Joseph Chapter for three years when he was elected president of the Chapter. His family are all communicants of the Presbyterian Church.
In 1883 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Sherwood to Miss Jennie Cross, a daughter of Alonzo and Rachael Cross of St. Joseph. Mrs. Sherwood was born in Champaign, Illinois, in 1863. Like her husband, Mrs. Sherwood is also prominently related to American Colonial and military history, and her ancestral line goes back to the very beginning of things. Her father, Alonzo Cross, was a lineal descendant of Stephen Hopkins and daughter Constantine Hopkins, who were both passengers on the Mayflower. Mrs. Sherwood is a member of the Mayflower Society, and is No. 3646 in the national society. To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Sherwood have been born three children: Emeline Sherwood, a graduate of St. Joseph high school, and of the Presbyterian Synodical College at Fulton; Joseph Hunter Cross Sherwood, a graduate of the St. Joseph high school, and now engaged in the real estate business in St. Joseph; and William Jesse Sherwood, who is now a member of the sophomore class of the St. Joseph high school. The family home is at 701 North Twelfth Street.
[A History of Northwest Missouri, Volume 2; edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1918; Donated and Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]

 

William C. Shikles. Now serving deputy state veterinarian of Missouri, Doctor Shikles is one of the ablest veterinary surgeons of northwest Missouri, and has a substantial place in his profession and in the public and social affairs of his home town at Plattsburg. He is a graduate and registered veterinary surgeon, is a lover of domestic animals and a close student of them practically since he was a boy.
William C. Shikles was born in Platte County, Missouri, on a farm near Platte City, March 3, 1877. William Shikles, his father, was born in Kentucky, now deceased, and the Shikles family is of German origin. The father served as a soldier of the Confederate army, under General Price, and fought on many hard-contested battlefields in the Mississippi valley. He was born in 1837 and died in 1895 at the age of fifty-eight. He was a member of the Masonic order. The maiden name of the mother was Catherine Rapp, who is still living at Plattsburg. Their four sons were: J. W., who is a civil engineer practicing at Chicago, Illinois; J. R., a veterinary surgeon at Smithville, Missouri; Dr. E. A., who likewise chose veterinary work as his profession, graduated from the Chicago Veterinary College, and has practiced with great success at Dearborn, Missouri, where he has a fine equipped hospital; and Dr. William C.
When five years of age William C. Shikles was brought by the family to Clinton County, where he grew up and received his early training in the public schools. He owns a good home and has a barn specially equipped to care for the animals treated by him. Doctor Shikles married Belle Shrewsbury. They have two sons, W. A. Shikles, born in 1913, and Ernest C, born in 1914. Doctor Shikles has membership in Lathrop Lodge, No. 506, of the Masonic order, and his wife is a member of the Christian church.
[A History of Northwest Missouri, Volume 2; edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1918; Donated and Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]

 

Henry S. Smith. As one of the leading real estate dealers of St. Joseph, Henry S. Smith has been identified with many changes of property in this city and the surrounding country, and is widely and favorably known as a man of good judgment and honor. He was born on a farm in Washington County, Maryland, a son of Joseph M. Smith, whose birth occurred in 1822, on the same farm, while his grandfather, Michael Schmidt, was born in the same county. His great-grandfather, Joseph Schmidt, was a native of Germany. Coming to America as a young man, he located in Washington County, Maryland, in colonial days, and having purchased a tract of land, was there employed in the pursuit of agriculture until his death.
Michael Schmidt, as the name was spelled when he was born, was baptized under that name, Henry S. Smith, his grandson, now having his baptismal papers bearing date of 1785. He was a farmer and spent his entire life in Washington County. His wife, whose maiden name was Catherine Means, was born and reared in the same county. She survived him, and spent the closing years of her life in St. Joseph, Missouri, passing away at a ripe old age.
Joseph M. Smith was reared to agricultural pursuits, and having inherited quite a tract of land, carried on farming with the help of slaves. During the progress of the war he remained neutral, but that section of the country was invaded by both armies, and his entire wealth was swept away. Nothing daunted, he began life again as a farmer, and there resided until 1883, when he came to St. Joseph, which was his home thenceforward until his death, in 1898. The maiden name of his wife was Margaret McCleary. She was born in Allegany County, Maryland, a daughter of Peter McCleary, native of that state, and of Scotch Irish ancestry. She died in 1910, in St. Joseph.
One of a family of eight children, Henry S. Smith first attended the district schools of his native town, later completing his studies at Rock Hill College, in Ellicott City, Maryland. Fitted for a professional career, Mr. Smith taught school two years in Maryland, and then went to Nemaha County, Kansas, where he continued as a teacher until 1883. Locating then in St. Joseph, Missouri, Mr. Smith secured a position as clerk in a real estate and insurance office.
Subsequently, in partnership with A. C. McDonald, he purchased the business of his former employer, and carried it on successfully for a year as head of the firm of Smith & McDonald. W. A. Spratt was then admitted to partnership, and the business was continued under the name of Smith, McDonald & Spratt until 1890. There were several changes in the firm in the years that followed, and in addition to the insurance business more especial attention was paid to dealings in real estate and loans. In 1913 Mr. Smith became sole proprietor of the business, which is in a flourishing condition, and under his management is constantly increasing. He is also connected with other business organizations in an official capacity, being secretary of the Provident Building and Loan Association and secretary of the Ely Land Company.
In 1896 Mr. Smith married Gertrude Bang, who was born in Dresden, Germany, a daughter of Henry and Elise (Auut) Bang. In politics Mr. Smith is a stanch supporter of the principles of the democratic party. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and of the Columbus Club and the Commerce Club.
[A History of Northwest Missouri, Volume 2; edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1918; Donated and Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]

 

Joseph Addison Smith. This venerable man, now in the ninety-third year of his life, who with firm step and unclouded mind still walks the streets of Lawson, is distinguished as the oldest living citizen of Ray County and the only surviving veteran of the war with Mexico who went into service from this county. "Uncle Add," as he is known to everyone in and around Lawson, has witnessed practically the entire development of this part of Northwest Missouri, and has borne a share in the starting course of its progress. Though now retired from active business and living quietly in the midst of the comforts and prosperity which his long business career accumulated, he still manifests a keen and intelligent interest in all that affects the welfare of his home county and state, and no man in all Ray County could more appropriately be represented in a history of Northwest Missouri.
Joseph Addison Smith was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, September 23, 1822. His father was Jedediah H. Smith, born in the same county in 1791, and who died in Ray County, Missouri, at the age of seventy-eight years. Another interesting fact in connection with "Uncle Add" is that he is one of the very few living men in America at the present time who are grandsons of Revolutionary soldiers. His grandfather, William Smith, was a Carolina volunteer on the American side and helped to drive the British from the Southern colonies.
Grandfather William Smith was a son of John Smith, an Englishman, who received a grant of land from the Crown and came to North Carolina in 1730. He built a mill on the banks of the Almont, in Guilford County, and the public records of that county show that he subsequently sold the mill and 200 acres of land to Jacob Clapp for the sum of $2,000. This John Smith had two sons and one daughter. The daughter married a Mr. McMurry. The sons, James and William, settled on the grant of land above mentioned. William Smith raised a large family, consisting of seven daughters and three sons. Four of the number were buried in Tennessee, two in Oregon and the remainder in Guilford County, North Carolina. Jedediah H. Smith married Jane Close, who was born in North Carolina in October, 1802, and died in April, 1892.
Mr. Smith was the second in a family of five children and is the only one now living. His parents were married in 1820 and most of the children were born in North Carolina. The father was a merchant at Greenville in the latter state for several years, but in 1838, with his own little family, and in company with a party of Western home-seekers, started out on the long journey for distant Missouri. The Platte Purchase had recently been effected, and it was the news of this addition to Northwest Missouri lands which caused the Smith party to select that country as their destination. Uncle Add was at that time sixteen years old, and according to his own way of stating the facts, "was big enough to pack a rifle." The little train of emigrants had a four-horse wagon which was driven by the boy Add, another wagon and team, and a two horse carriage, the women and children riding in the latter.
The journey was made across the mountains through the Cumberland Gap on to Knoxville, thence to Gallatin, Tennessee, across the Ohio River at Barker's Ferry, journeyed across Southern Illinois to St. Louis, crossing the Mississippi in boats, thence followed up the southern side of the Missouri River to St. Charles, where they effected a crossing over that stream, and then got on the old state road, or the National Pike, which followed the course of the river along the north bank, and which was the only real road at that time existing in the state. As they went along they met a number of people coming East, who informed the emigrants that it was impossible to live in the Platte Purchase, since there was nothing to live on, and this discouraging advice caused the new arrivals to spend the winter at Richmond, in Ray County.
They reached that little settlement in December, 1838. While there the father got into communication with his brother-in-law, William Cummins, at Claysville, in Clay County, and after considerable search for a proper location, finally purchased 120 acres of land from Henry Hunter on the east fork of Fishing River, three miles from the present site of Lawson. The land had two small cabins as practically its only improvement, and into that home the family moved in February, 1839, and the men of the household took up the heavy task of breaking the soil and establishing a home in a new country, which was still almost an unbroken wilderness. Jedediah H. Smith deserves a brief tribute as one of the rugged pioneers of Northwest Missouri, a man who had the courage and enterprise to venture to the far Western frontier and establish a home in the vanguard of civilization. He was a man of more than ordinary influence in his community, and during his residence in North Carolina served as a magistrate for several years, and had given service to his nation as a soldier in the War of 1812.
"Uncle Add" Smith as a boy attended school in North Carolina, and after reaching Missouri for several months rode five miles each day to a school in Clay County. His teacher was a Mr. Stotely Williams, subsequently a prominent citizen in this part of Missouri. In 1845 Mr. Smith entered eighty acres of land south of Lawson from the Government. The following winter was spent in the woods in splitting rail and in building fence, and early in the spring of 1846 he broke up and planted two-thirds of the acreage in corn.
His quiet vocation as a pioneer farmer was then broken into by the call to arms for service in the war with Mexico. He enlisted with the volunteers who comprised Company C from Clay County and in the First Regiment of Volunteers. They gathered at Fort Leavenworth, where he was sworn in, and became a member of that historic expedition in the Southwest commanded by the grand old general, A. W. Doniphan. He was with the command on its famous march of 1,200 miles into New Mexico, was on duty at every roll call and in every engagement, and received his honorable discharge in June, 1847. His discharge papers were signed by General Taylor. They were paid their wages in gold and silver at Monterey, and it was a great burden to carry home. In this expedition a cousin had gone out with him, and while in the army was taken sick at Chihuahua with typhoid fever, and was hauled in a wagon 600 miles to Monterey with no bedding but a blanket.
Mr. Smith was relieved of other duties in order to take care of this relative, and it soon became apparent to him that he must get 'his cousin out of the country in order to save him. He accordingly made arrangements for his transportation in an ore wagon. Another sick man heard of the plan and begged to be taken along also, and thus Mr. Smith was in charge of two invalids. A bed was made in a wagon on top of a load of silver bullion, and with that improvised ambulance Mr. Smith got his two companions into Texas, and finally down to the Gulf and to New Orleans. The stranger seemed to be recovering during the trip, but the cousin grew steadily worse. During the two days spent at New Orleans before starting up the river, the stranger suddenly began a decline and died at that city, while the cousin, on the contrary, improved and finally recovered, so that some years later he served four years in the Southern army in the Civil war, came home without a scratch and was later shot and killed in his own dooryard. Mr. Smith, in relating this incidental experience of his Mexican war service, states that the trip home with the sick man and the nursing and care it involved were the most trying experiences of his entire life.
Soon after his return home from the Mexican war Mr. Smith began to think of finding a life mate. On December 18, 1849, was celebrated his marriage to Miss Catherine Miller. She was born near Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio, January 12, 1832, a daughter of Judge Jesse and Mercy Ann (Everett) Miller. Her father was a native of Ohio and her mother of Pennsylvania, and in 1841 the Miller family moved west to Missouri, locating near Trenton, in Grundy County, where Judge Miller died in 1845.
Among the many pleasant distinctions which are associated with the career of "Uncle Add" Smith, one of the best is his long married companionship, which has now endured with mutual love and happiness for more than sixty-four years. In this time twelve children were born, and the ten who are now living are briefly mentioned as follows: William W., of Chicago; Lenora J., at home; James A., of Clay County, Missouri; Victoria, the widow of James Tuggle, of Gallatin, Missouri; Margaret, wife of George W. Berry, of Holt; Clem L., of Ray County; Dr. S. D., of Cowgill; Angie, wife of J. H. Bennett, of Kansas City; D. C., of Ray County; and Mary, wife of Gus Woolard, of Perry, Oklahoma.
While Mr. Smith's active military service ended with the Mexican war, he lived in the midst of the confusion incident to the great struggle between the North and the South during the '60s, and his expriences help to illuminate conditions at that time in this particular section of Northwest Missouri. As to this phase of his life it will be interesting to quote his own words, which are written here just as he dictated them. Mr. Smith said: "I want to say something about the troubles of the Civil war. I was born and raised in a Southern state and with negroes, and my sympathy was with the South, and the desire of my heart was for their success, but I had learned a lesson in the Mexican war. We thought we would have a summer frolic on the plains and return that fall and be discharged. I had since married a wife and had six children, and felt I owed more to them than to any state or nation. A civil war is not like a war with another nation. You do not know friend from enemy. There were so many ways to deceive you that you were afraid of all strangers. The country was full of bushwhackers on the side of the Confederates and guerrillas and militia calling themselves Union men, but you never knew in whose company you were. During the last two years of the war it grew worse and worse, and had it continued a year longer the country would have been depopulated. I have known as good men as we had taken from their work and shot down on suspicion without any charge or trial.
"I had many narrow escapes. It seems that Providence was in my favor, and God watched over me. Having been a Mexican soldier, I was watched very closely. I will tell of one of my escapes from danger. With a young neighbor I was taken from home by about twenty men, who led us through brushy timber and by-ways for four or five miles, and then after a consultation they released us and allowed us to go home. In leaving I told my companion that we had better take different routes. While we escaped, many others lost their lives for no better reason than could have been given for our destruction. In the winter of 1864-65 there was a truce of war between Richmond and Washington to try to make peace, but it failed. When hostilities were renewed it was impossible to escape being drafted, as soldiers were getting scarce. We hired substitutes, paying $1,000 each, and the man I paid for was said to have been killed. This was all very serious at the time, but after peace was restored we enjoyed joking each other about the troubles and dangers."
During his long and active business career Mr. Smith was a very successful farmer, at one time owned 1,200 acres of land, and largely as a matter of sentiment has always retained his ownership of the original eighty acres which he entered from the Government in 1845, nearly three score and ten years ago. His active supervision of his farming interests was abandoned in 1888, and since that time he has lived practically retired in the little City of Lawson. Among his other interests he at one time owned 320 acres in Caldwell County, and considerable land in Clay County. During his residence in and about Lawson Mr. Smith has had the honor of having helped to organize three Ray County banks. The first was the Ray County Savings Bank at Richmond, the second was the Lawson Bank, and the third was the Exchange Bank at Richmond. In 1883 he was one of the principal organizers of the Lawson Bank, and invested heavily in its stock. The charter members were: W. W. Smith, president; John Crowley, G. W. Montgomery, R. H. Finch, and Joseph A. Smith. Joseph A. Smith was the second president.
His political career began when he cast his first presidential vote for William H. Harrison in 1840. His support of the Whig principles exemplified in that vote was continued until the dissolution of the party, and after the war he became a stanch democrat. The family have for generations worshiped in the Presbyterian faith, and his grandfather, William Smith, was an elder in a country church of that denomination in Guilford County, North Carolina, and the old building in which he worshiped is still standing. His father was an elder in New Salem Church in Ray County, Missouri, and he is an elder in Lawson Church. Mr. Smith and wife have thirty-three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, and besides the immediate family there is a host of friends and neighbors who are always glad to express their appreciation and affection for the venerable man who has lived in the community since practically the beginning of civilized things.
He is still as active as many men twenty or thirty years younger, keeps his eyesight and hearing, and is in many ways a most remarkable character. During his youth he was a great hunter and was also fond of horseback riding, and was very skillful at vaulting into the saddle from the ground without use of stirrups. That is a pastime in which he still indulges. All his life he has been a reader of papers and books, and is as much alive to the topics of the day as anyone in his neighborhood. While he admits that during his long life he has not always taken the best of care of his health, he attributes his long years and the splendid preservation of his physical power to the fact that so much of his time was spent in the open air, and that many nights of his youth and middle age were spent out beneath the stars, rolled in his blanket, like the explorers and hunters of the early frontier times.
Only a short time before this writing Mr. Smith paid a visit to the cemetery at Lawson, where a vault has been built for the family. He was one of the ten residents of this vicinity who established the cemetery, he had personal charge of its management and upkeep for many years, and while his own life has been prolonged much beyond the span of an ordinary lifetime he has seen nearly all his old friends and associates one by one laid to rest in this God's acre.
[A History of Northwest Missouri, Volume 2; edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1918; Donated and Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]

 

H. O. SNOWDEN is one of the earliest I settlers of the "Platte Purchase" nowliving. He came here in 1821, when a lad of only seven years, and grew up in Andrew County, eight miles north of St Joseph. In that county he was afterwards assessor for about six years, and has ever used his best endeavors to promote the welfare and prosperity of this region. He is the owner of considerable valuable real estate in this city, in addition to which he has a well-improved farm.
Mr. Snowden was born in Fairfield, Ind., April 9, 1834, and is a son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Deakins) Snowden, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Indiana. Grandfather Jacob Snowden was also a native Kentuckian, and was one of the pioneer farmers of Franklin, Ind. He participated in the Revolutionary War and was of Welsh descent. He lived to an advanced age, being nearly ninety years old at the time of his death. Benjamin Snowden was a Captain in the War of 1812. He was married in Indiana and had five children by that union. Two of these are now living, one in Kansas City, and the other in Indiana. His second marriage was with our subject's mother, by whom he had nine children. Seven survived, and their record is as follows:— James, a soldier of the Mexican War and one of the forty-niners, operates a good farm in Andrew County; Francis M., who went to California in 1850, is now a resident of Silverton, Colo.; H. Clay, who went to California in 1849, is engaged in farming in Andrew County; Jonathan, a farmer in the same county, served in the Missouri Artillery, and went to California in 1850; our subject is next in order of birth; Martha lives in St. Joseph; and Perry, the youngest of the family, enlisted three times in the war and was honorably discharged each time. He lives on a farm adjoining his brothers in Andrew County.
Benjamin Snowden was a miller by trade and owned a large flour-mill at Fairfield, Ind., which was supplied with six burrs. He was also an extensive farmer in Andrew County, Mo., and was considered the finest drill-master in the state. In 1841 he lost his property and with his ten children came to the west. They were six weeks on the way and camped out at night. They crossed the Mississippi at Quincy, and when they arrived in Andrew County they entered land. The father, who was a prominent Mason, died January 16, 1861, and was buried with Masonic rites. He was a strong supporter of Lincoln and a Free Soil Republican.
H. O. Snowden remained on the old homestead until the death of his father. He went three miles to an old log schoolhouse where the chance of obtaining an education was extremely limited. He is largely self-educated, and was a student at Chaple Hill College in La Fayette County, Mo., for one year. In 1861 he was appointed by the county court as assessor, and held the position daring the war, or for six years. At that time he knew about every man in Andrew County. In 1866 he took the census of the district, after which he engaged in building bridges, giving his own bond. Under his supervision four large bridges were built, two across the One Hundred and Two river, one across the Platte and one on Dillon creek. This task occupied two or three years, and at the same time he carried on his farm and successfully engaged in stock-raising. He became the owner of a farm on One Hundred and
Two river at the exact spot where his father crossed the river in 1841.
In 1868 Mr. Snowden came to St. Joseph, where he made his home for one year and then returned to the farm. In 1871 he once more took up his residence in this city, and this has been his permanent home up to the present time. For two years he was on the police force, after which, for q like period of time, he was a secret service man under Major Hartwig.
On the 26th of September, 1861, Mr. Snowden was united in marriage to Miss Frances Evans, who was born in this county on her father's farm. The following children grace this union: Cora, a graduate of the high school and now principal of the Steinocker School of this city; Ida,, who graduated from the high school in the same class as her elder sister, and is now the wife of De Good, a wholesale confectioner in Atchison, Kan.; Bertie and Hattie, graduates of the St. Joseph Female Academy, the latter being the wife of Charles Sherwood, manager of the George O. Richardson Company of St. Joseph; and True, a student in the high school. The pleasant home of the family is finely situated on the corner of Washington and Twenty fourth streets. The building was erected iu* 1887. Mr. Snowden is a Republican in politics.
(Source: Portrait & Biographical Record of Buchanan & Clinton Counties Missouri, Publ. 1893. Transcribed by Linda Rodriguez)

 

JOSEPH H. SNYDER, M. D. At the head of the medical fraternity of Cameron stands the name of Doctor Snyder, whose devotion to his profession and talents of an unusually high order have resulted in the attainment of broad knowledge and widely recognized skill. He is a whole-souled genius, quick in speech and movement, and ever ready at repartee, which characteristics have contributed to his popularity.
Born in Schoharie County, N. Y., July 17, 1833, our subject is the son of John W. Snyder, a successful farmer of German parentage, although born in New York state. He spent the years of his boyhood until seventeen on the home farm, after which he entered the office of Doctor Chase, at Gardnersville, Schoharie County, N. YM and continued his medical studies with that gentleman until he entered the Syracuse Eclectic Medical College, graduating from that institution in 1854, at the age of twenty-one. He opened an office for the practice of his profession at East Springfield, N. Y., where he remained for fifteen years, meanwhile conducting a lucrative practice.
On account of ill health, Doctor Snyder decided to remove west, and accordingly, after a thorough investigation of western cities with a view to location, settled in Cameron, and has never had occasion to regret his decision. Upon coming here he purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, and upon that place he resided for sixteen months, removing thence to the city in 1871. He is one of the most successful representatives of the Eclectic system of medicine in this country and is a member of the National Eclectic Medical Association, also of the State Medical Society. His success as a surgeon entitles him to the foremost position among the surgeons of the county, and his articles on surgery in the various medical journals are of the greatest value.
The Doctor finds a pleasant relaxation from his duties as a physician in the occupation of a breeder of fine horses. His stallion, Whitefoot, by Alcyone, has a record of 2:22¾ on a half-mile track and has shown a speed of 2:14, being probably the fastest stallion on earth. In the season of 1801, when four years old, he was entered at the Independence races, but was injured in a tendon and has not since been trained. Doctor Snyder has refused $40,000 for this horse. He has also several fine colts and brood mares. He has a most extensive acquaintance with all leading horsemen and is thoroughly posted in regard to horseflesh.
In his political connections Doctor Snyder is a firm Democrat and has always been a stanch supporter of the party, but never an office-seeker. He is a Thirty-second Degree Mason, Past Master of Evergreen Lodge, Springfield Centre, N. Y.; Eminent Commander of Kadosh Command ery, No. 21; and a member of Moila Temple, A. A. D. N. M. S. at St. Joseph, Mo. He has taken all the Scottish rite degrees to the Thirty-second, taking all from the Fourteenth at the Third Convocation at Kansas City, in November, 1892. He attended the three National Conclaves of the Knights Templar at St. Louis, Chicago and Washington. For four years he was Patron of Adah Chapter, No. 17, Order of the Eastern Star. Mrs. Snyder is quite prominent in the last-named Order and is Past Grand Matron of the state, and their daughter, Kittie M., has served as Ruth in the Grand Chapter of the state.
In 1854, when twenty-one years old, Doctor Snyder married Miss Sarah M. Mereness, a native of Schoharie County, N. Y., and they are the parents of one daughter, Kittie M. Mrs. Snyder is a lady of culture and combines a rare executive ability with sweetness of disposition. As above stated, her work in the Order of the Eastern Star has brought her into prominence throughout the state and her influence has been felt for good in the various Chapters. For years she has served acceptably as Matron of the Eastern Star Chapter and for one year has filled the responsible position of Grand Matron of the Grand Chapter, her duties in the latter office requiring her to visit Chapters already organized and to institute new ones.
(Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Buchanan and Clinton Counties, Missouri. Publ. 1893. Transcribed by Charlotte Slater)

 

HON. OLIVER MARTIN SPENCER. There is a wide difference between biography and eulogy. The biographer is in duty bound to himself, to the man about whom he writes, and to the general public not to overestimate or underestimate the character of a citizen. Fulsome flattery, in nine cases out of ten, overreaches itself and is more injurious to those it attempts to elevate than to any one else. There is such a widespread practice at the present time, especially among those of the journalistic profession, of indulging in indiscriminate and extravagant eulogy when the lives of public men are being considered, as to provoke caustic criticism and lessen the effects of honest and legitimate biography. Therefore, in dealing with the salient points in the life and character of Judge Oliver Martin Spencer, the author of this sketch (who has known him intimately for many years), will endeavor to adhere to these important truths.
It is doubtless proper to inform the reader at the outset that among the most intimate friends of Judge Spencer, those who have known him from his earliest boyhood, no story is told of his having ever, in the most remote degree, attempted to imitate the Father of his Country by cutting down a favorite cherry tree and then frankly acknowledging to his proud father that he did it, but could not tell a lie. Those who know both the Judge and his illustrious father are disposed to rather compliment the sagacity of the boy for not endeavoring to play such a prank upon the practical old gentleman, for he well knew his ulterior design would have been promptly penetrated and trouble would have immediately ensued.
It is true, nevertheless, that the Judge was a pretty shrewd sort of boy and averaged well among his youthful acquaintances. At a very early age he developed the fact that his destiny, whatever it might prove to be, was not to begin and end upon a Buchanan County farm. It is true that he plowed many acres of ground, hoed corn year after year during the long summer days, and went home at night with a severe backache but a very aggressive appetite. He also chased the hogs out of the paternal cornfields, built "stake and ridered" fences, chopped wood, and was a good farm " hand," but he did not like the work, and was not backward in saying so.
Judge Spencer comes from one of those prominent pioneer families of the west who have left such worthy examples and honorable names to their posterity. He was born on the old Spencer homestead in Crawford Township, Buchanan County, Mo., August 23, 1849.   Not being partial to farm work, and having rather practical views upon the sale and handling of stock, his father permitted him, at the age of twelve years, to buy and sell in that line, at which he made some money. During the winter months he attended school at the old Spencer school-house, and now and then had rather painful experiences with his teacher. There is one story told of him that all his friends religiously believe. His father had a mill and a still-house on his place, and the present Judge was deputed to do the chores around both. Somehow or other he managed to perform his duties at the mill in very short order, but the chores around the still-house appeared to be much more laborious.
An incident occurred in 1865 that determined the career of young Spencer. The pedagogue who was teaching his " young ideas how to shoot" concluded one day that his pupil would have to be disciplined on account of a fight he had engaged in with Zeke Whittington. The youngster, however, differed with his instructor about the necessity for such a proceeding, and while the teacher went after the switch with which to bestow the chastisement, "Tom," as he was then nicknamed, took French leave, and when the teacher returned he had to be satisfied with whipping Zeke. The next morning his father sent him to the Raffington school at St. Joseph, where he remained for a year and made rapid progress in his studies. He has often said that he owes his present vocation in life to Zeke Whittington, whom for many years he has counted as one of his best friends.
In 1868 our subject attended the St. Joseph High School, and during the following year entered the university at Columbia, Mo. In 1870 he became a student in the Christian University at Canton, Mo., from which he was graduated with the honors of the institution in 1872. Until 1878 he read law at Leaven worth, residing with his parents, who in the meantime had removed to Kickapoo, Kans., six miles north of Leaven worth. To reach the office, he was in the habit of riding to the city each morning on horseback and returning home in the evening. In 1873 he entered the law school at Harvard, where he first met his present law partner, Hon. D. D. Barnes.  During the following year he opened an office for the practice of his profession at St. Joseph.
Judge Spencer was married in 1875 to Miss Lillian, daughter of Joseph Tootle and a niece of the late Milton Tootle. Her mother was a sister of James McCord, Sr. She was a lady of rare accomplishments, but died in 1880 at the age of twenty-four years, when her youngest child was only twelve months old. Two bright boys were born to Judge and Mrs. Spencer: Harry Heddens, born July 20, 1877, and Edwin 0. M., born July 4, 1879, Their father has taken great pains with their rearing and education, and both give promise of developing into capable and useful men.
The first office held by Judge Spencer was that of Deputy Prosecuting Attorney under Judge Henry M. Ramey, who was Prosecuting Attorney at that time. His first important case was the defense of the well-known Robert W. Black, who was indicted for the killing of James Bates. Judge Spencer, although a young attorney, was chief counsel for the defense, and in the conduct of the case he developed that ability as a lawyer which enabled him to take his place at once in the front rank of the leading attorneys of St. Joseph. The highest encomiums were passed upon him by both the city press and the general public for the adroit manner in which be tried and won this celebrated case. The jury, after being out thirty-five minutes, returned a verdict of "not guilty," and the friends of Mr. Black greeted the young attorney with an ovation.
In the fall of 1879 our subject was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Buchanan County and served from January, 1880, to 1882. In 1886 he was elected Judge of the Circuit Court on the Democratic ticket, but the Republican lawyers paid him the high compliment of joining in the call and refused to nominate a candidate against him. On the bench he served for four years and made a record as a most capable and impartial judge. Several of the most prominent lawyers in St. Joseph, who were approached upon the subject, agreed in saying that the decisions of Judge Spencer stood as high as those of any preceding judge of the Buchanan County Circuit Court. He had no sympathy with the "technical lawyer, but believed in the principles of humanity and justice.” Being as young as he was, I think he made a remarkable record on the bench," said one of the best-known lawyers in St. Joseph, "and I think he was the fairest, most courteous and equitable judge the Circuit Court ever had."
At the end of four years our subject resigned the judgeship to accept the position of General Solicitor of the Burlington Railroad lines in Missouri, of which the young and capable W. C. Brown is the general manager. At the same time he organized the law firm of Spencer, Burnes & Mosman, which is one of the strongest legal firms in the northwest. It was Judge Spencer's good fortune to see much of life and men when he was a boy. His father, who was one of the leading citizens of this section, resided near the line of Platte County, in the "hot-bed" of southern sympathizers. Himself and his four brothers were one day in the company of the rebels, commonly called "bushwhackers and the next with the Union troops. The boys inclined toward the cause of the Confederates, but their father determined that his sons should neither fight to destroy the Union nor oppose those with whom he sympathized, and accordingly sent the older boys across the plains to Denver with a wagon train of freight. Tom, being too young, remained at home to do active field duty— that is, in the cornfield. He was old enough to assist his parents in their efforts to preserve their lives and property from the ravages of war.
In his dealings with his fellow-men Judge Spencer does everything ex animo, and in his business affairs he adheres to the principles of experto crede. Being possessed of a liberal mind and a charitable disposition, he exercises a broad humanity in his quiet way, and believes in whatever is calculated to advance and elevate mankind. The fact that he was chosen as the General Solicitor of the Burlington lines in Missouri proves without question his high capacity as a lawyer, and the satisfactory manner in which he has fulfilled the duties of the responsible position demonstrates that he is what may be aptly termed a "man of affairs."
(Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Buchanan and Clinton Counties, Missouri. Publ. 1893. Transcribed by Charlotte Slater)

 

William E. Spratt; A prominent and old-established real estate man of St. Joseph, William E. Spratt, has been identified with this city in a successful and public spirited manner for many years, and is numbered among the citizens who have been instrumental in helping promote many projects for the up-building and progress of the community. Mr. Spratt has the distinction of being the third democratic candidate elected to the office of mayor of St. Joseph in a period of twenty-two years. His real estate business conducted at 213 N. Seventh Street has really been in continuous existence ever since the close of the Civil war, having been founded by the late Col. John F. Tyler, his uncle, and continued as Tyler & Company, until 1911.
William E. Spratt is a native Missourian, born at Lexington, in Lafayette County, in 1867. His parents were John F. and Mattie (Elliott) Spratt. His father was for many years a banker in Hamilton, Caldwell County. The mother, who died in 1869, was a daughter of Col. N. G. Elliott. Deprived of his mother when he was two years old, caused the placing of William E. Spratt in the home of his grandparents at St. Joseph, where he spent the first nine years of his life, and from 1876 he lived for some years in his father's home at Hamilton. He was sent away to school, and altogether was absent from St. Joseph for a period of eleven years. In 1886, having graduated from the St. James Military Academy at Macon City, Mr. Spratt returned to St. Joseph, and in the spring of the following year engaged in the real estate business with his uncle, Col. John F. Tyler, who had been both a lawyer and real estate man of St. Joseph, since the close of the Civil war. In 1887 the firm became John F. Tyler & Company, and to the large and growing real estate interests of the firm Mr. Spratt gave his undivided attention. At Colonel Tyler's death in 1911, the firm name was changed to W. E. Spratt.
In 1902, Mr. Spratt was first a candidate for the office of mayor on the democratic ticket. His defeat was accomplished by only eight votes, although the city was normally between six and eight hundred republican. This was a high personal tribute to Mr. Spratt's popularity and
ability, and in 1904, having been re-nominated by his party, by acclamation, he was triumphant by eight hundred majority, and as already stated was one of the few democratic mayors in a period of more than twenty-two years. Mr. Spratt is a director of the Auditorium Association, and has identified himself in public spirited manner with every organization and measure for the benefit of his home city.
His fraternal affiliations are with the Odd Fellows, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and other lodges and societies. In 1890 Mr. Spratt married Effie L. Cowgill, who was born in Indiana, and was only a child when brought to Caldwell County, Missouri. Her father is the prominent Hon. James Cowgill, for many years conspicuously identified with the business and public life of Northwest Missouri. His basic occupation was that of farming and stock raising, and he was regarded as probably the most successful in his line in Caldwell County during the early days. At one time he was honored with the office of presiding judge of Caldwell County, was elected to the state legislature, became a member of the State Railroad and Warehouse Commission, and on being elected to this latter office moved to Kansas City, in 1892, and that city has been his home ever since. Mr. Cowgill served two terms as city treasurer of Kansas City, and was elected on the democratic ticket as state treasurer for four years, at the same time Governor Hadley was elected on the republican ticket. Mr. and Mrs. Spratt are the parents of three children: Tyler, who died in infancy; Elliott Cowgill Spratt; and Leah Spratt. Their home is at Pacific Street and Spratt Avenue in St. Joseph.
[A History of Northwest Missouri, Volume 2; edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1918; Donated and Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]

 

Thomas J. Staggs. In the farming district of Buchanan County and along the Platte River Valley there are many prosperous and progressive men who believe that the happiest life as well as the most independent one is to be lived on the farm. Prominent among these men is Thomas J. Staggs, who owns one of the finest improved farms in Buchanan County and who is one of the most progressive and up-to-date farmers and stock raisers. His family is of the substantial pioneer stock of Northwest Missouri, and Mr. Staggs himself is noted as a skillful manager of the resources of the soil and has likewise maintained high standards as a citizen and business man.
Thomas J. Staggs was born on the old Staggs homestead near Rushville in Buchanan County, Missouri, January 5, 1864. He was the second in order of birth in a family of four sons and four daughters, whose parents were Phillip B. and Mary (Hurst) Staggs. These children are briefly given record as follows: Rolley P., who lives on a farm three and one-half miles southeast of Agency; Thomas J.; Geneva, now Mrs. W. E. Goins of Agency; Harry B., on a farm one mile west of Agency; Kate, deceased; William F., deceased; Ida M., deceased; and Matilda, who resides with her aged mother in Agency. Phillip B. Staggs, who was one of Buchanan County's pioneers, was a native of Virginia, and when an infant was taken by his parents to Kentucky.
His father and mother died when he was still a boy, and thus he began life with many handicaps, and at the age of seventeen determined to seek his fortune in what was then regarded as the Far West. A river steamboat took him from Kentucky down the Ohio Valley and up the waters of the Missouri till he landed on the dock at Weston in Buchanan County, Missouri. Weston at that time was a place' of considerable importance, and a rival of St. Joseph and other river ports for commercial prominence. After prospecting over the country for some time he selected his land in what was as yet an unbroken wilderness near Rushville in Buchanan County, and having established a home proceeded to clear the way and subdue the soil to the purposes of civilization. He was successful to an unusual degree, and lived on his first homestead until 1880, when he moved to a farm southeast of Agency, and in 1904 moved to the town of Agency, which was his home until his death on February 4, 1913. Thus ended the career of one of Buchanan County's best known and most highly respected early settlers.
Surviving him is his widow, who has continued to reside in Agency. Her parents were Armstead and Matilda (Farris) Hurst, who were natives of Kentucky and who settled in Missouri at an early day. Mary Hurst, who became the wife of Phillip B. Staggs, was born at Salem in Platte County, Missouri, and now lives in venerable years in Agency.
On March 1, 1888, Thomas J. Staggs, whose early life up to that time had been spent in Buchanan County, with training in the public schools and with muscles and judgment trained by the discipline of the home farm, was married to Miss Ellen Lewis. Her father, Josiah G. Lewis, is sketched in following paragraphs. Mrs. Staggs was born in Platte County, Missouri, October 9, 1865, and received an education in the local public schools and at the Camden Point Christian College. To their marriage only one child has been born, Dennis L. Staggs, born July 27, 1889, and already securely established as a factor of the agricultural life of Buchanan County. He was reared on the farm, educated in local schools and in the Colorado Springs High School and married the daughter of J. L. Berry, cashier of the Farmers Bank at Agency, a citizen whose career is also mentioned elsewhere in this work. Dennis L. Staggs and wife reside in a comfortable cottage on the Staggs homestead, and he devotes his time and energies to the operation of the farm as his father's capable assistant.
In 1904 Thomas J. Staggs with his wife and son moved out to Colorado and established their home in Colorado Springs, with the hope that change of climate and the ozone of the mountains would benefit the health of Mrs. Staggs. They lived there for three years, until 1907, and in the meantime the object of their removal had been largely attained and greatly restored to health Mrs. Staggs and her husband and son then returned to Buchanan County. One mile east of Agency is the homestead which Mr. Staggs cultivates and has as the seat of his home. He owns 1581^ acres of what is known as the first and second Platte River bottom laud, as fine producing land as lies within the confines of Buchanan County. A visit to this farm will at once convince any person familiar with the varying standards of rural life that Mr. Staggs is a hustler, and believes in progressive methods. His modern residence stands on a site commanding a fine perspective of the surrounding country, and two large barns provide ample room for his fine horses and cattle, for the storage of grain, hay and other farm produce.
Farming with him has been a profitable business, and he is by no means retired from his vocation, but gives his estate the benefit of his judgment and expedience and with the assistance of his son is enlarging the scope of his operations every year. Mr. Staggs is a democrat but no office seeker, a quiet and public spirited citizen who is content to promote general welfare by doing his duty as it lies nearest to him. He and his wife are leading members of the Christian Church at Agency. It is to such men as Thomas J. Staggs that the great progress and improvement of rural life in America are to be credited, and .in such a modern country home, containing all the attractiveness and none of the disadvantages of urban residence, it is difficult to conceive of children leaving for the superficial advantages of a city and the business and professions.
[A History of Northwest Missouri, Volume 2; edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1918; Donated and Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]

 

J. O. STARKS, of St. Joseph, Buchanan County, is the Secretary and Treasurer of the St. Joseph Gas and Manufacturing Company. This company, which has a capital stock of $500,000, is one of the largest concerns in the city and gives employment to a large number of men. They manufacture coal gas, coke, coal tar, etc., and since May, 1890, our subject has been connected in his present capacity with the company.
The birth of Mr. Starks occurred March 21, 1842, in Scotland County, Mo. His father, Judge Price Starks, was born in Fayette County, Ky., and was the second settler in Scotland County, where he engaged in operating a farm. He was presiding Judge of the Court of Scotland County and there continued to live until 1856, when he located in Platte County, where he continued to follow agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred in August, 1884.
Our subject's mother, whose maiden name was Miss Emerine Ellis, was born in Kentucky, and died while living in Scotland County. She was the mother of ten children, our subject being the fifth. Dr. W. F., the eldest of the family, a graduate of the St. Louis Medical College, was a surgeon of Gates' regiment, Confederate States Army, during the war.
J. O. Starks was given an ordinary common school education until about 1860, when he went to Kentucky, entering the State University at Harrodsburg, where he completed the classical and literary course. In 1864 he went to the mountains of Montana overland, and after remaining there one year returned to Platte County, where he engaged in teaching. He was elected School Commissioner of Platte County in 1883 and continued to train the young idea until 1885, when he was appointed clerk to the Superintendent of Construction of the Government Building at St Joseph, Mo. This position he held for five years, when he assumed his present duties.
Mr. Starks has been twice married, his first alliance having been formed in Kentucky with Miss Ida B. Mark, of Montgomery County. She died July 5, 1889. In November, 1892, in Saline County, Mo., he wedded Miss Maggie Hamilton, who is also a native of Kentucky. Mr. Starks is an Elder in the Christian Church and is Superintendent of the Sunday-school. In his political faith he sides with the Democracy. He is well known and justly esteemed in the business circles of St. Joseph as a man of correct principle and high moral worth.
(Source: Portrait & Biographical Record of Buchanan & Clinton Counties Missouri, Publ. 1893. Transcribed by Linda Rodriguez)

 

MAJ. WILLIAM E. STRINGFELLOW is the Second Battalion of the Fourth Regiment,  National Guards of Missouri, and is a practicing attorney-at-law. He is one of the youngest members of the legal profession in St. Joseph, but possesses such recognized ability and qualities of mind that he takes rank with the best. He comes of a well known and respected family of this city, his father being the Hon. J. H. Stringfellow, M. D., whose sketch appears on another page of this work. The latter, a native of the Old Dominion, is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, and practiced in this state during the early days. He went to Atchison and was Speaker in the first Legislature of Kansas and Colonel in command of the forces of that state. In 1859 he returned to Virginia, there making his home until 1873, when he returned to the west, living for five years in Atchison, and then removing to St. Joseph.
The Major was born in Richmond, Va., September 1, 1868, but retains little memory of his life there, as he was only four years old when his father brought him west. He is the youngest of the family and was educated in the St. Joseph common and high schools, continuing in the latter until the senior year, when he returned to Virginia and entered the Military Academy at Bethel. This was in 1887, and during his two years1 stay he was commissioned Captain by Gov. FitzHugh Lee. In 1889 Major Stringfellow entered the University of Virginia, where he pursued a year's course of study, and then, under the tutorage of Stauber & Cranball, commenced law. He was admitted to the bar in 1892 and at once opened an office in the German-American Bank Building, where he already numbers among his clients the best people of the city.
Maj.   Stringfellow is a member of the Greek Letter Society, the BetaThetaPi of the University of Virginia, the third largest fraternity in the United States. The Major is a straight Democrat He was a member of Company A Cadets about 1881 and while in the Bethel Military School was promoted from the ranks by regular grades to a captaincy. When the Wickham Rifles were organized in August, 1891, he was elected First Lieutenant, holding that rank until June, 1892, when he was elected Major of the Fourth Regiment, in command of the Second Battalion. In the fall of 1892 he laid out the camp at Brookfield and attended the dedication of the World's Fair at Chicago in October of that year, being the Major in command of the Second Battalion. In religious belief our subject is an Episcopalian.
(Source: Portrait & Biographical Record of Buchanan & Clinton Counties Missouri, Publ. 1893. Transcribed by Linda Rodriguez)

 

Lawrence Justinian Stuppy. When Lawrence J. Stuppy died at his home in St. Joseph, March 31, 1908, he left behind a record as a business builder such as to entitle him to a leading place among St. Joseph's citizens. The Stuppy Floral Company, which is now a family corporation and officered and managed by Mrs. Stuppy and her children, is probably the largest concern of its kind in Northwest Missouri, and has for years furnished the finest hothouse flowers to the trade in this vicinity. The late Mr. Stuppy was the pioneer florist of St. Joseph, and from a small plant which he first established more as an avocation than as a business he built up an industry which for a quarter of a century has been the leading one of its kind. While successful in his private enterprise, the late Mr. Stuppy at the same time did much to cultivate the taste among people for the beautiful, and his individual work was no small factor in the beautifications and adornment of the city. When he began business as a grower of flowers in St. Joseph nearly forty years ago he had no conception of the extent to which his undertaking would grow, and the present enterprise is an excellent illustration of the large success which has come out of small beginnings.
Lawrence Justinian Stuppy was born in the oldest town of Missouri, St. Genevieve, September 5, 1849. His father, Francis X. Stuppy, was born in the old province of Alsace-Lorraine, then a part of France, and now' in the German Empire, was given a collegiate education, and learned to read and write seven languages. After coming to America he lived a few years at Canton, Ohio, finally moved into Southeastern Missouri, and in 1850 moved to St. Joseph, which was then a comparatively small river town situated on the western frontier. That remained his home until his death, and he was a man of considerable prominence and of much service to the community. He taught school for a time, and often acted as interpreter, and for a number of years did business as a notary public. His death occurred when he was seventy-five years of age. He married Cora C. Kohler, who was also a native of Alsace-Lorraine, and who died when about sixty-five years old. They reared four children, namely: John J. Kate, Elizabeth and Lawrence J.
Lawrence J. Stuppy spent practically all his life at St. Joseph. He finished his education in St. Benedict's College, at Atchison, Kansas, and for a number of years followed employment as a bookkeeper. It was in 1876 that he began business as a commercial florist. At his home he had for some years followed his natural taste and inclination for the raising of flowers, and found in that a most congenial pursuit, and displayed remarkable skill in the creative side of the business. While it was a matter of pleasure and recreation to him at first, the commercial opportunities soon became so promising as to justify him in giving his entire attention to his work. Two small greenhouses on what was then known as Dug Hill, in an unsettled part of the city, was the modest beginning of the business, and for a time a Mr. Richard was his partner. After the business had begun to grow a salesroom was established at the corner of Sixth and Jule streets, and with increasing trade a plant was established on the Mount Mora Road, convenient to the great Mount Mora Cemetery, and later another was built on Ashland Boulevard.
It was in 1888 that Mount Mora greenhouses were built, and those were the chief center of production for flowers until 1905. In that year Mr. Stuppy acquired twelve acres on Ashland Road, and built four greenhouses, each 27x200 feet. The new greenhouses were used entirely for the growing of roses. In the meantime Stuppy flowers had come to enjoy a reputation for beauty and excellence not only in St. Joseph, but in surrounding towns, and in consequence the business organization was increased to handle a large trade. From time to time greenhouses were added, and at the present time the Ashland Street grounds have twenty- . three houses, each averaging 29x200 feet, with a total of 150,000 square feet under glass, and, including the Mount Mora plant, there are 200,000 square feet devoted to the production of hothouse plants of all descriptions. Since Mr. Stuppy's death the family have conducted the business, and it has not been suffered to deteriorate in their hands. There is a city salesroom, a competent staff of skilled florists are in charge of the greenhouses, and the Stuppy Floral Company are today recognized as among the foremost florists in America.
The late Mr. Stuppy was married on May 11, 1876, to Annie Elizabeth Schiesl. She was born in Buffalo, New York, a daughter of Joseph Schiesl, who was a native of Bavaria, Germany, and was the only member of his father's family to come to this country. When a young man he arrived on this side of the Atlantic, lived in Buffalo several years, and in 1865 located in St. Joseph, where for some time he was in the provision business. He died there at the age of sixty-one years. He married Margaret Zollitch, who died at the age of sixty-five. Their six children were Joseph, John, Barbara, Annie, Josephine and Cecilia. Mr. Stuppy and wife reared six children, named as follows: Frank, Bessie, Mary Josephine, John, Helen and Dorothy. Mrs. Stuppy now holds the position of vice president in the Stuppy Floral Company.
The son, Frank Stuppy, who is president of the business as successor to his father, was born at St. Joseph, March 3, 1877. Reared and educated in his native city, he practically grew up in the industry established by his father, and has a thorough knowledge of floriculture as well as the business management of the concern. He married Clara Williams. Their four children are: Mary Elizabeth, Clara Virginia, George Lawrence, and Frances Williams.
Bessie Stuppy, the second child, married Bernard W. Murphy, and their two children are Catherine B. and Ruth. Mary Josephine is a nun in the Sacred Heart Convent at St. Joseph. The son John was born January 20. 1885, is now secretary of the Stuppy Floral Company, and he married Marie Eberhardt. The daughter Helen is the wife of John J. Goodrich.
[A History of Northwest Missouri, Volume 2; edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1918; Donated and Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]

BACK

Buchanan County, Missouri Genealogy Trails
© by Genealogy Trails -  All Rights Reserved - With full rights reserved for original submitters.