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Crawford County, Missouri
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Addison Adams, a farmer, is a son of John and Eleanor (Collier) Adams, the former born in Virginia in 1770, and the latter born in Maryland. After marriage the parents settled in Virginia, where the father served as overseer of a plantation. They afterward moved to Kentucky, where they lived a short time, and then bought a farm in Montgomery County, Tenn. John Adams was drowned at the age of fifty-one years, and his widow lived to be eighty-five years old. Addison, the eighth in the family of eleven children, ten of whom grew to maturity, was born in Virginia, in 1812. He was reared a farmer with limited educational advantages, and upon reaching manhood managed his mother's farm. In 1836 he married Eliza E. Crowder, a native of Virginia, who was born in 1811. In 1841 Mr. and Mrs. Adams moved to Osage County, Mo., then to Gasconade County, settling in Crawford County about 1845. They moved to their present homestead in 1866. With the exception of about three years, when he followed the carpenter's trade, Mr. Adams has been engaged in farming all his life, and now owns about 800 acres. Of the seven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Adams four are now living: Thomas J., Martha, Eleanor and Mary S. Mr. Adams' political principles are those of the Democratic Party. He has served as magistrate and constable, and is president of the Farmers' Joint Stock Company. He has been a member of the Masonic fraternity for thirty-seven years, and since his fourteenth year has held membership in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Adams has been a member of the same church since she was sixteen years old.

 

 

William P. Allsman, farmer and notary public, was born in Sullivan

County, Ind., in 1831, being the eighth child in the family of fourteen, of whom

Aaron and Elizabeth (Logue) Allsman were the parents. Andrew Allsman, grandfather of William P., a native of Baden, Germany, immigrated to America, and was an early settler in the State of Pennsylvania. He participated in the Revolution, and subsequently located near where the city of Lexington now stands, in Kentucky, where .Aaron Allsman was reared to the pursuit of agriculture, married, and later removed to Indiana. Only nine months of schooling were given William P. Allsman, but, being of a studious nature, by the time he was twenty years of age he obtained a certificate to teach school. In 1849 he immigrated with his parents to Christian County, Ill., and January 3, 1853, occurred his marriage to Martha J., whose father was Franklin Hudson, of Greenville, S. C. Five children blessed this union, all of whom are deceased, and May 28, 1861, Mr. Allsman was deprived of his wife by death. The same year be enlisted in the Union army, and served during the greater part of the war, receiving an honorable discharge in September, 1864, having participated in the battles of Pea Ridge, Siege of Corinth, Stone River, Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. He returned to Illinois, and in 1865 was united in marriage with Philena L., daughter of Jesse Buckner, of Clarke County. Ill. Of the ten children born to this marriage the following five are living: Aaron, Andrew C., Winfield S., Orville L. and Elizabeth. In 1873 Mr. Allsman bought 120 acres of land in Crawford County, Mo. and has since conducted farming. He served as justice of the peace in Liberty Township six years, and has filled the office of notary public five years. His political principles are those of the Republican Party. Mr. and Mrs. Allsman are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and have at heart the good of the community.

 

Stephen D. Anthony, postmaster and proprietor of Anthony's Mills, was born in Washington County, Mo. in 1846. His father, Jonas M. Anthony, a practical miller, early followed that calling in this vicinity, and purchased from John Harrison, its original owner, the first grist and saw mill in the county, which, after running a few years, came into possession of his son, Stephen, in 1876. In 1831 Mr. Jonas Anthony married Miss Nancy Twitty, daughter of John and Mary Twitty, natives of Tennessee, who bore him ten children, six of whom are living: Catharine (now Mrs. Elisha Scott), Mary (wife of Garrett I. Van Allen), Nancy (who married Samuel D. Anderson), Sallie (wife of Jacob W. Filley), Eliza (Mrs. William Maxwell) and Stephen D. (who was the eighth child). In 1868 Mr. Anthony departed this life, sincerely mourned by all. For he was a man of kind and generous impulses, a true friend to the poor, a citizen of substantial worth, and well respected. His wife was born in Davidson County, Tenn., in 1814, and when but five years old, in 1819, accompanied her parents to the then new Territory of Missouri, settling in Franklin County, where her father entered 120 acres of land, and where they underwent the hardships of a pioneer life. Settlers here were then few, and frequent outbreaks by the Indians were of common occurrence. Since her husband's death Mrs. Anthony bas resided in Washington County, where she is well and favorably known. She is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Stephen D. Anthony was reared and educated in his native county, naturally growing up to a milling experience. Since l876, as mentioned, he has been actively engaged in this occupation, and in 1880 he rebuilt the old mill and added new machinery, the capacity of his present mill being about twenty-five barrels daily. Since 1876 he has been postmaster of Anthony's Mills, an office which was established about 1670 or 1671; it is on the route running from Potosi to Bourbon. Politically, Mr. Anthony is a Democrat.

 

William D. Bass, proprietor of the Steelville Hotel, and a son of Thomas and Sarah (Gibson) Bass, was born in Washington County, Mo., in 1851, He received a limited education in the district schools, and upon reaching years of maturity engaged in farming. In 1874 be married Miss Salome Fort, a native of Crawford County, and they have six children, viz.: Ernest, Sarah H., Myrtle, Anna, Virgie L. and Thomas. Mr. and Mrs. Baas are members of the Baptist Church. In the summer of 1887 he abandoned the farm and assumed charge of the hotel; he is an amiable landlord, and endeavors in every possible way to make his guests comfortable. He is a Democrat, politically, and a member of the A. O. U. W.

 

Thomas Bass is a son of Thomas and Nancy (Compton) Bass, natives of Green County, Ky., where they were married and lived until 1825, engaged in farming; they then moved to Washington County, Mo., where the father followed mining, being very successful until his death in 1840, his widow surviving until 1873. In their family of twelve children Thomas was the seventh son, and was born in Washington County in 1830. He was reared to the occupation of mining, and enjoyed but few educational advantages. In 1850 he married Sarah Gibson, who was born in Franklin County, Mo., in 1829. Having farmed in Washington County until 1860, he moved to Crawford County and settled twelve miles east of Steelville. He has now been a resident of the county twenty-eight years, and his principal occupation has been farming, though at different times he has conducted a hotel at Steelville. He has served in Washington and Crawford Counties as justice of the peace for about twenty years, and has been a member of the Masonic fraternity for thirty-three years. Mr. and Mrs. Bass are members of the Baptist Church, and of their seven children six are living, five sons and one daughter, the sons all being business men of Crawford County.

 

Elias A. Bass, of the firm of Scott Bass & Co., is a son of Thomas and Sarah (Gibson) Bass, and was born in Washington County, Mo., in 1853. He came to Crawford County when about six years of age, and was educated in the common schools. When young he learned to shoe horses and oxen, at which he worked some years. Having clerked in the store a short time he became a member of the firm of Brickey & Bass, in 1879, and has ever since been engaged in the mercantile business, though the style of the firm has changed several times. He is also interested in the Bank of Steelville. In 1875 he married Letha E. Brickey, a native of Steelville, and their four children are: Glendora, Mamie, Harry and Joseph. Mr. Bass is a member of the Baptist Church, a Democrat politically, and belongs to the A. O. U. W.

 

Rowland Bass, of the firm of Taylor & Bass, liverymen of Cuba, is the fourth of the seven children of Thomas and Sarah (Gibson) Bass, and was born in Crawford County, Mo., January 11, 1857. He received a good common-school education, and when of age began doing for himself. In 1880 he married Sarah, daughter of John Pinson, and to this union has been born two children. viz.: Claude and John L. After his marriage Mr. Bass conducted a livery stable in Steelville in partnership with his brother, Thomas, also paying some attention to the pursuit of agriculture. He also engaged in the hotel business at Steelville, and by close attention to his business he was very successful. The present firm of Taylor & Bass was established in 1886: both are energetic business men and are doing a good business. Politically, Mr. Bass is a Democrat. He and wife are members of the Baptist Church, and enjoy the respect and esteem of all who know them.

 

Thomas Bass Jr., is the senior member of the firm of Bass & Bro., liverymen of Steelville. The business was first established in 1880, the firm then consisting of our subject and an older brother, the latter of whom has since retired, disposing of his interest to Joseph S., a younger brother. Thomas Bass, Jr., was born in Washington County, January 30, 1859, and is a son of Thomas and Sarah (Gibson) Bass. He was brought to Crawford County when two years of age, where he received his education in the common schools. In 1884 he married Lillian Trask, a native of Crawford County, and a daughter of Marvin W. Trask. Mr. and Mrs. Bass have one son, Frederick C. Mr. Bass votes the Democratic ticket, and in connection with the duties of his livery stable, which is considered one of the best for the size in the place, be is also interested in farming, owning 285 acres of land.

 

Joel Beezley is a son of Josiah and Charlotte (Napier) Beezley, the former born in Virginia, and the latter in South Carolina. The parents were married in Virginia and soon after moved to East Tennessee, settling in Cole County, Mo., in 1820. In 1832 they located in Crawford County, where they spent the remainder of their lives. Josiah Beezley was a farmer and stock-raiser, and lived to be about sixty-eight years of age: his wife died at the age of sixty-one. Joel Beezley was born in Crawford County, in 1832, in which county he was reared to the pursuit of farming, receiving but a common-school education. Between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five he spent the greater part of the time in driving an ox team to and from St. Louis. When the "bit act" was passed he entered 313 acres, and in 1855 married Mary J. Morrison, daughter of William Morrison. Mrs. Beezley died in 1862, leaving four children, viz.: Anderson V., Amanda E ., Martha I. and William C. Mr. Beezley next  married Sarah E. Coppedge, and to their union were born six children: Christopher, C., Mary M., Missouri M., Clara D., Joel A., and an infant. Deprived of his wife by death, in 1873, the following year Mr. Beezley married Mary A. Towell, who became the mother of six children, viz.: Ewel E., Cora E., Nora E., Rufus G., George T. and Josie P. Mr. Beezley owns 509 acres of land, and has been very successful in his chosen occupation; he is one of the most enterprising farmers highly respected citizens of Crawford County, of which county he has been a resident all his life. He is a Republican in politics and in religion affiliates with the Baptist Church, as does also his wife.

 

Isaac J. Blair, harness-maker of Cuba, was born in Pulaski County, Mo., in 1858. He is the fourth of seven children of Francis A. and Eliza A. (Ritchey) Blair, both natives of Missouri. Isaac J. was educated in the common, schools of his native State, and in 1876 he began doing for himself, in the capacity of clerk in the general store at Linn, Osage County, Mo. After one year's experience in this line be began to dea1in the trade of a harness-maker, under S. B. Thompson of Linn, and afterward worked under Henry Weston, at Chamois, Mo. In 1880 he established his present shop in Cuba, which he has ever since successfully conducted, and has the reputation of a first-class workman. In 1878 be married Sarah A., daughter of Richard Cundiff, and three children have been born to this union, viz. : Thomas F., Lotta A. and Nollie B. Mr. Blair is a staunch Democrat and lends his hearty and cheerful support to his party; he is a member of the A. O. U. W. Mr. and Mrs. Blair belong to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and all laudable enterprises receive their hearty support.

 

Isaac M. Blevins, an enterprising farmer, was born in Sullivan County, Tenn., in 1822, and of the six children born to Moses and Christenia (Motton) Blevins he was the eldest. His opportunities for acquiring an education in early life were very limited, being only such as the country subscription schools afforded. He immigrated to Missouri in 1837 with his parents, who settled in Gasconade County, where the father followed agricultural pursuits. Isaac M. Blevins was reared to the occupation of his father, and purchased forty acres of unimproved land, which he cultivated and sold at an advance; he now owns a farm of eighty acres, well improved and well stocked. In 1853 Mr. Blevins married Elizabeth J ., daughter of Levy Lacey, and of the eight children born to Mr. and Mrs. Blevins only four are living, viz.: John, Genetta F., Columbus C. and Louis A. In 1874 Mrs. Blevins departed this life, and in 1879 Mr. Blevins was united in marriage with Sallie M., daughter of Alpheus Mathews, a farmer of Gasconade County. Two children blessed this marriage, one of whom died in infancy, and Laura Bessie. Mr. Blevins took no active part in the late war, but was enrolled in the Home Militia. He has satisfactorily filled the office of justice of the peace for the past seven years, and is the present incumbent of that office; he is a staunch Democrat, and his first presidential vote was cast for

Buchanan. Mr. and Mrs. Blevins are consistent members of the United Baptist Church.

 

John R. Briscoe, well known as a farmer of Crawford County, is a native of Sullivan County, Tenn., and was born in 1844. In his parents' family were five children, of whom he was the second. He is a son of Richard and Sallie E. Briscoe, and was reared a farmer. In 1862 he enlisted in the Confederate army, and served until his capture at Petersburg, Va., just before the surrender of the Confederacy, having received a gun-shot wound in the right shoulder at Drurie's Bluff, Va.. After the war he sought his home, and in 1872 was married to Gertrude, daughter of William H. Medley. Of the three children born to this union two are living-Loula J. and Fannie M. Immediately after marriage the young couple immigrated to Crawford County, Mo., and settled on a farm of 160 acres of unimproved land, eighty-five acres of which Mr. Briscoe has cleared and has under cultivation, having erected a neat residence upon the same. As a result of industry, good management and economy Mr. Briscoe has been very successful as a farmer, and the 280 acres of which he is now the possessor are well fenced and stocked. He and wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, of which they are respected attendants. In politics he is a staunch Democrat, heartily supporting the party of his preference.

 

John A. Cairns, city marshal of Cuba., Mo., was born in Monroe County,

Ill., July 22, 1853. He is the sixth of the thirteen children of John C. and Susan (Hogan) Cairns, both natives of Illinois. John A. Cairns was reared and received the most of his education in Columbia., Ill., subsequently attending Bryant & Stratton's Business College, of St. Louis, one term. He followed farming and various pursuits for some time, and in 1876 came to Crawford County, Mo., with his parents, where, for a number of years, he has worked in the capacity of clerk in a general store. In 1874 he was married to Mary, daughter of John L. Wilson, and to their union has been born four children.  Two sons and two daughters, viz.: John C., Clara L., Clyde W. and Ada B. Mr. Cairns is a staunch Democrat, and his preferred political party always receives his hearty support. He has officiated as deputy sheriff of Crawford County, which position he is still filling, and to the duties of which were added in 1886 those of the office of city marshal of Cuba. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. Mrs. Cairns is a worthy member of the Episcopal Church, and, with her husband, commands the well-merited respect of all acquaintances.

 

Jacob W. Carr, the third in the family of eight children of James and Ann (Weast) Carr, was born in the State of Ohio, in 1836. The parents came to Missouri in 1850, purchasing eighty acres of land and entering about 120 more, all of which was unimproved, and the clearing of which devolved upon Jacob W and brothers, as the father was forge-man at the old Meramec Iron Works. During the war Jacob W. was enrolled in the State Militia, but did no active service. In 1866 he purchased a tract of ninety-six acres, twelve or fifteen acres of which were cleared, and upon which was erected a small log cabin. December 29, 1870, he married Mary, daughter of Henry Benner, who survived her marriage but one year, and was interred in the family graveyard near the residence.  Louisa, daughter of Jacob 8ouders, became the wife of Mr. Carr. Two children were born to this union, only one now living-Frank. Deprived of his second wife by death in 1877, Mr. Carr next married, April 23, 1884, Emily, whose father was Samuel Adams. They are the parents of one child, named James O. Mr. Carr and wife are worthy members of the Baptist Church, and are looked upon as prime factors in the neighborhood. He has been very successful in his chosen occupation of & farmer, an1i now owns 250 acres of land and has a comfortable residence. A Republican in politics he is not an office seeker, preferring the quiet life of a farmer without official responsibilities. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, and is rearing an orphan child named Maude, who is the daughter of Benjamin and Celia Woodruff, for whom he discharges the duties of a guardian.

 

George D. Clark, attorney, is a son of Jonathan G. and Jane (Bowlin)

Clark, the former of whom was born in New London, Conn., in 1802, and in

1827 located in Perry County, Ill., of which county he was the first judge, holding the position many years and being also ex officio probate judge; he was an active politician, in sympathy with the Democratic Party, and during the war was a strong Union man. He died in 1864. Mrs. Jane Clark was born in South Carolina in 1811, and died in 1875. In the family of nine children George D. was the youngest but one. He was born in Perry County, Ill., February 22, 1845, was reared a farmer and received a fair English education. September, 1861, he enlisted in a company of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry, Union army, and took part in every engagement of his company for three years and three months, being honorably discharged at Nashville, Tenn., December 10, 1864. He returned to Duquoin, Ill., and read law two years, and in 1867 married Cora Foster, a native of East Bloomfield, N. Y. Mr. Clark subsequently engaged in the tombstone business for ten years, becoming a skilled workman as well as salesman, and in

1872 located in Crawford County, Mo., where two years later he was admitted to the bar. From 1875 to 1879 he was engaged in his old business in Illinois, but has since turned his attention to the practice of the legal profession. For a short time in 1886 he edited the Crawford Sun, a strictly Democratic paper. Mr. Clark is Mayor of Steelville, and has served as justice of the peace five years. Mr. and Mrs. Clark have six children, and the latter, with their oldest daughter, is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mr. Clark also belongs to the G. A. R.

 

Joel T. Coffee, M. D., a native of Clay County, Tenn., was born June 30, 1846, and is a son of Joseph P. and Margaret (Turner) Coffee, of Tennessee and Virginia, respectively, the former of whom, a farmer, is still living. Joel T. received his literary education principally at Burksville Academy and Georgetown College, Kentucky. In 1886-87 he attended the Louisville Medical College, and the following year removed to Missouri where he resumed teaching, still pursuing his chosen profession. He then took a second course of lectures at the St. Louis Medical College, in 1870-71, and afterward located in Steelville, where for the past seventeen years he has been a successful practitioner of the medical profession. He is a member of the American Medical Association, and also of the Rolla Medical Association. He is one of the Board of Commissioners of the State Lunatic Asylum No. II, appointed by the governor, and takes an active part in all enterprises of the town, being director of the Bank of Steelville and also of the Riverside Roller Milling Company, as well as president of the Cuba & Steelville Telephone Company. In 1878 Dr. Coffee married Miss Rosemond Wallace, a native of New Castle, Penn., and of their two children, the younger, a daughter, is living. In politics Dr. Coffee sympathizes with the Democratic Party.

 

John L. Cook, farmer and stock-raiser, was born in Crawford County, Mo., in 1857. His grandfather, David Cook, was born in Middle Tennessee in 1801, being of German descent, and married Rhoda Hawk, a native of the same section, who was of Welsh extraction; in 1853 they moved to Dent County, Mo., where they spent their last days. David Cook was a farmer by occupation, though he served for many years as magistrate and several terms as county judge; be died in 1857 and his widow in 1861. Of their four children but one is living, Christopher C., wl.ao was born in Wayne County, Tenn., in 1828, and in 1848 married Margaret Sinclair, a native of Lincoln County, N. C., born in 1828; her father, John Sinclair, was a native of Ireland, and her mother, Resign Henry, was a native of North Carolina, of Irish descent. Christopher Cook and wife moved to Dent County with David Cook, and-some three years later moved to Crawford County, where they still reside. During the war Christopher served in the Confederate army, first as a private in Company F, Fifth Missouri Cavalry, and later raised and became captain of Company F, Freeman's Regiment. Of his six children only one, John L., may be said to be permanently identified with Crawford County, where he was born, reared and received the greater part of his education, finishing his scholastic training in the Salem Academy. In 1886 he married Mary E., daughter of Lorenzo G. and Caroline E . (Barber) Gentry, born respectively in Alabama and North Carolina, but now residents of Texas County, Mo., where: Mary E. was born in 1860. This union has been blessed with one son, John D. Politically; the family presents an unbroken line of Democrats. Religiously, Mrs. Christopher Cook is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and her husband of the Baptist Church.

Mrs. John L. Cook belongs to the Christian Church.

 

Samuel J. Craig, farmer and stock-raiser, is a son of Andrews and Martha M. (Rogers) Craig, natives of Limestone County, Ala., who moved to Gibson County, Tenn., soon after marriage. In 1829 they came to Crawford County, and settled on a track of land, now included in Phelps County, removing to the place now owned by Samuel J. in 1849. Andrews Craig, a farmer by occupation, was appointed assessor of Crawford County in 1885, and also filled the offices of constable and magistrate. Politically a Democrat, he was a Union man during the war, and was supposed to have been killed by the militia in 1864, at the age of sixty-six years; his wife died at the age of seventy-eight years. Samuel J., the youngest but one in the family of eight children, was born in Crawford County in 1833. He was brought up on the farm, and in early life was engaged in teaming to St. Louis. During the war he served a short time in the Confederate service, and soon after his mother prevailed upon him to buy the old homestead, going in debt for 320 acres, which he succeeded in paying for in three years; he now owns 370 acres, all well stocked. In 1872 he married Nannie Cannon, who died in 1883, leaving six children, viz.: John R., Lula D., Birdsoe F., Minnie E., William A. and Nannie B. In 1884 Mr. Craig married Mrs. Sue E. Smalley, who had one daughter by her former husband, William L. Smalley, named Sarah W. One child was born to the latter union, named Grover 8. Mr. Craig is one of the most enterprisin1Z farmers in the county, and devotes considerable attention to stock; he is a Democrat in politics, and a Master Mason.

 

Jacob C. Cross, n native of Sullivan County, Tenn., was born October 16, 1837, and is the youngest in the family of twelve children born to Elijah and Catherine (Cook) Cross. His educational advantages were very limited, being only such as the country subscription school of his native State afforded. About the year 1858 be immigrated to Missouri, settling in Crawford County, where he followed agricultural pursuits; his only capital was good health and a determination to succeed, which, combined with good management, have resulted in his prosperity. He first bought n farm of ninety-seven acres, which he cleared and improved, and then disposed of to advantage, enabling him to purchase his present farm and homestead, consisting of 174 acres, all well-improved, with a comfortable residence, barns, etc. In 1863 be married Elizabeth, daughter of William Barnett, & farmer of Crawford County. She was born February 26, 1846. There were six children born to this union, only three of whom are living, viz.: John F., born November 11, 1863; Sarah C., now the wife of Nathaniel Spurgeon, born January 15, 1866, and Rufus J., born May 3, 1868. Those deceased are: James Sinkler, born November 8, 1870, died August 21, 1878; Cordelia, born January 15, 1878, died August 14, following, and Malissa, born September S, 1874 and died December 31, 1874. After the death of his first wife, January 28, 1875, Mr. Cross married Sarah, daughter of Benjamin Hutcheson. During the late war Mr. Cross was a Southern sympathizer, but took no active part in the struggle. He is a staunch Democrat, but no office seeker, preferring the quiet life of a farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Cross are devoted members of the Baptist Church.

 

Daniel Curtis, not unknown to the many residents of Benton Township and vicinity, is acknowledged to be one of the most prominent fruit-growers in Crawford County. Born in England, in 1828, he was next to the youngest of fifteen children in the family of his parents, Samuel and Sarah (Lewis) Curtis. Daniel was reared a farmer and received a good common-school education in his native country, beginning life for himself there at an early age. In 1849 he was married to Eliza J. Gilkeson, and soon after, in 1850, Mr. Curtis with his young wife immigrated to America, settling in Lenawee County, Mich., where he resided some nine years, engaged in agricultural pursuits. Upon landing in this country be was without much means, but since that time has been by no means idle, as his present possessions indicate. In April, 1859, he came to Crawford County, Mo., and for a while followed teaming and farming in Cuba, after which he purchased his present homestead and farm in 1868. The place was then an unimproved, uncultivated tract of 160 acres, very different in appearance from the comfortable farm which he now occupies; the surroundings are of a substantial nature. Upon this place is an orchard of 3,000 fruit trees, to the cultivation of which he gives considerable attention. Besides this he also owns another farm of 160 acres. Mr. and Mrs. Curtis have had twelve children, eleven of whom are living: Ester, James, Daniel E ., Orlando, Mary S., Robert R., Elzora E., William G., Eliza E., Samuel E. and Oscar B. Politically, Mr. Curtis is a Republican, and he and his wife enjoy the esteem of all who know them.

Many Bios excerpts are from ‘History of Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Crawford, & Gasconade Counties, Missouri’, The Goodspeed Publishing Co. 1888

Last up-dated 09/22/2013

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