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Crawford County, Missouri

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William Taff is a son of George W. and Rebecca (Bennett) Taff. The parents came to Crawford County about 1828, having formerly lived in East Tennessee. Just before the war they moved to Dent County, where both died. The father, who was a farmer, and a soldier of the War of 1812, died at about the age of seventy-four years, and the mother, who was a member of the Methodist Church, lived to be fifty-six years old. William Taff was born in McMinn County, Tenn., in 1821, but since early childhood Crawford County has been his home. His educational advantages were the poorest. In 1840 he married Delilah Carver. Their household goods consisted of stools, board tables, a grass bed made on pieces driven into the wall, having only one post, and Mr. Taff was $98 in debt. As a result of industry and economy he soon became independent, and at one time owned about 900 acres of land. He began merchandising in 1873, which business he has since carried on. During the war he served about four months in the State Militia. In politics he is a Democrat. To Mr. and Mrs. Taff have been born eleven children, of whom seven are living. viz.: Julia A., Thomas J., John W., Martha, Lewis, Rachel C. and Mary M. The parents have both been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church for many years, and Mr. Taff is a Master Mason. Joseph N. Taylor, a native of Gasconade (now Crawford) County, Mo., was born in 1889. In the family of hi11 parents, John and Cyrena M. (Pinnell) Taylor, were twelve children, of whom Joseph N. was the eldest. He was reared to agricultural pursuits, and in 1861 ran away from home, joining the Missouri State Guards, and enlisted in Company C, Third Missouri Cavalry; he served about six months, and was severely wounded by the explosion of a magazine at Wet Glaize, Mo., receiving an honorable discharge. In 1862 he married Sarah, daughter of William and Sarah Evans, and the only child born to their union died in infancy. December 30, 1862, Mrs. Taylor died, and was interred at the Evans' family burial ground. Soon after the death of his wife Mr. Taylor went to Illinois, where he followed various pursuits, principally farming and blacksmithing, until 1865, when he opened a blacksmith shop in Cuba, Mo., in partnership with D. B. Marshall, which partnership continued until the fall of 1866. Mr. Taylor then immigrated to Texas, where he herded cattle and worked some at his trade, returning to Missouri in December, 1867. October l, 1868, he married Sallie A. C., widow of James R. Reinhardt. Seven children have been born to this union, viz.: Charles D., Newton E., Fannie C., Laura E., Sallie A., Joseph D. and Claude A. In 1868 Mr. Taylor entered forty acres of land, and with an additional sixty acres given him by his father, engaged in farming He now owns a farm of about 700 acres, which is well stocked. Politically, he has always been a staunch Democrat, and cast his first presidential vote for Stephen A. Douglas. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, and Mrs. Taylor is a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. In June, 1886, Mr. Taylor was appointed postmaster of Jacobston, which office was established in 1878, and is now kept at the house of Mr. Taylor.


Mrs. Cyrena M. Taylor, widow of the late John Taylor (deceased), is a daughter of Hiram and Phoebe (Bolin) Pinnell. Hiram Pinnell was a native of South Carolina, and was a soldier in the War of 1812, being one of the staff officers of Jackson at the time of the latter's interview with Packingham. Mrs. Phoebe Pinnell was born in Virginia, but was reared in Kentucky, in which State her parents were early settlers; it was for this family the city of Bowling Green, Ky., was named. Mrs. Taylor was born in Washington County. Mo., in 1819, to which State her parents had immigrated from Kentucky a short time before her birth, returning to Kentucky soon afterward; they moved back to Missouri in 1829, and settled in Gasconade (now Crawford) County in the woods, on what is known as Brush Creek, where he was the first white man to build a house. The family was the first to settle in this section of the country, where the Indians as well as all kinds of game were plentiful, but signs of civilization scarce. About 1835 John Taylor entered land not far from Mr. Pinnell's settlement, and in 1838 occurred his marriage to Cyrena M. The young couple moved to their new homestead, which is the same Mrs. Taylor still resides upon. Of their twelve children ten grew to maturity, as follows: Joseph N., Emily C., Louisa J., William A., Miles B., Charles N., Phoebe A., Henry T., John E., Jefferson D. ; two dying in childhood. John Taylor was a staunch Democrat, and was one of the most prominent citizens of the county; his death, which occurred February 15, 1873, was sincerely mourned by a devoted family and a large circle of admiring friends. He was a charter member of the Masonic Lodge, No. 94, A. F. & A. M., of Cuba, Mo. He was a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, of which Mrs. Taylor also is an honored member. Since the death of her husband Mrs. Taylor has been cared for by her sons, who still own the old homestead upon which their father settled in the pioneer days, and which is a tract of 300 acres. Jefferson D. Taylor was elected High Sheriff of Crawford County, in 1882, and was re-elected in 1884. He is now a member of the firm of Taylor & Bass, liverymen of Cuba. He was married in June, 1886, to Mollie, daughter of George W. Isgrig, of Crawford County, Mo.


Francis N. Thomas was born in Henderson County, Tenn., in 1834. In the family of his parents, Stephen and Anna (Rhodes) Thomas, were twelve Children, of whom he was the second. The parents were both natives of North Carolina and were married in Tennessee, where they spent the remainder of their lives. For many years Stephen Thomas was engaged in the work of the ministry, first as a Presbyterian and later as a Methodist, and in connection with that calling he worked at the carpenter's trade, and carried on farming. He was a Republican in politics, and served as magistrate. Francis N. attended the common schools in early life, and was reared to the occupation of farming. In 1853 he married Martha Setzer, a native of North Carolina, who was born in 1836. Of their six children, three are now living, viz.: John B., Rosalinda L. and George B. In1862 Mr. Thomas enlisted in Company H, Enrolled Militia, of Washington ton County, and served until February, 1865, when he enlisted in Company D, Eleventh Missouri Infantry, Union army, being honorably discharged at St.  Louis in January, 1866. In the militia he held the rank of second lieutenant, and in the regular service served as corporal. Mr. Thomas came to Crawford County in 1854, and settled on his present farm of 320 acres, in 1863. In politics he is a Republican. He is an enterprising farmer, and has devoted some attention to the trades of the carpenter and blacksmith.


Herman H. Tieman, a prominent farmer and merchant of Crawford County, was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1842. He is the eldest of three children of Herman and Mary (Merking) Tieman. Herman H. Tieman came to the United States in 1856, nod settled in Franklin County, Mo., where he engaged in farming. His early education was obtained in his native county, and his first attempt in the mercantile business was at Champion City, Franklin Co., Mo., where he had the management of a store in the interest of the Grange, which was established by a stock company with a capital of $400; this was in 1874, and Mr. Tieman afterward bought the interest of the stockholders, and conducted the store on his own account for several years very successfully. He bought his present farm and homestead in Crawford County in 1873, and in 1887 bought the dry goods stock of Burnes & Co., of Cuba. He still owns the property in Cuba, but moved the goods to Jake's Prairie, where he has a good trade. In 1861 Mr. Tieman married Martha, daughter of Elisha Blankenship. Mrs. Tieman died in 1878, leaving the following children: Charles R., :Mary F., Susan, Samuel L., Henry L., George A. and Harriet A. Mr. Tieman next married Elizabeth V., daughter of Elisha Avery, and to their union one son has been born, named Grover Cleveland. Mr. Tieman is a regularly ordained minister of the Christian Church, and several years ago did regular work, but now only preaches upon solicitation. He is one of the most enterprising and industrious citizens of Crawford County, and is highly respected. He is a staunch Democrat in politics, and cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln. Mrs. Tieman is also a member of the Christian Church.


Marvin W. Trask, deceased, an early settler of Crawford County, Mo., was born in Connecticut in 1794. His father, Sampson Trask, died when Marvin W. was but a boy, and the latter being bound out ran away, serving as a cook during the War of 1812. The exact date of his settlement in Missouri is not known, but certain it is he was a resident of that State as early as 1826. He was engaged in mining in Crawford County, and though beginning a poor boy he became worth some $30,000. For many years he was surveyor of Crawford County, and in1844 was its representative in the State Legislature. Though a farmer by occupation he was an active politician, and held many offices of trust and honor.

His first wife was Alice (Stewart) Steen, who was born in 1826 and died in 1852, the mother of nine children. Two years after the death of his first wife Mr. Trask married Elizabeth J. Dawson, of East Tennessee. Nine children blessed this union and were deprived of their father by death in 1865 the mother still lives. Eugene Trask, the eldest child by the last marriage, was born in Crawford County, Mo., July 16, 1855, and was reared and educated in Steelville. At the age of sixteen he began to learn the printer's trade, and helped set the type for the first newspaper printed in Crawford County. After working at this and clerking in a drug store for some years he bought a stock of drugs in 1880, and established a business in Steelville. In 1879 he married Mary, daughter of Jorgean and Anna Johansen, who was born in Maribo City, Island of Lolan, Denmark, and came to America with her parents when a child. Mr. and Mrs. Trask have four children; they are members of the Baptist Church. Politically, be is a Democrat. Mr. Trask was elected county treasurer in 1884, and re-elected in 1886, which position he has since filled. He is a member of the Missouri State Pharmaceutical Association.


Andrew H. Trask was born in Washington County, Mo., in 1829. His father, Putnam Trask, was a native of New York City, and was born in 1809; the latter, when a young man, came to Washington County, Mo., and for some years was engaged in mining. He met and married Polly Campbell, a native of Missouri, and of their twelve children Andrew H. was the eldest. Soon after marriage Putnam Trask settled on a farm which he conducted in connection with mining, and in 1838 located in Crawford County, on the farm now owned by Andrew H. In 1850 Andrew H. and his father went to California, and for the following ten years were successfully engaged in gold mining. Putnam Trask was a highly respected citizen, and lived to be about seventy-two years of age; his wife died at the age of sixty-six years. In 1853 Andrew H. Trask married Lucy A. Moutray, a native of Jefferson County, who was born in 1836. Of the fourteen children born to this union but seven are living, viz.: Josiah A., Henry S., Frances O., Samuel I., Napoleon B., Melvin and Julius E. Mr. and Mrs. Trask and six of the children are members of the Baptist Church. In 1862 Mr. Trask entered tile Union Army in Company E, Thirty-second Missouri Infantry, and took part in the battles of' Chickasaw Bluff and Arkansas Post. He held the rank of sergeant and after one year's service was discharged on account of ill health. He is a Mason and a Democrat, has been justice of the peace for many years, and was county judge two terms, serving as presiding justice the greater part of the time. He is a successful business man and one of the heaviest taxpayers of Courtois Township.


Martha, widow of the late Jacob Treece (deceased), was a daughter of Emmor and Mary Bails, natives, respectively, of Virginia and Pennsylvania. She was born in Ross County, Ohio, in 1809, and was married to Jacob Treece in 1828. By this union were born eight children, four sons and four daughters, viz.: George, Andy, Henry, Byron, Emily, who became the wife of E. G. Evans, Maria L. and Eliza, deceased in infancy, and Maria E., widow of the late J James A. Pinnell. The parents came to Missouri in 1848, and settled in Crawford County, which country was then wild and sparsely settled. In 1850 Mr. Treece purchased eighty acres of unimproved land, and moving his family from the Meramec Iron Works, where he had previously been engaged, he turned his attention to farming. He added to his farm from time to time until he owned 217 acres, the most of which is now under cultivation. Mr. Treece was suddenly called from an active and useful life in 1881, deeply mourned by one of the oldest and most highly respected families of Crawford County. He was a Republican in politics, as are his sons, three of whom served in the late war, George as first lieutenant, Andy as major, and Henry as captain. Mrs. Treece has lived to see many changes in her adopted county, and has reared a most interesting family. Though she has long since passed the allotted fourscore years and ten, she is still possessed of an active mind and takes a deep interest in all around her.



John Jordan Upchurch (deceased) was the founder of the fraternity known as the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and was born in Franklin County, N.

C., March 26, 1820. His parents were John and Elizabeth (Hill) Upchurch, also of Franklin County, N. C., the former of whom died when John Jordan was but two years of age. The latter was employed as a clerk at the age of twelve years, and clerking, farming, and running a sawmill furnished him employment until 1841, when he married Angelina Green, and soon after began keeping hotel at Raleigh, N. C., where it is said he conducted the first temperance house south of Mason and Dixon's line. This venture, however, proved unprofitable; but, possessing the happy faculty of always finding something to do, Mr. Upchurch was successful as an engraver, a railroad agent, horse-tamer, locomotive engineer and master mechanic. A strike in 1864 impressed him with the injustice done to both capital and labor by the existing unions, and he began to study principles that should underlie a union benefiting both. In 1868 was created the noble order of the Ancient Order of United Workmen of which Mr. Upchurch was the honored father. In 1873 he located in Steelville, where his family still reside. During the latter years of his life he visited, by invitation, Grand Lodges from the Pacific slope to the Atlantic coast, and everywhere was most cordially met with expressions of highest esteem. Upon his visit to Cincinnati, Ohio, he was presented with a gold medal, bearing the emblems of the order, anchor and shield, the former set in diamonds, and, on the reverse side, engraved, "Presented to J. J. Upchurch, P. S. M. W., Father of the A. O. U. W.,  by the members of the Supreme Lodge, 1882." Mr. Upchurch died in 1887, deeply mourned by his widow and five living children. Of his sons, Theodore F., a machinist, served nearly a year in the late war, in Company K, One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, and married Sarah Millspaugh, by whom he has one daughter; John C., a carpenter, married Emma Wheeling, and has one son; William A., an undertaker, wedded Olivia E. Adair, and has two sons; Horace C. is also a carpenter, and Curtis L. is a barber. Two of the boys, John C. and William A., a.re members of the A. O. U. W., and all are Democrats in politics.


Lorenzo D. Viemann, of the firm of Burchard & Viemann, Oak Hill, is a native of Gasconade County, and was born in 1848. He is the eldest of five children born to Garret and Martha (Ridenhour) Viemann, natives of Germany and Missouri, respectively. Lorenzo D. Viemann was reared to agricultural pursuits, receiving a good education in the common schools. He began doing for himself in the capacity of a school teacher and farmer. In 1872 he married Mary, daughter of Daniel and Eliza J. McMillen. Mrs. Viemann died in 1879, the mother of one child, also deceased. In 1886 Mr. Viemann was married to Henrietta, daughter of William and Sarah Fort. One daughter, Fannie, has blessed this union. Mrs. Viemann was the widow of the late Franklin Benner, by whom she has one child, Nellie. In 1878 Mr. Viemann engaged in the mercantile business in Red Bird, Gasconade County, where he was the proprietor of a general store, carrying a stock worth about $2,000 until 1880. He then opened a store in Knob View, Crawford County, which he conducted about eighteen months. In 1882 he purchased his interest in his present business at Oak Hill. The firm is doing a splendid business, and carry a $5,000 stock, handling the produce of the country, as well as an assorted stock of general merchandise. Mr. Viemann was appointed postmaster of Oak Hill in 1884, which office he still fills. He was also appointed notary public in 1885. He is a member of the Democratic party, and belongs to the Masonic order. Mr. Viemann owns a nice residence in the village of Oak Hill, where he resides, and about forty acres of land in the county, beside property in the State of Dakota.



James E. Walls, a retired merchant of Leasburg, is the son of Spencer and Anna Walls, nee Higdon, and was born in 1827, in Marshall County, Tenn.,

The second of five children in his parents' family. As he grew up, farming became his chosen occupation, but unfortunately be was denied all opportunities or advantages for obtaining an education. In 1868 he located in Missouri and entered into the dry goods business, at Leasburg, where he carried on merchandising for several years. His success at this point led him to start another store at the Scotia Iron Works, but in 1875, after a successful career there, he was burned out. In 1847 Mr. Walls was married to Miss Amelia, daughter of John and Polly Waters, both Virginians by birth. Eleven children blessed this union, all of whom are now deceased. Since his residence in this county Mr. Walls has purchased some property, and at the same time possesses some in Tennessee. Besides an eighty-acre tract here, he owns five town lots and two dwellings In Leasburg, where he makes his home. His mother, a lady eighty-six years of age, is a member of his family, and, though advanced in years, is well preserved and quite active. She is a member of the Methodist Church, as are also Mr. and Mrs. Walls. He is a Republican, politically, and belongs to the Masonic fraternity.


William M. Walls is justly conceded to occupy a prominent position among the leading agriculturists and stock men of Liberty Township. His birth occurred in 1881, in Marshall County, Tenn., his parents having a family of five children, of whom he.waa the fourth. His father was Spencer Wills, and his mother's maiden name was Anna Higdon. William was reared in his native State, but in youth received no education whatever, and it redounds to his credit that through his own studious habits he has learned to read and write since his marriage, securing in this way a fund of general information. October 12, 1850, Mr. Walls was married to Miss Caroline Orr, who bore him six children, two of whom are living: Anna, married August 25, 1872, to Frank Wheeler and Evaline, who became Mrs. John Smith, December 12, 1880. In 1873 Mrs. Walls died, and on August 4, of that year, he married Miss Elizabeth Baucomb, by which union there were five children; three of these survive: Effa M., William C. and Ernest C. The death of this wife occurred October 31,1884, and in 1885 Miss Nancy Avery became Mr. Walls' third wife, her parents, James and Martha Avery, having been natives of Tennessee. Their two children are Paulina and Alice J. On coming to Missouri, in 1801, the subject of this sketch had but $28 in money, and very little property, but he entered forty acres of land and commenced its improvement, making additions from time to time until he now has 600 acres, on which is found a large amount of stock. During the war he was first lieutenant of Company K, Sixty-third Missouri Volunteer Regiment (United States Army), but served only a short time. He is a Democrat, and himself and wife are worthy members of the Methodist Church.



Henry B. Ward is the son of Griffin and Elizabeth Ward, nee Benner, natives of Ohio. He is the fifth in the family of ten children, and was born in Ross County, Ohio, in 1844, being reared to the pursuit of agriculture. In 1864 he enlisted in the Union Army, being first enrolled in Company H, One-Hundred and Twenty-ninth Ohio Infantry, re-enlisting in 1865 in Company I,  One-Hundred and Eighty-filth Ohio Infantry; be served about eighteen months, participating in no heavy battles, and was honorably discharged in October, 1865. He returned to his home in Ohio, whence, in 1866, he immigrated to the State of Missouri and settled in Crawford County. Young, active and stout, he followed various pursuits, and soon became a land owner. His marriage to Phoebe, daughter of James Carr, occurred December 81, 1868, and they became the parents of three children: Anna, Cora and Mary. In 1878, death severed Mrs. Ward from her husband and three small children, and in the same year Mr. Ward took for his wife, Jane, daughter of Austin and Mary A. Ogletree, the former of whom is deceased; to this union two children have been born, Carrie P. and Ivey M. Since his marriage Mr. Ward has devoted his entire attention to the duties of his farm, which consists of 120 acres, all well improved, upon  which is erected a substantial residence; he is a member of the Republican party and belongs to the G. A. R. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ward are consistent members of the Northern Methodist Church, to which they give cheerful assistance.


Harrison H. Webb, a retired farmer, is a son of John P. and Rachel (Allred) Webb, natives of Tennessee, the former of whom was born in 1792. The parents were married in Rutherford County, where they remained until 1814, when they moved to Washington County, Mo., locating in Crawford County about 1832. They moved to Reynolds County in 1841, and there spent the remainder of their lives. John P. Webb, a farmer by occupation, served under Jackson as a soldier in the Creek War. Harrison H. Webb was the eldest in a family of eleven children, only four of whom are now living, and was born in Washington County, Mo., January 23, 1815. Reared a farmer, he received but a limited education. In 1834 he married Emily Brickey, daughter of Jeremiah Brickey, and has always devoted his attention to the pursuits of agriculture in Crawford County. To Mr. and Mrs. Webb were born ten children, five of whom survive, four sons and one daughter. Politically a Democrat, Mr. Webb served as sheriff of Crawford County from 1850 to 1854, and in the winter of 1854-55 represented that county in the State Legislature. He and wife are worthy members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, having held their membership there for over fifty years. As a farmer Mr. Webb has been successful, now owning a good farm of 560 acres.


Laban Wilkinson was born in Cape Girardeau County, Mo., in 1816, and is the fourth in a family of twelve children born to James and Hannah (Sheppard) Wilkinson, natives, respectively, of North Carolina and Georgia, who were among the early settlers of Cape Girardeau County, Mo. The parents were members of the Baptist Church, and after the death of the father the mother married a Mr. Ferguson. The early education of Laban Wilkinson was that afforded by the subscription schools, and when about twenty years of age he began doing for himself in the pursuit of agriculture. In 1885 he married Martha H. Stone, who was born in Madison County, Mo., in 1819. They became the parents of twelve children, of whom seven survive, viz.: Margaret, Mary A., Newton, Sarah, William, De Kalb and Pleasant. Having lived in his native county until 1841, Mr. Wilkinson removed to Crawford County, and located on his p resent farm, which consists of 682 acres. Commencing with comparatively cattle, industry and economy have resulted in his prosperity. And he is now an enterprising farmer. 



Samuel J. Williams, M. D., a prominent medical practitioner of Crawford County, was born in North Carolina in 1826, and is the second of the three Children born to Samuel and Martha (Brown) Williams, natives, respectively of North Carolina and Virginia. His father died when Samuel J. was a child, and the mother (who is still living and making her home with our subject) settled in Missouri in 1830. Samuel J. Williams, after receiving a good education, graduated in June, 1845, at the St. Charles (Mo.) Methodist College, and from 1845 to 1846 read medicine under Dr. N. H. Watson, of Franklin County, Mo., and from 1846 to 1850, under Dr. Peter Pemple, of the same county. In 1851 be graduated at the Ohio Medical College, Cincinnati, Ohio, and then began the practice of his chosen profession in Gasconade County, Mo. At the outbreak of the late war he enlisted as surgeon in the Third Missouri Cavalry, Confederate Army, and in the service gained valuable experience. Since the close of the war he has turned his attention entirely to his practice, and in 1868 received a diploma from the Missouri Medical College. As a practitioner he has achieved signal success and enjoys a large and lucrative practice. In 1874 he purchased his present homestead, consisting of 140 acres of well-improved land. In 1867 Dr. Williams was united in marriage with Sarah E., daughter of Alfred Schobe. Five children were the result of this marriage, only one, Martha, now living. Dr. Williams was commissioned postmaster of the Jake's Prairie post office in July, 1884; the mail is obtained via Cuba., tri-weekly. The Doctor is a member of the Democratic Party, and a Freemason. Mrs. Williams is a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.


Henry P. Yeary, a native of Lee County, Va., was born in 1833, and is the tenth in the family of fourteen children born to Henry and Susannah (Smith) Yeary, natives of Lee County, Va., and of German and Welsh descent, respectively. The paternal grandfather was a native of Saxony, Germany. In 1841 the parents moved to Arkansas, where the father died in 1857, in his sixty-fourth year; he was a soldier of the War of 1812, a farmer by occupation, and a Democrat in politics. The mother died in Crawford County, Mo., in 1871. Henry P. was reared to the pursuit of farming, and in 1861. with three brothers, he volunteered in Company G, Phelps' Regiment, l\1issouri Infantry, Union army, and served six months, participating in the battle of Pea Ridge; be afterward served for several months in the Enrolled Militia. He was one of a. party of thirty-eight Union men who were refugees to Missouri upon the breaking out of the war. Since 1862 Mr. Yeary has lived on his present farm, which consists of 396 acres. In 1864 be married Mrs. Millie J. O'Neal, who was born in 1830. Three children have blessed this union, viz.: Milton B., Henry D. and Laura. J. Mrs. Yeary has five children by her first husband, viz.: John C., Amanda, Mary, James and Edwin. Mr. Yeary is a Republican in politics, and bas been a resident of Crawford County for the past twenty-five years.

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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