Dade County, Missouri Genealogy Trails



La Grange
Dr. Renfro is the son of A. and M.E. Renfro. His father was a Kentuckian, and his mother a native of Tennessee. He was born in Dade county, Missouri, October 26, 1835. He came to Texas in November, 1865, and located at Cistern in 1867. Whence he removed to La Grange.
He was educated in the free schools of Missouri, and begun studying medicine at the age of eighteen. He attended his first course of lectures at New Orleans in 1868-9, and his second course in 1871-2, graduating at the University of Louisiana (now Tulane University) with high honors; practiced at Cistern, in Fayette county, Fayetteville, Flatonia and La Grange up to the present time. Though doing a general practice, he prefers surgery and obstetrics. The Doctor is medical examiner for several life insurance companies, and for several years was health officer of La Grange.
He is a member of the Fayette County Medical Society; of the State Medical Association, and of the American Medical Association. He has contributed several papers to the Transactions of the Texas State Medical Association. He has been married three times, to-wit:  in Missouri in 1853, and again in 1867, and in 1878 to his present wife, who was Miss Josie P. Hill. He has three children living in Missouri, at or near Springfield, and three in Texas, one in Laredo, and two living with the parents.
The Doctor has a good practice and is much respected in his section and wherever he is known.
[Source: Types of Successful Men of Texas by Lewis E. Daniell, Publ. 1890. Transcribed by Kim Mohler]


The statement is as true as it is old that death loves a shining mark, and such a mark was found in the demise of the late William A. Rice, of Grand Junction. He departed this life suddenly on April 12, 1901, of pneumonia, and a few days later was laid to rest in the Masonic cemetery on Orchard mesa, with every demonstration of popular esteem and affection. His useful life began in Dade county, Missouri, on November 30, 1846. His parents returned to their old home in Barren county, Kentucky, when he was less than a year old and there the father died in 1850. Soon after the mother moved again to Missouri with her four children. There William grew to manhood and received his education in the public schools and in a select school near Greenfield. Three years of his early manhood were passed in teaching school, and these were followed by eight in mercantile life in Newtonia, Missouri. In 1871 he was married to Mary Elizabeth Gover, of Stanford, Kentucky, and in 1881 moved to Canon City, this state, where he engaged in the lumber business with his brother, P.A. Rice. Two years later the firm of Rice Brothers moved to Grand Junction, where W.A. took charge of and built up the business, while P.A. manufactured lumber at his mills on Pinion mesa. In 1896 William withdrew from the lumber business and turned his attention to horticulture and stock raising. He was a man of sterling character and public spirit, ever ready to aid in every enterprise looking to the moral and material improvement of the community in which he lived. He was throughout life a consistent and serviceable member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church and for many years prior to his death was a valued officer thereof. He also belonged to the Masonic order and the Odd Fellows, in the latter standing especially high. A Prohibitionist in politics, he was recognized as the leader of that party in western Colorado, being its candidate for congress in 1894. Ever working for the elevation of his fellow man, it is doubtful if his influence for the promotion of every element of the general welfare of his section has ever been surpassed by that of any resident of the western part of the state.
(Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado, Publ 1905. Transcribed by Kim Mohler)


William R. Robertson.—Without knowing, perhaps, to what an extent the law is a jealous mistress, and how complete is the devotion she requires of her votaries whom she favors with her benefactions, William R. Robertson, of Webb City in this county, one of the leading lawyers in the Southwest, approached her shrine in the proper spirit and with a purpose in accordance with her exactions. This was due to the essential elements of his character and make-up—a combination of rare qualities on which his success in life is based and by the exercise of which it has been won. He has grit and fiber, the genius of application, a knowledge of himself and unyielding purpose, together with fine intellectual endowment.

Judge Robertson was born in Randolph county, Missouri, on April 3, 1866, and is a son of Milton and Mary (Hardy) Robertson, both natives of Tennessee, the former born in August, 1818, and the latter August 31, 1826. The father was a farmer. He died in Dade county, this state, in 1885. His widow survived him a full quarter of a century, dying in 1910. They were the parents of ten children, of whom William R. was the ninth in the order of birth.

He began his scholastic training in the public schools of Dade county, Missouri, and completed it at Ozark college in Greenfield, the seat of government in that county, which he attended two years. After leaving college he taught school in Dade county three years, and while doing this studied law, spending portions of the time in the office and under the direction of Messrs. Mann & Talbott, prominent lawyers in Greenfield. In 1890 he passed a satisfactory examination before Judge D. P. Stratton and was admitted to practice in the state courts.

It seemed to him that a new field, in which he would be among strangers and have no one to depend on but himself, would be best for the exercise of his powers and the development of the career to which he looked forward. Accordingly, he moved to Colorado and located in Delta county, where he taught school for one year. At the end of the term he took up his residence at Delta, the county seat, and began the practice of his profession. He made such an impression on the legal fraternity and the people in that portion of the state that he was elected county judge of Delta county in 1892, after a residence of less than three years in the state. But this office was not to his taste, and he resigned before the end of his term and formed a law partnership with A. R. King, under the firm name of King & Robertson. The partnership continued until August, 1898, and built up a good business, considering the smallness of the county's population and the undeveloped state of the country. In the year last named Mr. Robertson left the firm and returned to Missouri, locating at Webb City, where he has lived ever since, enlarging his practice and extending his reputation as a capable lawyer, skilful and accomplished advocate and very worthy, useful and representative citizen.

On January 1, 1911, he entered into partnership with S. W. Bates for the practice of law, the firm being known as Robertson & Bates, and at once taking rank as one of the strongest and most resourceful law firms in this part of the country. It has a very large and representative practice, including in its clientage many of the leading men of Jasper and the surrounding counties in this and the adjoining states, and is one of the three law practitioners in Jasper county that have been admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States.

As he has been industrious and successful in his practice, and earnestly devoted to all its duties, so Mr. Robertson has been also attentive to the business and industrial interests of the city and county of his home. He has been a director of the Merchants and Miners Bank from its organization, and is also its secretary and attorney, being more than ordinarily interested in its progress because of having been one of its founders. He is also a director and the vice president of the Reliance Mining Company and holds the same official relations to the Rogers Lead and Zinc Company. All these institutions are flourishing, and all feel in the active currents of their life and usefulness the quickening impulse of his excellent judgment and productive energy.

The public affairs of the city and county in which he lives enlist his earnest and intelligent interest, and all undertakings for the improvement of the region, the development of its resources and the welfare of its people command his energetic and effective support. On political questions he is loyal to the principles of the Democratic party, but he is not an active partisan and takes no part in political contentions except what good citizenship requires. In the fraternal life of the community around him he is an important factor, holding membership in the Masonic order as a Master Mason, a Royal Arch Mason, a Knight Templar and a Council Mason, and being in his Lodge a past master and one of its trustees. He also belongs to the Order of Elks and is one of the trustees of his lodge in that order. Webb City Lodge No. 861.

The various organizations devoted to the welfare and advancement of his profession have his cordial and appreciated support in every way. He is an active member of the State and the Jasper County Bar Associations, and takes a leading part in their proceedings. He also belongs to the Webb City Commercial Club, and has rendered it faithful and fruitful service as its president. The Presbyterian church is his guide in religious matters, and the congregation to which he belongs is liberally aided by him in all its commendable work.

On March 13, 1895, in Delta, Colorado, Judge Robertson bowed beneath the '' flowery yoke of Eros,'' uniting in marriage with Miss Emma Van de Venter, a native of Maryland and daughter of Prank and Sarah (Friend) Van de Venter, prominent residents of the county in which the marriage was solemnized. Four children have been born in the Robertson household: Alene, whose life began in Delta, Colorado; and Lawrence De, Franklin and Frederic, all of whom are natives of Webb City.

From the start this highly accomplished lawyer, courteous gentleman and estimable citizen has made his own way in the world. Fortune never opened her cynical hand to him except in obedience to his industry and perseverance, a form of persuasion she could not resist. He was a poor boy, earning money for his education in school and college by working on farms, and for his professional training by teaching school. His own trials and privations in early life have made him considerate toward the difficulties of other men and tender in his regard for the feelings, wishes and rights of all. This disposition has won him hosts of friends and a wide and enduring popularity among all classes of people. He is in all respects richly deserving of the high esteem in which he is universally held.
Submitted by Janice Rice - 2009


Dade County, Missouri Genealogy Trails
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