Dent County Missouri
Isaiah Larkin, a prosperous farmer of Dent County, Mo., was born in Jefferson County, of that State, in 1843, and is a son of George W. and Elizabeth J. (Stobaugh) Larkin, who were born in Kentucky in 1813 and 1815, and died in Dent and Jefferson Counties, Mo., in 1871 and 1853, respectively. They were married in their native State, and soon after immigrated to Missouri, locating in Jefferson County, of which they were pioneer settlers. Isaiah is one of four surviving members of nine children, and remained on the home farm until he attained his majority, receiving no schooling, and consequently acquired by little education. In 1865 he was married to Ruthie Turley, who was born in Jefferson County, Mo., in 1843, and by her became the father of eleven children, ten of whom are living: Maley, George, William, Rosa, Isaiah, Dolly A., Effie, Dovie, Magnolia and Albert. For fourteen years after his marriage Mr. Larkin resided in Jefferson County, Mo., since which time he has lived on his farm of 160 acres where he now lives. He has about seventy-five acres under cultivation, well improved and with a good bearing orchard. He is an enterprising citizen, and has given his children, who are all single and reside at home, good educational advantages. He is a Democrat, and his wife and oldest daughter are members of the Baptist Church. Mrs. Larkin's parents, Zadock and Margaret Turley, were of Irish and Dutch descent, and were born in Kentucky and Virginia, respectively.[Source: "History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps and Dent Counties, Missouri", Chicago: The Goodspeed Publishing Co. 1889;]
Dr. Wilson M. Lenox
Dr. Wilson M. Lenox, a practicing physician and surgeon of Lake Spring, was born in what is now Phelps County, Mo., in 1843. He is a son of Hamilton and Permelia M. (Harrison) Lenox, and grandson of William Lenox, a Virginian by birth, but who went to Kentucky at a very early day, and was an intimate friend of Daniel Boone, whom he aided against the Indians, both in Kentucky and Missouri. He was a soldier in the Black Hawk War, when his son Hamilton was but a boy. The family moved from Kentucky to Missouri, and spent a number of years in Callaway and other counties of Northern Missouri. They then came to Phelps County, at still quite an early period, and here died. He was of a migratory disposition, and spent much of his time with the Indians in the wild Southwest, where he figured prominently in civilizing the same. His father was of Scotch descent; was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and was wounded at the battle of Cowpens. The ancestors of our subject on the father's side trace their lineage back to three brothers who were natives of Scotland; two of them came to America and from them sprang the Lenox families in America. Dr. Lenox's maternal grandfather, James Harrison, was a native of Virginia, and went to South Carolina when a young man, was married there, and at a very early period, about 1820, came to Missouri and settled where the town of Arlington is now located. He owned a very large and valuable tract of land, on which he spent the remainder of his days. He was one of the most influential and prominent citizens of Southern Missouri in his day. He served as a judge, was notary public, county and circuit clerk, etc.; in fact, he transacted nearly all the business affairs of the people for years in South Central Missouri, acting as a general tribunal. His sons became representative citizens of Missouri. The Doctor's great-grandfather, Benjamin Harrison, was a native of Virginia, of English descent, and a Revolutionary soldier. He is originally of the same family as President Benjamin Harrison. Dr. Lenox is the sixth of twelve children, and was educated at Jacksonville, Ill., and Lebanon Academy. At about the age of seventeen he began the study of medicine with his uncle, Dr. James P. Harrison, of Arlington, who was a graduate of McDowell Medical College, St. Louis. He studied with him until the opening of the late war between the North and South, and then enlisted in the Confederate army, and was afterward made medical purveyor of Parson's division of the Confederate army for the remainder of the war, operating in Missouri and Arkansas. He was at the battle of Wilson's Creek, Pea Ridge, Cane Hill, Camden, etc. After the war he went to Northeastern Texas, where he practiced with success for nearly two years. He returned to Missouri in 1867, located at Rolla until 1872, and one year later settled at Lake Spring, where he has since practiced with his usual success. He is one of the most prominent physicians of Dent County. At different times he has attended different medical institutions at New Orleans, Camden, Ark., St. Louis, etc., and graduated from the St. Louis College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1883. He was a delegate to the National Democratic Convention at Chicago, in 1884, which nominated Grover Cleveland. He was also a delegate to the State Convention in 1870, and has frequently been a delegate to congressional conventions, etc. He is a member of the State Medical Association, and also of the Minor Medical Association. He cast his first presidential vote for Horace Greeley in 1872, and it is hardly necessary to add, after reading the sketch so far, that he is a Democrat in his political views. He is a Royal Arch Mason of Rolla Chapter, and like his ancestors on both sides, is a prominent and representative citizen. His first marriage occurred in February, 1876, to Miss Martha Frances Bradford, a native of Phelps County, Mo., and the daughter of John D. and Margaret A. (Lenox) Bradford, who were early settlers of Phelps County. Mrs. Lenox died in October, 1882, and September 29, 1884, the Doctor married Miss Elizabeth C. Cowen, daughter of Dr. Robert B. and Susannah B. (Lenox) Cowen, granddaughter of William B. Cowen, and great-granddaughter of William Cowen, who was from Scotland, and was a lawyer in Virginia. The grandfather of Mrs. Lenox was also a native of Virginia; was known as Col. Cowen, and was probably a soldier in one of the early wars. He was a wealthy Virginian, and died in Pulaski County, Mo. The father of Mrs. Lenox was born in Bedford County, Va., and came with his father when a boy to St. Louis, and afterward to Phelps County, where he spent the rest of his life. He died in 1869; was a practicing physician at Edgar Springs for fifteen years, and was a graduate of McDowell Medical College, St. Louis, Mo. His wife, and the mother of Mrs. Lenox, is still living, and is residing near Edgar Springs. Mrs. Lenox was educated at various schools in Dent and Phelps Counties, and at the Ursuline Convent of St. Louis. She is a refined and educated lady. Both wives were second cousins of Dr. Lenox. [Source: "History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps and Dent Counties, Missouri", Chicago: The Goodspeed Publishing Co. 1889;]
Abner H. Leonard
Abner H. Leonard, farmer and stock raiser of Spring Creek Township, was born in Iredell County, N.C., in 1827, and is the son of Robert and Cynthia (Johnson) Leonard. Robert Leonard was born in North Carolina in 1781, and the mother was born in the same State, but was about ten or twelve years younger than her husband. She was an orphan, and was Mr. Leonard's second wife. Mr. Leonard removed to Gilmore County, West Tenn., about 1833, and came to what is now Dent County, and settled on Spring Creek, near Salem, and was one of the first white settlers of the county. He improved a good farm, where he died January 5, 1857. He was fond of hunting, and spent much time in this pursuit when game was plenty. The nearest post-office was Steelville, and they did the principal part of their marketing at St. Louis, where they went with their ox teams, carrying with them hides, furs, beeswax, wheat, etc., which they exchanged for groceries, etc., enough to last the family a year. They were generally fourteen or fifteen days in making the trip. The next day after Mr. Leonard arrived in Dent County he started through the woods to borrow or buy some corn. There were no settlements near him, and to prevent getting lost he blazed the trees as he went along, so that he could follow them in getting back. Joseph S. Leonard, the great-grandfather of Abner H. Leonard, was a native of Ireland, but came to America prior to the Revolutionary War. His son William, who was the grandfather of Abner H., was living at Wilmington, N.C., during the Revolutionary War, and when Robert was but seven days of age the British captured the city, but the father being sick the family was not molested. He was a rope-maker by occupation. The mother of our subject died in 1844. Mr. Leonard was the father of eighteen children, nine by each wife. Abner H. Leonard was the fourth child born to the last marriage. He was reared in the wilds of Dent County, where there were no schools until he was nearly grown. He never attended school but a few months, and the principal part of his education was obtained by the light of the fireplace in the evenings at home. The woods at that time were full of bear, elk, wolves, panthers, wildcats, etc., and young Leonard spent a great deal of his time in hunting; was an unusually good shot, and many deer fell at the report of his gun. In 1850 he married Miss Mary Ann, daughter of John and Anna Stagner, who were natives of North Carolina, and who afterward moved to Kentucky, where Mrs. Leonard was born. About 1840 Mr. Stagner moved to Salem, and afterward spent a few years in Southwester Missouri, but later returned to Dent County, where both died, on Dry Fork, the mother about 1856 and the father about 1866. He was the first justice of the peace, and married the first couple in Spring Creek Township. Both were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. To Mr. Leonard and wife were born seven children, four now living: John W., William R., James F., and Eliza Ellen, wife of John A. Jones, living on her father's farm. The same year of his marriage Mr. Leonard settled on his present farm, which consists of 280 acres, with seventy-five under cultivation. He served about three years in the Federal Army, Company D, Thirty-second Missouri Volunteer Infantry, and operated in Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, under Sherman, and was in the first engagement at Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, and was in all the Georgia and Atlanta campaign to the sea. He was at the Grand Review at Washington, D.C. He was discharged at Louisville, Ky., July 18, 1865, and was never wounded nor captured during service. Politically he was formerly a Whig, his first presidential vote being for Gen. Taylor in 1848, but he is now a Republican. Mr. Leonard has spared no pains in educating his children, and is justly proud of his efforts in that direction. He and wife have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church since soon after the war, and three of the children are members of the same church. Mrs. Leonard has been almost blind for ten years.
Robert A. Leonard
Robert A. Leonard, a successful tiller of the soil and a prominent stock dealer of Norman Township, is the son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Walls) Leonard, and the grandson of Robert Leonard, who was one of the pioneers of Dent County, and whose history appears elsewhere in this volume. Joseph Leonard was a native of North Carolina, and came with his parents to what is now Dent County in 1833, where he married, and afterward settled near Salem, where he died in 1878, at the age of sixty-five. He was a carpenter, and built some of the first houses in Salem. He was justice of the peace for many years, and was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The mother was born in Tennessee, and came with her parents to Dent County when young. Her father afterward moved to Laclede County, where he died. She is still living, is about seventy-six years of age, and has been a member of the Methodist Church for many years. She is the mother of ten children, five sons and five daughters, Robert A. being the fourth. He was born in Spring Creek Township, Dent Co., Mo., in 1844, and received a good practical education in the common schools. At the age of eighteen he enlisted in Company E, Eleventh Missouri Cavalry, United States Army, and operated mostly in Arkansas and Mississippi. He was in the battle of Brown's Prairie, Ark.; was in many skirmishes, and served until the close of the war. He was mustered out at New Orleans, July 25, 1865. He then returned home, and November 4, 1868, he married Miss Mary McCaupin, a native of Tennessee, who came with her parents to Dent County when a child. Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Leonard, who lived in Texas Township until 1882, when they moved to their present farm on Dry Fork. Here they have 320 acres of land, with about 150 under cultivation, and Mr. Leonard has done a great deal in improving the stock of the county. He is a stanch Republican politically, casting his first presidential vote for Gen. U.S. Grant in 1868; is a member of the G.A.R., Agricultural Wheel, A.O.U.W., and he and wife have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church for a great many years. Mr. Leonard has spared no pains in educating his children and in the general upbuilding of the county.
Josiah Lewis, farmer of Franklin Township, Dent Co., Mo., was born in Maries County, Mo., in 1830, and is a son of John and Thankful (Short) Lewis, who were born in Tennessee and Kentucky, in 1780 and 1798, respectively. The father was of English descent, a farmer by occupation, and while yet single moved from his native State to Missouri, where he spent the remainder of his days, and later died. Ten of their twelve children grew to maturity, Josiah being the sixth of the family. He made the paternal house his home until his father's death, and in 1861 was married to Miss Mary Jane Bugg, who was born in Kentucky in 1840, and died in 1864, having borne one child that died in infancy. In 1862 he enlisted in Company B, Cavalry Brigade, Confederate States Army, serving until the close of the war, and being a participant in the battle of Iron Mountain. He has resided on his present farm of 200 acres since the close of the war, and has about fifty acres under cultivation. He is one of the worthy citizens of the county, and, owing to his many admirable traits, has many warm personal friends. He has always supported the principles of the Democratic party, and is one of the pioneer citizens of Dent County.
William Robert Love
Judge William Robert Love, president of the bank at Salem, and dealer in general merchandise at that place, is a native of Lincoln County, Tenn., born in 1823, and the son of Robert King and Margaret Catherine Love. Robert K. Love was born in Wilkes County, N.C., in 1790, and is the son of John Love, who was a native of Scotland. Robert Love immigrated to Tennessee when a young man, and was living in Lincoln County when married. In 1830 he moved to Washington County, Mo. (now Reynolds County), and here passed the remainder of his life engaged in farming. He died in 1843. His wife was born in Lincoln County, Tenn., in 1801, and died in 1838. She was the mother of six children, five of whom are still living: William R., John A., Dallason S., Elizabeth J. and Sarah A. William R. Love was reared and grew to manhood on a farm, and remained with his parents as long as they lived. In 1844 he married Miss Sarah P. Larimore, a native of Tennessee, born in 1825, and the daughter of James Larimore. Six children were the result of this union: Elizabeth, wife of B.M. Hodges; Dallason, who is in the store with his father; Andrew H., Mary, wife of Lucius Judson, attorney at law; William B. and Horace J. Mr. Love lived in Iron County until 1860, when he came to Dent County, and located two miles south of Salem. In the fall of 1862 he commenced merchandising in Salem, and about 1863 John W. Livesay became a partner. They did an immense business for upward of twelve years, having stores at Salem, Rolla and St. James at the same time, and during the year 1867 Mr. Love was a resident of Rolla. He was also in partnership with W.A. Young a few years in Salem. In November, 1883, the Bank of Salem was organized, and Mr. Love was elected president, which position he has held since its organization, he being the principal stockholder and prime mover in its organization. About 1875 he erected a large, three-story brick hotel, at a cost of $10,000, including the room in which he has his general store. Mr. Love is the owner of a large estate, and is perhaps the wealthiest citizen in the county. He is a man who has always led an active life, and has made a marked success financially. He commenced in life a poor boy, but by close application to business and economy he has accumulated a good property. In 1863 Mr. Love was appointed county treasurer of Dent County, was elected and served in all thirteen years. Later was county judge for three years, being presiding judge. Mr. Love is a member of the Masonic fraternity, has been a life-long Democrat in his political views, and Mrs. Love is a member of the Baptist Church.
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