FAMILY- The Lair home was one of gracious hospitality and
its motto might have been, "Friends and family are our most precious
possessions." Earl and Bessie first met at Ridgeway high
School. They began their married life together in the spring of 1905
and moved to the family home four miles south of Ridgeway.
John Alfred Lilly- This particular branch of the Lilly family has a country home, which once visited is not soon forgotten, in Grant Township of Harrison County, on rural delivery route No. 2 out of Ridgeway. The name has been identified with this section since before the war. It has been associated with some of the most progressive features of farming enterprise, and as home-makers and people of intrinsic culture and upholders of morality and high ideals few families in Northwest Missouri have a better record.
John Alfred Lilly was born in Livingston County, Missouri, April 15, 1860, but has lived in Harrison County since 1861, and his present farm contains land that was entered by his grandfather as early as 1856. The family came to Missouri about 1850 and first located in Livingston County. Grandfather John Lilly had lived in several states before he came to Missouri. He was born in Maryland in 1796, was reared in Virginia, and when a young man moved to Park County, Indiana, where he married Rebecca Storms, moving later to Ross County, Ohio, and they subsequently, after the birth of some children, moved to Illinois, where she died in Hancock County. In that state he married for his second wife Rebecca Matthews, and in moving out to Missouri they came by wagon and team to Livingston County. The grandfather died in 1863, and his second wife died in Jamesport. The children of the first union were: Joseph M., who died in Livingston County; Elizabeth, who married John T. Carns and died in Jasper County, Missouri; Mary A., who married John Browning and died in Hancock County, Illinois; and John, who is sketched in the following paragraphs. The second wife became the mother of: Perry H., of Jamesport; Theophilus, who died as a Union soldier in the Civil war; Milton, who died in McDonald County near Indian Springs, Missouri; and Florence, who married Henry Lee and lives at Hutchinson, Kansas.
One of the venerable and highly esteemed old citizens of Harrison
County is John Lilly, son of the above John and father of John Alfred. He
was born December 14, 1833, in Ross County, Ohio, and has passed the age
of four score. Most of his youth was spent in Hancock County, Illinois,
where he attended country schools. In early life he became a farmer, and
followed it all through his vigorous career. He came to manhood in
Northwest Missouri, and in 1861 enlisted in the army at Bethany in Capt.
John A. Page's company of the Sixth Missouri, under Col. E. C. Catherwood.
His command saw service in Arkansas, Missouri, and Indian Territory, was
at Fort Smith when it was captured from the enemy, and was in the fight at
Newtonia, Arkansas. He was mustered out at the close of the war, and
escaped wounds and capture.
While he has spent the last nineteen years retired at Ridgeway, John
Lilly has achievements to his credit as a farmer such as few other men can
parallel. He had a knack of succeeding often where others failed, and came
to own and control 600 acres of land and at one time was the largest fruit
grower in Harrison County. He set out extensive orchards of apples, pears,
peaches, plums and cherries, and also derived revenues from stock raising.
His father before him had Whig affiliations, and his own support was given
regularly to the republican candidates, though in 1912 he followed many
other republicans to the support of the progressive leader, and has since
reconsidered the action and is now faithful to fundamental republican
John Lilly married Artemissa Westfall, who was born at Quincy,
Illinois, a daughter of Alfred Westfall. She died on the old Lilly
homestead in Harrison County October 21, 1892. Her children are: Angeline,
now the wife of Lycurgus Edwards of Howell County, Missouri, first married
Newton Beeson, who was the father of her children; Jane married Joel
Harrold, of Blythedale, Missouri; Elizabeth is the wife of Alfred C.
Sellers of Ridgeway.
For his second wife John Lilly married Alice Burwell, who is the mother of Vesper Ann, a teacher in Harrison County.
John Alfred Lilly grew up on the farm that he still owns, and his
education came from the neighboring district school. Among the pupils in
that school then was Theophilus Carns, later a prominent lawyer of Kansas
City, but most of them became farmers and several of them are still living
in Harrison County. Mr. Lilly was with his parents until of age, and the
day after his marriage in Ridgeway moved out to his present farm, with
which all the memories and associations of his mature life are identified.
The land, when first occupied by himself and Mrs. Lilly, was a piece of
wild prairie. It had never produced a crop under cultivation, and the
house they lived in for several years was a single room 14 by 15 feet.
During the eight years they called that home all their children but one
As a farmer Mr. Lilly has been both a grain and stock man. By purchase
and additions he now owns 460 acres in this community. Twenty-five acres
'are planted in all varieties of fruit, and in some respects that is the
most interesting feature of the farmstead. They have the much talked of
Himalaya berry, which in 1914 bore its first crop in this country. This
fruit resembles the blackberry, it grows on a trellis like a grape, is
perfectly hardy, and bears in clusters from June to October, the fruit
always coming through the leaves to the light. In spite of the extreme
drought of 1914 it surprised its owners by its prolific fruiting and
bearing. The family has made a specialty of flowers, annuals and
perennials, and their home is a bower of beauty and delight to those who
know the flowers, shrubs and trees which grow in profusion. The lawn is
shaded with maple, elm and box elder, while in the garden are found both
the chestnut and the white walnut, the latter a disappointment so far as
fruiting is concerned. One valuable item of their experience is that by
using salt in the treatment of pear trees every year, they bear better,
smoother and larger fruit, and with less blight on the tree trunk.
As a stock man Mr. Lilly has been breeding Herefords for fifteen years. He keeps up his register and is a member of the Hereford Association of the United States. "Old Defender" of the Comstock herd was the sire of much of his stock, and he has kept the blood of prize winners circulating through his own stock. The poultry yard of the Lilly homestead contains the Toulouse goose, the Hamburg chicken and also the pure Plymouth Rock and White Orpington, Pekin ducks, Pearl guineas, Bourbon red and slate turkeys. It is a fact that will interest many that the revenues from eggs and chickens average about four hundred dollars annually.
In his civic and social relations Mr. Lilly has been consistently a republican, though voting for Roosevelt in 1912. He declined the nomination for representative of his county in the Legislature, and for many years served on the school board. For twenty-two years he has been an elder in the Christian Church, and with the aid of his good wife has trained his children in the same faith. Their home has always been the home of the ministers and the orphan and no one is ever turned from their door who needs help.
Mr. and Mrs. Lilly began their united careers a little more than thirty
years ago, after their marriage in Ridgeway on November 25th.
Mrs. Lilly was formerly a public school teacher, and for many years
has been a deaconess in her church. She is also a graduate of the White
Cross School of Nursing at. Jamestown, New York.
Mrs. Lilly was born December 25, 1862, at LaFayette, Wisconsin, her
maiden name being Emma Burwell. Her parents were Jedediah and Lucinda
(Wilcox) Burwell. The former was born in Westmoreland County,
Pennsylvania, September 1, 1826, in 1859 went to LaFayette County,
Wisconsin, where he married, and ten years later moved to Missouri,
locating in Daviess County and in 1872 moving to Harrison County. A cooper
by trade, he followed farming in Missouri, and died January 25, 1891. His
first wife was a Miss Haver, and her children were: Sarah, who married
John Ethridge of Monroe, Wisconsin; Anna, wife of Edmond Opdyke of
Ridgeway; Henry C. of Reynolds, Nebraska; Ella, who married J. T. Travis,
of Bethany; James H., of Loup City, Nebraska. Lucinda Wilcox, the second
wife, was born in September, 1832, in Pittston, Pennsylvania, and died at
the home of Mr. and Mrs. Lilly December 22, 1912. By her marriage to Mr.
Burwell she had the following children: John, who died in infancy; Mrs.
Lilly; Aaron G., of Lane, Kansas; Melissa, wife of George Jones, of May,
Oklahoma; Ira B., of Civil Bend, Missouri; Lewis, who died in infancy; and
Charles H., of Shattuck, Oklahoma; also an infant son who died at birth.
The children of Mr. and Mrs. Lilly are: John Ralph, a farmer near the
old home, married Ida Reeder and their children are Clarence Leroy and
Ernest Raymond; Nellie is the wife of Charles M. Reeder of Ridgeway, a
Baptist minister, and their children are Esther Charlotte, Esta Claire and
Charles Washington; Charles Burwell married Lelie Henry, lives on the home
farm; and Jeanne and Joseph Westfall are also at home. The daughter, Mrs.
Reeder, was educated in the Bethany High School and was a teacher in the
public schools until her marriage. Miss Jeanne finished the four-year
course in the Ridgeway High School at the age of fifteen, and stood second
in a class of ten, later attended the Warrensburg Normal, and for three
years has held a first grade certificate and is now working rapidly to the
goal of obtaining a life certificate in Missouri. The two sons, Charles
and Joseph, both quit school after the course in the Ridgeway high, and
all the sons are enterprising young farmers.
[Source: A history of northwest Missouri, Volume 3; Edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1915; Pgs. 1580-1631; Transcribed and submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack]
WILLIAM ADOLPH LITTLE AND
CLELLA A. (SWEETEN) LITTLE
William Adolph was a veteran of WW I.
Clella A. Sweeten, daughter of
Clella was born one and one half miles north of Eagleville,
9/11/1899. She is one of four children:
"Dolph" and Clella purchased their present farm home, one mile south of
Eagleville, in 1933 about the time the US DA. Soil Conservation Station
was established in Harrison Co., Mo They were among first farmers to
contract for conservation work on their farm. Mrs. Little was one of the
pioneering workers who solicited memberships to get electric service for
the farms in 1938. The Littles pioneered in electric heat for the home;
theirs being the first electrically heated rural home in Harrison Co.
Clella taught in rural schools 18 years. She was Educational assistant
to Harrison Co. Agricultural Conservation Committee three years. The
Littles have been breeders of Purebred Shorthorn cattle 52 yrs. "Dolph" is
a 50 year Mason. He and Clella are charter members of O. E S. Eagleville.
The Littles are members of Christian Church at Eagleville Their
grandparents were among the early settlers of Harrison Co.
Clella's maternal grandparents: Dr. John D. Enloe Sr.. b 4/13/1817. N.
C. d. 12/27/1878. at Cainsville, one of Harrison County's early doctors He
was a charter member of Cainsville Lodge No. 328. A F & A.M.,
organized 1868. Grandmother Permelia (Durbin) Enloe, b. 4/1/1834, d.
4/1/1894 at Eagleville.