Lafayette County Missouri
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Thomas Peter Akers
AKERS, Thomas Peter, a Representative from Missouri; born in Knox County, Ohio, October 4, 1828; attended school in Cleveland, Ohio; was graduated from an Ohio college; studied law; was admitted to the bar; taught school for a time in Kentucky; moved to Lexington, Mo., in 1853; professor of mathematics and moral philosophy in Masonic College, Lexington, Mo., in 1855 and 1856; pastor of the local Methodist Church; elected as a candidate of the American Party to the Thirty-fourth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John G. Miller and served from August 18, 1856, to March 3, 1857; was not a candidate for reelection to the Thirty-fifth Congress; moved to New York City in 1861 and became vice president of the gold board; owing to ill health moved to Utah, and shortly thereafter returned to Lexington, Lafayette County, Mo., where he died on April 3, 1877; interment in Machpelah Cemetery. (Source: Biographical Directory of the US Congress 1774-Present. Submitted by Linda Rodriguez)

Thomas Harper Cobbs
COBBS, Thomas Harper, lawyer; born, Napoleon, Lafayette Co., Mo., Aug. 26, 1868; son of Thomas T. and Catherine (Harper) Cobbs; B.S., Odessa College, Odessa, Mo., 1889; student Missouri Valley College, Marshall, Mo., 1890-92; A.B., Washington University, 1896; studied law in St. Louis Law School and later in Yale Law School, Yale University, graduating with degree of LL.B., 1897; married, Carrollton, ILL., Aug. 30, 1898, Lucie Mae Jones. Taught school at various times while receiving his education and earned money for expenses in college; superintendent schools, Roodhouse, ILL., 1892-95; admitted to Missouri bar, August, 1896; associated with law firm of Flower, Smith & Musgrave, Chicago, 1897-1901; in practice at St. Louis with John E. Bishop, as Bishop & Cobbs since 1901. Democrat. Presbyterian. Member American Bar Association, Missouri State Bar Association, St. Louis Bar Association, Sigma Nu college fraternity, Yale Alumni Association, Washington University Alumni Association. Mason (Tuscan Lodge); member Knights of Pythias. Club: Mercantile. Recreations: golf, fishing. Office: 1111-1115 Third National Bank Bldg. Residence: 6224 Waterman Ave. (Source: The Book of St. Louisans, Publ. 1912. Transcribed by Charlotte Slater)

James A. Gordon
COL. JAMES A. GORDON, one of the most able, energetic and prominent bank officials in Missouri, and familiarly known throughout the length and breadth of the State as Col. Gordon, is the President of the Farmers' Savings Bank of Marshall, and has been in the banking business in La Fayette and Saline Counties since 1870. Devoting himself unweariedly to the duties demanded of his responsible position, he yet finds time to engage in the religious, benevolent and local enterprises of Marshall, and to aid in the progress and advancement of all good work. Refined and courteous and of commanding presence, he exerts an influence in business, church and social circles, and possesses the esteem and confidence of the general public.  A native of Missouri, Col. Gordon was born in La Fayette County, near Lexington, August 26, 1841. James Gordon, his paternal grandfather, was a farmer of Scotch descent, who about 1830 came to Jefferson City, entered land and farmed a short distance from that flourishing town. The father of our subject, Judge William L. Gordon, was a native of Kentucky, born near Lexington. He studied medicine in Jefferson City under Dr. Bolton, and then attended lectures in Transylvania University, at Lexington, Ky. Graduating as M.D., he practiced successfully for a time in Cedar County, Mo., and then deciding to try other fields, extended his practice to Jackson and La Fayette Counties, and finally located in Jackson County. One mile east of Oak Grove, near the La Fayette County line, be had four hundred acres of land, which he improved.
In 1853 Judge Gordon removed to Holt County, and there owned and operated two farms until the war broke out, when he devoted himself to the practice of medicine, continuing in the same profession until his death in 1884. He was Presiding Judge of the Holt County Court for six years, and was well known all over the Missouri Valley as a man of uncommon character, firm in decision and wise in judgment. The mother of our subject, Sarah (Smith) Gordon, was a native of Tennessee, and came to La Fayette County, Mo., in a very early day, was married there, and died in 1847. She was the mother of three sons and one daughter, all living. By a second marriage Judge Gordon had eight children, all of whom still survive. James Gordon, the eldest member of this large family, was reared upon his father's farm, and went to the primitive schoolhouse, whose furnishings were of slabs rudely fashioned into desks and seats. After a time he attended the High School at St. Joseph, and later entered the University of Missouri at Columbia, where he spent two profitable years. In June, 1861, he returned home and taught school in La Fayette County.  In 1862 our subject enlisted as a volunteer in Shelby's Brigade, Gordon's Regiment, of the Confederate army, and two days after enlisting was under fire in the battle of Coon Creek. He was also engaged in numerous skirmishes, and the battles of Newtonia, Cane Hill, Poison Springs, Prairie Grove, Hartsville, Helena, Cape Girardeau, Chalk Bluffs, Marks' Mill and Saline River. He participated in Shelby's raid into Missouri, and in several battles and encounters not hero enumerated. He was in the thickest of the battle at Marshall, when eight hundred men, of whom only five hundred were armed, opposed eight or ten thousand, and fought desperately against fearful odds. At the battle of Clarendon, our subject's command captured the "Queen City" gunboat, and the next day, June 24, 1864, he was wounded on an open field, while, mounted upon a charger, he was fighting gallantly. The wound, caused by a pistol-shot, although fortunately not fatal, has caused much suffering in the right side, where the ball lodged and has never been removed.
After being wounded, Col. Gordon was carried to the field-hospital, and while there was caplured and held three days, when the enemy abandoned the sick and wounded soldiers and went away. Our subject remained in the hospital six weeks, and before he was really able to endure the fatigue rejoined his command at Batesville. Soon after he returned to La Fayette and Saline Counties on recruiting service, and with the reinforcements thus obtained joined Gen. Price's command at Waverly. In the early part of October he started upon the now famous raid, and was an active participant in the battles of Westport, Ft Scott, Little Blue, and the skirmishes of almost daily occurrence. Col. Gordon spent the winter of 1864-65 in Texas, and in June of 1865, at Shrcveport, surrendered with his command. Later he went to Plattsmouth, Neb. where he stayed until early in 1866, when he returned to La Fayette County and engaged in teaching until 1870. He was an instructor in Shelby College, and had charge of the school from 1866 until 1869, and then taught one year near Lexington.
In 1870 Col. Gordon assisted in the organization of the Farmers' Savings Bank at Waverly, of which he became Cashier, and which was incorporated with a capital of $50,000. In 1879 the bank's name and accounts were transferred to Marshall. George C. Fletcher was President of the bank from 1870 until 1883, when he died. He was succeeded by Nathan Corder, President two years, and after him John Haggin served as President until his death, when Col. Gordon was chosen for the office, June 1, 1889. The bank, which is a State institution, has a capital of $50,000 and a surplus of $60,000. In addition to the banking business, Col. Gordon superintends the management of his farm, which consists of three hundred and twenty acres of improved land, embellished with excellent buildings. This valuable piece of property is in Middleton Township, La Payette County. He also owns a three hundred acre farm, finely improved, at Grand Pass, this county. In 1891 he built the finest mansion in the city, on the corner of North and Elm Streets, and here he makes his home.
December 29, 1868, Col. Gordon was married in La Fayette County, southeast of Lexington, to Miss Margaret E. Catron, who was born in La Fayette County. Her father, John Catron, Sr., a native of Tennessee, came with his parents to La Fayette County and has become known as an extensive and prominent agriculturist. The mother of Mrs. Gordon, Mary (Fletcher) Catron, was born in Virginia in 1815, and when a child came with her father, James Fletcher, to La Fayette County. She is a member of the Christian Church, and a lady of intelligence and ability. Mrs. Gordon was one of eight children, and received an excellent education, graduating from the Christian College at Columbia, Mo. She is the mother of one child, Willie C.
Col. Gordon is a Knight Templar, and has taken high degrees in Masonry, being one of the most prominent members of the order in the State. He is a member and Trustee of the Christian Church, and active in the promotion of its interests. Mrs. Gordon is a leader in the Ladies' Society ,and does much to extend the influence of the organization. Our subject is a Democrat in political affiliations. In 1889 he was one of the organizers of the Saline County ex-Confederate Soldiers' Association, and has since been its President. He was an important factor in securing the connections of the Missouri Pacific Railroad in Marshall, and was mainly instrumental in locating the Missouri Valley College in this city. Devoting himself with untiring fidelity to the management of Business interests, he has scarcely allowed himself a vacation from his duties; however, in 1883 he took an extended trip to the Pacific Coast, and upon his return met with the cordial reception and hearty handclasp which eloquently expressed the high estimation if which the general public hold their popular and representative citizen, Col. James A. Gordon. (Source: Portrait and biographical record of Lafayette and Saline Counties, Missouri : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies and portraits of all the presidents of the United States. Chicago: Chapman Bros., 1893, (pages 117 – 119) Submitted by Lisa)

W. W. Graves
Judge W. W. Graves, the subject of this sketch, was born in Lafayette County, Mo., December 17, 1860; was educated in the public schools and State University. He was appointed School Commissioner of Bates County by Governor Marmaduke and was elected for a full term. The only other public office he has held was city attorney for the city of Butler. He was nominated for Circuit Judge by the Democratic convention in 1898, after a protracted struggle, and was triumphantly elected at the following election. Judge Graves has now been on the bench about one year, and he has established a reputation for judicial acumen and fairness, and is undoubtedly one of the ablest circuit judges in Missouri, as well as one of the youngest. He has had a phenomenal career at the bar since he abandoned the teacher's birch and the editorial tripod in a country village. Hard work and close application has earned for him deserved success in the profession, and a bright future is before him.  (Source: The Old Settlers' History of Bates County, Missouri, Publ. 1897. Submitted by Linda Rodriguez)

 

Dr. George William Harrison
 president of the Bank of Commerce of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a gentleman whose ancestry in the agnatic line is traced back to the primitive settlers of this country, his forefathers having emigrated hither from England and located for the most part in the Old Dominion. The two Harrisons, grandfather and grandson, who occupied the Presidential chair, belonged to a branch of this same family. It is not, however, on account of his distinguished and historic family connections that we accord Dr. Harrison biographical mention in this work, but because of his own prominent and influential position in the city of Albuquerque.

Dr. Harrison dates his birth in Lafayette county, Missouri, November 12, 1855. His father, William Hiram Harrison, was born in Virginia in 1824; and his mother, whose maiden name was Harriet Ann Davis, was a descendant of a North Carolina family. The Doctor is the youngest of their three children, two of whom are living. The mother died in 1857, and the father in 1871. His parents are earnest Christians and members of the Methodist Church, farmers by occupation; and occupying a place among the leading people of the community the Doctor's early training was of the best. His education was received in the public schools, the Washington University at St. Louis, the State University of Missouri, and the Missouri Medical College, of St. Louis. At the last named institution he graduated in 1878.

After completing his medical course, Dr. Harrison engaged in the practice of his profession at St. Louis, two years later removed to Mount Leonard, Missouri, and in 1880 came from there to New Mexico, locating at Las Vegas, where he made his home one year. His next move was to Bernalillo. Here he built a splendid residence and established a large and lucrative practice. In the meantime he became interested in real-estate transactions and banking, and in 1891 removed to Albuquerque, where he has since resided. In 1884 he became connected with the Medical Department of the Santa Fe Railroad, and, notwithstanding he is now retired from the general practice of medicine, he is still the consulting surgeon of the road. In 1894 he was made president of the regular Medical Society of New Mexico. He is interested in stock-raising to some extent. In 1890 he became one of the organizers of the Commercial Bank, a stockholder and director, and in 1891 was elected its president, which position he yet holds. He is a generous and public-spirited man, is heartily in sympathy with every movement which tends to advance the interests of the city, and is regarded as a most desirable acquisition to Albuquerque.

Dr. Harrison was married September 2, 1885, to Miss Guadalupe Perea, who was born in New Mexico of Spanish ancestry. Their happy married life was terminated by her death on the 20th of October, 1889. She left one son, Grover William. December 18, 1890, the Doctor wedded Miss Margarita Otero, a native of New Mexico and a daughter of M. S. Otero, one of Albuquerque's most prominent citizens. This union has been blessed in the birth of two children, George Mariano and Edmund Hiram. The Doctor and his family own and occupy one of the delightful homes of the city, located at the corner of Fifth street and Marquette avenue.

He affiliates with the Democratic party and is identified with the Masonic fraternity, having received the thirty-second degree in the Scottish rite.
Source: "An Illustrated History of New Mexico . . .;" The Lewis Publishing Company, 1895; transcribed by Genealogy Trails Transcription Team



J. B. McGrew
J. B. McGrew, of Dolores, the genial and accommodating host of the Southern Hotel, who is a native of Lexington, Missouri, born on October 25, 1864, is a pioneer of 1880 in Colorado, and the son of Calvin L. and Martha (Ward) McGrew, natives of Kentucky.  In 1873 the family moved to New Mexico and there followed the stock business until 1879.  They then moved their stock to Colorado, and in 1880 settled in La Plata county, where they continued the business until 1900, it being carried on under the supervision of the mother after the death of the father in 1895.  She is now living at Durango, this state.  There are three children in the family: Irving W., a resident of Maple Creek, Canada, and engaged in the stock business; J. B., the immediate subject of this review; and Christina B., the wife of John G. Huggins, proprietor of the Durango Telegraph.  Mr. McGrew sold his stock in 1900 and bought the Southern Hotel at Dolores, and this he has elevated to a high rank among houses of entertainment in the West, making it one of the best of its kind to be found in this section of the country.  He is well fitted by nature and experience for the exacting duties of boniface, and discharges them in a way that makes his house popular and retains the friendship of all who once become his guests. The hotel is up-to-date in its appointments and is conducted on a broad and modern style of enterprise that meets the requirements of the traveling public, and makes it a home for its permanent residents.  Nothing is wanting to its completeness for houses of its class, and no effort on the part of the host to make it satisfactory to its patrons is omitted.  Mr. McGrew is a prominent member of the Masonic order, belonging to the Durango Lodge, No. 46.  He was married in 1899 to Mrs. Emma Reed, a native of Illinois.  Their family consists of themselves and two children of Mrs. McGrew by her former marriage, her son John and her daughter Kate.  Aside from his business Mr. McGrew is held in the highest esteem as a public-spirited and broad minded citizen, and is a welcome addition to the best social circles.  (Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado, Publ 1905. Transcribed by Marilyn Clore)

George Osborn
George Osborn, a prominent citizen of Fayette County, Mo., located upon section 18, range 25, township 49, is the subject of whom we write. He is essentially a self-made man, one who is well and favorably known in the county, where he has made his home and has worked for the advancement of all public matters since 1865. The birth of our subject took place in Boone County, Mo., May 28, 1828. He was a son of John and Rachel (Lcmmon) Osborn, who were well-known natives of Scott County, Ky. The family trees upon both sides tell of Scotch and Irish ancestors, and among the early forefathers in this country can be found patriots off the Revolutionary War. In 1818 the father of our subject removed into Boone County, Mo., and when George was sixteen years of age, Mr. Osborn took the family to Davis County, where they remained until our subject had grown to man's estate. Although the advantages for obtaining an education in those days were very limited, our subject attended the best schools, and received as much instruction as was given any youth of the time and place, He was a great reader and has so continued, being a very well-informed man, just in his judgments and wise in administering the affairs entrusted to his charge. September 20, 1855, our subject was united in marriage with an estimable lady, Miss Susan O. Rose, a native of Fleming County, Ky., who was born March 2, 1839, a daughter of Charles and Martha A. (Norman) Rose, the former a native of Pennsylvania, and the latter of Kentucky. She was reared in Buchanan County, Mo., and resided there at the time she became the wife of Mr. Osborn. To this worthy couple twelve children have been born, and many of them have formed connections of their own, showing to the world the virtues they learned in the home circle. The names of the excellent family in whom our subject and wife have found reason to rejoice are as we give below: John F.; Charles E.; Luebell, the wife of L. D. Coupland; Sanford, deceased; Minnie R. L., the wife of Jasper Anson; Forest M., the wife of Richard Jennings; Ruth, the wife of Henry Lowrey; Ida A., the wife of Edward Jennings; George, Alvin K., Floyd and Susan. In 1865 our subject came with his family to this part of the grand old State of Missouri and located in La Fayette County, settling upon the present farm, and at this place the family has resided ever since. The farm consists of two hundred and forty acres of land under a good state of cultivation, with comfortable buildings. Mr. Osborn is a man of prominence in his locality, having served for four years as Justice of the Peace, fulfilling the duties of the office to the satisfaction of all. Politically he is a Democrat, believing that the principles of Democracy are the ones which will best carry the country through any crisis that may be in store for her. In the Missionary Baptist Church is a prominent member and active worker. His position in the district is one to be desired, as his friends and well-wishers are among the best in the neighborhood. (Source: Portrait and biographical record of Lafayette and Saline Counties, Missouri : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies and portraits of all the presidents of the United States. Chicago: Chapman Bros., 1893, (pages 120-121) Submitted by Lisa)


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