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Reynolds County, Missouri
Genealogy and History

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Biographies
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George H. Burckhart
George H. Burckhart, Huntsville (Democrat) —Born in Randolph county, Missouri, September 11, 1823; reared to agricultural pursuits; attended the common schools ; taught school for two years ; admitted to the bar in 1843; elected judge of the second judicial circuit in 1864; appointed by Governor Fletcher in 1865, and re-elected in 1868,1872-76-80-86. Married.
["Roster of State, District and County Officers of the State of Missouri" By Missouri Office of the Secretary of State, 1888] submitted by K.T.



Tolman White Cotton, M. D.
Active in the practice of medicine at Van Buren in Carter County, Missouri, for over sixty-two years an a leader in many phases of community life for more than a half century, Dr. Tolman White Cotton was awarded many honors, local and state. Dr. Cotton was a member of the Missouri State Board of Health, County health officer, and served as president of the Missouri Health Association.
Born on a farm in Reynolds County Missouri, on August 12, 1868, he was the son of Smith W. and Mary Ann (Barnes) Cotton, his father a farmer and both parents descendant of pioneer families in this section of Missouri. The family name was originally Whitecotton but was changed to Cotton with the first part, White, being retained as a middle name. The family settled in Reynolds County after a trip from Tennessee in 1830. The boyhood years of Tolman W. Cotton were spent on his father’s farm, where he did chores as a growing lad and combined work in the fields with schoolroom duties. His elementary schooling was secured in a rural school of this area and after graduation from the curriculum of that time he taught in other schools to help pay for his medical training. He alternated college attendance with teaching duties, was a student at Farmington College, read medicine under a preceptor, attended Beaumont Medical College, now St. Louis University and Barnes Medical College in St. Louis. Dr. Cotton was awarded a Doctor of Medicine Degree from both of these institutions and began to practice in 1892, although he did not graduate until 1893. He constantly added to his medical knowledge by attending polyclinics in Chicago, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia. Dr. Cotton did graduate work in New York Cit and in the hospital and clinics of London, England.
Van Buren, in Carter County, MO was chosen as the site of his office, and he began on of the longest continuous periods of practice in recent medical history. He conducted a general medical and surgical practice that was county-wide in scope and built up over the years. Dr. Cotton most of the time as diagnostician, physician, and many times when necessary as surgeon. He was a country doctor and a family doctor, a species rapidly disappearing in the medical profession. He called on patients over long distances and in all sorts of weather, first, with a horse and buggy and later in automobile. Many families in the area are grateful for his devotion to medicine, and his skill and understanding, his battles against disease and injuries in their behalf, and two generations, some families knew no other physician. He was active to the very end of his life, meeting death at the age of eight-seven while on a call to a very ill patient, on February 6, 1955.
A property owner and banker in Van Buren, he was one of the reorganizers, and for many years president of the Carter County State Bank. He helped organize, and served as president of the Carter-Shannon County Medical Society. Another honor was being elected president of the Missouri State Medical Association. It was in 1902 that he took the position of County health officer, and he held for approximately half a century. Dr. Cotton was appointed by Governor Frederick D. Gardner to the State Board of Health and he served from 1917 to 1921. From 1941 to 1945 he served by appointment of Forrest C. Donnell, the board of managers of the State Eleemosynary Institutions. Always interested in politics in the local and state government, he was for some time chairman of the Democrat Central Committee of Carter County. His long career included service in the two great wars of our century on the home front, first, as a member of the advisory board in World War I, and later as chairman of the Council of Defense of Carter County in the second world conflict. He served for years as president of the Red Cross in Carter County. Dr. Cotton held the highest positions in Masonry, a past master of Van Buren lodge of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, a member of St. Louis Chapter No. 8 of Royal Arch Masons, of Cape Girardeau Council of Royal and Select Masons, of Knights Templar Commander of Mountain and the Scottish Right bodies. He held the honory Thirty-third Degree in recognition of his service to the order and was at one time Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Missouri, 1914-1915, by virtue of which office he laid the cornerstone of the State Capitol. He was also Grand Patron of the Grand Chapter of the order of Eastern Star in Missouri. His Church was the Methodist Episcopal in Van Buren and he was long identified with the work of Church and Sunday School.
Mrs. Cotton was the former June Lee, daughter of the late Senator George T. Lee, a successful merchant of Van Buren, Civic leader, and for sixteen years a member of the Missouri Legislature, the last four years as senator of Carter County. Dr. Cotton’s wife was a member of the Order of Eastern Star, helped establish the Carter County Library, was an organizer and president of the Queen Ann Study Club, Donor of the club house which was used later for a Red Cross Center during World War II, and a leader in valuable civic projects. For many years she was active in the Methodist Church and Sunday School. Mrs. Cotton passed away on December 6, 1941.
Dr. and Mrs. Cotton were the parents of three children: Gladys Pauline, the eldest, died of an illness just when she was completing her college education in Springfield, Missouri, George Stanley Cotton attended Wentworth Military Academy, the Terrell Military College in Texas and State Teachers College in Springfield, Missouri. He married the former Francis Sullinger and was in the insurance business for a time, but became cashier of the Carter County State Bank and served for years in that capacity, assuming the presidency after his father’s death and holding that office until his own death on August 10, 1962. Thelma Cotton Buckthorpe attended the University of Missouri and Baker University in Baldwin, Kansas where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She graduated in medicine at Washington University of St. Louis, was awarded a degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1930 and served internship at the University of Oklahoma Hospital in Oklahoma City. Miss Cotton practiced medicine in Van Buren with her father for some time but after her marriage to Dr. T. C. Buckthorpe, local dentist, she went with him to military assignments. Dr. Buckthorpe earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree at Washington University and was a first lieutenant, and later, captain in the Army Dental Corps at Fort Bliss, Texas. For a few months Thelma was a housewife but in March, 1944, she accepted a post with Dr. Mildred Murray in El Paso, where she was active until November 1945, when her husband’s illness forced him to go to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. He died there on March 6, 1946, after which his wife returned to Van Buren. In August of that year she was appointed health officer of Pulaski County and lived at Waynesville until 1951, at which time she went to Jefferson City for a three month orientation program in health work. She was then appointed health officer of Scott and Mississippi Counties, but conditions in the later forced her from office and she has since continued her duties to Scott County. Mrs. Buckthorpe and her late husband were parents of one son Tom Cotton Buckthorpe, born in St. Louis on May 1, 1932. He was a student in local schools and spent one year at Central Methodist College in Fayette, Missouri. He went to work as a draftsman for the Westinghouse Electric Company in St. Louis and later took a similar position with American Filter Corporation. Mr. Buckthorpe is father of seven children: Thomas Charles, Martha Jane, Litha Ann, Amy Lou, June Lee, Richard Ervin, and George Cotton. Tom Cotton Buckthorpe is currently employed by the engineering department of Monsanta Chemical Company.
[Reminiscent History of Ozark Region F 551, R284 pg. 56 - Sub. by Linda Pingleton]


Henry A. Newman
Henry A. Newman, Huntsville, Randolph county (Democrat).--Born in 1837 in Augusta county, Virginia; educated in common schools; moved with his father at early age to Knoxville, Tenn.; learned trade of bricklayer and alternated between that and farming ; moved to Missouri in 1856, locating in Randolph county; entered Confederate army as a private at commencement of war and soon rose to captain and staff officer for Gen. Stovall; transferred to staff of Gen. O. H. Hill; elected to Twenty- seventh General Assembly; assistant secretary of State Senate in 1883; appointed Commissioner of Bureau of Labor Statistics for two years in 1883; special agent National Labor Bureau, 1885; elected without opposition to Thirty-fourth General Assembly in 1886 ; farmer. Married.
["Roster of State, District and County Officers of the State of Missouri" By Missouri Office of the Secretary of State, 1888] submitted by K.T.]


Bailey Smith
Bailey Smith, one of the early pioneers of Reynolds County, Missouri, owes his nativity to Tennessee, his birth occurring in Scott County on November 19, 1841. His parents, John and Nancy (Cotton) Smith, were born in that county. His grandfather, Isaac Smith died in that state.
John Smith and his brother Barton came to Reynolds County at an early date, about 1844, and for one year followed farming on Webb Creek. After that John came to Kelley’s Creek and bought the land where his son Isaac Smith is now living. He opened up this farm and by industry and perseverance became the owner of a good farm. He made the trip from Tennessee with ox team a came with quite a company of emigrants, the Cottons, Chitwoods, and others, all of whom settled in this county. Part of the time Mr. Smith sold goods, and he was also a large dealer in stock, continuing the business until his death in 1868. Politically, he was a Democrat, but he took no part in the Civil War. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and one of the most prominent men of the county.
His wife was a daughter of Aaron Cotton, a pioneer and a well known man of the county. She was born in Tennessee, and was there married to Mr. Smith whom she accompanied to Missouri in 1844. Her death occurred in this county in 1882. Ten children were the fruits of this union, six sons an four daughters, as follows: Bailey, subject: Elvira, now deceased, was the wife of A. Barnes; Daniel C., a farmer in Reynolds County; Isaac, a farmer in Kelley Valley; Calvin E. a farmer in Kelley; Franklin, a farmer in Texas; Vetile, who died when thirty years of age, was a man of family; Matilda died when small; Nancy A., wife of Edward Wilkins of Carter County; and one died young. The mother was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Our subject was but three years old when brought by his parents to Missouri, all his recollections are of this state. He attended schools of Kelley Valley, and was taught the duties of farm life at an early age. In 1862, he started out to struggle with the stern realities of life for himself, and his first move was to enlist in the Confederate Army, Company C. He served three years under Marmaduke, and was in a number of battles and skirmishes. He was taken prisoner and held three months at Pilot Knob.
After the war he returned to this valley and began his career as a farmer. In 1863 he married Miss Juline L. Reed, a native of Shannon County, MO and the daughter of Dr. Thomas and Mary (Chilton) Reed, who moved to Shannon County at an early day. There Dr. Reed died in 1861 and his wife soon after. Almost immediately after marriage our subject moved to the valley where he now lives and began farming, which occupation he has continued since. He has a tract of 200 acres and as a famer and stock man has met with good success. In politics he is a Democrat and he and his wife hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church. At one time Mr. Smith was Justice of the Peace in Logan Township. Three children have been born to his marriage; Zemri, a young man studying law; Malinda J., wife of J. Wood, a farmer; and Mary, who died when five years old.
["History of Southeast MO" – Douglass, (Goodspeed) indexed by Linda Pingleton ]


Thomas J. Sweazea
Thomas J. Sweazea, of St. Louis, was born on his father's farm in Reynolds county, Missouri, October 14, 187T). He is a grandson of William Sweazea, a native of Tennessee, who removed to Missouri in 1808, becoming one of the pioneer settlers of the state. He located near the Black river, where he entered and purchased a large and fertile tract of land, which he tilled and developed and on which he made his home until his death in 1850. His son, William Sweazea, born in Missouri in 1832, was reared in Wayne county, where he started in the business world as a farmer, cultivating first a small tract of land on the Black river. In 1866 he removed to Reynolds county, where he purchased other land and thereon spent his remaining days in the cultivation and improvement of his farm, which he developed into a valuable and productive property that was devoted to the raising of grain and live stock. Thereon he died in 1901 and in his death the community lost one of its substantial and highly respected citizens. He married Amanda Mann, of Reynolds county, who was born in 183$, a daughter of George Mann, a native of South Carolina, who in early life removed westward, establishing his home in the Black river district of Missouri. His daughter, Mrs. Sweazea, passed away in 1880, at the age of forty-eight years. Both Mr. and Mrs. William Sweazea were devout and consistent members of the Baptist church and in' that faith they reared their family. They were parents of the following named: William A., a resident of Wayne county; Sophronia, the wife of Robert Benson, of Alabama; and Margaret, the wife of M. L. Sanders, of Leeper, Missouri.
The other member of the family is Thomas J. Sweazea, whose name introduces this review. He lived upon his father's farm in his boyhood days and attended the public schools until he reached the age of twenty, when he entered Carleton College at Farmington, Missouri, there remaining as a student until 1893. He then took up the profession of teaching, which he followed successfully, imparting readily and clearly to others the knowledge that he had acquired. In 1896 he was elected county commissioner for a term of two years and in 1902 was elected county clerk of Reynolds county by a large majority in which position he served one term. Still higher political honors awaited him, for in 1907 he was chosen by popular suffrage as representative of Reynolds county in the forty-fourth general assembly, and his wise counsel on legislative and public matters is still a matter of comment. He carefully considered all the vital questions which came up for settlement and lent the weight of his aid and influence to further progressive legislation. At the close of his service as a member of the assembly he removed to Salem and studied law until admitted to the bar in 1909. He then removed to Piedmont, where he opened a law office and entered upon active practice. While there residing he filled the position of secretary and member of the Piedmont school board and rendered valuable service in developing and improving the school system of that place. He is still the owner of land in the vicinity of Piedmont.
On the 6th of June, 1896, Mr. Sweazea was married to Miss Ella Malloy, a daughter of John and Mary (Warren) Malloy, of Wayne county. Their children are: Doyle J., who is employed by the Frisco Railroad Company; Pearl, who was graduated from the Central high school in 1918 and who is now taking private vocal lessons; Ava, who was graduated from the McKinley high school in January, 1920, and from the Perry School of Oratory in June, 1920, and is now a student in the art department of Washington University; and Opal T., who is a student in the McKinley high school and is also studying music. The religious faith of the family is that of the Baptist church and in political belief Mr. Sweazea is a democrat. He is a representative of pioneer families in both the paternal and maternal lines— families long connected with the development of the state. He came to St. Louis in April, 1912, and since that time has been engaged in the practice of law and in the real estate business. He has made for himself a creditable position in both business and professional circles.
[Source: "Centennial History of Missouri, One Hundred Years in the Union, 1820-1921", Vol. V, Published 1921]






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