Biographical Sketches Of Some Of Springfield's Pioneers.
Realizing how difficult it is to write an acceptable chapter on the subject mentioned in the caption of this, we enter upon the task with a sincere desire to give an impartial view of the little town and its inhabitants, in the first stages of its existence, before its population became too large to admit of a special mention of each family.
In the Springfield Patriot for the year 1867, we find a series of articles from the pen of Col. Wm. E. Gilmore, under the caption, "Notes of the Early Days of Springfield," commencing with the sentence: "We wish, and will make the endeavor, to collect and preserve in the files of the Patriot, such historical facts, statistics, anecdotes, and incidents of Springfield and Southwest Missouri, as may be accessible to us; in the hope that such notes may be found interesting to our readers now, and possibley of value hereafter to local historians."
Thanking the writer for the consideration expressed in the last paragraph, we shall draw upon these articles to some extent for the matter for this chapter. Speaking of John P. Campbell, he says:
"Campbell, the founder of Springfield, was much the most marked character among these earliest settlers. He was a man of unbounded physical energy, and scoured the West on horse-back—in his trading trips, far and near, in every direction—extending these rides even to El Paso on the Rio Grande. He was sharp as the traditional Yankee in a trade, but wihal hospitable and obliging. He and his accomplished wife—who seems to have been beloved and respected by all who knew her—took great pains to assist all newly-arrived immigrants to this country. If he afterward found his profit in his kindness, that was all right. He was not a highly educated man, but had a large share of common sense, and is represented as being very decided in his likes and dislikes.
"When at one time his attention was strongly drawn to religious matters he concluded to 'join the church,' but he refused to go to heaven with Parson Joel Haden, to whose 'Christian' congregation Mrs. Campbell belonged, on account of some old grudge he owed Father H., so he was baptized by a Methodist minister and connected himself with that denomination.
"Mr. Campbell was a Democrat in politics, and was for some time an aspirant for Congress. He came very near reaching this object of his ambition, being at one time elected, as he supposed, in the year 1842. But at that time Missouri elected her Representatives on a general ticket--i. e., citizens voted for the whole number to be elected for the entire State, on one ticket. It was supposed that the State would be entitled to seven Representatives in the 27th Congress, and they voted for seven, but numbered the candidates in the nominating conventions, so that in the event that a less number only should be received from the State, the highest numbers should be rejected. Mr. Campbell was No. 7, and Gov. William Gilpin No. 6, and as the apportionment act which passed imniediately afterward, allowed only five Representatives from the State, both Campbell and Gilpin were 'left out in the cold.'"
We also quote the following from the same writer: "Another promment citizen of the early days was Charles S. Yancey, who was born in Kentucky, and when a very young man emigrated to Franklin county in this State, and after a brief residence there, came to this place in 1833. Not long after his arrival here, he was admitted to the bar, and soon by his urbanity and geniality, won his way to general popularity and favor. We cannot say he was a profound lawyer; several of his contemporaries at the bar here being superior to him in legal eruditon and force. But he was one of the most sensitive, kind-hearted and polite men, and consequently had a host of personal friends, and very few personal enemies, at any period of his life.
"It is one of the curious commentaries on the vicissitudes of fronther life, that he, among the most unwilling of all men to do a personal injury to any one, should be compelled to take the life of a fellow man, which he did in self-defense.
"Mr. Yancey practiced his profession quietly and successfully until 1836, when he was appointed One of the Judges of the County Court. About that time a difficulty had grown up between Mr. Campbell and a man by the name of John Roberts. Both were determined and dangerous men when their anger was aroused; more especially Roberts, when drinking, which he did sometimes to excess. When in this condition he scarcely made andy distinction between friend and foe, although, when sober, he was a man of many good qualithes and much respected.
"Chesley Cannefax, then Sheriff, arrested Roberts upon a charge of some 'breach of the peace,' and brought him before the County court. When in court, high words passed between Roberts and Campbell, and to Judge Yancey's order of "Silence!' Roberts replied that he would say what he pleased, either before that Court or the court of Heaven or Hell. For this he ws fined $20, and the assessment of this fine gave Roberts the grudge against Yancey, which led to the fatal catastrophe. Roberts paid the fine, but with many threats; and whenever under the influence of liquor he lost no opportunity of insulting the Judge, who for a long time endeavored to avoid a collision, by paying no attention to his remarks.
"Thus matters went on for about a year, when one day, Roberts met Yancey on the Public Square, in company with Littleberry Hendrick, who had persuaded Yancey to go home in order to avoid a collision with Roberts, who was known to be in town and making threats against him, and arfter some insulting language, Roberts put his hand in his bosom, as if for his knife, (which he had used on more than one occasion in personal difficulties), when Yancey drew a pistol and fired. He then drew the second pistol, and was in the act of firing again, when Hendrick knocked the weapon upward and the ball passed into the air. Roberts exclaimed, 'Don't shoot again—I am a dead man now,' and fell.
"The Circuit Court was, at the time, in session, Judge Foster P. Wright being then on the bench, and Mr. Yancey at once surrendered himself to the authorithes, was tried and acquitted of criminality.
"So ended this, one of the singular, painful and fatal altercations which have happened here, and we doubt not that however deeply the death of Roberts grieved his relatives and friends, the grief of none of them was deeper or more lasting than that of the man who slew him.
"Mr. Yancey was chosen, in 1838, as Colonel of the militia of this district, and afterwards as Major General of the same.This was an important and dignified office in the eyes of the people then, before war had familiarized us all with military dignitaries and military operations of a more serious character than the old time `muster.' " In 1841 he was appointed Judge of the 13th Judicial Circuit, of which Greene county then formed a part. He was reappointed in 1847, and the office afterward becoming elective, he was chosen by the people for the same position, in 1851, and again in 1857, thus holding this high and responsible position for sixteen consecutive years, and up to his edeath, which occurred in 1857. We close these recollections of this locally promment and excellent man, by stating that he was an active and zealous member of the Masonic fraternity and died a Royal Arch Mason."
Littleberry Hendrick, mentioned in the preceding sketch was another promment character among these pioneers. He came to this place about the same time as Mr. Yancey, and immediately engaged in the practice of law, which he continued the greater part of his life.
In 1861-62, Mr. Hendrick was a member of the Convention which was called at St. Louis and Jefferson City, to discuss the relations of the State of Missouri to the Union, and to consider the subject of secession, which Mr. H., in common with the majority of that convention, strongly opposed.
About this time he was also appinted Judge of the 14th Circuit, which office he held until his death which occurred on the 9th of January, 1863, and was probably caused indirectly by the excitement incident to Marmaduke's raid, which occurred the day before, and which was said to have resulted in the death of several old persons whose hold upon life had become weakened by sickness and the alarms of war.
His wife died soon after. His oldest son, Leonidas, who is also dead, was for six years Judge of the 13th Circuit. William, the second son, is a merchant at Mt. Vernon, and Edward, the youngest, is a dentist and surgeon at the same place.
John Edwards came to Springfield in the same year, and remained until his death in 1851. Mr. Edwards was the first man to open a bakery in the little town. Of his family, the only representative remaining is his son, Wm. B., living on a farm five miles south of town. Col. Gilmore thus mentions Mr. Edwards:
"Of John Edwards we have been able to learn but little. One anecdote told of him by an old citizen, will do to repeat:
"Mr. E. made relentless war on the pole-cats, or skunks, which then abounded here; and rarely missed a shot at one, even in the darkest night. He used to say he aimed by smell, 'jist as Christians walk by faith, 'thout seein' at all."
In 1833, John Bunch and his son Samuel H., came with a number of slaves from East Tennesseee, and selected sites for homes, upon which they erected cabins, and returned for their families, who did not arrive until the following year. John Bunch settled within the present limits of Polk county, where he remained ujntil his death. Samuel made a settlement on a place about ten miles northwest of Springfield, on the place now owned by Mr. Wadlow, on Grand Prairie. Mr. Bunch remeined inGreene county the most of the time till the death of his wife, which occurred in April, 18476, after which he returned to Tennessee with the younger members of his faimily, where he still lives.
R.J. McElhany, who came to Springfield with this family, afterward married Miss Cordelia Bunch, a sister of Samuel. Mrs. Latham of Greenfield, and Mrs. McBroom of Polk county, are also sisters, while Mrs. Orlena Coleman, of this city, is a daughter of Samuel Bunch. His son Rufus is now in Oregon, Janagin in Florida, and Robert in Tennessee. He has also two daughters, Margaret and Louisa, both married and living in Tennessee.
Although Mr. McElhany is mentioned as having come here in 1834, with Mr. Bunch's family, one member of which seems to have possessed special attraction for him, he did not come to remain permanently in Springfield until the following year, 1835. He has ever since remained here with the exception of about two years after the battle of Wilson Creek, during which time he was engaged in business at Rolla, which he considered a safer place during those exciting times, when Springfield was alternatcly occupied by the contending armies. Mr. M. has developed a shrewd business tact, by which he has risen from small means with which he came here, to be considered one of the "solid men" of the city.
We are informed by Mrs. McLaughlin, who lives on South Campbell street, that her father, James Coin, first came to Springfield when it contained but three houses. He did not remain in town, but settled on a farm ten miles south, at the old "Spout Spring," where he still lives. Mr. C. is of Cherokee descent, and several of his family are in the Indian Territory.
Joseph Burden, who was long a promment citizen of Greene county. was born on the Cumberland river in Tennessee, in 1796. He married a lady in Georgia and removed to this county in 1833, settling on the farm , which John Fulbright had opened up, where Berry Hospital was afterward erected, just east of town. In 1841, he built a house on Boonville street, just north of the square, where he kept a boarding house for about twelve years, after which he built the house now owned by Mr. Matlock, in the north part of town. In 1856 he bought the place where the Public School building now stands, at the corner of Jefferson and Olive streets. This was known as the "Campbell Reserve," it having been reserved by Mr. Campbell, for himself, in the original laying out of the town. In this house Mr.. Burden died, in January, 1867. During his long life he had held various local offices, and was regarded by his fellow-citizens of all classes with much respect. Mrs. Burden died in 1873, leaving a family of five children—three sons and two daughters.The oldest daughter is the wife of P.H. Fdwards, formerly Judge of this Circuit, and now presiding over the Probate Court of Newton county. The second daughter was first married to R. A. Plumb, with whom whe lived in this ctiy until his death, in 1860, after which she was married to Judge J. H. Shaw, and and now lives on Kickapoo prairie, about two miles south of town. Two sons, W. G. and A. J. Burden, lived for a number of years at Carthage, in this State, from which place they went South at the breaking out of the war, and have since lived in Texas. The other son, W. H. Burden, still lives in this city, where he has always been actively engaged in business.
In the year 1834, Martin Ingram, the father of A. F. Ingram, the present County Treasurer of Greene county, came from Wilson County, Tennessee, and went into business with his brother Sidney. After a sojourn of one year in town, he bought out the improvement made two or three years previous by Jeremiah Roland, six miles east of town, where he still lives. Form the Historical Atlas of Greene county, we gather the following items:
"Martin Ingram, one of the oldest settlers of East Campbell township, was born in Caswell county, North Cartolina, on the 29th of August, 1803. His grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and his father was born in 1776. On the 13th of November, 1827, Mr. Ingram was married to Miss Annie A. Howard, the daughter of Francis Howard." They have therefore been living together over half a century, and of this family this remarkable statement may be made: "Of a family of eight children, all have grown to maturity, and not a death has occurred, and of twenty-nine grandchildren, twenty-seven are still living."
S. Waddill, who is well known to most of our readers, was born in East Tennessee, March 18th, 1805. In 1835, he emigrated to Southwest Missouri, and first purchased the Wilson farm, at the mouth of the creek of the same name. In 1836, after remaining upon the farm about a year, he removed to Springfield. Two years later he was admitted to the bar, and has ever since been engaged in the practice of law. In this and adjacent circuits. He has probably done more riding than any other attorney in the State; and still, in his seventy-third year, he thinks nothing of saddling his horse and riding out to Hartville, Ava., Ozark, or even to West Plains, to attend Court.
In December, 1861, he was appointed by Governor Gamble to preside over theEighteenth Judicial Circuit, which position he held until his resignation in 1862. In 1863 he was again appointed, by the same authority, as Judge of The Fourteenth Circuit, which then included this county. At the conclusion of the term for which he was appointed, he was elected to the same office, but was afterwards removed by the conditions of the Drake constitution.
In 1867, he received the appoointment of Register in the U. S. Land Office, and retained the position until the commencement of President Grant's administration. The Judge was married, in 1833, to Miss Sarah Kellogg, and he and his estimable lady still live in the north part of the city on the old homestead which they have occupied nearly forty years. Their five children, all of whom occupy honorable places in society, are well known in Springfield, and need no commendation from a stranger.
Dr. T. J. Bailey, who was one of the most highly respected of the early settlers of this place, came to Springfield in 1837, when it was but a mere hamlet, and for several years enjoyed the largest practice of any physician in Southwest Missouri. He was from Monroe county of this State, having previously emigrated form Lincolon county, Kentucky. Mr. Bailey was considered, up to the time of the war, one of the wealthiest men in the county, and he possessed the happy faculty of being content. He was the owner of eight slaves at the time of the emancipation proclamation, and at the time of his death he left $4000 to be divided among them. Being a staunch Union man during the war, he retained his patriotism through life, and bequeathed $5000 for the erection of an appropriate monument, which was soon afterward erected in the National Cemetery.
His widow survived him until 1875, when, after a long and useful life, she passed over the river. In her will she left a provision for a donation of $5000 to aid in the erection of a new Baptist church in this city, and $21,000 for the erection of a female seminary, to be under the control of the trustees of said church; but, owing to a neglect on the part of the church to comply with the conditons of the will, neither of the institutions has been erected, and the funds naturally revert back to the estate, a large part of which falls to the wife of Dr. E. T. Robberson, who is a niece of the deceased.
Wm. C. Price, who is a native of the "Old Dominion", was born on "All Fool's Day," in the year 1816. Twenty-one years, later he emigrated to the "Far West," and pitched his tent in the vicinity of Springfield. About the year 1840, he was adjutant of a regiment of militia, under the old military system, and, in 1844, was admitted to the bar, since which he has been engaged, the most of the time, in the practice of law. About the year 1842, he was Presiding Justice of the County Court, ;and in 1847 was elected as the first Probate Judge of Greene county, the probate business having been done by the County Court up to that time. In 1854 he was elected State Senator, and in 1857 received from Gov. Polk the appointment of Circuit Judge. Two years later he was appointed Swamp Land commissioner on the part of the State of Missouri, and on account of opinions given by him, decisions were rendered which obtained for the State, millions of acres of land which she would otherwise have lost. In March, 1860, he was appointed, under President Buchanan's administration, as Treasurer of the United States, which position he held until after the inauguration of President Lincoln. Immediately on the breaking out of the war, he went into the Southern army, with which he was connected about three years, being captured at Pea Ridge in 12862 and soon after exchanged.
Mr. Price has been twice married: first, in 1842, to Miss Sarah Kimbrough, a daughter of John Kimbrough, who came from Kentucky in the fall of 1839. After the death of his first wife, which occurred in 1849, he was married, in 1860, to Miss Lydia C. Dow, from Vermont. As Mr. P. is a stong pro-slavery man, and bitterly opposed to the "Yanks," it has often been the subject of remark by his friends, that it was strange that he should marry a Yankee; but he says, he "could not hope to punish all of them, so he concluded to take them in detail." Descending from an old Quaker family, who came to America with William Penn, Mr. P. is a man of strong religious convictions, and bitterly deplores the present ungodliness of the United States. It is a favorite remark with him, that "The country is going to the devil, and all hell can't save us from it." He has had a family of ten children—six sons and four daughters—of whom three of the former and two of the latter, are still living.
Promment among the pioneers of the little town, stands the name of John S. Phelps, who was born and educated in Connecticut, but concluded to cast his lot with the people of Missouri. He was a young man then, and came west to practice. Law. Arriving in Springfield in 1837, he hung out his shingle, and commenced practice in the counthes of this and adjoining circuits.
In 1840, be was elected to represent this county in the State Legislature, and, in 1842, he first represented the people of Southwest Missouri in Congress. This office he held for eighteen years, and for the past two years he has held the honorable and responsible position of Governor of the State. While in Congress, Mr. Phelps was one of the ablest and most influential members of that body, and his career reflected credit on the State of his adoption. He was a member of the Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads, and was for twelve years on the Committee of Ways and Means, of which for one term he was chairman, the most responsible and influential position, with the exception of Speaker, attainable by any member.
As a Governor, Mr. Phelps has also shown great executive ability, especially in the "Great Strike," in the summer of 1877. In no city in the Union did the strikers and their lawless coadjutors seem more powerful than in St. Louis, the local authorithes being utterly incapable of preserving the dignity of the law; but on application to the Governor, he proceeded immediately, without asking for Federal aid, to call out and organize State militia, by whom the riot was suppressed, without the firing of a single gun, or the spilling of a drop of blood. Within a few hours, ten thousand troops were placed at the command of the authorithes, and before this grand army, resistance to the law would have been futile.
Among the many other public acts of John S. Phelps, to which his descendants will point with pride, and which will be remembered with satisfaction by his many friends and admirers, was his serving upon the committee which selected the site for the location of our State University, which is destined to become one of the strong pillars in the future greatness and prosperity of the State. Of the committee of five, Mr. Phelps is the only one now living.
Concerning his wife, who was almost as generally known throughout the Southwest as her husband, we make the following selections, from among the many tributes paid to her memory by the press, and by admiring friends, of whom she had a host. In the Leader of January 31st, 1878, we find the following notice:
"Mrs. Mary Phelps died Jan. 25th, 1878, of pneumonia. She came, in 1837, from New York, where she was married to John Phelps, then just from college and entering the practice of law. During her husband's absence from home on public business, she had all the care and responsibility of a large farm and a family, which she acquitted herself with great credit.
Her impulses were noble and generous, her charity as diffusive as the sun, and many good men and women are to-day scattered through the world, who were saved from degradation, if not from death, by her influence.
"She was sixty-six years of age, and with the exception of the past few years had suffered but little from sickness. :She died in full faith and belief in the Spiritual Philosophy, and commemorative services were held at the Opera House, on Sunday following her death, which were attended by a large circle of friends."
Also from the Patriot-Advertiser of the same date: "For over thirty-six years Mrs. Phelps has been a resident of Greene county, and her many acts of benevolence have made her name the very synonym of charity. Through all the storms of war and bloodshed, through all the days of want and poverty, through all the nights of ignorance and crime, she has ever been at her post of duty; now the heroine and nurse, then the almsgiver and helping friend, next the teacher and protector of the orphan and homeless.
"At the bloody battle of Wilson's creek, she performed the duthes of a veritable Sister of Charity, ministering to the wants of the wounded and dying, making her house a hospital for the reception of many a poor fellow far from home in the land of the enemy. She saved the remains of General Lyon from mutilation, and buried them on the Governor's farm till they could be conveyed to their permanent resting place.
"At the close of the war Congress voted her an appropriation of $20,000, not only for the purpose of founding an orphan asylum for the reception and care of the children of men who had died in the defense of their country, but as a recognition of her many meritorious acts during the "times that tried men's souls." The institution was kept in operation several years, and when her mission was ended in this respect, she used the building for an academy and high school.
"Since that time Mrs. Phelps has taken an active part in the Woman' suffrage movement, being at one time one of the Vice Presidents of the National Organization, and was once before congress in the pursuance of this work."
Archibald Maupin came here from Arkansas in 1836, and was one of the first wagon-makers in the town. For a long time he had a shop in Boonville street, opposite where Schmook's mill now stands, and he lived and died in the house now occupied by Fred Weaver as a grocery store.
In 1837, Wm. Parrish came from Kentucky, and settled on a farm northwest of town. With him came M. H. Parrish, who in 1840, came to town to attend school, afterward studied medicine under Dr. G. P. Shackleford. He graduated at the Missouri Medical College, at St. Louis, and afterward received a degree from the Nashville University. After practicing medicine over twenty years, Dr. P., in 1866, commenced the business of surveying, which he has ever since followed. In October, 1849, he purchased the property on St. Louis street, where he still lives. His wife, who is also a native of Kentucky, is still living, and they have a family of four children, the oldest daughter being the wife of Dr. C.C. Clements, of this city, and the second being married to Mr. E. E. Adams of Hancock, Michigan. The third daughter and the only son still live with their parents.
Jas. Rains came from Wilson county, Kentucky, in May, 1837, and two months later purchased the hotel erected by John P. Campbell, on the north side of the public square. After keeping hotel two or three years, he went to Neosho and lived a few months, then returned and purchased the property on North Jefferson street, where he still lives. He was, for a number of years, the village butcher, but is now too feeble for any kind of hard work.
His wife died in 1870, and he has lost two children. His son John was, for twenty-seven years, a merchant at Bolivar, where he yet lives, and his only daughter is the wife of J. W. Boren, editor of the Ozark Republican.
Captain A. M. Julian, who may be found at any time when the weather is pleasant, sitting on the sidewalk on the northwest corner of the square, discussing politics and reviewing the past history of Southwest Missouri, came to Springfield in 1838. He is a native of Knox county, Tennessee. In 1836, when but eighteen years of age, and weighing but eighty pounds, he went into the Florida war, and two years afterward came out weighing one hundred and seventy pounds.
Having gained financially in about the same ratio that he had physically; he was enabled, on coming to Springfield, to go into the wool-carding business, and in company with Solomon H. Owen, who afterward became his father-in-law, erected the first carding machine in the town, on the site of the Eagle Flouring Mills, near which he still lives. In 1846, he raised a company for the Mexican war, after which he commenced the study of law, which he continued while running the carding machine, and in 1859, was admitted to the bar, since which he has continued the practice of his profession, except during war times, when he was engaged a considerable portion of the time, as a scout and guide for the Union armies in this part of the country.
A. Jamison came, in 1939, and erected a residence and a blacksmith shop about were the St. James Hotel was afterward built.
Mr. J. was from Kentucky. He remained a citizen of Springfield for several years, residing on the corner of Campbell and West Walnut streets until about three years since, when he removed to a farm in the west part of the county, where he still works at his trade a part of the time, although over eighty years of age. His grand-daughter, Mrs. C. C. Moss, is the only one of his family now living in town.
John Kimbrough came to Springfield, Oct. 15, 1839, from Bowling Green, Kentucky, and died in September following. With him came his wife and three sons, and three daughters. His wife died about the time of the war. His oldest son, John S. Kimbrough, first followed the blacksmithing business in partnership with John Lair, in the shop now run by Collins and McCurdy on St. Louis street. About 1850, he went into partnership with Mr. Sheppard, in the mercantile business, on the corner of South street and the public square.
At the breaking out of the war Mr. K. went South, after which he went to Columbia, Mo., then for a while did business in Kansas, afterward in Texas. He is now engaged in the hardware business at Clinton, Henry county, Mo.
William, the second son, died at the age of twenty-one, and the youngest son, Joseph B., is doing business in Sherman, Texas.
One daughter was married to William C. Price, another to Stephen Bedford, who was for some time a citizen of Springfield, and the oldest to Wilson Hackney, who came in 1840, and soon after opened a hat shop, in which he continued until the time of his death. He was very highly respected, and held some county and city offices, being, at the time of his death, April 12, 1863, Treasurer of Greene county.
Mrs. Hackney and her son Wilson still live on the old homestead on West Walnut street, where Mr. Hackney first settled inn 1840.
William McAdams came from Pennsylvania in the spring of 1840, and immediately opened a saddle and harness shop in a small log store which stood nearly on the same site as his present large establishment, on the west side of the public square. He was married in the fall of 1841, as we mentioned in a former chapter, and occupied a house which he had built during the preceding summer, on the ground where his present residence stands, on West Walnut Street. This lot is on the extreme southwest corner of the original town plat.
Mr. McAdams has held respectively the offices of City Treasurer, County Treasurer, and member of the city Council. His wife still lives, and they have a family of six children—four sons and two daughters. Wm. H, the oldest son, is engaged in business with his father, and is at present Councilman from the 4th Ward.
This family took the Union side in time of the war, and Wm. H. McAdams was Adjutant of the 24th Regiment Mo. Volunteers under Col. S. H. Boyd.
Wm. P. Cox came from Indiana in 1839, and went into partnership with Thomas Jessup in a tan-yard which was about where the Springfield Wagon Factory now stands. Mr. Jessup has one daughter now living in the city, in the person of Mrs. Terry, who resides on North Campbell street.
One year later, John B. Cox, with his mother and her family, came also from Indiana, and became residents of Springfield, where the old lady remained until her death. John has followed the carpenter's trade most of the time since he came, but was for a while engaged in the butchering business. He resides on North Campbell street, near the residence of Mr. Henry Matlock, who is another of the pioneers of the town.
Mr. Matlock came in the autumn of 1840, from Tennessee, and in 1841, was married to Miss Jane Cox, a sister to John and Wm. Cox, before mentioned. Mr. Matlock has, most of the time since he came to this place, been engaged in keeping hotel, and his wife and son are now in the same business at Ash Grove.
On the 17th day of September, 1840, S. H. Jopes, a Virginian by birth, but for several years a resident of Galatin, Sumner county, Tennessee, came and opened a shoe shop on Boonville street near the bridge. He afterward had a boot and shoe store on the east side of the square. Nearly thirty years ago he bought out Randolph Moore, who had a small log cabin on St. Louis street, and there Mr. Jopes has ever since lived, with exception of an absence of about nine months in California in 1850. He made the first pair of boots ever made in the town. They were for J. R. Danforth, who was afterward cashier of the first bank. The log cabin before mentioned is still a part by the side of it, and covered the old cabin with clap-boards so it would hardly be known.
We must not fail to notice another very respectable, useful, and honorable citizen, Colonel Marcus Boyd, who came from Williamson county, Tennessee, about the year 1840, and held some of the highest offices in the gift of the people of this county. He was member of the General Assembly for several years, and afterward held the position of Receiver in the U. S. Land Office at this place, upon retiring from which his accounts were all found to be "fair and square." He raised a large and respectable family of sons and daughters, among whom is his oldest son "Pony," who is well and favorably known to the citizens of Southwest Missouri, whom he has twice represented in Congress. Colonel Marcus Boyd lived a long and useful life, and finally went to his long home regretted by all.
From the Greene County Atlas we obtain the following sketch of life of Wm. B. Farmer: "Judge Farmer has had an honorable career as a citizen of Greene county, and has been closely and actively identified with its interests. He was a native of Robertson county, Tennessee, and his birth occurred on the 20th of September, 1811. His ancestors were from North Carolina.
"In 1840, then still unmarried, he made up his mind to try his fortune in Missouri, to which State many of the people of Tennessee were then emigrating. He made his appearance at Springfield on the 26th of July, 1840, his sole worldly possessions consisting of an old gray mare and nineteen dollars in hard cash. A few days after his arrival he secured a situation as clerk at Springfield, in the store of Shackleford & Cloud.
"The summer of 1841 he returned to Tennessee, and married Julia A. White. Bringing his wife back to Missouri, he found that he had been appointed Postmaster of Springfield under President Harrison. He bought out a small drug store, and for two or three years kept the drug store and post office. In 1844 he went into the dry goods business, first with Joshua Jones, and was thus occupied for a period of about ten years. After the death of Jones he was associated with the brothers of his deceased partner, and afterward did business on his own account. In 1849, on the accession of General Taylor to the Presidency, he was again appointed Postmaster of Springfield. While still in the mercantile business he was appointed County Judge by Governor Price, and held that office for about four years, his term expiring in 1858 or 1859. In 1852 he moved out on his farm, a short distance west of Springfield, though at the same time he still continued to carry on business in town. At the beginning of the year 1856 he disposed of his interest in the dry goods business, and from that date to the time of his death in 1878, he devoted himself actively only to farming and stock raising. For two or three years, however, he was a silent partner in a drug store with Wm. H. Jopes, but the business was terminated on the breaking out of the war of the rebellion. During Judge Farmer's long and active business career, he was favorably known to those with whom he was thrown closest in contact, and enjoyed the confidence of the community.
President Lincoln, in 1861, appointed him Receiver in the Land Office at Springfield, and he acted as such till the progress of hostilithes occasioned the removal of the office to Boonville. He suffered greatly during the progress of the war, and lost property amounting to several thousands of dollars. For a time he acted as Quartermaster for a Dallas county battalion, but remained with his family at Springfield. His first wife died on the fifth of May, 1854. He went back to Tennessee and married, for his second wife, Mrs. E. S. Justice, a sister of his first wife. His second marriage was celebrated on the 27th of May, 1865. By his first wife he had six children, of whom three are now living—Rebecca, now the wife of Wm. L. Chapman, and two sons, Wm. And John Farmer.
Next on the "Roll of Honor" are the names of C. B. and J. L. Holland, from Robberson county, Tennessee, who came to Springfield in 1841, and opened a tailor-shop on the west side of the public square, where they continued in business for four or five years, after which they were both in mercantile business (but not in partnership) up to the time of the war.
C. B. Holland had been a non-commissioned officer in the Florida War against the Seminole Indians, in 1836-'37, and, at the breaking out of the Rebellion, was captain of a company of Home Guards. He was afterward Captain of Company D., in the Phelps Regiment, and promoted to the office of Lieutenant Colonel. After serving out his time in that regiment, he became Colonel of the 72d Regiment of Missouri Volunteers, and was next appointed, by Gov. Gamble, as Brigadier General of the 4th Military District of the State of Missouri, which position he occupied about three years.
Since that time he has been engaged in mercantile business, and was one of the original projectors and a large contributor to the stock of the Springfield Cotton Mills, of which he was for some time the president.
In 1865, in company with his sons, T. B. and W. C., he opened a private banking institution on the east side of the public square, in which they are still engaged.
J. L. Holland was for some time a Lieutenant in the 72nd Enrolled Missouri Militia. and since the war has followed merchandizing. These gentlemen all live in the First Ward of the city, where they have pleasant homes.
About the year 1842, John A. Stephens, Sr., came to Springfield and opened a private school in a brick school-house which was built by contributions of citizens for that purpose, and, stood a little east of the present residence of W. C. Peck, north of St. Louis street. Prof. Stephens was a graduate of Princeton College, Kentucky, and had been teaching in various places in that State before he came to Missouri. He was one of the most highly respected citizens of the place. and has the name of being the best and most thorough teacher that ever taught here.
At the time of Zagonyi's reckless charge, in October, 1861, Mr. Stephens, although a staunch Union man, was accidentally shot.
In December, 1847, he had been married, in the State of Arkansas, to Miss Caroline Sugg, whose parents had just come from Kentucky. Mrs. Stephens still lives on the old homestead in the south part of the city, where they settled in 1853. She was mistress of the Springfield office for about ten years next preceding Mr. Shipley, who is now P. M. Her three Sons, William, John , and Paul, are well known to most of our readers, and her three daughters are respectively the wives of J. W. McCullah, G. M Sawyer, and J. R. White all of whom are respected citizens.
J. B. Beiderlinden, commonly known as "Beidy,'' is another pioneer of Springfield, coming here in March, 1843. He has alternately lived on South street in the city. and on his farm a short distance Southwest of town. Mr. B. was originally from Prussia "on the Rhine,'' from which place he came to New Orleans in 1842, and from there to St. Louis where he remained a short time, and afterward to this place. In 1861 he was appointed Deputy Collector of U. S. Internal Revenue in this district, and afterward Assistant Assessor, which office-he held until the time of President Johnson's administration. He is now Justice of the Peace, which office he has held for several years. In 1845 he was married to Miss Nancy Smily, a daughter of Hugh Smily, who came from Kentucky about the year 1840, and settled on a farm five miles southwest of town.
John Lair, from Palmyra, Marion county, Mo., came about the year 1842, and opened a blacksmith shop on St. Louis street, near where Mr. Carson's grain elevator now stands. He lived at the corner of Jefferson and East Walnut streets, and opened up a large farm, which extended to the south and east, within the present limits of the city.
In the following year, R. P. Jenkins came from the same place, and went into partnership with Mr. Lair. He lived first on St. Louis street, near the shop, and afterward where the City Hall building now stands. He next occupied the ground where the Metropolitan Hotel stands, and, in 1848, removed to the place where he now lives, since which,
"Year in, year out, from morn till night,
You may hear his hammer ring"
in the little shop just north of Schmook's mill, on Boonville St. Mr. J. says it was a matter of some surprise, when he came here, to see that he would not drink anything stronger than "Adam's ale; but he has ever held firm to the pledge of the Washington Society, to which he then belonged; and while some have heaped up wealth by selling whisky, and bringing shame and misery upon their fellow-men, he has worked steadily on, disdaining to gain money by such means, and now, in his seventy-sixth year, and has ever since lived in Springfield, although pretty well advanced in ;years, adds her mite to the scanty sum which her husband is now able to earn, by cleaning and coloring hats, bonnets, etc.
J. L. Bigbee, from Robberson county, Tennessee, immigrated to Springfield in 1844, and became a respected citizen of the new town. His only son, L. M. Bigbee, has been for several years in the livery business on St. Louis street, and his daughters were respectively Mrs. C. B. Holland, Mrs. J. L. Holland, Mrs. S. G. Sanford, Mrs. Young, Mrs. Bishop and Miss Mary A. Bigbee, all of whom are still living except Mrs. J. L. Holland.
In 1844, Henry Sheppard, the pioneer of a numerous and respectable family, came from New Jersey, and engaged in mercantile business, in a little log store which stood on the ground now occupied by the Court House. From that time to 1861 he continued in business, and acquired a considerable amount of property.
Mr. Sheppard was a staunch Union man in the time of the war, in which he took an active part. He succeeded Gen. Holland, as Colonel of the 72nd Regiment of Enrolled Missouri Militia. This regiment was afterward known as the 16th Missouri Volunteers. Since the war, he has not engaged actively in business, but has been identified with many of the substantial improvements in the growing city. He has recently erected a fine residence on St. Louis street, where, with his amiable lady, who is ever ready to lend a helping hand in works of charity and benevolence, he has one of the most delightful homes in the city.
Richard S. and John S. Gott came from the Red River country in the Southwestern part Arkansas, in 1845, and the next year their brother, Joseph, came from the same place and settled in Springfield. They were originally from Kentucky, from which State they had emigrated two or three years previous, but not being satisfied with the country and the state of society in Arkansas, they came back to look for a higher state of society in Arkansas, they came back to look for a higher state of civilization, which they found in Southwest Missouri. Mr. Joseph Gott, who still lives in the north part of the city, says that at that time "Arkansas was the best poor man's country in the world;" i.e., if a man went there poor, he was sure to remain so.
For a number of years, Joseph and his older brother, R. S. Gott, worked at the carpenters' trade, and, as the old gentleman says, their "hammer tracks" will show here for many a day. At the time they were engaged in this business, but little labor-saving machinery was used and everything in their line was done by hand.
The younger brother, John S., followed farming, and used to raise large crops of corn in the Southwestern part of what now constitutes the city, and Joseph spent a portion of his time in farming in the southeast part of town. R. S. Gott now lives on the Mt. Vernon road, six miles southwest of town, John S. lives four miles northwest, on the Melville Road, and Joseph lives at the place where he settled in 1848, on Boonville Street. Their wives are all still living and they each have children grown up and married.
We cannot close this chapter better, than by adding one more letter from Mr. Miller, recently published in the Leader, as follows:
"It may be thought that I have tarried long enough in Springfield to exhaust the reader's pathence, but justice to the long departed ones, and to my own feelings, buds me linger yet a little longer. I now propose to take my stand on the high ground south of the little river Jordan, near the present large brick school building, from which to overlook that beautiful valley, through which the Jordan, as it is called, makes its way to James' Fork, thence to the father of waters.
"The first object that presents itself prommently to my view, is that long to be remembered little 12 by 14 cabin which I helped to daub with mud, where first resided the principal founder, originator and locator of the town, and a prop, stay, and support, after it was located. It owes its origin, in fact, to the energy, industry and business habits of John P. Campbell, and it is a fact, that had it not been for him, the town would have been placed 14 miles A. E.
"It was his pride to be up and doing. His very presence seemed to impart life to business, and his energetic movements gave renewed spur to industry. Often when he has been absent for a few days or weeks, everybody was lamenting that Mr. C. was gone, and as soon as he returned, all things were full of life. He should long be remembered for his mental ability and energetic, business qualifications. His physical strength was rather poor, being of slender frame and weak constitution, and it would seen that he departed this life before he had finished his work for he died, aged about 45 years. His death took place at Oil Springs, in the Indian Nation, in 1851, whither he had gone for his health. Mr. C. was a first cousin to Jas. K. Polk. His kind and honorable lady was a daughter of Col. Nathaniel Chairs, of Maury county, Tenn., where they were married in 1828, and came to the then far west in 1830. Mrs. C. survived him several years, and died since the war, and should be well recollected for her noble deeds of charity and for hardships endured among the Indians and afterwards during our late war. They raised a considerable family of honorable sons and daughters, some of whom yet live; their youngest daughter, (Mrs. Owen), I think, lives yet in Springfield. The death of Mr. Campbell removed an historical land-mark from the community, and made a painful void in the ranks of those old citizens, whose lives were cotemporaneous with the career of Springfield.
"He held many responsible offices, from the least to the greatest, and came near being elected to Congress in 1844, being beaten, a few votes, by our present Honorable Governor, John S. Phelps.
"I love to tarry around the old and long-ago stamping-ground of Springfield. It brings to memory other departed men and women of days long past. I have in my mind's eye now another worthy family, the 'Smiths,' of early recollection; General N. R. Smith and his estimable lady, who lived long and with great respect in Springfield, having arrived as early as 1836, settled four miles north of town, raised a family of several sons and daughters, all of whom are much respected, talented and honorable. The General was a great acquisition to the country, held different county and State offices, and, once Receiver of the Land Office, and balanced up his official and earthly accounts honorably, and his departure from earth was greatly lamented by all. So of Mrs. Harriet Smith, his kind lady, who survived him so many years. She lived to a good old age, and finally passed to that undiscovered country.
"I ask now to be allowed to pay a tribute of respect to another worthy and noble man-Daniel D. Berry, and his much esteemed lady and interesting family of many sons and daughters. Mrs. B., of precious memory, was a daughter of Wm. Polk, of Tennessee, and cousin of James K. they were in the country as early as 1831, braved all the hardships and storms incident to a far western border life, and by prudence, industry, honesty and strict economy, they accumulated a full competency of this world's goods. Mrs. B. was rather and extra woman in her time, noted especially, for her kind and amiable disposition. To be in her presence was to feel at home. She died about 1850, just in the midst of her enjoyments and pleasures with her bright and rising family.
"Mr. B. finished his earthly career in 1860, at Memphis, Tenn. It will be long ere their memory will fade from the recollection those who enjoyed their friendship and acquaintance.
"And now once more, kind reader, allow me to say that I cannot think of raising my old pen till I say a few words in memory of one other of the long departed from the honest walks of life and who I verily believe was among the very best people, as also his lady, that ever traversed the then unfrequented streets and neighborhood--Dr. Wm. P. Shackleford and his three (then) little girls. They were truly bright, rising stars. Everybody honored and respected Dr. Will. Shackleford. He was a fine physician, good neighbor, and a kind husband and parent. He took his departure to the long home early in life-I think in 1846. His widow survived him, and some years afterwards married Major Joseph Weaver, another one early and precious in memory. He, too, passed from time, after living a long and useful life, and left her a widow the second time, and I think she long afterwards married John Wood, Sr., and still lives. Of her three sprightly little girls I have lost sight, except the eldest, who married John Wood, Jr.
"In this connection, dear reader, I take great pleasure also in remembering and referring to Dr. G. P. Shackleford, elder brother of Dr. W. P., who was a physician and gentleman of high standing, passed a long, useful and honorable life one mile east of town and died during the war, in Arkansas, as also did his lady, who was his second wife, and daughter of Judge Younger, previously spoken of. Many, no doubt, remember them, and also his two sons, William and Ben, worthy and respectable young men. All have gone, long since, to their last and long home. I love to dwell and call to mind such characters, and if a faithful historian comes along hereafter, a page will be allotted to such men and women as the Shacklefords, Weavers, Campbells, Fulbrights, Berrys, Hancocks, Rountrees, Robbersons and others."
If any of these worthy families fail to receive the page Mr. Miller bespeaks for them, it is only because there are so many of them, and our space, in a work of this kind, is necessarily limited.
Springfield-Greene County Library