History of Greene County, Missouri
1883

R. I. Holcombe, Editing Historian


Chapter 30
Affairs in 1865

Part 2
Biographical Sketches

 


BIOGRAPHIES.

CAPT. WM. S. JOHNSON, U. S. A. Captain Johnson is the son of James J. and Julia (Graham) Johnson, who were from Pennsylvania, and of Scotch-Irish origin. His parents moved to Fulton county, Illinois, in 1835, and it was there that William S. was born, May 7th, 1841. He was educated in his native county, and, upon the 8th of April, 1861, enlisted as a private in company A, 4th battalion, District of Columbia, under President Lincoln's first call, and served three months. In Aug gust, 1862, he came to Springfield, Missouri, and enlisted in the 1st Arkansas cavalry as private, but was promoted to the first lieutenancy in October, and in February, 1863, was again promoted to the captaincy of his

company. He was wounded in the right arm at the battle of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and the arm was saved by taking out a section of bone four and one-half inches in length. September, 1864, he was transferred as first lieutenant of the veteran reserve corps at Washington City, where he was also regimental quartermaster in the provincial cavalry at K street barracks. He was at the theatre when Lincoln was assassinated, and had charge of the battalion that acted as escort of the body to the White House. In 1866, he was superintendent under Col. J. M. Moore, for the building of national cemeteries in the State of Virginia, and was on duty until June 12th, 1867, when he was transferred to the regular army and assigned to duty at Fort Wayne as quartermaster. May 20th, 1871, he retired with rank of captain, mounted. January, 1871, he came to Springfield and engaged in the photograph business, and followed it until 1882. He was married December 28th, 1863, to Miss Nora Oustott. Their union has been blest with six children, three of whom are living, viz.: Wm. H., Julia G. and Harry D. The captain is a Mason, and a member of the A. O. U. W. [780]

HENRY KANNING. Mr. Kanning was born at Kiel, Denmark, where he was educated and learned the tailor's trade. In 1849, he was drafted into the army, and served two years. He came to the United States in 1852, landing at New Orleans. In 1861, he enlisted in the 6th Kentucky volunteers as second lieutenant, company H. He was mustered out in the winter of 1864. In 1866 he went to Leavenworth, Kansas, and carried on a tailoring establishment, working about sixteen hands. In 1870 he went to Oswego, Kansas, and resided there until the fall of 1882, when he came to Springfield, Missouri. Mr. Kanning was married at Louisville, Kentucky, in 1857, to Miss Mary Kimmel. They have six boys and five girls, all living. He is a member of the A. O. U. W. His parents died in Denmark, his father at the age of sixty-nine, and his mother at the age of sixty-three. His father was a German soldier, and fought against Napoleon the Great.

MARTIN KEENER. Mr. Keener is the son of Gottleib Keener, and was born at Batenheim, Germany, May 9, 1846. He came to the United States, landing at New York, September 1, 1865. He then went to South Bend, Ind., and then to Michigan. In the summer of 1869 he went to Davenport, Iowa, and in the spring of 1870, he went to Fort Scott, Kansas, and in October of that year he came to Springfield. November 7, 1870, he bought out the bakery of O.Woollmann, who had started the bakery the year previous. Mr. Keener now has the largest bakery in the city, and has carried on the business successfully for thirteen years. In 1870 he was married to Mrs. Woollmann, widow of C. Woollmann. They had by that marriage one daughter. Mrs. Keener died September 23, 1879. Mr. Keener's parents were natives of Germany. His father died when he (Martin) was a boy, and his mother died in 1876. They had four sons and one daughter.

JOSIAH T. KEET. This gentleman is the son of Charles Keet, and was born in England, September 8, 1822. He emigrated to America and settled in Arkansas in 1839. In 1840 he moved to Barry county, Missouri. He began merchandising before he was of age, and has been engaged in it steadily to the present, except about six months. He came to Springfield in 1862, and has been engaged in the wholesale and retail trade until within the last five years, when they concluded to do an exclusive wholesale business. The firm was at first Keet, Massey & Co., but now it is Keet, Rountree & Co. They have the only wholesale dry goods and boot and shoe house in the city, and sell for about one hundred an fifty miles southeast, South, and southwest of Springfield. Mr. Keet was married in Barry county, Missouri, August 10, 1843, to Elizabeth P. West. They have been blest with six children. He is a Mason, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist church.

THOMAS W. KERSEY. Mr. Kersey is the son of Benjamin and Amanda (Van Gilder) Kersey, and was born in Knox county, Illinois, June 28, 1851. He was educated at the State Normal University, and at Eureka College. He entered the law office of F. A. Willoughby, at Galesburg, Ill., and next in the office of Robert Dollard, at Yates City, Ill. He was admitted to the bar September 10, 1874, at Ottawa, Ill., before the Supreme Court. In November, 1874, he came to Springfleld, Mo., and is now of the firm of Kersey & Price, attorneys. He was marrried April 25, 1876, to Miss Lizzie, daughter of A. A. Powell, of Springfield. Their union has been blest with three daughters. Mr. Kersey is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and he and his wife are members of the Calvary Presbyterian church. His parents are living in Springfield. They had but two children. The firm of Kersey & Price enjoy a good practice and deserve the confidence they receive. [781]

THOMAS M. KINNEY. Mr. Kinney is the son of John and Mary (Roach) Kinney, and was born November 1, 1850, in county Limerick, Ireland. His parents emigrated to America when he was an in- fant, and when he was still a small boy, they moved to Lafayette, Indiana. Thomas was educated at Notre Dame College, and at the age of sixteen he went to St. Louis and worked at his trade. In 1869 he went to Hannibal, Mo., and worked at his trade two years and then went to Columbus, Ky., and lived there over two years. He then returned to St. Louis and remained there until 1877. In November of that year he came to Springfield and worked some six months for Shipley, the tailor. He then embarked in business for himself with only a hundred dollars worth of stock. He now owns the building, No. 238 Boonville street, where he carries a splendid stock of piece goods, and employs about ten of the best tailors, and where the best work is done in the city. His stock and building is worth about six thousand dollars. Mr. Kinney was married April 16, 1872, at Hannibal, Mo., to Miss Mary A. Nevatt, a native of England. Her father was Isaac Nevatt, for many years editor and publisher of the Lancaster Advertiser in England. Their union has been blest with two sons and two daughters, all living. Mr. Kinney's father died in 1862, and his mother when he was some five or six years of age.

JAMES M. KIRBY. Mr. Kirby is the son of Hendley and Elvira J. (Gilbert) Kirby, and was born in Robertson county Tennessee, August 24th, 1844. In 1857 his parents moved to Arkansas, coming via Springfield. In November, 1863, he came to Springfield and enlisted in Col. J. E. Phelps' 2d Arkansas regiment, cavalry, in company K. He was mustered out at Memphis, Tennessee, August 20th, 1865, and returned to Springfield where he has since resided. He was for a long time a wholesale liquor dealer, and has accumulated considerable property. He was married to Alvira J. Williams, of Indiana. Their union has been blest with seven children, five of whom are now living. Mr. Kirby is a member of the Knights of Pythias. His mother died in 1861, and his father in 1876, at their home in Arkansas.

CAPT. CHARLES KROFF. This gentleman is the son of John and Elizabeth (Derry) Kroff, and was born in Monroe county, Ohio, December 11th, 1837. In 1853 he went to Decatur county, Indiana. He was educated at Milford, Indiana, and at Asbury University, located at Greencastle, Indiana. He studied law at Asbury, and in February, 1866, be graduated at the Indiana State University, and was then admitted to the bar. In July, 1866, he came to Hermitage, Hickory county, Missouri, and there practiced his profession until March 1st, 1883, when he came to Springfield. During the time he was in Hickory he was prosecuting attorney for seven years, upon the Republican ticket. Captain Kroff was married at Quincy, Hickory county, Missouri, July 21st, 1867, to Miss Mary Green. Their union is blest with two sons and two daughters. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M. and I. O. O. F. Captain Kroff's parents were from Switzerland, and came to this country in 1808 and settled in Ohio. His father died in 1852, and his mother December 25th, 1875. They had thirteen children, ten of whom are living. In 1861 Captain Kroff enlisted in company F, 11th Indiana volunteers, as a private and was in the following engagements: Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Port Gibson, Raymond, Champion Hill, Siege of Vicksburg, Jackson, Carrion Crow Bayou, Lake Tasse, Halltown, Va., Winchester, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek. He was mustered out as captain of the company in which he first enlisted, August 10th, 1865. He is now engaged in the law practice and real estate business. [782]

B. H. LANGSTON. This gentleman was born upon a farm three miles southeast of Springfield, Missouri, and was educated in the log school houses of his native county. At the age of fourteen be enlisted in the 8th Missouri cavalry, Col. W. F. Geiger, U.S.A. W. F. Geiger, U.S.A., and served three years, having enlisted in August, 1862. He was mustered out at Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1872 he was appointed deputy U. S. marshal, and served until 1877. He was then appointed deputy revenue collector, and in 1881 received the appointment of collector. Mr. Langston was married in 1867, to Miss Martha, daughter of John Pursley. Their union has been blest with six sons. He is a member of the I.O.O.F., K of H. and A.O.U.W. He and his wife are members of the M. E. church.

W. W. LANGSTON. Mr. Langston is the son of Jackson P. O. and Mariel (Gallian) Langston, and was born Jan. 1, 1842, three miles southeast of Springfield, Missouri. He remained at home until the civil war, and in August, 1861, he enlisted in Holland's company, three months' service. He was afterward appointed second sergeant of the 26th Missouri infantry, Col. John S. Phelps. He served with that regiment six months, and in July, 1862, enlisted in company D, 8th Missouri cavalry. He was first lieutenant, but was afterward promoted captain. They were mustered out at St. Louis in August, 1865. He returned to Greene county, and farmed upon the old homestead. In 1880 he was elected to represent the eastern district of Greene county in the Legislature, and is now deputy internal revenue Collector for his brother, Bryant H. He lives upon the farm where he was born. He was married August 15, 1862, to Miss A. Ingram. Their union has been blest with two sons and four daughters. He and his, wife are members of the M. E. church.

COL. JOHN W. LISENBY. Colonel Lisenby was born March 22,1836, in Washington county, Tennessee, and is the son of Charles and Susan (Carr) Lisenby. He was the seventh of a family of twelve children. His father dying when he was about thirteen years of age, the remainder of the family moved to Monroe county, Kentucky. John W. received his education at Columbia, Adair county, Kentucky, and taught school about three terms. In April, 1859, he came to Springfield, Missouri, and soon after taught school in what was then known as the Lane school house, three miles southwest of town. He accepted a clerkship in the general store of Logan & Morton, in the fall of 1859, and when the war began was a member of the Home Guards. In 1861, he enlisted in company D, Missouri volunteers, Phelps' regiment, and was first-lieutenant of that company, and afterwards promoted to the captaincy. He was wounded severely at the battle of Pea Ridge, March 7, 1862, being shot in the left shoulder and through both legs. This was in the six months' service, and upon the 30th of August, 1862, he was mustered in company A, 8th cavalry, Missouri volunteers, as captain, and afterward major. His health becoming poor, he resigned his commission in February, 1865, but was promoted to lieut. colonel in a few months afterward. At the close of the war he was appointed clerk of the county, probate and common pleas courts, and in 1866 was elected upon the Republican ticket as clerk of that court, and served in that capacity for four years. In 1873 he was elected mayor of the city, which office he filled with satisfaction to his constituents and honor to himself. He was in the real estate business here since 1865, and the firm of Milner & Lisenby did the largest business in that line in Springfield. Col. Lisenby was married to Miss Columbia, daughter of John H. Jennings, Esq., upon the 9th of May, 1865. Mrs. Lisenby, died October 18, 1872. The firm of Milner & Lisenby dissolved in the early part of 1883, and the captain still carries on the business. [783]

WILLIAM MASSEY. This gentleman is the son of James and Faithful (Strickland) Massey, and was born March 19, 1824, in South Carolina. His parents moved to Middle Tennessee in 1826, and to Greene county, Missouri, in 1886, and settled three miles east of Springfield. In 1838 William went to Fort Smith, Arkansas, and then to St. Louis, Missouri, and back to Springfield. In 1849 he again went to St. Louis where he remained three years and then came back to Springfield, where he has been actively engaged in business ever since. He was one of the company that built the Metropolitan hotel, and has also built several large stores upon the square. He has been city treasurer for two terms, and has always been prominently identified with the building interests of Springfield. Mr. Massey was married in 1845, to Miss Almarinda C., daughter of Joseph Rountree. That marriage was blest with seven children, four sons and three daughters. His first wife dying, he married Miss Laura Oustott, by whom he had one son and one daughter. His father was born in Ireland, and came to the United States when a child. During the Indian wars he was captain of a company. His wife died in 1837, and he died in 1864. They had nine children, but three of whom are now living, viz.: Mrs. McAdams, Mrs. Z. M. Rountree and William, who, during the war, was a quartermaster in the Union army.

JAKE MARX. This gentleman was born in Prussia, November 18, 1850, and is the son of Emanuel and Hannah Marx. In 1867 he came to America and located at Louisville, Kentucky, where he was a clerk in a dry goods and clothing house for two years. He then went to Paducah, Kentucky, and sold the same line of goods for about eight years. He came to Springfield in February 1878 and was a partner in the dry goods and clothing house of Cohn Bros. & Co. He bought out his partners and has since carried on the business alone. He carries an immense stock of fine goods and is deservedly popular. Mr. Marx was married at Louisville on the 19th of September, 1877, to Miss Francis Cohn.

WILLIAM McADAMS. The subject of this notice is the son of William and Gabella (Barnes) McAdams, and was born in 1815 in county Down, Ireland. His parents emigrated to America when young William was about nine years old, and settled in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. His mother died soon after, and his father in 1839. William, jr., our subject learned the saddler's and harness-maker's trade in Pittsburg, serving five years at the business. In 1840 he came to the new and growing West and settled down permanently in Springfield, Missouri. Here he opened a shop for the manufacture and repairing of saddles and harness, and has been in the business for over forty-two years. He had the first shop of the kind in Springfield, and probably in Greene county. He built up a large and lucrative business, and wishing to retire, he sold out his stock of goods to Smalstig & Co. Mr. McAdams was elected county treasurer of Greene county in 1858, and served until 1864. He was married October 31, 1841, to Miss Margaret Massey, daughter of James Massey. By this union they have been blest with eight children, five boys and three girls, of whom two boys and two girls are now living. Mr. McAdams has been a member of the city council several terms. He is a member of United Lodge, No. 52 A.F. and A.M., and Royal Arch Chapter, No. 15. He is secretary of both the lodge and chapter. Himself and wife are members of the M. E. church south. He is one of Greene's landmarks, and is regarded as an upright Christian gentleman.

JOHN P. McCAMMON. Mr. McCammon is a son of Samuel and M. E. (Brown) McCammon, and was born May 25, 1853, near Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and was educated at Wesleyan University, located at that place. He graduated from that institution in 1877, and taught at the university one year. During the years 1878 and 1879, he was superintendent of public schools at Brooklyn, Iowa. He resigned and came to Ash Grove, Mo., where he taught school two years. He then came to Springfield and studied law in the office of Hubbard & Simmons. He had read law previously in the office of Gen. Weaver, of Iowa. Mr. McCammon was admitted to the bar in this city, June 22, 1881, and was appointed notary public January 30, l883. His father was a native of Pennsylvania, and moved to Iowa about 1851. He died in 1864, at Pulaski, Iowa. His wife is still living. They had three sons and two daughters, John P. is the oldest. He is a member of the Masonic order, and a young lawyer of good promise. [784]

JAMES McCARTY. Mr. McCarty is the son of James and Bridget (Coakley) McCarty, and was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in January, 1827. He lived in that city nineteen years and then learned the trade of a slater at Harrisburg, Pa. In 1856 he went to Saline county, Mo., and in 1861, he came to this county and settled in Pond creek township. In early times Mr. McCarty freighted goods from Rolla to Springfield and Fort Smith, Ark. He was married in Iowa City Ia., in October, 1858, to Miss Margaret Kennedy. Their union was blest with nine children, seven of whom are now living. Mr. McCarty's father was a native of county Cork, Ireland, and came to the United States in 1833, landing at New Orleans. He died at Cincinnati, Ohio, in August, 1859. His wife died in the same city soon after coming to this county. They had a family of nine sons and one daughter, James being the only one born in America. He has been a property holder in Greene county for over twenty years.

JAMES W. McCOLLAH. Mr. McCollah is a son of John W. and Nelcenia (Short) McCollah, and was born at Kingston, Tennessee, January 25th, 1845. His parents came to Greene county, and settled about ten miles southwest of Springfield. In 1852 his parent removed to Stone county, Mo. and remained there from 1866. Upon the 13th of January, 1865, James enlisted in company A. 1st Missouri regiment. At the close of the war he came to Springfield, and from 1866 until 1878 he was deputy postmaster of the city. In 1880 he was elected city treasurer upon the Republican ticket, which office he still holds, discharging the duties of that responsible office in a most acceptable manner. Since 1878 he has been connected with the government mail service. He was married in November, 1869, to Miss Anna Stevens. That union was blest with three sons and one daughter. His first wife died March 14th, 1880, and he was married the second time to Miss Catherine H. Greene, of St. Louis, Mo. Mr. and Mrs. McCollah are members of the M. E. church. His mother died in November, 1860, and his father died October 18th, 1864, and he had been in the State service for two years, and was a strong Union man during the war. They had six children, four sons and two daughters. Mr. James W. McCollah is the second child.

WILLIAM JASPER McDANIEL (DECEASED). Mr. McDaniel was the son of Samuel A. and Sarah (Bray) McDaniel, and was born May 12th, 1832, in North Carolina. When he was about twelve years of age his parents came to Missouri and settled in Christian county. At the age of twenty-one Jasper came to Springfield and accepted a clerkship in the store of Maj. McElhany at eight dollars per month. He was married in this county November 11, 1863, to Miss Emma Evans, a native of North Carolina. Three sons and two daughters bless the union. Mrs. McDaniel is a member of the M. E. church south. Wm. J. McDaniel's father was a native of North Carolina also, and died in April, 1876. His mother died in March, 1865. They had a family of three sons and four daughters, the oldest son, Alfred, was killed by bushwhackers near Ozark, Missouri. Jasper was the sixth child, and at his father's death received a handsome patrimony, and being one of the most careful, far-seeing business men of the county, he had already accumulated a fine estate, to which was added his portion of his father's property, and made him one of the wealthiest men of the city. He was enterprising and progressive, many of' the best buildings in Springfield being built by his money and judgment. He died in the spring of 1883. [785]

MAJOR ROBERT J. McELHANY. This gentleman was born in Grainger county, Tennessee, about the year 1815, the family records being lost upon his father's death, when young Robert was seven years of age. Being thrown upon his own resources when a mere child, he faced the world and fought through all obstacles, and came out victorious. He would carry his book in his hat, and read at noon and other odd times, while his horse was resting during the day, and took advantage of every spare hour he had to improve himself intellectually. He came to Missouri in 1835, penniless, in company with a blacksmith. He helped the blacksmith burn a coal pit, and then secured a position on the U.S. survey at forty-five dollars per month, for three months. He soon returned to Springfield and accepted a position as clerk in a store, where he worked for one year. Then three friends advanced him one hundred dollars each, and with that sum he bought a stock of groceries, and opened out in the business here, which he followed three or four years, and next engaged in the dry goods business, which be followed until 1865. He then sold out, engaged in banking, organizing the first national bank of Springfield in 1870, and has been its president to the present. He was postmaster of Springfield, under Polk's administration, and had been a major of militia in 1840. During the late civil war he was captain of Co. A, 46th infantry; the company was called out late and saw no active service. He was one of the prime movers in the wagon-factory enterprise of Springfield, which is one of the noted industries of the place. Major McElhany was married November 9, 1838, to Miss Cordelia M., daughter of John and Margaret Bunch, of Polk county, Missouri, Mrs. McElhany is a native of Grainger county, Tenn., and is a neice of Gen. Clement O. Clay, one of Alabama's senators, who resigned his seat at the commencement of the late war. They have three children living, viz.: Margaret M., wife of Hon. S. H. Boyd, Robt. L., and Lucy, wife of the late Col. L. A. Campbell, of Mississippi. Major McElhany is a Royal Arch Mason, and has been a member of the Methodist church for thirty-four years. He is one of Greene's most substantial citizens, and upright in all dealings with his fellow-man.

DR. ALEXANDER W. McPHERSON. Dr. McPherson is the son of Mark and Jane (Boggs) McPherson, and was born in Boone county, Kentucky, September 7th, 1820. His father died when he was but eighteen months old, and his mother died at Helena, Arkansas, in 1841. They had live children, two boys and three girls, only two of whom are now living, viz.: Alexander W. and Elizabeth A. Dr. McPherson lived in Kentucky until 1840, when he moved to Helena, Arkansas, where he was engaged in farming for some time, and, in 1841, he was second clerk upon a Red river steamboat. He then removed to Texas, where he lived some seven months, when he was summoned home to attend his mother's funeral. December 28th, 1843, he came to St. Louis, where he was married to Miss Alymira Cummings. Their union has been blest with nine children, five of whom are now living. After his marriage he went to Ghent, Kentucky, and from there to Louisville. In February, 1845, he returned to Helena, Arkansas. He next moved to Norwalk, Ohio, in 1848I. He graduated from Sterling medical college at Columbus, Ohio, in 1861, and in January, 1853, he moved to St. Louis county, Missouri, where he practiced his profession until 1862. He then carried on farming until March, 1870, when he came to Springfield, and for ten years was extensively engaged in the cattle business. He was elected in 1881 and 1882 city recorder of Springfield, and in November, 1882, was elected upon the Democratic ticket to the office of treasurer of this county. Dr. McPherson is a Mason, and is a member of the Baptist church. His brother, Wm. M., was president of the Missouri Pacific railroad for four years, and also of the St. Louis and Illinois Bridge company. He died November 2d, 1872, in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. McPherson's wife died in November, 1882.

WALTER F. McPHERSON. Mr. McPherson is the son of H. W. and Martha (Stone) McPherson, and was born at Wa bash, Indiana, May 19th, 1849. He was educated at the university at Indianapolis, but now located at Irvington, Indiana. He graduated in the scientific course. He learned the trade of carpenter at Wabash and Indianapolis. He came here in February, 1876, and the first buildings of importance built by him were the residence of W. G. Porter, on St. Louis street, and the school building at Ash Grove. He built the first year about twenty-five houses, and in 1882, between seventy-five and a hundred. He employs about twenty-five hands, and is the largest contractor and builder in the city. In 1882 he built the residence of Col. Fellows. He was married November 25th, 1871, to Miss Matilda Stephens, of Wabash, Indiana. Their union has been blest with two sons and one daughter. Mr. McPherson is a member of the K. of H., and himself and wife are members of the Christian church. [786]

ELDER HENRY W. McPHERSON. This gentleman is the son of William and Mary (Stickney) McPherson, and was born December 19, 1811, in Baltimore, Md. His parents moved to Lafayette county, Indiana, in 1824, where Henry received his education. In 1837 he was licensed to preach by the Christian church at Wabash, Ind., and preached in what is known as the old "Boundary Line church," one of the first churches organized in the county. He preached at that church until 1875, and then moved to Springfield, Mo., and is now an elder in the Christian church et this place. He was married May 11 1834, to Miss Martha Stone, of Scott county, Kentucky. Their union has been blest with nine children, five sons and four daughters. Mrs. McPherson has been a consistent member of the Christian church for over fifty years. Elder McPherson's father was a native of Scotland, and came to the United States in 1808 as a missionary of the Congregational church. He was educated in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland, and in his work in America he traveled from Maine to Georgia. He died at the age of seventy-three. His wife died when Henry was an infant. Elder McPherson is one of the "salt of the earth," and enjoys the confidence of all.

JAMES T. MEANS, M. D. Dr. Means was born in Monroe county, Kentucky, September 4, 1824. He is the son of James and Sidney (Mayfield) Means. His father was a native of North Carolina, and his grandmother on his mother's side was born in Wales. His father died in Monroe county, Kentucky, in 1854. James T., our subject, came to Mt. Vernon, Lawrence county, Mo., in 1846. He was reared upon the farm, but began the study of medicine in 1844, and graduated in the medical department of the State University in 1847, under the instruction of Dr. McDowell, who afterward established McDowell's Medical College at St. Louis. He commenced the practice of medicine at Mt. Vernon, and afterwards removed to Cassville, Barry county, where he remained ten years, and then moved to Farmington, St. Francois county, where he continued the practice until the war broke out. He was the surgeon of a cavalry regiment under Gen. Jeff. Thompson, in 1861, after that he was with Gen. Sterling Price, and was in most of the battles of the trans-Mississippi department. He was not actively engaged in military or professional duty during the war all the time, as he sometimes would be relieved for a few months. His family returned to Kentucky during those trying times. At the close of the war he practiced medicine at Hodginville, Larne county, Kentucky, for a short time, then went to Gallatin, Tennessee, where he lived two years. From there he moved to Pocahontas, Arkansas, where he remained about eighteen months, when he came to Springfield in 1869, and has lived here ever since. He was married in 1862 to Miss Lizzie M. Curtis. He is a member of Solomon lodge, A.F. and A.M., and is also a member of the Christian church. Mrs. Means is an Episcopalian.

WASHINGTON MERRITT. This gentleman is the son of Samuel and Sallie (Ross) Merritt, and was born in Williamson county, Tennessee, January 30th, 1809. His forefathers were among the earliest settlers of North Carolina, his grandfather, James Merritt, was a soldier, in the Revolutionary war. His father was a pioneer settler of Tennessee, and moved to Kentucky late in life, where he died. Washington was reared upon a farm in Tennessee, where he early learned what is meant by hard work. In July 1833, he was married to Louisa Owens, of his native county, and in the spring of 1840 he emigrated to Greene county, Missouri, where he became a leading citizen, and improved several farms in Campbell township. His first wife died in January, 1842, and he then married Mrs. Maria Chapman. She died in March, 1854, and in August 1866, Mr. Merritt was married to Elizabeth Blakey. Mr. Merritt is the father of' twelve children, and those that are now living are all doing well. In politics Mr. Merritt has always been a Democrat, and ever since his residence in this county has been a consistent member of the Christian church. No man in the county stands higher in the regard of his fellow-man than he, and he is one of the few landmarks showing the character of the early settlers of this part of the State, that is yet left in full vigor to show what manner of men it took to make the "wilderness blossom as the rose." [787]

JAMES P. MILNER. This gentleman is the son of David M. and Mary A. (Chambers) Milner, and was born at Mount Pleasant, Jefferson county, Ohio, September 4th, 1845. He attended the public schools of his native town until 1862, when he enlisted in company D, 98th Ohio regiment reserve until the war closed and was mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky. He was with Sherman in his "march to the sea." After the war ceased he attended the law department of the Michigan University for two years, graduating in 1867. In September of that year he came to Springfield, and practiced his profession for some time, and in 1869 was deputy United States collector for Southwest Missouri. In 1870 he was elected upon the Republican ticket to the office of county superintendent of public schools, which office he held for two years. Mr. Milner was president of the board of regents of the State normal school from 1870 until 1874, and was deputy United States attorney for some time of this part of Missouri. In 1880 he was elected from the second ward, to represent that ward in the city council. He has been engaged in the real estate business nearly ever since coming to the county. He was married July 5, 1876, to Miss Hattie A. Cummings, who, at that time, was lady principal of Drury College. They were married at the bride's home at Oberlin, Ohio. He and his wife are members of the Calvary Presbyterian church, of which he is a deacon. Mr. Milner's father is still living at Mt. Pleasant, Ohio. His mother died in 1873. They had six children, three boys and three girls, all living, of whom James R. is the youngest son.

COL. SAMUEL MOORE. Col. Moore is the son of Galihew and Rhoda (Lawrence) Moore, and was born February 27, 1819, in Surry county, North Carolina. He was educated in his native county, and remained at home upon the farm until he was twenty-one years of age. He then married Miss Sarah Moore, of Hawkins county, Tennessee, in January, 1842. Their union was blest with five children, viz.: Anna M., Laura E., Francis A., a physician of Lamar county, Texas, Samuel, jr., and Walter S., a lawyer, now judge of the common pleas court of Lamar county, Texas. Col. Moore lived in Dade, Polk and Cedar counties in Missouri, and in 1849, he went to California, where he lived two years. In 1852 he sold goods in Greenfield, Dade county, Missouri, and remained there six years. In 1858 he moved to Osceola, St. Clair county, Missouri, and lived there until 1861, when he was burned out entirely by Jim Lane's Kansas troops. He then went to Fayetteville, Arkansas, and remained there until 1866. His next removal was to Matamoras, Mexico, and from there to Paris, Texas, where he lived until 1868. Then he moved to Springfield, Mo., where he has been city treasurer and street commissioner. He and his wife are members of the M. E. Church South. Col. Moore's father died in 1864, and his mother in 1863. The colonel's father represented Surry county in the North Carolina Legislature twice, and at an early day was colonel of the North Carolina State militia. At present, Col. M. is City Recorder of Springfield. [788]

CAPTAIN PHILIP O. MORHISER. The captain is the son of J. P. and Mary M. (Fogelson) Morhiser, and was born in Baltimore, Maryland, May 11, 1812. He was educated in his native city. In 1886 be went with his parents to Dubuque, Iowa, where Philip was chief of police for four years. He afterward became a member of the city council and president of the board of town trustees, and after that received the appointment of city marshal. In 1861 he had charge of a force of detectives employed in the custom-house for the government. In 1863 he was made captain of Company G, 8th Iowa cavalry. He was wounded in the head at the battle of Noonan, where he and his company were captured and taken to Macon, Georgia, and then to Charleston, South Carolina, and there paroled. He was chief of police on patrol under General Thomas at Nashville, and in the fall of 1866 was mustered out at Clinton, Iowa. In 1866 he was appointed by the governor to take charge of a distillery. During 1867 and 1868 was again marshal, of Dubuque. In the fall of 1869 he came to Springfield, Missouri, and sold goods for a year, and has been a member of the city council from the first ward. He was married November, 1834, in Baltimore to Miss Amelia Buch. They were blest with seven children, six girls and one boy. The captain is a Mason and his wife is a member of the Episcopal church. His father came to Baltimore from Prussia in 1809. He was a soldier in the wars between France and Prussia some years before he died in 1849, and his wife in 1854. They had eleven children, three of whom are now living. The captain was the fourth child.

LEON MORICE. Mr. Morice is a native of France, and came to the United States in 1867. In 1869 he went to St. Louis, and in May 1876 he came to Springfield. He was married to Miss Bourguenot, and by their marriage have two children, Edmond and Eugenie. Mr. Morice is by trade an engraver, and worked at it for some time in Philadelphia. He is one of the firm of M T. Bourguenot & Co., candy manufacturers of Springfield, and do the largest business of the kind in the Southwest.

THOMAS J. MURRAY. This gentleman is the son of W. O. and Malinda (Stone) Murry, and was born December 5, 1857, two and one-half miles southwest of Ash Grove, Greene county, Mo. He was educated in the country schools and at Ash Grove. In the fall of 1880 he taught school upon Leeper prairie, and from January 1, 1881, until November, 1882, read law in the office of W. H. Davis, and was there admitted to the bar by Judge Geiger. He is a young man of much promise and is building up a good practice. His parents are yet living in this county. They came from Monroe county, Tennessee, and located in Dade county, Mo., in 1854, and in the summer of 1855 they came to this county. They had nine children, five sons and four daughters, Thomas J., being the oldest child.

JOHN H. MURPHY. This gentleman is the son of William and Isabella (Rider) Murphy, and was born in Pittsylvania county, Virginia, December 11, 1807. His parents moved to Edgar county, Ill., in 1819, and at the age of twenty John went to Danville, Ill., and entered the law office of John J. Brown, a prominent attorney of that place. He was admitted to the bar in 1833, and practiced there until 1863. In 1836 he was elected, upon the Whig ticket, to the Illinois Legislature, from Vermillion county, and served until 1840. In 1853 he moved to Alton, Ill., where he lived twelve years, and in 1865 went to Topeka, Kansas, and was appointed district judge for one term. While at Alton he was a member of the city council for seven years. He was receiver of the land office at Danville, Ill., appointed by President Taylor. He has been U. S. commissioner both in Illinois and at Springfield, Mo. He came here in August, 1867, and practiced law for about five years, and has held the office of city treasurer and recorder. He was married in December, 1829, in Danville, Ill., to Miss Cynthiana Alexander. Their union was blest with four children, but one of whom is now living, William, at Alton, Ill. His first wife died March 24, 1840, and upon the 8th of December following, he was married to Miss Ada Pinson. Mr. Murphy's father died June 16, 1840, and his mother, at the age of eighty-eight, upon the 16th of December, 1870, in Edgar county, Ill. They had seven children, three sons and four daughters. Mrs. McCowan, of Edgar county, Ill., and John H., are the only children living. [789]

CHARLES S. NEISWANGER. This gentleman is the son of Isaac and Elizabeth S. (Askew) Neiswanger, and was born at St. Clairville, Ohio, April 14, 1819. In 1868 he went to St. Louis, Mo., but soon after came to Springfield where he was in the drug store Milner & Co. for two years. He then went back to St. Louis, where he graduated in the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, and also took a private course in chemistry at Washington University under Professors Leonhardt and F. E. Nipher. He returned to Springfield in 1880, where, upon January 11th, of that year, he was married to Miss Hayes. They have one child, Helen. Mr. Neiswanger's father is a noted veterinary surgeon, of St. Clairville. He and his wife reared a family of four boys and four girls, all of whom are living. Neiswanger Bros. have one of the best appointed retail drugstores in Southwest Missouri, and do the largest retail business in the city. Charles S. and his wife are members of the Calvary Presbyterian church.

LEWIS A. NEWTON. This gentleman is the son of Henry W. and Mary (Coleman) Newton, and was born June 16th, 1832, in Caroline county, Virginia. He was reared upon the farm, and attended Richmond College for three years. After completing his education he returned to the farm and lived there until 1859, when he moved to Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, where he taught school two terms, and then went to Owensburg, Kentucky. He returned to Lawrenceburg soon after, and upon the 30th of September, 1860, was married to Miss Eliza V., daughter of Edwin Martin. Their union was blest with nine children, four boys and five girls. He came to Springfield, Missouri, in October, 1860, but soon went to Cassville, Barry county, and followed his profession of teaching. In the spring of 1862 he returned to Springfield, and accepted the position of first clerk in the quartermaster's department, which position he held until November, 1866. In January 1866, he went with Captain R. B. Owens to Fort Riley, Kansas, and took charge of the abstract department. In November, 1866, he came back to Springfield, Missouri, and engaged in prosecuting claims against the government. He was elected upon the Democratic ticket to the office of county collector, in 1874, and served two years. In 1869 he was city assessor, and a member of the council in 1871, and has been a member of the school board as one the directors. Mr. Newton is a Mason, and he and his wife are members of the Baptist church. His father died in 1852 and his mother in 1876. They had seven children, four boys and three girls, of whom Lewis A. is the oldest.

JOB NEWTON. This gentleman was born in the State of Delaware, July 26, 1826, and came to St. Louis, Mo., in 1838. In 1849 he crossed the great plains to California, leaving St. Louis in March and reaching California in the following September. The train he was with took the first merchandise to Salt Lake. In 1851 he returned to St. Louis, and in 1854 he re-crossed to California and freighted goods for John Howe, with a large wagon train. He returned to St. Louis January 8, 1866, and upon the 5th of October, 1855, again started to California, going by way of the Isthmus of Panama. He came back to St. Louis in 1856, where he remained until 1868, when he came to Springfield, and brought his family the year following. He was engaged in the general merchandise business until 1872, and then embarked in the general produce trade, which he still carries on. He was elected to the city council in 1869, from the fourth ward, upon the Democratic ticket. He has always taken an active part in the building up of the city, and was a leading spirit in the erection of the opera house. He was married in September, 1856, to Miss Minerva O. Ault. They were blest with five children, all sons, three of whom are now living. Mr. Newton is a Royal Arch Chapter Mason, St. John's Commandery, No. 20. His father died when be was but an infant, and his mother died in St. Louis soon after her removal to that city. Mr. Newton is one of the staunch business men of Springfield, and has done much to advance her commercial interests. [790]

WILLIAM S. NORFLEET. Mr. Norfleet is the son of David and Elizabeth (Shackleford) Norfleet, and was born March 10, 1826, in Wayne county Kentucky. His parents emigrated to Polk county Missouri, in 1838, and at the age of eighteen William came to Springfield, and went to school to J. A. Stephens, who was killed by Zagonyi's men in their charge into Springfield, in 1861. He lived here until 1848, and studied medicine in the office of Dr. Shackleford. In the fall of 1848 he went to Sarcoxie, Jasper county, and practiced his profession for a time. In the spring of 1850, he went to California, and returned in the winter of 1864, to Springfield. He next purchased a farm on Grand prairie, four miles northwest of the city, where he dealt largely in stock. He sold the farm in 1863, and in 1868 he bought another farm upon Kickapoo prairie, a mile and a half southwest of Springfield, where he lived until September 15, 1881, when he moved into Springfield. He suffered greatly during the war at the hands of the soldiers, his stock driven off, and himself kept a prisoner for a week in the court-house. Mr. Norfleet was married May 13,1858, to Miss Elizabeth O. Shultz, a native of Tennessee. Their union has been blest with seven children, five of whom are now living, three sons and two daughters. He is a Mason, and his wife is a member of the M. B. Church South. His father sold goods for a while at Ebenezer, this county, but was a farmer most of his life. He died in Texas, in 1868, and his mother died in 1862 at Ebenezer. They reared four boys, all now living, William S. being the oldest. Mr. Norfleet is one of Greene's affluent citizens and a thorough gentleman.

SAMUEL ODELL. Mr. Odell is the son of Samuel and Ovela (Welch) Odell, and was born at East Hartford, October 8, 1834, and was educated there and in Lower Canada. At the age of thirteen he was bound out for three years to learn the carpenter's trade. In 1868 he went into the "oil regions" in Pennsylvania and Canada. He put down the first well at Enescilow. He enlisted in May, 1861, in company A, 5th Connecticut volunteers for sixty days, and was at the battle of Bull Run. After the expiration of sixty days, he and his brother Alexander joined company A, 8th Connecticut volunteers, and remained three years and ten months. He was wounded at the battle of Seven Pines, and was captured before Richmond and confined six weeks at "Castle Thunder" and escaped. In 1865 he returned to the oil regions, and was master and superintendent for the United States petroleum company. In 1866 he went to Cincinnati, and from there to St. Louis, Missouri. In 1868 he was a delegate to the national Democratic convention from the eighth ward of St. Louis, that nominated Seymour and Blair, and also a delegate to Jefferson City in the interest of John S. Phelps. He came to Springfield in the latter part of 1868, and in 1871 was street commissioner, and in 1872 was a member of the council from the fourth ward. In 1877 he went to the Black Hills, and traveled over the great West. He is now proprietor of the Odell house on Boonville street. He was married February 2, 1868, to Miss Victoria Bouguenot, who was born at Paris, France. They have one son and two daughters. Mr. Odell's father died 1846, and his mother died in 1864. They had three children, viz.: Alexandria, Victoria, and Samuel. Samuel's father was a civil engineer, and was on the government survey in Illinois, Missouri, and the one establishing the boundary line between United States and Canada. [791]

JOHN R. ONSTOTT. Mr. Onstott is the son of John W. and Rebecca Onstott, and was one of a family of two sons and two daughters, born in Fayetteville, Arkansas, July 23, 1839. His father, John W., was a native of Kentucky, born in Shelbyville in 1781. He served in the "war of 1812," and was in the same company with Dick Johnson, who killed Tecumseh, enlisting a private, but coming out as a commissioned officer. After the war he came to Little Rock, Arkansas, and entered 80 acres of land, where the court-house now stands. He sold the land for a shot-gun and thirty dollars in money. In 1837 he moved with his family to Fayetteville, where he died in 1863. His wife, mother of John H., died in Springfield, Missouri, in August, 1882. She was a South Carolinian, and was married to the older Onstott at Little Rock. The subject of this sketch was educated at Arkansas College, located at Fayetteville, then presided over by Robert Graham. At 21 years of age, he went to Illinois, whither he removed his mother and family after his father's death. After the civil war, he came to Springfield, this county, where he has been engaged in active business ever since. For several years he was at the head of the "Springfield Zinc and Lead Company," and in 1876 he opened the "Alma" mine in Christian county, of which he is sole proprietor, its name being in honor of his oldest daughter. Mr. Onstott takes great interest in public improvements, and was largely the means of securing the water works in Springfield. Formerly he was president of the implement and hardware firm of H. O. Dow & Co. In 1882, he organized the South Western Implement Company, with a cash capital of $10,000, and is now the president and principal proprietor of that concern. They work about 75 operatives, and have four men "on the road" as "drummers." Their works cover half an acre of ground. They have the exclusive right of manufacture and sale of the Davis Automatic Hay Stacker. Mr. Onstott was married to Miss Veda Massey, of Springfield, February 14, 1869. They have three children—Alma, Edna, and John H., jr. Mr. O. belongs to K. of P., K. of H., and Chosen Friends. He is also a strong temperance advocate, and labors arduously in that cause. [792]


Next Chapter | Table of Contents | Keyword Search

History of Greene County Home | Local History Home