Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


JAMES O. ATTEBERRY. Cultivation of the soil began with the desire on the part of the cultivator to destroy weeds or plants not desired that were likely to crowd out and injure the ones in which he was interested. But we now know that the destruction of weeds is a matter of very secondary importance. We now cultivate to conserve moisture and to promote chemical and biological activity. Our viewpoint has changed greatly with increased knowledge, yet it is a fact that we do not do all we might in this direction. We do not stir the soil during rainless periods as frequently as we should, or we do not do it at the time we should and allow valuable moisture to escape. It must be borne in mind that it is often quite as important to do a thing at the right time as it is to do it at all. One of the successful farmers of Clay township, Greene county, is James O. Atteberry, who not only seems to know how to carry on the various departments of modern agriculture, but when to do a thing and when not to do it.

Mr. Atteberry was born in Cassville, Barry county, Missouri, January 30, 1861. He is a son of John B. and Mary E. (Bills) Atteberry. The father was born in Tennessee, January 30, 1830, on the banks of the famous Cumberland river, and there he spent the first nine years of his life, then his parents brought him to Dallas county, Missouri, where he grew to manhood on a farm and there received a common school education. He worked for his father until he was twenty-one years of age, then bought a farm of eighty acres. He learned the blacksmith's trade, which he followed in connection with farming. Then went to Barry county, where he owned a blacksmith shop for some time. Later he went to Springfield where he followed his trade and at which he was engaged at the outbreak of the Civil war, when he enlisted in the Federal army and was kept busy as a blacksmith for some time by his general and later drove a team for his regiment. After the close of the war he returned to Dallas county, where he lived until his son James O. was fourteen years old, then came back to Springfield and resumed blacksmithing, at which he was quite expert. About five years later he moved back to Dallas county and bought a farm of eighty acres, which he operated about seven years, then moved back to Springfield, where he has resided to the present time, and is still active. Politically, he is a Democrat. He is a member of the Christian church. He had natural talent as a musician and when a young man taught vocal music, conducting singing schools. His wife, Mary F. Bills, was born in Tennessee, October 8, 1836, and was reared in that state and in Missouri, having been seven years of age when her parents brought her to Dallas county, making the overland journey in wagons, experiencing numerous hardships. The family located on a farm and there Mrs. Atteberry was reared. She has known what hard work meant wove and spun in her earlier years and made clothes, the last suit she made having been for the sheriff of Greene county. She is a member of the Christian church and has long been a great church worker. To these parents thirteen children have been born, namely: Mrs. Eliza Jane Woodle is deceased; Mrs. Ruth Davidson lives in Springfield; James O. of this sketch, and George, who lives in Christian county, Missouri, are twins; Elsie is living in the West; Daniel lives in Springfield; Mrs. Francis Welch lives in Christian county; Mrs. Laura Fishel lives in Springfield; Mrs. Etta Lawing lives in St. Joseph, Missouri; Mrs. Blanche Pritchard lives in Oklahoma City; the three youngest children died in infancy.

James O. Atteberry spent his early boyhood on the home farm in Dallas county, where he worked during the crop seasons and in the winter time attended the common schools. When fourteen years of age he hired out on farms in Greene county, working thus until he was twenty-two years of age, when he married Mary E. McCorkle, and rented a farm for several years, then moved to Christian county, where he rented land for fourteen years, also bought a farm of one hundred and ten acres which joined the farm he rented. In connection with general farming he raised cattle and hogs in large numbers, also sheep. Finally selling out, he bought then farm where he is now living in Clay township, Greene county, which consists of one hundred and forty-five acres and is well improved and productive, one of the best in this part of the county. In connection with general farming he is successfully operating a dairy.

Mr. Atteberry's wife was born in Greene county, October 8, 1859. When three years old her parents brought her to the place where she is now living. She received a good common school education, and when eighteen years old began teaching and taught two years in the rural schools. She is a daughter of Neely and Catherine (Rainey) McCorkle. She is a member of the Christian church.

To Mr. and Mrs. Atteberry eight children have been born, namely: George A. is living in Greene county; Elmer is deceased; Neely J. lives in Springfield; Mrs. Mary Snyder lives in Greene county; Stanley lives at home; Lemuel lives in Greene county; Mrs. Birdie Jones lives at home with her parents; Nellie is married and lives in Clay township, Greene county, Missouri.

Politically, Mr. Atteberry is a Republican. Fraternally, he belongs to the Woodmen of the World, the Modern Woodmen, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Maccabees. He belongs to the Christian church.

[1789-1791]


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