Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
JAMES COLEMAN GARDNER. Among those whose military records as valiant soldiers of the great war between the states reflect lasting honor upon them and their descendants s James Coleman Gardner, who has had a varied career and has long been engaged as trustee and receiver in bankruptcy at Springfield, where he has won an honored name by virtue of his consistency to truth, honesty and right living. It was fifty-eight years ago that he first came to the present capital of the Ozark region, then a mere village on the frontier, and he has been identified with the growth of the place ever since, taking a delight n its progress.
Mr. Gardner was born near Santa Fe, Murray county, Tennessee, on November 17, 1832. He is a son of Britton D. and Jeanette (Oakley). Gardner. The father was born, September 1, 1808, and was a son of Nathan and Nancy Gardner. Nathan Gardner was of German descent, and n an early day he went west to make his fortune. Britton D. Gardner grew to manhood in Murray county, Tennessee, and there devoted himself to general farming. When the Civil war came on he enlisted in the First Regiment, Tennessee Cavalry, Confederate army, and fought gallantly for the cause until killed while fighting in General Forest's brigade at Thompson's Station, Tennessee, March 23, 1863. Politically, he was a Democrat, and religiously belonged to the Methodist Episcopal church, South. His wife was born in Murray county, Tennessee, August 22, 1814. She did not long survive after the death of her husband. Their home, which was in the heart of the country overrun by the opposing armies, was destroyed by fire; she was ill at the time, and died from the effects of the exposure, October 17, 1863. Both subjects' great-grandfathers were soldiers in the Revolutionary war.
James C. Gardner grew up on the farm and received a limited education, attending the district schools about fifteen months, but later in life he educated himself by general home reading. He worked on the farm until 1854, when he went into the dry goods business in Santa Fe, Tennessee, for a year. On May .23, 1856, he arrived in Springfield, Missouri, and clerked for some time in a dry goods store. In September, 1862, he enlisted in Company H, Sixty-first Regiment, Tennessee Volunteers, Confederate army, and proved to be a brave soldier, taking part in numerous engagements, including Chickasaw Bayou, where he was under fire eight days and nights continuously, and also during the siege of Vicksburg he was under fire at one time continuously for forty-seven days and nights. He had the distinction of firing the first gun in the battle of Black River. He surrendered with the balance of General Pemberton's army of thirty thousand men at Vicksburg, July 4, 1863. He had been promoted to first lieutenant for meritorious conduct. He returned, to Springfield in 1866 and clerked in a store until 1872, when he went into business for himself, where the Aladdin Theatre is now located. Later taking a farm in Greene county, he moved thereto and continued general farming until 1881, when he moved back to Springfield and resumed clerking. During the past twenty-two years he has been working in the bankruptcy business, as trustee and receiver, and is regarded as an expert in this line and his services have been in great demand.
Politically, Mr. Gardner is a Democrat. He is a member of Campbell Camp, No. 488, United Confederate Veterans, which camp was organized by himself and Dan Campbell, and he has been active in its work ever since.
Mr. Gardner was married, January 31, 1866, to Mrs. Mary (Evans) Shackleford. She was born in Tennessee, January 31, 1833, and died August 18, 1898. She was a woman of fine Christian sentiment.
To Mr. Gardner and wife three children were born, namely: Minnie is at home; Henry E. has also remained a member of the family circle; and Lillian is the wife of J. W. Quade.
Springfield-Greene County Library