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 N. HILDERBRAND. The late James N. Hilderbrand was for many years one of the successful and scientific farmers of Greene county and a citizen against whom no word of blame was ever uttered by his neighbors, so far as the biographer can learn. He was a man given to right thinking and was a man who believed in helping those with whom he came into contact on the highway of life and, therefore, he had a good conscience and a host of friends. He was public-spirited and was known as a good citizen in every respect.

Mr. Hilderbrand was born in Jefferson county, Missouri, in 1852. He was a son of Peter and Martha (Peppers) Hilderbrand. The father was reared in Jefferson county, and there received a common school education. He worked on a farm when a boy and devoted his active life to agricultural pursuits, becoming owner of an extensive landed estate and considerable wealth. He moved to Dallas county, this state, where his death occurred on his farm there a number of years ago. He was a prominent man and influential in public affairs in both Jefferson and Dallas counties. Politically, he was a Republican. After the death of her husband, the mother of our subject moved to Greene county and died here. She was a member of the Holiness church.

James N. Hilderbrand was a boy when he accompanied his parents to Dallas county, and there grew to manhood on the home farm where he worked hard when a boy, and he received a limited education in the common schools of that county. When twenty-one years of age he came to Greene county and bought forty acres, later added one hundred and twenty acres. He cleared most of his land, developed a fine farm by hard work and good management and made all the modern improvements necessary, including a comfortable home and several large barns. He took a delight in keeping his place in as good condition in every way as any of his neighbors. In connection with general farming he devoted considerable attention to raising live stock, mostly mules, and was regarded as one of the most successful stockmen in Washington township.

Mr. Hilderbrand married May 4, 1882, Mary M. Kelley, who was born in Greene county, January 11, 1864. She is a daughter of Hugh and Martha (Rhoden) Kelley. The father was born in Tennessee, and there he spent his childhood, being about sixteen years of age when he immigrated with his parents to Missouri, locating in Greene county. He was reared on a farm and educated in the early-day schools. He worked for his father until reaching maturity and finally bought a farm of his own, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres, which he brought up to a fine state of improvement and cultivation. In his earlier years he taught school for awhile in Missouri. His death occurred on his farm about the year 1896; He was married in this county. His wife was a native of Indiana, and she was a child when she accompanied her parents to Missouri, the family locating on a farm, where, she grew to womanhood, and she was educated in the common schools. She was a hard-worker, and spun and wove the cloth with which to make clothing for her family. She was a member of the Presbyterian church. Her death, occurred on the old home place in 1890, prior to the death of her husband.

Mrs. Hilderbrand grew to womanhood on the home farm and she received a good public school education. She is a woman of tact and business ability and with her boys, is successfully operating the home farm.

Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Hilderbrand, namely: Charles, born February 14, 1883, died in infancy; Mabel, born February 19, 1885, died July 5, 1906, married Conrad Malonee; Mrs. Annie Bowers, born February 2, 1888, has one child, Harold; she lives in Greene county; Arlie, born July 31, 1898, lives at home; Fred, born September 30, 1900, is also at home; Mrs. Viva Humble, born February 2, 1891, lives in Greene county, and has one child, Arlina.

Politically, Mr. Hilderbrand was a Democrat and fraternally, he belonged to the Loyal Order of Moose. His death occurred September 3, 1911, at Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he had gone on account of declining health. He is remembered as a good neighbor, kind husband and indulgent father, a man who stood high in his community.

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