Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
JOHN J. HOBBS. Illustrative of the evidence that the bitterness and malevolence resulting from the war between the states is rapidly passing away are the frequent reunions between the veterans of the North and the South, when they clasp hands across what was once a "bloody chasm" but is now filled and flower grown; and the frequent return of battle flags, torn from dying hands on the fields of conflict are a further evidence of a finer feeling and a more sincere regard each for the other. The children of the blue and the gray have intermarried and their sires sit together amid the falling shadows of life's evening, respecting each other yet the more because they have tried and learned to honor the dauntless spirit, each of the other, on the field of deadly ,strife.
One of the Civil war veterans of Greene county is John J. Hobbs, who after a successful career as general farmer, is living retired at Walnut Grove, being now past his three-score and ten. He has spent his long life in this section of the Ozarks, which he has seen grow from a country of wild-woods to a thriving farming community. He was born in Dade county, Missouri, which adjoins this county, on March 11, 1843. He is a son of Silas and Polly Ann (Fanning) Hobbs, each representing two of the early families of Greene county. His parents were both natives of Tennessee, from which state they came to this county about 1837 and settled on Grand Prairie, north of Springfield, both having made the journey with their parents. The paternal grandfather settled in Dade county, while the maternal grandfather located in Greene county. After their marriage the parents of our subject engaged in farming in Dade county. The father died in 1887, and the mother's death occurred in 1874. They were the parents of the following children: James W., John J., of this sketch; Elizabeth, Jane, William, Louisa, Rebecca, Vinson G., Oliver P., Mary Ann and Silas A.
John J. Hobbs was reared on the farm in Dade county and there attended the common schools, and remained with his parents until July, 1861, when he enlisted in Company D, Sixth Missouri Cavalry Volunteers, sometimes called the Dade County Home Guards. It was not long until he had a chance to ascertain what war really meant, for on the 10th of August of that year he fought at Wilson's Creek, not very far from his home, but which proved to be one of the two greatest and most important battles of the first year of the war. Here he conducted himself like a veteran, despite his youth and lack of military experience. He retreated with the Federal forces from that field to Springfield and on to Rolla, Phelps county, and his next engagement was at Wet Glaize, near Lebanon, Missouri. From there he was with the troops that went to Linn Creek, Camden county, where they captured Capt. Bill Roberts and his company. He was later in the battle at Prairie Grove, also Newtonia, then went to southeastern Missouri and fought an engagement with Gen. John S. Marmaduke's forces, driving them front the state. He and a comrade, E. Woodrow, were sent with a dispatch from Bloomfield to General Davidson's headquarters at Witsburg, Arkansas. While on the way they were captured by the enemy and held as prisoners at Little Rock for over two weeks, when they were exchanged, and soon thereafter rejoined their own company. Mr. Hobbs was on guard duty at the bridge of the Iron Mountain railroad for awhile. He took part in numerous other engagements, and was mustered out of the service on July 16, 1864, and honorably discharged, having been in the army three years. After returning home, where he remained several months, he re-enlisted on March 15, 1865, in the Fourteenth Missouri Cavalry, in which he served eight months, and was mustered out by general orders from the war department.
After the war Mr. Hobbs turned his attention to general farming in Dade and Polk counties and this continued to claim his attention up to a few years ago, when he retired from active life. He became owner of a good farm and devoted much attention to stock raising. He located in Greene county in 1912, and he is now living at Walnut Grove, where he has a pleasant home.
Mr. Hobbs was married on February 15, 1866, to Martha E. Messick, a daughter of Elihu and Sarah (Jeffries) Messick, each of whom came with their families to Greene county in the early days and located near Springfield when that place was a small frontier village.
Nine children have been born to our subject and wife, namely: Sarah L. is the wife of J. C. Routh, who lives in Montrose, Colorado; Benjamin L. lives in Hiattville, Kansas; John F. is farming in Polk county, Missouri Thomas W. lives in Pompey Pillar, Montana; Mary M. became the wife of O. E. Hargrave, who died in 1901, leaving three children; four of our subject's children died in infancy.
Politically Mr. Hobbs is an Independent Republican. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He belongs to the Free Will Baptist church, and his wife is a member of the Methodist church.
Springfield-Greene County Library