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


MARVIN H. SOUTHWORTH. Industry, uprightness and intelligence are characteristics which will advance the interests of any man, and will tend to the prosperity to which all aspire. Such are some of the traits of Marvin H. Southworth, for forty years a well known contractor of Springfield and one of the most successful in southwest Missouri in his vocation. He has lived to see and take part in the latter day development of the Queen City in which he has ever manifested a just pride, and although he is now past his allotted three score and ten he is still active and in full possession of his faculties, as everyone should be in old age, if they have been fortunate enough to escape the untoward accidents which fate sometimes sends. He hails from the old Empire state and has evidently inherited many of the, sterling characteristics of his Yankee ancestors.

Mr. Southworth was born, May 10, 1842, in Gowanda, Cattaraugus county, New York. He is a son of Aaron and Deborah (Barnes) Southworth. The father was a native of Steuben county, New York, where he grew to manhood, was educated in the public schools and there began life as a farmer which vocation he followed through life. Leaving New York state he came west in 1848 and located in Springfield, Missouri, and here continued farming with his usual success until his death in 1850. The mother of our subject was born in the state of Vermont, from which state she removed with her parents when a child to Gowanda, New York, where she and Aaron Southworth were married. Her death occurred in 1851. To these parents the following children were born: Mary Louisa, widow of Isaac Davis, she died in Springfield, April 16, 1912; Helen, who married Byron Van Vleit of western New York, died in 1889, leaving one child, Roy; Finette, who lives in Silver Creek, New York, married, first Edwin Brooks, by whom she had one child, Burk, and later married Byron Van Vleit, who had first married her sister, Helen, and two children were born to her second marriage, Lovie and Bessie; Marion H., of this review.

Mr. Southworth, of this sketch, grew to manhood on the home farm in the old Empire state and there assisted with the general work in the summer, and during the winter months he attended the common schools of his vicinity. He was first married in 1863 to Maria Welch, of western New York, and one of his school mates; her death occurred in 1909. To this union one child was born, Nellie, whose death occurred on August 1, 1895, at the age of eighteen years. On March 29, 1911, our subject married Mrs. Carrie L. Hevern, of Plymouth, Indiana, widow of Charles Hevern. She is a daughter of William R. Haskett, a farmer of that community, but he and his wife are both deceased; their family consisted of ten children.

Mr. Southworth was twenty-five years of age when he came to Springfield, Missouri, about the close of the Civil war, and this has been his home ever since, consequently he has seen and taken part in the development of the city from a small town to the capital of the Ozarks. He here took up the trade of stone mason, and has been a city contractor for a period of forty years, being associated in this business with John Cowell, a well-known citizen here for twenty years. He is one of the most widely known contractors in southwest Missouri and he has laid the foundations of most of the important buildings in Springfield. Besides the court house there was but one brick building in the city when he came here. After the building season was over and during his first winter in Springfield, he sawed wood for Prof. J. Fairbanks, the supervising editor of this history. He was for a time engaged in the dry goods business in later years, a member of the firm of Hirsch, Southworth & Mack. He has been very successful as a business man and now in his old age he finds himself in possession of a comfortable competency and also enjoying the esteem of all who know him as a result of his industrious, public-spirited and honorable life.

Politically, Mr. Southworth is a Republican. He is a charter member of the local lodge of Knights of Pythias. He has been a member of Grace Methodist Episcopal church for a period of forty years, and has been active in its affairs. He was for some time chairman of its building committee, and has been honored with most all the offices of this church.

[1724-1725]


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