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


SAM M. WEAR. It is not so much the different things which men do as the way and spirit in which they do them, that makes the greatest difference between men. The man whose daily work is simple drudgery, is, in spirit, a serf. He regards himself as only a means to the end of accomplishing certain fixed tasks. It is the very bitterness of serf's condition that he is a mere instrument, a tool, and that he cannot rise above that relation to his work. Hence, there can be for him but small delight in his employment. His labor can possess no dignity for him, because he possesses none in himself. Labor and service are invested with dignity only when the individuals who perform them are brought into a true and responsible relation to them. It is the person who dignifies the work. If he exists, or supposes himself to exist, only for his drudging tasks, they share in his degradation. Only as the individual is lifted into something of the dignity of true, responsible, personal life, can his duties and work assume new and higher meanings. This is true just because it is not the simple performing of the duties which impart to them their meaning, but the purpose, spirit, and way of doing them. In the instance of this word-setting to Sam M. Wear, the present popular and able prosecuting attorney of Greene county, it may be recorded of him that during his career he has given dignity to his profession, the law, although he is a plain, unassuming gentleman, but he communicates dignity to every duty he performs. He infuses the new and higher meanings into all his work, and his purpose, spirit and way of doing it, is what addresses our attention. In his relations with his fellowman there has ever been the evident purpose and spirit of an honest personality. This spirit and purpose are illustrated along his private pathways as well as in his career at the bar, his uniform integrity and fairness impressing all with whom he has come in contact.

Mr. Wear was born at Cassville, Barry county, Missouri, January 14, 1880. He is a son of A. H. and Ona (McConnell) Wear, both born, reared, educated and married in Missouri. For a number of years they made their home in Barry county, from which county they removed in, 1886 to Greene county, locating in. Springfield. The elder Wear was at that time appointed receiver of the United States land office here, filling this responsible position with credit and satisfaction to all concerned for a period of four years. He was a lawyer by profession, and practiced with success in Barry and Greene counties for many years. In 1894 he was elected prosecuting attorney of the latter county, the duties of which office he discharged faithfully and well until 1898. His death occurred in November, 1910, at the age of fifty-six years, his wife having preceded him to the silent land in 1896. They were both members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and were highly respected by all who knew them, and politically he was a Democrat and was long influential in local public affairs. To these parents one other child besides our subject was born, Madeline Wear, an accomplished young lady who makes her home in Springfield.

Sam M. Wear was six years old when the family moved to Springfield, and here he grew to manhood and received his education, attending the public schools when he became of proper age until 1895, when he entered. Drury Academy here, from which he was graduated in 1898, then entered Drury College proper, made a good record for scholarship and was graduated with the class of 1902. When a mere boy he determined to follow in the footsteps of his father in a professional way and began the study of law, which he continued at spare moments until completing his college course, whereupon he entered the Cumberland View law School at Lebanon, Tennessee, from which he was graduated in 1904, and was at once admitted to the bar and began practice in Springfield with his father, with whom he remained for two years, then entered, as a partner, the well-established firm of Farrington & Pepperdine, the firm then becoming Farrington, Pepperdine & Wear, which continued thus successfully for two years, then Mr. Wear and Mr. Farrington formed a partnership, which continued until both were elected to office, our subject being elected prosecuting attorney of Greene county in the fall of 1912, and he is filling the same in a manner that reflects much credit upon his ability, fidelity and courage and to the eminent satisfaction of all concerned, irrespective of party alignment. He is fearless and energetic in the performance of his duties and has proven himself to be thoroughly grounded not only in the basic principles of jurisprudence, but also with the statutes of Missouri. He always goes into court well prepared and he has great weight with juries and the bench by his earnestness, clarity of his statements of facts and interpretation of the law. In view of his eminent success at the bar so early in life, the future must needs be replete with greater honors and successes for him.

Politically Mr. Wear is a Democrat and loyal in his support of the party. Fraternally he belongs to the Knights of Pythias, the Improved Order of Red Men and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Religiously he is a member of the Presbyterian church.

Mr. Wear married Susan McClellan, a lady of many commendable characteristics. She is a native of Claremore, Oklahoma, where she was reared to womanhood and educated and where her family has long been prominent. The union of our subject and wife has been blessed by the birth of two children.

[1930-1933]


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