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


IRVIN W. WINGO. Widely known in Greene and Dallas counties, Irvin W. Wingo, of near Fair Grove, is a man deserving of a conspicuous position for his biography in a work of the province of the one in hand, for his career has been fraught with a large measure of success both as an educator and agriculturist. Over three decades of his career were devoted to school work with most commendable results, and for many years as county superintendent of schools in the latter county he did much to raise the standard of work in this field and place the county high in the list of those of southwestern Missouri doing good educational work. Although a school man in the broadest and best sense of the term and as such, making every other consideration secondary to his professional and official duties he never became narrow or pedantic as have so many whose lives have been spent in intimate association with the immature minds within the four walls of the school room. He remained a well rounded, symmetrically developed man, fully alive to the demands of the times, thoroughly informed on the leading questions before the public and has ever taken broad views of men and things, and is, therefore a useful and influential citizen in his locality.

Mr. Wingo was born in Dallas county, Missouri, July 8, 1861. He is a son of Jasper and Nan (Johns) Wingo, both natives of Tennessee, the father born in the middle section of the state, October 24, 1838, and the mother's birth occurred in Weakly county, February 24, 1842. They came to Missouri when young in years, with their parents, and here grew to maturity on farms and were educated in the early day common schools and were married in Dallas county, in 1859. During the war between the states Joseph Wingo joined the Union army under Captain Kershner, in Company A, Eighth Missouri Calvary, and he saw considerable service, taking part in the battles of Prairie Grove and Brownsville and a number of minor engagements. At the close of the war he was honorably discharged at St. Louis, after which he returned to Dallas county and resumed farming. He owned one hundred and sixty acres. He is now living in Fair Grove, Greene county, in retirement, being advanced in years. His wife also survives. They are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church and are highly respected by a wide circle of friends. Two children were born to them, Irvin W., of this review; and William W. of Springfield, who is employed by the Frisco Lines.

Irvin W. Wingo was reared on the homestead in Dallas county and there worked hard when a boy during the crop seasons, and in the winter time he attended the common schools, receiving thereby and through his individual efforts at home a good education. He began teaching school when only sixteen years of age, teaching twelve years in rural schools, then entered the Missouri State Normal at Warrensburg, taking a full course in teachers' work, graduating in 1889. He was then fully equipped for his chosen profession. Returning to his native county he was elected principal of the schools at Buffalo county--seat of Dallas county, remaining in that position five years. He then taught one year in the old Springfield Normal, then taught three years at Cassville, Missouri, after which he came to Fair Grove and taught until 1911, thus, out of a period of thirty-four years, he engaged in teaching thirty-two years, during which his services were in large demand and he gave eminent satisfaction wherever he was employed, being progressive in his ideas and building tip the work in general. He was elected school commissioner of Dallas county for two terms, without opposition, and was offered a third term but declined. This is sufficient criterion that his official duties were ably and satisfactorily performed.

Finally tiring of the school room, Mr. Wingo moved to his fine farm of four hundred and twenty acres which he had purchased while teaching and has since devoted his time and attention to general agricultural pursuits with gratifying results, now specializing in the dairy business for which he is well equipped in every respect and he finds a very ready market for his products. Everything is kept in an up-to-date and sanitary condition. His place is well improved along all lines and he has a commodious home in the midst of attractive surroundings. He is one of the progressive and substantial men of his community and one of the most influential, and yet is a man of entirely unassuming manners.

Mr. Wingo has been twice married, first, on October 10, 1881, to Ollie J. Wills, by whom three children were born, namely: Fred, who is employed in Springfield; Elbert lives in Springfield; and Mrs. Gertrude Jones, also of that city. The wife and mother was called to her eternal rest on September 15, 1886. She was a daughter of Jack and Mollie (Goss) Wills. On December 26, 1889, Mr. Wingo married Julia McKee, a daughter of Melvin and Phoebe Ann (Grimes) McKee, both now deceased. To this second union eleven children have been born, named as follows: Glenn is living at home; Carl W., Mrs. Bessie Albright, Russell is teaching school, Ruth is attending high school at Fair Grove, Ralph, Charles is deceased, Jewett, Jasper, Phoebe Ann, and an infant son, deceased.

Politically, Mr. Wingo is a Republican. Fraternally he belongs to the Masonic Order, the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellow. Mrs. Wingo is a member of the Christian church.

[1155-1157]


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