Pictorial and Genealogical Record
of
Greene County, Missouri

Together with Bibliographies of Prominent Men of Other Portions of the State, Both Living and Dead


WILLIAM P. ELSON. A biographical compendium of Greene County, Mo., would be incomplete were not mention made of the gentleman whose name introduces this sketch, for he is a man of much public spirit; he donates liberally to all public enterprises and gives his influence to every just measure for the promotion of the public good. He was born in Stark County, Ohio, in 1837, a son of John Harris and Osee (Wilson) Elson, who were born in Hancock County, Va., in 1806 and Stark County, Ohio, in 1815, respectively. When about twelve years of age Mr. Elson accompanied his parents to Ohio and there he grew to manhood and was married. He has always been active, industrious and honest and as a natural consequence he is one the well-to-do agriculturists of that county. He has always been a great reader and is well informed on all subjects of interest. Formerly a Whig in politics he is now a Republican. His brothers and sisters are as follows: Edward, a bridge builder of Steubenville, now deceased, leaving a family; William, who died in the South, leaving a wife; Richard, who was a farmer of Stark County, and died leaving a family; Thomas W. who tilled the soil in Wayne County, Ohio, and died leaving a family of fifteen children; George, who died in Ohio on his way to his home from Indiana, leaving a family; Polly is the wife of George McCormick, of Columbiana County, Ohio; Rachel died near Warsaw, Ind., as the wife of Michael Bowman; Charity, died in Stark County, the wife of Robert Wilson. Their father's name was John Harris Elson, in all probability a Virginian by birth, in which State he was reared and- married. In 1818 he became one of the pioneers of Stark County, Ohio, where he died in 1821, a well-to-do farmer. He was a sturdy frontiersman and served in some of the early Indian wars as captain of militia, holding a commission from Gov. Randolph, of Virginia.. He was of Scotch descent and was a prominent man in the affairs of his day. His wife, whose maiden name was Margaret Wiggins, was also a Virginian. Douglas Wilson, the maternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born in Pennsylvania in 1778, and his wife, Osee Haines, was born in 1782 and they died in 1846 and 1854 respectively. They were among the very earliest settlers of Stark County, Ohio, having removed to that region prior to 1812. Mr. Wilson was a farmer and he and his wife became the parents of children as follows: James, born in 1802 and died in 1828; Benjamin C., born 1804 and died about 1888; Nancy, born in 1805 and died many years ago; Robert, born in 1807 and died in 1883; Isaac, born in 1810 and died in 1845; Douglas, born in 1812 and now a resident of Stark County; Osee (Mrs. Elson), born in 1815 and died in January, 1892, in Stark County; Peter, born in 1817 and died at the age of fifty-five years; Phoebe, born in 1821 and now living in Ohio; John, born in 1823, now a resident of Indiana; Thomas, born in 1825 and died in 1828 and Jonathan, born in 1829 and died in infancy. Willliam P. Elson is the third of thirteen children born to his worthy parents: Sarah Ann, wife of James Wilson, of Washington County, Penn.; James W., who died at the age of thirteen years; William P.; Douglas Wallace, who died in childhood; John Harris, who was born in 1840, joined the Benton Cadets in Missouri at the breaking out of the war and later became a member of the Fifty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry and at the battle of Murfreesboro received his death wound; after a few days in the camp hospital he was taken to Nashville where he died soon after. Henry Clay, was born in 1842 and is now a resident of Stark County, Ohio. He was in the Nineteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Col. Sam Beatty and later by Senator Manderson, of Nebraska, and served throughout the entire war in the Army of the Tennessee. He was captured at Murfreesboro and was confined in Libby Prison and Castle Thunder for about six weeks when he was paroled and a little later exchanged and rejoined his command: Vilona Virginia, died in Stark County; Vanelia Osee, wife of John P. Frame, a prominent farmer of Greene County, Mo.; Edwin W., was born in 1850 and in 1878 came to Greene County, marrying here and becoming one of its most -prominent farmers; Emma is the wife of J. J. Jones, of Greene County; Benjamin F. is a farmer of Stark County, Ohio; Florence Nightingale, died at about the age of thirteen years. William P. Elson, was given the advantages of the common schools and of Mt. Union, College, Stark County, Ohio, and in the meantime learned the details of farming. After leaving school he began teaching school and followed this occupation in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, also laboring a part of the; time as a traveling insurance agent. During the Civil War he was in Illinois and Ohio and in 1866 came to Greene County, Mo., and the same year made a crop on a part of his present farm. He owns about five hundred acres of fine farming land on Leeper Prairie, two miles east of Ash Grove, on which is a handsome farm residence, good barns, fences and other improvements. He gives considerable attention to the breeding of horses and sheep, in which he has met with good success. He was married in 1875 to Elizabeth Cordelia Frame, a native of Montgomery County, Ind., a daughter of S. P. and Elizabeth Frame who were born in Kentucky and Virginia in 1826 and 1828 respectively. They were married in Indiana and there lived until 1869 when they came to Greene County, Mo., where Mr. Frame has since followed merchandising and farming. He was a soldier in the Federal Army during the war and in their religious views he and his wife are members of the Dunkard Church. Mrs. Frame was a daughter of Jacob Harshbarger who came from Virginia to Indiana, his death occurring in the last mentioned State. To Mr. and Mrs. Elson the following children have been given: Vinnie R., John Harris, Charles Henson, William Robert, Richard Parker and Archibald. Mr. and Mrs. Elson are Presbyterians and he is a member of Ash Grove Lodge of the A. F. & A. M. and the A. O. U. W.

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