Pictorial and Genealogical Record
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Greene County, Missouri

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


JUDGE JAMES R. VAUGHAN. The subject of this sketch was born in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on January 6, 1845. As a lawyer and faithful advocate he has few equals, as he has a logical and analytical mind, well trained and full of resources. He was systematically trained for his profession, first as student and subsequently in the law department of the University of Michigan, the best law school in the United States. He is energetic and patient, indefatigably industrious, and of absolute honor and integrity. As a citizen he is quiet and unassuming, but public spirited and ever alive to progress at home and in the community. He is a man who never gushes nor overflows; he is never elated by small victories nor seeks small glories; he never praises himself nor seeks for praise from others. His character and intellect are solid, strong and practical, and for these reasons he has succeeded so well under great difficulties and without any special advantage. He is the eldest and only living son of Thomas and Susan B. Vaughan. His father moved to the section now embraced in Christian County in 1849 and became a farmer. His father was a man who always took much interest in political affairs, and was always well read upon the current affairs of the times. He was originally a Whig, was a stanch Union man during the war, and after the war a Democrat. His death, which occurred August 18, 1880, was deeply deplored by his many friends. His widow survives him and makes her home in Springfield with her two surviving children. She was born in Tennessee, a daughter of Robert Lawing, who was an early resident of that State from North Carolina. James Vaughan Sr., the grandfather of James R., was originally from Virginia. Thomas H. Vaughan took a part in the Seminole Indian War in Florida, and during his lifetime he and his wife were members of the Presbyterian Church, but she is now connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church. Of a family of seven children born to this worthy couple, only three grew to maturity: Samuel R., who died in 1889, a young man twenty-two years of age; a daughter who became the wife of James R. Bell, of Springfield, and James R. The youthful days of the latter were spent near Ozark, Mo., on a farm and in attending the district school near his home. He obtained his literary education in the schools of Ozark, in the Union University at Murfreesboro, Tenn., entering the latter institution in 1860, where he remained -until the bursting of the great war cloud upon this country, when the school was closed. He then returned to Missouri with an uncle, Dr. David A. Vaughan, and remained with his parents until March 19, 1862, when he took "French leave" of his home, and attached himself to the Sixth Missouri Volunteer Cavalry, under Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, enlisting at Cassville, Mo., as a private. Young Vaughan was quite patriotic, as upon his first effort to join the Federal army he was followed by his father and taken back, then being only in the beginning of his seventeenth year. He was in several engagements in western Missouri, at Sarcoxie and other points, going from thence to Vicksburg, after which he went up the Arkansas River to Arkansas Post, after which he was on different transports on the Mississippi River. He was at the siege of Vicksburg, Jackson, Miss., and was in a number of cavalry raids in eastern Louisiana, and was in the Banks expedition up the Red River, taking part in the engagement at Sabine Cross Roads and Pleasant Hill, and again in an expedition to southeast Mississippi, along Mississippi Sound. He was never severely wounded while in the service, but was usually found ready for duty, and, by faithfully performing everything required of him and by the courage he displayed on several trying occasions, he rose to the rank of sergeant-major, and as such was discharged after the battle of Baton Rouge, March 22, 1865, and returned to his former home in Missouri. He soon after engaged in teaching school, which he continued for a short time, then entered the Illinois College at Jacksonville, which institution he attended for one term. He then entered the law department of the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor (in 1866), and graduated therefrom in March, 1868, after which he practiced his profession in Ozark, Christian County, Mo., until his removal to Springfield in 1877. While in Christian County he was a public school commissioner. He was married there to Miss Barbara A. Weaver, May 10, 1871, a daughter of John R. Weaver, who was formerly a Tennessean. The latter is one of the highly honored citizens of Christian County, and on two different occasions he was elected to the position of county treasurer. Mrs. Vaughan was born December 17, 1852, being one of a family of seven children, and has borne Judge Vaughan six children, two of whom are deceased. Those living are Lena E., who is at home; Anne C., who is attending school at Auburn Park, Chicago; Charles, who is attending the public schools at Springfield, and James, who is also at school. Susie died at the age of fourteen years and Mary at the age of four. In 1886, on the death of Judge W. F. Geiger, Mr. Vaughan was appointed to the position of circuit judge, by Gov. Marmaduke, but only held the position a few months. In this responsible position he administered the law with justice and impartiality, knowing neither friend nor foe, and while on the bench his record was clean and pure. He has always been a live business man, was for several years vice-president of the First National Bank of Springfield, and is the owner of considerable valuable real estate and other property. He has been and now is attorney for several railroads and other corporate enterprises, and is now engaged in general practice, which fully occupies his time and attention. Politically he is a Democrat. He has a pleasant and comfortable home at 427 East Walnut Street, and it is there that his character shows its most admirable traits.

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