History of Greene County, Missouri

R. I. Holcombe, Editing Historian

Chapter 19
Walnut Grove Township

Description — Early History — The First Settlers and Settlements — Pioneer Life — The "Firsts" — Items — Miscellaneous — Pleasant Grove Church — Concord Church — The Town of Walnut Grove — Masonic Lodge — Biographies of Old Settlers and Prominent Citizens.


Walnut Grove township is the smallest civil township in Greene county, but by no means the least in importance. It contains 24 sections of land, the most of which is very valuable. The grove of walnut timber from which the township took its name was widely known from the earliest period of the settlement of the country. Large quantities of this valuable sort of timber have been taken out of this township and Boone, in recent years, and much of it shipped to the furniture manufactories not only of the United States, but even to England and Germany.

The township occupies the extreme northwestern part of Greene county. It comprises the south twenty sections of congressional township 31, in range 24, beginning at section 13, and ending with section 36. The municipal township was formed out of Boone at the session of the county court in June, 1872. [608]


It is difficult to this late day to determine who was the very first bona fide settler of Walnut Grove township. Allen Williams came in 1832 and located in section 21, but some time afterward removed to Texas. The same year came Michael Walsh and located on section 22. Walsh was an Irishman. It is stated that one William Mallory built the first cabin which stood on the farm of A. J. McElmore.

On the head of Turkey creek and some of the tributaries of the Sac river, the first settlers were Hugh Leeper, from East Tennessee, who came in October, 1834, and started a settlement on sections 21 and 28. The land was preempted at first, and in December, 1838, Mr. Leeper entered 520 acres, the south half of section 21 and the north half of section 28. Capt. John ("Jack") Williamson came from Middle Tennessee, in 1836; then there were Wm. G. Sumners, from Middle Tennessee; Matthew Sims, from North Carolina, and Miles Carey, from Kentucky.

In this settlement the first marriages remembered by Capt. Williamson were those of Wm. Acuff to Elizabeth Kelley and Stephen Blakey to Sarah Kelly, both of which occurred in 1842, but probably there was a marriage antedating these. The first white child born was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Miles Carey, and the date of its birth is believed to have been in 1837. The first death was that of Boone Chastine, of Kentucky, who died in 1838, and was buried at the present site of a saw mill.

Dr. Constantine Perkins was the first physician; Rev. Hiram Savage, a Baptist minister, held the first religious services at the residence of Wm. G. Sumners; the first school was taught on the land of Mr. Sumners, and the first school house was of logs and built by the contributed labor of the settlers, the job being bossed by Allen Williams.

Hugh Leeper was born in Hawkins county, East Tennessee, Sept. 14, 1783, and died on the old homestead March 3, 1851. His wife, Elizabeth Leeper, was born in Knox county, East Tennessee, Nov. 1787, and died January 3, 1829.

In another portion of the township, on and near Clear creek, in the corner of section 1, in what is now Boone township, the first settler was Wm. Killingsworth, who came from East Tennessee in 1839. His descendants now live further north. Mr. Killingsworth died in October, 1866. [609]

In Mr. Killingsworth's neighborhood the first marriage remembered was that of James Killingsworth and Susannah Kelly, December 24, 1846. Rev. John Gilmore performed the ceremony. A daughter of James and Susannah Killingsworth, named Eliza, was born Aug. 29, 1848, and it is claimed that she was the first female child born in the community.

Dr. A. S. Clinton was a pioneer physician, and Rev. Wm. Tatum, a Baptist, held religious services at an early day at Mt. Pleasant church, on Clear creek. The nearest school house in early days was the Kelly school house, on section 15, near Walnut Grove. During the first few years of Mr. Killingsworth's settlement, game of all sorts was abundant, and it was but little trouble to go out and kill a deer or a number of turkeys at almost any time. Wolves, too were disagreeably plentiful, and exasperatingly bold. The latter animals were often hunted on horseback, and this was considered rare sport, and no doubt it was.

Other early settlers in Walnut Grove township are named, as Gibson A. Williams, who came from Tennessee in 1831; John and Andrew Bartleson, who arrived in 1832; Joseph Welch and his sons, John, Michael, and Charles, all Tennesseeans, who settled here in 1832 or 1833; Isaac Looney, who came from Tennessee and located in section 13 about the same time.

The first preachers in Walnut Grove township were Bryant Nowlin and James Mitchell, Methodists, and Elijah Williams, a Baptist.

Religious services were conducted at the house of Hugh Leeper, as early as the winter of 1834-5.

The first school was taught by B. F. Walker in the summer and fall of 1836 or 1837, in a little log cabin that stood about one-fourth of a mile west of where Walnut Grove now stands.

It was along road to market and a hard one to travel in early days. The Leepers were accustomed to haul their wheat to Boonville, away up on the Missouri river, and with the proceeds of its sale purchase the family supplies. Mr. James Leeper, still living, has a vivid recollection of making such journeys. [610]


Upon the first settlement of Walnut Grove nearly all the goods consumed were brought from St. Louis. The settlers clubbed together, and one furnished a wagon, another a yoke of oxen, and usually two others made the journey. Going down often the wagon was freighted with deer skins, which were exchanged in St. Louis for "store goods." The trip often occupied a month.

The women of the settlement made all or very nearly all the clothing worn, from the raw material, without the assistance or intervention of tailors and mantua-makers—a practice still in vogue in many parts of the county.

At first mortars and pestles were used to convert the corn into meal. The first mill put up within reach of the settlement was at Orleans, Polk county—or where now is Polk county—by Madison Campbell and Ransom Cates. It was a water mill and was built on Little Sac. The next mill accessible was Carey & Perkins' (or McElhanon & Perkins') on Clear creek, down where now is Boone township.

Capt. John Williamson states that when he put up his first house in this township, a log one, he gave a house raising, as was customary in that day, and settlers came to help him from 20 miles away. The people were nothing if not accommodating and disposed to bear one another's burdens.

For some years after the first settlement the Delaware and Cherokee Indians passed through the country occasionally on hunting expeditions. They were always friendly. When Capt. Williamson came a small band of Delawares was still here. The settlers bought their cattle from them, paying for them in salt. The price of a milch cow was a gallon of salt; of a three-year-old steer, a quart.


It is said that the grandfather of Mrs. McElhannon, old James Barham, who died in this count in the year 1868, had served in the Revolutionary war and at the time of his death was 112 years of age. Mr. Barham was a native of North Carolina. [611]

A very distressing tragedy occurred in this township in the month of January, 1880. A young man named Sigel Williams, of Texas, was visiting his uncle, David Williams, who lived some three miles from Walnut Grove. Young Williams and his cousin, Miss Jemima Williams, were playing pranks on one another. Sigel jerked a chair from under his cousin letting her fall to the floor and assume a very unbecoming and indecorous attitude. Then he ran out of the house and looking in at a window laughed tauntingly at the success of his practical joke. Miss Williams caught up a loaded gun, ran out of doors, pointed it at her cousin, fired and the bullet pierced his forehead, killing him instantly. She declared that she was quite certain that the gun "wasn't loaded," and that she had only aimed it in sport, and expressed great regret at her fearful mistake. Others thought differently, however, and she was arrested and brought before Esq. Rountree, of Springfield, where she waived examination and gave bond to await the action of the grand jury.

There are some prominent stock men in Walnut Grove township, and among them is Mr. James Leeper. In March, 1881, Mr. Leeper sold one lot of mules for $1,840, and in the winter of 1876 one lot of cattle and hogs brought him $1,700.


This church stands on section 36, township 31, range 24, and was organized in the year 1854. The original members were John Crawford, K. E. Crawford, John Hayter, Elizabeth Hayter, S. A. Edmondson, Allen Edmondson, May Edmondson, Adaline Lawrence, Wm. Hayter, Sarah Hayter, R. Hammontree, Susan McCluer, John R. Earnest, I. J. Edmondson. The first church was a frame building; it was built in the year 1854, the same year of the organization. The present building, a frame, was erected in 1876 at a cost of $1,200, and dedicated August 26 of that year, by Rev. W. J. Garrett. The ministers that have served up to this writing are G. W. Montgomery, Garnett Davenport, R. J. Sims, H. Tucker, Wm. Denby, Wm. Freese, W. C. Wheat. The present membership is 68.


No very full report has been received from this church. It was organized in 1873, and the following were some of the original members: Geo. Claypool, John Williamson, I. J. Kelly, A. C. Bradley, Polly Hurst, Mary Kelly, Christy Claypool, Polly Williamson, and Matilda Bradley. The church building, which stands on section, 29 township 31, range 24, is a frame and was built in 1875, at a cost of about $500. The first pastor was A. C. Bradley; second, Geo. White; third, A. C. Bradley; fourth, Nelson Homer. Present membership, about 40.


The town of Walnut Grove is located on the southwest corner of section 14, the southeast corner of section 15, the northeast corner of section 22, and the northwest corner of section 23 (in tp. 31, range 24). It is beautifully located and as a trading point is of great value and benefit to the people of the surrounding country. [612]

At an early day Joseph Moss, a Kentuckian, purchased an improvement which had been made previously on the present site of Walnut Grove and became a permanent settler. The first store in the place was opened by Nelson Montgomery, who was nicknamed and well known by the title "Sorrel Top" Montgomery. Mr. Montgomery kept a stock of general merchandise. The first blacksmith shop was run by William H. Cook, who was one of the very first to locate here. S. A. Edmondson was another of the first residents. In early days the site of Walnut Grove was widely known as "Possum Trot."

Other stores followed Montgomery's, and several families came into the place, but the town was not regularly incorporated until 1866. Its present population is estimated at 250.


O'Sullivan Lodge No. 7, A. F. and A. M., was instituted by T. W. Coltrane and others. The dispensation was issued in October, 1866. The charter bears date, October 19, 1867. Some of the charter members and first officers were T. W. Coltrane, A. C. Sloan and W. C. Wadlow. Present officers are J. W. Blakey, W. M.; J. O. Edmondson, S. W.; James M. Fryar, J. W.; H. Ivey, Treas.; F. A. Barclay, S. D.; Wm. Owen, J. D.; R. Davis, tyler; A. F. Kerr, Sec. The lodge meets in a frame hall that was built in the year 1867, at a cost of $800. The present membership is 40.


JEREMIAH ACUFF. Mr. Acuff was born in Granger county, Tennessee, March l4, 1806. Was educated in his native county, and followed the vocation of farming there till 1836, when he moved to Polk county, this State. His parents were John and Nancy (Watson) Acuff, the former a native of Virginia, who died in Granger county, Tennessee, shortly after the civil war, and the mother, a native of same State and died in same county as her husband, in 1856. Jeremiah followed blacksmithing in Missouri, and, in 1837, bought a "claim" which he kept and improved. He went into the government land office in 1839, and entered a tract of 160 acres, whereon he resided till 1864. After some other trades and removals, he finally traded for the store house at Walnut Grove, now occupied by his son, and himself, son and Chithim opened a general store, to which B. J. Acuff is successor and sole proprietor. Mr. A. was married December 12, 1826, to Rebecca Cates, who died in Walnut Grove, January 27, 1882. Mr. A. and wife had seven children, six now living four sons and two daughters. [613]

B. Y. ACUFF. This enterprising gentleman is a Missourian by birth, his nativity being Polk county, where he was born August 31, 1840. His father was a Tennesseean, and was brn in 1806, and is still living at this, writing, his home being at Walnut Grove. Mr. Acuff's mother was Rebecca Cates, who died January 27, 1882. The subject of this sketch was educated in the schools of his native county, and began life as a farmer, which vocation he followed till 1870, when he came to Walnut Grove, this county, and opened a general merchandise store. Coming to the place when it first started, Mr. Acuff has been in the lead of every enterprise to advance the interest of Walnut Grove. His was the pioneer mercantile house of the village, and in one sense, he may be called the father of the town. In 1863, Mr. A. enlisted in the State militia and served about two years, mostly in Polk county. He was married April 1, 1876, to Miss Carrie Hawk, daughter of David Hawk, a prominent citizen of Polk county. He has two children—both daughters. Mr. A. is a Freemason of good standing, and is regarded as one of the most-enterprising and public-spirited citizens of the county. He has, by thrift and industry, amassed a good property, thus showing what may always be accomplished by energetic and painstaking effort.

F. A. BARCLAY. Mr. Barclay is the son of Alexander and Catherine (Nelson) Barclay, and was born in Rutherford county, North Carolina, but was taken by his parents to White county, Tennessee, when he was quite young. His father was killed by bushwhackers on July 11, 1863. His mother is still living in White county, Tennessee. Mr. Barclay was educated in the common schools of Tennessee. He learned the carriage and wagonmaker's trade, and carried on the business until January, 1870, when he removed to Illinois, where he lived but a few months, and then went to Cherryvale, Kansas, and helped to lay the foundation of the first house built in that place, and taught the first school in Montgomery county. He came to Greene county, Missouri, in the spring of 1878, and farmed a year. He next went into the dry goods business at Walnut Grove, with Mr. J. Brown. December 24th, 1881, he, in partnership with J. H. Brown, opened a drug store, where they also carry a full line of groceries. Mr. Barclay was married October 11, 1875, to Miss Rebecca, daughter of J. Brown, Esq., one of the early settlers of the county. Their union has been blessed with three sons, two of whom are now living. Mr. and Mrs. Barclay are members of the Baptist church, and be is a Master mason. He enlisted in the First Tennessee Regiment, Company H, in 1864, and was in some of the battles at the close of the war.

J. H. BROWN is a son of Josiah and Annie (Wright) Brown, both natives of Tennessee, and the father among the early settlers of Polk county, Missouri, to which he emigrated in an early day, and where J. H. Brown was born in 1842. He was educated in the schools of Polk county, and early in life began farming there, continuing till 1882, when he began business with Mr. F. A. Barclay in the drug line at Walnut Grove. They also carry a full line of staple and fancy groceries, and take a leading rank among the business men of that place. In July, 1861, Mr. Brown enlisted in the U. S. service, 6th Mo. Cavalry, and served till July, 1864, participating in a number of hard-fought battles of the civil war, including Pea Ridge and Sugar Creek. He was married October 20, 1864, to Miss Wood, daughter of Isaac Wood, of Polk county. Her mother was Susan Boatwright, and both her parents are dead. Mr. Brown has had a family of seven children, four of whom, three sons and a daughter, still survive. Both Mr. Brown and his wife are members of the Baptist church, and rank high as citizens and church members. [614]

JOHN CLAYPOOL is a son of Jeremiah and Rebecca Claypool, and was born in Warren county, Kentucky, October 18, 1822. His father was a native of Kentucky, and emigrated to Polk county, Missouri, in 1839, where he still resides. John's mother was from Ireland, and died when he was but a boy. He received his education in the common schools of Polk county, and after his school days were over, began farming as the business of life. He had moved with his parents to Polk county in 1839, and continued there till he came to Greene, and located where he now resides in 1851. He owns a fine farm of 160 acres two and a half miles northwest of Walnut Grove. When the war came on in 1861, Mr. Claypool enlisted for Union defense, under Col. Phelps at Rolla, and served till mustered out in l862. During his term, he participated in the battle of Pea Ridge and other fights and skirmishes. Mr. Claypool was married in May, 1851, to Miss Rebecca M. daughter of James Christian, a prominent farmer of Polk county. Mrs. C.'s mother was a Ross, and she died in Tennessee. Mr. C. and wife have had a family of ten children, five sons and four daughters of whom are living at this writing, named as follows: Robert B., Elmira J., Susan A., Esther M., James F., Jeremiah M., Harriet Geneva, John P., and David E. Anna E., born April 21, 1856 died when but three months old. Mr. Claypool belongs to the Baptist church, and his wife to the Cumberland Presbyterians, and no family ranks higher with their neighbors than does that of John Claypool.

DR. JOHN F. CLAYTON was born in Washington county, Maryland, February 5, 1832. His father, Dr. Joseph Clayton, was born in Frederick county, Virginia, in 1804, and is still living at this writing in Ohio, having been a prominent merchant for many years. His father (grandfather of John T.), was a captain in the Revolution and was killed at the battle of Long Island. His widow was famous for the part she played on behalf of freedom. She resided as Sharpsburg, Maryland, and one of her many useful services was knitting stockings for the American soldiers. Often she entertained Gen. Washington at her house. In religion she was a Methodist, and was one of the western pioneers of that creed, dying at Rushville, Ohio, having been for years a government pensioner in consideration of her services in the cause of liberty. At about ten years old, John T. Clayton moved with his parents to Fairfield county, Ohio, where he was chiefly educated. He began the study of medicine at twenty-one, and at twenty-four commenced the practice, and for eighteen years continued the practice in Central and Northern Ohio, achieving quite a reputation as a successful physician. In 1872, Dr. Clayton came to Cass county, Mo., having recommendations from some of the leading citizens of Ohio. Here he practiced ten years, building quite a business in his profession. He came to Walnut Grove, Greene county, in July, 1882, and invested in property at Springfield as well as Walnut Grove. Besides being a physician, Dr. C. was for many years a local preacher of the Methodist church, and preached both in Ohio and Missouri. He is now, however, devoting his undivided attention to the study and practice of his profession. Dr. Clayton has had a family of seven children, having been married in January, 1858. All the children survive at this writing save one. John C. Clayton, the oldest, is in the livery business at W.G. Wm. C. Clayton, another son, is manager of the Clayton House of W.G., and fully understands the art of pleasing the public.

ROBERT A. FRYAR. Mr. Fryar is the son of John and Sarah (Jack) Fryar, and was born in Monroe county, Tennessee, August 25th, 1820. His father was a native of Ireland and died in 1881, at the age of eighty-eight. His mother died in 1838. Robert was educated in the common schools of big native county, and began farming when he was quite young. At the age of twenty-three he learned the carpenter's trade, which, in connection with farming, he has followed all his life. He came to Greene county in the fall of 1851, and purchased land two miles west of Walnut Grove. He sold out in 1858, and purchased land in Vernon county, where he lived two years, and then went to Cedar county and bought land. He soon after removed to Benton county, Arkansas, where he remained two years, and then moved back to Greene county, Mo., and built the seventh house in Walnut Grove, and has lived there ever since. He enlisted in the militia during the war and was stationed most of the time at Ash Grove. He was married in 1850 to Miss Martha E. Williams. Their union has been blest with five children, four of whom are now living. Mr. and Mrs. Fryar are members of the C. P. church, and have a host of friends in this county. [615]

A. F. KERR. This popular merchant and postmaster is the son of Jesse and Polly A. (Henry) Kerr, and was born in Blount county, Tennessee, December 18th, 1854. His parents were also natives of Tennessee, and emigrated to Missouri in 1869, and settled in Greene county. They are yet living in Walnut Grove. Their son, A. F. Kerr, was educated in the common schools, and at the High School at Greenfield. He taught school until February, 1879 when he embarked in the hardware business at Walnut Grove, and is now one of the leading business men of the place. The post-office was located at Walnut Grove in July 1881, and his store was selected as the house, and himself as postmaster. He has filled the office with credit to himself, and given satisfaction to all. Mr. Kerr was married January 30th, 1879, to Miss Carrie R., daughter of John Hursh, Esq., a prominent citizen of Springfield, who died in 1874. Their union has been blest with one child, Amelia A., born March 17th, 1881. Mr. Kerr, though a young man, is one of Greene's most trustworthy business men, and a gentleman of whom all speak well.

WILLIAM A. KILLINGSWORTH. Mr. Killingsworth was born in McMinn county, Tennessee, January 6,1827. His parents were William and Matilda (McClure) Killingsworth, who came to this county in 1839, and settled in section one of Boone township. The father died in 1865, though the mother still survives at this writing, and is living on the old homestead. William Jr., received his education in the common schools, and early in life chose the vocation of farming. In 1848 he purchased the place where he now resides, three miles southeast of Walnut Grove, his farm containing 171 acres of good land and well improved. During the civil war of 1861-66 he was one of the first to volunteer his services for home protection, and served faithfully till the close of the war. Mr. K. was first married February 17, 1848, but his wife died in l865, and he was again married September 6, 1866, to Miss Rebeeca Jordan. By his first marriage Mr. K. had seven children, and three by the last marriage. Five of the first and all of the last children survive at this writing. The present Mrs. Killingsworth belongs to the Cumberland Presbyterian church. Mr. K. is one of the early settlers, as he came to this State with his parents in 1839. Having passed through many changes and privations, he has at last, by industry and economy, amassed a competency sufficient for comfortable living and stands well in the community where he is known.

W. H. KING. Mr. King is the son of Jonas L. and Mary King, and was born in Polk county, Missouri, January 8th, 1887. His father was a native of Tennessee, born in 1807, and died in Polk county, Missouri, November 30th, 1880. His mother was also a Tennesseean, born in 1808, and is still living upon the old homestead in Polk county. W. H. King was educated in the common schools of the country, and when he was twenty years old, in 1857, he took the "gold fever," and went to California, where be remained two years, having good success in mining. He returned to Polk county, Missouri, in 1859, and followed farming until 1880, when he removed to Greene county and engaged in the mercantile business at Walnut Grove, and is one of the most substantial businessmen of the place. He enlisted in the 6th Missouri U. S. cavalry in 1862, and was with that regiment until discharged in February, 1863. He was married March 7, 1865, to Miss Mary, daughter of Jonathan Rice, a prominent citizen of Polk county. Mr. King is a member of the A. F. & A. M. in good standing. He does a large business in Walnut Grove and enjoys the respect of all. [616]

JAMES LAREW. Mr. Larew was born in Cooke county, Tennessee, April 23, 1814, receiving his education at the cornmon schools of those primitive times. George Larew father of James, was a Pennsylvanian by birth, and died in Tennessee, in 1856. James' mother was Sophia (nee Chilton) Larew, a native of Virginia, who died previous to 1850. At an early age James began farming and followed that calling in his native State until 1872, when he came to Bates county Mo. From Bates he moved to Polk county, and in 1876 removed to this county, where he has since resided with his family. April 20, 1848, Mr. Larew was married to Elizabeth Inman, a native of Jefferson county, Tenn., born February 10, 1818. Her parents were Jeremiah and Prudence Inman, both natives of Virginia. Nine children have been born to Mr. L. and wife, five of whom survive at this writing. Their names are: Mary O., Catherine, Charles P., Ann E., and Chilton. At this writing the family reside two miles west of Walnut Grove village, and are hold in high esteem by their neighbors.

JACOB LONGCRIER. Mr. Longcrier was born in Lincoln county, N. C., June 28, 1818. His father, Jacob Longcrier, sr., was also a native of North Carolina, and died shortly after the civil war, closing an eventful life. Catherine Longcrier (nee Bollich), Jacob, jr.'s mother, was a native of Pennsylvania, and died in North Carolina during the war. Jacob was educated in the common schools of his native county, and at an early age began farming. In 1846 he commenced blacksmithing, which he carried on in connection with farming till he came to Greene county and purchased the place where he resides at this writing, one mile southeast of Walnut Grove. He there owns a well improved farm of 160 acres, nearly all in cultivation. In 1862 Mr. L. went into government employ at Springfield, his engagement being mechanical, that of blacksmithing. He had been one of the foremost in 1861 to volunteer for home protection, serving with the Home Guards till his engagement as a mechanic in 1862. In the last named year, his son, Jones A. Longcrier, enlisted under General Phelps, and was at Springfield at time of the battle at Wilson's Creek. He was killed March 10, 1863, at the battle of Pea Ridge. Jones was the oldest child of his parents, born October 28, 1845. Mr. Longcrier was married February 11, 1846, to Miss Lydia Harmon, daughter of Peter and Lydia Harmon, natives of Pennsylvania, but both deceased. Mr. and Mrs. L. have had ten children, five of whom survive at this writing, all residents of Greene county. Both husband and wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, of which he is an elder, and are highly respected by many friends of this county, where they have spent many years of their useful lives and become identified with the development and prosperity of the country, and especially Walnut Grove township.

JAMES B. McELHANON was born in Jackson county, Georgia, May 19, 1810. His parents were Christopher and and Margaret (Bell) McElhanon, the former a native of Pennsylvania, and the latter of North Carolina. The family moved to Greene county, Mo., in 1834, where both parents died, the father in 1861, and the mother in 1865. James was educated in the common schools, and early in life began farming, and came to Missouri with his father. They located near the present site of Springfield, and James carried the chain in the location of that city. Lots could then have been purchased near the public square for from three to five dollars each. In 1840, Mr. McE. moved one mile northeast of Ash Grove, and engaged in farming and stock raising till he bought the place where he now resides, two and one-half miles southeast of Walnut Grove, where he owns a nicely cultivated farm of 102 acres. Though he took no active part during the civil war, he saw many hardships and privations growing out of the war troubles. June 24, 1840, Mr. McElhanon was married to Miss Dorcas P., daughter of Thomas McKoun, a native of North Carolina, who died in Greene county, Mo., in (about) 1870. Mr. and Mrs. McE. have no family, except an adopted daughter they took to raise in 1872. Both husband and wife are consistent members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and are hold in great esteem by a large circle of acquaintances in the county where they have spent so many years of their life. [617]

A. J. McLEMORE was born in Monroe county, East Tennessee, September 10, 1829. His father, Mr. A. McLemore, was a native of North Carolina, born March 11, 1787. He died in Tennessee. The subject of this sketch was the youngest child of his parents, there being nine older than he. When fifteen years old, he came to Greene county, Mo., and after a short stay at Springfield, went to Dade county. In 1861, he, with other adventurers, took the gold fever and went to California. Here he remained some five years, and accumulated a considerable sum of money. Returning to Dade county, Mo., in 1857, he speculated in live stock a short time, but returned to California in the spring of 1857, accompanied by his wife (Dialtha Alexander) to whom he had been married February 5, 1857. They drove a large herd of stock through to the West, on which Mr. M. realized handsomely. They located in Eldorado county on a stock ranch, remaining eighteen months. Returning to Missouri, Mr. McLemore bought the old Alexander homestead near Ozark, on which he remained till the civil war. He then sold out and made a trip to Texas, but returned almost immediately, and located again just north of Ozark, where he remained till he moved to where he now lives, near Walnut Grove. He has one of the best improved farms in the northwest part of Greene county, his residence being elegant and well located. Seven children have been born to Mr. M. and wife, six of whom, Ida F., John B., Detroit M., Maggie M., Greeley N. and Myrtle O., are still living. The deceased child was their first born, a son named Cornelius A., born June 28, 1859, and died March 28, 1863.

JAMES McMEHEN. Mr. McMehen was born in London township, Middlesex county, Ontario, April 26, 1826. He is the son of George and Mary A. (Anderson) McMehen. His parents were natives of Ireland, born in the years 1800 and 1802, respectively. James was educated in the common schools of his native country, and, at an early age commenced farming, and followed it in Canada until his removal to Illinois in 1865. He settled in Champaign county and carried on farming there until 1870, when he came to Greene county, Missouri, and purchased the farm containing two hundred and fifty acres of fine land near Walnut Grove where he still lives. He was married in March, 1856, to Miss Rebecca daughter of Andrew McConnell, of Ontario. Their marriage has been blest with nine children, seven of whom are now living. Mrs. McMehen is a member of the M. E. Church South. Mr. McMehen is one of Greene's substantial farmers, and enjoys the respect, and confidence of all.

W. D. RICE. This gentleman is the son of Jonathan and Elizabeth (Porter) Rice, and was born in Polk county, Missouri, February 11, 1857. His father was a native of Logan county, Kentucky, born in March, 1801, and died in 1860, in Polk county, Missouri, upon the old homestead. His mother was the widow of James Chastine, who was married to her in Kentucky. Mr. Chastine was one of the early settlers of Greene county, and entered the land where Walnut Grove is now located. He died about the year 1838, and Mrs. Chastine was married to Mr. Rice in 1839. She died November 6, 1880. W. D. Rice was educated at Morrisville Institute, and taught school in Polk and Greene counties about two years. He then followed civil engineering in Texas for two years, and returned to Greene county in January, 1880, and went into the drug business in Walnut Grove. He followed it about six months, and then embarked in the general merchandise business of Brown & Rice and at once took the lead in the business of that place. Mr. Rice was married about June 5, 1881, to Miss Maggie, daughter of Josiah Brown, Esq., one of the prominent citizens of this county. Their union has been blest with one son, born March 28, 1882. Mr. Rice is one of the substantial business men of the county, young as he is, and already ranks well in the mercantile world. [618]

B. C. RICE was born in Polk county, Missouri, December 15, 1844. His father, Jonathan Rice, was a native of Logan county, Kentucky, and came to Polk county, this State, in about 1830. The subject of this sketch was educated in the common schools of his native county, and at an early age, began farming. In 1863, he enlisted in company L, 15th Missouri cavalry, of Confederates, under Col. John Allen, and was on Price's last raid through Missouri, and participated in the battle of Big Blue, and other engagements. After the war, he returned to Polk county and went to farming on the old homestead, and also engaged in buying mules for the Southern market. Mr. Rice came to Walnut Grove in 1878, and worked for B. Y. Acuff and J. Brown till August, 1880, when he opened up a drug store for himself, the firm being Rice & King. The firm was dissolved by mutual consent in October, 1882, and Mr. Rice made a trip to Texas, returning in December following. Mr. Rice was married December 5, 1880, to Miss Barbara McMehen, daughter of James McMehen, one of the most prominent citizens of the northwest part of Greene county. Mr. and Mrs. Rice have one child, a boy named James B., born May 12, 1882. Mr. Rice is a Freemason in good standing, and his wife belongs to the M. E. Church South. They have many warm friends, and are highly esteemed by all who know them. Mr. Rice has been quite successful in business, and retains the confidence of people among whom his business career has been known.

J. W. SMITH. Mr. Smith was born in Polk county, Missouri, March 20th, 1851. He is the son of J. B. and Kiziah (Crawford) Smith, both Kentuckians. His father was one of the early settlers of Polk county, and is a prominent citizen. J. W. Smith was educated in the common schools of the country, and when old enough learned the blacksmith and wagon-maker's trade, and has followed that occupation ever since. He came to Walnut Grove in the fall of 1879 and opened a shop, since when he has done a nourishing business. He was appointed postmaster of Walnut Grove, in July, 1881. He is an elder in the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and a citizen in whom till have confidence as a Christian and a gentleman. He was married October 3d, 1869, to Miss Amanda E. Kelley, a daughter of Thomas J. Kelley, a prominent Baptist minister of Greene county. She died December 25th, 1878, leaving two children. Mr. Smith was married the second time, July 6th, 1880, to Miss Lucina, daughter of Robert McGill, Esq., of this county. Their marriage has been blest with one child.

JULIAN D. SMITH. This gentleman is the son of William and Sarah (Julian) Smith, and was born in Laurel county, Kentucky, March 31, 1831. His father was a native of Kentucky, born in 1801, and died in Oregon in 1866. His mother was a native of Tennessee and died in 1876. They emigrated to Greene county, Missouri, in 1838, and settled upon Grand Prairie, in Center township. Julian D. received his education in the common schools of the county, and when be was twenty-two years of age took the "gold fever" and went to California. He stopped one winter at Salt Lake City and then pushed on to the gold fields of California. Not being very successful in the mines he returned to this county in 1855, and commenced farming, and with the exception of two trips to Texas has been a resident of this county ever since. He was married September 18th, 1855, to Miss L. P. Landreth, daughter of Wm. S. Landreth, one of the old settlers of Greene. They have a family of six children, four boys and two girls. Mr. Smith was in the militia during the war but took no active part in the struggle. He is a Greenbacker in politics, and one of the substantial farmers of this section. He owns a fine farm of one hundred and fifty-five acres, one mile southeast of Walnut Grove. [619]

JAMES E. STRINGER. Mr. Stringer was born in Putnam county, Indiana, September 18th, 1845. His father, Col. Thom. M. Stringer, was a native of Kentucky, born in 1822, and is now a resident of Jasper county, this State. His mother was Miss Nancy Watkins, a native of North Carolina. James E. was educated in the common schools of his native county, and at Thorntown, Boone county, Indiana, where he attended college some fifteen months. He studied law when he was about twenty years of age, but came West in 1866 and went into the real estate business at Fort Scott, Kansas. He removed to Lawrence county, Missouri, in 1868, and followed the same business. He came to Greene county in January, 1881, and has been one of the leading spirits of Walnut Grove, dealing largely in real estate. He enlisted in 1862 in the Federal cavalry under Col. Wilson, and fought until his discharge in October, 1864. He was with Gen. Thomas in the campaign from Chattanooga to Atlanta and back to Nashville. Mr. Stringer was married December 14th, 1862, to Miss Georgie Alexander, a native of Hart county, Kentucky. Their union has been blest with three children, two girls and a boy. [620] 

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