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

LOUIS F. BODENHAMER. Much worthy effort is expended in producing good crops, but often times a gain in the best of crops is lost by feeding to inefficient live stock. There is no surer way of losing money than by feeding crops to animals, the products or gain from which do not pay the cost of feeding. Some men attribute their success to the particular kind of crops they grow or the particular way of feeding live stock. More likely their success is due to a good-sized farm business, good or average crops and a superior quality of live stock. One of the young farmers of Greene county who, judging from his success, understands the proper handling of his grains and live stock so as to get the best results is Louis F. Bodenhamer of Campbell township, who lives on the old homestead just east of the outskirts of Springfield.

Mr. Bodenhamer was born on the place where he now lives, June 16, 1878. He is a son of Joseph J. and Laura (Farris) Bodenhamer, and a grandson of Jacob and Nettie (Goss) Bodenhamer. The father of Nettie Goss was a major in the Revolutionarv war. Jacob Bodenhamer was born in North Carolina, where he spent his boyhood, and in a very early day immigrated to Greene county, Missouri, in 1842, settling in what is now a part of Webster county. He was a prosperous farmer and at one time owned seven hundred acres of land. After spending eight years on the first place he settled here, he removed to the place now occupied by our subject, which he improved and on which he spent the rest of his life. He erected the first frame house ever seen in this part of Greene county. He became prominent in public affairs, and was for some time presiding judge of the county court, serving for one dollar per day, riding daily from his home to the court house when there was business to transact. He was a Thomas H. Benton Democrat. His death occurred in 1860 and he was buried in the family cemetery near his home. His wife was a native of North Carolina and they were married there. To them eighteen children were born, only five of whom are living at this writing, namely: Joseph J. and Jacob E., twins, the latter living in California; Martin Van Buren lives at Mountain Home, Arkansas; Andrew Jackson lives in Greene county, and Thomas H. Benton lives at Rogersville, Missouri.

Joseph J. Bodenhamer was born on November 20, 1834, in North Carolina and there he spent his early childhood, being eight years of age when his parents brought him to Missouri and here he grew up on the farm, working hard in helping clear and improve the wild land and he received a meager education in the early day schools. He has devoted his life to general farming and is still active, living on the homestead east of Springfield. He has managed well and has made a success. During the Civil war he enlisted in the state militia, and served in the Federal ranks under General Holland, being in the same regiment with his twin brother, but the rest of his living brothers were in the regular Union army. After the war he returned to his farm and has since lived a quiet uneventful life. On January 6, 1859, he married Elizabeth W. Steele, of this county, and to them three children were born, namely, John A., James E., of Eldorado, Oklahoma, and Elizabeth E. The wife and mother died on December 10, 1870, and on November 13, 1871, he chose for his second wife Laura Farris. This union resulted in the birth of only one child, Louis F., subject of this sketch. The death of Mrs. Laura Bodenhamer occurred on January 19, 1898. Joseph J. Bodenhamer was in his earlier life a Democrat, but is now a Socialist. He is a member of the Christian church. He is a well-read man and an intelligent conversationalist. He is widely known and has friends all over the county, having lived here over three-score and ten years, and during this long period saw many important changes in the county and city.

Louis F. Bodenhamer was reared on the home farm and he received his education in the country schools, later taking a two-year academy course. On October 3, 1909, he was united in marriage with Iva Gerhardt, a daughter of Fred and Mattie (Molder) Gerhardt. She was born in Camden county, Missouri, and was educated in the common schools. Her father is a prominent man in that county and holds the position of judge of the first district there. His wife is a native of Tennessee.

Louis F. Bodenhamer has remained on the home farm and is successfully engaged in general farming and stock raising. He is a Democrat, and fraternally he belongs to Mumford lodge No. 738, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he is past grand knight. He also belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America.


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