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


WILLIAM R. GORSUCH. Those who know William R. Gorsuch, who at this writing is one of the three judges of the Greene County Court, are not surprised that he has won success at his chosen vocation, that of tilling the soil, for he is a man who has been a close student of all that pertains to his chosen life work, believing that even the best methods can often be improved upon. He has kept the old home place in Cass township in fine condition, so that it has retained its old-time richness of soil and the same abundant crops are annually gathered from its fields. He has considered himself fortunate, and indeed he might well do so, that he has been permitted to spend his life on the homestead, for, in the first place, as a talented writer said long ago, "There is no place like home," and also because his home happened to be in a community greatly favored by nature. It is true that it took a great deal of hard work to get Greene county in proper shape for successful agricultural purposes, but once in condition, there is no better.

Mr. Gorsuch was born in the above named township and county, on the farm where he still resides, November 3, 1871. He is a son of Reece and Eliza Jane (Brower) Gorsuch. The father was born in middle Tennessee, June 29, 1829, and when a small boy he and his father made the long journey in a wagon from that state to Greene county, Missouri, his father having previously died in Tennessee. When a young man Reece Gorsuch worked out for twenty-five cents per day to help support the family, he being the eldest son. During the gold fever days he made the hazardous overland journey across the western plains to California, accompanied by a brother, the trip requiring six months. He remained on the Pacific coast some six years, then returned to this county and bought the farm where our subject now lives and here he spent the rest of his life as a successful farmer, and died in 1906 at the age of seventy-seven years. He was a man of invincible courage and persistency and was well thought of by his neighbors. He was a member of the state militia in his earlier life. The mother of the subject of this sketch was born in North Carolina about 1839, and when a child she immigrated with her parents to Greene county, locating east of Bois D'Arc, where her father developed a farm, and there she grew to womanhood. Several of her brothers were in the Confederate army during the Civil war. Her death occurred about 1903. Five children were born to Reece Gorsuch and wife, named as follows: The eldest died in infancy, unnamed; George W. died at the age of twenty-two years; Jeanette died in 1871 when about five years old; William R., of this review; John H. lives in California.

William R. Gorsuch was reared in his native township and there he received a good practical education in the public schools. He began working on the home farm as soon as he was old enough and he has followed general farming and stock raising here ever since with pronounced success all along the line, and he now owns the homestead, which he has kept well tilled and well improved and the buildings in good repair.

Mr. Gorsuch was married to Margaret N. Smith, October 2, 1890. She was born, reared and educated in Walnut Grove township, this county, and is a daughter of Joseph W. Smith, a well-known minister in the Christian church, who preached in Springfield about two years, and at various other places in. Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas, and was regarded as a prominent minister in that denomination. His death occurred about 1909.

Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Gorsuch, namely: Clarence C., a harness maker of Lamar, Missouri, recently married a Miss McLinn, daughter of A. S. McLinn, of Greene county; Joseph R., Nettie G., and Maud L. are all at home.

Politically, Mr. Gorsuch is a Republican and has long been more or less active in the political affairs of his township, and has served in various local offices, school and township. He has been township committeeman since he was twenty-one years of age, was also deputy assessor several times, and in the fall of 1912 was elected county judge, which office he is now filling. In 1914 he was re-elected to the office of county judge. As a public servant he has ever given the utmost satisfaction to all concerned, being faithful in the discharge of his every duty, obliging and prompt and proving himself to be a man of progressive ideas and well informed. Fraternally, he belongs to the Masonic Order and the Improved Order of Odd Fellows at Willard, and the Modern Woodmen of America at Cave Spring, while his wife holds membership with the Royal Neighbors. They are both members of the Christian church at Cave Spring, in which the judge is an elder and active worker. He is one of the leading men of Cass township in every respect and is highly respected by all who know him.

[1341-1343]


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