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

JAMES CALEB SQUIBB. "I didn't begin with asking, I took the job and stuck; And I took the chance they wouldn't and now they're calling it luck."

Thus wrote, Rudyard Kipling of a man who pronounced success in life by his own efforts, advancing himself from an humble environment, refusing to permit discouraging circumstances to down him, until he won the goal sought. The great poet might just as well have had in mind James Caleb Squibb, for many years a successful druggist of Springfield. He came up from the soil, won a large measure of success unaided and also made a good citizen.

Mr. Squibb was born in Greene county, Missouri, July 29, 1861. He is a son of Caleb and Elizabeth (Wallace) Squibb, both natives of Tennessee, where they grew to maturity, received such educational advantages as the old-time schools offered, and were married in their native state, and from there emigrated to Missouri, locating in Greene county, where they spent the rest of their lives in farming. They came here in the days before the great Civil war and experienced the stirring times here during the struggle. They worked hard and had a good farm and comfortable home and were well and favorably known. The death of Mr. Squibb occurred in August, 1861; his widow is still living in this county, having thus survived her husband fifty-four years, and has reached an advanced age. They were the parents of two children; James Caleb, of this review; and Prior Lee, who is living on a farm in Greene county.

The subject of this sketch spent his boyhood days on the farm with his parents, where he worked hard and remained until he was nineteen years of age, when he came to Springfield and attended the common schools, later entered the Marionville Collegiate Institute, at Marionville, Missouri, where he took a general course. Leaving college at the age of twenty-two years, he went to St. Louis and took a course in a business college and afterwards studied pharmacy and went into the drug business in Springfield, and continued the same, owning his own store until 1913, when he sold out and has since been living practically retired, merely looking after his private property. He made a pronounced success as a druggist and always enjoyed a good trade and carried a large stock of drugs and drug sundries, and dealt fairly and courteously with his many regular customers and transients alike. He has a fine home on North Jefferson street.

Mr. Squibb was married on November 19, 1883, to Nora Massey, who was born, reared and educated in Greene county. She is a daughter of Nathaniel J. and Mary Catherine (Bass) Massey, both natives of Missouri, who located in Greene county in an early day and established the permanent home of the family. Mr. Massey was a successful farmer and stock trader and a public-spirited, self-made man. During the Civil war he was a government contractor, furnishing stock and general supplies to the army. In politics he was a Democrat and a Union man. His father, James Massey, was probably born in the green isle of Erin, but crossed the Atlantic when young and settled in Tennessee. Later he moved to Greene county, Missouri, and located a few miles east of Springfield, where he became the owner of a good farm. There his death occurred during the Civil war. He was twice married and was the father of twenty-two children. His last wife, who died on February 15, 1894, married Allen Gentry, of Stone county. Theophalus Bass, Mrs. Squibb's grandfather, was the first representative to the Legislature from Taney county, and died during his incumbency and was buried in Jefferson City. Nathaniel J. Bass was born in Tennessee, about 1815, and died in 1868. His second wife, mother of Mrs. Squibb, was born in Taney county, Missouri, and died about forty years ago in Springfield She was born during the later forties, was reared and educated in Boone county, Missouri, having attended Howard Female College. Our subject's wife was one of two children, she being the eldest; her sister, Effie, was born in February, 1868, married Oscar Headley, and they live in Los Angeles, California. Mrs. Squibb's great-grandfather, John D. Shannon, came from Tennessee and settled in Greene county, Missouri, in the forties. He was the first representative from Greene county to the Legislature, and he was the first sheriff that ever held office in southwestern Missouri. Mrs. Squibb, when young, went to live with an aunt in Troy, Doniphan county, Kansas, and there she received her education, in part, finishing in the Marionville Collegiate Institute. She taught school in Stone county for a while before her marriage.

To Mr. and Mrs. Squibb ten children were born, named as follows: Lillard, born on December 1, 1885, died on January 16, 1889; Harry W., born on January 10, 1887; James Lee, born on July 28, 1889; Mildred E., born on August 27, 1892; Effie H., born on January 22, 1895; Ernest R., born on March 18, 1897; John W., born on March 4, 1900; Lenora Glenn, born on June 3, 1903; Sylvia L., born on October 25, 1905; Sanford S., born on June 22, 1908.

Politically, Mr. Squibb is a Democrat. He is a member of the Travelers' Protective Association of America, and of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He and his family belong to St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal church, South.


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