Pictorial and Genealogical Record
of Greene County, Missouri

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

RICHARD F. SAYE. This gentleman, who resides in Walnut Grove Township, owns a fine farm of 198 acres, which attests by its value and productiveness the excellent qualities of thoroughness and system which mark the owner. He was born in Bedford County, Tenn., in 1826, to Richard and Elizabeth (Robberson) Saye, both of whom were born in Georgia, the former July 14, 1801, and the latter November 28, 1801. Both were taken by their parents to Bedford County, Tenn., where they married and lived until 1830, then came by ox team to Polk County, Mo., settling in the woods in the southern part of the county, which by industry they succeeded in clearing of timber. Later they removed to near Bolivar where Mr. Saye served in the capacity of county sheriff for eight years, being elected in 1846 and again in 1850. In 1853 be crossed the plains with three of his sons to California, taking a drove of stock with them, and in that State spent the rest of his life, dying about 1866. He did little or no mining while there but devoted his attention to the stock business, but death cut short what promised to be a successful business career there. He was one of the first justices of the peace of Polk County and for some time was its assessor. He was very public spirited, a Democrat in politics, a member of the Methodist Church the greater part of his life, and being very industrious and prudent became wealthy. He had a sister named Mary who died in Greene County before the war, the wife of William Robinson. Their father was William Saye, who was probably a native of Georgia, from whence he removed to Bedford County, Tenn., early in the present century and lived there until 1830 when he came to Greene County, Mo., where he died a year later at a very advanced age. His wife died in Polk County, both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at the time of their deaths, the father having been an industrious farmer all his life. He was probably of English descent. The wife of Richard Saye died in 1852 in Polk County and her father in Tennessee, leaving a large family, the most of whom came to Greene County, settling on what was afterward known as Robberson Prairie. This family became one of the best known in Greene County, for they were one of the oldest, most public-spirited and wealthiest. Richard F. Saye is one of nine sons and two daughters, the names of the others being: Dr. William, of Texas, who practiced his profession in Polk, Cedar and Greene Counties before the war, and during that struggle served in the Confederate Army; Allen, who died in boyhood in Tennessee; Bennett H., who died in Polk County, leaving a family, having also been in the Confederate Army; Elizabeth, wife of John Dissard, of Polk County; Thomas Paine, of Polk County, who was an officer in the Missouri State Militia during the war; George Marion, who has been a resident of California since 1853, is a farmer, is married and has a family; Edwin who died in Texas in March, 1893, was a private in the Confederate Army all through the war; Jasper, who has been a stockman of California since 1853; John went south during the war as a member of the Confederate Army and was killed somewhere in Louisiana, and Mary Ann, wife of James Edwards. Richard F. Saye was reared in Polk County from the time he was four years of age and unfortunately received but meager educational advantages. At the age of sixteen he left home and drove stage from Bolivar for one and a half years. In 1847 he joined Company K, Third Missouri Infantry, and was in the Mexican War fighting the Indians in New Mexico until peace was declared when he returned home. In 1850 he crossed the plains to California, the journey taking over five months, and was there engaged in mining. During this time he and a friend from Polk County, Mo., John Campbell, made a trip together in 1853, back to Salt Lake City, Utah, after stock with which they returned to California. He was principally engaged in mining and in the spring of 1855 he returned to his old home in Missouri. Soon after this he accompanied what was known as the Pool Expedition through the southwest to the Wachita River and was absent several months. In, 1857 his roving and adventurous spirit again led him to California, leaving his family, and there be spent about two years, returning to Missouri via the Isthmus of Panama and New Orleans. In 1855 he was married to Martha, daughter of Allen and Polly Edmondson who came to Greene County from Tennessee at a very early day, settling on Grand Prairie where they lived until 1851. Mr. Edmondson was a well-to-do farmer and died at the home of his son-in-law, Mr. Saye, in 1875, his widow's death occurring at Walnut Grove in 1889, both having been members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of many years' standing. Mr. Edmondson was a soldier in the Federal Army at the time of the late war. Their children were: Julian, of Grand Prairie; Sophronia, wife of James Gilmore, of this county; Alfred; Addie, the deceased wife of John Lawrence, Martha J. (Mrs. Saye); Philander, of Polk County; Alonzo,, of Colorado,. and Luvenda, wife of James Bradshaw, of Walnut Grove. After the war Mr. Saye located in Polk County where he resided two or three years, then came to his present fine farm, all of which is under excellent cultivation with the exception of about twenty acres. He raises a good grade of stock, to which he gives considerable attention, and he is justly considered one of the thorough and skillful farmers of the county. His wife is a native of this county and has long been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They have ten children: Laura, wife of Fayette Wilson, of Greene County; Allen Tilton, of Texas; George, of St. Louis; Frank, of Greene County, Mo.; Frederick; Edwin, of St. Louis; Miriam (deceased); Jesse and Paul, at home, and an infant deceased, unnamed.


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