“George W. Reams was born in Fleming county, Kentucky. His father, John Reams, was a native of Pittsburg [sic], Pennsylvania, and of German origin. George W. was one of twelve children, six of each sex. He came with his parents to Boone county, Missouri, in the year 1839, and settled near the spot where he now lives. The mother of Mr. Reams was of Irish origin. Her maiden name was Swain. The country was thinly settled when they came to Boone county and their experience was about the same as those who emigrated at an earlier date. The subject of this sketch had attended school for a few months before leaving Kentucky -- for the rest of his education, he is indebted to no one but himself. He commenced life without anything but health, strength and indomitable energy. He now owns 600 acres of fine land, well improved, mostly in grass. He is a member of the Methodist Church South. He was married in 1849 to Miss Polly A., daughter of Charles Helm, of Crab Orchard, Kentucky, who died a few years ago. They have had eight children, four of whom are living. Their names are Francis, Elizabeth, John M. and Mary B.”
“John Reed is the son of John and Jane McMurray) Reed, and was born in Washington county, Kentucky, September 4, 1805. In 1825 he came with his parents to Boone county, Missouri, and settled twelve miles northeast of Columbia on the old St. Charles road. He received his education in the country schools of Kentucky and Boone county, Missouri. In April, 1837 he freighted goods from Columbia to Santa Fe, New Mexico, when crossing the great plains was both a tiresome and dangerous trip. He returned in October, having been gone just seven months, a remarkably quick trip in those days. He dealt largely in mules for the next few years, and in 1839 made a trip South with quite a drove of those most excellent and often most treacherous work animals, returning in March, 1840.
“He is a member of the Methodist church, and is the only member now living of that congregation when he joined. On the 15th of September, 1831, he married Miss Prudence, daughter of Thomas Waller of Union county, Kentucky. He and his faithful bride started immediately for their Missouri home, upon horseback, which they reached in safety. Men and women had stout hearts in those days, and dared all dangers and obstacles for those they loved and for honest success. Their union was blessed with thirteen children, four boys and nine girls. Thomas W., a dentist of Macon City, MO; Mary J., married to Robert Bratton, of Callaway county, MO; John W., a dentist at Mexico, MO: Wm. F. a merchant of Mexico, and a landowner of Audrain county, Missouri; Lucy A., died in 1862; Laura, married to Dr. Thomas Robinson, of Audrain county; Lizzie J., married to Madison McMurray, a lawyer of Quincy, IL; Martha, married to John Cravens, of Boone county; James A., drummer for a Chicago house; Margaret, married to a Mr. Davis, of Mexico, MO: Ella P., married to Robert Chappell, of Audrain county, MO. Mr. Reed’s father died in 1849 and his mother in 1835. They are buried near the head of Cedar Creek, in a family burial ground. They had nine children, and our subject, John Reed, is the youngest and only one living. He is seventy-seven years of age and retains his faculties splendidly. His memory, as to dates of important events, is perfectly reliable and trustworthy. He has lived continuously since 1825 within a mile and a half of his present home.”
“The subject of this sketch was born in Madison county, Kentucky, January 26, 1843. He was the son of Orestus Reid. The family are of English origin. Sanford Reid was married in 1862 to Miss Martha E. Noe, daughter of James S. Noe, of Virginia. Eight children were born of this marriage. Their names are George M.; W. Orestus; Samuel Z.; Lena R.; Ruth; Clifton B.; and Rosa L. Two died in early childhood. Mr Reid was in the confederate service during the first year of the war. He was a member of the Christian church and an enterprising, worthy citizen; an active promoter of education and a friend to public enterprise generally. He was a farmer.”
“William G. Ridgway, farmer and wagon-maker, was born two and a half miles west of Columbia, December 21, 1829. His father, Enoch Ridgway, was a farmer and native or Rowan County, North Carolina, from which he emigrated to Kentucky, thence to Missouri, arriving in Old Franklin, Howard county, about the year 1817. He next went to New Mexico, where he remained about one year. Returning from New Mexico, he settled in what is facetiously called ‘Terrapin Neck,’ situated in Boone county, Missouri, and more particularly described elsewhere. Mr. Ridgway married Ailey Barnes, a native of Frankfort, Kentucky. The subject of this sketch went to Pike county in 1848 and remained there four years, during which time he learned the wagon-maker’s trade. He returned to Boone county in 1852 and has worked at his trade, and at farming, ever since, devoting most of his attention to agriculture. The elder Ridgway left his place in the river bottom on account of ‘milk sickness.’ He entered part of the land upon which William G. now resides, about the year 1834 or 1835. The subject of this sketch was married, January 9, 1852, to Melissa, daughter of J. Fisher, of Pike county, Missouri. They have nine children living. Their names are Nora; George W.; James M.; Martha Savannah; Eupha; William Edmund; Sophia; Bertha; and Ora Glenn. Mrs. Ridgway is a member of the Christian church."
“David Rice was born in Hardin county, Kentucky, September 4, 1800. He is the son of John and Patsy (Johnson) Rice. When nineteen years of age, he came to Boone county. His father came a year later. They settled at Boone’s Lick. In 1821 moved to the Bonne Femme, four miles southeast of McConathy’s mill. He was a farmer, and his son, David, was brought up in the same occupation. Was married, March 22, 1829, to Miss Sallie, daughter of Higgason and Nancy Harris. They have had nine children, five of whom are now living: Higgason H.; Julina; John J.; David Barton; and Sarah E. Mr. and Mrs. Rice are both members of the Baptist church. Mr. Rice has been a communicant for sixty years. Mr. Rice had a contract for furnishing lumber for the capitol building at Jefferson City, and rafted to that city three hundred pieces of timber. Mrs. Rice has a counterpane which she spun and wove with her own hands sixty years ago.”
“Is the son of David and Sarah (Harris) Rice, and was born in Boone county, Missouri, June 6, 1831, and has lived in the county ever since. He entered the land from the United States Government upon which he lives. He married Miss Mary S. Cropper, daughter of Thomas and Nancy Anne (Mitchell) Cropper, of Cooper county. By this marriage he had seven children, all living: David G.; John R.; Franklin D.; Penelope W.; Lelia B.; Wm. F.; and Mary S. His first wife died in June, 1874. His second wife was Miss Sarah E. Sappington, daughter of Wm. Sappington, by whom he had three children; Sarah E.; Tyre H.; and Palmer. His second wife died January 2, 1882. Mr. Rice is a member of the Missionary Baptist church, and has been a deacon about 27 years. He is one of the oldest Masons of the county, having been at the institution of Twilight Lodge, at Columbia.”
“John J. Rice is the son of David and Sarah Rice, natives of Kentucky, but among the first settlers of Boone county. Mr. Rice came to Missouri in 1818, and settled on the Bonne Femme creek. His wife, Sarah Harris, came with her parents, in 1819, settling in the same neighborhood. David Rice moved, in 1835, to a farm near Claysville, where he now resides. On this farm his son John was born March 17, 1836. He grew to manhood on this farm, attending the schools of the neighborhood. During the war he was in Illinois, where he engaged in various occupations. In the spring of 1865 he was married to Miss Isabelle Nichols, of near Ashland, daughter of John F. Nichols. After his marriage Mr. Rice removed to a farm he had previously purchased, three miles from Claysville. Here he remained until the spring of 1872, when he moved to his present home, one mile north of Ashland, on the gravel road. His wife having died in 1879, he married Sallie Douglass, a native of Boone county and a descendant of the first pioneers. Mr. Rice has four children, three sons and one daughter. He has been a member of the Mt. Pleasant Baptist church since he was twenty-three years old. He is also a member of the Ashland Lodge A.F. and A.M., and a member of the Grange.”
“The subject of this notice was born February 16, 1825, on a farm part of which was in Callaway and part in Boone county, Missouri, the house being in Callaway; he, therefore, is a native of that county. His father, Joseph Riggins, was born in North Carolina, but when quite a young man emigrated to Kentucky, where he married Miss Barzillia Lawless, the mother of the doctor. They lived in Kentucky for several years and in 1816 came to Missouri and located in Howard county, and built the first cabin where the town of Old Franklin was afterwards built. The site of the present city of Boonville, opposite the town of Old Franklin, was then a dense thicket, and the Indians roamed the forest and killed the settlers at their own sweet will. Mr. Riggins had no neighbors nearer than the forts above and below his cabin, at too great a distance to afford his constant protection. Several of his neighbors were killed by the Indians, after the neighborhood had become more thickly settled. He lived at Old Franklin about four years and then bought the farm upon which the doctor was born. He shortly afterwards moved to Cole county, Missouri, where he died in 1849 in his seventy-third year. His widow survived him several years and died at the residence of her son, John M. Riggins, of Saline county, Missouri, at the age of eighty years. Dr. G. W. Riggins was educated in Cole county, Missouri. He studied medicine with Dr. Wm. Bolton of that county, and afterwards he took the medical course at McDowell’s College, St. Louis. It was connected with the State University during his first year’s lectures there, but before his graduation in 1849, the connection had been severed.
“Is a native of Madison county, Kentucky, born December 15, 1817, and is a son of William M. and Martha Robert, both of whom were natives of Kentucky, and descended from the pioneer families that came at an early date from Virginia to that State. The father of John (Wm. M.) Was drafted for service in the war of 1812, but managed to procure a substitute. John was reared on a farm, and received his education in the common schools of the country. In 1827 he was brought to this State and county by his parents, and settled in Rocky Fork township, when the county was new and comparatively unsettled. Wild game -- elks, deer, bears and wolves -- were abundant, and the Roberts family helped to rid the country of such pests as wolves and snakes. The Indians were still in the country, but had ceased to be hostile. Mr. Roberts was married in September, 1839, to Miss Nancy Johnson, daughter of Anderson and Edith Johnson, who were reared in Kentucky and came to Missouri in about 1814. The wife is a native of Missouri, and was born in 1818, reared on a farm and educated in the schools of that primitive period. Eight children have been born to this couple, two sons and six daughters, the former, and four of the latter, still living at this writing. Three of the surviving daughters are married, and two of those deceased were also married. The entire family are members of the Christian church, Mr. Roberts and wife having been members about forty years, having joined the Red Top church, of which they are at present members, under the preaching of an old Kentucky preacher named Elijah Chrisman. Mr. Roberts owns a farm of one hundred and eighty-three acres of good land, one hundred and sixty acres of which are improved and well adapted to raising wheat, corn, hay, oats, etc. Like all farmers of this section, Mr. Roberts produces live stock as well as cereals and lighter produce. He has raised an exemplary family, whose good moral habits of temperance, virtue, good associations and freedom from profanity are remarked by all who know them, and not one of them has ever been called upon to answer for any violation of church discipline, all of which should make Mr. Roberts feel honored, both as a parent and a citizen.”
“William Franklin Roberts is a native of Boone county, and was born in Rocky Fork township, November 22, 1831. His parents, John and Annie Roberts, were natives of Madison county, Kentucky, and came to his county at an early day. Judge Roberts’ grandparents also were Kentuckians, and came early to this county, and died in the township where the subject of this sketch resides. William was reared on a farm in the locality of his present residence, and received such education as the common schools of that day afforded. His education, however, did not cease with his school days, but has been furthered and enlarged by close and systematic reading and study to which he has devoted considerable time through life. In 1850, in his nineteenth year, young William Franklin went overland across the plains to California. He was there nearly four years, engaged in mining for three years, and in merchandising the rest of time, having bought out the stock of the well known ‘Old Uncle Abraham Barnes,’ on the Middle Yuba. He sold out in 1853 and, while collecting up, met with a singular adventure. The Digger Indians tried to rob him while he was travelling alone between Middle and North Yuba. He escaped by a free use of his spurs and a shot from his Colt’s navy, which probably sent one Digger into the happy hunting grounds. Returning in December following, he located on his farm in Rocky Fork, where he has ever since resided. Mr. Roberts’ wife, whose maiden mane was Miranda Asbery, is a native of the same township as himself, born July 11, 1836. Her father died there in 1881. Mr. R. and wife are the parents of nine children, seven of whom still survive. The oldest son, Jasper Newton, received a thorough business education at the Commercial College, of Savannah, Missouri, and is now married and settled on a farm. The Judge, his wife, and the four surviving children are members of the Christian church. He has been a member for about thirty-five years, and she twenty-two years. In 1862, Mr. R. was ordained an elder in the church, and still holds the position, having done, in his time, some very effective preaching, always laboring faithfully for the interest and welfare of his church and the cause of religion generally. He is a member of the Hallsville Lodge, No. 336, of the Free Masons, having been in fellowship for twenty-two years, filling some important positions therein. In the Royal Arch Chapter, he has held the position of scribe and king. He also belongs to the A.O.U.W., and Knights of Pythias. In 1878, Mr. Roberts was elected a member of the county court, and reelected in 1880. He was Southern in sympathy during the civil war, and in 1861, volunteered, under Gov. Jackson’s call, in the State Guards, and participated in the battles of Lexington and Dry Wood. Receiving a captain’s commission, he then went into the regular Confederate service in November following, and was sent out to recruit. He raised a company of sixty men and started South, but was detained in Boone county by Col McKinney, till December. They had an engagement at Mt. Zion church with a number of Gen. Prentiss’s men, the Confederates only numbering abut 300. (see full account on other pages of this history.) Here his company disbanded till June, 1862, Capt. Roberts going into the secret service of the Confederacy, with a colonel’s commission, and so continuing until the close. Judge Roberts owns a fine farm of 5330 acres in Rocky Fork township, all well improved, which he has supplied with high grades of live stock. He is a successful farmer, and provides well for the education and support of his interesting family.”
“William I. Roberts, city marshal, Columbia, Missouri, is the son of Dr. William R. and Mary E. (Brown) Roberts, natives of Virginia. The subject of this sketch was born in Augusta county, Virginia, June 27, 1847, and came with his parents to Rocheport, Boone county, Missouri, June 5, 1859. Completed his education at the Rocheport Academy, under the instructions of Prof. Newton Searcy, one of the ablest educators of the country. Enlisted in the Confederate service in the fall of 1862 under Col. Poindexter, and participated in the raid known by his name. Was captured and taken to St. Louis, where he was confined in McDowell’s College, and afterwards at Alton. Was released from prison in the spring of 1863, and in the fall of 1864 reenlisted in Company E, Searcy’s battalion. Was afterwards transferred to the ordnance department and was assistant ordnance sergeant up to the close of the war. Surrendered at Shreveport, Louisiana, and was paroled at Alexandria. Returning to his home in Rocheport, he was engaged as a clerk by H. H. Garth. Was appointed marshal of the town in 1867, and was city weighmaster and agent for the Rocheport stage line. July 18, 1866, he started to cross the plains, but went no further than Nebraska, returning home July 12, 1867. Was again appointed marshal of the town, which position he held until 1870. In February, 1870, he came to Columbia and took charge of the Columbia Hotel, on Broadway, which he conducted for one year. For the next three years he clerked in different stores and acted as agent for the Rocheport ferry and stage line; was appointed city marshal, July 16, 1874, and was re-appointed in 1876, holding the office continuously ever since. He is a member of the Presbyterian church, and belongs to the order of United Workmen; also K. of P. He was married, October 5, 1870, to Miss Mintie, daughter of George and Amanda Knox. By this marriage they have one son and one daughter, Reuben K. and Mary B. Mrs. Roberts is a member of the Presbyterian church. The father of Mrs. Roberts twice represented this county in the legislature and was a prominent business man in Rocheport. He died some time in 1847 or 1848. Mr. Roberts has as an official as well as in private life, won the esteem and confidence of the entire community in which he lives. His excellent judgment and cool determination in dealing wit the lawless class stamps him as eminently fitted for the duties of his important and dangerous office.”
“Alexander C. Robinson, is a son of John M. and Lucian (Butler) Robinson, and was born January 8, 1821, in Bourbon county, Kentucky. His father was born in South Carolina, February 14, 1800, and came with his parents to Kentucky when quite young. He came to Howard county, Missouri, in the fall of 1821, and lived for a short time near Old Franklin, and afterwards removed to Boone county. He died October 12, 1862, and is buried at Ashland church in Howard county, Missouri. Mrs. Robinson, the wife of John M., was born January 10, 1802, in Davidson county, Tennessee; she also went to Kentucky when a child. They had ten children, five boys and five girls; Alexander C., our subject, being the second. In 1841, Alexander went to school at the Robnett school house for one year. In the fall of 1844 he, like all young men, concluded to see more of the world, and accordingly set out for Louisiana, where he remained for some time in the interior of the State, and then to New Orleans. From New Orleans he went to Nashville, Tennessee, where he was employed as a guard of the State prison until the spring of 1847, when he came back to Boone county, and has remained here ever since. In 1852 he moved to the northern portion of the county, where he lived for about twelve years. In February, 1864, he moved out upon the Two-mile prairie, and lived there five years. In 1869 he moved upon the farm where he is now living, a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, ten and one-half miles northeast of Columbia. December 19, 1850, he married Miss Mary J., daughter of John O., and Jemima (Conley) White. By this union they have had nine children, three girls and six boys. John D.E.W. is now with White, Barron & Co., of Centralia; James W., of Stephens’ Store, Callaway county, Missouri, general merchandise; Thomas O., who is of the firm of Loeb, Cook & Co., grocery store, Columbia; Wm. B., who is also at Stephens’ Store; Alexander (deceased; Lucy J.; Isaac N.; Annie M.; and Mattie. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson are members of the Christian church, and are considered by all as worthy of all confidence in their social and business relations.”
“Was brought from Kentucky by her widowed mother, Sarah Bryan (afterwards McClelland), in 1827, and was partially educated at Bonne Femme Academy. In 1829 she was married to David M. Hickman, after whose decease in 1856, she remained a widow for fourteen years. She was then in 1870, married to Elder J. M. Robinson. At an early age she had professed religion, and was baptized by Elder R. S. Thomas, and was ever afterwards an energetic member of the Baptist church. She united in an eminent degree the various qualities necessary to the supervision of any amount of work, regardless alike of former methods or extent. Each fall she had from six to eight of the better kinds of York carpets woven, and made with her own hands some eighty or more garments, besides entertaining a great number of visitors annually. On many occasions she has been known to entertain over night from thirty-five to forty persons! “For many years, later in life, she was in feeble health, and spent much of her time in visiting friends throughout the country, travelling over the greater part of the continent. She gave liberally of her means to the poor and needy, never stinting her purse where she thought she could do an act of real charity. This remarkable woman wrote her own last will and testament. A correspondent says of her in an obituary: ‘Mrs. Robinson was a lady universally beloved for her gentle, womanly nature and true, Christian character. Amiable, unusually kind, charitable and affectionate in her feelings, she was beloved by hosts of friends.’ Another writer says: ‘Well do I remember her in my early boyhood when I played with her children as school-fellows and oftentimes visited her attractive, beautiful home, which was the seat of refinement and unsparing hospitality. Everything about her reflected neatness, order and gentility, and her devotion to her friends, her neighbors and her church was indeed remarkable. She was always first at the house of God and the last to leave the altar of prayers. She permitted nothing to interfere with what she conceived to be her duty and was fearless in its performance. Her presence was never a restraint to the young, but, by her gentle manners, unselfish character and kind words, she imparted joy and freedom to all.’” (Mrs. Robinson portrait f. p. 674.)
“John De Wilton Robinson is the son of B.F. Robinson, of South Carolina, one of the early settlers of Boone county, and a member of the Columbia bar, now residing at Dallas Texas. His mother’s maiden name was Frances De Wilton McLanahan, also a native of South Carolina. John was born in Boone county, city of Columbia, June 27, 1834. He grew up in this county and received his education at the State University, graduating in the class of 1853. He studied law under Judge F.P. Wright of Warsaw, Missouri, and was admitted to the bar of that place in 1854. Hon. Waldo P. Johnson and Judge Ballou being his examiners. Locating at Kansas City, he practiced there till 1861, four years of which time he served as city attorney.
“Joseph B. Robinson, farmer and blacksmith, was born in Albemarle county, Virginia, October 10, 1832. His father, Tandy B., was a native of Virginia, where he was reared to manhood and married Elizabeth Barnes, also a native Virginian. He removed to Missouri in the fall of 1834, and settled first in Howard county, removing to Boone in 1838, where he had previously entered the farm upon which his son, Joseph, now resides. He died January 26, 1874, and his wife October 15, 1876. The subject of this sketch has lived in Boone county continuously ever since he was six years old, except two years spent in Illinois, during the late civil war. He worked ten years at his trade, but has made farming the chief occupation of his life. Was married May 14, 1872, to Mary L., daughter of Joseph L. Caldwell of Boone county, formerly of Adair county, Kentucky where Mrs. Robinson was born. They have two children, Edward and Garl. He has an excellent farm of 300 acres. He is a member of the order of A.O.U.W.”
“William P. Robinson is a native of Boone county, having been born in Columbia township in 1839. His father, Michael Robinson, was a native of Virginia, born July 1, 1786. He was twice married. He was first married to Mary Magee, July 4, 1809. Eight children were born of this marriage: Robert B., Hugh Magee, Walter, Virginia, Hugh Myms, Lucy, Michael M. and John. Michael M. and John are the only children of the first wife now living. Mrs. Mary (Magee) Robinson was born June 22, 1785, and died November 3, 1837. Michael Robinson was again married April 5, 1838, to Miss Mary C. Phillips. Three children were born of this marriage: William P. (subject of this sketch), Henry T., and Addison A. They are all living. Michael Robinson died July 5, 1847, and was buried in Columbia township. Mrs. Mary C. Robinson died October 20, 1878. She is buried at Mt. Zion church. William P. Robinson was married, April 16, 1861, to Miss Sallie A., daughter of Mordecai and Arethusa Turner, of Boone county. Five children were born of his marriage: George W., Mary J., Lucy E., Mordecai T. and William L., all living. Mrs. Robinson died September 3, 1877, and is buried at Mt. Zion church. The eldest daughter Mary, is the wife of J. F. Edwards, of Audrain county Missouri. The other children are at home with their parents. Mr. Robinson was again married, September 23, 1880, to Miss Elizabeth, daughter of John and Elizabeth King, of Boone county, formerly of Jasper county, Missouri. Mr. Robinson is a practical farmer, and owns a fine farm of 200 acres on the Centralia and Jefferson City road, seven and one-fourth miles south of Centralia and four and a half miles west of Hallsville. He took no part in the late civil war. The battle of Mount Zion, between Gen. Prentiss and Col. Dorsey, began at his house, where a party of Confederates were eating their breakfast. Mr. Robinson was greatly exposed, and was shot through the clothing, but escaped unhurt. He is not a church member. Mrs. Robinson is a member of the Methodist church.”
“The subject of this biography is one of the most prominent agriculturalists in Boone county. He has, perhaps, not so much capital invested as some who are similarly engaged, but few, if any, get larger returns for the amount of capital and labor involved. His home place, situated eight miles east of the Columbia and Cedar creek gravel road, contains 900 acres of finely improved land. He is prepared for wintering from two to three hundred head of cattle. His barn is probably the best building of the kind in the county. It contains one hundred stalls, arranged either for horses or cattle. Besides this farm, Mr. Robnett owns in other parts of the county 700 acres of land, making in all 1,600 acres. He also has a fine sheep ranche [sic] near Pueblo, Colorado. He is largely interested in thoroughbred stock, especially short horn cattle and Cotswold sheep. P. H. Robnett is the son of David and Margaret Hunt Robnett, of Kentucky, and was born in Bourbon county, September 10, 1824. He was brought to Missouri in 1825. Attended school at Little Cedar creek school house, finishing his studies at the Bonne Femme Academy. He was married January 24, 1865, to Sallie, daughter of Jacob and Winifred Sims. They have five children, all girls. Mr. Robnett is a member of the Masonic order at Millersburg. He was director and paymaster of the Columbia and Cedar Creek rock road company while the turnpike was in course of building, and is at this writing, president of the road.”
“John Rochford was born at Armagh, Ireland, May 2, 1815. He received a through collegiate education. He came to America in early life landing first at New York, where he received employment in connection with the United States Navy. From New York City he came to St. Louis in 1839, where he labored as an architect, planning and building some of the finest public buildings of that city. From St. Louis he came to Columbia, Missouri, where he lived until 1849, when he went to California, where he remained four years. While on the Pacific coast he engaged in the lumber business, which proved a very profitable venture. Returning to Boone county, he settled in Sturgeon and took a contract, in partnership with Col. Ruby for building twenty miles of the North Missouri railroad. Mr. Rochford invested largely in land along the line of this road. When Sturgeon was laid off he owned most of the land included within the limits of the town, which he was mainly instrumental in locating. He gave the town its name, calling it Sturgeon, in honor of the first president of the road. It is said that he donated forty acres of land as an inducement to the railroad company to locate the depot at this point. Mr. Rochford was married in Ireland to Catherine Madden. They had four children, one son, Bernard, and three daughters. Only one of the children, Mrs. McComas, wife of Dr. J. M. McComas, is living in Boone county. Bedelier married a man named Sinclair, and Louisa R. married a Mr. Cowgill.”
“R. A. Roddy, late a prominent business man of Providence and vicinity, was born in Tennessee, December 6, 1831. Came to Boone county with his widowed mother in 1836. He was married October 26, 1852 to Miss Sallie G. Tuttle, daughter of Gilpin Tuttle, of Boone county, Missouri. His father and mother were natives of South Carolina. Mrs. Roddy’s maiden name was Lewis. They were married in South Carolina in 1824 and removed to Tennessee the year following. The elder Roddy died in 1835. Mrs. Roddy came to Boone county, Missouri, the year following, and lived here until her death in 1860, having previously married James Dunn. She brought four children with her to Missouri: Francis T.; Robert A.; and James H. Robert A. was born December 6, 1831. Was reared on the farm five miles south of Providence and was educated in the common schools of the county. When about twenty-one years of age he commenced farming and continued in this business until 1868. He was also largely engaged in the tobacco, hemp, and stock trade. In the spring of 1869 he bought the interest of Mr. George Haydon in a store at Providence, thereby becoming the partner of W. P. Tuttle, the firm’s name being Roddy & Tuttle. Mr. Roddy was drowned, October 5, 1877, while on his way to St. Louis, on board a steamer, with hogs for that market. He was a member of the Nashville Baptist church, also of the Masonic lodge at Columbia. Seven children were born to him. James G.; Robert A.; Margaret A.; Albert; and Arthur are living. Two, Willie and Lucy, are dead, the former having been killed by a wagon, at the age of five years, the latter dying in February, 1881. The family still live at Providence. Robert is in the mercantile business with Turner S. Riggs and T. R. Courts, under the firm name of R. A. Roddy & Co. Mr. Courts left the firm in September, 1881.”
“Adam Rodemyre, editor and proprietor of the Centralia Fireside Guard, was born in Illinois, November 20, 1841. He is the son of Adam, Sr., a native of Germany, who came to the United States about the year 1830. He was a wagon-maker. The maiden name of Mrs. Rodemyre was Laura Kline. Adam was one of eight children. His mother was twice married. He was educated at the public schools of Illinois. Finishing his academic course he went into the confectionary and baker’s business, which he followed for five years. He next engaged in coal-mining, which he followed for several years. He then followed agricultural pursuits until he was nineteen years old, when he entered a newspaper office. Remaining until he learned the trade, he bought a job office and started a paper called the Literary Gem, which he continued for several years, finally moving it to Centralia in 1866, where he continued its publication under the name of Our Southern Home Circle. He next went to Sturgeon where he published the Independent for one year, at the expiration of which time he bought the printing material of his partner and returned to Centralia and started the Guard, which he has continued to publish ever since, except for a period of two years spent in San Bernardino, California, during which time he published the Daily and Weekly Times of that city. He returned to Centralia in 1876 and resumed the publication of the Guard, which is independent in politics. Mr. Rodemyre was married in 1866 to Miss Maria Tribble, of Boone county. They have two sons and one daughter. Their names are Edgar T.; Homer B.; and Viola L. He is a member of the Masonic order, also of the Independent Order of Good Templars, and the Patrons of Husbandry. Mrs. Rodemyre is a member of the Missionary Baptist church. Mr. Rodemyre is an energetic, hardworking journalist, doing the work of his office without assistance. He is the inventor of an automatic cylinder press upon which he prints his paper. The Guard is ornamented with original cuts, which he engraves himself. He is also proficient in the art of stereotyping. Although thorough in his business and ahead of the times in many respects, he is quite reticent in speaking of his own accomplishments in the line of his profession.”
“The subject of this sketch is probably entitled to the distinction of being the oldest citizen now living in Boone county, and, notwithstanding his great age, he is still a healthy, vigorous old man. With all his faculties unimpaired, he looks serenely backward to the time when steam was unknown as a motive power, and steamboats and locomotives had not been dreamed of. He gazes backward over an extinct world of human beings. Of all the millions of men and women who were breathing the breath of life when he was ushered into this world, three figures, side by side, would more than express the number who linger still upon the shores of time. What a wonderful vista! How remarkable to view through all those changeful years, from 1792 to 1882 – four-score and ten years! John Rogers, Jr., was born in Culpepper county, Virginia, March 14, 1792. His father, John Rogers, Sr., was born in England, and emigrated to the United States long before the revolutionary war. He afterwards removed to Harrison county, Kentucky, where he died in 1821, at the age of seventy-three years. His wife, Nancy (Gregg) Rogers, was born in Stafford county, Virginia, and died in Harrison county, Kentucky, at the advanced age of ninety-seven years. John Rogers, Jr., came to Kentucky with his parents, and in 1817 went to St. Louis county, Missouri, where he remained one year, going from there to Pike county, Missouri, where he remained three years. Previous to coming to Missouri Mr. Rogers was married to Mary, daughter of Edmund Mountjoy, of Bourbon county, Kentucky. By this marriage they had nine children, four sons and five daughters, only one of whom, John M. Rogers, of Pike county, is now living. Mr. Rogers came to Columbia in 1821. There was at that time but one store in the place, A. J. Williams, proprietor. The hotel was kept by Gentry. Eld. James Barnes was then sheriff of Boone county. Mr. Rogers has a vivid recollection of the first Fourth of July celebration he ever attended at Columbia. The day was honored by a barbecue just east of Flat Branch. There was no speaking. The young men amused themselves with foot races, jumping and wrestling. Mr. Rogers settled on a farm about four miles south of Centralia, where he remained for four years, then returned to Pike county, where his wife died, January 19, 1877, in the eightieth year of her age. Returning Columbia, he was married, December 6, 1877 [age 85?], to Mrs. Mary E. Moody. Since his marriage he has resided in Columbia. Mrs. Rogers died June 25, 1882, leaving one daughter, by the last marriage, aged one year and eight months. Mr. Rogers was first a member of the Baptist church, having united with that denomination under the preaching of Rev. Benjamin Allen in 1814. In 1819 he joined the Christian church in Pike county, Missouri, under the preaching of Eld. Stephen Ruddle, at Ramsey’s Creek church. He is a close student of the Bible. He believes that every great event in the world’s history is either narrated or foretold by the inspired authors of Holy Writ. He holds that our civil war, also the assassination of President Lincoln, is foretold, and can cite the chapter and verse. He is a fluent talker, and on such topics as he takes an interest in is quite entertaining.”
“The subject of this sketch was born in Fayette county, Kentucky, November 19, 1828. His ancestry emigrated from England to Virginia, and thence to Kentucky soon after the Boone settlements there. They located subsequently at Bryan Station, and members of the family are now scattered through all the Western states. His father and mother, William and Frances Rogers, removed to Missouri in the fall of 1830, and settled upon a farm about ten miles west of Palmyra, the county seat of Marion county. In this frontier land, where the tracks of the retiring red man were fresh in the soil and the embers of his camp-fires still smouldered in the forests, he spent his childhood and youth. He grew up amid the trials and struggles of a new country, which inure to hardships and train to habits of industry and self-reliance.
“James S. Rollins is a native of Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky, where he was born April 19, 1812. His paternal grandfather was a native of Ireland. His father, Dr. Anthony Wayne Rollins, was a prominent physician. His mother, whose maiden name was Rodes, was a native of Albermarle county, Virginia. Maj. Rollins had six brothers and sisters, all of whom are dead, except his youngest sister, who is the wife of Hon. Curtis F. Burnam, a former assistant secretary of the United States treasury. “In early youth Maj. Rollins pursued an academic course in his native town, and in 1827 entered Washington College, Pennsylvania, but at the end of the junior year, he left this institution and entered the University of Indiana, at Bloomington, where he graduated in 1830. His parents having removed to Boone county, Maj. Rollins, after graduating, joined them. Coming to Missouri, he took charge of his father’s plantation for one year. He then read law under Hon. Abiel Leonard, and spent two years at the Transylvania Law School, Lexington, KY, where he graduated in 1834. He at once entered upon the duties of his profession at Columbia, Missouri. During the Black Hawk war he served for about six months on the staff of Gen. Richard Gentry. In 1836 Maj. Rollins and his law partner, Thomas Miller, became editors of the Columbia Patriot, a Whig paper, which they conducted for several years.
“The distinguished family whose history is briefly outlined in this sketch originated in Virginia, the grand ‘Old Dominion’ from whence so many of the finest families of the land have come westward and southward. John Bedford Royall, whose immediate family are associated with the history of Boone county, was born in Halifax county, Virginia, May 23, 1788. He was reared in his native county, and finished his educational course at Hampden-Sidney College. He was commissioned a captain of cavalry in the war of 1812, and therein, as all through his long and useful life, did creditable service. He was a man of great literary tastes and aesthetical turn of mind; and he gratified his desires in this particular by much close and constant reading. He was admitted to the Virginia bar and practiced law in that State for some years. He removed to Boone county, Missouri, in 1840, though he only lived four years after settling in this hospitable clime. Mr. Royall was married, January 29, 1817, to Miss Pamelia Williamson Price, daughter of Pugh W. Price, of Prince Edward County, Virginia. Mr. Royall had been long connected with the Presbyterian church, and died firm in that faith, departing this live in Columbia, Missouri, August 24, 1844. Mrs. Royall, who still survives at this writing is living in Columbia with her son and daughter. She was born August 11, 1800, and is a sister of the lamented Gen. Sterling Price of Confederate fame, John R. Price, Maj. Robert Pugh Price, and Dr. Edwin Price. Her brothers all became more or less distinguished. The generous and noble-hearted Pugh, though less famous than some of his brothers, has never been publicly mentioned in such a manner as his many estimable qualities entitled him to. Mrs. Royall was educated at Reed’s Academy in Virginia. She was married young, and became the mother of six children. Elizabeth died at fifteen years old, while at school at Danville, VA, Academy. Mary Jane Royall became the wife of Col. William F. Switzler, of Columbia, and died September 11, 1879. Wm. Bedford Royall is at this writing a colonel in the regular United States army. He had served in the Mexican war, and was a first Lieutenant in Captain McMillan’s Boone county company. He was in Texas at the outbreak of the civil war, and remained loyal to his government, doing most of his service in Virginia. He was six times wounded in an engagement with ‘Jeb’ Stuart’s Confederate cavalry. This took place in Virginia, and was a hand-to-hand fight, in which Captain Lataine was killed. Capt. L. was in command of a Confederate detachment that assailed Capt. Royall. At the close of the war William B. came out with the rank of major. He distinguished himself in June, 1876, in a fight with Sitting Bull at Rosebud, Dakota Territory. He now holds the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and is with his regiment in Arizona Territory. John Price Royall still another son and now teacher of book-keeping in the State University, was born in Halifax county, Virginia, July 11, 1831. He married Miss Nancy C. Wells, of California, June 4, 1868. Prof. Royall went out to California in 1850, and there became assistant State superintendent under O.P. Fitzgerald, D.D. He was engaged in teaching mining and farming during his long residence in that State, and also taught book-keeping in the San Francisco city schools. He returned to Columbia in 1880, and went in the University as stated above. Victoria Regina resides in Columbia with her mother and brother, while Virginia Lafayette (now Mrs. J. A. Henderson, wife of Judge Henderson, of St. Louis county), is now a resident of Clayton, that county.”
“Maj. John F. Rucker, one of the most prominent and influential business men of Sturgeon, was born in Amherst county, Virginia, September 19, 1838. He is the son of John D. and Lucy J. (nee Tinsley) Rucker. Maj. Rucker came to Sturgeon in 1858, where he remained until the war. He joined Company C. which was raised in that place. He was afterwards made a lieutenant in a St. Louis regiment commanded by Col. Kelly. He entered the service in 1861 at Jefferson City. He was at Boonville and Lexington, went South with the army and participated in the battles of Carthage and Wilson Creek. He was also in the battle of Drywood, and a number of other skirmishes and battles of less note. Came home after the surrender of Lexington, and was captured by the enemy and imprisoned at Macon City. He was released on parole, but was soon afterwards re-arrested on a charge of treason and conspiracy, having been indicted by the United States Court, but his case was not called up. A compromise was at last agreed upon by which Maj. Rucker, was banished to Montana during the war. While in Montana he was elected chief clerk of the legislature and also a member of the territorial constitutional convention. At the close of the war, Maj. Rucker returned to Virginia, and after a short stay in the Old Dominion, he returned to Sturgeon, where he has lived ever since. He was married, August 28, 1867, to Miss Julia, daughter of Col. William Early Rucker, of Audrain county, Missouri. Four sons were born of this marriage. Their names are Booker H.; Guy Lockridge; Early D.; and Ray. The first wife dying, March 30, 1879, he was married, May 18, 1880, to Miss Frankie D., daughter of Carter Dingle, of Mexico, Audrain county, Missouri. Maj. and Mrs. Rucker are both members of the Methodist Church South. He has been superintendent of the Sunday School for fourteen years. Has always been a Democrat in politics. Has held the office of chairman of the Congressional Central Committee for five or six years past. In 1875 he was elected to the convention to form a new State constitution representing the Ninth Senatorial District. It was a free race and there were a number of candidates, including Col. Switzler, who was also elected. The Major is, practically speaking, a self-made man. He is a public-spirited citizen in the truest sense of the term, and has been an earnest laborer in the cause of immigration. He suggested the main points in the immigration bill. He is a director of the Sturgeon bank and has been for several years. He and Mr. Sherwood W. Turner own a controlling interest in the business. He is the leading man in the firm of Rucker & Turner, a store that is doing a large business. They also have an extensive trade in railroad ties.”
“Roderick D. Rucker, chief salesman with Goin & Lockridge, Sturgeon, Missouri, was born in Amherst county, Virginia, May 7, 1849. He is the son of John Dabney and Lucy Rucker. Since coming to Missouri, in 1868, Mr. Rucker has lived continuously in Boone and Audrain counties, spending the first two years on a farm about one mile west of town, on what is known as the old Marney place. He entered the store of Goin & Lockridge in the spring of 1882. He was married December 22, 1874, to Miss Lulu, daughter of Judge Henry Dusenbury. They have three children, Edward Leslie, Francis Marion and Robert Milton. Mrs. Rucker is a member of the Methodist church. Mr. Rucker belongs to the order of A.O.U.W. He owns and cultivates a nice farm over the line, in Audrain county, where he resides. The farm is three miles north of Sturgeon. Mr. Rucker is a quiet, affable gentleman, well known and highly appreciated in business circles. He is a brother to Maj. John Rucker, of Sturgeon.”
“Col. Francis T. Russell, lawyer and prominent business man of Columbia, Missouri, was born in Cabell county, West Virginia, April 24, 1821, and was raised on a farm. He received his education at the Ohio University, under Drs. Read and McGuffey. Studied law and was licensed to the bar in Virginia. Removed to Missouri in the fall of 1841, and settled in Columbia, Boone county, having been influenced to do so by the location of the University at this place. Commenced the practice of law, which he kept up at intervals until the close of the late war. Was married May 6, 1846, to M. Caroline Lenoir, a native of North Carolina, with whom he has raised seven children, all living. Shortly after his marriage he settled at his present home, in West Columbia, where he has resided ever since. Crossed the plains to California in 1849, with a Boone county company, and remained in the mines until the winter of 1850, when he returned and led an expedition of his own on a second trip of great exposure, sickness and loss. He returned to Columbia in the winter of 1851, and resumed his law practice. For the next ten years he was engaged in a mixed business requiring great labor and energy. In addition to the law, he managed his farms, a saw-mill, and attended to the duties of public administrator. He was also a trustee of Christian College, and gave that institution a large share of his time and money. At the breaking out of the civil war he became and remained a decided Union man. He organized the Union clubs of the county. Was commissioned a lieutenant-colonel of the 61st regiment Enrolled Missouri Militia, by Gov. Gamble, and went at once into active local service. During the same year he was commissioned by President Lincoln one of the Home Guard commissioners for Missouri. His associates were Charles T. Sherman, of Ohio, brother to Gen. Sherman, and George R. Taylor, with Col. James H. Moss as U.S. attorney. The duties of this office lasted for nearly seven months, and nearly $1,000,000 of claims for services and material were audited and allowed against the United States, in favor of early, irregular service in Missouri. After fulfilling the duties of this position he returned to active military service at home in the autumn of 1863, but early in the winter following he was detailed for duty as provost marshal at Columbia, in which position he remained until the office was closed in 1864. He was elected to the legislature in 1868 on the Republican ticket and served two sessions. He was chosen to this service -- with Hon. James S. Rollins in the Senate -- with special reference to the Agricultural College being located in Boone county, and so completely did this matter absorb their time and attention that the Boone members could take no part in any other legislation, scarcely even by voting. The desired result was finally achieved at the end of the second winter, but not without great labor and skillful management on the part of both the Boone members and their friends. It may be said that with less ability, energy and perseverance than were displayed by Col. Russell and Maj. Rollins, and the earnest cooperation of a number of enterprising citizens of Boone county, the Agricultural College would never have been located at Columbia. Col. Russell voted for the emancipation ordinance. From 1860 to 1880 he was a curator of the State University, and as such was justly entitled to the credit of placing his old preceptor, Dr. Daniel Read, at the head of that institution, and whose earnest and devoted labors in behalf of te University are well known and universally recognized by all true friends of the institution. He organized and carried through the present system of cheap club boarding houses for poor students. He also procured the appointment of Prof. Ficklin to his present position in the University. Was also one of the committee to locate the School of Mines, and to visit all the agricultural colleges in the United States in the interest of the Missouri school. R. L. Todd, of Columbia, and A. W. Matthews, of Springfield, were also members of the committee. For the last ten years, Col. Russell has devoted his time to domestic life and private business affairs.”