Goodspeed's History of Southeast Missouri
Biographies of Mississippi County, 1888


Robert Langsdale

Robert Langsdale was born  in
     Somerset County, Md., January 7, 1842, and is  a  son  of  Robert  and
     Eleanor (Bebsworth)  Langsdale,  both  natives  of  Maryland,  and  of
     English descent. The grandfather Bebsworth served four  years  in  the
     army in England, after which he came  to  America,  and  fought  three
     years in the Revolutionary War. He then  immigrated  to  Maryland,  in
     which State he died. Robert Langsdale was born in 1812, and was reared
     near Quantico, Md.  He  owned  considerable  land,  which  his  slaves
     cultivated. He also  owned  three  sailing  vessels,  which  ran  from
     Baltimore to Washington, Philadelphia and Charleston, S.C. He followed
     boating in early life, but after he became owner of those vessels,  he
     had them run by hired help He was very successful in  business,  being
     at the time of this death worth  about  $30,000.  His  death  occurred
     in1857. He and wife were the parents of eight children, viz: Mary  A.,
     Estella, John L., Margaret, Thaddeus, Robert,  William  T.  (deceased)
     and Laura E. (deceased). Robert was reared on his father's farm,  upon
     which he remained until the beginning of the war; when he enlisted  in
     the Confederate army  joining  Company  C,  Twenty-third  Regiment  of
     Maryland, with  which  he  participated  in  a  few  skirmishes.  Upon
     returning to his regiment, after a visit  home  on  furlough,  he  was
     captured April 4, 1864, and was taken to Baltimore prison where he was
     kept two months before he had his trial. Three  charges  were  brought
     against him: first, as being a rebel spy;  second  as  being  a  rebel
     soldier, and  in  the  Federal  lines;  and  third,  for  running  the
     blockades. He  was  sentenced  to  one  year's  hard  labor,  at  Fort
     Jefferson, on the coast of Florida. After  serving  his  time  at  the
     prison, in which he fared very poorly, he returned home,  and  engaged
     to work on a sailing vessel. He afterward bought a third interest in a
     vessel, and became its master, remaining with  it  on  the  sea  until
     1869, when he, with his wife and two children, removed to  Mississippi
     County, Mo., where he has since resided, engaged in farming.  In  1866
     he wedded Roxana Brown, a native of Maryland, who died in 1881, having
     borne four children, viz: Willie V., George W., Alberta (deceased) and
     Laura (deceased). Mr. Langsdale afterward  married  Sallie  Black,  by
     whom he had one child (deceased). This wife died in  1883.  On  August
     26, 1886, he was united in marriage with Lu Ella Alexander, a daughter
     of John and Frances E. (Trice)  Alexander.  The  father  was  born  in
     Virginia, August 30, 1816 and  is  a  son  of  William  and  Elizabeth
     (Powers) Alexander, of German and English descent, respectively.  John
     Alexander was reared in Christian County, Ky., and is a farmer. In1845
     he removed to Ballard County, where he has since  resided,  until  the
     last few years. He has been  a  consistent  member  of  the  Methodist
     Episcopal Church since 1835. He and wife were  married  on  April  15,
     1849 and are the parents of eight children, five of whom  are  living:
     Sarah A., Lucy F., Mercie E., Ella and William R.  His  wife  died  in
     November, 1865.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Langsdale  have  one  child,  Nellie,
     deceased. He and wife are members of the Methodist  Episcopal  Church.
     He is a member of the A.O.U.W.

James A. Lee

James A. Lee, an enterprising
     farmer of Mississippi County, was born  in  Bullitt  County,  Ky.,  on
     March 31, 1839. He is a son of William T. and Dorothea (Lee) Lee, both
     natives of Bullitt County, Ky. Both the  grandfathers,  John  Lee  and
     Henry Lee emigrated from Maryland to Kentucky, and settled in  Bullitt
     County, where the former  died.  The  latter  remained  there  several
     years, and in 1848 removed to Mississippi County, Mo., and settled  on
     a farm in Mathews' Prairie, joining the farm on  which  James  A.  now
     resides, and on which he lived until his  death  on  March  31,  1864.
     William T. Lee was a farmer, and came with his parents to  Mississippi
     County, when he purchased the old McElmurry farm, on which our subject
     now resides. He soon  had  the  place  under  cultivation,  with  good
     improvements, and resided there until his death on  January  2,  1862.
     His wife died in  October  1878.  They  were  the  parents  of  eleven
     children, of whom three are living: Nancy (Mrs. W.H.  Snellin),  James
     A. and Rebecca (Mrs. Frank Howell). Those deceased are Margaret,  John
     H., Elizabeth, Susan, Phillip, and an infant unnamed. James A. was but
     nine years of age when he came with his parents to Mississippi County.
     In 1861 he enlisted in Capt. Price's Company, First Missouri  Cavalry,
     under Gen. Jeff. Thompson (confederate). On December 28, 1861, he  was
     captured at his home by the Second Illinois Cavalry, and was taken  to
     Bird's Point, where he was kept in prison for two months. He was  then
     sent (via St. Louis, where he was kept one week) to Alton, Ill., where
     he remained two months.  After  enduring  many  hardships,  and  being
     reduced much in flesh, he as released from prison on  parole  May  20,
     1862 and returned home and resumed farming, assisting  his  mother  in
     taking care of his younger brothers and sisters,  as  his  father  had
     died while he was in prison. He has been twice married, the first time
     to Belle Hudson, who died in 1873. He was married the second time,  in
     1883 to Elizabeth Smith, a native of Mississippi County. Mr. Lee is  a
     member  of  the  Masonic  fraternity  and  I.O.O.F.,  and  is  also  a

John Lett

John  Lett   a   substantial
     farmer near Bertrand, Mississippi County, was born in McNairy  County,
     Tenn., in 1843. He is  a  son  of  Ambrose  Lett,  a  native  of  East
     Tennessee, born in  1815.  The  latter  was  married  to  Nettie  Jane
     Clayton, who was born in North Carolina, on July 3, 1821, and  when  a
     young girl was taken by  her  parents  to  Tennessee.  They  made  the
     journey with teams, and settled in McNairy County.  Mr.  Ambrose  Lett
     was a very successful farmer, and he brought his wife and children  to
     Southeast Missouri about 1844, and located east of  Charleston,  where
     he resided about one year. He then resided  at  Springfield  and  Cape
     Girardeau each one year, when he returned to  Mississippi  County  and
     located near Bertrand, where he died in 1863, universally beloved  and
     respected. After his death his widow married Henry Fletcher, a  native
     of Henry County, Tenn., who had spent the most of his life  in  Texas,
     engaged in farming. Five years after his marriage he went away and has
     never been heard from since. His wife now resides with the subject  of
     this sketch. She  has  been  a  consistent  member  of  the  Methodist
     Episcopal Church for more than thirty years. She and Mr. Lett were the
     parents of eight children: Mary Jane (deceased), John, Mary Catherine,
     William, Louisa (widow of  Marion  Francis),  Lucinda  (deceased)  and
     Matthew Hubbard. John lived  at  his  father's  until  1867,  when  he
     married Mary J. Hainely, who was born in Dunklin County, Mo., in 1843.
     She is the daughter of Thomas Hainely, of German descent. He relocated
     near Hot Springs, Ark. After residing there one year, he moved back to
     Dunklin County and remained  about  six  years,  when  he  removed  to
     Mississippi County. He died at the age of thirty-seven years (in 1857)
     and his wife when thirty-five years of age (in 1853).  Their  children
     are George P., Mary J., Thomas G., Samuel and Elizabeth, all deceased,
     expect Mary J. After his marriage Mr. Lett engaged in farming  on  the
     place upon which he now resides. He  was  engaged  in  the  mercantile
     business at Sikeston for twenty six months but in 1884 he returned  to
     his farm, upon which he has a fine residence, built in that  year.  He
     and wife have had nine children, three of whom are living: Thomas  L.,
     Albert E. and John R. Those deceased are Mary L., Robert J., Altha  J.
     and Albert J. (twins), Leonard F. and Laura May. Politically Mr.  Lett
     is  a  Democrat.  He  is  also  a  Mason   and   a   member   of   the

J.W. Lindsay

J.W.  Lindsay,   dealer   in
     General merchandise at Charleston, was born in St.  Louis,  March  13,
     1842, and is a son of Joseph and Ann (Walker) Lindsay,  both  of  whom
     were natives of County Kildare, Ireland. The former was  a  farmer  by
     vocation. In 1840 he left  his  native  country  for  America,  taking
     passage at Liverpool. After several weeks ocean voyage, he  landed  at
     New Orleans, from whence he went  up  the  Mississippi  River  to  St.
     Louis, where he was engaged in business until  his  death  by  cholera
     in1849. His widow died in St. Louis, in 1875. They had nine  children.
     Those living are Horatio, Eliza J., Emily, Charlotte, Harriet and John
     W. Those dead are Frederick, Arthur and  Joseph.  John  W.  was  about
     seven years of age when his father died. His widowed mother, left with
     the care of a large family, gave him such education in his native city
     as she could afford. In 1853 he went to Charleston, Mo.,  and  entered
     the store of George W. Kenrick, as clerk.  Remaining  with  him  until
     1862, he enlisted in the famous Camp Jackson Confederate organization.
     He was taken prisoner at the camp, but was paroled, and in 1863-64  he
     attended Notre Dame College, at South Bend, Ind.,  taking  a  business
     course. He was then employed as clerk by Mr. Kenrick until 1870,  when
     he engaged in his present business. He now owns the store-building, of
     which  he  occupies  two  rooms,  and  also  owns  the  two  adjoining
     buildings, a room for  agricultural  implements,  in  which  he  deals
     extensively, and also in wagons and buggies, etc. He  was  married  in
     1872 to Sonora  Taylor,  of  Cape  Girardeau,  by  whom  he  has  four
     children: John W., Sonora, Thomas  and  Lucilla.  Mrs.  Lindsay  is  a
     member of the  Catholic  church.  Mr.  Lindsay  is  a  member  of  the
     Episcopal Church. He is a Mason and a member of  the  Blue  Lodge  and
     Royal Arch Chapter.

William Love

William Love, an enterprising
     merchant of Bertrand,  Mississippi  Co.,  Mo.,  was  born  in  Caswell
     County, N.C., on the 22d day of November, 1830. He is a  son  of  John
     and Martha Love, of Scotch-English descent. The former died  in  North
     Carolina, when forty-four years of age, and soon after (in  1846)  his
     widow and children immigrated to Tennessee. The journey being overland
     required seven weeks. The family resided in Tennessee until the  death
     of their mother, at the age of sixty-seven  years.  The  parents  were
     very prominent and popular people, being consistent members and strong
     supporters of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They were the parents of
     thirteen children, ten of whom died in infancy.  Nancy  (who  was  the
     wife of A. Heggie, of Bertrand) was married in North  Carolina,  quite
     young. They afterward moved to Tennessee,  where  they  resided  until
     1873, when they moved to Bertrand. They resided there until his death,
     which occurred December 25, 1887, at the mature age  of  seventy-seven
     years. Nancy raised two children,  John  and  Martha.  John  lives  in
     Charleston, and Martha lives near Camden, Benton Co., Tenn.  Ira  died
     during the Rebellion, leaving a widow and four children. William  Love
     being the youngest of the three, lived with  his  mother  until  1861,
     when he was drafted into the army. His occupation up to this time  was
     that of an agriculturist. In 1872 he married M.E. Rushing, a  daughter
     of  Richard  Rushing.  He  was  at  this  time  engaged   in   general
     merchandising. The next year he moved to Bertrand,  and  continued  in
     the same business there. In 1875 his wife died, leaving one  child  (a
     boy), Charley. In 1881 he was again married to Mrs. S.E.  Williams,  a
     native of Tennessee,  with  whom  he  now  lives,  and  has  two  more
     children, Ella and Spencer. Soon after  his  arrival  at  Bertrand  he
     bought 75 acres of land and now owns about 1,000 acres. Mr.  and  Mrs.
     Love, are active and prominent  citizens  of  Bertrand,  and  take  an
     active part in the Methodist Episcopal Church at that place, he  being
     class-leader     and      superintendent      of      the      Sunday-

John F. Lynn

John  F.  Lynn,  a  prominent
     farmer of Mississippi County, was born  in  Massac  County,  Ill.,  on
     January 23, 1846, and is a son of Cheatham and Angeline  (Linn)  Lynn,
     natives of Tennessee and Kentucky, respectively. The  grandparents  on
     both sides were from North Carolina. Cheatham Lynn was born  on  March
     29, 1810, and was the fourth child of a family of  fourteen  children,
     of whom Joseph, Benjamin, Bartlett, Andrew J., Samuel  H.  and  Martha
     are  living.  Those  dead  are  Young,  Craven,  Cheatham,  John   G.,
     Cornelius, Nathaniel, Pitts and Patten. Cheatham Lynn was  married  in
     Kentucky, soon after which he  removed  to  Illinois,  and  was  there
     engaged in farming until 1869, when he removed to Southeast  Missouri,
     and located in the Concord settlement, in Mississippi  County,  having
     purchased land there about 1859. Mr.  Lynn  took  an  active  part  in
     politics and other local matters, being a man of  energy,  talent  and
     ability. He died on July 16, 1885. His wife was  born  on  January  1,
     1822 and died on March 4, 1874. To them were born William P., John F.,
     George D., James M., Jerome, Lusetta B. and a boy and girl,  who  died
     in infancy. The first six are now  residents  of  Mississippi  County.
     John F. came to Mississippi County  in  1866.  Two  years  previously,
     March 4, 1864, he married Lusetta Somersett, a  native  of  Tennessee.
     She died on March 2, 1883. Their children are Stephen D., born on June
     22, 1856; Adda A. (Mrs. R.E. Stanley), born January 22, 1867; Mary R.,
     born January 13, 1869; John F.,  born  on  April  13,  1871,  died  on
     October 29, 1887; Corah A., born on November 20, 1873, died in August,
     1878; Cheatham born on May 9, 1877; Napoleon B., born on  December  8,
     1878; Emma F., born on January 30, 1880, died in Jul 1880;  and  Lula,
     born on July 18, 1882, died on March 4, 1883. Mr. Lynn was married the
     second time to Mrs. Luvisa A. (Warford) Small, who was bon on June  5,
     1853, and is a daughter of John S. and Emily J. Warford, both of  whom
     are now living in Clinton, Ky. Luvisa A. was  married  on  October  5,
     1876 to William E. Small, who died on  March  10,  1880,  leaving  two
     children: Edith I., born on July 29, 1877,  and  Edmund  W.,  born  on
     October 22, 1879. To Mr. and Mrs. Lynn have been born Honor,  born  on
     April 7, 1885, and Jefferson, born on November 30, 1887. They are also
     rearing three  orphans,  children  of  William  T.  and  Eliza  (Lynn)
     Clariday. They are Ida B., born on June 23, 1870; Lillie M.,  born  on
     April 6, 1874; and Edward R., born on February 11, 1880. Mr. Lynn  has
     been justice of the peace since 1874, and has taken an active part  in
     school matters since 1870. Politically he is a  Democrat,  and  is  an
     active member of the Christian Church. Mrs. Lynn is a  member  of  the
     Missionary Baptist Church. Mr. Lynn is a member of the Knights of  the
     Golden Rule, of the Wheel and has been a  member  of  the  Patrons  of


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