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


Thomas S. McElmurry

Judge  Thomas  S.  McElmurry,
     the oldest man living who was born in the territory  now  embraced  in
     Mississippi County, was born in Mathews' Prairie, two miles  from  the
     town of Charleston, on December 27, 1815. He is one of  the  only  two
     surviving children out of a family of twelve, born to the marriage  of
     Absalom McElmurry and Elizabeth  (Gray)  McElmurry,  both  natives  of
     Kentucky, and of Scotch  descent.  Absalom  McElmurry  came  from  his
     native State in  1806,  and  became  one  of  the  first  settlers  in
     Southeast Missouri, this State being then a part of the  Territory  of
     Louisiana. He was married, and  lived  there  a  few  years,  when  he
     removed to Little Rock, Ark.,  but  returned  to  Mississippi  County,
     about 1813, and took up some government land. He followed farming  all
     his life, and first lived in a little log cabin with a puncheon  floor
     and clapboard roof and doors. He was the first  judge  of  Mississippi
     County, being appointed in 1843. Their surviving  children  are  Judge
     Thomas S.  and  Absalom.  Those  deceased  are  Ellen,  Sallie,  John,
     Benjamin, Charles, David Mary, Elizabeth, Harriet  and  Andrew.  Judge
     Thomas S. was reared on his father's farm and along  with  the  rising
     generation of those early times, received  only  the  rudiments  of  a
     plain English education. He studied at home during his leisure  hours,
     but worked hard to clear the land and render it fit  for  cultivation.
     He still owns the farm, upon which he was born  and  reared.  He  made
     farming, his principal occupation,  until  his  eighteen  slaves  were
     freed during the late war. He has always been a Democrat in  politics,
     and has  filled  various  official  positions.  He  served  as  county
     treasurer one term, deputy sheriff for  four  years,  justice  of  the
     peace for four years, coroner two years. In 1858 he was elected  judge
     of the county court, which office he held for two terms, and  in  1866
     he was elected probate judge, and held the office until 1870.  He  was
     then engaged in the mercantile business until 1880, since  which  time
     he has been practically retired, with the exception of  looking  after
     his farming interest. He has been twice married;  the  first  time  in
     1842, to Hester Harrison, who died in 1844,  leaving  him  one  child,
     Elizabeth, deceased. The second time he was married in 1848, to  Nancy
     J. Kennedy, a resident of Charleston. Five children have been born  to
     this union, viz: Mary (deceased), Thomas S. (deceased), Margaret (Mrs.
     William A. Bush), Sallie (Mrs. Joseph Hart), and  William  (deceased).
     Judge McElmurry is a Mason, and is one of the most  prominent  men  of
     Southeast Missouri. He has witnessed its development from a  territory
     to its present wealthy condition, and he has made a host  of  friends,
     many of whom have passed away. The Judge has  lived  in  a  Territory,
     Federal government, Confederate government, slave  State,  free  State
     and three counties, and has lived all the time on the same farm. He is
     now past seventy-two years of age and is living in the  midst  of  the
     comforts       provided       by       his        own        honorable

Absalom McElmurry

Absalom    McElmurry,    a
     prominent merchant of Charleston, was born in what is now  Mississippi
     County, Mo., on August 24, 1826. He is the twelfth  child  of  Absalom
     and  Elizabeth  (Gray)  McElmurry  [see  sketch  of  Judge  Thomas  S.
     McElmurry]. The subject of this sketch was  reared  at  this  father's
     home, until he was sixteen years of age, when his father died. He  was
     then, for two  years,  overseer  of  sixty  slaves  for  Mrs.  Harriet
     Moulsby, of New Madrid, after which he went to Lake  Providence,  La.,
     where he had charge of about eighty  slaves  for  Mr.  James  E.  Old.
     Remaining at the latter place about two years, he crossed the lake and
     was employed in the same business by  John  Chambles,  who  owned  300
     negroes. He remained with him a couple of years, during which time  he
     was also engaged in trading horse. Returning to Mississippi County, he
     was married on August 24, 1853 to Sarah F. Kennedy, also a  native  of
     Mississippi County. Since his marriage  he  has  been  a  resident  of
     Charleston. In 1865 he engaged in the mercantile  business,  which  he
     continued until 1868, when he sold out and resumed farming in which he
     is still engaged, in connection with merchandising, in which  business
     he again entered in 1880. He  now  carries  a  full  line  of  general
     merchandise. He and wife have one child, Henry Scott. Mr. McEmurry has
     served as city marshal for three years. He is a Mason and has  been  a
     representative in the Grand Lodge a couple of times. He and  wife  are
     members of the Baptist Church.

William T. Marshall

William T. Marshall, ex-judge
     of Mississippi County Court, was born in La Rue County,  Ky.,  January
     14, 1847, and is a son of Thomas  and  Jane  (Rogers)  Marshall,  both
     natives of Nelson County, Ky., and of Scot-Irish descent.  The  great-
     grandfather Marshall was born in Ireland, and immigrated  to  Kentucky
     at an early day. The grandparents on both sides were  born  and  spent
     their lives in Kentucky. Thomas Marshall was born in August 1818,  and
     was married in his native county. In 1850  he  immigrated  to  La  Rue
     County, where he purchased a farm, on which he resided until his death
     in December 1886. His first wife, the mother of our subject,  died  in
     1856, having borne him five children: Joseph M., William T., John  T.,
     Mary J. (Mrs. A.L.  Hawkins)  and  Elizabeth  A.  (deceased).  He  was
     married the second time to Lavena (Jones)  Thruman,  by  whom  he  had
     seven children: Grace E., Robert L., Wesley A.,  Benjamin  W.,  Hettie
     F., Rosa and James (deceased). William T. remained with his parents in
     his native country until about sixteen years of age, and attended  the
     public schools. During  the  winter  of  1862-63,  he  served  in  the
     Confederate army with Gen. Bragg's division, remaining out about three
     months. He participated in the battle of Perryville. He then  went  to
     Putnam County, Ind., and remained with S.F. Gilmore,  of  Greencastle,
     for two years, and spent three months  near  Mattoon,  Ill.  After  an
     absence of three years, he  went  back  to  Hardin  County,  Ky.,  and
     attended two terms of  school  at  Shiloh  Academy  (known  as  Wolf's
     Springs). He spent two years at Sanora Academy, of which time  he  was
     assistant under Prof. Charles Matthews, for fifteen months. In 1869 he
     went to Buchanan County, Mo., where he taught  a  private  school  for
     three months, after which he went to Kansas City,  and  after  waiting
     three days for a boat, he got aboard, not knowing where he was  going.
     When the boat arrived at Lucas Bend, he landed and remained all  night
     with a man at the Bend. It  was  June  and  the  mosquitos  were  very
     troublesome. He, however, had never heard of this insect  before,  and
     when he was shown to his bed, equipped with mosquito bar, he  did  not
     put it over him, and the next morning his face looked as though he had
     the small-pox. He was very angry, and  that  morning  walked  eighteen
     miles to Charleston, and having no money, he walked the  next  morning
     out to Big Lake, where a relative resided.  He  remained  there  three
     years, having an interest in what is known as the King farm.  In  1872
     he purchased 160 acres of land upon which he now resides. The land was
     timbered and required several years of hard labor to gt a clearing. He
     now owns 1,770 acres of land, of  which  about  750  acres  are  under
     cultivation, with good improvements.  In  the  fall  of  1878  he  was
     elected county judge, which office he held two consecutive  terms.  He
     is a Mason, and a member of the I.O.O.F. In  1874  he  was  united  in
     marriage with Allice Huff, who died in 1879, leaving  three  children,
     viz: William T., Lillie M.  and  Alvus  T.  In  September  1881  Judge
     Marshall was married again this time to Mrs. Amma Walker, by  whom  he
     has     three     children,      Martha      P.,      Herbert      and

S.P. Martin

Dr. S.P. Martin, merchant and
     grain dealer of St. James Township, Mississippi County,  was  born  in
     Madison County, Ill., in 1837 and is a son of David Martin,  a  native
     of Virginia, who immigrated to Kentucky 1880. He here  married  Martha
     Goodwin, a native of Kentucky

     and in 1882 removed his family to Madison  County,  Ill.  The  Goodwin
     family immigrated to Kentucky from South Carolina. David Martin was  a
     farmer, and made the trip from Kentucky to  Illinois  with  teams.  He
     resided in the latter state until his death, in 1848,  aged  fifty-two
     years. His wife died in her fiftieth year, in  1849.  They  had  eight
     children: Ann (deceased), John  (living  in  Alhambra,  Ill.)  ,  Mary
     (deceased), Martha  (Mrs.  Dr.  Binney,  of  Staunton,  Ill.),  Thomas
     (deceased), Jane (deceased), Dr. Samuel P., and Susan (Mrs. Bell, near
     Staunton, Ill.). The parents died when Dr.  Samuel  was  twelve  years
     old, after which he lived with his brother,  John,  for  three  years,
     when he went to work for himself. He labored on a farm for $7 a  month
     in gold, some eight years, and later entered school at Wallonia, Trigg
     Co., Ky., where he remained until enlisting in the  Confederate  army,
     in Jun 1861. He was wounded October 7, 1863, by a  shot  through  both
     thighs. After the close of the war he returned to Trigg  County,  Ky.,
     and lived there four years. Moving  to  Mississippi  County,  Mo.,  he
     located in St. James Township and began the practice of medicine.  Dr.
     Martin wedded Mary L. Long, of Marshall County, Tenn., who was born in
     1841. To them have been born Lula T. (Mrs. William Hamilton,  of  East
     Prairie), Martha J., Albert S.J., Mary G., Luther  (deceased),  Samuel
     P., Jr., Josie and Hattie (deceased). Dr. Martin  is  now  engaged  in
     merchandising  in  East  Prairie,  and  handles   $10,000   worth   of
     merchandise, and $20,000 or $30,000 worth of grain per  year.  He  has
     served as postmaster since 1879. The Doctor and family are members  of
     the Christian Church.

Joseph F. Martin

Joseph   F.    Martin,    a
     prosperous farmer and grain dealer, located at Charleston, Mississippi
     Co., Mo., was born in Kentucky in 1846. His  parents,  Andrew  L.  and
     Frances (Rice) Martin,  were  natives  of  Virginia,  who  removed  to
     Kentucky while they were young. They came  to  Southeast  Missouri  in
     1855, and located south of Charleton, in the Concord settlement, where
     they spent the remainder of their lives. Mr. Martin died in 1856,  and
     Mrs. Martin in 1860. They reared  a  large  family  of  ten  children:
     Gustave (deceased), Ezekiel H. (deceased), John M.  (engaged  in  saw-
     milling in Parker County, Tex.), Andrew J. (engaged  in  merchandising
     and farming in Jones County, Tex.).  Joseph  F.,  Ann  A.  (deceased),
     Ellen (deceased), Salenia J.  (deceased),  Susan  V.  (Mrs.  Miles  I.
     Howlett, of Francois County, Mo.) and Louisa V. (deceased). Joseph  F.
     was about nine years  of  age  when  his  parents  came  to  Southeast
     Missouri, which has since been his  home.  Since  arriving  at  mature
     years he has been engaged in farming and buying and selling grain.  In
     1872 he purchased 440 acres  of  land  on  Rush's  Ridge,  Mississippi
     County, of which land he now has 275  acres,  well  improved.  He  was
     married in 1872 to Florence L. Rush, a daughter of Alfred and  Lucinda
     (Brewer) Rush. Their union has been blessed by two children: Pearle A.
     and Ivy J. who are now at home, attending school. Mr. and  Mrs.  Marin
     are members of the Baptist Church. RM. Martin takes a deep interest in
     anything that tends to benefit  his  county,  and  especially  in  the
     temperance movement.

George W. Martin

George   W.   Martin,   the
     accommodating  postmaster   of   Charleston,   and   editor   of   the
     Enterprise, was born in that city, November 2, 1859. He is  a
     son of William F. and Mary  A.  (Baynon)  Martin,  both  of  whom  are
     natives of London, England. The mother removed to  Mississippi  County
     with her parents in 1847, she being but ten years of age. They located
     in Charleston, and her father was the first justice of  the  peach  in
     that city, it being but a village of about half a dozen houses at that
     time. William F. Martin came to Missouri direct from London  in  1848.
     He also settled in Charleston, which city he ever after made his home.
     He  was  a  printer,  and  in  1858  took  charge  of  the  Charleston
     Courier, which he ran during the war, and  after,  being  the
     owner and publisher of the paper at the time of his death in 1872. His
     widow is still living. They were the parents of six  children:  George
     W., Lena A. (wife of F.C. Miller), Robert E.L., John  F.,  Richard  V.
     and Harry. The subject of this sketch was reared at the  home  of  his
     parents in his native city, and secured a good education in the common
     schools and by private study at home. He  began  the  printer's  trade
     under the direction of his father, but before a year  had  passed  his
     father died, and he, being the eldest child, it was  left  to  him  to
     take the father's place. The family  was  dependent  upon  him  for  a
     living, and by industry and economy he managed to  support  them,  and
     taking charge of his younger brothers, he gave them such education  as
     he could afford. Having served an apprenticeship at his trade, in 1875
     he established the  Charleston  Enterprise,  and  during  the
     years following he has enlarged the paper four times. Mr.  Martin  was
     for five years the youngest and most successful editor in the State of
     Missouri. He can be called a self-made man, as he has had  but  little
     help in any project he has undertaken. His paper is newsy  and  spicy,
     and has a good circulation. In 1886 he  was  appointed  postmaster  of
     Charleston,  and  re-commissioned  on  January  16,  1888.   Southeast
     Missouri has but three presidential post offices, and Mr. Martin holds
     the first Democratic commissioned office. In 1881 he  was  married  to
     Anna D., a daughter of judge N.J. Ogilvie.  To  them  have  been  born
     three children: Mona H., Lora E. and Mary Edna. Mr. and  Mrs.  Martin,
     are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. He is a member of
     the I.O.O.F. Mr. Martin is an intelligent, enterprising and a valuable
     citizen of Charleston. He has  held  the  office  of  city  clerk  one

Fannie M. Millar

Mrs. Fannie M. Millar,  widow
     of Adam Millar, was born in Frederick  County,  Va.,  on  December  4,
     1830, and is the daughter of John and Lucinda (Headley) Kendrick, also
     natives of Frederick County. John Kendrick was born January  9,  1791,
     and was the son of Benjamin and Ann  Kendrick,  natives  of  the  "Old
     Dominion". He removed to Kentucky in 1833, and there his  wife  joined
     him three years later. They resided in Caldwell County until the death
     of Mrs. Kendrick, which occurred on July 11, 1854. Mr.  Kendrick  then
     removed to Tennessee, where he died January 8, 1876. They were married
     December 28, 1815, and become the parents of the  following  children:
     Sarah A., born on October 21, 1816, and was married January 21,  1843,
     to Abram Millar, who died January 25, 1888; Mary C., born February 22,
     1818; Rebecca E. (who was married May 1, 1860, to Dr.  A.E.  Mardick),
     was born September 30, 1821, now living  in  Charleston;  Lucinda  H.,
     born on November 7, 1824, and died on August 11,  1845,  married  J.S.
     Stevenson, April 21, 1843; Frances S., born on  August  5,  1827,  and
     died on September 30,  1829;  Fannie  M.;  and  Susan  N.S.,  born  on
     September 19, 1833, was married April 24, 1855, to Franklin S. Millar,
     who died July 16, 1869. Lucinda Headley was the  daughter  of  William
     and Sarah (Northern) Headley; the  mother  (daughter  of  William  and
     Abigail Northern), was born on July 25, 1753, and died  on  March  21,
     1835, and the father (son of Andrew and Winifred Headley) was born  on
     December 8, 1746, and died on December 26,  1836.  They  were  married
     December 8, 1776. To them were born the following  children:  Abigail,
     born April 18, 1779, married July 13, 1798, and died on  November  30,
     1834; Sarah, born May 18, 1789, married January 12, 1799; Mary born on
     June 2, 1782, married September 23, 1803  and  died  March  26,  1839;
     William, born June 10, 1784, married  September  11,  1808,  and  died
     March 26, 1839; Winifred, born February 16,  1786,  married  September
     21, 1806, and died in 1848; James, born March  30,  1788,  married  in
     February 1809 and died May 5, 1833; Elizabeth,  born  on  October  10,
     1792, married September 25, 1807; Rebecca, born  on  March  10,  1794,
     married December 5, 1816, and died in 1852; Lucinda, born November  1,
     1795, married December 26, 1815 and died on  July  11,  1854;  Newton,
     born on January 24, 1798, married June 10, 1823, and died in 1853. The
     subject of this sketch came to Southeast Missouri  in  1858,  and  was
     married on November 3, 1879, to Adam Millar, who died on September  2,
     1883. He was the son of Abram and Rebecca Millar. Abram  was  born  on
     June 2, 1770 and was married August 14, 1804. Mrs. Millar was born  on
     February 3, 1784, and died on January 20, 1867. To them were born  the
     following children: Elizabeth, born on September 7, 1805; Isaac,  born
     1811; Reynolds, born on June 27, 1814; Abraham, born on  November  25,
     1816; John, born on March  21,  1819;  Rebecca,  born  May  11,  1822;
     Michael, born on May  18,  1825  and  Franklin,  born  on  January  3,

John A. Millar

John    A.    Millar,    an
     enterprising farmer and influential citizen  of  St.  James  Township,
     Mississippi Co., Mo., was born near where he now resides, February 13,
     1851. He is a son of Abram and Sarah A. (Kendrick) Millar, the  former
     of whom was born in Scioto County, Ohio, in November,  1816,  and  was
     the son of Abram Millar, who was born in Virginia, but removed to Ohio
     when it was a Territory. He reared his family in Ohio. In 1842 he went
     to Mississippi County, Mo., prospecting for land, which he bought  and
     returned to Ohio. In 1847 he removed his family to Mississippi County,
     but after residing there a while he returned to Ohio, in  which  State
     he died. His wife was Rebecca Millar, who was  born  in  Virginia.  To
     them  were  born  nine  children:  Elizabeth,  Isaac,  William,  Adam,
     Reynolds, Abram, John,  Rebecca  and  Franklin,  all  deceased  except
     Reyonlds , who resides in Muscatine, Iowa, and Rebecca  (Mrs.  Charles
     Millar, of Williamsville, Ill.). Abram, the father of the  subject  of
     this sketch, remained in his native State until 1843, when he went  to
     Kentucky, where he was married on February 21, of that year. His  wife
     was born in Virginia, October 21, 1816, and is the  daughter  of  John
     and Lucy (Headley) Kendrick, also natives of Virginia.  They  removed,
     in 1836, to Princeton, Ky., where they resided until  Mrs.  Kendrick's
     death, after which he removed to Tennessee. They had  seven  children:
     Sarah, Catherine  (deceased),  Rebecca  (Mrs.  Dr.  A.E.  Mardick,  of
     Charleston, Mo.);  Lucy  (deceased),  Francis  (deceased),  Fannie  M.
     (widow of Adam Millar, of St. James' Township)  and  Susan  (widow  of
     Franklin Millar, also of St. James' Township, Mississippi  Co.,  Mo.).
     Mrs. Sarah Millar resides with  her  son,  John  A.  and  enjoys  fair
     health, having had remarkably good health during her life.  After  his
     marriage, Abram Millar came to Mississippi County, where he lived upon
     a farm until his death, January 25, 1888. To him and  wife  were  born
     three children: Rebecca (deceased), Lucy (Mrs. Thompson Bird) and John
     A. The last named remained at his parents'  until  he  was  twenty-two
     years of age, assisting in the work of the farm. On April 15, 1873, he
     was united in marriage with Anna Kalfus, who  was  born  December  11,
     1857, in Charleston, Mo. She  is  the  daughter  of  Columbus  C.  and
     Elizabeth (Forman) Kalfus, both of whom were natives of Kentucky. Mrs.
     Kalfus was a graduate of the Female Academy, of Bardstown, Ky. In 1854
     they came to Southeast Missouri,  and  locating  in  Charleston,  they
     remained there until their deaths. Seven children were born  to  them;
     Henry H. (deceased), Anna, Columbus C. (of Clay County, Ark.),  Lottie
     (Mrs. P. Holbrook, of  Wichita,  Kas.),  Robert  (deceased),  Benjamin
     (deceased) and Jennie (deceased). Mr. and Mrs. Millar's union has been
     blessed by the birth of six children, viz: Gertrude, Lucy, Anna,  John
     Clay, Mabel (deceased), and Albert. Mr and Mrs. Millar are members  of
     the Christian Church. Mr. Millar is a prosperous man, and had  a  good
     farm upon which he has a nice residence, built in 1887. Politically he
     is a Democrat.

John N. Mitchener

John N. Mitchener was born in
     Lexington, Tenn., on February 11, 1833. He is the  son  of  Edmund  E.
     Mitchener. The latter was born in Sumner County, East Tenn., in  1804.
     He removed to Carroll County, and about 1824 married  Nancy  Nealy,  a
     native of North Carolina, born in 1807. Later he removed to Lexington,
     Tenn., where he reared his family. He was  a  Cumberland  Presbyterian
     minister, and a very successful teacher. About 1855 he united with the
     Methodist Episcopal Church South,  and  was  subsequently  engaged  in
     selling Masonic regalia and delivering lectures, in  which  occupation
     he died, about 1864. His children were Mary E., Martha A., William b.,
     John N., Wilson L., Cincinnatus C.,  Marcus  E.S.V.,  James  K.  Polk,
     Elizabeth C., Amanda J., and Georgia A. Marcus and James  were  killed
     in the Federal  army  at  Fort  Pillow.  Wilson  was  killed  by  some
     soldiers, and Cincinnatus died in 1881. John remained  at  home  until
     attaining his majority, when in January 1855, he came  to  Mississippi
     County, and located in East Prairie. In 1858  he  attended  school  in
     Kentucky, after which he was engaged in  teaching  for  two  or  three
     years. He has since followed agricultural pursuits, and is  the  owner
     of 160 acres of good land. He has been twice married. His  first  wife
     was Nancy B., a daughter of Isaac and  Maria  (McDonald)  Miller.  She
     died on July 22, 1876 and he was married the  second  time  to  Jennie
     Metheny, a native of Benton County, Tenn., born October 18, 1855.  She
     is the daughter of J.N. and Louis (Pierce) Metheny, natives  of  North
     Carolina and Tennessee, respectively. Both Mr. and Mrs. Mitchener  are
     members  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  South.  He  has   been
     superintendent of a Sunday-school for nine years, and during that time
     has not failed to attend as many as nine Sundays. He is also a  member
     of the Masonic fraternity.

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