Subjects of Perrin, Battle & Kniffin 1885 Biographies

From: Kentucky, A History of the State. Perrin, Battle & Kniffin. 2nd ed., 1885, Webster Co.
PROF. JACOB A. RUDY was born in what is now Webster County, Ky., January 24, 1851, a son of George A. and Harriet N. (Givens) Rudy, the former a native of Henderson and the latter of Hopkins County, Ky., of German and English descent, respectively. George A. Rudy was married in Hopkins County, but soon returned to Henderson where he engaged in farming for several years. In 1849 he moved to what is now Webster County, and bought a farm one-half mile east of Providence, upon which he resided until his death, June 6, 1870, in his fifty-fourth year. In 1861 he took a very active part in the organization of Webster County. He and wife were devoted members of the United Baptist Church. He was also a member of the Masonic fraternity, having arrived at the R.A. degree, and served his lodge as W.M. Jacob A. received a good common school education in his youth, and by close application to his studies, he acquired an excellent English and scientific education. He engaged in teaching at the age of nineteen years; for several years taught in the public schools, during the winter and superintended the home farm during the summer season. In the fall of 1881, he was appointed principal of the Home School of Providence, Ky., which position he still holds. He is a member of the United Baptist church. He is yet unmarried. In politics he is a Democrat.

W.J.F. RUSSELL was born September 24, 1842, in what is now Webster County,Ky., and is a son of John and Permelia (Duncan) Russell. The father was born in Tennessee; is long since deceased. The mother was born in North Carolina, and is now living in Webster County, Ky. About 1820 they immigrated to Kentucky. Our subject, at the age of twenty-one, engaged in farming on fifty-five acres of land, given him by his father, and from this small beginning, has accumulated 270 acres, largely improved. Mr. Russell was married August 27, 1863, to Sarah F. Johnson, of Webster County, Ky. This union has been blessed with five children, of whom one son and two daughters are living. Mr. and Mrs. Russell are members of the Christian Church.

F.M. RUSSELL was born February 23, 1846 in Henderson County, Ky. He is a son of Elisha and Nancy (Duncan) Russell, of North Carolina. Our subject, at the age of eighteen, commenced farming on rented land; there he remained two or three years, after which he bought seventy-six acres, which he has since occupied. In 1882 he built a comfortable residence, at a cost of about $500. Mr. Russell was married in 1864 to Harriet Duncan, who was born in Henderson County. Mr. and Mrs. Russell are members of the General Baptist Church and he of the Masonic fraternity.

JOHN W. SMITH was born June 3, 1847 in Union County, Ky., and is a son of Hiram H. Smith who was born September 12, 1807, in Lincoln County, now Boyle County, Ky. His parents moved to the neighborhood at the present site of Nebo, and bought 700 acres of land, where they engaged in farming. About 1827 the father of our subject moved to Union County, and engaged in farming, but on account of ill health gave up farming and engaged in merchandising. In 1840 he was elected to the legislature and re-elected in 1860. In January, 1861, he removed to Dixon, and was elected circuit clerk, but failed to qualify on account of military interference. He was appointed by the court master commissioner and trustee of the jury fund, and was at one time president of the Farmers Bank of Webster County. He is now living a retired life at Dixon. John W. Smith, at the age of fourteen years, hired out as a farm hand, and worked in that capacity about two years. He then lived on a rented farm about one year, after which he bought twenty acres of land and continued farming, and, as means would allow, added to his possessions, and now owns about 600 acres of improved land, with a comfortable residence and out-buildings. He enlisted, in 1861, in the Confederate army, and served about one year. Mr. Smith was married in February, 1864, to Mary Mooney, of Webster County. This union has been blessed with eight children - four sons and four daughters. Their eldest son, Charles M., is now attending a second term at the St. Louis Medical College, with a view of becoming a member of the medical profession.

H.SOKOLSKI of Webster County, was born March 10, 1834, in Poland. In 1861 he came to New York, and there remained three years; he then removed to Brown County, Ohio, and engaged in merchandising three years, after which, he went to Huntington, W. Va., and then came to Madisonville, where he was engaged in merchandising seven years. In 1878 he removed to Clay, where he has since been engaged in merchandising, doing a business of about $20,000 a year. When in Madisonville, his annual business was about $15,000. On his arrival in America he had but 20 cents left; he has now placed himself in comfortable circumstances, which he has attained by strict attention to business and judicious management. He thinks his life is an example of what can be done in the country of his adoption. He was married in 1876 to Rosa Blustean, of Columbus, Ind. This union has been blessed with four children, three now living - two sons and one daughter: Abe, born November 12, 1877; Yetta, September 19, 1879, and Aaron, January 29, 1883.

DR. JAMES T. SOYARS, of Webster County, was born January 11, 1838, in Christian County, Ky., removed in 1847 with his father to Hopkins County, where he was reared, and in 1861 enlisted in Company A, First Kentucky Cavalry, and after serving on Gen. Helm's staff and in the secret service, was captured, and released in 1864. His father, Col. John Soyars, a native of Pittsylvania County, Va., was born in 1805; removed to Kentucky in 1832, and died in 1871. He was the son of James Soyars, of Pittsylvania County, Va., who entered the Revolutionary army at the age of sixteen, and served four years; was at Valley Forge with Washington; marched three days barefoot on ice, with frozen feet; was wounded, captured and paroled near the close of the war, and returned to his home, where he died in 1845, aged eighty years. He was twice married, and the father of nine sons and seven daughters, all of whom reared families. He was magistrate, high sheriff and representative sixteen years in his county. Having served under Gen. Lafayette, he was one of the committee of reception during that gentleman's last visit to America. James' father, an Englishman, a civil engineer, was lost with a surveying part in the West. John married Elizabeth, daughter of Enoch and Elizabeth Cannon, of Halifax County, Va. (born in 1805 and died in 1844), and from their union sprang Edward C. (deceased), subject, Mary F. (Orton) and two infants. Dr. James T. Soyars was married December 12, 1871 to Miss Medora, daughter of William A. and Catherine (Harding) Oglesby (born July 20, 1850), of Daviess County, and to them have been born six children, four of whom died in infancy, while Mary I. and Ione M. are now living. In 1858 he commenced the study of medicine with Dr. D.A. DeForest, of Ashbysburgh, Ky., and in 1869 attended lectures at Starling Medical College, Columbus, Ohio, where he graduated in 1861. In 1864 he located at Slaughterville, where he has since enjoyed a lucrative practice. He has been advanced ten degrees in the order of A.F.& A.M. and is now High Priest of the chapter. In politics he is a Democrat.

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