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Biographies of Buchanan County Residents:

Ratliff R. Boone

Transcribed by Nancy Riggs

From the Portrait and Biographical Record of Buchanan and Clinton Counties, Missouri; Chapman Bros., Chicago, 1893, pg. 338.

Ratliff R. Boone. Even amid the rush and exciting whirl of modern business life, there are times when the student of history, the devotee of business, and the promoter of social culture alike pause to contemplate the past and ponder, if only for a moment, upon the lives and character of our pioneer ancestors. Few now survive of that class of men who, leaving pleasant homes and the friends of a lifetime, have sought, amid uncultivated wastes, to establish homes for their families and fortunes for their children. But though now for the most part departed into the eternal shadows, their memory is green in the hearts of the present generation and their example is deemed worthy the admiration of all.

In 1838 there were only a few settlers who had ventured so far from civilization as western Missouri, and it was a primeval scene that greeted the eyes of Mr. Boone when, during that year, he visited Buchanan County and made a tour of this section of country on horseback. Though he did at once not permanently locate here, yet on his return to Kentucky his thoughts often wandered to the land far remote from the busy haunts of men, inhabited by wild animals and human beings scarcely less savage than the beasts of the field. Disposing of his property in the Blue Grass State, he came to Missouri in the fall of 1843 and pre-empted land in Buchanan County. Since that time he has been closely connected with the progress of the county, witnessing its rapid growth and becoming an important factor in its development.

The family of which Mr. Boone is a worthy representative is one of the best known in the United States, and has been connected with the pioneer history of this country ever since Daniel Boone cast his lot among the earliest settlers of Kentucky and there achieved fame as a frontiersman and Indian fighter. The father of our subject was Hiram C. Boone, who, by his first marriage, reared three children: Grandison H., who was born in 1814, and is now a resident of Meade County, Ky.; Ratliff R., of this sketch; and John T. whose birth cost the life of the mother. He was reared by his Grandmother Boone and adopted the profession of a physician. During the gold excitement of 1849 he went to California, and after the receipt of three letters was never heard of afterward.

The second wife of Hiram C. Boone was Mrs. Staple, a daughter of Capt. Renfro, and a member of one of the leading families of Virginia. Unto them were born eight children, who grew to maturity, namely: Sarah J., who married Austin Slaughter, of Louisville; Samuel, a noted physician and a graduate of the Louisville Medical College, but now deceased; Fannie, who married Dr. Ray, of Louisville; James M., now residing in Hill County, Tex.; Julius B. who died recently in Texas; Victoria, wife of Judge Samuel Douglass; Melvina H., wife of Thomas Hyatt, of Kansas; and Hiram C., who received a legal education and now resides on the old homestead in Meade County, Ky. Ratliff R. Boone was born in Harrison County, Ind., and was reared to manhood in Kentucky, where in 1844 he married Miss Sarah E. France. They became the parents of seven children, who grew to mature years as follows: Fannie E., John F., Sarah R., Hiram C., Victoria, Susan and Mollie H.

As above stated, Mr. Boone came to Buchanan County for the purpose of making a permanent settlement in the fall of 1843. Upon the farm that he pre-empted he remained until 1868, devoting his attention to its cultivation and bringing it to a high state of improvement. Later he embarked in the milling business, and ten years afterward, in 1878, he formed his present partnership with Elijah M. Yates. Politically he is an ardent advocate of the principles of the Democratic party, but in local elections is independent.