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Holt County, MO Biography

The BLAIR family was the first to settle in Benton township (Mound City is now in Benton township). Uriah BLAIR was born in Indiana, March 22, 1835 to John M. BLAIR and his mother's maiden name was Billings. When he was age 2 his father moved to Pike Co., IL., and was one of the first settlers to that part of state. The family moved to Iowa and settled on the Skunk River where Mrs. BLAIR died. After this event, they moved back to Pike Co., IL, lived there until 1839, and then started for the Platte Purchase, MO., arriving in what is now Holt Co., where the family settled April 12, 1839. At that time there were no persons living in Benton township, except the Indians. The BALDWINS were the next settlers in fall 1840. In the spring of 1849, Uriah BLAIR set out for California, in company of a large expedition from Holt Co. They left about May 10. His brother and father were in the expedition. His father died on the road at Carson River at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mtns, and was buried there. He mined gold in Calif. on tributaries of the American River. He came back to Holt Co., MO in 1850 and has lived here since. He was married Dec. 16, 1858 to Eveline MACKEY of Pike Co., MO and has farmed in Benton township near where his father first settled. (There is no mention of what became of his brother, James BLAIR, after the expedition to Calif.). He has 6 children: Alice, Calvin, Mary, Eva Zella, Frank and Bessie. Mr. BLAIR was a soldier in the Mexican War, being sworn in July 4, 1847 as a member of the Oregon Battalion attached to Col. Powell's regiment. The expedition ascended the MO. River, returned to what is now Nebraska City, where they spent the winter of 1847-48. They set out the next spring across the plains for Fort Kearney. News reached them that the war was over and they went back to Leavenworth to be discharged. Mr. BLAIR was a Democrat before the war and has since been a Republican. He is now one of the oldest settlers in the county and has been a good citizen.

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