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Pettis County, Missouri

Both the obituary and article below were collected
for us by Millicent A. Hale and gratefully received.

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Mark Austin McGruder

Author of The History of Pettis County, Missouri (1919)

The Sedalia Democrat
November 8, 1934

Mark A. McGruder, well known Sedalia attorney, died at the family home, 1403 West Fourth street, at 2:30 o'clock this afternoon. he had been ill only a few days with a severe attack of bronchitis, and his condition had been critical only since Wednesday when pneumonia developed.

Mr. McGruder was born on a farm near Hughesville, September 16, 1879, the son of Monteville and Amy Harris McGruder. He received his early education in the Hughesville district school; Westminister College, Fulton; Missouri State Military School, Columbia; and was graduated from the law department of Missouri University with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1901. He was admitted to the bar at Sedalia on July 7, 1901, and since that time had been engaged in the practice of his profession.

He was united in marriage October 9, 1906, to Miss Leonore Cutter, a native of Pettis County. To this union was born one child, Mrs. Aurelia Potter, of Jefferson City, who with Mrs. McGruder, survives.

Mr. McGruder was a Democrat and served as city attorney and city counselor of Sedalia from 1906 to 1907. In 1926 he was elected to the state senate, serving as chairman of the committees on the new capitol, constitutional amendments and permanent seat of government, wills and probate law.

He also served on many other committees. In the fiftieth general assembly, he was elected and served the senate as majority (Democratic) floor leader.

Mr McGruder was a member of the Broadway Presbyterian church. He also belonged to the Masonic Lodge, Granite Lodge, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, Sedalia; Scottish Rite bodies, St. Joseph; Mystic Shrine, Ararat Temple, Kansas City; the Modern Woodmen of America; and the Knights of Pythias.

The body was taken to the Gillespie Funeral Home. Funeral arrangements have not been made.

Mrs. Potter and her husband, Samuel Potter will arrive in Sedalia this evening.

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Excerpt from...


The Commercial, Industrial and Educational Metropolis of Central Missouri
[Compiled and published by the Sedalia Evening Sentinel - 1904]

Mark Austin McGruder was born September 16, 1879, on a farm near Hughsville, Pettis county, Mo. He first attended the public school at Hughsville, then entered Westminister college, and completed his education at Missouri State University, where he was graduated in the law degree of LL.B. He was also graduated at the same time in military sciences and tactics.

Mr. McGruder came to Sedalia in 1901 and began the practice of law. His first work here, however, was the preparation and publication of a work entitled: "McGruder On the Laws of Commerce." The first edition of this work has been almost exhausted. Among a multitude of endorsements may be mentioned those given by ex-Governor Wm. J. Stone, Hon. C. W. Hamlin, Hon. E. D. Martin, Judge Jas. B. Gantt (Gandt?), and Judge John D. Lawson, the latter of the university.

Mr. McGruder has in manuscript form a large work entitled: "McGruder On Agency," and he is also at work on another volume to be entitled: "McGruder On Insurance." Prior to any of these productions he wrote and published a thesis, entitled "Spendthrift Trust."

These works are remarkable for a man so young as Mr. McGruder; but he has other claims to distinction. He is an orator of great force and ability, as was clearly demonstrated in a recent campaign in Northern Missouri, when he fought for his party ticket at the age of 22 years. With his political advancement and influence in Pettis county, all are familiar.

With the equipment of which he is possessed there cannot be other than a bright future in authorship, in the law and at the forum for this young man.

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