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“HISTORY OF SALINE COUNTY MISSOURI”
Biographies by township

Liberty Township
pages
709-718

John M. Riggins, P. O., Herndon. Was born near Jefferson City, in Cole county, Missouri, in 1827, and in 1851 married Miss Eliza Henly, daughter of John Henly, formerly of Cole county, now dead. He was raised in Cole county and lived there until 1858, and then moved to Vernon county. In 1863, he moved to Arrow Rock, in this county, where he stayed until the war closed, and then returned to Vernon county. In 1866, he sold out in Vernon, and moved to the vicinity of Herndon, in this county, where he is permanently settled, and engaged in farming and stock feeding. He has had eleven children, nine of whom are living: Thomas M., in Colorado; J. T., at home; Elizabeth B., wife of T. S. Huston, of Herndon; John P., Cora L., William H., Josephine, California, Pinkie, Marvin, all at home. Mr. Riggins is a member of the M. E. Church, South; of the Masonic lodge, at Herndon, and of the I. O. G. T. lodge, at Herndon. He started in life with nothing, and has now a fine, well-improved, well-stocked farm of 130 acres of land. In 1861, he joined the Missouri sate guard as a lieutenant. Quit the service at the end of his time, six months, and did not join either army afterwards. His father, James Riggins, was one of the earliest settlers of this county; settled where Waverly now stands, first, in 1819, where he assisted in building a block house, and then moved to old Franklin. Was a carpenter by trade, and a farmer from choice. Page 709

Charles Bishop, P. O., Herndon. Was born in Pulaski county, Kentucky, in 1840, where he lived until 1851, when he moved to Pettis county, Missouri, with his widowed mother, and stayed there until 1862, when he married, and moved to this county. He married Miss Mary C. Masters, daughter of Harrison Masters, of this county. He has had five children four of them now living: Laura M., Mattie P., William T., John S., all now at home on the farm. Mr. Bishop is a member of the M. E. Church South, with membership at Bethel. During the war he was at home most of the time; served for a month or two in the militia at Marshall, in Capt. Corum’s company, Col. Wilson’s regiment, 71st E. M. M. He had little when he started in life, and now, by good management and industry, has an excellent farm of 200 acres. Page 709

William J. Herndon, P. O., Herndon. Was born in Madison county, Kentucky, in 1827, and came to Missouri with his parents in the fall of 1830. His father was born in Virginia, and moved to Kentucky in 1813, and then to Missouri in 1830, and settled in Cooper, not far from the line of Saline, and lived there until his death, in 1873. The subject of this sketch lived in Cooper county until 1853, when he moved to this county and bought eighty acres of land, part of the farm he owns and lives on at present, and has lived there ever since. He was married in 1853, to Miss Mary E. McMahan, daughter of S. W. McMahan, of Cooper county. He has had thirteen children, nine of whom are now living: Susan F., wife of R. P. Mathias; John T., Harriet E., Martha E., wife of T. M. Fisher; Lucy C., William T, Leveret, Benjamin W., Della Maud, all living in Liberty township at this time. Mr. Herndon is a member of the Baptist Church, and has been a member for twenty years. He is also one of the charter members of Masonic lodges in Marshall and Herndon. Except about three years engaged in merchandising, he has followed farming all his life. During the war he joined neither army, but lost fourteen good horses and other personal property, all the same. Mr. Herndon started in life without capital, but by dint of work and good management has now a farm of 400 acres of finely improved land. He has also and interest in the old home place in Cooper. Mrs. Herndon died in 1877. Page 709-710

William G. Boatright, P. O., Herndon. Was born in Boone county, Missouri, in 1830, and at an early age moved with his parents to Cooper county, then to Howard county, and finally to Saline county, in 1840, and settled near Arrow Rock. In 1844 the stress of waters drove him out of the bottom on to the prairie. He next moved to the vicinity of Miami, where he lived until 1857, when he moved to the place on which he now lives. In 1857 he was married to Miss Fannie Buie, daughter of Daniel Buie, a C. P. preacher, said to have been the first in the state. He has ten children, all living: John W., Lewis, Finis H., George F., Mary F., Charles R., Annie, Inez, Callie and Leslie. Mr. Boatright is a member of the M. E. Church, South, with membership at Hazel Grove church. During the war he entered the Confederate service, in Marmaduke’s escort, and then in the 10th Missouri cavalry. He started in life with nothing, but by his industry and management has now a fine farm of 200 acres, well stocked and improved. Page 710

Hardin Witcher, P. O., Herndon. Was born in this county in 1841, on a farm, and lived there until he was twenty-four years old. He then moved to the farm near Herndon, on which he now lives. In 1861 he married Miss Martha F. Ramsey, daughter of H. Ramsey, formerly of this county, and was murdered in Pettis county, in 1865, by militia. He has five children: Minerva E., Edward, Ethor, Ada and Ida, all living at home. Mr. Witcher is a member of the Christian Church, at Antioch church, and a member of the Masonic and the I. O. O. F. lodges, in Herndon. During the ware he joined Gen. Marmaduke’s escort company a private, in the Confederate service, and was at the battles of Lexington, Little Blue, Independence, Westport and Newtonia, and after Marmaduke’s capture the company acted as escort to Gen. Clark to Texas, and surrendered at Skipper’s landing, on the Mississippi. Was one of the three who fired the first guns at the Meries De Cygnes. In 1874 and ’75 went to Colorado and New Mexico for his health. He is now engaged in breeding Cotswold sheep, and takes great interest in fine stock generally. Has made all he has by his own energy and industry. Page 710-711

Richard Keeth, P. O. Herndon. Was born in Lafayette county, Missouri, in 1849, and came, with his parents, to Saline county, in 1850. They first settled south of Herndon, where he now lives. He has been engaged in farming all his life. On the 29th of December, 1869, he married Miss Mary Frances Elliott, of Saline county. He has five children: Ada Lee, Benjamin F., Daisy, Olie Myrtle, and the baby. His farm contains 100 acres of fine land, well-improved. His father, Isaiah Keeth was born in Edmonson county, in 1827, and came to Saline county in 1847, and in 1850 entered eighty acres of land, near Herndon, where he now lives. He, the old gentleman, is the father of six children of whom the eldest is the subject of this sketch. Page 711

Isaac Hamilton, P. O., Herndon. Was born in Boyle county, Kentucky, in 1833, and lived there until 1849, when he came with his father to Howard county. His father left him with relations in Howard county, and went on to California, where he died in 1854. He lived in Howard county until 1871, on a farm, and was an overseer for fifteen years after he became of age. In 1871 he came to this county, first locating on the old Gilchrist farm; then, in the spring of 1874, on the farm where he has lived to the present time. Mr. Hamilton is a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge, having joined the same while living in Howard county. He had no start in life; and all he has he has made by his own industry and perseverance. In 1867, he married Miss Lizzie A. Pierce, of Howard county, Missouri. He has had six children, four of them now living: Marie Belle, John Henry, Leona, Charles, Richard—all of them at home. During the war he joined the southern army—Poindexter’s command—and was at the battle of Silver Creek, and several others. Surrendered in 1865. He was also in the Kansas war of 1856, and had some pretty hard times.

Page 711

Francis M. Christy, P. O., Herndon. Mr. Christy was born in Lawrence county, Illinois, in 1831, where he was raised on a farm and lived until 1861. Worked on a farm until he was twenty-one, then entered a store as salesman. In 1861 he went to St. Louis, where he attended a commercial school. He went to Washington City, where through his uncle, he got employment as collector on a ferry. His uncle, Andrew Christy, one of the early residents of St. Louis, and largely interested in the Wiggins Ferry Company, died about this time, leaving an estate of nearly one and one-half millions of dollars, and being one of the executors, he returned, of course, to St. Louis. In 1871 he was elected a director of the ferry company, and, except one year, remained one until 1880, when he moved to this county and located on a farm. In 1863 he married Miss Margaret M. Carr, daughter of Wm. C. Carr, of St. Louis, who was also connected with the ferry company for some years. Mr. Christy is the father of nine children: Franc C., Halley W., Rose Lee, Elsie May, Vernon, Gregg Bemis, William Andrew, Douglas, Margaret, and the baby, who are all at home, at the farm in this county. He is a member of the Old School Presbyterian Church, membership at Dr. Brook’s church in St. Louis. The farm is large and well improved, and in the management of it, Mr. Christy proves he has not forgotten his early training. Page 711-712

William H. Fenwick, Fenwick & Surbaugh, P. O., Herndon. Mr. Fenwick was born and raised in Cooper county, Missouri, in 1840, and moved with his parents to this county in 1849. His father was born in Maryland, and was a graduate of Georgetown College, D. C. Came to Missouri in 1835, and surveyed a great portion of Cooper county, and a good portion of this county. In this county he was county surveyor for a number of years. Was justice of the peace and notary public at Arrow Rock for twenty years. The subject of this sketch received his education from his father, who was a fine Greek and Latin scholar. He has filled the offices of justice of the peace, and of constable, at Herndon, for nine years. He is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and a member of the Masonic and I. O. O. F. lodges at Herndon. He was married in 1862 to Miss Mary J. Brownlee, daughter of A. Brownlee, of this county. Has had seven children, six of which are now living: Eleanor, William, Florence, Enoch, Charles, and Elizabeth. He made all he has by his own industry. Has farmed most of his life, but is now engaged in business at Herndon. During the latter part of the war he went to Montana, engaged in mining for two years, and then returned to this present location in Herndon. Page 712

James H. Faulconer, P. O., Herndon. Was born in Nicholasville, Jessamine county, Kentucky, in 1830, and moved at an early age, with his parents, to Fayette county, Kentucky, and lived there until he was fifteen years old, when he moved with his father to Missouri, and settled in Pettis county, near Longwood, where he learned his father’s trade, that of a blacksmith. In 1850, he married Miss Elizabeth Moore, daughter of Nathan Moore, who died in the same year. He lived in Pettis county until 1857, and then moved to Johnson county and lived there until 1861. In 1861, he moved to this county and bought a farm near Blackwater, but he was soon broken up with security debts, and was in the army during the war. After the war, he removed to Pettis county, but got into trouble with his landlord, and went to Lafayette county, then to Texas, then to Kansas, and finally back to Saline county. He is the father of eight children: William Harrison, living near Herndon; James Edward, John P., in Colorado; George, Jeff. Davis, T. F., Sarah F., and Mary E., all at home. Page 712-713

Thomas W. Taylor, P. O. Brownsville. Mr. Taylor was born December 5, 1834, in Saline county, Missouri, and is the son of Thomas and Margaret Taylor. His early life was spent on a farm. Mr. Taylor has been engaged in farming all his life. He now lives about five miles east of Brownsville, where he owns a good farm of 245 acres. Mr. Taylor was married December --, 1857, to Miss Julia A. Coy, of Saline county. They have six children, James H., Margaret E., Ida J., Virginia A., Sarah May and Thomas J. Mr. Taylor enlisted in 1862, in M. S. M., in Captain Ben Wilson’s company, Col. John F. Phillip’s regiment. He was discharged April 15, 1865. He was in the battles of Jefferson City, Marshall, Big Blue, Mine Creek and Pine Bluff. Page 713

James M. Williams, P. O. Brownsville. Mr. Williams is the son of Lemuel B. and Attry Williams, and was born November 28, 1838, in Christian county, Kentucky. When a small boy his parents came to Missouri, and settled in Pettis county in 1841, and remained there until 1844, when they settled in Saline county. Mr. Williams now lives about six miles east of Brownsville, where he has about 150 acres of good farming and timber land. Mr. Williams was married March 28, 1858, to Miss Elizabeth Haley, of Saline county. They have seven children: Mrs. Mary Eustacia, Artamecia A., Ida May, Charles Edgar, Lemuel, Leonard and Sophronia. Page 713

Monroe Keeth, P. O., Herndon. Mr. Keeth is the son of Isaiah and Polly Keeth, and was born February 8, 1852, in Lafayette county, Missouri. His early life was spent on a farm. Came with his parents to Saline county, shortly after his birth. His father settled on a farm, where the subject of this sketch was raised. He now lives about four and a half miles south of Herndon, where he owns 110 acres of choice farming and timber land. Mr. Keeth was married May 18, 1871, to Miss Virginia C. Davenport, of Saline county. They have two children, Otha D. and Walter. Page 713

William Johnson, P. O., Herndon. Was born January 14, 1831 in Edmonson county, Kentucky, and is the son of Henry and Elizabeth Johnson. His early life was spent on the farm. He moved with his parents to Missouri in 1846, and settled in Cooper county. He remained there until 1848, when he came to Saline county. He now lives four miles south of Herndon, and owns about 700 acres of good land. Mr. Johnson was married December 26, 1852, to Miss Caroline E. Short, of Saline county. They have eight children: William D., Mary E. Benj. R., Mrs. Minerva Rothark, Josephine, Carrie, Septema, Parilley. Page 713

Henry R. Johnson, P. O., Herndon. Is the son of Henry and Elizabeth Johnson, and was born in Edmonson county, Kentucky, April 19, 1833. Came with his parents to Missouri, 1846. His father settled in Cooper county, where Otterville, now stands, and remained there two years, then moved to Saline county. Mr. Johnson now resides three miles south of Herndon, where he owns 160 acres of good farming land. He was married December 1, 1854, to Miss Susan Yager of Saline county. They have five children: Mrs. Lou Killion, Maggie C., Sarah E., Laura J., and Sophronia. Mr. Johnson enlisted in the E. M. M., in Capt. Lee’s company, Col. Neal’s regiment. Remained with them until the fall of 1864, when he was conscripted by Price’s men, and went south, acting as captain of a company. He was in the battles of Westport, Big Blue, and several skirmishes on the way south. Mr. Johnson is a member of the Baptist Church. Page 713-714

William K. Smith, P. O., Brownsville. Mr. Smith is a Missourian by birth. He was born in Saline county, March 7, 1839, and is the son of Jacob and Catherine, who came from Maryland, originally from Germany, to Missouri in 1838, and settled in Saline county. Mr. Smith has spent the principal part of his life on a farm, although he has worked several years as plasterer. He now lives five miles east from Brownsville, and owns 235 acres of good farming and timber land. Mr. Smith was married February 21, 1867, to Miss Mary Elizabeth Kester, of Saline county. They have seven children: Sarah C., Jacob S., Ida J., Wm. H., Ellen F., Hiram M., and Walter L. Mr. Smith enlisted December, 1861, in company H, 10th regiment, Missouri cavalry, Gen. Marmaduke commander. He served through the war, and was discharged at Shreveport, June 16, 1865. He was in the battles of Pea Ridge, Jenkins’ Ferry, Corinth, Cane Hill, Pine Bluff, and various other skirmishes. Mr. Smith first enlisted in the state guards, but shortly after went south and re-enlisted in the regular army. Page 715

Charles E. Brown, P. O., Houstonia. The subject of this sketch is the son of James and Martha Brown, and was born September 17, 1848, in Pettis county, Missouri. His early life was spent on the farm and at school. He was educated at Lexington and Richmond, Missouri. He returned from school to Pettis county, and remained there until 1879, when he moved to Saline county, and settled in Liberty township, where he has a fine body of 555 acres of land. Mr. Brown was married February 22, 1872, to Miss Lavissa McClanahan, of Pettis county. They have four children: William, Edna, Lucy, Mary. Page 714

F. E. Hoffman, P. O., Sedalia. The subject of this sketch was born in 1843, in Erfurt, Prussia, and is the son of Fred. W. and Wilhemina Hoffman. His early life was spent at school. In 1852, he came to the United States and settled in Brooklyn, New York, where he remained for three years, when he went to Milwaukee and attended Lincoln’s commercial college, where he graduated. In 1867, Mr. Hoffman was elected general agent and adjuster of claims for the states of Missouri, Kansas and Colorado, of the German Insurance Company, which position he still holds. He is a man of ability and fine business habits, and enjoys the confidence of his company. Mr. Hoffman was married in 1868 to Miss Emma C. Ross, of Bloomington, Illinois. They have four children: Fred, George E. Joy H. and Florence B. Mr. Hoffman is owner of the McAllister springs, situated in the south part of Saline county. These springs are noted for the medicinal properties of the water and are a great place of resort for the invalids and pleasure seekers. Mr. Hoffman has passed all of the chairs in both the subordinate and encampment lodges of I. O. O. F. He served as D. D. G. M., at Burlington, Iowa. Page 714-715

E. S. Herndon, P. O., Herndon. Was born in Cooper county, Missouri, in 1838, where he was raised and educated, and lived to 1861, when he moved to this county. In 1865, he was married to Miss Lucy A. McMahan, daughter of S. W. McMahan, and has had six children, four of whom are living: Hattie R., Samuel R., Alma and Sallie. Mr. Herndon is a member of the Old School Presbyterian church, at Herndon; is a member of the Masonic lodge, at Herndon, and also of the I. O. O. F. lodge. His health did not permit him to enter either army during the war. He is merchandising at Herndon, and carries a large stock. He bought out the first store started in Herndon, and carries a large stock. He bought out the first store started in Herndon, and has accumulated a handsome property. Page 715

W. M. Stephens, P. O. Herndon. Was born in Cooper county, Missouri, in 1828, and was there raised and educated. After he was grown, he moved to Morgan county, and there lived five years. In 1857, he came to this county, and settled on the farm where he now lives. He was married on the 14th of May, 1851, to Miss Mary M. Witcher, daughter of James Witcher, of this county, and has had eight children, seven now living: James, Jesse, Nancy E. (Mrs. Faulconer), Amanda A., Virginia (Mrs. Riggins), William and Mary R. During the war he was in the southern army (see record). His farm consists of 222 acres of fine land, and finely improved, and well stocked, all of which has been made by his own industry. Page 715

William M. Taylor, P. O., Herndon. Was born in Howard county, Missouri, in 1826, and at the age of five was brought by his mother to this county, his father having previously died. His mother settled in the southeast part of the county, where they lived until 1837, when they moved to Ridge Prairie, and lived there until 1865, and then moved to the place which he now owns. In 1875 he moved into Herndon, where he now lives. In 1846 he was married to Miss Elizabeth A. Hunt, daughter of James Hunt, and has nine children: James T., Mary O. (Mrs. Finley), Zacharia, Maggie R. (Mrs. Wingfield), Melinda J. (Mrs. Champion), Nancy E. (Mrs. Mennafee), William M. Jr., Harry A., and Robert N. His first wife died in 1867, and he was married to Mrs. M. Ferguson, of Saline, his present wife, in 1868. During the war Mr. Taylor was in the Federal army four months, in Capt. Hopkins’ company, but was in no battle or fight. Started to the Mexican war in 1846, but was stopped by sickness. He has an interest in the Herndon mill, and has some fine farming land. He has just erected a postoffice building in Herndon (he being postmaster), in which he intends putting a full stock of hardware. Is a member of C. P. Church; member of I. O. O. F.; also of I. O. G. T. Page 715-716

William T. Claycomb, P. O., Herndon. Was born in Berkley county, Virginia, in 1823, where he lived until 1842; and then moved to Missouri, and settled in Saline county, living with his father, northeast of Marshall, and then moved to the Tucker farm, east of Jonesboro. He lived there until 1856, when he moved to the farm on which he now lives, near the present town of Herndon. In 1847 he was married to Miss Josephine Allison, daughter of Thomas Allison, of Cooper county. They have had four children, two of whom are living: Thomas J., farming in the vicinity of Herndon, and W. F., living on the home place with his father. In 1850 Mr. Claycomb went to California across the plains, and after teaming and mining for a time, returned across the isthmus of Panama. During the war he enlisted as a private in the 7th regiment M. S. M. In March, 1862, he, with a squad of his company, released twelve men belonging to Capt. Kaiser’s company E., 12th regiment infantry Mo. Vol., who had been captured by a party of rebels from north of the river, making their way south, and had been confined in Rock Creek Church, and left guarded by a few men. The rebels decamped without fighting. The church was burned. In 1874 Mr. Claycomb was one of the firm of Taylor & Claycomb, engaged in merchandising in Herndon, in which he continued for two years. He has now retired from active farming, his son running the farm under his direction. He started in life a poor man, but by hard work and good management has accumulated a good estate. Has 375 acres of land, and considerable property besides. Page 716

R. S. Givan, farmer, P. O., Marshall. Was born in Worcester county, Maryland, in 1836. When still but a boy, his father moved to Shelby county, Missouri, where he grew to manhood. In 1865 he went to the mountains through Dakota, Montana, and Idaho, making the trip with ox teams, and returning by Salt Lake City. He was attached twice by the Indians, but lost no men. He then engaged in mining around Virginia City, and then came home, being absent about nine months. On his return he traveled over 2,000 miles on the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers on a flatboat. In 1873 he moved to Saline county and located one mile and a half south of Marshall. In 1860 he was married to Miss Emily Blackburn, of Shelby county, Missouri. They have had seven children, only four of whom are living, viz: Mary K., Minnie R., Emma U., and the baby, Robbie all at home. Moved to his present home March, 1881. Did not have much of a start in life, but now has 480 acres of land, about 160 acres of fine bottom land. Page 716-717

Jacob Hook, son of James and Sallie Hook, of Rockingham county, Virginia, where he was born, April 3, 1823, and was raised and educated. On the 19th of October, 1852, he was married to Miss Sallie A. Taylor, daughter of George and Elizabeth Taylor, of Albemarle county, Virginia, and has two children: Victoria V. (Wilson), and J. Marshall. He has a fine 140 acre farm in a high state of cultivation, known as the Woodland Home. Since his death, April 14, 1873, his son has had charge of the farm and of his widowed mother. Page 717

John L. Williams, P. O., Brownsville. The father of the subject of this sketch, Lemuel B. Williams, was born in Christian county, Kentucky, where he was married, and came to Cooper county, Missouri, in 1841, then moved to Pettis county in 1842, and died in 1854, leaving seven children. John L. was born in this county in 1842, and was raised in Liberty township, near the Pettis county line. In 1864 he married Miss Mary E. Matheas, of Pettis county. She died in 1866, and in 1868 he married Miss Eliza Surber, daughter of Jefferson Surber, of this county. They have five children: Charles E., Dudley, John T. Thomas J., and Oneie V., all boys, and living at home. In the war he enlisted in company B., 7th cavalry M. S. M. His first battle was at Marshall, against Shelby, and was in a good many skirmishes in the southern part of the state. He enlisted February, 1862, and was discharged April, 1865. After the war he came back to Saline county and went to farming. From 1857 to 1861 he was employed in carrying the mail, and thus had served Uncle Sam seven years of his life. He is a member of the Baptist Church, with membership at Antioch. He started in life with very small means, and now has 130 acres of splendid land, well stocked. Page 717

Jesse T. Witcher, P. O., Marshall. Was born in Howard county, Missouri, in 1847, and in 1856 came to this county, and settled in Liberty township, with his parents. At that time $5.00 per acre was the highest price paid for land, and $2.50 a very common price. His father raised a family of ten children, all of whom located in this county. He purchased a farm of 360 acres of choice land, for $1,360. Mr. Witcher was married to Miss Nancy E. Gresham, daughter of Jonathan Gresham, of Saline county. He has had eight children, of whom five are now living: James T. (living in Santa Fe, N. M.), Wm. Henry, Jesse T. (also living in New Mexico), Walter Walker, and Emmet Lee. His wife died in 1874. In December, 1875, he married his present wife, Miss Mary E. Gresham, her father being one of the first settlers of Johnson county, Missouri, and has had four children, three of them living: Ettie, Ella Ethel, and Sarah Pearl, the baby. Mr. Witcher is a member of the Christian Church, membership at Antioch, and is also a mason, belonging to the lodge at Herndon. In 1864 he entered the Confederate army, and was one of Stallard’s company of Marmaduke’s escort. Previous to going to the army he was ordered to join the militia, and was at Marshall at the time of Shelby’s raid, but did not participate in the fight. In 1864 he was paid off, and then went to Price’s army, and was in the battles of Big and Little Blue, Westport, Newtonia, Little Osage, etc. In the retreat through the Indian Territory he was twenty-seven days without bread or salt. James Witcher, father of Jesse T., was born in Pittsylvania county, Virginia, in 1810. Came to Missouri in 1833, and settled in Howard county, and lived there two years. Then moved to Elk Lick Spring, which he improved. It is a noted summer resort previous to the war, and is a splendid mineral spring. Page 717-718