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Goodspeed's History of Southeast Missouri
Biographies of Scott County, 1888


William W. Campbell

Capt. William W. Campbell, a prominent stock farmer of Scott County, Mo., was born in Kentucky in December, 1826, and is a son of William J. and Priscilla (Asbell) Campbell, natives of North Carolina, where they were reared, being married in Kentucky, to which they removed about the time of the Jackson purchase. In the winter of 1833 they came to Southeast Missouri, and located near Charleston, where they both died, the father in 1848, aged forty-six years, and the mother on November 5, 1855, aged forty-eight years. They had nine children: Eson C. (deceased), William W., Joseph M. (deceased) Malissa C., Granderson M., Aaron D. (deceased), Martha I. (deceased), and Polly Ann (deceased). Granderson M. is in Texas engaged in farming. Malissa C. lives with the subject of this sketch. William W. came to Missouri with his parents, and remained at home until 1848, when he went to North Missouri, but was taken sick soon after and returned home and engaged in the grocery business in Charleston. After continuing about two years he sold out, and in the spring of 1850 went to California. Four years later he left the latter State and went by ship to Key West, thence to Virginia, where he left the ship and proceeded to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and from there on to Southeast Missouri. After one year's merchandising at what is known as Lane's Landing, on the Mississippi River, he purchased 260 acres of land near his present farm and engaged in agricultural pursuits. The next year (1856) he sold that and purchased the farm on which he now resides. In 1864 he was mustered into the Federal army as captain of Company D, Fiftieth Missouri Volunteer Infantry, and was discharged in St. Louis in July 1865. At the close of the war he returned home and resumed farming, but his house had been burned by guerrillas. In 1854 he was married to Molly Daniel, a native of Mississippi County, Mo. She died in 1859, leaving one daughter, Louisa, who afterwards became the wife of Martin L. Terrell and died in 1877. On August 18, 1859 Mr. Campbell married Emily J. Hinton, who was born in Scott County, Mo., on April 12, 1888, and died October 8, 1879. To this union six children were born, as follows: Alexander, Joseph (born on December 19, 1862, died on September 1, 1864), Alice (born on February 16 1866, died on August 19, 1871), Murray (born April 1, 1875), Thomas (born April 2, 1876) and George A. (born February 16, 1879). Mr. Campbell is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. His wife was also a member of the same church. Mr. Campbell is enterprising and progressive, and has done much to promote the educational facilities of his district.

William L. Carroll

William L. Carroll, a successful farmer of Scott County, was born in Indianapolis, Ind., July 4, 1856, and is a son of Matthew and Anna (Burns) Carroll, both natives of County Wexford, Ireland. They were married in their native country and immigrated to America. Locating at Indianapolis, Ind., they resided there until 1859, when they immigrated to New Madrid County, Mo., and located a few miles south of Sikeston. Mr. Carroll was a farmer, and in 1861 he removed his family to Stoddard County, Mo., where he purchased, at a good price, a great deal of swamp land, which afterward proved to be worthless. He, in partnership with Sterling Smith, built what is known as the Levee Road. Although possessing considerable wealth, he was broken up during the war, and died on August 5, 1870. His wife died in 1862. They had five children, only two of whom are living: Patrick (who resides in New York) and William L. Those deceased are Mary A., Hannah and Nicholas E. The subject of this sketch was but an infant when his parents removed to Southeast Missouri. He remained with his father until the latter's death, and received his education at Bloomfield and Cape Girardeau. In 1873 he came to Scott County, and worked for others until he was married. January 15, 1879, to Susan M. Marshall, when he began working for himself. He now owns 320 acres of valuable land. His home farm contains 160 acres, mostly under cultivation, which good improvements. He and wife have had five children: Franklin M., William N., Mary A., Oscar E. and Parthena F. (deceased). Mr. Carroll is a member of the A.F. & A.M., I.O.O.F. and Wheeler Society.

Charles Chaney

Charles Chaney, a farmer and stock raiser of Scott County, Mo., was born in the county in 1840, and is a son of Levi D. and Mary E. (Neely) Chaney, both natives of Kentucky. Levi D. Chaney came with his mother to Southeast Missouri about 1828 or 1830, and located in Perry County. He afterward removed to Cape Girardeau County, from whence he came to Scott County and located near Sikeston, where he died in 1862, aged fifty-two years. His widow died in 1863, age forty-six years. They were the parents of eleven children, five of whom are living, viz.: Charles, Sarah E. (Mrs. Jasper Wilson), Jason (of Dunklin County, Mo.), Benjamin F. (of Sikeston), and Susan (wife of Dr. Kendall, of Sikeston). Charles remained at home until he was twenty-two years of age, and assisted his parents on the farm. Some time during the Civil War, he enlisted in the State Guards under Jeff. Thompson, and served four months, when he returned home, and was married. He located on a farm in Richwoods, and remained two years, when he sold out and removed to Sikeston, and engaged in merchandising, but after nine months he abandoned the mercantile business, and removed to a farm again. About 1880 he removed to his present location. He has been married three times. First to Frances Moore, who was born and reared in Scott County. She died in 1877, having borne six children: Charles, Mary C., Francis B., John L. (deceased), Cassie (deceased) and Cora (deceased). He afterward married Mrs. Mary E. (Bugg) Timmons, a native of Kentucky. She had two children by her first marriage, Charles and Bruce. She died about one year and nine months after her marriage with Mr. Chaney. In 1879 he married his present wife, Mrs. Evaline (Reeves) Allen, who had four children by her first marriage: Benjamin F., Louisa, John, and an infant (deceased). By this union, Mr. Chaney had four children: Thomas, Alonzo, Sarah and Jamesettia, Mr. Chaney is a member of the A.O.U.W. He and wife are active members of the Baptist Church.

Benjamin F. Chaney

Benjamin F. Chaney, druggist at Sikeston, Scott Co., Mo., was born in that county on May 1, 1855. He is a son of Levi D. and Mary E. (Neeley) Chaney, both natives of Kentucky. Levi D. Chaney immigrated to Missouri about 1815 and settled three miles north of Sikeston, being one of the first settlers of this section of the county. He pre-empted 160 acres of land, upon which he erected a rude log cabin, in which he lived to make his pre-emption good. He afterward improved the place, and resided there until his death, at which time he owned about 500 acres of land. He died in 1864, and his wife died in 1866. They were the parents of eleven children, five of whom are living: Charles, Sarah (Mrs. W.J. Wilson), Jason, Benjamin F., and Susan (wife of Dr. O.E. Kendall). The subject of this sketch being quite small when his father died was cared for by his eldest brother, for whom he worked until he was about fourteen years of age. He, two years later, on September, 1871, entered Bellvue Institute at Caledonia, Mo., and remained two and one-half years, after which he took a course in Eastman's Commercial College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y. Upon leaving school he visited various cities in the United States and attended the Centennial at Philadelphia. Soon after his return to Sikeston, he was appointed deputy county collector, which office he held but a short time, when he engaged in the drug business for Dr. Kendall, and remained with him about four months. He and N. Sikes then purchased the stock of drugs, and carried on business eighteen months, under the firm name of Sikes & Chaney, when Mr. Chaney purchased Mr. Sikes interest, and has since been engaged in the business alone. In 1885 he was appointed postmaster, which office he still fills. He owns 220 acres of good land with 200 acres under cultivation. He was married in 1880, to Kate Brown, a native of New Madrid County. Their union has been blessed by three children: Lydia, Benjamin F., Jr., and Audrey. Mr. Chaney is a Mason. Mrs. Chaney is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

George W. Chrismon

George W. Chrismon, a promising young farmer of Scott County, was born in Henry County, Tenn., on February 21, 1853. His parents, James H. and Mary (Liggett) Chrismon, were natives of Williamson County, Tenn. Grandfather Chrismon came from England and settled first in Pennsylvania, but afterward immigrated to Tennessee, where he was killed by a horse kicking him. The Leggett family immigrated to the United States from Ireland, and settled in Tennessee. James H. Chrismon was reared in his native State. His early life was passed in the mercantile business, but his later years were spent on the farm. He removed to Missouri in 1872, making the entire journey in wagons. He located in Mississippi County, but after one year he immigrated to Crawford County, Kas. Not being satisfied with that climate, he returned to Missouri after one year, and settled in Scott County, where he died in October 1875. His wife died in April 1877. They were the parents of eight children, three of whom Lizzie (Mrs. Matt Simon), Thomas J. and George W., are living. The subject of this sketch was reared on his parents' farm, and received a liberal education in the common schools. He remained with his parents until their deaths, since which time he has worked for himself and has been very successful in business. He has purchased 120 acres of forest land, which he is now clearing and turning into a valuable farm. Mr. Chrismon is a member of the Wheeler Society.

John W. Clemson

John W. Clemson, station agent and notary public of Oran, Mo., was born in Dresden, Weakley Co., Tenn., July 12, 1848. He is a son of Jonathan S. and Lumega (Fowler) Clemson. Jonathan S. Clemson was born in North Carolina in 1818, and removed to Tennessee in 1844. Lumega (Fowler ) Clemson was born in Granville County, N.C., in 1821, and is a daughter of John and Nancy (Henrick) Fowler, natives of North Carolina and Virginia, respectively. When seven years of age, Lumega Fowler, with her parents, left her native State and located on a farm near Dresden, Tenn., where the parents died - John Fowler in 1855, aged eighty-seven years; and his wife in 1835, aged forty-six years. To them were born seven children. Those living are Sarah H. (aged seventy-three years), Charles E. (of Texas), John T. (of Fulton, Ky., with whom Sarah H. resides) and Mrs. Clemson (now living in Commerce, Mo). Lumega (Fowler) Clemson remained with her parents until she was married in 1846. She and her husband remained in Tennessee until 1856. When they came to Missouri and located in Ripley County, but the next year removed to Commerce, where Mr. Clemson died on March 28, 1868. They were the parents of five children: Magarie A.M. (wife of ex-county judge S.R. Jones, of Commerce), Nancy L. (widow of Virgil Porterfiled), John W., Georgiana (wife of Raymond Dodge, of Kansas City) and Charles E. (deceased). John W. remained with his parents until about twenty years of age, after which he was employed at various occupations until 1874, when he was elected constable of Sylvania Township and served four years. In March 1879, he entered the railroad office at Oran, Mo., as agent, and remained till 1880, when he went to Commerce and worked in a mill until May 21, 1881, when he came back to Oran and took his present position in the railroad office. He first married Louisa Pugh, of Commerce, who died November 9, 1876. On July 4, 1877, he wedded Jennie Friend, who died on January 7, 1885, leaving two children: Georgia R. and Jennie W. She lost two children in infancy; Thomas F. and John S. Mr. Clemson married his present wife Ella J. Harris, on February 24, 1886. She is a member of the Baptist Church. He is a member of the I.O.O.F., and of the A.O.U.W.

John R. Coffman

John R. Coffman, M.D., a prominent physician of Commerce, Mo., was born in Ste. Genevieve County, Mo., in 1846. His grandfather, Joseph Coffman, was born in Pennsylvania of German parents, and although he spoke English well, was much more thoroughly versed in German. He located in Virginia. The family residence was within fourteen miles of Monticello - the abode of Thomas Jefferson. In 1832 Joseph Coffman left Virginia, with his family, and came to Ste. Genevieve County, Mo., where he resolved to settle. Learning that there was good land for sale twenty miles south of St. Genevieve, he proceeded in that direction and purchased the estate on which his family has since resided. This estate contained 1,200 arpents of land, which he afterward cultivated and which formed the foundation of his fortune, and that of his son, John, who inherited the estate. Joseph Coffman died in 1856, and John Coffman, the father of the subject of this sketch, took possession of the property and managed it with rare skill, until his death. The emancipation of 116 slaves diminished the value of the property $75,000. In 1840 John Coffman and Jane L. Smith were united in marriage. She was the daughter of Judge Smith (judge of the court of quarter-sessions at Ste. Genevieve). John Coffman died October 25, 1887, with chronic pleurisy. His wife died previously, in 1880. They were the parents of ten children, viz: James W., Charles, Frank, John, Jesse, Lucinda (now Mrs. Bull), Ida (now Mrs. Tillman), Joseph, Jennie (Mrs. Crowder) and Menard. Charles and Menard are deceased. John R. Coffman remained with his parents in Ste. Genevieve County until he was sixteen years of age, when he entered the Washington University of St. Louis, and remained four years, after which he entered the St. Louis Medical College, for which institution he graduated in 1869. In 1870 he took a diploma from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York. Returning home, he soon after went to Hood County, Tex., and remained there four years, practicing his profession. He then located at Commerce. He is a member of the Southeast Missouri Medical Association, and has taken special courses on the eye. He was married in 1871 to Anna P. Saunders, a native of Arkansas, born in 1850. She is a daughter of John and Martha Saunders, natives of Alabama. Besides his profession, Dr. Coffman has large farming interests. He and his wife are the parents of five children: Frederic, Harry, Normante, Yancy and Marie. Normante is dead. Dr. Coffman is a member of the A.F. & A.M. and of the A.O.U.W. Both he and Mrs. Coffman are earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

James L. Crow

James L. Crow, an enterprising farmer of Scott County, Mo., was born in West Tennessee on December 14, 1846 and is a son of Edward and Elizabeth (Hopkins) Crow. The paternal great-grandfather immigrated to the United states from Germany and settled in Crittenden County, Ky. The grandfather, Levi S. Crow, emigrated from Kentucky to Tennessee, and resided there until his death. Edward Crow's family, after his death, removed from Tennessee to Cape Girardeau County, Mo., in 1854, and remained there until 1861, when they removed to Union County, Ill. The mother of our subject died in 1879. She had one other child, Mary A. (deceased). James L. remained with his mother until the war broke out, when he enlisted in Company F, One Hundred-and Forty-fifth Illinois Regiment (afterward consolidated with the Eighteenth Illinois), and served until the close of the war. While on the boat going from St. Louis, he received a fall which disabled him for some time. He served as corporal and also as sergeant. In September, 1864, at Mozelle Bridge, he received a gunshot wound in the right leg. After the war (in 1867) he removed to Scott County, Mo., and located where he now resides, and has lived ever since, with the exception of one year, in Stoddard County. He cultivates 335 acres of good land, and is a successful and intelligent business man. In 1864 he was united in marriage with Amanda A. Radden, a native of Illinois. They are the parents of eight children, three of whom are living: William, Charles A. and Edward D. His wife died in 1876, and in 1877 he married Paralee Radden, by whom he had one child, Robert G. She died in 1884. He was married to Mary A. Man, in 1885. To this union one child has been born - Ebert. Mr. Crow is a Mason, and a member of the I.O.O.F. and K. of P.

Benjamin S. Curd

Benjamin S. Curd was born in Kentucky, in 1833, and is a son of Charles and Sarah (Martin) Curd, natives of Virginia and England, respectively. The Curd family immigrated to the United States from Ireland, and located in Virginia, from whence they removed to Kentucky, where the parents of our subject died. The latter came to Missouri in 1856, and located on Price's Landing, on the Mississippi River. He was engaged in shipping grain until the Civil War, and for a short time after the close of the war. He then removed to Point Pleasant, Mo., and engaged in the same business, but after a short stay there he removed to New Madrid County and remained until 1869, when he removed to Morley, Scott County, where he has since resided, engaged in merchandising. He was married in 1856 to Miss Kate Price, of Price's Landing, a daughter of Archie A. Price, a cousin of Gen. Price, and Mary Hunter, a daughter of Col. Abram Hunter. The Price family are all dead except Mrs. Curd and her sister, Mary Griffith, (now living at Morley). Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Curd: Lutie P. (who is married and resides in Morley), Mary (deceased), and Lyman (also deceased). Mrs. Curd is a consistent member of the Baptist Church. Mr. Curd received his education in the seminary at Murray. He is quite fond of literature, and owns a very fine library. Mr. Curd's parents had a family of fifteen children, nine of whom grew to maturity and seven of whom are living at present. Besides Benjamin S. are Dr. E. B. and James E., of Kentucky, Richard, Thomas, Elizabeth, Austin and Sarah Russell of Texas.