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


A B C D E F G H K L M P R S T W Y




James L. Hale

James L. Hale, a merchant of Oran, Mo., was born and reared in Stoddard County, Mo., and is a son of William M. and Emeline (Nation) Hale, native of Tennessee. William M. Hale was the son of Nicholas Hale, a native of Tennessee, who came to Missouri about 1848, and located in Stoddard County, where he died at the age of ninety years. His wife also died in Stoddard County when about seventy-five or eighty years of age. They had nine children, all deceased, except one, John, who may be living in California, he having gone there about 1849. William M. Hale was born in Jackson County, Tenn., on June 6, 1817. He was twice married, and died on August 15, 1850. His first marriage occurred October 12, 1837, in Jackson County, Tenn., to Nancy Stamps, who died there in 1845. They had two children: Mary Ann Mariler, born March 24, 1840, died May 23, 1863, and Sarah Elizabeth, born April 13, 1843, also deceased. His second wife, the mother of the subject of this sketch, died in Stoddard County, Mo., on August 11, 1882, leaving two children: Nancy J. and James L. Nancy J. was born on January 3, 1851, married James Altman and removed to Illinois, where she died in 1875, leaving two children. James L. was born on April 3, 1849, and after the death of his parents, lived with his grandfather, until he was fourteen years of age, after which he resided with his uncle ,Giles F. Draper, until about 1865. He was then attending school, teaching school and engaged in business in Stoddard County until 1879, when he came to Oran and engaged in the mercantile business. On September 1, 1879 he was married in his native county to Sarah C. Aust, also a native of Stoddard County, born December 13, 1853. Mr. and Mrs. Hale's children were born as follows: Ida I., September 26, 1871, died December 23, 1874; Lillie May, August 5, 1875; Arthur O., January 11, 1878; Florence Ethel, July 20, 1880; and Effie born on February 20, 1873. Mr. Hale is a member of the A.F. & A.M. and of the A.O.U.W. He was commissioned notary public by Gov. Crittenden, March 23, 1882 and re-commissioned by Gov. Marmaduke, March 23, 1886. On December 14, 1885, he was appointed by the Governor Judge of the county court Second District of Scott County, to fill a vacancy, and was elected to the same office in 1886. The same year he was also elected justice of the peace for Sylvania Township. He is a licensed pharmacist, and is the author of a book to keep the civil docket court records.



David H. Harper

David H. Harper was born in Henry County, Tenn., on July 23, 1851. His parents, Robert and Nancy (Williams) Harper, were natives of Smith County, Tenn. The Harper family immigrated to the United Sates from England, and settled in Virginia, near Harper's Ferry, from whence it derived its name. Robert Harper was reared in Tennessee, and Harper's Ferry, Tenn., was named in honor of him. He removed his family to Mississippi County, Mo., in 1874 and located on a farm. In March 1878, he and his wife died within a week of each other. They were the parents of thirteen children, ten of whom grew to maturity: Elizabeth (Mrs. William Love), Maria, (widow of Caleb Mackens, of Tennessee), John B., Joseph, Thomas, David, William, Green, James (who died in Camp Douglas prison, at Chicago), and Robert (who was murdered in Carroll County, Tenn., during the war). The other three died in infancy. David H. was reared in Benton County, Tenn., remaining with his parents until coming to Missouri in 1873. Locating in Mississippi County, one mile south of Bertrand, he resided there until 1876, when he removed to his present farm in Scott County. It consists of 200 acres of land, all of which is under cultivation. Mr. Harper usually cultivates fifty acres of watermelons on his farm. In 1876 he was united in marriage with Mabel Dodge, by whom he had four children three of whom, Alvis R., Thomas H. and Otis W. are living. His wife died in 1882, and he was married again in 1884, choosing for his second wife Lucinda E. Dodge. Mr. Harper is a member of the I.O.O.F. and of the Agricultural Wheel.



Christopher C. Harris

Christopher C. Harris, M.D., a physician of Benton, Mo., was born in Stewart County, Tenn., in 1835, and is a son of Howell and Priscilla (Shelton) Harris, natives of North carolina and Virginia, respectively. Howell Harris, when a young man, came to Tennessee with his parents. Priscilla Shelton, when a child, removed with her parents from the Old Dominion to Tennessee, and was married in the latter State, in Davidson County. To Mr. and Mrs. Harris were born nine children: George W., James M., Jesse L., Howell, Sarah N., Christopher C., Martin V., William B. and Priscilla S., all supposed to be dead, except the subject of this sketch and Martin V., a merchant at Morley Mo. Mr. Harris died in 1839, after which his widow married Thomas Kemp, by whom she had one son, Henry, who was killed in Mississippi during the Civil War. The mother died in 1846. Christopher C. remained with his parents until he was eleven years of age, after which he attended school until he was twenty years old. In 1860 he commenced studying medicine in Humphreys County, Tenn., and in 1871 entered the Cincinnati Eclectic Medical Institute, from which institution he graduated in 1872. After finishing his professional education he located at Morley, and engaged in the practice of his profession, and remained five years, when he removed to his present location, and has since had a good practice, both in town and the surrounding country. He has been twice married; first in 1865, to Mary I. Townes, who was born in Virginia and reared in Tennessee. She was one of ten children born of the two marriages of William Townes. She was the mother of seven children, and died on February 26, 1886. She was a member of the Baptist church. Her children are: Nannie E.,Kate B., Howell T. (deceased), Edwin S. (deceased), Virginia H. Myrtle and Mattie B. (deceased). The second time Dr. Harris married Anna Pullian, a native of Braddock County, Ark., and a daughter of William and Mary Ann Pullian. Mrs. Harris is a member of the Baptist Church. She has a half-brother and half-sister living in Sikeston: Mary E. (Rodgers) and Daniel E. Jenkins. By this union Dr. Harris has one child - Tone Lee.



John T. Harris

John T. Harris was born in Cape Girardeau City, Mo., in 1850, and is a son of John and Winifred (Baldwin) Harris. John Harris was born in Wales in 1807, and when about fourteen years of age entered a blacksmith and machine shop as an apprentice, and remained seven years. Soon after finishing his trade he sailed for America, and landing at New York City, remained there two or three years. He first married Ann Owens, of Welsh descent, by whom he had three children, one of whom died in childhood. The other two Sarah E. and Anna, grew to maturity, married and reared families, but are now dead. From New York he removed to Ohio and located, but after a short time came to Missouri, and located in Dunklin County, and engaged in farming. He was one of the commissioners appointed to locate the seat of justice of Dunklin County. About six years later his wife died, and he removed to Cape Girardeau City in 1847, and remained until 1849, working at his trade. In 1849 he married Winifred Baldwin, who was born in Scott County, Mo., in 1818. Her parents were John and Rachel Baldwin. The former was born in Virginia in 1771 and the latter in Georgia in 1778. They married in Georgia, and lived there for some time. In 1803 they came to Scott County, Mo., and settled on a farm on the Mississippi River, five miles above commerce, where they reared a large family, and remained there until their deaths. About the time of his second marriage, Mr. Harris, in partnership with Mr. Baldwin, built a ferry-boat, which they ran until it sank four years later. Previously, Jesse Criddelle had purchased Mr. Baldwin's interest, and he and Mr. Harris built a new boat, which they ran until June 1859. The latter then worked at his trade, and engaged in farming on his land, near the present site of the Southeast Missouri Normal School building. In 1866 he removed to a farm four miles north of Cape Girardeau where he resided until his death in 1876. His wife died in 1866. By this union he had eight children: John T., Mary S., William E., Emma A. and Francis C. (twins), Benjamin F., Ella J. and Eugene W. Francis C. and Benjamin F. died in childhood. In 1869 Mr. Harris married Margaret Hempstead. She died in 1877. John T. Harris remained with his parents until 1872 when he went to Dunklin County, and remained two years teaching school. He then attended the Southeast Missouri Normal for eighteen months, after which he came to Scott County, and taught school five consecutive terms, in what is known as the Ranney schoolhouse. In 1877 he located on the place on which he now resides in Kelso Township, Scott County, but in 1882 he removed to a farm near the river, and resided four years, when he returned to his present home. His marriage to Miss Sue Hinman was celebrated in 1877. She was born in Cape Girardeau County on December 3, 1854 and is the daughter of William M. and Emily Hinman, the father born in Indiana in October, 1820 and the mother in Cape Girardeau County, Mo., in October, 1826. They reside four miles forth of Cape Girardeau and are the parents of six children: Jane, Effie, and Ida (twins), Sue, Cora C. and Emma. Ida died when thirty two years of age. Mr. Harris is a prosperous farmer, and is a member of the A.O.U.W. He and wife have had five children: I. Gertrude, U. Ethel (deceased), Amelia Irene, Irl H. and Marvin J.



William E. Harris

William E. Harris, M.D., a physician of Oran, Mo., was born in Cape Girardeau County, Mo., in 1854. He is a son of John and Winifred (Baldwin) Harris. John Harris was born in England, and when about twenty-one years of age, came to New York. From New York he went to Ohio, and remained until about 1839, when he came to Southeast Missouri and located in Dunklin County, and in 1844 removed to Cape Girardeau County. He was a mill wright by trade, and before the war, owned a steamboat on the Mississippi River. He was energetic and active, and died at the age of sixty-five years. Winifred Baldwin was born in Scott County, Mo., at what was known as Baldwin's landing (now Manning's Landing), where her father owned a large tract of land. The latter was born in Virginia, and came to Southeast Missouri in its early settlement. He and wife reared a family of children of whom Winifred was the youngest. All of the family are dead except one daughter - Mrs. Mary Price, of Texas. The parents lived and died at Baldwin's Landing. John Harris and wife had eight children viz: John Thomas, Mary S. (Williams), William E., Emma A. and Francis C. (twins), Benjamin, Ella (Mrs. J.W. Clemson) and Eugenia (wife of Dr. T.E. Tomlinson). Francis and Benjamin are dead. Emma is the wife of Lewis Rockwell of Arkansas. Upon reaching his maturity, William E. went to Illinois and began work on his father's farm, but returned home in a short time, and remained in Cape Girardeau County two years, engaged on a farm. Choosing the profession of medicine, he read one year at Kelso, after which he went to Nashville and entered a medical college, from which he graduated in 1882. He then located at Oran, where he has since had a good practice. In 1884 he married Nannie Friend, a daughter of John Friend. They are the parents of two children: Willie P. (born in 1885, and died in April 1886) and Johnnie E. (born in 1887 and died when seven weeks old) the Doctor and Mrs. Harris are earnest members of the Missionary Baptist Church. He is a member of the I.O.O.F. and of the A.O.U.W.



Charles R. Hatcher

Charles R. Hatcher, one of the prominent citizens of Scott County, Mo. was born near his present home on February 24, 1824 and is a son of Samuel and Margaret (Dillinger) Hatcher, the former a native of Virginia, and the latter of North Carolina. The Hatcher family are of English descent, and the Dillinger family of Dutch lineage. Samuel Hatcher immigrated to Ohio, where he was married and had two children, both now dead. From Ohio he came to Missouri in 1804, gut did not remain. In 1829 he returned and made a settlement on Sandy Prairie, entering what was then known as seminary land (a quarter section among the first entries made in Richwoods). For several years he resided in a rude log cabin which he erected, and there being plenty of wild game in the forest, his table was always supplied with wild meats. He served in the War of 1812 - a part of the time as an officer. In politics he was a Democrat, but never was an aspirant for office, neither would he own slaves. He paid strict attention to farming, and was highly respected by all who knew him. He died about 1847. His wife died in 1863. They had thirteen children, two of whom (Charles R. and Thomas) are living. Charles R. has always resided in Scott County, not more than ten miles from his birthplace. When a boy he was not allowed to leave the house without a rifle. He is a good marksman and has killed many wild animals, among others as many as three panthers in a day. He relates many incidents connected with the hardships of pioneer life and possesses some relics peculiar to those days, among them a pair of spoon molders made of the best brass, with which they molded their own spoons. For forks they often used forked sticks. Mr. Hatcher was married first in 1847, to Rosanna Myers, by whom he had four children, one (Ellen) living. His wife died in 1855, and in 1857 he married Christiana (Baldwin) Owen. They have one child living, Charles H. Mr. Hatcher now owns 120 acres of land, fairly improved. He is an enthusiastic Odd Fellow, was one of the charter members of Blodgett Lodge, and has been instrumental in organizing lodges at Sikeston and Morley. He has served as justice of the peace of his township for twenty-eight years, and has been a consistent member of the Baptist church for thirty-three years.



William A. Hill

William A. Hill, a farmer residing near Morley, Mo., was born in Mississippi in 1840. His parents, James A. and Nancy (Lawson) Hill, were natives of Kentucky, who removed to Tennessee in 1840, and from thence in the same year to Mississippi. Remaining in the latter State until 1848, they returned to Kentucky and remained until 1855, when they came to Southeast Missouri, and located in Benton, where they lived until the death of Mrs. Hill, on March 14, 1866. Mr. Hill then resided, successively, in Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas. He died in Poplar Bluff, Mo., July 28, 1886. They had twelve children, six of whom are living, viz: Jane (Mrs. William P. Dent), Elijah B., William A. Haughel, Samuel H. and Henry Clay. All of the above named boys are carpenters by trade. Those deceased are Elizabeth (Hamilton), James D., Nancy, Polly Ann (who was killed by a wagon running over her when the family were on their way to Mississippi in 1840), and two that died in infancy. William A. Remained with his parents until he was twenty-two years of age, when he began working for himself, at the carpenter's trade and farming. In 1880 he abandoned his trade, since which he has been giving his whole attention to farming. He married Margaret D. Launies (of German descent). She was born in North Carolina, but came to Southeast Missouri when quite young with her parents. She died March 20, 1876 having borne four children: Katy and Luther F. and two that died in infancy. In September, 1877 Mr. Hill married Priscilla Mills who was born in Pulaski County, Ark. In 1855 and is a daughter of Daniel A. (of Virginia) and Fannie (Brown) Mills. Her father died in the army, and her mother in New Madreid County, Mo. They were the parents of four children of whom three are living: Priscilla Mollie (Andrews), William A. and Granville A. After Mr. Mills' death, Mrs. Mills married Caleb W. Booth, a native of Tennessee, by whom she had four children: Ada and Ida (twins), Charles W. and John T. The family, now live in Little Rock, Ark. To Mr. and Mrs. Hill have been born two children: William Pearl and an infant (deceased). Mr. Hill is a member of the A.O.U.W.



William Howell

William Howell, a stock farmer of Sylvania Township, Scott Co., Mo., was born in Howell County, Mo., in 1854, and is a son of Thomas H. Howell, a native of Tennessee, who came to Missouri with his parents when a young man. The family first located in Scott County, but soon after removed to Howell County, and remained until the fall of 1865, when they returned to Scott County. Thomas H. Howell married Nancy Thomas, who died on August 12, 1862, having borne eight children. Those living are Martha (Woodside), of Salem, Mo.; Mollie (Robertson), of Scott County, Mo.; Jane (Jenkins), also of Scott County, and William, the subject of this sketch. Those dead are Sally Ann (McMullen), George W., Millie C. (Congleton), and Nancy. After the death of his first wife, Mr. Howell married Eliza Hall, and both are now living near Blodgett, Mo. William remained with his parents until 1875, when he began farming for himself near Blodgett, and continued one year. He then removed to a farm two miles north of Oran and remained until 1887, when he removed to his present location. In 1875 he was united in marriage with Martha M. Montgomery, a native of Scott County, born in 1857. She is the daughter of L.D. and Elizabeth Montgomery, natives of Tennessee and north Carolina respectively. They removed to Missouri at an early date. Their children who are living are Martha M., Isaac, Columbus and Susan E., widow of Henry Murphy. Mr. and Mrs. Howell have four children of their own: Minnie B., Maud M., George W. and Willie R. Mr. Howell and wife are devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. He is a member of the A.O.U.W.



Joseph L. Hughes

Joseph L. Hughes, a prosperous young former and stock raiser, of Sylvania Township, Scott Co., Mo., was born and reared on the farm on which he now resides. He was born in 1860, and is a son of Nathaniel and Jane (Timmons) Hughes. Nathaniel Hughes was born in Missouri. His wife was born in Middle Tennessee. After she had reached maturity, she came to Southwest Missouri with some of her relatives and was afterward married. Her husband entered government land and improved a farm, on which he lived until his death in 1881, aged fifty-six years. They were the parents of seven children, of whom four are living: Alice, Mary (the wife of B. Myers), Andrew, and Joseph L. Those dead are Margaret, who died after reaching maturity, and two that died in infancy. Joseph L. has always resided on the place of his birth. He is now managing the farm in a successful manner and has 110 acres under cultivation, mostly in wheat and corn. Mrs. Hughes, the mother of Joseph L., was born in 1825. She and her daughter Alice now reside on the home place and keep house for him.



Isaac Hunter

Hon. Isaac Hunter, one of the oldest native citizens of Scott County, Mo., was born on May 27, 1821, and is a son of Abram and Sarah (Ogden) Hunter, natives of Kentucky and Pennsylvania respectively. The Ogden family are of German-Irish descent, and the Hunter family of Scotch-Irish. [The early history of the latter family is given in detail in another part of this work.] Abram Hunter was born in 1794 and was for many years a political leader in Scott County. He served twenty years in the State Legislature, eight years in the Senate and twelve in the House of Representatives, and took a very prominent part. He was an anti-bank man, and took an active part in securing the swamp land for the counties, and in defeating Thomas H. Benton for United States Senator. However, he was a strong Democrat and served as sheriff of the county. As early as 1820 he served as county judge. He died on October 25, 1869. By his first marriage he was the father of eleven children, and by his second marriage three children. Only seven children of all grew to maturity, viz: Mary (deceased), Isaac, Joseph, Milford (deceased), Catherine (deceased), Benjamin F. and Amanda (deceased). The three who are living reside in Southeast Missouri. Hon. Isaac Hunter remained with his parents until he was twenty-one years of age, and secured his education, which was limited in the subscription schools. Upon attaining his majority, he went to Pemiscot County, Mo., and remained until 1850, when he came back to his native county and located on a farm. Soon after he was elected county surveyor and commissioner of the swamp land. In 1856 he went to New Madrid County and remained until 1869, when he again returned to Scott County. In the fall of 1870 he was elected probate judge, re-elected in 1874, and in 1878 elected county judge. In 1882 and 1884 he represented his county in the Legislature, and in 1886 was re-elected, county judge, which position he still holds. Being one of the most prominent men of the county, his service to the taxpayer has been invaluable. He was instrumental in defeating a tax of $100,000 to build a railroad through the county. In 1844 he was united in marriage with Susan Hill who bore him one child, Altha, who afterward became the wife of Stephen Bird. Mrs. Hunter died in 1847, and in 1850 Mr. Hunter was married to Ellen Maulsby, of New Madrid County. To this union have been born six children: Molly (Mrs. R.A. Pierce, of Tennessee), Amanda (Mrs. Stephen bird, of Bird's Point), Anna (Mrs. James McPheters, of Benton), John J., Dick, and Lewis. Mr. Hunter resides within five miles of his birthplace. His residence is situated on a nice elevation of ground near Morley. His farm, which consists of 4,500 acres has 1,500 acres under cultivation. He is a member of the A.F. & A.M and of the I.O.O.F.



Benjamin F. Hunter

Benjamin F. Hunter, a wealthy and influential citizen of Scott County, Mo. is a native of that county, born on October 17, 1831. He is a son of Abraham and Sarah (Ogden) Hunter, natives of Virginia and Pennsylvania, respectively. Abraham Hunter was of Scotch-Irish descent. His grandfather came to the United States in its early settlement, and located in Virginia, where Joseph Hunter the father of Abraham, was born. Joseph Hunter immigrated to Missouri about 1791, and made his permanent location near the present town of Sikeston. In 1812 he was appointed, by President Madison, a member of the first Territorial Council of Missouri. He was a farmer by vocation, and was well versed in history and general literature, being a great reader. Abraham Hunter came to Scott County with his parents. He was also a farmer and stock raise. He made several trips from New Madrid to New Orleans on a flat-boat loaded with grain, and returned pulling the empty boat by a rope. He was the second sheriff in the Territory of Missouri, and was a member of the Missouri Legislature, serving five sessions in the Lower House and two sessions in the Senate. He served as probate judge of Scott County from 1825 to 1828. At the time of his death in 1870, he owned between 3,000 and 4,000 acres of land. His first wife died on December 29, 1839, having borne a large family of children, only three of whom are now living: Isaac, Joseph and Benjamin. By a second marriage, he had three children, all of whom are dead. The subject of this sketch remained with his father until he reached his majority, when he removed to a little log cabin in the place where he now lives. He soon after built a nice log house. In 1860 he was united in marriage with Mary E. Bird, by whom he had one child (deceased). His wife died in 1862, and in 1866 he married Nancy E. Bird, a sister of his first wife. Five children have blessed this union: Mary B. Clara C., Stephen B., Lucy N. and Sarah I. Mr. Hunter was elected county judge in1861, but held the office but a few months. By industry and economy he has become one of the largest land owners in Southeast Missouri, and has one of the best farms in Scott County, upon which he has an elegant residence. Mr. Hunter is a member of the Masonic fraternity. Mrs. Hunter is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.



William Hunter

William Hunter, senior from the Twenty-third Senatorial District of Missouri, was born in Mississippi County Mo., on September 11, 1848, and is son of Thomas Hunter, a native of Southeast Missouri. He was born in New Madrid County, May 17, 1808 and was a son of Joseph Hunter. [The early history of the Hunter family is given in detail in another part of this work]. In December 1830, Thomas Hunter married Eliza Myers, who was born March 13, 1813, at Benton, Mo., and died in Belmont, September 13, 1861. She was a daughter of William Myers, who settled on the present site of Benton and reared a large family of children. The Myers family removed from North Carolina to Tennessee, and from the latter State to Southeast Missouri about 1796. Thomas Hunter's home was on the Mississippi River, in Mississippi County. He died in Claiborne County, Miss., on July 1, 1863. To him and wife were born seven children, as follows: Hannah, September 19, 1831, died in infancy; Sarah December 13, 1832, died in infancy; Margaret E., November 1, 1835, died on December 8, 1853; Nancy C., September 3, 1838, married to Thomas Brown on November 30, 1856, and died in Kentucky on February 16, 1868, leaving a husband and four children; Lavina, January 5, 1845, died in infancy; William, September 11, 1848, and Mary Eliza, January 8, 1856, died at the Female Seminary of Georgetown, Ky., on June 5, 1873. William Hunter was reared on his father's farm. In 1861 he went his father to Claiborne County, Miss. He was a student in Jefferson College, Louisiana, in 1866-67; taught school in Hickman County, KY., in 1868, and entered Georgetown College, Kentucky, in 1869, graduating from that institution in 1872. He then entered the Harvard Law School, graduating there in June, 1874. During vacation in the summer of 1873 Mr. Hunter traveled in Europe. He was first admitted to the bar in Cambridge, Mass., December 8, 1873, and the next year was admitted to the bar in Illinois. In January 1875, he became a member of the bar at commerce, Mo., moved to Benton in 1880, where he now lives and is engaged in the practice of law. In 1876 he was elected prosecuting attorney for Scott County, and twice re-elected. In 1883 he was nominated by the Democratic convention and elected to represent the Twenty-third District, composed of the counties of Scott, Mississippi, New Madrid, Stoddard, Dunklin and Pemiscot in the State Senate, and was appointed by Gov. Marmaduke chairman of the committee to settle with State officers. In the last session he served as chairman of the committee on Ways and Means and was a member of the committees on Criminal Jurisprudence; railroads and Corporations; University, Public and Normal Schools, and several other committees. On December 31, 1876, Mr. Hunter was united in marriage with Ella Walker, a native of New Madrid, born on December 6, 1853. Their union has been blessed by the birth of five children, three of whom are living. The children are Lynn, Mabel, Thomas (deceased), Mary Amanda (deceased) and William P.