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From the 1887 History of Vernon County, Missouri, p. 633:

John T. Birdseye

(Of the firm of Birdseye & Harris, Attorneys at Law, and Real Estate, Loan and Insurance Agents).

   It would hardly be possible to write a history of the town of Nevada without mentioning on its pages the name of John T. Birdseye, for his long association with its affairs, and prominent connection with its interests in various capacities, have combined to make him equal in prominence to any man in Vernon county. The facts which here appear are put as plainly as it is possible to give them, without any attempt at display, and are such as redound with credit to Mr. Birdseye,--a man of whom it may with truth be said that he is self-made. He was born at Norwalk, Huron county, O., July 5, 1836, the fourth of eight children of his parents, Gould P. and Mary A. Birdseye, née Lane, both natives of Hartford, Conn. The former gave his attention to trading and farming after settling in Ohio, with good success until his death in 1883. His wife is still a resident of Ohio. The facilities for study which young John enjoyed in growing up were not allowed to go unheeded, and the results of his schooling in youth have remained with him to the present time. Until attaining his majority he lived on a farm, attending to its duties when not otherwise employed, but finally his attention was directed towards legal studies, and after due preparation he was admitted to the bar in 1858. His professional career was soon afterwards interrupted by the mutterings of war, and in 1861, he enlisted for three months in the 35th Ohio volunteer infantry, later on becoming first lieutenant in the 111th Ohio, of the 23d army corps. He took part [in] the Atlanta campaign, at the battles of Nashville and Franklin, and with Sherman through North Carolina, finally being mustered out after an experience to which he may well refer with pride. After the war Mr. Birdseye came to Vernon county, Mo., settling at Nevada, where he at once engaged in his present business, and from then to the present his influence throughout this community has been felt for good. His was the first house completed in the town after the war, and at that time there was not a window or door in a house outside of the school house. His rise in material affairs has been somewhat remarkable; possessed of nothing when he came, he attended strictly to his chosen calling, exercised good judgment and displayed wisdom in his transactions, until at the present time he is numbered among the substantial citizens of Nevada in a material point of view. His real estate operations are exceeded by none in the county and the abstract business carried on by the firm surpasses that of any other house in Nevada. Mr. Birdseye is known to warmly second any worthy movement looking to the good of his adopted home. He is at present one of the directors of the Thornton Banking Company mentioned elsewhere, and soon after this town was incorporated he served as its Mayor, discharging his official duties in a satisfactory manner. January 4, 1866, Mr. Birdseye was united in marriage with Miss Mary U. Manahan, a lady whose intellectual attainments and graces of mind and heart have endeared her to many. A family of four interesting and unusually bright children have been given them: Mary P., Henry Fred, Violetta and Emma.

[Transcribed by Becky Siple]



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Vernon Co, MO County Coordinator

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