Monroe County Newspapers

August 13, 1931 - The Monroe County Appeal

Part Three—Centennial Edition

Surnames appearing in this article:  Berry, Holliday, Gwynn, Allen, Smelser, Blakey, Farrell, Weatherford, Porter, Colborn, Guthrie, Sidener, Deaver, Alexander, Blanton, Ragland, Blakey, Gregory, Flanders, Janes, Meier, Peck, Caldwell, Rogers, Curry, Stephenson, Miller, McBride, Holden, Gentry, Cave, Acuff, McGee, Smith, McKamey, Rogers, Simpson, Davis, Fox, Runkle, Mappin, Mitts, Hubbard, Cave, Donaldson, Sproul, McKamey, Stephens, Whittenburg, Saling, Wilkerson, Burton, Coppedge, Bryan, Abernathy, Stone, Belcher, Fox, Wilcoxson, Bozarth, Glascock, Greening, Kirttance, Mappin, Scobee, Eads, McGee, Thompson, Fike, Noel, Stamper, Curry, Harrison, Scobee,  Greening, Yates, Barr, Rice, Adams, East, Holden, Dickson, Mothershead, Hagan, Kelley, Caves, Stout, Williams, Crow, Curry, Abernathy, Pavey, Maxey, Glenn, Greening, Hendren, Thomas, Quales, Moberly, George, Thompson, Heard, Acuff, Williams,  West, Hickman, Meredith, Fields, Fisher, Heckart, Jones, Davis, Bassett, Murphy, Buerk, Rodes, Parsons, White, Hill, Allen, Dry, Dewey, Power, Gordon, Brooks, Pfaff, Jones, Beagle, Crigler, Basy, Holbrook, Osborn, Wright, Spalding, Speed, Twain, Quarles, Lampton, McKamey, Bledsoe, Bounds, Ragsdale, Heizer, Carrico, McLeod, Bates, Kerr, Brashears, Bybee, Drake, Wilkerson, Bassett, Hunter, Ownby, Dulaney, Blakey, Alexander, Ragland, Bryan, Dawson, Burgess, Towles, Conyers, Moss, Crutcher, Penn, Delaney, Sparks, Hammonds, Fields, Forman, Caldwell, Foreman, Caldwell, Glascock, Johnson, Hibler, McCann,

Aged Paris Negro Recalls Slave Days

Uncle George Berry, aged 85 years, is one of the few Monroe county Negroes who date back to slave days.  He recalled Friday that as a 10-year old he brought $1,000.  His father and mother were sold the same day, the father bringing $700 and the mother $600.  Until that time they had been the property of John Holliday.  He sold them to his brother, Thomas Holliday, who in turn sold them to Robert Gwynn who continued to own them until they were set free.

Every master, George recalls, was required to inform his slaves that they were free.  Mr. Gwynn did this, he states, after he and his father had been given their daily tasks.  The father’s job that day was to cut backlogs.  George’s task was to cut wood for the cook stove.  After they had worked about two hours Mr. Gwynn came out and broke the news to them.  They quit work right.  Mr. Gwynn inquired what they expected to do.  They had no idea.  He offered the family a living and $100 in money to work for him a year.  After some dickering, says Uncle George, his father agreed to stay on those terms provided Matilda, his wife, was never whipped.  The following year George was given boots, clothes, a living and $50 for his work.  Then he moved to Paris and has been ever since.  He is a member of the Masonic Lodge, a devout Baptist and a citizen whose standing is very high with the best people in the community.  His wife, Talitha, is 8 years his junior.  She is a splendid woman and is highly respected.

The thing which strikes Uncle George as a bad sign of these modern times is the lightness with which both whites and blacks look upon their obligations.


Our First Lighting System

Jo Allen, the tinner, recalls the first street lights in Paris.  They were 12 in number.  Coal oil was used.  Old files of the Appeal tell of the city airs Paris took on when these street lamps, which looked a good deal like lightning bugs in a fog, were first put up.

Mike Allen, Jo’s oldest brother, had the contract for operating the system.  Every evening at the approach of darkness Mike and Jo sallied forth to light the 12 lamps.  This they accomplished by setting a small ladder against the lamppost and mounting to where a match could be applied to the wick.  Every morning they made the rounds again, this time to turn the lights out and replenish the oil.  From time to time, as revenues would permit, the number of lamps was increased until about three dozen were in use.  This method of illuminating the streets continued until electric lights were installed a quarter of a century ago.

The Allen family traces back to Kentucky through Charles Allen, the father of the late James S. Allen, who came to Monroe county 100 years ago last month, entering land near Middle Grove from the Government.  This farm was operated by James S. Allen until his death.  It then passed to Mrs. Allen.  At her death it was deeded to the sons who now own it.  The original house was built of logs.  These logs are in the present building, though covered with weatherboarding.  The Allen family has many articles 100 years or more old, including a cherry sideboard. They also have a deed that was signed by Andrew Jackson.


First World War Victim

The first World War victim from Monroe county was J.T. Smelser, a Stoutsville boy.  Jim went to Canada before the war broke out and entered some land after England and Canada went to grips with Germany.  Smelser enlisted to the Canadian arm.  He was sent to England for training and hurried across to the firing line in France, where he fell a victim to the first German gas attack, and to shell shock.  He was sent back to a hospital in Toronto to recuperate.  All this happened before the U.S. entered into the war.


The First Soldier Letter

The first letter from a Monroe county boy in an army camp was received by the Appeal from Glendi Blakey, September 11, 1917.  It was written from Camp Funston and proved a high source of comfort to the families of other boys who were soon to go.  Blakey gave the daily routine of the embryo soldier, complimented the meals and closed as follows:

        “I am more than pleased with the camp and think that after you all get here and once get into line with things you will like it as well as I do.  I believe those who asked for exemption will be sorry in the long run.  

When Getting Married Had Its Drawbacks

Getting married in Monroe county was not such an easy matter about the time the Civil War came to a close.  In fact, there was not a preacher in Monroe county who could legally tie a knot during that period.  A case in point was the marriage of

William M. Farrell and Susan Virginia Weatherford, October 4, 1865.

The ceremony was performed by a combination preacher and justice of the peace at Old Milton, in Randolph county, there being no minister in Monroe county who could legally officiate at a wedding on account of the test oath required by the Federal authorities and to which they refused to subscribe.  The Farrell-Weatherford ceremony was said by the Old Milton minister in his capacity as a justice of the peace, and the contracting parties were assured that if they would do their part it would hold until the end of time.  The young people journey to their wedding in the only buggy that was owned in Woodlawn township.  It was the property of Dr. Porter, who insisted on its use when he learned the bride and groom were planning to make the trip on horseback.  They contracting parties were 18 years old.  The groom was just back from the South where he had fought in the Confederate army until his regiment was surrendered in Louisiana.  Mr. Farrell recalls that prices were about as high at that time as they are now.  It required every dollar he possessed to pay for a cherry dining table about the size of a latter-day card table.  Farmers received 73 cents a pound for their wool.  Everything was high except farm lands.

Mr. and Mrs. Farrell came to Paris in 1887.  Mr. Farrell was elected cashier of the Paris Savings Bank at the time and a little later was elected treasurer of Monroe county.  He was president of the Savings Bank until his death, having been continuously with the institution for 44 years and having been a potent factor in bringing it to its present high position among Missouri banks.

Mr. Farrell died three years ago.  Mrs. Farrell still presides over the old home place in Paris and still looks like the accompanying picture, which was taken 10 years or more ago.


Only Nurse To Lose Life

Miss Christine Colborn, daughter of Rev. R.T. Colborn of Paris, was the only woman from Monroe County to lose her life in the service of her country during the World War.  She died at Ft. Riley, Kansas, November, 1918, while serving as a Red Cross nurse.


The Second Victim of The World War

Harold Guthrie, who lived near Strother, was Monroe county’s second World War victim.  He died of spinal meningitis at Camp Funston in 1917 and was buried at Long Branch.


Civil War Letter Written in Prison

Civil War reminiscens always recall to Monroe county people the tragic death of one of their fellow citizens, Captain Thomas A. Sidener, formerly of Clay township, in what will always be known as the “Palmyra Massacre”.  Out of revenge for the disappearance of a Union officer, which was laid to Confederate sympathizers, the federal commandant at Palmyra, Gen. John McNeil, ordered that ten Confederate soldiers be executed with (out) the formality of a trial.  Captain Sidnener was one of the ten.  When the hour of execution arrived ten coffins were hauled out into a vacant lot.  Each of the condemned men was assigned to one of them and ordered to sit upon it while the firing squad assembled, remaining in that position until their lives were snuffed out by musket balls.

A letter written by Captain Sidnener the night before his death and a photograph the captain had made a few weeks before his capture, are now in the Appeal office.  They are the property of Charley Curry, near Granville, a kinsman of the captain.  The letter was as follows:

Military Prison

October 17, 1862

Dear Brothers and Sisters and Friends:--I seat myself for the last time towrite you a few lines.  I am in good health, but alas, tomorrow is the day set apart for me to be carried to another world.  Oh, I hope I will be received in heaven where justice is done.  I have not had a trial and they won’t give me any chance for my life.  Oh, I hope that God will forgive the unmerciful creatures that will commit the unpardonable act.  To take innocent men and shoot them for crimes they have never done.  We are to be shot for one man that J.C. Porter took away from here, a man that I never say in the life.  Oh, is this justice?  God in Heaven knows that it is not just.  Oh, can it be helped?  No mortal hand can do anything by pleading, no one but God can do anything for us.  Brothers and Sisters try to be good in the future, try to lead a pious and religious life.  Oh, do not delay long, you know not when you may be called away, liked myself.  Oh, that I could have the few years to live over again, I would lead a different life.  But alas, the moment is drawing near for me to leave you all, to meet again, only in Heaven where all religious people meet, never to part again.  Ellen, oh, that I could get to see you once more, but as it is impossible for us to meet again on earth, I hope we will met in Heaven.  Sister take care of yourself and little boy, and kiss him for me, and tell friends goodbye for your brother, who will be no more on this earth in a few hours.  Oh, my mind is so frustrated that I cannot write, can’t collect hardly a sentence, or spell word correctly.  But read it the best you can and think it is from your brother.  Ellen I want you to have this valise I have with me, and keep it in remembrance of me.  Frank, Lena, George, goodbye, goodbye, forever on this earth.  Jacob is with me.  I will tell him goodbye myself.  Take good care of yourselves, and try to get along the best you can through this hard, troublesome world.  Tell Uncle Thornton’s family goodbye, and all inquiring friends.  I have some little money with me, divide it to suit yourselves; I find I won’t have any use for it anymore.  Boys, you tell them I want you to pay my debts if you can, I don’t want any blemishes on my character after I am gone.  Oh, little did I think that I would have caught and shot.  If I had they never would have kept me this long.  I have had several chances to get away from them, but I thought they would do justice, and consequently I stayed, and now see what they are going to do with me.  Oh, if I had only known they were going to shoot me, I would have left them several days ago.

        October 18, 1862—Goodbye, this morning, to you all; brothers, sisters, relatives and friends.  I have to tell you all goodbye for the last time.  I am to be shot at 10 o’clock this morning.  The Federals won’t let Jacob come to see me.  I got to shake hands with him this morning.  I do not know that I will get to see him anymore, but if I do not, tell him goodbye for me.  I can only say farewell forever on this earth, but have brighter prospects for the future.  Have trust in God, and you will reap His rewards in Heaven.  Forever farewell, farewell.

                T.A. Sidener, Captain


First World War Enlistments

The first batch of enlistments in Monroe county after war on Germany was declared was composed of: J.E. Deaver, Paul Alexander, Edgar P. Blanton, Reginald Ragland, Glenn Blakey, Winfred Gregory, Jerome Flanders, Porter Janes, Russel Meier, and Kirt Peck.  They enlisted May 14th, 1917 for the training camp at Ft. Leavenworth.


Paragraphs from the County Court Record Book of 100 Years Ago

The First Court

First court was held at the home of Green V. Caldwell, Saturday February 26, 1831.

Andrew Rogers, John Curry and William P. Stephenson held commissions for the Governor, John Miller, as first justices of the court, for organization purposes.

Ebenezer W. McBride was appointed a clerk of the first court, with bond signed by Edward M. Holden, David Gentry, Richard Cave and Christopher C. Acuff.

John McGee was appointed assessor for 1831, with James H. Smith and John McKamey as his securities.  $400 bond.


First Permanent Judges

In May, 1831, Andrew Rogers, Robert Simpson and Reese Davis were appointed by the governor as permanent justices of the court of a four year term.

Robert Simpson was first president of this court.


First Collector

Samuel H. Smith was appointed collector for 1831, with James C. Fox, William Runkle and James Mappin as securities.


First Elections

First elections were ordered held at the home of John Mitts in Jefferson, with A.E. Hubbard, Richard Cave and Robert Donaldson as judges; at the place of holding court in Jackson, with James Mappin, Joseph Sproul and John McKamey as judges; at home of Reese Davis in Union, with Joseph Stephens, Jacob Whittenburg and George Saling as judges.


First Constables

First constables appointed were: Jefferson township, Milton Wilkerson; Union, Elliot Burton; Jackson, Isaac Coppedge.


Ten Merchants Licenses

In 1831, only ten merchants licenses were issued in the entire county.


Assessor Paid $1.75 a Day

John S. McGee, assessor, was paid the magnificent sum of $1.75 per day for 20 days for assessing the county, a total assessors salary of $35.00.


The First Surveyor

John S. McGee was appointed first surveyor, under $2,000 bond, signed by John McKamey, Ezexiel Bryan and Samuel H. Smith.


Regarding School Lands

James R. Abernathy was appointed commissioner of township school lands, under $15,000 bond, signed by Samuel H. Smith, David E. Stone, Esham Belcher, John M. Burton, Charles Burton, James Mappin, and John Burton.


Fox was Town Commissioner

James C. Fox was appointed town commissioner of Paris, with bond signed by William Wilcoxson, Elias Bozarth, James S. McGee, Ephrain Smith, and John S. McGee.


Helped Select County Seat

Stephens Glascock, one of the commissioners appointed to select a county seat, was paid $31.50 for his labors.


Early Road Overseers

Road overseers appointed at the August 1831 term were:

Robert Greening Abram Kirttance, Matthew Mappin, Stephen Scobee, Charles Eads, James S. McGee, Alexander Thompson, Hasten Fike, Garnet Noel, James Noel, Lasken Stamper.


Paris-Columbia Road

In 1831, James Mappin, Paul Harrison, John Curry, Silias Bozarth and Hasten Fike laid out the Paris-Columbia road; James Mappin, Joseph Sproul, James McGee and Matthew Mappin, the Paris-New London road; Isham Belcher, John Burton, David East, James C. Fox and John M. Burton, the Paris-Fayette road; Robert Greening, Hiram Thompson, John Yates and Alexander, the Paris-Florida road.


First Record Books

Robert Barr furnished the first 12 record books, bound in leather, for the clerks office for $67.


The First Guardian

Archibald Rice was the first guardian appointed in the county.  He was guardian for Lowery Adams, infant orphan of William Adams.


Early Office Supplies

Ebenezer W. McBride, clerk, was allowed $5 for paper, ink, powder and quills used in his office.


The 1832 Assessor

Daniel East was appointed assessor at the February term, 1832, with $400 bond.


The 1832 Collector

William Runkle was appointed collector, with a bond of $1800.


Early Ferry License

In February 1832, license to operate a ferry boat across Middle Fork of Salt River at Paris was issued to Edward M. Holden.


First Administrators

At the November term, 1832, James Dickson and Lucy Mothershead were appointed joint administrators of the estate of Benjamin Mothershead.  This is the first record of appointment of administrators of an estate.


$175 for Jail Work

Sylvester Hagan was paid $175 for construction work on the first county jail in November, 1832.


First Paris Tavern License

Marshal Kelley was issued the first license on record for keeping a tavern and public house of entertainment in Paris, in February, 1833.


Negro Ordered Sold

In February, 1832, the court ordered James Dickson and Lucy Mothershead, administrators of the Benjamin Mothershead estate, to sell a Negro woman names Jemina, aged about forty, and a girl slave named Eliza for “the best price” that can be obtained for said slaves.


Early Road Petition

Robert P. Stout enters into the record in May 1833, when he appeared before the court and petitioned for a road leading from the northwest corner of the county to Richard Caves mill on North Fork, somewhere near where Elliotsville bridge now stands, it is thought.


Carried Money From Jefferson

County officers went to Jefferson City for the money due to the county, instead of getting it by mail as at present.  An entry on June 22, 1833 allows Phillip Williams $16.25 for such a trip, and acknowledges receipt of $569.65 state tax from him.


Middle Fork Bridge

On March 17th, 1834, $500 was appropriated for building a bridge across Middle Fork at Paris.  It was to be located between the town spring branch, the branch which now runs into Middle Fork near the colored schoolhouse, and the county jail, which then stood near the river.  Samuel Crow, John H. Curry and James R. Abernathy were to superintend the building of the bridge.  It was to be 120 feet from abutment to abutment and six feet above the rive bank on the north side.  Jesse W. Pavey drew the plans.


Early Road Troubles

Early courts, as well as those of the present day, had their right-of-way troubles.  In March, 1835, the court appointed twelve disinterested commissioners to view a road which was proposed through the Boaz Maxey farm, and to which Mr. Maxey had objected.  The commission later allowed him $2.50 damages.


What It Cost To Cross By Ferry

A ferry license was grated at the February term 1836, to Spottswood Williams, to operate a boat across North Fork of Salt River at the Glenn & Bryan millsite.  Rates were to range from 3 cents for sheep, hog or goat, 11 ¼ center for foot passengers, to $1 for a four wheeled wagon with six horses, mules or oxen.  At the May term, a ferry license was issued to Sam Greening for operating a boat across North Fork near his home.


Florida Incorporated

At a special session of the court, February, 1837, the town of Florida, upon petition by two thirds of her citizens, was incorporated, and granted all powers held by an incorporated town.  James W. Hendren, Henry Thomas, John Quales, G.W. Moberly and Robert George were appointed the first town trustees.  Florida had been settled for several years, but had existed as an unincorporated village.


First Paris Town Trustees

Incorporation of the town of Paris was affected by the Monroe County Court at the August term 1837.  First trustees of the town were Alexander Thompson, John Heard, Christopher C. Acuff, John Williams and John W. West.  They were to continue as trustees until others could be duly chosen and qualified according to law.


License To Hickman Ferry

At the November term, 1837, a ferry license was granted to Hugh A. Hickman to operate a ferry across South Fork near Hickman’s Mill, just south of Florida.


Money for North Fork Bridge

In May, 1838, $500 was appropriated “out of the road and canal fund”, for the construction of a bridge across the North Fork of Salt River, at or near Hugh Meredith’s Mill.  The remainder of the expense of the bridge was to be met by popular subscription.


County Sent Many To Alaska For Gold

About thirty Monroe County citizens were lured to faraway Alaska during the gold excitement in 1898.

On March 1 of that year, D.J. Fields, James L. Fisher,

Gu. Heckart, Wm. Jones and John Thompson started on the long trip, as an advance guard for the Missouri-Alaska Gold Company that had been organized at Paris.

On the 19th of the following month the other 21 members of the party left Paris in a special Pullman car.  They were:

James B. Davis, T.G. Bassett, Tom J. Murphy, Chris Buerk, Marcus Rodes, John Parson, Henry White, Abe Hill, Dr. Wm. W. Allen, C.L. Dry, Dr. T.J. Dewey, Ed Power, J. R. Gordon, C.W. Brooks, J.M. Pfaff, J.A. Jones, M. Beagle, Les Crigler, D.C. Basy, Rube Holbrook, R.O. Osborn.

Henry Wright, of Santa Fe, and John Bryan, a Paris colored man, also made the long trip.

The first party made its way to Dawson City after incredible hardships and met with nothing but disappointment.  The main party was delayed many months at Seattle waiting for a steamboat they were having built for navigating the Yukon River in Alaska and dredging gold from its bed.  They finally chartered an old sailing ship, reaching an Alaskan port after 30 terrible days on the Pacific.  They finally made their way far above the Arctic circle and sunk many shafts 100 feet through the frozen soil to bedrock.  No gold was found.


Reminiscent of Early Days

Speed & Blakey, Paris undertakers and furniture dealers who are doing business on the same lot on which the business was started by W.E. Spalding in 1854, 77 years ago, have some very interesting relics of pioneer days in the undertaking business.  Stored in their basement are several sizes of “Roach back” coffins, handmade in the factory of the early owners of the business, and in many instances made of solid walnut.  The coffins are wide at the head and taper to a narrow end at the feet.  They were made to measure and fitted with handles selected by the family of the deceased.  Hundreds of these coffins made in Paris, were used in burying the honored dead of pioneer times.  In the same collection are specimens of pauper coffins that were used in the early days.

On the floor of the basement of the present business room are stains made there by painters staining coffins in the early days.  Park of the present building was that originally built by W.E. Spalding, founder of business.  The original glass for the front windows has been replaced by plate glass, and may now be seen in the windows of the American Shoe Shop, where it was installed after being taken out of the Spalding building.  These small double strength window glasses were the largest in Paris when first installed in the original building.  Plate glass was unknown.

Jim Speed, senior member of the present firm, recalls that he spent many days of his boyhood working in the basement of his uncle’s store, putting together and staining furniture and home-made coffins.

Speed & Blakey have a hand-written slip of paper pasted on the inside of a filing cabinet in their store which shows the prices paid for assembling furniture that had been made in the old furniture factory owned by the firm.

Prices paid for the assembling of some of the articles was as follows:  round lid walnut coffin, 75¢ to $1.25 depending upon size; flat lid pine coffins, 50¢ to 75¢; octagon coffins, $1 and $2; quarter marble bureau, $6.30; wood top bureau, $5.10; plain wood top bureau, $4.50; portable wardrobe $7.50; walnut cupboards and safes $2.40; linen safes, $1.80 and $2.10; extension tables, $2.25 to $4.40; French bedsteads with panel, $2.00; large round corner bedstead; $2.10 trundle beds 75¢; cradles 75¢.

The workmen assembling them drew the magnificent salary of $60 a month, $15 per week, the largest salary in town, if he worked steadily each day.


In a Florida Cemetery

In a cemetery at Florida, Monroe county, are found the graves of two of Mark Twain’s sisters, John Quarles and his wife Martha.  A marble mausoleum shelters the remains of Martha Quarles, who was born in Adain county, Kentucky, March 22, 1807, and died at Florida, Missouri, July 23, 1850, twenty-five years and seven months previous to the date that records the death of her husband.  The following tribute is graven on the marble slab that covers the tomb:

        “Thou are gone from us Martha, but death is defied

        To rob me of hope since the Savior has died

        And looking to Him, who salvation has given,

        I’ll meet thee, dear Martha,

        I’ll meet thee in Heaven”

In an abandoned cemetery, now a part of the public school grounds, is the grave of Grandfather Lampton.  It is unmarked except by native rocks which cover the grave and small boulders at the head and foot of his last resting place.


The History Of Some Pioneer Families

The McKamey family were Kentucky pioneers, going there from Pennsylvania soon after the Revolutionary War.  John McKamey came to Missouri in 1828 locating about 5 miles southeast of Paris.  His son, David McKamey was one of the largest land owners and stockmen in Monroe County.  In one sale back in the ‘80s he sold 80 steers that averaged 2,041 pounds a piece.

The Bledsoe family in Monroe county is descended from Joseph M. Bledsoe, a native of Virginia.  He came to Monroe county in 1852, beginning as a renter but later becoming the owner of a 200-acre farm.  He was the father of 10 children.

The Bounds families are descended from Thos. J. and Henrietta D. Bounds, who came to Monroe county in 1838, settling 8 miles west of Paris.

Drury Ragsdale, one of the founders of the Paris National Bank, came from Kentucky to the Old Clinton vicinity in Monroe county in 1826.  He became a Paris druggist in 1847 and later turned to farming.  He is buried in the Old Cemetery on North Main street.

The Heizer family of South Fork dates back to Joseph Heizer, who came from Virginia in 1836.

Walter Carrico came to Monroe county in 1836 and settled near Indian Creek, where he entered 600 acres of land.  His son Benedict, starting with 80 acres of land, acquired during his life time 700 acres, and a large amount of money raising cattle and mules.  Some of his descendents are now living near Indian Creek.

Hon. Patrick H. McLeod, born in Ireland in 1814, came to America in 1834 and to Monroe county in 1852, locating on Indian Creek.  He taught the first school in Monroe Township, held the office of Justice of the Peace more than 20 years, was a member of the 29th General Assembly wand was a farmer and stock raiser of note.  He reared a family of seven children.

The Bates family in Monroe county is descended from Washington Bates and Nancy Kerr, both natives of Virginia.  Mr. Bates served in the Southern cause and was in the battle of Blue Mill and Lexington.  He followed the stock raising and shipping business in South Fork township for many years.

Francis M. Brashears was one of fifteen sons of Solomon and Josephine Brashears, who, with his parents, came from South Carolina to Missouri, settling in Ralls county in 1831.  He later located near Santa Fe, Monroe county, where he followed the business of farming and blacksmithing, which trade he learned as a youth.  He reared a family of eleven children, several of whom now live in South Fork Township.

The ancestors of the Bybee family settled a mile and a half from Santa Fe so early that the nearest trading post was Hannibal.  The principal crops raised then were hemp and corn.

John S. Drake, M.D., born in Kentucky, reared in Monroe county, was the leading physician in the southeast part of the county for many years.  His father, Samuel Drake, served this district in the State Senate several years.  A prominent Whig he defeated the Democratic candidate from Palmyra by a large majority, receiving every vote except two in South Fork township.  Later he was elected representative of Monroe county to the Legislature.  Dr. John S. Drake served in the Confederacy under Col. Porter.  He was a prisoner at Alton some months, then banished from Missouri until the close of the war.  Graduated from Miami Medical College, Cincinnati, 1871, he returned to Santa Fe and became one of the county’s best loved physicians.

The Wilkerson family came to Missouri from Kentucky in 1826, settling in Boone county.  They came to Monroe county about 1833, following the dry goods and grocery business at Florida and Santa Fe, together with farming.  The grandfather of the present members of the family started a nursery on his farm near Santa Fe while looking after his store and serving as postmaster.

John James Bassett, graduate of Paris Academy and of the University of Missouri, was one of the pioneer farmers of Union township, coming to Middle Grove neighborhood.  He was one of the early teachers in Union township, teaching and farming alternately.  He married Miss Mary E. Hunt, a native of Monroe County.

James Ownby came to Missouri from Kentucky in 1827, being then 17 years of age.  He settled near Middle Grove and by 1835 had acquired a farm home and married Miss Sarah Dulaney whose parents were early settlers from Kentucky.  They reared a family of eight children.  Mr. Ownby owned one of the best farms in the county, served as constable for his township 16 years and two terms as sheriff of Monroe county, elected first in 1866.

Marcus D. Blakey, early merchant-farmer of Paris, came to Monroe county from Virginia in 1844, locating at Clinton and engaging in merchandising.  He moved to Paris, continuing in business until 1854.  During the time he bought 700 acres of land near Granville to which he moved and developed a fine stock farm.  He served his county as assessor in 1856 and as a member of the Legislature in 1878.

The Alexanders of Paris, descended from John Alexander, who came to America from near Belfast, Ireland, about 1775, locating first in Pennsylvania, then moving to Clark county, Kentucky.  John Alexander Jr., was born in Clark county in 1800, came to Missouri in 1841, settling on a farm five miles southwest of Paris.  He was a minister of the Christian Church and followed that profession while engaged in farming.  He married Miss Elizabeth Radland of Kentucky, and they reared five children, one of whom, Cicero Alexander, established a grocery business in Paris, the oldest grocery store continuing under one name in the County, Alexander and Sons.

The Bryan family came to Monroe county from Kentucky in 1836, settling south of Paris.

The Dawson family came to Monroe county from Kentucky in 1849, settling on a farm near Welch.  The father, Nathaniel Dawson, was said to have shipped more stock from the county than any other man.

The Burgess family are descendants of Pleasant M. and Rebecca Towles Burgess, who came from Virginia to Monroe county in 1842.  Mrs. Burgess was a farmer and one of the leading tobacco raisers of the county.  His son Robert M., early in life, became interested in livestock.  When only 14 years of age he drove stock to the St. Louis market, becoming known in the county and along the road as the boy stock-trader.  He became one of the county’s largest stock dealers and farmers, specializing in Shorthorn cattle.  He was a familiar figure for years at the county fair, capturing many premiums.

The Conyers family descended from Major Thomas W. Conyers, who came to Missouri in 1822 from Virginia.  He was a veteran of the war of 1812 and of the Black Hawk war.  Major Conyers settled in Boone county first, coming to Monroe county in 1836.  He followed both farming and mercantile life, his store in Paris being in charge of his son, John S., who afterwards entered the banking business with Judge D.H. Moss, being the first cashier of the Paris National Bank.

Thomas Crutcher, born in Kentucky, came to Monroe county in 1831.  He was the eleventh of twelve children.  His father sowed the first wheat grown in the county.  When 16 years of age, Mr. Crutcher entered a store in Paris to learn merchandising, studying at night to complete his education.  When 22, he was elected to the office of sheriff, serving 4 years as sheriff and collector.  In 1873, he was appointed county clerk to fill out the term of William N. Penn.  He was elected to the next term and filled that office many years.

John A. Delaney came to Monroe county from Kentucky in 1831.  Only 17 years of age, he and a brother had the care of his mothers family in a new country.  In 1834 he married Miss Sallie Sparks who bore him 12 children.  Mrs. Delaney died in 1852 and Mr. Delaney later married a Miss Hammonds.  To this union were born six children.  Mr. Delaney started farming with 50 acres of land, two horses, a wagon,a “skillet and lid”, bed and bedding and a few household articles.  By industry and thrift he acquired 400 acres of find land well stocked with houses, mules, cattle, hogs and sheep.

The Fields family is of Maryland and Kentucky ancestry.  Henry H. Field came to Monroe county in 1855 settling on a farm north of Paris.

The Forman family is descended from John and Susan Caldwell Foreman, who came to Monroe county in 1831, settling 7 miles west of Paris.  A son of this couple, William H. Foreman, was the first teacher of vocal music in the county.  Beginning about 1836 he taught “singing school” almost 50 years.

James Cephae Fox, born in Fayette county, Kentucky in 1802, came with his parents to the Territory of Missouri in 1819, settling near Middle Grove.  This was the first settlement in what is now known as Monroe county, and was known for many years as the Fox Settlement.  Mr. Fox acquired the land in and around the present site of Paris.  After Monroe county was formed from Ralls county, Mr. Fox deeded part of his land to the county for the town of Paris.  He was appointed commissioner to lay ff the town and sell the lots when Paris was selected as the county seat.  He helped survey the first public road in the county.  He and Robert Caldwell opened the first store in Paris, An article in the Christian written at the time of his death, stated that he was the first person in the county to be “baptized upon the simple confession of his faith”.  This was at a Baptist meeting.  Soon after he was one of six to organize the Christian Church.  His history is the early history of the county and of the Christian Church, so devoted was his life to each.  In 1866, he was elected a member of the state legislature.

The Glascock family came from Virginia to Ralls county in 1820, becoming the largest stock owners and land holders in the county, besides raising a family of 13 children.  One of the sons, French Glascock, represented the county in the legislature, 1858-1860. 

He moved to Monroe county in 1866, locating near Holliday, where he became a dominant factor in the farm and community life of that part of the county.

Abel Johnson, one of a family of 22 children, came to Missouri from Kentucky in 1839, locating near Middle Grove.  The next year he bought land south of Paris, near Elk Fork, where the family have since lived.  He and his wife, who was Miss Mary Hibler of Kentucky, raised a family of 11 children.

The McCann family in Monroe county, is descended from Pleasant and Susan Dawson McCann, who came to Missouri from Kentucky in 1839, settling south of Paris.  Mr. McCann was one of the county’s largest landholders and stock raisers, owning 2000 acres of fine farm land.

The McGee family was among the pioneer Virginians who settled Kentucky in the days of Boone and Clark.  Of this family John McGee came to Missouri in 1822, settling in Howard county.  In 1825 he started with his wife and family of 12 children, to Monroe county, expecting to locate about 8 miles south of Paris.  Somewhere between the Middle Grove settlement and this point he and a daughter who were driving cattle some distance behind the wagon and family, were caught in a prairie fire and burned so severely that they died in a few days.  The mother and older children established a home as the father had planned, became men and women of influence, and are now part of Monroe county history.