Biographies B - MoGenWeb

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


William S. Babb

William S. Babb, an intelligent and energetic young farmer of Scott County, was born in West Tennessee, January 24, 1852. He is a son of Thomas and Emily (Davis) Babb, both of whom were natives of Tennessee. The family immigrated to Kentucky at an early day, and located at Hickman, where the father died. The mother still lives in Kentucky. They were the parents of nine children, six, of whom, James L., William S., Martha, Henry, Charles and Mary, are living. William S. was reared to farm life, and received a liberal education in his own district. He remained with his parents in Kentucky, until 1881, when he came to Missouri. After remaining in Mississippi County one year, he went back to Kentucky. In 1884 he made a permanent settlement in Scott County, Mo. He then purchased the farm he now owns and occupies. He has chosen farming as a life vocation, and bids fair to become, one the first farmers in the county. In 1885 he was united in marriage with Ida Holmes, by whom he has one child, Clarence. Mr. Babb is a member of the I.O.O.F.

James W. Baker

James W. Baker, a farmer, was born in Wet Tennessee on February 29, 1853, and is a son of Lewis and Elizabeth (Dudley) Baker, both natives of North Carolina. When young Lewis Baker immigrated to Tennessee with his parents. In 1857 he removed to New Madrid County, Mo., but soon after went to Scott County. He stopped on Little River, where he purchased a farm, upon which he lived for two years. He then rented and moved his family to the farm upon which James W. now lives. He remained there until his death, in 1873. His wife died in 1865. They were the parents of eight children, four of whom are living: William H., Thomas F., Sarah E. and James W. Those deceased are Martha F., John H. L., Charles N. and Benjamin F. The subject of this sketch was but four years of age when he came with his father to Missouri. He remained with his parents until their deaths. In 1875 he was united in marriage with Eunice J. Green, a daughter of J.D. Green. To them have been born six children: Lewis D., Jennie, Nora E., James W., Jr., Susie J. and Grover C. Mr. Baker cultivates 550 acres of land. He is a member of the Masonic lodge and I.O.O.F. He and wife are church members.

William Ballentine

William Ballentine, a prominent citizen of Scott County, Mo., was born in Scotland, in 1826. He is a son of James and Elizabeth (Stoddard) Ballentine, both of whom lived and died in Scotland. His mother dying when he was a child, William was reared by his grandfather until he was ten years of age, after which he lived on sheep-farms with Mrs. Carson and others, until he was fifteen years of age. He then served as an apprentice in a blacksmith shop for five years, after which he worked at his trade until he had saved money enough to pay his way to America. In 1847 he set sail for New York, and upon his arrival went to Middleton, Conn., where he remained two years working at his trade. It was about this time that the news of the excitement over the discovery of gold in California reached him, and he accordingly started west. Reaching Winnebago County, Ill., he worked at his trade until the next March (1850), when he with ten other men started across the plains with teams for the gold fields. They lost their wagon-load of supplies in Weber River, near Salt Lake, but were provided by other emigrants with crackers to eat until they reached Salt Lake City. Arriving in California, in August, Mr. Ballentine worked at his trade in the mines until the fall of 1851, when he came to Commerce, Mo., via New Orleans. Locating in Commerce, he worked at his trade five years. In 1853, on the 4th day of April, he was married to Nancy Pierrre, a native of Humphreys County, Tenn., and resided in Commerce until the beginning of the Civil War, when he removed his family to Santa Fe, Ill. He returned to Missouri, and in 1862, under Gov. Gamble, was appointed Clerk of Scott County Court, and served until January 1, 1867. In the same year, under Gov. Fletcher, he was appointed Judge of the Common Pleas Court. Soon after his court was abolished. Meantime Mr. Ballentine had read law and was admitted to the bar. In 1866 he entered the land, which he now resides. Since entering the land he has cleared and improved over 500 acres, nearly all swamp lands. Mrs. Ballentine died in 1884, leaving one child, Charles. She left four children now dead, viz: Elizabeth, William, Nancy and Lucy. Lucy lived to be grown and was postmistress in Commerce at the time of her death. Mr. Ballentine served as postmaster of commerce for several years. He married the second time, choosing for his wife Mrs. Emily (Brooks) Sewell. Mrs. Ballentine had three sons and five daughters by her first marriage, viz: Alice, Jane and Florence at the home of our subject; Josephine and Dora, married, and Frank, living near Commerce. Of the other two boys, one is dead.

William R. Batts

William R. Batts, an enterprising farmer and stock grower of Scott County, Mo., was born in Cheatham County, Tenn., August 13, 1851. The parents, Benjamin F. and Sarah Ann (Gupton) Batts, were born in Tennessee, the former on January 5, 1828, and the latter on February 1, 1832. They were reared and married in their native State, after which they engaged in farming. In 1866 they came to Southeast Missouri, but after four and one-half years returned to Tennessee. However, they came back to Southeast Missouri in 1876, and located on land which they purchased near the farm of William R. Batts, on which they have since resided. To them were born thirteen children. Those living are: William R., Sarah (Mrs. H.H. Daugherty), Martha (Mrs. D.A. Porter), Nicholas C., John T. and Caledonia. Those dead are Mary F. (wife of I.E. Wilson), Robert (aged seven years), James (aged two years), Calvin and Allan, Cullie (aged one and one-half years) and Juda (aged ten years). William R. Remained with his parents until he reached his majority, when he engaged in farming for himself, first in Stoddard County, and then in Tennessee, but in 1871 he came back to Missouri, and after working eighteen months in Dunklin County, returned to Tennessee. In 1875 he returned to Scott County, and located on his present farm in Morley Township. He was elected justice of the peace of the township, on November 15, 1886, and is clerk of his school district. He has been married twice; first, February 7, 1878, to Julia A. Finley, who was born January 2, 1842, and died December 20, 1883. To them were born two children: Benjamin R. (born March 24, 1879) and John A. (born March 24, 1882). He next married Emma E. Jones, on January 15, 1885. She was a native of Kentucky, born March 5, 1869, and is a daughter of George W. L. and Sophronia I. (Potter) Jones. Her father died in July, 1879, after which her mother and family came to Southeast Missouri, in 1880, and located on a farm in Scott County. She is the mother of nine children: Lewis A., Marion A., Alice D., Ada A., Emma E., Ella M., Henry A. (deceased), Robert J. (deceased) and Charles H. (deceased). By this union Mr. Batts has two children: Industry (born October 15, 1885) and Marion born April 2, 1887, died when three days old). Mrs. Batts, is a member of Methodist Episcopal Church South. He belongs to the I.O.O.F.

Jesse R. Berry

Jesse R. Berry, a substantial farmer of Scott County, is a native of that county, born on November 27, 1823. He is a son of Thomas and Sarah (Frend) Berry, natives of Kentucky and Scott County, Missouri, respectively. The paternal great-grandfather was born in Ireland, and married a Franch lady, after which he removed to France, but had to leave that country in order to hold his slaves. He and family soon immigrated to the United States. The grandfather of our subject, Joseph Berry, died in Hopkins County, Ky. The Frend family emigrated from Switzerland to the United States to fight for Gen. Washington. After independence had been gained and peace restored they removed west and landed at Cairo on June 4, 1801. They crossed the river and entered a Spanish claim, one mile square, now known as the Watkins farm. Here two or three generations lived and died. They were farmers and successful business men. Thomas Berry, the father of Jesse R, with his three brothers, Joseph, William and Reuben, served under Gen. Jackson in the War of 1812, and were in the battle of New Orleans. Thomas immigrated to Scott County, Mo., about 1815, and entered 120 acres of land near the Watkins farm. After erecting a little log house in the timber, he began clearing the land which he afterward converted into a good farm, upon which he lived until his death about 1835. His wife died in 1858. They had six children, of whom Louisa, Jesse R. and Maria are living. Thomas J., Elmira and Richard are dead . Jesse R. has been a resident of Scott County during his life, and has witnessed its growth from a wilderness to its present high state of cultivation. He has made farming his chief occupation, and now cultivates about 200 acres of land. He has been married twice, the first time in 1856 to Hannah Andrews, who died in 1861. In 1874 he married Julia A. Snyder, by whom he has five children: William M., Charles J., Virginia J., Sarah A. and Lysander. Mr. Berry is a Mason and a member of the Wheeler Society.

Eliphalet L. Brown

Eliphalet L. Brown, one of the prominent citizens of Scott county, Mo. was born in Mississippi County, April 10, 1845. He is a son of Francis M. and Julia A. (Seaton) Brown [see sketch]. The subject of this sketch was reared on his father's farm in Mississippi County, as was mostly educated in the common schools. He attended one session at Chirstian Brothers' College, St. Louis. In 1872 he was married to Cleo P. Lane, by whom he has one child, E. Lindsay. Mrs. Brown died in 1877, and he was again married on June 17, 1878, choosing for his second wife S. Alice, a daughter of Amalphus and Mary (Hacker) Simonds. The former was a native of New York. Mrs. Simonds was born in Union County, Ill., and is a daughter of Capt. John S. Hacker, who settled in Union County, Ill., about 1810, and figured prominently in Southern Illinois during the remainder of his life. He spent thirty years in Jonesboro where he erected the Pioneer Hotel. At the head of a company of ninety-six men he served through the Mexican War, after which he made an overland trip to California. His wife, Eliza Miliken, whose father gave the name of Miliken Bend to a curve in the Mississippi River, died in 1853. Capt. Hacker then removed to Cairo, and died at Anna, Ill., in 1878, in his eighty-ninth year. Mr. and Mrs. Brown have one child, Amalphus S. On December 9, 1884, Mr. Brown removed to his present farm in Scott County. He owns 1,800 acres of land 1,000 acres of which are under cultivation, with good improvements. He also owns what is known as Price's Landing, one of the oldest steamboat landings in Southeast Missouri. Mrs. Brown is a member of the Episcopal Church.

Elisha F. Bryant

Elisha F. Bryant resides on a fine farm of 600 acres, with about 200 acres under cultivation, in Morley Township, Scott County, Mo. He is a native of the county, born in 1855, and is a son of Joseph and Manthesous (Merritt) Bryant, natives of Tennessee and Kentucky, respectively. When a boy Joseph Bryant came from his native State to Southeast Missouri with his parents, Elisha and Margaret (Penn) Bryant. The family located on Little River and engaged in farming, where the parents died at a ripe old age. They had nine children, all of whom are now dead. Joseph Bryant was reared on his father's farm, and about 1846 settled on the farm where the subject of this sketch now resides. The former lived near until his death in 1861. His widow, who afterward became the wife of R.B. Steele, of Kentucky, is residing near the home place. To Joseph Bryant and wife were born six children: Mary f. (Mrs. J.H. Greer), Elisha F. and John J. (twins, deceased), Wilson (deceased), Margaret (Mrs. George A. Mathews) and Josephine Ann (Mrs. W.F. Miller). By her marriage with Mr. Steele, the mother has two children, Wilson B. and Donno Inis, both of whom are at home. After he reached fifteen years of age Elisha F. assisted his mother on the farm, and about 1878 purchased the farm and has since resided there, with the exception of fourteen months in Morley. He was married in 1878 to Alice Owens, a native of the county, born in 1859, and a daughter of John and Lucretia (Hamilton) Owens, natives of Southeast Missouri and Indiana, respectively. They came to Scott County at an early day, and had seven children, of whom Alice is the only one living. Those deceased are Edward T., William M., Elvira, Lucretia, Mary A., and an infant unnamed. The parents both died in 1875, the father in October 28, aged forty-two years, and the mother on November 28, aged forty-six years. Mr. and Mrs. Bryant have three children, Goeda A., Cora C. and John F. Mr. Bryant is now serving as constable of Morley.

William H. Bugg

William H. Bugg, a prominent farmer of Scott County, Mo., was born in Tennessee in 1847, and was reared in Kentucky. His parents, Jesse and Eliza (Atchison) Bugg, were natives of Tennessee and were reared and married in their native State. In 1848 they removed to Kentucky and located on a farm in Hickman County, where they remained until 1867, when they came to Southeast Missouri and settled on a farm in Morley Township, Scott County, where the subject of this sketch now lives. Mr. Bugg died in 1870, aged sixty years. Mrs. Bugg died about 1860, aged thirty-eight years. They had seven children, four of whom are dead, viz: Martha E., Ann M., Mary S. and Jesse H. Those living are William H., John A. and James R. After the death of Mrs. Bugg, Mr. Bugg married Mrs. Mary E. Sanders, by whom he had one child, Eliza C., the wife of O.M. Wilson. William H. remained on his father's farm until the death of the latter, and in 1872 was united in marriage with Miss Janie Wilson, who bore him two children, Thomas L. and William E., deceased. She died in April 1876, aged twenty-two years. Mr. Bugg was married again January 24, 1878, choosing for his wife Lucy W. Townes, a daughter of William M. and Mary C. (Dodson) Townes, natives of Virginia and North Carolina, respectively. The family removed to Tennessee in 1854 and resided until their deaths, the father's in 1863 and the mother's in 1873, aged forty-one and forty years, respectively. They had six children, Stephen A., Eddie E. (Mrs. James Trainer, of Arkansas), L.A. (Deceased), Lucy W., William M. (of Texas), and Nathaniel F. By a previous marriage with Eliza Thomas, Mr. Townes had four children, of whom one, James M., is living. Those dead are Thomas J., Monroe C. and Mary I., wife of Dr. C.C. Harris of Benton, Mo. Mrs. Bugg came to Southeast Missouri in 1874 and resided with Mrs. Harris until the former's marriage. Mr. Bugg has a fine farm of 160 acres with 100 acres under cultivation. He and wife have two children, Minnie I. and Otto.