Henry A. Purnel, Vernon Co, MO USGenWeb Project



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From the 1887 History of Vernon County, Missouri, p. 447:

Henry A. Purnel

(Farmer and Stock-raiser, Section 20, Post-office, Nevada).

   Mr. Purnel is a native of the “Hoosier State,” Indiana, his natal day having been September 14, 1831, and his birthplace Fountain county.  Samuel Purnel, his father, was born in Bath county, Ky., in 1797, and died in 1852; his wife was born in the same county as himself and in the same year, but she still survives and is remarkably well preserved in years and strength.  Her maiden name was Elizabeth Price.  Nine children, five boys and four girls, were in their family, six of whom now survive, and of these all but Henry and one of his brothers, now in this county and township, live in Indiana.  Henry grew to manhood in Indiana on a farm, and during his entire life has followed that industry.  In 1852 he was married to Miss Nancy E. Justus, whose birth occurred in Montgomery county, Ind., in 1836.  After this event he continued to till the soil until the war cloud broke in all its fury over the country, when he was drafted into the service.  But his numerous home cares and unquestioned obligations to his large family forbade him taking active part, and he accordingly hired a substitute, though he was a stanch Union man and in full sympathy with every move made by the Federal Government.  Upon leaving Indiana, Mr. Purnel moved to Kansas and remained fourteen months, but not being satisfied with that portion of the country, he became located in this county in 1882 and has since continued to reside here, taking an active part in every worthy movement and all enterprises tending to the good of the community.  His well improved farm contains 300 acres, with a good supply of water and timber.  In the management of this place he is ably assisted by his family, each of whom is not afraid of work.  He is a man of positive convictions, but far removed from that firmness which so often becomes disagreeable.  In politics he is a strong Republican and in religious matters adheres to the principles of the Methodist faith.  Mr. and Mrs. Purnel have had seven sons and three daughters, but two of these children are dead, Anna, who died in 1872, and Albert, whose death occurred in 1870.  Mrs. Nancy E. Purnel was the daughter of Patrick and Elizabeth Justus, of Montgomery county, Ind.  His father was a very pious man, a class leader in the United Brethren Church.  He died and left his wife with five little children to raise.  She provided well for them, and was very careful to train them religiously.  Her prayer was that she might live to see them all raised.  When they were all grown—three girls and two boys—then she died of dead palsy, and was laid by the side of her husband to rest.



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Vernon Co, MO County Coordinator

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