Missouri American History and Genealogy Project-Putnam County

Biographies from "History of Adair, Sullivan, Putnam and Schuyler counties, Missouri, from the Earliest Times to the Present," 1888

Jasper N. Comstock, member of the firm of Comstock Bros., dealers and manufacturers of harness, saddlery, etc., was born in Unionville, June 1, 1860, and has always resided in the town of his nativity. He worked upon the farm and in a carding mill until nineteen years old, and then learned the harness trade with A. M. Sweet of Unionville, with whom he remained until April, 1883, and soon after that time purchased the stock of H. F. Hughes, and has since been located at his present place of business. In November, 1881, he was united in marriage to Ida Robbins, a native of the county, by whom two sons and one daughter have been born. He is a member of the A. O. U. W. His brother, James M., who resides upon the farm, is his partner in the business above mentioned, in which they employ two men and carry a fine stock, ranking among the enterprising merchants of Unionville. John G, the paternal grandfather of our subject, died in Howard County, Kas. Frank French, the father, came from Iowa to Putnam County, in 1860, and operated a carding mill about fifteen years, since which time he has followed agricultural pursuits. The mother, Mary (Underwood) Comstock, is still living. Jasper N. is one of twelve children -- five sons and seven daughters born to Mr. and Mrs. Comstock, of whom three sons and five daughters still live.

Alexander Elson, postmaster of Unionville, Putnam Co., Mo., was born in Clark County, Mo., July 1, 1839, and is a son of Richard T., who was born in Kentucky, near Louisville, and in 1837 married there to Zenobia Dinwiddle, also a native of the same State. In 1837 they moved to Marion County, Ind., and two years later to Clark County, Mo., landing in Alexandria in March, 1839. They are now both residents of Putnam County, living near Unionville. The paternal great-grandfather of our subject came from England, and located in Kentucky, where Alexander's grandfather, Cornelius, was born. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and participated in Perry's victory. He died in Wayne County, Iowa. Mr. Elson is the eldest child of the six sons and four daughters born to his parents. Four sons were raised to maturity and are still living. Alexander Elson, when about twelve years old, was taken by his parents to Lee County, Iowa, and about six years later to Wayne County, Iowa, where he was married in 1861 to Martha Toliver, a native of McLean County, 111. He engaged in farming in Wayne County until April 1, 1866, and then moved to Unionville, where he embarked in the dry goods trade, under the firm name of Elson & Elson, an uncle being the other member of the firm. He continued in the mercantile business for twelve years, and then engaged in the lumber business until June, 1886, when he sold out to the Baldwin Lumber Company, of Keokuk, Iowa. Since that time he has devoted his time to farming and fulfilling the duties of the post-office, to which position he was commissioned August 25, 1885. He now owns a farm of 160 acres in Union Township. He has had two sons and four daughters, but two of the daughters are now deceased. He is a member of the A. O. U. W.

Joseph U. Martin was born in Seneca County, Ohio, April 27, 1835, and is the son of Daniel and Mary (Snyder) Martin, natives of Maryland and Pennsylvania, and born May 28, 1804, and August 8, 1803, respectively. The family moved to Ohio when Indians inhabited the country, and in 1826 settled in the Seneca reserve, where the father entered and improved land, and resided until 1837. He then moved to Cass County, Ind., and in 1845 to Howard County, Ind., settling in the midst of Miami Indians. Here he improved a farm and resided until 1853, when he sold his property, and moved to Missouri, where he made his home with his son until his death. At that time he had been postmaster of Livonia for seven years. Joseph U. moved to Indiana with his father in 1853, settling in Putnam County, Mo., where he bought and improved land. He is now the owner of 307 acres of meadow and plow land, and is one of the successful and leading farmers of his part of the county. While in Howard County, Ind., he was married, in May, 1853, to Miss Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander and Elizabeth Garringer, formerly of Ohio. Mrs. Martin was a native of Indiana, and Mr. Martin is the father of eleven children: Francis M. (married, and on the home place), Melinda E. (wife of W. H. Huston, of Illinois), William A. (of Nebraska), Idella (wife of William Minks), Ulysses S., Elmer E., Nelson E., Clara B. (who died at the age of four years), Charles W., Dora M. and Bertie. Four of these children were by his first wife, who died in February, 1864. The other wife of Mr. Martin was Hannah E. Forbes, daughter of David Forbes, formerly of Tennessee. During war time Mr. Martin enlisted in the Home Guards in 1861; in 1862 he was in the provisional service, and in 1863 and 1864 in the State Militia. He was in the State's service during the entire time, and was mustered out at home. He is a Republican in polities, and has served two years as collector and constable of his township, and, about six years ago, began a service of two terms as postmaster of Livonia, Mo.

William Munn, farmer and stock raiser, Section 30, Jackson Township, P. O. Terre Haute, was born in Scioto County, Ohio, November 9, 1848. His father, Ira H. Munn, was a native of the same county and State, as was also his mother, Eliza Jane Rice. Their deaths occurred in August, 1866, and February, 1867, respectively, and the lifelong occupation of the father was that of farming. Our subject grew to manhood in his native county upon the farm, and received a common-school education. February 29, 1876, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary Elizabeth, daughter of J. Brant, now deceased. Mrs. Munn was born in Scioto County, Ohio, and is the mother of two children: Nora and Floyd Clifton. She is also the mother of two children who died in infancy. After his marriage Mr. Munn farmed three years in his native county, and then moved west to Missouri, settling in September, 1879, near his present residence. He purchased his present farm in the spring of 1887, which consists of 160 acres of prairie land, all fenced and devoted to meadow, pasture and plow land. He has two good houses, each one and a half stories high, besides good outbuildings, and has a nice orchard of about lOO apple trees and other fruits. He is a Master Mason of the Unionville Lodge, and in politics a Eepublican, but has never sought nor held office.

Capt. John Wyckoff was born in Ross County, Ohio, in 1813, and is a son of Nicholas and Margaret (Tweed) Wyckoff, natives of Maryland. When young they were both brought by their parents to Ross County, Ohio, where they were reared, and in 1806 united in marriage. The mother died in 1823, and in 1826 Mr. Wyckoff married Susan Cradel. In 1827 he removed to Warren County, Ind., now White County, and from there to Warren County, 111., in 1836. In 1841 he went to Wapello County, Iowa, and from there, in 1855, he went to Pottawatomie County, Kas. He was a farmer by occupation, a soldier in the War of 1812, and died in 1869. John Wyckoff, our immediate subject, received a common-school education during his younger days, and began life for himself at the age of seventeen, working as a farm hand until twenty years old. He was then engaged as a boatman on the Mississippi River four years, and in 1836 was married, in Illinois, to Miss Maria, daughter of Samuel and Nancy Merrill, and a native of Ross County, Ohio. This union was blessed with eleven children, all of whom are living: Oapt. George (of Appanoose County, Ia.), Norman S., Dr. Norval, Nancy (wife of William Boner), Perry, Aria Adna (wife of William Stewart), Margaret (wife of George Porter), Eliza (widow of Elbert Dillon), Rachel (wife of David McKay), Amelia (wife of James McKinley, of Macon County) and Barbara. In about 1840 Capt. Wyckoff removed to Johnson County, Iowa, living there until 1856, when he came to Putnam County, Mo., and located in Union Township, eight miles north of Unionville. Here he owns a nice farm of. 226 acres, besides two other tracts, which make his possessions 311 acres in all, which is the result of a life of labor and good management. Upon the commencement of the Rebellion, being a strong Union sympathizer, Capt. Wyckoff, early in 1862, enlisted in Company D, First Missouri State Militia Cavalry, of which he was made first lieutenant. In September of the same year he was promoted to the captaincy, which office he held with credit and distinction until March, 1865. He was then transferred to Company A, consolidated battalion of the First Missouri Militia, and finally mustered out in July, 1865. He served in Southwest Missouri during the entire time. Four of his sons were also soldiers in the Union army. The eldest, George, was captain of Company D, Eighteenth Missouri, for three years; Norman S. served in the Thirteenth, Twenty-fifth and First Missouri Engineer Corps four years and two months; Norval was first lieutenant in the Forty-second Missouri Infantry ten months, and Perry joined the Eighty-fourth Illinois, and at the battle of Stone River was captured and taken to Andersonville, and from there to Libby prison, where he was afterward paroled and exchanged, and in June, 1863, rejoined his company. After being wounded at the battle of Chickamauga he was discharged and returned home, but in July, 1864, again enlisted in Company C, Forty-second Missouri Infantry, and served until 1865. Capt. John Wyckoil has served as county judge of Putnam County two year's prior to the war, and the remainder of the time since. In 1882 he was elected to represent Putnam County in the State Legislature, and served one term. He was a faithful and earnest soldier, and the same qualities have distinguished his public career since. He was reared a Democrat and cast his first presidential vote for Cass in 1848, but since the war has been an uncompromising Republican. Himself and wife are worthy members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and have had seventy-nine grandchildren, sixty-six of whom are living at present. N. S. Wyckoff was born April 25, 1840, in Iowa City, Iowa, and moved with his parents to Putnam County in 1856, where he has since resided. He received a common school education in Iowa, and was reared upon a farm. He began life for himself at the age of nineteen with no capital but now owns 260 acres of well-improved and cultivated land, which is the result of a life of industry and toil. In 1861 he enlisted in Company A, Thirteenth Missouri Infantry, four months later joining the Twenty-fifth Missouri Infantry, and two years later served in the First Missouri Engineer Corps, serving as first lieutenant. He was mustered out of service July 28, 1865, at St. Louis. September 20, 1861, he was taken captive at Lexington, Mo., but was paroled two days later. May 3, 1866, he was united in marriage to Miss Angelia Albee, a native of Boston, Mass., and daughter of Moses D. and Emily (Greenaugh) Albee, natives of Maine and Massachusetts, respectively. To Mr. and Mrs. Wyckoff ten children have been born: Edward Lincoln, Emily M., Frank A., William O., Jerome P., Alva M., Alta May, Annie L., Ora Leon and Lora Lee (twins). Mr. and Mrs. Wyckoff are active members of the Mount Zion Church, and he is also trustee and clerk. In politics he is a Republican, and has served his township as clerk and treasurer of the board of education, and has also been county assessor. He is a member of the G. A. E., and one of the well-to-do and respected citizens of the county. He was the second of a family of eleven children born to John and Maria (Merrill) Wyckoff, natives of Ross County, Ohio.

George W. Young, Sr., farmer of Elm Township, and a native of Washington County, Ky., was born in 1822. He is the eldest of eleven children of Jacob and Elizabeth (Stumph), Young, natives of North Carolina and Kentucky, respectively, who were married in Kentucky about 1818. In 1826 they went to Ralls County, and from there to Putnam County in 1840, where they spent the remainder of their lives. The father was a volunteer in the Black Hawk and Mexican Wars, and died in 1851. The mother died in 1867 and was a member of the Christian Church. George W. lived at home with his parents during his youth, but on account of poor educational advantages offered by Ralls County, Mo., in that early day, received but a meager education. He accompanied his parents upon their removal to Putnam County, Mo., and in 1844 was married to Miss Eliza, daughter of Jesse and Nancy Trewhitt, and a native of Morgan County, Tenn. To this union thirteen children have been born, ten of whom are living: Richard J., Lucinda (wife of J. T. Walls), George W., Sarah (widow of Wesley Vermillion), Andrew C, John A., Rachel E. (wife of David Sinkingbeard), William Shennan, Sheridan and Abraham Lincoln. Since his marriage Mr. Young, has made his home in Elm Township, Putnam County, with the exception of two years spent in Texas and three years in Arkansas. Since 1857 he has been the owner of his present farm which now consists of 207 acres, he having given his children about 700 acres. His property is the result of his own labor and business ability, and is situated twelve miles southeast of Unionville. At the commencement of the Rebellion Mr. Young enlisted in Company E, Eighteenth Missouri Infantry, and operated mostly in Northern Missouri. He served as corporal part of the time, and during the entire war did not receive a wound nor was he captured. He is an early settler of Putnam County, and was well acquainted with Black Hawk, with whom he often hunted. He was a Whig before the war but has since become a Republican. His first presidential vote was cast for Clay in 1844. He is a member of the G. A. R.

John Young was born August 24, 1834, in Wigtownshire, Scotland, and is the second child of William and Jeanette (McGau) Young, natives of the same place. The family emigrated to the United States in 1849, locating first in Beaver County, Penn. The mother died in Gallia, Ohio, and the father in Putnam County, Mo. He was a son of Thomas Young, a Scotchman who lived and died in his native land. The mother was a daughter of Nathan McGau, a Scotchman of great physical power, and considered the stoutest man in his county. John Young accompanied his parents to the United States in 1849. In 1854 he went to Ashtabula, Ohio, where he served an apprenticeship of three years at the carpenter's trade. About 1859 he came to Putnam County, Mo., where he has since resided, and where he now owns and lives upon a finely improved farm of 860 acres, besides owning other tracts of land in the county. In 1861 he enlisted in Company A, Second Missouri State Militia, serving as corporal during the entire war. In 1863 he married Miss Rachel Fry, a native of Ohio, and of Pennsylvania-Dutch descent. Twelve children were born to this union : one who died in infancy, Frances Jeanette, Wilford, one who died unnamed, Jacob, William Thomas, Arthur, Melissa, George, Margaret, Rachel and Anna. Mrs. Young is an active member of the Christian Church. In politics Mr. Young is a Republican, and has served his township in various local official capacities, although he does not seek public notice. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity.

This website created March 19, 2014 by Sheryl McClure.
Missouri American History and Genealogy Project