HISTORY OF HICKORY, POLK, CEDAR, DADE AND BARTON COUNTIES, MISSOURI  1889, published by Goodspeed 


page 719, 720                   
              
Dr. Alfred Barter, a practicing physician and surgeon, also a successfully fruit-grower of Virgil City, was born in London, Ontario, Canada, in 1854, and is the son of J. E. and Sarah (Jones) Barter, natives of England and Canada, born in 1818 and 1825, respectively.  When eleven years of age J. E. Barter emigrated with his parents to Canada, lived for some in Montreal, and then came to London, where he married and resided until 1870.  He then moved to Virgil City, Mo., and here Mrs. Barter died in 1872.  A few years since Mr. Barter went to Los Angeles, Cal., where his is living at the present time.  He is a man of no little intelligence and ability, and has been traveling salesman for different wholesale establishments of various kinds nearly all his life.   He did military service during the trouble in Canada in 1837.  He has one son and two daughters now living, the Doctor being the eldest.  One daughter, Clara, is the wife of Hon. W. B. Lewis, who represents Cedar County in the Legislature, and the other daughter, Annie, now in Los Angeles, Cal., is a celebrated portrait artist; one of her most elaborate woks adorns Buckingham Palace, in England.  The Doctor received a good practical education in the common schools of Canada, and in 1867 came to North Missouri, where he was engaged in the nursery business one year.   He then came to Virgil City, was occupied in the drug business for several years, and in 1877 graduated from the St. Louis Eclectic Medical Collage.  Since then he has been actively engaged in the practice of his profession. For the last ten or twelve years he has been successfully and extensively interested in fruit growing, and has one of the finest fruit farms in Cedar County.  He has 200 acres in all, fifty acres in orchard, peach, and apples.  In 1870 he married Miss Anna Swartz, a native of Illinois, and the daughter of Owen and Rebecca Swartz.  Her father died I in Illinois, but her mother is living, and is a resident of Vernon County.  To the Doctor and wife were born six children, three sons and two daughters living.  In politics he has been a Democrat until recently, since which time he has allied himself earnestly with the Prohibitionists, and is an active worker in the cause.  He is a prominent member of the Masonic  fraternity, and is secretary of Hesperian Lodge No. 286.  He and Mrs. Barter are faithful members of the Church of Christ.


Page, 720, 721

               W.W. Redford and S. W. Billingsley, owners and proprietors of Park livery, and Schell City and El Dorado stage lines, have one of the most complete and best equipped livery barns in Southwest Missouri, and are one of the oldest firms in El Dorado Springs.  This business was established in 1884; fine rigs are found throughout, as well as everything essential for a first-class barn.  Mr. Billingsley was born in Marion County, Va., in 1845, and is the son of Sias and Anna (Morgan) Billingsley, natives of Maryland, but early settlers of Virginia, where Mr. Billingsley died in April 1887.  Mrs. Billingsley died in May, 1889.  Mr. Billingsley was of Welsh descent, and was a farmer and stock-raiser by occupation.  S. W. Billingsley was the fourth of six sons and three daughters.  He received an ordinary education in the common schools, and graduated from Fairmont, Va., Normal, in 1862 and also graduated from Iron City Commercial College, Pittsburg, Penn.  In 1863 he taught school in Virginia, and in 1870 came to Henry County, Mo., where he taught school for several years.  He then engaged in the grain business at Clinton for several years, after which he followed farming until his removal to El Dorado in 1884, and then embarked in the livery business.  In March, 1875, he married Miss Celest Fields, daughter of Nathan A. and Mary E. Fields, both natives of Virginia, but, early settlers of Missouri.  They were married in Henry County of that State, April 25, 1839, and have lived on their present farm ever since.  This is one of the wealthy and respected families.  Mr. Fields was sheriff a number of years, and was also assessor of Henry County for a number of years.  To Mr. Billingsley and wife were born three children, two sons and a daughter.  In his political views, Mr. Billingsley  is a Democrat, casting his first vote for Seymour; he is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Royal Arch Chapter at El Dorado Springs, having joined in Virginia, in 1873, and is a prominent citizen.  Mrs. Billingsley is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.


Page, 721

               Thomas J. Blake, M.D., of Stockton, Mo., was born in Roane County, Tenn., in 1828, and is a son of Dr. William G. and Elizabeth (McKinney) Blake, who were born in Virginia and Roane County, Tenn., respectively, the formers birth occurring in 1800.  At the age of five years he was taken to Tennessee by his father, Thomas Blake, who was a farmer and millwright by occupation, and there remained until 1837, when he came to Missouri, and located in Dade County, at the town of Cora, coming in 1844 to Stockton.  He entered forty acres of land where the town now is, which he afterward deeded to the county for the county seat, on which he erected the first house.  He practiced his profession here for many years, and became well known throughout the county, not only professionally, but socially. He died in 1884, and his first wife in 1831, after which he married Sarah Pennington, who yet survives him, and is 72 years of age.  Thomas Blake, the grandfather, was a farmer and millwright by occupation, and died in 1860, at the age of eighty-three years.  His father, William Blake, was killed in the Revolutionary War.  Dr. Thomas J. Blake is the second of three children, and when nine years old came to Missouri with his father.  The schools at that day were few and far between, consequently his early educational advantages were quite meager.  In 1850 he took the overland trip to California, and at the end of four months and ten days was in the "Eureka State," where he remained for six years, working in the gold mines.  He then returned to Cedar County, Mo., and commenced the study of medicine, his preceptor being Dr. William G. Blake, his father.  He entered the Missouri Medical College at St. Louis in the spring of 1858, from which he was graduated as an M.D. in 1860.  He went first to Stockton, but a short time after removed to Benton County, Ark., and in the spring of 1861, returned to Cedar County, Mo., enlisting in May of that year in the Missouri State Guard, and afterward in Shelby's Brigade, C.S.A., serving until the spring of 1865, when he surrendered in Texas.  He participated in the fights at Oak Hill, Newtonia, Prairie Grove, Pea ridge, Wilson's Creek, West Port, Iron Mountain, Mark's Mill, and many skirmishes.  After the war he resided in Benton County, Ark., until 1874, since which time he has lived in Stockton.  In 1866 he married Miss Mary V. Barnes, of Fayetteville, Ark.  She was born in Manchester, Mo., and is the mother of five children;  William C., Clint H., Thomas J., Elizabeth, and a son not named.  The Doctor is a Mason, a member of the I.O.O.F., a Democrat, and for four years served as coroner of Cedar County.  His wife is a member of the Catholic Church.


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               James McBride Blake, a farmer and school-teacher, two and a half miles north of Stockton, Mo. Is a native of Dade County, Mo.,  where he was born in March, 1841, a sketch of his father, Dr. William G. Blake, being given in the biography of Dr. Thomas J. Blake.  James M. was reared and educated in Stockton and Kentuckytown, Texas, and about the time he attained his majority the late war broke out, and he immediately espoused the Southern cause, and in June, 1861, enlisted in Company A., under Col. Walker, and was in the battles of Wilson’s Creek, Prairie Grove, and in numerous skirmishes.  During his four years’ service he was neither wounded nor captured.  When peace was declared, he found himself with a limited education, and, knowing that a good education was essential if he wished to succeed in any calling, he resumed his studies, and in 1867 entered the teacher’s profession, and taught nine consecutive years in Vernon County, five years being spent in the public schools of Nevada.  He then taught in the public schools of Stockton for four terms, and won the reputation of being an able instructor and skillful disciplinarian, and commanded the respect of both pupils and patrons.  For two yeas he held the position of Superintendent of Public instruction of Vernon County, and proved an able and faithful officer.  January 27, 1879, he married Miss Fannie C. Hacker, who was born in Tennessee, in 1853, and by her has two children: Thomas Lee and Fanny Susie.  Soon after his marriage, Mr. Blake located on his present farm, of 170 acres.  He is a Democrat, a member of the Masonic Order, and he and wife are members of the Christian Church.


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               J. P. Brasher, M. D. who is one of the successful practicing physicians of Jerico Springs, Mo., is a native of Christian County, Ky., born Mary 6, 1850.  He has been identified with the interests of Cedar County since 1856, at which time he came with his parents, I. S. and R. E. (Petty) Brasher to Missouri.  The father is of Irish ancestry, a prosperous farmer, and was born on Kentucky soil in 1810.  His wife was born in Tennessee in 1814, and died in Cedar County, Mo., on the 20th of June, 1887.  Five of their nine children grew to maturity, and are yet living, of whom J. P. Brasher is the third.  He resided with his parents until he reached his majority, and received his education in the public schools of Kentucky and Missouri.   In 1871 he took a course of lectures in the Missouri Medical College of St. Louis, and afterward entered the medical department of the University of Nashville, Tenn., from which he was graduated as an M. D. in 1874, and in 1881 received a diploma from the Missouri Medical College at St Louis.  He reside on a farm and practiced his profession near where Jerico now is, till the village was established, when he moved to his present residence.  He is one of the successful physicians of the county, and keeps thoroughly posted in his profession, and in social as well as his professional capacity is a genial and accommodating gentleman.  He is a Democrat in his political views, and is a member of the I. O. O. F. and the Masonic fraternity.  In 1876 he was married to Miss Laura L. Mitchell, who was born in Missouri in 1856 and is a daughter of M. W. and Mary Mitchell.  Mrs. Brasher is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.


 Page 723

               John F. Brown, one of the substantial tillers of the soil and a successful stockman of Cedar County, Mo., was born in Dade County, Mo., on the 7th of February, 1842, being the eighth of ten sons.  He lived with his parents until nineteen years of age, and in September, 1862, enlisted in Company A, Sixth Missouri Cavalry, U.S.A., and served until August, 1865, being a participant in several important battles.  He received a gunshot in the left side, and after the close of the war, returned to Cedar County, where he has since made his home, having been a resident of his present farm of 200 acres since 1879; he is the owner of 160 acres in Barton County.  He is a member of the G.A.R.,  and in 1872 was elected assessor Cedar County, by the Republican party, being re-elected t the same two years later, and proved an efficient officer.  In 1865 he was married to Miss L. F. Firestone, who was born in 1845, her father and mother being Virginians, born in 1812 and 1819, and died in Cedar County, Mo., in July 1884, and May, 1884, respectively.  Mr. and Mrs. Brown are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and are the parents of seven children: Alfred M., Alice V., Mary R., (deceased) John A. and Charles (living), and Roscoe (deceased), and Nora V.  Mr. Brown is a son of Alfred and grandson of Andrew Brown.  The latter was among the earliest settlers of Lincoln County, Mo., from North Carolina, and died there at the age of ninety years.  Alfred Brown was born in North Carolina in 1810, and died in Platte County, Mo., in 1852, having been engaged in farming and tanning.  When a young man he left Lincoln County and went to Polk County, where he married Miss Lucy Thompson, who was born in Kentucky in 1812.  She died in Cedar County, Mo., on the 10th of February, 1887.


 Pgs.  723, 724, 725

               Thomas M. Brown, attorney-at-law, Buffalo, Mo., is prominent among the many wide-awake and enterprising citizens of Dallas County, and is well known also in Cedar County.  Schooled and reared in the cradle of necessity, Mr. Brown has shown by his very successful life there during the past eight or nine years, the sterling worth of his manhood, and has drawn around him many friends, the result of his close application to public and private matters, and a masterful completion of his work.  He is a native of Illinois, was born in LaSalle, Ill., February 4, 1854, and is the son of John M. and Mary (Mulholland) Brown, natives of the Emerald Isle, who sought for themselves in their early life a home on the American Continent.  John M. Brown was a merchant by occupation, and followed this occupation in Illinois for some time.  He then removed from there to Missouri, and subsequently (projecting a journey to Pike’s Peak) he located in Johnson County, Kan., where he passed the remainder of his life.  Mrs. Brown afterward returned to the Missouri home, where she subsequently became the wife of John M. Guthridge, and bore him six children.  Our subject grew to manhood on the farm of his foster-father, and obtained a fair common-school education.  Upon attaining his majority, he sought the “Lone Star State,” where he spent nearly a year.  He had been reared to hard manual labor, and used it as his stock in trade, but the State of Texas did not furnish him, as he thought, remuneration sufficient for his  labors, and he returned to old Missouri.  He here completed a good schooling, and afterward taught school.  His early inclinations were for the study of law, and to this end the young man bent his energies.  As soon as he could afford it, he entered a law office, his preceptor being the Hon. Daniel P. Stratton, of Stockton, Mo., from whose office he was admitted to the bar in 1880.  Mr. Brown immediately cast about for a location, and for a while he was at Hartville, in Wright County, Mo.,  where he made many strong and true friends, but did not stay there long, and located at Buffalo.  He went there in the spring of 1880, and in the fall of that year he was nominated and elected to the office of prosecuting attorney of Dallas County, a position he filled most acceptably during his term.   To his credit it may be said that, upon his retirement, the citizens of Dallas County testified to their appreciation of his services by re-electing him to that office, and continuing him as their prosecuting attorney for another term.  Upon his retirement from public life, Mr. brown gave close attention to his practice, and has placed himself in the front rank of his profession.  He is a versatile speaker, a deep reasoner, a logician of the old school on financial matters, and in this respect, which is certainly a cardinal principle in his character, we question very much whether he has any superiors, and few equals, in this judicial district.  He has “hewed to the line,” and made a success of his efforts.  He owns over 1,000 acres of farm land, a very considerable city property there, a half-interest in the Dallas County Bank and perquisites.  He has a lucrative practice, and is to-day blessed with a realization of his early hopes when coming here, nominally a penniless attorney.  Mr. Brown was happily married in Cedar County, Mo., January 20, 1881, to Miss Josie M. Beck, daughter of Isaac F. and Martha (Fielder) Beck, worthy citizens of Cedar County, Mo.  Mrs. Brown is a lady of estimable attainments, and has, with her husband, the universal respect of all acquaintances.  They are members of the Christian Church, and Mrs. Brown is a worthy and active member of the Ladies’ Aid Society.  Mr. Brown is a Master Mason, and a member of Riddick Lodge No. 361.  He is a genial gentleman, affable and courteous to every one he meets; has a sound head, well set on a strong and healthy body.  He enjoys his successful life at Buffalo, however, very unostentatiously.


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