Pgs. 767, 768

          Solomon Preston. Prominent among the many enterprising farmers and stock-raisers of Cedar Township, stands the name of the above-mentioned gentleman, who was born in Roane County, E. Tenn., in 1824, and who is now one of the much esteemed citizens of the county.  His parents, Hon. George and Elizabeth (Parmley) Preston, were natives of Tennessee.  The father was born in 1805, and made his home in Roane County until 1840, when he went to St. Clair County, Mo., and was one of the first settlers of that county.  He improved a good farm on Sac River, and was one of the county’s most prominent citizens and officials, being previous to the war assessor for eight years, and was sheriff for four years.  After that eventful period Mr. Preston represented St. Clair County in the Legislature.  He died in 1869, and was a member of the Christian Church.  He was in Capt. Morton’s company of State Militia during the late war, and was a brave and gallant soldier.  His father, George Preston, Sr., was a native of Pennsylvania, and was one of the first settlers of East Tennessee, where he died.  The maternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, John Parmley, was a native of East Tennessee. George Preston, Jr., was married twice, and Solomon was the eldest of two sons and seven daughters born to the first marriage.  Five children were born to the second marriage.  Solomon Preston received very little education in the subscription schools of Tennessee, and came with his parents to Missouri when sixteen years of age.  In 1850 he crossed the plains with ox-team to California, and was four months in making the trip.  He spent nearly two years in the mines, and in 1852 he returned via the Isthmus to his home.  He was married in 1859 to Miss Mary J., daughter of Robert and Anna Barnes, early settlers of the farm on which Mr. Preston is now living. To Mr. and Mrs. Preston were born nine children, three sons and one daughter now living.  From 1862 to 1865 Mr. Preston resided in Kansas, and in 1867 he moved to his present fine farm of 106 acres.  He is also the owner of 352 acres in St. Clair County, and as a farmer and stock-raiser he is a success.  Previous to his marriage he was for some time engaged in the wagon-making business, and previous to the war he was a Democrat in politics; since then he has been a Republican and is now a Greenbacker.  Mr. and Mrs. Preston were members of the Christian Church for many years, and he is a member at the present time.  Mrs. Barnes died in 1859 or 1860. Her husband was killed by bushwhackers near his home during the war.  Mr. Preston’ children are named as follows: Nathaniel L., Mary E., wife of William French; Solomon, Jr., and Lawrence Marshall.

Pgs. 768, 769

          Lemuel T. Preston, farmer and stock-raiser of Cedar County, Mo., and the son of William C. and Caroline (Horn) Preston, was born in St. Clair County, Mo., in 1860. His parents were born in Tennessee, in 1833 and 1842, respectively.  William C. Preston emigrated to St. Clair County, Mo., with his parents in 1839, grew to manhood there, and was there married to Miss Horn.  He continued to reside in that county until 1872, when he moved to Cedar County, Washington Township, Mo., and is now one of its leading farmers.  Lemuel T. Preston is the eldest of twelve children, eleven sons and one daughter.  He attended the common schools, and also Wapello Institute, Hickory County, and also attended school at Stockton.  He came with his parents to Cedar County, Mo., and, in 1880, was united in marriage to Nancy, daughter of Hart and Sarah Cowan.  Mr. Cowan was born in Tennessee, and came, when a young man, to Cedar County, Mo., was married there, and there died in 1882.  His wife was born in Cedar County, and died in 1883. She was the daughter of James B. Harris, an early settler.  To Mr. and Mrs. Preston were born four children, two sons and two daughters.  After living in St. Clair County until 1884, Mr. Preston moved to Cedar County, and on his present farm in 1887.  This farm consists of 280 acres of land.  Mr. Preston is a Democrat in politics, and his first presidential vote was for Cleveland in 1884.  He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Stockton Lodge No. 283.  Mrs. Preston has one brother and two sisters, Wade M. Cowan; Mollie, wife of Thomas Nelson, of St. Clair County; and Maggie, wife of Newton Hohnan, of Dade County. Their father was one of the most successful and thorough-going business men in Cedar County, and one of its extensive stock-dealers.  He came to the county with about $1,000, and died in the prime of life, being worth from $15,000 to $20,000.  His wife’s father, James B. Harris, was born in Boone County, Mo., in 1818, came to Cedar County about 1840, and for many years ran a tanyard in different parts of the county.  He was a wealthy and prominent citizen, and died in 1884.  His first wife, Caroline E. Berger, who was the grandmother of Mrs. Preston, died in 1849.

Pgs. 769, 770

          L. B. Prouty, police judge of El Dorado Springs, and grocer, established the last named business at that place in 1886.  He was born in Vermont in 1825, and is the son of Abijah J. and Lydia (Hill) Prouty, natives of New york and Vermont, and born in 1795 and 1797, respectively.  They were married in Vermont, and in 1832 removed to Licking County, Ohio, where they remained until 1845, and then removed to Iowa.  Here the father died, about 1863 or 1864, but the mother died in Cedar County, Mo., about 1880.  The father was of Irish descent, and was a farmer by occupation.  They were the parents of nine children, L. B. Prouty being the eldest. He received his education in the old log school-house of pioneer days, and was married in 1847 to Miss Lucy Piper, a native of Ohio, and the daughter of Sylvanius Piper, who was born in Massachusetts, and who died in Iowa.  To Mr. and Mrs. Prouty were born nine children, four sons and three daughters living.  One son, James, was burned to death at the age of twenty-two years, at the burning of the Mings Hotel, in Warrensburg.  In 1852 or 1854 Mr. Prouty removed to Iowa, and from there, about 1857, to Nebraska, where he was one of the first settlers.  He remained there until 1869, when he removed to Cedar County, settling in Box Township, and there has a farm of 400 acres, all the result of his own efforts.  He was coroner of Richland County, Neb., for two years during the war, and was also ex-officio sheriff.  He has been a school officer many years, and from 1878 to 1882 he was presiding judge of Cedar County Court.  Mr. Prouty lived on his fine farm, near El Dorado springs, until he engaged in his present business, since which time he has resided in town. He was elected police judge in April, 1889. When about eleven years of age, he learned the printer’s trade, which he followed for a few years, after which he engaged in farming, and this followed successfully until embarking in his present business, with the exception of a few years spent in Nebraska. While in the last-named State he was prevailed upon to take charge of the Broad Ax (in 1862-63, during the war), a weekly paper at Fall City, Neb.  This he edited and published for about two years, with much credit and ability, also defending the right of the Government during the stormy time of the Rebellion.  He has always taken an active interest in educational affairs, and also in the general up building of the country.  He was reared a Whig, but since the dissolution of that party he has been a Republican, and his first presidential vote was cast for Gen. Taylor in 1848.  His first wife was reared in the Universalist faith.  She died July 21, 1885, and March 27, 1889, Mr. Prouty married Mrs. Elizabeth Sherman, widow of John Sherman, who came from Ohio to Cedar County, Mo., before the war, and here spent the rest of his life.  John Sherman was a leading citizen of the county, and for many years served as justice of the peace.  Elizabeth Sherman Prouty was born in Ohio in 1830, and has been a member of the Baptist Church since the age of fourteen years, and is active in the work of that denomination.

Pgs. 770, 771

          Capt. James W. Prowell, farmer and stock-feeder of Box Township, was born in Adair County, Ky., March 15, 1827, and is the son of James and Margaret (Fletcher) Prowell, the former a native of North Carolina, born February 22, 1775, and the latter born in Greenbrier County, Va.  They were married in Kentucky, about 1811, and there Mrs. Prowell spent the remainder of her life, dying in 1848.  Mr. Prowell came to Boone County, Mo., in 1851, and died there the following year.  He and wife were members of the Baptist Church for many years.  Mr. Prowell was a blacksmith in early life, but later followed tilling the soil, and was the owner of a number of slaves.  William Prowell, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born and reared in Philadelphia, Penn., and was of Irish descent.  He was a gunsmith by trade, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and was killed in Kentucky by a falling tree.  Robert Fletcher, the maternal grandfather of Capt. Prowell, and a brother-in-law of Col. Casey, one of Kentucky’s favorite sons, was born in Virginia, and was an early settler of Kentucky, where he passed his last days.  Capt. James W. Prowell, the eighth of four sons and seven daughters was reared to farm life, and received but a limited education.  When but twenty years of age he joined Company C, third Kentucky U. S. Dragoons, and served until the close of the Mexican War.  He was in the fights around the City of Mexico.  In 1851 he came with his father to Missouri; settled in Cedar County two years later, and was there married to Miss Bethsheba Dawson, August 25, 1856.  Mrs. Prowell was born in Boone County, Mo., and is the daughter of John W. and Malinda Dawson.  To Mr. and Mrs. Prowell were born nine children, three sons and three daughters now living; Sarah M., wife of T. W. Morton; Dr. John D., a physician in Pettis County; Jennie, Charles E., James William and Fannie M.  Since his marriage Mr. Prowell has lived on his present farm, and is one of the pioneers of Cedar County.  He has 480 acres of good farming land, all the result of his own efforts, and principally acquired since the war.  In 1861 he commanded Company C, of Walker’s Regiment of Missouri Confederate troops, for about six months, and was in the battle of Wilson’s Creek, Drywood and Lexington.  He was afterward captured at home, but was soon paroled.  In politics he has been a life-long Democrat, voting for Gen. Cass in 1848.  He has been a member of the Masonic Fraternity for twenty-two years, belonging to Stockton Lodge, and is a Master Mason. He has been an active worker for the cause of education, and all other worthy enterprises, and has spared no pains for the education of his children.  His eldest son, the Doctor, took a thorough course at the State University, and is a graduate of Missouri Medical College.  Mrs. Prowell is a member of the Christian Church

Pgs. 771, 772

          John N. Pyle has been one of the leading farmers and stock-raisers of Cedar County, Mo., for a number of years, his farm being situated about six miles southwest of the county seat.  He was born in Dade County, Mo., in 1853, and is a son of A. M. and Minerva J. (Wilson) Pyle, the father being a native of Christian County, and one of the leading pioneer farmers and stock-raisers of Cedar County, and one of its prominent and influential citizens.  John N. Pyle, the eldest of a family of ten children, lived with his parents until he attained his majority, when he married Miss Mollie C. Hamner, who was born in Iowa, in 1855, and engaged in farming on his own responsibility.  He is now a well-to-do farmer; a man of sound judgment, and is highly esteemed by all who know him.  He acquired a common school education in his youth, and has always been a Republican in his political views.  He and wife are members of the Christian Church, and their union has resulted in the birth of six children: Claude A., Maud M., Harry E., Bessie G., Charles E. and Willis.  Mrs. Pyle’s parents, Edward D. and Sarah J. Hamner, are residents of Greenfield, Dade County, Mo., and were born in Kentucky.  After residing in Indiana for some time they removed to Iowa, and, in 1870, came to Cedar County, Mo., locating soon after in Dade County.

Pg. 772

          John M. Rountree has been a resident of Cedar County, Mo., since 1869, and is the owner of a fertile farm of 260 acres about ten miles from the county seat.  He is one of a large family of children, and was born in Polk County, Mo., on the 10th of May, 1847, being a son of David and Victoria (McKee) Rountree, who were born in Tennessee in 1800 and 1808, and died in Polk County, Mo., in 1866 and 1880, respectively.  David was of Irish descent, a farmer by occupation, and , about 1848, emigrated to Missouri.  John M. Rountree remained with his parents until twenty-one years old, and attended the common schools of Polk County.  On the 17th of June, 1869, he was married to Miss Mary Dale, who was born in Dade County, Mo., in 1853, her parents being Thomas and Lavina Dale, early settlers of Dade County.  The former is yet living, but the mother died about 1885.  To Mr. and Mrs. Rountree a family of seven children were born: Johnnie, Arra (deceased), Lena (deceased), Lula, Clyde, Charles and Lee.  Mr. Rountree is an influential citizen of the county, and has a fair share of this world’s goods, and, besides his farm, is a stockholder in the Cedar County Bank, at Stockton.  He is a Democrat, and his first vote for the presidency was cast for Horace Greeley.  He and wife are members of the Christian Church.

Pgs. 772, 773

          Wiley J. Ryan, general merchant at El Dorado Springs, whose stock of goods is valued at $6,000, is the second of five sons and eight daughters born to Morgan and Susan J. (Patton) Ryan, natives of Tennessee, born in 1817 and 1821, respectively.  The parents were married about 1837, and in 1848 emigrated to Lawrence County, Mo., where they remained until 1850, and then removed to Johnson County of the same State.  In 1856 they came to Cedar County, and here Mrs. Ryan died July 21, 1884.  Mr. Ryan is still living, and has been a life-long farmer.  He was a soldier in the Seminole War, and was a member of the Methodist Church for many years, as was also his wife.  His father, Fuller Ryan, who was of Irish extraction, was a carpenter by trade, and died in Knoxville, Tenn.  John M. Patton, father of Mrs. Ryan, died in Tennessee.  Wiley J. Ryan was born in Jefferson County, Tenn., in 1840, attained his growth on the farm, and never attended school but four months in his life.  Notwithstanding all this, he is considered a well-informed man on all subjects, owing to the fact that all his spare moments were devoted to self study.  He began for himself at the age of twenty as a farmer, and in 1860 he married Miss Mahala Hendrix, a native of Tennessee, and the daughter of Abraham Hendrix, who was also born in that State.  Mr. Hendrix came to Texas County, Mo., in 1854, but died in Dent County.  To Mr. and Mrs. Ryan have been born twelve children, four sons and three daughters now living.  Mr. Ryan settled in Texas County, Mo., in 1861, and the following year removed to Carroll County of the same State, where his family remained until after the war.  In 1864 he joined Company F, Forty-Fourth Missouri Infantry, U. S. A., and operated in Missouri and Tennessee.  He was in the fights at Columbia, Spring Hill and Franklin, Tenn., receiving a gunshot wound at the last named place, which disabled him for further service.  He received his discharge at Jefferson Barracks August 21, 1865.  In 1866 he came to Cedar County, Mo., located near Clintonville, and here followed farming until 1876, when he engaged in general merchandising at that place, continuing the same industry until 1882, when he removed to El Dorado.  Previous to this, in 1881, he established a branch house at El Dorado, and was the first to embark in that business there.  He continued alone until 1888, when he sold out and engaged in the business with A. J. Ritter.  Mr. Ryan is one of the leading merchants and general business men of the town.  He is a Republican in politics, his first presidential vote being for Abraham Lincoln in 1864; was elected alderman of El Dorado by that party, and held the position one year. He is a member of the Masonic Fraternity, Lodge No. 482, is also a member of the I. O. O. F, Lodge No. 332, and has been a member of the former since 1878, and of the latter since 1875.  He and Mrs. Ryan are members of the Freewill Baptist Church, having joined in 1880, and he was a member of the Methodist Church from the age of sixteen up to that time.  Mr. Ryan is a member of the Encampment, Eastern Star and Rebecca Order.

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