HISTORY OF HICKORY, POLK, CEDAR, DADE AND BARTON COUNTIES, MISSOURI, 1889. Goodspeed Publishing Co.


Pgs. 773, 774

          Riley Sherrill, a prominent and successful pioneer farmer of Cedar County, Mo., residing near Stockton, Was born in Carroll County, Tenn., on the 5th of February, 1823, and is a son of Ambrose and Peggy (Hopkins) Sherrill, who were born in the “Old North State” in October, 1780, and 1789, and died in Cedar County, Mo., in September, 1844, and March 1845, respectively.  The father was a farmer throughout life, and when a young man moved to Wilson County, Tenn., afterward to Carroll County, and in 1841 took up his abode in Cedar County, Mo., where he spent the rest of his days.  His father, Jacob Sherrill, was of English birth, a native of North Carolina, and at an early day removed to Wilson County, Tenn., where he died.  James Hopkins, the maternal grandfather, was of Scotch-Irish descent, and one of the first settlers of Polk County, Mo.  He was a man of more than ordinary intelligence, and was quite wealthy, owning at one time a large number of negroes.  He died at an advanced age.  Riley Sherrill was the seventh of twelve children, three of whom are living at the present time, and made his home with his parents on the farm until their respective deaths.  On the 12th of June, 1845, his marriage with Miss Susan Davidson was consummated.  She was born in Wilson County, Tenn., and she and Mr. Sherrill became the parents of the following family: Ephraim, who died in 1870, at the age of twenty-four years, leaving, besides his wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Willett, two children, Riley and Thomas; James, who died in 1848, at the age of six months; William B., who was born in 1852, and married Miss Ida Love, by whom he has one child, Jennie; and Tennessee, who was born in 1857, and is the wife of John Henderson, by whom she has three children, Virgil, Edward and Helena.  In 1841 Riley Sherrill left his native county and State, and came to Cedar County, Mo., and lived with his parents until 1849, when he moved to Stockton, and engaged in the grocery business.  In 1857 he and John E. Hartley became partners in a general merchandise establishment, the firm being Sherrill, Hartley & Co., for two years.  During the war Mr. Sherrill merely looked after his money matters, and after the war began speculating in lands, stocks and paper, and met with flattering success.  In 1871 he moved to the farm where he now resides, and the following year located in Fort Scott, Kan., where he resided two years, then returned to his farm, where he has since made his home.  He commenced life for himself a poor man, but by good management he has added to his income, year after year, until he is now one of the wealthiest men of Cedar County, and owned land to nearly the amount of 1,500 acres.  At present he owns 480 acres, which is well improved with fine buildings.  He is a Republican in politics, but is very conservative.  He does not belong to any church, and is an agnostic in belief.


Pgs. 774, 775

          William B. Sherrill was born in the county in which he now resides, May 13, 1852, and since twenty-five years of age has been engaged in tilling the soil on his own responsibility, being now the owner of a good farm of 200 acres, about seventy-five of which are under cultivation, and located on the Little Sac River.  He is industrious, energetic and honest, and in point of wealth bids fair to rank among the prosperous farmers of the county.  He was the second of four children, and on the 17th of September, 1882, was married to Miss Ida, a daughter of William and Georgia Ann Love, who were born in 1839 and 1849, the former in Callaway County, Mo.  They are now engaged in farming in Cedar County.  Mrs. Sherrill is the eldest of their ten children, and was born in Cedar County, Mo., in 1865.  she and Mr. Sherrill have one daughter, Eugenie.  He is a strong Republican, and cast his first vote for Hayes for the presidency.  He is a member of the I. O. O. F.


Pgs 775, 776

          George H. Simpson, mayor of El Dorado Springs, and furniture dealer and undertaker of that city, has a stock of goods valued at $2,200, and is one of the prominent business men of that town.  He commenced, in October, 1881, the general mercantile business, which he continued until 1883.  In the following year he and J. J. Smith engaged in the grocery business, which they continued until 1884, when they embarked in the furniture and undertaker’s business.  This they continued until April, 1889, when Mr. Smith retired.  Mr. Simpson was born in Callaway County, Mo., and is the son of James Allen, Sr., and Elizabeth C. (Boone) Simpson, natives of Kentucky, born about 1817 and 1808, respectively.  Mr. J. A. Simpson was left an orphan at an early age, and was reared in Callaway County, by his brother-in-law.  He was there married, and lived until 1855, when he removed to Henry County, the same State.  In 1863 he returned to Callaway County, but in 1868 removed to Montgomery County, where he remained until 1872, after which he removed to Audrain County, and, since 1884, he has lived at El Dorado.  He is a carpenter by trade, but, from 1867 to the present time, has followed merchandising.  He is a member of the Christian Church.  His father, James A. Simpson, was a native of England, but died in Kentucky.  The maternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, Capt. Samuel Boone, was a nephew of the celebrated Daniel Boone, was born in Kentucky, and, about 1812, he and wife came to Callaway County, Mo., where they spent their last days.  Mr. Boone was a soldier in the black Hawk War.  Mrs. Elizabeth C. (Boone) Simpson died in 1875.  She was married twice, her first husband being Dr. B. G. Boone, father of Atty.-Gen. B. G. Boone.  George H. Simpson was the second of three children, all sons, born to his parents.  He received a fair education in the common schools, and was engaged in assisting his father on the farm until twenty-one years of age.  After this, for a few years, he was occupied in his father’s store as a clerk, and, in 1872, embarked in business on his own responsibility, at Laddonia, in Audrain County, where he continued until 1880.  Miss Mamie E. Lippincott, a native of Pike County, Ill., became his wife in 1880, and to them have been born four children, three now living: Allie Irene, George Roy and James Cordney.  Roy G., the eldest, is deceased.  From 1881 to 1888 Mr. Simpson was justice of the peace at El Dorado, and in 1888 he was elected mayor, which position he holds at the present time.  He is a member of Clintonville Lodge No. 482, A. F. & A. M.; also Royal Arch Chapter No. 109, at El Dorado.  Politically he is a Democrat, and his first presidential vote was for Horace Greeley, in 1872.  He is a member of the Christian Church, and his wife is a member of the Methodist.  Mr. Simpson has a good home, and one-half interest in his business block.  His eldest brother, James Allen Simpson, is a traveling insurance agent, and his younger brother, Tucker J., is a prospector now in the mountains.  He has one half-brother, Hon. B. G. Boone.


Pgs. 776, 777

          Dr. John D. Simrell, practicing physician and surgeon of Washington Township, was born in Sullivan County, Ind., in 1835, and is the third of two sons and three daughters born to William and Mary (Whalen) Simrell, natives of Tennessee.  They were reared in that State, were married there, and ther remained until 1830, when they removed to Indiana.  Mr. Simrell died there in 1870, and Mrs. Simrell in 1882. Both were members of the Methodist Church for many years, and the father was a farmer by occupation.  He was the son of William Simrell.  The maternal grandfather, John Whalen, was born in North Carolina, and died in Indiana.  He was a soldier in the War of 1812, with Jackson.  Dr. John D. Simrell began for himself at the age of fifteen as a farm hand, and attended school when he had the means.  In 1856 he began the study of medicine, but soon discontinued that and took up the study of law, which, after continuing for some time, he abandoned and returned to the study of medicine, having previously taught a year.  In 1859 and 1860 he attended the Eclectic Medical Collage at Cincinnati, Ohio, then taught school, and continued his studies until 1864, when he joined Company D, First Indiana Heavy Artillery, and served in Louisiana until the close of the war.  He was private secretary of Gen. William P. Benton, at first, but afterward assisted in the medical department.  He was married, in 1857, to Miss Albarado, daughter of James and Jemima Hughes.  Mrs. Simrell was born in Kentucky, and died in 1866.  She was the mother of three children, one daughter now living.  Mr. Simrell’s second marriage was in 1869, to Miss Sudie, a native of Morgan County, Mo., and the daughter of Andrew and Nancy Masters, natives of Kentucky and Tennessee, respectively.  Mr. and Mrs. Masters came to Cedar County, Mo., before the war, and here Mr. Masters died in 1870.  Mrs. Masters is still living.  Mr. Masters served in the militia during the war, and was probate judge several terms in Morgan County.  To the Doctor and last wife were born seven children, three sons and four daughters.  He first came to Cedar County in 1866, and has since lived in Washington Township, where he has 640 acres in several farms, all the result of his own work.  He has practiced his profession with considerable success ever since locating in Cedar County, and is one of its leading physicians as well as farmers and stock-raisers.  He has been a Democrat in his political views all his life, and his first presidential vote was for James Buchanan in 1856.  He has been a member of Humansville Lodge of the I. O. O. F. for about seven years, and has held various offices.


Pgs. 777, 778

          Alexander Simrell, another representative farmer and stock-raiser of Washington Township, and the son of Capt. Samuel and Matilda (Wood) Simrell, was born in the township mentioned in December, 1840.  Samuel Simrell was a native of North Carolina, and when a boy went to Tennessee, where he remained until a man, and then went to Cooper County, Mo., where he was married.  In 1838 or 1839 he came to what is now Cedar County, being one of the first white settlers.  Indians were numerous at that time, and the forests were full of wild animals.  He entered land in what is now Washington Township, improved a farm, and there died in May, 1877.   He was foreman of the first grand jury in Cedar County, which held its session under a tree near where Stockton is located.  At that time there were no mills, and cracked corn was used for meal.  Mr. Simrell was justice of the peace for many years, and was captain of general muster.  He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, at Stockton, was assessor of Cedar County in 1861, and he and wife were members in good standing in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church for many years, and were well known and esteemed throughout the county.  Mrs. Simrell was born in Tennessee, and was brought by her parents to Cooper County when small.  She died in 1881. Her father, Alexander Wood, was one of the first settlers of Cooper County, Mo., where he and wife passed their last days.  Alexander Simrell, the third of seven sons and five daughters, seven now living, and all in Washington Township, received a limited subscription school education, and in 1862 joined the Missouri State Militia, serving little over a year in Southwest Missouri, after which he was transferred to Company A, Fifteenth Missouri Cavalry, and was in Southwest Missouri for over twenty months.  He held the rank of sergeant.  While near home he received a gunshot wound from a guerrilla and this disabled him from further service of some three months.  He was married in December, 1866, to Miss Martha A. Burford, a native of St. Charles County, Mo., and the daughter of James and Mary L. Burford, who were born in Virginia.  They moved from that State to St. Charles County, Mo., and from there to St. Clair County, when Mrs. Simrell was but three years of age.  Mr. Burford died in 1863, but his wife is still living at the age of eighty-one years.  Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Simrell, one son now living, William A.  Since the war Mr. Simrell has lived on his present farm, which consists of 240 acres, and aside from this he is the owner of one-sixth interest of the old farm on which he was born, there being 240 acres in that.  He has been a stanch Republican in his political views all his life, and his first presidential vote was cast for Abraham Lincoln, in 1864.  He is a member of Austin Hubbard Post of the G. A. R., at Stockton, and is also a member of the Good Templars’ Lodge.  He and Mrs. Simrell have been members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church for many years.


Pgs. 778, 779

          Hon. Samuel L. Smith.  Among all classes and in every circumstance in life are those who excel in whatever they undertake, whether of a professional, agricultural or commercial nature, and such a one is the above mentioned gentleman, who is one of the prominent and progressive farmers and stock-raisers in Box Township.  He was born in Franklin County, Mo., in 1830, and is the son of Thomas and Esther (Hutton) Smith, natives of Kentucky and Alabama, respectively.  The parents were married in Kentucky about 1812, came to Franklin County, Mo., in 1818, remained there for a short time, then moved to Gasconade County, and in 1848 came to Cedar County, there being but two or three settlements between there and Fort Scott, Kan.  The country at that time was full of Indians; wild animals were to be found everywhere, and, in establishing their little home in the wilderness, all the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life were experienced.  Here the father died in 1857 at the age of sixty-three years.  He was a successful minister of the Baptist Church for over forty years, and established many churches in Southwest Missouri. He was a soldier in the War in 1812.  His wife died in 1863 at the age of about seventy years.  She was a member of the Baptist Church, and was a Christian woman in the true sense of the term.  Hon. Samuel L. Smith is the ninth of seven sons and five daughters, two sons and two daughters now living, born to his parents.  These children are named as follows: William; Margaret, wife of Clark Hardin, of Oregon, and Samuel L.  The last named was reared on the frontier, with but meager chances for an education.  He emigrated with his parents to Cedar County, and in 1849 was united in marriage to Miss Mary J. Casey, a native of Virginia, and the daughter of Thomas and Sarah A. Casey. Mr. and Mrs. Casey were among the first white settlers of Cedar County, locating here about 1835, and spent the remainder of their lives here.  Mrs. Casey died in the year 1837, and Mr. Casey was killed by bushwhackers in 1862.  To Mr. and Mrs. Smith were born four children, two daughters now living; Emily H., wife of William Casey, and Eliza E., wife of Prof. George M. Liston.  Mr. Smith lived on Cedar Creek until 1852, then near his present farm, where he has 1,100 acres, all in one body, one of the best farms in the county, and with 700 acres under cultivation.  All this is the result of industry and good management, as he started in life a poor boy, and his first forty acres were entered with money earned by day labor.  He is now one of the county’s most substantial farmers and stock-raisers.  His first tax was but two and a half cents.  During the late war he served in several different regiments of Missouri troops, known as State Militia, and was in many engagements occurring between the militia and bushwhackers for two years, and was in the engagements at Humansville and Stockton.  He was wounded, accidentally, by his own gun, in the spring of 1864.  In 1868 he was elected to represent Cedar County in the Legislature, again in 1876, and re-elected in 1878, serving three terms, or six years, with credit.  He has twice since refused the nomination of state senator.  Until 1864 he was a Democrat, his first presidential vote being for Franklin Pierce in 1852, but since then he has been an earnest worker in the Republican party, being one of the leaders.  He was a delegate to the State Convention in May, 1888, at Sedalia, that nominated E. E. Kimball for governor, and is a prominent member of the Farmers’ Alliance.  His first wife died July 25, 1881.  She was a member of the Baptist Church.  His second marriage took place in September of 1884, to Mrs. Clementine Williams nee Rankins, a native of Tennessee, who came with her parents to Cedar County, Mo., at an early day.  Mr. and Mrs. Smith have been members of the Baptist Church for many years.


Pgs. 779, 780

          Dr. Peter B. Smith, a prominent practicing physician and surgeon of Cedar Springs, was born within five miles of the spring in 1844, and is the son of Rev. Obediah and Lucinda (Hartman) Smith, natives of Kentucky and North Carolina, respectively; but early settlers of Howard County, Mo., whither they had emigrated with their parents.  They were married in that county about 1832, and came to what is now Cedar County, then Rives County, shortly afterward, being among the first white families in the county.  Here they made a home in the wilderness, which at that day abounded in Indians and wild animals.  Mr. Smith began his theological studies soon after his first marriage, and was an able Baptist minister nearly all his life; he was a large land-owner and one of the county’s wealthiest citizens.  He was an officer in the Black Hawk War with Gens. Claiborne and Jackson, was also a prominent man officially, having represented Cedar Count in the Legislature of 1862, and soon after his return from the session of 1862-63 he was called from his house by a company of armed men calling themselves Quantrell’s men, and was shot and killed in his own yard while standing by the side of his wife.  His father, Andrew Smith, was one of the first settlers of Kentucky, and also one of the early settlers of Howard County, Mo., where he passed the latter part of his life.  He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and was with Gen. Jackson at New Orleans.  He was of Irish-German extraction.  Obediah Smith’s first wife was a sister of his second, who became the mother of our subject.  She died when he was but a little boy, and Mr. Smith afterward married again.  Dr. Peter B. Smith was the third of six children born to his father’s second marriage, and, with the exception of the time between 1877 and 1880, he has spent all his life in Cedar County.  He her received his education, and in 1861 joined Company D, Eighth Missouri State Militia, and served thirteen months in Southern Missouri and Arkansas.  He was in the battle of Springfield, etc., was discharged on account of disability, but soon after enlisted in the Enrolled Missouri Militia, and served until the close of the war.  His father and five sons lost their lives in defense of the Union.  Dr. Peter B. Smith was married in 1866 to Miss Mary E., daughter of John and Martha Eslinger, natives of Indiana and Kentucky, respectively, but early settlers of Cedar County, where Mr. Eslinger died before the war.  Mrs. Eslinger is still living.  Mrs. Smith was born in Cedar County, Mo., and, by her marriage to Dr. Smith, became the mother of nine children, three sons and four daughters now living.  Dr. Smith farmed for a number of years, and in 1870 began his ministerial studies, was ordained in 1871, and has preached more or less since.  He is a deep reasoner, a fluent speaker and a number of his sermons have been published in various State papers, and have found a wide circulation. June 8, 1882, he graduated from the American Medical College, of St. Louis, after a two years’ course, and since then he has become on of the leading practitioners of Cedar County.  He is a member of the State Medical Society.  He has a farm of 160 acres in Box Township, and has a good home in Cedar Springs.  Though reared a Democrat, he is now a Republican, and his first presidential vote was cast for Lincoln in 1864.  He is an active worker for his party, and made a thorough canvass of the county in 1888.  June 5, 1889, he was appointed examining surgeon in the Pension Department with office at El Dorado Springs.  He is a member of the Farmers’ Alliance, and is surgeon of Col. Leonard Post of the G. A. R.  Of the large family born to his parents, he is the only one now living.  For eight years the Doctor was in the drug business, four years of the time in Texas, of the firm of Perry & Smith; was afterward in business at Lebeck and Cedar Springs.  Mrs. Smith has been a member of the Baptist Church since 1867, and is an active worker in the same.


Pgs. 780, 781

          William Stark, dealer in general merchandise, Cedar Springs, whose stock of goods is valued at $1,700, and whose annual sales equal about $7,000, established his business at Lebeck, October, 1878.   In 1884 he cut away the brush from where his present store is now standing, sold the first goods in the town, and is the oldest and most substantial merchant in Cedar Springs.   He is also the proprietor of “Springs Hotel.”  He was born in Lincoln County, Mo., in 1839, and is the son of James and Matilda (Hopkins) Stark, natives of South Carolina and Kentucky, and born in 1804 and 1807, respectively. They resided in Lincoln County, Mo., until 1868, and then emigrated to Cedar County, where the father died in 1873.  He was of Welsh-Scotch-Irish descent, was left and orphan when very young, and , after growing up, followed the occupation of a farmer.  The mother died in 1879, and was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  William Stark was the ninth of four sons and eleven daughters, and received a limited education in the subscription schools.  Since then, by observation and study, he has improved his education greatly, and is considered a well informed man on the general topics of the day.  At the age of seventeen he and an elder brother left home, went to an elder sister in Camden County, and one year after went to Cedar County.  Here William Stark married Miss Lorinda Fisher, a native of Franklin County, Mo., and the daughter of William and Nancy Fisher, natives of Kentucky, but who spent the last of their days in Franklin County, Mo.  To Mr. and Mrs. Start were born eleven children, three sons and eight daughters—nine living.  Mr. Stark farmed until 1878, after which he engaged in mercantile business.  He has a good farm of 205 acres, and is also the owner of considerable property in town. In 1864 he joined Company M, Fifteenth Missouri Volunteer Cavalry, and served until the close of the war, receiving his discharge at Springfield in July, 1865.  He had previously served in the Second Provisional service in Northeastern Missouri.  He was justice of the peace from 1866 to 1867; is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Clintonville Lodge No. 482; and he and his wife have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church since 1866.  Previous to that time he had been a member of the Baptist Church.  He was postmaster at Lebeck for over two years, and is one of the prominent citizens of the county.  He affiliates with the Republican party in politics, and cast his first presidential vote for Lincoln in 1864.


Pgs 781, 782

          A. W. Stearns, editor of the Tribune at Ed Dorado Springs, was born in Fulton County, Ill., in 1845, and is the son of Jefferson G. and Mary (Wilson) Stearns, natives of New York.  The parents were married in Illinois, and in 1867 removed to Butler County, Kan., where they are residing at the present time.  The father is a farmer by occupation, and has been quite successful in this industry.  The Stearns family first made settlements in America in the sixteenth century. A. W. Stearns received a common school education, and started out for himself at the age of sixteen years.  At the breaking out of the war he enlisted in Company G, Eleventh Illinois Volunteer Cavalry, Col. Robert Ingersoll’s regiment, and served three years and four months in the Army of the Tennessee.  He was discharged in August, 1865, at Springfield, Ill.  In 1868 he was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Geyer, a native of Illinois, and the daughter of Joseph Geyer, who was born in Germany.  Mr. Stearns and and family removed to Kansas in 1869, and there his wife died in February, 1887.  To their marriage were born two children.  Mr. Stearns followed agricultural pursuits the principal part of the time until 1886, when he removed to Wichita, Kan., and was there connected with various newspapers until his health failed, when he removed to El Dorado, Mo., in 1888.  In March, 1889, he purchased the Tribune, which he has since edited and published, and which is a spicy sheet, well filled with news and useful information.  Mr. Stearns is Independent in politics and religion, is a member of the Knights of Pythias, and, although a late resident of El Dorado, he is already one of its prominent and influential citizens.  He was married in October, 1888, to Mrs. Fannie Jett,  ne Parker, a native of Henry County, Mo.


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