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These are excerpts from The History of LaClede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps and Dent Counties, Missouri, originally published by Goodspeed, 1889, that mention Dallas County ancestors, contributed here by Michelle Wilson. Because of the publication date, and because there is no copyright notice in the book, we believe that it is in the public domain and that, in any case, these excerpts fall within the provisions of "fair use". To get your own copy of this book see the Genealogy Publications page or search the online version at the University of Missouri Digital Library.

Pg. 560

Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church was organized in the fall of 1869, by Elders John W. Fitch and David Morrow, with Green Williams and wife, Sanford Cheek, Martha Cheek, Joel Garner, Martha Garner, Frank Wingo, Nathan McDaniel, John Smith, Lucinda Smith, Nehemiah Smith, Carolina Smith and John Williams as constituent members. About the year 1870 this society erected their present frame church edifice, at a cost of $400. It is located in Township 33, Range 19. The pastors have been J. W. Fitch, Rev. Edwards, L.A. Smith, Daniel Bills, J. H. Steincipher, A. W. Kain, R. B. Carnett and E. D. Fortner. The membership is 102. The ordained deacons are John Smith, William E. Hoover, D. W. Beckner, R. H. Morgan and Norris Cheek. William E. Hoover was ordained minister August 26, 1888.

Pg. 562

The Buffalo Christian Church was organized in July, 1885, by W.H. Watson, district evangelist, with Richardson Wilkinson and wife, John O'Bannon and wife, Smith Johnson and wife, R. S. Brownlow, Mrs. Umphrey, J. N. Cline and wife, Asa R. Vanderford and wife, John Vanderford and wife, M. F. Vanderford and wife, J.N. Vanderford and wife, T. J. Jones and wife and others, to the number of about fifty, as constituent members. The following year, 1885, the present large and comfortable frame church edifice was erected, at a cost of about $2,000. The pastors officiating have been T. E. Shepherd, G. J. Cowan and J. W. Hopwood, the latter being the present one. The membership is about 200.

Pg. 563

The Buffalo Presbyterian Church was organized May 16, 1868, by Rev. Martin, a returned missionary to China, and who acted as the interpreter of the Burlington Treaty between the United States and the Chinese Empire, whereby trade between these countries was opened up. The organization was effected with W. J. Montgomery, Mary E. Montgomery, Margaret McDowell, William McDowell, Hannah (Bonner) McDowell, William Bonner, Jane Bonner, Sr., Jane Bonner, Jr., Eliza Bonner, Valentine Bonner and A. F. McDowell as original members. The present neat and comfortable frame church edifice belonging to this organization was erected in 1872, at a cost of about $1,600. It is 30X45 feet in size. The church has been supplied with regular pastors as follows, viz.: H. A. Tucker, 1872-74; L.J. Matthews, 1874-76; George Bicknell, 1877-78; George F. Davis, 1880-84; James L. Lafferty, 1886-87; William McElroy, 1887-88. H. R. Lewis, the present pastor, began his labors in October, 1888. This organization has over sixty members, and it is the only one belonging to the Presbyterian denomination in the country. (Note: Jane Bonner Sr. is Jane (McCain) Bonner, wife of William. Jane Jr. is Jane (McDowell) Bonner, wife of John Bonner, and Jane,Sr.'s daughter-in-law. The identity of Eliza still remains a mystery!)

Pg. 707-708

Richard C. Edmisson, merchant and farmer at Conway, Mo., was born in Dallas County, of that State, September 24, 1854, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Wollard) Edmisson, both of whom were born in Tennessee. They were married in Dallas County, Mo., in 1848, and resided on their farm in that county until the father was killed for his money, during the late war, by Northern bushwackers. He was an extensive farmer and stock dealer, and was a leading member of the Baptist Church. They were the parents of eight children, five of whom are now living. After the father's death his widow married again, her second husband being George Davison, by whom she has two children. He died in 1886, and she now resides on the old home farm with one of her children. Richard C. Edmisson grew to manhood on a farm in Dallas County , Mo., and in 1879 was married to Miss Anna Pare, a native of the county, by whom he became the father of one child, Edna. In 1883 he came to Conway, and embarked in his present business, which has netted him a handsome annual income, and in addition to his work he is quite extensively engaged in stock raising, making the breeding of mules a specialty. He is a Royal Arch Mason, and in his political views is a Democrat.

Pg. 749:

Francis M. Russell, one of the most prominent citizens of Union Township, Laclede Co., Mo., was born near his present place of residence, on the Osage Fork, in what was then Pulaski County, Mo., August 18, 1839. He is the son of Jeremiah and Celia (Wade) Russell, natives of Warren County, Ky. The father was born in 1803, and died in Laclede County, Mo., February 23,1880. He was a successful farmer and merchant, selling goods at Jericho for ten years, and was postmaster at that place. The mother was born in 1809, and died in Laclede County, Mo., May 10. 1876. They were married in Kentucky, and afterward moved to Illinois, where they resided ten years, or until March 1837, when they moved to the neighborhood in which our subject now lives. He was a Democrat in politics. and a member of the Primitive Baptist Church. To their marriage were born eleven children, five now living: George W., W. R., Francis M., Theresa, wife of G. W. Steen, and Mary, wife of Capt. E. McMahan. Francis M. received his education in the country schools, and finished at the academy in Lebanon. He then assisted his father in the mercantile business until the opening of the late war, when he enlisted in Capt. Campbell's company of Missouri State Guards, but was afterward in Wood's battalion, Confederate service, Captain Wickersham's company, which was organized for Captain Wickersham by Mr. Russell, who came through the Federal lines to organize the company. He was not with the command any length of time, he being a scout, and rendering valuable aid for the Confederacy. He was in the battle of Wilson's Creek, Lexington, Price's raid, and was twice taken prisoner, first by Col. Woods, near Mr. Russell's home, and taken to Lebanon, where he was retained about three months in 1863. The second time he was taken prisoner by Capt. Robert Butts, and was six days in prison at Springfield, when he escaped. His scouting was done from White River in Arkansas to north of where he now lives. His experience during the war was varied as well as dangerous. When the war cloud of battle had cleared away Mr. Russell went to Louisiana, and April 7, 1867, married Miss Nannie Daniel, a native of Shelby County, Tenn., born October 22, 1847, and the daughter of M. E. Daniel. Soon after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Russell moved to Texas, but afterward moved back to Louisiana. In 1871 they moved to Laclede County, Mo., where they have since resided, his occupation being that of a farmer and stock dealer. He has been south and west with mules since coming back to Missouri; has perhaps handled more mules than any one man in Southwest Missouri, and during the time has bought over $500,000 worth of mules alone. As a trader he has been very successful. In 1880 and 1881 he was engaged in merchandising at Conway, but was burned out, and did not again resume his business. Mr. Russell is now the owner of 500 acres of excellent land in Laclede County, Mo., it being considered the best stock farm in the county. His farm is about three and a half miles southeast of Conway, on the Hartville and Buffalo road. He is a Mason, a K.T., is a member of the A.O.U.W., a member of the Wheel, and is a Democrat in politics. To his marriage were born six children; Mary Ella, Florence Leona, Ida Lee, Emma Josephine, Jeremiah Edwin and Clara.

Pg. 930

Emanuel Bower, a farmer of Lincoln Township, Dallas County, is a native of the State of Pennsylvania, and was born December 11, 1817. His parents were Michael and Susanna Bower, who first moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio, thence to Indiana in 1835, and two years later located in Dallas County, MO. Michael Bower, who was a blacksmith and farmer, was born in 1796 and died in 1876; his wife was born in 1796 and died in 1869. They were the parents of sixteen children, but five of whom are now living, viz.; Michael, Margaret, now Mrs. Yeager, of Dallas County; Emanuel, Lavina, who became a Mrs. Stout, and is now living in California, and William, a resident of Dakota; he married Miss Louisa Beasley about 1851. Emanuel Bower spent the greater part of his early life in Ohio, and was eighteen years of age when he went to Missouri, and three years later began an independent life and devoted his attention to the pursuit of agriculture. In 1842 he married Miss Pulina J. Yeager, who was born in Tennessee in 1826, and is a daughter of Elijah and Hannah Yeager, who moved from Tennessee to Illinois, and thence to Missouri in 1834. Elijah Yeager was a farmer and minister. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Bower were born nine children, six now living, viz.; Hannah Carter, Susan Smith, Mary Reser, William Bower, Jennie Whelock and Vernon Bower. As a result of industry and good management Mr. Bower became the owner of 9000 acres of land; he has given each of his children a farm, and now cultivates 160 acres. He is a Republican in politics, and with his wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Pg. 938

Silas Dillion, an enterprising farmer of Lincoln Township, Dallas County, was born in Virginia in 1819, and is a son of William and Mary (Plyburn) Dillion, both natives of Virginia, who were born respectively in 1793 and 1787, and spent their lives in their native State. They had a family of ten children Louis, Jacob, Lydia Sink, Silas, Jesse, Reed and Tyra. Those deceased are Becky Bonson, Polly and Moses. William Dillion, who was a farmer, died in 1846; his widow lived until 1876. The paternal grandparents of our subject were Jesse and Elizabeth (Blankenship) Dillion, of Virginia, where the former was a large planter and slaveholder. Silas Dillion was reared in his native State, where he spent his early manhood. In 1840 he went to Kentucky, and engaged in teaming until 1843, when he returned to Virginia, but the following year again went to Kentucky In 1847 he married Elizabeth J. Vaughan, who was born in Kentucky in 1830,and was a daughter of Jeremiah and Frances (Barker) Vaughan, also natives of Kentucky, the former a farmer and merchant. Mrs. Dillion died in 1869, leaving seven children, viz: Mary Frances Brown, Jeremiah, Anna E. Wattenbarger, William, Robert, Jennie E. Bonner and Crawford. In 1871 Mr. Dillion married Sarah E. Sample, a native of Tennessee, and a daughter of John and Elizabeth Sample, of that State. By his second marriage Mr. Dillion has five children.: Dona Belle Crudginton, Jacob, John L., Mella S. and Rebecca J. In 1862 Mr. Dillion enlisted in Company E., Missouri State Militia, under command of Col. McClurg and Capt. Allen, and served until the close of the war, participatiing in the battles of Sentinel Prairie and Vaughn Station. He removed from Kentucky to Missouri in 1856, and first settled in Polk County, where he remained one year and the went to Hickory County, removing to Dallas County in 1865, which has since been his home. He owns 278 acres of land, 100 acres of which are under cultivation, and devotes his attention entirely to farming. In religion he is a Free Will Baptist, and politically he is non-partisan.

Pg. 965

David M. Rush, county collector, was born in barren County, Ky., November 27, 1849, the grandson of John Rush, a Virginian, born in that service he received a 40 and a 120-acre land warrant. David's father, Daniel W. Rush, born in Allen County, Ky., in 1824, married Rhoda J. Chapman in 1848, immigrating to Polk County, Mo., in 1852. Four of their six children survive; David M., Mary E. (wife of John Tompkins), Rhoda A. (now Mrs. R. B. Lee) and William R. John J. died in 1868, aged twelve, and Maletha, in 1883, aged twenty-two. David M. remained on his father's farm until 1870 (his mother having died in 1861), and in 1871 left the public schools to enter a select school at Urbana, Mo. A portion of his three year's course was devoted to the higher mathematics. After teaching from 1874 to 1881 he engaged in the patent right business for several years, during which time he secured two patents of his own invention, one for a washing machine, and one for an adding machine, both a success, and of acknowledged ingenuity in mechanical construction. In 1878 Mr. Rush married Vivia Lindsey, of Louisburg, Mo. Their four children are Delores, Lascelles, Loise and Norma L. In 1886 he was elected as a Republican county collector of Wright County, and served with such satisfaction that he was renominated in 1888 without opposition, and was, of course, elected, running several votes ahead of his ticket. He has been a Mason since 1875. His wife is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church.

Pg. 970 - 971

A.R. (Asa Ratcliff) Vanderford was born in Ross County, Ohio, on the 30th of March, 1818, and since the fall of 1838 has been a resident of Dallas County, Mo. The father, Eli Vanderford, was born in Maryland, and at a very early age migrated to Ohio, where he was married to Susannah Ratcliff, a native of North Carolina. They moved to Missouri at the above mentioned date, coming through in covered wagons, and reached Dallas County one month after starting out. They purchased the farm now owned by the Coffer family, on which they erected a little log cabin, and lived in this for a number of years, until they were able to make better improvements. At the land sale in January, 1939, he purchased 160 acres of land for himself, and 160 acres for his son, A. R. Vanderford, whose name heads this sketch. He then entered several tracts of land near by, and at one time was an extensive real estate holder, but divided his property among his children. He and wife were among the first settlers of the county, and there spent their remaining days. Their son, A. R. Vanderford, was about twenty years of age when he came to Dallas County, and after his father purchased him his farm he bent all his energies to clearing it and getting it in a tillable condition. He has lived on this farm ever since he came to the county, and now owns 300 acres of land, with about 200 acres under fence and in cultivation, and with good improvements. In 1840 he was married to Malinda Gordon, a daughter of Noah and Nancy (Bartlett) Gordon, who came to Missouri in 1835, and located in Polk County. Here the mother died, but the father's death occurred in Pulaski County. Mr. and Mrs. Vanderford are the parents of nine children, five now living: Monroe, John C., Jasper N., Marion F. and James B. ; those deceased are Julia A., Nancy P., and an infant. Mr. Vanderford cast his first vote for Gen. Harrison, and he and his wife are members of the Christian Church.

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