Polk County Missouri Biographies and Obituaries

Published by Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889
(unless noted otherwise)


9 October, 1821 ~ 14 January 1909
By Donna Ketchum Bond & Harold Ketchum

(Harold Ketchum was a great grandson of Daniel R. Box. Donna Ketchum Bond is Harold Ketchum’s daughter)

Daniel Renfro Box was born 9 October, 1821, in Jefferson County, Tennessee, the son of Samuel Box, Jr. and Jemima (Murphy) Box. Daniel grew to manhood in Tennessee and married Parthenia McGee there in 1838, when he was only seventeen years old and Parthenia was a mere fifteen years old. Daniel and  Parthenia were the parents of ten children, all born in Tennessee.

The 1840 Census of Jefferson Co., Tennessee, lists Daniel Box. This census shows 1 male, 15-20 years old (Daniel); one male 0-5 years old (James C.) and one female, 15-20 years old (Parthenia).

Daniel and his growing family have not been located in the 1850 Census in Tennessee. They could have been missed by the Census taker, or they could have moved into a neighboring state for awhile. They had a child born in 1849 in Tennessee and in 1851 another one was born in Tennessee. Daniel’s parents and some of his brothers and their families moved to Missouri in the early 1840’s, but Daniel did not make the move to Missouri until about 1858.
Their youngest child, Hannah, was born in Tennessee 2 August, 1857.

When the Daniel Box family did make the journey to southwest Missouri, they settled near the rest of their Box relatives in Polk County. Like many settlers in that period they made several moves, but not very far. Daniel lived mostly around what was then the town of Orleans and around Eudora and Eudora Springs. After settling into the Polk County area, Daniel served as Justice of the Peace and Polk County marriage records show many marriages he performed. He was also a Postmaster in Eudora at one time. The area of Eudora Springs, northeast of the town of Eudora was platted into the town of Eudora Springs, with block and lot numbers. After the death of Daniel Box, his widow sold some lots he had owned in the town of Eudora Springs.

Daniel and Parthenia had the following children, all born in Jefferson Co., Tennessee:  James Clayborn, b. 30 August, 1839 Franklin Murphy, b. 24 April, 1849 Josiah, b. 23 July 1841 Andrew Jackson, b. 29 April, 1851 George Washington, b. 3 July 1843 Rhoda Adeline, 21 July, 1853 Mary Jane, b. 5 July 1845 John W., b. 15 June, 1855 William Riley, b. 28 July, 1847 Hannah, b. 2 August, 1857.

Four years after giving birth to her tenth child, Parthenia (McGee) Box died 19 October, 1861 and is buried in the Mitchell Campground Cemetery, southeast of Aldrich in Polk County, Missouri.

Early in 1862 Daniel married a second time, to Sarah Griffin and they had three children, all born in Polk County, Missouri:  Samuel, b 16 November, 1862; Mandelia Caroline, b. 7 February, 1864; Thomas, b. 29 November, 1865

Daniel’s second wife, Sarah Griffin Box, died 20 October, 1867 and is buried in the Mitchell Campground Cemetery.  

Sarah (Chesser) Moore became the third wife of Daniel Box, marrying him on 9 September, 1873. To this union one child was born:  Ara Belle, b. 9 July 1874, Polk County, Missouri.

Daniel Renfro Box died 14, January, 1909 in Eudora, Missouri and is buried in the Mitchell Campground Cemetery. His third wife, Sarah, died 25 January, 1916. She is also buried in the Mitchell Campground Cemetery.

Submitted by: Donna Ketchum Bond

The following appeared in the Bolivar Free Press, January 28, 1909 and was re-printed from the Walnut Grove Tribune:


D. R. Box died at this home in Eudora on Friday night. On October 9, Mr. Box was 87 years of age. He came to Missouri from Tennessee in 1858. He was the father of thirteen children (Editor’s note: should read fourteen), twelve of whom survive him. Mr. Box has been married three times, the last wife still living. The funeral sermon was preached on Sunday by Rev. J. C. T. Wood and the burial took place at Mitchell’s Campground. Mr. Box was a respected citizen in his neighborhood and will long be lovingly remembered.  The bereaved family have the sympathy of a host of friends.

Submitted by: Donna Ketchum Bond    

Source: History of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian Counties, Arkansas.  Published by Goodspeed, 1889

Samuel Box

Samuel Box, farmer, machine agent and postmaster at Hico Post-office, was born near Bolivar, in Polk County, MO., March 1, 1845, and is the son of William P. and Hannah (Cantwell) Box. William P. Box was born near Knoxville, Tenn., August 1, 1825. His parents were born in the Carolinas, and on his father’s side the family is of Dutch descent, and Scotch on the mother’s side. William P. Box was educated in the common schools of Tennessee, and in 1842 he removed with his parents to Polk County, MO., and here married Mrs. H. Slagle, in 1844. They were among the early pioneers of Polk County, MO. In 1863 he and family removed to Cooper County, Mo., and in 1870 they moved from there to Benton County, Ark. Mr. Box is still living, and is residing near Hico Post-office. Mrs. Box was born in Jackson County, Ohio, August 9, 1820. Her parents were natives of Ohio and of Scotch descent. Mrs. Box was the mother of two children by a previous marriage with James Slagle. They were named as follows: John and Conrad. By her union with Mr. Box she became the mother of four children: Samuel, Thomas (deceased), Pleasant and Joseph. Samuel Box, the eldest child born to the second marriage , enlisted in the Confederate service, October 11, 1864, at Boonville, MO., in Company C (Capt. Norman’s) Third Regiment Missouri Volunteer Cavalry, Col. Smith commanding, and remained until the close of the war. He was in the engagements at Sedalia, Lexington, Independence, Westport, Fort Scott and Newtonia. He was in Shelby’s brigade until the close of hostilities, and refusing to accept the terms of surrender he left the United States, and took refuge in Old Mexico, remaining only a short time, when he went to Jackson County, Ore. He resided here less than two years, and then moved to Benton County, Ark., where he was married August 19, 1879, to Mrs. Mollie E. (Comer) Neill, the daughter of John B. and Caroline (Estes) Comer, formerly of Gallatin, Daviess Co., Mo. Mr. Comer is yet living, but Mrs. Comer died in 1882. Mrs. Box is the mother of one child by her first husband, Arthur Neill, and three children by her second husband, Mr. Box. They are named as follows: Fred, Effa and Vard. Mr. Box is a Democrat politically, and his first presidential vote was cast for S. J. Tilden in 1876. Mr. Box is the owner of 180 acres of land and some good town property; he was justice of the peace for two years, and was also notary public, and postmaster for eleven years. He is a member of the K. of H. and American Protective League. He has traveled extensively in the United States, Old Mexico, Central America and South America. He has always taken an active part in local politics; is not a member of any church, but a strong believer in the bible, and holds to the faith and doctrines of the Missionary Baptists: he takes a great interest in schools and education, and the upbuilding of good society, and is a warm supporter and defender of the temperance cause, but above all the highest ambition of his life is to see his children grow up to be sober, religious and useful men and women.

Submitted by: Marie H. Clayton



C. C. Burrell, stock-trader, of Polk County, Mo., and one of the enterprising citizens of the same, was born in that county June 4, 1859, and is the son of J. M. and Martha (Harvey) Burrell, native of New York and Illinois, respectively. J. M. Burrell was born in the year 1822, and passed his boyhood days in the Empire State. Later he emigrated to Illinois, where he married Miss Harvey, and from there moved to Missouri in 1857. He located in Bolivar, and has since been living in this county, residing at the present time in Humansville, and is engaged in the stock business. Mrs. Burrell was born in 1834. They are the parents of three children, C. C. Burrell being the eldest. He attained his growth on the farm, received an ordinary education in the common schools, and, November 18, 1880, he married Miss Alice Saddler, a native of Polk County, Mo., born in 1862. They have an interesting family of three children: Guy, James L. and Bessie. Mr. Burrell commenced trading in stock when about twelve years of age, and has been engaged in business for himself ever since he attained his majority. He is now actively engaged in trading in stock, and has bought and sold 842 head of hogs. He has a fine farm of 455 acres of land, and is one of the wide-awake, thorough-going farmers of the county. He deals in Poland China hogs, Shropshire sheep and Red Pole cattle. He is a Republican in his political views, and is a member of Lodge No. 310, I.O.O.F., at Humansville, Mo.                          Return To Top of Page




John P. Campbell. Among the early settlers of Polk County, Mo. Were Ezekiel M. and Rebecca P. (Adkins) Campbell, both natives of Carolina, though the Campbell family were originally from Scotland. Mr. Campbell was a second cousin to James K. Polk. The mother was born in 1800. The parents were married in Tennessee, and afterward settled in Maury County, where the father carried on farming until 1832, after which he came to the county, and entered the land on which John P. now lives. At this time the neighbors were few and scattering, and the settlers were obliged to go to mill at Springfield. Mr. Campbell built the first grist-mill in the county at Orleans, and soon after put up the first store at the same place. He carried a stock of goods valued at $10,000, going once or twice a year to buy goods, and was one of the principal men of that region. His chief occupation was farming, and he was one of the most extensive agriculturists in the county. He was county surveyor for some time, was a Democrat in politics, and he and wife were members of the Missionary Baptist Church. Mr. Campbell died in 1874, and his wife two years later. In their family were ten children, four sons and six daughters, all of whom lived to be grown, and three sons and three daughters are now living. John P. Campbell was the second child born to this union, his birth occurring in Maury County, Tenn., September 5, 1823. He was reared to farm life, and received a fair education for his day. After remaining at home until 1850, he and D. S. Clark fitted up three wagons, and took a number of men, who were to pay for their passage after they arrived, and started across the plains to California. It may just as well be stated here that most of these men forgot their obligations and disappeared, not to be seen again. For nineteen years Mr. Campbell remained in that State, dealt in stock and made several trips across the plains with cattle and sheep. In 1872 he returned to his home in Missouri. Here he married Miss Charlotte Jones, a native of Ohio, and this union resulted in the birth of two children: John M. and James. For his second wife Mr. Campbell chose Elizabeth Jones, sister of his first wife. Five children were born to this union: Lucy R., Laura, Golden, William W., and an infant unnamed. After marriage Mr. Campbell settled on the old homestead, where he has since lived. He owns about 2,000 acres of land, and is one of the wealthiest men of the county, and among its heaviest tax-payers. The most of this property is the result of his own business capacity. He is quite extensively engaged in raising cattle and mules. He is a Democrat in his political views. The Campbell family have been in Polk County for fifty-six years.

William CARY


     William Cary was born in Mercer County, Penn., July 18, 1832, his parents being Louis and Mary (Hull) Cary. His father was born in Virginia, but on reaching manhood went to Pennsylvania and married Mary Hull, where they spent the remainder of their lives. He was in the War of 1812, at the battle of New Orleans. William, the youngest of ten children, received his education in the old subscription schools, and at the age of thirteen began the saddler's trade, at which he worked for some thirty-six years. In 1853 he married Florinda P. Rogers, of Pennsylvania, and four years later came to the county, but on the breaking out of the war returned to Pennsylvania., and four years later came to this county, but on the breaking out of the war returned to Pennsylvania. Remaining in Henry County, this State, till 1867 he returned to Polk County, and the following spring opened a harness store, which business he conducted till 1877; he also opened a hardware store, in which he continued till a few weeks since, when he sold out to his son. He is also the owner of some 500 acres of land. He has held the position of county treasurer four years, is president of the board of trustees of Southwest Baptist College, is a member of the A. O. U. W., and a Republican in politics. He has been a Baptist for forty-six years. Though burned out twice, Mr. Cary has succeeded in accumulation a good property.               

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     Harry L. Cary, son of William and Florinda P. (Rogers) Cary, was born in Crawford County, Penn., October 3, 1856, and when eleven years of age came to this county with his parents. His education was received in the Bolivar public schools. He was a salesman in his father's store for about twelve years, becoming a partner in 1878, in the business, under the firm name of William Cary & son, dealers in general hardware. He continued in the firm until 1889, when he purchased his father's interest and became sole proprietor. In 1878 he married Alice C. Mitchell, daughter of Columbus S. Mitchell; they have had four children, two sons and two daughters. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Church. In 1882 he was appointed county treasurer, and in 1884 was elected. He is a Mason, belonging to the Commandery, and in politics is a Democrat.



John Parttee Chapman, b 2-16-1870, d 3-9-48 at age 78. Died in Pleasant Hope at 11:20 p.m. of pneumonia.. Was a farmer. Father: Frank Chapman born in North Carolina. Mother: Annie Goodnight born in North Carolina.  Wife: Allie of the home (age 71); 1 daughter Mrs Georgia Miller of Pleasant Hope; a son Raymond Chapman of Springfield; 3 grandchildren; 2 sisters, Mrs. Jane Hodges of Fair Grove and Mrs. Ellen Adams of North Carolina. Pallbearers: Gene Adams, Jack Noe, Coral Alley, Willie Lejeune, George Eagon and Troy Mayfield. Services at Rock Prairie Church by Rev. Clarence Salsman at 2 pm the Friday following date of death.
Submitted by: Lanita Sconce Miller <ozarkn  /at /  southwind.net>


David S. Clark

HISTORY OF HICKORY, POLK, CEDAR, DADE AND BARTON COUNTIES, MISSOURI 1889, published by Goodspeed, Pgs. 633, 634--Polk County Biographies Section

     David S. Clark. Prominent among the enterprising citizens of the county, and among those deserving special recognition for their long residence in the county, stands the name of the above mentioned gentleman, who was born in Washington County, Tenn., December 26, 1824, being the son of William C. and Margaret (Moore) Clark. The father was born in Washington County, Tenn., in 1776, and is said to have been the first white child this side of the Alleghany Mountains. The mother was born in South Carolina in 1785. After marriage they settled in Washington County, Tenn., where they remained until 1833, and then came to Polk County, Mo., settling four miles southwest of Bolivar. Here the father died in 1845, and the mother in 1853. Both were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The father was quite fond of hunting, both in Tennessee and after coming to Missouri, where he and his sons killed the last bear seen in that section. He was one of the most extensive farmers of his day, and was the owner of extensive tracts of land. In politics he was a Whig until that party went down, and he then became a Democrat. He was the father of fourteen children, eight sons and six daughters, and the twelfth child was David S. Clark. He spent his boyhood days in assisting on the farm, and received the ordinary education to be had in the common country school; however it might be said that his education was rather above the average country boy. At the age of twenty he began for himself by farming, which has been his principal occupation during life, although he also ran a sawmill for about four years in Douglas County. September 10, 1846, he married Miss Ophelia C. Campbell, a native of Maury County, Tenn., born July 27, 1828, and the daughter of Ezekiel M. Campbell. Six children were born to this union. William M., Rebecca P., Annie O., John P., David S., Jr., and Katie. After marriage, Mr. Clark settled in Cedar County, but in 1850 went to the State of California, where he remained two and a half years, mining most of the time, and meeting with fair success. He rode a mule back, and was sixty-seven days making the trip. He located on the place where he now lives, and there remained until the breaking out of the war, when he enlisted in Company E, of Shelby's brigade, and was about three years in the Confederate service. He was never wounded nor taken prisoner. While he was in the army his house was burned, and his wife and children left homeless. Mrs. Clark and the children moved to Cooper County, then to Howard County, where they were joined by Mr. Clark at the close of the war. They then moved to Morgan County, made their home there until 1873, when they returned to their old home, in Polk County, and there they have since resided. Mr. Clark owns 360 acres of land, and his wife owns 320 acres, besides town property. Mrs. Clark is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. Mr. Clark is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. Mr. Clark is accounted one of the most successful farmers of his community, and one highly respected by all who know him. He is a Democrat in politics.                                                              Return To Top of Page


HISTORY OF HICKORY, POLK, CEDAR, DADE AND BARTON COUNTIES, MISSOURI 1889, published by Goodspeed, pgs. 632, 633

James Clark, one of the old and prominent citizens of Polk County, Mo., was born in Benton County, Ohio (then Ross County), December 2, 1824, being the second of eleven children born to William and Rachel (Starkey) Clark, who were born in Ross County, Ohio, and Virginia, in 1804 and 1800, and died in Kansas, and Polk County, Mo., in 1865 and 1856, respectively. They were married, and resided in the "Buckeye State" for some time; then came to Missouri, and located in Polk County, where they were residing at the time of the mother's death. The father afterward married Polly Hunter, who also died in Kansas. He was a farmer all his life, and was also deeply interested in church matters, the first Methodist Episcopal Church in the county being organized in his house after his arrival in Polk County, Mo. His children who are living are: George, a resident of Peru, Neb.; James; Enoch, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church; Miranda, a resident of Iowa; and Zara C., a farmer of Kansas. James Clark was educated in Ohio, and worked on his father's farm until twenty-five years of age, and then worked as a farm hand for three years. He then engaged in farming and stock raising on his own account, and has continued up to the present time, being counted one of the successful farmers of the county. In 1852 he was married to Miss Martha Jane Ragsdale, a daughter of Joel and Jane (Alread) Clark, [sic] who came from their native State of Kentucky to Cole County, Mo., at a very early period. Mrs. Clark was born in Logan County, Ky., May 13, 1834, and she and Mr. Clark became the parents of thirteen children: Rachel Jane wife of John Vandeford, a farmer of the county; Mary Miranda, wife of Isaiah Rimbey, also a farmer; Thomas J., Sarah Ellen, William Joel, John W.; Hannah R., wife of Daniel Davidson; Susan V., Annie, Martha M., Esther M., Rosa L. and Margaret A. All the sons and sons-in-law are engaged in farming. Mr. and Mrs. Clark have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church for many years, and have always been deeply interested in church affairs. He is a stanch Republican in politics. Their son, John W. Clark, was born in 1862, and received his education in the common schools, and supplemented this by an attendance in the Marionville Institute and the Southwest Baptist College at Bolivar, Mo., graduating in the course of letters. He has since been engaged in teaching school in Polk County. He is a Republican in politics, a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and has been class-leader in the Methodist Episcopal Church for about one year.

Washington D. COATS

HISTORY OF HICKORY, POLK, CEDAR, DADE AND BARTON COUNTIES, MISSOURI 1889, published by Goodspeed, Pgs. 634, 635--Polk County Biographies Section

Washington D. Coats, a prominent tiller of the soil of Jackson Township, who resides half a mile from Sharon Station, was born in Henry County, Tenn., September 30, 1825, emigrating to Missouri with his parents in the fall of 1833, and settling in what is now Polk county. He is the son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Coats) Coats (cousins), both natives of Tennessee, and born in 17795 and 1800 respectively. They were married about 1819, and afterward moved to West Tennessee, where they remained until 1833, when they settled in what is now Polk County, Mo. He followed farming in that county, and in 1859 took a herd of cattle of about fifty head to California. He died in that State in 1862. The mother died on the old home place June 30, 1870. They were the parents of eight children, four now living. Washington D. Coats attained his growth in Polk County, and was married in that county in 1849, to Miss Matilda Rook, a native of Tennessee, born in 1832, and who came to Missouri with her parents at an early age. After marriage Mr. Coats followed agricultural pursuits until the breaking out of the war, when he enlisted in Company H, Phelps' Regiment Missouri Infantry Volunteers, and served six months, and was mustered out in May, 1862. During his time of service he was in the battle of Pea Ridge. He enlisted in the Enrolled Militia, Company I, in 1862, serving six months, at which time the company was disbanded. He afterward served four months under Lieut. Roberts at Bolivar. After the war he returned home and engaged in farming. He is post commander of Phil. Sheridan Post No. 398, G. A. R. and is also a member of the Baptist Church. To his marriage were born twelve children: Newton Marion, William Henry, Thomas B., James A.; Rebecca E., now Mrs. Neil; Mary, now Mrs. Patterson; Frantz S., Abraham L., John W., Edward S.; Sarah E., now Mrs. Slatter; and Charley C. Mrs. Coats is also a member of the Baptist Church. Mr. Coats is well-read man, and takes great interest in educational matters. The paternal grandfather of our subject, Benjamin W. Coats, was born in Virginia, and died in Tennessee about 1840. His wife died about 1847. The maternal grandfather was probably born in Virginia, and died in Tennessee about 1835, and his wife in 1840.                 Return To Top of Page

Samuel W. Cossins

HISTORY OF HICKORY, POLK, CEDAR, DADE AND BARTON COUNTIES, MISSOURI 1889, published by Goodspeed, Pg. 635--Polk County Biographies Section

     Samuel W. Cossins, M. D., one of the eminent physicians of Polk County, Mo., located at Half Way, is a native of the county, and was born on the 27th of August, 1861, his parents, Thomas and Sarah Elizabeth (Hamilton) Cossins, being natives of Orange County, Ind., and Polk County, Mo., respectively. The father is still living at the age of about fifty-five years, but the mother died at quite an early day, and Mr. Cossins afterward married Martha Barnes, a native of Polk County, who is still living. He has been engaged in agricultural pursuits the greater portion of his life, but for some was in the grocery business. He has been and earnest worker in the Missionary Baptist Church for many years, and in his political views is a stanch Republican. When the Rebellion broke out he espoused the cause of the Union, shouldered his musket, and for four years was one of the "boys in blue," and participated in many battles and skirmishes, but was never wounded or captured during his entire service. Mr. Cossins was the father of two children by his first wife, Samuel W. and George W., the latter dying when about two years of age. His last union resulted in the birth of six children, two now living: William T. and Bertie. Dr. Samuel W. Cossins received his education in the Southwest Baptist College, and while still a student in that institution began the study of medicine under Dr. William Lemon, a physician of Greene County. During the winters of 1883-84 and 1884-85 he attended lectures in the Missouri Medical College, and was graduated from that institution in the latter year, soon after locating at Half Way, where he has acquired a large practice and won an enviable reputation as a physician. He is a Republican in his political views, and is Noble Grand in the I. O. O. F. June 23, 1881, he was married to Miss Delphinia A. Brown, a daughter of Peter and Sarah E. Brown of Polk County, by whom he has three children, Walter M., Otta C. and Sarah E. The Doctor and wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church.

W. R. Cowan

HISTORY OF HICKORY, POLK, CEDAR, DADE AND BARTON COUNTIES, MISSOURI 1889, published by Goodspeed, Pgs. 635, 636--Polk County Biographies Section

    W. R. Cowan, another prominent farmer and stock-raiser of Campbell Township, Polk County, Mo., and son of Robert and Mary J. (McDonnel) Cowan, was born in Dade County, Mo., April 13, 1850, was reared there on a farm and received a fair education in the common schools. At the age of twenty years he married Miss Arminta J. Carlock, who was also a native of Dade County, Mo., born in 1854, and shortly afterward they moved to Polk County, settling on a farm half in Cedar and half in Polk County. He resided in the former county for about five years, and then, in December, 1888, moved to his present farm. To his marriage were born eight children: Mary F., Arthur L., Kate, Laura B., Ora, Amanda D., Lemuel and Dorothy Alice. Mr. Cowan is a Democrat in politics. Robert Cowan, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in East Tennessee in 1824, and remained in that State until seventeen years of age, when he moved to Cedar County, Mo., and after a short time there went to St. Clair County, and later moved to Dadeville, Dade County. He was a Union soldier, and was first lieutenant in the regular service. Mary J. (McConnel) Cowan was born in Virginia, and became the mother of only one child, W. R. Cowan, and died when he was but four months old. The paternal grandfather, William Cowan, who was of Dutch descent, was a citizen of Tennessee. The maternal grandfather, Thomas McConnel, was a native of Virginia, and died in that State.                        
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Source: Goodspeed History of Hickory, Polk, Cedar, Dade & Barton Counties Missouri Published by Goodspeed Publishing Co., Chicago 1889

Biographies of Polk County Missouri, Pg. 636

Cunnyngham, Thomas W., one of the old and much esteemed citizens of Polk Co., MO., is a native of Knox Co., TN., born June 8, 1814, and is the son of William H. & Magdalene (Lewis) Cunnyngham. The father as born in Shenandoah Co., VA., in 1765, and when a young man went to East Tennessee, where he was married to Miss Lewis, who was born in 1771. They were married in a fort where they had to remain on account of the Indians. Riding out one day, the father was shot through the thigh by Indians in ambush. He followed the occupation of a farmer all his life and was quite successful. In political views he was first an Anti-Federalist, next a Democrat until after the election of Van Buren, when he became a Whig. His last vote was cast for Henry Clay. Both he and wife were members of the early school Methodist Church, when they were called "Babblers". He died in 1845, and she in 1846. In their family were 12 children, seven sons and five daughters. The paternal grandparents of young Cunnyngham were natives of Ireland, and came to America in 1765. Thomas W., the subject of this sketch, attained the growth of his father's farm, and received a very limited education, never having studied arithmetic but two months. He cared for his parents as long as they lived, and on November 17, 1842, he married Disa Wilson, a native of Sevier Co., Tennessee, born February 14, 1819. In 1850 they moved to Polk Co., MO., and the following year to the property where he now lives. By this union five children were born, four now living. James H. W., Robert W., John M., and Thomas W. Both Mr. and Mrs. Cunnyngham are members of the Southern Methodist Church. In politics he was formerly a Whig but is now democrat. During militia days he was captain, and during the war he was lieutenant colonel of regiment of Mo. Home Guards. For three years he was county surveyor, and in 1858-59 he represented Polk Co., in the Legislature. In 1862 and 1866 he was County Clerk. The first two years he was county clerk, circuit clerk and ex-offcio recorder. From 1852 to 1856 he held the office of county Judge and has been one of the prominent men and representative citizens of the county. He has farmed all his life, and is the owner of 450 acres of land, besides, he started all his children.

Submitted by: Sharon Day              Return To Top of Page


Source: Goodspeed

History of Hickory, Polk, Cedar, Dade & Barton Counties Missouri Published by Goodspeed Publishing Co., Chicago 1889

Biographies of Polk County Missouri, Pg. 637

Cunnyngham, James H.W., hardware merchant at Morrisville, Mo., is the son of Thomas W., and Disa (Wilson) Cunnyngham, and was born September 13, 1843 in McMinn Co., Tennessee. He was reared on the farm, receiving a common school education, and in 1862 he enlisted in Co. F, Twenty-sixth Enrolled Mo., Militia, U.S. Service and upon the organization was appointed Sergeant Major of his regiment. He served in all about two years, and after peace was declared he engaged in farming. November 15, 1863 he married Miss Ruyle, a native of Polk Co., Mo., born July 3, 1844, and the daughter of Gideon Ruyle. To this union were born four children: Thomas B., (deceased), Albert G., died at the age of twenty years; Disa L., who is the only one no living; and Salley M., also deceased. Both Mr. and Mrs. Cunnyngham are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and in political views, he is a Democrat. Having farmed until 1883, he and S.B. Elzey built the Morrisville Mill, which he helped run a year. In 1885 he and the Lemmon Bros. opened a hardware store, which they continued until 1887, when Mr. Cunnyngham purchased their interest, and has run it ever since. He has been quite successful as a business man, having made the most of his property by his own efforts. Besides his mercantile interest he is also engaged in agricultural pursuits and has 209 acres of land.

Submitted by: Sharon Day      Return To Top of Page

Mrs. Joanna Davis
Bolivar Free Press, 1945

    Joanna Davis was born Oct. 2, 1864, in Polk County, Missouri, and departed this life Monday, July 30, 1945, at the home of her son, Ray Y. Davis, southwest of Aldrich, Mo., at the age of 80 years, 9 months and 28 days.

    She was the daughter of Sharp and Minerva Kirby.

    On Sept. 6, 1885, she was united in marriage to John Marshall Davis, to which union were born eleven children, eight sons and three daughters, as follows:  Otho L. of Oakland, Calif., Ralph K. of Craig, Colo., Ray Y. and Paul J. of the home, Frank A. of San Diego, Calif., Victor K. of Boise, Idaho, Earl and Gene, who died in infancy, Clare of Ogden, Utah, Rose and Lucille of Aldrich.  Her husband preceded her in death fifteen years ago.

    She is also survived by two brothers, Dr. Ben Kirby of Dadeville and Thad S. Kirby of Aldrich, three half-brothers, Dr. Virgil King of Kansas City, Roy C. King of Greenfield, and Elwyn King of Walnut Grove.  One-half brother, Fred King, died five years ago.

    She was converted and joined the Pleasant Ridge Church in her early twenties and remained a faithful member until death.

    She also leaves twenty-four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and a host of other relatives and friends to mourn her passing.

    The funeral services were held at the Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church at 2:30 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 1, preached by the Rev. J. S. Weaver, assisted by the Rev. Joe F. Leith.  Burial was in the Pleasant Ridge Cemetery under the direction of Erwin & Blue of Bolivar.

Submitted by Donna Ketchum Bond
tbond@cland.net                                Return To Top of Page


BRACKETT DAVISON was born in Prince Edward Co., VA on November 17, 1796. He was the second son of George Davidson and Lucretia McDearmon, both of whom were born in Prince Edward County. His parents moved to Maury Co., TN sometime after his grandmother, Sarah Owen Davidson, died in 1809. (In the final settlement of Sarah's will in 1825, it was noted that she spelled the family name Davison)

George Davidson bought one hundred acres on Flat Creek for $200 on May 20, 1816 from Samuel Polk, father of President James Knox Polk. Polk, who had received 5,000 acres in a North Carolina land grant in Maury County, was a friend and neighbor of the Davidsons in Iredale Co., NC. Brackett bought several parcels of land adjoining and from Polk's grant and near the land of his father-in-law, James Hardison. Brackett married Delilah Hardison, daughter of James Hardison and Mary Roberson on August 3, 1817. In 1838, Brackett sold his land on Flat Creek and moved his family to Missouri.

Brackett and Delilah Hardison Davidson had fourteen children, the first twelve born in Maury Co., TN, the last two in Polk Co., MO. They were:

*Thomas McDearmon, b. May 16, 1818, m. Elizabeth Barclay in Polk Co., MO on March 22, 1841. He was killed during the Civil War.
*George (M.D.), b. Feb 22, 1820, m. (1) Rebecca Woolard (1819-1865) and (2) Elizabeth Woolard Edmisson in 1866, d. Jan 4, 1887, buried in Dallas Co., MO.
*Fanny Minerva, b. Oct 22, 1821, d. Oct 28, 1840, never married.
*Lucretia, b. July 28, 1823, m. Durrett Barclay on Sept 15, 1841, d. Feb 25, 1904.
*James Hardison, b. July 28, 1825, m. Lucy Barclay on Mar 24, 1844, killed during Civil War, in Dallas Co., MO.
*Milton McMacklin, b. Sept 9, 1826, m. Rosa Glover on July 24, 1845, d. June 12, 1912.
*Margaret Catherine, b. July 13, 1828, m. Joe Stuart on May 7, 1845, d. Mar 29, 1910.
*Calvin Brackett, b. Mar 1, 1830, m.(1) Matilda Jane Glover on May 10, 1849, (2) Mrs. Rachel Steinbaugh Bridges on Sept 6, 1864, d. Dec 6, 1903 in Rockwall Co., TX.
*William H(ardison?), b. Jan 5, 1832, m. Sarah Jane Davis on Feb 3, 1853, d. Aug 21, 1855.
*Sarah Elizabeth, b. Feb 6, 1834, m. John R. Glover Feb 3, 1853, d. Dec 6, 1887.
*Joshua, b. Oct 13, 1835, m.(1) Henrietta Bennet c. 1855, (2) Mary Bennett c. 1856/57, d. Apr 10, 1908.
*Mary Jane, b. July 30, 1837, m. William Kennedy Atteberry, d. May 20, 1911, buried at Charity, Dallas Co., M
*John Humphrey, b. Oct 30, 1843, m.(1) Susan _irgiria Pagsaale (Ragsdale?) on Dec 19, 1861, (2) Susan E. Turner, d. Mar 10, 1922
*Charles Isum Joel, b. Nov 1846, d. Sept 9, 1848.

Brackett and his older brother Joshua (1793-1850) served in the War of 1812. Pension records on file in the National Archives show that Brackett volunteered on September 27, 1814 in Maury County for a term of six months. He was assigned to Capt. James McMahon's Company (also referred to as Capt. Samuel Crawford's Co.) of Mounted Gunmen. His company was part of the First Regiment, commanded by Col. Dyer.

Brackett was wounded at New Orleans on December 23, 1814 and was honorably discharged at Nashville, TN on April 27, 1815, being declared "three-fourths disabled from obtaining his subsistence by manual labor." He received his small pension for the rest of his life.

(For more information on Brackett Davidson and his associated families, contact descendant William Davison at his e-mail address below.)

Submitted by: William Davison   Return To Top of Page


James H. Derrossett was born February 13, 1856 in Polk county, Mo.; age 72 years, 2 months, 12 days. He died April 25, 1928.

He was united in marriage Dec. 17, 1877 to Margaret E. Clark of Wishart, Mo. Born to this union were seven children- Flora E. Fugate, Willard, Mo.; Slona E. Rainey, Vista, Mo.; Nora Degraffenreid, Alrich, Mo.; Lucy Robertson and Murvey Derrossett, both of Morrisville; Wade Derrossett, Phenix, Mo.; W. L. Derrossett, Phenix, Mo.; who passed on April 17, 1925.

Mr. Derrossett professed faith in Christ at Mitchell Camp Ground, joining the church at Enon in 1878, transferring his membership to Morrisville Baptist church in 1914. He was a home loving man, well liked by all who knew him.

He leaves a wife, six children, twenty-one grandchildren, on great grand child, and three sisters to mourn their loss.

CARD OF THANKS: We wish to express our thanks to the many friends and neighbors who have been so kind and faithful during the sickness and death of our dear beloved husband and father. We especially thank Mr. Jones and G. W. Derrossett for their faithfulness in caring for him. (signed) THE DERROSSETT FAMILY

Submitted by: (Jan Robertson) Lowry homemaker_1127@yahoo.com
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Obituary of Margaret Derossett

Mrs. Margaret Derossett, 87, died at the home of her son, Mervey Derossett, of near Brighton, at 3 o'clock this morning. A native of Tennessee, she had lived in the Brighton community since she was two years old. Besides the son at whose home she died, she is survived by another son, Wade, of Phenix, Mo.; two daughters Mrs. George DeGraffenreid, of Bolivar, and Mrs. Clois Robertson, of Springfield,; 19 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be at 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon in the Oakville Church, with Rev. Alpha Redford officiating. Burial will be under direction of Willard B. Erwin, of Pleasant Hope.

Springfield Leader and Press, Friday evening, December 27, 1940.

Submitted by: Jan (Robertson) Lowry homemaker_1127@yahoo.com      Return To Top of Page


Obituary of Margaret Derossett

Funeral services for Mrs. Margaret Derossett, 87, a long-time resident of the Brighton community, will be at 2 o'clock this afternoon in the Oakville church with the Rev. Alpha Redford officiating. Mrs. Derossett died yesterday morning in the home of a son Mervey, of near Brighton.

Besides her son she is survived by another son, Wade of Phenix, MO.; two daughters, Mrs. George Degraffenreid of Bolivar, and Mrs. Clois Robertson of Springfield,; 19 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Burial will be under the direction of Willard B. Erwin funeral home.  Saturday morning, December 28, 1940.

Oakville cemetery is located 2 1/4 miles southwest of Morrisville (Polk County), Missouri.

Double stone: Derossett, James H - February 13, 1885-April 25, 1928
Derossett, Margaret E. - September 14, 1853-December 27, 1940

Submitted by: Jan (Robertson)  Lowry homemaker_1127@yahoo.com

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This page was last updated on 24 November 2000

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Wednesday, 18-Mar-2009 19:32:17 MDT Copyright 1998--2005;  by  

Kay Griffin Snow  SW, MO

Anne Hood Ann Arbor MI

Information submitted will remain the property of the submitter.

18 Apr 2004