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Audrain County, Missouri

"History of Northeast Missouri" Edited by Walter Williams,
Published by The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago Illinois 1913, Page 1325

HARRISON L. KELLY is one of the substantial farmers who so  much toward making Missouri what it is--the home of industry and real manhood. He has succeeded in making his land yield him a prosperous income and has won the respect of his community by his industry and honesty. Of powerful physique, weighing about two hundred and fifty pounds, he has the appearance of a strong and true son of the soil, and his genial face reflects his innate kindness and hospitality.

The birth of Harrison KELLY occurred near Greenville, Michigan, on January 10, 1863. His father was George V. KELLY, who was born in Livingston county, New York, on the 4th of August, 1825, the son of William KELLY, a native of Kentucky. William KELLY was a soldier in the War of 1812, and did not move to New York until that brief struggle was at an end. He was married in Livingston County, New York to Harriet WHITING, and died in the same locality, in the year 1832, when his young son George was only seven years old. After the demise of his father, George KELLY went to live with a neighbor. When the child was twelve years old, he moved with his foster parents to Michigan, where he grew to manhood.

The first experience of George KELLY as a wage-earner was gained in the capacity of a teacher in the country schools of Michigan. He taught several terms, and finally, in the year 1847, was married on the 15th of March, to Julia A. DEWEY. Mrs. KELLY was born in Vermont, but came to Michigan as a child with her parents, Levi and Amanda DEWEY. Her family was related to the famous Admiral George DEWEY, who achieved such prominence in the Spanish-American War, and in the after years, the admiral entertained some of them at his home in Washington. After his marriage, Mr. KELLY continued to teach school for while outside of Washburn County, Michigan, and working nights and mornings, made barrels while teaching. In 1849, however, he laid aside the teacher's ferrule and took up the plow handle, establishing himself on a farm in Montcalm county, Michigan, where he remained until 1869. In that year, he moved to Missouri, where he first located on Hickory creek, Audrain county, and two years later moved to the farm six miles southwest of Vandalia, on which land his son is now engaged in the pursuit of agriculture. George Varner KELLY was one of the first to fence in and improve an all prairie farm. In the days when he secured and put under cultivation his two hundred and fifty acres, the entire surrounding prairie was like a vast common, dotted with herds of grazing cattle, owned by farmers in the vicinity. Accustomed to different methods of farming, however, and interested in raising of crops rather than growing of stock, Mr. KELLY fenced in his land, and in time converted the rolling prairie to well tended fields, which yielded him a considerable income.

George Varner KELLY died at Greenville, Michigan, the home of his youth, on June 24, 1894, and his wife followed him to the Beyond on July 16, 1902. Both lie in the Greenville Cemetery. Their children were Dewey, who died at Phoenix, Arizona in 1895, at the age of forty five; Altha C., who married Frank Rogers, and resides in Chicago; Emma A. and Ida J., whose deaths occurred at a short interval apart, while the bright and attractive women were still in early life, and whose untimely departure cast a shadow over the lives of their family and friends; Eunice Eula, who is the wife of Charles DEWEY, and resides near Greenville, Michigan; Harrison L
. the worthy subject of this short sketch.


Harrison L. KELLY was only six years old when he came to Missouri with his parents. Upon reaching the age of discretion, he became a partner to his father in the discharge of the duties of the farm, and finally the full management of the place was placed in his hands. Upon the death of his mother, when the estate passed into his possession. Harrison KELLY found himself the owner not only of one hundred and fifty acres of the original two hundred and fifty, which his father had accumulated, but of quite a large amount of stock in the Bank of Farber, of which his father had been one of the founders. Harrison Kelly retained this stock for two or three years, during which time he served as president of the institution. At the end of that period, he sold out, and preceded to devote his life to the cultivation of the farm his father had settled in 1871.

By hard work and careful management, Mr. KELLY added eighty acres to the tract of land which he originally received from his father. He has also become the owner of town lots in Vandalia, which anyone familiar with that thriving town will recognize as a good investment. He has made many improvements to the farm property. His home, and the other buildings on the place are substantial and well built, and he has installed every necessity for progressive and up-to-date farming. He raises grain extensively, and has fattened a great many hogs for market. He has been very careful not to exhaust the fertility of the soil, and has so successfully kept his acres productive, that the land which cost about five or six dollars an acre in 1871, is now worth more than one hundred dollars an acre.

Although his position in the community might warrant his seeking public prominence, Mr. KELLY has ever been satisfied in playing his part as a private citizen, and has never sought or received office. He is an earnest worker in the Mt. Olivet Presbyterian church, and has given his services for some years as a deacon in that congregation.

The marriage of Mr. Harrison KELLY to Mary Margaret BARNES took place December 17, 1885. Mrs. KELLY was the daughter of William and Margaret (HILL) BARNES, both of whom were born and married in Pennsylvania. After their marriage the parents of Mrs. KELLY moved at once to Pike County Illinois, where they located on a farm on the road between Pittsfield and Barry Illinois. In 1881, they moved to Audrain County, where they bought some land six miles west of Vandalia. They lived on this property until their deaths. Mrs. BARNES passed away in 1886, and her husband on July 18, 1908, when in his eightieth year. Mr. and Mrs. BARNES had five sons, John, William, David and Albert, all of whom live in the vicinity of their old home, and Thomas, who died at the age of thirty nine, at Black Hills, South Dakota. They also were the parents of two daughters, Sarah, who is the wife of George W. PINES, of Audrain County, and Mrs. KELLY.

Mr. and Mrs. KELLY have no children of their own. They adopted a little girl, Mabel Isabel TALMADGE, when she was five years old, and kept her with them until her marriage
. She is now the wife of Ira PEAS, who lives near Vandalia.    Top

SOURCE:  page 1478, History of Northeast Missouri, Edited by Walter Williams, 1911

HAMILTON BROTHERS  - Among the men of enterprise in the vicinity of Mexico, probably none could be named who have made better use of their opportunities and have been more resourceful in making for themselves a substantial business, than the HAMILTON Brothers, Jack and James, whose fine stock farm is located a mile and a half south of Mexico.

Both brothers are natives of Callaway county, where Jack was born December 13, 1879, and James on September 19, 1884. Their father, now deceased, was a native of Kentucky, coming to Callaway county in 1844 at the age of eighteen. The mother, who came from Tennessee to Missouri when five years old, in 1843, is still living in Callaway county at the age of seventy four. The father was a successful farmer and stockman near Auxvasse, where he had a farm of three hundred acres.

Jim and Jack HAMILTON have always associated in their business undertakings. They had their share of reverses and difficulties in the beginning, but with youth and energy they made steady advance in spite of lack of capital. In 1891 they engaged in the stock business on rented land, and from year to year bought land until they are now proprietors of four hundred acres in Callaway county. In the spring of 1910, to secure better advantages from location in Mexico, they bought two hundred and fifty acres a mile and half south of town and there established a stock farm which has already acquired a fine reputation in many parts of northeast Missouri. The land had no improvements when they took possession, but they have provided the best of modern facilities for the care of their stock, including three barns, the ground dimensions of which are 100x50, 150x38, and 74x54, respectively. The HAMILTON brothers raise horses, jack and saddle horses and mules, and keep on their place from twenty-five to thirty stallions of all ages, and from twelve to fifteen registered saddle mares.

Jim HAMILTON was married March 5, 1899, in Callaway county, to Miss Mildred BELL, daughter of James H. and Sallie BELL of Callaway county., One child, Doris, was born to the marriage in December, 1900. Jack HAMILTON is still a bachelor.  

"History of Northeast Missouri" Edited by Walter Williams,
Published by The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago Illinois 1913 Three Volumes, page 1343

GILBERT BEEBEE MOORE. The career of Gilbert B. MOORE, of Audrain county, furnishes a striking example of the desirable result to be accomplished through the pursuits of honesty, integrity and perseverance. Mr. MOORE being the architect of his own fortunes in a remarkable degree. Left fatherless when only three years of age by the bullet of a Confederate soldier during the Civil war. Mr. MOORE spent his boyhood in hard unremitting toil, nor was he given the advantages that higher education, capital or influential friends could bring. However, in him as in scores of other men, the necessity to care for himself developed natural abilities that might otherwise have remained dormant, and his courageous, energetic labors have caused him to forge his way to the front rank of agriculturists of his section of the county.

Merimon MOORE, the grandfather of Gilbert B. MOORE, was born in 1797 in North Carolina, near the Virginia state line, there owning a plantation and keeping many slaves. About 1830, he came to Missouri and entered about one thousand acres of land, four miles from Ashley, in Pike county, and there his death occurred in 1862. He was a prominent Democrat of his day and was ordained a preacher in the Primitive Baptist faith, and assisted in erecting the old Siloam church. Before leaving his native state, Mr. MOORE was married to Permelia FARMER, and she died at the home place in Pike County, Missouri, when she was sixty-seven years of age, in 1879, having been the mother of four children: Osbourn Jefferson, Austin C., Ozias O., and Mary A., all of whom spent their lives in Missouri.

Osbourn Jefferson MOORE, son of Merimon and father of Gilbert B. MOORE, was born July 15, 1832. As a young man he was engaged in farming and teaching, and also studied surveying, and was a faithful and industrious worker. He stood among his fellow citizens, and was elected to the office of Justice of the Peace, but at the outbreak of the Civil war enlisted in the Confederate army under General Price, and met his death in battle January 13, 1863. In politics he was a Democrat. He was married to Miss Louisa BRANSTETTER, who was born in 1840 in Pike county, Missouri, daughter of Frederick BRANSTETTER. Prior to this, she had been married to E. P. MORRIS, of Vandalia; she still survives. Mr. and Mrs. MOORE had two children: Gilbert Beebee; and Sallie P. J., who married John WILSON and lives in Portland, Maine.

Gilbert Beebee MOORE was born near Ashley, Pike county, Missouri, March 14, 1860, and was reared on the home farm. At the age of sixteen years he went to live with his Uncle, T. B. BRANSTETTER, in Audrain county, about eight miles south of Vandalia, and about four years later purchased eighty acres of land six miles south of the city. Since this time he has carried on farming, although he has also devoted his attention to other pursuits. In 1889 he located in Vandalia and secured a position teaming for the La Crosse Lumber company, and subsequently for the Crawford company, and then spent eleven years in the ice business in partnership with Charley BLAIN. He was made deputy constable and subsequently Justice of the Peace in Vandalia, but in 1904 returned to his farm, where he has since resided, being the owner of 212 acres of finely cultivated land. He carries on general farming and also devotes much attention to stock raising, and his ventures have proven uniformly success!
his property being one of the valuable ones in Audrain county. He has also risen to prominence in public life, and is at this time the Democratic nominee for the position of county Judge.

On March 23, 1881, Mr. MOORE was united in marriage with Miss Ruanna CROW, who was born February 20, 1856 in Pike county, Missouri, daughter of Jacob and Catherine (SHAW) CROW, old and honored settlers of Pike county, when they came from Kentucky. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. MOORE, namely: Carl Bertram, who married (first) Neva LAUGHLIN, and has one child, Gilbert J., and (second) Ida SIDWELL; and Leland, who married Carrola SIDWELL. Both sons reside in Audrain county, where they have valuable homes and well-cultivated tracts of land. Mr. MOORE and his family attend the Primitive Baptist Church, and have numerous friends in church, social and business life in the county.  

"History of Northeast Missouri" Edited by Walter Williams,
Published by The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago Illinois 1913 Three Volumes, page 1347

JOHN T. RICKETTS, of the firm of RICKETTS & WHITNEY, dealers in abstracts, real estate and loans of Mexico, Missouri, is the son of Joseph M. and Jane (GRANT) RICKETTS, both natives of Rappahannock county, Virginia. He was born in Rappahannock county, Virginia, on January 2, 1858. The father was a soldier in the Confederate Army and served throughout the war in the quartermasters department. His wife's father, John GRANT, was a close relative of General GRANT and through his association with the general in that way secured the protection of an armed guard of Union soldiers for the safeguarding of his estate in Virginia. The estate was quite a valuable one, and on his death, which took place in the early part of the war, Jane GRANT fell heir to a part of it. When the war was over, Joseph RICKETTS resumed his mercantile operation at Flinthill, continuing until 1868, when he came to Missouri, where his brother, Charles RICKETTs, had been engaged in the practice of law for some years. Locating in Mexico, he opened a dry-goods store, continuing it until his death which occurred October 25, 1874, when he was fifty-two years of age, typhoid fever causing his death. His widow survived him until 1904. They have a son and a daughter, the latter residing in Mexico, and the son is John T. RICKETTS of this review.

When sixteen years of age, his father died, and soon thereafter, John T. RICKETTS became assistant circuit clerk under James CARROLL which position he maintained for some three years. Thereafter he passed a year in Virginia with his mother, and on his return to Mexico entered the Exchange Bank as bookkeeper, where he remained for another period of three years. It was then he entered the abstract business, and his first partner in this work was one Thomas NELSON, an ex-collector of revenue of Audrain County, Missouri. Later the association was discontinued and R. P. HOPKINS, another
ex-collector for Audrain county, became Mr. RICKETTS partner. Still later the company took Butler GUTHRIE in as a partner and they organized the Title Guaranty and Abstract Company, the business of which was afterwards taken over by Mr. RICKETTS and A. H. WHITNEY, the present recorder of deeds of Audrain county. They own three sets of abstracts of Audrain county and conduct a general real estate and loan business in connection with the abstract business. Their loans are extensive, and theirs is one of the biggest agencies in the county.

Mr. RICKETTS is a Democrat and has served various times on the Democratic county committee. He is secretary of the Commercial Club, and was a delegate to the World's Real Estate Congress held at Chicago in 1893, and as a representative of Missouri did some excellent work in the way of bringing his state to the front of the real estate world. He is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and was a delegate to the National Elks convention at Philadelphia in 1908. He is also a member of
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is identified with the Baptist Church, as are his family, with the exception of his wife, who is a member of the Christian church.

In 1887 Mr. RICKETTS was united in marriage with Miss Fanny BUSH, the daughter of James M. BUSH, a merchant of Mexico for many years who came from Kentucky in 1867. Mrs. RICKETTS is a graduate of Hardin College. Two children have been born to them: Aurelia, who died on February 3, 1912, at the early age of twenty-two years. She was young woman of delightful personality, and was a graduate of the musical department of Hardin College, and a member of the Baptist church. She was prominent in society in her home town and college circles, where she was a member of various clubs and fraternities. The son, Joseph H., is a graduate of Mexico High School. He was for three years identified with the Mercantile Trust Company of St. Louis, but is now in the employ of RICKETTS & Whitney company. He is also a secretary for the Mexico Savings and Loan Association, one of the thriving young institutions of Mexico, and gives splendid promise of an exceptionally successful business career.

History of Northeast Missouri

Edited by Walter Williams


Hamilton Brothers

Harrison L Kelly

Gilbert BeeBee Moore

John T Ricketts

George Robertson

James Harvey Sallee

Hon. James E Sims

Orris B Sims

Charles L Stewart