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Audrain County, Missouri

page 1027, History of Northeast Missouri, Edited by Walter Williams, 1911

GEORGE ROBERTSON. In writing of the life of George ROBERTSON, of the firm of ROBERTSON & ROBERTSON, attorneys and counselors, it is sufficient only to set forth the bare facts with relation to his accomplishments and his record in the field of legal practice. No attempt is made to embellish or to in any way enhance the record of his achievements, the "plain, unvarnished tale" being best suited to a man of his caliber and character.

George ROBERTSON was born in Mahaska county, Iowa, on the second day of June, 1852, and is the son of James Register and Margaret (BARKLEY) ROBERTSON, natives of Tennessee, of whom further details will be given in a later paragraph. The ROBERTSON family is one of Scotch ancestry. William ROBERTSON, the great-great-grandsire of the subject was born in Scotland, removed to Ulster County, Pennsylvania, and engaged in farming. Just prior to the Revolutionary war he removed to Caswell county, North Carolina. He became the father of Joseph ROBERTSON by his wife, also of Scottish birth.

Joseph ROBERTSON was born in York county, Pennsylvania, in June, 1760. He became a revolutionary soldier in 1777, the military spirit which characterized so many of the names thus early cropping out in the youth. He served in the North Carolina line and when his first term of enlistment was expired, promptly re-enlisted and remained in the service until the war was ended. He was in the thick of the fight at many important engagements, among them were, Cowpens, Guilford Court house and King's Mountain. During the war period the young man married Margaret DERBY and they eventually settled in Guilford county, North Carolina. Late in life they removed to Blount county, Tennessee, where Joseph ROBERTSON died in 1834. His son, George ROBERTSON, who was born in Guilford county, North Carolina, removed to Green county, Tennessee, in young manhood, and there he married Deborah REGISTER, a sister of Captain REGISTER of the War of 1812, Tennessee troops, and George ROBERTSON himself served in that war under General Jackson. For his serviced in that military struggle, George ROBERTSON was given a land warrant, which his son, James Register ROBERTSON, the father of George, of this review, located in Mahaska county, Iowa in 1852. Thus was the family established in Iowa, and thus we have the ancestors of the house of ROBERTSON in direct line from William of Scottish birth in the early days of the eighteenth century, to George of the present day.

James Register ROBERTSON was born in Washington county, Tennessee, January 22, 1822, the son of George and Deborah (REGISTER) ROBERTSON, as above mentioned. The young man received an education above that of the average youth of his day and his first occupation was that of a teacher. He married Margaret BARKLEY, a native of Rheatown, Tennessee. She was of Scotch ancestry, her mother, though a native of Ireland, being of full Scotch blood, and the father, Samuel BARKLEY, being the son of a Scotch lady. There is a hint of English blood in the BARKLEY name, suggested by the fact that the name was at one time rendered "Berkley", a purely English form. Margaret BARKLEY was born on Christmas day, in the year 1836, and her father was born in Greene county, Tennessee, the mother coming from the county of Ulster, Ireland, and both being of the Presbyterian faith. The ROBERTSONS also have been members of the Presbyterian church down to the last generation. George ROBERTSON having departed from the faith to unite with the Christian Church of the Disciples.

George ROBERTSON, the immediate subject of this review, was educated in the common schools of Iowa, Tennessee and Rudolph county, Missouri, in which latter place the family located in 1867. At the age of twenty years, Mr. ROBERTSON began teaching school in Audrain county, spending portions of his time at school at the State Normal School in Kirksville, Missouri, until 1876, in which year he was admitted to the bar. Since that time Mr. ROBERTSON has maintained his home in Mexico, and has there been identified with the public life of the city and county in no small degree, as well as coming to be recognized as one of the leading lawyers of the state. In 1894 he was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1890, owing to the disqualification of the Circuit Judge of Callaway County, he was elected to the bar of that county to hold a special term of court; and again in 1906 owing to the sickness of the judge of the circuit court, he was elected by the bar of Randolph county to hold the March term of that court, the term lasting from March to July of that year. Three times since 1877 has George ROBERTSON held the office of city attorney. In 1880 he was elected county public administrator, an office which he held for four years, and in 1886 was appointed by Governor Marmaduke to fill out an unexpired term as prosecuting attorney. He has been attorney for the Wabash Railroad Company in this section for twenty-five years. From 1890 to 1900 he was trial attorney for the Chicago and Alton Railway Company in the country courts of the state. In 1899 he was elected president of the Missouri Bar Association. For several years he has been non-resident lecturer for municipal corporations in the law department of the State University. In 1906 he received over one hundred votes by the Democratic convention at Excelsior Springs for Democratic nomination for supreme judge, although he was not an announced candidate for the office. Mr. ROBERTSON is also director and counselor for the North Missouri Trust company, and has been since its organization. Although a Democrat, Mr. ROBERTSON refused to support Bryan in the Free Silver campaign of 1896. He was a delegate at large to the Indianapolis convention that nominated Palmer and Buckner and adopted a gold standard platform. In 1897 he was appointed a member of the board of managers for the Colony for Feeble Minded and Epileptics, the appointment coming from Governor STEPHENS. Six months after his appointment he resigned. He was president of the Mexico Chautauqua Assembly in 1909 and 1910, and president of the Mexico Business Men's Association in 1910 and 1911. In 1912 he was president of the Mexico Bar Association. In 1911 he was president of the North Missouri Cross State Highway Association, and in 1903 assisted in the organization of the North Missouri Trust Company, of which he has since been director and counsel as above mentioned. In 1895 he was one of the three proprietors who laid off the Woodlawn Place an addition to the city of Mexico. In relation to his present political affiliations, it may be added that he is at present chairman of the executive committee of the Wilson-Marshall-Clark-Major Democratic club of Mexico.

Mr. ROBERTSON has always held to the idea that the chief value of a lawyer to his client is to prevent litigation instead of fostering it. In the conduct of his cases he proceeds upon the idea that justice is the object of the trial, never forgetting that the lawyer does not cease to be a citizen, nor a man, and that all the fundamental obligations are the same for him as for all others.

Fraternally Mr. ROBERTSON is a Mason, with affiliations in the Knights of Templar and the Shrine. He is a member of the Missouri Society of the sons of the American Revolution. His churchly relations are maintained as a member of the Christian church.

On September 3, 1879, Mr. ROBERTSON married in Mexico to Miss Laura HINER. She is a daughter of David Augustus and Desdemone (GORMAN) HINER. The father was a river pilot of the old days, and was a contract pilot in the Mississippi Flotilla under Admiral PORTER during the Civil war. He was in charge of the "New Uncle Sam" that landed General Grant at the Battle of Shiloh, or Pittsburg Landing the first day of the fight. Mrs. ROBERTSON is a granddaughter of David HINER, who was head pilot of Porter's Fleet on the Mississippi during the war. He piloted the "A. O. Tyler" in the fight with "Arkansas" ram at the mouth of the Yazoo River, and was wounded in that action, but recovered and remained in the service until the close of the war. The mother was a daughter of William GORMAN of Selma, Alabama, a noted portrait painter. Mrs. ROBERTSON was born in Newport, Kentucky, and lived by turn in Covington, Kentucky, St. Louis and Audrain county. She received her college education at Mt. Pleasant College, Huntsville, Missouri, under the regime of James TERRILL, then president.

Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. ROBERTSON, of who the following brief data are entered: Madge was born July 2, 1881, and died May 10, 1905, while a student at the University of Missouri, just a few days prior to the time when she would have received her A. B. Degree. She was a B. L. and A. M. of Hardin College. David H. was born April 7, 1883, educated at Westminster College and Missouri University, completing a course in law, after which he entered into partnership with his father. George T. was born May 5, 1885; he was educated at the Virginia Military Institute, spending four years in that school, and is now a resident of Mexico, where he is connected with the Mexico Brick & Fire Clay company. Laura was born September 18, 1888, she was educated at Hardin College, Missouri University and at Colonial School in Washington D. C. She spent three years at Washington, followed by a two year sojourn in New York City, where she was a student of voice under Oscar Saenger. James Graham was born December 24, 1890, and is now in his senior year in Westminster College.

Mr. ROBERTSON enjoys an enviable standing at the bar and with his son conducts a wide practice in this section of the state. His work in a public way has been of a high character and his services have at all times been especially commendable.

One act in particular calls for a separate mention and that was his service in having a statute declared unconstitutional in which the prosecuting attorneys of the state, were, in an indirect way, trying to re-establish negro slavery in Missouri. Mr. ROBERTSON inaugurated the movement against the statute and was the prime mover in its activities. Full details concerning this interesting incident may be found in the authorized record "In re Thompson 117 Mo., 83."    Top

Page 1241, History of Northeast Missouri, Edited by Walter Williams, 1911

JAMES HARVEY SALLEE. Since the days of the ancient Babylonians and Assyrians, whose wide and varied literature was either painted on the leaves of papyrus which grew in abundance on the banks of the Euphrates, or impressed in clay shaped into tablets or cylinders, books have held their place in the universal medium through which human knowledge has been gained--without which civilization would never have been brought about--lacking which the nations of the earth would still have been in comparative ignorance, each of the other's habits, conditions and development; and since earliest times, dealing in books has been one of the honored vocations. Those who have devoted their activities to distributing knowledge in this field have the opportunity of adding to the development of the humans races, of placing in the hands of the seekers after learning the means of gratifying their desires, and of contributing to the world's profit and amusement, and in this connection it is not inappropriate to briefly sketch the career of James Harvey SALLEE, of Mexico, whose life has been spent in encouraging the spread of love of good literature.

Mr. SALLEE is the son of John Hayden SALLEE, who was born October 17, 1793, in Bracken county, Kentucky, and served as a soldier in the American Army in the War of 1812, operating in the Northwest, around Chicago and Detroit. A carpenter and wool carder by trade, he came to Palmyra, Missouri in 1829, there operating a wool carding machine until 1858, when he removed his home to Mexico, where he was employed in like capacity for C. P. WADE until his death in 1864. He was a Democrat and a faithful member of the Christian church. Mr. SALLEE was married in Kentucky to Miss Elizabeth CHANDLER who survived him ten years and died in Mexico, and they had a family of seven children as follows: John, Marcus, Sanford, Lucy, Sarah L., Elizabeth and James Harvey.

James Harvey SALLEE was born October 9, 1844, in Palmyra, Marion county, Missouri, and received his education in the schools of that vicinity and Mexico, residing with his father up to the time of the latter's death. From 1858 to 1861 he acted as clerk in the Mexico Post office, following which he was employed in like capacity in different stores. He was married June 20, 1868, to Dorcas ROBARDS, who was born November 18, 1848, near Columbia, in Boone county, Missouri, daughter of John M. and Ann (PHILLIPS) ROBARDS, and to this union there were born children as follows: Catherine, who married J. JUDY, and resides in Mexico; Elizabeth, who died June 1, 1899, the wife of Guy WAITE; John; Eleanor; Sarah Ellen, who married H. B. GORDON, and lives in St. Louis; Dorcas, who married Anson WANER, and lives in South Dakota; Ruth; and one who died in infancy.

Mr. SALLEE entered the book business in 1869, in partnership with Thomas MCCONNELL, who continued his partner until 1872, H. T. BROOKS then buying Mr. MCCONNELL's interest and being in business with Mr. SALLEE until 1886. The latter then continued alone until 1889, when W. L. CRADDOCK entered the business and remained there until 1894, since which time Mr. SALLEE has been the sole proprietor of the business. A lover of good literature, Mr. SALLEE spends the greater part of his time among his books, being the owner of many rare and valuable volumes, but has not denied himself the pleasures of associating with his fellow men, and is a popular member of the Knights of Maccabees. In addition to his handsome home, on South Clark Avenue, he has eighty acres of land in the southern part of town, and his well appointed store is situated on the east side of the square, in the A. G. PASQUETH building. Mr. SALLEE is a Democrat in his political views. His wife is a member of the Christian church, and is widely and favorably known in the social circles of Mexico.  

History of Northeast Missouri" Edited by Walter Williams,
Published by The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago Illinois 1913 Three Volumes, page 1473

HON. JAMES EDWARD SIMS. One of the oldest and most highly honored families of Audrain county, Missouri, is that bearing the name of SIMS, members of which since pioneer days have risen to positions of honor and trust within the gift of the people, and have discharged the duties and responsibilities of their high offices to the entire satisfaction of their fellow men and to the honor of the family name. A worthy representative of this old family is found in the person of Hon. James Edward SIMS, of Thompson, Missouri, ex-judge of Audrain county court, as a member of which he sustained the dignity of the bench and displayed a comprehensive appreciation of the responsibilities placed in his hands. Mr. SIMS is but another of northeastern Missouri's public men who are the products of the farm, for the greater part of his life has been spent on his handsome property in Audrain county, where he was born November 14, 1849, a son of Garland M. and Elizabeth (TURNER) SIMS, the former of Kentucky and the latter of Virginia.

Elias SIMS, the paternal grandfather of Judge SIMS, came to Missouri some time between the years 1810 and 1820, and settled near Millersburg, Callaway county, although his home was in Boone county, and there spent the remainder of his life. His children were: William M., a farmer and stock raiser in Audrain county, who died in Mexico; Garland M.; James M. who died near Mexico about 1890; Winifred, of Boone county, who married Jacob MOSLY; Louisa married Mr. MAUPIN, of Howard county; Minerva, who married Ed RACKLIFF, all of who are dead; Robert P., now living in Kansas City, Missouri; and Sallie, who left for California in 1865. Elizabeth TURNER was a daughter of Thomas TURNER, of Virginia, and was married to Garland M. SIMS in Boone county, following which they settled on the present farm of Judge SIMS, during the early forties. Mr. SIMS entered a large tract of land on the south fork of the Salt River, twelve miles southwest of Mexico, on the old Columbia and Mexico road, paying $1.25 per acre, and accumulating 800 acres, of which about 600 are still in the family name.  When he first came to the vicinity, Jackson TURNER, his wife's brother, and his sister, were living nearby, and some distance away were the homes of the HORNADAYS, the MCMILLIANs, the CLENDENINS and Judge James JACKSON, one of the first judges in the county court, as well as that of Perry COX,  a prominent old settler. At that time, deer, turkeys and wolves could be found in abundance, and the family larder was kept well filled by the unerring aim of Mr. SIMS, who in his day was a great hunter. The land was broken in pioneer style with three yoke of oxen, and Mr. SIMS himself made the rails with which to fence his land. He was first a stalwart Whig and later a Democrat, and assisted in the organization and erection of the Christian and Baptist Churches at Salt River, where he was buried. His death occurred September 13, 1888, when he was sixty-eight years of age, while his wife passed away December 28, 1878, and during the ten years that intervened before his own death he made his home with his children. In addition to cultivating his broad acres and engaging extensively in corn growing, he also grazed great herds of cattle in the open prairie and bred hundreds of mules and horses. He was widely known, both for his abilities and his sterling characteristics, and no man had more friends in his community. He and his wife had seven children, as follows: Catherine, deceased, who married Sam WRIGHT; Minerva, the wife of G. M. WRIGHT, living in the vicinity of the homestead farm; James Edward; Winnifred, who died young; Sallie, who married J. C. HITT, of Longmont, California; and Willie and Laura, both of whom died young.

The entire life of James Edward SIMS has been spent on the paternal farm where he was born. Some years prior to his father's death,   he began to superintend the property, and eventually purchased a piece thereof from his father, to which he added from time to time as the years passed by, finally accumulating 592 acres, all a part of the old home place. There he erected new and modern buildings to replace those that has been built many years before, and engaged in general farming, which he has continued to the present time with much success, although he now owns but 352 acres of land, the remainder having been given to his children. In former years he fed as many as 100 to 125 head of shorthorn cattle, but during late years has had smaller herds, and breeds from thoroughbred males, in addition to raising some hogs and sheep.

A stalwart and active Democrat in his political views, Judge SIMS served his township as justice of the peace for twelve years, with such general satisfaction that in 1898 he was elected presiding judge of the county court for a term of four years, an office which he held for eight years. There was no opposition at his re-election, and at the primaries led his party over others who also had no opposition, his eminently satisfactory services thus endorsed. During his term on the bench, Judge SIMS' main associates were Judges Guy MCCUNE, of the eastern district, Henry SPURLING of the western district, and later Judge HEATON of the eastern district and Judges J. A. LEWIS and Baker BARNES of the western district. During his term of office the steam heating plant was installed in the court house, a greatly needed reform. For two terms Judge SIMS served as chairman of the Democratic county convention and the Pertle Springs convention. In the work of his party he has always been active and influential, and he has often been urged to make the race for the state legislature, but has preferred the quiet of the farm to the struggling field of politics.
In 1872 Judge SIMS was united in marriage with Miss Belle RIDGEWAY, daughter of Z. J. and Margaret (HARRISON) RIDGEWAY, the latter the daughter of the first county judge of Audrain county, Judge James HARRISON. James HARRISON was born near Richmond, Virginia, and died in October 1877, at the age of eighty years, at his old home in Audrain county, near Concord, Boone county, where he has settled in 1831. He was married in Boone county to Rebecca CROCKETT, who had come to Missouri with her father Samuel CROCKETT, a member of the old CROCKETT family of Tennessee, and she died some five years before her husband. Of their ten children, three daughters and two sons are living in 1912, namely: John, of California; William, living in Kansas; Margaret R., widow of Z. T. RIDGEWAY, who still survives at the age of ninety years and makes her home with her son in law, Judge J. E. SIMS; Nancy, the widow of James SMITH; and Lucy, the wife of William R. DUNLEY; The children who passed away were: Samuel, who died a the age of forty years, unmarried; Thomas Jefferson, who lived for some years near Thompson; May, who was the wife of Richard PHILLIPS; Virginia, who married a Mr. PATTERSON; and Sarah and Jane, who died young. Mrs. SIMS was born in Audrain county in 1849. Her mother, Mrs. RIDGEWAY, is one of the oldest native-born Missourians.  Judge and Mrs. SIMS have had the following children, each one of whom owns a portion of the old homestead: Egbert Jackson; William Hardin; Bessie, the wife of W. Hardin RIXEY, of Mexico; James Harrison, living on the old Ridgeway homestead; and Elvar R. and Grover Clark, at home.