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Joseph H. Deckard is the well-known proprietor of the Deckard Stock Farm, an extensive and successful breeder and dealer in blooded horses and jacks in Marion township, Doniphan county. His farm is pleasantly located near Wathena, affording him excellent shipping facilities, and the place is splendidly equipped with extensive barns and outbuildings for carrying on the business to which he devotes his energies.

Mr. Deckard was born on the farm which is now his home, on the 8th of May, 1866, and is the son of William H. Deckard, deceased, who was one of the honored pioneer settlers of the county, where he settled about 1858, taking up his residence on the old homestead now occupied by our subject. He was born in Saline county, Missouri, where his father had removed at an early day. There he was reared on a farm, acquiring his education in an old-time log school-house equipped with primitive furniture. Instruction went only a little beyond the "three R's," but practical experience in the affairs of life, keen observation, extensive reading and a retentive memory made him a well-informed man and rendered him capable of assuming the leadership which was accorded him in various affairs in Doniphan county. He was married in his native state to Miss Rachel Armstrong, who proved to him a faithful companion and helpmeet on the journey of life. In 1858 he removed with his family to Doniphan county, and located upon a tract of wild land in Marion township, transforming it into a valuable farm whereon he made his home until his death, which occurred in 1887, at the age of fifty-seven years. He was a kind husband and father, a loyal neighbor and a good citizen, was honest in all his dealings, firm in the support of all which he believes to be right, and won the respect of all who knew him. He was recognized as a leader in the ranks of the Republican party, and for several years he served as county commissioner, discharging his duties with marked ability, he also served his county in the state legislature for two terms, with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents. In personal appearance he was a man of medium height, of good physique and in manner was affable and jovial, and had the happy faculty not only of winning friends but of retaining them through the passing years, and all who knew him respected him for his many good qualities of heart and mind. His widow still survives him, and is now living on the old homestead, at the age of sixty-nine years. She is a worthy member of the Baptist church and has the esteem of many friends. In the family of this worthy couple were four children: Mrs. Alice Kent, who is living in Oklahoma territory; Nora, wife of W. L. Anderson, of Marion township, Doniphan county; Emma, wife of Martin George, of Marion township; and Joseph H.

The last named is the only son of the family. He was reared on the homestead farm where he was early instructed in habits of industry, economy and perseverance. To the public schools he is indebted for the educational privileges afforded him, but reading and experience have added to his knowledge. The farm which he now occupies comprises one hundred and sixty acres of the rich land of Doniphan county, and its meadows and pastures rival those of the blue grass region of Kentucky. Upon the place is a substantial residence, a large barn and other outbuildings for the care of his stock. On his place is found the best road horse in the county. He is the owner of Melbourn Chief, of a Kentucky Hambletonian breed, sixteen and a half hands high and dark brown in color. He also owns three fine jacks: Star Hawk, fifteen and a half hands high; Kentucky Jack and Joe Wheeler. The first named won first premium at the St. Joseph fair. Mr. Deckard has done much to improve the grade of horses and mules raised in this section of the country, and is accounted one of the leading stock-raisers in this part of the state.

In 1887 Mr. Deckard was united in marriage to Miss Ellen Little, a lady of intelligence and good family. She was born, reared and educated in Doniphan county, and is a daughter of Nathaniel Little, deceased, who was one of the prominent and respected early settlers of this county. The mother has also passed away. Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Deckard, namely: Pearl, Bertha, Roy, Ray, Warren and Lloyd. Our subject is a Republican, stanch in support of the principles of his party, and a recognized leader in its ranks in this locality. He has been a delegate to the various county conventions and for two terms served as township treasurer. His wife is a member of the Baptist church. Mr. Deckard is a prominent business man, now in the prime of life, and his energy and enterprise have brought to him creditable success in his business dealings. His cordial disposition and genial manner have gained him many warm friends, and he is regarded as a popular citizen of Marion township.