W J CANTER
The farming interests of Doniphan county are well represented by Mr. Canter, who came to this locality within six years after the admission of the state into the Union. During the greater part of that period of development, upbuilding and progress he has been identified with the interests of the community, and it is with pleasure that we present the record of his life to the readers of this work. He was born in Buchanan county, Missouri, February 20, 1840, and is a son of J. H. Canter, who was born in Tennessee and was of French descent. The mother, who bore the maiden name of Anna B. Fuqua, was also a native of Tennessee, and by her marriage she had eleven children, seven sons and four daughters, namely: S. S., M. W., T. W., W. J., A. F., Martha A., Eliza J., M. L., deceased, Mahala, deceased, J. H. and S. S. In 1849 the family came to the west, locating in Platte county, Missouri, whence they removed to Buchanan county, that state. The father, who was born in 1810, died in 1894, at the advanced age of eighty-four years. By occupation he was a farmer, and had followed that pursuit throughout his business career as a means of livelihood. his political support was given the Democracy.
Both he and his wife were members of the Methodist church. Mrs. Canter died at the age of three-score years and ten.
W. J. Canter spent his boyhood days in Missouri, in the little log cabin which was the family home. The experiences of pioneer life were familiar to him, and the work of the home farm occupied much of his time and attention from an early age. The district schools provided him his educational privileges, and when not engaged with his studies he followed the plow and assisted in the work of the harvest fields. In September, 1860, he entered the Confederate service and remained with the army until mustered out in May, 1865. He displayed his bravery on many battle fields, participating in the engagements at Pea Ridge, under General Price, Corinth, Baker Creek and Black Bridge. Being captured, he spent twenty-two months as a prisoner at Camp Morton, Indiana, and was then taken to Fort Delaware and then to Point Lookout, Maryland, and afterward to Elmira, New York, where he was exchanged, returning thence to Mobile, Alabama.
After the war was over Mr. Canter rejoined his parents in Missouri, where he remained for one year, after which he came to Doniphan county. He owns five hundred acres of land, including three hundred acres of rich bottom land, and his fertile fields yield him an excellent return for his labors. His farm is one of the best in the county and is well stocked with a high grade of cattle, horses and hogs. The lessons of industry and perseverance which he learned in his youth have proven of incalculable benefit to him in his business career and have brought him well-deserved success.
Mr. Canter was married in Buchanan county, Missouri, in 1867, to Miss Sarah E. Frey, a daughter of John and Mollie Frey, of that county. They became the parents of four children: Caddie L., the wife of George Cordonier, of Marion township, Doniphan county; Mollie, the wife of S. Anderson, of California; Robert A., at home, and Anna, a popular and successful teacher of Marion township. The mother died in 1887, and her loss was deeply mourned by many friends besides her own family. She was a consistent, Christian woman, holding membership in the Reformed church, and her life was in many ways worthy of emulation. In 1889 Mr. Canter was again married his second union being with Ella Saunders, of Doniphan county, daughter of A. J. Saunders, a resident of St. Joseph, Missouri. Eight children have been born of the second marriage, namely: James H.; Andrew J.; Howard and Harley, twins, the latter dying at the age of seven months; Wade and Walter, twins; Forest and W. J., Jr.
In his political views Mr. Canter is a Democrat, and has filled a number of school offices with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents. He is a member of the Masonic order, and his wife holds membership in the Baptist church. He belongs to that class of representative American citizens who encourage and support all measures calculated to prove of public benefit. His life has been quiet and uneventful in a measure, but is characterized by fidelity to duty in all relations and by enterprise and honesty in business affairs.