Search billions of records on

Lewis Family Home Page

The Biographical Record of Jasper County Missouri

By Hon. Malcolm G. McGregor

Pages 417 – 436

Pg. 424

the cheese they hung it under the wagon tongue an dplaced heavy weights upon it. Theirs was a perilous journey, but they at lst reached their destination in safety.

In 1869 Mr. And Mrs. Bradford returned to the Mississippi valley, locating in Clinton county, Iowa. He engaged in the furniture business at Calamus for about two years, and also operated a cheese factory and manufactured steamers for cooking feed for cattle. In 1871 he came to Jasper county, where he engaged in farming for about three years, and in 1874 he returned to Monroe county, Michigan, where he again engaged in the manufacture of steamers. He had many teams upon the road and did a large business. Subsequently he removed to Clay City, Indiana, where he engaged in the manufacture of plow handles and runners for bob-sleighs. In 1889 he returned to Jasper county, Missouri, and located where he now lives. Since that time he has been extensively and successfully engaged in farming and stockraising. He has an interests in an estate of nine hundred acres, much of which is located in Duval township, which he has leased to parties who will soon begin to prospect for oil.

Unto Mr. And Mrs. Bradford have been born three children who are yet living: Symour K., now residing in California; Len L., a traveling salesman in Denver, Colorado; and Jay P., who follows farming and resides with his parents. Mr. Bradford usually gives his political support to the Republican party. His wife is an active member of the Order of the Eastern Star, and also of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Bradford has had an eventful life, which if written in detail, would make a volume as thrilling as any story in fiction. In his business he has persevered, and his determination and energy have resulted in bringing to him creditable prosperity.

John H. Taylor

It is a well attested maxim that the greatness of a state lies not in its machinery of government, nor even in its institutions, but in the sterling qualities of its individual citizens, in their capacity for high and unselfish effort and their devotion to the public good. Regarded as a citizen Mr. TAYLOR belongs to that public-spirited, useful and helpful type of men whose ambitions and desires are centered and directed in those channels through which flows the greatest and most permanent good to the greatest number, and it is therefore consistent with the purpose and plan of this work that his record

Pages 425 - 426 are reserved for a picture of John H. Taylor

Pg. 427

be given among those of the representative men of southwestern Missouri. He has been prominent in the development of the natural resources of the state, thus adding to its material upbuilding, has left the impress of his individuality upon affairs and has promoted in large measure the best interests of his adopted city of Joplin.

John Henry TAYLOR was born at Leesburg, Virginia, January 26, 1837, a son of William and Mary (ROSS) TAYLOR. The father was born in London, England, and was educated in the Church of England. When twenty- one years of age he crossed the Atlantic to America, settling in Virginia, where he was married. In 1833 he removed to Ohio and a few years later came to Missouri. He was a prominent educator and was elected school commissioner of Jackson county, Missouri, in 1858. His death occurred in 1862 and is wife passed away in 1877, while residing at Independence, Missouri. Both were members of the Baptist church and were earnest, consistent Christian people, who enjoyed the unqualified confidence and regard of all with whom they were associated. The father was also one of the first members of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

In a school taught by his father John Henry TAYLOR pursued his early education and afterward continued his studies in an academy. With his parents he removed to Hannibal, Missouri, in 1844, and subsequently to Paris, where he attended school and also clerked in a store. At that place he likewise filled the position of “devil” in the office of the Paris Mercury. In 1851 the family went to Independence, Missouri, where he further pursued his studies and again engaged in clerking. He was also connected with the public service, acting as deputy circuit clerk and ex-officio recorder of Jackson county, Missouri, under General LUCAS. Determining to prepare for the bar he took to the study of law under the direction of the firm of Christman & Comingo, and in September, 1857, was admitted to practice. The following year he was appointed city attorney of Independence and was subsequently several times reappointed – a fact which indicates the competent and faithful manner in which he discharged his duties. In 1860 he received an appointment to the office of county school commissioner.

About one year after the close of the Civil war, which found Mr. TAYLOR at Shreveport, Louisiana, he resumed the practice of law in Independence, Missouri, and through several succeeding years was a prominent and successful attorney at that place. In December, 1871, he effected the organization of the first company formed at Joplin to develop the mineral resources of southwestern Missouri, known as the Joplin Mining & Smelting Company,

Pg. 428

of which he was secretary, treasurer and manager. Subsequently he became the president, acting in that capacity until the charter of the company expired. In 1872 he organized the East Joplin City & Mining Company, of which he was president, and in 1874 he was instrumental in organizing the North Joplin Mining & Smelting Company. About this time the Joplin Savings Bank, the first bank of the city, was founded, and he also became its chief executive officer. In 1894 he organized the Taylor Land & Mining Company, of which he is president, while his son, Wilkins TAYLOR, is the secretary. The company owns large property interests in and near Joplin, largely acquired from companies formerly in existence. Mr. TAYLOR is a man of splendid business ability and executive force, of keen discernment and sound judgment, and whatever he has undertaken he has carried forward to successful completion.

In 1875 Mr. TAYLOR was elected a delegate to the constitutional convention which framed the present constitution of Missouri. He represented the sixteenth senatorial district, then comprising the counties of Jasper, Barton, Vernon, Dade and Cedar, and labored earnestly for the measures which he believed would prove of the greatest good to the majority of the citizens. He has always taken an active interest in politics and while living in Carthage, Missouri, he was a member of the city council, but resigned upon coming to Joplin in 1882. In 1898 he was appointed by the governor one of the commissioners to the Omaha Exposition.

In Independence, Missouri, on the 7th of April, 1874, Mr. TAYLOR was married to Miss Lulie SMITH, formerly of Bowling Green, Kentucky. She was a descendent of the MITCHELL and DENT families of Virginia. Her great-grandparents became acquainted at the residence of General George Washington, while visiting at Mount Vernon, Colonel James MITCHELL being an officer under Washington, while Miss DENT was a cousin of Mrs. WASHINGTON. Six children have been born unto Mr. and Mrs. TAYLOR, but only three are now living: Wilkins, Belle and Morgan.

Since 1855 Mr. TAYLOR has been a member of the Presbyterian church, to which his wife also belongs, and in its work he takes an active and helpful interest. He has also long been an elder in the church. For several years he has been president of the Young Men’s Christian Association of Joplin and is a member of the state executive committee of that religious organization. When twenty-one years of age he was made a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Independence, Missouri, and has held many offices in the fraternity up to that of district deputy grand master. He is also a

Pg. 429

member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. In early life he was grand secretary of the Temperance Union of Missouri and has done everything in his power for the uplifting of his fellow men. The people of Joplin are to be congratulated upon a character of such splendid development, such elevation and purity of purpose and such a devotion to the highest and best interests of the state as are exhibited in the public and private life of John Henry TAYLOR.

Hans Ytell.

Hans Ytell, a prominent farmer and stock-raiser of Twin Grove township, Jasper county, was born in Sweden on the 9th of April, 1844. He was there reared and educated, attending the common schools. At the age of twenty-one he began drilling in the army, continuing for one year, and while in his native country he also followed farming. In 1866 he left the land of his birth and crossed the briny deep to America, making his way to Henry county, Illinois, where he first worked by the day or month at anything he could find to do that would yield him an honest living. He made his home in Henry county until February, 1869, when he removed to De Kalb county, Missouri, and there purchased a farm of one hundred and twenty acres. In addition to his labors on the farm he also followed the carpenter’s trade for twenty years, engaging in the dual occupation there until 1890, when he disposed of his property and removed to Stewartsville, Missouri, spending one year in that city. In the summer of 1891 Mr. Ytell made his way to Logan county, Oklahoma where he bought a claim and began the improvement of his land, remaining there until 1897. In January of that year he came to Jasper county, Missouri, an dpurchased the farm on which he now resides, consisting of four hundred and ninety acres. He has made many improvements upon his land, placing the same under a high state of cultivation, and there he is extensively engaged in general farming and stock raising. His farm is located on section 35, Twin Grove township. One of the attractive features of the place is his fine large orchard, containing about eighteen hundred trees, which he set out on first locating on the land. His large barn, which was erected at a cost of five hundred dollars, was burned to the ground in 1900, and in November of that year he erected his present barn.

In De Kalb county, Missouri, in 1880, Mr. Ytell was united in marriage with Miss Tena Anderson, also a native of Sweden. She came to America

Pages 431 & 432

Mrs. Samantha Alexander

Mrs. Samantha Alexander, of Jasper county, has spent nearly her entire life in this locality, where she is loved and respected by all who have the pleasure of her acquaintance. She was born in Overton county, Tennessee, on the 1st of February, 1849, a daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Hardy) Morgan, also natives of that state. In 1851 they came to Jasper county, Missouri, locating near where Carterville now stands, where the father followed agricultural pursuits. His death occurred there at the age of sixty-three years, while the mother passed away when sixty-two years of age. He was a prominent early settler of Jasper county, and was honored and respected by all with whom he had business or social relations. His political views were in harmony with the principles of Republicanism. Mr. and Mrs. Morgan became the parents of four children, two sons and two daughters.

Mrs. Alexander, the eldest child and the only one of the family now living, was but two years of age when she was brought by her parents to Jasper county, and in this locality she was reared and received her education. On the 7th of June, 1868, she was united in marriage with Benjamin C. Alexander, who was born in Henry county, Iowa, on the 12th of March, 1845. He also came to this county when a child. When the Civil War was inaugurated he readily responded to the call of his country, enlisting as a private in Company G, Eighteenth Kansas Cavalry, being at that time but sixteen years of age. He remained in the service for three years, loyally defending the starry banner on the battlefields of the south. He gave his political support to the Republican party, and of the Presbyterian church he was a worthy and active member, giving liberally of his time and means to the support of the gospel.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Alexander located on the farm where the widow still resides. She is now the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of land in Jackson township and fifty-four acres in Marion township, aggregating in all two hundred and fourteen acres of valuable land. Their first residence was a log cabin eighteen by twenty feet, containing but one room, in one end of which was a large fireplace. This dwelling has since been replaced by a more modern structure, and on the farm are to be found all the improvements and accessories of a model farm. On this place Mr. Alexander died on the 13th of May, 1881, and thus passed from earth one of the representative and substantial residents of his locality. His death was the cause of widespread regret, while a community mourned the loss of one of its truest and best citizens. Mr. and Mrs. Alexander became the parents of seven children, namely: William Thomas, who died when ten months old; John Walter, who died at the age of sixteen years; Joseph Benjamin, who resides on the old homestead with his mother; Nettie, the wife of Joe Peek; Daniel Edward, who is a soldier in the Philippines; Samantha R.E., the wife of Marion Peek; and Minnie Violene, deceased. After the death of her husband Mrs. Alexander was left with the care of six children, the eldest of whom was but ten years of age and the youngest was two weeks old, but she succeeded in keeping her family together, and by her earnest labor and untiring efforts was enabled to give them good educational advantages. The surviving ones are all married with the exception of the one in the Philippines, and all are a credit to the honored family name. She is an excellent business woman, having entire charge of her business interests, and she now rents a part of her land. Of the Presbyterian church she is an active and worthy member, her everyday life being in harmony with its teachings.

Pages will be added as I have time to work on them
Renessa Lewis
Go to Pages 437 – 456