James H. Difani, a prominent young farmer of Saline Township, Perry Co., Mo., was born in the county on January 15, 1857. He is one of sevens sons born to Joseph and Matilda (Litteral) Difani [see sketch of William A. Difani].
The sons were all carefully educated, three having become teachers in the county. Prof. D. M. Brewer was the tutor of James H., who finished his classical education and began teaching in 1883. His first two terms were in the Lewis Cissell district, in which he again taught in 1888. There has been no family of children reared in Saline Township that has been more prominently connected with the cause of education than the Difani brothers.
On February 28, 1886, James H. was united in marriage with Catherine C., a daughter of John and Elizabeth Brown, who for many years were residents of Perry County. In his day Mr. Brown was one of the best known men of the county, but he died more than a score of years ago.
Mr. Difani and wife began their married life on their present farm. He being the son of a pioneer, learned the art of clearing in detail, and from the woodland he has made a beautiful farm, having cleared and improved sixty acres since he became the owner of the land. To him and wife has been born one child, a beautiful daughter, Hester, born April 4, 1887.
Mr. Difani is industrious and energetic, having taught school every winter session since he began and worked on the farm during the summer. In November, 1886, he was elected justice of the peace, which office he still holds.
The Goodspeed Publishing Company compiled a series of histories of various counties in the U.S. in the late 19th century. The information in the History of Southeast Missouri, published in 1888, was provided by the contemporary residents of Perry County and her neighboring counties. The biographies are a valuable source of genealogical information, despite a few minor inaccuracies. We are glad to present the transcribed biographies here for anyone researching Perry County's history.
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