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Rankin Family History Project

William H. Shoults


William H. Shoults, senior member of the firm of Shoults & Co., manufacturers of soda water, Perryville, Mo., is a native of Perry County, born in 1843. He is a son of Micager and Berthena (Belsha) Shoults. Micager Shoults was born of German parents in North Carolina in 1811.

When six years of age his father, Marcus Shoults, removed his family west and located in Cape Girardeau County, Mo. Micager Shoults settled in Perry County about 1829. He was married twice, the last time in 1840 with Bertha Belsha. She was born in Perry County, and was a daughter of James Belsha. Micager Shoults located on a farm eight miles east of Perryville, where he still resides.

His wife died in 1875, having borne him nine children, six of whom are living, viz: Catherine (widow of Robert F. Burns), William H., Alexander (a farmer of Perry County, Mo.) James (who resides on the home place), Mark (a farmer near the old old home), and Sallie (the wife of Hollis Saddler, a farmer of Cape Girardeau County).

William H. was reared on his father's farm. During the war between the North and the South (though called a Southern sympathizer by some) he was a strong Union man, and served seven months in the Federal army, being discharged at Ironton, Mo. His belief was that the government should be protected, but not that the slaves should be freed.

In 1869 he married Mrs. Jane Farrar, nee Black, a daughter of Robert Black. She was born in Perry County, Mo., in 1831. To Mrs. and Mrs. Shoults has been born one child, Robert N.

Mr. Shoults resided on his farm seven miles east of Perryville until the fall of 1887, when he removed his family to town. He purchased a grocery store of N. E. Farrar, which he later sold to J. V. Moore, and on February 2, 1888, formed a partnership with Emil Guth and Lawrence Leibler and engaged in manufacturing soda water, sarsaparilla, buffalo mead, ginger ale and cider.

Politically, Mr. Shoults is a Democrat. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

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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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