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Below is a family biography included in The History of Benton County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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James H. Lay, attorney at law and president of the Warsaw Bank, was born in the county in which he now resides, December 18, 1844, and is a son of James H. Lay, Sr., a native of Virginia. The latter removed to Kentucky with his parents when a child, and there grew to manhood, after which he moved to Benton County, Mo., and married Mrs. Jane Holland, a native of Kentucky, and a daughter of William Siddons. He came to Missouri in 1840, and was one of the pioneers of Benton County. He served as public administrator for about twenty years, and died in 1870. James H. Lay, whose name heads this sketch, was reared in his native county, and received a good education in the colleges at Springfield and Fayette, Mo. He commenced the study of law in 1863, under the supervision of Judge Wright, and was admitted to the bar the following year, after which he commenced practicing his profession in Warsaw. From 1865 to 1867, under the Drake Constitution, he was debarred from practice, but for many years has been a prominent member of the Missouri bar, and has a lucrative and increasing practice. In 1875 he was elected to represent his county in the State Legislature, being re-elected in 1883, on the Democratic ticket. In 1881, on the organization of the Warsaw Bank, Mr. Lay was elected the first president, and has acted in that capacity ever since. May 13, 1869, he was married in Warsaw to Miss Julia Parks, a daughter of Judge Samuel Parks. She was born, reared and educated in Benton County, and her union with Mr. Lay has resulted in the birth of two sons and one daughter: Henry P., a student in Washington University; A. W., and Florence, eight years old.

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This family biography is one of 86 biographies included in The History of Benton County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Benton County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Benton County, Missouri family biographies here: Benton County, Missouri Biographies

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