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Below is a family biography included in The History of Maries 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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Benjamin F. Branson, assessor of Maries County, and a prominent farmer of Dry Creek Township, was born on the farm upon which he now lives in 1859. His parents were Jared and Sally (Bumpass) Branson, born respectively in Marion County, Tenn., and Gasconade County, Mo. Jared Branson was born in 1817, and in 1829 with his father, grandfather and five brothers located in Gasconade County, Mo., where the father and grandfather, who were both named John Branson, died within two weeks of each other, in 1830; both were natives of Virginia, and the former served as a soldier in the War of 812. The great-great-grandfather of our subject, who was also named John Branson, was a native of England, and immigrated to America before the Revolution on the same vessel as she who afterward became his wife, both being apprenticed to pay their passage. They settled in Virginia, where they spent the remainder of their lives, and were familiar friends of Washington. Jared Branson was reared in Gasconade County, where he married in 1840, and lived until 1857, when he settled in Maries County and improved a good farm; he was an extensive stock-dealer, and was a prominent and esteemed citizen of the county, and in 1866 was elected judge at large of Maries County Court, but owing to non-reconstruction was not commissioned. He died in 1882 a member of the Methodist Church, of the A. F. & A. M., Rolla Lodge, and in politics a Democrat. The mother of our subject was born in 1825, and is still living; she is a daughter of William and Sally Bumpass, the former a native of North Carolina and the latter of Tennessee, who settled on a small improved farm in Gasconade County about 1822; the mother died in 1825, and the father in 1867. William Bumpass served as justice of the peace, public administrator and county school commissioner of Gasconade County, and was a surveyor, first coming to Missouri when a young man with a corps of surveyors and assisting in the government survey; he was among the first white settlers of Gasconade County, and was twice married, rearing nine children. Benjamin F. Branson attended the common schools until seventeen years of age, and then engaged in trading, which he followed some years. In 1879-80 he attended the State University, but was called from his studies on account of his father’s ill health, and he at once took charge of the farm. In 1883 he married Parrie, daughter of James E. and Sally Duncan. Mrs. Branson was born in Maries County. They have three children. Mr. Branson lives on the old home farm, which contains 840 acres of good valley land, and is one of the best farms in the county; about 200 acres are under cultivation. Mr. Branson was elected justice of the peace in 1886, and in 1888 was made assessor of Maries County. He served six years as road overseer, and since 1883 has been postmaster of Weldon Postoffice. He is a Democrat politically, is a member of the A. F. & A. M., Vienna Lodge, Dixon Royal Arch Chapter, Lebanon Commandery, and of Dixon Lodge, of the I. O.O. F. Mrs. Branson is a member of the Baptist Church.

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This family biography is one of 37 biographies included in The History of Maries County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Maries County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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