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Below is a family biography included in The History of McDonald County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  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 P. Caldwell, county clerk of McDonald County, Mo., was born in Williamson County, Tenn., on December 17, 1839, and is a son of William and Mary Caldwell (deceased), natives also of Tennessee. James P. spent his early life on the farm, and before the war attended school at the “Old Poplar Schoolhouse,” a house built of hewed poplar logs. His education, however, has mostly been secured by observation and much desultory reading. During the Civil War he served in the Confederate army, first in the Twenty-second Tennessee Regiment, under the command of Col. T. J. Freeman, and after its consolidation with the Twelfth Tennessee served in the latter, under Col. T. H. Bell; was wounded at the battle of Shiloh, and later in the war lost his left arm at the battle of Atlanta, Ga. After three years’ service he returned home, and, after attending school for a time, was engaged in farming in Tennessee until 1875, when he removed to Newton County, Mo. Locating on Pool’s Prairie, three miles south of Neosho, he resumed farming, and remained there until 1878, when he came to McDonald County, locating on a farm. He served as justice of the peace for eight years while residing on his farm in this county, which he left in 1886 and removed to Pineville, having previously been elected county clerk. He still owns 125 acres of good land, of which thirty acres are under cultivation. On November 3, 1877, he was united in marriage with Lucy Margeson, who was born in Lincolnshire, England, on June 15, 1848, and to them have been born six children: Lucy M., J. Preston, Mattie A., Willie J., Maggie E. and Agnes B. Mrs. Caldwell is a daughter of William and Lucy Margeson, also natives of England. Her mother is dead, and her father now resides on Little Sugar Creek, McDonald County, Mo.

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This family biography is one of 82 biographies included in The History of McDonald County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: McDonald County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional McDonald County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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