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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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John A. Kunkel, a prominent citizen of South West City, McDonald Co., Mo., was born in Harrisburg, Penn., on October 31, 1831, the youngest son of John Kunkel, Esq., deceased, a prominent citizen of that city. He spent his boyhood days in his native city; in 1846 was sent to the military academy in Harrisburg, conducted by Prof. Partridge and Capt. Page; quit school in the year 1850, and came west to Hannibal, Mo., with his brother, and clerked for him some time in the drug store. He also clerked in a dry goods store for awhile, when he was appointed deputy United States marshal for the Eastern District of Missouri, under Col. Thomas S. Bryant, for two years, 1859 and 1860. At the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted in the Confederate army, joining Company K, Fourth Missouri Infantry, under Col. A. McFarlane; was appointed fourth sergeant, participating in the siege and evacuation of Corinth, Tenn., and the battles of Iuka Springs, Miss., and three days’ fight at Corinth, after which the regiment was consolidated with the First Missouri Regiment under the command of Col. Riley, with, which he participated in the battles of Grand Gulf, Miss., “Champion Hills,” or “Baker’s Creek,” “Big Black” and the memorable siege of Vicksburg, Miss., after which he went into parole camp at Demopolis, on the Tombigbee River, Alabama, until declared exchanged. After which he participated under Gens. Joseph E. Johnston, Hardee and Pope, in attempting to check the advance of Gen. Sherman’s “March to the Sea,” to New Hope Church, Ga., in which battle he was captured with nearly the whole company, and was held a prisoner of war at Camp Morton, Ind., for over seven months, then sent to Richmond, Va., on parole, and was endeavoring to join his command at Fort Blakely, Mobile, Ala., at the time of the surrender. Returning to Hannibal, Mo., he remained there until the year 1868, when he went to Bondyville, on the Arkansas and Cherokee Nation line, and remained there until December, the next year. Was then located successively at Fayetteville, Ark., Bentonville, Ark., and Bondyville, C. N., before coming to South West City, Mo., then called Honey Creek Post-office. The town then contained but two general stores, post-office, blacksmith shop and the City Hotel, now known as the Corum House. Has since made this thriving little city his home. Has been engaged in clerking and dealing in real estate. Was appointed and commissioned judge of the county court (Western District) for the county of McDonald, Mo., to fill vacancy, by Gov. John S. Marmaduke, on the third day of March, A. D., 1885, and served in that capacity until his successor was duly elected and qualified. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and is strongly spoken of as a candidate before the Democratic convention to be held at Pineville, Mo., September next, for the State Legislature.

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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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