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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 J. McNatt, one of the prominent and representative farmers of McDonald County, Mo., was born in Lawrence County, Mo., on March 5, 1847, and is a son of John and Sarah (Gilbert) McNatt, pioneers of Lawrence County. The parents were born, reared and married in Bedford County, Tenn. Their marriage was celebrated in 1833, the same year in which they came to Lawrence County and settled on land which they entered. There Mrs. McNatt died in 1859, after which Mr. McNatt married again. Both parents were active members of the Christian Church, and during his younger days the father preached for several years in Lawrence County. Eleven children were born to them, viz.: Nancy (Mrs. Charles R. Galaway), Martin Van Buren (who died in 1861, aged twenty four years), Mary (Mrs. H. C. Wooten), S. A. (Mrs. William Bisherers, who died in 1867), Emeline (Mrs. J. S. Wheat, who died in 1867, leaving one child, Joseph), A. R., John J., Fanny (Mrs. A. R. Wheat), Carr, George W. and Cassie (Mrs. Jackson Vertreece). John J. grew to manhood in his native county, assisting his father on the farm in summer and attending school in winter. In the summer of 1866 he embarked in the mercantile business, which he continued for two years, after which he engaged in farming for one year. He then rented a mill at Corsicana, Mo., and did a general milling business for five years. In 1874 he removed to Baladan, now known as Indian Springs, in McDonald County, Mo. Here he rented 276 acres of land and the Baladan Mills, and the same year built a woolen mill. Since then he has managed the whole business in a very successful manner, employing a miller and carder. The flour mill is kept running all the time and does a large custom and merchant trade, there being a good home market for all flour produced. Mr. McNatt was married on June 20, 1867, to Mary C. Blankenship, who was born in October, 1851. She is a daughter of L. J. and Martha (Garrison) Blankenship, natives of Virginia. To Mr. and Mrs. McNatt have been born seven children. They are Americus L. (wife of Dr. L. C. Chenoweth), Martha G. (Mrs. W. A. Mayfield), Mary F., Lillie J., John L., Oscar R. and Austin (who died in infancy). In December, 1863, Mr. McNatt enlisted in Battery I, Second Missouri Light Artillery, and served until the close of the war. He was in the battle of Nashville, Tenn., and all other engagements in which the company participated. In the fall of 1886 he was elected to represent McDonald County in the State Legislature, and will serve until January, 1889. He is a member of the G. A. R., Indian Spring Post, No. 176, also a member of Indian Spring Assembly, K. of L., No. 8587. In politics Mr. McNatt endorses the labor movement. Both Mr. and Mrs. McNatt are members of the Christian Church, in which he is a deacon. The family are among the most prominent in the county, and are held in high esteem by all who know them.

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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

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