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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 M. Harmon (deceased), one of the early settlers and most honored citizens of Erie Township, McDonald Co., Mo., was born in Greene County, Tenn., on August 11, 1803. He was a son of Isaac and Elizabeth (Luster) Harmon, both natives of Virginia, who lived and died in Greene County, that State. They were the parents of twelve children, all of whom, except one who died in infancy, married and reared families. They are Peter, Isaac, John M., Massey, William A., Jensey, Thursey, Peggy, Mary, Elizabeth and Emma. John M, was reared on a farm, and passed his young days in school and assisting his father with the farm work. He remained with his parents until his marriage, in 1821, with Elizabeth Key, a daughter of David M. and Elizabeth Key, also natives of Greene County, Tenn. After his marriage Mr. Harmon purchased land in his native county, and cultivated it until the fall of 1846, when he sold out and came with teams to Erie Township, McDonald Co., Mo., then a part of Newton County, and settled on the banks of Indian Creek. This region was very sparsely settled at that time, and it was four years before the county was sectionalized. Mr. Harmon purchased of William B. Cleveland a “squatter’s” right to 400 acres, of which but little was improved. Upon it was a little log house and a small corn-mill on Indian Creek, perhaps the first mill on the creek. Here he with his family lived happily until April 4, 1862, when he was brutally killed by a gang of rebel bushwhackers. They first shot him, but as he did not die as fast as they wished they cut him in several places with a large butcher knife. He was a plain-spoken Union man, and about the only one in his neighborhood at that time. His sons knew almost all of the men who killed their father, and they have lived to see all of them meet their deaths in one way or another. Mr. Harmon and his wife were both consistent Christians and members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mrs. Harmon died on February 11, 1881, aged seventy-six years. They were the parents of eight children, all of whom grew to be men and women. They are Isaac A., David M., Mary (Mrs. John Manns), Daniel, Elizabeth (Mrs. John F. Mayfield), John, Thursey (wife of Dr. A. W. Chenoweth), and William, who was killed during the Civil War.

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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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