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Below is a family biography included in The History of Pulaski 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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Henry Decker, farmer, of Pulaski County, Mo., was born in Kentucky in 1829, and is a son of David and Mary (Townsend) Decker, who were born in Kentucky in 1804 and 1807, respectively. They moved from Kentucky to Illinois in 1852, thence to Arkansas, thence to Illinois, and in 1853 located in Pulaski County, Mo., where the father died the same year. His widow is still living. They became the parents of eighteen children, twelve of whom are living: Henry, Caroline (Back), Mahala (Hancock), Tabitha (Bailey), Basheba (Tucker), Welcome, Marion, Martha (Carmack), Merritt, Sarah (Becktow), Anderson and Nancy (Clent). The paternal grandparents, Henry and Patsey Decker, were born in North Carolina, the former’s death occurring in 1845. They moved to Kentucky at an early day, and there Mr. Decker engaged in farming and blacksmithing. Henry Decker, whose name heads this sketch, spent his early years in Kentucky and never had a day’s schooling in his life. At the age of twenty-one he began working at the gunsmith’s trade for himself, and in 1852 was married to Miss Martha Decker, who was born in Kentucky in 1829, and a daughter of Landick and Patsey Decker, of North Carolina, the father a farmer and teacher by occupation. Henry Decker and wife became the parents of one son, Landick. This wife died, and he afterward married again, and by this wife became the father of eight children: William Thomas, Polly J. (Denton), Marion, Richard, Katie (Porter), Jemima (Dickson), Jackson and Ambrose. In 1861 Mr. Decker enlisted in Company A of the State Guards, under Col. Johnson, and was at the battles of Springfield, Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove. He received his discharge at Van Buren, Ark., in 1862, having served during the war as captain of a division train. His family resided in Illinois during this period. He is a Democrat, and his first presidential vote was cast for Franklin Pierce in 1852.

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This family biography is one of 80 biographies included in The History of Pulaski County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Pulaski County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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