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Below is a family biography from the book, History of Kentucky, Edition 1 by J. H. Battle, W. H. Perrin and G. C. Kniffin and published by F. A. Battey Publishing Company in 1885.  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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JESSE H. GARDNER. Among the very early settlers in the Purchase District, Kentucky, was David Gardner, the father of the subject of this sketch. About 1822, David, with his wife, Hannah (Hampton) Gardner, and family of eight children, settled in Calloway County a short distance from the old county seat of Wadesboro. They came originally from Roane County, N. C., and first located in Clark County, Ky., when it was an unbroken wilderness; there Jesse H. was born in 1819. David Gardner remained in Calloway County, until 1828, when he again sought the frontier and settled in Missouri. He died in Texas, while visiting that region, in 1831. His wife, with her children returned to Calloway County, shortly after, and there died in 1834. Jesse H. was reared under pioneer influences, almost wholly deprived of educational advantages, but when nearly grown, he secured the instruction of a teacher for a short time, and in 1838, a rustic youth, but of determined character, he might have been seen plodding his way on foot to the infant town of Paducah. His object in coming hither, was not that he might begin a long and prosperous business career, but having in view the one idea of securing work, whereby he might obtain money to discharge a small obligation to his former teacher. He first engaged for $15 a month to work for a woodman; he worked three months and lost the wages of the entire time. Determined not to return home poorer than he had left he sought and obtained a position in a hotel, next as watchman on a wharf boat, and finally a clerkship in a boat store. To follow through the many changes of his fortune would make an interesting chapter, but space will not permit. In 1846, having saved some money, he embarked in mercantile life, and for ten years did a profitable business; meantime, in 1852, having been burned out, he erected the building known as St. Clair Hall, which he now owns. He has served the city for some years as mayor, and at the breaking out of the war, was made secretary, treasurer and general manager of the railroad from Paducah to Union City, and remained in charge until 1866. He has been frequently elected to the city council, and is now a member and treasurer of the board of education, and vice-president of the First National Bank. Mr. Gardner was married in 1853, in Ballard County, to Miss Sarah M., daughter of Dr. Reese Bourland, and has reared a family of eight children, among whom are Dr. David Gardner, of the Indian Territory, and William Armour Gardner, a lawyer of Paducah. The latter was born in Paducah, June 25, 1858, and there received a good English education; he studied law under Judge J. M. Bigger and was admitted to practice in March, 1882. In the fall of the same year, he entered the senior class in the law department of the Michigan University, at Ann Arbor, where he graduated in the spring of 1883. Though young in the profession, he is an energetic student, and is fast acquiring a practice, though surrounded by an extensive bar, noted for able lawyers.

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This family biography is one of 165 biographies included in the McCracken County, Kentucky section of the book, The History of Kentucky, Edition 1 published in 1885 by F. A. Battey Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: History of Kentucky, Edition 1

View additional McCracken County, Kentucky family biographies here: McCracken County, Kentucky Biographies

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