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Below is a family biography included in The History of Barry 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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Hon. John W. Wellshear, born in Hamilton County, Ohio, October 1, 1883, is a son of William A. and Mary H. (Compton) Wellshear. The father was born of German parentage in Central New York in 1805, and was a book-keeper by vocation. When quite young he was left an orphan, and before reaching maturity he worked on a keel-boat on the Ohio River. After leaving the river he began teaching school. Settling in Hamilton County, Ohio, in 1831, he was married the following year. He began book-keeping in 1844 in the ‘“Queen City of the West,” and continued until his death in 1881. He died of apoplexy at the office of the United States Treasurer at Cincinnati. His wife, who is of English descent, was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, in 1808. She still survives, residing with her son John W. She is the mother of two children. The other was Mary Jane, who died in 1878. She was the wife of H. G. Kennett of Cincinnati, Ohio. William A. Wellshear enlisted in the Fourth Ohio Cavalry as quartermaster of regiment, brigade and division, in which capacity he served for over four years. Hon. John W. Wellshear received his early education in the common schools of Hamilton County, and later attended the Cincinnati high school, being a member of the first class of that school. In 1857 he became a disciple of Blackstone, his preceptors being Hon. R. M. Corwine and ex-President R. B. Hayes. He was admitted to the bar in Cincinnati in 1859 but immediately after went to Crawfordsville, Ind., and entered upon the practice of his profession. Being a strong Union man, he enlisted in the Federal army at the first call for troops to quell the rebellion of the Southern States, joining Company G, Tenth Regiment of Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He was in the fight at Rich Mountain, and in August, 1861, was mustered out of service, but the next December he enlisted in the Ninth Indiana Battery, with which he participated in the battle of Shiloh, after which he was placed in command of the Eighth Ohio Battery, with the rank of first lieutenant. Resigning in 1863, he returned home, and soon after went to Jasper County, Ill., and began practicing law at Newton. He was soon after appointed assessor and collector of Jasper County, holding the position until removed by Andrew Johnson. On February 22, 1865, he married Mary K. Carter, a daughter of William Carter a native of Dublin, Ireland. Mrs. Wellshear was born in Hillsboro, Ohio, in 1845 They have two children, Charley C. and William S. In 1868 Mr. Wellshear immigrated to Lawrence County, Mo., locating near Peirce City, but in 1874 he came to Cassville, where he has since been actively engaged in practicing his profession. For the past eight years he has resided on his farm, two and a half miles northwest of Cassville, where he owns 160 acres of fine land with good improvements. In politics he is a stanch Republican. He has served as county judge of Lawrence County, and as assistant prosecuting attorney of Barry County. He is one of the leading members of the Barry County bar, is a logical debater, and a forcible public speaker. He is a Royal Arch Mason, and a member of the I. O. O. F. His wife is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

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This family biography is one of 103 biographies included in The History of Barry County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Barry County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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