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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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Dr. Thomas J. Means, a member of the firm of Means & Co., druggists, of Monett, Mo., was born in Monroe County, Ky., in 1822, and is the only one living of a family of ten children born to the marriage of Thomas Means and Mary Mulkey. Thomas Means was of Irish descent, and was born in Pennsylvania in 1772. When ten years of age he went to Virginia, where he was reared to manhood. He became a farmer, and prior to his marriage went to East Tennessee. Thence in 1796 he immigrated to Monroe County, Ky., where he spent the remainder of his life, passing away in 1846. He was one of the pioneers of East Tennessee, where he assisted in fighting the red men, and also settled in Kentucky when the nearest milling point was over 100 miles distant. His wife, who was of English origin, was born in Tennessee in 1778, and died in 1856. Thomas J. Means made his home with his parents, assisting them on the farm, as long as they lived. In 1858 he was united in marriage with Emma Taylor, a native of Ohio, who was born in 1835. In 1847 Dr. Means commenced the study of medicine, and the following year left his native State, coming to Barry County. He located in the western part of the county, and in 1852 entered upon the practice of his profession, having been engaged in farming prior to this time. During the late war he was in Illinois, soon after which he went back to Kentucky. About 1875 he went to Kansas, and in 1878 returned to Barry County. In 1887 he settled in the rapidly growing town of Monett, where he established a drug store and has since resided. His first wife died in 1868, and in 1883 he was married again, choosing for his second wife Mrs. Nannie Leonard, a native of Tennessee. Dr. Means is one of the substantial citizens of the county, and is well respected. In religious belief he is a Universalist, and is a member of the Masonic fraternity. Politically his sympathies are with the Democratic party.

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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

To view additional Barry County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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