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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. W. A. Fly, the present member of the Missouri Legislature from Barry County, was born in Murray County, Tenn., on March 7, 1826. His parents, J. N. and Nancy (Oaky) Fly, were both natives of Tennessee. J. N. Fly was born in 1807, and reared on a farm, and married in his native State. Nancy (Oaky) Fly was born November 22, 1805, and departed this life February 14, 1885, at the old homestead in Barry County. They were the parents of ten children, six of whom are living. They with their family emigrated to Missouri in the spring of 1839, locating in Barry County. J. N. Fly was a man of high personal endowments, and won the esteem of many of the best citizens of Barry County, whom he served in the capacity of justice of the peace, sheriff two terms, and judge of the county court. His declining years were spent in happiness, and he passed away on June 6, 1873, lamented by a host of friends. Hon. W. A. Fly received a fair education in the common schools of Barry County. He has been thrice married, first in Newton County to Naomi Surgnier, who was born in Missouri on August 21, 1829. She died on October 6, 1864, having borne nine children, three of whom, Jasper L., William M. and Mary J., are living. Mr. Fly next married Angeline Leeper, of Greene County, Mo., who died in June 16, 1867, at the age of thirty years. For his third wife Mr. Fly chose Martha A. Hale, of McDonald County, Mo., who was born in Greene County, Ind., in 1841, and to their union have been born three children: Nancy C., Henry W. and Mabel. Reared on a farm, Mr. Fly has always followed agricultural pursuits, although he now resides in Purdy, Mo. He, like his father, enjoys the esteem and confidence of his neighbors, and has been honored with high official positions. In 1878 he was elected judge of Barry County Court, and so efficient were his services that he was re-elected in 1880. His second term served only to give his ability, honesty and integrity a more widespread recognition, and in 1884 he was elected to represent his county in the Thirty-third Assembly of the State Legislature, and was re-elected to the same position in 1886. He has never publicly announced his name as a candidate for nomination to any office, and as a Democrat has always run ahead of his ticket. He is a consistent member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and is a member of the A. F. & A. M.

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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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