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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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William K. and John M. Bayless, bankers and general merchants, of Cassville Mo are natives of Greene County, Tenn., born in 1850 and 1851, respectively. They are sons of Daniel D. and Sarah L. (Bruner) Bayless. Daniel D. Bayless is of English-Irish descent, is a son of Jesse Bayless, and was born in Washington County, Tenn., in 1821. He was married in his native State, residing there until 1853, when he came to Barry County, Mo., settling in the southern portion of the county, where he was engaged in agricultural pursuits until October, 1887, when he removed to Cassville. He came to the county as a poor man, driving an ox team, but by industry and economy he has accumulated considerable property, owning at present 200 acres of land, and an interest in a store and bank. His wife was born in Greene County, Tenn., in 1827. They have four children living: William K., John M., James M. and Margaret C. (Mrs. Thomas M. Allen). William K. was educated at Barryville, Ark., Clark’s Academy, Cane Creek Academy and Hiawassee College, of Monroe County, Tenn. At the age of nineteen years he began teaching school, continuing thirty-three months. In 1875 he began clerking in a general store at Washburn, Mo., and continued three years. He then became a partner in the same store, his father also having an interest in it. In January, 1887, both William K. and his father removed their stock to Cassville and combined it with the stock of John M. Bayless & Co., after which the firm was known as Bayless & Co. the present firm. Also in January, 1887, William K., John M. and Daniel D. Bayless, together with J. L. Padgett, Thomas M. Allen and William Earle, established the Barry County Bank with a capital stock of $10,000. William K. Bayless was chosen president, John M. Bayless, cashier, and Thomas M. Allen, vice-president. In October, 1876, William K. married Annie Felker, a daughter of Stephen Felker, who was born in the county in 1857. To them have been born two children, Gertie M. and Kantie C. Mr. and Mrs. Bayless are members of the Missionary Baptist Church. John M. Bayless secured his education at Cane Creek Academy and Hiawassee College, graduating from the latter institution in December, 1875, with the degree of A. B and returning to Missouri in 1876 with his “grip” and 40 cents in cash. After leaving school he taught for two years. In 1878 he was elected collector of Barry County and served two years. In 1880 he engaged in merchandising in Cassville as a member of the firm of John M. Bayless & Co., which was changed to Bayless & Co. in 1887 as above stated. By pluck and energy the small nucleus of “forty cents” has grown to more than that many thousand dollars. Always keeping an eye to business, he, with Mr. T. M. Allen, became purchaser of the only complete abstracts of title to lands in Barry County, and have since dealt extensively in wild lands, made farm loans, sales, etc., doing a good real estate business. Have usually owned 2,000 to 4,000 acres, to locate the westward immigrant. In 1877 Mr. Bayless was united in marriage with Frances McCary, a daughter of Henry McCary, and a native of the county, born in 1856. She died the year after her marriage, leaving one child, Francis J. In May, 1879, Mr. Bayless wedded Mary Stubblefield, a native of Texas, who was born in 1857, and was a daughter of Elisha Stubblefield, deceased. To this union have been born three children: Guy C., Earl G. and Bland B. His family occupies a large ten-room brick dwelling, one of the finest in Southwest Missouri. Bayless & Co. are among the leading merchants of the county, and are men of first-class business capacity, highly esteemed by all who know them. Both William K. and John M. Bayless are Democrats in politics, and are members of the Masonic fraternity.

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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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