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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 McClure, one of the leading citizens of Barry County Mo was born in Greene County, Tenn., October 8, 1819, and is a son of John and Margaret (Kennedy) McClure. John McClure was born near Baltimore, Md., in 1790 just three months after his parents arrived from Ireland. Shortly after his birth his father removed to Virginia, locating near Lynchburg. Soon after he removed to Washington County, Tenn., and settled on a farm where John McClure grew to manhood. The latter was married in 1811, and located in Greenville, taking charge of the iron works belonging to the estate of his father-in-law, Daniel Kennedy. After a few years he removed to Rhea County and settled on a farm, which he cultivated for a number of years. In 1835 he sold his property in Rhea County and started for Barry County, Mo., but while on his way died at Louisburg, Ark., of cholera. His widow, who was born in Greene County Tenn., in 1798, came on to Barry County, settling on the farm now owned by her son, William McClure. She was the mother of thirteen children, four of whom, George, William, Rebecca and Thomas, are living. She was a woman of good business qualities, and with the help of her older sons succeeded in making a good comfortable home and in educating the younger children. She died in December, 1854, at the home of her son John. William remained in Arkansas until 1840, when he came to Barry County and resided with his mother, assisting in the improvement of the farm until 1846, when he married and located in Washburn, engaging in the mercantile business in partnership with J. T. Keet. In 1847 they opened a branch store in Cassville, and Mr. McClure took charge of it. In 1850 he sold his interest to his partner, and engaged in business in his own name at Washburn, continuing until 1860, when he was elected sheriff of the county. At the beginning of the Civil War he was engaged in buying and driving horses to Louisiana, but was compelled to abandon the business at a heavy loss. In 1861 he and J. T. Keet purchased the Roaring River grist-mill, which was destroyed during the war. In 1866 he, J. M Durham and W. E. Trim rebuilt it, and in 1869 Mr. McClure rented his farm and removed to Roaring River and assisted in operating the mill until 1880, when he returned to his farm. He has been twice married. In 1846 he married Sarah P. Tennant, who was born in Hempstead County, Ark., in 1825, a daughter of Rev. T. H. Tennant, of Washington County, Ark. She died July 26, 1860, having borne three children, one of whom is living, Rev. Walter T. McClure, of the Southwest Missouri Conference. In July, 1861, our subject married Zarilda J Gay, a daughter of Daniel Gay, and to them have been born six children viz.: Rebecca A., wife of Dr. S. W. Chandler; Alice E., wife of J. W. George; William D., John C., Guy W. and George W. All worship at the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Mr. McClure is a charter member of Barry Lodge, No. 367, A. F. & A. M., at Washburn.

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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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