My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the book, The History of Clark County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1887.  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.

* * * *

J. W. Catlett, the son of Louis H. and Eliza A. (Kerfeott) Catlett, was born in Rankin County, Miss., in 1839. His parents were both natives of Virginia. They were married in Frederick County, Va., July 30, 1829, and they soon afterward immigrated to Kentucky, and purchased land on the Cumberland River. After improving this, he sold it and immigrated to Mississippi, where he remained for several years as overseer. He next moved to Texas, and from there to Louisiana, where he passed the remainder of his days. With the exception of his overseer life in Mississippi, he has always been engaged in farming. He was a Democrat in his political views, and died in the year 1848. His widow and five children moved to Clark County, Mo., in the spring of the same year, and here the mother taught school for several terms and also did some needle work. In 1857 she married Richard Shacklitt, a widower and a native of Kentucky, but a resident of Scotland County. In that county they lived happily for eighteen years, when death claimed her for a victim. She was a member of the Baptist Church. Our subject, at the age of nine years, was placed in the care of an uncle, Ezra Kerfeott, of Clark County, where he remained for five years, working for his board and clothes, and any extras went to help his mother. He then worked for a man eighteen months, but for some reason or other neither he nor his mother received a cent of money for this work. He next worked for a man named Johnson for $6 per month, and then worked for William Fee for $5 per month, and then contracted to work a year for him for $30, with the privilege of going three months to school. He worked on in this way, until twenty-two years of age, and assisted his mother all he could with the money he received. He got his education by working for his board and going to school winter months; tallow candles and tuition costing $6 for three months’ school, there being no free schools then in Missouri. He then began working for himself. In 1864 he was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Lasswell, daughter of William Lasswell, whose biographical sketch appears elsewhere. To this union one child was born, and soon after its mother departed this life. This child’s name is William E., and he is now farming in Kansas. In 1866 our subject married Miss Mary A. V. Lasswell, and after farming in Scotland County, one year, moved to Clark County, where he has ever since remained. To this last union seven children were born (two deceased), five of whom are living at home. Mr. Catlett is one of the most extensive stock dealers in Northeast Missouri, and has on hand now several hundred head of stock, mostly cattle, on his farm of over 400 acres. His first wife was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and his last wife is a member of the Baptist Church.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 232 biographies included in the Clark County, Missouri portion of the book,  The History of Lewis, Clark, Knox and Scotland Counties, Missouri published in 1887.  For the complete description, click here: Clark County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Clark County, Missouri family biographies here: Clark County, Missouri Biographies

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.