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Below is a family biography included in The History of Dade County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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Amos Helphenstine, hardware merchant of Greenfield, and one of the prominent business men of the city, was born in Greene County, Penn., in 1837, and is the son of William Alexander and Elizabeth (Piatt) Helphenstine, and the grandson of William Henry Helphenstine. The grandfather was a native of Holland, and came to the United States long before the Colonial period, and the family took active part in the Revolution. He was a merchant at Winchester, Va., and died in 1852, at the age of 87 years. William Alexander Helphenstein was a native of Winchester, Va., born April 1, 1808, and was a coppersmith and tinner by trade. He is now living at Waynesburgh, Penn., where he has made his home since 1834. His wife, Elizabeth Piatt, was born near Waynesburgh, Penn., in 1818, and was the daughter of Amos, who was a native of Paris, France, and Julia Ann (Engle) Piatt, who was a native of Maryland, born near Frederick. Julia Engle Piatt’s father was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and was on Gen. Washington’s staff. Amos Piatt was expelled from France during the Hugenot rebellion. Mrs. Helphenstine is still living, and is the mother of eight children, six sons and two daughters. Of these children Amos Helphenstein, the subject of this sketch, was the eldest. He was educated in Waynesburgh College, and, in 1851, he commenced learning the coppersmith and tinner’s trade, working as an apprentice for seven years. In 1855 he went to Jackson County, Ohio, where he began working at his trade, and where he also took up the study of music; was an apt pupil, and soon became a skillful Eb bugle player. In August, 1858, he returned to his birthplace to attend college, but the war came on before he graduated, and in July, 1861, he enlisted in Company F, Eighth Pennsylvania Reserve Corps. He was in the seven days’ fight in front of Richmond, and was in service until August, 1864, when he was discharged at Baltimore, Md. After the war Mr. Helphenstine went west to Oskaloosa, Iowa, and in 1867 came to Greenfield, Mo., where he has since remained, engaged in the hardware business. March 10, 1868; he married at Crawfordsville, Ind., Miss Sarah Jane Newton, who was born in Farmington, Iowa, in 1842. Two children were the fruits of this union, Mary E. and Annie E. Mr. Helphenstine has done considerable teaching of band music, having been the instructor of one of the best bands in the State. He thoroughly understands both the science and art of the profession. He is a member of the G. A. R., post commander of Greenfield Post, and has been counsel of administration of the State for two years. In his religious views Mr. Helphenstein is a Spiritualist in belief, and his wife is a Presbyterian. He is one of the prominent citizens of the county, is a man who assists in all laudable and public enterprises, and is an ardent supporter of free public schools, and a strong Republican on all occasions.

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This family biography is one of 68 biographies included in The History of Dade County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Dade County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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