My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of Franklin 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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Wilson Leiser was born near West Milton, in Union Co., Penn., March 1, 1839, and is of German extraction, but of American parentage. His grandfather, on the father’s side, with an only brother, came to America when he was but eight years of age. The brother was supposed to have been killed, or died, in the Revolutionary War, and was never again heard of. All persons bearing the name are kinsfolk through the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, so far as known. His mother was one of a large family of Ranckes, whose father and mother were also native Americans, but descended on the father’s side from the Von Ranckes, of Germany, and on the mother’s side from a worthy family of Longs. The grandmother on the father’s side was a Dersham, and all spoke English in their families, their ancestors in turn having come to America among the earliest pilgrims. He was raised on a farm in Pennsylvania, and by more than ordinary application, and the aid of fortunate and zealous public-school teachers, became qualified to teach school, and to get the benefit of several disconnected terms at higher schools, and a diploma at the Ohio State and Union Law College, at Cleveland. Thus doubtfully prepared, he came to Missouri in 1867, to grow up with the country, and settled in Pacific, and there began the delectable existence of “starving” into the practice of law. Plenty of clients there were, but they were without the practical knowledge of the uses of retainers, pretty much as they are to this day, which renders the paths of impecunious young lawyers difficult to travel in a new country. Other pleasanter paths presented themselves, and he again took up the birch, and reorganized the public schools in Washington, and after eighteen months’ teaching was appointed a deputy county clerk by his then new father-in-law, Judge M. L. G. Crowe. This imposition upon the county appeared to be too appalling, and Mr. Crowe was never re-elected to office, and the object of this sketch was again out of employment. He then moved to St. James, and after teaching two terms resumed the practice of law and had a promising practice, but soon concluded to return to Franklin County, where no man ever got rich, and in an unguarded moment entered the fascinating career of journalism and started the Record, of which he is still editor and proprietor, now in the fourteenth year of its existence.

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This family biography is one of 305 biographies included in The History of Franklin County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Franklin County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Franklin County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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