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Below is a family biography included in The History of Hickory 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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Judge James M. Gardner was born eight miles east of Madisonville, Monroe County, Tenn., February 15, 1834, and is a son of Thomas and Catherine (Thatch) Gardner, who were born in Roane and Knox Counties, of that State, his birth occurring January I, 1806, and that of his wife, May 18, 1813. They were married in Monroe County, March 26, 1832, and resided in that State until the father’s death, August 6, 1877. The mother is still living, and resides in Hickory County, Mo., making her home with her son, James M. She has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for 65 years, and throughout her long and useful life has won the respect and love of all who know her. The grandfather, James Gardner, was of Irish parentage and a Virginian by birth, but died in Monroe County, Tenn., having followed the occupation of farming throughout his life. His father was a Revolutionary soldier. The maternal grandfather, Henderson Thatch, was also born in the “Old Dominion,” and died in Bradley County, Tenn., having been a successful farmer. Judge James M. Gardner is the eldest son of nine children (five now living): George W., a prominent farmer of Hickory County; Eliza J., wife of Samuel D. Mitchell, a merchant of Chattanooga, Tenn.; William L., a farmer of Hickory County; and Martha B., widow of Nathaniel Fitzgerald. She resides in Wise County, Texas. Those deceased are: Henderson, who died in Georgia; Elizabeth R.; Mary A., wife of Walker McGriff; and Thomas J., who died in Bradley County, Tenn. Judge Gardner received his education in Monroe and Bradley Counties, and was eighteen years of age when he left home to fight his own way in the world. After spending one year in Alabama, he returned to Tennessee, where he was engaged in farming until 1858, then came to Missouri and located in Hickory County, where he has since made his home, and where he owns 385 acres of good land. In 1857 he was married to Miss Margaret McSpaden, a daughter of Samuel and Sarah McSpaden, natives of Monroe County, Tenn. Mrs. Gardner was born in Bradley County, of that State, June 26, 1837, and she and Mr. Gardner are the parents of nine children: Robert H.; Sarah E, wife of Dr. L. Selvidge; Amanda J., wife of Thomas A. Nowell; Ulysses G.; Mary C., wife of Benjamin Nowell; Barbara A., Hiram D., Elva T., and Lewis Monroe. In 1862 Mr. Gardner enlisted in Company C, Sixtieth Regiment Enrolled Missouri Militia, and served as corporal until the close of the war. In 1865 he was appointed justice of the peace, being afterward elected to that office, serving in all fourteen years. He was elected judge of the Western district on the Republican ticket, of which party he has long been a member, in 1878, and is now filling his third term. He belongs to the G. A. R. His mother, Catherine Gardner, was born May 18, 1813.

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This family biography is one of 53 biographies included in The History of Hickory County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Hickory County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Hickory County, Missouri family biographies here: Hickory County, Missouri

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