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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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Samuel W. Gerster is a native of Fairfield County, of the “Buckeye State,” and was born on the 20th of June, 1854, being a son of Johanes and Elizabeth (Goss) Gerster, who were born in Switzerland and Fairfield Counties, Ohio, respectively. The former died in Hickory County, Mo., in 1880, when fifty-eight years of age. He left his native land when twenty-one years of age, and came to the United States, and, after residing in different counties in Ohio until 1869, came to Missouri and located on the farm on which his son Samuel W. is now living. He was a farmer the greater portion of his life, but also followed the mill wright and carpenter’s trade. He and wife were members of the German Reformed Church. Their children who are living are as follows: John, Adam, George, Jacob, Anna, Elizabeth and Samuel W. Abraham and Daniel are deceased. Samuel W. Gerster was educated in Ohio and Hickory County, Mo., and since early boyhood has been engaged in farm labor, and, since gaining his majority, has followed carpentering in connection with this work. After the father’s death the six sons continued housekeeping with their mother and little sister, but on March 8, 1885, Abraham died at the age of twenty-six years. Following this the other five carried on the work until January 15, 1888, when Jacob was married, and then removed to St. Clair County, Mo., where the five brothers are now jointly conducting a successful agricultural business, under the supervision of S. W. Gerster, in connection with the home farm. Since his father’s death, he being the eldest son, he has managed the business affairs of the family, and is industrious and enterprising, and has taken great interest in the development of the mineral wealth of the county. In politics he and his brothers are Democrats.

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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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