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Below is a family biography included in The History of Jefferson 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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Aquilla Blackwell, another successful farmer and stock-raiser of Valle Township, was born in what is now St. Francois County, but then Washington County, below Blackwell’s Station, in 1844. He was the fourth of fourteen children born to William and Elizabeth (Cummins) Blackwell. The father was born in Kentucky, March 18, 1810, and when about eight years of age came with his parents to what is now St. Francois County, when the country was a vast wilderness. His father, Jeremiah Blackwell settled near where Blackwell’s Station is now, and there passed the remainder of his days. Blackwell’s Station was named in honor of him. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. William Blackwell was married at the age of twenty-eight, and afterward settled near the North Big River Bridge, where he spent the remainder of his life. He cleared a good farm, and was an industrious, enterprising citizen. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and died in 1870. The mother was born in 1820, in Washington County, and died about 1881. She was the daughter of Samuel Cummins, an early settler of Washington County, but a native of Ireland, and was a member of the Baptist Church. Aquilla was educated in the rustic log schoolhouses of early times, and during the latter part of the war spent about six months in Canada. December 24, 1866, Miss Dolly A., daughter of Austin and Matilda Coleman, became his wife, and to this union twelve children were born, eleven now living: Leander, Allie J., John, William E., Ephraim, Anna, Vevey, Emmars (deceased), Albert A., Rolla R., Jefferson and Charley. Aquilla remained with his father in St. Francois County until 1868, when he settled on his present farm, then a dense forest, and the first stick of timber was cut to build his present house. He now has about 300 acres in cultivation, and about eleven miles of fence, making one of the best farms in Jefferson County. In all, he has about 960 acres, about 400 of which are in St. Francois County. Besides this he has considerable property in Blackwell’s Station. He lives ten miles southwest of De Soto, is an earnest worker for the cause of education, is a member of the Masonic fraternity and the A. O. U. W., and a Democrat in politics, casting his first presidential vote for H. Seymour in 1868. He and wife are devout members of the Baptist Church.

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This family biography is one of 224 biographies included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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