My Genealogy Hound

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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Rev. Joel M. Hensley, a Baptist minister and farmer of Joachim Township, was born in St. Louis County, near where Clayton now stands, in 1832, the son of Flemming and Jane (Milton) Hensley, natives of Virginia, where they lived until perhaps 1826, when they came to Jefferson County, settled at Sandy Mines for about one year, and then removed to St. Louis County, but in 1837 returned to Jefferson County, and spent a short time at Sandy Mines, after which he moved lower down on the Sandy, where he has since made his home. He is now nearly ninety years old, probably the oldest man in Jefferson County, where he has resided for over fifty years. He is of Irish-English descent, and a life-long farmer by occupation. His father, Benjamin Hensley, was in the Revolutionary War, and served three years under George Washington. He died in St. Louis County. He had three sons in a rifle company in the War of 1812. Flemming Hensley was married at the age of twenty, and lived a happy married life of over sixty years. His wife died in February, 1881. Both were members of the Baptist Church for over fifty years, and both lived to see Jefferson County converted from a dense wilderness to its present state of improvement. Joel M., received a fair education, and in 1856 married Miss Alice M. Williams, a native of Jefferson County, and the daughter of Landon and Elizabeth Williams. Seven children were born to Mr. Hensley’s marriage, six of whom are now living: Wilson Lawrence (of Dakota), Anna (now Mrs. James H. Brown), Marilla (Mrs. Joseph Adams), Alfred J., Felix Asaph and Oliver E. With the exception of a short time in Jefferson County, in 1859, Mr. Hensley has since lived on his present farm of 128 acres, situated seven miles northeast of Hillsboro. He also has fifty-two acres in another tract. For perhaps twenty years he has devoted much of his time to the ministry, which has materially added to the works of the church. He was at one time assessor of Joachim Township, and served about three years as justice of the peace prior to his ministry. He is an educated worker, and has few equals in his neighborhood. He has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since perhaps about 1856, and in politics has been a life-long Democrat, as was his father before him.

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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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