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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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John W. Bement, proprietor of the De Soto House, De Soto, is a native of Devonshire, England, and was born in 1829. His parents were Robert and Mary (Smith) Bement, also natives of England, the former of whom, a farmer by occupation, died about 1835, at the age of forty-five years; the latter came to America in 1874, and died in De Soto in 1883, aged nearly ninety years. Of the six children in this family two are now in De Soto, John W. and Martha, wife of Robert Coxwell, furniture dealer. John W. Bement was but seven years of age when his father died, and at the age of fourteen he was bound out as an apprentice to learn the cooper’s trade, but the following year, in 1844, he left his native country and emigrated to Canada, first locating in Quebec, where he remained three years; he then came to the United States, and settled near Owego, N. Y., where he learned the carpenter’s trade. In 1854 he went to California by water, remaining in that State four years, working at his trade and contracting. He returned to New York in 1858, and the following year went to Delaware County, Iowa, where he bought a farm and also engaged in contracting; he erected the courthouse and other public buildings in Delaware County. About 1862 he sold out and again returned to New York, and in 1868 located in Jefferson County, Mo., buying a farm of forty acres, three miles south of De Soto. In July of the same year he was employed as a bridge carpenter on the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad, where he was soon made foreman, which position he held for fifteen years. In 1883 he established a boarding house in De Soto, and in March. 1885, became proprietor of the De Soto House, which he has since successfully conducted as one of the leading hotels of the place. In 1851 Mr. Bement married Miss Mary Hale, who was born in the State of New York in 1830. They have three children: William, Frederick and Viola. Politically, Mr. Bement is a Democrat; he is a member of the Masonic order. Mrs. Bement is a member of the Congregational 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

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

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