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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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Thomas A. Charles, one of the substantial farmers of Joachim Township, is a native of St. Louis County, Mo., and is the eldest son of Robert and Elizabeth (Nickel) Charles, of English and German descent, who were among the early settlers of St. Louis. Mr. Charles received his education in the common schools, and in the early part of his life gave his attention to railroad business, filling various positions on the Camden & Atlantic Railroad. June 4, 1872, he married Catherine (McCormick) West, a native of Jefferson County. Mr. Charles located on his present farm of 213 acres, in Joachim Township, near Pevely, in 1866, where he has since resided, devoting his attention to the pursuit of agriculture and dairying, shipping the products of the latter to St. Louis. He and wife are church members, he holding membership in the Presbyterian and she in the Methodist Episcopal Church South. In political preference he is a Democrat. Mrs. Eliza T. Clark is a native of Jefferson County, Mo., and was born in Herculaneum July 23, 1814. She is a daughter of Elisha and Phoebe (Gale) Ellis, natives, respectively, of Georgia and New York. On the 8th of June, 1842, she was united in marriage to Dr. William E. Clark, deceased. They were the parents of one child— Edward Clayton —who was born October 8, 1843, and died September 9, 1844. Dr. Clark died January 23, 1865. Mrs. Clark has always been a resident of Jefferson County, and is one of the few who survive the hardships of the pioneer life in the then Far West. After the death of her husband she disposed of their property, reserving ten acres, on which she has built a comfortable residence, and is now living a quiet, retired life. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and a devout Christian lady.

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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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