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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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Dr. Wallace L. Sappington, practicing physician and surgeon, residing one and one-fourth miles north of Maxville, on the Gravel road, was born at Sappington, St. Louis County, Mo., in 1861. He is the son of Thomas J. and Helen (Leffingwell) Sappington. The father was also born at Sappington, where he has lived all his life, and is now about fifty-six years old. He is one of the practical and enterprising farmers and stock-raisers of St. Louis County, is one of its prominent citizens and active politicians, a life-long Democrat, and an ardent advocate of low tariff. He was a stanch Union man during the late war, in which he served in the Enrolled Missouri Militia. He received a good common-school education, and graduated from the high school of St. Charles. He is a great reader of history and all works of general interest, and has, by his own efforts, obtained considerable knowledge of the outside world. His fine farm consists of 600 acres, and is well improved and well cultivated. He has been twice married; his second wife, Julia Leffingwell, cousin of his first wife, is still living. John Sappington, grandfather of Wallace L., came to Missouri when St. Louis was a mere French trading post, and the surrounding country a vast wilderness full of Indians and wild animals. He established a tannery where Sappington now stands, and followed the business for many years, the town being named in his honor. He owned a vast tract of land in the neighborhood, which was left to his two sons and three daughters. He was a man of considerable influence and ability, and was one of the county’s first settlers. The Doctor’s mother was born in Pennsylvania, and when a girl came to Missouri with her brother, Hon. Hiram Leffingwell, who served as United States Marshall for the Eastern District of Missouri, under Gen. Grant’s administration. She died when the subject of this sketch was about ten years old. The Doctor was reared at home and educated at Kirkwood High School. He began his medical studies with Dr. Henry F. Steinhauer, for three years, and was also three years at the St. Louis Medical College, from which institution he graduated in 1881. He then began his practice in the vicinity of Maxville, where he has an extended and successful practice, and where he is considered one of the promising young physicians of Jefferson County. He was married in 1882 to Miss Anna, daughter of John L. and Margaret Sutton, and a native of St. Louis County, where her grandfather was one of the pioneer settlers. Her parents are still living at Sutton, a place named in honor of the grandfather, James Sutton. The Doctor has one child, Sadie. He is a Democrat in his political views, and cast his first presidential vote for Grover Cleveland, in 1884. He was formerly medical examiner of the A. O. U. W. of Sappington Lodge.

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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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