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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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Ward Cunningham, of the firm of Hamel & Cunningham, manufacturers of heavy tinware, roofing and guttering, and dealers in hardware, stoves, etc., in De Soto, is a native of the State of New York, born in Herkimer County in 1859, and is a descendant of Gen. Herkimer, after whom that county is named. He is a son of James and Lucinda C. (Uhle) Cunningham, the former of whom, of Irish and Scotch descent, was born in Patterson, N. J., in 1823; he is a machinist by trade, settled in Herkimer County, N. Y., after marriage, whence he moved in 1866 to St. Louis, where he has since been connected with the Pacific Express Company; his wife is a native of Herkimer County, N. Y., and was born in 1838. Ward Cunningham was educated in St. Louis, attending school until twelve years of age. He was subsequently amanuensis in the Union Depot freight office for eight years, and the following four years was a traveling salesman for a St. Louis paint company. In 1884 he came to De Soto, and, in partnership with Gust J. Hamel, bought the hardware stock of R. Borrough, which business they have since conducted. They carry a first-class stock of hardware, stoves, chinaware, glassware, paints and oils, and manufacture heavy tinware and roofing. November 23, 1887, Mr. Cunningham married Miss Mary, daughter of S. W. Crawford, of De Soto, Mo. In politics Mr. Cunningham is a Democrat; he is a member of the Knights of Pythias, A. O. U. W. and Legion of Honor. In religion he affiliates with the Episcopal 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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