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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  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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ALSON G. BODENHAMER, who owns a good farm on section 32, township 48, range 25, Johnson County, has been a resident of this section since 1876. He was born in Schuyler County, Ill., May 15, 1837, and is the son of Coston and Kizzie (Horney) Bodenhamer, both of whom were born in North Carolina. The paternal grandparents of our subject were Pennsylvanians, but many years ago they located in North Carolina, giving their attention to farm pursuits. Of their family of children three are all of whom we have any record. Of these, William is deceased; John is farming in North Carolina; and Coston is the father of our subject.

Coston Bodenhamer was married in his native state, where he lived for some time thereafter on a farm. He then moved to Schuyler County, Ill., where he became the possessor of a farm and lived until 1856. That year we find him residing in Lafayette County, this state, farming on rented property located five miles from Concordia. He made this place his home for two years, and then came to Johnson County, settling east of Cornelia. He was very prosperous in his undertakings in this section, and at one time was the owner of the present site of that town. After a residence there of five years he returned to Lafayette County, settling just north of Simpson Post-office, which was his home at the time of his wife’s death, in April, 1862. His household then being broken up, he left the farm, and for the following five years lived with his son-in-law in Cornelia. Being desirous of once more trying his fortunes as a farmer, he went to Linn County, Kan., and, purchasing a small tract of land there, was engaged in its cultivation a few years. Finally retiring from labor, he lived with his son Philip, at whose home he died about 1882.

The parents of our subject had ten children, of whom the two youngest died in infancy unnamed. Philip married Sarah Bilderback, and is now a resident of Greeley County, Kan.; Solomon died at the home of our subject in 1877; Alson G. was the third-born; Jane became the wife of John Wesley Sullivan, and lives on a farm in Texas; William chose for his wife Amanda Hart, and is living in Idaho; John Wesley married Lizzie Vandeventer, who is now deceased, and he makes his home one and one-half miles east of our subject; Eliza is now Mrs. John Hendreliter, of Miami County, Kan.; and Martha died at the age of fifteen years.

After attaining his majority, our subject commenced working for other parties, and at first operated a threshing-machine, receiving $1.75 per day. His employers soon, however, hired him at $28 per month, and he continued to work for them for nine months, in the mean time saving a snug amount from his earnings. He was married, November 15, 1857, to Esther Worthington, who was born September 12, 1836, in Davidson County, N. C. She was the daughter of Brooks and Hannah (Green) Worthington, also natives of that state, where they were farmers. Brooks Worthington was also an expert shoemaker, and after his removal to Indianapolis, Ind., worked at this business for one year. In 1840, however, he came to Missouri, choosing Lafayette County as his future home. There the wife and mother died in 1855. Mr. Worthington was again married, the lady on this occasion being Lucy Lanear. He continued to make his home on that farm until the decease of his second companion, when he moved to California, where his daughter was living. On his return from the Golden State, he spent a few years on the old place, and then went to Carroll County, Ark., where he died, December 24, 1894, at the age of eighty-eight years.

By his first marriage Mr. Worthington became the father of nine children. Charles married Margaret Meadows, and is now living in California; Joab married Eliza Alkire, and is now deceased, but his wife makes her home in Indian Territory; John never married, and died during the late war; Elizabeth is now Mrs. Johnson Mulky, and lives in California; Mrs. Bodenhamer was the next-born; Jacob chose for his wife Elmira Couch, and they make their home on a farm in Boone County, Ark.; David is single, and is a resident of the Golden State; Ellen married James Fulkerson, and both are deceased; and Catherine died when six years old.

Soon after his marriage our subject moved to a farm near Cornelia, this county, and after a residence there of four years returned to Lafayette County, where he had been living, making his home there from 1861 to 1876. In the mean time, August 4, 1863, he enlisted in Company A, Seventh Missouri Infantry, under Captain Taggart and Col. Henry Neale. The only engagement in which he participated was at Lone Jack, Jackson County. He was honorably discharged November 24, 1863, on account of disability, and, returning to his home, resided there until his removal to Johnson County.

Mr. Bodenhamer purchased one hundred acres on locating within the confines of this county, but now has only eighty acres, having sold the other twenty at a good price. To him and his wife there were born eight children, only four of whom are living. Sarah was born in 1859, and died when five years old. Julia was born in 1861, and since her marriage to John Green lives a mile and a-half from the old home. Charlie was born in 1864; he married Laura Bay less, and lives on a good farm three miles southwest of Hazle Hill, this county. Fanny is the wife of Joseph Bayless, and they make their home near the estate of Mr. Green. Lester died July 23, 1891, at the age of seventeen years. William is at home. John’s death occurred when in his fifth year, and Margaret L. died in infancy.

Mrs. Bodenhamer is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and takes an active interest in church work. She is a most estimable lady, and, with her husband, enjoys the sincere friendship and esteem of a large circle. Her grandfather, Joab Worthington, was Captain in the Revolutionary War, and died in Lafayette County. Our subject uses his right of franchise in favor of the Republican party, and is always to be found on the side of advancement and the upholding of the cause of liberty.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Johnson County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Missouri family biographies here: Johnson County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Johnson County, Missouri here: Johnson County, Missouri Map

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