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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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ARTHUR L. GARVIN. Throughout this portion of Johnson County the passer-by will find no better estate than that belonging to our subject. It is ninety acres in extent and is pleasantly located on section 12, township 44, range 28. He was born in Lafayette County, near Odessa, April 4, 1859, and is the son of Hugh and Eleanor A. (Hook) Garvin.

The father of our subject was born in Pennsylvania, and was about thirteen years of age when he left home and went to New York State. There he learned the trade of a carpenter, and upon reaching mature years was married. A few years afterward he and his wife moved to Baltimore, Md., where he continued to ply his trade and where Mrs. Garvin died.

While a resident of Baltimore the father was appointed by the Government a Lumber Inspector. He was possessed of more than ordinary education and was a man of good judgment and shrewd business qualifications. James J., one of his sons, also learned the carpenter’s trade. He was born December 28, 1824, and died in November, 1893, leaving a family of five children. The eldest of the household, Elizabeth, was born February 3, 1821; Sarah J., April 2, 1823; William H., October 8, 1826; Theodore, August 28, 1833; and William Jones, December 20, 1837.

From Baltimore the father of our subject went to Hampshire County, Va., where he met and married Miss Hook, who became the mother of four children, of whom Arthur L. was the youngest. Francis Marion was born in Virginia December 22, 1848; La Fayette was born August 28, 1850, and died October 18, 1851; Virginia was born July 13, 1852, and departed this life February 10, 1873.

In 1853 Hugh Garvin came to Missouri, locating in Lafayette County, where he purchased a small farm and at the same time worked at his trade. He was living there at the time of his decease, which occurred December 21, 1858. Mrs. Eleanor Garvin survived a number of years, passing away March 19, 1879. The father was a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and socially was an Odd Fellow.

At the early age of nine years our subject began to work out in order to support his widowed mother. She was afterward married, but her husband only survived three months. Her third marriage was to John McAllister, who is also now deceased. By studying every spare moment our subject managed to get a fair education, although he began to make his own way in the world when quite young. He was allowed to keep his own wages on reaching his seventeenth year, although he always contributed to the support of his mother and other members of the family. He was employed by the month until nineteen years of age, making it a rule to lay aside each pay day a portion of his earnings.

In 1872 our subject joined a party for Texas, making the journey overland in six months. Upon reaching the Lone Star State he began working on the railroad, and for a few months held a position in a sawmill. The following year, however, he returned home, and as soon as his preparations could be made went to Colorado and engaged to work on a sheep ranch, remaining thus employed until 1875. During that time he had saved about $400, which he invested in a team and began farming on rented land. He was remarkably successful in his ventures in this industry and very soon was enabled to purchase forty acres near Odessa. To this he later added ten acres which he received from his father’s estate.

Mr. Garvin was married in West Cairo, Ohio, May 11, 1881, to Miss Margaret C. Simmons, a native of Hampshire County, Va., whom he met in Missouri. She was the daughter of Aaron and Mary (Cooper) Simmons, and her birth occurred February 6, 1854. In the Old Dominion she was reared to mature years and was there given a good common-school education.

In 1892 our subject sold his property in Lafayette County and invested his means in ninety acres of land in this county, where he now lives. He has greatly improved the estate and now has the satisfaction of knowing it to be one of the neatest and pleasantest homes in the township. The residence is a comfortable structure and is made more homelike by the many flowers and shrubs which surround it, the work of Mrs. Garvin.

Mr. and Mrs. Garvin have had five children, all of whom were born in Clay Township, Lafayette County, this state. Etta May, who was born April 12, 1882, died August 21 of that year. Virgil F. was born September 2, 1883; Leroy, May 25, 1887; Mary Ethel, April 7, 1890, and Otto Hinton, June 25, 1892. In politics Mr. Garvin is a Democrat and cast his first Presidential vote for Tilden. He is active in political life and has been sent as a delegate to the various county and state conventions of his party.

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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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