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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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JAMES M. FITCH, one of the best known farmers and stock-raisers of Johnson County, now resides in township 47, range 27. He is a native of the Blue Grass State, born in Lewis County, April 29, 1841, and is the eldest in a family of eleven children born to Crawford and Cavey B. (Cordingly) Fitch, ten of whom still survive. The father’s birth occurred in the same county, about 1815, and his life was that of an agriculturist. He was very prosperous in his undertakings, and became an extensive mule-dealer, while shortly after the close of the war he was offered $20,000 in gold for his farm in Kentucky. He came to Missouri in 1875, locating upon the old Dr. Rankin Farm, in Johnson County, where he remained until his death, which occurred in May, 1880. The mother is still living and makes her home in Warrensburg, Mo. She was born in Lewis County, Ky., in 1820, and, though now well advanced in years, is still enjoying excellent health.

With his parents James M. Fitch remained, attending the common school, until the breaking out of the Rebellion. On the 6th of July, 1863, he enlisted in Company A, Forty-fifth Kentucky Mounted Infantry, under Col. John M. Brown, while Capt. James W. Cottingham commanded the company. He served for eighteen months, when he was mustered out at Catlettsburg, Ky., December 24, 1864. He then returned home, and the following spring planted a crop, which he cultivated until the following August, when he sold out and started for Missouri.

On the 25th of August, 1865, Mr. Fitch arrived in Warrensburg, where he stopped over night, and the following day came to the portion of the county where he still makes his home. Until December he worked for any one with whom he could find employment, but at that time was hired by a Mrs. Davis, whose sons were in the Southern army. She offered him work for the winter, which he accepted, and that event no doubt changed the entire course of his life. After returning home from the army, the younger son, who made his home with his mother, was quite ill, and felt that he was unable to carry on the farm, and proposed that our subject remain with them and attend to its management. This he did very successfully, and on the 15th of November, 1866, was united in marriage with Miss Martha E. Davis, a daughter of his employer. He still continued the operation of the farm, and in 1870 purchased a portion of it, since which time, however, the entire tract has passed into his hands. He is an extensive stock-raiser and feeds from five to ten thousand bushels of corn to his cattle annually above that which he raises himself. He has a valuable farm of six hundred and twenty acres, which is well cultivated, and the improvements upon the place are of the highest order.

The union of Mr. and Mrs. Fitch has been blessed with seven children, as follows: Albert C., Charles G., Forest, Ernest, Mahala B., Nellie and Annie F. Albert C, who wedded Miss Ada Holderman, of the state of Washington, is one of the prosperous farmers of Johnson County; and Charles G., also a successful agriculturist of the same community, married Miss Mildred Carter. The children have all received the advantage of a good education, and the others are still on the home farm.

Mr. Fitch, politically, votes the straight Republican ticket, and in religious matters is a Cumberland Presbyterian. He is honest, industrious and thoroughly honorable in the walks of life, and enjoys the esteem and respect of the community at large. During his many years’ residence in Johnson County his kindly nature and genial disposition have won him many friends, and the poor and needy always receive his aid.

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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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