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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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JOHN CURNUTT has been the owner of his present homestead since 1879. It is finely situated in township 46, range 25, Johnson County, and comprises eighty acres, well improved with substantial fences, buildings, etc. Our subject has been a witness of much of the development of this section, and remembers when Pettis County was surveyed and laid out by Charles Cravens. His first Presidential ballot was in favor of James K. Polk, but since the formation of the Republican party he has been one of its loyal advocates.

The parents of the above-named gentleman were William and Sarah (Stanley) Curnutt, who were natives of Virginia and Tennessee, respectively. At an early day the father emigrated to Kentucky, where he worked at his trade as a wheelwright, and also farmed to some extent. Going to Tennessee, he was married, and November 8, 1814, they pitched their tent in Chariton County, Mo. Wolves were numerous, and Indians were sometimes troublesome. The young couple soon located at Roach Fort, near Boonville, but the next year went to Howard County, Mo., where Mr. Curnutt bought a cleared tract of land. The paternal grandfather of our subject, Reuben Curnutt, was a native of England, and his last years were spent on a farm in Tennessee. The parents of Mrs. Curnutt were Harrison and Rachel Stanley, natives of England. Three Stanley brothers participated in the Revolutionary War, and one of the number was made prisoner. He was of a very timid disposition, and only fired at the enemy once, then being much concerned for fear he had killed a man. Harrison Stanley lived for a time in Nodaway County with his son, and reached the extreme old age of one hundred and ten years. His wife also lived to be very old, dying in her ninety-eighth year. Their children were named as follows: Page, Jerry, Minard, Ramey, Harrison, Jr., Sarah and Jane, and all are deceased. The children of Reuben Curnutt were John, David, William, Reuben, Jr., and Betsy. In 1832 our subject’s father moved to what is now Pettis County, Mo., and bought land, on which he lived for eight years, this tract being located five miles north of Sedalia. For a few years prior to his death he cultivated a farm of eighty acres on Flat Creek. He departed this life April 8, 1842, and though never belonging to any church or organization, had been baptized and was a very religious man. He was prominent wherever he made his home, but never would hold public office.

John Curnutt, born in Howard County, Mo., January 24, 1824, is the sixth of ten children. They were all given good school advantages, and several of them attended college. Reuben, the eldest, who is now deceased, was twice married. His first union was with Eliza O’Bannion, by whom he had three children, and after her death he married Roina Emmick, who bore him one child, and is also now deceased. Rachel, deceased, was the wife of William O’Bannion, and after his demise married Cyrus Bone. Polly married George Anderson, deceased, and at last accounts was living in Texas. Stephen died at the age of twenty-four years, unmarried. Lydia first wedded Martin Biggs, and after his death became the wife of a Mr. Henderson; he, too, has been called to the silent land, and his widow is living among her relatives in Cooper County, Mo. David, deceased, married Julia Ann Stutts, who is now making her home with her children in New Mexico. Lucetta married Dawson Dyle, a farmer of Cooper County, Mo., and to them have been born four children. Louisa married Watson Dyle, and both died in Cooper County. William, a farmer of Pettis County, Mo., married Margaret Forbes.

At the age of nineteen years, John Curnutt married Emily A. Stotts, their union being celebrated February 15, 1843. A native of Illinois, she was born in 1823, to Andrew and Polly (Litrel) Stotts, natives of Kentucky and Illinois, respectively. They were married in the Prairie State, and lived on a farm there until 1840. Moving then to Pettis County, Mo., they operated a farm until claimed by death. Their children were as follows: Nancy, John, Francis, Julia Ann, Virginia C., Lot, Sarah, Mary, James, Martha and Emily. Francis is now living in Sedalia; John operates a farm in Vernon County, Mo.; Lot is also an agriculturist of Vernon County; Virginia married William Lee, of Vernon County; and Sarah is the wife of Marion Lee, a resident of the same county.

After his marriage John Curnutt engaged in farming in Pettis County on a rented place. His wife died in less than a year after their union, January 25, 1844, leaving one child, Emily A., born January 12, 1844. She has never married, and is now living with relatives in Vernon County, Mo. For several years Mr. Curnutt worked for farmers, and in 1848 was employed by Allen O’Bannion, who is well known in Pettis County. About this time occurred the second marriage of our subject, the lady of his choice being Martha N., daughter of Francis and Rhoda Martin. She was born in Alabama in 1830, and died May 9, 1861, leaving six children, namely: William Francis, whose death occurred when he was in his twenty-ninth year; John Melville, a farmer of Pettis County, who first married Millie Rathburn, and after her death wedded Sallie Freeman; Rhoda Ellen, wife of Jackson Porter, a farmer of Vernon County; Benjamin Allen, who operates a farm in Pettis County, and who has been twice married, first to Laura McMillan and afterward to Delia Shackelford; Sallie, Mrs. Luther Current, who lives on a farm in Vernon County; and James Madison, who died at the age of eleven months. The father of Mrs. Curnutt went to California in 1849, and returned two years later, soon after which he permanently settled on a farm in this county. For eight years our subject managed a farm of two hundred and forty acres in Saline County, Mo., which he had purchased, but from the time of his wife’s death until 1863 he lived on a rented farm in Pettis County.

August 5, 1861, John Curnutt enlisted in Company A, Twenty-seventh Missouri Volunteers, under Captain McGuire, and was placed on detail duty. His army experience, however, was brief, and he soon returned home. July 2, 1862, the militia was ordered to report at Jefferson City and remained there until December 25, 1862 when he received a partial discharge, being subject to further orders, but he was never called into service. In the spring of 1863 he moved to this county and rented land, but two years later became the owner of one hundred and twenty acres in Pettis County. This place he improved and cultivated from that time until 1880, and in 1882 sold out with the intention of making his future abode in Johnson County. For four years he managed a farm on section 10, when he came to his present location.

November 28, 1861, Mr. Curnutt married Nancy A., daughter of Michael and Dardana Scarbrough, natives of Tennessee, but who died in Missouri. Mrs. Curnutt was born in Callaway County, Mo., and died August 8, 1869. By her marriage she became the mother of six children, namely: Albert Beecher, who died in infancy; Mentor, who married Alice Connor, and lives near Knobnoster; Mary Jane, Mrs. Wesley Zumbren, of Jewell County, Kan.; Rosa May and Martha Ann, who died in infancy; and Albert M., who is unmarried and assists his father on the home farm. After the death of his third wife, our subject married Mary, daughter of Elias Carroll, who was a native of this county and a farmer by occupation. She passed away in 1877, leaving one child, Lena L., whose birth occurred in the last-named year, and who is now living with her father.

The lady who now bears the name of our subject was formerly Mrs. Mollie Connor. Her parents were Solomon and Rosa (O’Bannion) Reed, both natives of this state. The former was engaged in farming until his death, which occurred in 1851, and his wife’s demise took place in the same year. Their three sons were David, William and Allen. Mrs. Curnutt is a native of Pettis County, this state, and by her former marriage had six children, namely: Alice, Joseph M., Annie E., Rowena, James M. and John. The latter was accidentally shot while celebrating on Christmas Eve, in 1881. To Mr. and Mrs. Curnutt has been born a daughter, Minnie Myrtle, her birth oocurring April 19, 1883. Mr. Curnutt has been married five times, and has had fifteen children, thirty grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

When he was seventeen years old our subject joined the Christian Church, but for the past few years he and his wife have been members of the Ignited Brethren Church of this locality.

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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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