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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 T. DRINKWATER, who resides in township 46, range 25, Johnson County, is numbered among its leading farmers. He owns a good estate, and although his advancing age prevents him from longer actively cultivating his farm, he still maintains a general oversight of the place. He has made all the improvements which adorn it, and has contributed greatly to the upbuilding of his township.

Our subject was born March 15, 1821, in Virginia, and when only five years of age was deprived of the care of his father. Nine years later he was doubly orphaned, as were also his two sisters and two brothers. Polly, who is now deceased, was the eldest of the household; Margaret married James Deckard, and both passed away in Pettis County, this state; William married and departed this life in Cooper County; James is married and engaged in farming in Texas. The father of this family also died in Cooper County, where he was the owner of a good farm.

John T., of this sketch, accompanied his parents on their removal to this state, and after the death of his mother made his home with the family of Sylvester Hall until of age. He then engaged in blacksmithing near Lebanon, Cooper County, and for several years successfully carried on business there. While in that place he was married to Nancy Deckard, of Cooper County. Eight years later Mrs. Drinkwater died, and the lady whom our subject chose as his second companion was Miss Mimena Bales, daughter of Oliver Bales, of the above county.

After his union with Miss Bales, our subject abandoned his trade of a blacksmith, and, renting property in Iowa, moved to that state and lived for two years. His ventures in this direction not proving as successful as he had hoped, he returned to Cooper County and again opened a shop, besides which he also carried on farming on a modest scale. Two years thereafter he came to Johnson County, his first purchase here comprising a tract of sixty acres. On this he built a house, and cleared the land of the thick growth of timber, making this section his home for the past twenty-seven years. During all these years he has made such improvements as seemed wise and profitable, and his property is considered one of the best in the township, and as one of its oldest residents he is honored and esteemed.

To Mr. and Mrs. Drinkwater there were born seven children, of whom one is deceased. Sarah married Washington Harter, and lives on a good farm in this township. Brown first married Jennie Hanna, and on her decease became the husband of Willie Ramsey; he is living in Montserrat, and is the proprietor of a livery stable and blacksmith-shop. Margaret is now the widow of Lawrence Applegate, and lives in this township. William is one of the substantial young farmers of this section, of whom we will make further mention. Oliver married Annie Geary, of Pettis County, and both now reside on an estate east of the home of our subject. Fannie married William Fisher, a resident of Kansas City, where he is connected with the fire department. Rosa Leila lives at home. The two children born of our subject’s first marriage were Fred, who was accidentally killed by a horse when four years of age, and James, who now lives in Utah, where he is proprietor of a hotel and runs a barber-shop.

Mr. Drinkwater enjoys good health and retains to a large extent the mental vigor and physical strength of his younger years. In fact, it would be difficult to find in the entire county a better preserved old man. With his good wife, he is surrounded by all the comforts of existence, and has a pleasant residence. He has always been prominent in local affairs, and since being permitted to vote has upheld the principles of Democracy. Besides being the incumbent of various offices of honor and trust, he has done much toward administering the law and advancing the interests of the county. He attends the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Montserrat, of which he is a valued member.

William Drinkwater, a son of our subject, was married, March 27, 1887, to Miss Annie, daughter of Thomas A. and Emma (Marshall) Cruse. She was born in this county, December 18, 1870. Her father was a native of Virginia, while Mrs. Cruse was born in Saline County, this state, where their marriage was celebrated. Mrs. Cruse passed away on the 13th of May, 1885, leaving the following-named family: Annie, Minnie, Willie, Maude and Eula. James died in infancy. William Drinkwater is a stanch Democrat in politics, and a man of prominence and influence in his community.

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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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