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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 W. SPENCE owns and carries on the farm known as the Captain Peake Place, one mile south of Center View, Johnson County. He first purchased one hundred and sixty-five acres, to which he has twice added more land, until his farm now comprises within its boundaries some two hundred and five acres. Mr. Spence is a School Director of his district, and is always interested in educational affairs.

A son of James Hamilton and Roxanna (Kensler) Spence, our subject was born in Madison County, Ill., August 11, 1852. His father was a native of the Buckeye State, while the mother was a Virginian by birth. The parents moved to Illinois when young, and were there married. They continued to make their home in the Prairie State until 1881, when they moved to this county. The mother died when about seventy-one years of age, in 1887. The father, who is now seventy years old, and a resident of Warrensburg, married Miss Mary Brown after the death of his first wife.

Of the four children born to James and Roxanna Spence, our subject and his sister Catherine (who is the wife of Philip Braden) are the only survivors. Mr. and Mrs. Braden are residents of Madison County, Ill. John W. Spence attended school during his boyhood and youth, when not employed on his father’s farm. About 1874 he engaged in farming on his own account in his native county, and continued to dwell there for the next seven years. In 1881 he moved to this county, where he is now well known as a successful and practical business man and farmer.

February 6, 1873, a marriage ceremony united the fortunes of Mr. Spence and Laura Matthews, who was born in Bond County, Ill., in 1859. She is a daughter of Solomon and Abigail Matthews, old settlers in the Prairie State. To Mr. and Mrs. Spence were born eleven children: John H., Roxie Abigail, William J., Charles S. (who died in childhood), James Andrew, Edgar Wilson, Gentry Baker, Laura Eveline, Lucinda Ethel, Irene Adelaide and Jesse J.

Religiously Mr. and Mrs. Spence are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The former is Trustee of Lodge No. 359, A. O. U. W., and in politics was a Republican.

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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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