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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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JOSEPH C. CHRISTOPHER. This well known business man of Warrensburg is a member of the firm of Christopher & Co., who have conducted a livery for about a year. However, much of his attention is devoted to his real-estate interests, and he is the owner of a small farm within the city limits, which he carries on in connection with his other business. He is one of the native sons of Missouri, having been born in Cass County, December 12, 1850.

Joseph C. Christopher, Sr., our subject’s father, is a native of Kentucky, in which state he grew to mature years. He married Miss America Bryant, likewise of the Blue Grass State, and a few years later moved to Nicholasville, where the father engaged in merchandising, and also operated a hotel. They became the parents of twelve children, six of whom were born in Kentucky, and the others in this state. The father, who was a Whig, served for one term in the Kentucky State Legislature, and came very near being elected to Congress on the Whig ticket. In 1850 the family moved to a farm near Pleasant Hill, having made the journey by boat as far as St. Louis. From that time until his death Mr. Christopher engaged in the cultivation of his farm, which comprised two hundred and forty acres. When the war broke out it was known that he was in sympathy with the Union, and in January, 1862, a band of guerrillas entered his house and murdered him while he was peacefully sleeping in his bed; and at the same time one of his sons, George K., was wounded in the hand. After this distressing affair the family left the farm, crops and all, and took refuge in Independence, Mo., where the boys had to work at whatever they could find to do whereby an honest living could be made, and Joseph C., who was only thirteen years old, drove a cart, hauling dirt for the construction of the Missouri Pacific Railroad.

In 1867 our subject commenced learning the printer’s trade, but was obliged to leave the business at the end of six months on account of his health, after which he clerked in a dry-good store. When the war closed the family returned to the farm, living there until 1868, when they sold the place and went to Kansas City, making that their headquarters for a year. Before he was twenty years of age Mr. Christopher, in company with a brother, leased a farm near Lee Summit, in Jackson County, and operated the place for three years. After reaching his majority he went to Texas, and was gone about six months. Later he clerked in a dry-goods store for a year in Harrisonville. Mo., and, coming to Warrensburg in 1875, filled a similar position for three years. Several years followed in which he was interested in agricultural pursuits, becoming the owner of a farm in Warrensburg Township. After conducting a book store for one year, and carrying on a grocery for two years, he embarked in his present occupation. In connection with his partner, he has just erected a large and elegant structure on South Holden Street, by far the finest building of the kind in the city. He has it well equipped with carriages, buggies and a fine assortment of horses, and is fully prepared to furnish the public with the very best that can be procured in the state for driving purposes. In the same building he also has a real-estate office, and in that business he is quite successful.

August 27, 1877, Mr. Christopher married Minnie Baile, of this city. She is a native of Preble County, Ohio, and came to Missouri with her mother, who was a widow. By her marriage Mrs. Christopher has become the mother of four children. Max A., Maude, Marion and Clare. The eldest was born in this city. May 19, 1878, and graduated from the public school in 1894.

At Harrisonville Mr. Christopher became a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and took a demit from that lodge on moving to Warrensburg. In politics he is affiliated with the Republican party, but is not desirous of holding public office. He is a member of the Christian Church, while his wife is connected with the German Baptist denomination.

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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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