My Genealogy Hound

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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WILLIAM F. DENNEY. Few citizens of Johnson County are more deserving of special mention, or of a more prominent place in the history of the honored and representative old settlers within her boundaries, than the gentleman whose name heads this biography. He was born in North Carolina, April 1, 1828, and there passed his boyhood and youth. After coming to this county he became the owner of a tract of land, which he has developed into one of the finest estates in township 46, range 28. The place comprises sixty-five acres, is in a desirable neighborhood, with attractive surroundings, and is one of the hospitable abodes of the township.

Our subject, who is well known throughout this section, is the son of Jurdon Denney, whose birth also occurred in North Carolina. In 1850 he decided to locate in the West, and gathering together his household goods, loaded them onto a wagon and started overland to Missouri. Although possessing but little education, he was a good financier, and accumulated quite a snug little fortune through his efforts in this state.

The mother of our subject, prior to her marriage known as Miss Martha Burcham, was also born in North Carolina, and at the time of her demise, which occurred in her native place, was the mother of six children, of whom the original of this sketch was the youngest, and the only one now living. The others were Candis, Carrie, Harvey, Rachel and John.

Jurdon Denney chose for his second companion Polly Gibson, a sister of the present Probate Judge of Johnson County, and they were married in North Carolina in 1831. To them was also born a family of six children, but all are now deceased.

William F., of this sketch, had not much opportunity for gaining an education in his native state, as he was put to work when quite young and made to earn his own living. A year after attaining his majority, in 1850, he left his home in North Carolina, which was in sight of old Pilot Mountain, and came to Johnson County, this state. Here he found no difficulty in making a selection of a farm, as the country round about was not very thickly settled, and most of the land was in its primitive state. This has been his home ever since, with the exception of three years which he spent in Nebraska, near Aspinwall, where he was engaged in farming.

Prior to leaving his native state our subject was married, in 1848, to Miss Millie Bolejack, and to them were born twelve children. Of this large family we make the following mention: Zenith married John Burris, and with her three children, Otis, Elmer and Dollie, lives in this county. Mary and Victoria are deceased. Rossie, now the wife of Jacob Burris, lives one-fourth of a mile from her father's home; her family comprised nine children, of whom those living are Henry, Arthur, Harry, Emmett, Gertie and Andy. Charlie, Annie (the twin of Andy), and an infant are deceased. Ellen, the fifth child of our subject, is deceased. Oliver married Flora Caldwell and has three children, Katie, Burt and Dazie. John married Mrs. Martha Long, the widow of Thomas Long, and their one child, French, is deceased. Frances married Goodly Paul, and has four children, namely: Parrie Irvin, Lee, Iva and Cleveland. Harvey married Mattie White, and has a son, Everett. As the records show, our subject is grandfather to seventeen children.

Up to a few years ago Mr. Denney voted the Democratic ticket; now, however, he casts his vote and influence with the Populist party. Religiously he is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, with which denomination his good wife is also connected.

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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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