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Below is a family biography included in The History of Laclede County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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James W. Appling, miller at Lebanon, Mo., and son of James M. and Elizabeth (Barnes) Appling, was born in Wright County, Mo., October 7, 1841. The parents were both natives of Kentucky, and the Appling family were originally from Georgia, but immigrated to Kentucky at an early date. This family is of Scotch-Irish descent. The paternal grandfather, Joel Appling, died in Kentucky, as did also the maternal grandparents. James M. Appling was a farmer by occupation, and in 1835 he, with his family, immigrated to Missouri from Kentucky, coming through with an ox team. This was about the time the Indians were driven from Tennessee, and Mr. Appling experienced some hard times in gathering feed for his cattle. They settled in Wright County, Mo., in the fall of 1835, locating on a squatter’s claim, but, however, only lived there a few years, when he sold his claim, and in about 1842 moved to what is now Laclede County. He located about one-half mile north of Old Lebanon, purchased a small farm, unimproved, with the exception of a few acres round a log cabin, and the foundation of this cabin is still standing. Here Mr. Appling lived for many years engaged in tilling the soil, and was subject to all the hardships incident to pioneer life. He has spent his entire life in agricultural pursuits, and is still living at the age of seventy-eight years. The mother died in 1860. They were the parents of nine children, eight now living: Aurelius M., James W., John W., Columbus C., Miles L., Edward H., Sarah A., wife of Miles Elder, and resides in Arizona; Ella M., wife of Thomas Thompson, and is now residing in Kansas. James W. Appling was but a year old when he moved with his parents to Laclede County, Mo., and therefore has been identified with Laclede County all his life. His education was very limited, owing to the fact that school facilities were not of the best, and he assisted his father on the farm until the breaking out of the late Civil War. At the call for troops he shouldered his musket and marched into service August 12, 1861. He enlisted in Company A, Sixth Missouri Cavalry, and was mustered out at St. Louis. He was at the battles of Wet Glaize, Sugar Creek and a great many hard skirmishes. He was in advance of Curtis’ army until they struck Pea Ridge, when they stood in reserve for three days. They were in the battle of Prairie Grove in December, 1863, and he was mustered out August 19, 1864. He then returned home and followed farming for three or four years, after which he engaged in milling, and this he has followed ever since. Mr. Appling is a practical miller, having had the experience of many years, and his flour is as good as can be found in Southern Missouri. He was married in 1864, November 28, to Miss Fannie A., daughter of Joseph F. Smith, whose sketch appears elsewhere in these pages. To Mr. and Mrs. Appling were born four children, three now living: Ella B., Jennie M. and Alma M. They have an adopted son, named James L. Mr. Appling is a member of the Masonic fraternity, a member of the I. O. O. F., A. O. U. W. and G. A. R.

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This family biography is one of 99 biographies included in The History of Laclede County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Laclede County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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