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Below is a family biography included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  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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J. M. Wilks was born in Lauderdale County, Ala., December 29, 1840, and is a son of Francis B. and Mary (Carr) Wilks, who were also born in Alabama, and grandson of Amos Wilks, who was a farmer by occupation. The family are of old Virginia stock, who were early residents of Alabama. Amos Wilks became a resident of Lawrence County, Mo., in 1841, and with his family located near Aurora. His son, Francis R., entered land near Aurora, where he resided until 1857, when he went to Arkansas, and was killed by the bush whackers in 1873. His wife died in 1845. Their family are as follows: Robert A. and Jesse M. Those deceased are Elizabeth, John P. and Thomas. J. M. Wilks was but an infant when he was brought to this county by his parents. Here he grew to manhood and received a liberal education for those early times. His boyhood days were spent on a farm, and he continued to follow that occupation until 1881, when he engaged in the drug business in Aurora. He sold out in the spring of 1888, and resumed farming. In 1862 he enlisted in Company G, Jackman’s Mounted Infantry, and served about three years. He participated in the battles of Lone Jack, Pleasant Hill, Jenkins’ Ferry and several skirmishes. He was married in 1860 to Mary Rose, of Missouri, by whom he had four children, who are all deceased. His wife died in 1868, and the following year he married Rhoda C. Hilton. Six children were born to their union, three of whom are living: Lucy, Hattie and Robert Cleveland. Mr. and Mrs. Wilks are members of the Christian Church, and he is a member of the Aurora Mining Company.

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This family biography is one of 272 biographies included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Lawrence County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Lawrence County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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