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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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James J. Cherry, a son of James and Rachel (Tolliver) Cherry, was born in Warren County, Tenn., on January 1, 1837. His father, James Cherry, was born in Rowan County, N. C., September 3, 1806, and when five years of age removed with his parents to Tennessee, making the trip across the country in a two-wheel cart. The paternal grandparents were both born in North Carolina whence they immigrated westward, settling in Tennessee in 1813. There they lived and died, the grandmother dying when our subject’s father was an infant. The maternal grandparents were both also born and reared in the “Old North State” and at an early day removed to Tennessee, where they remained a number of years, after which they came to what was then Old Salem, then Barry Co., Mo., on November 29, 1839. Grandfather Tolliver was uneducated; he was kind and generous and always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone who went to him for assistance. Rachel Tolliver was born in North Carolina and was taken by her parents to Tennessee, in which State she was married to James Cherry, about 1830. They became the parents of nine children who grew to maturity. Those living are Mary A. (Mrs. John R Williams), John H., Nancy E. (Mrs. S. P. Pollitt), James, William E., Louisa, Sarah (Mrs. Evan Buck), Wade H. and Amanda J. Those dead are Amelia E., Marion F. and Joseph A. The subject of this sketch had very poor educational advantages, but he attended the subscription schools prevalent in his young days. He attended the first Sunday-school held in this section of Missouri, which was four miles from his home. In his boyhood days Indians were frequent visitors to Lawrence County, where they came to hunt, trade, gamble and practice other avocations common to their race. The country was very sparsely settled, and there was no church in the county, but the people were not without religious worship for many sermons were preached in private houses. Schools were held in log cabins, with one log taken out for a window. Mr. Cherry was married on August 6, 1857 to Elizabeth Essery, who was born in Perry County, Tenn., on September 26, 1839, and to them were born nine children, of whom one, Matilda J. is dead. Those living are J. Thomas, Mary L. Orr, William C., Florence Johnson, Lula A., Lenna E., Charles J. and John Emery. In the fall of 1874 Mr. Cherry was elected collector of revenue for Lawrence Co., and his being a stanch Democrat and receiving a majority of 344 votes in a Republican county, illustrates his popularity. He filled that office two years, and served as deputy sheriff for six years. He is a prosperous farmer. His home farm, which is in one tract of 400 acres is all under cultivation. He also owns a part of his father’s old homestead of 150 acres. There are indications of rich lead deposits on his farm which he is now having prospected. Mrs. Cherry is a member of the Old School Presbyterian Church. Mr. Cherry is a member of the Masonic order.

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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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