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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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Judge Jared Ryker Woodfill is a native of Indiana, born in Jefferson County, December 8, 1827, son of Andrew and Mary S. (Ryker) Woodfill, both natives of Kentucky. The Woodfills were originally from Wales, and the first emigrants to this country settled in Pennsylvania, and afterward in Kentucky. Andrew Woodfill, like his progenitors, followed agricultural pursuits. He made a settlement in Indiana when a young man, and there married Miss Mary S. Ryker, daughter of G. Ryker, of Kentucky. They are both now living, and are residents of Jefferson County, Ind. Their son, Judge Jared R. Woodfill, grew to manhood on his father’s farm, and obtained a good literary education in Michigan, and completed at Wabash South Hanover College, Indiana, from which institution he graduated in a full classical and scientific course in 1854, with the degree of B. A., receiving from his alma mater, in 1864, the degree of Master of Arts. In order to obtain means for completing his collegiate course, Judge Woodfill taught school, and after teaching, filling several positions as principal, in Belleville Academy, Edinburg High-school, etc. In 1857 he removed to Missouri and located in Gentry County, where he followed the occupation of teaching and farming until the breaking out of the late war, when he enlisted in Company H, Thirteenth Missouri Volunteer Infantry, and at the battle of Lexington, Tex., he was taken prisoner and paroled, after which he returned to Indiana. At the close of the war he returned to Missouri, where he followed farming, and in connection taught school in Peirce City and other points. He filled the position of superintendent of schools from 1872 to 1873, and afterward taught for several terms. He had meanwhile accepted the position of railroad agent and telegraph operator, and after leaving the school-room he engaged in the railroad business as agent at Aurora. After serving in that capacity for over eleven years he moved to Lawrence County, Mo., where he filled the same position, making in all fifteen years and three months in that capacity. He took an active part in the establishment of a college at Mount Vernon, in connection with the work of the Christian Church of Missouri, and was elected to the presidency of it, a position he filled acceptably during the existence of that body. While living in Indiana he married Miss Melinda Storms, whom he buried there in 1853. He was married the second time at Belleville, Ind., to Miss Susan A. Irons, daughter of Thomas and Sarah Irons, both natives of Tennessee. Judge and Mrs. Woodfill have reared two sons and one daughter: John Irons (agent and operator at Nichols Junction), Jared Ryker (manager of the Monett telegraph office), Susan A. (wife of Albert W. Menday, of Nichols Station). Judge Woodfill lost his second wife December 19, 1876. She was a worthy and consistent member of the Christian Church. He formed a third marriage with Miss Martha K. Chastain of Lawrence County, Mo. The Judge served as justice of the peace for several years and is still serving in that capacity at this place. He is agent for the Lombard Investment Company, loaning money, and has been notary public for the last fifteen years. He took an active part in Masonic and Odd Fellowship work, but since the war has not affiliated with either. He is an original member of the G. A. R. post. He owns good mining land, and is the manager of the Woodfill Mining Company. He contributes largely to all charitable and benevolent institutions.

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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

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