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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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Hon. Joel Monroe Grammer (deceased) was born in Bedford County, Tenn., December 7, 1825, and is the son of Peterson and Martha (Whenry) Grammer. The father was of German descent, and was a native of Dunwood County, Va., and of old Virginia stock. He served in the War of 1812 as a musician, and after making a settlement in Georgia, removed to Bedford County, Tenn., on the head-waters of Flat Creek, where he reared a family of seven sons and four daughters. The mother was of the famous Scotch-Irish stock. Joel M. Grammer grew to manhood in his native State, and obtained a good common-school training, and afterward taught school. In 1849, in company with an elder brother, John C., they removed to Benton County, Ark., where Joel taught school until 1851, when he located at Cassville, Barry Co., Mo., and after teaching awhile took up the study of law, and practiced it successfully for many years. While there he filled the office of circuit court clerk and county clerk of Barry County, with marked acceptance, and the people recognizing his ability as a lawyer elected him to the office of prosecuting attorney of that county, a position he honored for some time. He also represented Barry County in the General Assembly of the State for one term, and after the war he was selected by the people of that county to represent them in the drafting of a new constitution of the State, and filled the position with much credit and ability. He was an active and stirring man in his profession, and an acknowledged leader of his people and party. He was a pronounced Union man, and during the stormy times of the late Civil War he maintained his position with such force and dignity that he left behind him in the hearts of the people a respect and veneration seldom recognized in partisans. Besides his more important official positions he served in many minor offices, thus bringing him close to the people of all political parties of his locality, and presenting his sterling worth to them more forcibly. He had married in Tennessee Miss Talitha C. Speer, a lady of estimable attainments, and a fitting helpmate to him in his early struggles in this then new country, and who blessed their union with a family of thirteen children, but three of whom survive, viz.: Rollin, who married Miss Nina Lambeth, and has a son, Charles Kirk, (Rollin carries on the elevator business at Verona, and is one of the public-spirited citizens of that place); Martha Medora, wife of J. T. Ham, a leading merchant of Verona, and Albert Claude, telegraph operator at Verona. For several years prior to his removal from Cassville, Joel M. Grammer invested in the merchandising industry, and carried on an extensive business at Cassville. In 1871, in order to be near the railroads he located at Verona and carried on a thrifty trade for several years. He here died January 19, 1886, and the fond wife and mother followed him to the grave May 13, 1888. They lie side by side in Shady Grove Cemetery. They were consistent members of the Christian Church, in which faith they had traveled together for many years adown the rugged pathway of life. They were probably not excelled in good citizenship by any of the many good families who settled here, and were respected and mourned by all who knew them. Mr. Grammer was for many years a bright Mason in the workings of the Blue Lodge, but rather reserved to the people at large all honors due his burial service.

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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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