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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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Col. John Milton Filler. The Filler family is of German descent, and came to America soon after the landing of William Penn, settling in Pennsylvania. They were among the best citizens of this country, and fled from their native land owing to religious persecution. From this race of pioneers Col. Filler has sprung. The family first located in Bedford County, Penn., and Jacob Filler, the grandfather of our subject, moved to Loudoun County, Va., in the latter part of the last century. He was born in Pennsylvania, and reared a family of eight children; he owned a good farm, but was a weaver by occupation. He died in 1815 of camp fever, which he caught from his son Frederick, who had been a soldier in the War of 1812 and came home to die. Jacob Filler, one of the sons of the above, was born in Loudoun County, Va., in 1792. He was also a weaver and farmer, and was married to Sarah, a daughter of John Conrad, who was a wealthy farmer of Virginia, and by her became the father of nine children: John, Solomon, Jacob A., Henry, Jonathan, Matilda, Elizabeth, Emeline and Sarah. Mr. Filler lived on his farm all his life, and died at the age of fifty-five years. He was an old-line Whig in politics, and was an industrious, religious and upright man. Col. John M. was born on his father’s farm in 1819, and learned the house carpenter’s and joiner’s trade. In 1846 he came to Barry County, Mo., and in November, 1847, settled in Lawrence County, where he bought a farm and worked at his trade for fifteen years. When the war broke out he raised the first company in Lawrence County, and was elected its captain. He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel, and did skirmishing and scouting duty with the bushwhackers. In March, 1862, he enlisted in Company C, Fourteenth Regiment Missouri State Militia, being its sergeant-major, and was at the battle of Neosho. His regiment was afterward consolidated with the Fourth Regiment Missouri State Militia. Col. Filler served for over two years, and then returned home, and was appointed deputy sheriff of Lawrence County. In 1866 he was elected to the State Senate for four years, and in 1870 was re-elected for another term of four years. Since that time he has been engaged in farming and working at his trade. He was formerly an old-line Whig in politics, but since the war has been a Republican. He takes an active interest in political campaigns, and frequently takes the stump in favor of his candidate, and is a clear and forcible speaker. He belongs to the I. O. O. F., and is one of Lawrence County’s representative speakers. In 1841 he was married to Emily A. Devine, a daughter of William and Maria Devine, and by her is the father of the following family: Sarah M., Henry Clay, William E., John W., Joseph M., Charles, Francis and Emily V. The mother, who was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, died in 1887. Mr. Filler’s early educational advantages were limited, but by an extensive reading he has made himself one of the best informed men in the county.

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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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