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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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Robert H. Lister, farmer and stock breeder at Mount Vernon, Mo., was born in England in 1822, and is the son of Robert Lister, a merchant and farmer at North Thursby, England, who was in comfortable circumstances. Robert H. Lister attained his majority on a farm, but crossed the ocean to America in 1847, settled in Chicago, and there engaged in the butchering business, remaining there until the spring of 1849, when he crossed the plains to California, passing through both old and New Mexico. While in California, he engaged in mining and was very successful. He then engaged in the mercantile business in Stockton, and after this was in the cattle business in Southern California. He spent three years on the coast, and in 1852 returned to the States, via the Isthmus. He took the Panama fever, and entered New York Bay quite sick. Mr. Lister afterward engaged in farming near Wilmington, Ill., and in 1854 he married Miss Caroline Hamlin, who was of Scotch descent and from New York State. His wife died, and about 1862 he went to Wilmington to reside. Here he met and married Miss Maggie Robb, in 1865. She was the daughter of John and Isabel (McFarland) Robb, who were of Scotch descent. Mr. and Mrs. Lister are the parents of four children: John A., Maud, Robert and Flora. In 1872 Mr. Lister came to Mount Vernon Township, Mo., having previously purchased land in Lawrence County, and in 1875 he moved to his present farm, where he had built a fine residence. His estate consists of 1,400 acres of land, and is one of the best stock farms in the county. It is well supplied with excellent farm buildings and all modern improvements. His farm extends on both sides of the Spring River, and contains a large amount of choice farming land. Mr. Lister has three tenement houses on his farm, and rents the most of his land. He has made all the improvements on his place since coming to Lawrence County, and it is one of the best improved farms in Southwest Missouri. Mr. Lister is prospecting for lead on his farm, with indications of success. It is also probable that a railroad will pass through his estate, which would naturally cause a town to spring up at the crossing of Spring River. Mr. Lister is a stanch Democrat in his political views, in religion an Episcopalian, and is a member of the Masonic fraternity. Mrs. Lister is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Their children are all at home at present, and have received the best of educational advantages. Mr. Lister is independent financially, and has now settled down to enjoy his well-earned competency. He is a well-informed gentleman of social and pleasant manners, a man of force and character, and one who has many friends. He is conservative in his opinion and ideas, will not accept any office, and leads the pleasant, quiet life of an American country gentleman.

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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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