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Below is a family biography included in The History of Polk County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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Dr. Caleb N. Headlee, one of the most eminent physicians of Polk County, Mo., has been in active practice at Pleasant Hope since about 1865. His birth occurred in Maury County, Tenn., June 27, 1827, being one of four surviving members of a family of nine children, eight of whom lived to maturity, born to the marriage of Caleb Headlee and Mary Steele, who were born in North Carolina and died in Missouri in 1847, when about sixty-five years of age, and in 1867, aged nearly ninety years, respectively. They were married in the “Old North State,” and were among the early emigrants to Giles County, Tenn., soon after moving to Maury County. Both were members of the Methodist Church, and took great interest in church affairs. The father was a veteran in the War of 1812, and, while a resident of Tennessee, held the office of justice of the peace for a number of years. He was of Welsh de scent, and throughout life followed the occupation of agriculture. His father, Elisha Headlee, was born in New Jersey, but died in Greene County, Mo., at the extreme old age of ninety years. Mrs. Mary (Steele) Headlee was a daughter of Samuel Steele, a native of Pennsylvania, and was of Irish descent, her father having been born in the “Emerald Isle.” Dr. Caleb N. Headlee, the subject of this memoir, received his education in Tennessee and Missouri, and at the time of his father’s death was eighteen years of age. From that time until i860 he farmed on his own account, and at the latter date crossed the plains to California, and, after successfully mining there for several years, he returned to Greene County, Mo., via the Isthmus of Panama and New Orleans. Soon after his return he began the study of medicine under his brother, E. B. Headlee, and in 1859 went to Marion County, Ark., where he continued to practice five years, then came to Springfield, Mo. After a short time he located at Pleasant Hope, where he has won an enviable reputation as a medical practitioner. In 1880 he began selling drugs, but after a short time sold out his stock, only to re-engage in the occupation soon after, and continued until his building caught fire and was consumed. He is now selling drugs again, and is doing a good business. May 10, 1849, he was married to Dovey L. Armour, a daughter of Washington and Nancy S. Armour. She was born in Giles County, Tenn., about 1830, and is the mother of five children, all of whom are living: Victory J., Mary O., Melville P., Nancy L. and Arminein. Mrs. Headlee is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and in his political views the Doctor is a Democrat. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity. His brothers and sisters are: Jane L. Foster, of St. Louis; Marthy L. Clark, of Grayson County, Texas; Samuel W., of Greene County, Mo., a farmer, who is now representing that county in the State Legislature.

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This family biography is one of 132 biographies included in The History of Polk County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Polk County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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