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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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Capt. James J. Akard, clerk of the county court of Polk County, was born July 7, 1838, near Fair Play, this county. His parents, Joseph and Keziah (Dunnegan) Akard, were natives of Middle Tennessee, but were married in Missouri. Having emigrated to the latter State in 1833, they located near where Fair Play now is, being among the first settlers of that section and having but few neighbors, and those from ten to fifteen miles apart. The father was a plain farmer, in politics a Democrat, and died in 1846, leaving his widow, who died in 1885 at the age of sixty-eight. In this family there were five children, of whom two are now living. James J., the oldest child and subject of this sketch, was raised on his father’s farm and received his education in subscription schools held in the old-time log schoolhouses. In July, 1861, he enlisted in Company A, Fifteenth Reserve Corps, being commissioned first lieutenant. In December he was transferred to Company A, Eighth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, and in May, 1863, was promoted to the captaincy of his company, and held that position till his discharge, January 25, 1865. In October, 1864, while skirmishing around Jefferson City, he received a musket ball in his right hip, which he now carries. In 1866 he was elected to the State Legislature, and held the position two terms, having also held important county offices; he was sheriff from 1876 to 1878; collector from 1878 to 1880, and has ably discharged his duties as clerk of the county court from 1886 to the present time. Captain Akard married Miss Adaline Akard, a native of this county, by whom he has had two children: Ella May and Dellie E. Mrs. Akard is a member of the Baptist Church. Capt. Akard has taken the Knight Templar degree in the Masonic order, is a member of the G. A. R., and, politically, is a stanch Republican. In connection with official duties, he is also interested in farming, owning a large farm adjoining Bolivar. He has been a well known resident of this county for fifty years, and the respect shown him is as wide as his acquaintance.

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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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