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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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John B. Appleby (deceased). Among the early settlers of Polk County, Mo., stands the name of the above mentioned gentleman, who was born in what is now Marshall County, Tenn., August 6, 1828. When but a boy his parents moved to Springfield, when that city consisted of only a blacksmith shop and a small store. Soon after they moved to Walnut Grove, and in about 1836 to this county. He was reared on the old Appleby home stead, one and a half miles southeast of Morrisville. Having “bached” for a time, he went across the Greene County line to woo Miss Lydia Ann Sumners, to whom he was married April 22, 1852. She was a native of Middle Tennessee, born June 14, 1833, and, when about a year old, her parents moved to Greene County. After marriage Mr. Appleby and wife settled on the old homestead, and remained there during life. While growing up he had learned the blacksmith trade, at which he would work days and attend school at nights. He began life in poor circumstances, but by good management he became one of the substantial and representative citizens of his community. He was a prominent Mason, a Democrat in politics, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. His wife was also a member of the same church. She died November 15, 1883. May 27, 1885, he married Mrs. Nancy Wetzler, and December 2 of the same year, he received his final summons. No people of this community were of a higher social and Christian standing than were Mr. and Mrs. Appleby. In their family were fourteen children, four sons and ten daughters, of whom six are now living: S. Antine, Nannie A., Gola R., Minnie S., S. Bell and L. Zula. Miss Antine has been a teacher in the public schools for several years; Miss Nannie is principal of the preparatory department of Morrisville College, and the eldest three are graduates of the above college. Mr. Appleby was one of nature’s true noblemen. He took an active part in every improvement and especially in the education of his children; and be it said to their praise, his desires in that direction are being carried out.

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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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