My Genealogy Hound

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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Samuel W. Gordon, a successful merchant of Half Way, Mo., is a native of Polk County, and was born on the 12th of February, 1857, being one of ten children, nine of whom are living at this writing, born to James W. and Elizabeth (Benton) Gordon, who were born in Washington County, Ky., and Illinois, respectively. Both were early settlers of Missouri, coming to Cole County with their parents at an early day. Here they married, made their home, and reared their family, and here the father died in 1884, at the age of sixty-two years. His widow continued to reside on the farm until 1886, and since that time has resided in Fort Smith, Ark., with her children. She is an earnest and consistent member of the Missionary Baptist Church. The father was a Democrat in politics, and, although he learned the shoemaker’s trade in early life, he gave the most of his attention to farming, in which occupation he was quite successful. Samuel W. Gordon received his education in the common schools of Polk County, and, in 1876, left the parental roof to go to the Cherokee Nation, where he was engaged in teaching school for five months, and then, for some time, was engaged in business in Greenwood. The four following months were spent in Johnson County, after which he returned to Polk County, where he has since been occupied in farming and stock trading. In June, 1886/ he embarked in the mercantile business in Half Way, keeping an excellent line of goods, which he sells cheap for cash, or exchanges for produce. On the 23d of September, 1884, he was married to Miss Ada Morris, a daughter of William Morris, by whom he has two children: Floyd and Claude. He is treasurer of the I. O. O. F., of which he is a member, and in his political views is a Democrat. He and wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church. His brothers and sisters are as follows: William J., a carpenter at Buffalo, Dallas County, Mo.; J. N., a farmer and teacher, of Crawford County, Ark.; Emma E., wife of J. W. Davidson, a farmer of Polk County, Mo.; M. W., a resident of Springfield, Mo.; Benjamin S., a stock trader in the Cherokee Nation; Elmore, at Fort Smith, Ark.; Bridge, also at Fort Smith; Rachel, wife of John Boyd, of Crawford County, Ark.; and Elizabeth, at home.

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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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