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Below is a family biography included in the book, The History of Scotland County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1887.  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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James K. P. Dawson, a resident of Miller Township, Scotland Co., Mo., was born in Bracken County, Ky., September 19, 1844, and is the son of William and Priscilla (Patterson) Dawson. The father was a native of Bracken County, Ky., born in 1811 of English descent, and is now a resident of Scotland County, Mo. He came from Kentucky to Missouri in 1845, and has been a farmer all his life. In 1866 he was elected judge of his district, and served six years. He was president of the court while in Kentucky, and organized a company for the Mexican war. He was elected captain, but was not called into service. In the spring of 1861 he enlisted in Company A, Second Missouri Cavalry, Federal service, and served with credit for four years. While at home, and after he had sent in his resignation, Porter’s guerrillas attempted to take him prisoner, but he resisted, and was severely wounded by them and taken prisoner. He was retained as such for a week, when they released him. Dr. Ailward, a surgeon, was taken from the same bed in which Capt. William Dawson was sleeping, while a prisoner, and hung. The same fate awaited Mr. Dawson, but the guard refused to give him up, being acquainted with him. The mother of our subject was born in Augusta, Ky., was of Irish descent, and died in Scotland County, Mo., in 1880, when sixty-six years of age. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Our subject is the fifth of twelve children, seven now living. He attended the common schools of Scotland County, and finished at the seminary at Francisville, Clark Co., Mo. In 1865 he enlisted in Company I, Fifty-first Missouri Volunteer Infantry, Federal Army, and served six months, when he was mustered out with the rank of corporal. Before going to the war he had served some time with the State militia. He taught school for about ten years during the winter months, and farmed during the summer. November 1, 1871, he married Miss Eliza McWilliam, a native of Van Buren County, Iowa, born December 8, 1851, and the daughter of Crawford and Elizabeth (Moore) McWilliam. By this union our subject became the father of seven children, five now living: Elizabeth J., William, Margaret, Bessie Grace and John A. The names of those deceased are Crawford and Andrew. After marriage our subject purchased land in Jefferson County, but sold this in 1873, and purchased part of the land (125 acres) that he now owns. To this he has added 230 acres, and has improved the whole so that he now has a valuable farm. Mr. Dawson is one of the county’s most esteemed and honored citizens, and he and wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

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This family biography is one of 140 biographies included in the Scotland County, Missouri portion of the book,  The History of Lewis, Clark, Knox and Scotland Counties, Missouri published in 1887.  For the complete description, click here: Scotland County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Scotland County, Missouri family biographies here: Scotland County, Missouri Biographies

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