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Below is a family biography included in The History of Washington County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  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 L. Detchemendy, attorney-at-law, was born in Ste. Genevieve, Mo., April 12, 1822, and is the youngest of the eleven children born to Paschal and Mary St. Geme (Beauvais) Detchemendy, the former born near Bordeaux, France, and the latter a native of Kaskaskia, Ill. John L. located in Washington County, Mo., in 1825, where he was reared until fifteen years of age, when he went to St. Louis and learned the saddle and harness maker’s trade, which he followed for several years, at the same time occupying his evenings in the study of law. He was admitted to the bar in 1849, and in 1853 went overland to California, where he remained eight months, returning home on account of ill health. He subsequently settled in Jackson County, Mo., where he worked at his trade until the outbreak of the war. In 1856 he was appointed postmaster at Westport, Mo., under President Pierce, and in 1858 was elected justice of the peace of Kaw Township, Jackson County, resigning to accept the position of enrolling clerk of the House of Representatives. In 1860 he was appointed journal clerk of the House. After the outbreak of the war he made three trips to Fort Union and Mora, N. M. In May, 1864, he went to Canada, and from Halifax ran the blockade to Wilmington and thence to Greensborough, N. C., where he joined Company C, Seventeenth Mississippi Regiment, Confederate army, Barksdale’s Brigade, Kershaw’s Division and Longstreet’s Corps. He was with Early at the battle of Strasburgh, Va., and at Cedar Creek, where he was captured on the retreat, taken prisoner, and confined at Point Lookout, Md., being released April 25, 1865. He returned to St. Louis for a time, and then made a trip to Salt Lake City, returning to Washington County, Mo., where he worked at his trade in Caledonia for three years. In 1871 he was elected engrossing clerk of the Twenty-sixth General Assembly, adjourned session, and was elected to the same position at both the Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth General Assemblies. Between 1872 and 1876 he served as prosecuting attorney of Reynolds County by appointment, and in 1878 was elected first judge of the probate court of Washington County. In 1882 he was created justice of the peace of Breton Township. His father built the first sawmill run by water in the Territory of Louisiana, afterward called Missouri.

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This family biography is one of 138 biographies included in The History of Washington County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Washington County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Washington County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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