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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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Hon. Louis F. Dinning was born in Jackson County, Mo., October 28, 1838, and is the eldest child of David M. and Sophia (Milliker) Dinning, natives of Kentucky, who, after a residence of some five years in Jackson County, Mo., returned to Simpson County, Ky., where Louis F. was reared on a farm. He received a common-school education, and when a mere boy determined to cast his lot in his native State, as a practitioner of the legal profession. In 1861 he opened a subscription school near Turley’s Mill, Ste. Genevieve County, Mo., and studied law and taught school during the war, most of the time at the brick church between Bonne Terre and Big River Mills. May 3, 1865, he received his license to practice law from Hon. Wm. Carter, and the following November located at Potosi where he has since lived, and formed a partnership with the late Israel McGready, which firm had an extensive practice. They did a large business until the Drake test oath was declared invalid by the United States Supreme Court, when the partnership was by mutual consent dissolved, Mr. Dinning entering into business relations with the late David E. Perryman, which firm enjoyed a large and lucrative practice. Mr. Dinning has always been a Democrat, and cast his first presidential vote for John C. Breckinridge. He took no part in the late war. He believed in the right of revolution, but did not believe that the Southern States had sufficient excuse for their course; he always believed that slavery was a moral wrong, but that slaves were property, and that the Government of the United States had no legitimate power to free them without just compensation to the owner. In 1866 he was elected circuit attorney of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit by the Democratic party; he was charged with disloyalty by the party then in power, and Gov. Fletcher refused to commission him for about one year, when he issued the commission and Mr. Dinning at once resigned. In 1868 he was elected judge of his circuit, but owing to charges filed by the defeated candidate, Hon. James H. Vail, which were wholly unfounded, the commission was issued to Mr. Vail. Dinning’s running fight in the courts, and his bogus commission, lasted until in July, 1873, when the supreme court decided that Vail was an usurper, and he was at once deposed. Judge Wagner then commissioned Dinning, and he held out the term, being re-elected in 1874 without opposition. Judge Dinning was the youngest man ever elected in the State, and a smaller percentage of his cases were reversed by the supreme court than of any judge Missouri ever had. At the close of Judge Dinning’s second term he voluntarily left the bench, and returned to the practice of the law, forming a partnership with Senator Sam Byrns, which firm is recognized throughout the State. November 3, 1864, Judge Dinning married Rushie, eldest daughter of the late John V. Tyler, of St. Francois County. To this marriage have been born eleven children, eight of whom are still living, viz.: Mary, Lowlee, Susie, Louis F. Jr., Bertha, Kate, Sam B. and Genevieve.

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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

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