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History of Randolph County, Missouri online

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Seven sales people are employed and few cities the size of Huntsville, can
boast of such a complete mercantile establishment as this. The present
officers of the company are: William C. Smith, president; G. E. Green,
vice-president and Guy R. Smith, secretary and treasurer.

In June, 1893, William C. Smith was united in marriage with Miss
Anna Depper, daughter of John Depper of Huntsville. She died in 1917,
leaving one son, Guy R. Smith, who is now secretary and treasurer of
the One Price Mercantile Company and one of the live young business
men of Huntsville. During the World War he served in the aviation
corps in the United States army and was stationed at Waco, Texas and
Arcadia, Fla.

In June, 1918, Guy R. Smith was married to Miss Lyle Sutliff, daugh-
ter of E. P. Sutliff, of Huntsville. Mr. Smith is a Democrat and a mem-
ber of the Christian church. He holds membership in the Modem Wood-
men of America.

Lee Smith Harlan, president of the Clifton Hill Banking Company
at Clifton Hill, Mo. is a native of Randolph County and for many years
has been prominently identified with the business and banking interests
of western Randolph County. Mr. Harlan was born near Thomas Hill;
March 26, 1863 and is a son of Lee Smith and Sinia (Doke) Harlan, both
natives of Randolph County.



HISTORY OF RANDOLPH COUNT \ 589

Lee Smith Harlan, the father, was born in Lincoln County, Tenn.,
Sept. 11, 1825, and died in Randolph County, Mo., in 1889 and is buried
in Eldad Camp Grounds. He was the son of Isaac Harlan who was a
native of Lincoln County, Tenn. and one of the very earliest pioneers of
Randolph County. Isaac Harlan was married to Elizabeth Smith, of Lin-
coln County, Tenn. She died in Randolph County, Mo. In early life Isaac
Harlan was a cabinet maker and after coming to Randolph County was a
school teacher and farmer. He died in Randolph County and is buried in
Eldad Cam}) Ground. Lee Smith Harlan. Si\. was a farmer and stockman
all of his life and ranked among the average successful citizens of his time
in Randolph County. To Lee Smith Harlan, Jr. and wife were born the
following children: Mrs. Eva Gideons, deceased; Mrs. Susan Sanders
resides at Salisbury, Mo.; Mrs. Martha James Bradley, deceased; John
T., Clifton Mill. Mo.; W. E., Salisbury, Mo.; Mrs. Mollie Malone, Broken
Arrow. Okla. ; Isaac L., Salisbury, Mo. and Lee Smith, the subject of this
sketch.

Lee Smith Harlan, whoso name introduces this sketch, was reared
on a farm and educated in the common schools in Randolph County. When
he was 17 years of age he began clerking in a general store at Thomas
Hill and was thus engaged for seven years. In 1888 he engaged in the
general mercantile business and successfully conducted that business for
12 years. In 1900 he was <>ne of the leading spirits in the organization
of the Clifton Hill Banking Company and since that time has been inter-
ested in that well known and successful financial institution. At the
organization of that bank Mr. Harlan was elected president and has
served in that capacity to the present time, a period of 20 years of suc-
cessful banking. In addition to his other enterprises, Mr. Harlan has
generally been invested extensively in farm properties. Only recently he
sold three farms which aggregated 400 acres and still owns two farms of
120 acres and 150 acres each. He also owns an appartment house in Kan-
sas City, Mo., as well as business and residence property at Clifton Hill,
Missouri.

Mr. Harlan was married in 1886 to Miss Mary A. Ficklin, a daughter
of H. B. Ficklin. Mrs. Harlan died Jan. 1, 1914, leaving the following
children: Mrs. Margaret S. Shores of Dearborn, Mo. and she has one
son, James Harlan Shores ; Bernice, married F. L. Robinson, of Kansas
City, Mo., and she has one son, Joseph Lee Robinson; and Mrs. Helen G.
Tisue, Indianapolis, Ind. Mr. Harlan married for his second wife Mrs.



590 HISTORY OF RANDOLPH COUNTY

Anna E. Duggan, of Huntsville, Mo. No children have been born to this
union. Mrs. Harlan has one son, Frank Duggan, by her former marriage.

Mr. Harlan is a Democrat and always takes a commendable interest
in local public affairs. He is a member of the Methodist church and is
one of the well known substantial men of Randolph County.

Clifton Hill Banking Company, of Clifton Hill, Mo., is one of the
substantial and well managed banking institutions, not only of Randolph
County, but of central Missouri. It was organized Sept. 2, 1900 and the
following are the names of the original stock holders: L. S. Harlan, E.
D. Lea, J. Blair, J. F. Rogers, T. B. Stamper, C. V. Lambeth, J. H. Sum-
mers, C. C. Brown, J. D. Richerson, Thomas Mayo, S. J. McCully, F. H.
Skillen, George Knox, Thomas J. Green, W. H. Sears, J. D. Bradsher,
George L. Johnson, W. G. Lea, W. F. Fidler, D. S. Benton, J. K. McLean,
J. S. Gorham, J. F. Lay, N. P. Hurt, D. M. Alexander, L. B. Ficklin, J. M.
Holman, W. L. Beard, W. Z. Farris, E. E. Hurt, E. H. Hurt, Thomas J.
Lowry, Dr. J. A. Lowry, M. B. Sears, Y. Scott, and J. G. Brockman.

The first officers of the Clifton Hill Banking Company at its organ-
ization were: L. S. Harlan, president; W. F. Fidler, vice-president; E. D.
Lea, cashier; and E. E. Hurt, assistant cashier. The first directors were:
L. S. Harlan, W. F. Fidler, George Knox, C. C. Brown, George L. Johnson,
J. M. Holman, J. F. Rodgers, J. K. McLain and E. D. Lea.

There has been no change in the personnel of the officers of this
bank during their 20 years of successful banking. L. S. Harlan is still
the president and E. D. Lea has remained cashier and E. E. Hurt assistant
cashier since the organization. The present board of directors is as fol-
lows: L. S. Harlan, E. D. Lea, W. F. Fidler, J. K. McLain, George L.
Johnson. C. C. Brown, George Knox, J. Blair, and E.> E. Hurt.

The capital stock of the bank is $20,000; earned surplus, $16,000
and the deposits on Jan. 30, 1920 was $240,000 and the total resources at
that date were $280,000.

At the organization of the bank, a brick structure was erected which
has been the home of this institution for 20 years. The Clifton Hill
Banking Company has had a substantial and gradual growth in its busi-
ness and has been under capable management as is evinced by the fact
that they have never lost but one loan and that was a note for only $30
which is an astonishing record in view of the vast amount of business
that this bank has handled since its organization 20 years ago.



HISTORY OF RANDOLPH COUNTY 591

Elbert D. Lea, who has been cashier of the Clifton Hill Banking Com-
pany since its organization 20 years ago, is one of the well known and
capable financiers of Randolph County. He was born three-fourths of a
mile northeast of Clifton Hill, May 25, 1858 and is a son of J. M. and
Sarah F. (Henderson) Lea. The mother was born in Randolph County
in 1840 and died in 1914. She was a daughter of John A. and Frances
(Graves) Henderson, natives of Virginia and very early pioneer settlers
of Randolph County. They came here some time in the 30's.

J. M. Lea was born in North Carolina in 1833. He was a son of
Ashley G. and Mary (Matlock) Lea, natives of North Carolina who came
to Missouri and settled in Randolph County in 1839 when J. M. Lea was
six years old. J. M. Lea spent practically his entire life in Randolph
County and died in 1907. He served in the Confederate Army during
the Civil War under Gen. Sterling Price. He followed farming and stock
raising throughout his active career and met with success.

To J. M. and Sarah F. (Henderson) Lea were born the following chil-
dren: E. D., the subject of this sketch; Mrs. Carrie P. Lambreth ; Jennie
died at the age of two years; Ashley G., a farmer and stockman near
Clifton Hill ; Mrs. Eva Starke, Kansas City, Mo. ; Mrs. Mamie Gunn, lives
in Oklahoma and Mrs. Fannie Baker, died Nov. 8, 1919.

Elbert D. Lea was educated in the public schools and Mt. Pleasant
College. In early life he engaged in teaching and for 11 years followed
that vocation in connection with farming. In 1896, he was elected judge
of the county court of Randolph County and resigned that position after
having been re-elected to a second term. He resigned to accept the posi-
tion of cashier of the Clifton Hill Banking Company upon the organization
of the bank in 1900 and since that time he has served in that capacity.
His vast experience in banking as well as his natural adaptitude to this
important field of enterprise qualifies him as one of the leading financiers
of central Missouri. Mr. Lea maintains his interest in farming and is
the owner of a valuable farm of 170 acres which adjoins the place where
he was born.

In 1883, Mr. Lea was married to Miss Maggie Mayo, a daughter of
Thomas Mayo and a granddaughter of "Uncle Allen" Mayo who was the
first pioneer settler of Randolph County, coming here in 1816. Mrs. Lea's
mother was Sarah Mathis before her marriage and was a schoolmate of
Mr. Lea's mother. To Mr. and Mrs. Lea have been born four children:
Mrs. Jennie Maude Griffin, on the home farm in Clifton township and



592 HISTORY OF RANDOLPH COUNTY

Mrs. Sarah Blanche Brockman has one son, Wilfred Lee Brockman, and
resides at Fayette, Mo. ; James Mayo, the second in order of birth, died
at 4 years of age in 1891 and the third child died in infancy.

Mr. Lea is well known in Randolph County and stands high in the
community.

William August Esry, the present county collector of Randolph
County is a native of this county and since his boyhood has been identified
with the interests of Randolph County. He was born July 26, 1871 and is
a son of John Logan and Sarah F. (Baily) Esry, the former a native of
Chariton township, Randolph County and the latter of Macon County, Mo.

John Logan Esry was a son of Nimrod Esry, a native of Kentucky
who was one of the first pioneer settlers of Chariton County. His wife
was a daughter of August Baily, a native of Kentucky and a very early
settler of Missouri. Mrs. Esry was born in 1850 and now resides at Hig-
bee. John Logan Esry moved to Moberly with his family in 1881. Here
he' was employed by the Simmons Milling Company and the Millbank-
Scampton Milling Company for a number of years. He is now deceased.
To John Logan and Sarah F. (Baily) Esry were born seven children, five
of whom are living: Mrs. Amanda Holbrooks, who resides near Moberly;
William A., the subject of this sketch; John T., a farmer near Huntsville;
G. M., Omaha, Neb. ; and Pearl Hall, Kansas City, Mo.

William A. Esry was educated in the public schools, attending the dis-
trict schools and also the Moberly schools. He began his career as an
office boy for the Simmons Milling Company in Moberly and later entered
the employ of a grocery and bakery and after a time went with the
Wabash Railroad Company as car inspector and after holding that posi-
tion for six years, he resigned and engaged in the grocery business at
Moberly and for 15 years and seven months successfully conducted that
business and sold out Sept. 2, 1914. In 1914, he was elected collector of
Randolph County and entered upon the duties of his office in March, 1915.
At the expiration of his first term of office, he was reelected without
opposition and is now serving his second term which expires in March,
1923. He is a capable and conscientious public official and devotes his
best efforts to the duties of his office. He owns 182 acres of valuable
land adjacent to the city limits of Huntsville on the north.

Mr. Esry was married Dec. 24, 1898 to Miss Louisa Fletcher of
Sturgeon, Mo. and a daughter of E. S. Fletcher and to this union have
been bom five children : Mrs. Margaret Flemmings, of Huntsville ; Gladys,
Mildred, Olga, and W. A., Jr., all of whom are at home with their parents.




WILLIAM AUGUST ESRY



HISTORY OF RANDOLPH COUNTY 593

Mr. Esry and the other members of his family belong to the Christian
church. He is a prominent Mason being a member of the Masonic Lodge
A. F. and A. M. No. 344, Moberly, Mo.; Royal Arch Masons, Moberly
Chapter No. 79; Knights Templar, Tancred Commandery No. 25; R. and
S. M., Centralia Council and the Order of the Eastern Star, Randolph
Chapter No. 150. He is a member of the Missouri Association of Past
Commanders, Knights Templar. He has been a member of the Knights
of Pythias for 25 years and is Past Chancellor Commander. He is also a
member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Moberly, Knights of
the Maccabees of Moberly, National Union, Woodmen of the World,
Knights and Ladies of' Security and Brotherhood of American Yeomen.

Porter Mayo, now living retired at Clifton Hill, Mo., is one of the
substantial citizens of Randolph County and a representative of one of
its earliest prominent pioneer families. He was born about rive miles
south of Clifton Hill, Nov. 18, 1837, in a pioneer log cabin which was
built by his father in the early days. He is a son of Allen and Martha
(Finnell) Mayo.

Allen Mayo was born in Virginia. July 14, 1802. His parents were
Thomas and Mary (Blair) Mayo. Thomas Mayo served in the Revolu-
tionary War under Washington. About 1805, he removed from Vir-
ginia to Tennessee and was engaged in farming in Campbell County until
1817 when he came to Missouri. In the spring of 1818 he came to Ran-
dolph County and here built a log cabin and cleared a piece of land and
spent the remainder of his days in this county.

Allen Mayo came to Randolph County with his parents and they were
practically the first settlers in this section. Wild game at that time was
plentiful and Allen Mayo, at one time killed three deer before breakfast.
Wild hogs were commonly found in the woods and it is related that he
killed twelve wild hogs in one day. He was a real frontiersman and
was familiar with all the buffalo trails and every detail and condition of
this country in the pioneer days, for a radius of miles around. He dis-
covered Randolph Springs, having followed a bualffo trail to that point
and frequently shot deer in that vicinity and later salt was manufactured
there. He died Feb. 16, 1894. His wife, who bore the maiden name of
Martha Finnell, was a daughter of Charles and Lucy Finnell who were
also pioneer settlers of Randolph County and came from Garrard County,
Ky., where Mrs. Mayo was born June 28, 1804. She died July 5, 1890.



594 HISTORY OF RANDOLPH COUNTY

To Allen and Martha (Finnell) Mayo were born the following chil-
dren: Morgan, born Oct. 18, 1824 and died Dec. 29, 1847; William, born
May 10, 1826 and died in February, 1914; Mrs. Eliza J. Dameron, born
Dec. 22, 1827 and died April 26, 1898 ; Nancy M., born Nov. 25, 1830 and
died Oct. 30, 1851; Thomas J., born April 17, 1832 and died Jan. 1, 1914;
Charles F., born Nov. 13, 1833 and died April 13, 1912; Mrs. Lucy Mc-
Cully, born Oct. 18, 1835, and died May 7, 1901 ; Porter, the subject of this
sketch; Mary A., married Rev. F. M. Stark, was born Nov. 8, 1839 and
now resides in Silver Creek township ; John A., born Nov. 8, 1839, Clifton
Hill, Mo. ; and James P., born Sept. 11, 1845 and now resides on a part of
the old Allen Mayo homestead in Silver Creek township.

Porter Mayo was reared amidst the pioneer surroundings of the
early days in Randolph County and attended such schools as were avail-
able in those early times. The school house which he attended was of
the primitive pioneer type, built of logs with a fire place in one end of the
building, built of sticks and mud and the furniture was of the crude
variety made by the pioneer's axe. The schools were conducted on the
subscription plan, common to the early day and the school year consisted
of about three months. Mr. Mayo saw this section of the country prac-
tically in its primitive state and in his boyhood days he was something of
a hunter himself. He has killed many wild turkeys and geese and now
has in his possession a rifle of the style that was used in the pioneer days
which was made by J. F. Riley of Huntsville.

Porter Mayo was married to Miss Maggie C. Stark, March 19, 1863.
She was bom in Randolph County, Sept. 6, 1838, a daughter of William
and Catherine (Goodman) Stark, the former a native of Shelby County,
Ky., born Nov. 9, 1795, and died April 7, 1874 and the latter born in
Washington, Albemarle County, Va., Nov. 1, 1803. Mrs. Mayo is one of
the following children born to her parents: Mary Jane, born in Murray
County, Tenn., May 4, 1825; Elizabeth A., born in Chariton County, Mo.,
March 20, 1827 and died May 26, 1876 ; Jacob, born June 29, 1829 ; Francis
Marion, born in Chariton County, July 18, 1830 and died Feb. 18, 1905;
James M., born in Randolph County, July 29, 1833 and died Aug. 2, 1909;
Nancy and William H., twins, born Nov. 5, 1835; Maggie C, born Sept.
6, 1838 and is now the wife of Porter Mayo ; Louis A., born July 15, 1840
and died Feb. 4, 1919 and Samantha C, born Aug. 11, 1846.

After his marriage, Mr. Mayo settled on a farm two miles and a half
south of Clifton Hill. Here h,e built a log house which consisted of one



HISTORY OF RANDOLPH COUNTY 595

room and adjoining shed and a loft. Later he built a more substantial
six room residence which is still standing. He began his career on an
80 acre farm and increased his land holdings until he became the owner
of 280 acres. He followed farming and stock raising and was successful
in his undertakings. He remained on the farm until 1910 when he moved
to Clifton Hill where he has since been living retired.

To Mr. and Mrs. Mayo have been born the following children: Mary
Ann, born Jan. 8, 1864 and died Sept. 2, 1865; Minnie Florence, born Feb.
12, 1866, married J. B. Frisbie, Kansas City, Mo.; Thomas Rector, born
April 10, 1868, lives at Clifton Hill, Mo.; Martin Edgar, born Dec. 11,
1869, lives three miles northeast of Clifton Hill; Lewis Allen, born Nov.
'11, 1871, lives in California and William Porter, born Aug. 14, 1873 and
died Jan. 13, 1910. Mr. and Mrs. Mayo have six grandchildren and two
great grandchildren.

Mr. Mayo is a Republican and served as postmaster at Clifton Hill
during President Harrison's administration and lived on his farm while
he held that office. He voted for Abraham Lincoln for president and has
voted for every Republican candidate for president since that time. He
was elected justice of the peace of Silver Creek township three times and
says that he was elected by the Democrats. He is a member of the Bap-
tist church and one of Randolph County's honored pioneer citizens.

J. Will Graves, a former judge of the county court of Randolph
County now living retired at Clifton Hill, is a native of Virginia. He
was born in Lawrence County, Va., Oct. 16, 1838 and is a son of Jonathan
and Anna (Glass) Graves, both natives of Virginia. Anna (Glass) was a
member of the same Virginia family as Senator Carter Glass of Virginia.
Jonathan Graves was the son of Jacob Graves, a Virginian who spent his
life in his native state. Jonathan Glass came to Missouri in 1839 and
first settled in Johnson County. He remained there until the Civil War
broke out when, for the safety of himself and family, on account of local
conditions in Johnson County, he removed to Randolph County and spent
the remainder of his life here. He was engaged in the mercantile busi-
ness here for many years and died in 1885. His wife died in 1893. They
were the parents of five children, three of whom are living: J. Will, the
subject of this sketch; John lives in Oklahoma and Mrs. Ella Henderson,
also lives in Oklahoma.

J. Will Graves had just about reached the age of manhood when the
Civil War broke out and he enlisted in the 6th Missouri Regiment under



596 HISTORY OF RANDOLPH COUNTY

Colonel Eugene Irwin, General Green's brigade and Price's division. He
participated in the Battles of Fort Gibson, Big Black and Corinth, Miss.,
as well as a number of other engagements and skirmishes. In 1863 he
was captured at Fort Gibson and taken to the Federal prison at Alton, 111.
His health was bad and he was released from prison and went to Lincoln
County, Mo. with a friend. In 1865, he went to Montana and was suc-
cessfully engaged in gold mining for two years and made money. He
then returned to Randolph County and was married. Here he began
farming and taught school during the winters for about seven years. In
the meantime he had become the owner of a small farm and later acquired
more land until, at one time, he was the owner of 500 acres northeast of
Clifton Hill and was extensively engaged in stock raising and feeding as
well as general farming. In 1916, he sold out and removed to Clifton Hill
where he has since been living retired.

Mr. Graves was first married in 1867 to Rosalee Brockman, a daugh-
ter of Lindsey Brockman of Randolph County. To that marriage were
born five children as follows : Edwin, a farmer northwest of Clifton Hill ;
Lindsey, a farmer southwest of Huntsville; Rolla, who lives on the old
home place ; Mrs. Gussie Anderson, who died in 1890, and one child died
in infancy. The mother of these children died in 1912. In November,
1917, Mr. Graves was married to Rilla Harlow, a native of Randolph
County and a daughter of Albert Thomas and Mary Ann (Reed) Harlow,
natives of Virginia. Albert Thomas was born in 1837 and came to Ran-
dolph County when a young man and died here in 1890. His wife was
born in 1834 and was brought to Randolph County by her parents in 1837.
She died in 1916.

Judge Graves has been a life long Democrat and has always taken an
active interest in political affairs. In 1894 he was elected judge of the
county court and at the expiration of his term of office was re-elected,
serving two terms. He is a member of the Christian church and has
been an elder for 25 years. He is a member of the Ancient Free and
Accepted Masons and bears the distinction of being the oldest Mason in
the state of Missouri. He was made a Mason at Columbus, Johnson
County, Mo., in 1860 becoming a member of Mitchell Lodge No. 86. The
building and records of this lodge were burned during the Civil War. Mr.
Graves is now a member of the Clifton Hill Lodge No. 161 and was
master of that lodge for eight years. He is a member of the Ancient
Order of United Workmen at Salisbury, Mo. He is one of Randolph



HISTORY OF RANDOLPH COUNTY 597

County's honored pioneer citizens and is held in the highest esteem by
his many friends throughout the county.

Charles C. Brown, a prominent farmer and stockman of Silver Creek
.township and a former judge of the county court is a native of Randolph
County. He was born in Silver Creek township, Feb. 7, 1854 and is a
son of John and Arminta (Martin) Brown. John Brown was born in Ger-
many in 1821 and when a young man came to America and finally settled
in Randolph County, Mo., where he engaged in farming and met with
success. He died in 1905. His wife was born in 1832 and died in 1912.
They were the parents of 11 children, six of whom lived to maturity;
George, lives in Schuyler County; Julius, deceased; Charles C, the sub-
ject of the sketch; James, Schuyler County, Mo.; William, Howard
County and Hurley, deceased.

Charles C. Brown was educated in the public schools and remained at
home until he was 21 years old. He began his independent career as
clerk in the general store at Yates, Mo. and was shortly afterwards mar-
ried and leased a farm from J. H. Yates. He next became interested in
timber cutting, getting out railroad timber for railroad companies and
furnished large quantities of bridge timbers and ties for the Wabash and
Chicago and Alton railroad companies. He did an extensive business in
this line which proved profitable. At the same time he kept up his
interest in farming and stock raising and invested in land. He now owns
360 acres in his home place three miles south of Clifton Hill, Mo. and a
farm of 365 acres about five miles south of Clifton Hill, Mo., in Silver Creek
township, besides 150 acres in Howard County. His land is all well im-
proved and he has a good residence on the home place which was re-
modeled in 1905 and the other buildings about the place are well kept
and substantial. In addition to carrying on general farming, Mr. Brown
is extensively engaged in stock raising and feeding. He feeds and mar-
kets from 150 to 200 head of cattle and raises from 160 to 200 head of
hogs each year.

On Jan. 23, 1884, Charles C. Brown was united in marriage to Miss
Nolie E. Dameron. She was born near Randolph Spring and is a daughter
of Louis G. Dameron. To Mr. and Mrs. Brown have been born five chil-
dren as follows: Mrs. Ora Stocker resides in Silver Creek township;
Elbert C, a Federal highway engineer, served as captain in an engineer-
ing corps during the World War and is now located at Jackson, Miss. ;



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