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Personal Gen Sites
Baird, Ely D.
Boardman, Sylvester
Cunningham, Franklin A.
Dodd, William B.
Gaither, J. W.
Holly, James
Johnson, James W.
LaForge, Pierre A.
McIntire, Louisa
Sanders, James F.
Walker, John
Walker, John H.
Watkins, James H.
Webb, George B.
Wilks, John E.
Wilks, John E. - 2


Gaither, J. W.

Submitted by Carolyn

Crawford county, Indiana, was the birthplace of Mr. Gaither and his home until he came to Pemiscot county in 1896. His wife, too, was born and reared in Indiana. Her maiden name was Harriet C. Myers, which she changed to Mrs. J. W. Gaither in 1876. After his marriage Mr. Gaither worked at the carpenter’s trade and ran a flat boat between Louisville and New Orleans on the Mississippi river for twenty years and then he came to this county.

When Mr. Gaither arrived at this present place of abode his worldly possessions consisted of twelve dollars and he had a wife and five children. The first year he worked at his carpenter trade and at wagon-making, and was able to buy forty acres of land, which he sold for cash. The third year he purchased twenty acres and two years later added a forty to his farm. The sixth year he bought forty acres more and on this eighty he now resides. In 1910 Mr. Gaither bought an eighty acre tract adjoining his home place and he now has nearly all of the one hundred and sixty acres cleared and under cultivation. One farm was not half cleared and the other in poor condition when he took charge of it, but he has put both places in good order.

To have started with twelve dollars and to have acquired one hundred and sixty acres of hundred-dollar-an-acre land in fifteen years is an accomplishment of something like a miracle. Mr. Gaither has an orchard of apples, peaches and pears on his second place and he has built a stock and hay barn fifty-six by one hundred and twelve feet on the place, besides improving another barn. The fertility and the levelness of this part of Pemiscot county, as well as the good roads make the farms here among the most valuable in the whole country.

At the World’s Fair at St. Louis in 1904, Mr. Gaither took the fold medal for the finest and longest alfalfa, which was seven feet one and one-half inches in length, eleven inches longer than any other exhibited. In 1911 he sold from forty-five acres, over two hundred tons besides having fed to his stock some twenty tons. The market value is from eighteen to twenty dollars per ton.

Mr. Gaither is a Republican in political matters but he devotes his time to his farm interests. He is numbered among the members of the Masonic fraternity’s Blue Lodge of Hayti. When he was a boy his father lost most of his money, so he had little chance for schooling. However, he is able to instruct the five men he employs to work on his farm, so he has profited by the lessons of one valuable schoolmaster, said to be at once the best and most expensive - Experience.

Of his five children, Harry, the youngest is at home. The twins, Nettie and Hattie, born in 1891, are attending normal school. Ida, Mrs. Andrew Newsom, lives on a farm near her father’s home, and Bessie, who married Ernest Lawrence, also lives in Pemiscot county.

From: History of Southeast Missouri by Robert Sidney Douglas, A. B., LL. B. Publishers: The Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago and New York, 1912


First Families in Pemiscot, Missouri






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