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Below is a family biography included in The History of Jasper County, Missouri published by Mills & Company in 1883.  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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A. W. ONSTOTT, farmer and stock-raiser, section 7, post-office Carthage. The subject of this sketch is a native of Jasper county, a son of Judge John Onstott, so well and favorably known in southwest Missouri. He was born at the Onstott homestead on Center Creek Aug. 27, 1849. His youth was spent on the farm assisting in the farm duties, and acquiring an education by the methods then in vogue by the early settlers for the improvement and development of the mind of youth. During the war times, being a mere lad, he was excused from taking an active part, yet his experiences were manifold, his father being obliged to leave the county for his own safety, leaving our subject as the virtual head of the family. It is a fact well-known that his mother and sisters carried the county funds (in specie) attached to their persons during all these uncertain years. Of course their loss in property was very severe. Quantrell’s band, numbering some 400 men, at one time camped near the house. He well remembers the James and Younger brothers, who were then mere striplings, but famous as desperate and dare-devil fighters. Our subject, being the only lad in the community, was frequently called upon to assist the women in performing the last sad rites for some poor fellow who had met death, perhaps in his own door-way, at the hands of some band of desperadoes. Sometimes bushwhackers, and often Missouri or Kansas militia, would murder someone in cold blood; the women and children were obliged to bury them, there being no men in the vicinity. After Judge Onstott’s property had been repeatedly raided, their house and outbuildings were burned by order of one Captain Sullivan, of the Missouri State Militia. The entire family were obliged to leave the county, going to Pettis county, where they remained one year. They returned to Jasper county in the summer of 1865, and were the first family to return to this part of the county. It is impossible for pen to portray the desolation which met them on every hand. Where erstwhile were happy homes owls hooted from the bare chimneys which stood like ghostly sentinels over blackened ruins. The once fertile fields were weed-grown and desolate. After remaining a short time here our subject went to Texas and spent two years in the Kansas and Texas cattle trade. He then farmed and speculated in livestock in this county until 1874, when he went to the mountains of Colorado and took a government freight contract; also prospected for mineral. He returned to his native county in 1875, and was married Nov. 28th of the same year to Miss Mattie O. Corwine, a native of Ohio, daughter of George Corwine, a well-known and highly respected resident of Jasper county. They are the parents of one child, an interesting daughter, Jessie C., born Oct. 16, 1879. The year after his marriage Mr. Onstott engaged at farming, and with eminent success. His farm consists of 200 acres, nicely situated on the border of Jenkins Creek timber. A magnificent lawn, shaded with grand old forest trees, occupies the south front of the dwelling. They have a pleasant home, and Mr. Onstott and lady are people blessed with a disposition to make it a happy one, surrounded as they are with all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. “The stranger within their gates” is treated to hospitality the most abundant; not of the narrow, stinted sort, but the real, unaffected, generous, openhearted, old-fashioned hospitality such as existed in the days of our fathers.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in The History of Jasper County, Missouri published in 1883.  For the complete description, click here: Jasper County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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

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