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Below is a family biography included in the book, The History of Putnam 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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Benjamin F. Todd, farmer and stock raiser, of Section 33, Jackson Township, Post-office, West Liberty, was born in Pulaski County, Ky., March 30, 1823, and is a son of Thomas and Mary (Vanhook) Todd, also natives of Kentucky. The family moved to Sangamon County, Ill., about 1851, locating near Springfield, where the father died about 1866. Benjamin F. Todd spent his youth in Kentucky upon the farm. He was married in Lincoln County, in 1850, to Miss Julia Ann Bowman, a native of Rock Castle County, Ky., and after his marriage farmed there about three years. In 1853 he went to Christian County, Ill., and after a year’s residence moved to Sangamon County, where he farmed about ten years. He sold out in 1864, and sought a home in Missouri, farming first two years in Scotland County. He then sold out and returned to Sangamon County, Ill., and two years later sold again, and went to Marshall County, Iowa. In 1871 he located in Putnam County, Mo., and bought 120 acres of raw land, which he proceeded to cultivate. He now owns 205 acres, 160 in the home place, forty in another tract and five in timber land. He has a nice one-and-a-half story house, etc., and a good bearing orchard of about 150 select apple trees. Mr. Todd lost his first wife in 1864. Of this marriage there are three living children: Leander, married; Julia, wife of William Francisco, of Kansas, and Alice, wife of David Tompkins. Three children died - one at the age of two, Belle aged eight, and James aged twelve. June 4, 1864, Mr. Todd married Miss Sarah Elizabeth, daughter of William Martin McClain, of Scotland County, Mo. This lady was born in Galena, Ill., and reared in Scotland County. To her and our subject ten children have been born. The eldest, Benjamin F., died July 13, 1886, aged twenty; Sallie, wife of John Mowry; Hattie J., Charles W., William B., Rollie B., Harlie M., Lucy Blanche, Daisy E. and Fronie C. Mr. Todd is a Republican, but has never sought nor wished to obtain political prominence. Himself, wife and a daughter, Hattie, are members of the Christian Church.

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This family biography is one of 139 biographies included in the Putnam County, Missouri portion of the book,  The History of Adair, Sullivan, Putnam, and Schuyler Counties, Missouri published in 1888 by Goodspeed Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Putnam County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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

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