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Below is a family biography included in The History of Webster County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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Judge John H. Davison, merchant and farmer of Jackson Township, was born in Polk County, Mo., October 30, 1843, but was reared in Dallas County, and made his home with his father until nineteen years of age, when he spent six years in his native county, engaged in farm labor. While a resident of that county he was married, on the 19th of December, 1861, to Miss Susan V. Ragsdale, who was born in Kentucky, but was reared in Polk County, of which county her father, Joel Ragsdale, was a pioneer. In 1861 Mr. Davison enlisted in the Home Guards, and in 1864 joined the Enrolled Missouri Militia, Fifteenth Cavalry, and served until the close of the war, being mustered out at Springfield. He was in the battle of Lexington, Mo., and during his six months’ service, in 1861, was captured, but after being retained a short time was paroled and returned home. In the spring of 1865 he and family moved to Dallas County, where he partly made two farms, and is the owner of one of them at the present time. He was engaged in the mercantile business in Thorpe, Mo., in 1883-84, but sold out and engaged in the same business in Charity. Since July, 1885, he has resided in Webster County, and has built him a store, residence and blacksmith shop, and carries on the general mercantile business very successfully. He also started a grist and saw mill in 1886, which brings him in a nice little income annually. While residing in Dallas County he served one term as county judge, being elected on the Greenback ticket in the fall of 1882. In 1888 he was elected public administrator of Webster County. He is a Master Mason, and he and wife are the parents of the following children: Margaret R., wife of G. B. Richardson; Joel Thomas, who is a partner in the store and mill with his father; George W., who resides on the farm in Dallas County; Lewis H.; Sarah J., wife of W. E. Salsman; Oliver C. and Charles A. Two children are deceased: Catherine, who died at the age of six years, and an infant. Mrs. Davison is a member of the Christian Church. Judge Davison’s parents, Bracket and Delilah (Hardison) Davison, were born in Tennessee and North Carolina, respectively, and after their marriage resided in Tennessee a few years, and in 1838 located in Polk County, Mo., taking up their abode in Dallas County in 1851. The father was a soldier in the War of 1812 under Gen, Jackson, and was at the battle of New Orleans. He died in Dallas County September 29, 1863.

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This family biography is one of 110 biographies included in The History of Webster County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Webster County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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