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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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Thomas Russell Hightower, one of the leading citizens of Union Township, Webster Co., Mo., was born in Caswell County, N. C., May 1, 1839, and is a son of Dovorex and Cicily (Gooch) Hightower, natives, respectively, of Knox County, Tenn., and North Carolina. The parents were married in North Carolina in 1816, where they lived until the fall of 1850, when they removed to Greene County, Mo., and three years later located in Webster County. When a young man the father learned the stone-mason’s trade, at which he worked in connection with farming all his life, and was very successful until the outbreak of the Civil War, during which he lost heavily. He was a Democrat politically, and in his death, which occurred September 17, 1872, Webster County lost one of its most enterprising residents. Mrs. Hightower died in October, 1858, a member of the Primitive Baptist Church. There were eight sons and eight daughters born to the parents of our subject, of whom four sons are now living, viz.: Joshua, a farmer of Niangua Township, Webster County; Eppa, a farmer of Wright County, Mo.; Abner, a farmer of High Prairie Township, Webster County, and Thomas Russell. The latter received his education in the common schools, and his home was with his parents during their life time, providing and caring for his father during the last years of his life. He started in life for himself with limited means, but industry and good management have added 280 acres to the eighty acres left him, and he now owns a farm of as good land as there is in Webster County. March 4, 1860, he married Martha Walker, daughter of Robert Walker; she was born in Cedar County, Mo., June 5, 1843. To this union were born six children, only two of whom are living, viz.: Matilda A., wife of George Tory, and John R., at home. Mrs. Martha Hightower died October 25, 1882, having been a worthy and consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. November 19, 1883, Mr. Hightower married Martha Hyde, daughter of John and Malinda Hyde; she was born in Webster County, Mo., November 19, 1850, and is the mother of two children: Albert Cleveland, who died at the age of twenty-one months, and Irvin Earl. Mr. Hightower is a Democrat in politics, a member of the Masonic fraternity, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He is one of the enterprising men of the county, and is highly respected by all who know him. Mrs. Hightower is a member of the Baptist Church.

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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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