Biographical Sketches

Biographies from Miller County People

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Surnames Beginning With 'E'


John W. Etter was born in Miller Co., MO 16 August 1851. He was a son of Daniel Etter (1813-1892) and his wife, Mary (1816-1880). The Etters were natives of Virginia and came to Miller County prior to 1850. They first settled in Glaize Township in the Ulman's Ridge community where their neighbors included the Reeds, Ulmans, Hawkins, Gums, Gotts, Goldens, Bilyeus, McCubbins, and Wyricks.

  • Daniel and Mary were parents of several children including:
  • JAMES ETTER b.c/1837
  • SAMUEL ETTER b.c/1843
  • ROSEANNA ETTER b.c/1843
  • WILLIAM ETTER b.c/1845
  • ELIZA ETTER b.c/1848
  • JOHN W. ETTER b. c/1851
  • MISSOURI A. ETTER b.c/1854
  • MARTHA ETTER b.c/1857
  • Sometime between 1860-1870, the Etter family moved to Saline Township and settled on a prairie east of Eldon. On October 3, 1873, John W. Etter (born Aug 1851), the fourth son born to Daniel and Mary, married Mary Jane Bond. She was born in Miller Co. about 1854/55, the 9th child of Isaac and Temperance Bond. She had several brothers and sisters: Joseph Bond, Mahala Bond, Ruth Bond, John Bond, Sarah Bond, James Bond, Jenny Bond, Thomas Bond, and Mary/Polly Bond. By 1870 evidently both her parents had died because her brother and sister, Thomas & Mary, were living in the home of Madison and Ellen Belshe.

    John and Mary (Bond) Etter became parents of eleven children, nine whom survived their father when he died in the early 1900s. I found his obituary in a newspaper clipping (undated). It stated his services were held at his home in Eldon, conducted by Rev. Francis M. Stickney. He was buried in Eldon cemetery, per the obituary, but cemetery records which have been inventoried have no listings of his gravesite. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Jane (Bond), and two children....he was survived by nine children who were Mrs. William M. Hackney (Maude), Mrs. James T. Loving (Lucy), Mrs. C.A. Houltz, Mrs. H.M. Russell, Mrs. Ernest E. Bridges, Miss Cirrelda Etter, Daniel E. Etter, George Ralph Etter and Albert Ross Etter.


    Samuel Etter Jr. was born in Tennessee 6 March 1826, a son of Samuel Sr. and Rosannah Etter, both natives of Virginia. It is believed the Etter family was in Montgomery Co., Virginia (later part of Wythe Co.) as early as 1787 where they have been found on tax lists. By 1830, Samuel, Rosannah, 6 sons and 1 daughter, were in Anderson Co., East Tennessee. It was interesting to learn the Etters were neighbors to the Wyrick family in southwest Virginia at the end of the 18th century. They probably knew each other for quite sometime before coming to Miller County.

    The children of Samuel Sr. and Rosannah Etter were: DANIEL b. c/1813 m. Mary_____; JOHN b. c/1815; HIRAM b. c/1818 m. Emily A. Dresser; GEORGE b. c/1820 m. Mary A. Cotten; WILLIAM b. c/1821 m. Elizabeth Ann Hinds; EVE b. c/1823 m. (1) Joseph A. Starling (2) Gale Wyrick; and SAMUEL JR. b. 1826 m. (1) Orlena Jane Starling (2) Harriett L._____ (3) Elizabeth Dooley.

    Samuel Etter Sr. died before 1850 and Rosannah lived the remainder of her life with her children in Saline Township near Mt. Pleasant. The Etters homesteaded in the Pleasant Mount/Mt. Pleasant area in 1835/1836. They lived on or near an old trail across Saline Township called 'the Spring Garden road', which existed in 1837.

    On Sept. 2, 1847, Samuel Etter Jr married Orlena Jane Starling, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Starling, natives of Maryland and Tennessee, respectively. His sister, Eve Etter, had married a son of the Starlings, Joseph, in 1844. Orlena and Samuel were parents of 7 children: DANIEL (1848-1849); MARY LAVISA (1850-1851; ZILPHA b. 1856 m. Lovell Kirkpatrick; LUCY JANE b. 1858 m. Ransom Strange; LUELLA P. b. 1860; SAMUEL B. b. 1865 m. Martha Jane Russell; and CHARLES H. b. 1867.

    Orlena died about 1867 and Samuel married Harriett L.________. They had 4 children: ROBERT E. LEE (1868-1869); THOMAS H. b. 1869; ARTHUR (1874-1874) and ALBERT L. b. 1877.

    His third wife was Elizabeth Dooley whom he married in 1881. Their children were: GROVER CLEVELAND (1884-1887) and ELIZABETH/BETSY (1886-1888).

    During the Civil War the Etter family declared themselves Southern sympathizers and were assessed fines by the government. With roots in Virginia and East Tennessee, their hearts were with the Confederacy. As far as can be determined, they never owned slaves.

    Samuel Etter Jr. outlived three wives and several children. He died in 1897 at the age of 71 years and was buried beside his wives at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.

    The town of Etterville was named in honor of the Etter family who had lived in the vicinity for many years. A post office, called Etter, was established in 1903 when the Rock Island railroad was built through Saline Township. The post office was renamed Etterville in 1904 and remains to this day.

    © 2007 - Miller County Historical Society