'E' - Biographies from Miller County People

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By Gerard Schultz

James Alfro Eads, owner of J.A. Eads Ford Motor Company at Iberia, was born September 15, 1888, near Vienna, Missouri. His father, Joseph T. Eads, was born near Vienna on November 25, 1864, and his mother, Isabella (von Gremp) Eads, was born near Vienna also. His mother's ancestors came from Germany, while his paternal ancestors were natives of the South.

On May 9, 1909, at Iberia, Mr. Eads was married to Miss Lou Bond, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Bond, natives of Miller County and of Kentucky, respectively. Mr. and Mrs. Eads have seven children: Vern Gwendolyn and Veta Geraldine, who are graduates of Drury College; Catherine Lorene, who graduated from Iberia Academy in 1932; Henry Ford, who graduated from Iberia Academy in 1933; Mary Rosalie; James Wendell; and Omega Dean. Vera was married in 1933 to Oral Atwell.

For over 20 years Mr. Eads was manager of the Iberia Telephone Exchange. In 1913 he bought the first car in Iberia-a sterling. He became a Ford dealer in the fall of 1913. He now owns a Stinson cabin plane, the first in Iberia and is the only licensed airplane pilot in the county. HE is a distributor of Shell Products.

Mr. Eads has been a member of the Public School Board and of the Town Board of Iberia. In politics he usually supports the Democratic Party. He belongs to the Nazarene Church. Mrs. Eads is a Baptist.


Miller County Autogram Sentinel March 1962

Arthur Edwards, the last of the Osage River steamboat pilots living in this area was 90 years old March 25. He and his wife, the former Nancy Williams to whom he was married June 8, 1935, live on the west side of the courthouse square in Tuscumbia.

Mr. Edwards was born on a farm six or seven miles down the river from Tuscumbia, now the Luetkemeyer farm, then called the Lurton farm. His father was George W. Edwards. After the death of his mother, when Arthur was six years old, the family moved to another river farm, where two of his half-brothers, John and Joe Edwards, now reside. Arthur is the only one of the six sons born to his father's first marriage still living. Twelve other children were born of his father's second marriage.

Arthur Edwards

Two of Mr. Edwards' half-sisters, Mrs. Maud King and Mrs. Ann Gilvean, both of Kansas City; and three half-brothers, John and Joe of Tuscumbia and Albert of Eldon are living.

At the age of 16, Arthur left home and thereafter made his own way. He walked down to the Osage River, and hailed the passing steamer, "Frederick" with Capt. Bob Marshall in charge, and was taken on board as a cook's helper.

River work constituted the largest part of his life's work thereafter and his conversation is rich with tales of river life and tie rafting days.

He was pilot of the "Uncle Jim," a tow boat that handled two barges on the Osage River. The "Bonnieville" and "Stone" were tow boats which he piloted on the Missouri River. Mr. Edwards also bought, cut and sold walnut logs.

He narrowly escaped being crushed when loosening a log jam for a log pile to be loaded onto a barge. Two logs, 28 and 26 inches in diameter, rolled over him, but luckily a stump caught and held back the other logs in the pile. Mr. Edwards who suffered a fractured skull and a serious leg injury was unconscious in the hospital for nine days following the accident.

Mr. Edwards is the father of five living children by a former marriage: Grant, Claude and Gonzel all of Tuscumbia; and Mrs. Wilma Thomas and Mrs. Velma Robertson, both of Kansas City, Kan.

He has been in semi-retirement since about 1937. The fine fruit and vegetables produced from his orchard and truck patches were a great source of pride to him as long as he was able to work with them.


By Doris Edwards Wyrick

Grandfather was born October 7, 1842. He died November the 10, 1928. I was just past five years of age at the time that he died. We lived across the field, west of their home, about one-quarter mile. Almost every morning he would come by to see Eileen and me and Jack. I remember one morning I was unhappy because we only had one pencil to use. He took a very short pencil from his pocket and gave it to me. Soon after that he died and I kept the pencil for a long time in remembrance of my grandfather.

Grandfather lived 86 years. When he was older he was not able to walk about on his farm, so he rode a very gentle white horse. The farm was very large. It was near the Osage River and there were many fields, fruit trees, pecan trees, chestnut trees and a very large flower garden I remember seeing him ride the horse about the farm.

I remember his last illness. We were taken to see him in bed and lifted up to say goodbye. I remember the funeral. It was held in the front yard. Chairs and benches were arranged for people to sit on. Eileen and I sat on Daddy's lap. He held us in his arms and cried hard.

Daddy loved his parents very much and always showed respect for them.

The Children of George W. Edwards, Sr.

George W. Edwards, Sr., was the father of 18 children. Six sons were born to George and Vienna Sellover Edwards. Four sons and eight daughters were born to George and Tennessee Barnhart Edwards. The names and dates for these children were copied many years ago from a family Bible that no longer can be located.

George W. Edwards and Vienna Sellover were married 11 January 1866 in Shelbyville, Illinois. Their sons were as follows:

Louis Steven Edwards was born 23 November 1866, and died 21 October 1942. He was married to Katherine (Kate) Bade. Louis and Kate lived in Tuscumbia and were the parents of Everett, Joseph, George T, Lewis and James Elmer. I remember Uncle Louis and Aunt Kate. I knew many members of their family. Uncle Louis was a county judge at one time and was called "Judge Edwards" for the rest of his life.

For many years it was not known where Everett was. His brother, Joe, made a long search for him. He finally found him through his military records. Everett came to see his father and mother at the time of his father's death. He had a nice family and came and visited his relatives here later. Once, when on a trip through the south, Daddy and Mother visited Everett's grave. He was about the same age as Daddy.

Joseph lived in Detroit Michigan. He would visit family here occasionally. I remember riding in a big luxury car he was driving. We called him "Michigan Joe" to distinguish him from Daddy's brother Joe.

William T. Edwards was born 11 May 1869 and died 13 November 1870 when he was 18 months of age. He is buried in the Smith Cemetery , which is also known as the Hawken Cemetery located on land now owned by the Missouri Department of Conservation just off of Highway 17 in the Osage River bottom.

Arthur Hart Edwards was born 25 March 1872 and died 31 October 1962 at the age of ninety. He was married first to Bess Davidson. Arthur and Bess were the parents of Velma, Wilma, Claude, James Grant, Gonzell, and Prue. Prue lived about 18 days and is buried at Hickory Point Cemetery in south Miller County. Arthur and Bess were divorced and he then married Nancy Williams. Arthur and Nancy are buried in Tuscumbia Cemetery.

Cordel O. Edwards was born 21 March 1874 and died 18 April 1874 when he was just 28 days old. He is also buried in the Hawken Cemetery.

George W. Edwards, Jr. was born 18 April 1875 and died 5 November 1954 at 79 years of age. George Jr. never married. He lived at home for a long time and worked on a neighbor's farm for many years. He then made his home with his brother John and family for 19 years. He died in a nursing home in Rolla, Missouri and is buried in the Tuscumbia Cemetery.

Robert Edwards was born 23 August 1878 and died 31 August 1878, age eight days. He is buried in the Hawken Cemetery with his two infant brothers and their mother, Vienna Sellover Edwards.

George W. Edwards and Tennessee Barnhart were married 13 January 1882. They were the parents of the following 12 children:

 George W. Edwards and Tennessee (Barnhart) Edwards and family
George W. Edwards and Tennessee (Barnhart) Edwards and family

Sarah Alberta "Sally" Edwards was born 4 November 1882 and died 16 March 1926 at 44 years of age. For a time she was married to Richard Harris. They had no children. I remember my aunt Sally. She made me a rag doll. I remember her funeral and being at the cemetery at her burial. I was carrying the doll and set it on the cement ledge that held the fence around the cemetery .There is more about Aunt Sally in the stories "The Blue Willow Cups and Saucers," "My Aunt Sally's Dog, 'Old Boy'," and "Jack's Middle Name."

Fanny Cinderella Edwards was born 25 May 1884 and died 21 March 1955 at 71 years of age. Aunt Fanny was first married to William Hawken. They were the parents of Maude, Ruth, Clyde and Carl, all now deceased. Fanny and William Hawken were divorced and she then married Jesse McDonald. We called him "Uncle Mac". They died in Kansas City, Kansas and are buried there in Maple Hill Cemetery. Rex and I were living in Warrensburg, Missouri at the time of her death and drove to Kansas City to attend her funeral.

Mary Elizabeth Edwards was born 5 July 1886 and died 28 July 1887. She is buried in the family cemetery on the farm in Miller County. In 2003 Karen and I arranged for a grave marker to be placed in the cemetery with the names and dates of the three baby girls buried there. More information is in the story "The Family Cemetery".

James Albert Edwards was born 28 September 1887 and died 28 February 1963 at 76 years of age. More information can be found in the story "James Albert Edwards".

Effie Orlena Edwards was born 5 July 1889 and died 11 June 1917. She is buried in the family cemetery. I remember being told that Effie had the measles and got up from her sick bed to go out and pick gooseberries. While out picking berries she was caught in a rainstorm, was chilled, took sick and died (probably of pneumonia). Daddy, her brother John, was in the Army at the time of her death and could not come home. He told us how sad he felt at the time of her death. I also was told that she was planning to be married soon to Howard Blundt and that she was buried in her wedding dress.

Charles A. Edwards was born 20 March 1891 and died 14 November 1918 in Granite City, Illinois of Spanish influenza and pneumonia. His body was returned to Missouri and he is buried in the family cemetery. He was married to Cora Abbott, but they had no children. We were never told much about our Uncle Charlie as Daddy did not seem to have a good relationship with this brother.

John Gill Edwards was born 3 November 1893 and died 28 August 1978 at 84 years of age. He is buried in the Tuscumbia Cemetery. Many stories have been written about him and are included in this "Collection of Memories". He was married to Minnie Belle Bilyeu on 13 June 1920. John and Minnie were the parents of Ida Eileen, Doris Dean, Jack Myler and Mary Helen. He spent several years in the Army and was stationed in the Philippine Islands and in Texas on the Mexican border. He also traveled to China and Japan. He ended his Army career as an officer with the rank of second lieutenant.

Lucy Catherine Edwards was born 15 November 1895 and died 25 November 1895, living only 10 days. She is buried in the family cemetery on the farm.

Joseph Henry Edwards was born 23 January 1897 and died 17 October 1964 when he was 67 years old. He married Letha Stokes. Joe and Letha were the parents of David Earl, Edna Ruth, Otis Gene, and Lois Ellen. Uncle Joe and Aunt Letha are buried in the Mt Zion Cemetery in Miller County Missouri.

Maude Edwards was born 22 February 1899. I was unable to find Aunt Maude's death date. All I remember is that she was at Daddy's funeral and died soon after that in 1978 or 1979. She was married to Wallace King. They were the parents of Irene, Mildred, Calvin and Freda. Maude is buried in Kansas City, Kansas in Maple Hill Cemetery.

Anne Edwards was born 6 October 1902 and died 12 May 1988 at 86 years of age. She is buried in Mt Zion Cemetery, Miller County, Missouri. She married James Gilzean in Kansas City, Missouri. She and James were later divorced. They were the parents of one son, James Joseph Gilzean. He died before his mother. James Joseph Gilzean was the father of three children, Judy, James and Edward.

Alma Edwards was stillborn 18 December 1904. She is buried in the family cemetery on the farm. More information about Alma can be found in the story "A Stillborn Baby Girl".

This has been an attempt to profile each of the 18 children of George W. Edwards, Sr. and his two wives, Vienna Sellover Edwards and Tennessee Barnhart Edwards. All of the 18 children are now deceased. My grandfather, George W. Edwards, Sr., kept Bible records of the names and dates of these 18 children. I was also told that he selected their names. We notice in our family records that many names were after his family ancestors.

 George Washington and Tennessee Edwards old home place circa 1903
George Washington and Tennessee Edwards old home place circa 1903, torn down 1920. It was located at Kings Bluff on Twin Creek Road.
L-R: Geo. W. Edwards Sr., Geo. W. Edwards Jr., Joe, Maude, Fannie Edwards Hawken holding ?, Tennessee Barnhart Edwards.

George Washington Edwards was born at Columbus, Ohio, October 7, 1842. He was the son of Louis H. and Mary Helen (Woods) Edwards. His father fought in the Indian wars, and in the battle of Tippecanoe was said to have received a broken arm when struck with a tomahawk by an Indian.

George Washington Edwards was in Sherman's Army of the Cumberland and was in many hard-fought battles, including the battle of Richmond Ky., the battle of Shiloh and the siege of Vicksburg. He was captured by the Confederates at Brice's Cross Roads, Miss., June 9th, 1864, and was in Andersonville prison six months; Macon prison six weeks and Selma prison six weeks. He was exchanged the following spring at Wilmington, South Carolina.

After he returned from the army, he was united in marriage to Miss Vienna Selover of Shelbyville, Ill., where the Edwards Family had moved from Columbus.

He and his wife came to Missouri about 1868, to California, later moving to the J. R. Wells farm on the Osage River. Later they moved to the Vanatta farm, south of Tuscumbia, then to the Joe Lurton farm, then to the Luetkemeyer farm. Anton Luetkemeyer bought out Mr. Edwards in 1880, and then Mr. Edwards bought the farm at King's Bluff near Tuscumbia, Missouri.

George Washington Edwards married Vienna Selover on Jan. 4, 1866.

  • They were the parents of six children.
  • Louis Steven - Nov. 23, 1866 - Oct. 21, 1942
  • William T. - May 11, 1869 - Nov. 13, 1870
  • Arthur Heart - March 25, 1872 - Oct. 31, 1962
  • Cordel O. - March 21, 1874 - April 18, 1874
  • George W. Jr. - April 18, 1875 - Nov. 5, 1954
  • Robert - Aug. 23, 1878 - Aug. 31, 1878
  • Vienna (Selover) Edwards died Feb. 6, 1880.
  • On January 13, 1882, George W. Edwards married Tennessee Barnhart, the daughter of George and Lucy (Warren) Barnhart. She was born March 27, 1864, at Linn Missouri.

  • They were the parents of twelve children.
  • Sarah Alberta (Sally) -Nov. 4, 1882 - March 16, 1926
  • Fanny Cinderella - May 25, 1884 - March 21, 1955
  • Mary Elizabeth - July 5, 1886 - July 28, 1887
  • James Albert - Sept. 28, 1887 - Feb. 28, 1963
  • Effie Orlena -July 5, 1889 - June 11, 1917
  • Charles A. - March 20, 1891 - Nov. 14, 1918
  • John Gill - Nov. 3, 1893 - April 28, 1978
  • Lucy Catherine - Nov. 15, 1895 - Nov. 25, 1895
  • Joseph Henry - Jan. 23, 1897 - Oct. 17, 1964
  • Maude - Feb. 22, 1899
  • Anne - Oct. 6, 1902 - May 12, 1988
  • Alma -Dec. 18, 1904 -died at birth
  • George W. Edwards died Nov. 10, 1928. Tennessee (Barnhart} Edwards died Aug. 8, 1933. They are buried at the family burying ground, on the farm at King's Bluff, near Tuscumbia, Missouri.


    9/28/1887 - 2/28/1963
    By Doris Edwards Wyrick

    My father, John Gill Edwards, was one of eighteen children. He was the seventh child of the second mother, Tennessee Barnhart Edwards. An older brother from this family was James Albert. I have several memories of Uncle Albert as their family lived in our neighborhood when I was a child.

    Daddy was very close to Albert. He usually called him "Ab". Albert was six years old when Daddy was born and he remembered that Albert played with him when they were young children.

    Uncle Ab was a very tall, handsome man when I knew him. There were several children in their family. One girl, about my age, was named Virginia Lucille. I always thought that was a beautiful name. The children were very good students in school, always making good grades.

    I remember visiting in their home and seeing two large pictures hanging on the wall. They were pictures of very young children. I was told that their names were James and Irene and that they had died of Diphtheria. They were the oldest of the children.


    By Karen Wyrick Smith
    John Gill Edwards, born November 3, 1893, was the seventh child of George w. and Tennessee Edwards. Joseph Henry Edwards, born January 23, 1897, was the ninth child of George W. and Tennessee Edwards.

    Our family and Uncle Joe's family each lived on a part of the original Edwards farm near Kings Bluff on the Osage River. The brothers were very close and did a lot of their farming together, especially tending to farm animals, wheat harvest and fence building.

    After their parents died, Daddy and Uncle Joe started calling each other by the nicknames "Matt" and "Pink." I believe these names came from some of their Barnhart relatives as they seemed to be very much like these family members. Daddy was called "Matt" a nickname for Matthew, and Uncle Joe was called "Pink" a nickname for Pinkney. Most of my generation can remember hearing Daddy and Uncle Joe calling each other by these names.

    They Broke the Mold When They Made Him

    My grandfather, John Gill Edwards, was a very unique individual. He was much loved and respected by all family members and his many friends. In my lifetime I have heard many people remark that "They broke the mold when they made him" and my response has always been, "yes, and we never knew whether to say 'Thank God' or 'Oh God."'

    I have so many memories of grandpa I remember riding to the river behind him on the back of the tractor I remember the sweet yellow watermelons he would bring to the house from his patch in the river bottom...I remember his wonderful strawberry patch the smell of his Prince Albert tobacco when he smoked his pipe...the way he would put away the chocolate covered cherries he got for Christmas until after all the company was gone how he would slather his bread with a thick layer of butter, and then sprinkle sugar on top.

    I remember hearing him quote his favorite lines from Kipling him singing Red Wing to me I remember how he loved having the granddaughters sit around him on his chair filing his nails and brushing his hair...and how he thrived on having the whole family there and would look around at all of us and remark "just think, I am the cause of all of this." I remember how he avidly read anything he could get his hands on about the Civil War and I remember him telling that he cried when he visited Andersonville where his own beloved father had been a prisoner.

    I remember how he used to come in from the field in the summer time and shower in the basement and then come upstairs in his " step- ins"...how he used to grab at the tail of Grandma's skirt so she would fuss at him and he would say" Aw, Mamma, I was just havin' a little fun!" I remember how he frequently kept his" teeth" on the book case by his chair. I remember how he could build such a fire in the furnace that we had to open the doors wide when it was twenty below zero outside, just to cool the house down. I remember how he used to love to tell stories about his military days and how he loved his country and proudly flew his American flag every day. I remember his beautiful prayers and, of course, his frequent use of" colorful" words.

    So many things I remember but most of all I remember how much he loved us, each and every one.


    By Doris Edwards Wyrick

    My father, John Gill Edwards, was one of eighteen children. My grandfather, George Washington Edwards, was first married to Vienna Selover. They were the parents of six sons. Three died in infancy. He was then married to Tennessee Barnhart. They were the parents of twelve children. I have also been told that grandmother miscarried twins but I have no proof of that. Three of these twelve children, all girls, died in infancy.

    Daddy was the seventh child born to the second marriage. He was born November 3, 1893. There were five children born after him. Four of these were girls. When Daddy was twelve years old the last baby was stillborn. He remembered it very well and told me this story.

    On the morning of December 18, 1904 he was told that the baby was born dead. He was allowed to see her and remembered that his mother was crying and very sad to have lost this last baby. They named her Alma. Her birth and death was recorded in the family Bible. She is buried in the family cemetery on the farm in Miller County, Missouri near Tuscumbia. My grandparents and seven other family members are buried there.

    The Family Cemetery

    The family cemetery is located south of and near the family home. It is fenced and located in the corner of one half acre of land deeded to the county so that it cannot be removed by the present owners. There are nine graves there.

  • The first grave was a baby girl. Those buried there are:
  • Mary Elizabeth, born July 9, 1886, died July 28, 1887
  • Effie Orlena, born July 5, 1889, died June 11, 1917
  • Charles A., born March 20, 1891, died November 14, 1918
  • Lucy Catherine, born November 15, 1895, died November 25, 1895
  • Alma, stillborn December 18, 1904
  • Sarah Alberta (Sally), born November 4, 1882, died March 16, 1926
  • James Elmer, Infant son of Lewis & Kate Edwards, no stone, no dates George Washington Edwards, Sr., born October 7, 1842, died November 10, 1928
  • Tennessee Barnhart Edwards, born March 27, 1864, died August 8, 1933
  • The first six names are five daughters and one son of George and Tennessee Edwards.

    Lewis, Arthur, George Jr., Albert and John are buried in the Tuscumbia Cemetery in Miller County, Missouri.

    Joseph and Anne are buried at Mt Zion Cemetery south of Tuscumbia, Miller County, Missouri.

    Fannie and Maude are buried in Kansas City, Kansas.

    The 1934 date on Tennessee Edwards' grave is incorrect. She died in 1933. Many years ago I copied most of this information from a family Bible that can no longer be located.

    © 2007 - Miller County Historical Society
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