Biography of Elijah Friend

ELIJAH FRIEND. The estate of which this progressive tiller of the soil is the owner comprises 190 acres advantageously located near Theodocia, Missouri, on which he has resided for the past fifteen years, and which he has put in an excellent state of cultivation. Mr. Friend inherits many of the most sterling traits of his Scoth and Irish ancestors and is a man on whose word one can rely at all times. He was born in Marion County, Arkansas, about sixty-three years ago, but his parents James and Mary Jane (Millwood) Friend, were born in Maryland.

The father removed with his parents to Scott County, Missouri, and was there married a few years later, after which he removed with his wife to Marion County, Arkansas, and a few years later to Ozark County, Missouri, where he improved a good farm and made his home on the same for fifteen years. At the end of this time he removed a little west of that place and after improving a good farm there died on the place in 1883, at the age of seventy-two years. He was a lifelong farmer, a man well known for his honesty, and in religion was first a Missionary Baptist, but later became a General Baptist. He was a Union sympathizer during the war, but took no active part in the service, although he was formerly a participant in the War of 1812 and in the Black Hawk War. His father died in Scott County, Missouri, and the maternal grandfather also died there, having been a soldier in the Revolutionary War. The wife of James Friend died in 1867, having become the mother of five sons and five daughters: Charley, who died very young; Sallie, who became the wife of David Jones and is deceased; Louie, who became the wife of Alva Graham and is deceased; Elizabeth, who became the wife of James Tabor and is deceased; John, of Ozark County, was a soldier in the Sixth Missouri Infantry, United States Army; Susan, died unmarried; Elijah, the subject of this sketch; Elisha, who died before the war; Thomas, was a soldier in the Sixteenth Missouri Cavalry, and died at Lebanon, Missouri; and Rusha.

The subject of this sketch had very poor advantages for schooling in his youth, for he was reared in the wilds of Ozark County, but this deficiency he greatly remedied in later years by much varied reading, and he is now justly considered one of the well-informed men of the county. He was first married in June, 1852, to Miss Nancy Brown, a daughter of Gideon and Sallie Brown, the father being killed before the war in Taney County, Missouri, but Mrs. Friend was called from life in 1862, having become the mother of one child, a daughter, Elizabeth, who became the wife of Bennett Tabor. In 1865 Mr Friend took for his second wife Mrs. Mary Haskins, a daughter of Marlan and Ruth Heard, who removed from their native State of Tennessee to Arkansas, and finally came to Ozark County, Missouri, where they both passed from life. Mrs. Friend was born in Arkansas, and died in 1877, after having become the mother of five sons and one daughter: John, Jesse, Mary (wife of Thomas Mahan ), Thomas, Calvin, and Asa (who died in infancy). Since 1881 Mr. Friend has been married to Ruth (Graham) Pelham, a daughter of John D. Graham.

At the opening of the great Civil War Mr. Friend joined Company D, Seventy-third East Missouri Militia, which operated in Missouri and Arkansas until May 20, 1863, when he became a member of Company D, Sixteenth Missouri Cavalry, with which he served until the close of the war, in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and the Indian Territory, during which time he participated in many skirmishes. He received his discharge at Springfield in July, 1865, after which he returned home and followed farming and carpentering for a livelihood for some time. He is a Republican in politics, a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and in his religious belief is a General Baptist.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top