Biography of William Hembree

WILLIAM HEMBREE. This well-known business man and successful farmer of James Township, Stone County, Missouri, is a product of the Hoosier State, born in Dubois County, March 9, 1836, to the union of John and Maggie Hembree.

The father was born in Knox County, Tennessee, and when a young man went to Indiana, was married in Dubois County, and when our subject was six or ten years of age the family came by horse and ox teams to what is now Taney County, Missouri, locating on Bull Creek, where Mr. Hembree improved a farm. Later he moved to White River in Stone County, and still later, farther up White River, where he made his home until the war broke out. He then removed to a point near Buffalo, in Dallas County, and resided there until peace was declared, when he returned to Stone County, locating just below Galena, where he died soon after. He was a lifelong and successful farmer, and was one of the pioneers of the upper White River country. He was a militiaman during the war, a man whose upright, honorable career commended him to all. His father, Drew Hembree, also came to Taney County and there died when our subject was a boy. He was probably born in Tennessee and was a farmer by occupation. The mother of our subject died in Dallas County during the war. Previous to her marriage to Mr. Hembree, she had married a Mr. Butler, by whom she had three children; John, David and James. Her second union resulted in the birth of seven children as follows: Simeon, who went to California at an early day, of whom nothing further is known; Susannah, who died when young; Richard, died during the war; William, our subject; Rachel, widow of Benjamin Pinkley who died in Stone County, resides in that county; Lewis, died in Colorado, and Benjamin is now living in Dallas County.

After having been reared to the arduous duties of the farm and receiving his education in the common schools, our subject, at the age of eighteen, branched out to fight life’s battles for himself. He was married at about that age to Miss Seat, who died in Stone County before the war, leaving two children, Simeon and Mary, both now deceased. Mr. Hembree selected his second wife in the person of Miss Nancy Ann Jones, daughter of Carr Jones, and their marriage took place before the war. Mr. Carr Jones came from Clay County, Indiana, and settled in what is now Stone County at an early day. He was a farmer. Mrs. Hembree was born in Indiana, and by her union to Mr. Hembree became the mother of eleven children: Margaret Jane, the wife of William Huddleston, is now deceased; William Allen; Cynthia Ann, deceased; Mary, wife of William Little of Stone County; Laura Belle; Nancy A., deceased; John, deceased; Hezekiah, deceased; Ada, deceased; Rosa, who is living.

On August 26, 1862, Mr. Hembree enlisted in Company G, First Arkansas Cavalry, operating in northwest Arkansas, and fought at Newtonia, Fayetteville, Springfield, and was in many skirmishes until September, 1865, when he was discharged at Van Buren, Arkansas He then returned to his family in Dallas County, Missouri, and about two years later came to White River, where he improved a farm and lived for a number of years. After this he lived on Indian Creek for a few years and, about 1890, he came to his present farm of 196 acres, one mile from the river. For three years he has also been engaged in general merchandising and is a wide-awake, thorough-going business man. He is a member of Galena Post No. 223, G. A. R. He suffered many hardships during the war and is a pensioner. His family was harrased and driven almost to desperation, while living in Stone County, previous to Mr. Hembree’s enlistment, and fled for safety to Dallas County.


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.

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