Biography of Daniel W. Feemster

DANIEL W. FEEMSTER. An active and progressive system in any profession or line of business, when based upon principles of honor, is sure to bring success, and an illustration of prominence gained through these means is seen in the record of Daniel W. Feemster, who is the proprietor of an excellent mercantile establishment and a dealer in produce at Noble, Missouri. He was born in Lowndes County, Miss., in 1853.

His parents, Rev. Zenus E. and Margaret (Maloy) Feemster, were born in South Carolina in 1813 and Alabama in 1817, respectively. The former was taken to Mississippi by his parents in his youth, and until 1869 was a resident of Lowndes County, after which he came to Ozark County, Missouri, locating at the head of Turkey Creek where the rest of his life was spent. He was Independent Presbyterian minister for many years in Mississippi, but after locating in Missouri was a minister of the Congregational Church until his death. He was a man of varied and extended information, was strictly self-made, and although he never attended school over three months in his life he was an excellent Greek scholar. He was a great reader and student all his life and had a fine library of choice books. Owing to the fact that he was always a man of delicate health, he was not subject to military duty during the Civil War, and during the struggle between the North and South he resided in the North. His father, William Feemster, was a planter by occupation, and he and his wife spent their declining days in Lowndes County, Missouri. They reared a large family of children, and their eldest son, Rev. Silas Feemster, was a graduate of Tuscom College, Greene County, Tennessee, and a fine scholar. He followed teaching and preaching in Lowndes County for over thirty years, and wielded a greater influence in the educational and religious circles of that section than any other man in the county, and his death was felt as a great loss through out the State. Daniel Maloy, the maternal grandfather, was probably born in Ireland, but many years of his life were spent in Alabama, where he was engaged in teaching and planting, and where he and his wife passed from life. The mother of the subject of this sketch is residing on the old farm in Ozark County, and she has long been known as a prominent and active worker for the cause of Christianity. The following are the children she bore her husband: Mary D., who died during the war; Samuel B. and Martha L. (twins), the former a resident of this county and the latter the wife of William McGee, of the Indian Territory; Tersa J., wife of Samuel Smith, of Ozark County; Sarah M., wife of Francis M. Jordan, of Alabama; Margaret, who became the wife of Theo. Copehart and is deceased; Frances H., wife of Dr. Thomas Feemster, of Kansas; Daniel W., and Zenus J. J., who resides on the old home farm. The eldest son of the family was a member of Company G, Eighth Illinois Infantry, and was with the Army of the Cumberland throughout the war.

Daniel W. Feemster first attended the common schools, after which he finished his education at Tuscom College after the war. He began tilling the soil for himself at the age of twenty, and in 1873 was married to Barbara, daughter of Dougal D. and Mary Matthews, natives of the Old North State but early residents of Tennessee, where the father died. After this event, in 1871, the family came to Ozark County, Missouri, and here Mrs. Matthews was called from life. Mrs. Feemster was born in Hardin County, Tennessee, and is the mother of seven children: Maggie, Obe, Cecil, Cora, Dougal, Roy and Mabel.

Mr. Feemster has been a resident of Missouri ever since coming to the State, with the exception of the winter of 1879-80, when he resided in Kansas. He farmed exclusively until about four years since, and for the past two years has been successfully engaged in merchandising at Noble. He is the owner of a good farm of 200 acres, but was compelled to give up agricultural pursuits on account of ill health. He has always been a Republican in politics, has served some years as justice of the peace, and for eight years has been a notary public. He has always been remarkably public spirited and is a prominent, law-abiding and useful citizen and a successful man of business. In 1870 his father organized the Congregational Church at Noble, the first of that denomination in Ozark County, and of this church the subject of this sketch has long been a member. In 1889 he induced his cousin, Prof. Paul Feemster, of Kansas, who was formerly professor of languages in Tuscom College, Tennessee, to come here and organize a school. The founding of Noble Academy was the result of his efforts, and Prof. Feemster successfully managed it for two years, and made of it a first-class educational institution. It is a fine two-story frame building 40X44 feet, with an ” L” 18×20 feet, built by eight of the citizens of the section and under the auspices of the Congregational Church. Mr. Feemster is one of the trustees of this institution.


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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