Biography of Alfred J. Dunegan

ALFRED J. DUNEGAN. Of the many men who are engaged in tilling the soil in Ozark County, Missouri, none is more thrifty, honest and persevering than he whose name heads this sketch. He has followed the occupation of farming from his earliest boyhood, and as a result every detail of this line of human endeavor is familiar to him, and he may be said to be an honor to the calling. He was born in White County, Tennessee, in 1817, of which State his parents, Samuel and Sallie (Speers) Dunegan, were also natives, in which State they made their home until 1843, when they removed by wagon to Wayne County, when that section was wild and unsettled. Mrs. Dunegan died there shortly before the war, after which Mr. Dunegan came to Ozark County, and was here called from life about 1880. His father, Absalom Dunegan, is supposed to have been a North Carolinian, from which section he removed to Tennessee, dying in White County when Alfred J. was a small lad. He was by occupation a hammersmith, as was also his son Samuel, and the latter also followed the calling of a potter for some years. He was the father of eight children as follows: Alfred J.; Charley was a soldier with Sterling Price, and was killed at Santa Fe, N. M. during the Mexican War; Samuel is a farmer of Ozark County; Mary Ann is the widow of Lemuel Howard, and lives in this county; Sarah resides in Arkansas, and is the widow of William Risenhoover; Rachel is the wife of Jasper Risenhoover, and lives in Oregon County; and Sena is the wife of John Price of Ozark County.

Alfred J. Dunegan received but limited educational advantages in his youth and in 1847 joined Sterling Price’s regiment of Missouri troops, Company B, and marched across the plains to Mexico, being on the road for three months, and fought in the battle of Santa Cruz. After eighteen months’ service he returned home as he went, and received his discharge at Independence, Missouri In 1850 he was married in Wayne County, Missouri, to Miss Louanza Patrick, a native of the State of Missouri, who died in Wayne County just prior to the opening of the Civil War, having become the mother of four children: Washington, who died in Indian Territory; Sarah Ann, wife of Alfred Durham; John; and Ellen, wife of William Loftis.

In 1864 Jane Daniels, daughter of Henry and Harriet Daniels, became his wife. She was born in Tennessee, and she and Mr. Dunegan are the parents of four children: Thomas; Clarissa, wife of Samuel Lane; James; and Frank, deceased. Mr. Dunegan served a short time in the Confederate Army as a teamster, and two years after the close of the war came to Ozark County, and for some three years resided in the vicinity of Gainesville, and since that time on his present farm of 120 acres on Barren Fork, besides which valuable and well-improved property he owns 160 acres on Turkey Creek. All the property of which he is now possessed is the result of his own earnest and conscientious labor, and he has the unbounded satisfaction of knowing that in the acquirement of this property he has wronged no man. He is a member of Robert Burns Lodge No. 496, at Gainesville, of the A. F. & A. M., and politically he has always been a Democrat, and his first presidential vote was cast for James K. Polk in 1844.

His wife’s father and mother were born in North Carolina and Tennessee, respectively, and the former was left an orphan when quite young. In early manhood he went to Tennessee, and was married in Warren County, and there spent the rest of his life. His wife died February 8, 1863, after having borne him six children: Jane (Mrs. Daniels); Polly Ann, wife of Jackson Durham of Wayne County; Alfred who died in Wayne County after reaching manhood; James D. who was a soldier of the Confederate Army, and died in Ozark County; Absalom, of Wayne County, and Henry who was also a Confederate soldier and died in Ozark County. Woodson Daniels, father of Henry Daniels, was a North Carolinian by birth, and died in the State of his nativity many years ago, his wife, Polly Ann Daniels, dying there also. They had three children: Henry, William and Fannie.


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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