Biography of Drury Upshaw

DRURY UPSHAW (deceased). Among the early pioneers of Douglas County, Missouri, stands the name of Drury Upshaw, whose advent into this county dated from the year 1838. Earnestly and zealously he labored to subdue the wilderness and by persistent effort gathered around him many of the comforts and conveniences of life. He was a native of Tennessee and a son of Drury Upshaw, who was also a native of that State, and who passed his entire life there.

In his native State our subject was married to Miss Frankie Parnue, a native of North Carolina. In 1812 he served in the war, and as before stated, came to this county in 1838, and took up Government land. His death occurred in 1846 and his widow followed him to the grave in 1861, her death occurring in Crawford County. Mr. Upshaw was at one time a Whig, but later espoused the principles of the Republican party, with which he remained until his death. He became well known all over the county and passed his entire life in tilling the soil. To his marriage were born nine children, as follows: John S.; William, who died in 1849; Essel, died in 1876; Le Roy died in 1876; David died in 1849; Cynthia, deceased, was the wife of William Garnar; Polly was the wife of James Patten; Rebecca was the wife of James Wood, of Greene County, Missouri, and Martha, who is the wife of Jackson Wood, of Douglas County. The father and mother of this family were consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Their son, John S. Upshaw, was born in the State of Tennessee May 28, 1813, and there he received the principal part of his education. In the year 1833 he married Miss Jane Woods, a native of the same State and the daughter of Isaac Woods, who came to Greene County, Missouri, at an early date. After marriage Mr. Upshaw and wife located first in Greene County, Missouri, and cultivated the soil there until 1838 when they came to Douglas County. Two years later they settled on Fox Creek, where Mr. Upshaw still owns a farm and is half owner of a mill in company with his nephew, John Upshaw. His union with Miss Woods resulted in the birth of nine children, only one of whom lived to mature years. The others were Sarah, William, Oletha, Elizabeth, and five who died in infancy. Oletha grew to womanhood and married Zack Wells, but she is now deceased. Mr. Upshaw and wife are living at Upshaw and are well-known and representative citizens. Politically Mr. Upshaw supports the principles of the Republican party. During the war he was captain of Company C, Forty-sixth Regiment, Missouri Home Guards, and was in a number of battles. He and Mrs. Upshaw are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Upshaw is a self-made man and his principal occupation in life is farming and milling. The Upshaw family came to the State of Missouri in 1828 and to Douglas County in 1838, as before stated. They were the very best of citizens, being honest, industrious and progressive.

Essel Upshaw was born on the 29th of April, 1838, and received his education in Missouri. After reaching mature years he married Miss Gussie McKey, daughter of John McKey, and later located in Greene County, where he remained for some time, when he came to this county locating on Fox Creek. There he farmed until his death in 1878. His children, eight in number, were named as follows: William, who died when small; John,the miller at Upshaw; Drury, who died in 1848; Frankley, a farmer and a resident of Upshaw; Henry, a farmer of Webster County; Benjamin, who is also a resident of Webster County; Sequel, farming in Webster County, and Patsey also living in Webster County.

John Upshaw was born in Webster County, Missouri, eighteen miles east of Springfield, October, 1841, and was the second son born to Essel Upshaw. He assisted his father on the farm in early life, attended the schools of Webster County, and when twenty-one years of age branched out to make his own way in life. He married Miss Margaret Caldwell, daughter of James Caldwell, who came to Webster County, Missouri, from Illinois in an early day, and there passed the remainder of his days. Mr. and Mrs. Upshaw settled on a farm in Webster County, where they remained until 1871, when he came to Upshaw, settling on Fox Creek, where he followed the arduous duties of a farmer. In 1890 he and his uncle built the roller mill at that place and he now resides on a farm near the mill. Eight children were the fruits of his marriage: William, John S., Henry, Elizabeth, Evaline, Martha, Frank and Edward. His wife died in 1874 and his second union was with Miss Frances Woolton, who has borne him five children: Sarah, Victoria, Ida, Sheldy and Early. In politics Mr. Upshaw is a stanch Republican, and as a citizen and neighbor stands deservedly high.


Douglas County MO,

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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