Biography of Joseph L. Weaver

JOSEPH L. WEAVER. Joseph L. Weaver is possessed of those advanced ideas and progressive principles regarding agricultural life which seem to be among the chief characteristics of the average native Tennessean. He was born in Marshall County, of that State, on the 20th of November, 1828, to the marriage of John and Barbara (Richards) Weaver, natives, respectively, of North Carolina and Georgia.

The parents celebrated their union in the latter State, but subsequently moved to Tennessee, where they settled in Marshall County, remaining there until 1840. They then came by ox team to Missouri, starting the 19th of November, 1840, and reaching Springfield January 8, 1841, and located on a small farm near Ozark. There the father improved a good farm and became well known from the Missouri to the Arkansas Rivers. He was a great stock trader and breeder of fine horses. At one time, while in Memphis with a fine drove of steers, the butcher who purchased them had them decorated with ribbons, etc., and marched them through the streets headed by a brass band in order to exhibit them. Mr. Weaver was a breeder of race horses, fitted them for the track, and was known throughout southwest Missouri and Arkansas as “Jockey John Weaver.” He was a man of positive character and was well liked by all. He died in Memphis, Tennessee, March 4, 1854, while there with cattle. He was one of three sons and two daughters, as follows: Benjamin, who died shortly after the Civil War, was a corporal in the War of 1812 with Jackson, and was in the battle of Horse Shoe Bend (he was also in the Indian wars and at New Orleans); Hon. Joseph, who died at Springfield, was a prominent farmer and once represented Greene County in the Legislature (this was prior to the war); Polly, now deceased, was the wife of Durham Collins; and Jane, now deceased, was the wife of James Boone.

The father of these children, John Weaver, was a native of Loraine, France, and came to America as a soldier with Lafayette. He remained in this country and made his home in North Carolina, where he married Miss Martha Sherrod, who belonged to the English nobility. Her father, Col. Sherrod, opposed the marriage on account of the mediocrity of the Weaver family. This worthy couple lived happily together until the death of Mr. Weaver, when his widow emigrated to Tennessee. This was about 1805, and the State was but sparsely settled. There she spent the remainder of her life rearing her family. She was a woman of noble mind, firm and dignified, possessing the characteristics of her noble father, who was a British soldier in the Revolutionary War. The mother of our subject died in 1848, and Mr. Weaver selected his second wife in the person of Mrs. Permelia Clark, by whom he had two children: James D., of Springfield, and one who died in infancy. Our subject’s maternal grandfather, William Richards, was born in the Old North State, but removed to Georgia, where the remainder of his days were passed. He was a farmer and miller. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. His wife died in Louisiana. They reared a large family of children-eight or ten daughters and two sons, but only Mrs. Weaver came to Missouri. Our subject was the youngest of two sons and three daughters, as follows: Martha S. was the wife of James Vaughan, and died in Texas; John R. is a prominent farmer of this county; Angeline, wife of Hon. W. A. Lawing; and Susan, widow of Allen Fielding.

Joseph L. Weaver passed his days on the farm where he now resides, two and a half miles northwest of Ozark, from the age of twelve years, and secured a common-school education. When sixteen years of age he began working in the tannery with his brother and there he continued for about seven years. After this he was engaged in the boot and shoe business and in the manufacture of harness, as well as the milling business, until thirty years of age, when he married Miss Sarah Garrison, a native of Lee County, Virginia, and the daughter of William and Mary Garrison, who came from Virginia to Missouri in 1852, and located near Ozark. There the parents died about 1876. Both were Primitive Baptists in their religious views. Mr. Garrison followed farming all his life, and in his political views was a Whig before the war. Of the ten children born to his marriage only two are now living. One son, Daniel, served in the Union Army from Virginia.

To our subject and wife have been born eight children, viz.: Martha died young; Addie P. died young; Mary is the wife of John Bingham, of Christian County; Emma married Thomas Breazale, of Berry County; Laura married Loyal Estes, of this county; Sarah A. is single; John J. and Barbara. Our subject is now living on the farm where his father located in 1841, and at one time owned 800 acres. He gave his children all good homes and now has 400 acres of well-improved and valuable land. He devoted his time principally to grain growing. During the Civil War he was a Union man and served in the Missouri State Militia. Previous to the war he was a Whig, but since then he has been an unswerving Democrat in his political views. He is no politician or office-seeker. He and wife and four eldest children are members of the Christian Church, and are well respected throughout the community.


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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