Biography of Judge James P. Ince

JUDGE JAMES P. INCE. This gentleman is the associate judge of the Western District of Douglas County, Missouri, and no better man for the position could be found than he, for he is intelligent, well posted, imbued with the milk of human kindness, and has always shown the utmost impartiality in his decisions. The Judge has resided in Missouri since 1843, and has been a resident of Douglas County since 1862, taking up his abode in the vicinity of Rome. He was born in Overton County, Tennessee, March 28, 1828, a son of John and Elizabeth (Clark) Ince, the former of whom was born in Ireland and came to the United States in his youth, locating in South Carolina, where he lived for about five years. He then spent eight years in Overton County, Tennessee, after which he became a resident of Lawrence County, Arkansas, and there was called from life about 1833. After his death his widow returned to Tennessee, and in 1843 came to Missouri and settled in Greene County, about twenty miles south of Springfield, where she resided until 1863, when she moved to Pike County, and died in 1887. She was a native of the Old North State and a daughter of John Clark, who lived and died in that State, a farmer.

The subject of this sketch was one of eight children: Thomas, Jesse, Matthew, Levi, Harvey, Agnes, James, John. The Judge is supposed to be the only member of the family living. He was sixteen years old when he went to Greene County, Missouri, and he received no schooling save what could be obtained in the pioneer schools of this State. When twenty years of age he started out to do for himself, and for some time followed the occupation of farming in Berry County. He was married in 1849 to Miss Sarah, daughter of John and Catherine (David) Whittington, who came to Missouri in 1845 from Indiana. The father was a farmer, and in 1863 was killed by guerrillas. His wife died in Berry County in 1885, having borne ten children. Mrs. Ince was born in Indiana, and after her marriage with Mr. Ince they settled on a farm in Berry County, but five years later moved to Webster County, and about 1862 settled in Douglas County. The same year Mr. Ince enlisted in the Seventy-third Regiment of Missouri Militia, and served until the fall of 1863 as sergeant of Company B. He was in a number of engagements with the bush-whackers, and was at one time taken prisoner. After the war he resumed the peaceful pursuit of farming, and until 1888 resided on a farm on Little Beaver. He then spent some time on a farm near Roy, but in 1891 came to the farm on which he now lives, consisting of 120 acres, which he devoted to the usual farm products and to the raising of stock.

In 1863 he was elected to the office of judge of this district when it was a part of Taney County, was reelected in 1865 and again in 1890, and also in 1892. He has always taken a deep interest in the progress and development of the county, has been very public spirited, and has always voted the Republican ticket. He has been a member of the Baptist Church for forty years, and is a highly respected old citizen. By his first wife, who died in 1856, he became the father of six children: John, a farmer of Taney County; William, who died at the age of six years; Elizabeth is the widow of N. Adams; Julia is the wife of A. Morgan, of Greene County; Millard F. and Benjamin (deceased). The maiden name of his present wife was Matilda Jenkins, and she is also a member of the Baptist Church. The Judge is well known throughout southwest Missouri, for he is one of the representative men of the section, and his present honorable position in life has been gained through his own efforts, and he is deserving of great credit therefor.


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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