--- James H. Blackwell. The subject of this sketch was born in Macon County, Missouri, February 19, 1834,
being the third son and the fifth child of a family of eight children, of William and Elizabeth Blackwell. William
Blackwell was born in Madison County, Kentucky, January 13, 1797, and was married September 18, 1823,
to Miss Elizabeth Lynch, a native of Virginia, and daughter of Henry Lynch, a Revolutionary veteran. William
Blackwell immigrated to Missouri and settled in Boone County November 7, 1827, living there one year, when
he went to Howard, where he resided three years. In 1831, he removed to the territory of what is now Macon
County, then a portion of Randolph, where he. lived till his death, which occurred in July, 1882, in the
eighty-sixth year of his age. His widow still lives on the same farm, being eighty-four years of age. Mr.
Blackwell well remembers the time when the country in which he was born was almost a wilderness, when it
was too remote from the settlements to have what would now be termed the necessaries of life. When the
few inhabitants had to go from thirty to forty miles to mill, when they could not get shoes or boots, and in
consequence wore moccasins, and the men wore a great deal of dressed buckskin clothing, when nearly
every man laid. in his barrel of wild honey every fail from the woods, when deer, wildcats, catamounts,
wolves and panthers were plentiful. He worked with his father on the farm till twenty-one years of age,
receiving what education he could obtain in the common schools at odd times when he could be spared from
the farm. From early boyhood he had serious religious impressions made upon his mind, to a great extent
though the instrumentality of his mother, who was an earnest Methodist, and afterward by his father, who
become a faithful Cumberland Presbyterian, and when about thirteen years old, at an old fashioned camp
meeting, made a public profession of faith, and soon after joined the M. E. Church South, of which he has
lived an humble member ever since. In 1855, he started in the world for himself by teaching his first school,
near Lancaster, Schuyler County, in which he succeeded well. In 1856, he taught in Howard County, and in
1857, being ambitious for higher attainments in education, entered Central College at Fayette, remaining
during two sessions. In 1858, he taught school in Randolph County, and in 1859 and 1861, in Chariton
County. Although Mr. Blackwell had received an early Whig training, and cast his first vote for Millard Fillmore
for president, yet he had been taught that ours was a federal union, and steadfastly believed in the doctrine of
state sovereignty; hence, when the southern states began to secede he doubted not their constitutional right
to do so, but thought it bad policy, that it would result badly, and when the war broke out in 1861 he went with
his convictions of right, rather than those of policy, and entered the army as sergeant major of Bevier's
regiment, M. S. G., August 8, 1861. In February 1862. being severely afflicted with chronic ophthalmia, he left
the army for medical treatment, and came to the northern portion of Henry County, where he remained five
months, during which time he resolved to make Henry County his home, if he should ever get through the
war, where he had found such a rich, lime stone soil, so genial and healthful a climate, and last, but not least,
such a kind hearted people, such as the Walls, the Fewells, the Averys, the Wilsons, the Wylies and the
Garretts. In August, 1862, he assisted in raising a company of men, of which he was elected first lieutenant,
and was sworn into the Confederate service proper at Sutliff's Mill in Bates County, by Colonel J. V. Cockrell
August 14, 1862, and on the 16th commanded his company in the hard fought little battle of Lone Jack. Mr. B.
then retreated with the Confederate forces to Arkansas, where he remained till July, 1865, (after the
Confederate surrender) when he returned to his people in Macon County, broken down in health and in
fortune. In 1866 he again resumed his old profession as teacher in Howard County, and so continued,
receiving good wages, till October, 1867, when he returned to Henry. On the 17th of November he was
married to Miss Fannie Gilbert, daughter of Samuel D. Gilbert, who had been a prominent minister of the
Regular Baptist Church, and a granddaughter of Major William M. Wall. Mr. Blackwell has ever since his
marriage, followed farming and teaching at intervals. His marriage relation was of the happiest type, his wife
being a favorite of all, till in 1875 she became a victim to consumption, and died December 20, 1876, loved
and regretted by all. Mr. Blackwell remained a widower four years, and settled the farm he now occupies in
1878. December 16, 1880, he was again married to Miss Alice Owen. He is very strongly devoted to his
church, taking great interest in religion and good morals, and hates trickery and dishonesty. He is a member
of the Masonic fraternity, and of the Patrons of Husbandry, and in politics a Democrat. Though modest and
retiring, he sometimes takes the stump in advocacy of any doctrine he may espouse, and in 1880 canvassed
his county for the nominee of his party for representative, but was defeated.


Source: 1883 History of Henry Missouri , National Historical Co., pg: 630