Albert Dunning. The oldest pioneer in Fairview township and probably the oldest settler in the
southern part of Henry County is Albert Dunning, one of the largest land owners in Henry County,
who began his career as a plain farmer after his war service ended, with just three dollars in
money. He made his first purchase of land in 1883 when he bought one hundred twenty acres.
Mr. Dunning formerly owned 2,100 acres of rich farm land but has been giving land to his
children until his ownership now claims but 1,700 acres. Almost in the exact center of his large
tract (the home place) he erected a splendid country home of imposing appearance to which he
added two rooms in 1893 and again remodeled in 1916. Mr. Dunning leases some of his land,
but the greater part of it is cultivated by his sons. Albert Dunning was born in Trigg County,
Kentucky, January 15, 1838, and is the son of Shadrach and Ada (Morris) Dunning, the former of
whom was a native of Kentucky and the latter of Virginia. Shadrach and Ada Dunning were
married in Kentucky and made their home in the Blue Grass State until 1840, when they left
Kentucky and moved to Missouri. Leaving his family at Springfield, Greene County, Missouri,
Shadrach Dunning came to Henry County, entered land and then returned for his family, who
came here the following year. He died at his home in this county at the age of fifty years. The
following children were born to Shadrach and Ada Dunning: Freeman, deceased; Mrs. Martha
Glass and Mrs. Eliza Nichols, deceased; Mrs. Malinda Arnold, aged eighty-eight years, lives in
Texas; Mrs. Amanda Reed, aged eighty-six years, lives in North Dakota; John Henry, aged
eighty-four years, lives near Carthage, Missouri; Albert, subject of this review; Mrs. Sarah
Elizabeth McFarland, lives at Porterville, California, aged seventy-six years. The original Dunning
home was located in Fairview township, just four miles east of Albert Dunning's home place.
Shadrach Dunning built a double log cabin, southern style, with two rooms below divided by a
passage way, and a sleeping loft above. A big fireplace at the end of each room cheered and
comforted the family in the winter time. Shadrach Dunning brought his slaves with him from
Kentucky, and one old darkey, "Uncle Ben," was especially favored each Christmas. It was a
custom in the family to give the old darkey a holiday as long as the Christmas back log would
burn. The old fellow would range the timber and cut the biggest and toughest log he could
possibly handle and would be resting easy for days as a consequence of the log burning for a
long time. Deer were plentiful in those faraway days and fish swarmed in the streams. When a
boy Albert Dunning had no difficulty in catching one hundred pounds of fish in a day's fishing with
hook and line. He has shot deer and wolves without number and frequently caught young wolves
and deer and trained them. He recalls that a panther was killed down on the Osage after the brute
had terrorized the neighborhood for days. Indians were numerous and they frequently came to
the Dunning home on begging expeditions but gave little trouble to the white folks. When the
Southern States rebelled against the Federal Government Albert Dunning enlisted in the Southern
Army and fought for the cause which he believed with all of his soul to be just and right. He
enlisted in 1861 in Company K, 16th Regiment Missouri Infantry and fought at the battles of
Lone Jack, Carthage, Oak Hill, near Springfield, Missouri, where he was dismounted. He served
in General Price's army and was in the engagements of Cane Hill, Arkansas, and took part in the
defeat of General Banks on the Red River. His service extended in all parts of the Southern
States and he was severely wounded in the upper left cheek by a shell at the battle of Helena,
Arkansas. He was laid up in a hospital for several weeks and during the period of his illness
Uncle Joe Davis came to the camp and took him home, where he could get better treatment.
After the close of the war he came to St. Louis and thence home by railroad to Sedalia,
Missouri, walking to his home in Henry County from that city, almost destitute and with exactly
three dollars in his pockets. After returning from the war Mr. Dunning lived on the home place of
the family until he began for himself. He saved his first money by buying calves, growing them
and selling them for good money. In this way he managed to save enough to buy a piece of land.
Since his first purchase he has continued to buy land and more land and has always been an
extensive feeder of live stock. Mr. Dunning was married October 10, 1880, to Miss Ellen Ann
Fudge, who was born July 22, 1863, in Illinois, the daughter of Adam and Martha Fudge, who
came to Henry County not many years after the close of the Civil War. The children born to
Albert and Ellen Ann Dunning are as follows: Mrs. Martha Strickland, Fairview township, has two
children, Albert, aged thirteen years, and Donald, aged five years; John, Fairview township;
Albert, a farmer in Fairview township; Shadrach, at home with his father; Lillian, a high school
teacher at Arcola, Missouri, who was educated in the Warrensburg Normal School; Robert L.,
Earl and Archie, eleven years, all at home. Robert L. was born January 26, 1895, and is now a
private in the National Army, drafted July 22, 1918. This section of the State was called Rives
County during the younger days of Albert Dunning, and it was very thinly settled. Cattle had free
range and few people had any idea that the land would ever be valuable and that the country
would become so thickly settled. Between the Dunning home and Clinton the only house was one
built by Colonel Tutt, a noted old pioneer. Albert Dunning has seen this entire section of Missouri
settled up and where once the deer, wild turkey and other wild game ranged at will there are now
fertile farms and prosperous cities and towns. On the State line of Kansas and Missouri there
were herds of buffalo and elk, and each season some of the settlers would journey to Kansas
and kill a winter's supply of meat. Albert Dunning is a Democrat and is a member of the Pleasant
Valley Baptist Church. Kindly disposed, at peace with the world and satisfied with his
accomplishments as a pioneer of Henry County and the great state of Missouri he is spending
his declining years in comfort and east with the knowledge that his work on this earth is done.
The verdict of the Recording Angel will undoubtedly be: "Well done, thou good and faithful

Source: 1919 History of Henry Co MO, Uel W. Lamkin, Historical Publishing Co pg 368

Albert Dunning, farmer and stock dealer, owes his nativity to Trego County, Kentucky, where he
was born January 13, 1838. His father, S. Dunning, and also his mother, whose maiden name
was Ada Morris, were Virginians by birth. Albert moved with his parents to Missouri in 1839 and
located in Henry County, being among the early pioneers here. He spent his youth on the farm
and grew to manhood in the county, coming to his present location in 1874. He has 560 acres of
land; with 520 under fence and in cultivation and pasture. He is quite extensively engaged in
handling and feeding cattle and hogs, and the past season fed two car loads of steers and
eighty-five head of stock cattle. Mr. Dunning was married in this county October 10, 1881, to
Miss Ella M. Fudge, a native of Coles County, Illinois, and a daughter of Adam T. Fudge. There
is one child by this marriage, Martha Belle, who was born March 17, 1882. Mr. D. is a member
of the Browington Missionary Baptist Church. He served four years in the Confederate army
during the war, having enlisted in the fall of 1861 in Colonel Lewis' Sixteenth Missouri Infantry.
He participated in the fights of Carthage, Springfield, Lone Jack and Helena (Arkansas), where
he received a wound in the cheek, and several other engagements.

Source: 1883 History of Henry and St. Clair Counties Missouri , National Historical Co., pg: 757