"Alexander Robinson Nichols was born in Missouri township, on the Rocky Fork, a tributary of the Perche, May 25, 1833. When quite young he removed with his parents to a farm in the vicinity of Columbia, where his father died. When ten years old, his mother removed with her family to Buchanan county, Missouri where they lived and cultivated a farm until 1856. He began to do for himself when fifteen years old, but contributed liberally of his earnings toward the support of his widowed mother and such members of the family as were too young to provide for their own wants. His mother was ever an object of earnest and tender solicitude up to the day of her death in 1874. From 1856 to 1860 he worked at farming in various places. He finally settled upon the farm he now occupies. Mr. Nichols was married April 12, 1860, to Miss Angeline, daughter of Winston Via, who came to Boone county in 1832, and bought and improved the farm upon which the subject of this sketch now resides, known as the old Winston Via place. They have but one child, Annie, who is still at home with her parents. Mr. Nichols is one of the most substantial farmers in his section of the country. All the affairs of life seem tending towards his prosperity and happiness, and justly, for his has been a busy, enterprising and exemplary life."
"E. J. Nichols, farmer and stocktrader, was born in Barren county, Kentucky, April 29, 1825. He came to Boone county, Missouri, with his parents, arriving at their destination in the month of December, 1829. They settled five miles northwest of Columbia on a small tributary of the Perche, called the Rocky Fork, where the subject of this sketch grew to manhood. The little education he received was obtained at subscription schools which were attended at long intervals. The elder Nichols being a carpenter, Elvin was brought up to that trade, and assisted his father in the shop when not working on the farm. He remained with his parents until he attained his majority, when he began to work for himself. March 25, 1845, he was married to Miss Polly Ann, daughter of James and Nancy Hawkins, pioneer settlers of Boone county. After his marriage, Mr. Nichols settled on the farm he now occupies, in the northern part of Missouri township, containing 450 acres. In 1850 he made an overland trip to California, where he remained one year working in the mines. He then took passage on a sail vessel for home. While off the coast of Lower California, the vessel was caught in a fierce western gale and was blown 1,500 miles to sea, prolonging the voyage sixty-seven days. There were 370 passengers, necessitating a short allowance of food and water for many days. The portion allowed to each individual finally dwindled to one pint of water and two crackers once in twenty-four hours. The tropical heat was severe and many sickened and died of fever ere they reached port. Arriving at Panama, he and several others attempted to walk to Chagres, but gave out on the way. They were compelled to purchase a mule ere they reached their destination. From Chagres he sailed for New Orleans in a steamer, arriving home in April, 1851. From 1860 to 1872, Mr. Nichols bought and shipped stock to eastern markets, his shipping points being Concordia, Columbia and Sturgeon. In 1873 he bought and fed a herd of cattle in Saline county, and in 1878 he handled over 200,000 pounds of pork which he sold in eastern markets. In 1864 he was drafted as a soldier in the Union army, but hired a substitute. During the same year he was arrested on a charge of giving aid and comfort to Bill Anderson’s guerrillas and was taken to Macon City and put in prison. He soon gave bail and was set at liberty. He has eight children. The oldest son, William Hite, is a Baptist minister, a graduate of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at Louisville, Kentucky; John J.; Nancy A., wife of Henry Naylor; George Martin, a medical student of the State University; Rhoanna, wife of Samuel Morris; Eddie E., Robert E.L. and Overton. Mr. Nichols and his wife and their children are members of the Baptist Church."
"Mr. Orson Nichols was born in Otsego, New York, July 24, 1837, and continued to reside there till he was 17 years old His father’s name was Warren C. Nichols, and he reared young Orson on a farm up to the age mentioned. "The subject of this sketch received his education in the public schools of his native county, and, in 1854, left there and came West to Will county, Illinois, where he remained till 1874. Until 1864 he was engaged in farming, but then embarked in a mercantile calling in Homer, Illinois, continuing till 1872. He then moved to Centralia, Boone county, Missouri, and merchandised there three years. Returning to Homer, he remained till 1877, when he came back to Centralia, and again began merchandising. At Homer, he was postmaster for eight years, and is at the present postmaster of Centralia, having been appointed by President Arthur in May, 1882. Mr. Nichols was married January 22d, 1859, to Miss Hannah L. Mason, of Will county, Illinois. Eight children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Nichols, six of whom are living at this writing: Frank O., Ida J., Cora A., Fred, Grace E., and Oliver E. Mr. Nichols enjoys the confidence and esteem of his neighbors, and gets his share of patronage in Centralia."
"J. W. Noe, farmer, was born in Fayette county, Kentucky, November 20, 1811. He is the son of George and Catharine (Smith) Noe. His father was a native of Kentucky. Mrs. Noe was a native of Virginia. The subject of this sketch grew to manhood in Kentucky. His grandfather built the first house ever erected in Fayette county. His parents lived to a very old age. Mr. Noe was married April 3, 1833, to Matilda S., daughter of Judge A.P. Howe, of Nicholas county, Kentucky. They have eleven children living, three of whom reside in California. The names of ten of the living are James, Anion, Mary, George, Oscar, Newton, Issachar, Nattie, Boas and Amanda. Julia, the first-born, is dead. Oscar is a physician and is now practicing his profession in Illinois. George graduated in law at the University of California, and is at present conducting a large school in that State. Mr. and Mrs. Noe are both members of the Christian church. Most of their children are also members of that church. Two of their sons are members of the order of United Workmen. Mr. Noe commenced business at an early age as a clerk in a store on the line of the Wabash and Erie canal, in Indiana. He also contracted to build four sections of the canal, and the work proved a financial success. This was in Green county. He also ran a store in connection with his other business. He is of French and English origin."
"The subject of this sketch is a native of Boone county, Missouri, born January 6, 1834. His father, William Norris, was born in Albermarle county, Virginia. George W. Norris was one of eight children, five sons and three daughters. The elder Norris died when George was but five years old, leaving the latter to work out his own destiny. Under the circumstances, his education was somewhat neglected. He was first married to Miss Amanda I. Short, daughter of Cornelius and Sallie Short, of Boone county. One child, Wilford A., was born of this marriage, and is now, at this writing, a student of the medical department of the Missouri State University. His first wife having died, in 1861, Mr. Norris has since married the second time, the last wife being Mrs. Sarah F. Watts, nee Rowland, and widow of Wm. Watts. There were four children by this marriage: Ora M., Mattie L., Henry J., and George William. The second and third named are dead. Mr. Norris has resided since 1859 on a fine farm of 160 acres, situated in the vicinity of Bethlehem Baptist church, of which organization he and his family are members. During the late civil war Mr. Norris was a member of Company I, Second Missouri infantry, Confederate army. He was with Pemberton at Vicksburg, in 1863, and was taken prisoner. Since the war he has been an active farmer, and has taken much interest in educational matters, especially in matters pertaining to the common schools, his own district school in particular."