"Thomas Garland Old, blacksmith, is the son of S. M. and Elizabeth (Nichols) Old. His parents were Kentuckians, who emigrated to Boone county Missouri, where the subject of this sketch was born, February 6, 1844. The elder Old was a farmer, and the son was reared on a farm and worked at that business himself. Commenced working at the blacksmith’s trade six or seven years ago. Settled at Claysville in November, 1881. Was married May 18, 1876, to Virginia, daughter of George Mack Hickam, of Boone county. They have two children, Hezekiah and Luvestie. Mrs. Old’s father was born and raised in Boone county. Her mother came from North Carolina."
"William D. Oliver was born in Casey county, Kentucky, January 16, 1836. His parents, Isaac and Mary (Downey) Oliver, were natives of North Carolina, who first emigrated to Kentucky, where the subject of this sketch was born, and then in 1838, to Boone county, Missouri, settling nine miles northwest of Columbia, where the elder Oliver died, August 16, 1871. The subject of this sketch was educated at the common schools of the neighborhood. He was brought up on the farm, and has followed agricultural pursuits, the stone mason’s trade, and teaching ever since attaining his majority. Farming has been his principal occupation. He has traveled as an adventurer and a soldier, over most of the States of the Union. He was married, July 17, 1871, to a daughter of Aaron and Margaret Pierce. They have three children, Mary Margaret, William Isaac, and James Aaron. Mr. Oliver and his wife are both members of the Christian church. Mr. Oliver served during the last year of the war under Gen. Sherman. Mrs. Oliver was a widow previous to their marriage. Her first husband was Benjamin Berry. There were two sons by this marriage, Walter W. and Benjamin L."
"James O’Meara was born in Ireland, May 17, 1837. His parents, Patrick and Catherine (Howe) O’Meara, emigrated to Canada in 1845, bringing the subject of this sketch with them. They died soon after settling in their new home, and in 1856, James O’Meara came to Missouri, where he engaged in boot and shoemaking, having learned this trade in Canada. In 1877 he came to Centralia and established a shop, where he has remained ever since. He is a well-read, intelligent, thoughtful man; independent in his views and candid in expressing them. He was married to Miss Lizzie Carry, who died May 10, 1882."
"Benj. H. Orear was born in Boone county, Missouri, September 18, 1846. He is the son of Joseph B. Orear, a native of Kentucky. He was reared on the farm and educated at the common schools of the country. Was in the Confederate army under Gen. Price during the last year of the war. He married Fannie E. Searcy, widow of the late Thomas B. Searcy, who was a son of Lemuel B. Searcy, a prominent and influential citizen of Boone county. Thomas was born in Boone county, December 27, 1838; he was educated at the common schools, completing his studies at Lathrop and Rocheport academies, under the instruction of his brother, Prof. Newton Searcy; he entered the Confederate army and remained in the service until the close of the war, in 1865. He married Miss Annie E., daughter, of William D. Bullard. The following children were born to him: Ethel B., Stella, Edna, Earl, Lemuel B., and Nellie T. Mr. Searcy was the choice of Boone county for assessor and was twice elected to that office. He was assessor at the time of his death; he was a member of the Masonic order and took a lively interest in the grange, of which order he was an active member. He died April 3, 1877, and was buried in the Rocky Fork cemetery. Thus passed away, in the vigor and prime of life, one of the most popular and influential young men of Boone county."
"James Carson Orr, the present county collector of Boone county was born in Washington county, Virginia, September 8, 1824. At the age of eight years he went with his father’s family to Sullivan county, Tennessee, where he resided until he was about 20 years of age (or in 1844), when he came to Boone county, settling at Rocheport. Here he engaged in merchandising for some years. In the winter of 1858-9 he removed to Columbia, which has been his home ever since. When he first came to Columbia he was deputy sheriff under John M. Samuel. During the civil war Mr. Orr took no active part. His sympathies, however, were with the Southern people, and he was placed under bonds by the Federal authorities for his ‘good behavior.’ "In 1866 Mr. Orr was elected sheriff and collector of the county, which position he held for six years, or until 1873. In 1876 he was again elected sheriff and served one term of two years. In 1880 he was elected county collector. The frequent elevation and reelection of Mr. Orr to positions of trust and responsibility proves the estimation in which he is held by his fellow-citizens who know him best. "November 2, 1848, Mr. Orr married Mary Thornton, a native of Kentucky. They have four children, one son, John, a clerk and bookkeeper, and three daughters, viz.: Cornelia J., now Mrs. Charles A. Miller; Ida, wife of N. B. Elkins, both of Columbia; and Minnie, single. Mr. and Mrs. Orr are members of the M.E. Church South. Mr. Orr is a prominent Mason, having taken all the degrees of the order up to and including the Knight Templars. He is generalissimo of the commandery at present, and has twice been master of the lodge. He is also a Knight of Pythias and a Good Templar. "The father of the subject hereof was John Orr, a native of Pennsylvania, and a soldier in the war of 1812. His father was a native of Ireland, and his mother was born in ‘bonnie Scotland.’"
"David Ott, Sr., father of the subject of this sketch, was a native of Virginia. He emigrated first to Kentucky and then to Missouri, landing in Boone county in 1826. He first settled about six miles southwest of Columbia, where he remained two years. He then moved to Perche bottom, where he remained until 1844, when he removed to a place northeast of Columbia, remaining there two years, thence to a farm below Burlington, where he lived until his death, March 17, 1857, aged sixty-three. He was a wheelright by trade. The subject of this sketch was born May 13, 1830. His mother’s maiden name was Susannah Perkins. She was a native of Virginia, moving first to Kentucky and then to Missouri. She was married to David Ott in Rock Castle county, Kentucky. David Ott, Jr., lived in Boone county until 1859, when he removed to Carroll county, Missouri, where he resided until 1862, when he moved to Linn county, where in 1870, he was ordained a minister of the Baptist church, and was engaged in the ministry until he came to Burlington. Went to Texas in 1877, where his first wife died in 1878. Was in Texas about a year and a half. Returned to Carroll county and engaged in the ministry for a while as a missionary, then returned to Boone. While in Carroll county was pastor of Coloma and Bethlehem churches and supplied the church at DeWitt. After returning to Boone he preached for the Burlington church for one year. Was first married September 21, 1853, to Miss Matilda A., daughter of William and Mary Risk, natives of Kentucky. Have five living children by the first wife: Nathan B.; A.L.; J.B.; M.F.; and John P. The first four named are living in Carroll, the last mentioned is with his father. Mr. Ott was in the Union army about twelve months, being a member of Company C, Forty-third regiment, Missouri Volunteers. He was for a while a lieutenant in the ‘Bobtail Militia’ of Carroll county. He is a Mason and a Granger. Was a constable and a justice of the peace while a citizen of Carroll county. He is of German origin."
(see Bio. of B.H. Orear)