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Elmer, Missouri - Early History
John W. Waddil
(Reprinted from The History of Macon County, 1910)
Enterprising in many lines of business and successful in all, making every facility he possessed and every day of his time tell to his advantage, John W. Waddill, of Elmer, was a worthy representative of the progressiveness and business capacity of the people of Macon county. And as he gave to the welfare of the township and county of his home the same careful attention and to the promotion of their interests the same energetic and resourceful activity that he devoted to his own affairs, in contributing so essentially to the growth and development of his community he won the high regard of its people as a representative, also, of their public spirit, breadth of view and elevation of tone in reference to local public affairs and the general advancement of this portion of the state. In this behalf he was active himself and was very serviceable in the activities his influence and example awakened and directed iu many other members of the commuunity.
Mr. Waddill was a native of Tennessee, where he was born in 1854. His father, Thomas G. Waddill, was also a native of that state and one of its enterprising farmers until 1857, when he moved to Missouri and took up his residence in Macon county. Here he renewed his farming operations and continued them until his death, which occurred in 1899. He was married to Miss Mary Hanley, who was also born and reared in Tennessee. Of the nine children born to them, six are living: Mary, the wife of Henry Nelson; Samuel; George D.; James; Richard and Sylvester. The mother died in 1897.
John W. Waddill was bred to farming and followed it all his life. He grew to manhood on the parental homestead and took his first lessons in the principal pursuit that engaged his powers in helping to perform its useful and necessary labors. When he could be spared from these he attended the district school in the neighborhood and thus acquired all he had opportunity for in the way of academic instruction. When he left school he continued to assist his parents on the farm until the lime came for him to assume the burden of life for himself, and he then started on his own account the farming industry which ever occupied him and gave him consequence as a man of substance, and enabled him to win an exalted place in public esteem as a good farmer and an excellent citizen. He owned and farmed 120 acres of land and carried on, in connection with his general farming, an extensiv business in raising stock for the markets. He was also proprietor of the Hotel Elmer in the town of that name, and in other ways was connected with the business and social life of the community.
During the last five years of his life Mr. Waddill was one of the leading members of the school board. In this position he rendered the town unquestioned service of a high order and enduring value. The schools have felt the influence of his vigorous and progressive spirit and have nobly responded to it in increased efficiency and practical usefulness. He was a Republican in politics and one of the earnest and fruitful workers of his party. In fraternal life he was connected with the Woodmen of the World, and that order, too, has had the benefit of his enterprise in action and his wisdom in counsel. In 1875 he was united in marriage with Miss Elva E. Craig, a native of Iowa. They had two children, but now have only one living, their daughter, Mary E., who is the wife of Thomas Banning, of Elmer. Mr. Waddill died February 15, 1910.