Elmer, Missouri - Early History
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John Jefferson Helton
(Reprinted form the History of Macon County, 1910)
Sixty-one years ago, that is, in 1848, this prosperous farmer and stockman and excellent citizen of Walnut township, was born in the state of Kentucky, where his ancestors were pioneers and among the men and women of mold and hardihood who redeemed the wild domain of that great commonwealth from its long subjection to barbarous force and predatory beasts of prey and laid the solid foundations of its present greatness and power. He came to Missouri in 1868 and located in Macon county in 1870. Here he has ever since lived and flourished, taking his place and doing well his part in the productive activities of this region, and adding to the reputation and high standard of its citizenship by the excellence of his own.
Mr. Helton is a son of William and Elizabeth (Ingle) Helton, both born and reared in Kentucky, and married there in 1836. The father was a farmer and blacksmith, and in arduous labor at both occupations managed to provide comfortably for his family of twelve children, all but one of whom the parents reared to maturity. All of these are still living, and in various localities and pursuits are multiplying the blessings of industry and thrift and exemplifying in their daily lives the lessons given them by precept and example at the family hearthstone. The children living are: George; Mary, the wife of Louis Baker, of Kentucky; Aberry; John J., to whom these paragraphs are specially devoted ; Jacob ; Jesse ; Parks ; Joseph ;Rachel, the wife of Seth Thomas of Kentucky; William, and Melinda, now Mrs. Thomas, who also lives in Kentucky. The father died in 1862 and the mother in 1899.
Their son, John J. Helton, grew to manhood in his native state and obtained his education in its public schools. On leaving school he entered the line of productive industry, to which he has ever since adhered and in which he is still engaged. He became a farmer and stock-breeder, carrying on his operations with increasing magnitude and prosperity as the years passed and his resources expanded. until now he owns over 400 acres of excellent farming and grazing land, and raises every year large numbers of cattle and other livestock. His specialty in cattle for some years has been shorthorns of good degree, and in handling them he has made money and won a high and widespread reputation as a successful and reliable breeder.
Mr. Helton has pushed his own affairs with enterprise and vigor and his efforts have brought him large returns. He has also taken an active and serviceable interest in the affairs of the township and county of his residence, and they, also, have responded to his efforts, combined with those of other leading citizens, in greatly increased progress and development and an elevated standard of living, physical, intellectual and moral, for the aggressive and enterprising people who live in them. Mr. Helton is a stockholder in the Elmer Creamery Company and owns extensive tracts of land outside of the state of Missouri.
He has always declined all overtures made to him to become a candidate for political office, but he has never wavered in his loyalty to the Democratic party or withheld his utmost service in behalf of its welfare. The only political, or semi-political, position he has ever consented to take is that of membership on the local school board, and this he has filled for a number of years as a means of promoting the interests of the community in the proper guidance and government of one of its most cherished institutions, the system of public education. He belongs to the Order of Odd Fellows and the Christian church, and his membership in them is no formal matter. He is a firm believer in their teachings and earnestly devoted to their highest and best development,
and he gives his time, energy and material assistance in every desirable way to bring about that development and the increased usefulness that it involves.
In 1872 Mr. Helton was united in marriage with Miss Georgiana Windle, a native of this county. They have four children: Addie Belle, the wife of Manfred D. Lynch, of Ethel ; Effie May, the wife of Charles Bailey, of Elmer; Myrtle T., the wife of Robert Sanders, who lives in the state of Kansas ; and Guy Roy, who is still a member of the parental household. Mr. and Mrs. Helton are known all over the township and in many other localities, and wherever they have acquaintances they are held in the highest esteem. They stand well in the social life of their own community and are warmly welcomed in the best social circles of others whenever they enter them. In all the relations of life they meet the full requirements of their responsibilities, giving both example and stimulus to others and exemplifying in a gratifying way the lofty attributes of the best American citizenship.