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A Mini-Bio of

James Appleby

Son of John Appleby and Sarah Bell


Written by Erma Appleby

probably in early 1920's


      "James Appleby, oldest son of John Appleby and Sarah Bell Appleby, was born in Jackson County, Georgia, March 15, 1801.  The family moved to what is now Marshall County, Tennessee in 1807.  

    He was married to Cynthia Sheppard McMurry, February 2, 1826.  He moved to Missouri, reaching Springfield, Missouri, October 3, 1833, remaining in that vicinity for some months.  Later he moved to Walnut Grove where his daughter Cassandra was born, the first white child born in that town or township, October 21, 1924.  He moved back to Springfield for a short time, but April 12, 1836,  he settled in Polk County on Section 25, township 32, range 23, on the farm later owned by Lonnie Appleby.  James Appleby entered 250 acres, and remained there 16 years.  February 19, 1852 he moved to a farm on Sac River which he spent the remaining 17 years of his life.  (Section 20, township 32, range 23).  

He died February 21, 1869 and was buried on the Lonnie Appleby place, a mile and a half southeast of  Morrisville, Missouri.  His first wife is also buried here.  She died May 10, 1839.  He married a second time, April 9, 1840 to Nancy (Lane) Bond, a widow with two children.  By his first wife he had seven children, by his second, he had eight.

He was a pioneer farmer, a blacksmith and a justice of the peace.  The first session of the Polk County Court was held in his yard under a tree.   He was originally a Democrat, but became a Republican during the Civil War, he was a staunch Union man.  The first set of children remained Democrats and Southern sympathizers.  The second set were all Republicans and the oldest son, Robert, served in the Union Army.  James was strongly opposed to slavery.  He was originally an old school Presbyterian, but became a Cumberland Presbyterian.

  James was the grandson of William Appleby, the first member of the family to come to America (as far as is known) from Northern Ireland around 1735 and Nannie Megehin* Appleby, William's first wife."  by Erma.


Note of Erma Appleby:  "The above is taken from my father's, (Andrew Benjamin Appleby) family records and written by him."


(Appleby Heritage note:  (2001)  We know, now, that (Nannie Megehin) was actually Elizabeth McKeehan, (her father John McKeehan), though she may have had the nickname of Nannie.  The wrong surname probably originated as a phonetic error.


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page: 30 December 2001

revised:  02 March 2005