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Below is a sample of a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri and published by Chapman Bros. in 1895.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details in a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

WILLIAM PENN LAMB became identified with the welfare of Johnson County in 1868, when he removed to the farm in township 46, range 25, which is now owned and carried on by his widow. This place comprises one hundred and thirty-three acres, mostly under cultivation, and nearly all of the improvements to be found thereon were inaugurated by Mr. Lamb. At the time of his purchase of the property it bore little resemblance to what it is at present, one of the best in this district. It is now nearly twenty years since he was called to his final rest, but his memory is still cherished by his old neighbors and former friends, of whom he had not a few.

Born on a farm near Carlinville, Ill., May 30, 1840, William P., of this sketch, was a son of William and Mary (Herrin) Lamb. The father was a native of Kentucky and went to Illinois with his father, settling in Macoupin County, where he became prominent and well-to-do. He married a daughter of the Prairie State, and together they spent happy and useful lives on a farm which Mr. Lamb had entered. They had five children, of whom our subject is the youngest. Mary, George and one unnamed died in infancy. John W., the eldest-born, married Mary Waters, of Madison County, Ill. His death occurred in 1891, and his wife's demise took place in this county.

When he was only three years of age, the father of William P. Lamb was called to the home beyond. The widow subsequently became the wife of a Mr. McGaffey, of the same county, and then young William went to live with his maternal uncle, George W. Herrin, who owns a farm in Madison County, Ill., and under whose roof he continued to dwell until reaching his majority. When the war broke out he enlisted in Company G, Twenty-second Illinois Infantry, in June, 1861, and fought for a portion of the time under the orders of General Grant, participating in the famous battles of Bull Run, Chickamauga and Stone River. In the last-named engagement he received a bullet wound in the shoulder, and was sent to the hospital at Camp Dennison, Ohio, where he remained for three months. Then, joining his company, he served until being mustered out near Cincinnati, his honorable discharge being dated July 16, 1864. He went back to his old home with his uncle, but remained there only a short time, however, when he returned to Ohio. There he found employment with a Mr. Ritter as a gardener on his farm twenty-five miles from Cincinnati. At the end of nine months he went back to Madison County, and for nearly a year worked on a farm.

March 1, 1866, Mr. Lamb and Louisa Horstman were united in marriage. She was born October 10, 1847, being a daughter of Francis and Catherine Horstman. The former, a native of Hanover, Germany, was born October 6, 1820, and his wife was also of German birth. They were married in the United States and located on a farm in St. Louis County, Mo. Reared in the faith of the Catholic Church, Mr. Horstman adhered to its teachings in his early manhood, but afterwards became a convert to the Methodist denomination and began preaching the Gospel. His ordination was celebrated at St. Charles, Mo., in the summer of 1844, and his earnest labors extended through several counties in this state and Illinois. His death occurred June 16, 1853, in Highland, Madison County, Ill. Mrs. Lamb was bereft of her mother's care by death when she was only two years of age, and was reared by Edward C. Dugger, of Highland, with whom she lived until her marriage. She was one of five children, three of whom, Catherine and two who did not live to receive a name, died in infancy. The eldest, Mary, now a resident of Holden, Mo., married Israel Fairchild, since deceased.

For two years after his marriage Mr. Lamb lived on a rented farm in Madison County, but in 1868 came direct to this township, having previously purchased a farm. To himself and wife were born four children, who all received good educations and are living at home with their mother. They are as follows: Rosa, born November 6, 1867; George, January 17, 1869; Elsie, October 30, 1870; and Ella, February 17, 1873. The latter is a successful teacher.

Politically Mr. Lamb was a Republican and discharged his duties as a citizen with fidelity. He was an attendant at the Methodist Episcopal Church of Warrensburg, of which Mrs. Lamb is a member.

This family biography is from Johnson County and is one of 478 biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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