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Biography of Angus Clark Avery



--- Angus Clark Avery. One of the leading citizens of Henry County, and one who has attained a well merited prominence, is he whose name heads this sketch.
He was born in Henry County (then Rives), January 26, 1836, and with probably one or two exceptions, is the oldest man now living, born within the limits of the county. His father, Henry Avery, whose biography appears elsewhere, was born in Roane County, Tennessee. His mother's maiden name was Elizabeth Green, a native of White County, Tennessee. The Avery family are of English origin and the earliest known progenitor, Christopher Avery, emigrated from Great Britain and settled in Connecticut in early colonial days, and their descendants took an active part in the war for independence, no less than nine of that name being killed and five wounded at the battle of Fort Griswold, on Groton Heights, September 6, 1781. Four of this number were commissioned officers. Groton Monument, commemorating this conflict, stands on ground once a part of the Avery estate.
The maternal ancestry were also of English descent and settled in Virginia at an early day, and were related to General Nathaniel Green, of Revolutionary fame. John Green, the grandfather, moved to White County, Tennessee, and became a Baptist minister and died at an advanced age in 1850.
Angus C. Avery was reared on a farm and received his primary education in the schools of the neighborhood in which he lived. He then entered Union Hill Academy, White County, Tennessee, and after preparing himself for one year, became a student of Burritt College, Tennessee, where he remained two years. He then returned to Missouri and attended the State University at Columbia for one year but subsequently returned to Burritt College, where he was graduated July 3, 1858, and was honored by being appointed valedictorian of the class. The same year he entered the law department of Cumberland University, Tennessee, and was graduated in the spring of 1860, and admitted to the bar by Judge Caruthers of the supreme court. Returning to Clinton, he engaged in the practice of his profession until the courts were suspended in consequence of the war. He then turned his attention to the real estate business in which he has since been actively engaged, and at the present time he is one of the largest land owners as well as tax payers of the county. He has always shown a worthy public spiritedness and every good cause, calculated to be of lasting benefit to the city or county, receives his hearty support. In railroad matters he has been specially active with others in reviving the enterprise of building the Tebo & Neosho Railroad, a charter for which was granted prior to 1860 but abandoned on account of the war. This road, after many difficulties, was completed and is now known as the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad. He was one of the largest contributors and the watch word of the company was "economy." The company records will show that though entitled to a salary, he served without compensation, even for expenses, for several years as a director, traveling by his own private conveyance from Sedalia on the east to Fort Scott on the west, attending meetings of the board and using his influence for the undertaking until it was completed. The first mile of the road was graded on his laid through which he gave the right of way. He was one of the originators of the First National Bank of Clinton and has served its interest as president and director. In educational matters he has always taken a deep interest. In his religious preference he is a Baptist and holds the position of deacon, and has served as superintendent of the Sabbath School for seven years. he is one of the trustees of William Jewell College at Liberty, Missouri, and contributed largely to its endowment. He is also on the board of trustees of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, located at Louisville, Kentucky. The Baptist Church edifice in Clinton is due largely to his munificence, as is also the usefulness of its church organization. For the past twenty years he has taken the most advanced position in favor of temperance and prohibition. No one in the past has so thoroughly canvassed against saloons in Clinton. In all places and under all circumstances he is loyal to truth, honor and right, and richly merits the esteem in which he is held.
He was married July 3, 1860, to Miss Rhoda Dodge, daughter of William H. and Catherine Dodge, of Cumberland County, Tennessee, originally from New York. Their family consists of eight children: August D., William H., Howard G. and Herbert D. (twins), Angus B.,. Clara B., Rhoda E. and Walter W. Lost one daughter in infancy, Elizabeth K.

Owner/Source1883 History of Henry Missouri , National Historical Co., pg: 494
Linked toAngus Clark AVERY; Rev. Henry AVERY

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