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Below is a sample of a family biography included in the Miller County, Missouri History published in 1889 by Goodspeed.  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.

W. K. Hollenbeck, was born in Berkshire County, Mass., in 1827, and is the ninth of ten children born to Derick and Tenta (Wilmont) Hollenbeck, who were also born in the State of Massachusetts. The father was a farmer and immigrated to Genesee County, N. Y., in 1829, and there made his home until his death in 1869, followed by his wife ten years later. He was in the War of 1812 and was a son of Michael and grandson of Ephraim Hollenbeck. The latter came with his brother Jacob from Germany in 1670 and thus founded the family in the United States. The maternal grandfather, Randall Wilmont, was born in Massachusetts and became prominent in the history of that State. W. K. Hollenbeck was reared on a farm and educated in the schools of Genesee County. While still a resident of his native State he began farming for himself and was married in Cattaraugus County, N. Y., in 1850, to Mary E. Barse, a native of Herkimer County, N. Y., and daughter of George and Eva (Wolliber) Barse, who were born, reared and married in York State. The father died in Cattaraugus County (whither he had moved in 1837) March 2, 1876, at the age of seventy-five years, his wife surviving him a few years. In the fall of 1871 Mr. Hollenbeck emigrated to Dakota where he followed farming until coming to Missouri in 1884. He has taken considerable interest is politics, and by the advice of the Senate was commissioned by Gen. Grant, who was then President of the United States, as revenue collector for the district of Dakota Territory, to take effect May 19, 1874, and served four years and three months. During this time he traveled by rail and boat over the territory, and owing to the wildness of the country he often found this a very laborious task. He also held the office of justice of the peace, and was the first postmaster, and cast the first vote at Finlay, Dak. His claim in Dakota was an old Indian camping ground. During his residence there he saw a remarkable change in the country in the way of settlement and improvement. After coming to Missouri he purchased 170 acres of finely located land, where he is residing at the present time His children's names are as follows: Mary A., who died September 15, 1851, at the age of four months; Charley T., who resides with his father; Fannie A. and George H. The latter was a fine telegraph operator, being located at Memphis, Tenn., and handled the heaviest wires between Chicago and New Orleans. During the yellow fever epidemic in the South, he, August 15, 1888, volunteered his services to go to Jacksonville, Fla., and remained faithfully at his post of duty until stricken with the fever, from which he died while just entering on manhood, September 29, 1888, aged eighteen years and six months. He was a great favorite among the operators and officers of the road, was possessed of fine business capacities, and was a young man of intelligence and honor.

This family biography is one of 84 pages of biographies included in the History of Miller County, Missouri published by Goodspeed in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Miller County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Miller County, Missouri Biographies here: Miller County, Missouri Genealogy

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