Biographical Sketches

Biographies from Cole County People

Charles Frederick Tanner

C. F. Tanner was born in Muenichberg, Kingdom of Bavaria, Germany, October 1, 1826. He was educated there where he learned the trade of millwright, miller and carpenter, at which business he worked from the age of fifteen. He immigrated to America in 1849, stopping in St. Louis a few months then coming to Jefferson City in the spring of 1850.

He first worked as a carpenter, then in connection with his brother, Jacob, rebuilt and improved the Glover Mill south of Jefferson City which they eventually purchased. Following a flood in 1858 they disposed of this mill and built a brick store at 700 Jefferson Street where Jacob engaged in general merchandising.

 Tanner General Merchandise
Tanner General Merchandise

Soon after disposing of his interest to his brother, they went together and purchased the old Riggins Mill four miles west of the city. They ran the mill for four years then sold out and came to Jefferson City where he worked as a carpenter and contractor.

In 1883, his eldest son, Theodore, returned from Kansas City where he had acquired a knowledge of machinery, its manufacture and repair. They began The Tanner Machine Shop and Foundry at 710 South Jefferson Street with Theo Tanner as proprietor.

Miss Margaret Stoehr of Jefferson City became the wife of Charles Tanner and to this union was born eleven children. Chris, Charles and Annie died in childhood. Theodore was head of the machine shop, assisted by Ludwig and Julius. The daughters were Christina, the wife of Conrad Bowman of St. Louis, Barbara, Maggie, Edna and Antonia. Charles Tanner was a member of the Evangelical Central Church and served as city alderman for one term. The family resided at 109 W. Dunklin. Charles Tanner died in 1904.

Jacob Tanner

Jacob Tanner was a merchant and dealer in farm implements for many years. HE was born in Bavaria May 14, 1829, the son of Conrad and Johanna Tanner. HE was reared and educated in Germany, and there learned the millwright’s trade.

In 1853 Jacob Tanner came to America, reaching New York after a six weeks’ voyage. From there he went to Ohio, then to Lawrenceburg, Indiana, and then to Jefferson City where in 1855 he built Glover’s Mill, the first water mill in Cole County. In 1856 he and his brother, Charles, bought this mill operated it to 1859 when it was swept away in a flood. In 1858 they erected a substantial brick building at Jefferson and Dunklin streets and there conducted a mercantile business for many years. In 1866 he bought a steam flouring mill and three hundred acres of land near Jefferson City.

In 1854 Jacob Tanner married Henrietta Kastner, a native of Bavaria by whom he had seven children. He served as county treasurer, city treasurer and was a member of the city council of Jefferson City. Jacob Tanner died in 1914 after a lengthy illness.

Herman Tanner

Henry Tanner, son of Jacob and Henrietta Tanner, born in Jefferson City December 5, 1858, was associated with his father in the mercantile business until the death of the latter. Following Jacob Tanner’s death the store was divided and August Tanner took over the grocery department while Herman operated the other lines of merchandise including dry goods, shoes, queensware, etc. He remained in the mercantile business until his retirement in 1926. He died October 31, 1930.

While the management of his business and the rearing of his family were his chief interests, Herman Tanner was interested in the commercial and moral progress of his home city. He was actively interested in politics, a member of the Republican Party.

In 1884 he married Caroline Schubert, a native of St. Louis whose parents died when she was a child. Mr. and Mrs. Tanner were the parents of five children. Dr. E.T. Tanner was a dentist with offices in the Central Trust Building; W.C. Tanner, funeral director, conducted his business at the building at Jefferson and Dunklin built by his grandfather; Fred Tanner was a druggist and served as county assessor; Miss Edith was an employee of the Exchange National Bank; and Mrs. Edna Sullivan, wife of Larry Sullivan (see sketch), electrical contractor, assisted her husband in his business.

Dr. E. T. Tanner

E. T. Tanner, Jefferson City dentist, was the son of Herman F. Tanner and the grandson of Jacob Tanner. He was born in this city July 24, 1890. Following completion of grade school and high school work in Jefferson City, Dr. Tanner’s college work was done in St. Louis University and Washington University, St. Louis with post-graduate work in Vienna, Austria.

Dr. Tanner served in World War I, with the rank of first Lieutenant. He was a member of the Evangelical Church, the Masonic Lodge, the Psi Omega fraternity, the American Dental Association, the Missouri Dental Association and National Honor Dental Society, Omincron Kappa Upsilon.

Dr. Tanner married Miss Kathryn Lee in 1922. They had one son, Bob Harvey Tanner.

Fred H. Tanner

Fred H. Tanner, druggist, son of Herman Tanner and grandson of Jacob Tanner, was born in Jefferson City, June 4, 1894. His working career started as a messenger boy for the Postal Telegraph Company, after which he worked for ten years for the First National Bank. He then went into the automobile business, selling his business on being elected city assessor in 1926.

At the expiration of his term as city assessor in 1928, he was elected county assessor on the Republican ticket, serving until January 1, 1933. From 1933 to 1937 he was city councilman from the Fifth Ward. In June 1933 he opened his own drug store on Ash Street just south of High Street.

Mr. Tanner entered military service during World War I. He was assigned to duty with the draft board and the adjutant general’s office and had not the opportunity for service overseas. June 23, 1920, he was married to Miss Estelle Dirckx, daughter of C. A. Dirckx (see sketch), veteran Cole County official. Mr. and Mrs. Tanner had two children; Marjorie was born November 8, 1924 and Donald Frederick January 9, 1929. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, of the Evangelical Church and of the American Legion.

W. C. Tanner

W. C. Tanner, son of Herman and Caroline Tanner, was born in Jefferson City in 1892. After leaving school he went to work for the Hugh Stephens Printing Company as pressman, remaining there until World War I when he enlisted in 1918. Mr. Tanner was sent to Camp Upton, New Jersey, where he was assigned to service with medical and hospital units. He was sent to France where he was stationed at Bordeaux and Brest for a time. During his service he attended to the bodies of hundreds of soldiers who lost their lived in action, acquiring an expert knowledge of embalming which proved of value to him when he returned to the United States.

On his return to Jefferson City following his discharge, Mr. Tanner formed a partnership with Frank Jones and S. w. Dawson and established the Dawson-Tanner Undertaking Company. This company was first established at McCarty and Monroe streets. Later it was moved to the store building erected by his grandfather at the corner of Jefferson and Dunklin. Mr. Dawson died December 13, 1937. The firm name was changed in May 1938 to Tanner Funeral Home. The building and business was destroyed by fire in 1969.

Mr. Tanner was married to Miss Mabel Collins in 1920. She was the daughter of W. E. Collins, a Missouri Pacific conductor.

William H. Tellman

William Henry Tellman was the fourth generation of his family to live in Cole County. He was born at Wardsville February 24, 1888. His parents, Peter P. and Magdalene Hagner Tellman were also born at Wardsville, Peter on August 4, 1858 and Magdalene on May 16, 1860. His paternal great-grandparents, Herman and Susannah Tellman, natives of Hanover, Germany, came from Pennsylvania to Cole County in 1837. His paternal grandfather donated half the land comprising the site of the town of Wardsville.

August Tellman, William’s great uncle, enlisted in the home guards in the Civil War and was stationed at Jefferson City. His unit, while making a trip to Wardsville, was attacked by guerillas. In the maneuvers following the attack his band was through mistake fired upon by their own men and August Tellman was killed.

William H. Tellman was educated in the parochial and public schools of Wardsville. In 1905, at the age of seventeen, he came to Jefferson City where for five years he was employed in a shoe factory. The following year, with F. E. Breslin, he learned the tailoring trade, and in 1911 opened a cleaning and pressing establishment of his own which he conducted for twenty-one years.

In October 1932 he sold his business and joined the Means Ray Insurance Company where he worked until January 1934. From January until April he was statistician for the National Re-employment Service in Jefferson City and during the remainder of the year was a clerk in the office of the state treasurer. He was elected county clerk in 1934 and re-nominated by a very large majority in 1938.

On November 21, 1912, Mr. Tellman was married to Miss Ethel Hart Phillips, daughter of Maloney C. and Luella Jane Stone Philips. Mrs. Tellman was born in this city November 28, 1890. She passed away January 21, 1933, leaving four children: William Donald, James Joseph (who died in 1935), Jeremy Paul and Jane Anne. Mrs. Tellman’s parents were both natives of Jefferson City.

Mr. Tellman was a member of the Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. He was also active in the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, boy scouts, Missouri Society for Crippled Children and served in an executive capacity in most of them.

Capt. C. W. Thomas

Captain Charles W. Thomas was born in Boston July 26, 1841 and died in Jefferson City December 21, 1899. His ancestors came from Wales and settled in Massachusetts in 1640. At the age of fifteen he was employed in the general store of an uncle, Edgar M. Brown, of South Adams, Massachusetts. In 1856 he returned to Boston and accepted a position in the wholesale dry goods house of Jewetts, Tebbets & Co., where he remained until July 1862, when he enlisted as a private soldier in the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry.

He was promoted to lieutenant and his regiment, in connection with the 3rd Wisconsin and 22nd Indiana, met and repulsed the assaults of D. H. Hill’s division of Lee’s army in the battle of Gettysburg. The captain of his company fell early in the engagement and the command fell upon Lieutenant Thomas. After this engagement his regiment was removed to New York where it remained two weeks, patrolling the city and maintaining order. Returning to the Army of the Potomac they joined the corps of the 12th, commanded by General Slocum. This corps was consolidated with the 11th in a new organization and became the 20th, commanded by General Hooker. They were sent west to the Army of the Cumberland. After leaving Chattanooga May 1, 1864, Capt. Thomas was continually on the firing line in General Sherman’s memorable campaign in Georgia.

Following the Civil War, Capt. Thomas came to Jefferson City and during the administration of Gov. Fletcher held a clerkship under General Samuel P. Simpson who was then Adjutant General of the State. In 1869 he went into the grocery business and continued until his death in 1899.

On October 16, 1866, he was united in marriage to Miss Ophelia Bolton, daughter of Dr. William Bolton, a prominent physician in Jefferson City. To this union four children were born: Charles Kent died in infancy; William Edgar worked for Union National Bank of Kansas City; Cecil (see sketch) and Theodore both worked in the office of Capt. S. Waters Fox, U.S. Engineer, in charge of river improvements.

Capt. Thomas was a Republican in politics, a member of the Jefferson City Lodge No. 43 AF & AM and a member of the James A. Garfield Post No. 6 GAR and of the Loyal Legion. The family resided at 507 East Main Street. He was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Cecil W. Thomas

 Cecil Warren Thomas
Cecil Warren Thomas was born in 1871 in Missouri and died in September 1928 in Cole County, Missouri. On November 27, 1902, he married Celeste Bolton Price in the Price Mansion which stood on the present site of the Missouri Supreme Court building. It was the last social function in the mansion and the guest list included 500 friends and relatives from all over the United States. After a honeymoon trip to New York, Boston and Baltimore, the couple made their home with the Celeste’s widowed mother at 428 East Main Street (Capitol Ave.).

Cecil W. Thomas served two terms (1911 and 1923) as Mayor of Jefferson City. During his administration great strides were made in building streets and other city improvements.

Celeste Price Thomas, obituary – 1953

 Celeste Price Thomas
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the Grace Episcopal Church for Mrs. Celeste Price Thomas, 74, who died at her home 428 Capitol Ave., Friday night. The Rev. Ned Cole will officiate, and burial will be in Riverview Cemetery.

The widow of former Mayor Cecil Thomas and a prominent figure in social and civic affairs here, Mrs. Thomas had been in failing health for two years.

Mrs. Thomas was born July 2, 1878, on a farm in Pettis County, the daughter of Thomas B. and Ada C. Price, members of old and prominent families of Central Missouri. Her mother was a native of Rockingham County, Va., and her father was born in the old Price Mansion which stood on the present site of the Missouri Supreme court building.

In 1902 she was married to Cecil Warren Thomas. Mr. Thomas was mayor of Jefferson City a number of years when the city made big strides in building of streets and other improvements. He died in 1928 while her mother, Mrs. Ada Price, died seven years ago.

The Price mansion, owned by her parents, is marked by a bronze tablet at the corner of High and Washington Streets. Mrs. Thomas was a member of the Grace3 Episcopal Church and St. Mary’s Guild and for a number of years was a member of Tuesday Club.

She is survived by a niece, Mrs. James D. Idol, of Jefferson City; a grand-nephew, Thomas Price Gibson of Jefferson City; a grand-niece, Mrs. Robert Mead of Dallas, Texas; and a cousin, Loring Turner of Jefferson City.

Active pallbearers will be W.P. Salisbury, W.M. Lazenby, S.C. Vincent, L.F. Garber, J.C. Patrick and W.E. Towell. Honorary pallbearers will be W.W. Bratton, William Hager, Hugh Stephens, Judge C.A. Leedy, Herman Brandt, V.A. McBride, Wendell Manchester, J.B. Gibson, Dr. F.M. Gillham, Dr. John I. Matthews, Dr. Earl Lloyd and Oscar Raithel.

L. D. Thompson

L. D. Thompson was Missouri State Treasurer for four years and State Auditor for eight years before entering into the insurance business in Jefferson City January 1, 1933. He was a native of central Missouri, born at Vandalia, November 22, 1873. He was the son of Andrew and Druscilla Branstetter Thompson. His father, a Union soldier in the Civil War, moved with the family to Callaway County in 1886.

In 1897 Mr. Thompson became postmaster of New Bloomfield, a position he held for seventeen years. For six years he was on the executive committee of the Missouri State Postmasters’ League, and was its secretary and treasurer for two years. In 1901 he married Miss Ellen Bryan of Callaway County. They had two children, Mabel and Lewis Bryan. Mr. Thompson was a merchant in New Bloomfield for more than twenty years. He was always active in civic and political affairs and at the age of twenty-three became a member of the Callaway County Republican Central Committee on which he served for twenty-four consecutive years until his election as state treasurer.

Dr. Charles A. Thompson

 Dr. C. A. Thompson
Dr. C. A. Thompson was born at Sandusky, Ohio, March 27, 1824 and died in Jefferson City December 15, 1898. He was the son of Giles and Mary French Thompson, natives of the White Mountain State, the father being English and the mother of Irish descent. Dr. Thompson’s direct ancestors came to America one year after the landing of the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock, the family then being composed of three brothers, one being John who was the lineal antecedent of Dr. Thompson. They originally settled in the New Haven, Connecticut area but later moved to New Hampshire.

His grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and his father in the war of 1812. In 1818 his father moved to Sandusky, Ohio, being one of the first settlers of that district, where he farmed. Dr. Thompson was reared largely in Michigan and educated in the White Pigeon University at Branch. He began the study of medicine at the age of 21 and graduated from the Indiana Medical College in 1849, at which time he began practice at Lima, IN.

In 1856 he moved to Urbana IL where he remained until the close of the Civil War, except when performing his duties as surgeon of the Thirteenth and Nineteenth Illinois Volunteers. This service continued until 1865 when he moved to Jefferson City where he remained for the rest of his life.

He was physician for the penitentiary during the administrations of Governors Fletcher and Brown, twenty years President of the Board of Pensions, and twenty years Secretary of the Missouri Medical Association. During Governor Francis’ administration he was a member of the Board of Managers of the Deaf and Dumb Institute at Fulton.

He was a Republican in politics. His widow, Maria survived him, making her home at 117 Madison Street, together with his adopted daughter, Miss Adelaide J. Thompson who was a librarian at the public library. Dr. Thompson was buried at the National Cemetery.

Clem W. Thornton

 Clem W. Thornton
Clem W. Thornton was born on a Cole County farm in 1882, near the junction of Ten Mile Drive and Boonville Road. Mr. Thornton was educated in the Jefferson City public schools. At the age of seventeen he was employed by the Bockrath Shoe Company and later by the Giesecke Boot and Shoe Company.

In July 1910 he established the Capital City Laundry at 310 East Water Street, the first complete steam laundry in the city. In 1917 his company purchased the Model Swan Laundry and moved to 216 East Main Street, now Capitol Avenue. The company progressed rapidly and in 1921 it purchased the property at 315 and 317 Monroe and moved the plant to that location.

Mr. Thornton was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, a member and past president of the Kiwanis Club, vice-president of the Cole County Building and Loan Association. He was lieutenant in the Missouri National Guard during Governor Dockery’s administration and a captain of the home guards during World War I. He was a member of the Baptist Church.

Mr. Thornton was the son of Will C. Thornton who was born in Batavia, Ohio in 1838 and died in Jefferson City in 1914. Will C. Thornton was a Union soldier in the Civil War, while most of his relatives were with the Confederacy. He married Mary E. McCann who was born in Ghent, Carroll County, Kentucky, in 1849 and died in Jefferson City inn 1936. The Thornton family records go back to William H. Thornton, born in 1778.

Clem W. Thornton was married to Frances Lee Padgett in 1910. Their son, Padgett W. Thornton, worked in the family laundry business. Mrs. Thornton’s father was Pleasant Henderson Padgett, born in North Carolina in 1843, died in Versailles, Missouri in 1924. His wife was Mary Virginia Shelton, born in Virginia in 1851, died in Tipton, Missouri in 1935. Mrs. Thornton’s ancestral records date back to 1760. Pleasant Padgett was wounded in the battle of Gettysburg.

Dr. Jefferson L. Thorpe

Dr. Jefferson L. Thorpe, son of Dr. A.B. and Abigail (Shaon) Thorpe, was a native of Jefferson City, where he was born July 5, 1862, at the home of his grandfather, Capt. J. T. Rodgers. His maternal great-grandfather was John Yount, whose parents were natives of Holland, came from Alabama early in the nineteenth century and settled in Callaway County where they erected the first brick house in that county.

His father’s ancestors came from England with the Puritans. Dr. A.B. Thorpe was a prominent physician associated in practice with Dr. Gray at California, MO and he died when Jefferson was two years old.

J. L. Thorpe’s early education was in the public schools of California, MO, at White’s Academy and later the State University at Columbia, MO. He began study in Dr. Gray’s office in California, MO, followed by a short period with Dr. Davison of Jefferson City, after which he entered the St. Louis Medical College, graduating from there in 1886. He came to Jefferson City and set up his practice.

He was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Dr. A.D. Standish at the State Prison and served about two years, declining further appointments. He was appointed District Surgeon of the Missouri Pacific Railway Company in 1887. He was Secretary of the Board of Pensions eleven years (1887-1898) In the fall of 1893 he was elected on the Democratic ticket as Coroner of Cole County and immediately resigned. In 1896 he took a post-graduate course at the Polyclinic School of Medicine of New York City.

 Thorpe Home and Office
Home and office of Dr. J. L. Thorpe, 111 West High Street

He was united in marriage October 1, 1889, to Helen C., daughter of Capt. W.C. Thomas of California, MO. and they had a daughter, Mildred. Dr. Thorpe was a member of Jefferson Lodge AF & AM, No. 43, a Knight Templar, a member of the Brotherhood of Elks and Medical Examiner of the MWA.

Thomas Oliver Towles

 Major Thomas Oliver Towels
Major Thomas Oliver Towels was born in Columbia, VA April 4, 1840. His grandfather, Maj. Oliver Towles came to Missouri in 1819 and died four years later (1823) at Cape Girardeau. Two of his sons and one daughter subsequently moved to Saline County, MO and lived there many years.

Thomas Oliver Towles received a thorough classical and collegiate education. He studied law under Hon. Stephen O. Southall, for many years Professor of Law at the University of Virginia. He showed a fondness for journalism early in life, and while a college student became editor of a newspaper.

He joined the Confederate Army in April 1861, and served throughout the Civil War and was present at the bombardment and surrender of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor in 1861. He also witnessed the fearful work of the Confederate iron-clad Merrimac in James River and Hampton Roads, VA on March 8, 1862 and the great naval fight on the next day between the Merrimac and the Monitor.

When the war ended Major Towles resumed his study of law. He came to Missouri in 1866, living awhile in St. Louis and then Lewis County for several years, coming to Jefferson City in 1874. He entered political life in Missouri as first editor of the LaGrange (MO) Democrat, a newspaper founded in 1867. He continued as its editor until 1875. He was a member of the Democrat State Convention at St. Louis in 1868, and served as Assistant Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of Missouri (1873-1875). He was appointed Assistant Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives (1875-1877), subsequently becoming Chief Clerk. He was elected Secretary of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (1890-91) and made Secretary of the National Democratic Bi-metalic Committee in 1895. This committee organized the Free Silver Democrats of the U.S. in the great struggle for control and management of the National Democratic Convention at Chicago.

During the administration of Hon. William J. Stone as Governor or Missouri, he was a member of the Governor’s Military Staff and served with the rank and commission of Brigadier General.

He was married in Jefferson City in 1885 to Miss Florence M., daughter of Judge Ephraim B. Ewing of the Missouri Supreme Court. They had two sons, William Beverly and Eph Ewing. The family made their home at 612 East Main Street. Major Towles died August 13, 1910 and Florence died May 22, 1927.

George Washington Tremaine

 George Washington Tremain
George Washington Tremain of Russellville was born on a farm in Miller County near Tuscumbia, September 3, 1873, where he remained until the age of thirteen, attending the neighboring schools. He was later a student at the Aurora Springs Academy and took a course at the State Normal at Warrensburg.

He began teaching at age seventeen. In 1889 he became foreman of the office of the Aurora Springs “Crescent”, a weekly publication, where he continued one year. In 1895 he moved to Russellville, purchasing the “Rustler” which he managed for four years, selling to his brother.

Mr. Tremain was married in 1893 to Miss Jennie Weaver of Indiana, whose parents had recently moved to Eldon in Miller County. Three children were born of this union, two boys and one girl. Mr. Tremain was a talented musician, adept at most musical instruments and an exceptional vocalist. He was a Democrat in politics.

Marcus L. Tremaine

 Marcus L. Tremain
Marcus L. Tremain was born in Calhoun County, IL on February 14, 1870, the son of Dr. G. W. Tremain. When he was an infant his parents moved to a farm near Tuscumbia in Miller County. Marcus continued on the farm until the age of 16, when his parents moved to Aurora Springs where he attended the Miller County Academy two and one-half years.

Mr. Tremain taught in Miller and Morgan Counties from 1888 to 1893 when he moved to Calhoun County, IL where he taught until 1899. At that time he purchased the “Russleville Rustler” newspaper from his brother.

He was married December 25, 192, to Miss Rosa B., daughter of J.M.T. Miller, whose father was the first settler of Miller County and its namesake. They had one son, John Lyman. Rosa died in March 1894 and on April 21, 1898 Marcus was married to Miss Laura A. Flagge who bore him two sons, Lindley E. and Rawleigh L. They were members of the Christian Church.

William M. Turbett

William M. Turbett was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, August 18, 1882, the son of John J. and Elizabeth Drearry Turbett. His father was born in Boston, his mother in Ireland. He was left an orphan at an early age. He went to New York at the age of sixteen where he worked on the Staten Island Rapid Transit Company. He became a skilled machinist, and worked for a number of corporations, coming to Jefferson City about 1906 where he worked for the Missouri Pacific Railway Company for fifteen years.

In 1916 he was given the Republican nomination for representative of Cole County and was elected then re-elected two years later. He was elected to a third term on the fact of the returns, but unseated in a contest.

During his legislative service he was particularly active on issues affecting labor. He was chief clerk of the house of the fifty-third general assembly, and in 1925 became chief engineer of the state prison.

Mrs. William Turbett was born on a farm in Shelby County, Illinois. Her father was a successful bridge contractor. He later moved to Normal, Illinois where his children could be given the advantages of a higher education. Mrs. Turbett attended the college and studied domestic science. She met Mr. Turbett at Matoon, Illinois where her parents had moved and at eighteen years of age she married Mr. Turbett.

Three children were born to this union, one dying here at three years of age. A daughter attended the parochial schools and public schools here and was married December 26, 1936 to J. C. Delisle who was with the Navy. The third child was a daughter named Bill May.

When her husband died in 1927, Mrs. Turbett took over the management of the business he had established, the Step Up Buffet on East High Street. She also took over the lease of the Fairview Hotel and managed both businesses.

John Tweedie, Sr.

 John Tweedie, Sr.
John Tweedie was born at Moffat, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, September 28, 1838. He learned the business of shoemaking in his father’s shop. The trade had been followed by the Tweedie family for generations before him. When John Tweedie was sixteen his father died and John came to the United States in 1856.

He worked in New York City and New England prior to the Civil War. At the outbreak of that war he enlisted with the Ninth Rhode Island Infantry, and later in the Fifteenth Infantry of the regular army where he became first sergeant. He saw service from the first battle of Bull Run through Sherman’s march to the sea. He remained in government service until 1867, helping to lay out some government cemeteries, and was superintendent of the cemetery at Andersonville, Georgia. He also worked as superintendent of construction for Negro schools under the Peabody fund.

John Tweedie went to St. Louis in 1869 as foreman for the Cochran and Linden Shoe Company, and in 1872 took a similar position with A. Priesmeyer & Company. In 1874 he came to Jefferson City where he became one of the organizers of the A. Priesmeyer Shoe Company here and became manager of the factory. Mr. Tweedie was active in this business until his death in 1908.

John Tweedie was a quiet and kindly man. On his military discharge papers are written the words, “He was a superior soldier.” He was married May 1, 1867, to Anna De Beruff whose father was a native of Germany of French parentage, and an artist by profession. He served in the Confederate Army. Mrs. Tweedie died in 1934.

 Tweedie Home
601 E. High Street

John S. Tweedie purchased this Victorian style residence in 1888. Through the years, the building has been a boarding house, a funeral home and a refurbishing antique business. The Tweedie House was renovated in 1996 with community financial contributions as well as many hours of volunteer labor. Today, the Friendship House which is affiliated with Hospice of Jefferson City serves the community from this historic structure.

Charles Tweedie

Charles Tweedie, born June 23, 1874, was one of the six children of John and Anna Tweedie. As a youth he entered the shoe factory where he became familiar with every feature of the business. Charles became President of the company when his father died in 1908. In 1917 the business became Tweedie Footwear Corporation. While president and general manager, Charles Tweedie was active in the designing department; he was the inventor of a number of accessories. A branch plant opened in Versailles, Missouri in 1925. The plant was converted to the war effort in 1942 as a maker of shelter halves. The Boliver Street factory opened in 1942 and became the largest producer of canvass leggings in the United States.

Mr. Charles Tweedie was married in 1899 to Miss Lillian Willamette Reed. They had two children, William Reid and Lillian Willamette. The son was vice-president and assistant general manager of the factory.

Charles Tweedie died June 15, 1945 in St. Louis at the age of 71.

For more on the Tweedie family, please see “Industry” under ”From our Past”.

© 2006 - Cole County Historical Society