Happy Birthday Ellis Ray Spencer!

My Grandfather Ellis Ray Spencer was born to Richard Allen and Leona (Howell) Spencer this week one hundred and ten years ago (Feb 20, 1912) in Plato, Laclede County, Missouri.  He was the first son born into the family of nine children. Here is a glimpse into his life.

Richard Tolliver Southard: A Resilient Life

For many years I have been drawn to the story of my third great uncle, Richard Tolliver Southard (1844-1934). His early life had to have been traumatic, seemingly always in turmoil.  The challenges to his family began before his birth and would last through the early years of his marriage when he and his wife lost three of their four young children.  His is a story of pioneer life on the Missouri prairie. 

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