John R. Blankenship
From the 1889 Goodspeed History
          John R. Blankenship, merchant, and one of the oldest business men of Houston, Mo., was born in Polk County, Tenn., March 24, 1842, his parents being Spencer and Mariah (Scoggins) Blankenship, natives of Virginia and North Carolina, respectively. They both died in Texas County, Mo. He was born in 1809, and was seventy-six years of age at the time of his death. She was born in 1810, and died in 1886. They were married in North Carolina, whither the father had moved as a young man, and afterward moved to Polk County, Tenn., where they remained until 1860, when they came to Missouri and located in Texas County. He was quite successful in his business transactions, but lost all during the late war. He was a Democrat previous to the war, and after that a Republican in politics. Both he and wife were members of the Missionary Baptist Church. To their union were born ten children, eight now living. One son, Stephen, died in the Federal army. John R. Blankenship remained on his father's farm until the breaking out of the war, when he enlisted in Company F, of the Fifth Missouri State Militia, and later in Company I, of the Twelfth Missouri Calvary, Federal Army, and rendered effective service until disabled from measles, when he was discharged. After leaving the army he attended school at Clarksburg and Jefferson City. In 1866 he engaged in the mercantile business on Howard Creek, and one year later he came to Houston, where he engaged in his former business, and has continued at this ever since. When starting for himself his means were limited, but by close attention to business he has been very successful. In 1869 he quit the dry goods business for drugs and groceries, etc. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, a Republican in politics, and has been president of the school board for the last six years. He filled the office of treasurer for four years, being elected in 1868, and was elected to the same position in 1878, serving two years.


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