William Franklin Trail

From the 1889 Goodspeed History
          Judge William Franklin Trail. One of the oldest and most honored citizens of Texas County, and president of the Old Settlers’ Association, is Mr. Trail, who was born near Murfreesboro, Tenn., January 19, 1827, being the fourth of eight children born to the marriage of Young Trail and Catherine Rhodes, who were born in South Carolina and Georgia; Young Trail died in Hickman County, Ky., in 1851, at the age of fifty-one years, and Catherine Trail in Texas County, Mo., in 1861, aged sixty-one years. They were married in Rutherford County, Tenn., and there resided until 1840, when they immigrated to Kentucky. They were members of the Primitive Baptist Church, and the father was a school teacher by profession and a Democrat in politics. Their son, William Franklin, was educated in Tennessee, under his father’s supervision, and at the age of twenty-two years was married to Mary McMorris, and moved to Missouri, locating in Texas County, where he has since made his home. His wife was born in Graves County, Ky., and died in Kansas, having borne three children, Richard Y., a farmer of Howell County, Mo., being the only one living. March 31, 1861, Mr. Trail married Louisa Smothermon, who was born in Rutherford County, Tenn., in 1828, and four of their five children are living: Frances C., wife of J. H. Purcell, of Texas County; George W., in Colorado; Darriska R., wife of John S. Gregory, of Texas County, and Stonewall J. Christina died when two years of age. Mr. Trail came to this county with very limited means, but is now considered one of the thrifty farmers of the county. In 1865 he began merchandising at Licking, Mo., but afterward located at Raymondville, which place he had planned, and was appointed its postmaster, a position he fills at the present time. He has served a number of years as presiding judge of the county, and has also been justice of the peace and notary public, and was appointed by Gov. Hardin to select produce for the State of Missouri for the World’s Fair at Vienna. He has always been a Democrat, and is a member of the Masonic fraternity. In September, 1862, he enlisted in Company K, Ninth Confederate Cavalry, and was a captain in the service for twelve months.


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