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Elmer, Missouri - Early History
(Reprinted from The Elmer Journal, 1909)
First saw the light of day June 27, 1873, and was reared to manhood in this community. About 6 years ago he entered upon a mercantile career in this city in connection with his nephew, Willard Gunnels. Under the style of Gunnels and Gunnels, about 2 years ago John bought the interest of his nephew and has since continued the business by himself and every year adds to his popularity as an energetic, accommodating business man. Everybody likes to trade with John, who by the way is one of the staunchest supporters of the town of Elmer. At present he is a member of the city council and is an active and faithful member of the same. Mr. Gunnels has a nice home, an accomplished wife and two nice children. He is young yet and has a bright career before him. We admire a young man who has pluck and determination to forge ahead in business of any kind that he undertakes; it takes pluck in these busy days of competition to make things go in the mercantile life, but Gunnels the irrepressible has staid and has a nice stock of general merchandise which he knows how to handle and everybody knows that he is one of the 4 who handles such stuff in the city of Elmer. Such a man and citizen is the subject of this sketch who counts his friends by the score and is not afraid to do things that help to promote the town’s interest when it comes to a showdown.
Author's note: According to research done by Jennifer (Gunnels) Libby, John W. Gunnels was born in June of 1872 and was married to Nellie Ann Frisbie on January 19, 1898. The two children were Velma Mae Gunnels (born in May of 1899) and Claud Lavern Gunnels (born on March 6, 1901.) Both were born in Macon County, presumably in Elmer. At some later timethe family moved to Jefferson County, Colorado, where they are all buried.