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Elmer, Missouri - Early History
Nathan S. Gunnels
Nathan and Nancy Gunnels emigrated to Macon County with their eleven children from Morgan County, Illinois, in 1855. They settled in the Walnut Creek district where they remained until their deaths. Nathan, born on October 10, 1810, in Indiana, descended from early settlers of Fairfax County, Virginia. His family moved westward to Overton County, Tennessee, by 1830. There he married his Tennessee born wife. After the birth of their first three sons, they moved to Morgan County, Illinois, but returned to Tennessee for a stay of several years before again moving to Illinois. Finally, the move was made to Macon County where a twelfth child was born. Nathan passed away on March 19, 1881, and is buried beside his wife in Bell Cemetery near Elmer where four generations of their family are interred.
The earliest record obtained by Jennifer Libby in her genealogical research shows that Nathan comes from the Gunnels family originating in Waltham, Lincolnshire, England. The family was located there by 1542. Members of this line migrated to Virginia sometime before 1760. Numerous family members were participants in the Revolutionary War. Subsequent branches of the Gunnels family migrated to Georgia, then Indiana, thenTennessee, then Illinois and finally settling in Macon County, Missouri, sometime before 1858.
Nathan’s son, Daniel W. Gunnels moved to a farm near Elmer where he died and was interred in Bell Cemetery. He was a member of the 1st Missouri Calvary, Union Army, during the Civil War. Daniel’s son, James (Jim) Henry Gunnels, was born near Elmer, living his entire life in that community, where he was a farmer. Children of James included Willard, born in 1883, and Earnest, born in 1898. Both became prominent farmers of the Elmer community.
(paraphrased from the publication The Gunnels Family, Bridging the Past with Links to the Future, by Jennifer Libby)