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Elmer, Missouri - Early History
(Reprinted form the History of Macon County, 1910)
The son of one of Macon county's honored pioneers, and himself helping to complete the conquest of civilization over the barbarous forces of the wilderness in this portion of the state, William Lynch, of Walnut township, has justified in his own career the name and traditions of his forefathers and proven himself to be a citizen of the highest usefulness and a man of sterling worth and commanding enterprise.
Mr. Lynch was born in Macon county in 1845 and is a son of Martin and Linna (Johnson) Lynch, who came to this state in early life and passed many years in skillfully cultivating its soil and helping to push forward its growth and development toward its present advanced condition of fertility, commercial power and intellectual and moral excellence.
The father was a native of Tennessee and the mother of North Carolina, and their ancestors were pioneers in those states. They were married in 1832, one year after the arrival of the father in Missouri, and his location in this county. The ten children who blessed their union all grew to maturity and six of them are still living: William, who lives in Walnut township, this county; Matilda, the wife of Frank Burgeman, of Elmer ; Elizabeth ; Susan, the wife of John Atterbury, also of Elmer, and Mary, the wife of Stephen Walker. The father died in 1884 and the mother in 1886. Each labored more than sixty years in improving the county and their names and records are embalmed in the respectful remembrance of all the people of it.
Their son,William, passed his boyhood and youth on the parental homestead, assisting in the arduous work of cultivating it and attending the district school near by when he had opportunity. He began the battle of life for himself as a farmer, and in the agricultural branch of the industrial army he has marched and conquered ever since. In connection with his farming operations he carries on an extensive industry in raising stock, and in both departments of his business he has been very successful. He has shown commendable enterprise and progressiveness, studying everything pertaining to his undertakings and assimilating in careful reflection the lessons given by observation and daily practical experience. In this way he has mastered all the details of his work and is able to carry it on with a steady view to securing the best results in every way.
In politics he is an active working Democrat, yielding his due tribute of loyalty and labor to the needs of his party, and doing this merely as a matter of principle and duty, and without any desire for its honors or the emoluments of political office. Yet, while he is averse to public life and the responsibilities of official duty, he has been willing to forego his own preference for the public good, and has served on the local school board continuously for more than twenty years. When the Civil war was raging in our unhappy country, he enlisted in 1865, when he was but twenty years of age. In defense of the Union, in Captain Bob Davis' company of volunteers he was part of its aggressive and defensive force until the close of the war. Thus ever he has shown his abiding interest in the welfare of the country and its people, and done his part toward promoting it. Fraternally he is a member of the Order of Odd Fellows, and in religious affairs he is allied with the Baptist church. In 1867 he was married to Miss Mary Ellen Campbell, a native of Macon county. The five children born to them are all living and are: Manfred, Leander, Erskine, William E. and Beatrice, the last named being the wife of Samuel Still, of Kirksville, in this state. His wife died February 11, 1901.