James M. Gardner was born in Monroe county, Tennessee, Feb. 15, 1834 [8 miles east of Madisonville]. He is a son of Thomas Gardner and Catherine Thatch-Gardner. Thomas was born June 1, 1806, and Catherine, was born May 13, 1813. They were married in Monroe county, Tenn., Mar. 26, 1832, and continued to live there until August 6, 1877, when Thomas, the husband, died. After the death of the father, the son, James M., went and brought his mother to Missouri. The grand-father, Thomas Gardner, was an Irishman, born in Virginia, but died in Tenn. James M. Gardner is the first of a family of nine children as follows:

1. James M.

2. George W.--a prominent Hickory County farmer

3. Henderson--died in Georgia

4. Thomas J.--died in Bradley County, Tenn.

5. Elizabeth R.

6. Mary A.--wife of Walker McGriff

7. Eliza J.--wife of Samuel D. Mitchell, a merchant of Chattanooga, Tenn.

8. Martha B.--widow of Nathaniel Fitzgerald

9. William L.--a farmer in Hickory County

only four of whom are now living.


        James M. was married in 1857, to Margaret McSpadden [photo below right], who was born in Bradley county, Tenn., June 26, 1837. She was a daughter of Samuel and Sarah McSpadden. They came to Hickory county, Mo., in 1858, and to their union have been born nine children as follows:

1. Robert H.

2. Sarah E., who married Dr. L. B. Selvidge, and he is now deceased

3. Amanda J., who married Thomas A. Nowell

4. Ulysses G.,

5. Mary C., who married Ben P. Nowell, and is now deceased

6. Barbara A., deceased

7. Hiram D.

8. Elva T., deceased

9. and Luke Monroe.


 [source: Wilson's History of Hickory County, 1907.]


In 1862 Mr. Gardner enlisted in Company C, Sixtieth Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia, and served as corporal until the close of the war.  In 1865 he was appointed justice of the peace, being afterward elected to that office, serving in all fourteen years.  He was elected judge of the Western district on the Republican ticket, of which party he has long been a member.  He belonged to the G. A. R.  James owned 385 acres of farm land in Hickory County. 

James died on March 20, 1910, in Hickory County.  Margaret died on July 25, 1920 in Hickory County.  They are buried in the Gardner Cemetery, near Wheatland, in Hickory County.





Text like this contributed by Fran Childers.


Photos submitted by Mary Harper.

Page design by Ginny Sharp, posted February 2005.

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