William Riley Vaughan
William Riley Vaughan, born 1830 near Washington, Franklin County, Missouri, son of William Vaughan (1803-1879) and
Arabella Williams (1806-1890). She was born in St. Louis, an unincorporated French Village, of Joseph Williams, and Sara Musick (1756-1849).
Arabella was the sister of William Williams (1787-1849), a
primitive Baptist preacher to the Osage Indians of Missouri.
He married an Indian maiden named Windblossom. They lived
in a teepee. After her death he went west and became a mountain man, was a guide to Fremont, and helped establish the Santa
Fe Trail. He was killed by the Ute Indians in Colorado in 1849. Merriweather Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, was a
cousin to Sara Musick (Williams).
William Riley Vaughan's brothers and sisters were
In 1839 the Vaughan family came to Gasconade County
where William Riley Vaughan made his home the remainder
of his life. In 1857 he homesteaded a farm east of Owensville,
where he lived 62 years. He married Catherine Leach in
1855. To this union five children were born: Mellissa
(1859-1866), Harriet (Mrs. Andrew Davis) (1862-1953),
Arabella (Mrs. R.T. Mason) (1857-1932), William (married
Fannie Woodruff) (1864-1913) and Cordelia (1861).
After the death of Catherine he married Samantha Matthews
in 1868. Three children were born of this union: Catherine
(Mrs. Frank McGrath) (1869-1931), James (1871-1872) and Fremont (1873-1874).
After the death of Samantha he married Anna Pruitt, native
of Allen County, Kentucky, daughter of Jesse Pruitt and
Susannah Satterfield Pruitt. Anna died in 1915.
Of this union three children were born:
Clara (Mrs. Henry Anderson) (1884-1966),
Charles Emmett (1889-1964)
Eudora Rosalind (Mrs. Edward 0 Smith) (1887-1971).
He united with New Salem Baptist Church in 1855 and in
1868 with a Primitive Baptist Church near Woolam, Missouri.
He was active as a Primitive Baptist minister from 1869 to
1913. He enlisted in the Union Army in 1861. His rank was
Lt., Co. F. 31st Missouri Infantry, then rank of Capt..
Company I. 50th Missouri Infantry of which he was the
He was an intimate friend of Gov. Fletcher of Missouri and
General William Sherman in the campaigns of Vicksburg, Chickasaw Bayou, and Arkansas Post.
He was a farmer, self-educated and served as a teacher in the
public schools of Gasconade and Osage Counties for a period
of 38 years, 12 years in the Owensville school. As a pioneer
citizen, he knew the region around Owensville when it was
inhabited by Indians and wild game of all sorts.
He witnessed the organization of Gasconade County and lived
to see it grow from a wilderness to a prosperous and wealthy community.
He was intimately acquainted with the ancestors of many of
the present citizens of Gasconade County through his long
years of ministry and teaching. He was liberal in his religious
views, believing strongly in the dictates of a clear, clean
conscience and the Golden Rule, living life to the fullest.
He departed this life in 1922 at the home of his son, Charles
Emmett, at the age of ninety-two years.
Any questions, suggestions,corrections, and/or additional information, contact me, Linda CONAWAY Welden at:
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