JUDGE JOHN HORNBACK, one of the earliest settlers of Jasper county and one of the best known and most highly
respected citizens of the county, was born in Champaign county, Ohio, August 24, 1827. His father was James Hornback,
who when John was only four years old removed to Indiana and thence, in October, 1838, to Jasper county, Missouri.
His father settled on a farm about five miles southwest of Carthage before the land was surveyed by the government,
where both he and his son lived and died. John Hornback's education was such as was afforded in the early days
of Jasper county, but these opportunities he had improved to the utmost so as to become a man of fair educational
attainments and able toi clearly and forcibly express his views either in public speech or in writing. He was a
man of strong personality and exerted a great influence among the people of the county. He served as a justice
of the peace for Marion township prior to the war, and his fairness and good judgment in his decisions gained for
him a reputation almost equal to those educated,in the law.
In 1862 Judge Hornback was compelled by the war to leave Jasper county and seek safety 'for himself and family
elsewhere, and being a Union man in sentiment he went to Douglas county, Kansas, returning to Jasper county in
the spring of 1866. While in Kansas he served with the militia of that state as a first lieutenant of the company
to which he was attached. In the fall of 1866 he was elected an associate judge of the county court, serving as
such a term of two yearns. Judge Hornback was independent in his political views, and after the War did not attach
himself to either of the old political parties. He was a strong and outspoken opponent of corruption and corrupt
practices in politics and public place, and a sincere, earnest reformer. He became a leader of the Greenback and
afterward the Populist party in his county. He always held the confidence and esteem of men of all parties among
his acquaintances and was frequently called on to act as administrator of the estates of deceased persons, which
he did with fidelity and to the unvarying satisfaction of the interested living representatives.
He first married, January 24, 1850, Miss Eleanor Walker, who died May 2, 1877, leaving eight children of this marriage,
five sons and three daughters. He died or the old homestead farm in Jasper township in November, 1899. It falls
to the lot of few men to be so sincerely mourned and missed as was Judge Hornback by his large circle of friends,
many of them the steadfast friends of a whole life time.
The Biographical History of Jasper County, Missouri
By Hon. Malcolm G. McGregor
The Lewis Publishing Co.
Jasper County, MO
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