JOHN C. WEBB, the founder of Webb City, Missouri, and the owner of a large tract of rich mining land in that
locality, died at his home in Webb City, after a lingering illness, on the 13th of April, 1883.
He was born in Overton county, Tennessee, March 12, 1826. His father, Elijah C. Webb, was born in North Carolina,
and his grandfather, a native of the same state, was a Revolutionary soldier. His mother was Martha ( Johnson)
Webb. John wads the seconds of a large family of children, and obtained his education in log school houses in Tennessee.
He grew up a farmer, first working with his father on the old homestead farm. In January, 1849, he married Ruth
F. Davis, in Overton county, Tennessee, and set up in fanning on his own accotint. Thinking to better his fortunes,
in 1836 he removed to Jasper county; Missouri, and soon entered from the government two hundred acres of land and
procured by purchase one hundred and twenty acres more. He fanned part of this land, erecting a modest dwelling,
living for years unconscious of the hidden wealth beneath this soil. Soon after the breaking out of the Civil war
he joined the State Guards, under the call of Governor Jackson, in which he served six months, then going south,
where he remained during the greater part of the war. Soon after the close of the war he returned to his farm in
Jasper county, Missouri. One day in 1873 he found some lead ore that had evidently been turned up by the plow,
and on digging at that spot soon unearthed quite a quantity, at a depth of only a few feet from the surface. After
this he laid out the town of Webb City and leased land for mining, receiving a royalty on the lead and zinc mined.
His land produced these ores in great abundance and Mr. Webb was soon receiving a large income from his mines.
He was the same quiet, unostentatious Christian gentleman he had ever been. He was quite liberal with his money
in behalf of those in need and in aid of public enterprises, churches and colleges. In laying out Webb City he
reserved a block of lots for public schools, which he donated to the school district. He also donated the lots,
and almost unaided built a commodious brick church, which he turned over to the Methodist Episcopal church, South,
being a devoted member of that denomination. He contributed much to the growth and development of Webb City, building
business blocks and many dwelling houses.
Mr. Webb's wife died some seven years before him. Their children now living are: E. T. Webb, a leading business
man and banker of Webb City, and Mrs. Martha E. Hall, wife of W. E. Hall, of Carthage. Another daughter, Mrs. Mary
S. Burner, has died since her father, and a son, John B. Webb, died in 1874.
The Biographical History of Jasper County, Missouri
By Hon. Malcolm G. McGregor
The Lewis Publishing Co.
Jasper County, MO
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