|Birth: ||Mar. 1, 1834, USA|
|Death: ||Mar. 16, 1906|
Married to Anne E. Thompson.
He owned a general store which housed the post office in Laclede, Missouri. He also owned several farms renting all but one of 160 acres which he farmed himself. He ran a hotel, developed land and was a traveling saleman. He was considered affluent for the time.
He was elected Lieutenant of the Home Guards and later made a Captain during the Civil War. The Panic of 1873 when land prices collapse ruined him and he lost his $40,000 fortune keeping only his 160 acre farm.
The Story of General Pershing
The General's father, John F. Pershing, a short time before the birth of his oldest child (the general), came from Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and went to work as a section foreman on the Hannibal and St. Joe Railroad. He was a forceful man, of energy and ambition, and it was not long before he was running a general store and at the same time was postmaster of the village. A man now living, who worked for the General's father in both the general store and post office, has this tribute to pay to his one time employer: He was a very active business man with wonderful energy, strictly honest, never stooped to a dishonest trick; a pronounced man in the community; the leading business man. He liked to make money. He lost two fortunes on the Board of Trade, Chicago. He traveled several years out of St. Joseph, probably one of the best paid men. He later left St. Joe for Chicago, where he was traveling salesman for another firm. He made many business ventures ówas something of what today is called a promoter.
He was a man of commanding presence. He was a great family man, loved his family devotedly. He was not lax and ruled his household well.
The older Pershing was insistent that his children should be able to meet the difficulties in life that must be overcome before success can be won. The value of regular habits of appreciation of the things worth while, was his hobby and he taught by example as well as by precept. Hard work was essential. Therefore hard work must be undertaken and done, and he began early to train his three boys and three girls, who of the nine that were born to him grew to maturity. His creed included the precept that it is well to learn to bear the yoke in one 's youth. Every Sunday the Pershing family were seen on their way to the little Methodist church of which the father and mother were members, Mr. Pershing at one time being superintendent of the Sunday School. He is reported also to have been a local preacher. He was one of the founders of his church.
A neighbor writes, When the Civil War broke out, the elder Pershing left the railroad and became the regimental sutler of the old 18th Missouri Eeg. Infantry. Later he engaged in merchandising and farming with success, but was caught in the panic of 1873. About 1876, he went to work for I. Weil & Company of St. Joseph, Missouri, as a traveling salesman, selling clothing, and later for a big Chicago house. The family lived at Laclede until about 1886, at which time they moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where two of the daughters now reside. General Pershing's father and mother are both dead.
The Pershing family were zealous church people. John F. Pershing was the Sunday School superintendent of the Methodist Church all the years he lived here, I think, or until he commenced to work for I. Weil & Co. Every Sunday you could see him making his way to church with John (the general) on one side and Jim on the other, Mrs. Pershing and the little girls following along. The family was a serious loss to the Methodist church when they moved away from here."
Throughout his life there was an air of seriousness under which the future general was brought up. Doubtless from his earliest days the impression that if he was to do anything worth while he must first be something worth while, consciously or unconsciously influenced the life of the son of the father, who was eager to have his children secure the best education within their power to obtain and his ability to give. At all events, the General's life plan
seems to have been to get ready, whether or not the test comes. If it does come, one is prepared; if it does not come one is prepared just the same. Here again it was the man behind the general, shaped, guided, trained and inspired by the strong, earnest personality of his father.
From a member of the Pershing family the following statement has been received: "His (the general's) father was bom near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, his ancestors having come from Alsace-Lorraine. He was prominent in church work and all philanthropic work. He established the Methodist Church at Laclede, Missouri and after moving to Chicago was instrumental in forming the Hyde Park Methodist Church.
He was also active in the Y.M.C.A., Chicago and organized the Hyde Park branch. He was in the Union Army and was the first man to observe Memorial Day in Laclede, taking his own children and the children of his neighborhood with flowers from his own garden, to decorate the graves of the soldiers. Mr. Pershing (John Fletcher Pershing) was president of the school board at Laclede and it was through his work that the graded schools were organized and new buildings erected. He was also postmaster in Laclede."
Anne Elizabeth Thompson Pershing (1835 - 1902)*
John Joseph Pershing (1860 - 1948)*
James Fletcher Pershing (1862 - 1933)*
Ward B. Pershing (1874 - 1909)*
Oak Woods Cemetery
Created by: SLGMSD
Record added: Dec 22, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 23526365