|Other People | Frank J. Bradley | Olive Rambo Cook | Jerry Litton ||
Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
Robert W. Devaul, who is giving his attention to his duties as notary public and insurance agent and a dealer in real estate in Chula, after a long period of close identification with agricultural interests, was born in Grundy county, twelve miles north of Trenton, Missouri, April 9, 1850. He is a son of J. R. and Sarah (Howell) Devaul, the former one of the first settlers in Grundy county and one of the most active and prominent farmers in that section of Missouri during his life. A local history published in the year 1881 has the following to say concerning his life and accomplishments: "James R. Devaul was born near Elkton, Christian county, Kentucky, March 28, 1814. His parents came to Missouri in 1820 and after stopping in Chariton county for one year, went to Ray county, where they settled, They removed in 1834 to Daviess county, Missouri being one of the first families to settle in that county, and thence to Grundy county in 1835. He lived with them until attaining his majority in 1835, and in the spring of 1837 staked his first claim on government land, which he afterward improved and entered. The same land is now a part of the town site of Trenton. During his life Mr. Devaul improved five farms in Grundy county. He was among the pioneers and took an active part in the organization of Grundy county, and for four years held the office of justice of the peace." He married Sarah Howell, of Linn county, Missouri, and in their family were ten children, the brothers and sisters of our subject being as follows: William A. and Jasper N., both of whom reside in California; Luther, whose home is in Oregon; Martha A., who married William Cornwall, of Grundy county, Missouri; Louise, the wife of John H. Roberts. of Oregon; Green C. and Oscar, at home; Daniel P., a veteran of the Civil war and now deceased; and Sarah J., whose death occurred in Grundy county. Mr. and Mrs. Devaul were members of long standing in the Trenton Baptist church, the former for fifty-five years and the latter for forty years, being among the original members.
Robert W. Devaul acquired his primary education in the district schools and later attended the high school at Trenton, from which he graduated at the age of twenty-four. He had, however, spent five years during this time engaged in teaching and after laying aside books continued this occupation for five years more. When he abandoned it he took up farming, purchasing eighty acres on section 28, Medicine township. This property was only partly improved, but untiring industry and well directed effort Mr. Devaul brought it a high state of cultivation, improving it with barns, outbuildings and other farm accessories and making it finally one of the model farms of this vicinity. He still owns the tract but in 1909 abandoned agricultural pursuits and turned his attention to business in Chula, where he is now well known as a notary public and very successful in the insurance business. He also handles real estate and his sound judgment and comprehensive knowledge of land values have made this branch of his activities extremely profitable.
Mr. Devaul was married in Linn county, January 26, 1877, Miss Louisa Brady, a daughter of William and Mary Brady, the former a pioneer in Livingston county. He died during the Civil war
and is buried on the battlefield where he fell. His wife has passed away and is buried in Newtonia, Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Devaul became the parents of the following children: Mary, the wife of F. V. Ross, of whom further mention is made elsewhere in this work; W. E., a farmer in Livingston county; Maude, the wife of Richard Lightner, a prominent farmer and stock dealer in Livingston county; Ina, who married Richard Raney, of Chula; Oscar, who resides in Atchison county; and James, who passed away at the age of nine years and is buried in the Parson Creek cemetery, in Linn county.
Mr. Devaul gives a stanch allegiance to the republican party and has served his fellow citizens as tax collector of Medicine township, as justice of the peace and constable. Fraternally he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, having been through all the chairs of that organization, and his religious beliefs are in accord with the doctrines of the Baptist church. He has for many years been influentially associated with agricultural and business interests in this section of the state and his high moral character and upright principles have brought him the respect and confidence of citizens.