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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
In the eightieth year of his age, Joseph A. Lewis is still active and prominent in agricultural circles of Livingston county, where he has been engaged in farming since 1865. He has been a force in the early development of Blue Mound township and a factor in its later growth, standing today in the front ranks of progressive and successful agriculturists. He was born in Pembrokeshire, South Wales, in 1833 and is a son of Thomas and Mary (Rodrick) Lewis, both of whom have passed away, the latter dying in 1874 and the former in 1880. They are buried in the cemetery at Dawn.
Joseph A. Lewis came to America in his childhood and settled with his parents in Des Moines, Iowa, where he attended school, laying aside his books at the age of eighteen in order to assist his father with the work of the farm. For three years he remained upon the homestead and afterward worked for himself, spending four years in Des Moines. He came to Livingston county in 1865 and purchased his present farm, having the distinction of having been the first Welshman in this section of Missouri. He was appointed agent for the Hannibal & St. Joe Railroad and given charge of their land sales in Livingston and Carroll counties and he accomplished this work successfully in connection with his private farming interests. Throughout the many years of his residence upon his property Mr. Lewis has steadily carried forward the work of development, building a fine residence, barns and outbuildings and making other substantial improvements in buildings and equipment. He owns today one hundred and ninety acres on section 16, range 24, Blue Mound township, upon which he carries on mixed farming. His business affairs are capably conducted and the neat and attractive appearance of his farm gives evidence of the many years of care and labor he has bestowed upon it.
In Louisa county, Iowa, in 1868, Mr. Lewis was united in marriage to Miss Katherine Tudor, a daughter of David and Mary (Owens) Tudor, both of whom have passed away, the father being buried in Iowa and the mother in Dawn. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis have four children: David T., an engineer in Kansas City; Mary, the wife of Henry Williams, a farmer of western Kansas Margaret, who is a graduate of the Lexington College for women, at Lexington, Missouri and who is now a teacher at Syracuse, Kansas; and John, who is assisting his father.
Mr. Lewis affiliated with the republican party, voting the straight ticket at every national and local election until 1912, when he identified his interests with those of the new progressive party, of which he is now a stanch supporter. He has served as justice of the peace for the past sixteen years, was for two years president of the town board and for four years road overseer. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and his religious views are in accord with the doctrines of the Baptist church, of which he has been deacon for sixteen years. Having resided in Livingston county for almost half a century, Mr. Lewis has become thoroughly identified with its business and political affairs and in the successful conduct of his important agricultural interests has gained a measure of prosperity that entitles him to representation with the substantial and enterprising citizens of the community.