|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
G. W. Purcell, identified with agricultural interests of Livingston county as the owner of a farm of two hundred and ninety-five acres on sections 14, 15 and 23, Blue Mound township, makes his home in Chillicothe, where for some time he has lived retired. He is one of Missouri's native sons, born in Blue Mound township, January 15, 1849, his parents being Aaron T. and Elizabeth H. (Carr) Purcell. The father came to Livingston county in pioneer times, making his home in this section in 1842 and becoming in the course of years prominent and successful in agricultural pursuits. He was also well known in local public affairs and served for many years as justice of the peace. He died March 1, 1902, and was survived by his wife until 0ctober, 1909. Both are buried in the Burner cemetery, near Blue Mound. The paternal branch of the family is of Scotch-Irish origin, but its representatives have been in America for several generations.
G. W. Purcell acquired his education in the district schools of his native section, attending only during the winter months and spending his summers assisting his father with the work of the farm. He laid aside his books at the age of twenty and after he had attained his majority began his independent agricultural career by purchasing a farm of forty acres in Blue Mound township, the nucleus of his present extensive tract. At times he added to this property and at times sold portions of it, but finally the dimensions of his farm were two hundred and ninety-five acres, all rich and arable land, lying on sections 14, 15 and 23. At the time of the great gold discovery in the Klondike Mr. Purcell went to Alaska, but after a short stay in that region returned, having concluded that his greatest chance for success lay in following the occupation to which he had been reared. He resumed the cultivation of his homestead, engaging in general farming and stock-raising. During this time he was also interested in the real estate business and controlled valuable property holdings in this and other sections of the state. He owns at the present time three hundred and twenty acres of improved land in Kansas. Since his retirement from active life Mr. Purcell has resided at No. 230 Williams street, Chillicothe, and has made his home a center of hospitality for his many friends.
Mr. Purcell married, in Chillicothe, on the 23d of February, 1876, Mary A. Paris, a daughter of Thomas and Rebecca Paris, the former a retired farmer living in Blue Mound township. Mrs. Paris passed away in 1897 and is buried in Burner cemetery. Mr. and Mrs. Purcell became the parents of eight children: John W., who is engaged in farming in southern Idaho; Edley W., who follows general agricultural pursuits in Blackfoot, Idaho; Marshall W., who is managing his father's farm; Ralph W., a farmer in Alberta, Canada; Bert W., a graduate of the Chillicothe Normal School, who also makes his residence in Canada; Rex W., a student in the Chillicothe high school; Lula, the wife of Lewis Jones, a farmer in Blue Mound township; and Mabel, who married George E. Burgard, a farmer in Fairview township.
Mr. Purcell gives his political allegiance to the progressive party and has been three times judge of the western district. His record as an official and as a business man has been so honorable and upright that he has gained the confidence and good-will of all with whom he has been associated, winning during the course of his long and worthy career a large and representative circle of friends.