Wiiliam was b. 4 June 1791 Burke Co, NC, d. 26 Oct 1868 Christian Co, MO. He married 12 Mar 1813 Matilda Woods, daughter of Joseph Woods of Burke Co, NC. She was b. 11 Jun 1792 Morgantown, NC, d. 19 Oct 1869 Christian Co,MO. Both buried in Highland Cem, Highlandville,MO.
William served in the War of 1812 as a private in the Light Horse Dragoons of NC. In 1818 he moved to Hawkins Co, TN where his father had settled in 1809. He took with him young apple trees to plant an orchard. There he cleared land and worked at his trade as a Hatter. Hearing of the fine lands of the west, in the spring of 1836, he and some neighbors crossed the Mississippi and came to what is now Christian Co, MO. What was this area like in 1836? The only inhabitants before 1810 were the Delaware Indians. They had been pushed from the Delaware Valley by other Indians and colonizers westward to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and had found a haven on the James River where they built the well known Delaware Village. There they lived in peace until evacuated under government orders to Indian territory in 1808-1810. White trappers ventured into these hills and stories of the lush land and game lured young families looking for homes.
This was the wilderness to which the Tennessee families came to carve out their destiny. It took much courage, and many gave up and returned to their old homes. William eneterd 200 acres of land near the present site of Ozark, but sold this farm in 1844 and located on 400 acres 2 miles from where Highlandville now stands. This area was then (and still is) called "Gideon Barrens".
At the outbreak of the Rebellion, all of William's sons, except the two oldest, James H. and Joshua A., were outspoken Union men and entered the US Volunteer Service in defense of the Union. William, then in his 70's was active in the Home Guards and furnished supplies to the soldiers. He was a democrat but changed to republican after the war. He was a Baptist and Elder but later became a Universalist and died in that faith. Matilda was a Presbyterian. Both had been well educated in NC and Tenn for the times and they and their sons established the first schools in the area. (From Reminiscent History of The Ozark Region). ["All of the above quoted from Descendants of James Isham Gideon"].
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