Francis was a lad of 7 when his parents moved to the wilds of Missouri. There were no schools in the county, but the Gideon boys had brought their books with them and studied at home. At the age of 16, Francis had prepared himself to teach school. He continued to study and teach until 1852 when he began the study of law. He was admitted to practice in 1861 and continued in that profession the rest of his life, practicing in the Supreme Ct of MO for five years.
At the outbreak of the war he raised a company of Union men, served for 3 months and was discharged as 1st Lt. He then enlisted in the 14th MO Cavalry, serving as hospital steward until discharged in Nov 1862 to take a seat in the MO State Legislature and returned to his law practice. Took the federal census of Christian Co, MO in 1880. Held several state and federal offices in the 1880's. Made his home in Galena, and was a civic leader of the county. A Universalist, member of the Masonic Lodge and G.A.R.
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