Biography of Joel T. Hembree

Joel T. Hembree, ex-county judge and proprietor of the Challenge Mills at Greenfield, Mo., purchased one half interest in the mills in 1881. The mill was erected in 1880, at a cost of $3,000, with two sets of buhrs, and in 1887 it was changed to eight sets of rollers, with a capacity of forty barrels per day. Mr. Hembree started in partnership with C. Depee, but in 1883 he bought Mr. Depee’s interest. Mr. Hembree was born in Roane County, Tenn., in 1824, and is the son of Isaac and Mary (Blake) Hembree, and is the grandson of Joel Hembree, who was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and who emigrated to Roane County, Tenn., in 1806. The old homestead is yet in the Hembree family, and is owned by his cousin, Joel Hembree. Isaac Hembree was born in Spartanburg District, S. C. in 1796, and was of Welsh extraction. He was but ten years of age when he went with his parents to Tennessee, and in that State he grew to manhood. He was married in Roane County in 1823, and in 1852 came to Cedar County, Mo., location one-half mile east of Stockton. He died in 1864. He was a prominent man and judge of the county court of Cedar County for some time. He was also a soldier in the War of 1812. He was twice married, his second wife being Miss Salissa S. Price, a native of Tennessee, who died in 1883. Mr. Hembree’s first wife, Mary Blake, was born in Roane County, Tenn., in 1803, and died in 1836. Two children were born to them: Marietta V., wife of W. K. Marcum, and Charles C. The same year of his marriage, Mr. Hembree left his native State, moved to Dade County, Mo., and located six miles northeast of the county seat. He was the owner of 1,200 acres of land, and was a successful farmer. August 20, 1862, he enlisted in the Enrolled Militia, and November of the following year he enlisted in Company E. Fifteenth Regiment Missouri Cavalry, serving until July 1, 1865, when he was discharged at Springfield, Mo. He was a brave and gallant soldier, and was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant. Mr. Hembree was a Democrat in his political views up to the war, and his first presidential vote was for Gen. Cass, in 1848. Since and during the war he has affiliated with the Republican party. After the war he returned to farming, which he continued up to 1887, since which time he has been engaged in the milling business. In 1854 he lost his wife, and in April of the subsequent year he married Miss Nancy Hayes, a native of Indiana, born in 1834. Four children were the result of this union: Lewis J.; Hugh A., who is with his father in the mill; Isaac A., and Harriet C. (deceased). Mrs. Hembree died in January, 1864, and March of the same year Mr. Hembree married Miss Sarah J. Marcum, who was born in Tennessee, in 1844, and who bore him ten children: Mollie; Ida, wife of Robert Brockman; Annis, Ottis, Maud, Joel, Susan, Grant, Garfield and Bird. Mr. Hembree is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Greenfield Lodge No. 446, and is also a member of Greenfield Post No. 75, G. A. R. He and wife and three children are members of the Christian Church. Mr. Hembree and son do business under the firm title of Hembree & Son.


Goodspeed, History of Hickory, Polk, Cedar, Dade and Barton Counties, Missouri; Chicago, The Goodspeed publishing co., 1889.

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