History of Pettis County MO 1919 by Mark McGruder, Page 688
(Transcribed by Laura Paxton)
Nelson Painter, a Union veteran of the Civil War and a Pettis County pioneer, is one of the well-known and prosperous farmers and stockmen of Dresden township. Mr. Painter is a native of Ohio. He was born in Richland County, August 23 1838, son of Hamilton and Matilda (Grub) Painter. Hamilton Painter was born in Virginia and was a son of John Painter.
John Painter was twice married and both his first and second wives strangely bore the maiden name of Rachel Red, although they were not related. To both of his marriages were born eighteen children. John Painter came to Ohio about 1818 with his first wife and children, one of whom was Hamilton Painter, who was about five years old at that time. Hamilton Painter was a farmer and spent his life in Ohio. He lived to the advanced age of 87 years.
Matilda (Grub) Painter, mother of Nelson Painter, was a native of Ohio. Her grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and her father was killed in the War of 1812. She died in Ohio at about 60 years of age. Nelson Painter was reared amidst pioneer surroundings, the family home in the early days being a little log cabin. In 1860 he came to St. Louis Missouri, the same year he set out for Kansas, but finally decided to go to Holt County Missouri, where an uncle of his lived. After remaining there a short time he bought a small tract of land and planted a crop of corn. He had no team and his stock of farming implements consisted principally of a hoe. He was living here when the Civil War broke out and on February 24 1862, he enlisted in Company F, Fourth Missouri Cavalry. He served in the army of the west under General Schofield and General Brown and participated in many battles and skirmishes throughout Missouri and Arkansas. At the close of the war he received an honorable discharge and was mustered out of service and in 1866 returned to Ohio, and on July 27th of that year he was married to Hannah P. Ewers, a native of Ohio born October 19 1841. This union was the culmination of a nine year courtship. Mr & Mrs Painter celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary July 27 1915. Their married life had been an ideal one. Mrs. Painter was a daughter of George W. and Rebecca (Painter) Ewers, natives, respectively, of Loudoun and Frederick counties, Virginia.
In the fall of 1866, Mr. Painter and his wife came to Pettis County, Missouri. He bought a farm in Dresden township, which is his present home and where he has lived ever since. When he settled on this place it was unimproved. He broke the prairie with horses and ox teams, and has improved his place until it is one of the well improved farms of Pettis County. Some of the trees on the place which Mr. Painter set out himself, are now two feet in diameter. He has a splendid farm of 173 acres and carries on general farming and stock raising, and has met with success.
To Nelson Painter and wife have been born six children as follow: Rebecca, married John Ritchey and is now deceased; Sherman, Quenemo, Kansas; Lucy, married James Crawford and they reside in Blackwater township; Mary O., deceased; George W., Dresden township; and Elmer, Dresden township. Mr Painter has 14 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. His grandson, Leslie Painter, son of Sherman Painter of Quenemo Kansas is now serving in the U S Army in France, and it might be said here that there has not been a war since the founding of this Republic but what some of Mr. Painter's ancestors or descendants have served in it.
Mr. Painter is a Republican and a member of the Methodist Church. He has been a close student of men and affairs all his life, and is an unusually well-read man with a remarkably retentive memory. As a pioneer soldier and citizen his career has been altogether creditable to himself and his family.