Dunn Family History

My Family History About the Dunns

Debora “Dunn” Ragland

My Grandmother’s name was Margie Violet Dunn. Her parents were C.C. Dunn and Bessie Lola. Here’s what I know about the Dunn Family.

Jasper Dunn Family

In 1876, Jasper Dunn (1850-1929) and Anna Taylor Dunn (1854-1941) lived on a farm southeast of Urich. Later they bought a farm two miles south of Urich (presently the E. E. Erwin place), and there they lived for the rest of their lives. They had four children; James Earl, William Richard, Charles Clyde, and Florence Belle. 

Their granddaughter, Margie Kinyon, remembers the bountiful dinners her grandmother, Anna, prepared for all the family who gathered there nearly every Sunday. The men were always served at “the first table,” then the children ate at the “second table,” Finally, the women ate their dinner last. After dinner, it was the custom for Anna to call all the family members together, and she would read from the Bible.

Also living in the community were James Franklin Beach and Martha EllenCarver Beach. They had five children, the three sons dying at an early age. The girls were Louisa and Bessie Lola.

C.C. Dunn Family

Charles Clyde Dunn, born February 9, 1881, and Bessie Lola Beach, born December 8, 1884, attended Hickory Grove Baptist Church. They were childhood sweethearts, and the couple was married on December 17, 1902. Their early married life was spent on a farm south of Urich. They had two daughters: Madge was born on December 28, 1904, and Margie bornon August 22, 1911.

In 1912, Clyde and Bessie moved to Urich and opened a confectionary in what was known as the Will Miller Building. Clyde also built an ice house on the south side of Grand River and opened an ice business. The ice was cut in large blocks by hand from the river and stored in sawdust for use in the summer. Later they operated a butcher shop before forming a partnership with Mac Crump, selling groceries, meats, and dry goods.

They opened a general store to manage for rest of their active years in a large building (presently Urton Appliance Store and Vogt Super Market). Clyde’s responsibility was to purchase merchandise. The store stocked groceries, clothing, shoes, dry goods, notions, and a miscellaneous collection of eclectic items, which accumulated through the years, making the store a unique place to browse and trade. Bessie served as the saleslady and greeted customers every day. 

Their partnership was happy and rewarding. Clyde was able to slip away from the store, taking his hounds for a fox hunt while Bessie would “mind the store.” When business was slow, she could be found at the back of the store sewing or piecing a quilt. Her friends often gathered there to help with the quilting. She was fond of children, and many a little girl in need was made happy with a new dress made by Bessie as a surprise gift.

Friends would stop in at the store in the afternoons while waiting for the mail to be sorted at the post office in the afternoon. Here the towns news was reported and interesting happenings discussed. The store and the people who came to visit or shop were Bessie’s enjoyment for more than forty years.

Clyde’s health failed, and for several years his activities were limited, but he helped his wife with the store as long as possible. After C.C.’s death in July 1947, she continued to run the business and, in her capable manner, managed her farms as well.

The last home of the Dunns was built in 1927; Bob Thompson was the contractor. The home is located on West Fourth and is now the property of Ivan Howe.

Previously the Dunns had owned and occupied the George Wick home on Delray Drive (the present owners are Mr. and Mrs. Jack Conner). The distance from the home  to the store was the deciding factor to move—Bessie never learned to drive a car.

Their daughter, Madge, helped her parents in the store at different intervals. After her father’s death, she made her home with her mother until Bessie’s death, February 4, 1962. Madge later married Francis Steele, and they lived on a farm near Montrose until she died in 1975.

After Margie’s marriage, she moved away from Urich for several years. Her daughter, Peggy Ann, was born in San Francisco on September 17, 1936. Margie’s teaching career began when she returned to Missouri. In 1943, she, with her husband, Roy Kinyon, and Peggy, moved to the Dunn farm north of Clinton. Every Sunday was spent with her mother Bessie, who was devoted to her only grandchild, Peggy.

Margie joined the Clinton school system as third-grade teacher in 1943 and taught third-grade until her retirement in 1973. When her husband, Roy Kinyon died in 1965, she moved into town to a home at 504 South Ninth Street Terrace in Clinton. 

Margie’s only child, Peggy Ann married James Ragland, who lived near Deepwater on May 4, 1956. As newlyweds they moved to St. Louis where they live in Florissant Missouri. Jim taught mathematics and chemistry at Normandy High School for nineteen years. They have two daughters, two daughters, Debora Ann and Linda Sue. Debora was born on January 13, 1958. She received her Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri—Columbia. She married Lawrence A. Buerk on February 14, 1981. Currently, they live in Seattle, Washington. Linda Sue Ragland was born on July 11, 1960. She worked as a nurse in St. Louis until 2021. She married Jerry W. Little in 19XX, and they reside in Florissant. The Littles have two children Nicolas W. Little (Josue Quispe Vildrez) (1991—) and Megan Elizabeth Little (1993—). Nicolas and his wife Joy Massey have two children: Savannah and Ramona. Jim died on January 26, 2021—on his 90th birthday during the Covid pandemic. Peggy continues to live in St. Louis near her daughter Linda.

Nathan J. Dunn Family

Nathan J. Dunn was born May 13, 1811, in Kentucky. He and his wife, Zulima Ogle Dunn, born 1818, relocated to Cooper County, Missouri, in 1835. In 1853, they moved to Henry County, Missouri, settling six miles southeast of Urich. There they claimed land from the government through the Homestead Act. Homestead papers were signed by President Franklin Pierce in 1853 and again by President James Buchanan in 1858. In 1875, Nathan  bought more land from the government for $1.25 per acre.

During the Civil War, some soldiers who were killed in battle on the farms were buried in a field southeast of where the old Dunn home stood. Others soldiers were buried in the Hickory Grove Cemetery.

Nathan J. and Zulima Dunn had four children; James A. Dunn, Mary (Clary) Dunn, Jasper Newton Dunn, and Margaret (Armstrong) Dunn.

Nathan J. and Zulima spent their entire life on the farm. Nathan died on January 10, 1870, was followed by Zulima’s death on January 28, 1874. They are buried in the Hickory Grove Cemetery.

Jasper Newton Dunn Family

Jasper Newton Dunn was a native Missourian and was the son of Nathan J. and Zulima Dunn, one of the pioneer families of Henry County, Missouri. Jasper Newton was born on April 1, 1850, on the homestead farm of his parents.

Jasper Newton Dunn and Anna Taylor (a descendent of President Zachary Taylor) were married on September 27, 1876. Anna was born near Frankfort, Kentucky, on December 10, 1854, and came to Missouri with her parents as a small child.

Jasper Newton and Anna had four children: James Earl Dunn, William Richard Dunn, Charles Clyde Dunn, and Florence Bell Dunn.

Jasper Newton was a well-known farmer and stockman of White Oak Township. He acquired several hundred acres of land. Jasper retired at the age of fifty years and divided his land among his heirs. He and Anna moved to a small farm two miles south of Urich, where they lived until their deaths. Jasper Newton died on January 8, 1929, and Anna died on March 30, 1941. Their graves are in Hickory Grove Cemetery.

William Richard Dunn, Sr.

William R. Dunn, Sr., was a well-known, successful farmer and stockman of White Oak Township. He was a native of Henry County, Missouri. He was born October 13, 1878, six miles southeast of Urich in the Hickory Grove neighborhood. William R. was the son of Jasper Newton and Anna Taylor Dunn.

William received his education in the public schools of Henry County and the Appleton City Academy in St. Clair County. There he met his wife, Ora T. Gates, daughter of William A. and Virginia Gates of Walker Township. William R. and Ora T. Dunn were married on March 4, 1903.

William and Ora bought their first farm located three miles south of Urich. They made improvements to the farm including building a new home. They lived on this farm for five years, then sold it and bought a farm five miles south of Urich. There they built a new home and made improvements to  the farm. It was one of the better-improved farms in Henry County. William and Ora owned one thousand acres of land.

William and Ora had three children. Charles Victor Dunn was on born February 25, 1904. William Richard Dunn was born July 14, 1907. Virginia Lee Dunn, an adopted daughter, was born May 7, 1918.

William R. held office on various boards in the township and county. He was director of the Bank of Urich for several years and an elder of the Hopewell Cumberland Presbyterian Church for thirty-five years. They sold their farm to son William R. Dunn, Jr. and his wife Bessie Belle Ross. William and Ora retired in 1945 and moved to Urich. William R., Sr., died January 2, 1947, and Ora died on May 20, 1962. They are buried in the Hopewell Cemetery.

William Richard R. Dunn, Jr.

William Richard Dunn, Jr., was a progressive farmer and stockman, and leading citizen of White Oak Township. William R, Jr., was born July 14, 1907 in White Oak.

William, Jr., was educated in the public schools of Henry County. He attended  Hickory Grove Grade School and Urich High School graduating in 1925. He also attended the University of Missouri, for agriculture. He chose farming as his life occupation and farmed with his father until 1928.

William R. Dunn, Jr., and Bessie Belle Ross were married on January 26, 1928. Bessie is the daughter of James D. Ross, a prosperous farmer of Bogard Township. Mr. and Mrs. Dunn had one son, Richard Dale Dunn, born January 9, 1937.

They bought their first farm of 200 acres in 1929. The farm was one mile south of the William R. Dunn, Sr.’s farm. In 1945, William R., Jr., and Bessie sold their farm and bought his father’s farm. William R., Jr., was a modern farmer adopting new methods of farming. He was one of the first farmers in the county to build terraces and waterways for his farm. William and Bessie received several Balanced Farming Awards for their work. They both served on county and township organization boards. They were members of the Hopewell Cumberland Presbyterian Church, where William Jr., served as an elder, and Bessie taught Sunday School and was the church organist. They retired but continued to live on the farm. Their son, Dale, and wife, Dorothy, now operate the farm. William Jr. and Bessie rank high among the leading citizens of Henry County, Missouri.

Richard Dale Dunn

Richard Dale Dunn was one of the outstanding young farmers of Henry County. He was born on January 9, 1937.

Richard Dale attended Camp Branch Grade School and graduated from Clinton High School in 1954. He attended the University of Missouri for two years, then returned to the farm where he farmed with his father, William R. Dunn, Jr. In 1959, Richard enlisted in the Missouri National Guard serving for six years before being discharged in 1965.

Dale and Dorothy Ferne Simpson were married on November 25, 1961. Dorothy, born October 27, 1942, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Simpson of Urich. Dale and Dorothy have three children: Kendal Wayne, born May 8, 1963; Rodney Lane, born June 7, 1966; and Jana Rae was born on July 27, 1969.

The family lived on a farm three-and-a-half miles south of Urich. They built a new home and improved the farm until it is one of the nicest in White Oak Township. Dale farms 1,040 acres. Both are active in county and township organizations, church, and school activities. They, with their children, attend Hopewell Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Dale is the  Sunday School Superintendent, and Dorothy is Secretary and teaches Sunday School.

They have won several awards in recognition of their outstanding farming. Dale was chosen as Outstanding Young Farmer of Henry County by the Clinton Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1960. In 1965, the Dunns’ won the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Balanced Farming County Award. A few years later, they won the State Balanced Farming Award. Dale and Dorothy take a keen interest in farm modernization. They are strong citizens of their county.Dunn family tree

First Generation

Nathan J. Dunn (1811-1870)

Zulima Ogle (1818-1874)

Second Generation

Jasper Newton Dunn (1850-1929)

Anna Taylor (1854-1941)

Third Generation

William Richard Dunn, Sr. (1878-1947)

Ora T. Gates (—1962)

(Daughter of William A. And Virginia Gates)

Charles Clyde Dunn (1881-1947)

Bessie Lola Beach (1884-1962)

Fourth Generation 

Margie Violet Dunn (1911-1995)

Roy Kinyon (1900-

Fifth Generation

Peggy Ann Kinyon (1936—

James Madison Ragland (1931-2021)

Sixth Generation

Debora Ann Ragland (1958—)

Lawrence A. Buerk (1955—)

Linda Sue Ragland (1960—)

Jerry W. Little (1961—)

Nathan J. Dunn family tree

First Generation

Nathan J. Dunn (1811-1870)

Zulima Ogle (1818-1874)

Second Generation

Jasper Newton Dunn (1850-1929)

Anna Taylor (1854-1941)

Third Generation

William Richard Dunn, Sr. (1878-1947)

Ora T. Gates (—1962)

(Daughter of William A. And Virginia gates)

Fourth Generation

Willliam Richard Dunn, Jr. (1907—

Fifth Generation

Bessie Belle Ross (unknown)

Richard Dale Dunn (1937—)

Dorothy Ferne Simpson (1942–)

(Daughter of Cecil Simpson)


Urich History (out of print)

Debora Buerk
Writer, Editor. and
sometimes family historian