John V. Noell - Goodspeed
Rankin Family History Project
Goodspeed's History of Southeast Missouri

John V. Noell

John V. Noell, a prominent lawyer of Perryville, Mo., was born one and one half miles from Perryville, on September 17, 1851, and is a son of John W. and Mary A. (Gregoire) Noell. John W. Noell was of English descent, born in Bedford Co., Va., on February 22, 1816. In 1838, he with his father John Noell, immigrated to Missouri and located at Fredericktown, Madison County, where they lived one year and removed to Perry County. John Noell settled three miles east of Perryville on the farm now known as the Killian farm.

John W. soon after commenced clerking in a store in Perryville, and in 1835 was married, after which he engaged in merchandising and milling. In 1842 he was elected clerk of the circuit court of Perry County and was re-elected in 1846, holding the office eight years. During these years he read law, and in 1850 was admitted to the bar. In 1854, he was elected to the State Senate. In 1858 he was elected to represent his district in Congress, and was re-elected in 1860 and 1862. Before the expiration of his third term, he died in Washington (March 14, 1862), and his remains were returned home and interred in St. Maryís Cemetery. In 1860 he introduced a bill in the Lower House of Congress to emancipate the slaves of Missouri and to pay the slave holders of the State $10,000,000 for the same. The bill passed the House and went to the Senate, where $5,000,000 was added to it. It was then returned to the House and defeated.

John W. Noell was a self-made man who was highly endowed with natural ability and energy. This, with close application to business made him an able and influential man in the councils of the State and nation. He was a Democrat, but during the war was an uncompromising Union man. His wife was of English and Pennsylvania German descent, and was born in Pittsburgh, Penn. in 1818. She died in 1880, and was the mother of eleven children.

Thomas E. Noell, the second son of John W. and Mary A. Noell, was born April 3, 1839, at Perryville, Mo. He was chiefly educated at St. Maryís Seminary, in Perry County. After having read law for several years in the office of his father, he was in the year 1857 admitted to the bar, whilst yet under age. He practiced his profession from this time until the War of the Rebellion broke out, when he enlisted in the State Militia of Missouri, being appointed first lieutenant of a company therein. Subsequently he was promoted to the rank of major. Afterwards in the year 1862, he received a commission in the regular United States army as captain, which position he occupied until after the death of his father in 1863. During this year he was transferred from the active field service to the position of ...and his ... office, and was stationed first at Cape Girardeau and afterward at St. Louis, Mo. On the death of his father he became the sole dependence of his widowed mother and her four youngest children, for their support. In 1864, he was elected to Congress and was again elected in 1866. Like his father, he was a Democrat, but during the war he was an unflinching Union man. He died at St. Louis, Mo, October 8, 1867, whilst a member of Congress.

John V. Noell was the eighth child in his parents family. His education which was begun in the public schools of Perryville, and St. Maryís Seminary, was finished at St. Vincentís College, Cape Girardeau, from which institution ... the degree of A. B. in June, 1872. The same institution afterward conferred on him the degree of A. M. In the spring of 1870 he began reading law with Judge John H. Nicholson, and during the following fall and winter he taught a term of school. In 1878 he entered the St. Louis Law School, and graduated in 1874 with a degree of L. L. B. After finishing his studies he returned to Perryville and began practicing his profession. In the same year he was elected prosecuting attorney and re-elected in 1876, and in 1878. In 1884 he was again elected to the same office. On June 27, 1875, he was united in marriage with Miss Louise Preston, a native of the county, born on May 18, 1859, and a daughter of James Preston. To Mr. and Mrs. Noell have been born five children: Mary A., Thomas E. Jr., John V., Jr., Ruth and Ada. In religious faith the family are Catholics. Mr. Noell has been a life-long Democrat.

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The Goodspeed Publishing Company compiled a series of histories of various counties in the U.S. in the late 19th century. The information in the History of Southeast Missouri, published in 1888, was provided by the contemporary residents of Perry County and her neighboring counties. The biographies are a valuable source of genealogical information, despite a few minor inaccuracies. We are glad to present the transcribed biographies here for anyone researching Perry County's history.

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