Judge John C. Cape, a native of Washington (now Reynolds) County, Mo., was born July 15, 1824 and is the third in a family of thirteen children
born to Maston and Rebecca (Whaley) Cape. Maston Cape was born in Barren County, Ky., and when nineteen years of age removed with his father, John Cape, and family to Washington County, Mo., in 1819. In the winter of 1843-44, John C. Cape began work in the Bellefontaine Lead Mines, where he worked one year and was subsequently engaged in other mines. He removed to Jefferson County in 1845, and the following four years was engaged in mining and chopping wood, receiving 50 cents per cord at the latter work. He has since turned his attention to farming and stock raising, and is the owner of 160 acres of land. In 1872 he was elected county judge of Jefferson County, which office he held six years. April 12, 1849 he was united in marriage with Sarah M., daughter of James L. Williams (deceased), who settled in Jefferson County in 1843, and was originally from Kentucky. Mrs. Cape died
February 4, 1864, leaving the following children: Frances, James M.
(deceased), Rebecca J., Theodosia E. (deceased), Adaline (deceased),
John N. (deceased), Leander W. (a physician of Festus) and Henry M. In November, 1873 Judge Cape married Mrs. Elizabeth Craig, who died July 30, 1885. Judge Cape has been a member of the Baptist Church for the past forty years, and has long been associated with Swashon Baptist Church, in Jefferson County, in which he is deacon. He has twice been chosen moderator of the Jefferson County Baptist Association, and is also especially active in Sunday school work, having served as
superintendent. He was several times made president of the township
convention, and once chosen president of the County Baptist Sunday School Convention. In the late contest in this county, he was found on the side of local option against the sale of liquor. He has served as master of the De Soto Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and has identified with the fraternity for twenty years or more, holding various important offices in his lodge.