Jefferson County Historical Society

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William A. Gamel was born in St. Francois County, in 1846, and is a 
successful farmer and stock raiser of Plattin Township, Mo.  He is the
eighth of eleven children born to Robert and Elizabeth (Richardson)
Gamel.  Robert Gamel was born in Pennsylvania, in 1803, and when quite
young removed with his father to Ohio.  After attaining his majority 
he went to Kentucky, and from there to Jefferson County, in 1828, 
where he was married on year later.  He then lived in St. Charles,
Jefferson and St. Francois Counties until 1848, when he settled near
Festus, and here died in 1875.  The maternal grandmother of the subject 
of this sketch came, when a child, with her father, Booker Richardson, 
to St. Louis County, afterwards to Jefferson County, where he was one 
of the influential and respected citizens.  His wife was born in 
Virginia in 1807, and died in 1873. The father was a farmer, a 
blacksmith and a miller by trade.  William received a fair education
in the common schools and in October, 1879, was united in marriage to
Miss Emma Kenner, daughter of William B. and Mary Kenner, formerly of
Ste. Genevieve County, where Mrs. Gamel was born.  Her father was also
a native of Ste. Genevieve County, born 1831.  He received a fair 
education, and in 1852 went to California, where he spent three years.
He married, in 1857, a daughter of William and Eliza Sevink, formerly
of Tenn.  Mr. Kenner lived in Ste. Genevieve, where he has a large
tract of land, until 1877, at which date he came to Jefferson County,
and settled near Festus.  His parents, Francis and Elizabeth (Pillars)
Kenner, were natives of Hawkins County, Tenn., and Kaskaskia, Ill.,
respectively.  The father was a wealthy citizen and a great sportsman.
He came to Missouri when it was Louisiana Territory.  To Mr. Gamel and
wife were born two children: Lee Booker and William Bertram.  Mr. 
Gamel lived near Festus until 1887, when he settled two miles west of 
Rush Tower, and here he has over 300 acres, mostly the result of his
own efforts.  He is a farmer, and in early life taught school several
years, but was not satisfied with that profession.  Politically a 
Democrat, his first vote was for Seymour, in 1866.  He and wife are
members of the Christ Church.  Mr. Gamel has a fine farm of 120 acres,
all well cultivated, and also has eighty acres in Joachim Township.