Jefferson County Historical Society

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William Humes, also one of the prominent farmers and stock raisers of 
Meramec Township, was born in St. Louis, Mo., in 1852, and is the son of 
Thomas and Elizabeth Ann (Ring) Humes.  The father was born in England, 
and when about eighteen years of age came to the United States, and 
worked a short time in the salt mines in New York.  He then went to 
Galena, Ill., making the journey on foot, and from there to St. Louis, 
where he passed the remainder of his life in the interest of coal mining.  
He had made mining almost his life long business, and was thoroughly 
conversant with all its workings.  He sunk and operated the first coal 
shaft that was ever sunk in the State of Missouri, and was the inventor 
of what miners call the "Gin," a machine for hoisting coal with a horse.  
He was married in St. Louis, and died December 25, 1875.  His wife was 
born in Indiana, and died July 6, 1876.  William grew to manhood on the 
farm and secured a fair education in the common schools.  He was married 
in 1875 to Miss Amanda S., daughter of Oscar F. and Jane Buchanan, who 
were natives of St. Louis.  Two children were born to this union: Oscar F. 
and Maud S.  After marriage Mr. Humes spent about two years teaming, after 
which he turned his attention again to farming, and remained in St. Louis 
County until 1884, when he came to Jefferson County, and settled on Big 
River, near House's Springs, where he has an excellent farm of 190 acres.  
While in St. Louis County he rented a good farm, and in two years of 
successful and able management was enabled to purchase a good home of his 
own. He has also considerable property in St. Louis left him from his 
father's estate.  Politically a Democrat, his first presidential vote
was cast for Tilden, in 1876.