Jefferson County Historical Society

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Hon. John O'Fallon, a resident of what is known as "O'Fallon Park," 
near Sulphur Springs, where he has lived for fifty-three years, with
the exception of two years in St. Louis County, where he was born in
1831, was brought by his parents, Maj. Benjamin and Sophia (Lee)
O'Fallon, to Jefferson County when but three years old.  The parents
settled where he now resides, and here the father died in 1842.  He
was born near Louisville, Ky., about 1792, and when but a small boy 
came with his uncle, Gov. William Clark, to Missouri, with whom he 
lived until thirteen years of age.  He then joined the Indians, with 
whom he lived for many years, and was afterward appointed Indian agent
for the whole Northwest, which position he held for perhaps thirty
years.  "O'Fallon Bluff," on Platte River, was named for him.  He
spent nearly his entire life with the Indians, was a great personal
friend of Gen. Jackson, and was grand marshal of the day in St. Louis 
during the funeral of Gen. La Fayette.  His father, Dr. O'Fallon came
from Ireland to America about the time of the Revolution, in which he
served as a surgeon, but afterwards settled in Kentucky.  His wife was
a sister of Gov. Roger Clark, of Kentucky, and of Gov. William Clark,
of Missouri, and was of English parentage.  John's mother was a daughter 
of Dr. Lee, a native of France, but who also came to the United States 
about the time of the Revolutionary War, and was among the very early 
settlers of St. Charles, Mo., where he built the first stone house, 
which still stands.  Mrs. O'Fallon died in San Francisco, Cal., about 
1881, where she had lived for about six years.  Col. John O'Fallon, as 
he is usually called (which title he received during the war, having 
raised a regiment of Home Guards, of which he had command, although not 
in active service,) was educated at St. Louis University for five years, 
and then spent one year at Shelbyville (Ky.) College. His early education 
was by a private tutor; he was reared on a farm, and has since had charge 
of his real estate, which consists of land and sawmills, flouring mills, 
etc.  At one time he was the largest taxpayer of Jefferson County, owning 
20,000 acres, in 1875; 3,000 known as Indian Retreat, near Sulphur Springs, 
where he makes his home.  He has figured quite prominently in the public 
affairs of the State; is an active Democrat in politics, wielding more 
influence, perhaps than any other man in the State. He was made a delegate 
to the National Convention, at Charleston, S. C., and Baltimore, Md., in 
1860, as a Douglas Democrat; also in 1872, at the convention that nominated 
Horace Greeley, and made a thorough canvas of Missouri for the liberal 
element.  He was chosen as a delegate to the National convention that
nominated Hancock, but did not attend in person.  He was instrumental in 
nominating and electing Gen. Marmaduke, doing more than any other ten men 
in the State of Missouri.  He was a member of the Legislature from 1882 to 
1884, and nominated George B. Clark for State auditor; was successful in 
securing the nomination.  Although a Southerner by birth, he was a strong 
Union man during the war, and did all in his power for its preservation.  
He has, since that struggle, labored earnestly and enthusiastically to 
allay the animosity engendered by the action of the war.  His principal 
reason for putting forth such strenuous efforts for the access of Gen. 
Marmaduke to the governorship, was that he (the Colonel) being a stanch 
Union man, championed the cause of one who figured prominently in the 
Confederate army.  This is only one of the many instances in which he has 
put forth every effort for that noble and worthy cause, and for burying 
the "bloody shirt."  Col. O'Fallon has been an active worker for the 
Democratic party for nearly thirty years, and has been personally 
acquainted with nearly every man of public prominence in the State of 
Missouri during that time.  His mail is flooded with correspondence from 
politicians all over the State, seeking his influence and support to 
offices of trust, and upon the great questions of the day which mostly 
concern the public.  He has frequently been solicited and is urged today 
by his numerous friends to announce himself as a candidate for governor, 
or for any office of trust in the State.  He is not only an active 
politician, but is an earnest worker for all industrial enterprises. He is 
a firm friend of temperance, a believer in religion, and a firm supporter of
the church. He was one of the first projectors and first stockholders in the 
St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad. He is a fluent speaker, an able 
debater, and a man of pleasing address.