Jefferson County Historical Society

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G. R. Rathbun, real estate agent, farmer and stock grower, of De Soto,
was born in Cayuga County, N. Y., in 1836, a son of John T. and Mariah
(Reed) Rathbun.  John T. Rathbun, also a native of Cayuga County, N. Y.
and of Scotch descent, was born in 1812; while residing in his native
county he was a farmer and politician, but in 1850 moved to Elmira, 
N. Y., where he is now engaged in the manufacture of fire engines, and
operating in real estate.  He is the owner of the Rathbun Hotel, one of
the largest hotels in the State outside of New York City.  He has been
twice married; his first wife, Mariah, was of German and Puritan decent, 
was born in Cayuga County, N. Y., in 1814 and died in 1844. She was the 
mother of four children, G. R. being the eldest.  The latter received 
his education in the academies of his native State, and grew to manhood 
on the farm.  He located in Jefferson County, Mo., in 1867, and in 
De Soto in 1872, and in partnership with William Bowen he established a 
nursery; this partnership continued one year, and the following four 
years Mr. Rathbun conducted the business alone.  He purchased 1,500 
acres three miles south of De Soto, is now improving 1,800 acres, and 
expects to make stock growing his special effort.  In 1878 he commenced 
merchandising in De Soto, which business he continued until June, 1887, 
in the meantime conducting his farms.  In 1876 he married Miss Mary Gorham, 
daughter of Cornelius Gorham; she is a native of Berrien County, Mich., 
and was born in 1852.  In politics a Republican, Mr. Rathbun cast his first 
presidential vote for Lincoln, in 1860. When leaving New York he was 
president of the Union League, and an active worker in the interests of his 
party and country.