Capt. William H. Washburn, retired farmer of De Soto, was born in what
is now Jefferson County, Mo., before the State was admitted to the 
Union, October 20, 1820.  His father was James Washburn, a native of
Georgia, who settled in Missouri in 1810.  William H. Washburn received
his education in the old log school house, where the seats were made of
split logs, and the desk consisted of a board upheld by pins in the 
wall, puncheon floor and a huge fireplace in one end of the room, with
stick and clay chimney, and, under the eyes of the most exacting teachers, 
the pupils studied reading, writing, spelling and arithmetic.  Mr.
Washburn was reared on a farm, which occupation he has followed nearly
all his life.  During the late war he served as captain of company B,
Eightieth Missouri Militia, until the close of the struggle, participating 
in the battle of Locust Grove on Black River, where six prisoners,
forty-two horses and equipments, arms, ammunition, etc., were captured
by Capt. Washburn and Lieut. Snell.  Mr. Washburn had been engaged in
railroad work some time prior to the war, and followed the same when 
off military duty.  He subsequently engaged in farming, and still owns 
a farm of 120 acres in Central Township, Jefferson County.  October 19,
1843, he married Malinda C., daughter of James Downing (deceased).  Mr.
and Mrs. Washburn are the parents of the following children: Catherine
(Mrs. S. A. Bage), Adeline (Mrs. J. W. Staples) Alice (wife of Perry
Anderson), Emma (married Samuel A. Seat), George, W. L. and Levi P.;
Samuel and Sarah J. (Beard) are deceased, and also two infants.  Capt.
Washburn served as road commissioner for several years, but has never
sought official position.  Mrs. Washburn has been a member of the Baptist 
Church for the past thirty years.