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.