Jefferson County Historical Society

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Richard A. Elkins, judge of the probate court of Jefferson County, is a
native of Franklin County, Ill., and was born in 1844.  His parents are
William B. and Malinda (Godby) Elkins, the former of whom was born near
Chattanooga, Tenn., about 1820, and was taken by his parents to Franklin 
County, Ill., where they were early settlers.  William B. was married in 
Franklin County, about 1842, and remained in that county, engaged in 
farming, until 1855, when he went to Mount Vernon, Mo., and from there, 
in 1856, to Farmington, St. Francois Co., Mo.  He moved to Jefferson County 
in 1864, and located at De Soto, where he has since lived.  His father, 
Rev. Ananias Elkins, a native of North Carolina, was born in 1790, and was 
for many years a Methodist minister.  He died at Mount Vernon, Mo., in 
August, 1887.  Mrs. Malinda Elkins is a native of Virginia, and is still 
living, at the age of sixty-three years.  She is the only daughter of Rev. 
William Godby, also a Methodist minister, who died in Virginia, about 1829.  
Richard A. Elkins received his education principally in the public schools 
at Farmington, Mo., and began teaching school at the age of seventeen years.  
At the breaking out of the Civil War he went to Illinois, where he was 
engaged in teaching until 1868, when he came back to the State of his adoption, 
and was engaged in the public school at De Soto, where he remained until 1871, 
when he was chosen principal of the Kimmswick school, which position he held 
for nearly six years.  In September, 1876, he was chosen principal of the 
North De Soto public school, where he remained until 1880, when he was elected 
to serve two years as judge of the probate court, and elected to the same 
position for a term of four years in 1882, and again elected in 1886.  He has 
proven himself a worthy and efficient public officer and has served with 
distinction.  As an educator he ranked as one of the foremost in the State, 
his experience in that direction covering a period of twenty years.  He was 
married in Rome, Ill., in October, 1866, to Miss Emma, daughter of Rev. Henry 
Walls, a native of Kentucky, and of Welsh descent.  Mr. and Mrs. Elkins
are the parents of two children: William H. and Mabel.  In political 
preference Mr. Elkins is a Democrat.  He is a member of the I. O. O. F.,and 
was a charter member of Industry Lodge, No. 251, at De Soto.