Broadhead Family (Virginia and Missouri)

Achilles Broadhead (1789-1853) married Mary Wilson Carr (1796-1852) in Nov. 1817. Broadhead, a magistrate and county surveyor of Albemarle County, Virginia, was commissioned by Thomas Jefferson to survey the land that became the University of Virginia. (Ross) The couple had several children, including James Overton Broadhead, and William Ferrill Broadhead. The family moved to St. Charles County, Missouri, in 1836, where Achilles Broadhead died in 1853.

James Overton Broadhead (29 May 1819-7 Aug. 1898) was the eldest son. He attended the University of Virginia in session 12 (1835-1836). He became a lawyer in St. Louis, MO, and took up politics. Among his many roles in the government was serving in the Missouri legislature for three terms, in the U.S. Congress for one term, and as U.S. District Attorney, and was elected to the Missouri Constitutional Conventions in 1845, 1861, and 1875. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland from 1893 to 1897.

Though Broadhead was a slaveholder, he staunchly supported the Union in the Civil War. He was instrumental in the formation of six regiments of U.S. troops in the service of the Union. He served for seven months in 1863 as Provost Marshal General of the Department of the Missouri, which gave him “near absolute” power to govern five states. (Ross) “It must suffice to say that he was among the foremost of the noble men who, with earnest patriotism and true courage, saved Missouri to the Union, when feeble counsels would have lost it, and that he deserves to be honored with others, as the friend, counselor and supporter of the lamented [General] Lyon.” (Reavis, p. 724) [N.b. General Nathaniel Lyon was an ardent supporter of the Union and foe of the Missouri Secession Movement. He was the first Union general to be killed in the Civil War (August 1861).]

James O. Broadhead married Mary Snowden Dorsey (1825-1914), and the couple had three children: Charles Snowden, Mary Winston, and Nannie Dorsey Broadhead. James and Mary and their children are buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St Louis, MO.

William Ferrill Broadhead (23 Nov. 1836-12 May 1915) was born in St. Charles County, MO. He was the youngest son of Achilles and Mary Wilson (Carr) Broadhead, and the brother of James Overton Broadhead. He attended the University of Virginia in session 34 (1857-1858), and became a lawyer. He was elected as first mayor of Clayton, MO from 1913 to May 1915. William F. married Mary Rosalie Weber (1852-1929), and the couple had children: Rosalie, Alexander Archibald, William Overton, and James N. Broadhead. (U.S. Census) [N.b. The secondary sources state that William and Rosalie had 5 children, one girl and four boys. However, the U.S. Census only shows one girl and three boys, as listed above.]

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