Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Forsyth Newspaper's Tribute to C. B. Sharp, 1935

This front page article[1] appeared in the first issue of the weekly Taney County Republican, following C. B. Sharp's death. Unlike a paid obituary, this was a news article authored by a writer for the paper.
Taney County Republican, 21 Nov 1935;
image from newspaper collection,
The State Historical Society of Missouri;
permission to use granted by
Branson Tri-Lakes News.
The contemporary information in the article regards the death of Charles Bruce Sharp, on the previous Monday, 18 November 1935. A few weeks before his death, Charles’s declining health had stopped him from making his regular office attendance. Aged 81 and the oldest member of the Taney County bar, he had missed only one day in his 44 years at the court. Funeral services were organized by Dr. John Crockett at the Sharp residence on Tuesday (19 November 1935) and Charles was buried at Snapp Cemetery. He was survived by his wife Bertie Sharp and "he had no other relatives in Taney County."


The biographical details regarding Charles's birth place and birth date, as well as his parent's names and origins are secondhand information. This information appears to have been extracted from Missouri: The Center State, 1821-1915.[2]
The date and place where Charles was "admitted to the practice of law" was reported to be 7 July 1873 in Livingston County, Kentucky. Since the date is specific, it suggests Charles may have had a diploma hanging in his office or perhaps it was entered into Taney County records when he began to practice law in Forsyth. Based upon a 6 March 1854 birth date, he would have been only 19 years old in 1873.
If Charles had been a member of the Taney County bar for 44 years, then he would have arrived in Forsyth about 1891. Before that, he appears in the 1870 U.S. census in the William Sharp household as a farm laborer.[3] What happened to him in the intervening 20 years? Was he in Oregon County, Missouri in 1880 as the article hints?

1. "C. B. Sharp Died Monday Afternoon," Taney County Republican (Forsyth, Missouri), 21 November 1935, p. 1, col. 6.
2. Walter B. Stevens, Missouri: The Center State, 1821-1915, 4 vols. (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1915), 4:25-26; digital images, Internet Archive ( : downloaded 22 August 2014). [A biographical sketch of Charles Bruce Sharp.]
3. 1870 U.S. census, Livingston County, Kentucky, population schedule, Carrsville Precinct No. 5, p. 175A (stamped), p. 45 (penned), dwelling 313, family 321, William Sharp household; digital images, Internet Archive ( : accessed 15 August 2014), image 352; citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 482. [See blog post: William Sharp household, 1870 U.S. Census, Livingston Co., KY.]