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James Bittick Biographical Sketch, 1876

An Illustrated Historical Atlas Map


Jefferson County , Missouri.

Carefully Compiled from Personal Examinations and Surveys

Published by Brink, McDonough & CO.




             Among the first men to settle on Big River [ Jefferson County , Missouri ], was John Bittick, who was born in East Tennessee, emigrated to Missouri , and settled first on the Meramec River, in St. Louis County . While living there his time was occupied in making sugar [maple] and hunting - the usual pursuits of the early pioneers of the Meramec.  He married Hannah McCourtney, who lived near St. Charles . His oldest child was James Bittick, who was born on the Meramec, in St. Louis County , December 20th, 1811.  About the year 1816 the family moved over into Jefferson County , and settled on Big River , a little below the present town of Byrnesville , but on the opposite side.  John Bittick afterward moved to various places, but always lived on Big River . He owned no land, and sustained himself and family mostly by hunting.

            James Bittick was raised in the County. In 1831 he went to Wisconsin for the purpose of mining for lead. When the Black Hawk War broke out in 1832, he enlisted in the volunteer cavalry, served four months against the Indians, and was present at several important engagements. In 1834, he came back to Jefferson County, and in 1859 moved on his present farm in section sixteen, township forty-two, range three [S16, T. 42, R 3 - Meremac Township].  He has had three children, W.M. [Willis Marion] Bittick, John S.[John Sylvester], and William Henry Harrison Bittick.  The two latter are deceased. William H. H. died in prison in St. Louis , having been made a prisoner after returning home from service in the Confederate (Price’s) Army. John S.[Sylvester] died in 1874. [added: Est. Filed for Probate 31 Oct. 1874]

            W. M. Bittick [Willis Marion], the oldest son, and the only one now living, was born August thirtieth, 1836, on Big River , in Jefferson County . July 1873 he was married to Artemece Harness, the daughter of Jacob Harness. Mr. Bittick, [W. M.], served in Price’s command, on the Confederate side, during the late war. He enlisted in July, 1862. He was principally in Missouri and Arkansas . He was captured at Helena , Arkansas , July the fourth, 1863, and was a prisoner twenty-two months at Memphis and Alton , eighteen months of his imprisonment being at the latter place. He has since the war been farming, and following his trade of a blacksmith.

[  ] = added information


This biography also appears in some Goodspeed histories and in Jefferson County , Missouri in Story & Pictures by Mary Joan Boyer, pub 1958, pages 150-151

Myrtle Gunderson sent a handwritten copy to Belle Bittick Clark in the mid-1960s. 


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