in Story & Pictures
by Mary Joan Boyer
published 1958, pages 150-151
James Bittick Biographical
Among the first men to settle on Big
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 and hunting—the usual pursuits of the early pioneers
of the Meramec.
John Bittick married Hannah McCourtney, who lived near St. Charles. Their oldest child was James
Bittick, who was born on the Meramec, in St. Louis
December 20th, 1811. About the year 1816 the family
moved over into Jefferson
County, and settled on Big
River, a little below the 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 Jefferson
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 returned to Jefferson
County, and in 1859 moved to a farm in section 16, township 42, range 3.
He was the father of three children when this sketch was written—W. M.
Bittick, John S., and William Henry Harrison Bittick.
The two latter were 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. died in 1874.
W. M. Bittick, the eldest son, and the only one living when this sketch
was written, was born
August 30, 1836, on Big
River, in Jefferson
County. In July, 1873, he was married to
Artemece Harness, the daughter of Jacob Harness.
W. M. Bittick served in Price’s Command, on the Confederate side,
during the Civil War. He enlisted in
July, 1862. He was principally in Missouri
and Arkansas. He was captured at Helena,
Jul 4th, 1863, and was a prisoner 22 months at Memphis
and Alton, eighteen months of his imprisonment being at the latter place.
After the war he followed the blacksmith trade and farmed.
Courtesy of Charles Nahlik
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