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Jefferson County, Missouri in Story & Pictures 

by Mary Joan Boyer

published 1958, pages 150-151

 James Bittick Biographical Sketch, 1876



            Among the first men to settle on Big River 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 County, 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, Arkansas, 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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