It is not strange if seven cities contended with one another for the honor of being the birthplace of Homer that two small villages in Missouri are divided in their claims for a similar honor in the case of the present foremost American soldier. As to the merits of the contest it is impossible to pronounce judgment at this time. The General himself has only hearsay evidence of the exact locality of his birth, though there is no question as to its having taken place in Linn County, Missouri, and that his boyhood was passed in the village of Laclede.
The General's father, John P. Pershing, a short time before the birth of his oldest child (the general), came from Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and went to work as a section foreman on the Hannibal and St. Joe Railroad. He was a forceful man, of energy and ambition, and it was not long before he was running a general store and at the same time was postmaster of the village. A man now living, who worked for the General's father in both the general store