William H. Purchase, a prosperous farmer and stockman of Elk Fork township, is one of the well known breeders of Percheron horses and mammoth jacks in Pettis County. In 1918 he exhibited his stock at the Missouri State Fair with flattering results. One of his horses took first premium at the State Fair on three occasions and in the same year this horse won the second premium. This is the celebrated "Gaming, Jr.," and his weight is 1,900 pounds. Mr. Purchase owns a registered three-year-old, "Max Pride," which is a perfect animal. Mr. Purchase has given special attention to the breeding of horses and mules for the past four years and has been successful in this field of endeavor, and is recognized as such by those who are posted in this line. Mr. Purchase is a native of England. He was born in Devonshire, September 26, 1859, and is the son of William and Betsy Purchase, both natives of England where the father was a farmer. They are both now deceased.
William H. Purchase was reared and educated in his native land and in 1880 came to America. He first settled in Sedalia, Missouri, where he was employed for a time by the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company. In 1881, he went to Kansas City, Missouri, where he was engaged in the transfer business. About 1890 he returned to Pettis County and engaged in farming. He bought his first land in Elk fork township which consisted of eighty acres. Here he made improvements and was successful in farming and stock raising, from the start. Later he added to his original purchase and is now the owner of 300 acres of well improved and valuable Pettis County land, every foot of which he owns is the result of honest effort and patient toil. Mr. Purchase has worked hard and made good.
On March 10, 1882, William H. Purchase and Susan Lewis were united in marriage in England. Mrs. purchase is also a native of England and was born June 9, 1860. To Mr. and Mrs. Purchase have been born seven children, as follow: George H., resides in Elk Fork township; Nellie, married E.B. Helman; William, Pendelton, Oregon; Ethel, married C. E. Mentzer, Cambridge, Idaho; John L., Elk Fork township, Pettis County; Myrtle, at home and Clarence, resides at home with his parents.
Mr. Purchase is a member of the Modern Woodsmen of America and the family belong to the Methodist Church, South.
Source: McGruder, Mark A. History of Pettis County, Missouri (Topeka: Historical Publishing Company, 1919)