Adam Vernaz, a prominent citizen of Warrensburg, Missouri, is of Swiss descent. He was born October 3, 1863 in St. Louis, Missouri, son of Pierre and Callette (Pithoud) Vernaz, natives of Switzerland. Pierre Vernaz was born in December, 1823 and Callette (Pithoud) Vernaz was born in 1828. They were united in marriage in Bulle, Switzerland, and about 1844, when Pierre Vernaz was twenty-one years of age, emigrated from Switzerland to America. They came to America on a sailing boat and were thirty-one days on the way. Mr. Jaccard, of the Jaccard Jewelry Company, of Kansas City, Missouri, came to America from Switzerland on the same boat. To Pierre and Callette Vernaz were born the following children: Eva, Dwight, Oklahoma; Adam, the subject of this review; Mrs. Van Meter, Dwight, Oklahoma; and Mrs. W. W. Scott, Darlington, Oklahoma. Her husband is Indian agent there. J. C. Vernaz, the fourth son of Pierre and Callette Vernaz, died in Warrensburg, Missouri in 1906.
After the Civil War Pierre Vernaz went west with a government train and when near Ft. Laramie, Wyoming, was attacked by the Indians. Mr. Vernaz was shot through the left hand, crippling him for life. He had no way of procuring medical attention until he returned to St. Louis, Missouri, and when he went to the hospital it was too late to cure the wound. Prior to the accident, Pierre Vernaz had been a tailor, but he was obliged to give up his trade because of the crippled hand. His death occurred in December, 1906, at Warrensburg, and in 1907 his wife died.
Adam Vernaz came to Warrensburg with his parents in 1867, when he was four years of age. The Vernaz family located in the old town, Adam receiving his education in the village school. After leaving school he entered the employ of Baldwin & Richards, proprietors of the Warrensburg "Standard." Later he was employed at the "Journal-Democrat" office. In 1904 he went into partnership with his brother, Julius C, who for about eight years had been in the drug business. In 1907 the death of Julius C. Vernaz dissolved the partnership and Adam Vernaz has continued the business alone. He carries a splendid and complete line of drugs and the basement of the building, which is located at 116 West Pine street, is well stocked with oils and dry paints.
January 10, 1887, Adam Vernaz and Fannie O'Brien were united in marriage. Fannie (O'Brien) Vernaz is the daughter of James and Rebecca (Swan) O'Brien, of Sedalia, Missouri. She was born in Canada. Mr. O'Brien died about 1903 in Sedalia, Missouri, and his remains are interred in the cemetery at Sedalia. His widow survives him and resides at Sedalia. To Adam and Fannie Vernaz have been born three daughters, all of whom are engaged in teaching: Juanita, a teacher in the public schools of Warrensburg; Lucille, who is teaching in the Home Economics department in the schools of Bolivia, Missouri; and Mercedes, who specialized in music at the Warrensburg State Normal and is now supervisor of music in the Kirkwood public schools, Kirkwood, Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Vernaz reside in their home at 109 West Russell avenue, in Warrensburg, where they are held in high esteem and have countless friends."History of Johnson County, Missouri" by Ewing Cockrell, 1918
PIERRE VERNAZ, proprietor of the vineyard denominated Over the Rhine, is a native of Switzerland, and born in the city of Bulle, in the State of Friburg, December 25, 1828. He was raised and educated in his native country until the age of eighteen years. When about fifteen years of age he went and served his time of learning the tailor's trade. After finishing this he spent some time traveling western France, Italy and many of her principal cities. In 1850 he married Miss Colette Pythoud, of the county as that of her husband. He then engaged in the tailoring business for himself, and his new wife engaged in the millinery business, which they continued successfully until 1854, when they emigrated to the United States. Arriving at New York they immediately went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he engaged in his former business, making a stay of about thirteen years. During this time he joined a company whose object was to go to Fort Laramie to trade with the Indians. While en route they were attacked by the Indians and he was shot through the hand, and beaten and bruised so that he was given up for dead. He was taken to the hospital at Fort Kearney, NE where he lay for a long time. After a partial recovery he was taken back to St. Louis where he continued to reside until 1867, when he moved with his family to Warrensburg and settled in Oldtown, where he remained until 1875. He then purchased five acres of land north of what is now known as New Town, on which he has grown the choicest varieties of fruits, including about two acres of grapes, consisting of eight varieties, from which he makes the best of wine. They have five children living: Eve, Adam, Mary A., Ida A. and Julius C.