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Published by the Livingston County Bicentennial Agriculture Committee. July, 1976.


Marcellus and Rosemary Anderson

My grandfather, Patrick Anderson I, was born in Ireland in about 1822. He came to the United States at an early age and settled in Fort Clee, New Jersey, where he was married to Mary Ann Campbell. To this union three children were born: Patrick II, John, and Margaret. The family came to Missouri in 1870 where my father bought 40 acres of land in Livingston County, 12 miles southwest of Chillicothe, between Ludlow and Dawn. This is now on State Road DD.

Purchase of the first land (40 acres) was made in the year 1874 from the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad. Now the Milwaukee is a quarter mile west of the house.

My grandfather died soon after coming to Livingston County. My grandmother, Patrick II, and John built a small, one-room house where they lived a few years. In about 1880 they built a large five-room house. My father was married on October 20, 1883, to Clara Harvey at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Utica, Mo. To this union 12 children were born in the house that was built in 1880. Two of my three children were also born there in 1936 and 1937. My grandmother lived with us until her death in 1909 at the age of 84. My uncle John also lived with us for many years, he never married. My Aunt Margaret kept house for the late Andy Hedrick for many years. Late in life she was married to Patrick Curran of Chillicothe where she lived until her death in 1935.

My father and uncle John engaged in general farming. They bought more land and raised corn, oats, wheat, cattle, hogs, and horses. In the late 1920s they owned 320 acres. We had a good life on the farm, always having plenty of food. All we had to buy was flour, sugar, and coffee. My father would go to Chillicothe in the wagon in the fall of the year to get supplies for winter. We would drive a team of horses or mules and our carriage to church in Utica, six miles away, on Sundays (St. Joseph’s Catholic). My father would take us to the circus in Chillicothe, the highlight of our lives. My brother, the late Joseph Anderson, and I took over the home place, 40 acres from my father and 40 acres from my aunt Margaret, in 1934.

I was married on August 3, 1935, to Rosemary O’Rourke in St. Joseph’s Church in Chillicothe. We have three children: Marcellus, Jr., now living in California; Elizabeth Ann and Mrs. Jane Carey, both of whom live in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. We have six grandchildren: Chris, Susan, Marcy, and Gregory Anderson, and Mike and Shelia Carey. We lived on the farm from 1935 to 1961 when we moved to Shawnee Mission, Kansas. We have had the farmhouse remodeled and will retire there this year, 1976.

Patrick I and wife, Patrick II and wife, and all of my deceased brothers and sisters, with the exception Of two, were buried in the Catholic Cemetery in Chillicothe. Dennis was buried in St. Joseph, Mo., and Catherine McGinnis was buried in Warrensburg, Mo. I have one sister, Sister Mary Fidelia, living at the Nazareth Convent at St. Louis, Mo. I have one brother living: John Edward Anderson, Kansas City, Mo. I have 37 great-grandchildren surviving. My brother, Hugh Patrick III, spent three years in the U. S. Navy in World War I. Several of the boys from the fourth generation were in the service during World War H.

My first ride in an auto was about 1914. The late Dr. Simpson of Chillicothe came by our farm on a Sunday and gave us a ride up the road and we walked back home.

Our near neighbors, when I was a boy, were Col. A. W. Cies on the west, the Shields family on the north (where Roy Shields still lives), the Carl Hunt family (who moved to Canada in about 1916), the Gregory Lawson family (who were very kind to us when my brother, Timothy, died at the age of 16 in 1916). They had one of the first autos. They took my family to the funeral at Utica, and to the cemetery in Chillicothe. Albrittan Lawson still owns and lives on the farm.

The creek running through our farm was called Rattlesnake, not because there were snakes, but because it was so crooked. A large ditch was dug through our farm, it was called Dredge Ditch. This was about 1910. It started east of Braymer and ran to Grand River south of Chillicothe. The landowners were taxed for this; my father’s tax was $100 per year for 19 years. It did a good job draining the swampland. The workers lived in one of our large sheds while digging the ditch. Risley School was one mile north of our farm. It was named after the owner of the farm, Mr. Risley. My uncle John later bought the farm. All my brothers and sisters and I went to this school. Two of my sisters went to St. Joseph Academy in Chillicothe and some of us went to Dawn High School.

Children of Clara and Patrick Anderson: Mary Adeline Anderson, born January 15, 1885; Andrew Anderson, born April 16, 1886; Amos Anderson, born January 10, 1887; Catherine, born October 31, 1890; Hugh Pat, born February 21, 1893; Dennis William, born August 19, 1895; Anna (Sister M. Fidelia), born March 16, 1898, left February 5, 1921, to join St. Joseph Sisters; Timothy, born July 4, 1900, died November 2, 1916; John Edward, born January 4, 1903; Marcellus Joseph, born May 21, 1905; Joseph Harvey, born July 29, 19 10, died May 16, 1953; Clara Elizabeth, born March 15, 1913, died August 24, 1949; Patrick Anderson, died April 4, 1939; Clara Anderson, died February 27, 1943; John W. Anderson, died April 1, 1941; Andrew Anderson, son of Patrick and Clara Anderson, died February 7, 1942; Margaret Anderson, wife of Andrew Carr, died April 28, 1935; Margaret Anderson Curran (sister of John and Patrick), died April 29, 1935, at 90 years; little Michael Anderson (son of Joe and Emily), died Sunday, March 31, 1946, 2 years, 9 months; Joseph Harvey Anderson, died May 16, 1953; Grandma Anderson, died 1909, age 84 years; Aunt (Mat) Martha Harvey (wife of Uncle Lon Harvey), died October 17, 1950, at Kearney, Nebraska. - Marcellus J. Anderson

George Bartholome and Altie B. Eckert

Robert Bartholome (1833-1917) was born in the Province of Saxony, Prussia. Like all youth of the country, he spent three years in military service. He also obtained a good education in the public schools. His parents were Elias and Elizabeth Bartholome. The father was born in 1786 and the mother in 1793. Elias was a soldier in the Prussian army for a number of years, participating in the Battle of Waterloo, also the Battle of Leipzig. For his services in the conflict he obtained a gold medal. He also received four other medals for service to his country. Two of these he disposed of for quite a sum of money. He died in his native land in 1863 leaving seven children other than Robert: Henry in Oregon, Paul and Sophia in Illinois, and Wilhemina, Susannah, and Margaret in Prussia. The sons were all farmers except George, who was a shoemaker.

Robert immigrated to this country in 1859. On August 23,1871, he married Elizabeth Goos (1843-1935) of Livingston County, Missouri. Her father, Claus Goos, was born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. He served in the Prussian War in 1864, coming to America in 1870. Robert and Elizabeth were baptized as Lutherans in Germany. They were the parents of ten children:

Minnie (Bartholome) Burtch 1872-1954, Dora Bartholome 1884-1941, Robert Bartholome 1887-1954, Catherine (Bartholome) Triplett 1877-1969, August Bartholorne 1875-1967, Edna (Bartholome) Tolson 1891-1966, Emma (Bartholome) Dudley 1880-1960, Elizabeth (Bartholome) Engelman 1882-1969, George Bartholome 1896, Altie (Bartholome) Eckert 1893. The parents are buried in the Wallace Cemetery.

After they were married in 1871, at the home of mother’s sister, they moved to the 60 acres, Section 9-59-22. There was a log house there. The older children were born there. He bought additional land consisting of 192 acres. The four younger children were born in the present house, which was built in 1890. The front part and two north rooms were added in 1904. The carpenter was Bill Davis of Laredo.

Before I was born, in April of 1893, a dark cloud formed late in the evening, and a cyclone struck Banner schoolhouse, a fairly new building with extra room for wraps and dinner buckets. It scattered the building for miles. The teacher’s clock and bell were found 10 miles northeast near Haseville. Later a new Banner schoolhouse was built. The cyclone moved the front part of the Bartholome house seven inches off the foundation, broke several windows, blew away the hen house and granary. At the former Henry Eckert place it blew the house away. The Bisbee family lived there. They had just left the house and entered the cave. Later a new Banner schoolhouse was built. All the Bartholome family attended this school. We had wonderful teachers who taught reading, writing, arithmetic, spelling, history, grammar, geography, and singing. We had spelling and ciphering matches. On the last day of school several exhibits were shown. Folks came from miles around.

Years ago we attended Sebago Church and Sunday School. Our first car was a Model T, and later a Model A. The last car George bought was in 1966 and was a red Chevrolet. He raised cattle, hogs, sheep, mules, and chickens. Row crops included corn, oats, wheat, soybeans, clover, timothy, and lespedeza for hay. We had a large garden and two large orchards. We raised the following varieties of apples: Jonathan, Ben Davis, Genetin, Willow Twigs, Huntsman’s Favorite, Whitney, Yellow and Red Delicious, and red and yellow crabapples.

Varieties of pears raised: Bartlett, Dutchess, Anfou, Seckel, and winter pears. Some pear trees are 90 years old and still bear fruit. We also had blackberries, black and red raspberries, and strawberries. We sold a large amount of the fruit. We had good pasture. There is a timber branch that runs through the 60 acres, a pond, a cistern, fruit and shade trees near the site.of the log cabin of nearly 100 years ago.

I can remember when we got our mail at Eversonville; later at a Postoffice in Gibsonps store in Chula. We put up a mailbox in 1904 and it was 3/4 of a mile from the house. The route was changed about 1920 and now goes by the house.

Marvin and Viola Balman

John Oldaker and his wife Mary came from Wyoming County, Illinois, in 1868. They bought 160 acres (SW ¼ Sec. 3-59-23) from the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad. A year later, his brother Jacob and wife Laura, and their father Rhamey and mother Elizabeth came from Ohio. They each bought 40 acres from John. Later John and Mary moved to Rolfe, Iowa.

This was an area of good farming ground. In 1879, Rhamey bought 40 acres near Medicine Creek which is still a part of the farm. After Rhamey’s death, Jacob bought his land from the other heirs. In 1936, a son, H. B. (Dick) Oldaker, bought the farm from his father’s estate. He lived there until his death in 1963. He never married.

Jacob Oldaker (1845-1925) and Laura (18581934) were married in 1876. Their children were: Charles 1877, Orie 1879, Bessie 1881, Ray 1884, H. B. 1887, Laura 1890, and J. A. 1892.

Orie married William A. Clingingsmith. Their daughter married Jess Balman of Livingston County. A son, Marvin and his wife Viola Collins Balman, bought this from other heirs in 1964. - Marvin and Viola Balman

C. Pres and Mary Bills

Stephen Bills: was born December, 1823, in New Hampton, North Carolina; married Harriett Boone December 5th, 1840; bought a farm in Livingston County shortly after 1840. He went to California during the gold rush in 1849, by ox team and wagon, and returned in 1853, living in a log house at the time. Shortly after his return, he built the frame house on the present farm. He died in August, 1859. Harriet Bills died August 5,1908. The farm then went to J. W. Bills, his son, who owned the farm until 1933, then sold it to his son, C. Pres Bills.. The farm has always been general farming with crops and livestock.

There is a Bills family cemetery on this farm. Harriet Boone was born in 1824 in North Carolina. She was the daughter of Eliza and Nancy Evans Boone, They moved to Livingston County in 1834. Her father and two brothers were in the Mormon war in 1838. - C. Pres Bills

Bonnie Austin Blycker

Our great-grandparents, John and Mary Austin, came to Livingston County from White County, Tennessee. Their ancestors were originally from Scotland. They with other settlers pitched their tent and camped on Shoal Creek in the southwest part of the county. In 1833, the night of November 12 was very memorable to the early settlers of Missouri as "the time when the stars fell."

They were the parents of eight children: Andrew N., William C., David C., Spence Hall, Lovey M., John Melathy, Mary Ann, and Louisa Jane, all of whom resided in Livingston County at the time of their father’s death.

Spence Hall Austin was our grandfather and was a farmer and stock dealer. A portion of his farm was in orchard. He was married to Frances Ann Smith on June 6, 1878. They had one son, James Ola Austin, and also made a home for Emma Flamm who came to live with them after the death of her mother.

James O. Austin married Laura Culling on December 24, 1906, and they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary December 24, 1956. They were the parents of five children: Zeola Austin Warner, Bonnie Austin Blycker, Corwaine Austin (deceased), Luthera Austin Clegg, and Eddison Austin.

Spence Hall Austin died March 23, 1901, and was buried in Bethel Cemetery.

James O. Austin died March 10, 1957. Laura Austin died May 29, 1967. Corwaine Austin died March 18, 1975. They are all buried in Bethel Cemetery.

There is a spring about 125 yards north of the old house. When asked about the deep depression nearby, my father, James O. Austin, said it was made by wagons of people on their way to Oregon who camped near the spring.

September 9, 1838, John Austin purchased at the land office at Lexington, Mo., the NW ¼ of the NW ¼ Sec. 4-56-26. The document was signed by President Martin Van Buren.

John Austin was appointed postmaster of Austinville postoffice, Livingston County, in 1841. - Bonnie Austin Blycker

Gerald and Margaret Bonderer

One of fifteen children, Joseph Flavian Bonderer was born to John Peter and Catherine (Probst) Bonderer on September 9, 1827, in St. Gallen Canton, Switzerland. In May of the year 1855 he sailed for America, landing at New Orleans. He traveled up the Mississippi River to St. Louis and secured employment working on a farm for which he was paid wages of $6.75 per month. After six months he left St. Louis, traveling up the Missouri River to Brunswick, and then overland to Utica. Here he established the business of burning lime, quarrying, and contracting rock. In 1860 he entered the military service and was stationed at Breckenridge, Missouri. After serving two years he came back to Utica and re-established his lime kiln and rock contract work which he continued for a period of twelve years. Several buildings still standing in Chillicothe were quarried and constructed by Mr. Bonderer. They include the county jail and the rock work of the St. Columban Church. (This quarry is still in the present Bonderer farm.)

In 1860 Flavian married Catherine Barbara Seitters of Alsace-Lorraine. Catherine’s family had settled in the "Low Gap" country near Plymouth about the same time Flavian came to America. The romance began when Flavian was visiting the Seitter family and saw a picture of Catherine. (Catherine was in Illinois with her sister.) Anyway Joseph remarked after seeing the picture, "Send for her to come home, I want to marry her." The wedding took place on December 18, 1860.

The farm was purchased in several different pieces from the year 1873 to 1878. It consisted of 182 acres plus the five acres of the quarry, which is a half mile from the rest of the farm.

To Joseph and Catherine fourteen children were born, six of whom survived. Joseph died January 25, 1900, and Catherine died on April 29, 1912. Both are buried in the Catholic Cemetery in Chillicothe, Missouri.

Lawrence Flavian, the eldest son, married Stella McMillen April 26, 1892, at the Catholic Church in Utica and they moved immediately to the farm. Their possessions were carried in one wagon and they led their one cow behind it. They lived on this same farm until 1941 where they reared eight children-six boys and two girls. One child, a boy, died in infancy. The farm, which they purchased from Lawrence’s mother and the rest of the heirs, became theirs in 1904.

The farm located one and one-half miles west and a mile and a half north of Utica on the south side of Grand River is about half bottom ground and the rest rough hill timberland. When Stella and Lawrence moved to the farm, there was one small house and barn, a small orchard and forty acres cleared. The family cleared the rest of the farm; put the bottom land in crops, the hill in pasture; raised cattle and hogs and constructed a large barn in 1909. Their home, a large two-story house consisting of 8 rooms, was built from lumber sawed from trees growing on the farm. It was built onto the existing house, making 11 rooms in all.

Gerald and Margaret immediately began to modernize the home. They put in running water, bathrooms, hardwood flooring, clothes closets, added a garage and family room and landscaped the yard. They expanded their flock of Corriedale sheep, which Gerald started in 1940. They kept 100 to 125 registered ewes and sold their sheep at purebred sheep sales, state and nation wide.

Lana Lee, their only child, was born March 8, 1946. Lana loved to work with her father and the sheep. She helped him show at all the county as well as the Missouri State Fairs. Their sheep were entered at the American Royal and several other State Fairs including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Texas. Lana had her own sheep project in the 4-H club, of which she was a member all the years she was eligible and lived on the farm. She, as well as her father, won her share of blue ribbons. Gerald was president of Missouri Corriedale Association for several years as well as a director from Missouri to the American Corriedale Association.

January 14, 1959, the farm home of the Bonderers was completely consumed by fire. Nothing was saved. They had been gone from the home only an hour when they returned to find it completely engulfed in flames. They built a small house at the same location, but they also bought a lot in Chillicothe and erected a home to live in, where they still reside. Margaret went back to the school room and Gerald continued operating the farm. They sold their sheep soon after this and increased the cow herd-mostly Charolais crossbred.

The farm has been increased in size and now contains 260 acres. One hundred twenty acres are in cropland and the rest is in pastures with two large lakes and two smaller ponds, one which is used for water to the house and barn.

Margaret is active in school and community affairs and Gerald’s pet project is Farm Bureau, which he helped to reorganize in the late thirties. He is a charter member and has held every office as well as having served on several committees. He has been an invited guest to the Governor’s Conference for Agriculture for several years.

Lana married Warren Henry of Evansville, Indiana, in March, 1971. They have just recently moved into a new home they had built in Gladstone, Missouri. Though Mr. Henry works as a systems analyst, he is connected with farming, being employed by Farmland Foods, Inc. The family hobbies, including Lana and Warren, are dancing, card playing, hunting, and fishing. Gerald attends the Catholic Church while other members of the family go to the Methodist Church.

The farm is very important to every member of the family and hopefully when the next centennial rolls around, this farm will carry on the heritage of the Bonderer family.

The children attended a little country school two miles from the farm which was called "Brush College." They walked this distance with the Sherman children who lived one-half mile west of them. The Bonderers were always active in school, church, and community affairs. Lawrence was Western District Judge of the County Court for six years from 1908-1914. During this time the present courthouse was constructed. He was active in extension work and helped get a county extension agent in Livingston County, was a charter member of the Farm Bureau which was formed in the county in the 20’s. Though the land was subject to overflow from Grand River and several crops were lost to floods, not nearly as many were lost as could have been, for the farm was all leveed by the family, using mules and a slip, as well as hand shovels. They worked with the Extension Service on fertilizer test plots for crops and pasture. The Bonderers, and a neighbor W. B. Merriman, shipped in a car load of limestone long before it was crushed and used in the county as a common practice. Gerald, next to the youngest son, stayed on the farm after the other children left and helped carry on the tradition of progressive farming. He first planted hybrid corn in the late 30’s and in 1940 sold Pioneer Hybrid Seed Corn to his neighbors and friends and really started the use of hybrid corn in the county. He got a ton of nitrogen fertilizer from Bob Garst and found out what it could do for his crops-he has used nitrogen on every acre of corn grown on the farm since that time. His corn has averaged over 100 bushels per acre for over thirty years, wheat between 40-50 bushels per acre, and soybeans over 40.

The farm, located 1½miles north of Highway 36, was always a problem as f ar as mud roads were concerned. During the depression, when W. P. A. was started, they let the W. P. A. open the quarry and crush rock. Their only pay was the g r a v e I i n g of this road. The Bonderers bought their first automobile in 1915-a Hupmobile-their next car was a Buick and somehow the Buick has been a tradition in the family since. Until the twenties farming had been done mostly with mules and "boys," then in the early 20’s a tractor was purchased, a Fordson. It rode harder than a mule and couldn’t pull much more but didn’t get tired.

In November, 1941, Gerald bought the farm from his parents, who moved into Chillicothe, Missouri. They lived at the Calhoun Street address until their deaths. Lawrence died in 1957 at the age of 88, Stella passed away in 1962 at the age of 92. They had celebrated their sixty-five years of marriage with a family gathering. Both are buried in the Catholic Cemetery.

Gerald married Margaret Grouse on January 17, 1942. Margaret’s family were also early settlers of the county. The Grouses settled in the Springhill Community three years prior to Bonderers coming to Utica. In fact, Gerald’s grandmother’s brother, Chris Seitters, married Margaret’s grandfather’s sister, Christina Grouse. The early Bonderer and Grouse families were friends and visited back and forth, traveling by buggy. They always remained overnight, for the distance between Springhill and Utica was too great to make in a day and get any visiting done. Lawrence Bonderer could remember families getting together in the fall of the year to make grape wine. - Gerald and Margaret Bonderer

Lewis and Linnie Bowen

Anthony Bowen was born in Greenbrier County, Virginia, in 1838. He was the son of Moses and Sarah Bowen. He moved with his parents to Daviess County, Mo., in 1855. Two years later, the family moved to Livingston County and settled on a farm in Blue Mound Township. He spent his youth and early manhood on the farm helping his father.

When the Civil War broke out, he enlisted in the Union Army. He held a captain’s commission in a Missouri regiment and served throughout the war. After the war he returned to Livingston County where he spent the remainder of his life. He homesteaded 160 acres in Fairview Township in 1866 where the present owner, Lewis Bowen, and his wife now live.

He was from a family of 12 children, 6 boys and 6 girls. He never married, but when he bought his farm three of his sisters made their home with him until his death in 1908. After his death, his sisters remained on the farm and rented the crop land.

In 1915 Lewis and his brother, Bert, bought the farm and continued to farm in partnership until Bert’s death in 1934. At that time Lewis and his wife bought Bert’s interest and continued to live there. In 1928, they built a house across the road from the old house. Mound Creek runs through part of the land. The farm has some creek bottom, 60 acres of timber, and the rest upland.

In early years they raised cattle, hogs, corn, wheat, and oats. In later years they added soybeans. In early years they did their farming with horses and mules. In 1947 Lewis bought his first tractor, which he still has and uses for odd jobs around the farm. In 1965 Lewis retired and rented the farming land.

Before rural mail delivery they had to get their mail at a post office one-half mile from the house. It was called the Ida Post Office, and it was run by Mrs. Mary Greener. When rural delivery came, they received their mail through the Dawn Post Office. Later they were transferred to Chillicothe, where they continued to be on Rural Route 2.

The burial grounds where the Bowens are buried are Burnside Cemetery in Fairview Township and Christison Cemetery in Blue Mound Township. - Lewis Bowen

Margaret, John, and Charles Casebeer

Daughter and sons of R. S. and Hattie (Hooker) Casebeer. Our farm, in Sec. 19-59-23, was a part of the Solomon R. Hooker farm. See Wallace and Edna Hooker farm history.

Mrs. Nolan (Esther) Chapman

My grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas D. Jones, came to this country in 1868. They brought their children, Esther, Dave, Ben, John, and Tom (my father). Father was fourteen at the time. He saw what was to him a strange crop growing here; later he found that it was corn. The family was from South Wales. They were sixteen days on the ocean. They landed at Castle Garden, New York. They arrived at Utica, Missouri, on the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad, the only train through here at the time (June, 1868). Utica was the largest town around here then. From there they walked to Dawn. They couldn’t tell when they got there and walked on past it. Father could speak no English at first, only "yes" and "no."

My grandmother died within two years. My grandfather bought part of the present farm in 1868. Father and grandfather lived there until father married Ida Patrick (my mother) in 1883. Their children were: Sam, Orville, Esther, Grace, Harvey, and Ethel (who died in infancy). The family attended Mt. Carmel Baptist Church. Members of the family are buried in the Welch and Christison Cemeteries.

The farm is located two and a half miles east of Dawn. A big branch ran through it and there was a pond. There were two mounds, said to be Indian mounds. There was a little timber at the north end. Crops were corn and wheat. We raised hogs and fat cattle which were sold and shipped; some were kept for our own use. We had a vegetable garden, fruit orchard, strawberries, and raspberries. One year we had so many peaches we put up 400 quarts and fed some of them to the hogs.

The first house had two rooms; later a kitchen was added. Later on, a two-story house was built. Part of the old house was moved down back of the chicken yard. We had dances there. My uncle came and played the fiddle.

We usually slaughtered five to seven hogs each year for our own use. These were cured in the smokehouse. The side meat was hung and the hams were packed in barrels. One time thieves got the side meat but missed the hams. Meat was stored in the icehouse. - Mrs. Nolan Chapman, Sr.

William Daniel and Mary Frances Coberley

This farm, the W ½, SE ¼ , Sec. 24-59-23, was owned in 1857 by Mary A. Coberley, who came from Ohio in 1850. It was deeded to her son, Jessie F. Coberley (1825-1897). He served in the Civil War and is buried in Wallace Cemetery. In 1925 the farm passed to a son, George W. Coberley (1879-1955). He is buried in Plainview Cemetery. In 1951 the farm passed to Jesse F. and Annie (Wilson) Coberley, then in 1966 to William Daniel and Mary Frances (Weitzel) Coberley. The old homestead was on this farm. As it is hilly ground, it is now used for pasture.

J. W. Cole

John Willis Cole was born on and has lived all but 1 ½ of his 79 years on a farm in Jackson Township that has been owned by his family for three generations. His grandparents, Moses and Sarah Cole, came to Livingston County from the vicinity of LaPorte, Indiana, in 1854. Moses was born in New York, June 17,1828. Sarah was born in New York, July 7, 1832, only three months after her parents, Peter and Sarah (Dare) Willson, arrived with their three other children from Taunton, England. Moses and Sarah were the parents of five children, Willson born in 1853, Willis born in 1855, Walter born in 1867, John D. born in 1869, and Daisy born in 1873.

Their son Willis married Susanna Wagner, April 17, 1879, and moved onto the acreage described in this article. They were the parents of nine children. Three sons, Cloddie, Fredrick Moses, and James, died in early childhood. Maye married Everett Stith; Gaye married Orville Maxwell; Ella married Thomas Bills; Ollie married Virgil Boone; Mary married Harry Shuler. John Willis, the present owner and occupant, married Grace Hicklin, April 17, 1938. They have two children, Mildred and Carl Willis, both living in Chillicothe. Carl and his wife, Marna, have a son, Michael.

The Cole family was closely associated with the Hicks rural school prior to its closing in 1960. Mr. and Mrs. Cole and their two children attended grade school there. Mr. Cole was on its board of directors for several years as was his father, and Mrs. Cole taught there before her marriage. Three generations, namely Moses, Willis, and J. W. Cole, were active members of the Masonic Lodge at Springhill.

Their farm is 2 ½ miles west of Springhill, a town important during the early settlement of Livingston County. A small store is said to have started there in 1836 and it had grown into a thriving community (at that time larger than Chillicothe) by the time Mr. Cole’s grandparents settled in the county. A Farmers Store was established there in the 1920’s. This was a cooperative which sold groceries and general merchandise and also purchased farm produce such as eggs, live poultry, milk, and lard. Mr. Cole was on its board of directors for several years. The store passed into private ownership in the 1950’s and is no longer in existence.

This centennial farm originally consisted of 80 acres (east half of the southwest quarter of section 34, township 59 of range 25 which lies along Indian Creek in Jackson Township and contains both creek bottom and hill land. It was first issued from the U. S. Government in 1840 to William S. Miller.

In the early days a subscription school was located on the southwest corner of the property. Attendance required payment to the teacher. Nothing is known of the school’s physical appearance except that split logs were used for the seats. Willis Cole was one of the pupils at this school.

Moses and Sarah Cole purchased the land July 28, 1873, from John T. and Hester Moss. A house and other farm buildings had been built on the property prior to that time but Moses and Sarah never lived on this acreage. They continued to reside at their home on property nearby and eventually acquired nearly 400 acres of land.

At that time most farm work was done by hand or by one-row machinery pulled by horses. Corn was cultivated with single or double shovels one row at a time; sometimes two or three trips through the field were made for each row. Small grain was cradled and hay was mowed by hand. Moses bought one of the first mowing machines in the vicinity and was careful to take it in from the field each night for fear that workers, whose labor it replaced, might damage it. He also had a machine for cutting grain but men had to follow this machine and tie the cut grain into bundles.

Willis Cole bought this 80 acres from his parents in 1897; the present residence was erected that same year. Native lumber was used in the construction of the frame house. Willis, with the help of a neighbor, did most of the labor for a total cost of $550.00. An 1898 tax receipt shows an assessed valuation of $660.00 and a total property tax of $7.59.

During the early 1900’s the farm’s main crops were corn, wheat, and oats. Willis Cole raised horses and mules for sale in addition to those needed for his own farm work. He also raised Galloway cattle. In addition to Indian Creek, two smaller creeks run through the property providing stock water. If a creek should run dry, there was a 58-foot well that supplied drinking water for the stock as well as for the household. Water was pumped in succeeding years by windmill, gasoline engine, and electric motor.

The present owner, J. W. Cole, began his farming career prior to his father’s death in 1922. He purchased this farm May 28, 1937, from the estate of his parents. The main cash crop today is soybeans, which Mr. Cole first raised in 1940. He recalls paying 650 per bushel for the first seed. In his farming career of over 50 years he has raised corn, wheat, hogs, and Angus cattle on his 400 acres of land. His lifetime has spanned a period of revolutionary change in farming procedures. When he began farming, machinery was drawn by horses and jobs, such as stacking hay and picking corn, were done by hand in contrast to today’s use of powerful, sophisticated machinery. - J. W. and Grace Cole

Irene Ballenger Drummond

Edward Ballenger in 1855 was given by the U. S. Government a land grant of 160 acres in Sec. 17, Twp. 59, Range 23, Cream Ridge Township. He married Elizabeth Louisa May, January 11, 1852. He was the son of Minor W. and Anna Ballenger of South Carolina and later of Boone County, Missouri.

His brother, Jonathan Thomas, was born in Boone County, February 4, 1838, and came to Livingston County with his widowed mother ten years later. He married Martha A. Parks of Boone County, September 21, 1858, and they became farmers on 120 acres of the original 160 acres in Sec. 17, and 20 acres in Sec. 20. They were the parents of eight children. Jonathan and his wife were faithful members of the Union Baptist Church where he also served as deacon, Jonathan died February 2, 1890; his wife died February 28, 1902. Both were buried in May Cemetery.

The youngest child, Jesse born 1877, continued to live on the farm with his mother after the death of his father. September 8, 1897 he married Rosa May Harman, daughter of Peter Harman and Amanda Jane Darr. Rosa taught in rural schools several years. Their only child, Irene, was born September 19, 1900. Jesse lost his mother and young wife on the same day, February 28, 1902. He died May 14, 1903. All were buried in May Cemetery.

Irene grew up in Chula in the home of an aunt, graduating from high school there. She taught school several years, attended college three years in Maryville, Mo., and was graduated from Brown’s Business College in St. Louis. She married William F. Drummond, Greencastle, Mo., at Carrollton, Mo., April 28, 1923. He was a veteran of World War 1, 89th Division, 356 Regiment, serving overseas 11 months. He was a graduate in accounting from St. Louis University. Four children were born to them, William Kenneth, Donald Foster, Ronald Lee, and Dorothy Irene. Mr. Drummond died in Independence, December 8, 1952, and was buried in May Cemetery.

The widow, Irene Ballenger Drummond, present owner of the farm, has lived there since 1955 in the original house built about 100 years ago by her grandfather, Jonathan Ballenger. She now has 10 grandchildren and one great-grandson. She is active in the Chula Baptist Church, and has been Tax Collector for Cream Ridge Township 16 years. - Irene Ballenger Drummond

Thomas and Edna Duncan

Henry M. Duncan was born in Kentucky, January 13,1809. When he was a small boy he moved to Chariton County, Missouri. Then in 1837 he married Nancy Woods, who was born November 9, 1818, in Missouri, the daughter of Silas Woods. She had a brother named George Woods, who moved to the State of Oregon, and became the third Governor of the State of Oregon, 1866-1870. Henry and Nancy Duncan had 10 children, and moved to Livingston County, Missouri, in about 1853. They lived in a log cabin and homesteaded 80 acres and purchased another 80 acres.

They had four sons: Thomas Adam, born in January, 1853; George, born in February, 1844; Benjamin, born September 19, 1854; and Henry L., who was born in July of 1859 and died in 1861. There were six girls: Josephine, July, 1840; Irene, March, 1842; Nancy, November, 1846; Mary, November, 1849; Margaret, March, 1851; and Cornelia, born April, 1857.

George Duncan was named after his Uncle George Woods (the Governor of Oregon).

Henry M. Duncan died in 1863 of consumption. Nancy kept the farm going with the help of the boys, George had to go to the Civil War and when he got out, he migrated out West. Ben also left. This left the burden on Thomas Adam Duncan I.

Thomas Adam Duncan married Sophia Twombly in 1880. They lived in the same log cabin until 1882. Then they moved into four rooms, and in 1909 four more rooms were added. They had three children: Keturah, born in 18811967; Lulu. born 1889-1971- and Thomas A. Duncan II, born 1891-1966. They lived on this farm with their mother, Nancy, until she died in 1894.

Then he, Thomas A. Duncan II, bought out the heirs in 1895, and lived there until January, 1930. Thomas Duncan II lived on this farm in another house he built in 1924, and his two sisters lived in the same house their mother and dad had lived in. Thomas A. Duncan II married Minnie Ann Woodard, born 1897-1968. They had three children, Neomi, June, and Thomas N. Duncan III.

Thomas A. Duncan II, Lulu, and Keturah received the farm in 1940. They owned it until 196 1, when Thomas N. Duncan III and Edna Duncan, the present owners, took possession. Thomas N. Duncan III married Edna Mae Powell in 1948. She was born south of Marceline, Missouri, in May of 1926, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charley Powell.

Thomas and Edna have three sons, all named after their great uncles and grandad. They are: Thomas N. Duncan IV, born August, 1949; George, born December, 1952; and Ben, born April, 1958. Their children are: Thomas Alva Duncan V, born January 28, 1974; Marti Ann, born January 14, 1975; and Jessee T. Duncan, born July 18, 1973.

The Thomas Duncan family now owns 1700 acres around the Hale community. George Duncan occupies the house that was built in 1882. Neomi Duncan Milberger moved to Kansas City and has three children, Diane, Beverly, and Eddie Carl. Neomi and her husband now own the Milberger Pest Control Company.

June Duncan Johnson lives at Avalon, Missouri, and owns 650 acres of farming land.

The members of the older Duncan family are buried in the Leaton Cemetery on the bank of the Grand River, and the rest of the family are buried in the Cameron Cemetery north of Hale. They attend the East Grace Methodist Church.

The family is known for its Registered Angus business. - Thomas and Edna Duncan

Michael S. Gilbert

One of the pioneer families of Livingston County was the family of Miles G. Gilbert.

Miles G. Gilbert was born in Milledgeville, Georgia, in 1804. His father, Martin Gilbert, obtained a grant of land there from the United States Government after his service in the Revolutionary War.

In 1832 Miles G. Gilbert went to Logan County, Kentucky, and married Mary Carr. In 1853, with their family of five children, Michael, Miles, James, Wilbur, and Susan, they came to Livingston County, Chillicothe, Missouri. They purchased a farm of 400 acres northeast of Chillicothe. While the timberland was being cleared and a log cabin being built for their home, the family lived in Chillicothe. While in Chillicothe Miles G. Gilbert was one of the trustees of the first Methodist Church built in Chillicothe in 1855 on north Locust Street.

Miles G. Gilbert died in 1858. He left a will and his wife, Mary W. Gilbert, was named executrix. She made a division to her children as directed in the will, giving each money, land, and a Negro slave (valued at $500.00). With the money given to them, Michael M. Gilbert went to school and became a doctor. He practiced in Jackson County and later went to Arizona, near Mesa, where he died in 1915. James L. Gilbert went to school in Lebanon, Tennessee, and studied for the Methodist ministry. Susan married N. M. Smith, a dentist, and lived in St. Louis until her death in 1890.

Miles G. Gilbert and a companion rode horseback to Vernon, Texas, where they homesteaded a large tract of land which was their future home. He came back to Missouri in 1863 and married Lucy Harriett Williams, daughter of George Williams of Sturges, Missouri. He died in 1925.

Wilbur R. Gilbert bought land from other heirs and acquired 240 acres of the original farm. He sold this to W. B. Popham in later years. W. R. Gilbert raised Registered Hereford cattle and farmed. His son, Harry Gilbert, was Recorder of Deeds of Livingston County. After finishing his courses in college, James L. Gilbert married Lyndia Nolan. They went to Vernon, Texas, near his brother, Miles G. Both James L. and Miles served in the Confederate Army under Col. W. M. Bush in 1863. In 1866 James L. Gilbert and family came back to Missouri where he continued his ministry. He died in 1906 and was buried in Ross Cemetery.

Mary W. Gilbert died January 8,1889 and was buried in Edgewood Cemetery. Miles G. Gilbert bought land from the heirs of the original farm and sold a tract of it to Michael S. Gilbert, son of James L. Gilbert, on April 5,1890. After clearing timber from the land a frame house was built by Gilmer Ogan, the new home of the family of Michael S. Gilbert I. After the death of Michael S. Gilbert in 1946 the farm was sold by the heirs of Michael S. Gilbert to Michael S. Gilbert II. The present owner of this land, Michael S. Gilbert, is the fifth generation of Gilberts to own land in Livingston County.

Miles G. Gilbert left a will written in 1857, leaving to his wife, Mary, all property including 440 acres, livestock, cash, bank stock, and slaves (eleven names included in the will), and at her death or remarriage, to the five children. Also there was to be an ample amount left of the money for their educations. - Michael S. Gilbert and Mrs. Grace Martin

Gerald C. and Ruth I. Graham

James Graham was born on December 11, 1833, in Roscoe, Coshocton County, Ohio. He married Margaret McCoully on November 26, 1857. He enlisted in the Ohio National Guard as an Ohio Volunteer for 100 days. He served from May 14, 1864, to September 13, 1864. Serving as a private under Captain John S. Daugherty, Co. G, Reg. 143; James was discharged at Camp Chase. He received a certificate of thanks and honorable service signed by Abraham Lincoln. These documents are dated December 15, 1864.

Moving to Missouri with his family in 1871, he purchased 80 acres which is located in Sec. 1759-23. This land was bought from the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad Co. Later he purchased other land adjacent to the farm and operated a general farm. He died March 29, 1894. His wife, Margaret, was born in 1840 and died in 1914. Both are buried in the May Cemetery.

They were the parents of William O., Alice Leavell, Flora Carry, Emma Bethards, John, Lewis, Samuel F., and Granville Graham.

William O. Graham (1859-1930) later owned the farm. A bridge contractor, he built many bridges in the area. After his death, the farm was owned by his wife, Melda, and children, James, Lula, Butcher, Alice Cox, and Margaret Graham. Since 1947 it has been owned by Gerald C. and Ruth Graham. Granville Graham owned a well-boring rig which was powered by one horse. He drilled many of the wells in this area. James Graham was a cashier in Chula and Chillicothe banks. - Ruth Graham

Harold and Ruth E. Gray

Samuel A. Gray was a soldier in the Civil War for three years and returned home to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On February 23, 1865, he and Margaret Montgomery were married and left for the prairies of northwest Missouri to buy land and make their home. They came by steamboat from Pittsburgh to Hannibal, and by railroad to Chillicothe. They brought with them a trunk and $1,000.00 which her father had given them. The money was sewed in her dress belt for safe keeping. They had friends from Pennsylvania with whom they stayed until they were settled. They bought 200 acres from the railroad, a mile and a half northeast of Avalon. Their first home was a two-room log cabin. Down the hill was a spring from which they carried water. The land was mostly timber that had to be cleared before it could be farmed.

Grandfather went by horseback to Chillicothe to get mail, food, and supplies; and went to Utica to the mill for flour. He crossed the river by swimming his horse. Bushwhackers were still around and he was in danger since he was from the northern army.

Here 10 children were born. Two pairs of twin girls died in infancy. Two others died in childhood. Four grew to maturity, Robert, Luella, William, and Harry.

After clearing the timber they planted hedge rows for fences. One row stood for years as a landmark between Grand River and Fairview Townships. In 1869 grandfather helped build the Presbyterian Church; later he was a member and deacon. In 1884 he built a new two-story house near the public road that had been put in. Grandmother’s father from Pennsylvania came here to help them build it. They also built a hen house and two barns across the road.

On February 23, 1915, they celebrated their 0th wedding anniversary. Three of their children were present - Mrs. Luella Canning, William, and Harry Gray, his wife and daughter, Margarite, who was the only grandchild at the time. September 5th, 1919, Samuel A. Gray passed away, followed by Mrs. Gray in July of 1934. They are buried in the Avalon Cemetery.

On September 9, 1924, Harold Beever Gray was born to Harry and Zoa Gray. He was the second grandchild. When he was ten years old they moved over to the old home place. Harold Gray and Ruby Hutchison were married in Chillicothe on July 2, 1944. He was inducted into the army in November of the same year, and was discharged in July of 1946. They are the parents of four children: Harold Samuel, 1945; John Orval, 1947; Donna Kay, 1951; and Ronald D., 1955.

On July 5,1957, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Gray celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary in the same home that his parents had 42 years earlier. Mr. Gray passed away in 1967 and Mrs. Gray in 1968. Margarite and Harold divided the 200 acres, Harold taking the east 60 acres and the 40 acres on which the old house stands. He raises crops, cattle, and hogs. - Harold and Ruth Gra

Harry and Joyce (Yeomans) Hayen

During the Revolutionary War three Yeomans brothers came to America as soldiers for the King of England. After the war was over they were given land grants in Canada and settled in Belleville, Ontario.

John Herkimer Yeomans was born in Belleville on July 29, 1827. He was a grandson of one of the three brothers and was named after a British general of the Revolutionary War, General Herkimer. He grew up in Belleville and was a carpenter and farmer. He traveled to Australia for a time. He was married to Miss Phoebe Knight, and while living in Belleville they were the parents of three children: Augusta, born in 1860; Lill, born in 1862; and John Asa, born on July 10, 1864.

In 1865 John Herkimer came to Chillicothe and worked as a carpenter, helping to build the building still standing on the northeast corner of the square, known as the Slater Building. He liked the climate and the town so much that he sent for his family. They moved to Chillicothe in 1866. While living in Chillicothe they had two more children: George, born in 1872; and Mabel, born in 1875.

On July 11, 1876, John purchased an 80-acre farm from R. B. Price, located five miles southeast of Chillicothe, and built a house on the farm to which the family moved in the spring of 1877. The children all attended the rural Oak Grove School, which was one mile north of the farm, and also Sunday School, which was held in the schoolhouse on Sundays. Phoebe Yeomans was a Sunday School teacher.

The eldest child, Augusta, died at the age of 23 of an ailment called quick consumption at that time. Lill married Elisha Israel, a Civil War veteran, and moved away. John A. and some neighbors bought a horse powered threshing machine and did threshing around the neighborhood. They did so well with it that they traded it for a new Nichols and Shepherd steam outfit. Around 1890 John A. bought the 80-acre farm across the road and did carpentry work and raised hogs to pay for it.

John Herkimer suffered a stroke and died on June 3, 1894, at the age of 66. His wife, Phoebe, continued to live on the farm with the children until her death, December 27, 1906. They are both buried in the Edgewood Cemetery in Chillicothe. The farm was inherited by the two sons, John A. and George. Later on John bought George’s 40 acres making him owner of the original 80-acre farm. John met Miss Iva Walton and they were married on April 2, 1896, in Chillicothe at her parents’ home. They built some more rooms on to the back of the house and lived there. They were the parents of two sons, Norman Knight, born on January 18, 1897, and John Walton, born August 22, 1898.

In 1910 John A. was elected Judge of the Eastern District of the County Court and served two terms for a total of four years. During this time the present courthouse was constructed and his name is on the cornerstone. In 1915 the family joined the Pleasant Grove Methodist Church. John A. was also a member of the Modern Woodmen of the World organization and the AntiHorse Thief Association. The present barn was built in 1909 by Van Fullerton. The first automobile owned by the family was a 1916 Model T Ford. Norman and John W. attended the Oak Grove School and high school in Chillicothe. Norman is a veteran of World War I.

In 1932 John W. married Miss Mary Ballew, the school teacher at the Oak Grove School. They lived with his parents while building a house on the 80-acre farm across the road and moved into it when it was completed. Their children are: John Edward Yeomans, born September 3, 1933; Roy Eugene Yeomans, born February 21, 1935; and Joyce Emma Yeomans, born October 26,1939. They also attended the rural Oak Grove School and high school in Chillicothe.

Norman married Miss Hattie Overstreet from Newtown, Missouri, and for a short time they lived with his mother, then moved to an adjoining farm which they purchased. They are the parents of one son, Dr. Ronald Norman Yeomans, born December 8, 1940. In 1947 they moved to Newtown and Ronald attended elementary school there. They then moved to Fayette, Missouri, in 1955 and he attended high school there and also was graduated from Central Methodist College.

John A. Yeomans died from a stroke on April 21, 1939, and is buried in Edgewood Cemetery. At his death the original 80-acre farm went to his oldest son, Norman, and the 80-acre farm across the road went to his other son, John W. Ivy continued to live on the farm until her death in May of 1973. She is also buried in Edgewood Cemetery. Norman and Hattie moved back to Chillicothe in 1964 and continue to reside there.

John E. Yeomans, the oldest grandchild of John A. Yeomans, was married to Miss Dottie McQueen in 1952. They are the parents of two daughters, Teresa Lynne and Cheryl Diane. They are presently living in Chillicothe where he is employed by Milbank Mills.

Roy E. Yeomans married Barbara Wimer in 1971. They have four children, Polly, Bobby, Mark, and Douglas. They live in Prairie Village, Kansas, where he is employed by the Kansas Highway Department.

Joyce E. married Harry Hayen in 1960. They are the parents of three children, Debra Joyce, Lisa Kaye, and William Harry. They are the present owners and live on the original 80-acre farm, having purchased it from Norman and Hattie Yeomans in 1973. Harry is engaged in farming.

Ronald N. Yeomans married Miss Helen Neptune in 1963. They are the parents of two children, Elaine and Eric. They are presently living in Phoenix, Arizona, where he is a doctor specializing in the field of gynecology and obstetrics.

100-year farm of the Yeomans family

First settler - John Herkimer Yeomans, Birthplace - Belleville, Ontario, Canada, Date of birth - July 29, 1827, Moved to Livingston County -1866, Occupation - Carpenter, Married - Phoebe Knight, Died - June 3, 1894, Buried - Edgewood Cemetery, Chillicothe, Mo., Descendants: Augusta - 1860; Lill - 1862; John Asa - 1864; George -1872; Mabel -1875, Purchased farm - July 11, 1876

Second owner - John Asa Yeomans, Birthplace - Belleville, Ontario, Canada, Date of birth - July 10, 1864, Moved to Livingston County - 1866, Occupation - Farmer, Married - Iva Walton, When - April 2, 1896, Died - April 21, 1939, Buried - Edgewood Cemetery, Chillicothe, Mo., Descendants: Norman Knight Yeomans, January 18, 1897; John Walton Yeomans; August 22, 1898

Third owner - Norman K. Yeomans, Birthplace - Chillicothe, Mo., Date of birth - January 18, 1897, Occupation - Farmer, Married - Hattie Overstreet, When - 1940, Descendant: Ronald Norman Yeomans, Fourth and present owners: Harry and Joyce Hayen, Harry was born May 5, 1937, in Linn County, Mo., Joyce was born October 26, 1939, Married - in Livingston County, Mo. on April 3, 1960, Descendants: DebraJoyce, July 3, 1961; Lisa Kaye December 17, 1962; William Harry, October 3, 1969

Farm History - Location: Five miles southeast of Chillicothe, Missouri. Type of land: Prairie. There is an old buffalo wallow on the farm. The original house was built in 1877 and an addition was built on around 1896. The original barn was built in 1909 by Van Fullerton and is still standing. - Joyce Hayen

Ethlyn Warner Hill

Our (Warner) family originated in Pennsylvania. The great-grandfather, William Warner, was born in Barks County, Pa., July 20, 1807. The great-grandmother, Mary Ann (Stauffer) Warner, was born in the same county on June 30, 1819. They were married in Shelby County, near Flat Rock in Indiana. They were the parents of 13 children. Lewis Warner (who was my grandfather) was their fifth child. He was born March 1, 1846. His wife, Sarah Ackenback, was born October 18, 1847. They were married December 20, 1868. They were the parents of seven children; Melissa, September 21, 1869; Mary Ann, June 1, 1871; Alonzo, May 9, 1873; Martin (my father), February 7, 1876; George William, March 11, 1878; Pearl, December 31, 1880; and Linnie, September 17, 1883. All the children were born on a farm located one mile north of Ludlow, Mo., and 1 ¼ miles west.

Description of the 80 acres: W ½ of SA of Sec. 19, Township 56, Range 25, containing 80 acres, more or less. Lewis Warner bought the land from the railroad May 10, 1871. Sarah died January 12, 1885, at the age of 37. Lewis died November, 1902, somewhere in the West. Martin bought the land from the heirs in 1903. He married Lola Bryan in 1902. They moved to the place and lived there from 1902 to 1926. They had two children: Lewis, born in 1904; and Ethlyn Hill, born in 1921.

In the early years there was an orchard on the farm. A fire started from the railroad and destroyed it. It is creek bottom land and general crops. Quite a number of hogs were raised and these were driven, on foot, to Braymer to be loaded on the train. All the family went to the little country school, the Yahns and the Warner School which still stands. - Ethlyn Warner Hill

Wallace T. and Edna Hooker

Solomon Rice Hooker was born November 20, 1805, in Windham County, Vt., a son of John Hooker of English-Scotch descent, who came to Vermont from Scotland in the early settlement of the state. Solomon Hooker was a cousin of General Joseph Hooker. Lucinda Mariah (Webber) Hooker, second wife of Solomon R. Hooker, was born November 20, 1815, in Worthington, Mass. Mrs. Hooker was a daughter of John and Hannah Webber, whose ancestors came from Holland.

Some years before the Hookers came to Missouri, Mr. Hooker’s sister, Mary, had married Warren Waite, and had moved to Chillicothe, Mo. The Hookers stayed with the Waites while a log cabin was built. Both Hooker and Waite were carpenters. History states these men built the first. frame dwelling in Chillicothe, Mo.

Mr. Hooker purchased 80 acres of land four miles north of the then small town of Chillicothe, Mo.; "W ½ NW Sec. 7, Rich Hill Twp., Nov. 4, 1839" Ch. XXI, p. 1175, History Caldwell and Livingston Counties. On this site a log cabin was built in which the five Hooker children were born. Namely: George Webber, born 1840; Henry, born 1842, died of measles at age five; John Edward, born 1845; Harriet Eliza, born 1846; and Zachary Taylor, born 1849.

In the spring of 1850 the Hookers sold this farm, intending to go to California. Due to a cholera outbreak there, they abandoned the idea and bought a farm four miles farther north, N ½ 19-23-59. Here Mr. Hooker built a large, frame house, later known as "Grassy Creek Inn." Here food and lodging could be had for passengers and drivers of the stage. This stage carried mail between the towns of Trenton and Chillicothe. On August 22,1851, he was appointed Postmaster of Grassy Creek Post Office.

On the night of June 17, 1863, he was shot, and the house was burned, however, he survived the injury. Fearing further retribution, the Hookers, homeless and the father wounded, decided to leave Missouri for the duration of the war. Livingston County was now under martial law and governed by a provost martial who granted Mr. Hooker’s request to leave the state. They went to Tipton, Cedar County, Iowa, to stay with the Warren Waites family, who lived there. It was the same Waite family with whom they stayed back in 1839 down in Missouri. Before beginning the exodus to Iowa, Mr. and Mrs. Hooker provided for the keep of their 14-year-old son, Zachary Taylor. Their near neighbors and closest friends, Mr. and Mrs. James May, consented to keep Taylor during the spring and summer months until the Hookers returned. Dr. John Marlow and his wife were to keep Taylor the fall and winter months and send him to a near-by "subscription" school.

George, the eldest son, joined the "Confederate" army in 1861, was wounded, and left for Wyoming in 1863. John Edward, second son, too young to join the army, left in 1864 for Montana in search of his brother, and died the same year near Nevada City, Mont. Their daughter, Harriet, accompanied her parents to Iowa.

Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Hooker and their daughter, Harriet, returned to Missouri in either the fall of 1866 or the spring of 1867. George, their oldest son, returned from Wyoming to Missouri some time in 1866. A new house was begun for the Hookers to live in. My father gave the following information concerning the house: "It was the same size, same plan, a replica of the old one, built on the old ‘mudsill’ foundation, but not nearly so nicely finished inside." He also said that it was completed in 1870.

Once again Mr. and Mrs. Hooker were united in their own home with their three children, George, Harriet, and Taylor, who cared for them the rest of their days. Mr. Hooker died February 4,1879, and Mrs. Hooker died February 11, 1882. Both were buried in Macedonia Cemetery, about five miles north of Chillicothe, Mo.

A large Water Oak tree that stood some 20 feet north of the burned house, survived many years after the fire. Its charred trunk bore mute witness of those sorrowful days of the past. "The Postmaster of Grassy Creek," too, had learned to survive a bodily wound and to live several useful years afterwards. After the deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Hooker, the two Hooker brothers and their sister remained on the home place until 1887. That year the sister married W. T. Harper, a widower with a small daughter named Lizzie. George and Taylor purchased their sister’s share in the farm, Harriet (Hooker) Harper died May, 1893, and was buried in the Macedonia Cemetery.

Taylor Hooker married Dixie Wallace, October 29, 1890, a daughter of William J. Wallace and his second wife, nee Elizabeth Williams. Mr. Wallace was the first settler in Medicine Township, Livingston County, Mo., spring of 1837, on NW ¼ , Sec. 5, Twp. 59, Rg. 22. "History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties" p. 926. Dixie was a schoolteacher and a missionary to Chile, South America (1884-86). She and Taylor "set up" housekeeping on the home place and made a home for their brother, George, until his death March 20, 1915. Dixie died January 24, 1924. Taylor died February 27, 1929. George, Taylor, and Dixie are buried in the May Cemetery, three miles southwest of Chula, Mo. Our father, Taylor Hooker, left each of his children an equal acreage of the old farms; Hattie (Hooker) Casebeer, George W. Hooker, and myself, Wallace T. Hooker. My wife, Edna Case Hooker, and I have lived on 80 acres N ½ of NE ¼ Sec. 19, Twp. 59, Rg. 23, of the farm since 1922. - Wallace Hooker

O1a Burner Hooten

Jacob Stover Burner purchased a large tract of land from the United States Government, October 25, 1855, and later sold off parcels to others. He also gave a plot of ground for part of Blue Mound Cemetery. He kept forty (40) acres the NE ¼ of NW ¼ , Sec. 26, Twp. 56, Range 24, which has been handed down and sold to members of the Burner family for one hundred twenty years.

Jacob Stover Burner and wife, Eliza Cave Burner, raised a family of six children: Andrew, who was a lawyer in Carrollton, Mo.; Mary E. Burner Mead; Susan M. Burner Hooker; John Samuel; Sara C. Burner Goff, and Thomas H., who passed away before 1899. All except Andrew lived and farmed near the Blue Mound area. Some time later Jacob S. Burner and wife sold 40 acres (the NW ¼ of the NE ¼, Sec. 26, Twp. 36, Rng. 24) to Henry Bean and wife. Then on August 23, 1879, John Samuel Burner, son of Jacob Stover, bought this 40 acres back from Henry Bean, which makes this 40 acres 97 years in the family.

John Samuel Burner married Laura Isabella Haynes and farmed in this vicinity his entire life, having been given 40 acres, in Sec. 26, Twp. 56, Rng. 24, this NE ¼ of NW ¼ , as a wedding present by his parents, Jacob Stover and Eliza Cave Burner. The family of John Samuel and Laura Haynes Burner consisted of 11 children: Laurenia, who married a Doctor Wooden; John Jacob, who married Ollie Holmes; Maud Estella married Herb Elsas; Virgil A., who never married; Sarah Ellen, who passed away at the age of twenty-two; Grover Cleveland married Christina Newton; Charlie Allen died at age twelve; Minnie married Roy Wooden; Franklin Ashford married Frankie Mathews; Viola May (Ola) married Thomas Hooten; and Laura Ann (Lena) married Roy Siders. All made their homes in Livingston County.

In August of 1927, Thomas Hooten and wife, 01a Burner Hooten, bought these two 40-acre sites, located in Blue Mound Township (the NE¼ of the NW¼ and the NW¼ of the NE1/4, Sec. 26, Twp. 56, Rng. 24), from her father John Samuel Burner, and have made it their home. Thomas passed away in 1946. They had three children: Marion, who is living with his mother on the farm; Martha, who married Fred Telaneus and lived near Chillicothe, but since his death has made her home in Hannibal, Mo.; and Merle, who passed away February, 1967. - Ola Burner Hooten

Gary W. and Sheryl Hudgins

This acreage is part of the land purchased by John Rockhold from the U. S. Government, May 1, 1843. He was a very early settler in Livingston County, having purchased other land in 1835. The Rockholds were originally of German origin. He is the great-great-grandfather of the present owners.

Warren T. Hudgins, grandfather of the present owners, married Nannie May Rockhold. His father was John Hudgins, born in Lawrenceburg, Anderson County, Kentucky in 1826. He came to Livingston County with his parents in 1842. He served in the Mexican War and in 1849 went to California. In 1853 he married Susan Stamper and they were the parents of twelve children. He was a member of the Mooresville Christian Church and a charter member of the Masonic Lodge at Breckenridge. He died suddenly November 25, 1910, and was buried in the Mooresville Christian Church Cemetery.

The following was printed in the Breckenridge newspaper at the time of his death:

"It is to the sturdy pioneers, of John Hudgins type, that the younger generation of today, owe the blessings of a great commonwealth like Missouri the. He and others of his kind, subdued the wilderness, and laid the foundation of what may now be termed, an Eden, for man’s habitation.

"John Hudgins came with his parents to Livingston County) when it and the counties adjoining it, were one vast wilderness. The family came from Kentucky, where they had been neighbors of that old scout and hunter, Daniel Boone. Indians were still to be found in this section of the country, when the Hudgins family arrived and white settlers were scarce. Game of all kinds was very plentiful. Hunting and trapping formed the chief occupations.

"In 1846 Mr. Hudgins enlisted and went to the Mexican War with his cousin, Warren Hudgins, and J. F. Meek, George W. Cranmer, and William Marlow, all of Livingston County. He was the proud possessor of a number of beautiful medals, that he had received at the different reunions of the Mexican War Veterans. He delighted in showing these to his friends, they were to the old veteran as, the trophies of the hunt.’

"He ever delighted to tell of his crossing the plains, in 1849, to the gold fields of California. He went the southern route along the Yuma River. Few men who went this route ever lived to return to their home and tell of their adventures. Nothing gave the venerable man more pleasure than to tell of this hazardous venture.

"In the early fifties he carried the mail from Brunswick to Gallatin, Mo., making one trip each way in a week. To the lonely housewives, along his route, there was no more welcome visitor than John Hudgins, for he brought to them the news from the outside world, and often a letter from the folks at home, ‘way back east.’ During the Civil War, he performed a like service for the government in carrying the mail from Breckenridge to Liberty, Mo. He had many thrilling adventures on this route, often being in danger of his life.

"After the Civil War he settled on his farm near Mooresville. Here he reared his family and followed the peaceful and happy life of the Missouri farmer. After the death of his wife he continued to reside here, with his daughter Miss Erin, as his homekeeper."


On the 6th day of May, 1849, 1, John Hudgins, Mooresville, Livingston County, Mo., drove out of my father’s yard with eight yoke of oxen hitched to a large Kentucky Turnpike wagon loaded with about 6000 pounds of provisions, mostly flour, bacon, sugar, coffee, with 10 gallons of alcohol and 1 gallon of cholera medicine. I owned three-quarters of the outfit, and Warren M. Hudgins, a cousin, owned one-fourth. My two brothers, James and Humphrey, aged respectively 17 and 15, accompanied us.

The first day out we joined six other wagons belonging to the following parties from this county: Stone Brothers and McCrosky, two; Lawson, one; Patrick, one; Gobin and Shafer, one; and Woolfcale, one.

We expected to go the South Pass route, and intended to cross the Missouri River at St. Joseph. The spring was cold and wet which made the grass late and traveling slow. On the I Ith we were in the west part of Clinton County. We sent a man ahead to see about crossing the river. He reported that the ferry was two weeks behind, and the people there were dying with the cholera like hogs. We heard that there was a small boat at Westport Landing, or Kansas City, as it is now called.

We turned south through Smithville and Barry, drove up the bottom to the ferry, and crossed ourselves, with the negro boss who had charge of the boat, which was a small one and would only take one wagon and one yoke of oxen at a load. It took two trips for each outfit. We cordelled the boat up against the current each trip on the south side about one-fourth mile so as to make up for what she drifted down each trip.

There was a ledge of rock five or six feet above the water on the south or Jackson County side. Along the edge of the water was a lot of clothing that had been thrown away, the cholera having run out or killed all but three persons that we saw, one merchant, one blacksmith, and the Negro ferryman. We got everything safe across and got out past Westport (Kansas City).

Next morning, the 13th, Uncle Antony (Patrick’s servant), took cholera. We gave all the medicine and nursing that we could, but we were camped out on the prairie out of sight of timber. John Stone and I rode some five or six miles and found some dead willows which the prairie fires had killed. We cut a large bundle each and carried them to the camp to build a fire for the sick man, but it did no good. He died in the tent with mud and water all around. The oxen chained to the wagon, were up to their knees in mud. We laid by two days. Antony died in the night, and as soon as it was light, we yoked up the oxen and started the wagons, and left a detail of four men to bury the dead, myself one of them.

We had spades but no picks. The ground was so soft that we did not think that we would need them. When we got down about two feet we came to hard pan that we could not dig with the spade, so we hollowed and fitted it as well as we could, rolled him in his blankets and covered him up. Then we cut sods and raised a mound four feet high over him. His master and comrade from childhood had gone on with the wagons and I never saw more sincere grief. They had been more than brothers from early childhood.

Next day we camped at Big John Spring, still cloudy and raining showers, four cases of cholera but we cured them with frequent doses of medicine. Here a train overtook us with the horse, saddle, and saddle bags of Reuben McCroskie who had started to overtake his wagon horses. ‘Back three days after we left home, our change in our route had put him one day more behind. He left an old acquaintance’s camp after eating a hearty breakfast, and was found before noon dead beside the road. S. Stone, his partner, sold his horse to Patrick and that night she was stolen by the Kaw Indians. I found their trail and wanted to follow to their village, take the best horse that we could find, and keep it until they brought the stolen horse back. Patrick was afraid we would get into trouble with the Indian agents at Council Grove.

The weather cleared and we pushed on to Diamond Spring. The wagons, teaming us until we thought we were strong enough for the Camanchees. Thirty-eight wagons, and about 150 men and boys, one woman and three children, were organized by their electing Captain Gully, Captain J. Patrick, Lenten, and three Sargents, divided the men into three guards. Each came on duty once every three days. They had charge of the cattle and camp guard. The night watch was divided into three reliefs of two hours and a half. The duty of the Sargents was hard. He had to stay up until he put the third relief on post. We had a written contract which all signed binding every man to obey orders or be expelled from the train. There was in the train some 10 or 15 men, who had served in Mexico in the First and Second Missouri Cavalry, and some of us had crossed the plains twice before and were pretty well acquainted with the wiles of the Indians.

At Big Cow Creek we saw the first buffalo sign and a few old bulls, but did not hunt any until we got to the big bend of the Arkansas. G. Stone and I killed two fat cows and nearly every man that had a horse chased and shot at buffalo. As we were returning to the road that evening loaded with fat cow meat, some half dozen men that had come to us when we were butchering the cows that we had killed, had all the meat that they could pack on their horses. A bunch of two hundred or more buffalo calves that had been left behind in the mad chase of the herd ran close to us, and every man except G. Stone and I fired into them. None fell, but some must have died from wounds. This wanton destruction seems to be the native instinct of the western pioneer.

We crossed the Arkansas at the lower Cimarron Crossing and that morning I saw my last wild buffalo. A solitary old bull came down through the sand and crossed a mile above as we were breaking camp. I saddled the mare and overtook him at the edge of the butte, shot him through the lungs, and as he was bleeding a man from the train came up and shot him several times with a large bore rifle, square in the forehead. It had dried in his matted forstags until it was a doby. Parties from the train came out and took his meat and marrow, which was the cause of some trouble.

Shafer, who was one of the Sergents, was an old hunter who got a goodly portion of the old bull. That night he was on duty, and he was drying this meat by his camp fire. The writer was one of his guards and was on the second relief. The cattle were not corralled. We herded them on the best grass near the corral but when they lay down the outside of the herd was a quarter of a mile or more from the corral. As was the custom, we always put the soldiers on the most extreme parts. I was posted at the extreme end of the cattle and having served some 18 months as a Scout in a Cavalry Regiment I had learned to tell time by the dipper and the North Star. I put with my back against an old ox and watched for Indians until I knew our time was up. No sign of relief guard. I walked up to the next sentry. A man by the name of John and I talked it over and both of us were sure that we had overstayed our time. I told him to pass there in and ask the Sargent of the Guard and could get no reply. Says I, "Jake, holler Indians," not thinking he would be fool enough to do it. He yelled at the top of his voice, "Indians, Indians, and I can’t get my gun off. Most of the men in the camp were awake and heard him and such a stampede, falling over ox yokes and cussing and swearing, and most of them seemed sorry that it was a false alarm.

We had a false alarm before we crossed the Arkansas. We had several instruments in the train. Drum, fife, coronet, and fiddles and some nights they would give a concert that would annoy our guard and divert the wolves. One night the men on guard thought they would give them a scare and break up the concert. They were herding the cattle some distance from the corral. They fired one gun and then all of them fired and we at the corral thought it was a real attack. This showed what the men were, only part of the men rallied to the rescue of the herders. We found them laughing and had hard work to keep us from stampeding the cattle. This was all against the rules, but it had to be overlooked. It did some good as it showed who to rely on in danger.

All of us from Livingston County had intended to go the Platte or South Pass route but the cholera and the opinion of the old plainsmen that there was not grass to support the increased emigration beyond Salt Lake and that only the advance guard would get through, the balance would starve. We planned to go to New Mexico and swap our wagons and oxen for mules and pack the Spanish trail. I have forgotten to give the names of our County men: Sam Patrick, his two sons, Levi, Den, and Antony, who we buried on the plains of Kansas; Sam, John N. and William Stone; Charles V. Matison; Ruben McCrosky, who died before overtaking us; Bradly Ogle; Eli Anderson; Sam Shafer; Ab and W. Lawson; G. W. Woolfeale and servant, Al and Lookewood; John, Warren, James, and Humphrey Hudgins, the last two boys aged 15 and 17.

We had an exciting time after we left the Cimarron. At Cimarron there was a fine spring but all the grass eaten off around so we watered everything, filled kegs and passed up the valley a mile or more. Camped in a narrow valley with splendid grass. The valley some hundred fifty yards wide. We camped corralling in the road on the right side of the gulley. Through the valley meandered a dry creek bed 20 or 30 feet wide and 10 to 15 feet deep. The bed of it was dry and grass and weeds growing everywhere and no appearance of water to run here for years. Our cattle were herded some half mile farther up the valley. About midnight the camp guard was alarmed by cattle herders crying "Water, water." The horses were picketed close to the wagons and most of them across the ravine. Men hastened without dressing to move the horses and they could hear the water roaring and had to cut many of the picket ropes and jump on the horses and swim out. The waters raised up to the front hubs. On one side of the corral we stood by ready to move the wagons by hand but saw that the wave was past. It did not rain at the corral and a mere sprinkle where the cattle were. Before we left next morning you could not water a horse where there had been 15 feet of water six hours before.

On the 2nd of July, 1849, we got in the vicinity of Los Vegas. There were some four or five trains from Missouri all expecting to trade oxen and wagons for mules. Here I found an uncle that I had not seen for years with his wife and two small children, and all he had was one small Missouri mule and saddle and his and family clothes, he having contracted with a man to haul him and family to the mines and here he had balked and said he would go no farther. There was no law and so he was in a strange land with no money and no friends, wife and two small children, one a babe at the breast. He offered me 500 dollars to haul him and family to the mines. Only three-fourths of the outfit belonged to me so I told him I could do nothing without the consent of my partner, but if he was willing I would take him as far as I could. I swapped his little mule and the saddle for one yoke of oxen and a good wagon.

We celebrated the fourth at the Tucalate mountain. We were in greater trouble and confusion. Some thought we could go the Gila route with ox teams. We followed the Santa Fe Road through Tecalate. St. Nagil to near the old Pecos church, where we took the left hand road and camped at the foot of the Manzona mountain. Here we had good grass and water and as there were plenty of pitch pine we burnt several tar kilns. There were two other big trains camped in the same neighborhood so the three trains agreed to raise one thousand dollars to pay Lerouse, an old trapper comrade of Carson, to pilot us through San Antonio to Southern California. We sent three men into Santa Fe to make the bargain but he would not accept, saying that if we had mule teams or pack mules he could take us through but oxen could not go through the desert of the Gila and Colorado. We could not turn back so our train hired a Mexican, named Parqual Monteers to pilot us to Tuscon. We lay at the Manzona about 15 days during the time 30 of us went on a gold hunting expedition with a Mexican, who claimed to have been a prisoner of the Apache. We traveled southeast over a high place, the divide between the Rio Grande and the Pecos and passed two small, insignificant mountains and went as far south as where Fort Stanton is now located, and turned back because the guide said the next march would be 40 leagues without water.

We moved from the mountain. Our cattle had rested and were so fat that we feared that they would stampede. The next camp that I can recollect was Dripping String and here the cattle did stampede twice the first night. A loose horse ran in among them and part of them ran through the corral. Part of them did not go but a few miles when they stopped. I had struck off to the left up a valley. Four of us followed their trail, one calf was with this bunch. In a short time I found the calf track went off to itself with a big cougar track after it. We knew it was no use to hunt it farther. One steer track broke off to the east. I followed, leaving four men to follow the trail of the eight steers. They lost theirs to follow mine across the point of the mountain, where the steer had come to a dry arroyo, which he followed up until he came to water, for I met him coming looking wild and seared, but I got above him and as there was an old trail leading down the arroyo, I knew this would take me to the foot of the mountain and to the road. I got in with him at dark.

We put all the cattle in the corral which was chained up by hind wheel to fore wheel. The rear or hind end of the corral was open about 25 feet wide. Here we had three guards with ox whips, one on each side and one in the middle. We had a very large, stout man from Illinois named Warner in the middle. Before I had finished my supper, one steer horned another and he bawled and away they went. Warner was down in a second and over him they went, and I never heard a man holler so fast or so loud in my life as he did. He said that at least 25 steers jumped straight over him.

They could not turn for they went out in a mass altogether. We found the next evening, 30, away from camp badly used up, many lame from running over the rocks. We yoked and chained them up from this time on and picketed them. We found this was the cheapest and safest.

We crossed the Rio Grande at Lahocta. Here, with two canoes from the Mexicans fastened together made a platform and ferried over about half the loads. When the boys that were herding the cattle half a mile above, went in swimming they found a place that, by blocking up the wagon beds nearly to the top of the standards, we could cross without unloading. Where we were crossing with the canoes it was very deep for a short piece, so four of us swam across and towed the canoes down the bar to the shore.

We traveled down the west bank of the Rio Grande to near Donomer and left it the first of September. Firstt camp Foster’s Hole, then Mimba, Oga Baca, Oga Oso, and Wolf Spring, grass good, water scarce and bad. We went down the pass of Guadaloupe, where we had to let our wagons down with ropes tied on to the hind axle and the oxen had to slide down. When we got to the head of the river that Tuscon is on we were surprised by Mexicans coming into our camp. They were deserters from a force that had been sent out after the Apache, who had been raiding the Mexican settlements. We had their signal smoke by day and their fires by bed. We guarded them carefully. As they were afraid of us, they did not molest us, though we hunted in small parties. A part of the country that we passed over had been settled by the Mexicans, who had established cattle ranches, but the Indians had killed or driven them away and there were some cattle and horses running wild. We killed some cattle but all we saw were bulls and harder to kill than buffalo. Woolfscale killed a fat horse, brought in some of the steaks. Although I had eaten a hearty supper, I broiled a big slice of it and it ate better than the bull beef.

On the site close above Tuscon we passed some old churches that had been hand built by the padres long ago. Built with unburnt brick as dobies hundred years ago. They are in a good state of preservation. It rains in this country but seldom.

We passed through Tuscon and a few miles below, the Santa Cruz sinks or dries up. Then we struck the desert, 70 miles to the Rio Gila above the Pima village. When we got to the river and found no grass we thought of what Lerouse had told us at Santa Fe. We saw that it would be impossible to keep the train together, so we divided up every man for himself. I believed that by traveling slow and giving my cattle time to grass on the willow and cottonwood brush and the river bares that I could take them through.

We camped the next night below the Pimas where there was a number of springs that irrigated a large tract of bottom land, but this was eaten off as close as the stock of the Indians could crop it, and it left nothing for our cattle. Next morning we had nine head of our steers mired in the lagoons, at the foot of the bluff. The next drive was across the great bend of the Gila 40 miles of loose sand and giant cactus. Some of us thought the cattle would never make it, so Warren, Wood, Shafer, Stone, Matson, and Gobin packed with one pony and one mule, all well mounted on mules and horses, leaving me with nine yoke of cattle, one large wagon, two boys, and one old man, a doctor, and one woman and two children to get through as best I could. I had one of the best mares that ever went to California.

Two days and one night we got through the 40 mile desert, where we struck the river. We found seven wagons abandoned. Some had been burnt. There were some four wagons together and I concluded to build a boat out of the wagon beds that were abandoned and freight part of our load and thus relieve our teams. I hunted the bottom over and the largest tree that we could find would make a gunwale, 23 feet 9 inches long and 18 inches deep. We sent the wagons on to find grass and a detail of four of W. S. Stone, Anderson, and myself was left to build the boat. First thing was to tear up the wagon beds and put the boards in the river to soak and drive straight all the nails that we could. I hewed the gunnels, we lined and split the log by boring one hundred half through, turning and boring not so many. I hewed head blocks and streamers and did not have enough planks from wagon beds. I had to hew four from cottonwood pieces. We caulked our boat with tar and bags left for that purpose. When the wagons left the first day we turned our boat and started. In less than three miles we came to an old beaver dam that was a perfect hedge of willows clear across the river, but we found a gap in it just wide enough for our boat to pass through. There was about a four- or five-foot fall but we had to get through. We run her through without accident except shipping some water. Overtook the wagons. They had found some grass on the north side of the river, also a hot spring.

We put about 5,500 pounds of freight on the boat, principally bacon. Then left my small wagon and threw away everything but provisions and clothing. Left tools, one heavy rifle disassembled, and traveled nights. Laid by and let cattle b r o u s e on the cottonwood and willow brush. In the daytime it was very hot. When we got to the Colorado there was the old Flag that I had followed in Mexico, flying on the bluff and a rope stretched across. At the mouth of the Gila, they wanted $2.50 to ferry in their boat, which had been built and brought down the Gila by the emigrants, same as ours, but they agreed to let us have the use of the rope if we would use it in the night and ferry with our boat.

There were ten wagons in our train at this time. We began as soon as it was dark and the first wagon was loaded. Stone stepped on a plank and the rope of the boat was fastened on with wooden pins and shoved it off. He reached over the side and pulled back, but the water poured in. We could not get the wagon back so it was cross or sink. Patrick and I pulled on that rope hand over hand for the other bank where there were four or five men to take the loads and wagons up the bank. We got the wagons out just as the boat filled.

The boat that the soldiers claimed was tied above. Stone and I said nothing, untied her and dropped down to the rope and in three hours had the nine wagons’ across and loaded. We found a large camp of Umo Indians camped and they had raised some beans and pumpkins, but their main dependence was meskyet beans. They would not trade me beans, but I traded tobacco for as many pumpkins as we could haul. We left the Colorado river miles below, late in the evening. Traveled all night.

Next day about noon we were out in loose sand and one of my steers dropped dead. Patrick’s team began to fail. He proposed to unyoke the teams and leave the wagon and drive on, water, and rest the cattle at Awnuva, supposed to be sixteen or eighteen miles on, and drive back to the wagons. I told him I would not leave a woman and children with three days rations of water. Stone, with their two wagons stayed with him. Lawson and I drove through the heat and sand about five miles. Sand getting lighter. Once we found some mesquite trees large enough to shade our teams and just at sundown Patrick and Stone drove by afoot with their rations, guns, and blankets. As soon as they passed we hitched up. The road soon got hard and as it cooled our cattle traveled as they had not for many days, as it was the first hard road we had been on for months.

About midnight they could smell the water. Two of them fell. We unyoked them and left. Before day we got to the New River and at daylight all my cattle except one were there. The New River, when we got to it, was a succession of muddy ponds, with many dead mules and oxen mired. The water was not close but we used it four days. We spent Christmas here but didn’t know it was on the first, second, or fourth day. We tried to make a Christmas turkey out of a large hawk but could not eat it. In these ponds were several dead mules and oxen but I do not recollect any stink or smell from them. The track from Colorado was well staked out with dead mules and oxen and some of the mules that lay there, with the sand heaped up over them by the wind, were as sound as when they were left by Col. Graham twelve months before. We left the New River late in the evening, traveled all night past a salt pond. Next day late in the evening we struck the Carrizo creek. Bed water had run but it was dry sand.

That water had run here and the cattle showed that they could smell it. I went to work with spade and found plenty of water at about two feet but as we had nothing to curb the sand, it was hard work to get it deep enough for the stock to drink. Watered everything.

Next camp was at Palm Spring. The sand in the bed Of this dry creek was very coarse granite and would not pack so that it was heavy pulling all the time and my cattle had nothing to eat. Began to fail, could go but a few yards without resting. I had seen where the Indians had roasted and eaten the root of the mescal, soap weed, Spanish bayonet. I grubbed up one, cut it up and got them to taste it. They ate it like corn. I fed them all that I thought they ought to have after so long a fast. That night we got out of the desert and got to Valley City. Grass was short but there was grass and water. We moved on by Warner, Tamoscela, to the Stano River. Grass getting better on to Rowlands, where we bought corn and wheat and we killed elk for meat. Some of the men would not eat stolen beef but called it elk when we brought it to camp and the men thought it was the best meat they ever tasted.

We began to gather up the scattered relies of our old train when we got to Los Angeles. There were ten wagons. Wolfscale, Lawson, Stone, Turner, White, Browning, Falkner, Harrison, Hampton, and Hudgins. Twenty-one able bodied men, 2 old men, 4 boys, and 1 woman, Mrs. Harrison. The merchants of Los Angeles wanted a road to the farther mines, Manposa. They gave $750 in flour, sugar, coffee, and all the beef that we wanted to open the road of the San Fernando Mountain and made us believe that was the only mountain between us and the Yucatan Valley. They knew we would not turn back. We made the road over the mountain just so it was passable for double teams and all the men that could get to a wagon to push.

We got over and worked up the San Francisco Canyon. We estimated 24 miles at 3 miles a day, finding a pretty lake on the east slope of the mountain and named it Elizabeth after Mrs. Harrison. We were now on the east side of the Sierra Nevada. We made two camps at the foot of the mountain. Worked alongside of a spur nearly to the summit. Camped, no grass, sent Woolfscale and two boys with the horses across that night. It took us until the middle of the afternoon to get our wagons to the summit, which was naked rock, with piles of snow and with shrubby timber on the west side. Where we went down there was snow for several hundred yards, how deep we couldn’t tell, as it bore our teams and wagons. When on top of the mountain it was clear and sun shining. Before we got to where the boys had camped it was raining and had been raining all day. In three days we worked down the canyon to the plain, the land of flowers and grass. Here we found a man by the name of French had established a cattle ranch.

We pushed on to the Kern River which was bank full. We found some dead cottonwood, and made a raft large enough to float an empty wagon. We would take the load out of a wagon, take it over and up the bank, then take the empty wagon back. Hands would be loading and reloading at the same time. We had no sign of a trail to guide us but shaped our course by -the mountains, aiming to near the middle and from the maps, the railroad has followed our trail. Of the four creeks, we bridged three of them. The last one we raised the wood base. One of these bridges was 104 feet long in 12 feet of water. The last one we split timber and laid on good sites, and the nqxt year one of our men, John Wood, went back and made a toll bridge of it and was murdered by the Indians. We forded to an island in Kings River and bridged a narrow channel to the north shore. We had a hard time between the Kings River and the Joaquin. We bogged down and had to double teams and only made seven miles the first day and five miles the next. When we got to a sandy plain just at the foot of the hills we got to Joaquin. Where it came out, there was quite a camp of miners at work. The river was booming. Snow a melting in the mountains. Provisions were only $1.50 a pound. Flour, pork, beans, tobacco, and potatoes.

They had paid $1.05 freight from Stockton. We were anxious to get to Stockton to freight and a company official offered us $750 to build them a boat 36 feet long, 9 feet wide, double balloon. One of our men had a whipsaw. We agreed to build it in 16 days. We finished it in 8 days and crossed the river in it and delivered it, but could get only part of the money, so we left one of our company to hold the boat and run it for us until they paid for it. He went in partnership with them and we never got half of the money. Went on to Manposa, where some of us went to mining. I went on to Stockton with my team, got there my first load of freight to Woods Creek at 9 cents a pound. I hauled several loads to different places then went to selling provisions at Quartz Mountain.

When the rains began I sold part of my team, laid out all my money in provisions and expected to double my money. When the Indians killed a man on the creek, the miners mostly Yankees and foreigners, dug out leaving Coulter’s Camp and mine the only place on the creek. At my camp was my youngest brother, Humphrey, and three whaler men from Maine, and one Dutchman at Coulter Camp. I heard there were 16 men farther up. All the miners had left and my grub lay all winter, and the next spring I had to haul it around and peddle it and at about half what it cost me. I worked on mining and trading until February 14, 1852. Shipped on the Steamer Ismus for Panama, paid $80 for steerage down the Chagros River. A barge from Chagros at New Orleans on the steamer Cherochee was 24 days from San Francisco to Panama; six days spent on the Ismus; two days to San Juan; four days to the Balies, mouth of the Mississippi.

I have forgotten to say that I left my uncle and wife and children at Los Angeles. I was about out of grub and as he was a doctor and was among civilization and could make a living, I thought it was best for him to stop and try to get to San Francisco by water, which he did and he got to Hangtown or Placerville and established a hospital and was doing well when I got home. Have not heard of him or family since I came home. Of all the men and boys that left this county with me in 1849, some 30 in number, only myself, brother Humphrey, cousin Warren, and Woolfscale are alive. - Mr. and Mrs. Harold R. Hudgins

Orville and Evelyn (Donovan) Jacobs

The Honorable John Wallace Donovan was born in Florence (Oneida County), New York, on August 8, 1825, the son of Michael Donovan, a native of Ireland and a soldier in the English army, who immigrated to America in 1812. He was twice married, having eight children by his first wife, Harriet Graves. They were, Dennis, James, Mary, Julia, John W., Samuel, Chance, and Kingman; and eight children were also born of his second marriage, Stephen S., Elizabeth, Michael, Joseph W., Harriet, Sarah, James, and Mary.

Michael Donovan (the father) was a man of good education, a fluent speaker and for 40 years held a license as an exhorter in the Methodist Church. He dearly loved his adopted country, was a strict temperance man and well versed in the Scriptures. His first wife, Harriet (Graves) Donovan, formerly of Massachusetts, was of Welch origin on her father’s side and on her mother’s of German ancestry. Both parents were of Revolutionary stock, her uncle, Major Wells Graves, having been with Col. Ethan Allen at the Battle of Ticonderoga. Mr. Donovan died in 1874, his first wife preceded him to the grave in 1834.

John W. Donovan, from the age of six years, obtained a good schooling and lived on a farm at home until 18 years old. In the spring of 1,837, he accompanied his parents to Toledo, Ohio, and March, 1839, to Hillsdale, Michigan, where he stayed two years, then moved to Moscow, Michigan. In his 18th year he was apprenticed to learn the shoemaker’s trade and as the eldest son in the family contributed to their support. After learning the trade he remained at home until June 24,1856, when he married Mary Jane Moreland, by whom he had six children, William W., Ella, George J., Jabin, Albert, and Ira. He resigned as Justice of the Peace in Michigan in 1868 and came to Missouri to make his home in Livingston County in Sec. 36, Twp. 59, Rg. 23. In 1876 he was a candidate for Judge of the Eastern District of Livingston County Court, was elected and served two years. In 1880 such was his popularity that when he ran for State Representative he received a handsome majority and was reelected in 1884. One bill he successfully opposed and defeated was the bill declaring barbed wire an unlawful fence. He lived in Livingston County until his death in 1913 and was buried in Wallace Cemetery.

William Wallace Donovan, the eldest son of John Wallace and Mary Jane (Moreland) Donovan, was born August 17, 1858, in Hillsdale, Michigan. He went to school first in Michigan and then at Gordonville School, in Medicine Township. He liked farming in the summer then would go into Iowa and the Dakotas operating a threshing machine when he was a young man. He married Maria Elizabeth (Lizzie) Stewart and they rented a farm nearby. He liked to raise hogs. He bought hogs from Flint, Michigan, and Delta, Ohio, trying to improve the quality of pork. He also had milk cows and sold cream. Sometimes he had to take the cream to the nearest railroad station and on occasion a produce man picked it up. They had seven children: Harry, who died in infancy; Ray; John W.; Daisy; and an infant son and daughter who were buried with their mother, who died on December 17, 1893. Mr. Donovan kept his three living children and, with the aid of his mother, made a home for them. When his father died he left a will leaving 50 acres of the homeplace to W. W. Donovan and 40 acres to Ira. They were to sell 30 acres to pay all bills, and Jabin Donovan was executor of the estate. W. W. lived on the homeplace and took care of his mother, Mary Jane, until she died in 1915.

Ira Donovan and family lived in a house just west of the old family home. They used the same well that had a windmill to pump the water. A milkhouse near by had a large trough that the water flowed through before it went on out to tanks for cattle and hogs. In this trough they placed their butter and milk in containers to keep it cool and sweet. Later a cellar was built. In a smokehouse they cured pork for summer use, by use of hickory smoke. Ira married Grace Sheetz, of Webster Grove, Iowa. Children of this union were, Lulu, George, Alma, Helen, Berneice, Timothy, and Joseph. Ira died in 1918 and his widow sold the part of the farm left her to Jake and Minnie Jacobs. On February 27, 1920, the estate was finally settled and W. W. Donovan purchased the 30 acres designated to be sold in John W. Donovan’s will made before his death in 1913. He lived on the farm renting some of it to be farmed by others, milking cows, selling cream, and raising hogs. He also was the local veterinarian and sometimes would be up all night with a fellow neighbor helping to save the life of a farm animal. His son, Ray, married Lulu Gibson of Sturges and they had two daughters, Beulah Eunice and Geneva Rosella. He died March 8, 1916.

John W. married Alice Pauline Reineman, of Chicago, in 1907. They had three daughters, Clara, Evelyn, and Lora Jane. Alice P. Donovan died in 1915. John W. lived at the home with his father at different times but after his second marriage he moved to Iowa. When W. W. Donovan could not live by himself any more he made his home with his granddaughter, Evelyn (Donovan) Jacobs, who lived near by and made a contract with Evelyn and her husband, Orville, to take care of him the rest of his life in exchange for the 38 acres he lived on. He had previously deeded 30 acres to Ray’s daughters, 15 acres to Beulah Donovan, which she sold to Daniel Coberley, and 15 acres to Geneva (Donovan) Melloul, described as S ½ E 30 acres of SE ¼ , NE ¼ , Sec. 3 Twp. 59, Rg. 23. This land is being farmed by Orville and Evelyn Jacobs, their son, Deane Jacobs, once farmed it and now their grandson, Randall Jacobs, has sowed it in wheat for 1976. The 38 acres owned by Orville and Evelyn is seeded down and is used for pasture. Two ponds have been built on it to furnish water. The buildings are gone now but there is one rose bush still there that has been there since Mary Jane (Moreland) Donovan came here with her husband John W. and family to make it her home. - Evelyn Donovan Jacobs

Leroy and Gwendolyn (Metzner) Jennings

Samuel Frederick Metzner, born August 12, 1753, married Johanna Dorthea Dalme, and had a son called Karl Hemrick Metzner, born October 7,1797. He married Wilhemina Reiche on May 8,1827, and left Germany on August 24,1847, and arrived in the United States of America at the port of New York in July of 1848. They brought with them a 16-year-old son named Carl Herman Metzner, who was born August 20,1832. He was one of 14 children, and out-lived them all.

Carl Herman Metzner was born in Saxony, Germany, and received some of his education there, and also in the United States. The family lived in Pennsylvania the first year that they were here. Then they moved to Plymouth, Wisconsin, where Herman earned his living, that of a woodchopper. He helped his father clear the land to build a home for the family.

On March 25, 1861, Herman was married to Augusta Distilhorst. Of this union four children were born, Clara, Helena, Louise, and Thelca. In 1868, Herman and Augusta and their four children traveled to Livingston County, and settled on a piece of land approximately eight miles northeast of Chillicothe, Missouri, which was later named Ingleside Farm. The family settled in an old, one-story house which then set just a few yards northeast of the present house. Herman began his work clearing the land and planning the future of his family, however one short year later his beloved wife Augusta died and left Herman with four small children to raise. Augusta was 29 years old.

June 30, 1870, Herman married Katharine Suess of Baden, Germany, then a resident of Brunswick, Missouri. Of this union nine children were born, Carl Willhelm, Karl Albert, Karl Louis, Annabelle, Emma, Harry, Joseph, Herman, and Katharina. With Herman’s four children by his previous marriage, this made a total of 13 children for the family to care for. Some of these children died. One baby was seven months old, another eight years old, still another seven years old, and one young man, Karl Albert, died of pneumonia when he was 27 years old. The rest of the children lived their lives completely.

The will power that Herman Metzner brought with him was tested on the farm many times as, by this time, he had accumulated 525 acres to care for. Much of this was swampland which could not be farmed. However, there were lots of beautiful timber, pastures, and fields that had been cleared by hard work and determination for the planting of crops.

Sometime just before the 1900’s, having ample timber, Herman set up a sawmill on the farm and sawed the lumber for the family’s new home. The I-beams were sawed from large trees and measured 12 inches wide and 12 inches in depth and many feet long. Rocks for the foundation came from a quarry about a mile south. With the help of carpenters from Chula, and the Metzner menfolk, a very solid and sturdy home was built. When they had the large house finished he had supplied his family with one of the nicest homes in the county. The home had four large bedrooms, a parlor, dining room, living room, country kitchen, pantry, enclosed back porch, and a beautiful entry hall with a large, carved stairway. Also a room was planned for a bathroom to be installed later on. The plans for the home were complete with a large ¼ basement under the house for the family fruit and vegetables. The sawmill was also used to build two large barns and several small sheds on the farm by the men. The home was host to many elaborate parties and gatherings for many occasions. It was always a known fact, that no visitors could come without sitting down and eating a home-cooked meal at their large table, before they left. The family also used the parlor for funerals of the immediate family. Burials were a little way down the road in the Ross Cemetery.

Herman, in the early 1900’s, started building a levee around the bottom land of the farm with teams of horses. It has been said that the work on this levee took eight years to complete, and was the first of several levees to be placed on the farm. Herman Metzner was one of the few men in the county to continuously farm a bottom farm through floods and droughts in Livingston County for half a century. As a citizen, he was 100%, American, and was interested in improvements and education as well. He was director of the People’s Exchange Bank of Sturges, Missouri. In politics, he was an independent, but cast his first vote for Abe Lincoln for president.

Herman’s family by this time had begun to make plans of their own. Some were to marry, some would go to college, and some would remain at home and help their dad.

Harry Metzner, born March 4, 1885, continued his education at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, studying agriculture. He completed four years of college in three years, then returned home to the farm to help his father operate the farm, which had grown much in size and work by this time. He took an active part in community affairs, and was a board member and secretary of the Rich Hill Drainage District Committee of Livingston County, that straightened the creek. He was also a Boy Scout Leader and was given the Silver Beaver award and received a certificate signed by Calvin Coolidge, then the President of the United States. In 1934, Harry designed and installed the present roof on the farm house which has a large German Swastika enlayed on the south side of the roof in two different colors of shingles. On August 13, 1934, at Princeton, Missouri, Harry married Miss Esther Patterson, a school teacher from Avalon, Missouri. The couple were given a large reception at the family home hosting 150 guests. Born to this couple was a daughter, Gwendolyn Alice Metzner, on March 21, 1936. Harry continued to make his home at the farm until his death February 2, 1937, at the age of 52, of pneumonia.

Annabelle, a daughter, had a very tragic romance with Charles S. Hiett, a grocery store man from Pattonsburg, Missouri. The couple were engaged to be married when one cold winter evening the young gentleman left the Metzner home and traveled to Chillicothe, where he was to catch a train for home. As the young man started to board the train it started moving, so he held on to the caboose of the train since the door was locked, knowing that it would stop at Utica. However his hands gave away just a few seconds before the train slowed down at the next stop, and he fell to the ground striking his head upon a rail and was killed. Annabelle did not recover from this tragedy and never married. She had done some traveling to several states and lived her life on the farm. Annabelle was born December 16, 1875, and died November 14, 1960, at the age of 85.

Augusta, a daughter of Herman’s first wife (Augusta), was born June 29, 1871, and married Mr. Jack Jordan. Three children were born to this union, Carlos, Rudolph, and Lewis. Augusta died April 5, 1918, at the age of 47 of pneumonia. Thelca, a daughter of Augusta, was born December 22, 1866, and married Mr. Israel T. Allbritain on April 29, 1891. The couple had three children, Hallie, Herman, and Dessie. Thelca passed away February 10, 1956, at the age of 90. Louise, a daughter of Augusta, was born January 11, 1896, and was married to Mr. Edward Morris. To this union two children were born, Lena and Arthur. Louise passed away November 29, 1943, at the age of 81, and is buried in the Edgewood Cemetery.

The story of this family and farm which began with Carl Herman Metzner and his first wife, Augusta, and continued when he married Katharine Suess, and the children they raised, began one hundred seven years ago. Carl Herman passed away at his home January 31, 1919. He was 87 years old. His wife, Katharine, lived on another six years. She passed away September 5, 1925, also in the home that they both loved. When Emma, the last of Herman’s children, passed away in 1970, the farm passed to Herman’s granddaughter, Gwendolyn Alice Metzner, who was the daughter of Harry and Esther Metzner. Gwendolyn married Mr. Leroy Jennings of Chillicothe, Missouri, on September 20, 1953. The couple have four children, David 21, Steve 20, Debra 18, and Ronnie 15. The farmland that her grandfather homesteaded has been farmed every year by sharecroppers. This grain farm has grown much larger since improvements have been made every year.

The beautiful, old home is in the process of being remodeled for modern-day living. It is now being rented by Mr. and Mrs. Roy W. Lemon, parents of three daughters, and is the first family to live there that is not a Metzner. They share the true feelings of all who have lived in the house and left their memories. They have grown to love the rambling acres full of nature’s surprises and man’s achievements. Thanks to a great pioneer and his family for making this story possible, and also a special thanks to Mrs. Frankie Lemon for helping me compile this information for the present and future generations.

1878 Atlas 360 acres - 1960 Atlas 1162 acres.

Note: All of this information has come from family ledgers, birth records, and death notices since 1868. We have traced the Metzner family back to the year of 1662 from the town of Saxony, Germany.

J. Roy and Frankie Jones

This 40 acres of land in Blue Mound Township (the NW ¼ of the NE ¼ Sec. 8, Twp. 56, Rg. 24) was a part of the first land bought in 1868 by Thomas D. Jones when he came here from Wales. He bought other land, 80 acres (the S ½ of the NE ¼ in Sec. 8), that is now owned by Ellen and David Wendell Jones. Later in 1872 Thomas D. Jones purchased from Robert L. Patrick 40 acres of land in Blue Mound Township (the SW ¼ of the SE ¼ of Sec. 5, Twp. 56, Rg. 24). In 1883 Thomas D. Jones sold this 40 acres to his son, Thomas E. Jones, who was J. Roy Jones’ uncle. In 1935 J. Roy Jones bought this land from his uncle.

Thomas D. Jones was born in Carmarthanshire, South Wales, in 1817, and came here in 1868. The oldest son, Dave, and the third son, Thomas E., came with him. They built a tworoom house and dug a well on the 80 acres now owned by Ellen and David Wendell Jones. Later that year the wife, Esther (Evans) Jones, born 1826 in Wales, came across the water with the other children, three girls and two boys, the youngest, Esther Amy, being six years old. She passed away three weeks after coming to America. She was buried in Elliott Cemetery east of Dawn, Mo.

One of the boys who came with the mother was John E. Jones, born August 5, 1853. He married Hannah Jones and went to Omaha, Nebraska, where a daughter, Esther,(Etta) Jones Berkshire, was born. Later they moved near the town of Nettleton, Mo. A son, Edgar, was born there. Later on they all moved to Kansas City, where all except Etta passed away. She came back to Chillicothe and spent her last few years at the Lambert Hotel. She is buried at Forest Hill Cemetery, Kansas City, Mo., beside her parents.

The two girls who came with the mother were Margaret Jones Williams, born September 24, 1851. She married Thomas Williams and lived a mile west of Plymouth, Mo. In 1885 they moved to the State of Louisiana, where they passed away. Their grandchildren are still there.

The other daughter, Mary Ann, born 1856, married William Thomas and lived on this 120 acres in Sec. 8, Twp. 56, Rg. 24 (now owned by J. Roy Jones). Mary Ann and husband purchased the land from her father, Thomas D. Jones, in 1876. They passed away and are buried at Elliott Cemetery where her baby sister, mother, and father are laid to rest.

Thomas E. Jones and wife, Ida Patrick Jones, lived on a farm near his father’s. They are buried at the Christison Cemetery. Their living children are: Mrs. Esther Chapman. Mr. Sam Jones RR, and Harvey Jones of Chillicothe, Mo. Dave Jones and wife, Ellen (Francis) Jones, moved to the State of Iowa and raised a family of four boys and one girl. All are deceased. Thomas D. Jones and wife, Esther (Evans) Jones, were members of the Welsh Baptist Church, which was located about a mile and one-half due south of where they settled. The church was built in 1876 and occupied the first time on June 1, 1876.

The younger son, Benjamin J. Jones and wife, Amanda E. (Johnson) Jones, also attended this church with their family of seven children, Lewis T. Jones, Annie Jones Perry, Fred D. Jones, Cora Jones, Charles B. Jones, Albert Jones, and J. Roy Jones.

Cora and Albert passed away in young adulthood. Lewis T. passed away in 1958, Charles B. in 1967, Annie Perry in 1975, Benjamin J. and wife both passed away in 1933 and are buried in the Welsh Cemetery southeast of Dawn, Mo. Fred D. Jones and J. Roy Jones still survive. J. Roy Jones and some of the children of Charles B. Jones still attend the "Welsh" church, which is now the Dawn Baptist Church.

The posterity of this Thomas D. Jones family are scattered over all parts of North America, Hawaii and Indonesia. - Frankie Jones

L. M. and Mildred Johnson

The L. M. and Mildred Johnson farm, located three miles south and 1½ miles west of Dawn, was purchased in 1868 by Isaac Johnson from the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad Company. Upon his death the farm Was inherited by his son, Henry A. Johnson, who in turn, deeded the farm to his son, Hallie R. Johnson. In 1960 the present owner, L. M. Johnson, purchased the farm from his father, Hallie R. Johnson. The farm is located in Sec. 25, Twp. 56, Rg. 25, Livingston County, Mo.

Isaac Johnson came from Kentucky. An early trail came through the farm. A log cabin served as a stopping place for the stagecoach. Also, for religious services and as a subscription school. Later a public school known as the Johnson school was built on the farm. In 1891 church services were held there. Mr. Johnson gave the ground and a church was built, 24 feet by 36 feet, at a cost of $595.00. It was dedicated in 1898 as the Bethany Baptist Church. It served the community until 1952 when it was sold and torn down. There was also an early cemetery on the farm known as the Gudgell Cemetery. Isaac Johnson (1821-1899) and his wife Polly (1836-1920) were buried in the Collar Cemetery.

Mr. and Mrs. David Wendell Jones

This farm is in Sec. 8-56-24, about a mile northeast of Dawn. It was purchased by Thomas D. Jones, my great-grandfather in June, 1868. In 1900 it belonged to Ben J. Jones, my grandfather; in 1912 to Charles B. Jones, my father. In 1965 and 1971 it was deeded to Mr. and Mrs. David Wendell Jones. The old house was destroyed by fire in 1971. We replaced it with a brick home.

Garreg Goch in South Wales was the name of the family farm. There was an Upper, Lower, and Middle Garreg Goch. It was all owned by Lord Carter, who lived in a place near by. He owned about 500 acres of land. The palace was surrounded by a park and had deer in it. The great-grandfather’s farm consisted of 120 acres. It was rough ground with a river, but it never overflowed. They caught trout and eel in the river. They lived near the town of Carmarthenshire, South Wales.

The Lord had a schoolhouse where the children attended school. Uncle Tom walked three miles through the fields. The teacher was English and all lessons were taught in English. They weren’t allowed to speak Welsh, even on the school grounds. Punishment was a spanking. Books were furnished, and they paid one penny a week per child.

The Church of England was near their home and since all weddings had to be in it they would get to see them sometimes. Their house was a big stone one with a straw roof. Some of the roofs were made of slate. It was heated by two large fireplaces, one on each end. The parents and small children slept in the living room. They had folding beds. Grandmother cooked on a fireplace in the kitchen. The older sister and hired girl slept in the kitchen. There were two rooms upstairs. They kept milk and made cheese and butter in the shed on the back of the house.

The cow barn joined the house on the east. They had 13 cows, which in the winter were tied to posts (I think each one had a separate post). They were kept in a small lot covered with red stone in the summer. Garreg Goch means red rock, the kind the lot was covered with.

Thomas D. was the only child; his wife’s name was Esther Evans. She had a brother, Tom. He was probably the one who took them to Swansea where they took the train to Liverpool. They got on the boat which was about one-fourth mile long. It carried 1300 people to America. They were sixteen days coming over to New York from Liverpool. The boat had cabins in the lower part on each side, and tables in between where they were served food.

When they reached New York they unloaded at Castle Garden. They could buy transportation to any place in the U. S, A. They were taken in a boat up the Hudson River to Toledo, Ohio, and crossed the Niagara Falls. Then they took a boat to Chicago, came to Quincy, and then rode the train to Utica. That train went only as far as St. Joseph. No one knew where Dawn was when they got off the train. They pronounced Dawn with an O instead of an A. Finally an old colored man with a hoe on his shoulder told them. They went through Dawn without knowing it, as there was only one house there.

Charles B. Jones, owner of the farm from 1912 to 1965, and the son of Ben J. Jones, was born in Livingston County northeast of this farm. He spent his entire lifetime in Livingston County in Blue Mound Township. He was a farmer and active in the community and Cambrian Baptist Church. He was married to Ethel Perryman in 1915. They have three children living: Ada, Unionville, Mo.; Paul, Dawn, Mo.; and Ellen, at Dawn on the family farm. Charles B. passed away in 1967 and his wife in 1969. They are buried in Edgewood Cemetery, Chillicothe, Mo.

Lawrence G. Jones

Part of my present f arm was bought from John H. West by John H. Davis, November, 1866. It was sold to John J. Davis in 1867. These people came from Wales to Ohio. They had planned to go on to what is now Emporia, Kansas. It was called Arvonia at that time. Land here in the Dawn area was selling for $4.00 to $25.00 per acre. Land in Kansas was cheaper, but the prairie had not been broken. It was estimated to cost $10.00 per acre for breaking, and a crop could not be expected for two years. The family decided to stay at Dawn even though land was higher and it was free of Indians.

The Davises came to Utica, Missouri, by train. The men walked to Dawn leaving their family staying in Utica in the old brick hotel. John H. Davis bought part of our farm (E ½ of SE¼ of Sec. 20, Twp. 56, Rg. 24) from John and Irene West, November 27, 1866, for $840.00. At the death of John West it was given to his daughter, Hannah, April 6, 1891. She married William Jones. Mrs. Jones passed away leaving it to her daughter, Lizzy (Mrs. Gomer Jones).

John H. Davis also owned another part in Section 29 which was bought from John H. West in 1866. He sold it to William R. Jones who deeded part of it to his son, Gomer G. Jones, on April 10, 1899. Gomer Jones bought the remainder from heirs. William R. Jones came from Wales in September, 1868. He was held in quarantine in New York for 21 days before he could continue his journey to Missouri. Gomer G. Jones and Lizzie Jones married and built a house about 1900 on this latter tract of land. They were parents of two children, Mary Jones (Watson) and Lawrence G. Jones. On February 7, 1958, the land was deeded to Mary Watson and Lawrence G. Jones, at which time Lawrence Jones purchased Mrs. Watson’s share. A new house was completed in December 1968.  - Lawrence G. Jones

Victor and Karlene Jones

On August 7, 1871, John T. Griffith bought 40 acres of land situated in the SW ¼ of the SE ¼, Sec. 21, Twp. 56, Rg. 24 from Hugh Jones and Lizzie Jones, his wife. John T. Griffith did not live on this land. He was a carpenter and worked in Chicago at the time of the Great Fire on October 8, 1871. He later made his home with his wife, Margaret, in Columbus, Ohio. He sold this 40 acres to his cousin, William R. Jones, on September 21, 1888.

William R. Jones was born in Merrionthshire, North Wales, October 8,1835. He came to America July 4, 1856. He married Elizabeth Griffith April 13, 1860, and they lived on a farm in Ohio. They moved to Missouri in 1868. They had 7 children; Charlotte E., who married John M. Evans; Robert William, who married Anna James; Catherine W., who married William Morgan; Henry T., who married Eliza Evans; Gomer G., who married Elizabeth Jones; Martha H., who married Thomas L. Williams; and Anna E., who married Hawley S. Johnson. William R. sold the tract of land to his son, Robert W. Jones, November 5, 1897.

Robert W. Jones married Anna James and they had 4 children: William Robert who died at the age of 18; Morgan J.; Martha E.; and McKinley. Robert W. sold the tract to his son, McKinley, February 24,1925. McKinley married Hazel Timbrook and they had 3 children: Victor Lee, Mary Elizabeth, and Kenneth Eugene. McKinley was burning trash and accidentally caught himself afire on March 15, 1965. He died that afternoon. His wife, Hazel, continued to live on the farm with her son, Victor, until 1974, She went to live with her daughter, Mary E. Nigus, of Hale. She sold the tract to her son, Victor Lee Jones, on January 10, 1975.

Victor married Karlene (Hamilton) Neal on August 29, 1974. He has one child, Victoria Kay Jones, born November 16, 1975, and three step-children, Cynthia L, Neal, Joni Sue Neal, and John Clinton Neal Ill. - Victor Jones

Charles and Rosemary (Boucher) Larsen

John Boucher purchased this farm in 1859 from the United States Government for $1.25 per acre. He was a son of Elisha and Sarah Boucher, who moved from Tennessee to Ray County, Missouri, in 1827. In 1834 they came to Livingston County. Two brothers, James and Joshua, lost their lives in the Mexican War in 1846 and 1847. In 1848 Thomas and Elisha took up land in Livingston County. Andrew J. Boucher, who later owned the farm, was a Lieutenant in the Civil War.

John, Sarah, A. J., Elizabeth, Agnes, Thomas, and Elisha are listed as organizers and members of the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, which was organized in 1853, J. A. Boucher of a later generation was a teacher and County Superintendent of Schools. The farm was owned by A. J. Boucher in 1870, Amanda Boucher in 1932, Paul Boucher in 1938, and in 1969 it was deeded to Charles and Rosemary (Boucher) Larsen.

Melvin L. Littrell

The SW ¼ of the NE ¼ of Sec. 9, Twp. 57, Rg. 22, was entered from the government on November 22, 1855, by Joseph J. Littrell. At his death in 1898, it went to John E. Littrell; at his death in 1953, it went to Buel E. Littrell, who deeded it to his son, Melvin Littrell, in 1962, who owns it to the present time (1976).

The NW ¼ of the NE ¼ of Sec. 9-57-22 was entered from the government September 18, 1855, by John Warren, a brother-in-law of Joseph J. Littrell. Mr. John Warren owned this land until his death; and then his son, Tom Warren, and his heirs owned it until the fall of 1942. They sold it for $25.00 per acre to Buel E. Littrell, who deeded it to his son, Melvin, in 1962.

The E½ of the NW¼ of Sec. 9-57-22 was bought in 1890 by John E. Littrell, who borrowed the money from his Grandfather Alexander at the rate of 10%. At his death in March, 1953, the land went to Buel Littrell and was deeded to Melvin Littrell in 1962. During the 86 years the John E. Littrells and Buel Littrells have been the only residents in the home.

The NW ¼ of the SW ¼ of Sec. 9-57-22 was bought by John E. Littrell in 1915 from Les Seely whose family had owned it at least 50 years. Purchase price was $115.00 per acre. At his death in 1953, it went to Buel Littrell who deeded it to Gerald Littrell in 1962, and who still owns it (1976).

The E ½ of the SW ¼ and SW ¼ of the SW ¼ of Sec. 9-57-22 was bought from the J. H. McKamey Estate by Buel Littrell in 1943 at $55.00 per acre. In 1962 it was deeded by Buel to Gerald Littrell. Those previously owing this land were: William Scruby, Sr. (father of Will, Frank, Hod, and Mrs. Frank Bassett, and grandfather of Stanley and Horace Scruby), who gave a portion of it for the South Wheeling School (better known as Gould School); and Jim Hill, father of Frank and John Hill.

This land had the first title recorded in Livingston County: NW ¼ of the SE ¼ of Sec. 4-57-22 was entered from the government in April,1839, by James J. Littrell as was the NE ¼ of the SE ¼ of Sec. 4-57-22. Both tracts of land were bought by John E. Littrell from John Wright in1933 at a price of $70.00 per acre. John E. Littrell held this land until his death in 1953. His son, Earnest A. Littrell, inherited it and sold it in 1971 at $427.00 per acre, to his brother, Buel, who still owns it (1976).

All the above land was prairie land.

James J. Littrell was born February 1, 1803. His wife, Melvina, was born June 21, 1811, in Kentucky. They are buried in Ogan Cemetery. Joseph Jackson Littrell was born December 4, 1831, and was married to Mary Barbee in 1851. They are buried in Wheeling Cemetery. His second wife, Mary Alexander, whom he married in December, 1859, was born in Bedford. John E. Littrell was born November 17, 1864. He was married October 9, 1892, to Eva Harris who was born in Bedford. They are buried in Wheeling Cemetery. Buel E. Littrell was born May 11, 1898. On November 26, 1922, he married Edna Colton who was born in Illinois. Melvin H. Littrell was born June 19, 1932. On February 12, 1956, he married Meredith Long who was born in Chillicothe, Mo.

James J. Littrell and Melvina came to Missouri and entered land in Sections 3 and 4, Twp. 575 Rg. 22, April 18, 1839. Their children were: Joseph J. Littrell, born December 4, 1831; Sarah, born June 30, 1835, who married John Warren; William James, born April 4, 1838, married Emma Gish; Mary Jane, who married Ben F. Dillon, December 24, 1855; Nancy, who married James Gish, December 24, 1866.

James and Melvina Littrell built a home in Section 3 in 1836. Some 20 years later the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (CB&Q) went through about 200 yards to the north of their house. They had slaves in their early life, and as their children were married, they gave their daughters girl slaves and their sons boy slaves. He gave his son, Joseph J., a boy slave. During the Civil War the slave boarded a train between what is now Meadville and Wheeling and went south to join the Union Army. He ate too many green peaches and died. Joseph J., before the war, was offered $1200 in gold for this slave, but refused, even though he knew the slave would be freed. This writer (Buel Littrell) remembers as a boy old Aunt Mary Littrell and two of her sons who were slaves of the Littrells.

Gladys C. Lucas

This farm of 82.80 acres came into the John Grouse family on December 12, 1860, and has been owned by someone in the family since that time. It lies in Sec. 12, Twp. 58, Rg. 25 of Sampsel Township in Livingston County. This land was at one time owned by Ben Hargrave, a maternal great-grandfather of the present owner, Mrs. Gladys Lucas. It was at this time in 1859 that one acre in the northwest corner was deeded to the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, on which the church was built. It is still a very active church.

Mr. and Mrs. John Grouse were born and raised in Germany. They came to America and first settled in Zanesville, Ohio, in 1852. After a few years, they migrated to Missouri and settled down in Sampsel Township.

Mr. and Mrs. Grouse bad 11 children: Christina, who married Chris Seitter; Mary married John Mast; John married Mollie Hopper; Goodlow married Mary Girdner; George H. and William who married sisters, Margaret and Kate Hargarve; Rosana to Dave Schultz; Kate to Sam Tiberghien; Elizabeth to Jim Cusick. Charlie died at the age of 18 of measles. Another baby who also had the name, George, died in infancy in Ohio. They then named the first baby born in Missouri George H. Several of the descendants of these children are still living in this area.

Barbara Grouse was a strong, sturdy, and industrious woman. The story is told of how she used to carry three crocks of milk down the hill to the springhouse along the creek’s edge. She carried a crock in each hand and one on her head and was never known to spill a drop. The springhouse was built over the spring itself, and it was rocked so that several crocks could be set in a rectangular pit about eight inches deep. The spring water then flowed around the crocks only to a certain depth, going out an overflow at the lower end.

Mr. Grouse had been taught milling and farming in his native country. At one time he owned 210 acres, but when the farm came to Will Grouse, there were only approximately 80 acres. The writer does not know the history of the rest of it. Mr. Grouse passed away in 1894, leaving the farm to his wife, Barbara, until her death; then it was to be the property of her youngest son, William Grouse, upon his paying a certain sum to each of his brothers and sisters. Thus, the farm came to Will Grouse in 1907 at the death of his mother.

Just before the farm came to William Grouse, he married Kate Hargrave in May, 1905. Kate was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John C. Hargrave. John C. Hargrave lost a part of his arm while serving in the Civil War. In April of 1908 a daughter was born to Will and Kate Grouse, and was to be their only child, Gladys Catherine, who is the owner in 1976.

Mr. and Mrs. Grouse, or Aunt Kate and Uncle Will, as they became known to many, were industrious, hard-working people. Uncle Will farmed land on the river bottoms. He could be seen early and late with several horses tied behind his wagon going to, or coming home from his work. They helped many young folks get a start in life, Aunt Kate always had a big garden. When the elements disturbed others’ gardens, Aunt Kate always seemed to come up with the same amount year after year. When asked if her success meant that she planted them in the right sign, she would invariably answer, "No, I planted it in the ground and used a lot of ‘elbow grease’ on it." She raised geese from whose feathers she made many pillows and feather beds - often giving a pair of pillows to a niece or nephew who was just starting out in married life. She baked big loaves of bread that would melt in your mouth. She made big kettles of soap in the early years using lye she had made from wood ashes. In her later years her grandson, Wesley Eugene Lucas, made his home with them.

Aunt Kate and Uncle Will always made sorghum in the fall. This came to be quite an occasion, as people would come from miles around, some bringing their lunch to watch the making of the sorghum and to "lick the paddle." Their sorghum was known far and wide, but there was never enough to supply the demand because Aunt Kate and Uncle Will had many other things to do.

Gladys Catherine, their only child, attended school at the Raulie, Springhill, Brown, Gibbs, and Potter schools. The reason for her attending so many was because the school teacher boarded in the Grouse home. After teaching the regular six months, she would go to another school and teach the three spring months, and Gladys went too. This teacher, Mrs. Kate Donoho, is still living and enjoying life in 1976. Gladys eventually entered high school; then college, and in 1929 was graduated with an Associate in Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in education. In the fall of the same year she went to Colorado, where she became a teacher. During that same year she met and married Wesley Lucas, son of Jerome and Nettie Lucas. In the course of time two boys were born to this union Duane Grouse in 1930 and Wesley Eugene in 1931. The Lucas family soon moved back to Missouri, where for several years, Mr. Lucas helped his father-in-law farm. Mrs. Lucas again began to teach school. She taught many years in the rural areas, then taught for a short time in the Chillicothe school system. She was prevailed upon to teach at the State Training School for Girls, a job which she thoroughly enjoyed for 14 years.

"Mrs. Gladys," as she was affectionately called by her rural pupils, was a "jack-of-all-trades." Besides her teaching she helped her father in the fields, often driving four to six horses. In later years she drove the tractor, built fence, and helped out in the many ways of a farm. She built a large hay barn, and later built several other buildings. She also enjoyed birds and animals, and cared for several hives of bees.

In September, 1946, Mrs. Kate Grouse passed away, and two years later in April, 1948, Mr. Grouse passed away too. It was at this time that Mrs. Lucas’ older son, Duane, entered the Marines and lost his life September 24,1950, in Seoul, Korea. Duane received many medals and received the Purple Heart posthumously. This was a terrible blow to Mr. and Mrs. Lucas and to his brother, Eugene. After Mr. Grouse’s death, Eugene moved onto the farm where he and his son, Kevin, make their home and farm the land. Gladys Lucas, mother and grandmother lives close by on 110 acres cornering the Grouse land. Mr. and Mrs. Lucas have lived there since 1938. However, Mr. Lucas passed away in 1968 after suffering a stroke in 1965.

Mrs. Lucas has a small herd of Hereford cows, which she enjoys. She also raises a big garden and always shares the fruits of it with neighbors and friends. Mr. and Mrs. Lucas, Duane, and Eugene were members of the Springhill Methodist Church, and attended regularly until the church was closed in 1966.

The Grouse homestead is much the same. The farm buildings have long since fallen down and new sheds built. The first house burned in 1889, and the frame, two-story house that was built to replace it, is still there. Eugene and son, Kevin, still live on the old farm. And so it is that in 1976, they live on land that was first granted to Eugene’s great, great, great-grandfather, Mr. John Hargarve by President James K. Polk, December 1, 1848.

The reader will note that the farm first came to one side of the family; then in the course of about twelve years it passed to John Grouse, the other side of the family. So the land has been in continuous ownership for one hundred sixteen years. With the exception of seven years from 1853 to 1860, the farm has been in one side of the family, or the other, and most of the time, a combination of both, for one hundred twenty-eight years.

The members of this family who have passed away are buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. - Gladys C. Lucas

Keith and Alice Lutes

William Stirling was born at Glasgow, Scotland, June 10, 1834. When a young boy, he moved with his parents, George and Isabella (Kirkland) Stirling to Pennsylvania. On April 2, 1863, he married Adaline Can in They were the parents of ten children: Rebecca (Stirling) Twombly, George, Isabel (Stirling) Brown, James, John, William Matthew, Charles E., Ida (Stirling) Wheeler, Bertha (Stirling) Seek, and one child who died in infancy.

On October 14, 1856, in Pittsburgh, Pa., William Stirling became a citizen of the United States of America.

William Stirling bought this tract of land on February 20, 1866. William and Adaline Stirling were members of the Methodist Church in Bedford. Adaline died October 29,1923, and William died April 2,1925. They are buried in the Avalon Cemetery. William and Adaline Stirling were the grandparents of the present owners.

Charles E. Stirling was born in Livingston County, Mo., June 17, 1878. On December 29,1931, he was united in marriage to Ida Bailey at Chillicothe, Mo. To this union were born three children, William E., Alice (Stirling) Lutes, and Geneva (Stirling) Connell. Charles E. and Ida were members of the Bedford Methodist Church.

On May 7, 1919, Charles E. bought this land from his parents, William and Adeline Stirling. Charles.E. took pride in raising draft horses and mules. In 1930 he began raising registered Shorthorn cattle and continued this until 1954. Charles E. and his children attended the Fairland Grade School which was located at the southeast corner of the farm. This school was discontinued in the spring of 1946. Charles E. Stirling passed away February 3,1967, and is buried in the Avalon Cemetery. Ida Stirling lives in Hale, Mo., at this time (1976). Charles E. and Ida are the parents of the present owners.

On July 9, 1962, Charles E. and Ida sold the farm to their daughter and son-in-law, Alice and Keith Lutes, who are the present owners of the land. They lived on the farm from 1962 until 1974. The present house was built in approximately 1885 and was remodeled in 1960. William Stirling hewed the sidewalks out of sandstone quarried on the farm soon after the house was built. He moved them in with a team of horses. The sidewalks are still intact. A cellar located near the house was also built about this time out of sandstone and is still intact.

This farm is located two miles southwest of Bedford, is all hill land, and is used for grain and livestock farming. Approximately one-sixth of the land is still in timber. There was a molasses mill operated on this farm for approximately 50 years. it was moved to William Matthew Stirling’s farm in 1944. - Alice Lutes

Mr. and Mrs. Claude Mathews

Our farm is located one mile east and one-half mile north of Avalon. In 1865 Samuel A. Gray bought 200 acres from the railroad.

He was a soldier in the Civil War for three years before he came home to Pittsburgh, Pa. on February 23, 1865, he and Margaret Montgomery (my good grandmother) were married, and left to the prairies of northwest Missouri on their bridal trip to buy land and make a home. They came by steamboat from Pittsburgh to Hannibal, then on to Chillicothe by railroad. All they brought with them was a trunk. Grandmother’s father gave her $1000.00 which she sewed in her dress belt for fear it might be stolen. They had some friends from Pennsylvania who had already settled north of this present place, where they stayed until getting settled.

There was a two-room log cabin which was their first home. The land was mostly timber before any farming could be done. Down over the hill was a spring from which they carried drinking water.

Grandfather Gray went by horseback to Chillicothe on errands to get mail, food, supplies, and to the grist mill in Utica for flour. He had to cross the river by swimming his horse. The bushwhackers still went around, and he was in danger for he was from the northern army. Here ten children were born: two pairs of twin girls who died in infancy; two others who died in childhood; and four who grew to maturity. They were Robert, Luella, William, and Harry Gray.

After clearing the timber, they planted hedge rows for fence. One hedge row stood for years as a landmark between Grand River and Fairview Townships. It was taken down last year and a new line fence put UP. In 1869 my grandfather helped build the Presbyterian Church, and later he was a member and deacon. In 1884 Grandfather Gray built a -new two-story home down near the public road which had been put in. Grandmother’s father from Pennsylvania came out and helped them. They also built a hen house and two barns across the road.

On February 23, 1915, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Gray celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary. Three of their children were present, Mrs. Luella Canning, William, and Harry Gray along with his wife and daughter. Marguerite at that time was the only grandchild. On September 5, 1919, Samuel A. Gray passed away. On September 9, 1924, a son was born to Harry and Zoa Gray. He was named Harold Beever Gray. This made the second grandchild.

Luella was living with Grandmother Gray, and she continued to care for her until she passed away on June 27,1934. All are buried in Avalon Cemetery. On August 24, 1932, Marguerite Gray and Claude Mathews were married at Chillicothe, Mo. After my grandmother’s death, my aunt wasn’t in very good health, so my folks, Harry and Zoa Gray, moved over to the home place and cared for her until she passed away on February 23, 1941.

On June 5,1957, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Gray celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in the same home that his folks did 42 years before. Mr. Harry Gray passed away May 13, 1967. Mrs. Harry Gray passed away May 17, 1968.

As there were only two children, Marguerite and Harold, we divided the 200 acres. Marguerite took the west 100 acres and Harold the east 60 and 40 where the old house still stands. Harold fenced the 40 acres and had cattle and hogs there. We built a new home with a barn and other buildings in 1973. Now we have public water from District No. 3, an underground cable for telephone service, and FEC for electric service.

We have a family of five children: Ella Louise Mathews Brown, born August 9, 1934; Claude Duane Mathews, born February 24,1940; Larry and Gary Mathews (twins), born August 7,1941; and Donald Gray Mathews, born May 28, 1947. We also have 20 grandchildren. - Marguerite Mathews

Taken from the Chillicothe Tribune, dated February 23, 1915.

Samuel A. and Margaret Gray celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary. They came to Livingston County soon after their marriage in Pennsylvania and have been honored and respected residents of near Avalon ever since.

In the history of the Presbyterian Church of Avalon, there have been three Golden Weddings: David Linton and Jennie Linton, Samuel Fullerton and Jane Fullerton, and Mr. and Mrs. Gray.

Mr. and Mrs. Gray are not grey except the former who is just a little bit. Good Mrs. Gray still has the rich, jet black hair when she was a bride half a century ago. They were pioneers when they came to Missouri in the spring of 1865. The bushwhackers were still in evidence and more than one night did Mrs. Gray anxiously await for Samuel’s return when he had gone to Chillicothe on an errand, or to the grist mill at Utica.

Many readers of the Tribune will read with pleasure of this happy social event in one of Livingston County’s most hospitable homes. -Jessie Esterbrook

Herbert E., Eugene W. Mansfield, and Mary E. Cox

Andrew Ewen, the father of Mary Jane Ewen Mansfield, purchased the 40 acres of land February 28, 1870, which is described as follows all of the fourth of the west half of the southeast quarter of section number eighteen, also the South one-third of the west three-fourths of the west half of the southeast fourth of section eighteen in township number fifty-eight of range number twenty-five, containing forty acres more or less. Consideration-$400.00.

Probate records show that Andrew Ewen died intestate that April 19, 1875. William Ewen was appointed administrator of the estate and there were four heirs, one of whom was Mary Jane Mansfield, wife of Reuben Mansfield, Sr. Reuben Mansfield and Mary Jane, his wife, became the sole owners of the property October 13, 1875. This property has been owned continuously since and is now the property of the heirs of the Saphronia Mansfield Estate. Eugene W. Mansfield is the agent.

Reuben Mansfield added to this land and at the time of his death in 1908 was the owner of 490 acres of land which was all in Livingston County, Sampsel Township. John Mansfield, Keith and Reuben’s father, came to Livingston County from Indiana in 1839. John was a miller by profession. He was killed and buried at Taos, New Mexico, while serving as a lieutenant of the army during the Mexican War. He was shot by an Indian arrow and was fatally wounded.

John Mansfield’s wife, Mrs. Susan McCoskie, whose maiden name was Rockhold, came to Missouri from White County, Tennessee, in 1823. Mr. McCoskie died and she afterwards became the wife of Mr. John Mansfield. They were the parents of two children, Reuben and Sacelds A., who died in 1855.

Reuben Mansfietd, Sr., and Mary J. Mansfield owned the farm until their deaths. Then Oliver Mansfield and family owned and lived on the land. Later Reuben Mansfield, Jr., was the owner and then Julian Mansfield and Saphronia Bills Mansfield owned and occupied the land until 1969. As before stated, the property now belongs to the heirs of Saphronia E. Mansfield. None of the Mansfield family have resided on the property since 1969.

Julian Mansfield died in April, 1962, at the age of 82. Mrs. Saphionia Mansfield died in March, 1971, at 90 years of age. - Eugene W. Mansfield

Ora C. and Grace Morris

J. E. Morris (1850-1937), a son of John and Mary Morris, assisted his father in farming and livestock raising. He made two trips across the plains with wagon trains. He married Mary Knaus (1851-1912). They were the parents of Clark Morris.

They lived on a farm that was originally part of his father’s estate. It is now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Ora C. Morris. He married Grace Karst. They are the parents of two children, Ora Morris, Jr., and Mrs. Nancy Fries.

J. E. Morris and his wife are buried in the Anderson-Smith Cemetery. - Ora C. Morris

Ora C. and Dorothy Morris

James May (1826-1896) was born in Callaway County, Mo. He was a son of Gabriel May of Kentucky and Elizabeth (Craighead) May of Virginia. They were early settlers in Livingston County, coming to Cream Ridge Township in 1840 or 1841.

James and his wife, Nancy (1821-1922), settled on this place in 1848. One of the first schools was on the northwest part of this farm. The May Cemetery, a large, well-kept cemetery, is on the southeast part of the farm. This is about 2½ miles southwest of Chula.

A son, William R. May (1851-1931), was one of the first thresher men. He operated a horse powered, hand fed machine. He later owned one of the first steam engines in the county. It was purchased about 1904. Clark Morris later went into the threshing and sawmill business with him. The farm is now owned by Ora and his sister, Dorothy Morris. - Ora C. Morris

Ora C., Dorothy, and Mabel Morris

John Morris was born in England in 1829. He came to America at an early age. His father, Edward Morris, was a cattle buyer in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana, He drove the cattle to New York and Philadelphia. He later settled in Ohio. John married Mary Rowe of New York in 1849. They came to Livingston County in 1862. Their land was about four miles north of Chillicothe. The first house he built was destroyed by fire in 1867. A year later he built the fine brick house which now stands unoccupied. It was built by John Meek with bricks from Utica. The stone foundation came from the Rocky Ford area on Grand River. The woodwork was done by Eyre Switzer of Chillicothe. This was an 11-room, two-story house.

Mr. Morris was an early breeder of purebred livestock, Shorthorn cattle, Shropshire, Cotswold and Marino sheep, Berkshire hogs, and Percheron horses. He showed stock at many shows and sold over a wide area. It is said that the James brothers once stopped here for food and lodging. The house was later occupied by a son, Will Morris. One night, in an exchange of gunfire, Mr. Morris killed a chicken thief. The farm consisted of 1200 acres. These members of the family are buried in Edgewood Cemetery.

In 1869 the Chillicothe/Des Moines Railroad was graded across this farm. Track was never laid but cuts and fills are still visible. - Ora C. Morris

Ora C. and Dorothy Morris

This farm was the Clark Morris home, purchased in 1864 by his grandfather, John Morris, Before the Civil War it belonged to Lewis Best, a slave trader and notorious bushwhacker. The house, a one-story, frame dwelling, was probably built by Mr. Best. There were at one time slave houses nearby.

Clark Morris (1883-1965) married Pearl May (1883-1956)). They were the parents of Dorothy and Ora Morris. Mr. Morris went into the threshing and sawmill business with his father-in-law about 1912. They purchased two J. I. Case separators, an Advance engine, and an Altman Taylor engine. They were both run until about 1934 when they were replaced by gas-powered tractors.

About that time Mr. Morris became engaged in livestock and grain hauling. He took livestock to Kansas City, St. Joseph, St. Louis, and other markets and hauled back feed, supplies, and coal from Mosby mines. He owned an International truck that he drove more than 125,000 miles. He was also a skilled carpenter, building several houses and a number of large, hip-roofed cattle barns which are still in use.

Mr. and Mrs. Morris are buried in the May Cemetery. - Ora C. Morris

Geneva Neis and Victor Neis

Peter Schorr, born 1832, and his wife, Katherine Eber Schorr, born 1838, came from Germany to America at an early age, were married, and lived at Quincy, Ill., where other relatives had settled. They came to Missouri and bought this 40 acres (SW ¼ of the NE ¼ of Sec. 33, Twp. 59, Rg. 23) in Livingston County from the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad in the year 1870. They built a two-room house with an upstairs.

They were the parents of nine children; three died in infancy. Only one was born in Missouri. Emma Schorr was born in this house February 10, 1880. The other children were George Schorr, born 1867, who died at the age of 15 years; Henry G. Schorr, born 1870, remained a bachelor and died in 1928; Louisa Schorr, born 1872, married William Uhrmacher, was the mother of five children, Charles, Nellie, Hester, Mable, and Walter; Katherine S. Schorr, born 1874, married William Neis, had one child, Viola Anna; Emma Schorr, born 1880, married Vernon Neis, and they were the parents of two children, Katherine Geneva and Victor Schorr; Elizabeth Schorr, born 1877, died at the age of two years.

Peter Schorr owned the farm until he passed away in 1886. His wife continued to live there with her children, as they were young, until she passed away in 1909. There were only two children at home at the time, Henry and Emma. Emma married in 1917, and Henry continued to live there and farm until he was killed on the railroad in 1928. The estate was settled, and Emma and Vernon Neis bought the farm as the 40 acres they owned joined it. Vernon died in 1955 and Emma died in 1968. Their son, Victor, and daughter, Geneva, now own the farm. All are buried in the May Cemetery southwest of Chula, Mo., except for Henry Schorr, who is buried in Plainview Cemetery north of Chula.

The farm is located 2½ miles south of Chula, Mo., and is all upland farmland. Wheat, corn, oats, and hay were raised along with livestock of cattle, hogs, and chickens. When Peter and Katherine Schorr moved to Missouri, one mile north of their home there was a town which was called Dog Town, and later named Cottonwood Grove. A store, a doctor, and several houses served the area. But when the Milwaukee Railroad came through the country, the town was moved one and one-half miles north and was named Chula, Mo.

A school was built the year the Schorrs came to Missouri. It was one-half mile north of their home and was called Maple Grove No. 20. Their children, some grandchildren, and some great-grandchildren received their 8th grade educations there. Henry Schorr served as clerk and director of Maple Grove school. He also served as Cream Ridge Township tax collector for several years. - Geneva Neis

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Livingston County Library
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