ONE HUNDRED YEAR FARM FAMILIES - A thru N
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
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
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,
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Michael S. Gilbert
One of the pioneer families of Livingston County was the family of Miles G.
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
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
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
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
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. -
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
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
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
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,
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. -
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
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
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
"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
"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."
CALIFORNIA IN 1849
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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.
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,
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
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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