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September 26, 2010
NARROW ESCAPE FROM DEATH
By S. C. Turnbo
Among the former residents of Marion County, Ark. is Sam Beazley. One day in the month of June 1906 I met Mr. Beazley at the Oak Grove School House near Oneta Post Office Indian Territory where he told me the following. “One night”. said he, “while we lived in the northeast corner of Marion County, I and my father George Beazley went out together one night on Mountain Creek coon hunting and the dogs chased a coon and treed it in the head of dry run hollow that empties into Mountain Greek two miles west of Long Mountain. We out the tree down but as it was falling it lodged against another tree and broke off a big limb which came crashing to the ground and struck my father and mashed him to the ground. I supposed he was dead and leaping to the fallen limb and lifted it up off of him and pushed it to one side and dropped it to the ground again and began a sorrowing work of trying to revive my father but as I said I thought he was killed and it seemed hopeless to do anything toward trying to bring him back to life again but to my joyful surprise he revived and rose to his feet but his left shoulder and collar bone was broken. It was five miles to our home and this was the nearest house to us but with my assistance he walked all the way there that night. It was many days before he recovered. When I lifted the limb off of my father that night the weight of the limb did not seem a bit heavy. A few days after this I returned back to the same spot to look at the limb and it appeared so large that I wondered how I managed to lift it up and took hold of it to see if I could raise it again and I could not lift it at all. I cannot understand the reason I could lift the limb up so easily that night when I thought my father was killed.”
SAVED BY A SILVER HALF DOLLAR
By S. C. Turnbo
When the writer was a small boy I heard the old settlers relate repeatedly the following which they said was strictly true.
A man of the name of John Roberts built the first mill in Green County, Mo. This mill was a very small affair and stood near 4 miles east of Springfield. This man Roberts and Tom Harn had an old grudge between them, and every time they would meet together they could hardly pass each other without heated words. Harn was sheriff of Green County and experienced some trouble in his efforts to control violators of the law. One day Harn and Roberts met in Springfield and renewed the quarrel which soon become serious and Roberts got so exasperated that he drew a big long bladed knife and struck Harn intending to kill him. As it happened the sheriff had a loose half dollar in silver in his vest pocket on his left side and the point of the knife hit the middle of the piece of silver and of course did not penetrate it and thus saved the life of the sheriff. It was the sheriffs turn now to get his temper up at a high pitch and he knocked Roberts down with a stick of wood which stunned him and he lay unconscious for a while.
HIS SENTENCE WAS COMMUTED
By S. C. Turnbo
Though I was very young yet I remember the man who was said to be the first one that was found guilty of murder in the first degree and was sentenced to be hung. I recollect that the killing was very serious on account of the relationship but was thought to be justifiable by many people but still it was a horrible affair. As I have already told you my father was the first sheriff of Shannon County, Mo. and was elected to that position before a jail house had been build at old Eminence the first county seat of Shannon. One day during a cold period of winter while a deep snow lay on the ground a man of the name of Clemmons began to quarrel with his wife and from a quarrel man and wife engaged in a fight and the husband abused his wife very bad and whipped her unmercifully. They had a grown son that was present who dearly loved his mother and it was more than he could bear to see his mother mistreated and humiliated in such a cruel manner and he begged his father to desist and not treat his mother so brutish and the cruel father ordered his son to leave the house or he would treat him likewise but the boy refused to leave the house and while his mother was begging and crying and his father continuing to strike his wife and finding that words had no influence over his father he determined to protect his helpless mother at all hazzards and matching the rifle from the rack he ran out of doors with it and putting the muzzle of the gun through a crack between two logs of the cabin he shot his father dead. My father being sheriff he arrested the young man and as there was no jail house in the county he was kept at our house with a log chain looked to one ankle until after he had his preliminary examination when he was incarcerated in the jail house at Houston in Texas County for safe keeping until circuit court was convened at Eminence where he was tried and found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to be hung and was taken back to Houston to await the day of execution which was intended to go into effect at Houston. As he was quite a young man and had slain his father in defense of his helpless mother he had the sympathy of a majority of the men and women of the county and a petition was circulated asking the Governor of Missouri to commute the sentence to imprisonment for life. The petition was circulated all over the county and every citizen almost attached his signature to the paper and my father carried the petition to the Governor at Jefferson City. He had to hurry for it might be too late. He rode his horse until it gave out, and he left him in the care of a settler who lived in a small log hut and went on afoot. Settlers cabins were thinly scattered and horses were scarce, and my father said he walked until he was exhausted. But luckily at this time he met with an oppertunity to hire a horse which he rode to Jefferson City and presented the paper to the Governor who after due consideration signed it commuting the sentence from death to imprisonment. My father now hurried on his return back and rode the same horse back to where he had hired it from the owner where he met the good fortune to hire another horse from another man which he rode back to where he had left his horse which he found sufficiently rested to carry him on to Houston and arrived there 48 hours before the time set for the execution and the prisnor received the good news with joy.
The foregoing was told me by Mr. Robert Morris at Jackson Switch in the Indian Territory on the 14 of July 1906. Mr. Morris’s fathers given name was James P.
THEY HAD SHOT THE WRONG MAN
By S. C. Turnbo
This account was given me by Capt. James H. Sallee and others and relates to the killing of a man in war times through a mistake.
“In the first place a certain man had went to where Capt. Ben Bray was camped with his company of southern men on Lick Creek below Gainsville, Mo. and reported to that officer. It is said that Bray informed him if the men would all join his company he would do all in his power to protect their property and he came back and told several parties what Capt. Bray had said. This seemed to anger some of the citizens against the man who had went to Bray and said that he only wanted to betray them, and two men thinking that this same man would pass along the road up Pond Fork concealed themselves in a paw paw thicket near the road side and only a few yards above the head of the pond that the creek took its name from and soon after the two had taken their position a man came along and thinking that he was the one they wanted shot him down but on going to the road where he lay quivering in death they were horrified to find that he was the wrong man and recognized him as Henry Tabor son of old Uncle Henry Tabor. Knowing that some person or persons would pass over the road before many hours elapsed and that the dead man would be identified and to prevent as far as possible the exposure of the crime, they picked up the bleeding corpse and carried it across the creek bottom and across the creek to the west side where they laid it down and covered it over with chunks of wood logs, stones and leaves in which condition it was found several weeks afterward.”
HE WAS AFRAID OF INDIANS
By S. C. Turnbo
Mr. Joshua Baker, give the writer this account. During my early boyhood days a man of the name of Jesse Waddle come into Northwest Arkansas and settled near Hillsborrough in Hashing County. He had come from one of the states east of the Mississippi River and had lost his wife there, and he become party insane over the loss of her. Just previous to the death of his wife she had given birth to a little boy baby and the father brought the child with him. No one else as far as known accompanied him to Arkansas. The state of the man’s mind was so demented on account of the death of his wife that he carried the child astride of his neck and shoulder and held him by the ankles. He lived in his house alone with his baby. He would not leave the house any distance without taking the infant with him. His devotion for the memory of his dead wife and the love for his child was so great that he kept the baby with him all the time. Very often frightful stories of Indians would float around among the settlers and when the news would reach the ears of this man he would grab up the boy which by this time was 5 years old and place it on his shoulder with its legs astride of his neck and he would hold it by the ankles and tell the child to hold to the hair of his head and then he would leave the house on a run and as he would pass by a cabin he would sing out, “Indians, Murder, burn scalp”, as fast as he could utter it and continue on as fast as he could go, and repeat the same words as he ran by the next settlers hut. On a few occasions when he would be at Hillsburrough with the child, a band of Indians would enter the village to purchase whiskey and Mr. Waddle would think they had come there for a hostile purpose and he would snatch up the little boy, and off he would go up the Illinoise River toward his home and as he would pass a dwelling he would cry out, “Indians coming”. Sometimes he would be so wrought up with fear that he would make for the foot of the Boston Mountains and climb up to a high part of a hill to take a view back the way he had come to ascertain if there were any Indians following him and after waiting some hours and finding no Indians in sight he would pick up the boy and start on home. Long before the settlers had become use to the ways of the man and not knowing that his mind was deranged he would cause a stampede among them when he would pass the house with the child astride of his neck crying out “Indians coming”. But finally after he had lived there a while and he had fooled them so much that they all got so that they paid no attentions to him unless they knew there was danger from the red skins. One day after this mans mind was more healthy and his wild spells had grown less frequent and the boy had grown so large that he could not carry him around much he was in Hillsburrough with a crowd of other settlers and one of them says “Mr. Waddle, what made you run at the sight of every Indian you saw whether friendly or otherwise”, and the man replied, “Well, I was afraid of Indians and I did not have the power to prevent myself from running when ever I caught sight of one. I suppose my fears were mostly imaginary, but I could not control myself for I thought they would kill me and my little boy”.
IN THE MIDST OF DEATH
By S. C. Turnbo
The following account which is sad an pathetic was furnished me by Mr. Noah Mefford and his wife Mrs. Rebecca (Risley) Mefford and relates to the death of Miss Ada Malissa Risley a sister of Mrs. Meffords and which occurred while Mich Risley and Mrs. Celian Risley his wife who is the father and mother of the dead girl lived on the Sam Pelham Place near Dugginsville Ozark County, Mo. Mrs. Risley is a daughter of Jim Tabor and the little girl the subject of this sketch was only 4 years old. In giving a history of the case Mr. Mefford and his wife stated that one Saturday morning at 9 A.M. while a thunder shower was passing over three of Risleys children Ada and Mary Ann who was 6 years old and their brother Jim who was 7 years old were seated together on a small bench in the corner of the house near the fire place. Ada was sitting between the other two and they all had hold of a spelling book and the two older children were reciting the A.B.C’s. to Ada when an electrical bolt struck the top of the chimney then leaped to the end of a rib pole and followed a few feet then left it and struck the roof of the house and followed part of it a short distance to the wall of the house and passed down it to the mirror which was hanging to the wall and shattered it to pieces, leaving the looking glass the current flashed to the little girl and struck her on the side of the head and scorched the parts where the lightning took effect. Mr. Risley was sitting at the door reading the Bible his wife was standing on the porch. Rachel Elizabeth another daughter was standing in the south door that lead out onto the porch. Mr. Risley was not shocked his wife was knocked down and fell under the dining table, Elizabeth was knocked back against the bed, Jim was severely stunned and Mary Ann was not seriously injured, though with the exception of Mr. Risley they were all unconscious for a short time. As soon as Mr. Risley realized what had occurred and knowing that water was a good restorative in cases where people had received an electrical shock picked up his wife and children one at a time and carried them out into the yard and laid them down on the ground where the rain could fall on them and done all he could to resuscitate the inanimate forms. They all soon revived except Jim and Ada. Poor Ada never recovered and they thought that Jim was dead but he finally recovered. Mr. Risley and his wife and the children who had fully come to themselves realized that Ada had passed from beyond this life – that the angel of death had taken her away. The scene was tearful and sad the body of the little girl received interment in the cemetery at Lutie. The parents were intending to send their children to school at the Edmondson school house on the following Monday. Soon after the little body was laid to rest under the sod Mr. Risley said that on the day before the death of his little child a small bird lit on his shoulder then on his head and chirped a little song he said that the action of the little songster puzzled and irritated him not thinking it was an ill omen and tried to scare it away. The bird would fly off a few yards and come back again. Mr. Risley would repeat the story of the bird and shed tears for he seemed to incline to the belief that it was a warning of the sudden taking away of his beloved child.”
HOW THE INSULT WAS RESENTED
By S. C. Turnbo
The following amusing incident was told me by John Crenshaw who was born on Crane Creek in Stone County, Mo. in the month of December 1850. His father William Crenshaw was among the first settlers of that part of Missouri. His mother whose given name was Rhoda was a daughter of Nick Bailey the first assessor of Stone County. William Crenshaw has been dead a number of years and is buried in the Dallas Hart Grave yard near Dugginsville, Mo. John Crenshaw said that the village of the “Mouth of Flat” at the mouth of Flat Creek was once the county seat of Stone County before it was removed to Galena.
Mr. Crenshaw in giving the interesting story mentioned above says that Mr. Asa G. Smith was an old pioneer settler of Stone County and was known by almost every resident in that section. “The incident I refer to”, said Mr. Crenshaw, “occurred 5 years before I was born but it is so well authenticated that there is no question in my mind as to the truth of it” said he. “One day in the year 1845 Asa G. Smith went to the then small town of Springfield to transact business at the land office. On arriving at the future city he found himself very hungry and the first thing he did on reaching there was to hunt a boarding house to procure something to appease his appetite. On inquiry he was directed to a small house where they give travelers a chance to get something to eat. On reaching the house Mr. Smith stepped into the dining room and called for a lunch, and the proprietor soon prepared a plate and a seat for him at the table. There was a young gawky looking fellow seated at the table when Mr. Smith entered the house and the latter was requested to sit down at the table on the opposite dide from where the young man was seated. As Mr. Smith began to make way with what was placed before him the young fellow who was something of a smart alex stopped eating a moment and looked straight at Smith and says, “Hello, Mister. Where do you hail from”, and Mr. Smith replied, “I live down on White River above the mouth of James in Stone County”. “Oh yes” answered the smart young man, “you stay in the midst of horse thieves, hog thieves and ruffians who infest that region”. This was too much for Asa G. Smith to bear and considering it an insult flung at himself and friends he resented it by replying, “Mr. gawky, my neighbors and people are not of that class and they enjoy the reputation of being as honest and clever as the people are in any county of the state of Missouri and I will not permit you not no other man to disparage the character of my friends and neighbors in such a disgraceful and disgusting way, Sir”, and shoving himself back from the table he raised his feet and placed them against the side of the table and shoved it violently against the now thoroughly frightened young fellow with such force that it knocked him sprawling on the floor and the table and its contents fell on him. The youngster thought he had come in contact with his Satanic Majesty and he kicked and yelled to release himself and on getting free from the table he leaped to his feet and ran out of the house hallooing murder, murder, as loud as his vocal organs would permit, the dining room was a sight to behold. Plates, knives, and forks and victuals lay scattered over the floor. The proprieter was greatly excited and expected that the wrath of Smith would hit him next but the latter was calm as a pickled cucumber and he says to the owner, “Sir, what is the damage”, and the seared man replied, “Ten dollars”, and Smith reached down into his pocket and took out his purse made of tanned deer hide and fished out a ten dollar gold piece and handed it to the proprietor and says, “Take it my friend, I have value received” and left the house to finish his meal at another boarding house. The demolished young man was not in sight and they said he left the village on quick time.”
THE STRANGE PREACHER AND THE REMAKABLE INFLUENCE
HE HAD ON SINNERS
By S. C. Turnbo
Among accounts of revivals in the religious world is one given me by Mr. Joshua Baker a Missionary Baptist preacher who is an old timer of Washington County, Ark. Said he, “Church matters did not take any tangible form at Fayetteville, Ark. until the year 1847, when one day during that year an old man who was afoot and carrying an old ragged grip sack come into town and when he reached the front of Jim Suttons store door he stopped and sit down on the side walk. While he ocupied this seat several men and women passed him but the old man seemed to be so tired that he hardly looked up. They knew he was a stranger there and the most of them wondered where he was from. In a half an hour or more, Doctor Pollard came along by where the old fellow was sitting and he rose to his feet and introduced himself to the doctor and ask the doctor his name. Then he wanted to know if there was a church house in town and Pollard informed.him that there was. The old man now inquired of the doctor if the people would give him the privilege of preaching in it. “Of course we will” said Pollard. “Well, I would like to preach tonight”, said’ the old man, and Pollard replied., “I will announce an appointment for you”, and the doctor remarked further that he would go and see the trustees of the house and ask them to circulate the appointment and have the bell wrung at the proper hour and the old men thanked the doctor very kind for his courtesy. Just before they parted the old man says “I have not had dinner today”, and Pollard requested him to follow him and he taken him to his house and gave him plenty to eat and the doctor invited him to remain at his house and to make it his home while he remained there preaching and the old man thanked him and consented to do so. When the hour for evening services arrived the bell at the church house was wrung a long time and nearly all the population of the town turned out to hear the strange preacher. Doctor Pollard conducted the preacher to the house of worship and introduced him to the congregation and the old man began the services by making a few plain remarks which was followed by a pathetic song that seemed to touch the heart of every one present, then the discourse followed which was spoke in simple form and language but it had weight and power. It appeared that every man and woman in the house felt the effects of it. Just before dismissing the assembly the preacher ask permission of the people if he might prolong the meeting into a protracted one and his request was readily granted. It proved to be an interesting meeting. Everybody in town wanted the preacher to go home with them for dinner or stay all night but he refused all invitations and did not visit anywhere except Pollards where he eat and slept and the house where he preached. The services continued 21 days and nights which resulted in 300 convertions and he did all the preaching himself. Though a number of men and women assisted at singing, Nearly all the old men and old women, young men and young ladies of the town and including a large number of the country people promised by their actions that they were tired of sin and recklessness and would live a better life. The converted included lawyers doctors, merchants. It was a memorable time. The entire 300 converts were baptized. Among them was the famed judge Dave Walker who was baptized in a new suit of broadcloth. He had the coat which was of the claw hammer fashion buttoned up tight around him. Mr. Walker refused to pull off his boots and was baptized in them. He would have been baptized with his hat on but he thought it would float off his head under the water and pulled it off. After the converts were all baptized. The preacher, whose name was Robertson remained a day or two longer to advise the converts to organize a church. He told them that they had the privilege of joining any church they desired to but he said he had rather they would go into the Baptist Church as he was a Baptist himself. As far as I know no one knew where he come from. On the morning of the day he preached the last sermon to his converts which was done at mid day, Judge Dave Walker and other influential citizens of the town and county bought a fine horse for $125 and a rig worth $25 beside this they raised $50 in gold, and after the meeting was dismissed, Judge Walker, Doctor Dean and Doctor Pollard were appointed unknown to the preacher to conduct the preacher down to the horse rack where the horse was hitched with the saddle and bridle on and on reaching the rack where the horse stood they presented the horse and the rig and the $50 to him. The old man was taken by surprise, but was greatly pleased at the generosity of the people. On reflecting a few seconds he says, “Brethren, I am told that there are a number of widow women and orphan children in this town that need help and though while I appreciate your kindness in offering me this horse and $50 as a gift these people I refer to need it worse than I do and with your permission my brothers I return the horse bridle, saddle and $25 of the money you gave me back to you. Please sell the horse and equipment and add the proceeds of the sale to the $25 I return to you and distribute it equally among the deserving widows and their children”. He now thanked the men in a courteous manner and after tipping his hat to them he walked away from them and as far as the people of Fayetteville, Arkansas is concerned they never knew where he went to, for that was the last we saw or heard of him.”
WOMEN WERE SCARCE
By S. C. Turnbo
It is a difficult matter to get all the names of the early settlers correct. As people grow old they partially lose their recollection and tell some of the names wrong this is not done intentional but the memory of old people grow more faded as they get older. In refering to the old Beller Stand on Crooked Creek 6 miles above Harrison, Ark., Col. S. W. Peel says it was William Beller. Capt. A. S. Wood says it was Peter Beller. It might have been that there were two men named Beller one Peter and the other William. If there Col. Peel and Capt. Wood are both right in giving their name. If there were only one man named Beller and whether his given name be Peter or William one of them is mistaken. Capt. Wood says that Peter Beller arrived on Crooked Creek in the month of May 1833. What makes me think it was Peter that lived at the Beller Stand above Harrison, Ark. Is that one day after I was grown and was married I saw a lady who ask me if I was my fathers youngest child and I answered in the affirmative, and she said “I am Peter Bellers wife. In the month of May 1833 while I and my husband were moving up Crooked Creek from Tennessee we stopped at the first crossing of the creek below Shawnee Town to camp. We stopped in a thick cane brake where a dim road lead through that had been made by the Indians. Soon after we had stopped here a man came along on horse back who said his name was Bill Wood and he told my husband and myself that his wife was confined and that women were so scarce that it was a serious matter to find any to wait on her. He said he had started for Aunt Katie Adams a mid wife but it would be a good while before he could get her there even if she was able to go and says he, “My wife needs help just as soon as assistance can reach her”, and he ask me if I would be kind enough to go see her, I told him I would volunteer and go at once if he had any way to take me there. “This horse” said he, “will carry double and I got up on the hub of the hind wheel of my husbands ox wagon and mounted up on the horse behind Mr. Wood and went home with him and waited on his wife until after the child was born and I went back to camp where my husband and children were. The man I went with was your father and his wife was your mother and you are the child that was born in the then wilderness of Crooked Creek.”
FINDING A BADLY RUSTED GUN BARREL IN THE WOODS
By S. C. Turnbo
Nathan Tyler an old pioneer hunter of Taney County, Mo. and Boone County, Ark. related this account to me. “One day” said he “while I was hunting on White Oak Creek a small but fine watered stream that empties into Crooked Creek I discovered an old rifle gun barrel lying on the ground and some pieces of the trigger was lying nearby. The barrel and the remnants of the lock was badly corroded with rust. A bullet was found in the gun barrel which had been pushed half way down.” Mr. Tyler said that he took the barrel and the pieces of the trigger home and kept them several years and showed them to a number of hunters and others and mentioned it to many more but none of them were able to give him any information regarding this old time relict and how it got there. But the supposition among the most of the settlers was that the gun had belonged to a white man or an Indian and more than likely the owner of the gun had shot a wild beast and wounded it and the animal had attacked and slain the man before he could finish reloading his gun again. This is only conjecture. “I found the gun barrel soon after the close of the Civil War, between the states and no doubt it had been lying there in the woods many years before I discovered it”l said Mr. Tyler.
PROMOTED TO THE GAME CHICKEN OF THE WALK
By S. C. Turnbo
Most all the old timers of Taney County, Mo. and Carroll County, Ark. were personly acquainted with Bob Rains. He was such a noted character that his fame as a fighter spread over a large extent of country along White River. He would visit Forsythe and Carrollton frequently and get to drinking and become boisterous and raise a fuss with some man by threatening him to run a bluff on him. If that was not satisfactory he would jump on the man and whip him. Many men were afraid of him and taken a great deal of his abuse rather than to get Into trouble with him. In raising a quarrel he would claim that some man present that he desired trouble with had insulted him. Usually the accusation was charged against the party merely to have some excuse to get into a fight with the man in order to get to whip him then boast of it afterward. Though Bob Rains was very rough at times especially if drinking rotten whiskey but when he was sober he was a kind hearted fellow and in spite of his terrible manner of dealing with his supposed enemies he commanded the respect of a goodly number of the citizens. In fact he did not fuss with every man he met because he knew that only a certain class of his fellow man would take his abuse. He would usually pick on those men that he supposed was timid and dreaded him. Knew all those fellows that would bear so much of his abuse and no more and these he kept on friendly terms with but he made two mistakes during his life by picking men that he thought he could bull doze. The last man he met that he was mistaken in was John Jackson in front of John P. Vances Store at Forsythe. Jackson who was a large robust man drew his sharp pointed knife when the row commenced between him and Rains and stabbed the latter in the head with it. Jackson struck several blows with the knife and the point of the knife entered the skull bone at each stroke and Jackson would have to pull hard to draw the knife from the skull to repeat the stroke. He struck only a few licks when Rains sank at the feet of Jackson and died instantly which put an end to his career as a bully and fighter. Rains was abusive and of an over bearing disposition yet the most of people regretted to learn of his death. A number of years before he met death in Forsythe he attacked a man one day in Carrollton that lowered his notches in Carroll County.
The account of which was written to me by Col. Sam Peel of Bentonville Arkansas and the noted congressman of Northwest Arkansas. Col. Peel wrote that it was customary of Saturday evenings for the big fighters of the surrounding country to visit Carrollton and drink cheap whiskey at John Potts Grocery Store until their fighting spirits would crop out and a big row would soon be on hand. For a long time the king of the neighborhood was the boss fighter Bob Rains who had worn the champion belt for several years. He had whipped all the biggest fighters in the country. Finally on one Saturday evening when Potts had dealt out plenty of his stuff called cheap whiskey and Rains who was present as usual wanted to fight and he soon got what he needed. There was a black smith who had recently moved into town of the name of Jack Cox and Bob Rains pretended to take umbrage at a remark that Smith had made in Rains hearing and Rains made at him for a fight. The black smith was game and they clinched at once. Neither one was armed and it was a real old tim combat. They both struggled hard for the mastery. Some of the bystanders wanter to hurrah for the blacksmith but they were afraid that he would get threshed and Rains would whip them when he turned the black smith loose. A few of the men cheered Rains to keep on the friendly side of him. The battle went on each antagonist doing his utmost to overcome his enemy and after several minutes of desperate fighting with their clenched hands the crowd of men were astonished at seeing the black smith gain a complete victory over Bob Rains and he left town a vanquished man. So Jack Cox was the game rooster of the walk and was called Bully Jack to the day of his death.
THE OLD HATTER SHOP
BY S. C. Turnbo
James W. Jones proprietor of the Jones Ferry crossing of White River at the mouth of Music’s Creek in Marion County, Ark. is a son of Hugh Jones and Hester (Hettie Bevins) Jones and was born in Madison County, Ark. in 1847. His father and his grandfather Jimmie Jones came to White River in 1849. Hugh Jones died at Benton Barracks in Missouri during the Civil War. His wife Mrs. Hettie Jones lies buried in the grave yard in the southwest corner of Ozark County, Mo. opposite the Panther Bottom. Soon after settling on White River Hugh Jones and his father Jimmie Jones built a log house of two rooms on the right bank of the river just over the line in Taney County, Mo. from Ozark County and opposite the upper end of the Panther Bottom where they manufactured hats out of fur and sheeps wool. This house was standing there when the writers father bought this land from Cage Hogan in 1853 and my father used it for a black smith shop and it was still standing when we left there on the 13 of February 1859. This building was known far and near as the “hatter shop”. We have mentioned elsewhere in another chapter that Jimmie Jones father of Hugh Jones built a mill on Big Creek which stood at the upper end of the John Pelham Place known now as the Joe Glass Haskins Land. Here Mr. Jones ground corn into meal for the settlers and manufactured corn whiskey and made hats also. His son Hugh Jones also went to Big Creek and lived in the creek bottom known now as the Sam Holdt Place which is just below the Joe Glass Haskins Land. Here Hugh Jones built another hatter shop where he manufactured a great number of hats. I have sit and watched Mr. Jones many hours. Prepare the fur of animals and sheeps wool by mixing it together with a small machine made for the purpose. The making of home made hats was interesting to me. There is an amusing incident connected with Jimmie Jones Mill which I will give. In the summer of 1858 when the water in the creek was very low Jones could not grind but one half a bushel of corn or wheat a day. Jones customers had to patronize a “Far off” mill until the creek rose. Mr. Jones got tired sitting around the mill house doing nothing. He could not grind any grain to amount to anything and his tall corn run out and he could not make any more whiskey till the water rose so his, customers could come back and bring him more corn to grind and he rented his mill to a fellow who had peculiar ways and of a boasting disposition. Among other things he said that Joe Womacks Mill on Beaver Creek had ruined the now Keesee Mill, for Womack had built a mill dam sufficient to not let a drop of water leak through the dam and flow down from Womacks Mill to the Keesee Mill which would ruin the latter mill for it was opperated by water also and that Womack was going to procure a patent on his invention, and then if he were a mind to he could construct dams across other streams and prevent the water from getting below it. This foolish man actually believed this. One day during the summer of the year named this same fellow while he had the mill rented was seen with a water bucket dipping up the water from below the dam and pouring it back into the mill pond to get ahead of water and was laughable to see him do this.
FELL OVER A PRECIPICE AND WAS KILLED
By S. C. Turnbo
In the early spring of 1866 a sad incident occurred just over the line in Madison County, Arkansas the particulars of which I learned from John Fisher son of Mathias Fisher.
John Fisher was born near Kings River in Carroll County, Ark. August the 8, 1855. He said the accident happened in ¾ of a mile of Kings River which come about in this way. There was a heavy log rolling at Berry Johnsons who lived 10 miles west of Berryville. The name of the man who met death is forgotten but to go on with the story. The men was until night before they got done rolling logs, and the man we refer to started home from Johnsons Place carrying his axe and iron wedge with him. The night was extremely dark and the trail he was following was dim not having been traveled very much. It was two miles and a half from Johnsons to where the man lived and at one place the trail lead along a sharp crest or narrow ridge. It was supposed that when he made his way here he lost his way and got into a gulch and fell over a precipice 20 feet high and was killed. This cliff was only a short distance below the pathway. A man by the name of Houston discovered the remains of the unfortunate man lying at the base of the cliff. The hogs had found him first and had destroyed all the body except the bones. A few remnants of his clothes were found nearby where the bones were lying. The bones were all picked up and put in a small box and buried in the grave yard at the Rockwell School House which is in the edge of Madison County.
AN APPALLING CALAMITY BY LIGHTNING
By S. C. Turnbo
The following interesting pioneer reminiscences was furnished me by Joshua Baker, who was one of the early residents of Washington County, Ark. which he told in this way.
My father ______ Baker said that Fayetteville, Arkansas in 1837 was a very small village but was an important trading point for the Indians and white settlers. The United States arsenal was kept there at that time. Among the earliest occupants of the village was a man of the name of Brunarige, Steven K. Stone and an old man of the name of Sutton father of Jim and Seneca Sutton who were afterward prominent merchants there. Two physicians of the name of Pollard and Dean were also early residents there. “I remember” said Mr. Baker, “when the town contained only a few log houses and religious matters began to take a little shape. A few Presbyterians formed a small church class. There was no church organization of any kind there but finally a few of the men and women that belonged to the class become interested in having a church house built and they bought lumber that had been sawed with a whip saw by old Jimmie Claridy and his son Wash in the White River hills east of the village, and built a small house of worship and they made up money and bought a small bell and belfrey and hung it up for use and they invited Andy Buckhanon to preach and he carried on a series of meetings in this house until a small church organization was formed. But as a rule the people were so desperately wicked that religious matters progressed very slow. All the preaching and exhortations that Buckhanon and others could do seem to have but little effect in civilizing the wickedness existing among the settlers. This went on until one day in 1843 when a violent thunder storm visited Washington County and Fayetteville in particular. At the time the thunder cloud was forming a number of gamblers and others were in Jim Suttons Store and 5 men were playing cards on a table which stood near the center post in the store building. There was a black smith shop which stood a short distance from Mr. Suttons store house where a lot of the men who had come in from the country that day took shelter when the rain began falling. 5 of the men began to play marbles and bet on the games and used awful wicked language while they were playing. The same kind of words was carried on in Suttons Store when a blinding flash of lightning which was instantly followed by a crashing peal of thunder occurred in Suttons Store and tore the center post into splinters and killed two of the gamblers dead without injuring anyone else in the store. Jim Sutton was standing behind the counter opposite the table around which the gamblers were sitting and only a few feet from it but strange to say the electrical bolt did not shock him. Before the news of the disaster had time to get out of the store building a deafening report of thunder terrified the survivors in Suttons Store again. A ball of electricity had darted down from the black mass of angry looking clouds and struck the roof of the black smith shop and penetrated through the rough clabboards and reached the block of wood the anvil set on and killed three men dead: the horn of the anvil was found imbedded in the breast of one of the dead men. The explosion had knocked the anvil off against the man. Beside the dead in the shop two more men were severely shocked. These two managed to crawl out of the shop into the rain where they partially recovered sufficiently to get further away, and one of them made all the exertions in his power to reach a cellar which he crawled into and was found in it on the following day in a delirious condition. The other man was discovered in another part of the village where he had concealed himself. It seemed as though both of these men had made an effort to hide themselves from the wrath of God. The excitement following the death of the 5 men was remarkable and it had the effect to break up the gambling dens for a while at least and people were not quite so wicked as they were before.”
A STORY OF HIDDEN GOLD AND SILVER IN THE VICINITY OF BEE CREEK
By S. C. Turnbo
The following account was written to me from Arlington Washington, by Mr. J. D. Row on the llth of August 1907. “When I got in Carroll County, Ark. on my way from Oklahoma territory to Boone County, Ark. in the year 1900, I stopped and visited with my cousin George W. Barnes of Maple Post Office. He told me a story as follows. His brother Jasper Barnes had been over in the north part of Boone County, and in a conversation with Mat Boothe who lived on Bee Creek, he heard of a train of three wagons having been burned by the guerrillas in time of the war. He did not get many particulars about the occasion. Soon after this his step son come home from the Indian territory and he told Jasper a story he got from a Cherokee Indian, while he was in the Indian territory. The Indian said that during the war himself and 3 or 4 other Indians were coming through Missouri with three wagons, and they had a large amount of gold and silver coins that they were conveying from Southeast Missouri to their homes in the territory. They had been observed by some white men to have a lot. of money and they had followed the Indians, presumably to rob them. They had observed the white men stealthily following them for 2 or 3 days. In the vicinity of Bee Creek the men had become more bold and the Indians feared an attack during the night while in camp. They held a consultation and decided to bury their treasure, burn their wagons, and ride their ponies home. Afterwards they would come back and secure their money. When the war was over and times were peacable enough, the Indians were all dead but this one. He had made two trips back to Bee Creek to get the hidden money, but each time failed to find the place. The country had changed, farms had been opened up, houses built and he could not even locate the road they were on when they burned their wagons. This Indian and another one had taken the coins in two camp kettles a little ways from the road, to a sink hole and buried them in the sink hole while the rest of the crowd had run the wagons together and set them on fire, then they all jumped on their ponies and rode away in the darkness of early morning.
HOW AN EARLY SETTLER DESTROYED HIS LIFE
BY S. C. Turnbo
A pathetic incident that occurred in the pioneer days of St. Clair County, Mo. was told me by Dick Drake who was mostly reared in that section. Said he, “One Sunday in 1849 while we lived on the south side of the Osage River 7 miles below Oceola I and my father rode out to hunt for our cows that had been gone several days. Thinking it best to make inquiry for the cattle we rode two miles to where Billy Walter lived who was 6 feet tall, on riding up to the yard fence my father hallooed ‘hello’ and Mr. Walter came out of the house and to the yard fence and conversed with my father but he could not give us any in information about our cows. It was known that Walters and his wife had got into trouble and was parted which occurred only a few days previous and the man and his little girl whose name was Mary was living there alone. It was one half a mile from Mr. Walters to the widow Redmans and as we rode away from Walters father said we would go there to make further inquiry. We rode very slow and when we had went a quarter of a mile from Walters house the little girl come running up behind us with a sack in her hand saying as she passed us that her father had sent her to Mrs. Redmans to borrow meal. The child after the widow woman had loaned her the meal hurried back home and while we were at Mrs. Redmans house the girl come running back crying and said that when she got back home the door was closed and on pushing it open she found her father hanging by the neck dead. I and my father and Mrs. Redman and all her children hurried to Walters house and found it true as the little girl had said. Father and I give the alarm to the neighbors as soon as we could ride to the houses and the authorities held an inquest over the dead body and the verdict was that he had met death by his own hands.
The man had used a rope made of hemp and tied one end of it around his neck and the other end to a joist and was hanging at the bed post in a kneeling position. He wore a pair of heavy boots with flat head tacks driven thick all over the heels and soles. In his dying struggles he had kicked in a violent way during the awful contortions while he was strangling to death until the heads of the tacks had marked the floor for 3 and 4 feet from the body. This was 4 miles south of the Osage River and one mile from Wableau Creek. It was supposed that the man had sent his little daughter away to borrow the meal so as to give him a chance to be alone in order to put an end to his existence.
A DAY AND PART OF A NIGHT AT ROCK BRIDGE ONE COURT WEEK
By S. C. Turnbo
Rock Bridge Ozark County, Mo. was a lively place in the antebelem days. The following was furnished me by Mort Herrean. “One day during court week at Rock Bridge”, said Mr. Herrean, “while a big crowd of settlers were present Cage Hogan and others got to drinking and began to quarrel. Hogan snapped his pistol three times at a man who was sitting down against a house. This man never moved white Hogan was trying to shoot him and neither one of them said anything while Hogan was snapping the pistol at him. Hogan was drunk and cared little for what he was doing. Crayton Hogan a son of Cages was off a short distance sitting on his horse and noticing his father attempting to shoot the man he urged his horse forward and galloped up to him and leaping from his horse and caught his father by the arm and took the pistol away from him and lead him away. In a short time after this Cage Hogan started down the street alone and Quince Bennette and Josiah Haskins both of whom had an ill feeling against him saw him. going along ran and overhauled him. They were both weakly men but they hit Hogan time about and walked along with him for twenty steps or more and continued to spat him but the strokes they dealt him were so light that Hogan pretended not to notice them. An hour or more after Haskins and Bennette had left him Hogan remarked to some of his friends that there were two fleas at Rock Bridge for he saw them on the street and he had come in contact with them and they felt to him like two fleas does when they got on him. The most of the crowd remained at town during part of that night. The weather was cloudy and misting rain with full moon. A goodly number of the men were drinking and very soon after night Cage Hogan and Isaac Davis got into a quarrel and while they were making a loud noise, Pleas McCullough says men why don’t you fight you seem to want to bad enough. And Davis says “I had as soon fight as not” and struck Hogan with his clenched hand and knocked him down. and Hogan says “men I have a cripple arm and I can’t fight”, and the bystanders told Davis not to touch him any more. But in a little while the two men renewed the quarrel and Davis struck Cage again but did not knock him down but he ran and Davis pursued him. They reminded me of two roosters fighting and one whipping the other and the defeated one running and his enemy following hi” As Hogan was leading the way he come to a ditch or gully and leaped over it, Davis attempted to jump over it but fell into it and lay sprawling at the bottom. At this Hogan stopped and turned around and went back to the gully where Davis was and looked down at him and turned around again and trotted away a few yard and changing his mind he stopped and went back to the ditch again and looking down at Davis once more as he still lay on his back at the bottom of the gully and jumped down into it where Davis was and began fighting at him. It seemed that this act of Hogans infuriated Davis and he clawed at Hogan with his hands until he tore his shirt all off of him except the wrist bands and neck collar and threw it out of the ditch and one of the men picked it up and hung it on the horse rack. As soon Davis pulled Hogans shirt off he began thumping Cage on his naked back and ribs which sounded like hitting a gum. Cage was sitting on Davis but the latter was pelting him so rough and raid that he was getting more than he thought he could bare, both men were drunk and not able to hurt each other bad, but Hogan thinking he had enough of it says, “Boys, take Davis off of me”, and one of the men says “Uncle Cage we will have to take you off of Davis first before we can get to him”. This created a merry laugh among the bystanders and the quarrelling and fighting ended for the time.
AN EXORBITANT PRICE FOR PULLING A TOOTH
By S. C. Turnbo
Mrs. Mary Ann Fritts a pioneer lady in relating incidents of the olden time in Madison County, Ark. tells of a doctor who lived at Huntsville that made exceedingly big charges for his services. “On one occasion” said she, “when I was 12 years old or in 1850 I was attacked with a severe pain in one of my teeth which caused me to suffer a great deal. Domestic remedies gave only temporary relief. The tooth affected was what we called them stomach teeth and finally there come a swelling on my chin that was of a callous nature and which was evidently caused by the aching tooth, and my people decided that the only cure for it was to have the tooth extracted. A Doctor Farris lived at Huntsville and John Wesley Hankins an uncle of my mother took me to this doctor and he pulled the offensive masticator out and charged me $4 for his work of only two or three minutes time. The opperation in drawing the tooth out was very painful and I thought he was going to jerk my head off instead of getting the tooth out. I paid the doctor in silver and I give you the account to show how a few doctors understand how to charge for their services whether they know anything about diseases and their cures or not.
A WOMAN STEALS A MARE AND RIDES HER TO BUFFALO
By S. C. Turnbo
In recounting incidents that occurred in the bygone days Capt. A. S. Wood of Kingdon Springs Marion County, Ark. related to me this interesting event.
“The first property of the horse kind stolen from any of the early settlers who lived on Crooked Greek was a small gray mare that belonged to my father William Wood. He had bought this mare from an Indian who lived at Shawneetown where the town of Yellville the county seat of Marion County now stands. The mare was so small that we called her a pony. She was stolen by a tramp woman by the name of Jackson. But before the bad woman took the mare he made a bridle of hickory bark and gathered a quantity of green paw paw leaves and pinned them together with small sticks of wood that she used in place of pins. She must have been engaged some time in preparing this for she made it two feet long and nearly as wide and she fastening layer after layer of the leaves until it was thick. This she used for a pad or saddle blanket to ride on after she had stolen the mare. She had no saddle and used this alone. After the woman had stolen the pony she rode it all the way to Buffalo and stopped at Bob Trimbles who lived on this stream two miles above the mouth. Trimble was one among the oldest settlers in that section and was the father of Capt. Bob Trimble who commanded a company of men in Col. Mitchells fourteenth Arkansas (Confederate) regiment. When my father found out that his little mare was gone he borrowed a chestnut sorrel horse from my Uncle John Wood named Mike and started out on the hunt for her and soon struck her trail which lead direct to Bob Trimbles. When the woman thief stopped at Trimbles he recognized the mare as belonging to my father and he made the woman give her up and she confessed to Trimble that she had stole her and went on her way afoot. My father when he arrived at Mr. Trimbles house found the mare all right and lead her back home. This same mare lived to be 23 years old and brought a small but nice shaped colt three years before she died.
THE KING AND EVERETTE WAR AT YELLVILLE, ARKANSAS
By S. C. Turnbo
We have written several fragmentary accounts as furnished us by a number of parties relating to the King and Everette War. Most of these are disconnected. Capt. A. S. (Bud) Wood who is one of the old pioneer resident of Marion County, Ark. was an eye witness to this fight and gives me a connected account of this memorable encounter between those old time people that took part in the battle. Capt. Wood furnished me the story of the fight at him home at Kingdon Springs on Sunday evening the 4th of August 1907. Here is how he told it. “The Everettes were from the state of Tennessee and settled in Marion County in a very early day. Ewell Everett was the oldest. John Everette was the next oldest, Cimeron Everette was the next. Jess Everette was next to Cimeron and Barton Everette was the youngest. A year or more after their arrival here Barton Everette was elected sheriff of Marion County and served out his term of office. When the Everettes first arrived here they had dealings with Hansford Tutt who was a one horse merchant in Yellville. Soon after this Jefferson Tutt and Davis Casey Tutt was involved in the quarrel and it continued to grow worse until other men were drawn into it but up to this time the quarrel had not culminated in a fight. Finally the Kings moved into Marion County from Alabama. There were Billy King, James King, Hosea King and Solomon King. These were the old men and they had nothing to do with the battle but some of their sons did. The quarrel continued to grow until Sam Burns and Silas Cowan took a part in it. These men were brothers in law. Cowan was on the Everette side and Burns was on the Kings side. One day in 1847 a great crowd of men gathered at Yellville which was then a mere hamlet and a few of the men began to quarrel and it went on until the leaders of each side began forming two lines opposite each other and only a few yards apart. Sam Burns and Silas Cowan were the starters of the disturbance that day and while the lines were being formed for a fight about 15 men on each side fell in line armed with rifles shot guns pistols stones and clubs. Just as the enraged men were ready to strike each other a blow a violent whirl wind that resembled a small tornado suddenly formed just east of where the lines were standing and swept toward the men and passed between the two lines and jerked the caps and hats from the men’s heads and passed on toward the west. The great whirl wind had collected a thick cloud of dust and when it struck the men it bewildered them and they all backed off, separated and scattered and the trouble ceased for the time. The quarrel was not renewed to amount to anything until one day in the early fall of 1848 when another big crowd of the settlers gathered at Yellville which included some of the Everettes and Kings and a number of their friends. Some of the men of both sides become very boisterous and it was evident that a fight was brewing, the most of the men were assembled around a small grocery store. I had went to the village that day on a young bay horse I called Tom. This horse had been pretty wild but I had him almost under control. When I arrived in town I tied the horse to the body of a small tree with a strong rope. This tree stood near the grocery store. The men of each side grew more war like until I saw that it was going to be a bloody one. They were all around my horse and I started on a run to take him away but before I had time to reach him the firing began and the fight was on and I hesitated and stopped and turned back for fear I might get shot accidently. My horse was greatly frightened at the yelling of the man and the reports of the guns and he reared up on his hind feet and it seemed as though he tried to climb up the tree. Though he plunged and pulled hard at the rope but he was not able to break it and had to stand the racket until the fight was ended. The casualities of the fight were as follows. Francis Everette son of Ewell Everette shot Jack King with an old squirrel rifle and he died on the following day. Barton Everette was killed at a black locust tree and as the fatal bullet struck him he clasp his arms around this tree and sank down at the foot of the tree and died he had a ribbon around his hat for a hat band and when his body was removed from the tree some of the men took the ribbon from his hat and tied it around the tree and it remained there several months before it rotted away. Martin Sinclair a Missourian killed Cimeron Everette. After Everette was shot he walked to the grocery and fell in the door with his head on the inside and his feet on the steps. Francis Everette after he had shot Jack King a man of the name of Mears advanced on him as if to take his gun away from him and Everette struck Mears with his gun and broke his arm. Dick King shot a man of the name of Watkins at the edge of the hair in the forehead which cut a trench through the skin to the top of the head without fracturing the skull. But he fell to the ground as if dead but soon revived. Just after the bloody scene closed Sinclair mounted his horse and called out, “Here is enough beef to feed all the hungry hounds of this town and neighborhood”. There were only four of the Kings engaged in the battle these were Loomis and Richard sons of Billy King and Jack and Torn King sons of Solomon King. None of the Burns or Cowans were in the fight nor none of the old set of Kings as we have stated. Near about one year after the big fight come off Hansford Tutt was waylaid and shot on the bluff near where Laytons Hotel stood. He was shot on Monday and he died on the following Thursday. Shortly after the battle Jess Everette and his family went to Texas and he and his sons came back to Arkansas several years before the beginning of the Civil War and went to Springfield in Conway County where some of the Kings were living then and arrested Loomis King and his father Billy King and young Bill King son of Solomon King and brought them 10 miles south of Yellville and shot them. Their dead bodies were brought to Yellville and given interment on the Jim Wickersham property.” As Capt. Wood ended his account of this bloody affair he said there were 11 men killed from first to last as the result of the King and Everette War.
SHOOTING AT A ROGUISH BULL
By S. C. Turnbo
Mr. John Mahan son of Isaac Mahan told me this little affair of war times which occurred on his fathers old farm on Little North Fork in Ozark County, Mo.
“My father owned a big dark brindle bull that was subject to the habit of passing over or through any kind of a rail fence he come to and had destroyed a large amount of corn in the field. My father refused to slay the bull to end his rascality until one day in the summer of 1861 when a bunch of Confederate soldiers with their guns stopped at our house to rest. They belonged to Col. Wm. C. Mitchell 14th Arkansas Infantry which was then on East Sugar Loaf Creek. Though the war had commenced but we were all friendly. Among the soldiers were Frantz Rice, Levi Pearson, Dedrick Simmons and two of Flemmon Clarks sons Ben and Richard. My father was angry at the bull on that day and he intimated to the soldiers that it would please him no little if they would kill the old thief and fence breaker and say boys shoot the old scamp and they turned loose the contents of their guns at him and the bull wheeled around and got off from there in a rapid way and run beyond our view. We all supposed he would die from the effects of the gun shot wounds but to our surprise he came back home in a few days as lively as ever. But father was not in any better humor with him and he got Bill Johnson to slay the animal which he did by shooting him in the fore head with a ball from a rifle of Navy Pistol size.”
LIVING IN A BAD SENSE
By S. C. Turnbo
In the long ago when Joe Coker the famed character lived in the neighborhood where the town of Lead Hill Ark. now stands he was accused of living an immoral life or in other words he was charged with having too many wives.
Mr. R. S. Holt, a resident of Lead Hill and who was personally acquainted with Coker for many years said that while Joe was living with Miss Margarette Phipps sister of Ben Phipps he pretended to keep her for his house keeper and that he had hired her to stay there and care for his house hold goods but most everyone knew that he was violating the law and kept the girl there as a wife and refused to marry her. Every time court was in session at Yellville Coker would make an effort to evade the law but in this he was put to a great deal of trouble in trying to shun the courts and beat them. The girl was industrious and good looking and Coker kept her dressed very nice. On a certain time just before court convened Coker hired a young man to take the girl away like he had stole her from him and keep her away until after circuit court was dismissed. Unfortunately for Coker the young fellow did not make a mock of stealing her but fell in love with her and she returned his affections and he did steal her sure enough and left the country with her and never did come back which almost broke the old mans heart.
HE KNOCKED THE CALF DOWN AS HE WAS TOLD TO DO
By S. C. Turnbo
Many years ago, while Jimmie Forest lived on the Little North Fork of White River, he and his son Sam Forest was driving a yearling calf to water one day . The calf was very contrary and did not want to go. They did their best to humor it and tried to persuade the calf to go along without having to punish it but the animal continued to be unruly until at last Sams father got into a passion of anger and yelled out Sam knock it down with a rock. And the boy picked up a stone and struck the calf with it so hard that it fell and never got up any more. Mr. Forest seeing that the calf was dead, says “Sam I did not mean for you to kill it. I thought you would only knock it down”. “Well,” says Sam I did knock it down. You told me to and I obeyed you”. But for all this he gave Sam a mighty raking for killing the calf.
IT WAS STRANGE
By S. C. Turnbo
The following is a peculiar account and was told me by Mr. Ira T. Davis near Choska Indian Territory one day in the month of January 1904. Said he, “While I lived in Southern Missouri a prominent merchant of the name of Campbell lived in West Plains Howell County. Mr. Campbell was a drinking man but was well liked by the most of people and had many friends. Outside of his drinking too freely he bore an excellent character. He did not use profane language nor allow it used in his house. Altogether he was a civil man. One Sunday during a protracted meeting which was held in the town Mr. Campbell and Mary Campbell his wife attended the 11 a.m. services. The preacher in the course of his sermon spoke rather abusive of drunkards and drunkenness in general to which Mr. Campbell took offense and told his wife after dinner that if she desired to attend the evening services she was at liberty to do so “But I am not going back for I think the preacher used unnecessary language about me—that it is none of his business how much whiskey I drink for I pay for it and its no ones business but my own. I attend to my own affairs and do not harm anybody and do not try to run anybodys business but my own. Soon after his wife had left the dwelling on her way back to meeting, Mr. Campbell who was alone at the house said he heard a peculiar voice that informed him that he must die on the following day at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Though. this noise appeared very strange yet he believed it was some of his friends playing a prank on him and he searched all through the house and around it to locate the noise and find the one that produced it but failed to do so. The voice continued to speak to him at short intervals using the same tone and words repeatedly that he must die at three o’clock in the afternoon on the following Monday. When his wife come back to the house from meeting she found her husband excited and anxious about something and she says “What is wrong” and he told her what he had heard while she was gone to meeting—that some strange voice had told him he must dieat 3 o’clock the next evening and stopping a moment he says “Can’t you hear it now” and she answered in the negative, and he says “I can hear it plain now and it is a warning of my death” and he ask his wife to request some of the preachers to move the meeting to his house which was done on the following day according to Campbells wish. When the services commenced Campbell said he could not get humble enough to please God and that he wanted to prostrate himself on the ground and ask the people to take up the floor and remove it out of the house and they did so and Campbell got down on the ground under where the floor had been and prayed. Doctors were present to note his condition and demise if such should be the case. At last as the religious services were carried on and when 3 o’clock came around Mr. Campbell died sure enough and when the physicians announced his death a great excitement in the congregation followed and services closed for the time. Mr. Davis said that this incident occurred in West Plains in the year 1876 and gives the following names as references. Will McGinty, John McGinty and Mrs. Martha Jackson, the last named was a sister to Mr. Campbells wife. The two McGintys were nephews of Campbells and a host of other people could testify to this strange and peculiar case,” said Mr. Davis.
SHOT TO DEATH IN A DISCUSSION OF THE WAR
By S. C. Turnbo
In the early part of the Civil War Green McDaniel an old man whose sympathies were with the Union rode to Jim McAdams black smith shop one day to have some work done. This shop was in what is known as the Three Move Prairie in Polk County, Mo. It was not long before Rube Lunsford who was a Southern sympathizer came to the shop also. McDaniels had met a friend near the shop and chatted with him and had not yet got down off of his horse and when Rube. Lunsford come up both men got into a discussion over the war news. In a few minutes the dispute waxed into hot words and Lunsford jerked his revolver from the belt and shot McDaniels the third time when he fell from his horse and died. McDaniels and his son Billy who was a feeble minded young man lived in their house alone. They owned an old weight clock that had refused to run for a number of years and when the dead body of McDaniels was brought home Billy claimed that the old clock struck 3 strokes and quit. They informed him that his father was ‘killed at 3 o’clock in the afternoon which Billy said was a warning to him that his father was dead but he did not understand the meaning of it when the clock was striking. The people told Billy that he only imagined that the clock struck and he was mistaken as to it being a reality but Billy said that it was an actual truth and that he was greatly surprised when the old clock which had been dead so long would revive itself and go to work and be busy a few seconds and die again as sudden as it had got to work. Nobody with reasonable sense could put any confidence in what he said about the clock but lie declared that it struck the 3rd time as stated. The foregoing account was narrated to me by Mr. Sam Griffin at his home near Oneta Indian Territory one day in the month of August 1906.
FINDING THE SKELETON OF A MAN IN A WILD WILDERNESS
By S. C. Turnbo
The Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad depot Batavia, Boone County, Ark. is 8 miles west of Harrison and 6 miles east of Carrollton. This part of Northwest Arkansas from Bellfont to Harrison and from there to the new town of Alpena and northwest from there to Berryville and adjoining territory is becoming of some note as a fruit country. In fact we might say and not miss it far that Boone and Carroll Counties are taking a prominent place as two important counties in the growing of fruit. Part of Northwest Ark. and a portion of Southwest Mo. have been noted for years for the growing of good fruit where enterprise and care existed in the selection of trees and setting out of orchards and due regard observed in the care of the trees and the proper cultivation of the land where the trees are set. We hope the enterprising citizens who have invested their means and labor in the planting of orchards may be successful in growing hundreds and thousands of bushels of big red apples and sweet flavored peaches. If you want your children to grow fat and healthy give them pure water to drink, healthy air to breathe, nice sorghum syrup and luscious fruit to mix with their diet and we think that Northwest Ark. and Southwest Mo. furnishes all these necessities mentioned. In truth the entire state of Arkansas and Missouri are taking rank with their sister states in the raising of fruit and other farm product and we trust that in a few years both of these states will be second to none. A ride on the Missouri and North Ark. Railroad through the picturesque hills of Searcy, Marion and Carroll Counties Ark. is to be enjoyed. The many little farms villages and towns as seen along the route from Leslie to Eureka Springs indicate that the inhabitants are industrious law abiding and making long strides toward improving the country. And now the White River branch of the Missouri Pacific is completed from Newport to Carthage and has been in opperation several years and what a fine scenery of hills and valleys is presented along this road from Cotter to Branson, and from there to Aurora and from Cotter along the beautiful White River to Batesville. The rugged but beautiful scenery from the Oregon flat in Boone County Ark. across the rouge hills and hollows of Bear Creek and down the romantic stream of Turkey Creek and across White River and up the narrow valley of Roark and over the James River to the little town of Crane on Crane Creek in Stone County, Mo. is never to be forgotten. Going back to Oregon Flat and traveling eastward to Cotter the trains runs down Sugar Orchard Creek to Crooked Greek and down this pretty valley to where the railway leaves it and crossed over to Fallen Ark. Creek and down this valley to White River. All along this route the cars passes through tunnels, deep cuts over high bridges and tresstles along the side of steep mountains and across narrow gorges which makes a ride on the train through this section of Arkansas and Missouri wonderful. Among the towns villages and other stopping places of the train along this route from Cotter to Crane going westward are Flippin, Yellville, Comal, Powell, Pyalt, Zinc, Keener, Bergman, Myrtle, Cricket, Melva, Branson, Roark, Ruth, Galena and Elsey.
Well now I liked to have forgot my story that I started out to tell at the beginning of this chapter and will return back to the Missouri and North Ark. Railroad and begin our account at Batavia which we mentioned at the commencement of this story. In the neighborhood of this depot George W. Lipps lived many years. He was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina in 1828 and was 16 years old when he and his father, James Lipps, settled here in 1844. George was a hunter and owned the same muzzle loading rifle until his death that he carried in the long ago. The last time he wrote me which is only a few years ago he said, that his eye sight still permitted him to see how to shoot fattening hogs with his old favorite gun.
When the beautiful deer were seen on almost every hill, and wild turkeys were almost as numerous as snow birds, George Lipps killed his share of game, and he knew nearly every trail between White River and his fathers cabin. Among other things which relate to the then wilds of Carroll County, Ark. Mr. Lipps sent me the following account in a letter, of finding the bones of a man during one of his hunting tours, which he describes in the following manner.
“James Youngblood, who lived on Long Creek, had relatives living in North Missouri which he had not seen for several years. Wishing to pay them a visit and not desiring to post pone the trip longer he went to their homes and remained with them several days. This was in 1859. On his return back home, he fell in company with a young man by the name of Lewis Tyler, who was on his way to Carroll County, Ark. When they arrived at Layton’s Saw Mill, 12 miles south of Forsyth, Tyler stopped there to work two weeks, but he told Mr. Youngblood that when his time expired at the mill he would go to Long Creek in Mr. Youngbloods neighborhood. This was in the month of July.
When Tylers time was out at Laytons Mill, he left for Long Creek in company with Bill Dooly and struck out into the wild forest.
That was the last seen of Tyler alive, Dooly went to Youngbloods alone, he ‘trumped’ up a story concerning Tylers whereabouts, but the old timers refused to accept it. His account was not plausible and some of them contended that a murder had been committed, but testimony was lacking to prove it. Here the case stood until July, 1860 — it was just one year after Tyler was missing. At this time Jones Estes and I went on a camp hunt in the pine forest. Wolves were as thick as fleas in a hog bed, and the firstnight out we were much annoyed by them. Their howling was dreadful but they did not charge camps. Early next morning we eat our lunch and departed on the days hunt. We were both afoot and after traveling for a while, we separated on a ridge, intending to meet at a designated place. Sometime after we had parted I grew thirsty and very tired and stopped at a fine spring of water where I drank and rested my weary feet.
Then I went on up a hill to the top, and turned in the direction where I was to meet my pardner. I had not observed a deer since I and Estes had separated. I was in a pinery and I felt lonely as I walked slowly along. And while passing along among some tall pine trees I was horrified at discovering a human skeleton and fragments of clothing. I was so astonished at the sight of the bones that I was dumfounded. I stood and gazed at them and the pieces of raiment several seconds before I recovered from the shock of finding what was left of this human being. A fine hunting knife lay on the ground near by. When my senses returned sufficiently, I examined the skeleton and found that a bullet had pierced the skull bone at the back of the head. There was no trail here and it was a number of miles to a settlers house. When I grew calmer I settled down to thinking. Though I had never seen Tyler, his sudden disappearance was still fresh in my mind and I believed this was the remains of the missing man, and that he had been foully murdered by Bill Dooly in this lonely forest. There was no more hunting for game on my part that clay. I hurried on to where I was to meet Estes and on getting together again we returned to camp and hurried to the settlements and reported the finding of the skeleton.
On the following day a number of citizens collected there and an inquest was held: Parties who had seen Tyler recognized the knife and bits of clothing, and said they belonged to Tyler. Though the evidence was circumstantial as to who was the cause of his death, but the verdict rendered was, that it was Tyler, and that he was murdered and that Bill Dooly was his murderer.
We dug a grave near a large pine tree and, as a gentle breeze of wind blew through the tops of the stately pines and made that peculiar roaring noise, tender hands, urged by tender hearts, lifted the bones from the ground where doubtless they had lain for a year and placed them gently down in the grave. While some were filling in the dirt and formed the mound to mark the resting place of the young man, others cut the name ‘Lewis Tyler’, with their pen knives on the big pine tree which stood near the newly made grave. I was allowed to keep the knife and have kept it in my possession until the present clay. The words, ‘hunters companion’ are engraved on the blade.
Dooly, before he could be arrested, fled the country. A good sum of money was donated by the settlers as a reward for his apprehension, in a few weeks we learned that Dooly was in Southern Texas, and Roland Boyed and I, armed with proper authority, went down there to hunt for him. It was a long hot ride on horse back, and we were disappointed in finding our man for when we got there the citizens said that such a man as we described had been there, but he had stolen a suit of clothes and skipped from that part of Texas. We followed, but he escaped.
Tyler said his home was in Virginia and he had no relatives here. Doubtless his relatives and friends in the old country never knew what became of him—not knowing that he was slain in a wild pine forest. The locality where his bones were found and buried is 8 or 9 miles south of Laytons Mill and 14 miles north east of Carrollton, Ark.
A WONDERFUL SPRING OF WATER
By S. C. Turnbo
A noted freak spring of water is in Marion County, Ark. It is a natural curiosity and according to accounts is worthy of special notice. I never saw this water but my information relating to it is trustworthy. Among my informants are W. E. Angel son of John Angel an early settler of Marion County, and Floyed Magness son of Hughe Magness a prominent citizen and merchant who died near Powell on Crooked Greek a number of years ago. Floyed Magness has served 4 years as sheriff of Marion County and at the present writing he is serving his third term as sheriff. These men state that this wonderful spring is at the little town of Bruno, and that the water issues out from under a bluff 10 or 12 feet high. The flow of water is strong and is cold and refreshing. The head of the spring forms the source of the west prong of Hamptons Creek which flows into Crooked Creek from the south side. A curious feature about this strange spring of water is that it ceases flowing entirely at times and that all of a sudden, and the bed of the branch below the spring gets dry in a short time especially during the summer months. Once and a while the water will ceased to flow for only two or three hours before it starts again. At other times it will be a day or two before the water appears again. The bed of the channel below the spring averages 7 and 8 feet wide and is composed of sand and gravel. Often when it gushes out after it has quit running a while the water goes down the channel in a roll nearby knee-high. Some 30 yards south of the spring is a cave. The entrance of which is small but after descending 15 feet into the opening a large room is found where the water flows through and a goodly number of small fish is seen in the water in this cave. Visitors to northern Arkansas would do well to go see this spring.
SHE DID NOT WANT TO BE DEAD AS BAD AS SHE PRETENDED TO
By S. C. Turnbo
This Civil War time incident was told me by Mrs. Mary Frederick wife of Aaron Frederick, who when I heard her tell the story was living on the head of Coweta Creek Indian Territory Greek Nation. Mrs. Frederick is a daughter of Riley and Johanna (Smith) Sheperd and was born in Shannon County, Mo. December 15, 1860. She said that her father died at Fort Gibson Indian Territory in 1904 at the age of 73 years and lies buried in the cemetery at Fort Gibson. In giving the war story she said that one day just before the close of the war and while they lived in Howell County, Mo. 20 miles north of West Plains the killing of a man took place near our house. “I was only a little girl tthen but I remember it distinctly. There was living in our neighborhood a man of the name of Pink Jones who was a worthless fellow. He bore a bad character and was generally known as a robber and thief and he lived an immoral life. He had left his legal wife and took up with another woman of ill fame of the name of Liz Nicks. They were both so little thought of that they were beneath the notice of decent people. One day as this man Jones was passing along the road alone in one half a mile of our house he met a squad of mounted men armed to the teeth and they shot him to death. He was struck 12 times with bullets before he finally fell and died, one ball of which took effect in his back at the cross of his suspenders. After the horsemen ascertained that Jones was entirely dead they rode on and left the dead man for the women to bury and as it happened a few women were the first people to visit the body. Among them was my mother. They found the dead man lying on his face. Though he had been a wreckless and wicked man not caring how he lived yet some of the women took pity on the body as it lay in the dirt and wanted to turn him over on his back and wash the blood off of his face and head and otherwise prepare the dead man for burial as far as lay in their power, but mother protested against it and said “No.” He cared nothing for himself nor for the bad example he set before our children. If a man or a woman care nothing how they live or in what manner of life they lead they do not care how they are buried after they are dead and so we will not wash his face but bury him just as he is and so it went off in that way. But some of the women did say they would not help bury him but it looked too bad for the dead body to lay there without being buried and all the women present agreed at last to dig a gave and roll him into it and cover him up, while they were getting ready to go to work digging the grave two or three men came along and they told the women they would dig the grave and they went to work and dug a hole two feet deep at the side of the road some 30 feet from where the dead man lay, when the men had finished it they pealed a lot of hickory bark and formed it into three parts and laid it on the ground so that one strand would be under the shoulders – one under the hips and the other under the legs between the knees aid ankles and the men and women took hold of the dead man and lifted him up and laid him down on the bark and they all picked up the ends of the bark and raised the dead man up and while one of the women held his head up they carried Jones dead form to the shallow grave and dumped him into it and covered him up except his toes which they left sticking out. And the men and women now took their departure for their respective homes. On the second day after Jones was buried the woman Liz Nicks paid a visit to his grave and while she was lamenting over it she spoke out aloud to herself “Oh that I was dead and could lay by your precious side”. At this moment a man who was said to be one of the parties who help to kill Jones rode up without the woman observing him. He was well armed and he heard the woman make the remark and to her surprise she heard a mans voice “Well if you want to die I can soon put you where you said you wanted to be and where you ought to be”. The woman looked around in terror and seeing a man on horseback preparing to shoot her she instantly raised to her feet and started to run off and the man commanded her stop or he would kill her on the spot and she halted and as she stood trembling for her life he says ‘If you want to die say so, I am ready to put you out of the way’ and she begged him not to kill her that she did not want to die and the man rode on without offering to threaten her life any more. In a few more days his legal wife paid a visit to his grave but he had mistreated her so wrongfully that she refused to have his body removed to a regular grave yard and let it lie where it was for the hogs to root up and devour.
A SPRING OF BLOOD
By S. C. Turnbo
Among the noted spots in Boone County, Ark. is the Alph Cook Cave which we have already stated in another article and which is situated in the rough valley of West Sugar Loaf Creek. We have given a brief history of the killing of several men at this cave during the closing scenes of the Civil War, which is not necessary to repeat here and will give an account of how it was occupied by wild beast. A few bear have been slain within its walls. Dave McCord one of the pioneer settlers of West Sugar Loaf Creek furnished me an interesting story of his step father John Campbell having found and killed three bears in the cave. In giving, the account Mr. McCord said: I was only a young lad then, but I remember quite distinctly the occurrence. The bears were two fine cubs and their mother. Back in the cave is a stream springs from the mountain side; I accompanied Mr. Campbell to the cave and assisted him to slay the bears and we used bees wax candles for a light. We crossed the stream before encountering the bears. Upon finding them, Campbell shot the old one, which floundered about until she fell in the stream of water and died; the carcass was left there a few, hours until we found the cubs and after considerable trouble we dispatched them also. The old bruin had bled freely; we worked with the three some time, preparing them as best we could to carry home; being quite thirsty and as the water in the cave was mixed with blood that flowed from the bullet wound of the mother bear we passed out of the cave and went to the mountain side to get a drink of water from the spring, when to our surprise we found it a spring of blood, showing conclusively that this spring was the same stream that runs through the cave. For many years after we had killed the bears in the cave I have heard Campbell laugh and tell his associate hunters about seeing one spring of water run blood on West Sugar Loaf Creek.
HOW HE REMEMBERED HIS MOTHER
By S. C. Turnbo
All people whether young or old should never forget the sweet name of mother. In happiness or trouble, whether we are laughing or in tears we should revere the name mother and keep that name fresh in our minds the recollection of mother carry us back to the days of our youth when mother cared for us and loved us. It is something sad for a little child to be without the care of a loving and careful mother let us all adore their name.
“One day in the month of October 1906 while I was conversing with Mr. W. F. Stone, of near Pro-tem, Mo. he informed me that his dear mother died when he was less than 6 years old “But” said he, “I can remember her kind words and loving treatment. I recollect her one day when she was helping my father plant corn she made me a little bark whip and brought it to me to play with. At another time I recollect seeing her at communion service and foot washing. She was crying while another lady was washing her feet. But my greatest recollection of her was while she was on her death bed she knew she was going to die. She called me to her bed side and took me by the hand and told me to be a good boy and if I lived to be a man to live honorable and upright. Those words of good advise and encouragement has always been fresh in my memory and as I stood beside her in her dying moments I realized that the dearest friend I had on earth was taking her departure from me. It was a serious loss to me but God’s will be done.
HE DESIRED TO HEAR THE WORD OF GOD, BUT THE DEVIL PERSUADED THE MAN TO LISTEN TO HIM
By S. C. Turnbo
Soon after the Civil War the citizens of Franklin Township in Marion County, Ark. built a log house in the river bottom just below the mouth of Becca’s Branch. The house stood at the foot of the bluff and was used for school and church purposes and it was also used by the electors of Franklin Township as a voting precinct before it was removed to Peel. Bill Flippin and Bill Jenkins two noted preachers in the Christian Church who lived in the Flippen Barrens east of Yellville held several protracted meetings here, on one occasion while meeting was going on there a man who was drunk made his appearance one Sunday evening to listen at what the preachers said; he told them that he was much interested in hearing the gospel preached, and that he would make money by going home but he had rather stay and hear how souls ought to be saved and that he had a soul that needed to be saved and he wanted to hear the gospel plan of salvation and he would stay and be an attentive hearer. While the congregation was collecting, the man lay down on one of the benches that was used for a seat and went to sleep before the speaker began his discourse and slept sound and snored loud during the services and until after the congregation was dismissed. In fact they had to wake him up and take care of him by taking him to a citizens house, where he received kind attention until he was able to go home.
OLD NED RUN AWAY WITH THE DEAD HOG
By S. C. Turnbo
An amusing anecdote was told me by Rila Mullen of his brother Joe Mullen who lived an the south side of the Buffalo Fork of White River a mile and a half above the mouth of Rush Creek. He said that his brother owned a fine hog that had left home while there was plenty of mast and got fat and was a little wild, which made it troublesome to bring home and after making a strong effort to drive it ahead of the horse the hog got into a rough place in the woods and escaped. He did not want to lose the grunter for he could make a fine lot of meat out of it so his desire was to bring it home alive and feed it a while on corn and so he made another trial to learn the hog where its home was but failed as usual. By this time he was weary of being beat so often and on the following day he put his rifle in extra good shape for shooting and catched his old gentle horse he called Ned and mounted him and started on his last hunt as he supposed for his contrary hog for he intended this time to bring it home dead or alive. After he had hunted a few hours for it he discovered it in a thicket of small undergrowth and without offering to try to drive it again he took aim at the hogs head with the rifle and shot it down and after sticking it with his knife and making it bleed freely he took the bridle rein from the head stall and tied one end of the rein to the hogs jaw and the other end to the horses tail and starting off leading the horse by the head stall of the bridle. Old Ned went along very docile at the start but after he had pulled the dead hog a few yards he took fright all on sudden and surged forward and pulled loose from my brother and away he went running and snorting, as the frightened horse dashed along at head long speed over the stoney ground jerking the hog along behind him they left only a dim trail. My brother being a little excited how the horse had treated him followed on in the direction the horse had run without taking time to follow up the trail where the hog had been jerked so swiftly along over the rough ground. After the horse had got out of view he happened to change his course and after running 150 or 200 yards further he tore loose from the dead hog and went on home and when Joe arrived home he found Old Ned there and part of the bridle rein hanging to his tail but no hog. He now turned and went back into the woods to make a search for the hog. He had often looked for it while it was alive now he would search for it while it was dead. He had a long tiresome walk before he found it and summing it up he had more trouble in locating the hog after it was dead than he had in finding it when it was alive. Not wanting to fool with Old Ned any more he went back home and hitched his work team to the wagon and hauled the hog home.
A DANCING YOUNG FELLOW GOT HIS SHOES BURNED UP BY THE YOUNG
By S. C. Turnbo
George Woods who owned the mill at the Big Spring on East Sugar Loaf Creek below Monarch in Marion County, Ark. had a large family of children the majority of which were girls, all the family delighted in the old time dances. Many young people who lived far and near attended these “Ho downs” as they were commonly called. One day Bill Magness son of Joe Magness who lived in the river bottom one mile above the mouth of Big Creek went to mill there. The weather was cold and the river was up also and Sam Magness brother of Bill Magness, assisted him to swim Bills horse across the river at the side of a canoe. Bill Magness wore a new pair of shoe made of home tanned leather that was not well tanned. When Bill arrived at the mill he received an invitation to remain at a big dance the Woods family were going to have that night and he accepted without having to be persuaded. The fire place of the Woods dwelling was wide and as the temperature was nearly down to zero the Woodses kept a hot fire all night and the young men and women never stopped dancing during the entire night. The fire was so warm that it had a drawing up effect on Magnesses shoes and they hurt his feet so bad that he was compelled to pull them off his feet and danced in his stocking feet. The girls who were very mischievious watched for an oppertunity to burn them and getting a chance without Magness observing them they tossed them into the middle of the fire place and stirred the fire with the fire iron until the shoes were covered with live coals, chunks and cinders. When day light come the dance broke up and Magness, wanted to go home but he could not find his shoes. At last he got a hint that when he come there he had on a pair of shoes but he had none now to wear back home and the man had to ride back home in his sock feet and the bottoms of his, socks were worn out at the dance. When he got to the river opposite where he lived his brother Sam brought the canoe over to help him across and seeing his brother in his sock feet and his toes frost bitten he says “Bill you sentimental old rascal you got your shoes burned off of your feet did you. No matter for you though for you ought to have come back home and let the dance go to the devil where it belonged.”
HIS GUN WAS TRICKY AND DISCHARGED ITSELF TWICE IN LESS THAN AN HOUR
By S. C. Turnbo
Mr. Rila Mullen told the writer the following story: “A man of the name of George Lafferty lived 4 miles north west of Evening Shade in Sharp County, Ark. His home was on a ridge 2 miles north of Big Strawberry River. Mr. Lafferty was a peculiar man, strange natured. His mind did not appear to be all right but still he was not considered an idiot or was crazy. He followed hunting a great deal and mostly used an old muzzle loading rifle that was somewhat tricky at times. One day while he was out in the woods with his old gun he become very thirsty for water and went to a spring to get a drink of water. When he got to the spring he dropped the breech of his gun down on the ground in order to get a drink but he struck it too hard and it discharged the load, the muzzle of the rifle was close to his face and it powder burned his face and singed his whiskers and hair on one side of his head. The accident had much tendency to quench his thirst and without taking only a few sips of water and he did not stay at the spring no longer than he could reload his gun. He had not left the spring but a short time before he met two of his neighbors in the woods who were also hunting. The three men stopped to have a chat together and Lafferty in explaining the accidental discharge of his gun at the spring struck the breech of the gun against the ground like he did at the spring in order to show the men how it was done and as it hit the ground it ‘went off’ again. This time the muzzle of the gun was close to the other side of his face and his face hair and whiskers were scorched as bad as the other side was at the spring. This occurred several years before the war.
TWELVE PAIR OF TWINS
By S. C. Turnbo
This interesting story was furnished me by Mr. Ben Hager a pioneer settler of hear Huntsville Madison County, Ark. “In the year 1859 while we lived on Holmans Creek two miles south of Huntsville I went to town with my father one day to help him carry some chickens to sell to the merchants there. While we were there two wagons loaded with household goods arrived in town and stopped. They belonged to movers and were drawn by ox teams. I was in Hugh Berry’s store when the man that the wagons belonged to came into Mr. Berry’s store and ask the proprietor if he had any hats, and Berry answered in the affirmative and began to take down the hats and put them an the counter for the man to look at. After he examined a few of them he says, “Mr. Store keeper, what will you charge me for all the hats for my boys” and Mr. Berry says “I do not know sir but tell me how long you have been married and it may be that I can guess how many you want”. “I have been married 13 years, 3 months and 10 days”, “I guess then I will charge you $5″, said the merchant. “AU right”, “I will go out and bring my boys in”, says the mover. And in a few minutes he taken 20 boys out of the covered wagon that were old enough to walk and took two more younger boy children in his arms that were too small to walk and brought the 22 children into the store and his wife followed him with two infant boys in her arms which numbered 24 boys in all. Mr. Berry was astounded and so was the bystanders. Mr. Berry acted as though he wanted to run, but after looking at the crowd of children for a minute he ask in a doubting way, “Is them all your children” “Yes, they are all mine! ” said the man addressed. “I cannot believe it” answered the astonished merchant. Why do you disbelieve me” said the man. “It is too unreasonable” said Mr. Berry. And the man and his wife explained to the merchant how it was that they had such a big family of children in less than 14 years. A pair of twins which were all boys were born to them a little more than a year apart. But Berry was not satisfied with the man and wife’s account but after reflecting a short time he says to the man and woman “Are you both willing to swear that these 24 children are all your own”, and they both declared that they were willing to go before the proper authorities and swear that they had been married the time named and that all these children had been born to them as the result of the marriage. The non-plussed merchant seemed to believe them now and says “By the great God of Heaven that made me, the hats shall not cost you anything” and willed all the children a hat apiece, then he began putting all the small hats down on the counter he had and told the man to pick them out. There were a number of settlers in town that day and a crowd soon collected in Berry’s store for the two dozen of children or 12 pair of twins attracted the attention of every one in town. After all the children – babies too – had received a hat each Mr. Berry told the man of the numerous prodigy to not start off yet awhile and he had a talk with the other merchants of the town. Then Mr. Berry go up on the curb stone and told the people of the great number of children belonging to one father and one mother and says “I have give each one of these children a hat. And I think it is the duty of the merchants and other citizens of this town to supply all these boys with a suit of clothes each.” And it was not long before the citizens responded freely and the children were taken to the different stores where they received a bountiful supply of clothing and before they left town Mr. Berry gave the mother of the children a large leg horn hat worth $5. It was made of fine straw and adorned with the finest ribbon of various colors. But the people of Huntsville were not satisfied with what they had done for them and concluded to do better for them and gave the man enough provision to last him several days. I cannot call to mind the mans name but I remember that he said he was going south where there was plenty of cotton to pick to get employment for the children. There was another man with them who said that he was hired to drive one of the team of oxen.
DISINTERMENT OF THE REMAINS OF A YOUNG LADY AFTER SHE HAD
BEEN DEAD 12 OR 13 YEARS
By S. C. Turnbo
Years ago the main road between the Sugar Loaf country and Yellville, Ark. struck Georges Creek 6 ½ miles from Yellville and followed it 2 ½ miles when it left the creek and led by the residence of W. C. Whitlock who lived on the ridge 3 miles north of Yellville as has already been said. Mr. Whitlock was cruelly murdered in war days and his family moved into Missouri where they remained until 1867 when they returned back to their home. Among Mr. Whitlocks children was a daughter named Sarah Emiline who sickened and died in the latter part of 1857. The bereaved parents loved their child so dearly that they had her body buried in the orchard that was in front of the door yard. Here they could care for her grave by planting flowers and prevent the weeds from growing over it. There was some consolation to the parents in having the remains of their beloved child resting near the house so they could look out at the door and see the little mound of dirt which hid the mortal remains of their darling daughter, but after Mr. Whitlock was killed and his family was forced to leave their home they had to leave the grave unguarded and the fence around the orchard was soon destroyed and the little mound was trod upon by stock and it was also soon covered with weeds and bushes. But when the family returned it was not neglected, the weeds and bushes were cleaned off and the grave put in its usual shape. In a few years Mrs. Whitlock realized that they would have to give up their home and live elsewhere and not desiring to go off and leave the grave of her child to be neglected and likely to be plowed over at some future time she decided to have the remains taken up and buried in the grave yard where her father received interment on Lee’s Mountain.
Mrs. Lizzie B. Brown give me an account of the exhuming of the body.
Mrs. Brown is a sister of the dead girl and said that she was taken up in about 3 years after they returned home. Mrs. Brown said that the coffin was in a good state of preservation and on opening the coffin she said, “My sisters face with the exception of the flesh being dried on the bones presented a natural appearance. All the features showed distinctly. A few locks of hair had become detached from the head but with the exceptions of that the hair and its dressing had retained its shape and color. The ear rings had dropped from the ears and lay in the bottom of the coffin”.
The writer will say here that he has seen this grave on several occasions while passing the residence of Mr. Whitlocks and also viewed the grave a year or two after the remains had been exhumed and reintered.
THE ROOSTER WAS ENJOYING A RIDE ON THE DRIFT WOOD
By S. C. Turnbo
Back in the early days of Little North Fork of White River Mr. Owen Kersey lived on this stream opposite the mouth of Otter Creek. On one occasion a great torrent of rain fell and the water in the creek rose to a great height. It got all round Kerseys house and into it and Kersey and his family went upstairs on the board loft. The water rose so rapidly that the puncheon floor was soon afloat. About the time the water was high enough in the house to move the puncheons, a calf which was in the yard and which belonged to Kersey swam into the house for protection. As the calf began to float and swim around among the floating puncheons it felt greatly distressed and began to bleat in a pitiful way. Kersey hearing the distressed cry of the calf told his wife that he must try to save it from drowning and he went downstairs into the water where it was more than waist deep and caught the calf as it was struggling around in the water and carried it up stairs. In a few minutes afterward the creek rose high enough to move the house several yards from its foundation but fortunately it did not go to pieces neither did it get quite up to the loft. Mr. Kersey and all his family including the calf was saved from drowning. The flood took all their chickens down stream and they lost them all. A settler who lived on the creek below them on higher ground said that he seen 4 or 5 of the chickens going by on a drift. Among them was a large rooster which was crowing in a defiant way as the swift current was carrying the drift the chickens were on down stream.
THE PRAYER OF A LITTLE GIRL FOR HELP
By S. C. Turnbo
In giving pioneer stories of Pulaski County, Mo., Mr. William F. Robinson a former resident of that part of the state gives this one. “My grandfather James Robinson said that when he settled on Rubidoo Creek in Pulaski County south of Waynesville, there was the remnants of a fort which had been built many years before any white people settled in Missouri. These works had been occupied by Indians or some other race of people. There were also strong indications that a battle had been fought in and out of the fort and one side of the combatants had been vanquished. If the dead received burial it was done in shallow graves for humane bones were scattered all over the ground occupied by the old fort and also on the outside of it. The earliest settlers there picked up many of these bones and examined them for curiosity. The oldest families who lived in this locality were unable to give the remotest history of the fort and its garrison. The early settlers continued to pick up the bones and carry them off until there were but few left on the ground but the history of its starting point and the battle fought here and the evacuation of the works always remained obscure. Among the first settlers who lived in the near vicinity of this old fort was Ezekiel McNeely who had a daughter named Mary who after she was grown married John Watson. A number of years before her marriage when Mary was a little child and while some of the bones were still lying on the ground Mary’s father owned a fine flock of sheep which required careful attention to prevent the wolves from getting among them and McNeely put the sheep in charge of his little daughter Mary who with the help of a little dog would follow the flock of sheep around in view from the house until near night when her and the dog would round them up and drive them into the sheep lot and start them out again in the morning. This was repeated every day if the weather admitted. One day when Mary was seven years old the flock of sheep fed on the ground where the old fort was which was a half a mile from her fathers house. The child knew the ground there well for she had passed over it on many occasions. Some few scattering bones were still lying on the ground and the stories of Indian spirits or ghosts being seen there from time to time had not disappeared and were in circulation but little Mary was not afraid of these uncanny tales for she had heard them repeated from the time she could first remember, and had never seen any ghost about these abandoned works or anywhere else. But her young and tender mind took on a change on this subject before night of the day we refer to which the sequel will show. Among her flock of sheep was a big ram who heretofore had been a good humored sheep but by some means he had become angry that morning and before the little girl could get out of his way the ram ran at her and knocked her down with his head, with a vain effort she tried to get up but the angry sheep would butt her down again. She struggled and tried to drive the ram away but he would not go. Then she cried and screamed to attract attention from her parents but her cries of distress failed to reach their ears. She was not expected to return back to the house with the sheep until late in the afternoon and the parents were not uneasy. Poor little girl she had surely met the evil one in the shape of that vicious sheep that was standing over her and watching every movement she made. Though he would not strike her with his horns unless she tried to get up then he would butt her down again. In this way she was compelled to lay there until the sun had nearly disappeared below the horizon. She had give up in dispair. She would cry a while then beg and plead with the old sheep to allow her to rise to her feet and go home. If he would she would forgive him for the rough treatment he had inflicted on her but the ram seemed to enjoy her suffering. The sun had his himself the shadows of the trees had disappeared, it would soon be night. Oh, what would she do? Papa and mamma would certainly become alarmed about her and leave the house in search of her. Oh that they would come now for she was in sore distress and needed their help. “May God help them to find where I am”, was her sweet and piteous little prayer. Then she waited a few minutes in silence to find out if God had heard her prayer. Then she sank into unconsciousness. It was now that the parents grew anxious about their little daughter and looking out they saw part of the sheep coming toward the house. Mary was not with them and the remainder of the sheep was not in sight and they both left the house immediately on the hunt for the missing one, and as the dusk of the evening was setting down they discovered the ram at a distance on the ground of the old fort standing and watching something on the ground, which at that distance they could not make out what it was. They hurried on toward where the solitary sheep stood and as they approached nearer they saw it was a child and they went on the faster and drove the ram away and beheld their darling child lying there. Sorrow and grief nearly overwhelmed them both for they thought she was dead. They picked her up from the ground and pushed back the little curls of hair from over her face and rubbed her hands and arms and to their joy they found that life was not extinct. “Oh Zeke we have been so careless of our faithful little child”, said the mother with her eyes swimming in tears. “My dear wife if Mary lives over this we will not be so neglectful about her any more,” said the sorrowing husband and father. And without any more words made haste to apply restoratives until she was able to swallow and then they gave her warm teas and mild stimulants until she was able to sit up and talk a little and gradually grew in strength until she had regained life and health again. Mary said thereafter that she always disdained the thought of ghosts rising up to meet her on the ground of the old fort until she lay helpless there with that old ugly sheep standing over her and ready to butt her down whenever she made an effort to get up. “I was terrffied” said she, “for I was overcome with superstition for I truly believed then that some of the dead Indians would suddenly return to life again and rise up and scalp me.
Mr. Robinson furnished this account to the writer where he lived one half a mile east of Oneta Post Office in the Indian territory one day in the month of June 1906.
HE WENT TO SLEEP AND FELL OFF OF HIS HORSE
By S. C. Turnbo
The following account was told me by Mr. John C. Carter a former resident of Barry County Mo. but now of Red Bird Indian Territory.
“We lived 20 miles from Cassville the county seat of Barry County. When I was a young man I loved my associates like other young fellows love their friends now and we often whiled away time together in a jolly manner. On one occasion we all got too jolly and we were all up two nights in succession and the majority of us never closed our eyes for sleep. On the morning following the second night of our wakefulness my father told me to ride to Cassville and buy a bushel of salt and bring it home. This was in the pioneer days when most of people bought their salt in little “dribs”. When my father said “John you go to Cassville today and buy a bushel of salt I did not say, “Pap I’m too sleepy to go now. You wait till tomorrow and I’ll go.” I knew better than to say that, but went and caught a horse we called “Ball” and putting the saddle on him I started. It was late in the evening when I reached town and started back toward home with the salt and it was some time after nightfall when I reached the head of Rock Creek 8 miles from Cassville. By the time I had rode to the breaks of this creek I was desperately sleepy and when I had went a little further I lost all conscience of myself and everything else and knew nothing more until I was startled by the howling of wolves all around me. I had went to sleep while riding along and fell off of the horse without knowing it. The noise and approach of the impudent animals had aroused me from my deep slumbers and as I woke up I heard chickens crowing as well as the howl of the wolves. I knew by hearing the chickens crow that I was not far from a house. I did not take time to rub my eyes before I got up, but I rubbed them on the run and it was not a slow run either for I got away from there on quick time and the noise of the wolves sounded fearful to my ears while I was getting away. I did not experience the least trouble in keeping my eyes open while fleeing along the road. Though the night was dark yet I could find the way very easily all I had to do was to follow the road and if I stumbled and fell it did not delay me but a moment in getting up and starting on again in a wild rush in the dark. I fully believed that the wolves would catch me and rend me into small bits and by this you may understand that my race that night was not a happy one but good luck to my flesh and bones the wolves did not pursue me. Daybreak was showing in the east when I reached Isaiah Brocks down on Rock Creek where in my almost exhausted condition in running so fast I roused up the family and told Mr. Brock of my adventures with the wolves and how it happened. He listened attentively to my tale and told me to wait till after breakfast and after we had partaken of the morning meal he loaned me a horse and I went back to the place of my nights experience and found that the wolves had retired and so had my horse. I got on his trail though and followed it to Mrs. Mary Coxes a widow lady who lived in the barrens. She said that the horse come to the yard gate early in the morning with the saddle on and the sack of salt was lying across the saddle. Mrs. Cox said she took the salt and saddle off the horse and put the horse in the lot to await the coming of the owner or his friends. She told me that when she saw the horse with bridle and saddle on and a sack with something in it she feared that the rider was killed and when I went to her house inquiring for the horse she looked at me as though she knew I had been drunk. And I felt ashamed to tell the kind hearted woman how it happened that the horse got away from me for it looked more like I had got away from the horse. I returned the borrowed horse to Mr. Brock add rode on home and on my arrival there I had to explain to my father the “reason you did not get back last night”. He said he thought my wolf story was a fancy of the brain or imagination rather, but I told him that it was true, but I forgot to tell him that my horse got away and that I borrowed a horse to hunt him up on.”
A SAD SCENE AT THE DINNER TABLE
By S. C. Turnbo
The following account of a cold blooded murder committed during war time was dictated to Mr. W. L. Ridinger by Isaac Milum and Mr. Ridinger mailed the account to the writer at Protem Mo. January 30, 1895.
“In the year 1863 Moze Hopper was living near where the town of Harrison Arkansas now is. One day at noon in the year named, Mr. Hopper was seated at the dinner table at his home when two men rode up and dismounted and came into the house and one of them says to him “Is your name Hopper” to which the man replied in the affirmative and without further interrogation one of the men drew a revolver and shot him. Hopper was a large man and as he sank backward in the chair in a dying condition the chair broke down and the murdered man fell to the floor.”
DEATH OF JOHN ROBERTS
By S. C. Turnbo
We have mentioned the name of John Roberts who built the first mill In Green County, Mo. and that he and sheriff Tom Horn had an altercation one day and Roberts attempted to kill him with a knife but a half dollar in the sheriffs vest pocket saved his life. I have often heard some of the early settlers say when I was a little lad of a boy that Roberts was a desperate man one day he and Judge Yancy met in Springfield and had a fallen out and Roberts would poke fun at him. Yancy did not want any trouble with him. The ill feeling continued to exist between them until one day they met in Springfield again and Roberts began a quarrel with Yancy at once and he would follow Yancy around holding a spectacle case in his hand and would snap it at the judge to frighten him. Though Yancy tried to avoid trouble but Roberts kept following him and tantalizing him until he grew tired and he tamed on him and shot and killed him. This is the way the old settlers said it was and I suppose it is true.
WHERE JOE ALLIN WAS SHOT TO DEATH
By S. C. Turnbo
We have refered to Joe Allin elsewhere. We have told that he lived on Shoal Creek in Taney County, Mo. Joe was a son of Tempy Allin who lived on what is now the Ragdale Place on Shoal Creek and Bill Allin a brother of Joe’s lived on the now Will Shafer Place on the sand stream. We have stated that Joe Allin was a wicked man in war times. He finally moved south of White River and lived on the “River” Bill Coker farm opposite the mouth of Shoal Creek. The Coker dwelling had been destroyed by fire in the war, but the Negro quarters were left untouched and Allin and his family occupied one of these. Joes wife was named Alwilda and no doubt she begged Joe to do better but he did not heed her advice. One day he went down to Crooked Creek and waited in the woods until after night and went to Arch Hamiltons house and attempted to force his way into the house for the purpose of robbery. Mr. Hamilton was at home that night and as Joe was trying to push the door open, Hamilton shot and wounded him in the arm. This was on the old Hamilton farm above Powell. Before the wound healed and while he was carrying his wounded arm in a sling a party of men who had served in the Confederate Army and had returned home to find that Allin had been stealing without intermission and they were determined to put him to death and armed themselves and went to the Coker farm and captured him in the cabin where he lived and conducted him down the road that lead along between Cokers field and the bluff until they got down near where Bradleys ferry is now then up the hollow where it forks and the men taken him up the pant of the hill between the two hollows and just before arriving at the top they halted and seated the condemned man on a rock where the Protem and Lead Hill wagon way now is. The preliminaries were short. A handkerchief was tied over the mans eyes and the firing party was lined up before the doomed fellow. The approach of death was near. The sound of the guns would soon belch forth and Allin would land into eternity. His poor wife was grieving for him for she believed that the men meant to kill him. His innocent children would be left to grope their way through the then land of blood and strife. Allin was told to prepare himself for he had now but a few moments to live and when the time was up orders were given to aim and fire and several bullets tore through his chest in the region of the heart and the dead body of Alllin fell back on the rough stony ground and the men faced about and walked away leaving the corpse where it lay to be devoured by the vultures and wild beast. It was only a few months till the close of the war and when John Jones who served in the Confederate Army returned home he went to the place where Allin was executed and collected all the bones of Allin he could find and prepared a strong box for their reception and after enclosing the bones in this box he taken it to the south bank of the river near where the Bradley Ferry Landing is now and buried the box at the root of a tree. Finally this box with its humane bones by some means become disinterred and one day in the fall of 1869 while Tom Erwin lived on the “River” Bill Coker farm I and him visited the spot and examined the bones and put them back in the box and covered up the box again with dirt.
A NOVEL WAY TO HIDE MONEY
By S. C. Turnbo
Barbers Creek in Christian County Missouri is a tributary branch of Swan Creek. Though the stream is small, the valley narrow and rough yet the water is so clear that it resembles the water of a beautiful flowing spring. The creek bed is lined with gravel which makes a pretty sight to view the crystal waters as it flows along in the channel and enters Swan Creek. Near the mouth of this little water course lives George Adams whose residence stands on the east bank and a short distance above Garrison Post Office. Mr. Adams has lived here a number of years and his wife was principally reared on Swan Creek and she furnished the writer with a few items of interest in the following way.
“My maiden name was Jane Nance. My fathers given name was Samuel, my mothers maiden name was Susan Adams. I was born in Lawrence County, Mo. August the 2ed 1845. My parents moved to Swan Creek in Christian County, Mo. when I was a small child. Soon after we came here a man by the name of Dick Pigg who lived on Swan Creek three quarters of a mile above the mouth of Barbers Creek made brandy from paw paw apples. His distillery was at a little spring and in paw paw time he distilled several gallons of paw paw brandy from this wild fruit. The creek bottoms along Swan Creek furnished an abundance of paw paws in the early days and it was small trouble to gather bushels of them and haul them to Piggs distillery and have them manufactured into brandy and he sold this stuff to as many people that desired to use it for a beverage. This brandy made of paw paw did not taste like that made of peaches or apples and did not command as ready sale. In giving a little war time incident of how a citizen concealed his gold she said that her uncle Mathias Adams who lived on Swan Creek a few miles above Swansville was a well to do man and owned a fine bunch of stock when the war broke out and sold it all for cash in the nick of time or the marauders of one side or the other would have captured and made way with it. Though he was now rid of his stock the question now was with him what would he do with his money for the robbers were liable to come along and kill him and take the money. If he failed to find a hiding place to conceal the precious mettle for it was old gold – he would be no better off than before he sold his stock. Then he collected his wits together and planned away to save his money which was a novel one. I was living with my uncle and aunt at the time and he kept his plans no secret from the family and this is the way he went about it. One cold morning soon after day light he went out into the wood yard and selected a white oak stick of wood and brought it into the house. This piece of wood was 2 ½ or 3 feet in length and he sawed both ends off with a hand saw, leaving the stick the desired length to suit him, he used an auger with a long shank and the size he wanted and after fastening the stick so that it would not move he proceeded to bore a hole length ways through the stick as far as he thought would answer his purpose. With drawing the auger and after cleaning out the auger hole he held the stick up right and began to drop his gold pieces into the auger hole. The money was composed of $20, 10, 5 and one dollar gold pieces. He went on dropping in the money in piece after piece until the cavity in the stick was almost filled. Only leaving a little space to drive in a wooden pin which he sawed off at the end of the stick or close as he could and then took some mud and rubbed it over the end of the stick where the pin was drove in then he dried the mud by the fire and took a rag and rubbed over it which gave It the appearance of being perfectly solid. After he had completed the work of storing a way his money in this peculiar fashion he dropped the stick down on the floor near the jam rock and remarked to my aunt his wife that his money would be as safe in that stick of wood as any where else. But his wife did not think so and said “no, Mathis do not leave it on the floor for some one might come into the house during a cold day and pick up that wood and lay it on the fire and of course you would jump up and take the wood out of the fire which would arouse suspicion that there was something valuable in that stick of wood that you did not want exposed and so you had best go and conceal your money somewhere else. At this my uncle changed his mind by agreeing with her and picking up the stick of wood he walked out of doors with it and went into the forest where I suppose he carefully put it in a safe place. I never heard him or my aunt mention it any more but I suppose he revealed the whereabouts of it to her. My uncle died before the war closed and lies buried in the grave yard at Swansville in Christian County, Mo.
HOW SUFFICIENT SALT FOR FAMILY USE WAS SAVED THROUGHOUT
THE CIVIL WAR
By S. C. Turnbo
Mr. Billy Parker who is one of Marion County, Arkansas earliest settlers and who settled on Jimmies Creek in 1852 in speaking of war times said that when the war was brewing in the latter part of the year 1860 he well ]mew that if it commenced that it would be a long struggle and that everything would become exceedingly scarce and know that salt was a necessary article to have he set about to undertake to save enough salt to last through until peace was made. And with this end in view he taken his ox wagon and went to a distant town and bought two sacks of salt and put them in the wagon box and covered them up with old garment he had taken along for the purpose and hauled them home and concealed the sacks in the smoke house until he had an oppertunity to empty the salt into a big old red elm gum that had been in the smoke house for years and covered it over with old dirty rags, old worn out shoes and pieces of gourds. No one never molested the gum. Robbers who visited the house did not have the least idea that anything useful was hid in the gum or they would have took the salt out. And thus by these means we had plenty of salt for once until peace was made but we used it secretly to keep down suspicion that we had salt, and we also said nothing about it.
SHOT AND WOUNDED HIS MARE FOR A BUCK DEER
By S. C. Turnbo
Thomas Mallanaa who was born and reared in Douglas County, Mo. and who lived in Marion County, Ark. many years told the writer the following.
While I lived on my farm on Little North Fork I knew of an old buck that would feed and lay down to rest in a certain locality. I had tried a number of times to kill him but I was either too slow or the buck was too fast. One day I and my brother Jim Mallanaa went out together to hunt for this Mr. Buck. He was very shy and when we arrived in his neighborhood we walk very cautious and made as little noise as possible. Very soon we discovered the partly hidden body of an animal that we supposed was the buck lying down in the grass and small bushes.
We were in shooting distance and were more than anxious to get a shot at the said buck. There was not a convenient rest for my rifle where we were, and fearing the supposed buck might take fright if I went to a small tree which stood nearby I told my brother Jim to sit down in front of me and I would rest the barrel of my rifle on his shoulder. He did so and I took an accurate aim at the part of the animals body that was in sight. I wanted the bullet to go right to the mark for I had been wanting to taste of the meat of his buckship for many weeks. About the moment I pulled the trigger of the gun Jim noticed the animal switch its tail and he knew it was not a deer and raised his shoulder so that I might over shoot it, but he was a little too late for the bullet struck the point of the shoulder and caused a slight flesh wound. What was it I shot at did you say?” Well it was a fine mare that belonged to me. At the report of the gun she leaped to her feet and Jim says “there now you have shot your best mare.” Then I wilted. We would never have told it but I was compelled to lead the mare home to dress the wound. She recovered from the effects of the bullet all right. But when it leaked out that I and Jim had shot and wounded my mare for a deer my neighbors and friends joked us about it for months after it was done.”
SHOT A SORREL MARE FOR A DEER
By S. C. Turnbo
A few years before the Civil War commenced a man of the name of Elijah Barnes lived on White River near the Mat Hoodenpile Grave Yard in Keesee township in Marion County, Ark. Barnes lived here until the latter part of 1862 when he moved to Newton County, Ark. and lived on the Buffalo River near Jasper the county seat of Newton refering to the time when Mr. Barnes lived on White River he hunted and killed deer. But owing to defective vision he was not always a successful hunter. He was an old man and was not able to travel through the forest like a young hunter but he was always trying to hunt and as we remarked above he killed deer but not very many of them. One day Mr. Barnes crossed the river and hunted in a hollow that empties into a sloo where the old settlement road lead across the iseland and lead up the bank at the upper end of the old Allin Trimble farm in Franklin township. As the old man made his way slowly along through the grass in this hollow he noticed an animal the color of a deer that was standing some distance in a clump of bushes that he pronounced to be a big buck. It was a long way to shoot at it and only part of its body was visible through the bresh and without taking time to ascertain whether it was a deer or not he leveled his rifle at it and fired and the supposed buck run off through the thicket out of sight. He did not follow it but returned back across the river and reported that he “shot a big buck across the river and it run off like a horse”. Allin Trimble owned a sorrel mare he called Mary Blane and this hollow was her grazing ground. And Barnes had shot her instead of a buck. Fortunately Mr. Trimble happened to find her in time and took her home and extracted the bullet which had lodged in the flesh and by careful treatment the wound healed over.
By S. C. Turnbo
Among our collection of hunting stories is a few that relates to the shooting of stock through mistake for deer and which gives some idea of a hunters imagination at times when he thought he was shooting at a deer when it was something else.
“Gum” Smith a prominent preacher of the general Baptist people and who came to Taney County, Mo. and settled a few years on Cedar Creek and afterward purchased the old Josiah Bone land on Elbow Creek is a native of Floyed County Indiana where he was born in 1845. Mr. Smith hunted game as well as preaching to his people and relates a few interesting stories of forest scenes in Taney County. While hunting one day he through mistake killed some stock instead of deer which cost him a sum of money. In giving an account of the accident Mr. Smith said, “I bought me a bran new Winchester rifle of 48 caliber and started out to experiment among the game on Cedar Creek which puts into the White River a mile or more below the mouth of Beaver. I was afoot and was accompanied by a dog which I took along with me to catch wounded deer if I needed him. There was snow on the north hill sides and in the deep hollows. The south hill sides and the ridges were bare of snow. I went along very slow in order not to frighten the game for I was anxious to try my new gun. Directly I seen two deer and shot one of them down and shot at the other deer while it was running and knocked it down but it got up again and ran beyond my view. I let the dead deer lay where it fell and followed the trail of the crippled one, the trail of which lead into a steep hollow where there was plenty of snow. Here the wounded deer fell in company with 4 larger deer and they all went down the hollow together a quarter of a mile or more when they left the hollow and passed up a breshy hill side that sloped toward the south where there was no snow. Here I had to depend on the dog to trail them but I could see their tracks in places where they had went over soft ground. While I was watching closely ahead of me for the deer I noticed what I was sure in my own mind was a buck standing in the bresh. I could see a part of its body through an opening in the under growth. I stopped and after examining its position I took aim at it with my Winchester and fired. The imaginary buck did not move but a second shot put a move on it for at the report of the gun I was amazed at seeing a yearling mule leap up and kick vigorously then it brayed and started to run and while grunting very loud fell dead in 20 yards of where I had shot it. You talk about a hunter feeling in spots all over. It was myself. I had shot somebody’s mule. After my worst feelings had somewhat subsided I went to the dead beast to find out if possible who it belonged to then I would go and tell the owner what I had done. It took me only a few moments to learn whose property it was for it proved to be Mr. L. A. Davises who was a neighbor of mine. Right then was the time to go tell him and own up to it. Not wait until Davis or some other man found the dead mule and then confess it. And I started off toward Davises house. As I went on up the hill a few paces I seen a few horses further up the hill. Among them was a gray mare which also belonged to Mr. Davis This mare was walking a circle at a rapid gait with her nose to the ground. Her body and legs were jerking and trembling. She was acting very strange. I looked back down the hill and found that she was nearly on a line with the mule where I had shot from, then an awful suspicion overwhelmed me. I had shot this mare also. Ah such an unlucky man I am I thought but let come what may I will act in an honorable way about it. I will go tell Davis about my shooting and killing his stock if it takes all I have got of this worlds goods to pay for it. I stood and watched the wounded mare until I was convinced that she would die. I made no effort to do anything to relieve her suffering for it was useless. Very soon she quit going in a circle and went straight forward and I followed her near four hundred yards when she fell and was dead in a few minutes. I went on to Davises and broke the news to him as gentle as I could and he informed me that the death of his mare and mule would cost me $150 which I paid without a murmur. My new Winchester rifle and the days hunt cost me dearly but I learned an important lesson from it and that was when I went out into the forest to hunt I never aimed my gun at anything and pulled the trigger until I knew to a certainty what I was shooting at.
HE WAS ABSENT MINDED AND RUINED HIS AX
By S. C. Turnbo
On some occasions the strongest minded people become absent minded at times and make a mistake that is amusing. Mr. R. M. Jones related to the writer the following anecdote which he vouched for the truth. One day said Mr. Jones Tom Todd, Sam Adkins and a Mr. Swearangin were working for me in the river bottom opposite the south landing at Bradleys ferry. When we all had stopped to rest, a large rock lay on the ground at the base of the bluff that was 5 feet in length and was shaped similar to a piece of dead log of the same length and was covered over with moss. This rock was in a few yards of where we stopped. Mr. Todd thinking that the rock was a part of a moss covered log stepped up to it and raised his ax and struck it with the blade to see how far it could sink the ax into it when to his utter astonishment he found that he had hit his ax against a stone and the blow bursted the steel edge of the ax into shivers and the pieces flew in every direction and the pall of the ax bounded up. Mr. Todd was so greatly surprised at the mistake he made that he was unable to speak for a minute and then he exclaimed, “Oh, my God, I thought it was a log. I have ruined my ax.” We all roared out with laughter while Todd was dumb founded with amazement.
THE MEN MADE EYES WERE CUT INTO TWO PARTS
By S. C. Turnbo
The following amusing incident did not occur in Missouri nor Arkansas but it is so funny that we give it a place here. The account was given me by Mr. Rufus Jones who said that it was true.
“One day many years ago”, said Mr. Jones, “just after sorghum cane seed was introduced into the state of Tennessee and the farmers began to prepare sorghum mills out of wood an old man of the name of Treat who was a carpenter and Burrel Jones both of whom lived in Decatur County went out into the forest and felled a tree to make rollers for a sorghum mill. After the tree had fallen Mr. Treat laid his spectacler glass on the top of the stump. Directly Calvin Jones came up with his ax to help them work and as he reached the stump of the felled tree he struck his ax into the top where Treats eye glasses lay and cut them in two but he did not notice the glasses until after the damage was done and he says “Oh please excuse me gentlemen. I have cut the carpenters men made eyes into two parts.
EXCITEMENT OVER A DUMMY
By S. C. Turnbo
Johnstown in Bates County, Mo. is situated near Stewards Creek a tributary of the crooked fork of Grand River. The town is not far from the dividing line between Bates and Henry Counties. Just pryor to the breaking out of the Civil War a stage coach was put on the road that lead through Johnstown to Butler. It passed through daily and when the coach would reach the suberbs of the village either way the driver would blow the bugle and blow it again just before stopping at the station and blow it again a few minutes before leaving the town. The citizens were as much interested in the arrival and departure of the stage then as people are now who live at a town where there is railroad facilities. During the summer of 1860 a destructive drouth prevailed in Western Missouri which withered the crops and the Osage River went nearly dry in places. During that year Christopher C. Owen and his brother W. W. (Wilson) Owen or “Vint” Owen as he was commonly known, Sam Wagoner and Sam Sliger lived in Johnstown. Wagoner lived in his father in laws house whose name was Tanner. Christopher Owen and his brother “Vint” owned and run a black smith shop and they hired Wagoner to assist them, the latter doing all the horse shoeing. One day in the early spring of 1860 these four men conceived the idea of preparing a dummy man and hang it up in town some night to create an excitement among the inhabitants of the town and country. The men worked at it of nights at Sam Sligers. The material used for the body and limbs was cloth and straw the latter was used for stuffing. The men in malting it was very cautious and their plans was known only to themselves. The coat used was made of brown home made jeans and belonged to Christopher own but he had never wore it since he lived in Johnstown. A big box was used to keep the dummy in during day time and the same box was used by Sligers family for a dining table. The men worked at this a few hours each night for a week before it was ready for business. One morning just before day break excitement ran high among the people of the town for a man had been found hanging by the neck. A preacher who was leaving town at an early hour to hold a meeting at Red Dirt made the first discovery of it and gave the alarm and a crowd soon collected around the supposed dead man. On investigation it was found that the man was hung to the end of a pole that the other end was nailed to the side of a store house. It hung directly over the side walk with the feet near 5 feet above the walk way. A message was dispatched to Butler the county seat of Bates for the sheriff and he hurried to Johnstown with two deputies and several other men. Before their arrival a crowd of 100 or more men had collected at the scene and discussed the subject of the hanging and who could have dared to commit such a crime as hanging a man in the midst of the town without its being known sooner. The Owen brothers and Sliger and Wagoner were present too but they dare not reveal who was authors of the trouble for they would have been arrested and punished for creating a disturbance. But they took an active part in the discussions and sentiments expressed as to the black crime of the murderers hanging a man in the dead hours of night right under their nose. Soon after day light while excitement was running high, a Negro man who was turning sod out in the prairie come along by driving several yoke of oxen that was used in pulling the sod plow and he stopped and looked carefully at the farm as it hung from the end of the pole and says “White folks dat no real fellow. He no fleshly man.” And reaching up he struck it with his whip lasher. And they all heard the shucks rattle in the dummy and the Negro exclaimed with delight “I tole you it was no man dat pole too slender to hole up denuine man. Somebody done dat to fool somebody. Ha. Ha. Ha.” And the Negro passed on. A large number of the crowd were now almost dumb with amazement for they had been fooled sure enough. This was followed by cheers and laughing for the spell was broken. “Who put up this job on us” said one. “We would like to know who they are” said another. But no one answered, “I am” or “I help do it” and it rested at this. The four men that did the work were among the crowd and heard all that was said but they were silent as to telling who the makers were. Finally they took the fake man down and turned it over to the school boys who after taking off the clothing dug a hole in the ground outside of town and buried it and that evening when the old Negro man returned from work they gave him the clothes for the boys said he deserved them for making the discovery that it was a bogus man. Christopher C. Owen as we have stated in Book Part One of Fireside Stories is dead and is buried in the cemetery at Protem, Taney County, Mo. “Vint” Owen served in the Federal Army as a Lieutenant and was killed before the war closed and was buried in the soldiers grave yard at Jefferson City. Sam Wagoner was born in Madison County Ohio September 1st 1819. He and Elmira Hetherly daughter of William Hetherly were married in Carroll County, Mo. February 8th 1840. She was born in the state of Tennessee December 8, 1820. Her mothers maiden name was Jemima Owensby. Sam Wagoner belonged to the Confederate Army and was killed at the Battle of Prairie Grove on December 7, 1862. He was wounded the third time before the death angel came to his relief. He had a brother Henry Wagoner who fought in the Federal Army. The foregoing narrative was given me by Mrs. Wagoner herself and three of Capt. Christopher C. Owen’s children Frank (H. F.) who was born in 1852 and Isabel wife of Almus Clark who was born in 1853 and George who was born in 1855. The recollections of these four relating to the dummy are combined together.
NEARLY LOST HIS BREATH AT SEEING A DUMMY
By S. C. Turnbo
One among the amusing anecdotes told me by friends and old neighbors in Marion County, Ark. is the following which was given me by Tom Terry son of Tom and Elizabeth (Holt) Terry and was born in the Bull Bottom on White River in what is now Cedar Creek Township in the county and state that we have just mentioned. Tom Terry, one of the subjects of this sketch lives in Keesee Township in Marion County. The land on which he lives was once school land and was first settled by Levi Donathan who lies buried in the cemetery at Protem, Mo. The next man who lived there was Abe Robins he was succeeded by Ed Melic who died at the Joe Fields camp house at Goodloe Post Office In Taney County, Mo. Then Bill Treadway lived there awhile and was succeeded by John Shaffer and Tom Terry bought it from Shaffer. Mr. Terry after purchasing the place lived here alone until he married Miss Emma Graham to help him farm and keep house. While Mr. Terry lived here before he was married, John Paton son of Susan Paton a widow woman was paying his respects to Miss Manerva Melic whose father John Melic lived, on Big Buck Creek near the Seven Elm Pond. One day while John Patons mother lived at the Buck Shoals Ford of White River young Paton while on his way afoot to see his girl stopped at Tom Terry’s cabin and had a pleasant conversation with his old friend Terry. The latter is a jovial man and when the young man Paton had gone on his way to the abode of his sweetheart, Mr. Terry concluded to prepare a dummy to frighten Paton with for he knew that the young man would be back by his house in a few hours and stop a while for another chat for usually in passing, John would stop with Terry an hour or two and have a lively time, and so after John Paton had went on Terry prepared a dummy by making a cross of two pieces of wood of the desired length and used one of his old coats and pair of pants and other garments to dress the cross in such a manner that it would resemble a man bareheaded. Then he placed a hat on the dummies head and then he put a small round stick the length of a rifle gun across one of the arms as if it was in readiness for a shot. After Terry had got the mummy prepared to his liking he left the cabin 50 or 60 yards and concealed himself and watched for the appearance of John Paton and finally after a long careful watch for his return back Terry saw him coming. Paton had a bad sore on his neck which caused him to hold his head to one side or in other words he “creened” his neck. As Tom Terry watched John approach the house he laughed to himself for he was in for fun at Patons expense. John when he reached the yard gate stopped and opened it and walked into the yard and across it with the intention of going into the house to get a chair and take it out under a shade tree and sit in the shade for it was warm weather and Terry had left the door open on purpose. Just as the young fellow reached the door Terry yelled out as if frightened “John for God sake and your sake don’t go in there. Old John Melic will shoot you. He is angry because you are going to see his girl.” John was astonished and looking in at the door he caught sight of the dummy and he supposed it was a real man and that it was John Melic and he threw both hands up and exclaimed in horror, “Oh please Mr. Melic don’t shoot.” Then the terror stricken young fellow fell backward in front of the door and groaned in agony and Terry fell too for he laughed so heartily that he could not stand on his feet. In a few minutes Paton recovered from the shock and rose to his feet. In the mean time Terry had rose to his feet also and went on up toward the house yard and Paton says “Tom Terry I will make it all back off of you if it takes me ten years to do so. And Terry said in reply, “All right John and when you do fix it so we can both laugh. I had to do all the laughing myself in this case. And John promised him that he would. Poor John Paton he is dead now. He did not live long enough to get even with his old friend Tom Terry.
By S. C. Turnbo
Among the anecdotes as told by old timers of Missouri is the following which was related to me by J. C. (Jim) Rhodes near Jackson Switch in the Indian territory one day in August 1906. Mr. Rhodes said that in moving from Kentucky into Missouri in 1856 they crossed the Mississippi River at St. Louis. On the evening previous to our crossing over to St. Louis, we camped in the bottom opposite the city. The weather was cloudy and cold and the night was solid dark. Soon after night fall an old man who was afoot made his appearance at our camp inquiring for sheep that he said belonged to him and had strayed off. Jim Fields a nephew of my father John Rhode did not believe the old mans sheep tale and said that he was a robber and Fields after the stranger went away collected a big pile of wood to burn as it was needed and said that he was going to sit up all night by the fire and watch for his return and soon after supper he put his gun in good shooting order and said that if that old fellow come back to rob them he would put him in a shape that he would not attempt to rob any more movers. The rest of us did not suspect the old fellow as being a thief but we could not prevail on Fields to go to bed and he sit down on a chair by the fire with gun in hand to guard us from the intrusion of a supposed robber. Some time during the night Fields become drowsy and placing the gun across his knees he leaned his head forward and went to sleep and his hat which was a new one fell from his head and rolled into the fire and was burned up and when we crossed the Mississippi River on the following morning which was done on a ferry boat Mr. Fields went through the city bareheaded.”
Continuing Mr. Rhodes said Waynesville in Pulaski County, Mo. was a small village when we arrived there from Kentucky. My father before we got to the village had made inquiries of the settlers for names of streams and towns ahead of us and misunderstood what was told him. He thought Rubidoo Creek was a town instead of a stream of water and when we had got into the village my father said to one of the residents there “This is not Rubidoo you crossed to Waynesville” to which the villager replied “You are in Waynesville now.” And my father not to be out done entirely said “This village looks too small to bear a name.” My father passed on without asking any more questions but he never heard the last of this until the day, of his death.
HOW NED COKER WANTED THE MOLES DESTROYED
By S. C. Turnbo
The old Ned Coker farm which is situated on the right bank of White River in Crocket Township in Marion County, Ark. was settled very early. Ned Coker and Aunt Winnie his wife settled this land before 1824. Mr. Coker was a son of Buck Coker and was quite an intelligent man. The writer learned a great deal of information from him relating to the pioneers settlers along White. When I was a young man I took much delight in listening at Mr. Coker’s early reminiscences. I have heard him recite a number of strange and interesting incidents that occurred in the upper White River Valley in the years gone by. He was well known as a man that kept his own councils and run his own affairs one day while he and others were conversing together one of the men remarked, “Mr. Coker can three men keep a secret”. and he quickly replied, “Why certainly they can if two of them are dead.”
Soon after Coker and his wife settled this bottom they built a small log house on the bank of the river and cleared a few acres, of land and planted it in corn in the spring of 1824. But the moles were so numerous that they devoured every grain of it almost before it come up. This was all the seed corn or any other corn the man had that spring and there was no more in reach of him to buy at any price and the man was terribly wrought up in temper at the hundreds of moles which destroyed his seed corn he had planted. And in his anger he called on the great God of heaven to cause a flood to come in White River big enough to submerge all the bottoms deep enough to drown all the moles from the head of the river to the mouth of it. In the latter days of August and the first few days of September of that year when the gates of the nimbus clouds were opened and let down blinding sheets of water which filled the channels of the creeks and hollows to overflowing and the rush of this water into White River soon caused this stream to be a roaring and foaming flood of water which rose so rapidly that Mr. Coker and his wife were driven from their cabin and they sought safety on higher ground. As they were leaving their hut Mrs. Coker reminded her husband of what he had said and prayed for in his wicked way of calling on the name of the good God of Heaven what he wanted him to do when the moles eat up the corn he had planted the spring before “and now Mr. Neddie” says she “I guess your prayers are answered but God cannot drown all the moles in this bottom without giving you trouble. The water went on rising and spreading over the bottom until the couple were compelled to remove their camp a number of times before the water began to recede. Mr. Coker began to think that it was going to be another universal flood that the Bible, spoke of and repented of what he had desired the Lord to do and become restless and uneasy and quoted the word of God as saying that God had promised that the earth would never be destroyed by water any more “but my God Winnie this rise looks very suspicious for I believe it is going to cover the entire earth before it quits. This land is now known as the Alex Pruitts upper farm.
HE SPIT IN HIS FACE
By S. C. Turnbo
Mr. Wm. Holt a former resident of Ozark County, Mo. and who at the time of his death was living on his farm on White River which was just above the mouth of Shoal Greek. Mr. Holt said that when he came to Little North Fork in 1838 he bought some corn from Jimmie Forest who lived near where he had made his stopping place. One day he went to Mr. Forests to shell a bushel and a half to take to mill and while he was in the crib shelling the corn, Bob Forest son of Jimmie Forest and who was a little lad of a boy came into the crib and climb up the wall and got on a joist or beam that had been placed there with others to form a loft in order to put fodder above and corn below. The boy after he had got on the joist crawled out on it until he was directly over Mr. Holt where he was at work and called his attention and when the man looked up to see what the boy was up to Bob spit out a mouthful of tough saliva into his face and eyes. Mr. Holt flew into a rage at once and quickly rubbing the nasty spittle out of his eyes with his shirt sleeves so he could see he leaped to his feet and snatching up a big ear of corn he let drive with it at Bob and knocked him off the joist, and he fell on Holts head and tumbling off he went sprawling down on the vessel the man was shelling corn in and knocked it over and spilled the corn among the shucks. Before the astonished man could get Holt of the youngster he scrambled out of the crib on his hands and feet as rapid as he was able to work his limbs and made his escape and left Holt to shoulder his temper and pick up the corn as best he could.
THEY SLEPT IN THE BED TICK
By S. C. Turnbo
Some of the amusing accounts relating to the children of an old settler is from the neighbors of old Jimmie Forest who lived on Little North Fork near the mouth of Barren Fork. Mrs. Mary L. Holt wife of Uncle Billy Holt told the following. One spring season in the early forties I made a lot of soap at Mr. Forests. His wife was known as Mom Forest. Her real name was True Love. The children were very mischevious and some of their exploits were very amusing. One night while I was there Mrs. Forest told Bob, Dave and Steadman to go upstairs and sleep in the bed. Of course their mother meant for them to sleep on the bed tick and not in it, and for once they decided to obey her. The bed tick was filled with new feathers but little did they care for this for on getting upstairs they took the pen knives out of their pockets and proceeded to rip open the bed tick which was a new home made one and both of them crawled in it and turning around so their heads would stick out they went to sleep. On the following morning the boys seemed to be very slow in getting up and at late breakfast time the boys had not yet showed themselves and Mrs. True Love Forest become impatient and she sent her daughter Sally Forest upstairs to wake the boys up. They were already awake but they pretended that they were in a deep slumber and snored loud and lay perfectly still and seemingly as innocent as young lambs. But appearances indicated that the youngsters were not as sinless as they appeared to be for their sister found them tacked snugly on the inside of the bed tick and feathers were scattered all over the floor. Seeing how matters stood with her brothers Sally rushed back downstairs to report to her mother. Mrs. Forest went out into the yard and picked up a small club and started upstairs to raise war with the boys. They heard her coming and knew it was time for them to get out and they crawled out of the bed tick much faster than they had went in and just as their mothers head appeared above the level of the floor of the loft, they both darted downstairs to make their escape from the wrath of their mother and in an attempt to pass the woman they struck against her and knocked her down stairs and out of doors they both went like a message on a telegraph wire and Into the woods to get rid of a severe drubbing. A confusion and a cloud of feathers and a bruised woman was the result when the boys made their exit out of the bed and house. It was astonishing to see the feathers flying as the two youngsters rushed downstairs. The boys lay out for a week but would come in late at night and get something to eat but finally they grew tame and ventured back to stay when their mother had got in a better humor.
HE THOUGHT HIS WIFE HAD CUT HIS THROAT
By S. C. Turnbo
I am told that Charles S. Gooley (Gooldy) was the first settler on Gooleys Spring Creek in Ozark County, Mo. Gooleys house stood in a beautiful hickory grove on the slope of a hill on the second bank of the creek. On the west side and 200 yards from the creek Tom Yarberry built the second house at the old residence on this place. After Mr. Gooley removed from here he sold his claim to G. W. (Wash) Webster and Webster sold it to Dr. J. T. Arnold and Josiah Collins. George Mahan is the present owner of this farm, he purchased it from Arnold and Collins. Mr. Gooleys wife was named Hannah and Gooley and his wife did not have any children. It is said that Mr. Gooley served one term as county judge of Ozark County. Mr. George Mahan furnishes an amusing story of Gooley and his wife while they lived on this land.
“One day” said Mr. Mahan, “while Bill Johnson and Pete Howard were maldng whiskey at the Big Spring in the Isaac Mahan Hollow Mr. Gooley paid the whiskey still a visit and bought a jug full of whiskey and went home drunk and made fun of his wife who at the time was parching coffee in a skillet and stirring it with a case knife. Mrs. Gooleys was opposed to her husband visiting the distillery and buying whiskey and getting drunk and she gave him a piece of her mind so freely that Gooley did not appreciate it and he went on with his remarks about her until she determined to bear it no longer and raising to her feet in a rage she darted at her man with the case knife in her hand the blade of which was hot and before Gooley could jump, out of the way she pushed the blade of the knife flat ways against his throat which burned his neck so severely that he supposed that his wife had cut his throat and he leaped out of her way and yelled in agony. When he found that he was not in a dying condition he quit groaning and his wife remarked “I guess you will quit coming home drunk again wont you”.
CRITTINGTON AND TANKUS
By S. C. Turnbo
One among the amusing war and hunting stories I have gathered from old timers of Northern Arkansas is the following which was given me by Mr. Levi Duren of Yellville Ark. who said that Jim McCabe lived on Rush Creek a tributary stream of the Buffalo fork of White River. Rush Creek comes into Buffalo from the north side. The mouth of Rush is near 35 miles by water above the mouth of Buffalo and is something near 10 miles by the wagon way. On the south side of Rush Creek is a small rough water course that puts into Rush called Barney Creek. McCabe was endowed with plenty of good humor and was very funny in his ways and manner. He was a Confederate soldier during the Civil War and served in the cavalry and was a member of Col. Schavels Battalion. He was mounted on an old mare he called “Tankus” and to suit the name of the mare he called himself “Crittington” and the old boys would often enjoy themselves in greeting old Tankus and Crittington with a merry salute and hurrah. Crittington said that he was one among the best soldiers of the Southern Confederacy and that his mare was the best that was raised in Arkansas, and was always boasting of Tankas is superior qualities as one of the best creatures belonging to the cavalry service. McCabe was a lover of whiskey and would occasionally ride out of camp on the hunt for fire water and if he succeeded in finding any would take an over dose of it which would give him a send off back to camp and on approaching the guard lines he would yell out “look out boys here comes Crittington on Tankus”, and would continue this noise until after he had passed the guard line and entered into camp. On one occasion he was merrier than usual for he had found plenty of liquor and drank more than common and on arriving in sight of camp he put spurs to his old mare and urged her forward in a gallop toward Col. Schavel’s headquarters hallooing at the top of his voice look out Colonel here comes Crittington mounted on Tankus, I am holding my Remington pistol in one hand and a dispatch in the other hand that will give you some good and welcome news”. McCabe was a very popular man among the officers and men and they loved his fun loving ways. After the war had ceased and the olive leaf of peace had spread over the north and south McCabe laid away his weapons of war and relieved Tankas from further service in the Cavalry and kept her as a much prized relict of war times and turning his attention to bee hunting he spent many delightful hours while hunting the homes of wild bees and consuming honey. One day he went up Barney’s Creek to put out some bee bait and not desiring to wait until the bees were attracted to this bait he returned back home to wait until the following day when he started back to the bait to course the large number of bees which he believed would be gathered there from various directions to sip at the bait and he could easily course them to their respective abodes. But as he was going up the creek afoot he was surprised to meet a bear, and was almost thunder struck with fear for showed fight at once. The bee hunter had neither dog or gun with him, but he carried a noble set of legs and it did not take him but a few moments to put them in motion and straight way he went back down the creek the way he had come. The man was a fleet runner and he used this advantage with great skill and activity. He was not astride of Tankus’s back this time but it mattered not with him. His running power almost equaled that of a race horse and he soon left the angry bear some distance in the rear but the animal followed him but there was no catching up with McCabe in the wild race. The man was running for life and bruin was running to catch him. The discomforted hunter yelled loudly at each bound he made until he passed from the sight of the pursuing bear and then he relaxed his speed to some extent but he never stopped until he arrived at home and told his wife that as it was no better he thanked his stars that it was no worse. The adventure with the bear broke up his bee hunting on Barneys Creek for several days, for he did not venture back to see after his bee bait until he was thoroughly convinced that old bruin was gone.
EARLY HISTORY OF THE GRAVE YARD AT THE MOUTH OF BRATTONS
By S. C. Turnbo
On the farm at the mouth of Brattons Spring Creek in Ozark County, Mo. known now as the Jesse Herd Place we find an old burial place of white people, where there is 300 bodies more or less resting and is probably the oldest grave yard of the white people in Ozark County. The cemetery is situated on a beautiful spot containing 1 ½ acres more or less of land which lies in a field of high ground between North Fork and Spring Creek. The grave yard is marked by a grove of timber which keeps the silent village shaded during the hot days of summer. Though the departed people who lie here are at rest. They are done with the trials, troubles, hardships and deprivations of this earth, yet I feel sad when I visit this cemetery and view the resting places of so large a number of pioneer settlers and others. A short account of the first interment in this cemetery may be of some interest to the reader. Elias Keesee said that his father Paton Keesee informed him that after he had bought John Petty’s claim on Little North Fork 3 ½ miles above the mouth of Spring Creek in 1823, the old man Petty and his wife lived with their son in law John Pettyjohn at the mouth of Spring Creek. They remained here until in October of the same year when Mr. Petty and his son in law went into the hills between North Fork and Big Creek to kill bear, but the chase proved to severe on the old man’s health and he taken sick and Pettyjohn brought him back home on a horse. The aged man continued to grow worse and sank so rapid that he died on the following day after he was brought back home. The sorrowing wife, daughter and son in law selected this lovely spot of ground which was shaded by a large and thick growth of trees for the resting place of the old pioneer. The old man and his wife – the latter of which was also feeble with age – had traveled far, with their son in law and daughter to make their home on this beautiful stream of water. They had lived together from youth to old age, now they were separated by the cold icy hand of death. The grief of the poor old lady was great, tears of deep sorrow ran down her wrinkled cheeks her companion was gone – he had entered the dark shadow – never more to awaken until called forth by the sound of the trumpet on the day of judgement. It seemed that she could not live without him. Her grief was unbearable and she prayed that she might be with him in death as she had been with him in life and it appeared that the good and supreme ruler of heaven looked down on her in pity and answered her prayers by sending the angel of death into the little cabin again and called her away to join her husband not only did they meet together in spirit but her body was buried at the side of the dear one she had loved so long and well.”
There is a story told in connection with the graves of this aged couple that is too interesting to be omitted. Elias Keesee and his brother Peter Keesee both informed me that their father told them that it was true. Elias Keesee was born in the following years after the death of the old couple and Peter Keesee was born 7 years afterward.
In relating the account they said that the two graves were dug in a few feet of the trail way that Petty and his son in law had beat out in visiting each others cabin. This trail after leaving the creek bottom leads along the crest of the bluff between North Fork and Spring Creek and went down the hill to where Mr. Petty lived. A few days after the second interment here our father rode down the creek near the mouth to examine the creek bottom of soil, cane and timber and it was late in the evening before he started back up the creek toward home and it was after night when he reached the mouth of Spring Creek. There was no moonlight and the heavy growth of timber obstructed the light of the stars which made the dim trail seem dark and lonely. In a few minutes he reached John Pettyjohns cabin which stood just up on the point of the hill in the forks of the two creeks. Passing the cabin a few rods he again entered another dark forest and as he rode on toward the two graves the darkness seemed to grow deeper in black. He said that he had often heard tales of belated travelers seeing the forms of spirits hovering over the graves of the departed dead while they were passing by a grave yard “But I did not believe in such unreasonable stories but I have no doubt but that a few persons have observed what they supposed was strange objects in cemeteries which they called ghost but if they had not allowed imagination to over come there and taken time to investigate, the supposed ghost would have turned out to be something else that had no resemblance to a so called ghost and I laughed out right to think that a few people went so far as to believe and circulate these absurd tales. By this time I was nearing the two graves. Though the night was intensely dark in the timber but when I advanced a few yards further I was astonished at discerning a white object on each grave. The darkness of which prevented me from identifying the strange beings but there was no mistake but that it was something of some shape and the forms of some sort of things. My horse frightened and snorted and tried to tam back. When he had become more quiet I peered at the singular objects through the pitchy darkness and they seemed to grow bigger. Of, course I had refused to entertain the idea of the existence of real spooks and such like but for all this I felt the hair of my head bush up and stand out straight and I could almost feel my coon skin cap being pushed off my head. Cold sweat exuded from my pores. I felt in spots all over. I had said that if I ever saw anything in a grave yard that resembled the descriptions of a ghost I would find out what it was and so rather than turn back I resolved to make an investigation to identify the peculiar and unlooked for objects before me. I then urged my horse forward but I had to compel him to go, step by step. I forced him along until I was in 15 yards of the two graves. I had fought wounded bear and met the screaming panther and been attacked by wolves but none of these wild animals caused me to feel such an awful dread that I then experienced. I had rather have tackled a thousand of these animals mixed together in one bunch as to have had to force myself along toward those frightful looking beings. Though I was certainly convinced that they were not genuine ghosts or anything of that nature, but all the same to me I trembled fearfully and the cold clammy sweat over spread my body and limbs. I simply could not help it. onward I compelled my terrified horse to advance a few feet nearer to the graves when suddenly the white forms got in motion and rose up, then I understood what they were. John Petty before his death owned two big cows that was as white as snow which remained in possession of Pettyjohn and his wife after the death of the old folks. There were no pens around the graves and the cows had went to the graves and lay down on the fresh soft dirt of the new made graves. It does seem that these cows had visited the resting place of their former owners to mourn over their loss. I have believed since that night that the actions of these cattle were similar in some respects to the human family In visiting the graves of their dead relatives and friends. If I had turned back that night or passed around the graves without making an effort to ascertain the nature of these objects I might have told that I had seen two sure enough ghosts but as it was I had only met two white cows.” said our father as he ended his narrative of observing the ghost like forms that night on Little North Fork.
THEY MET IN THE CHIMNEY
By S. C. Turnbo
It is well known by a few of the older people of Ozark County, Mo. that Hugh McClure lived on Little North Fork before the Civil War broke out. Mr. McClure sympathized with the south when the heat of the war aroze he left his old home and moved down into Marion County Ark. where he stopped a while on Jimmies Creek. Bob Long an old friend of McClures also was staying in that neighborhood. The house that McClure and his family occupied was a log house with a side room attached to it to cook and eat in. To this room was a big open mouth stick and dirt chimney that was made for the purpose of doing the cooking. This chimney had room enough in the throat and stem for a bear to climb up through and go out at the top. One night while McClure lived on Jimmies Creek Mr. Long and his wife whose name was Eliza went to McClures to remain all night and they slept on a bed in the side room. As Long started disrobing to go to bed he remarked to his wife Lizy if the Federals come tonight I will hide in that chimney saying it more for a joke than reality. Along in the night Mr. Long fell asleep and was aroused by a noise of some kind that he could never account for afterward. He said the first thing he knew he rose quickly in his night clothes and started for the fireplace. Being warm weather there was no fire in it and started to go up. McClure who heard the same noise had leaped out of bed in his shirt tail and had run out of doors and ran around to a ladder was setting up against the room near the chimney to guard against the house talking fire and climbs up the ladder and crawled down into the top of the chimney to hide. He supposed it was a bunch of Federals and as he attempted to settle down placing his toes in the cracks he stepped down and fell on his friend Long and knocked him back into the fire place and McClure fell on top of him. It was an exciting moment but fortunately it was not the enemy and they returned back to bed. Mr. Long told this repeatedly for the truth and no one as far as I knew disputed it.
AN AMUSING SCENE ONE SATURDAY NIGHT
By S. C. Turnbo
We have often referred to the Magness family in these sketches. They once occupied the river farm one mile above the mouth of Big Creek in what is now Cedar Creek Township Marion County, Ark. The Magness boys were all jovial men and was given to playing pranks on each other and on their friends. Sam Magness was mischevious as the rest of them were but owing to his peculiar nature they poked more fun at him than he thought he ought to bear and would become angry at times. He enjoyed a joke until he supposed it was too hard on him and then he would ruffle himself up like a setting hen. A year or two after the death of their father Joe Magness and while their mother Mrs. Patsey Magness was yet living Sam Magness visited the family one Saturday night to remain over night. Sam, Joe, Bob, Wilshire and Hugh Magness who were all brothers were grown. Teaf another brother was a boy. Wilshire lived on Big Creek but he had also come to stay all night. Before bed time that night Tom Fisher, John Bevins and all the Magness boys except Sam laid a plan to draw Sam into it to hear him scold and get angry. So they made it up among themselves to pretend like some thieves had got into the crib to steal corn. Joe was to retire to bed when Sam did. Fisher and Bevins were to enter the crib with two unloaded pistols and it was arranged that the other boys was to be out in the yard to hear the racket the two men made in the crib and to give the alarm. They all agreed to post Sam in the lane if they could get him out of the house. This lane led from the crib to the house. All the family understood this but Sam. Sam had plenty of wit and humor and sit up late telling amusing stories until finally he become drowsy and went to bed and Joe retired with him. The other men after Sam had gone to sleep went out of the house to put their plotting into execution and when all was ready Fisher and Bevins entered the crib as agreed and made a loud racket among the shucks and one of the other boys rushed into the house and says, “Sam, Joe, rouse up quick somebody is in the crib stealing corn”. Both men leaped out of bed at once and ran out on the porch in their night clothes and listened. Yes sure enough corn and shucks were rattling in the crib at a lively rate. “They are very bold thieves” said Joe “and I will shoot them.” Both men ran back into the house and after putting on their clothes and shoes Joe grabbed the gun and swore vengeance against the corn thieves. “I will shoot the impudent rascals. They shall not steal our corn.” “No” say Sam “Do not kill them Joe let us catch them and turn them over to the officers of the law,” which Joe agreed to do, and put his gun back in the rack and both of them went out Into the yard where the other men were except the five in the crib. The racket in the crib was still going on. Of course everything had been planned previously but they pretended to council with Sam how to catch them and it was agreed to station Sam in the lane 50 yards from the crib which was done. The other men surrounded the crib and demanded the surrender of the men in the crib which of course they refused to do and went out of the crib instantly and ran up the toward Sams station. The other boys yelled out “There they come Sam. Catch them. They ran by us before we could get a hold of them”. The moon was full which lit up the scene with a brilliant light. Sam saw the two supposed corn thieves running through the lane toward him and he braced himself to catch one or both of them and as they neared his parition he bawled out to them, “Here you come you rascals been trying to steal mothers corn have you, halt. I am going to arrest you and have you punished.” By this time the two fellows were in a few yards of him and to his astonishment snap went a pistol almost in his face. Then another snap. This was enough and with an awful exclamation he implored the men not to kill him. But they continued to snap the pistols at him. “Oh men for God’s sake don’t shoot” and turned and fled to the house. The other men who were following on behind the pretended thieves were making a great out cry which soared Sam much worse which it was intended to do. The pursuers would cry out “Sam don’t run help us catch them scoundrels before they escape”, but Sam was safe in the house now and after the merry makers had quieted down they tried to persuade Sam to come out of the house but he refused to budge an inch and say “Boys do you think I would come out there and let them rascals shoot me down like I was a dog”. The man did not know but that thieves had entered the crib. until the following Monday when the Magness boys had a log rolling on the farm and Bob Magness told the joke in Sams presence in a large crowd of settlers that were invited to assist at the log rolling. It was now that Sam become furious with rage. He was sitting down when Bob divulged it and Sam rose to his feet instantly and said in a loud tone, “Bob you are my brother but I am in a notion to slay you where you stand.” But presently while all the crowd were laughing, Sam saw that he could not afford to remain in an ill humor while the others were so merry and got In a better humor himself and enjoyed the fun as well as the others did. At the time of this amusing incident the houses stood on the bank of the river. Since then a new dwelling has been built up on the side of the bluff across the bottom from where the old log buildings stood. This farm is known now as the Ross Cantrel Place.
SILLY REMARKS OF A BOY
By S. C. Turnbo
It may not be proper to repeat words in writing that an ill mannered child remarks about its dead father, but I give it as it was told me to show how disrespectful some children can talk and act occasionally. John Brown a son of Wilse Brown was a boy old enough to plow when his father was killed war times on top of the bluff near the Panther Bottom in Marion County, Ark. and while the dead body of his father was being hauled on a sled to the top of the bluff over looking the old Joe Magness Bottom, John walked behind the sled while it was slowly pulled over the rough ground by a gentle yoke of oxen. As they went on the boy was heard to remark repeatedly that “Pop smelt like a dead horse; I wish I knew what made him stink so.” This same boy was subject to bleed at the nose and when the blood would begin to drip from his nose he would exclaim, “Oh my heart string has broke loose again.”
HIS BROTHER HAD BEEN SOWING TARES
By S. C. Turnbo
“One among the most amusing anecdotes that ever occurred at Huntsville Arkansas was while a protracted meeting was carried on by the Methodist people several years before the beginning of the war” said Ben Hager. In relating the story Mr. Hager said that the Berry brothers Hugh and John were noted men in their time. John was a Methodist preacher and was 6 feet tall and weighed 175 pounds. Hugh was a small man and weighed near 100 pounds and was 4 feet, 10 inches in height. He was such a little man in stature that he went by the name of “Bustle” Berry. He was a prominent merchant of Huntsville and was a jovial fun loving fellow. John Berry was a great meeting man and very strict in his religious belief and practice and held meeting very often in the town of Huntsville and in the country. Some of these services were protracted into days and weeks in length. One day John bought himself a new hymn book and he prized it so highly that he bought a nice silk handkerchief to keep the book wrapped up in and when he was not using the book he would keep it in his coat pocket and carry it around wherever he went. And when he would open up services he would take out the book and lay it on the book board and take hold of one corner of the handkerchief and flip it up which would unwrap the book in a quick way and fall on the board and he would put the handkerchief back into his coat pocket until he needed it to wrap up his book again. The preacher had done this so often in the presence of the congregation that every one present took notice to it and could not help smiling every time they saw him do so for it was amusing to them. One day while John was holding a protracted meeting in Huntsville his brother Hugh concluded he would enjoy some fun at his brothers expense at the first oppertunity. One day after John had dismissed mid day services and had announced late afternoon services he wrapped his book up again and put it back in his coat pocket being the warm season of the year he did not put his coat on and having some business In his brothers store he walked in and laid the coat down on the counter near his brothers writing desk. This was what Hugh wanted and he watched for his chance and had been waiting for it a long time. In a little while John left his coat on the counter and stepped out of the building onto the street to talk with a friend and brother in the church and as it happened no one else was in the store when John stepped out except the proprietor and he picked up his brothers coat and took out the book and unwrapped it and put the book in his desk and wrapped a bran new pack of cards up in the handkerchief and put it back in his brothers coat pocket and laid the coat back on the counter. Directly John come in and picked up his coat and went on to his residence. Hugh was afraid that he might want to sing a song or two at home before meeting time but he hoped not. When the hour arrived for services to begin Hugh put the hymn book In his pocket and went on to the church house and took his seat under the edge of the book board for he knew he could not get into a position to face his brother without laughing. Nearly all the congregation had assembled and his brother was sitting in the pulpit and when Hugh had come into the house he knew by his brothers looks that he had not as yet detected the trick he had played on him. In a little while John rose to his feet and began to talk and he did not say many words before he took the handkerchief out of his coat pocket with the supposed book wrapped up in it and layed it down on the book board as usual and taking one corner of the handkerchief in his fingers he gave it a quick jerk upward and exposed to view the whole deck of cards some of which dropped on the board and the remainder fell on the floor in front of the book board where the congregation had a fair view of the cards as they fell scattered around on the floor and on the board. The preacher was greatly amazed and the congregation not taking it in as it really was looked on with surprise and astonishment. The preacher at first was dumbfounded but soon gained his usual composure and leaning back a moment against the wall of the house he stammered out, “Now my brothers sisters and friends. You see what my brother John has done; He has been sowing more tares as usual”. At this the congregation roared out in laughter and after the merriment of the audience had some what subsided Hugh Berry arose from his seat and took John Berry’s hymn book out of his pocket and laid it on the board and walked out of the house in the midst of another outburst of laughter and after the people had quieted down again John went on with his discourse the same as if nothing had happened. On many occasions after this amusing incident occurred when Johns friends would meet him the first greeting would be something Me this. “Well John has your brother Hugh been sowing any more tares.
A HAPPY COURTSHIP THAT ENDED WITH A TEARFUL DISAPPOINTMENT
By S. C. Turnbo
Many years ago old Uncle Henry Tabor lived on the John Copelin Place at the Buck Shoals Ford of White River in Keesee Township in Marion County, Ark. One night Mr. Tabor and family gave a dance for the old and young that desired to be present and indulge in the old time way of dancing. Among those present who lived on Big Creek were old Billy Howard who lived on what is now the lower part of the Aaron Quick farm. Peet Morris, Miss Sarah Smith, Tom Morris and Sally Morris his wife and John Tabor, old Jimmie Tabor and Tom Tabor, the two last named were the fiddlers for the dance. Old Billy Howard was a widower, and the youngsters who attended the dance that night played a prank on the old man Howard because he wanted to marry and could not find a woman that would agree to make him happy. Henry Tabor had a daughter named Phebee who was a sister of Ede Tabor who married Paton Keesee. The youngsters persuaded Mart Herrean who was present to personate Miss Sarah Stone daughter of Jack Stone who was dead. Phebee Tabor promised to furnish Mart Herrean some of her clothes on the out side and when he come in some of the women were to introduce him as Miss Sarah Stone and they give him a big introduction to Mr. Howard and the old man begged permission for her company at once and Mart gladly accepted. Of course Mart Herrean wore a big bonnet on his head to conceal his features and being then a beardless boy he carried out the fun well. The old man was exceedingly anxious for a help mate and finding that his sweet heart was more than ready to spark right along he opened out his heart and popped the question which was accepted immediately by the supposed young lady. The old man sit very close to his intended all night and talked of the happy future. They were promised to be married just as soon as the old man could get his house in better shape to receive his pretty bride. All was joy and happiness to Mr. Howard, there was no more lonely hours for him for in a few days he would bring his young wife home and would start life anew and live it all over again. Just as day began to show a faint light in the east he bid his intended adiew until he could fix up his house and then he would be ready to have the ceremony performed. His beloved promised to be ready when he was and he left for his home to make the arrangements that they both agreed on. Poor old man he went away so happy and rejoiced exceedingly because he had secured a young woman for his new wife. But during the day his happiness was sadly blasted for Mart Herrean in company with Jim Tabor paid the old man a visit at his home on Big Creek and informed him that the marriage would have to be called off. “For” said Mart “I have got out of the notion of taking you unto myself for a husband.” The old man Howard saw it through now and knew he had been made a scape goat of and he shed tears for he was working hard to get things fixed for the occupancy of the expected bride. The old man’s joy was wilted now. The good hopes and pleasures of life were gone.
HOW HE ASK FOR HIS BRIDE
By S. C. Turnbo
Sam Magness son of Joe Magness who settled in the Magness Bottom on White River one mile above the mouth of Big Creek in Marion Co. Ark. in 1827, told the following on Tom Terry his brother-in-law who lived in the Bull Bottom. Mr. Magness said that when Mr. Terry and his sitter Anna Magness were engaged to be married Terry ask his parents for her in the following way, “You need not get surprised if I tell you there is going to be a wedding on White River in the near future.” “What makes you think so” says my mother. “Well” says Mr. Terry, “I and your daughter Annie have made it up to be spliced together and I guess we will marry.”
THE BOY OBEYED
By S. C. Turnbo
An amusing account was given me by a, neighbor of Jimmie Forest who was an old timer of Little North Fork in Ozark County, Mo. This man who was a particular friend as well as neighbor to the Forest family said that Jimmie Forest was owner of a fine rifle gun that he had paid $25 for in the state of Pennsylvania where he had moved from. One day Mr. Forest saw a hawk that was threatening to swoop down among the chickens and he told his son Bob Forest to get his fine gun and shoot the hawk with it and Bob went into the house and got the gun and walking out into the yard with it he watched the hawk until it lit on the limb of a tree and the boy snapped the gun at it several times without discharging it. Bob’s father was surprised at this for he never knew his favorite gun to miss fire before and his temper was boiling hot at once and he screamed out “Bend the thing around a tree”, and the boy instantly obeyed by striking the gun against a tree with all the strength at his command and ruined the stock and made a crook in the barrel. Then the old man abused his son for obeying him and says “Bob I did not know that you possessed such a small amount of sense.”
THE BOASTER MISSED THE MARK
By S. C. Turnbo
There is always a few people scattered over the earth that take pride in boasting of their skill in whatever occupation they follow and their exaggerations are usually exposed which bring them down a few notches till they forget the lesson taught them. Mr. Ira J. Davis a long resident of Franklin County, Mo. tells an amusing story of a boastful fellow of the name of John McManis who lived in his neighborhood in the county just named, who blowed of his great marksmanship in killing game. The truth was the man was able to find plenty of deer and turkeys in the woods but he wasted a great deal of ammunition without killing hardly anything. One day George Shookman and Hart McWilliams went out hunting together and one of the boys shot at a little deer and “creased” it and before it revived they got hold of it without hurting it and one of them says “Now is a good time to test John McManis skill as a marksman” and the other said “Good, let us try him with this deer”. As it happened they had a stout cord with them and they tied one end of the cord around the deers neck and the other end to a limb of a small tree. This limb hung a few feet above the deers back when they put the deer out of their hands it struggled hard to free itself but the cord was too stout to give way under the strength of the deer. McManis lived only one half of a mile from there and the boys proposed to go to his house and persuade him to go hunting with them which they did and when the three fellows got back into the hollow they told McManis to go up the hollow and one of them would go on the side of the hill and the other on the other side and if there were a deer in the hollow they would be sure to find it. The little deer was tied in the bed of the hollow and they told McManis to keep in the bed of the branch and look close as he might scare a deer before he seen it. The two boys were careful to keep just in sight of him and not too close to arouse suspicion that a job was put up on him. The boys were anxious to observe his maneuvers when he caught sight of the deer and when John got up near the deer he seen it. The little animal had struggled so hard to free itself that it was exhausted and so tired that it was standing still at the approach of McManis and did not try to get loose. McManis lost no time in putting in a shot at ft. The bullet missed the deer and hit the cord the deer was tied with and severed it, the report of the gun scared the deer and it jumped and finding itself liberated it went slowly up the hollow. George Shookum and Hart Williams who were watching McManis at a distance roared out in laughter for they saw at once that the boaster had shot the cord into two parts and it was quite amusing to them to see the little deer escape from the bragging fellow. One of the boys hallooed and told him that he could not kill a deer and it tied, and he yelled back that it wasent tied. Then the boys went down to the sapling and told him to come and see for himself and they showed him the part of the cord tied to the limb and he look perfectly crestfallen and did not boast so much after that.
TORTURING WOLVES BY FLAYING THEM ALIVE
By S. C. Turnbo
Though inhumane and cruel .. but a few settlers of Little North Fork resorted to removing the hides of wolves while the animals were alive. It was said that the depredations of wolves were so terrible on stock that the pioneers did the acts of savages and in some cases inflicted the most cruel treatment on the ravenous beast they could invent in payment (return) for the destruction of property. Mr. Elias Keesee told of two incidents of this kind. He said “We settlers of Little North Fork in Ozark County, Mo., did all in our power to destroy as many wolves as possible. These animals made awfull inroads on sheep, hogs, calves and young colts and our temper was irritated to the highest pitch.
Some times when we captured a wolf alive we confined it and took off its hide. On one occasion when I was a small boy my father caught a big wolf in a steel trap. It would show the animal too much mercy to slay it out right and we determined to punish it with the most cruel torture I could think of. Leaving the wolf fast in the trap I sought the assistance of Ben Risley and Levi Graham which was willingly given. With chains, ropes and stout thongs of dressed buck hide we tied the animal so secure that it could neither bite, kick or hardly move and with sharp knives we proceeded to remove its hide. This was horrible and was more like the work of savages, but we had been annoyed so much by them that we showed as little mercy toward wolves as the wild Indians did to white people living on the frontiers in the years gone by. The beast lived through the terrible ordeal and when we loosed it and turned it free it got on its feet and actually ran off out of sight. This was the last seen or heard of it. It is not reasonable that it went far or lived but a short length of time. Several years afterward or when I was a good sized boy I and a lot of young fellows took a live wolf out of a pen which we had built on the ridge between little North Fork and where Isabella Post Office is now and after tieing it securely we went to work with our knives and skinned its body neck and legs. Our barbarous treatment was too much for it died at the moment we completed the horrible work. I felt afterward that I had acted too wicked to repeat the operation on another wolf and refused to engage in such work again.”
Phillip Green relates an account of a wolf being flayed alive on Pond Fork a tributary branch of Little North Fork In giving the story Mr. Green went on to say that when his relatives Leven T. Green and family settled in Ozark County they in common with others tortured wolves similar to Indians torturing their captives. My grandfather and my father Tom Green built a wolf pen on Pond Fork and caught several in it finally becoming busy at something else the pen was neglected a few days. At this time a settler happened to pass by the pen one day and for the sake of curiosity tied an old dry bone of a horse to the trigger which he found close (the bone) by and set the pen and went on. On the following day a hunter happened along by the pen and discovered a wolf in it. The animal was certainly hungry for it had entered the pen and while knawing on the bone was caught. The hunter knowing who built the pen notified father and he in turn notified others and they all met at the pen among the number was the man who tied the bone to the trigger and caught the wolf. The crowd was angry and thirsted for vengeance in payment for stock destroyed. The animal was doomed. It must be skinned alive. It was some time before the men were ready to begin the work of cruel punishment but they finally commenced and slowly did the work with keen edged butcher knives. The suffering animal did not utter a sound until after they had taken the hide from its body and legs and while they were stripping its tan by force it gave a moaning growl, the men now turned it loose and it struggled to its feet and ran about 100 yards and staggered and fell and death soon relieved its horrible suffering.” Another account of flaying a wolf alive is given by “Fie” Snow who came to Ozark County, Mo. in 1833. Here is the way Mr. Snow told the story. “Years ago when my step father Jimmie Forest lived on Little North Fork at mouth of Barren Fork a man of the name of Haney sold goods at our house for several years. While Haney was there I got hold of a pup that was equally mixed with bull and cur. It was about twice the size of a house cat. Haney called it “Chew of Tobacco”. When it was grown it looked larger and fiercer than a chew of tobacco but the dog was looked on as a trifling good for nothing fellow, but I failed to give him up. Along about this time a number of men came down from St. Clair County, Mo. to hunt and look at the country. They brought about 25 dogs with them. One night while these men were staying at our house I caught a wolf in a steel trap. The trap had 3 springs, 2 on one end and one on the other. Next morning we all followed the trail of the wolf on horse back and soon over hauled it. The wolf was a large gray one. “Chew of Tobacco” and the other 25 dogs were along, but they all declined to take hold of the wolf except Chew of Tobacco and he caught it by the bur of the ear and held the wolf until Mr. Haney dismounted and caught the wolf by its hind legs. The other men were soon on the spot and they all stretched it broad side on the ground and after tieing its mouth in such a manner that it was not able to use its teeth they took the trap off its leg and held its head down by placing a pole across its neck and while some held the pole in place others held its legs and the other men began the work of flaying it alive. They not only removed the hide from its body but taken it from its head legs and tall. The beast was alive when they finished, when they freed it it rose up and ran to a pool of water 40 yards distant and plunged in where it was about 18 inches deep and howled twice when death came to its relief. The carcass lay in the pool several days. The men gave my step father the scalp and he used it as part payment of his taxes but they carried the hide to St. Clair County with them.
S. C. Turnbo
KILLING A MARE WITH AN AX
By S. C. Turnbo
Bad stock and bad fence makes bad neighborship. A man who turns bad stock foot loose on the range to bother his neighbors who has bad fence cannot expect to get along together like good neighbors ought to. It is the duty of every settlement to treat each other respectful and if trouble should happen to get up among them they should remove the cause at once. In many cases disturbance Is Me diseases if the cause is removed It will settle itself and so if a neighbor keeps bad stock to interrupt his neighbor his neighbor will kick vigorously until this stock is curb in such a way that it will not trouble any more. If a neighbor has bad fence the one who owns the bad stock will hollow “fix your fence” then my stuff won’t bother you. So if you have rogueish stock keep them in hand so that they won’t be a source of trouble to your friend and if your fence is bad get it in better shape so it won’t cause some of your neighbors stock to break into your enclosures and lay the ground work to cause your friends stock to be mean. So this will do on this subject for the present and we will relate a little story of this kind that John Whitfield gave to me one day in the Indian Territory. He said that the year after the war closed his parents lived on Bowens Ridge in Woodruffe County, Ark., and about 16 miles north east of the town of Augusta. My father raised a crop of corn in a field that was enclosed with 3 bad fence, one of our neighbors of the name of Tom Bowen owned an old mare he called Mollie which would go into the field when she got ready and that was as often as she was turned on the outside of the lot. Father notified Owen several times to keep his mare out of the field to which Bowen took little notice. He seemed careless and would make no efforts to prevent her from getting into the field, and the old mare kept on jumping into the field and destroying the corn. Father continued to turn her out and send her home with word to keep her out or words, to that effect. Until he lost his patience and temper and noticing her In the field one morning he went and turned her out and went and caught his old mare he called Pokahontas or “Poka” for short and pickng up the chopping ax he mounted old Poka and galloping up to old Mollie he struck her on the hip with the blade of the ax. Old Mol started off running with the blood dripping from the wound. Father followed on after her and struck her hip, with the ax when ever he got in reach of her and continued to follow her and out on her until she fell and died in the road. And then father sent Bowen word what he had done. This caused a feud between them which lasted many years and probably would have never ended in peace but after I had grown up to be a man and Ed Bowen a son of Bowens had grown to be a man too, we met one day and proposed to droly our part of the grudge and made friends, this made a favorable impression on the old folks and they got together end settled it all for good and were good neighbors to each other as long as we lived in that locality. Bad stock and bad fence was the source of all this trouble.” said Mr. Whitfield.
The writer will add that he did not give the foregoing account to encourage someone else to kill a mare that gets into fields but to show that roguish stock and a fence that is gone to rack is one cause of some people doing wrong to remove the cause is the one side to take care of his stock and the other side to repair his fence.
FLAYING A POSSOM ALIVE
By S. C. Turnbo
In my collection of hunting stories I have one account of a possom being skinned alive which was told me by Mr. Ira J. Davis who said that the incident occurred on Beths Creek which runs into the Missouri River at Beths Iseland. This creek is in Franklin County, Mo. “One night during the early days of Franklin County,” said Mr. Davis, “Jack Davis who was a cousin of mine, Bud Gantry and Solomon Smith while they were boys went out on the above named stream to catch possoms and among other persimmon eaters they captured a very large one alive which they decided to remove its hide alive and after making a fire for a light they tied the possoms mouth with a stout thong cut from a dressed buck hide so it could not bite and while two of the boys held it fast the other proceeded to flay it alive with the sharp edged blade of a pen knife which took some time to complete the work. The tortured animal struggled and growled while the unmerciful lads were engaged In the horrible work. When the boys had finished the job the possom was still alive and had plenty of nerve and action about it. They now untied its mouth and turned it loose and it got up on its, feet and turned around with Its head toward them and growled, and the boys grew superstitious and backed off from it and stopped to see what it would do and the suffering animal turned around and started off. They saw it go 10 feet or more before it disappeared in the darkness. This was the last they ever saw or heard of it. They brought the bide home with them and they all declared that they actually did skin the possom alive.
MAKING A PREACHERS HORSE BREAK HIS NECK
By S. C. Turnbo
Open the 29th of August 1906 I met Mr. David Garoutte at Tulsah Indian Territory who was a veteran of the Civil War on the Union side. He had formerly lived in Green County, Me. but when I interviewed him he was living at Keystone Oklahoma. Among other things he told me the following which relates to his feelings of his youthful days and an incident of his past life and here is the way he said it.
“I was raised on corn bread and it is the best bread I ever ate according to my taste and my way of thinking.
The best people I ever knew was my old time friends and associates of Green County, Mo. My happiest days was when I was a little fellow, playing with my little friends in our old neighborhood in Missouri. I never knew what trouble or hunger was until I left my fathers old home and enlisted in the army of the Civil War. The meanest act I ever was guilty of in my life was scaring a preachers horse and causing the animal to break its neck. The name of the preacher was David geese and here is the way I made his horse break his neck,” said Mr. Garoutte. “I did not like him. One day he rode up to our yard gate and dismounted and come into the house. My father says to me, “Dave you hitch Mr. Reeses horse, and I went and got a rope and tied one end around the horses neck and made the other end of the rope fast around the body of a tree. After I had done this my father says you stay out there and see that the horse does not break loose.” Though I dared not disobey my fathers instructions but I thought he was too kind to the preacher especially when I disliked Reese and I felt it an insult to my dignity to be compelled to remain out there and watch this horse. The house was off some distance from the yard gate and as my father and the preacher were cooped up in the house I went about working up a scheme to get revenge for having to see after the preachers horse for I knew the man was not over burdened with friends. I got revenge and a whipping too. Our fan mill or wheat fan as we called it was sitting under a shelter near where I had tied the horse to the tree. The horse appeared to be dull and sleepy and it come into my mind that I would make au effort to rouse him up and I put the crank on and began turning it to see if the noise of the fan would produce much life in the horse. As I began to turn the fan with the crank the horse commenced jumping around and seeing that it made him lively I continued to turn the fan. My father heard me turning it but I had turned it so often that he paid no attention to it and the man being in that part of the house where they could not see the horse because the sound of his, capers were drowned by the noise the fan made. I was so pleased to see the horse rear and plunge so pulling at the rope that I turned the faster and the old horse jumped the higher. I kept turning the crank as fast as I could and directly the poor old horse jerked back with all his strength and fell and broke his neck and I quit turning the fan and went off a short distance and sit down to await results. They soon come for the preacher accompanied by my father come out to go home and found that his horse was dead. I was called and responded by advancing up. I was charged with the killing of the horse and I plead guilty, but I told my father that I did not regret it. I was severely punished but I took it just like a little man and laughed about making the horse breaking his neck afterward.”
By S. C. Turnbo
In the pioneer days during the settling up of the country a number of men as well as boys waded and played in the water along the streams which partly accounts for the chills and fevers that were so prevalent then. A number of people who visited Brattons Spring in Ozark County, Mo. and some of them who lived on this stream were no exception to this custom. Those that delighted to play in the water would catch fish and turtles along Spring Creek. Mr. W. C. (Carroll) Johnson who has known this stream and the customs of the people here all his life furnished the writer with this account. “I have seen Hiram Bias and Gus Barnum and others catch turtles of all sizes in Spring Greek and peal bark from paw paws and hickory and tie a stout piece around the turtles necks. Barnum who was a very large stout man with a companion would climb up a big sapling and bend it down until the top was low enough to the ground for another man who was on the ground to reach up with his hands and take hold of the sapling and while the three men were holding it down another man would tie the other end of the bark that was attached to the turtles neck to the top limb of the sapling and when this was completed the two men on the sapling would jump off to the ground and at the same time the other man who was holding it would turn it loose and the top would fly up and jerk the turtle up with it which would kick and struggle to free itself. They would let it hang there until it was dead and the shell and bones would fall to the ground after the flesh had decayed. “At other times” continued “I have seen these same men and others take turtles out of the water and bend down saplings and put the end of a limb in the turtles mouth and let go the sapling and as the top of the young tree went up the turtle would be jerked up with such force that the twig would snap asunder or slip from the turtles mouth and the turtle would be hurled several yards away. This kind of sport seemed to be excellent pass time to some people but it was none to me,” said Mr. Johnson.
STORIES OF TURTLES
By S. C. Turnbo
The following stories relating to turtles might be of some interest to the reader. Mr. Bennette Tabor who is dead now informed me one day several years before his death that himself and Harve Smith killed a monster turtle one night in White River while they were fire hunting they discovered the turtle in the shoals water where Mr. Tol Wood the stock dealer of Green County Mo. was drowned a few years ago. These shoals is opposite midway of the Panther Bottom and just on the inside of Ozark County, Mo. The turtle measured 28 inches across the belly. It was in water only two feet deep and as it crawled along on the river bed its back showed above the surface of the water. In capturing the monster Mr. Tabor said that he struck it with his three pronged harpoon but it failed to penetrate the shell then he hit it on the neck and the beards on the harpoon held it. But the turtle pulled the canoe 40 yards before we were able to control its movements and haul it to shore and kill it. On the following day we returned back there and weighed it and it tipped the steel yards at 125 pounds. Then we took the shell off of its belly and took all the flesh out of the upper shell and for the sake of curiosity I put the shell in the water to see it float then I got into the shell and it held up my weight without sinking.” Mr. Tabor when he died was buried in the cemetery at Lutie. The foregoing story by Bennette Tabor reminds me of another account of a turtle as told me by James B. Roselle who owns and lives on the writers fathers old farm on the north bank of White River in Keesee Township in Marion County, Ark. Mr. Roselle said that one day he and George Coiner a blacksmith of Pro-tem Mo. and Frank Montgomery a veteran of the Civil War on the Union side while in a small boat in the river just below Bradleys Ferry struck a logger head turtle with their harpoons and wounded it. “We brought the turtle in the canoe down to my spring where we took the turtle out of the canoe and carried it up the river bank to my house and after fooling with it awhile George Coiner placed the turtles neck across a log and cut off its head with an ax except a strip of skin on each side of its neck the width of a mans middle finger and dragged the turtle down under the river bank and left it. An hour or so after this we heard a pig squealing and some of the children went down the bank to see what was the matter with the little grunter and found that the turtle had caught the pig by the nose with its mouth and held it until the children ran back to the house to tell me and I went down there to see it. With ax in hand I struck the turtles head with it before it released the pig. The pig happened to be rooting at the turtles mouth and it just happened to get the end of its nose into the turtles mouth and it closed down on it. The weight of this turtle was estimated at 75 pounds.
By S. C. Turnbo
Among the many accounts of pioneer life among the old timers of Marion. County Arkansas is the following told me by Capt. Curtis Rea who died at Oakland on the 29 of March 1907. “As regards my hunting experience I have no stories to give you.
True I have killed a few deer but, I never met any trouble with a buck or other wild beast. My inclination was not, toward hunting. I took more delight in breaking unruly cattle to work or ride, a wild horse than hunt for game; however I will tell you a story that may be of some interest. Some years after my father John C. Rea settled in Rea Valley below Yellville a family of the name of Treat came into our section from the state of Indiana. This family consisted of several members. The men of which were large and exceeding stout weighing from 250 to 300 pounds each. Two brothers of them—Steve and Billy Treat one day at Buffalo City is said to have lifted a hogshead of sugar weighing 1200 pounds and put it on a wagon. I am told that Steve Treat held up a 40 gallon barrel full of liquor by the chimes and drank whiskey out of the bung hole. The Treats had voracious appetites and eat with raging hunger. They were so ravenous, that it took an enormous amount of food to satisfy their appetites. They were the greatest eaters I ever saw. I was told that Steve Treat once consumed at one siting l5 big biscuits and drank ten cups of coffee and got away with other victuals in proportion. I do not know whether the Treats belonged to the Confederate Army or not. If they did I can account for our rations being so scarce for they devoured it and left the remainder of us to starve to death almost. One day Berry Treat informed me that he and John Treat went into the Buffalo mountains together to hunt and on the evening of the first day out they killed a yearling bear that was fat and two yearling deer that was in fine condition and after removing the hide, and dressing the meat they carried it, to camp where there was a fine spring of water and made a fire and began to fill up on the broiled and fried bear and venison until the following morning when they found that they had consumed all three of the animals except the hides and bones.”
FLAYED ALIVE BY INDIANS
By S. C. Turnbo
In the month of September 1859 I read an account in the “Brother Jonathan” a weekly news and story paper published by B. H. Day, 48 Beekman Street, New York, of a white man being flayed alive by a band of Indians on the western plains in the early 50’s. I thought the account incredible and thought nothing more of it until 40 years after I had read it in the paper when I met Capt. A. S. Wood an old Confederate Soldier who when I interviewed him was living on Moccasin Fork of Jimmies Greek in Marion County, Ark. While we were exchanging old time tales with each other I happen to recall to memory of reading the article in the Brother Jonathan and he Informed me that the story was true and he gave a short history of the horrible affair. In relating the account Capt. Wood said that in the year 1853 two parties of emigrants with the usual train of wagons, and horses and arras for defense against the attacks of wild animals and wild Indians left North Arkansas for the state of California. “When the emigrants organized I was living at Huntsville in Madison County where I joined one of the parties known as Capt. Boyed’s train. A man of the name of John Mankins, formerly of Marion County, joined the other party he was a large man and bore the name of being quite over bearing and disagreeable. When he left Marion County to join the emigrants he was living in the Flippen Barrens between Yellville and White River. The two trains after starting traveled together for a while but finally they separated, often they were 10 miles apart. Before reaching the frontiers, Mankins made my boasts that he would shoot the first of the Indian race he saw; be it man, woman or child. The man repeated these threats so frequently after arriving on the frontiers that the remainder of the party grew alarmed and tried to induce him to not to do so for fear the entire party would be massacreed. Being a long headed and dont care sort of fellow he paid no attention to their advice. Arriving at an Indian reservation, and while passing on they reached an encampment where there were only a few women and children at camp, the warriors being away on a hunt. This gave the man an oppertunity to carry his threats into execution and he willfully murdered a squaw by shooting her. The other emigrants deplored the cold blooded wicked act of the heartless man. They knew the tribe would avenge the death of the woman. They traveled on with the expectation of being attacked ever hour but they were not molested until the 4th day after the woman was killed, when the emigrant saw a band of Indians coming in pursuit. They were all mounted on ponies and numbered one hundred. Each warrior was in full war paint. The emigrants were in camp some ten miles from our train. The Indians came with a rush and without making a halt to parley surrounded the camp and demanded the murderer or they would kill and scalp all the members of the train, including women and children. The white men were well armed and had made preparation, for defense should the whole party be attacked. On the demand of the warriors the leaders found that they were too small in number to resist the enraged Indians even if they wanted to. Mankins had committed such a wicked murder that they had no sympathy for him and they handed him over at once. The fury of the band rose to a high pitch and they informed the white men that they were going to inflict one of the most painful tortures known to the murderer. The prisnor knew he was doomed to a terrible fate and the trembling wretch begged and implored the white men to save him from the vengence of the red men, but his pleading was in vain he had brought it on himself he would have to pay the penalty that suited the desire and thirst of the warriors. The Indians took a stake (lariat) rope off of one of their ponies 60 feet long that was made from the raw hide of buffalo and bound the man head and foot; to one of the hind wheels of a wagon. The Indians did not delay much time in preliminaries when they examined their knives to see that they had keen edges and the awful scene of flaying a man alive began, they began at the neck and the mans blood was soon flowing little streams down his nude body for they had stripped him of all his clothes before they tied him to the wheel. They slowly but surely took the skin from his entire body not in small bits or strips, but whole. The awful torture was done in the presence of the white men. Mankins struggled and screamed in agony, his suffering was terrible and miserable; he begged prayed and cursed. The bloody work went on. The unbearable torture was continued. The man had cruelly murdered a poor defenseless Indian woman, and the tribe she belonged to were punishing him with the worst torture they could devise. The exultant Indians finished their horrible and painful work, and gave a yell of delight; their victim was still alive but had gradually become unconscious. They unbound him, and the bleeding, writhing form dropped to the ground where it lay quivering for an hour when death put an end to life and further cruelty by the Indians. Not an Indian left until they were satisfied he was dead; they then mounted their ponies and with war whoops they departed, carrying the human hide with them. Soon after the yelling warriors had passed from their view, the emigrants dug a grave at the spotwhere the dead body of the man lay and gave it decent burial. They marked the grave as well as circumstances would admit. In an hour after the interment of Mankins lifeless form the party of white people took its departure from the place where the blood curdling scene was enacted; leaving the new made grave for the coyotes to howl over and the buffalo to trample on and the passing Indians to sneer at.
When Mankins first come to Marion County he lived on Jimmies Creek and breathed the pure air and drank the crystal water that is found among the lofty hills and deep hollows of this section. Back in 1834 a man of the name of Brown G. Roberts lived in what is now Searcy County. This man was said to be over 6 feet high and was very popular among the settlers. Izard County then embraced the territory of izard, Stone, Fulton, Baxter, Marion and Searcy Counties. The few inhabitants of Ozark County wanted a division and they elected Roberts a member of the legislature and he succeeded in having a new county formed called Marion. As Mr. Roberts did so well the settlers sent him to the legislature the second time and he had another new county made called Searcy in honor of Richard Searcy of Bateville. There was another man who lived in Marion County when Manlkins did by the name of Bill Jones or “Flatty” Jones as the settlers called him. Though while not as popular as Roberts never the less he was jovial and pursued the occupation of a black smith and made horse shoes, shod horses, and made bull tongue plows for the settlers. He lived several years at the mouth of Jimmies Creek and also a while on the Jake Yocum farm opposite the mouth of Little North Fork. He died soon after the war at the age of 65 years.
One time “Flatty” Jones, William C. Roberts and Mankins went on a bear hunt together in the buffalo mountains. Mankins was an inexperienced hunter, but he thought to remain at camp and dress the meat, but one day the men took Mankins with them on a bear chase. They soon succeeded in chasing a bear into a cave, and Mankins was instructed by the hunters to remain at the entrance of the cave while they went inside; Mankins had a gun and was to keep the dogs back and if the animal come out he was to shoot it; Roberts carried the torch while Jones handled a rifle they then proceeded into the cave. Some distance from the entrance the passage narrowed, here the bear probably saw the light coming and concluded to make his exit. As brain reached Roberts he struck the torch with his paw, leaving them in total darkness. Jones was in the rear and as the beast reached Roberts he cried to Jones that the bear was coming, whereupon Jones turned and made all speed he could to get out; he was running on his hands and feet, Mankins heard the commotion and was prepared to shoot the bear as it come out, as Jones was making his way toward the mouth of the cave the bear struck Roberts and knocked him down and pressed over him and went on behind Jones, and Roberts got up and followed the bear; Jones wore a black hat, had a heavy crop of black hair, and the moment his head come to the entrance to the cave, Mankins fired, thinking it was bruin; but fortunately the ball tore a hole through Jones hat just grazing his head and struck a rock wall a few feet behind him. Jones flew into a fury, and swore at Mankins for his carelessness. Bruin came dashing out while Jones was using cuss words and made good his escape, for by the time Roberts came out they were all too much excited to follow the dogs while they were in pursuit of bruin, Jones and Roberts never took Mankins with them on a bear hunt again.
By S. C. Turnbo
It is probable that the following war incident may be put a little too strong but the author of it Mr. Peter Keesee assured me that the account was given him by reliable authority but we think that there must be a slight mistake in the connecting links of the shooting of the man or the men who did the shooting were very careless in their work or was in a hurry to get away. We leave it to the reader to make his own comments and if there should be a mistake in the account of it we hope that some one who knows will make the proper corrections. In giving the story Mr. Keesee said that Jim Hall was a brother of Willoughby Hall and a son of Dave Hall. One day in the year 1856 Jim Hall killed John Tolbert near Tolberts ferry on White River ten miles east of Yellville, Ark. John Tolbert was a son of Cimeron Tolbert. When the war broke out Jim Hall was living on Gooleys Spring Creek just over the line in Missouri. One day during the war some of Mr. Tolberts friends captured the murderer and taken him to the foot of one of the three brothers in what is now Baxter County Ark. The intention of the men was to put him to death by shooting. The man Hall was stout robust and active and just before he was compelled to stand up before the firing line he make up his mind to make a strong effort to dodge the bullets and when the men would cock their guns and aim at him he would jump, roll tumble and whirl about, so fast that he escaped the aims of the guns and the bullets would inflict only slight wounds. Finally he become greatly exhausted in strength in repeating this so often that he resorted to another ruse to deceive his enemies by falling on his face as if he had been shot dead and they believed he was dead but after his enemies had stood around him a few seconds one of the men concluded to make a test and see if life was really extinct and picked up a small stone and struck him a light blow on the head with it. He believed if there was life left he would flinch from the effects of the rock but Hall never moved. Hall heard the man remark about the stone and he knew it would be death if he did move and nerved himself to bear the peck on the head the man gave him with the rock. They all agreed now that he was dead and they pronounced him dead for a certainty and went off and left the supposed dead man lying on his face as he had fell. They had no thought of giving him burial for they had rather the wolves would devour his body but the man was more alive than dead and when he was satisfied that his enemies were entirely gone he raised his head up and looked about him and finding that no one was In sight he rose on his hands and feet to test the soreness of his wounds and found that they were only flesh wounds and not very deep ones. He now began to creep slowly along over the rough ground until he reached a place of concealment and lay there until after night fall when he made his way to Sister Creek and traveled down this stream through the darkness of the night until he reached the river thence down the river to his fathers old farm where he was seen on the following day using his tongue pretty lively.
A HOOP SNAKE
By S. C. Turnbo
One among accounts told of hoop snakes by the pioneer residents of Southwest Mo. is an account furnished me by Tom McCullough son of Pleasant McCollough who came to Ozark County Mo. in 1844. Tom McCollough died about the first day of July 1907. In giving accounts of incidents of early times he said that while he was hunting one day on the head of Little North Fork and some 6 miles south of the Douglas County line and while passing along a hill side he heard a noise and looking in the direction from whence it came he seen something rolling like a hoop toward him and he darted out of its way, and it rolled on by him and just before reaching a black oak tree which stood 20 yards from him the hoop straightened itself all at once and struck the end of its tail against the tree and stuck fast to it. The stroke of its tail against the bark of the tree sounded like it had been struck with a hammer. The moment it hit the tree I saw that it was a snake and I walked up near the tree and watched the reptile wriggle and squirm in its efforts to free itself from the tree but it was not able to release itself and I picked up a stout stick and killed it but I did not knock it loose from the tree and after I had viewed the strange snake a while I went on and left the serpent hanging to the tree. I was certainly frightened when it rolled by me and there is no question in my mind that if I had not avoided it as I did it would have struck me with its homed tail instead of the tree. It seems unreasonable to relate it but it is an actual truth that when I went back to this same spot two weeks afterward I found the leaves on this tree had withered since the snake struck it. The bones of the serpent were still hanging to the tree,” said Mr. McCollough.
HALF HUMAN AND HALF SNAKE
By S. C. Turnbo
Strange things occur every now and then on some part of this globe of ours. The Ozarks are no exception to this rule. A few years ago the St. Louis Globe-Democrat published a lot of matter under the head of “freaks and snakes”, and a few correspondents sent in all sorts of snake stories for publication, some of which seemed to be entirely fictitious. The editor announced that he preferred accounts of actual occurrences, but for the sake of amusement, a little harmless fiction would be received. Some of the correspondents over did the thing by exaggerating to such an extent that their statements were rediculous. Among the rest the writer sent an account to the editor, of a freak child, which was published in the Globe-Democrat of September 22ed 1899. The following is the letter as published including the editors comments before printing the letter.
“A reader deprecates the tendency to ward exaggeration displayed by some of our correspondents, and submits the following.
“Protem, Mo. Sep. 11, 1899 -I have read the interesting snake stories in the Globe-Democrat, some of which undoubtedly originated in the craniums of your correspondents. While I do not admire fictitious snake stories, yet some of them are amusing and interesting for the ingenuity displayed in their construction. It seems to me, however, unnecessary to resort to fiction and exaggeration when so many strange freaks really live and move and have their being upon this green earth of ours. I want to tell you of an account given me by J. N. (Newt) Milum, a prominent merchant of Lead Hill, Ark. of a strange freak he saw during the Civil War.
“In 1863, when I was 14 years old,” said Mr. Milum, “I was among a large number of refugees, who accompanied Col. Phelps regiment of Union troops to Missouri. Among the former was a family whose name if I remember rightly was Mannus. In this family was one of the strangest freaks born of woman I ever saw or heard of. The object appeared to be half human and half serpent, and about two feet in length. The largest part of its body was about the size of a man’s arm, and it had legs the size of one’s finger. The arms were still smaller, and its tail protruded to about the length of its legs. From the hips up it was human in form, except that its teeth resembled the fangs of a serpent. The head was the size of a tea cup and covered with hair. It was said to have been born in 1844 – nineteen years before. This strange being was kept in a coffee sack and was taken out each morning and evening to be fed. It attracted a great deal of attention among the soldiers, refugees and others, and was the object of much comment.”
Mr. Milum said that the last he saw or heard of it, was on their arrival at Springfield Mo. The writer will add that Mr. Milum is reliable, and bears a good reputation for honor and truthfulness. It seems more than likely that some of the surviving members of Phelps’ command or others can give additional information regarding this remarkable curiosity.”
S. C. Turnbo
Though I had never doubted Mr. Milum’s account of this singular formed child, in the issue of the Globe-Democrat of November 3erd, appeared a letter confirming Mr. Milum’s story which we copy verbatim.
A HUMAN MONSTROSITY
More about the Arkansas snake child. To the editor of the Globe-Democrat: Van Buren, Ark. October 20 – I was not much stuck on the snake stories that was published in the Globe-Democrat, until I read one from S. C. Turnbo, and I will say that he gave a very correct description of the same. At the time he speaks of I was a soldier in Col. Phelps’ 2ed Arkansas Cavalry, which was in camp at Cleppers Is Mill, near where the town of Harrison is. Our train was sent down on Buffalo to bring out a lot of refugees. The train returned well loaded with human freight, and among the rest the family with the Snake-child; that was what we all called it. I was detailed as one of the guards to escort the train to Springfield, Mo. I can assure the readers of the Globe-,Democrat that the account given by Mr. Turnbo is correct. The mother of the child was named Mannas, and she told me that the Snake-child was 19 years old. It was sick all the way to Springfield, and died soon after we got there. It would lie on a pallet and lick out its tongue like a snake, and its body would squirm and twist like a snake. It knew its mother from any other person. The snake-child had a sister that was two years younger who was very handsome. The snake-child was also a girl.
John A. Stevenson
As the foregoing is such an interesting case, the writer hopes others who know any about it will give additional information so that we may obtain a complete history of this uncommon strange formation of a child.
S. C. Turnbo
TRAIT OF AN OLD MAN
By S. C. Turnbo
Many years ago while my parents lived on Big Beaver Creek in now what is Douglas County Mo.” said Capt. J. H. Sallee, “I remember of hearing a number of the settlers who lived on that stream speak of an old man of the name of Sloane who lived in the hollow of an immense sicamore tree that stood in the creek bottom. It was said that the body of this tree was so large at the ground that the cavity in it was more than ten feet in diameter and that a fence rail ten feet in length could be swung around horrizontal in the room of this hollow tree with out touching the wall. The old man preferred to live in this tree rather than shelter in a log cabin and lived in this tree alone. This was in early times when only a few settlers resided on Beaver Creek. Finally the old man died in his abode and probably was dead several days before his dead body was discovered by a passerby.”