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The years of the Civil War and immediately thereafter ravaged the McConnells and other families of Christian Co.., leading many to head for the less-scarred territory of north-central Texas. Of the eight McConnell children, three daughters are known to have died during this period, as did one son. Another son was imprisoned, one already had died before the war, and another may have perished in the general lawlessness that followed the conflict.
Elizabeth Tennessee McConnell Chaffin
The eldest known child of Walter and Polly Parker McConnell married Samuel M. Chaffin, a carpenter and farmer, in Maury Co., TN on Dec. 4, 1838. He was the son of Coleman and Susanna Weatherford Chaffin, originally of Charlotte Co., VA.
Coleman (March 1, 1783-Oct. 10, 1844) and Susanna (Nov. 5, 1788-July 8, 1844) are buried in a grove on a farm west of Southport, TN, near the William C. McConnell settlement; the tiny family plot was still extant in 1988. The elder Chaffins likely were victims of the 1844 "black tongue," or diptheria, epidemic that ravaged Middle Tennessee.
After their first three children were born, Samuel and Elizabeth moved to Greene Co., MO and lived in Porter Township northwest of modern Nixa with her brothers and parents. The move probably came after his parents' death in 1844, which would have allowed the heirs to sell the farm and have funds to buy property where they relocated.
The census records show wildly varying birth dates for Samuel and Elizabeth. In the 1850 Greene County census, they are listed as ages 32 and 35, respectively; in the 1860 Christian County headcount, they are 55 and 50, which seems reasonable. In 1870, Samuel is listed as 53.
At first, the Chaffins were renters in the county, at least through 1851 when Samuel was assessed on two cows and a lone mule. The 1850 agricultural census showed he was tending nine acres of "improved" ground, possibly part of his brother-in-law Alexander's land patent, with four horses, three milk cows, two oxen, four other cows, eight sheep and 15 pigs, all with a value of $200. He grew 500 bushels of corn that year, sheared five pounds of wool, reaped five bushels of beans, 10 bushels of Irish potatoes, 50 pounds of butter, $25 worth of other household manufacturing and slaughtered animals worth $45.
But by the 1856 Greene Co. tax lists, he had assembled 120 acres (in Sections 11 and 2, Township 27, Range 22), valued at $720, near Elizabeth's brother, John W. McConnell, in northern modern Nixa.
The holdings had grown to 260 acres in 1860, according to the agricultural census, worth $1,820, with a horse, five mules, two milch cows, 10 ox, 25 other cattle, 30 sheep and 37 swine — the livestock valued at $620. He produced 500 bushels of corn and 35 pounds of wool.
Elizabeth died during the war years, and Samuel remarried, although no county records survived the 1865 fire to document another union. In the 1870 census, his wife is shown as Mary, age 46, born in Indiana. In the 1880 census, living with son James Chaffin was 57-year-old Mary Chaffin, his stepmother born in Ohio.
This second wife was Mary Wray, daughter of John Wray, a native of Franklin Co., VA who lived in Ohio and Indiana before settling by 1834 in Taney (then Greene) Co., MO, and his first wife, Sarah McGlammery. On Sept. 7, 1834, John married Nancy Jane Kyle Rapp, a native of Botetourt Co., VA, and the widow of Daniel Rapp of Taney Co..
John and Nancy Wray's only daughter, Nancy Jane (Aug 1839-after 1900, Hamilton Co., TX) married George M. Warren of Christian Co. and then George Washington Butler. Butler's first wife had been Catherine Jane McConnell, sister of Elizabeth McConnell Chaffin (see later section). The Wrays had been close to the family of David William Sink of Porter Township back in Franklin Co., VA, and Sink lived near the McConnells and Chaffins.
Samuel M. Chaffin died in late October or early November 1873, and his passing was reported on Nov. 6 in the Springfield Missouri Weekly Patriot; his son-in-law Alexander Young was appointed administrator of the estate.
Samuel, Elizabeth and Mary were buried in the Chaffin family graveyard, which lies near their first Missouri home in Nixa.
Among the children (boldface):
• Mary Susanna Chaffin (Sept. 6, 1839, Maury Co.-March 2, 1904, Christian Co.) married Alexander Archibald Young (Feb. 25, 1825-Nov. 16, 1899, Nixa), the son of Archibald Alexander (1793-1848) and Margaret Eleanor Moore (1795) Young who had moved their family to Porter Township from Giles County, TN c. 1837.
Alexander A. Young was among eight sons and daughters: Elizabeth m. John Jerome "Rome" Yarbrough, who came west in 1843 and was killed in a hunting accident, and then Archibald Payne; Sarah Ann m. Thomas Barry Gibson; Holly m. William Gray; Emily m. early California Gold Rush settler Alexander McLean; James Munroe m. Mary Ellen McCroskey; Jerome m. Mary McCauley; and John m. Harriet McDaniel.
From James M. and Mary Ellen McCroskey Young were descended the Young brothers made famous by the 1932 massacre of Greene County Sheriff Marcel Hendrix and others near Brookline.
Christian County: the First 100 Years tells the story of how Alexander in 1845 went for water in a nearby spring and found a 3-year-old girl left behind by an encampment of Indians moving west. Actually, census data indicate that Alexander found the little girl in 1855. According to one newspaper account (c. 1950), the girl had been sent across the river on her little pony to borrow corn meal from Alexander. She never heard from her Indian family again and either sought refuge with the Youngs or was found and adopted by Alexander and Mary.
Indian Anne, a Cherokee born in Tennessee according to the 1860 census, eventually married a part-Indian (or mulatto) named Al Young, who worked on Alexander's farm. His racial background is uncertain, but Al was known in the community as "Nigger Al," likely signifying he was a mulatto. Anne and Al raised a family of five children: Mary, Doc, Lum, Wash and Ecky Ann. Nora Ann Maynard Hart of Nixa recalls that Indian Anne worked for her grandmother, Josie Aven, making quilts.
Indian Anne and Al lived on 40 acres of the old Peter T. Shelton farm where he died. She then sold the farm and moved to the old John Nelson place (later Orville Gideon's) near the Nelson Mill, also known as the village of Griffin, located at the old slab south of Battlefield.
Mary S. Chaffin and Alexander Young were wed before JP Thomas Pendleton on Aug. 11, 1857 in then-Greene County, MO. The couple lived east of Nixa amid the Young family, which originally had settled midway between Ozark and Nixa; Alexander owned 240 acres in Porter Township in 1874.
In 1880, Alexander and Mary lived southwest of Nixa, but by the 1890s they had moved between Ozark and Nixa beside their son.
Alexander died Jan. 16, 1898, according to his tombstone, but the Ozark newspaper obituary shows Nov. 16, 1899. The newspaper report indicates Alexander died from injuries after he was dragged by a colt that he was leading to water.
Mary then took in boarders George and Ella J. Holderby Gilmore while living next door to her son, James B. Young. Mary died March 2, 1904, and the couple is buried in so-called Young Cemetery on the old home site between Nixa and Ozark. The site of the now-abandoned plot is three miles west of U.S. 65 on Missouri 14, south to a T intersection and left 3/4 mile; the plot lies on the top of the hill on the left. Though fenced, the couple's graves are neglected.
Mary, contrary to the traditions of the day, was a highly educated woman: after Alexander's death, she subscribed to the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, according to the local newspaper that sold subscriptions.
Among the children of Mary S. Chaffin and Alexander Young:
— Samuel R. Young (May 23, 1858-June 25, 1921) married Alafair "Allie" F. Maynard (Feb. 23, 1862-Oct. 26, 1918), the daughter of Henderson and Mary Hunt Maynard, on March 17, 1878 before JP W.L. Brazeale. The Youngs are buried in Delaware Cemetery.
Samuel and Allie had at least seven children (>):
- William A. (April 1879-1957) married Emily Walker.
- > Edward H. (December 1880) on Dec. 30, 1902 married Media Rhea, daughter of William Rhea and Sarah Jane Simpson, and had three children: Alva, Gertrude and Ray. Alva married Mary Inman on May 7, 1922, and they had two children, Clyde and Mildred Jean "Midgie." Alva, a truck driver, and Clyde were returning home one evening when Alva became sick and laid down in the seat with his head in Clyde's lap. Alva died before they arrived. Clyde later was killed in an auto accident.
- Nettie M. (February 1884) on Nov. 8, 1908 married Charles E. Stamper, who died in 1963.
- John F. (June 1888) married Emma McWilliams on Aug. 14, 1912.
> Elmer (May 1891) married Nona Herndon, daughter of Joseph Holman Herndon and Cora Etta Hoffman, on Oct. 16, 1912.
- Lydia Belle (July 4, 1896-Dec. 3, 1990) married Ernest Oscar Herndon (April 8, 1893-May 1, 1969), daughter of Joseph Holman Herndon and Cora Etta Hoffman, on Feb. 21, 1916), and they are buried in Delaware Cemetery, Nixa.
- > Samuel Homer (May 1899) married Eula Pearl Pope, daughter of Samuel Martin Pope and Adeline Rachel Routh, on Aug. 17, 1918
- James B. Young (April 1863), who married Ellen Cassinda Bolin (December 1861), daughter of Granville and Martha Cassinda Ruyle Bolin, on Feb. 21, 1884. They had five children: J.W. (October 1885), Clem (February 1887), Archie C. (July 1889), Stella (January 1891) and Nellie (April 1894, m. Richter). The family lived in Porter Township between his mother and Nancy Jones, mother of David "Babe" Jones.
— Mary E. (1868), known as "Aunt Mugg," who married Harrison Henderson Hunt on Oct. 26, 1886. Harrison (1860) was among 23 children in the Maynard-Hunt families, and he was married first to Tennessee White on Oct. 6, 1881. That marriage ended without children, but Harrison and Mary E. had two, son Faye (1900) and Hattie.
— Dora E. (September 1875-March 25, 1939) married James Sharp Frazier (April 8, 1874-Sept. 8, 1949) of Boaz on July 9, 1893.
The Fraziers had seven children. Erskine E. Frazier (Nov. 20, 1895-Jun 1, 1961) trained in the U.S. Army in World War I, but never left the country.
Pearl May Frazier (Nov. 15, 1898) married Lawrence Boyer of Clever.
James D. Frazier (May 6, 1901) married Joy Estes of Clever, Velma Cotter and in 1953 Peggy Sleeth.
John W. Frazier (April 29, 1903) married Hope Estes and then Lena "Lenna" McConnell, the daughter of William Lenza and Annie Pearl McDaniel McConnell of Nixa. John W. and Lennie adopted a son, James Frazier.
Wilda J. Frazier (Sept. 7, 1905-January 1919) died at age 13.
Nell Frazier (April 28, 1909) married William Clarence Richter on Oct. 15, 1937.
The seventh child of Dora and James Sharp Frazier, daughter Mary (May 30, 1911), married a Stowe.
• James A. Chaffin (1840-1890s) married Sarah McClure on Aug. 19, 1867. James A. served as a sergeant in Co. C of the 16th Missouri Cavalry from November 1863 to June 1865. His stepmother, Mary, an Ohio native, moved in with the couple by 1880.
By 1870, James had a 160-acre farm near the Faughts and Mary Emily McCafferty McConnell (widow of James H.) northwest of Nixa, with 60 acres mostly in corn and livestock production.
Among James and Sarah Chaffin's nine children, eight of whom lived to adulthood, were Mary Elizabeth (1868) and Walter Coleman "Cola" (Dec. 12, 1869-March 16, 1942) — named for their McConnell and Chaffin ancestors — Samuel H. (Oct. 14 1871-May 18, 1943), John A., William G. (May 1878), Commodore R. (March 7, 1883), Emery or Emra H. (Nov. 21, 1887-March 1966), Irma (April 1890) and Maggie.
James' death came near or after Irma's birth. Sarah was still living and caring for a child and grandchild in 1900. Both are likely buried in the so-called Chaffin graveyard in Nixa.
Son John A(lexander). Chaffin moved to San Antonio, TX, although he returned to Nixa for visits. Will took off for Joplin while Irma married a Williams and lived in Nixa. Daughter Maggie, who is buried at Delaware Cemetery, married Oscar Boyts and raised a son, Charles, and five daughters Lucile (Rogers), Flossie (Pierce), Grace (Pierce), Kate (Pierce) and Daisy Boyts. Most of the daughters moved to California.
Mary Elizabeth "Mollie" Chaffin married Abraham "Abe" McDaniel, son of George W. and Caroline Shipman McDaniel, on Nov. 29, 1885 before Rev. James Johnson. The family moved to Springfield, no later than the 1890s. Mollie died March 9, 1900 at the home of her mother and was buried in the "Chaffin graveyard," according to the Ozark newspaper. Census records for 1900 indicate the McDaniels had at least two daughters, Lucy (October 1886) and Floy (March 1895), who were living with their grandmother, Sarah McClure Chaffin, after Mollie's death.
Walter, known as Coley, married Villa B. Slay (March 15, 1878-Nov. 16, 1945), the daughter of G.W. and Margaret Bledsoe Slay, before JP Jim Wright McConnell. In 1910, Walter's mother Sarah was living with them. Walter and Villa are buried at McConnell Cemetery.
Samuel H. Chaffin married Mary J. "Mollie" Morris (June 3, 1870-March 23, 1916) on Jan. 28, 1897 before JP Jim Wright McConnell. The couple had at least three sons: James (November 1897), Bonnie (November 1898) and Robert (Jan. 20, 1900-May 14, 1916). Sam moved to St. Joseph by May 1901, leaving his family with mother Sarah McClure Chaffin; he returned to move the family to St. James, MN. Samuel H., Mollie and Robert are buried in Payne Cemetery.
William G. married Lona E. Brown of Nixa on Jan. 14, 1896, and they had a daughter, Georgia Chaffin (December 1897), and perhaps a son, Noel (1906). In 1901, Will and Lona moved to St. Joseph so he could work at the Armour Packing Co., apparently with his brother, during these St. Joseph boom days. But Will returned to remarry Bertha Sigars of Nixa on March 11, 1908 before JP Jim Wright McConnell. William G. and Bertha had at least one son, Earl Chaffin (1909), and they were living in Christian County in 1910. Georgia Chaffin is not accounted for in the 1910 census. (It is possible that Will Chaffin married a third time, in between his unions with Lona and Bertha; Christian County records show Will Chaffin of Nixa marrying Pearl Cline of Nixa on Dec. 24, 1904. In that case, Noel Chaffin was the son of Will and Pearl.)
Commodore Chaffin married Myrtle Gimlin (Jan. 22, 1885-Sept. 12, 1922) of Nixa on Dec. 4, 1904, and they had at least two children, sons Garrel (1906) and Clyde (May 30, 1908-Sept. 18, 1934). "Con" Chaffin moved to Idaho. Clyde and his wife Lucille (Dec. 12, 1917-Jan. 29, 1938) are buried at McConnell Cemetery with his parents.
Emery or Emra H. Chaffin after 1900 moved to Texas with his brother and married Johnie H. Griffin in Gonzales as WWI was ending in 1918.
• Elisabeth Chaffin (July 18, 1845 - July 9, 1906) married James Johnson "J.J." Sellers Jr. (1842-Feb. 28, 1912), the son of James Johnson "John" Sellers Sr. and Salina Ray who lived in Porter and Polk townships.
J.J. Sellers had at least six siblings: Lilley (1844); Mary J. (1846); John A. (1848) who married Mary A. Gibson in 1874; Mayberry "M.R." (1850), a well-known justice of the peace; William R. (1853); Rebecca (1858); and Franklin (1868).
Elisabeth and J.J. lived on Guin Prairie near McConnell Cemetery and had at least these children: Laura Ardonia (1868) who married John Hughes in 1886, Robert S. (1872) and Mary Elisabeth S. who married Joseph D. Payne of Billings in 1895. J.J. was elected an officer of the Grand Army of the Republic chapter in Christian Co. — and subscribed regularly to several newspapers, including the St. Louis Globe Democrat.
By 1900, Elisabeth and J.J. had taken in two grandsons, Edward (June 1887) and Robert (June 1889) Hughes.
After her death, J.J. by 1910 moved in with Elisabeth's cousin, Ann McConnell (Mrs. John) Beverage, the daughter of John W. McConnell and granddaughter of Walter McConnell.
• Isabella S. "Belle" Chaffin (Aug. 31, 1847-Jan. 13, 1922), born in Porter Township, on Oct. 10, 1867 married John L. McCauley (Nov. 6, 1848-Aug. 22, 1923), a member of a Washington Co., VA family who scattered across Porter and Finley Townships around 1850. His parents were Frederic (Nov. 10, 1815-Jan. 5, 1894) and Margaret Gibson (Oct. 9, 1817-Jan. 26, 1894) McCauley.
Among the six children of John and Belle were Minnie (March 16, 1871-May 24, 1893, m. John H. Wasson), James David (Jan. 26, 1874-May 23, 1912, m. Emma Faught), Samuel F. (Nov. 1, 1876-Jan. 21, 1960, m. Myrtle Eoff), Nevada (Nov. 30, 1879-July 15, 1966, m. Oliver Stine) and John R. (Oct. 31,1882-May 24, 1909). John and Belle lived in Finley Township beside James D. and Willie Florence Haguewood Young, the parents of the notoriousYoung brothers. James D. McCauley operated a corn mill in Nixa around 1900.
Belle and John McCauley also adopted a son, who retained the name of John A. Jones (December 1867) and married Sarah E. LNU in 1892. They had four children: Laura B. (February 1893), Maggie B. (June 1894), James B. (August 1897) and John L. (June 1900). The Jones family lived on the Finley River beside L.P. and Missouri Gibson.
Most of the family, including Belle and John, are buried in McCauley Cemetery, one mile west of U.S. 65 on Missouri 14. Also there are James D. and Willie Florence Young.
• Letitia/Latisha S. (1850), who apparently died as a teenager or, more likely, whose marriage records were lost in the 1865 courthouse fire. She was still living in 1860.
(1814-April 27, 1853)
Alexander, the eldest known son of Walter and Mary Elizabeth "Polly" Parker McConnell, was married to Mary D. Wood (Aug. 28, 1814-June 14, 1882), the daughter of Capt. Matthew Mayes Wood and Rebecca Virginia Young and sister of Elizabeth Ann Wood (Mrs. Wiley B.) Faught. The license records, however, were destroyed in the Giles Co., TN 1858 fire or the 1864 occupation by federal troops.
A Faught-Wood-Martin family history shows Mathew and Rebecca Wood had a daughter Mary, born 1814, who married a McConnell. Alexander and Mary likely met during a period from the late 1820s to 1830s when Walter's family moved to the Dry Creek neighborhood of Giles Co., TN. Alexander and Mary spent all their teenage years as close neighbors. The young couple was married around 1836.
Mail records at the Columbia, TN post office suggest that Alex, Mary and their eldest child, Eliza Jane, came west in 1842 or before and wrote back to father Walter that fall to advise him on conditions and land in Greene/Christian Co., MO. Alex is listed on the 1843 Greene County tax rolls. He and Mary may have traveled west with the early 1840 wave of the Keltner migration because that family was near neighbors of the Woodses in Giles Co. and Alexander is not found in the 1840 census.
By 1850, Alex was tending an 80-acre farm mostly used for raising corn and livestock: he showed four horses, three milk cows, four oxen, 13 other cattle, 29 sheep and 25 pigs in the agricultural census that year. He rapidly expanded his holdings thereafter.
According to the Nashville (TN) Christian Advocate, Alex died April 27, 1853, not yet age 40. Alex was struck by lightning while plowing a field on his farm northwest of Nixa, says his descendant Wayne Glenn of Nixa, and the Nashville newspaper confirms that account. Glenn says Alexander was buried in a corner of the same field; the site was marked by a large rock and undisturbed until the 1960s when the area was plowed under. The lack of a formal marker is surprising because Alex's estate papers show that David J. Ginger, a stone mason and longtime family friend from Maury Co., TN, was paid $2.50 in September 1854, presumably to erect a tombstone.
In 1848, Alexander obtained a federal land warrant, the complete text of which is included in Christian Co. land records decades after the fact. Probate records show Alex had 247 acres on Guin Prairie when he died, and Mary D. bought back the share owed to daughter Eliza and her husband John L. Keltner in 1858. Although there were seven heirs, the farm remained intact, at least until after the Civil War.
By 1860, Mary D. was farming 340 acres, although only 35 were "improved" or cultivated. The family land, which passed to sons William C., George W., John A. and others, is almost due west of Nixa. After Alex's death, his brother John W. appears to have served as a surrogate father to the family, while living on an adjacent farm. Alex's youngest son John A. commonly was called — even in official tax records — J.W. Jr.; his full name was likely John Walter Alexander.
The 1880 census shows that Mary was living with her daughter, Elisabeth McConnell Faught, on a farm northwest of Nixa. Mary is buried in Payne Cemetery, northwest of Nixa, where many of her children and other descendants also are interred.
Among Alex's children (•) and other descendants:
• Eliza Jane McConnell (1837, TN-before 1863) married John L. Keltner (Nov. 26, 1832-April 14, 1898) on July 29, 1857. John was the 24-year-old son of Absolem and Margaret Horn Keltner and grandson of Henry and Catherine Peters Keltner of Giles Co., TN. Margaret was the daughter of James Horn and Ann Crouch, who came early to what became Giles Co. and Christian Co.
Eliza and John are shown living in Finley Township with an unnamed 1-year-old son in the 1860 census. They later named this son Absolem Alexander after his grandfathers. Another son William was born in 1862, but Eliza likely died as a result of the childbirth.
John L. then remarried in 1863 to Nancy Jane Armstrong in Lawrence, KS. He died in 1898 in Mulberry, KS.
• Elisabeth F. McConnell (1843), the first McConnell born in Missouri and known as "Betsy," married her cousin Wiley Blount (W.B.) Faught Jr. (Sept. 16, 1833-May 18, 1896) of Nixa shortly after 1860. Beyond the Kenamore-Edwards-Johnson clan, the Paynes and McCroskeys, the Faughts did as much as any family to make the area rife with kissin' cousins.
Wiley Blount Faught Sr. (1799, GA-1841, Giles Co., TN) had married Elizabeth Ann Wood (1792), the sister of Mary Wood McConnell, and the couple lived on Dry Creek in Giles Co. The Faughts were neighbors in Giles Co. of Jeremiah and Milly Parker, Elisabeth McConnell's great-grandparents, as well as, for a time, Walter and Polly Parker McConnell and the large family of Inmans who also moved to Christian Co. Wiley B. Sr. is buried in Old Salem Cemetery on Dry Creek Road. Elizabeth Wood moved to Missouri, but loathed the area and the war years; she moved back to Obion Co., TN, where she died in 1872.
Wiley B. Faught Jr. was a farmer who in 1870 had 40 of his 120 acres in cultivation and the rest in pasturage for 25 head of sheep and 12 hogs. He raised corn, oats and wheat, like most of his neighbors, and sheared wool.
He later donated the land for Faught Church, the first church in the Nixa area, located about 1.5 miles northwest from town. This chapel may have been the same Pleasant Grove Church of Christ attended by Wiley's son Jack and nephew John A. McConnell. The church lay across the road from Faught School, which was built on land donated by his wife's uncle, John W. McConnell. The church was moved to Nixa in 1897 and renamed the Nixa Christian Church. After the church was moved, preaching took place in Faught School House, where the Rev. Wade Moore and others held services.
Members of the family also owned and operated Faught Store, about a half-mile north of Nixa before the town existed in 1878 and until after 1900. Some of the Faughts owned the undertaking business in Nixa — coffinmaking was a family trade — but it is difficult to determine the ownership; the firm was sold to Andrew Jackson Nokes, who curiously added a chair and furniture factory to the operation.
Wiley B. Jr. is buried in Payne Cemetery along with many of his descendants; Elisabeth is likely buried there.
Elisabeth McConnell and Wiley B. Faught Jr. had at least six children:
— William Grant Faught (Feb. 14, 1864-March 30, 1935), known as "Billy," first married Cordelia Edwards, the daughter of William Carroll and Narcissa Johnson Edwards, on Dec. 18, 1887, but the union ended quickly in divorce.
Billy then married neighbor Hattie Maynard (Sept. 30, 1874-Dec. 14, 1970), the daughter of Lewis and Martha Stephenson Maynard, in 1890. They had six children: Lizzie (Oct. 15, 1891-March 19, 1928), who married Tom Ginger (January 1888-1945); Buddie L. (July 23, 1883-July 16, 1963), who married Lena V. Harding (Dec. 10, 1899-April 4, 1993), the daughter of Carey and Minta Edwards Harding; Charlie (June 30, 1895-Sept. 18, 1975), who married Martha Marcum (Sept. 8, 1890-Sept. 18, 1965); Wiley (August 1898); Horace; and Essie, who married John Brashears and then Earl Bateman.
Among the children of Tom and Lizzie Faught Ginger, who had three sets of twins, was Ann, who married George H. Ray, the half-brother of Mary Bell Ray (Mrs. William Alexander) McConnell.
— Lennie O. Faught (May 30, 1866-Feb. 14, 1886).
— Alexander B. Faught (March 21, 1868-Aug. 9, 1885).
— Walter Scott Faught (1871). He was a merchant and took the 1900 census of Porter Township after cousin Mord Edwards was committed to the state mental hospital. Known as "Scott," Walter operated Faught Bros. Store near Guin after buying out W.J. and Emaline Avery Walker in May 1899; earlier Scott appears to have owned the undertaking business in Nixa. He lobbied vigorously for a Faught post office, but didn't succeed. Scott was a leading Republican activist in the county and southwest Missouri, attending numerous party conventions as a delegate.
— Robert W. Faught (1876). Bob was on the receiving and giving end of the storied violence common to the area. As reported in the local press, Bob got into an argument with Joe Myers at the latter's home on the evening of Jan. 28, 1899; Myers' son, "Dock," shot Faught under the right eye. Although the attending physician thought Bob would die, he was rallying. No further mention appears in the papers over the next several weeks to explain the outcome. Myers was arrested, but released on bond.
Violence, of course, beget violence, and a city boy-country boy split existed in the county. When the rural Nixa witnesses of the Faught shooting came to Ozark for the Myers case, Charlie McConnell and Ozarker Harry Johnson tangled, leaving the latter with a knife wound in the shoulder. McConnell was acquitted of charges while Johnson pleaded guilty and paid a $1 fine.
Bob Faught's name litters the criminal court records of Christian County from the late 1890s until after the turn of the century. He was a noted whiskey runner after the county voted to turn "dry" in 1905.
— Dolly L. (February 1886).
• Martha Tennessee McConnell (May 7, 1844-Jan. 14, 1913) married Martin Luther "Sant" Edwards (1840), the brother-in-law of her uncle John W. McConnell, on Oct. 8, 1865.
Before his lengthy military service, Martin was arrested and tried in 1861 for disturbing religious worship with his cousin William Hedgpeth and Thomas B. Payne, son of Larkin Payne and Rebecca Huddleston. Their 1861 conviction for disrupting religious services at a camp meeting near modern Nixa, based on the complaint of Levi C. Faught and others, was overturned by the Missouri Supreme Court. A separate case that also reached the Supreme Court involved similar charges against Martin and his cousin, Young Lafayette Stubblefield of Greene Co., but this conviction was upheld.
Martin originally may have seemed like a worthy match for Martha. Standing 5-feet-11 with dark hair and blue eyes, he was a so-called three-year volunteer in the Civil War — one of the soldiers that formed the backbone of the Union effort. He enlisted in Co. G of the 24th Infantry Volunteers Nov. 25, 1861 at Rolla, transferred to Company D and mustered out on Oct. 14, 1864, near the end of the war in the West.
Martin was elected sheriff of Christian Co. in 1870 but the office was declared vacated in April 1872. The Radical Republican governor had given circuit courts unparalleled powers to remove local officials when they couldn't control disorder.
The office of sheriff at the time included ex-officio duties as county tax collector – a combination of responsibilities that extended back to early days in England. In 1872, the state sought to collect for unremitted taxes against the bond posted for Martin as sheriff and collector, which included security by his father, brother Irvin, cousin William Carroll, brother-in-law John W. McConnell, apparently George M. Ray (later county assessor) and a Faught. In 1872, Martin further was charged criminally with failing to turn over funds to the county treasurer and a year later with fraud, apparently related to his actions as sheriff.
The couple lived on an 80-acre farm that, by 1870, had 20 acres in cultivation. Martin mainly raised corn and wheat as well as a few hogs and milk cows.
Martin and Martha were separated in February 1876, and she filed for divorce later that year. The handwritten divorce petition, drafted by a local lawyer, contains the allegations (marked out but legible) that "on sundry occasions, (Martin) cursed the plaintiff and used offensive language in her presence and by calling her a damned liar. She further stated that defendant is addicted to habitual drunkenness and that he has been so addicted to habitual drunkenness for more than one year." Martha complained that Martin had "wholly refused and neglected" to support her and the two children.
Martha asked for custody of her children — Homer Mordecai "Mord" Edwards, 9, and Dora, 7 — because, she alleged, Martin's alcoholism had made him unfit to care for the children. She also sought the restoration of her maiden name, which was granted. She and the children appear as Edwardses in the 1876 census alone and, in 1880, as McConnells living with her brother William C. and his wife Ollie.
Martha took the couple's 80-acre farm, which now would lie in northwest Nixa, as part of the settlement.
Martha, using the name McConnell, remarried to Andrew Anderson Pendleton (March 4, 1821-March 7, 1910), the member of a large landowning family in Porter and Finley Townships, in 1889. The couple was living on a Porter Township farm in 1900. In 1910 Martha was living with her daughter Dora Aven after Andrew died.
Dora Ica Edwards (March 8, 1869-Jan. 4, 1947) married William A. Aven (April 3, 1868-March 27, 1960) of Nixa, the son of John Duff Aven and Sarah Rose, on Sept. 27, 1885, and the couple farmed several places in Porter Township. The Avens had at least seven children: Claude Elmer (August 1886-March 17, 1960, m. Bessie McCroskey), Elsie (September 1888), Florence (September 1893), Iva (March 1896), Mattie (1900), Merle (Dec. 1, 1902-Dec. 25, 1990) and Archie (1907, m. Ward).
Merle married George "Buster" Owen of Nixa and had two children: Georgia (m. Lowell Sanders of Nixa); and Leon, who had two children, Larry Owen of St. Louis and Lana Gordon of Nixa.
Dora Edwards Aven, her mother and most of her family are buried at Payne Cemetery.
Homer Mordecai, known as Mord (Feb. 10, 1867-March 27, 1940), moved with his father and aunt to Sherman, Grayson Co., TX where in 1890 he married Erma or Enner Pauline Moore, a native of Mississippi. The couple had at least nine children: Pearl Flora (1891-1969, m. Duke); Herschel E. (January 1894); Clemmie or Clementine (1896, Nixa-1993, Wichita, m. Clarence Drake Sanders and Peter Stroberg); Harrol or Harold Glenn (1899-1985, m. Lillie Price); Britton T.; Russell Lowell; Nora Tennessee (m. Arthur Knox and Joseph M. Park); Carrie Modean (1910-1998, m. Walter Wesley Stephenson); and Vallie (m. Ennis Leverette).
After their marriage, Mord brought his wife back to MO by 1896.
A prominent Republican with close connections to the courthouse crowd, Mord had been appointed to serve as a federal census taker in the spring of 1900 for Porter and Logan Townships. Such jobs paid cash wages far above the prevailing level in the county and were prized. After that appointment, a Nixa correspondent of the Ozark newspapers began reporting each week that a prominent citizen and farmer was acting strangely and had been seen outrageously drunk in town; the reporter threatened to expose the man.
On July 30, 1900, the Christian Co. Court — which had jurisdiction over such matters— ordered Mord Edwards taken to Nevada State Hospital, then known as a state lunatic asylum that also treated alcoholics, by Sheriff D.R. Walker. Dr. G.P.S. "Shack" Brown, married to Mord's cousin Eva Edwards, was paid $10 for the examination.
Upon his release, Mord moved to Oklahoma and then Texas. He returned on occasion, including August 1905, when the Ozark newspaper reported that he and County Recorder of Deeds Frank Edwards, his cousin, had been on a picnic to Bengal (MO), a tiny and forgotten Christian Co. village.
• William C. McConnell (Aug. 11, 1846-April 15, 1888) wed Lyddia Olive "Ollie" Kerr (1859-1942) on Nov. 16, 1876.
William was ordered to report for duty in Co. A, 72nd Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia, on Sept. 25, 1864, but he didn't appear until Oct. 8. He then served under Capt. Stephen Sink of Nixa, patrolling Ozark Co., until Nov. 14, when the unit was disbanded.
His Christian Co. militia records in 1866 describe him as 5'10," with black hair, blue eyes and fair complexion.
Ollie, born in Taney Co., was the daughter of the Rev. James H. Kerr (Feb. 20, 1816, Spring Hill, Maury Co., TN-Nov. 28, 1870, Greene Co, MO), the son of William and Kate Ross Kerr. Ollie's mother was Lydia Patterson (1819, Maury Co.-1860, Taney Co.), the daughter of Moses and Tabitha Dodson Patterson. James and Lydia are buried in Dodson Cemetery, Greene Co.2
After William C.'s death, Ollie remarried to Joe Cook, but they were divorced; Ollie took back the McConnell name.
The couple had one son, James A. (June 20, 1879-Feb. 17, 1946), who married young but divorced. After William C.'s death and her divorce from Joe Cook, Lydia and James lived on the Porter Township farm alone; the farm was modest enough that Lyddia earned an exemption from probate after William's death. All three are buried at Payne Cemetery.
William C. and Ollie also had two daughters, Ona and Pearl. Ona married Murrell Gott, a Springfield fireman, and they had no children. Pearl married a Fleischaker; she later divorced Fleischaker and married a Jordan, and they, too, were divorced.
• George Washington McConnell (Dec. 26, 1847-Nov. 13, 1922) raised a large family with Sarah "Sallie" R. Keltner (Feb. 27, 1857-Feb. 7, 1900), the daughter of John Edward and Edith Ball Keltner, whom he married on Feb. 24, 1876. G.W. was a farmer, close to his uncle John W., and member of the board of commissioners that oversaw the township roads, which were impassable much of the year.
George moved his family to Oklahoma in the late 1890s, but soon returned. Commented the Christian County Republican: "G.W. McConnell says this country suits him far better than the Indian Ter(ritory). He has come back to stay."
Sallie's early death left George with eight children, seven of them still living at home: Harvey, Charles P., Homer, Appie, Alex, Florence, Christie and Roscoe.
George was living alone on his farm in 1920, just before his death. While tippling alone one night, he is said to have burned down his home.
Among the children:
— Harvey W. (Dec. 7, 1876-Jan. 13, 1955) married Maud A. Brown (May 20, 1880-December 1967) before JP Jim Wright McConnell Jan. 20, 1895. Maud was the daughter of Dr. G.P.S. "Shack" Brown and his wife, Eva Edwards.
Harvey and Maud had six children: Vesta (Sept. 22, 1895-Aug. 31, 1979) married Herman Maples and had one daughter, Lois; Eva Mae (May 2, 1897-Jan. 3, 1973) married John P. Edwards ; Marie (July 13, 1903-Nov. 28, 1938) married Edgar Inman; Opal Alma (Sept. 27, 1906-October 1996) married Guy Jones; Lowell (April 24, 1911-April 27, 1991) married Fannie Cox; and Carmen (Feb. 18, 1916-Nov. 25, 1999) married Mabel Inman.
Shortly after he was married, Harvey went to work for John R. "Pete" Edwards at his Nixa drugstore. In late June 1897, a drunken and abusive Ben Slay, son of George W. Slay, was told to leave the premises and replied with gunfire; Edwards shot back. Harvey was seriously wounded in the left arm, but Slay died Jan. 25, 1898.
Apparently in connection with the case, Harvey was ordered to jail by the county grand jury on Aug. 30, 1900 until he answered its questions. Carmen recalled that his father carried the scars of a fight or accident, but was unaware of the circumstances.
— Charles P. McConnell (1878) married Lillie Rhea of Nixa, the daughter of William Rhea and Sarah Jane Simpson, on April 29, 1900. Charlie had a reputation as a knife fighter — one that he shared with many McConnell cousins and young neighbors.
Daughter Blanche McConnell married Lee Alexander Frazier on July 4, 1919. Homer Edward (Jan. 6, 1881-June 11, 1967) moved to Joplin in 1899 to try his hand in the local mines, but returned to marry Cora Gibson (July 14, 1882-March 17, 1940), daughter of William K. and Elizabeth Gibson, on Jan. 5, 1902. They settled in Finley Township and had five children: Chester A. (Nov. 5, 1902-Sept. 24, 1986) who married May Hedgpeth; Clyde E. (Aug. 25, 1904-April 29, 1989) who married Verna Wales; Ralph Edward (Sept. 3, 1907-Nov. 10, 1911); Helen V. (Sept. 22, 1912-March 18, 1998) who married Earl Pierce; and Lois (Aug. 15, 1917-June 7, 2000) who married Paul Campbell. Clyde became longtime superintendent of schools at Ozark; his adopted son Anthony is a Republican Christian Co. circuit judge. Ralph Edward died in 1911, at age 4, when he was run over by a "heavily loaded lumber wagon" and lived for one day, according to his death certificate.
— Appie May (April 16, 1883-January 1967) married Fred R. Thompson of Griffin, a post office and retail center that once existed at the former 1835 mill site and "slab" south of Battlefield on the James River, on Jan. 12, 1902. The couple had three children: Roy who married a Martin; Muriel Mae who married Gordon "Bud" Keltner; and Edith who married a Samuels.
— John Alexander or "Alex" married Clara Boyts, daughter of Uriah Boyts and Emily Catherine Bolin, on Oct. 26, 1904 — after being teased openly in the Ozark paper about his courtship — and had two children, Leonard and Leslie.
— Christie or Christina (March 10, 1891-March 1972) married John A. Steele, the son of William Fletcher Steele and Mary Moore, of Wilson's Creek on July 26, 1910. Neighborhood legend indicates that Christie, who lived with John on the later-Manley place at the southeast corner of Route ZZ and the county line road, shot him through a window as he was eating at his father's home. The Steele family owned the land located at the crook in the county line road as it headed for the Wilson's Creek bridge on the national battlefield. In the 1960s federal officials bought the property, which lies along the Old Wire Road, as part of the national park.
— Florence (Sept. 10, 1888-October 1970) married Elmer Clyde Boyts, son of Uriah and Emily Catherine Bolin Boyts.
— Roscoe C. (Nov. 19, 1893-August 1968) married Bertie Aven (Dec. 13, 1895-April 11, 1931), daughter of Charles and Nona Aven.
• John Walter Alexander McConnell (Nov. 25, 1849-June 3, 1909) married Nancy Ellen Aven (March 12, 1859-Jan 1, 1931) of Nixa, the daughter of John Duff and Sarah Rose Aven, on Oct. 6, 1874 before Justice Levi C. Faught. John A. was raised, in large part by his uncle John W. McConnell and, in early county records, often was referred to as J.W. Jr. He eventually changed his signature to John A. or J.A.
John A. and Nancy Ellen were among the most prosperous of all the families who came to the area.
Much of this money may have come through the Avens, who migrated to Christian Co. from Abingdon, Washington (earlier Augusta) Co., VA, where they were close friends, relatives and neighbors of the McCroskeys and McCauleys. John Duff Aven was the brother of William Allen Aven of Finley Township, who married Sarah Henshaw in Virginia, and Samuel Wiley Aven, who maintained the family plantation there.
Reported the Ozark newspaper on S.W. Aven's visit in February 1907: He "is a typical southerner, soft voice, brogue and all. Loyalty to the old home brought its reward in his case, for he has been more favored by fortune than those who, in the early history of the country, came west."
John became a member of the Farmers Educational and Cooperative Union (a forerunner of the Farm Bureau and MFA) and was featured in its advertisements. On May 20, 1907, the Ozark newspaper reported: "Mr. John A. McConnell, a well-to-do farmer near Nixa, recently shipped a carload (of) hogs of his own raising through the union, and after paying expenses, had fifty-two dollars profit, twenty five dollars for the two days it took him to go to St. Louis and back. So you see it pays."
John and Nancy are buried at Payne Cemetery. After John's death, his son Ross and new bride took over the farm while "Nannie" and Ross' sister Bertha continued living there. Nancy was still living there, alone, in 1920. The farmhouse was standing in the 1990s.
John A. and Nancy McConnell had 10 children:
— Rosa (June 19, 1875-Aug. 5, 1875).
— William Lenza (June 30, 1876-Aug. 18, 1956) married Annie Pearl McDaniel (Dec. 1, 1876-June 30, 1957). The couple had children Ida Bell (November 1898), who was wed to Almus William Payne on Oct. 26, 1916; Iva (1900), who married Roy Hedgpeth on April 3, 1922; Lena (1903), who married John W. Frazier and then Clyde Lemming; Roy, who died as an infant; William Lloyd (Feb. 2, 1906-Jan. 14, 1972) who never married; and Susie Marie (1910) who married William Garrison.
— Margaret "Maggie" (1878-1945) married Enoch Ed Avery (1874-1930), the son of Emaline Walker, on Christmas Day 1894. (Emaline Avery remarried to W.J. Walker, who owned the Guin store before the Faughts; the Walkers were divorced in a public feud in February 1899.)
In October 1900, Maggie was hit over the head with a chair by Becky Hutchinson while visiting the family of Dick Partin. Hutchinson later was charged with felonious assault.
In 1912, the family was living on an 80-acre farm on the south edge of brother Ross' operation. The Averys had three sons, Walter B. (September 1897), Ralph and Hurd.
— Renza (Jan. 31, 1880-Jan. 31, 1880).
— Ellie F. (Dec. 21, 1881-March 2, 1886).
— Kate, or Mary Catherine, (Jan. 25, 1883), married Joe Owen of Needmore, a now-defunct community south of Springfield, on Nov. 10, 1901.
— Grace (March 1888-1958) married Herbert Aven (1885) from Abingdon, Va., and moved there before returning to Nixa. Herbert, a cousin, and Grace had three children: James, Paul and Mary Lou.
— Lucy married James B. Stewart of Greene County in 1899.
— Ross T. (Aug. 16, 1890-May 20, 1949) married Myrtle Wisner (April 24, 1890-July 16, 1998). In her later years, Myrtle lived in a Nixa nursing center and was featured in local television commercials. They had five children: Joe Ross (March 4, 1929-May 10, 1953), Eva Lee, Herman, Howard, and Clay. Ross, Myrtle and Joe are buried in Payne Cemetery.
— Bertha (August 1893) married William Gooch in 1912.
Permelia was never schooled and could not read or write. This daughter was still living in 1860, with her brother John W. and his family, but no records exist otherwise. She likely is buried in the original McConnell family cemetery on John W.'s first farm in Missouri.
William Shakespeare McConnell
(April 6, 1823-June 2, 1889)
In a family of farmers, William S. McConnell became a businessman, politician and attorney who played a pivotal role in Missouri's aborted attempt to secede from the Union in 1861.
In the 1850 census, at the age of 26, William S. was still living at home with Walter and Polly, listed in a handwritten note as a "student at L.," or law. Law schools didn't exist then, and prospective lawyers simply studied the law, usually under the guidance of a practicing attorney. In June 1852, the Greene Co. Circuit Court ordered that E.B. Boon and William S. McConnell be permitted to sign the roll of practicing attorneys.
William S. moved to Cassville the same year, when he also was admitted to the bar in Barry Co. He was married to Caroline Burton Lock (March 9, 1828, TN-March 12, 1908, Vivian, SD) in Cassville on March 13, 1853 by the Rev. George K. Porter. Caroline first wed young Rueben/ Ruban Richard Lock, on Jan. 28, 1849 in Barry Co.; the whereabouts of her son by that marriage, James M. Lock (1849), has not been determined.
Caroline's parents, John O. and Mary Burton, came to Missouri before 1837 from Alabama via Arkansas; they soon literally became the seat of government in new Barry Co. Through 1844, the Barry Co. courthouse had been located at the tiny village of McDowell in the north, but after Lawrence Co. was lopped off that year, citizens petitioned to move the courthouse south to the more central location that became Cassville. The home of Caroline's father was designated as the new courthouse; it stood on what became the Crystal Springs Trout Farm. Burton's close ties to the court crowd, while William practiced law there, no doubt accounted for his acquaintance with the young widow Caroline.
William served as administrator of his oldest brother's estate in 1853, after Alexander was struck by lightning in the fields west of Nixa. William also returned to administer his father's estate in 1854.
William S. bought his first town lot in Cassville in 1854, the forerunner of numerous town-and-country additions to his estate.
He was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives on Aug. 1, 1860 and took office that December. William originally helped stall resolutions that would have clarified the state's intentions on secession, and he voted for a plan to provide for a nonbinding referendum on secession along with his cousin, Rep. Marcus Boyd of Greene Co. William S. ended up voting for the final bill to establish a constitutional convention on secession, which Gov. Claiborne Jackson signed on Jan. 21, 1861.
The General Assembly served without major incident until March 1861 when it adjourned, but Gov. Jackson — who had been elected on a pro-Union ticket — called it back into session in May to discuss the arming of a state militia to protect Missouri's interests against Union troops in St. Louis.
On May 10, the General Assembly approved a resolution in unanimous opposition to the actions of Gen. Nathaniel Lyon (who was killed in August at the Battle of Wilson's Creek near Republic) but still provided for the state to be loyal to the Union; McConnell and Boyd were among the "ayes." The governor and other state officials then deserted the capital, believing they would be taken prisoner if Lyon's or other federal forces took Jefferson City.
That July also saw Confederate Gen. Gideon J. Pillow of Maury Co., TN invade Missouri through Arkansas. Pillow was the cousin of William S.'s sister-in-law, Matilda Edwards (Mrs. John W.) McConnell of Porter Township. (The Christian Co. McConnells nevertheless enrolled in the pro-Union Home Guards and later the 72nd Regiment of the Enrolled Missouri Militia, although their service records reflect no keen yearning for action.)
Gov. Jackson, ousted in July by a constitutional convention that declared Hamilton Gamble his successor, ordered the legislature to assemble in Neosho on Oct. 21. No record of the House session in Neosho has been preserved, although the conclave adjourned to Cassville, where a resolution of secession was adopted in both chambers. The legislature was to meet again in New Madrid, but the plans collapsed after the flight and then death of Jackson. The Confederacy quickly recognized Missouri's secession, but the state had come under Union military government for all practical purposes.
Former state Sen. Emory Melton's notes on Barry County history show that when the General Assembly was seated in Cassville, William S. refused to attend the session and provide a quorum; he later attended, but wouldn't vote. For his role, he was charged with treason and taken into custody by pro-Union legislators later. (Official histories of the era conflict on William's role, although it was strategic; he is claimed to have been both pro- and anti-secession.) He was acquitted with the help of counsel from J(I).W. Boon, who succeeded McConnell as state representative from Barry County.
McConnell's Southern leanings were clear, as was his ambivalence to act. William practiced law in southwest Missouri during the Civil War and deigned to represent Southern sympathizers — which helped cost another local attorney his life. William named a son born in 1861 after up-and-coming Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson. Living nearby, too, in Pierce Township, Stone Co., was first cousin William Alexander McConnell, whose Maury County, TN brothers all volunteered for Confederate service; one died in an Indianapolis Union prison camp.
For William S.'s legal work, he was placed under house arrest from 1862 to 1864 in Cassville by Union forces; he advised one rebel to flee Missouri, but the defendant chose to stand trial and was executed. William S. also owned an inn in the tradition of his great-grandfather William in Salisbury, NC — McConnell's Hotel — that was appropriated in the war for use as a Union field hospital. (General orders seldom allowed the outright, long-term appropriation of property belonging to pro-Union residents; foraging on rebel sympathizers' possessions was encouraged.)
The next records on William S. McConnell suggest that by 1870 he had become or remained well-to-do, despite the ravages of the war and house arrest. The census showed him as a 47-year-old druggist with $8,000 in real estate and $3,500 in personal property in 1870. Also living with the family were Mollie Burton, 16, a sister of Caroline; Virginia Parr/Farr, 16, "a domestic servant" from Arkansas; and David A. Parks, 21, a black farm laborer, also from Arkansas. William S. regained control of his hotel after the war because he is listed as a hotel keeper and farmer in 1880.
Barry County records show that after a physician registration law was passed in 1873, William signed up, although it is unclear whether he registered as a doctor or, in an ancillary provision of the law, as an apothecary or druggist.
In his final years, William was among the most prosperous and influential members of the Cassville community, living in a pocket of wealth in an area that still bore the scars of the late war. He and Caroline had not fared so well as parents, losing two daughters as infants. In 1880, the couple was living in their large Cassville home with son S.L. and daughter Maud along with Susan Ivy, a cook at the hotel; Benjamin Cooper, a farm worker; and John Ireland, a stable worker at the hotel.
William died on June 2, 1889, two days after writing a will that named his widow Caroline and son-in-law Ambrose Hunter Wear as executors of the extensive estate. Caroline was left with large farms around Cassville as well as five town lots, personal effects and equipment, and a team of work horses.
Son W.A.S., called Shakespeare, inherited farms totaling 160 acres, including the subdivision of Jumping Jack Heights in Cassville. Daughter Mary Ona Wear, by then living in Springfield, got two Cassville lots; she and her husband were already well positioned.
Son S.L. received 80 acres in farm ground north of Exeter, and daughter Maude was left four town lots in Cassville along with livestock. In February 1890, the executors sold one lot, with the store houses on it, for $800, which more than covered the estate's debts.
William lies in Cassville Cemetery. Caroline joined her daughter Maud and son-in-law Charles Leroy McCollum and died in South Dakota in 1908.
William and Caroline had at least these children:
• William A.S. or William Alexander Shakespeare McConnell, known as "Shakespeare" (1856), married Cora Hilburn of Barry Co. on Dec. 24, 1874 before Rev. George K. Porter, who had wed Shakespeare's parents. Cora was the daughter of Richard and Marcena/Marcella Hilburn, natives of TN who lived in White River Township.
The couple had at least two children: William C. (1875) and Mabel (1878). In 1880 Barry Co., the family lived in Flat Creek Township, probably on a farm owned by William S.
Christian Co. court filings, seeking disposition of grandfather Walter McConnell's allegedly unused federal land bounty, in 1901 showed that Shakespeare had moved his family to Clay Co., Texas. Available Clay Co. records show a William Scott McConnell who owned a grocery there that was destroyed by a 1906 tornado.
• Mary Ona McConnell (1858-March 1896) on March 9, 1879 married Ambrose Hunter Wear, the Democratic prosecuting attorney of Barry Co. from 1880 to 1886. Wear was born near Prairie Home in Cooper Co., where his family came from Tennessee via St. Louis, among the earliest settlers of that Missouri River valley area.
During the 1870s, Hunter (April 1854) arrived in Cassville with his older brother, William A. (March 1852); William A. was living with his brother's family in 1880 when he was studying to become a lawyer, too. Joining Hunter and Ona was their only son, Samuel McConnell Wear, born Jan. 14, 1880. The census that year shows that Hunter had retained a cook, Tennessee Langley, 19, to work as a domestic servant for his family and brother.
In late 1888, Hunter was appointed receiver of the U.S. land office in Springfield by Democratic President Grover Cleveland, a patronage office Wear held for four years. With the appointment, the family moved to Springfield, and Wear in 1894 and 1896 won election as Democratic prosecuting attorney of Greene Co.
Ona McConnell Wear had a daughter, Madeline, in 1891, but the mother died in March 1896; Hunter soon remarried to Mary E. Ford, the American-born daughter of Irish merchant Michael Ford and his wife Catherine. Although census microfilm was heavily overexposed, Mary E. Ford appears to have been married before and had a daughter, Catherine Stevenson (1896).
In 1900, the entire brood — Michael and Catherine Ford, Hunter, Mary E., Samuel M. and Madeline Wear, and "granddaughter" Catherine Stevenson — were living in the Fords' home at 511 Nichols St., Springfield.
Hunter Wear died on Nov. 28, 1910 at age 56.
Among the children of Hunter and Mary Ona, Samuel McConnell Wear was graduated from Drury College in 1902 and earned a law degree from Cumberland University, Lebanon, TN, in 1904. Admitted to the Missouri Bar that year, Samuel worked in private practice until 1912 when he was elected the Democratic prosecuting attorney of Greene County. He was re-elected in 1914, but retired two years later.
He became the senior partner in Wear & Benton, a prosperous Springfield law firm, and a force in civic and statewide Democratic party affairs. Wear was a Cumberland Presbyterian, an Elk and a Mason.
Samuel, as chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party, gave the vice presidential nominating speech for then-Sen. Harry S. Truman at the 1944 national party convention; the move by the Missouri delegation is reported to have outflanked another choice from New York who was agreeable to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Samuel married Susan McClellan, also a Democratic activist, and the family had at least five children: Ambrose Hunter II, who graduated from Cumberland University law school, too; Samuel Burke; William Alexander, who attended Drury; Susan; and Charles W.
William Alexander Wear practiced law in Springfield into the 1980s, along with his son Bill.
• Stonewall L. (1861). The son S.L. mentioned in the 1870 and 1880 census as well as the 1889 will almost certainly was Stonewall. In the counties of southwest Missouri in 1900, the closest match to this description is Stonewall L. McConnell (b. November 1871, probably an error), a boarder in the home of George Bates, 229 Lynn St., Springfield. Naming a son Stonewall, after the nickname of a Confederate general, would have made plain William S.'s war sympathies.
Stonewall isn't mentioned in the 1901 court filings as a grandson of Walter McConnell and may have died by then.
• Maude I. (Dec. 13, 1866, Cassville-June 24, 1924, Chamberlain, SD), who married Charles Leroy McCollum, son of state Rep. Julien Leroy McCollum and Eliza Krouskop of Sextonville, WI, in Springfield on Feb. 6, 1889. How she met McCollum is unclear because he had been a grocery store owner and postmaster of Twin Bluffs, WI before becoming railroad station master there. He and Maude took their honeymoon trip to Florida to attend the International Association of Ticket Masters convention, of which he was a charter member.
In 1894, the couple moved to Prairie du Lac, WI, where Charles was a ticket agent for seven years until he became ill. They then moved to Vivian, SD, where he became the town's station master for the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad on its route to Rapid City until his retirement in June 1937. In 1911, Maude headed the decoration committee for the town's first public Christmas celebration.
Maude became ill and died June 24, 1924 at Chamberlain Sanitarium in nearby Brule Co., SD. She and Charles are buried in the Sextonville, WI cemetery.
They had three daughters, all of whom moved to New York City c. 1926. Maude Ona McCollum became a school teacher, married Howard Wilbur McLarnan, lived on a ranch and then moved to New York. Eliza Ruth McCollum graduated from Aberdeen (SD) College and George Washington University in D.C. and became principal of Vivian High School before going to New York. Mary Elizabeth McCollum, also a graduate of Aberdeen College, became principal of an Idaho high school, worked for a finance firm in New York and then held a Depression relief administration post there before she died in 1934.
• Carrie M. (1869-1870), who died as an infant and is buried in Cassville Cemetery.
Catherine Jane McConnell Butler
Catherine Jane filed suit in Greene County in 1847 by her "next friend," (blurred, perhaps brother William, the law student) McConnell, against Henry Martin, who may have jilted her. The suit was dropped, and she was ordered to pay court costs. Two Henry Martins married in the area at that time: Henry Martin of Porter Township married Priscilla Gerard in 1845 and lived in Green Valley, southwest of the McConnells; Henry J. Martin of Bates Co. married Martha Apperson of Greene Co. -- the sister of neighbor Peter Apperson -- in 1848. Both men were considerably older than Catherine.
This episode may explain why Catherine Jane waited relatively late in life to marry and also settled upon a man as much as five years younger.
The namesake of her grandmother, Catherine Jane married George Washington Butler, a Kentuckian from the rugged eastern counties of the state, on Oct. 4, 1853. The younger Butler, who was born in 1832 to Samuel H. Butler and Anna Collins, appears to have been a new arrival in the county because he didn't live there at the time of the 1850 census.
By 1860 George and Catherine were living beside her brothers John and James in Porter Township with three children: Samuel Walter (1854), James W. (1857) and George W. Jr. (1860). They reportedly in 1861 had a daughter Sarah, called "Sallie," and Catherine may have died from complications in that childbirth.
George W., a farmer with land worth $650 in 1860, had an 80-acre farm devoted mostly to raising hogs, corn and — true to his Kentucky roots — tobacco, although on a small scale.
He was extremely active with the Union forces during the Civil War, fighting with Company B of the Christian County Home Guard, Companies L and H of the 6th Provisional Regiment, and Company A of the 72nd Regiment, of the Enrolled Missouri Militia. The last record of his service came on March 15, 1864 when he was mustered out of the provisional militia.
Catherine Jane almost certainly died before the end of the Civil War. George W. remarried to a local widow, Nancy Jane Wray Warren, the daughter of John and Nancy Kyle Rapp Wray of Taney Co.; Nancy's half-sister had married Samuel M. Chaffin, George W.'s brother-in-law. Nancy Jane first had married George M. Warren, who had settled in Christian Co. from Wilson Co., TN.
The newly married Butlers likely moved to Hickory Co., MO after the war, partly to escape the outlaws pillaging the area. They then moved north of Sedalia, near George's father who lived in Lafayette Co.
The children went with their father and stepmother and eventually settled after 1872 in Limestone Co., TX, southeast of Waco. George W. and Nancy Jane had three children of their own: David Henry (Jan. 22, 1866-June 9, 1948) who married Laura Gladish; Mary Jane (May 13, 1869-July 13, 1953) who married Charles Henry Wood; and Thomas T. (Oct. 31, 1872-Nov. 4, 1940) who wed Mary Etta Jones.
Also living with this yours-mine-ours family were Nancy's three children by George M. Warren, all born in Christian Co.: John Monroe Warren (Jan. 22, 1855-Aug. 2, 1889) married Mary Evaline Betty; Nancy C. (July 29, 1858-Nov. 27, 1901) married Joe E. Wood and William J. Hayter; and Sallie (September 1861-May 22, 1925) married Eugene T. Tarpley.
By 1890, George W. Butler had settled near Weatherford, Parker