Randy has generously shared these for publication with the Christian County Mogen Web site. No data may be reproduced or published without permission of the author.
When James Wright Edwards first scouted northern Christian Co. in 1849,1 the Guin Prairie grasses grew taller than a man, and scarcely a tree broke the horizon. Since the 1830s, the residents of Maury Co., TN like Edwards had received reports about this new Ozarks country near Springfield, either in letters or newspaper dispatches reprinted from the Ozark Eagle.
Old friends -- like the Keltners from Giles Co. and Walter McConnell family from Maury — had resettled here several years before and were thriving on the prairie upland south of Springfield, even though most of the James River bottom had been claimed.
James W. had achieved middling prominence in Maury Co. as a Disciples of Christ minister, elected constable, farmer and shoemaker, but the country was becoming heavily settled – the second most heavily populated county in Tennessee. Many of his friends, neighbors and kin had lost their lands in the recession of 1842, and all lived in the shadows of their cousins, the Pillows, and the Polks, who owned large estates in southern Maury. The children were reaching the age to marry, and their prospects were meager in Middle TN with its high land prices.
James W. likely spent the winter of 1851-52 -- not 1849 -- with Jared E. Smith in northern Christian Co. because Edwards patented a 40-acre land grant there on April 26, 1852 before returning to Maury Co.
James W.’s report to friends and kin helped bring a flood of southern Maury and Giles Countians in the fall of 18522 to southern Greene Co., which then included northern Christian. Among them were his brothers, his wife's Kenamore parents, sisters and their families, the Macks, Inmans, Gingers, Faughts and others in search of new promise. Those who did not make the trip in 1852 came two years later. Most arrived with considerable capital and soon owned much of the land around modern Nixa and north to the James River valley.
These families eventually founded the present community of Nixa, one of the fastest growing cities in Missouri today. James W.'s original farm of 680 acres covered much of northern Nixa; his two eldest daughters owned another large area; his son operated one of two stores at the crossroads that became the Nixa post office in 1878; and the family drug store became an early Nixa fixture.
James W. took a leading role in the pro-Union area’s affairs in the Civil War, serving in the county Home Guard in his 50s and on the Christian Co. Court during the desolate days when Union militia, rebel troops and bushwhackers clashed regularly. He married, as his second wife, a widow whose husband had been kidnapped and presumed murdered by rebels. He was allied with the Radical Republicans of Greene Co., led by his old friends, the Macks, and considerable evidence supports his involvement in a slave-running operation from Arkansas to the North.
When formal hostilities ended (but bushwhacker activity bore on), he owned and operated the historic Riverdale mill and continued preaching and marrying at a nearby church, but in the late 1870s, he fell upon hard times and died in relative poverty in 1893.
He was buried beside his first wife Patsy Kenamore, up to a dozen relatives and two former slaves in the old family graveyard that dated from her death in 1866, alongside modern U.S. 160 just north of the Nixa city limits.
But the tract passed out of the family hands, and the owner in 1940 tore out the stones and wrought iron fencing without notice. Intimidated by the man's local prominence, hobbled by weak state laws and dispersed over time, the remaining family members had little recourse as growth crept along the Springfield-Nixa corridor.
Eventually in the 1990s, the owner’s son offered to arrange for a state archaeologist to visit -- to disprove that any bodies were buried there. But the diggers found the remains, and the owners paid for their reburial at McConnell Cemetery, where a large monument has been erected among James W.’s extended family.
From Maury to Missouri
James W. Edwards was the son of Nancy Edwards and likely Mordecai Edwards, who are mentioned in the 1816 bastardy case of his sister Jane.
Some researchers have suggested the parents are Mark Fielding Edwards and Nancy Hammontree of Lincoln Co., NC, but the evidence is sparse. James W. told the 1880 censustakers that his father was born in Scotland although the father and older brothers were likely born in North Carolina.
By the 1820 census, mother Nancy Edwards was living in southern Maury Co. with six males, apparent sons or grandsons born in 1794 or after, and a young female; the father had died by then although Williamson and Maury Co. files contain no records of his probate.
James Wright Edwards was born around 1807 in Tennessee. He went by his middle name of Wright, at least early in life when the 1830 census lists him as such. Some descendants refer to him as Wright; the Christian Co. centennial history called him “Uncle Wright Edwards.”
He married around 1830 to neighbor Martha “Patsy” Kenamore (1813-1866), probably in Giles Co. where records were destroyed; abstracts of Middle Tennessee marriages do not list the license, but his brother’s records are shown in Maury Co. at about the same time.3
Patsy was the daughter of Creek War veteran William and Mary Johnson Kenamore of Maury Co. and the granddaughter of Revolutionary War veteran Abner Johnson Sr. and wife Nancy Brackett of Amelia Co., VA, Rockingham Co., NC and Maury Co. The Kenamores (formerly Genheimers) were descendants of German Palatinate mayors who came to America in 1732 and migrated to South Carolina; the Quaker Johnsons came from Aberdeen, Scotland in the late 1600s to plantation VA and eventually North Carolina before all converged on Maury Co. in Middle Tennessee.
Wright and Patsy settled in Bigbyville, a village south of the Maury Co. seat of Columbia that boasts fertile soil for farming and rich pastures for horse raising.
James W. and Patsy Kenamore Edwards had a male, likely his nephew William Carroll Edwards, age 10 to 15, living with them in 1830 in Maury Co. Ten years later, they are shown with a son, Irvin Wright, and daughter Matilda. Several early children likely died as infants, and the Edwardses added Martin Luther, Nancy C. and Clarinda to the family before coming to MO.
James W. was elected Democratic constable in Civil District 7 of Maury Co. on March 2, 1844. But he also served as a minister of the Christian Church (Disciples), which the family attended in Bigbyville; he presided over the marriages of many of the extended Edwards-Kenamore-Johnson-McConnell-McCafferty-Gooch family after coming to Missouri.
Less well known was his work as a shoemaker, which is listed as his occupation in the 1850 Maury County census; his trade brought him into repeated contact with the McConnells, particularly the Rev. William C., who was a tanner and Disciples of Christ preacher in southern Maury. James W.'s nephew Carroll also worked as a tanner, perhaps with neighbor McConnell.
Although early family histories describe James Wright as a wealthy man, he was merely middle-class by Tennessee standards, owning real estate on the edge of Bigbyville worth $2,000 in 1850; his wealth came after his arrival in Missouri, where low land prices magnified his worth.
The Kenamore family history4 tells of James W. coming to Christian Co. in 1849, laying stake to 600 acres and returning to Maury Co., TN to retrieve the other members of the Kenamore family the next year. Instead, James W. likely came to Christian Co. in 1851 with Jared Ebenezer Smith, who had married Sarah Roberta Mack, the daughter of James W.’s neighbor John A. Mack and cousin Sarah Sophia Mack.
Growing evidence supports the view that the large Maury Co. wagon train with the Edwards and related Kenamore families did not arrive in Christian Co. until October or November 1852.5 Another group came two years later, after the death of the Kenamore family matriarch, Nancy Brackett (Mrs. Abner) Johnson, who lived into her 90s.
The families likely took one of two paths. One “road” to Christian Co. crossed the Mississippi at Helena, Phillips Co., AR to the military road west on Crowley's Ridge, and travelers then cut from Forsyth, MO north.6 Another route — near the Trail of Tears — required emigrants to go north of Nashville to Hopkinsville, KY, Jonesboro, IL, the Weaver ferry on the Mississippi, Jackson, MO, and then Farmington, Caledonia, Hartville and Springfield.7 Both routes cut through rugged terrain in south-central MO or northern Arkansas.
James W. quickly began building his own plantation in Missouri, adding to his early 40-acre land grant.on Nixa’s north side.
On April 9, 1853, James W. paid William T. and Sarah Burford of Greene Co. $2,040 for 680 acres, a fee simple transaction, on the stretch of Guin Prairie that now comprises the northwest portion of Nixa.8 The land was near the farm of Walter McConnell and the property of his sons; the McConnells came west from Bigbyville and Campbellsville, TN in 1842 and 1845. The Burfords lived elsewhere in the county and had been holding the land for investment.
The comparability of his real estate's value in 1850 and the purchase in 1853 suggest that James W. simply reinvested his sales proceeds from TN into a farm here, although the cheaper price of western land left him with a virtual plantation, in both TN and MO terms.
In the 1856 Greene Co. tax list, James W. owned the 680 acres that were the core of his holdings for 15 years, five horses, seven cows, 12 mules, a scarce "pleasure" carriage and $100 in notes for cash loaned to others.
The prairie was considered among the finest farmland in modern Christian Co. The total value of his property, according to the Greene Co. assessor, was $4,705 in 1856. The value grew to more than $8,000, according to the 1860 census, or a vast sum in the context of the area economy. The size of James W.'s holdings placed him in the league of the plantation holders south of Springfield on the Kickapoo and Guin prairies and the James River valley — the Crenshaws, Wards, Steeles, Sanderses, Pattersons, Paynes, Owenses, Fulbrights, Blakeys, Danforths, Vintons, Macks, Phillipses, McElhanys, Bowens, Shorts and O'Bryants.
The Edwards-Kenamore families had come from Maury plantation country, where their cousins, the Pillows, and the family of President James K. Polk held estates totaling thousands of acres. In Missouri, the Edwardses and Kenamores settled similar ground.
Many of these Greene Co. plantation families were extensive slaveholders. James W. had no slaves in the 1856 tax list despite his large acreage, but at least two blacks were buried in the desecrated family burial ground.
These blacks may have been freed slaves from other large farms who became James W.'s hired hands after the Emancipation Proclamation; the 1870 agricultural schedule shows that James W., virtually alone among Christian Co. farmers, hired farm workers for cash.9
The battle over slavery and for the Union
By the late 1850s in Greene Co., James W. became a leader among those settlers who feared the designs of fire-breathers on both sides of the slavery debate, but moved strongly to the Union side. On April 5, 1858, he served on the resolutions committee of the “Union meeting” held in Springfield to oppose and prevent dissolution of the country over the slavery issue.10 Among other speakers to the group was Col. Marcus Boyd, another Middle TN migrant and first cousin of late neighbor Walter McConnell.
Evidence of James W.'s leanings is found in ties to the Macks from southern Maury Co., who appear to have come with the Edwardses to MO in 1852.11 The Macks led the Radical Republican faction of Greene Co. during the Civil War.
The original John Mack and his sons had come from Pittsylvania Co., VA c. 1800, and a marker at their original homestead on the Pulaski Pike in Maury Co. noted, incorrectly, that they were the first permanent white settlers in the county.
The Edwards settled nearby, and a complex web of relationships linked the two families.
John W. Edwards, the minister's nephew and son of brother Jeremiah Edwards, married Narcissa Mack, the daughter of John Mack who died in 1855.12 John A. Mack13 had signed as a witness to James W. Edwards' Greene Co. deed in 1853. Macks were shown as niece and nephew of James W. Edwards' daughter in a later census.
John W.D.L.F. Mack (1820, TN), known as “Alphabet,” bought part of Grant Kenamore's holdings just west of James W.'s farm in 1859; Grant was James W.'s brother-in-law. Mack in-law Jared E. Smith, or J.E. Smith,14 later a Greene Co. state representative who married a Mack, arrived before the others and bought the land due west of James W. and sold it in 1852 to James H. McConnell.
The newly arrived Macks began their ascent to political power in Greene Co. just before the war opened.
In August 1859, Alphabet Mack was elected Greene Co. circuit clerk, and he was named county attorney the following year. He and other officials siding with the Union fled Springfield in 1861 and early 1862 during the Confederate occupation, but he returned to win a lopsided victory over moderate Col. Marcus Boyd to become state senator from Greene and Christian Cos. in November 1862. In 1864 and 1865, the family literally seized control of the county with assistance from Gov. Thomas Fletcher,15 who threw elected Democratic officials out of the Springfield courthouse and replaced them with the Macks.
Robert A.C. Mack (1835, TN), a young doctor/lawyer, who had residences in both Greene and Christian Cos.. by 1860,16 became county school commissioner by late 1863. He was appointed Greene Co. clerk Jan. 4, 1864 and local military agent for widows, orphans and disabled soldiers — a lucrative position — in April 1864. Mack apparently lost the election or didn't seek another term that fall because Gov. Fletcher ousted Democrat M.J. Hubble under the new state constitution to install Mack as county clerk again in April 1865.
John A. Mack, a Springfield attorney, became probate and court of common pleas judge in April 1864, again thanks to the ousting ordinance. Alphabet Mack was named county attorney on April 15, 1865 and again in January 1866, and he chaired the county Radical Republicans.17 The family held sway until 1870 when Robert A.C. Mack was elected circuit clerk as a Radical Republican, but Democrats swept the other offices.18
One branch of the Mack family owned Wilson Township, Greene Co. farms adjacent to Lewis A.D. Crenshaw (1820-Dec. 23, 1884),19 another wealthy Middle Tennessean, just across the James River from the James W. Edwards farm.
The next link north of James W. on the “underground railroad” was said to be Crenshaw, who in the early 1850s assembled hundreds of adjoining acres north of the James River into one of the Greene Co.'s largest plantations with a 14-room mansion.20
According to stories passed down in the family and circumstantial evidence, the Rev. Edwards formed a link in the “underground railroad” to help slaves and others escape from Arkansas north before and/or during the Civil War; he reportedly was assigned to take them to the Crenshaw mansion south of Springfield for their next leg toward freedom. The old mansion was riddled with hidden rooms and tunnels and served as a refuge for Union soldiers, sympathizers and refugees from the Confederates in the Civil War.
By all appearances, Crenshaw also functioned as the behind-the-scenes money man for Mack's political network.
Crenshaw came to Springfield from Nashville in 1841 and settled south of the city in 1848 with no land; he still had none recorded by the 1851 tax list. But his property was worth $20,000 by 1860, and 10 years later, it was valued at $55,000: his personal property totaled another $35,000. His family said his wealth was founded on profits from an 1849 expedition to California, where Crenshaw brought 27 male settlers and goods that he sold for exorbitant prices.21
Although Crenshaw held 14 slaves in 1856, those holdings had little influence on his pro-Union activities, including the apparent transport of blacks and Union sympathizers safely to the North. His slaves in fact provided an essential “cover” for his activities. The route from Crenshaw's Springfield mansion had two outlets to the North: one through west-central Missouri to Topeka, Des Moines, Chicago and Canada; the other through St. Louis to Chicago and northward.22
Crenshaw was so pro-Union that in June 1861, he set out for St. Louis with Sempronious H. “Pony” Boyd (a future congressman, ambassador and son of Marcus, the McConnell cousin) and Dr. E.T. Robberson to urge Gen. Nathaniel Lyon or his aides to send troops to southwest Missouri and avert a Confederate takeover.23
At this time, Confederate Gen. Gideon Johnson Pillow -- the cousin of Martha Edwards, the Kenamores and Johnsons from Maury Co.24 -- was invading southeast Missouri, and a large portion of the state militia had gone over to the rebels, including a major contingent at Sarcoxie.
The delegation of three Greene Countians instead encountered Col. Franz Sigel at newly captured Rolla — heading the first federal troops into southwest Missouri for the war — and Sigel escorted the men back to Springfield. The Battle of Wilson's Creek followed in August 1861 with Sigel operating under the command of Lyon, who was killed.
Although he was 54 when the war began, James W. served from May 8 to July 27, 1861 in the pro-Union Greene and Christian Cos. Home Guards,25 who fought in the Battle of Forsyth that summer and helped capture the town briefly for the Union.26
James W. had no qualms about his side in the war — unlike daughter Matilda's brother-in-law, Rep. William Shakespeare McConnell of Cassville, a tepid Southern sympathizer who was elected to the Missouri House in 1860. Even though the secessionist Legislature fled to his hometown, McConnell at first refused to attend their rump session in 1861 and then refused to vote on a secession resolution.
W.S. was tried for treason by the military government, but acquitted. Federal troops kept him under house arrest for two years because, as a lawyer, he represented Southern sympathizers. His hotel became a military hospital for the duration.
Judge James W. Edwards
James W. soon became part of the scramble by pro-Union forces to take over the county courthouses and local political apparatus of southwest Missouri.
The party system had broken down into the anti-emancipation Conservative Union Party and the pro-emancipation Radical Republicans; the once dominant Democrats, with their slaveholding faction, no longer functioned in Greene and Christian Cos. No one was allowed to vote without taking an oath of allegiance to the Union and the essentially military Gamble provisional government in Jefferson City.
The southwest Missouri elections of 1862 were rife with family connections.
For Congress, incumbent John S. Phelps27 of the new Conservative Union Party faced a challenge from Sempronious H. “Pony” Boyd, the McConnell cousin, running as an Emancipationist-Radical Republican.
For the State Senate, Col. Marcus Boyd, Pony's father, was running on the Conservative Union ticket instead against John W.D.L.F. “Alphabet” Mack of the Radical Republicans. Standing for a Christian Co. Court seat was James W. Edwards, whose political affiliation is unrecorded.
The results of the election in Christian Co. were believed lost in the courthouse fire of 1865. But the Capitol Fire Documents collection contains this letter, which was burned at the top of both pages, among files salvaged by townspeople from the Secretary of State's office and stacked on the Capitol lawn as the statehouse fire blazed in 1911:28
Ozark, November the 24th, 1862
Christian Co., MO
To his Excellency, the Governor of the State of Missouri:
I, John Pettijohn, Clerk of the County Court in and for the County of Christian, do hereby certify that for Congress, John S. Phelps received 71 votes.
I hereby certify that for Congress, S.H. Boyd received 325 votes.
I hereby certify that for County Court Justice James W. Edwards received 144 votes.
I hereby certify that for County Court Justice Joel Hall received 135 votes.
There were two county court justices to elect. They were both of them duly and constitutionally elected. But owing to circumstances that I will state, they failed to cast lots for the time of holding said offices. The federal army had taken the courthouse for a hospital. The court failed to attend to that and other business. I will send you the time of there (sic) holding of office in a short time. Hope you will excuse under the cirumstances.
With Christian Co. only in existence since 1858, the election appears to have warranted the election of one judge to a two-year term and another for four years, but these district judges' slots were not determined in a random drawing.
The surviving state records also provide no clue about James W.'s opponent, although other counties provided detailed lists of the election results. As the letter states, county officials had neither the time nor the facilities to provide lengthy accounts of the election for the state.
James W. probably drew the two-year term because his name has not yet been found in the records of 1866, when the longer term would have expired, after the courthouse fire. The fire also consumed his record of service to the county.
The election tide, however, was clearly discernible. The area, once Democratic with moderate-sized slaveholdings, elected the Emancipationist/Radical Republican ticket in a landslide. Alphabet Mack outpolled Marcus Boyd 630 to 258 in Greene Co., according to the History of Greene Co. 29 Sam Headlee and Jared Ebenezer Smith, both formerly of Maury Co., won Greene Co. state representative slots as Emancipationists.
As a county judge, James W. likely had the influence to guarantee safe passage for slaves, white Union sympathizers, soldiers and supplies that were smuggled north from Arkansas. “Safe passage,” of course, was a relative term because of the lawlessness on both sides of the war, but James W. could have guaranteed that the local sheriff, deputies and militiamen cooperated on the Christian Co. leg of the trip.
James W.'s election gave state Sen. J.W.D.L.F. “Alphabet” Mack, who had been promoted in 1862 from private to adjutant and captain of the 72nd Regiment, Enrolled MO Militia, a political lieutenant on the southern front of the greater Springfield area.
James Wright Edwards
and Susan Arminta Ellen Sink
James W. and Patsy Kenamore Edwards had another son, John Riley or “Pete,” and daughter Mary after coming to MO, but Patsy died shortly after the war. She was still living in April 1866 when James bought her late father’s farm and allowed for a distribution of the proceeds to other heirs. Her stone was destroyed about 1941 by the family who bought the Edwards cemetery site.
As a shoemaker, even after moving to MO, James W. often patronized a local tanyard where he met his second wife. Susan Arminta Ellen Sink (Jan. 31, 1834, Pokagon Township, Cass Co., MI-Jan. 17, 1917, Nixa) was the daughter of David William and Delilah Dillon (or Lucinda Moffett) Sink, originally of Franklin Co., VA, although the mother died in Michigan while Susan was young. David operated “Davie's Jerk” southwest of Nixa and remarried in Michigan to Wealthy Ann Hartwell, a Virginia native.
Susan married first to John C. McDaniel on April 22, 1852 in Greene Co. MO.30 Susan's granddaughter recalled the couple had three children before they fell victim to bushwhackers in the Civil War. Two young children had died and lay in state in the home, when raiders carried away John, and Susan never saw him again.31
Susan's brother, Capt. Stephen Sink, commanded the Union troops in charge of Ozark Co., MO.
James W.'s activities and Susan's ties made them targets for the bushwhackers still marauding through the countryside long after the war officially ended, and James W. was often away from home on public or religious affairs.32
In one story told by a daughter, probably from around 1871, Susan hid the two youngest children in a smokehouse and forced the youngest, Leanna Ellen, to breastfeed so she wouldn't cry as raiders plundered the farm. Susan and Ellen nevertheless were detected although daughter Martha, stuffed in a barrel, remained hidden in the darkness.33
Of course, hiding in a smokehouse, when raiders were looking for food and money, wasn't a capital idea.
The decline of James Wright Edwards
James W. Edwards began his life in Christian Co. as one of its wealthiest and most prominent men; he died in poverty, according to Kenamore family historian Blanche Doran. No probate files have been found.
He was still well-to-do in 1870 — in fact the wealthiest farmer in the area even though he had deeded substantial land to his daughter, Matilda, and her husband, John W. McConnell. Deed records show that James W. and Susan sold McConnell 80 acres northeast of Nixa on Aug. 25, 1867 for $200; the land was part of James W.'s original holdings in Missouri. The other children also received or bought land in the same area from James W.
The 1870 agricultural census records show that James W. held 400 acres, with 100 in cultivation, valued at $9,600 – despite plummeting land values -- with $430 in farm equipment. He had eight horses, six mules, three milk cows, six oxen, three other cattle, 30 sheep and 50 pigs. James W. raised wheat, corn and oats, and he was among the rare farmers who reported that they paid for hired help, likely the blacks, perhaps Herndons, who are buried in the family graveyard.
After 1874, almost all the land that now forms the site of northern Nixa passed from James W. to his nephew, William Carroll Edwards, and other family members. On the 1874 tax list, James W. still owned 40 acres on the northern edge of current Nixa, possibly his patent land, plus 158 acres at Riverdale.
James transferred hundreds of acres to his younger children to protect the property in a dispute with the county and state over back taxes – including a ploy in which local citizens refused to bid on his land as it was sold for delinquent taxes and James bought it for rock-bottom prices.
James W. Edwards' landholdings quickly were reduced to a 5-acre tract in Riverdale on the Finley River where he was operator of the historic Riverdale Mill until Jan. 14, 1876, according to Bygone Days, a local history. The state of Missouri sued him for back taxes on March 5, 1878.
Generally speaking, James W. Edwards himself was quick to take a dispute to court and once sued over the accidental (or mischievous) castration of a jackass by John Morrow and James McDaniel.
This jackass, however, was special — "Old Norman," James W.'s vehicle for reaching his church services each Sunday. Even when he was too aged and infirm to mount the animal alone, his daughters by the second marriage boosted him up on Sunday mornings so he could preach at Old Dry Bones Church near Riverdale. The church's men would help him unmount and boost him up again after the services to send him home.
The court files indicate he loaned the jackass to the two young boys, who returned the animal castrated. According to the family's version of the story, the horse was taken without permission and castrated with barbed wire — certainly a more colorful saga: Old Norman is supposed to have contracted blood poisoning after the crude operation and died.34
By 1880, James W. was still living with his second family near Riverdale as a farmer with Abraham Harp, 56, boarding as a laborer.
James W. performed his last marriage of record when he wed Jacob Castlow or Castillo35 and Melvina Pope, both of Nixa, on Aug. 17, 1891. Jacob had first married James W.'s niece, Amanda McCafferty; Melvina was the sister of Rebecca Jane Pope McConnell, who had married John W. McConnell after his first wife, James W.'s daughter Matilda D., died in the early 1870s.
James W. was buried beside his first wife Patsy Kenamore in the old Edwards family cemetery on U.S. 160 north of Nixa, along with about a dozen relatives and two black farm workers. The bodies were removed from the site in the 1990s and reinterred at McConnell Cemetery near Nixa.
After James' death on Sept. 22, 1893, Susan Sink Edwards moved in with daughter “Minta” Edwards and Carey Harding, who were living in Finley Township, Christian Co. in 1900. Susan later joined another daughter, Martha, and husband Gerome Bolin.
Susan Sink Edwards died Jan. 15, 1917 and is buried in McConnell Cemetery in the Bolin family plot. She died of heart disease and arteriosclerosis, according to the opinion of Dr. L.W. Fowler on her death certificate.
Children of James W. Edwards
and Martha H. “Patsy” Kenamore
Irvin Wright Edwards (Dec. 15, 1836-July 11, 1914)
Irvin, a Union Civil War veteran who drew a pension for his service as an infantry sergeant, served as the Nixa postmaster from 1889 to 1893. He was elected Nixa's justice of the peace in 1894, with his nephew James Wright McConnell, and re-elected at least in 1896.
Born in Maury Co., TN, Irvin began the war as a sergeant under Capt. William Vaughn in Co. B, the Christian Co. Home Guard, from May 8, 1861 to July 27, 1861. He then joined Co. A., 72nd Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia, as a private under Capt. Jackson Ball from July to October 13, 1862 when he “enlisted in the U.S. service.” But his service card does not indicate the unit, which qualified him for a pension.
Irvin married Harriet Jane Herndon (1846-1931),36 the daughter of William Holman Herndon of Galena, on Nov. 20, 1862 in Stone Co., MO before the Rev. Mathew Duff McCroskey of Porter Township, Christian Co.37 Irvin and Jane had at least one son, John Irvin, in 1866.
That same year, Irvin was charged with felonious assault with intent to kill, but the outcome is unknown. In these generally lawless days in the wake of the Civil War, Irvin's brother Martin also was charged with assault in a possibly related incident.
The 1880 census shows that Harriet Jane was living with two sons: John Irvin and William Holman, born in 1879. William was the son of another man, probably Irvin's brother Martin. Irvin had split with Jane before 1880, when he was living with his brother John R. “Pete.” Jane finally divorced Irvin in a case filed in 1883, and she married his brother, Martin "Sant" Edwards, another mill hand, although the license records have not been located.
Irvin lived with his cousin's wife Narcissa (Mrs. William Carroll) Edwards at the turn of the century. She died in 1906 and by 1910, he resided with two sisters of his stepmother: Martha J. Sink Herndon and Frances A. Sink Hunt.
Irvin is buried in McConnell Cemetery with son John Irvin and daughter-in-law Ona A. Faught Edwards.
John Irvin Edwards (March 26, 1866-Aug. 20, 1923) married Ona (Jan. 22, 1869-Sept. 22, 1944), daughter of John W. “Jack” Faught and Mary Ann McConnell, on Oct. 14, 1886. They lived on an 80-acre farm southwest of Nixa. Records show that John I. took out a $55 loan from the county school fund to help buy his farm, and it was repaid in April 1897.
The couple had seven children:
— Ernest (July 26, 1887-March 27, 1960) married Alpha Pruitt (Feb. 28, 1892-May 9, 1955). They were parents of Ellis, who married Evelyn Robb in 1915; and Clay (m. Cleda Bell Leach).
— Roscoe (March 5, 1901) married Ila Wiggins (Aug. 2, 1916-Jan. 31, 1986). Their children were Roscoe Jr. and Shirley (m. Ray McPeak).
— Girtie (Oct. 9, 1889) married Alva Bolin (June 7, 1888-May 23, 1967) and raised Blon, Leon (m. Grethel Emlet), Herman (m. Dorothy Smart), Wallace (m. Opal Watson), Ilene (m. Leon Watson), Norman Lee (m. Ethel Mae), Carol Lee (m. 1. Jenkins and 2. Howe), and Wanda Mae (m. 1. Rathman and 2. Craig).
— Bertha (Aug. 9, 1893-Aug. 21, 1947) married Clarence Livingston (Oct. 8, 1901-October 1976), and they had one daughter, Reba who married Philip Hughes.
— Vesta (March 23, 1896-May 12, 1973) married Allen Glenn (Jan. 16, 1893-Oct. 6, 1963), and the couple had five children, Ward (m. Ruth Nix), Nell (m. Ben McDonald) and Irene (m. Johnny Warren), Dorothy, and Doris (m. Keith Young).
— Birdie (Nov. 15, 1896-Nov. 26, 1896).
— Reba (Dec. 15, 1906) married 1) Grady Thompson, who committed suicide, and 2) W. Jennings "Sandy" Baumberger (Sept. 1, 1905). Reba and Sandy owned a farm near Brookline, MO; she retired after a long teaching career in Greene County public schools.
— Lorene (Dec. 4, 1909) married Lloyd Flood (January 1906) and raised Donald, Wilma Jean (m. Robert Gamble), Betty Dean (m. Jim Green), Rollin D. (m. Barbara Powell) and Ervin (m. 1. Mary Sharpton and 2. Judy Reynolds).
Matilda D. Edwards McConnell (1836-1873)
(See separate section)
Martin Luther Edwards (1840-1930)
“Sant,” 5-feet-11 with dark hair and blue eyes, was a so-called three-year volunteer in the Civil War — one of the soldiers that formed the backbone of the Union effort. Martin began the war as a sergeant in Co. B. of the Christian Co. Home Guards under Capt. William Vaughn from May to July 1861.
He then enlisted in Co. G, 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 began as a private, but was promoted to sergeant in February 1863.
The regiment advanced on Confederate Gen. Sterling Price in Springfield just as Martin became sergeant and pursued Price into AR where Martin fought at the Battle of Pea Ridge in March. His unit patrolled across northern Arkansas and southern MO until it was assigned to KY for the last half of 1863. The troops then moved into Mississippi and the 10-week Red River campaign. They occupied Alexandria, LA, in April and May before moving to Vicksburg and Memphis; Martin mustered out in St. Louis.
Before his lengthy military service, Martin was arrested and tried for disturbing religious worship with his cousin William Hedgpeth and Thomas 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 L.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 married Martha Tennessee ("Cynthia" or "Tensy") McConnell (May 7, 1844-Jan. 14, 1913), daughter of Alexander and Mary D. Wood McConnell and granddaughter of Walter and Mary Elizabeth “Polly” Parker McConnell, on Oct. 8, 1865. Shortly after, in 1866, he was charged with assault in Christian Co., but the alleged victim and outcome are not known.
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.
Despite his early convictions and appeals, this war veteran was a rising star in county politics, following in his father's footsteps. Martin was elected sheriff of Christian Co. in 1870 but the office was declared vacated in April 1872. The Radical Republicans had given circuit courts unparalleled powers to remove local officials when they couldn't control disorder, and Martin's alcoholism became a growing problem in his early 30s.
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 against the bond posted on behalf of 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 with failing to turn over funds to the county treasurer and a year later with fraud, apparently related to his actions as sheriff.
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 and, in 1880 under the name McConnell, living with her brother William C. and wife Lydia.
Martha took the couple's 80-acre farm, which now lies in northwest Nixa, as part of the settlement.
Martha, using the name McConnell, remarried to Anderson Andrew 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, but 10 years later, Martha was living with her daughter Dora Aven after Pendleton died.
After his divorce, Martin moved into the home of Homer G. and Lucy A. Gilmore next door to father James W. Edwards; Martin, in 1880, worked at the Riverdale mill that James W. had owned, but control had passed into Gilmore's hands. Martin remained active in the community and headed the county grand jury in the early 1880s. But he is still remembered by descendants as "an old drunk."
Living nearby in 1880 was his sister-in-law Harriett Jane Herndon Edwards (1846-1931), then separated from brother Irvin.
In 1879, Jane had a son, William Holman or “Willie” who likely was the son of Martin — and is so attributed in at least one family genealogy. It is possible that Jane and Martin had been involved for several years, but the McConnell and Edwards families didn't risk the scandal of citing that relationship in Martha's divorce papers.
Martin and Jane married after her divorce was final from Irvin c. 1885, although the license is not found in Christian Co. The couple moved to Sherman, Grayson Co., TX, where Martin died in 1930; Jane didn’t mention him in talks with her grandchildren in MO although he was still living.
Jane and Martin had one more child, Roscoe, in TX. Jane died in 1936, when she was 91 years old, at the home of Roscoe and Pearl Edwards in Sherman. When granddaughter Reba Edwards Baumberger visited in 1928, Jane complained persistently about Pearl's cruel treatment of her; but Reba says that Pearl was simply overwhelmed by the extra duties, often washing both in the morning and evening because she did not have enough linens to deal with the incontinent Jane.
Martin and Jane are buried in Shannon Cemetery near Sherman.38
Martin’s and Martha's daughter Dora Ica Edwards (March 8, 1869-Jan. 4, 1947) married William A. Aven of Nixa on Sept. 27, 1885, and the couple farmed several places in Porter Township. William (April 3, 1868-March 27, 1960) was the son of John Duff Aven and Sarah Rose. William and Dora had at least eight children: Claude Elmer (August 1886-March 17, 1960, m. Bessie McCroskey), Elsie (September 1888), Virgie M. (Feb. 15, 1891-Feb. 2 1893), 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 mother and uncle-stepfather to Sherman, Grayson Co., TX where in 1890 he married Erma 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 was appointed 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 publicly threatened to expose the man.
On July 30, 1900, the Christian Co. Court — which had jurisdiction over such matters then — ordered Mord Edwards taken to Nevada State Hospital, then known as a state lunatic asylum, 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 Sherman. 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.
By Jane Herndon, Martin had two attributed sons:
-- William Holman Edwards (1879, Nixa-1975, Sherman, TX) married Lena Cherry (Nov. 11, 1882-September 1941, Sherman, Grayson Co., TX).
-- Roscoe Herndon Edwards (1885, Nixa-1960, Sherman, TX) married Pearl McDaniel (July 18, 1885-April 1957, Sherman, TX).
Nancy C. Edwards Nokes (Jan. 3, 1848-Feb. 5, 1919)
Nancy, named for her grandmother Edwards and great-grandmother Johnson, wed John Tillman Nokes (May 22, 1844-Aug. 11, 1895), the son of Archibald G. “Nelson” and Flora Ann Elam Nokes,39 on Dec. 7, 1866 in Christian Co. They owned most of the land that now comprises north-central Nixa although they also had lived to the south in Galloway Township.
The county's centennial history says the Nokes family came from Knoxville or “Nokesville,”40 but they actually were former residents of Cannon Co. in Middle Tennessee. Flora’s parents – Reuben and Leah Lance Elam – had moved to Taney Co. in the 1840s from Cannon Co. with her brothers. Reuben died there after 1844, and Leah and the sons all relocated to Porter Township by 1860, although the men soon moved to Lamar and Kansas.
John Tillman was the oldest of the 11 sons and one known daughter of Nelson and Flora Elam Nokes.
John T. Nokes enlisted in Co. A of the 72nd Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia, like most of his neighbors, on July 28, 1862. He and brother George Washington Nokes were “taken prisoner” on Jan. 10, 1863, but the state militia records don't indicate how long or by whom they were held. At the time, the Union militia forces were preoccupied with the Confederate occupation of Springfield.
The Nokes brothers resurfaced Nov. 1, 1863 when they enlisted in the 16th Missouri Cavalry Volunteers. They were not mustered in, however, until August 1864, when John T. was promoted to first sergeant and George W. was named fifth corporal. They saw limited action around Licking, Salem and Lebanon before the regiment was disbanded in July 1865 at Springfield.
John T., who became a Porter Township JP in the 1870s, and Nancy C. are buried with their son, Wesley B. (March 3, 1887-April 7, 1968), in tiny Nokes Cemetery in north-central Nixa.
The Nokeses, particularly sons Wes and “Bunk,” were known for their talents as fiddlers.
John T. and Nancy had 10 children, but she reported in the 1910 census that five were dead. At the time, she was living with sons Wes and Harvey. Complicating the trail of their descendants was the censustaker’s decision to give only initials in the 1880 census. Of the known children:
— Julia or Julian (1868) is shown as a daughter in the 1870 census and a son “J.” in the 1880 census.
— W. J. "Bunk" (Sept. 29, 1869-March 12, 1964) married Lillie Mayabb (1874-1963) on Sept. 16, 1884 before JP William “Jay” McConnell. Bunk described himself as a “traction engineer” in 1910. They had two children: Homer (June 1899) married Annie Inman; and Lena married Hugo H. Hedgpeth (Feb. 6, 1903-Oct. 21, 1946) and then Nolan Inman. Bunk and Lillie are buried in Payne Cemetery.
— Maud (1872) married Joseph S. Mayabb on Sept. 2, 1896 before JP Irvin W. Edwards. This couple may have moved to OK.
— Margaret Belle (Nov. 15, 1877-April 1, 1908) married Louis Frederick Carsten (Sept. 9, 1869-Sept. 20, 1936) on Sept. 15, 1893 before JP Jim Wright McConnell, a cousin. The couple had at least six children: Johnny (July 1894); Anna (July 1896); Sylvia (March 1898); Claude (January 1900); Royal; and Frederick.
— J.B. (1879), a son.
— Wesley B. (March 3, 1887-April 7, 1968) married Sarah Glidewell of Nixa on May 7, 1910 before JP Jim Wright McConnell.
— Harvey (March 1889), a barber while young, was living with sister Belle and Lute Carsten in Nixa in 1900. Harvey later became manager of the pre-Depression Nixa bank headed by Walter Keltner.
John Riley Edwards (1855-1927)
“Pete” married Callie Clemens Chaffin (1858-1937) on Nov. 15, 1885 in Christian Co. He earlier operated a store at the crossroads that became Nixa. In 1878 he bought out his competition from James J. Faught and operated a drug store until the turn of the century. It was the scene of the violent shootout between Ben Slay and Pete that left Slay dead and Harvey McConnell seriously wounded in 1897.
In 1910, Edwards described himself as a farmer.
One family genealogy says Callie Clemens Chaffin Edwards was a relative of Samuel Clemens, the author known as Mark Twain, but if so, the relationship extended back to Virginia.
Pete and Callie, who are buried in McConnell Cemetery, had four children:
— Oscar P. (May 18, 1887-Aug. 10, 1941), a World War I infantry veteran who married Nan Melton (Dec. 10, 1883-March 15, 1945). They, too, are buried in McConnell Cemetery.
— John P. "Pud" (Dec. 1, 1890-Jan. 7, 1945) who married Eva Mae McConnell (May 2, 1897). The couple, who is buried in McConnell Cemetery, had at least two children, Oscar and Jewell.
— Lucy Bell who married Roy Sparkman, son of James Alexander Sparkman and his first wife, Ophelia Virginia Pruitt, and in 1910 remarried to Oliver McConnell.
— Patsy (1886-1981) who married Everett Rhea (1884-1952) and had 11 children: Allen; Grace (m. Ronald Gammon), Republic; Ivan; Miles; Guy Allen; Oscar; Blon; Clyde; Stanley; Wayne; and William. Patsy and Everett are buried in McConnell Cemetery.
Callie had two daughters by a previous marriage in Maury Co., TN to Jerome W. Chaffin, a cousin of the Christian Co. Chaffins. She and Jerome wed on Nov. 30, 1875. The disposition of that marriage – and the reasons behind her move to Missouri -- are uncertain.
Daughter Effie Chaffin (May 1882, TN) married and divorced Tull Campbell of Nixa after an earlier marriage to a Rhea. Campbell became the second husband of Mary Alice Dewitt Inman and stepfather of Ida Mae Inman McConnell.41
Another Chaffin daughter, Annie (Nov. 2, 1880-May 9, 1966) was known as an Edwards because of Callie’s second marriage, wed Reuben Hedgpeth (1873-1946) and had five children: Claude P. (1898-1957), Guy (1901), Hugo (Feb. 6, 1903-Oct. 21, 1947), Blon (1906) and Virgie (1909). Callie Edwards was living with this family in 1910, next door to John Irvin and Ona Faught Edwards.
Clarinda Edwards (1851)
Clarinda or “Callie” apparently died as a teenager or was married during the era for which records were destroyed at the courthouse. She is not shown in the 1870 census.
Mary Edwards (1858)
Mary may have been missed by census takers in 1860, but she appears in James W.’s household in 1870. By then he had remarried to Susannah Sink, and Mary is listed separately with Julie Gooch, the daughter of Thomas T. and Elizabeth Caroline Kenamore Gooch who is likely serving as a mother’s helper to the Edwards family.
No Edwardses match her description in the Christian Co. marriage records.
Children of James W. Edwards
and Susan Arminta Ellen Sink
Martha Virginia Edwards Bolin
(Oct. 12, 1867-Aug. 29, 1948)
“Matt” married the younger Gerome "Rome" Cicero Bolin (Oct. 3, 1869-Aug. 30, 1958) in January 1889. The couple took over the homestead of Rome's parents Granville (Aug. 23, 1827-Feb. 6, 1903) and Cassinda Ruyle (1830-1910) Bolin two miles southeast of Nixa.
Rome taught the principles of crop rotation and contouring to younger farmers — well before the hilly Ozarks was concerned with soil conservation — and the family home was usually the scene of Sunday baseball games and horseshoe pitching contests. Hog killings were hard work, but produced festive fall Saturdays.
The Bolins were members of the Nixa Christian Church — the old Faught Church. They are buried at McConnell Cemetery.
Matt and Rome had at least eight children:
— An infant (d. Jan. 20, 1890).
— Harrison (Feb. 21, 1891-Feb. 5, 1972, d.s.p.), buried at McConnell Cemetery.
— Niles Horace (Feb. 18, 1893-Oct. 19, 1980) married Maggie Ball (Sept. 4, 1897-April 5, 1968), and they had two children, Ashford and Kathryn. Niles and Maggie are buried at McConnell Cemetery.
— An infant (d. June 6, 1895).
— Loyd (Oct. 14, 1898-Oct. 18, 1964) married Ella Stewart (1904-1938) and had two children, Sharon and Verlin Lee. Loyd then remarried to Edith Mae Cook (1909-1965), and they had Noel Clay, Louella Fern, Bernice (Woods), Cletus and two children, Benny and Leslie, who died as infants. Loyd, his wives and the infants are buried at McConnell Cemetery.
— Silas (May 22, 1901-Jan. 10, 1981) married Rosie Maples, and they had four children: Marjorie (Jones), Eugene, Marcelle (m. Nolan Inman) and Virginia (Blevins).
— Irvin (Nov. 13, 1903-June 17, 1974) married Gracie Maples, and their children were Juanita (m. Orville Tennis), Betty (m. Harold Rainey), Ava (Haworth), Kathy (Holland) and Jerry J.
— Cassinda Susan "Lucy" (Oct. 25, 1907-Nov. 13, 2000) married William Clifford Cook (Oct. 16, 1913-July 2, 2004), and they lived at Route 1, Clever. They had one son, the late Clifford Jr. who was born and died the same day in 1940.
Leanna Ellen Edwards Callison (1871-1949)
“Black Berg” married Sigel Callison (1861), the son of James (1826) and Catherine (1831-Aug. 8, 1894). Callison was named for Col. Franz Sigel of the Battle of Wilson's Creek.
Sig narrowly escaped death in February 1900 when he was innocently lounging in the McWilliams & McMahan's "drug" store, which apparently doubled as a saloon in Nixa. A drunken Cal Hedgpeth, who had been ejected and locked out for noise and mayhem, used his revolver to blow off the lock, but the bullet passed through Sig's hat. Hedgpeth was arrested by deputy constable Zack Faught.
Black Berg and Sig, a day laborer in early census records, had 11 children:
— James R. “Candy Jack” (December 1884, d.s.p.).
— John Frank (October 1886) married Maisie Pearl LNU and again to a woman unknown in California. By Maisie, Frank had three children: Elbert, Cleo and Ruby. Maisie and daughter Ruby were injured fatally in a tornado that destroyed much of Hurley, MO, where the family was living. They and Cleo are buried in Wright Cemetery south of Clever.
Frank and his son Elbert moved to California soon thereafter, and by his second marriage, Frank had eight children: Susie (m. Bill Morgan), Exeter, CA; Judy (m. Winn), Exeter, CA; Leo, Exeter, CA; Bonnie (m. Cecil Brooks), Exeter, CA; Carol (m. Parker), Phoenix, AZ; Betty (m. Fulton), Neland, CA; Margaret (m. Johnson), Oakdale, CA; and Albert of CA (may be Elbert, who was still living in 1886).
— Eva Adaline (April 9, 1888-1976) married John Henry William Amos (Sept. 20, 1883-Sept. 5, 1951). The couple, buried at McConnell Cemetery, had four children: James Franklin (July 15, 1908, m. Erva Alice Murray Gardner); Loyal Jasper “Jack” (Aug. 28, 1911, m. Hazel Stahl), former manager of Toombs & Faye of Springfield and later owner of his own sash and door company; Nile Ardrury (Jan. 8, 1917-July 14, 1989, m. Jo Lunsford), another Toombs & Faye manager who retired to Lockwood, MO before his death and managed a golf course; and Zola Lee (January 1927, m. Bill Gaylor).
— Frederick (February 1892) married Pearl ?. Three of their sons died in military service: Billy, a World War II aviator who died in Saipan; Tommy, killed in action in Korea; and Bob, a Marine who threw himself on a grenade after a recruit pulled the pin and panicked. Also born to Frederick and Pearl were: Roxie (m. Ed John), Burlington, WA; Virginia (m. Lonnie Letterman), Chico, CA; Betty (m. Edward Brown), Gordville, NV; James (m. Terri), Tulare, CA; Barbara (m. Dave Stock), Visalia, CA; Freddie (m. Pat).
— Christa L. (August 1894) married Ed Cline and had at least two children, Noel and Hazel.
— William “Willie” (February 1896) married Linnie Stockstill and had three children: Ray, Reno, NV; Anna Lee (m. Owen), Auburn, CA; and Mary (m. Roberson), Roseville, CA.
— Archie (August 1899) had one daughter, Patty, who married Pat Mitchell and lived at Grove Spring, MO.
— Howard married Lucille Jennings and had two children: Howard Jr., Danube, CA; and a daughter in Wesville, OK.
— Shirley had one son, deceased.
— Lula married Leroy Marable and had a daughter living in Springdale, AR.
— Jessie married Glen Wall and had five children: Geraldine, Betty, Peggy, Donald and James.
Emily Arminta Edwards Harding (May 12, 1873-1966)
Minta married Carey Harding (April 21, 1872-Feb. 18, 1957) on July 6, 1893. Pete Amos recalled that Uncle Carey was a specialist on Ozark herbs and knew where to find ginseng, blood root, yellow percune and may apple.
Minta and Carey are buried at McConnell Cemetery along with son Harry. Daughter Lena and her husband, Buddy Faught, lie in Payne Cemetery.
Among the seven children of Minta and Carey Harding:
— Roscoe (1894), pastor of the Nixa Baptist Church, married Gertie Tennis and had two children, including Aluwee (Sprague).
— Christina (November 1897-Nov. 26, 1900).
— Lena V. (Dec. 10, 1899-April 4, 1993) married Buddy Faught (July 23, 1893-July 16, 1963) and raised six children: Otalee, Aaron, Don, Roxie, Okla and Peggy.
— Harry (Nov. 20, 1903-1913).
— Faye (Sept. 30, 1908-April 24, 1989) married Frona Davis (July 14, 1906-April 8, 1982), and they had four children, Clara Mae, Billy, Harry and Christie. Faye and Frona are buried at McConnell Cemetery.
— James Ophare (Feb. 25, 1912-Feb. 4, 1984) married Mildred Brewer, and they had two children, Jimmy Lee (Jan. 28, 1940-Oct. 2, 2000) and Gerald Don (July 13, 1944-May 20, 1966).
— Clell (Aug. 28, 1916-June 12, 2005) married Leota Maynard (March 13, 1919-Nov. 11, 1992), daughter of Bert and Ella Payne Maynard, and had Kathryn (Russell, d. 1972) and Frank Wayne. Clell and Leota are buried in Payne Cemetery.
Children of Susan Sink (Edwards)
and John C. McDaniel
Susan and John C. McDaniel — who was kidnapped during the war and never returned — had three children, two of whom died young. The family has not been located in the 1860 census to determine the names of the other two children.
Surviving was the eldest, Elizabeth McDaniel (March 1853) who married John A. Gooch on Oct. 15, 1869 before her stepfather, the Rev. James W. Edwards.
John Gooch was the nephew of James W. Edwards — the son of Cassidy residents Thomas Threatt Gooch and Elizabeth Carolina Kenamore, the sister of James W.'s first wife.
John and Elizabeth settled on a farm southwest of Nixa and had at least these children:
• Allie married W.M. Mayabb of Nixa.
• Thomas Shirley “Shed” (November 1878) married Olive Todd of Nixa and then Minta Cox.
• Elizabeth “Lissie” (November 1881) married Floyd Hunt (May 1873), the son of Judy Hunt and Henderson Maynard, on Jan. 1, 1899 before JP Henry S. Evans. Their youngest daughter, Ruby Hunt Denney, lives in Arnold, CA.
• Elvert B. “Pot” (May 1885-1954) married cousin Cora McConnell (Feb. 9, 1884-1967), another Kenamore descendant who had first married and divorced Henry T. Wade. Pot and Cora were married on March 13, 1910 with Rev. Peter W. Roberts officiating. Pot and Cora moved in with his parents next to Rebecca Pope McConnell's home before taking over their own farm. They are buried at McConnell Cemetery.
Their children were Rena, Fount, Maxine and Lester. Fount, who lived in the James River Valley near Nixa, married Wilma Jane Stoneman and fathered two sons, Darrell and Johnny Duane. Rena married Ed Gideon, and the couple has three daughters, Charlotte Cumber, Glenda Dorris and Bonnie Weaver. Maxine married Ray Painter.
• Susie “Suede” (March 1885) married Frank Hedgpeth and had four children: Delphia (Caughron), Victor, Linville and Clell.
• Kate (April 1889) married George W. Nagel of Ozark on Feb. 10, 1910 before her cousin, JP James Wright McConnell. The Nagels had five children: Verna, Boyd, Mayolah, Floyd and Clarence.
• Lucretia (Oct. 11, 1895-Sept. 25, 1989) married Kenamore cousin Seymore McConnell (Oct. 24, 1890-July 11, 1988), the son of James Wright and Mary Frances McCafferty McConnell, on Nov. 22, 1913 before Rev. Peter Roberts. Seymore and Lucretia are interred at McConnell Cemetery.
The couple had five children. Rayma, who married Harry Young, had two sons, Keith (Jan. 15, 1935) and David. Elva Lee (March 27, 1916-1993) married Blaine Gwalthmey and had two children, Jimmy and Annette. Glenn (April 30, 1918), who married Earl Frazier,42 has two children, Michael and Judy. Carl (May 20, 1926) married Shirley House and fathered two children, Carrie and Albert. Norma Jean (Nov. 26, 1929) married Dale Hecox, and they are the parents of Stephen, Kathy, Pamela and Gregg.
The Sink family
David William43 (1784, PA-1867) and Wealthy Ann Hartwell (1797, VA-1880) Sink44 formed one of the few southwest Missouri families to come from Michigan, arriving in Porter Township before 1850. David's moves, back and forth between Virginia and Michigan before coming to Missouri, were not unusual for the time because the old Northwest Territories, including Michigan, opened for settlement after 1800, and Virginia families flooded there. Many of his neighboring families in Michigan, including the Layman/Lehmans, were Virginians related by birth.
The Sinks had been among thousands of German emigrants, who made their way from Pennsyl