bowersark on Family Tree Circles
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Hope some of you may find this bit of history interesting. This is a letter written by W. O. Springer to his daughter, Pearl Lassiter. In the original letter there were no paragraphs. I have adhered to the exact spelling and punctuation shown in the original letter. He makes reference to his granddaughter, Monadene (my Mother), who is suffering from Whooping Cough. Pearl and Monadene lived in Los Angeles California in 1939. The Springer and Lasiter families lived in the Magazine and Boonville areas of Logan County.
April 7, 1939
Dear Pearl and family, We got your letter this morning was glad to hear. We are about as usual. We have had lots of rain it is cold here. Last night was cold and splinters of ice and a big frost. I think lots of damage. Pearl I will enclose you 4 one dollar bills. Lig* sent you 4 and I do hope Monadene gets better and that you can get some help on work. Times are pretty bad and may get worse. It seems war has started in Europe. Everybody here in Sebastian on relief work but I hear they will drop 400 tomorrow in Sebastian Co. Athen** may get it. Lig said honey would be good for Monadene. Lela's*** children like to have died last Spring and it just held on. Anna May**** had it when she was operated on. We had a time. Of course measles are bad too. Be careful. Keep this for Monadene's use. This is money I got from the Woodsmen*****. A refund check. Maybe she will soon get better. Buy her something she needs. Let me know when you get this. I am wondering what people will do. I can't get on the pension or anything because we live in house with someone. It is a rotten Deal. Some starve others all fed. I want to go to Owens****** but it stays so cold I have lifted Lig until I am broke down. I have just stayed right here since last fall. Be good and careful Trust God, put your faith in Him. He knows best and will save all who trust Him these are dangerous times and I think the last Days are on us With Love to you all W.O. Springer *Lig is Lelia Ligget (Hooper) Springer, wife of W.O. Springer. She suffered with debilitating arthritis and was an invalid in her later years. ** Athen is Athen Robinson, W.O.'s son-in-law, husband of Verona Irby, W.O.'s daughter. *** Lela is W.O.'s daughter, married to Alton (Sour) Lemmons, living in Red Oak, OK. **** Anna Mae is W.O.'s granddaughter, daughter of Lillian Springer. Lillian died after childbirth. Lillian was married to Bill Cross. Later Bill Cross married to Neosha, another daughter of W.O. Springer. Anna Mae was raised by her grandparents, her Aunt Neosha, and her Father. *****Woodsmen may refer to an organization called Woodsmen of the World. It was for men only. ******Owen Manus was W.O. Springer's son-in-law, married to his daughter, Opal.
William Oscar Springer wrote the following family history just prior to his death in 1942. I'd be interested in hearing from other AR Springers to share information.
SPRINGER FAMILY RECORD
BY WILLIAM OSCAR SPRINGER
WILLIAM SPRINGER was born April 9, 1821, in Georgia, and died Jan. 23, 1866, in James County Tennessee. His wife,
RACHEL (WELLS) SPRINGER was born in Lincoln County, Tennessee, July 22, 1821. Died in James County, Tennessee, May 9, 1858.
FRANCIS MARION SPRINGER, son of WILLIAM SPRINGER was born in James County, but soon went to Crystal Springs in Montgomery County, Arkansas, where he settled. His wife was MARY STANIFER. They reared a family. He served as a soldier in the Federal Army during the Civil War. He lived to be old and is buried at Crystal Springs.
NANCY ELIZABETH SPRINGER, daughter of WILLIAM SPRINGER, was born in James County Tennessee, June 26, 1844, married RICHARD FAIRBANKS in Tennessee. Fairbanks served in the Federal Army as an Artilleryman. He came to Arkansas with his wife and children. Nancy Elizabeth died at their old home near Driggs, Logan County, Arkansas, in May 1897 and was buried at Paint Rock. RICHARD FAIRBANKS died soon thereafter and was buried at Paint Rock, between Driggs and Paris. They left several children.
WILLIAM DAILY SPRINGER, son of WILLIAM SPRINGER was born in James County, Tennessee, September 18, 1846. Served in the Federal Army during the latter part of the Civil War. He came to Logan County, Arkansas in 1870 and settled at Sugar Creek where he died at the home of his Uncle JOE SPRINGER, near Mixon. He is buried at the Davis Cemetery. He died May 30, 1876.
JOHNATHAN THOMAS SPRINGER, son of William SPRINGER, was born in James County Tennessee on February 23, 1847. He came to Logan County, Arkansas in 1870. His first wife was a HEATHCOAT. His second wife was a SMITH. He settled at Crystal Springs in Montgomery County, Arkansas and reared a large family. He lived at Hot Springs awhile and moved to Little Elm, Denton County, Texas, where he died at age of 86 years.
JAMES MONROE SPRINGER, son of William SPRINGER was born August 27, 1851. He came to Logan County, Arkansas with his Uncle
JOE SPRINGER, who settled at Mixon, near Sugar Creek, January 1870. He spent awhile at Elsworth, Logan County, where he met and married MARY SABRA BOWERS in October, 1872. They lived at Chiggo Creek, northeast of Magazine one year on the C.P. Anderson Farm and then to Sugar Creek. He homesteaded 160 acres of land where the Sanatorium now stands and received a U.S. Grant and moved there the fall of 1874. They sold out and moved to Driggs, Arkansas in 1890. In 1891 he moved to Magazine.
I, WILLIAM OSCAR SPRINGER, was born on Chiggo Creek July 23, 1873, and moved where the Sanatorium now stands the fall of 1874. He (James MONROE SPRINGER, Father of William Oscar SPRINGER) bought the claim from a man by the name of WELLS, (maybe some relation). This was a wilderness full of wild turkey, deer, wolves, black bear, fox, wildcats and a virgin forest of large pine. At night you could hear all kinds of hideous noises, made by these wild creatures. About 1876 a man by the name of STEGALL put in a large sawmill, ran by steam. The mill was on the McAmis farm. They built a little town of cabins, for the workmen to live in. Those who came to work were as follows:
THOMAS WISLEY, the engineer
They called the place "Happy Hollow". The Walls family,
CHARLEY SHARP and BURT SMITH lived nearby. My chums were
ANDY McAmis, JAMES WISELY, HARRY FINNEY and others. I had never seen any machinery before. The Cant Hook was a new thing to me and the terrible whistle broke the silence of the wilderness. They used oxen and some were very wild and would sull. My father spent one year at Webber Falls, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) in 1898, the year of the big flood.
JAMES MONROE SPRINGER died at the home of Sis Macey, the old SPRINGER Homestead, December 5, 1918, with "the flu". He was buried in Mixon Cemetery, near Uncle JOE AND AUNT EMELINE SPRINGER. I think he and JACK SPRINGER had located the place for a cemetery after the old log school had been built on Blackjack Ridge. It was known as the Walls School house and later burned. The first person buried here was Mrs. LAURA Walls, wife of JEROME Walls. She was the first dead person I ever saw and it made a terrible impression on my mind when I learned we all had to die. That must have been 60 years ago.
MARY SABRA (BOWERS) SPRINGER was born in Johnson County Arkansas near Clarksville on Piney Creek, September 27, 1850, according to her knowledge. Their house was burned during the Civil War on Haigwood Prairie, where Paris now stands. They thought the family Bible was burned and the family record destroyed, but a few years ago Uncle BILLIE BOWERS told me he carried the Bible in the Army and still had it and that Ma was born April , 1849. When a girl, her father died and I think was buried at Little Piney Creek. He was a fullblooded Frenchman and was a shoe maker and made pottery of all kinds. I suppose he was born in France, and had come to Virginia. Some people said he had a wife and children. Mrs. Wolf, Mas cousin, said he was a drunkard. A fine man when sober, but was a bad man when drinking. He killed a man and went to Mississippi, where it was a wild country and here he married Mas Mother who was born in North Carolina. She was A« or more Cherokee Indian and was a widow with two children, JOHN R. BARNES, and REDDEN BARNES.
Grandmothers maiden name was CHRISTIE.
JOHN R. AND REDDEN BARNES were in the Federal Army.
REDDEN BARNES was captured at the Battle of Prarie Grove, Washington County Arkansas, and with other prisoners placed on a steamboat at Van Buren, Arkansas headed for Little Rock.
AUNT NAN WOMACK met the boat at Roseville and begged for them to release him. They supposed he was killed and thrown into the Arkansas River. JOHN R. BARNES died in 1865 at Fort SMITH and is buried at the National Cemetery (Grave No. 1834, Sec. 4). I have been to his grave.
The SCHOFIELD family lived at Haigwood Prairie, long before the Civil War. JANE SCHOFIELD was a sister to Mas Mother. LIZA WOLF was a daughter of Jane SCHOFIELD. She married GEORGE WOLF. They went to Kansas during the Civil War and the Schofields went to Texas. Mas Mother died during the Civil War and is buried in an old cemetery in Paris on the bank of a little creek. Ma and the other children were living in George Wolfs house when it was burned by Confederate Bushwhackers.
MARY SABRA (BOWERS) SPRINGER, wife of JAMES MONROE SPRINGER died on Earl Prarie, Friday at 9:00 p.m., August 23, 1929. She had lived there 20 years, she was near 80 years of age. She lived about 3 miles north of Carolan and had been able to do most of her work up to her death. DR. HEDRICK was her doctor. She was buried at Carolan Cemetery, August 25, 1929. BROTHER MARION TRICKETT preached her funeral. She was a Presbyterian. She was buried near where Harrison's first wife, GERTIE (HARWELL) SPRINGER was buried. Her brother, WILLIAM BOWERS, had died that spring. He was 84 years of age and was buried at Barnhill, north of Magazine. Mother could give some wonderful history about the Civil War days, when it was a wilderness and the people suffered many murders and burning of houses.
/s/ W.O. Springer
Copied by BESSE SPRINGER, January 1965, and typed December 1966.
Little is known of the early life of William Brooks but according to his pension application of 1834 he was born in 1745 at Yellow Breeches Creek, Lancaster County (in the part later known as Cumberland County), Pennsylvania. The Brooks name is found in records of the area before the birth of William Brooks, but his relationship to those families cannot be determined. The names of his parents are not known.
By February of 1776 William had migrated to Frederick City, Frederick County, Maryland where he enlisted in the army to fight in the Revolutionary War. His twelve-month term was served under Captain Sims' company of Colonel Smallwood's regiment. Soon after enlisting, his unit marched to Annapolis, then to New York, where he fought in the battle of Long Island on August 27, 1776. He was next engaged in the battle of Harlem Heights, which was fought on September 16, 1776, his unit then marched to White Plains, where he participated in the battle fought on October 28, 1776. In this last battle he suffered a broken leg and was sent to the hospital for two months. He was discharged at the end of his enlistment and returned to Frederick, Maryland, in March of 1777.
By December of 1779 William Brooks had migrated to Guilford County, North Carolina where he was drafted into the army for three months and served under Captain Frost's company of Colonel Lytles's regiment. When his tem expired, he re-enlisted under the same command and participated in the siege of Charleston, South Carolina. When the siege proved unsuccessful, the Americans surrendered to the British on May 12, 1780, and soon were paroled for the remainder of their enlistment. In June of 1780 William returned to his home in Guilford County.
In June of 1781 he was again drafted for three months and served in Captain Conner's company of Colonel Paisley's regiment. During this term he was in several skirmishes with Tories (Americans who were loyal to England) in the Deep River area on North Carolina. When this term expired, he enlisted for an additional three months in Captain Frost's company of the same regiment. Upon his discharge he returned to Guilford County after completing a total of two years, one month and ten days service as a Revolutionary War Soldier.
About 1786 he moved to Sandy Run in Rutherford County, North Carolina, where he operated a gristmill for many years. In 1799 he received a land grant in Rutherford County from the state of North Carolina and had several hundred acres prior to his death.
William Brooks died in January 1844 being about 99 years old. His Last Will & Testament,
which was dated August 28, 1840, was filed for probate at the February Term, 1844 of the Cleveland County Court.
William BROOKS entered land on the Sandy Run Creek, middle fork, in the year of 1794 and the grant was made in 1796 for 100 acres, located near the present Drury Dobbins Church on the edge of Cleveland County on the Ellenboro, Polkville Road.
He operated a gristmill in that area for many years, and the mill shoals can still be seen. (This date from his application for pension, filed April 29, 1834, File #S-6716 - National
Archives; and Land Grant by Governor of North Carolina dated December 23, 1796 Rutherford County Deed Book 10-11, page 129).
Note: Sources provided by Genealogical Society of Old Tryon County through third party researcher and William Brooks in his pension application of 1834. Further, William is included in Rutherford County, NC census of Jun 1840.
This grandfather was born in 1804 in Tennessee. He moved to Cape Giardeau in 1845 (Mo.), where he lived five years. From there he moved to Hempstead county, Arkansas, in 1845. Grandfather’s brother Win. Terry Hamilton, who was born in1794, lived with him till Win. Terry’s death in 1868 This Win. Terry Hamilton was said to be troublesome when drinking. The move of the H.J. Hamilton family to Arkansas, had to be made over bad roads, through swamps, where they were exposed to skulking Indians. At this time, there were but two children in the family, J.H. (my father) 5, and Teance, 1 ---the second child, Joseph Thomas having died at the age of 15 months. Cheap land was found near Washington, Arkansas, where they located and acquired a homestead. I never found out what became of this homestead after the death of the parents and the migration of the children. Grandfather Hamilton died in 1869, he left grandmother and five children on the homestead five miles south-west of Washington. After the death of Grandmother in 1873, there seems to have been a lot of bickering among the children, Teance, Betty, Jane, Ann and John. Teance being the oldest, assumed to be boss. The rest of the children not wanting to be bossed by him, formed a plan to move to Benton County, Arkansas, where my father had located in 1870. The move was made in 1874, leaving Teance alone; and being a bachelor, he was very much alone. After Teance had toughed it out for two years, he followed his brothers and sisters to Benton County. By this time Jane had married. John, Betty and Ann were living in a one room house, with no room for Teance Betty had a small girl Dora, the issue of her marriage to David Clawson in Hempstead County, who deserted her before Dora was born. On his arrival in Benton County, Teance took lodging with my father, with whom he lived most of the time thereafter. John was married to Miss Summerville Gelson in 1878; and for a time John and his wife, Betty, Dora and Ann lived together in a one room log cabin, with still no room for Teance. Betty was never remarried. Ann became and remained a spinster.”
Quoted From the “Memoirs of W.J. Hamilton and his wife Jannie”
Willie was born in Magazine, Arkansas. While very young he worked on Katie’s fathers farm located somewhere at the foot of Bokoshe Mountain I.T.. He married Katie Smith and they started their family there in a log cabin. One day Willie was plowing a field with a team of mules. Katie was crying and hoeing weeds in the cotton fields. He came to her and asked what was wrong. She said that they both worked so hard, him plowing and her weeding and that they didn’t seem to be making any progress financially or in their way of life. He told her to put down her hoe and to go to the house and that she wouldn’t have to hoe cotton ever again, He moved to Spiro, Oklahoma and opened a butcher shop which he worked at for some time. Then he moved to Bokoshe, Oklahoma and again opened a butcher shop. Willie was a pretty good carpenter also and he built several houses in and around Bokoshe. He also hauled coal for a time. He contracted to build a gymnasium in Bokoshe. He built another in Hodges and one other in another town. Elmer, my father, his oldest son worked with him on these building projects. Elmer was a good mechanic also and had an idea to start a gas station and garage in Bokoshe. Willie convinced him to allow him to participate in the operation. Willies youngest son Delmar soon came into the business. Business was good but Willie was not a very good financial manager and after a while the business began to fail, Willie had allowed customers to buy on credit accounts and these soon became un-collectable, Willie, Elmer and Delmar leased a coal mine in Milton, Oklahoma which they operated for a while. Their prime contract was with a school district to provide “smokeless coal". Soon Delmar left the business then Elmer and took a job as a mechanic at another garage repairing automobiles. Willie moved to McAlester to work at the Army Ammunitions Depot. Elmer traveled to Santa Barbara, California. He obtained work at the Falcon mercury mine in the mountains above Santa Barbara. Elmer went back to Bokoshe to visit Willie and Katie only to find them packing preparing to move to National City, California to be near his youngest daughter and her husband Bill Milam who worked for Mueller Trucking Co. Willie bought some property in Palm City, California and built a home and lived there for many years. He then built a duplex and a single family dwelling in Chula Vista, California. He sold that property and in the deal traded for a home and some other property on 9th. Street Imperial Beach, California where he and Katie lived until their death.
I am researching my Mom's family in Saline County Illinois. Her father was Ralph J. BAKER, the third born son of Robert James BAKER and his wife Ida (JONES) Baker. Robert and Ida had nine children; Bert, Sadie, Charles, Loyd, Ralph, Neal, Bonnie, Archie and Midge. The family lived in the Eldorado area for many years. There are some old family stories that I would like to determine if fact or fiction involving the "James Gang" and the Baker family home.
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