Family Group



Excerpts of Family Writings

Nellie & Joe:


“Often in past years, people married not for love, but because they needed to be married for survival.  This was not the case for Nellie and Joe.  They were definitely in love and had a very sweet romantic courtship.  Most of this is known, not because they ever spoke of it, but because letters and post cards they sent each other during their courtship and early marriage were so precious to them that they have survived over 90 years.”


“Nellie and Joe seemed to always find a way to manage financially, although money was very tight.  They did not have many – any – luxuries for the family. In 1916, Nellie wrote to Joe, who was in Kansas City studying to be a mechanic, that she had sold 6 chicks for $2.25, cream for $1.82, and eggs for $.36.  She exclaimed, ‘So I got lots of money!’ prompted by income of less than $5.00.”




“Roger purchased land in Ripley County November 22, 1817. The family moved to near Benham in Brown Township, Ripley Co., Indiana.  Brown Township is in the southern part of Ripley County, which is in the southeast corner of Indiana.  The area had just opened up for settlement and the purchase was recorded on page 18 of the first book of land purchases for the county.  As adults, Roger and Susannah’s children are known to have spread out and lived in Indiana, Kansas, and Minnesota. Roger and Susannah both died in Ripley Co. in 1859 and 1865, respectively.  They are believed to be buried in unmarked graves across the road from the Benham Cemetery, which is about half way between Cross Plains and Versailles, Indiana.”




“After leaving Fort Scott, the family went to stay with a friend who lived about 18 miles southwest of Fort Scott.  They stayed there for three days before moving into a clapboard house, where they resided until the following spring when John Jury Sr. bought a farm with a log house on it.  The log house had actually been built as a school.  John Sr. put a tar paper roof onto the house.  However, this did not last for long.  One night a major storm blew in and the roof blew away.  That was the end of tar paper roofs for the Jury family.  John relied on his experience as a shingle maker in Canada, and made shingles by hand from black walnut.  Soon the family had a much more secure roof.”




“Sometime after 1875, Louisana was ailing and the family headed back to where some of their family lived.  Exactly where they were heading is unknown.  However, family members believe that they were heading to Peoria, Illinois.  The family story was that Louisiana died along the way.  Until recent years, it was believed that she probably was buried along a trail somewhere.  However, it was found that Lousiana died in 1879 and is buried in Morris Cemetery, Bates Co, Missouri, which is on the Missouri side of the Kansas-Missouri line and to the northeast of Bourbon County.  It is also interesting to note that long ago there was a post office in Bates County called Peoria.  It could very well have been this Peoria that they were heading toward.”


“Andrew Johnson “Andy” McCracken was born in 1866 in Lee Co, Iowa.  He was the son of Lemuel and Louisiana (Johnson) McCracken.  In 1870, the census record shows him as age 4, although if the known birth date is correct, he would have only been 3.  In either case, it shows him attending school so he must have gotten some education at a very young age.”




“It was not until June 8, 1878 that William J. boarded a train for Hiattiville, Kansas. He traveled through Kansas City and arrived in Fort Scott in the late afternoon of June 10.  He spent the night at the Lockwood House (hotel) and then traveled on to Hiattville the next day. It is clear that his parents went to Kansas before he did as he states that he goes to fathers when he arrives in Hiattville.  Even in 1878, luggage didn’t arrive with you at your destination. as William J. mentions going back to the train station twice before he is able to get his trunk.”


“In the 1880’s apparently many people took care of their problems themselves.  On May 3, 1888, William J. took Dr. Clark to Ft. Scott and put him in jail for shooting and killing G. W. Gordon.  The next day William J. went to Walkertown to be involved in the coroner inquest into Mr. Gordon’s death.  Dr. Clark’s trial was held Sept. 3-5 of that year. On November 24, 1889 Henry Kidwell was found hung.  William J. was also involved with the inquiry into his death and was a witness regarding his death at the court in Fort Scott on December 5, 1889.“


“It was during his time as a U.S. Representative that Stanton J. Peelle made key contacts that influenced his career.  One of those contacts was his next door neighbor and friend Benjamin Harrison, who in 1892  as president of the United States, appointed Stanton to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Claims.”




Copyright L. Thomson 2016 - All Rights Reserved