follow land better. did harvey get john t.'s farm?
was milton a smith or robinson?
suspicious dates on Sandra Phillips in 6th gen.
check dates of death on lusks in 5th gen.
where are robin and nellie buried?
Eiza smith's will?
is it brainerd or brainard?
see Josephy's Civil War in the West for good stuff about marmaduke and Gen. Ewing's Order No. 11 moving people out of western MO. this is at the end of book about p380. Also that more recent book had some personal info on marmaduke
4th gen: where were almond's kids married?
DOB Sherman Phillips
note wilbur gives welly's name as weldon
boyers had different spellings
COPYRIGHT 1988 JOHN PHILLIPS, CABIN JOHN, MD.
THOMAS H. PHILLIPS was born in North Carolina between 1790 and '94, when George Washington was president. Time has obscured his origins and early years. We'll try to make some sense of his background, but we'll have to inundate you with many confusing people of similar names. To simplify, we'll refer to our ancestor as Thomas H. or "Tom." (We won't number anyone because people don't deserve numbers.)
His family probably had left Dorchester County, Maryland, about 1788 to settle on Carolina's once-fertile Piedmont, that sprawling expanse just east of the Appalachians. We think Tom descends from Philemon Phillips of Dorchester. We'll call this fellow Philemon Sr. He had six sons.
Five of them moved southward from Dorchester. The five were named John, William, Thomas, James and Ezekiel. This Thomas--the one who was Philemon's son--wasn't our Thomas H. Phillips. Philemon Sr.'s son Thomas because a church elder, so we'll try to keep our Thomases straight by calling this fellow "Elder Thomas Phillips" hereafter. We'll also refer to John as "John of Mount Sterling, Kentucky," because that's where he ended up.
These five brothers weren't the only people from Dorchester to head south. Neighbors named Brannock, Matkins, Busick, Ross, Mareign, Murray, Jones, Wheeler, Lowe and Thompson did, too. So did Joseph Phillips, who apparently was a nephew of those sons of Philemon Sr. in Carolina.
Looking back at Dorchester momentarily, there was a sixth brother there: Philemon Jr. We know that he had a son Joseph. This likely was the fellow who migrated with his uncles. And it's certainly possible that Joseph had brothers who went along, too. But Philemon Jr. apparently remained in Maryland, which is important to remember.
To understand why these people moved south we must go back a bit in time, back to the Revolution. American and British armies had tramped back and forth through the Carolinas. General Daniel Morgan had led the famous American retreat across the Dan River. General Nathanael Greene's Americans and Lord Cornwallis' redcoats had fought a bloody stalemate at Guilford Court House.
Soldiers from Dorchester obviously fought there. They must have carried home stories of Carolina's fine tobacco crops and warm sunshine. This brought a flood of settlers southward after the war.
Now, let's return to our Thomas H. Phillips. Let's look at those people living on or near North Carolina's Deep River to see if we can find likely parents for him. First, you might look at a map of that part of the state. Many new counties were created in the 1800s, but if you find Kernersville you'll be looking at generally the right area.
Next let's eliminate three of old Philemon Sr.'s sons as potential fathers: we know Thomas H. didn't descend from John, William, Elder Thomas or James Phillips. We know that because we know just who their kids were. (We'll worry about Ezekiel later.)
Thomas H.'s father might have been the Joseph Phillips who lived in Rockingham County, or one of Joseph's presumed brothers. Or it might have been the John Phillips who lived on Belew's Creek in present Forsyth County, North Carolina. He's the only prospect known to have named a son Thomas.
On July 6, 1805, John of Belew's Creek drew up an unusual document: for "natural love and affection," he gave livestock and household items to his children, whom he identified as Daniel, Samuel, Milley, Nancy, William and Thomas. Thomas got two yearling calves. Andrew Robinson and Roderick Flynt witnessed the affair and Robinson had the deed registered at the courthouse. John and his family continued to live on Belew's Creek until 1816. We then lose track of him. Or perhaps we should say that he either died or became one of the countless Johns in other counties and states.
This John of Belew's Creek definitely wasn't Philemon Sr.'s son John. And it's difficult mathematically to fit him into the Dorchester group at all. So, let's try concentrating on records for "Thomas Phillips" in that area of North Carolina.
In October 1812, a Thomas Phillips appeared in Superior Court records in Stokes County, North Carolina. Case 18 on the docket was Nancy Robinson v. Thomas Phillips, and the clerk noted "no return on writ ipue alias." When the case came up in April 1813, the clerk noted: "alias executed and compromised, A. Robinson assumes costs." Andrew Robinson, of course, lived on Belews Creek then. (An "alias writ is a duplicate of an earlier one that had brought no results.)
Case 15 of May 1813 was Alvis Walker v. "Fermon Phillips." As no one named "Fermon Phillips" seems to reappear in any other records in that area, it seems possible that the case involved Philemon Phillips of Guilford County, which then was adjacent to Stokes. Philemon, who appears in the census, almost certainly was closely related to Thomas H. Phillips. On October 20, 1814, the clerk noted that "Ferman Phillips" was guilty of larceny for his fracas with Walker.
The only two things we know for certain about our Thomas H.'s youth in Carolina were that he never learned to write even his name and that on December 19, 1816, he married Martha Pitts in Rowan County. A justice of the peace, Solomon Davis, performed the ceremony. (Carolinians call it "Roe-ANN," not "Ro-win" or Rone." It's traditional in Scotland to plant a rowan tree near your front door. It keeps witches and goblins away.)
Davis owned land on Abbotts Creek (just below Belew's Creek) and attended Abbotts Creek Baptist Church in present-day Davidson County, about a mile south of the present Forsyth line. (The Abbotts Creek settlement had been a hotbed of dissent in the War of the Regulation. A large group there refused to sign Governor Tryon's oath of allegiance. Many were declared outlaws. The Battle of Alamance suppressed the revolt in 1771.) The half-dozen or so families of the Pitts clan lived northward, just into a corner of Stokes County that has since become Forsyth. So more than likely Tom, Martha and their witness, Henry Pitts, crossed the county line southward from old Stokes merely to find the nearest justice of the peace.
In the custom of that day, Tom and Henry signed a marriage bond, Henry scrawling his signature and Tom his X. Such bonds were an English tradition and usually nothing more than antiquated formalities. By signing, Tom and Henry, who probably was Martha's young first cousin, pledged to pay the governor of the state 500 pounds if it ever turned out that the marriage was bigamous or otherwise unlawful.
Tom was probably between 22 and 26 then. Martha, though, was three days past her 27th birthday. She'd been born there in Carolina December 13, 1789, meaning she been considered a spinster long before marrying Tom. There is some evidence (which will be mentioned later) that, like many Marthas, she was called "Patsy."
Solomon Davis, one of the so-called "founding justices" of Davidson County, performed marriages for no other Phillips. But in 1818 he did perform a ceremony for Levi Pitts and Mary Salisbury. David Hendricks was bondsman for that wedding, just as he had been on October 5, 1816 when a man named Aaron Phillips had married Mary Pegg up in Stokes County. (Hendricks was a carpenter who lived 1792-1854 and married Elizabeth Jones. He spent his whole life in the Kernersville area.)
"Martha" and "Elizabeth" were the favorite girls' names among the Pittses and most of old Andrew Pitts' sons had given daughters those names. Old Andy had settled many years before on the headwaters of Deep River, just about where modern Forsyth abuts Guilford County. Son Samuel and daughter-in-law Elizabeth Jones probably were the parents of the Martha who married Tom, but Pitts descendants today are confused about which Martha was which. Sam Pitts had died in 1812, leaving "my daughter Martha one feather bed & furniture and one cow when married."
The year Tom and Martha were married was oddly memorable; it was the year summer never came. Snowstorms beset North America and western Europe. The snow was as 10 inches deep throughout New England and two feet deep in Connecticut. One heavy snow blanketed New England on June 6. Even much farther south, in July and August, some lakes were frozen over. On July 4 the high temperature in Savannah, Georgia, was 46 degrees. During August, most daytime temperatures in the U.S. and northern Europe were in the 40s. Most nights there were frosts. Crops failed everywhere. No one had any idea what was wrong. Some modern scientists blame volcanic dust and ash. The volcano Tambora in Java had erupted April 5, 1815. It spewed 30 cubic miles of dust into the atmosphere, causing three days of darkness that terrified Japanese.
And starting that year, 1816, tax lists in Stokes County show that a man named Thomas Phillips owned 45 acres worth $135; no deed had been recorded, though.
Meantime, North Carolina's farm land was giving out, just like Maryland's. Americans hadn't yet learned to rotate crops. Tobacco, year in, year out, soon wears out soil. By the mid-1790s farmers were looking westward. In 1795 Philemon Sr.'s sons John and William had sought the greener pastures of Kentucky, once that the Indians had pledged to stay north of the Ohio River, and the white settlers had pledged to stay south of it. The two brothers took their families to, first, Jessamine County, then to Montgomery County. In the latter county, they lived near Mount Sterling, about 70 miles southeast of Cincinnati, Ohio.
In 1812, Elder Thomas Phillips headed for Kentucky, too. There he, wife Sally and their family settled in Clark County, within a few miles of brothers John and William in Montgomery County. John, who farmed near Mount Sterling the rest of his life, is important to our story later on. Elder Thomas lived on land once owned by Daniel Boone, and Elder Thomas' son Nathan married Boone's niece.
Of course neither the Indians nor the white men honored their promises to keep the Ohio River between them, and, about 1818, men named John and Ezekiel Phillips turned up in the new county of Jefferson in the new state of Indiana. They quickly helped found a Methodist church called Pisgah.
This is yet another John. Backtracking a bit, we know that John of Mount Sterling had a son John. We know this son moved to southern Indiana. We presume he was the man who helped found Pisgah. But there were other John Phillipses in the area before long, and they blend together in a mish-mash of Johns.
The Ezekiel who arrived in Indiana is a mystery. He apparently wasn't young. Judging by some records, he was past his mid-40s and apparently had started a second family with a younger wife named Margaret. Maybe he was Philemon Sr.'s son, maybe he wasn't.
Some of Tom's descendants say he and Martha spent some time in southern Indiana about 1817. But they were back in Carolina in 1818, when daughter Elizabeth was born. People called her "Betsy." A year later, they had a son, John Thomas. According to a descendant, John was born "near Charlotte," but just how near is near?
In 1818, those 45 acres that Thomas Phillips owned were still worth $135. Aaron Phillips, who lived nearby, owned 115 acres worth $150. By 1820, Thomas apparently had lost or sold his 46 acres, but Aaron still had his 115.
When the federal census was taken in 1820, a Thomas Phillips and his family were counted in Stokes, not far from where the Pitts families lived. The census taker listed the approximate ages and sexes of those in the home and the data seems to match Thomas H. and his family.
The county tax list that year showed that Thomas Phillips had somehow obtained 115 acres on Abbotts Creek, obviously from Aaron Phillips.
About that same year, Martha had a second daughter, Easter, whose name probably was pronounced "Esther." A second son, whose name is unknown, probably was born one to five years later.
On May 15, 1821, the Thomas Phillips in Stokes mortgaged his 115-acre farm; he had to pay merchant Andrew Lindsay $80 by March 1, 1822 to keep the sheriff away. Lindsay's store, just across the line into Guilford County, sold seed, farm supplies and probably most anything else. According to the mortgage, Thomas had bought Aaron's land although he hadn't registered the deed.
Apparently Phillips paid the $80, then on August 7, 1822 sold the land to neighbor John Kinnaman for $160. Lindsay, whose store was a hub of community affairs, was one of the witnesses. Thomas Phillips didn't appear on the tax list of 1823 and didn't reappear thereafter.
(Researching John Kinneman doesn't seem to lead anywhere. He left a will in Stokes in 1828. He said he had seven sons but mentioned Samuel, John, Thomas, Walter, Zachariah, Richard, Henry and George, which make eight. His widow was named Eleanor. The witness to the will was Squire Ledford, who really wasn't a "squire." A Squire Ledford, who had been born in 1816 give or take a year, had married Rhoda Phillips, a daughter of David Phillips and granddaughter of a John Phillips. Obviously Squire couldn't have witnessed a will when he was 12 years old, but he likely had an older relative of the same unlikely name.)
Two--and possibly three--deaths grieved the family in 1824. In mid-October, Ezekiel Phillips died in Jefferson County, Indiana. His will, apparently hastily drawn, mentioned wife Margaret, sons John and Rueben and daughters Rhoda, Polly and Lurana. The children were "all young and unable to provide for themselves," the will said; but it didn't mention any grown children. (There are circulating records identifying the widow as the former Peggy Peelle; she is said to have been born March 31, 1783 in Wayne County, North Carolina, and to have been disowned by the Quakers for having a child out of wedlock. She married Ezekiel about 1810. Peele researchers say son Rueben went to Nacogdoches, Texas, and Lurana lived in or near Richmond in Wayne County, Indiana, where she died in 1915. Rueben seems, rather, to have gone to Oregon.)
And across the Ohio River in Kentucky, old Philemon Sr.'s son William Phillips died in Montgomery County leaving a sprawling family. But his brother, Elder Thomas Phillips, was still ready to seek his fortune further west; he pushed across the Ohio River into southern Illinois, and, with sons Nimrod, Nathan and Thomas Jr., helped settle Pike County. Thomas, as a church elder, performed marriages sometimes, but mainly farmed. Nimrod operated a ferry across the Illinois River. Nathan was a doctor. (Thomas Jr. isn't important to our story.)
Also in 1824 a spinster named Sarah "Sally" Jones died back in Stokes County, North Carolina. A sister of the late Samuel Pitts' wife, she left a will in which she carefully distributed her pewter plates, handkerchiefs and household items to sisters and nieces. She also included a bequest to a woman whose relationship, if any, was unspecified: " . . . I give to Patsey Philips my old saddle two cotton [tablets?] . . ."
By then, wagon after wagon was leaving Piedmont Carolina every day; no longer could farmers live off the land. In the Deep River area of Stokes, 21 men, including Aaron Phillips, made the county's "list of insolvents." (In the 1840s Aaron moved to Randolph County, Indiana.)
In the 1820s, Thomas H. Phillips went to southern Indiana, not a surprising place to go considering that he probably had one or more brothers and several cousins there--and they'd already lived there several years. Even Martha seems to have had an Uncle Andrew Pitts in Washington County. (See below for more about him.)
Just when Tom went to Indiana is uncertain. He apparently went back and forth several times, which was hardly unusual. According to one Phillips tradition, he left his family in North Carolina and moved to a cabin in Jennings County, just northwest of Commiskey in 1826. Great grandson Wilbur Phillips claimed to have found the cabin years later. Some descendants believe Tom abandoned his family in North Carolina; some believe that he merely preceded Martha and the children so he could find or build a cabin. Whichever, she and the children either joined him later by prearranged plan, or "found" him, depending on how you interpret the story.
But Arbuckle descendants believe that the whole family made the trip together, arriving in Jennings County in late March 1829. If this were so, then it wasn't the family's first trip to Indiana. This wouldn't have been unusual as many families went back east temporarily. (As shown in young Martha's article in the next generation, she likely had the most accurate information.)
We know that Tom's wife had been in Indiana before 1829. She had son Isaac about 1826; one census shows he was born in Indiana, another in North Carolina. And about 1828, she had son Green Berry in Indiana. Then in February 1829, she and Tom had daughter Martha, apparently in North Carolina. But various stories notwithstanding, Tom and wife Martha lived together in Indiana at least about 1828, when Green Berry was born. One unidentified son, apparently the boy born after John, drowned there in a stream while playing or fishing.
Soon, probably in the spring of 1830, Tom and Martha split up. He and another woman--some say his housekeeper--gathered John, about 11; Easter, about 10; and Green Berry, about 2, into a spring wagon and headed out. No one knows what wife Martha said or did about this. Nor can anyone explain why Tom took some children and not others. Perhaps he and Martha agreed on the separation and divided up the children; perhaps she didn't learn about it until after it happened.
Somewhere down the road, young John jumped from the wagon and returned to his mother. Family stories say that Tom pleaded in vain for John to get back into the wagon. Finally, John was left in poverty with the others; Tom had left no good reputation behind him. He's the family villain, although some descendants (mostly male) wonder if he was being chivalrous by taking the rap for a failed marriage.
Tom is said to have been "lost" to his wife and children in Indiana, yet subsequent events show that they knew where he was at least part of the time. Although Martha might not have known it then, he and his makeshift family were in Illinois two years, where son Annanias was born in 1830 and son Ebenezer in 1832. Just where in Illinois the family lived is unknown: it could have been Schuyler County or Montgomery, where families of the appropriate name and approximate statistics lived in 1830. Or it could have been Pike County. Tom wasn't recorded in Pike's census, but he could have been traveling that summer. Pike, after all, was where Elder Thomas Phillips lived. (Coincidentally, the Elder Thomas' son Thomas Jr. was recorded in Pike and his data approximates Thomas H.'s.)
Martha was left with Betsy, about 12; John, about 11; Isaac, about 4, and baby Martha. They were listed in the 1820 census of Jennings County. A widow named Margaret Phillips apparently lived adjacent. She was slightly older than Martha and probably was Ezekiel's widow. A William Phillips, about the same age as Tom, lived not far off. Just exactly where they lived, near Paris at the southern end of the county, or near Zenas in the northeast corner, is uncertain.
On Christmas Eve 1831, Robert Smith of nearby Jefferson County saw young John T. working at a store in Paris and took him home to celebrate Christmas with the Smiths. Three days later, the overseers of the poor in Jennings County signed apprenticeship papers; John grew up at the Smith home.
(There's an interesting story about Paris. It had been in Jefferson County. A wild and woolly place, it was the scene of fistfights on Saturday nights. It was a long way from Madison, the county seat, and the sheriff tired of weekly trips there; it was agreed that Jennings County officials should look after the area. A glance at a map will show that it was merely tacked on the bottom of Jennings.)
On January 31, 1833, Martha, then 43, and John Stagg got a marriage license in Jennings County. On February 2, they were married by David Elliott, a justice of the peace near Zenas in the northeast corner of the county. Stagg, who had grown-up children, was 72. His previous wife, the former Sarah Turner, had died. Records don't reveal if he formally adopted Elizabeth, Isaac or young Martha. He probably didn't, but, judging by the 1840 census of Jennings, he took his bride and her family into his home. The census lists one male aged 80 to 90, one female 50 to 60, one male 10 to 15 and one female 10 to 15. John J. Stagg, apparently a son of the elder John, lived nearby. He and the woman of the house were 20 to 30 and had no children.
Stagg had been born in Bergen County, New Jersey. In August 1776, when about 15 and living near Haverstraw, New York, he had enlisted in the army as a private. He had served until the next January under Major Abraham UnderDunk and Captain Van Houton, officers who are unlisted in Heitman's Register, indicating that they probably had led militia units. Stagg had been marched to Peekskill, New York, then had served out his time at Redhook Fort on Long Island.
Next he'd enlisted under Captain Bell--probably in a militia company--and marched about the New York City area for nine months, from Tappan to Kings Ferry to White Plains, then back to Kings Ferry and Tappan. (Kings Ferry was on the Hudson River about 25 miles north of New York City and about 12 miles south of West Point. Tappan is in Rockland County.) It was a dull tour of duty except for one thing John never forgot: when his outfit had rendezvoused with the main army at White Plains, he'd seen General Washington.
A private citizen again, he'd moved back to Bergen County. About September 1780, he'd enlisted in Colonel Israel Shreve's 2nd New Jersey Regiment of the Continental Army in time to see British Major John Andre hanged October 2 as a spy, or at least to hear enough about it to remember it the rest of his life. Nothing much else happened this enlistment, which included a dull winter camp in New Jersey.
Then, after the shooting stopped, he enlisted again in 1783 under Captain Peter Ward at Hackensack, New Jersey. The scouting parties were what John remembered of this term. By the time he got home, he'd spent a total of two years and eight months in the army, a relatively long and relatively dull hitch. If anything, though, he'd been a persistent patriot.
On September 15, 1790, he received bounty land certificate 7830 for his service in the New York line. He assigned it to John S. Hobart et al. After continuing to live in New Jersey and New York City, he'd moved to Ohio, then Indiana. In August 1832, he'd applied for pension in Jennings County under the law passed that June 7. He was 72 and it was his first pension claim; he hadn't applied earlier, when only invalids and indigents had been pensioned. He said he lived near William Hanley, David Elliot Esqr., John Walker Esqr., Wm. A. Bullock Esqr. and "John Vauter, late marshal of the district of Indiana and many others."
When pressed for names of old friends with whom he had served, he remembered John Post, "who if still living now resides in New Jersey," and Albert Wilson, "who if living resides in the city of New York." John signed his documents by mark.
On November 23, 1832, his certificate was issued and he was put on the pension roll retroactive to March 4, 1831. He was to get $80 a year, plus $160 in arrears. Five weeks later he had married Martha, apparently saving her and her family from poverty.
On August 24, 1835, Betsy Phillips married John M. Arbuckle. That same year, her father turned up in Cole County, Missouri, on the south banks of the Missouri River near Jefferson City. Land records show that a T.H. Phillips bought land in township 43 of range 13. Among other buyers in that township in that era were Hugh Gartin, Abram Murith, Thomas H. Taylor, Jacob Hale, W.C. Porter, James Thompson, Xeveryhure B. White and William Daughtery, and families named Warfield, Merrit, Howard, Strong and Hinds. Two other men of Tom's generation, Green B. Phillips and Moses Phillips, lived in the county and might have been kin, considering Tom had named a son Green Berry.
That December 17, daughter Easter married Robert Reed Feaster in Cole County. She was an extremely young bride--not much more than 15--and probably the youngest bride in the family. Tom seems to have gained a son, though, rather than lost a daughter.
And soon, he had gained two real daughters: Mary Jane in 1836 and Malinda in 1837.
On August 26, 1839, Tom bought 160 acres in Greene County, Missouri, near the town of Bois D'Arc, about 10 miles west of Springfield. He got the land from the federal government.
The famous Homestead Act wasn't approved until May 1862. Before that, land in Missouri couldn't be sold until it was surveyed. Survey dates for counties in southwest Missouri differ, and settlers often lived on the land several years before it was surveyed and they could buy it.
It's unclear, but perhaps Tom had lived on the three full years prior to 1839, making payments each year. Obviously, the land was uncleared. It was the southwest quarter of section 5 of township 29 of range 24. He cleared it and farmed it for 13 years. Robert and Easter Feaster bought land nearby.
Here's some data taken from a booklet called United States Land Sales in Missouri, Spring Land Office Abstracts, 1835-1846:
S T E ACRES DATE
Warner Phillips 25 28 22 80 2/2/1838 to 2/1/1839
Johny Phillips 14 28 22 160 "
Warner Phillips 24 28 22 160 "
Joel Phillips 2 28 23 80 "
Joel Phillips 2 28 23 80 "
Joel Phillips 11 28 23 40 2/2/1839 to 2/1/1840
Garner Phillips 35 37 25 40 "
Thomas H. Phillips 5 29 24 80 "
Daniel Phillips 14 37 24 160 "
Thomas H. Phillips 5 29 24 80 "
Edward West 5 29 24 80.36 "
Edward West 6 29 24 40
Robert Feaster 5 29 24 40 "
James Phillips 19 37 24 40 2/2/1840 to 2/1/1841
Garner Phillips 36 37 25 80 "
John Phillips 19 28 22 39.99 "
Silas Grantham 5 29 24 44.42 2/2/1841 to 2/1/1842
Silas Grantham 6 29 24 46.27 "
Silas Grantham 1 29 25 40.45 "
Joseph Grantham 35 32 26 40 "
Note: Most of these are sprinkled throughout the listings. Thomas H. Phillips and James Feaster did appear on consecutive lines, and Silas Grantham's three purchases were listed consecutively. The first two, involving Warner and Johny, were consecutive.
The 1840 census of Greene County shows Thomas aged 40 to 50. There were two boys aged 10 to 15 and one five to 10. There were three females, one aged 40 to 50, one five to 10 and one under five. Robert and Easter lived adjacent.
Federal land records of 1840 show that Thomas H. Phillips of Cole County patented two parcels. The records also show that on Nov. 10, 1841, Thomas H. Phillips of Cooper County, Missouri, patented two parcels. These four parcels don't fit in well in our chronology; I lack further information about them and suspect that closer examination would clarify things. (We might also follow up and see how Tom disposed of these four parcels.)
Tom sued Alexander E. Cox during the July term of the Green County Circuit Court. Dismissal of the suit is recorded on page 271 of Book B.
During the May term of that court in 1843, Tom served on two juries involving charges of gaming. (See Book B: 311 and 315.) The 1843 personal tax list of Greene County shows Thomas H. Phillips and Robert Feaster.
Springfield was a wild town, one of the wildest on the frontier even in the 1860s. In summer 1865 Wild Bill Hickock shot Dave Tutt, killing him, on the city streets in front of a many spectators, near the city square. The town was a busy place with many Phillipses. On Nov. 7, 1846, the Springfield Advertiser carried legal notice of death of John Philips. B.T. Nowlin administered the estate. Among letters left at the Springfield post office on Sept. 30, 1844 were those addressed to: William Philips, James Philips, Ezekiel Boone, Mrs. Mary C. Boone, etc. There was a letter left for James Phillips on June 30, 1845. Letters were left on Jan. 9, 1849 for N.J. Phillips, Joel Phillips, Nathan Boon, John Boon, etc. April 7, 1849 shows T. Phillips, Joel Phillips and Wm. Phillips. On Oct. 3, 1848: Joel Phillip. On June 28, 1849 to Joseph S. Philips. On Dec. 31, 1845 to Jackson Phillips and J.J. Philips.
A couple of years later, Isaac Redfern sued Tom in Greene County Circuit Court. During the November term in 1849, a jury ordered Tom to pay a debt of $22.51 1/2, plus $2.65 in damages. (Book C:327)
Back in Indiana, John Stagg died July 9, 1846, he was about 86. Martha had to surrender his pension certificate, but his will left everything to her. That December 31, daughter Martha married Alexander H. Arbuckle, her brother-in-law's brother. That left only son Isaac at home, although there is some indication that Sarah Stagg lived there, too. Sarah perhaps was one of John's children by a former marriage.
Martha sold her late husband's land March 19, 1849 to his grown son John for $100. In 1850, she lived with Isaac adjacent to married daughters Martha and Elizabeth.
That summer the census taker visited Bois D'Arc and recorded his glimpse into Tom's home. Tom's age was given as 56. Green Berry, Annanias, Ebenezer, young Mary, Malinda and Amos all lived at home. Tom's wife was named Mary; she had been born in North Carolina about 1796. We don't know, though, that she had left Indiana with Tom.
On October 25, 1852, Tom had his will drawn. He was 58 to 62 then, and sons Green Berry, Annanias and Ebenezer were married or nearly so. The text of the will is below. I've added the boldface for convenience.
I Thomas H. Phillips of the County of Green and State of Missouri do make and publish form following that is to say First it is my will that my funeral expenses and all my just debts be fully paid.
Second I devise and bequeath to my beloved wife Mary Phillips in lieu of her dower the plantation on which we now reside Situate and being the West half of the south west quarter of section five in town ship Twenty nine of Range 24 west. also the South east quarter of the south west quarter of the above named section also all my Horses Cattle sheep hogs and all my farming tols wheat fan and every thing on or belonging to the farm nothing Excluded. During her natchural life or widow hood then at her death or marriag to be sold and divided amonst my children.
and lastly I here byly constitutes and appoint my sons Greenberry Phillips and Annanias Phillips to be the Executors to this my last will and testiment [and?] annulling all former wills by me made and ratifying and confirming this and no other in testimony whereof I have here unto set my hand and seal this the 25 day of october in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two signed published and delivered by the above named thomas H. Phillips as his last will and and testament In presants of us at his request have signed as witnesses in the same.
Thomas H phillips
West and Grantham were Tom's neighbors. West had been born about 1807 in Tennessee and had remained there till about 1840. Grantham's daughter Sarah eventually married Green Berry. Grantham, who was a justice of the peace at one time or another, probably was what was sometimes called a "country lawyer." That is, he probably was intelligent as well as literate and therefore able to write deeds and wills, although perhaps not an actual lawyer. He lived 1800-82, according to Grantham researchers. He'd been born in North Carolina. He'd then lived in Washington County, Indiana, where records show he married Verina Nicholson on September 2, 1825. On November 14, 1844, Grantham, as a Greene County justice of the peace, had performed a marriage ceremony for Lindsey Nichols and Louisa Redfern.
Judging by the handwriting, Silas wrote the will for Tom; the spelling and punctuation probably were his. Tom's provisions were fairly standard: he left everything to his wife but protected their children's interests should she remarry. Perhaps Tom had discussed the will with son Green Berry, who'd actually become a lawyer.
This was all well and good, but on August 23, 1853, Tom and Mary sold much of the land to Hugh Middleton for $1,100. They kept "eight square rods to include a certain spring on the south boundary line of the half of said quarter." Son Annanias and R.B. Wilson witnessed the deal, which was recorded in Springfield that September 5. Then Tom and Mary moved to nearby Barry County, not far from where Joplin is.
Back in Indiana, Martha Stagg had gotten a copy of her marriage documents from William P. Shields, the clerk in Vernon, on February 8, 1851, and in March and April 1853 she applied for a widow's pension under a law passed that February 3. Her generation was growing old; more and more time would be spent in court. On March 3, 1853, she had affidavits drawn in Vernon, showing where she lived and where her late husband had drawn his pension. Her pension as a widow of a Revolutionary War soldier finally was granted March 22, 1853.
On March 22, 1854, she reiterated most of the information, named Oliphalet Pastor of Cincinnati her pension attorney and asked that she get her checks at Madison. Ezekiel Lewis and Samuel Arbuckle swore a corroborating document. On June 24, 1854, she swore other similar documents and Ezekiel Lewis and Obabiah W. Dolen vouched for her.
It was in Barry County that Tom died, apparently in the spring of 1854. His gravesite is unknown. He died just a few years before photography became common throughout the country, so he probably was never photographed. Grantham and West proved the will in Barry County June 9, 1854, starting four years of legal turmoil for the Phillipses.
Barry County's records have not worn well with time. Many have faded. Presumably some are missing. And they weren't very good to start with. Frontier courts often kept sketchy records and the clerks obviously labored in vain trying to write as fast as the lawyers could talk. And Barry's clerk couldn't write very well to start with.
The records that have been found concerning Tom's estate could be interpreted many ways. The handwriting is often as confusing as the legalities the clerk was trying to record, making it difficult today for us to tell just what was going on. Besides this overall muddle, there are two major gaps in the records: we don't know if Tom owned land when he died and the court seems to have forgotten about young Amos Phillips. And, in dealing with the probate records, we meet John Smith, a man whose role in the affair is unclear. Smith, whose middle initial was I or J, proved controversial.
To start with, it was obvious that Tom's will was outdated: he'd sold the farm in Greene County. And things went steadily downhill from there. Widow Mary, Green Berry and Annanias were accused of selling estate property before the inventory or of keeping money belonging to the estate. One suit involved Annanias Phillips, Robert Feaster, Easter Feaster, Isan Williams, William A. Medlin and Polly A. Medlin, but the records never explained who the Medlins were.
On July 15, 1854, someone got a court order telling "Greenbury and Annias Philips, Executors of the last Will and Testament of Thomas H. Philips deceased, you are hereby notified to take out letters of administration upon said will within 30 days following this date, or letters of administration will be presented to some other suitible [?] person after that time . . ." There is a postscript on the bottom of the document that seems to read: "This is the notice I want you to return to the court."
On July 25, 1854, Robert Feaster swore the following document before Gideon Jackson, a justice of the peace: "I Robert R. Feaster, do hereby certify that I did serve the within notice on Greenberry Phillips by delivering to him on the 19th day of July 1854 a true copy of this within notice and on Annias Phillips on the same day & year by reading the same in the hearing of the said Annias Phillips and delivering to him a true copy of the same." Feaster signed his name somewhat clumsily. Presumably he had read the document to Annanias because Annanias couldn't read well.
An undated document, apparently written on a small sheet of paper, was recorded about that time and reads:
We the executors of Thomas Phillipses Will do here by Relinquish our Right of executorship and appoint John Smith executor to said.
[signed] G.B. Phillips
In another undated document probably filed about that time, Mary, Annanias and Green Berry asked the court to let John Smith administer the estate, "with the will annexed." They added that, if Smith wouldn't serve under those conditions, that someone else should be found to administer the estate "with the will annexed" and "according to the intent and meaning of the testator and the law." B.S. Hendrick, who signed the document, identified himself as the lawyer for Mary, Annanias and Green Berry.
On August 10, 1854, Smith agreed to administer the estate. He told the court in Barry that Tom "had died with a will" and that widow Mary, Easter Feaster, Mary Jane Phillips, Malinda Phillips and Amos Phillips of Barry County, Green Berry and Ebenezer Phillips of Greene County and Annanias Phillips of Lawrence County were Tom's heirs. William Owen and A.B. Brown were Smith's suretors. Owen was the only one who could sign his name, apparently indicating that Smith wasn't a lawyer.
The court appointed three men to appraise the estate: William Johnson, John Medlen and W.O. Medlen. Each swore he was not kin to Tom and had no interest in the estate. On August 12, 1854, they filed their appraisal:
1 Sorrel Mare 100.00
1 Bay Horse 85.00
1 Bay Colt 50.00
1 Bay Horse 25.00
1 Red Cow 18.00
1 Pided [piebald?] cow & calf & bell 20.00
1 Bindle Stear 13.00
1 White Heifer 6.00
3 Head of Sheep and Bell 6.75
1 Cuting knife & Box 1.50
1 Two Horsewagon [?] 35.00
1 Wheat Fan 22.50
1 Set Black Smith tools 30.00
1 Cross Cutsaw 3.00
1 Broad Ax 3.00
1 Sythe & cradle 1.50
1 Madax [maddock?] .75
1 Saw drawing knif square 1.00[?]
3 Augers 1 Chissel 5.00
1 F--- [?] .50
1 Buo [?] plane o c [?] .25
1 Pough .50
1 Bell & Cotton [?] .60 [?]
1 Diamond Plough 1.50[?]
1 Plugh [plough?] .50
1 Grind stone .25
1 Set[?] of Harrup[?] & Gra- [?] 7.00[?]
1 pr of Chains & Back Band .30
1 Blind Bridal .35
1 Saddle Bridal & Martingale 6.00
1 Hhd[?] .50
1 Riffle Gun 8.00
1 pr Steelyards 4.00
1 Bed Stead 3.00
2 Singletree & Clevices 1.00
1 Heos [hose, hoes?] .30
We do certify that the above is a true scedule [sic] of all the property to us produced.
[signed] William Johnson
A steelyard is a balance-type scales. A singletree, also called a whiffletree, is the pivoted swinging bar to which the traces of a harness are fastened. A clevice is a metal shackle used to join various parts. A cradle sythe was used to cut grain. A maddock was a digging or grubbing tool. Martingales are straps that keep skiddish horses from jerking their heads.
On September 4, 1854, someone--probably Smith--prepared an "inventory of the books, papers, moneys & evidences of debts." A.G. Anderson and D.P. Parker signed as witnesses, and Gideon Jackson as a justice of the peace. That list:
Money on hand $1.10
Money was on hand and that
Mrs. Phillips has used 105.00
Money that was on hand at Mr.
Phillips decds and taken by
Mr. L. Nickols on the 9th of
July for safe keeping. by Mrs.
Phillips request (as stated
by Mrs. P.) 15[?] Gold Piece 300.00
Cash due the estate & paid
by Greenberry Phillips 10.00
Much of the estate was sold September 4, 1854. The tally, which is faded, difficult to read and subject to various interpretations:
Mary Jane Phillips, 1 Sorrel Mare, $95.00
Malinda Phillips, 1 Bay Horse, 75.00
Amos T. Phillips, 1 Bay Colt, 45.00
Wm P. Hemphill, 1 old Bay Horse, 21.00
Annanias Phillips, 1 Red Cow, 15.25
Greenberry Phillips, 1 spotted Cow & Calf, $20.00
Ebonezar Phillips, 1 yolk of stears, 24.00
Ebonezar Phillips, 1 White Heifer, 6.50
Wm S.[?] Mason, 3 Head of Sheep & Bell, 3.12 1/2
Ebonezar Phillips, 1 Bell & Collar, .50
Jno Medlin, 1 Cutting Knife & Box [?], 1.12 1/2
Jno Rhoads, 1 Wagon, 25.00
Stephen S. Wiles, 1 Wheat Fan, 15.50
Levi H. Smith, 1 Set Blacksmith Tools, 30.50
Jno Wise, 1 Cross cut Saw, 4.62 1/2
Wm [?] Johnson, 1 Broad Ax, 2.50
Jno Wise, 1 Sythe & Cradle, 1.30
John [?] Wilks [?], 1 Mattock, .75
Wm Gardner [?], 1 Saw drawing knife, square, 2.25
Wm Gardner [?], Three augers & 1 chissel, 1.00
Wm Waid, 1 Fa-- [?], .65
Annanias Phillips, 1 Plain & chissel, .25
Ebonezar Phillips, 2 Rod [?] & Screw [?], .20
Annanias [?] Phillips, 1 Lot Sundries, .70
P.F. [?] Barker [or Feaster?], 1 Bull [?] Tongue Plough [?], .50
Jno. Rhoads, 1 Bell & Collar, 1.05
Franklin Gibson, 1 Diamond Plough, 1.75
Wilburn Waid, Grind stone, .40
Franklin Gibson, 1 set Harness and Gear, 6.00
R.R. Feaster, 1 pr Chains & Backband, .75
Wm Waid, 1 Blind Bridal, .65
Wm P. Hemphill, 1 Saddle & Bridal, 5.12 1/2
Someone marked the total as $409.95. I figured $407.95, which actually was the figure carried over to a second sheet. On that second sheet:
J.M. Wilks (or I.M. Wilks), 1 Hhd, 1.05
R.R. Feaster, 1 Rifle Gun, $7
Mrs. Mary Phillips, Steelyards, 62 1/2 cents
Wm Waid, 1 pr Bed Steads, $4.75
Jno Medlin, 2 single trees & Clivises, 1.00
Ebonezar Phillips, 1 Lug pole, 1.50
R.R. Feaster, 1 Hoe, .62 1/2
Annanias Phillips, 1 Keg Tar & Plough [?], .50
The total on the second page was $17.05, making a grand total of $425. The list was prepared September 22, 1854 and signed by Alex G. Anderson, who noted he was Smith's clerk.
On October 3, 1854, Smith filed an inventory, probably of the sale. He included the estate's assets, except property "reserved as the absolute property of the widow." He also swore he hadn't owed Tom money.
On December 4, 1854, Smith went to court and swore that he believed that Green Berry, Annanias, Ebenezer and Mary had $230 that belonged to the estate. The court noted that Smith got a summons for Sarah Phillips, whom he said improperly held money and property belonging to the estate.
On January 24, 1855, Annanias signed a curious document:
Estate of Thomas H. Phillips Deceased Dr [Dt, Debit?]
1853 To Ananias Phillips
May To the money for 40. acres of land $240.00
To work and labor 25.00
is by one horse 50.00
The administration of the Estate of Thomas H. Phillips Decd will please take notice that the above account will be presented to the County court of Barry County Missouri for allowance at the court house in Said County at the next March Term thereof
This January the 24th 1855
In February 1855, Annanias Phillips sued the estate. Another notation in the file shows that Annanias, Mary and Green Berry were defendants in a suit, perhaps in the one mentioned earlier.
In March 1855, it became obvious that "Sarah Phillips" shouldn't have been summoned. (Green Berry's wife was named Sarah.) Widow Mary Phillips should have been summoned. So Smith amplified his allegations: Mary, Annanias and Green Berry had concealed property, cash and notes worth $230, he said. He asked for, and got, an attachment against Mary, to be served to her by the sheriff over in Greene County, where she was living.
On March 6, 1855, Mary, Annanias and Green Berry appeared in Cassville to answer Smith's charges. Smith's lawyer, J.M. Barker, asked the questions and the clerk of the court, William Hubbert, recorded the answers, then had Mary, Annanias and Green Berry sign under oath.
Barker asked Mary if she had anything belonging to the estate that she hadn't told Smith about, if she'd sold or given anything to anyone else, or if she'd destroyed or concealed "certain papers, moneys and evidence of debt." She said no, except that, if she had "sold goods and chattells or let them go that the plaintiff has no right" to them.
Then Barker specifically asked if she'd let Green Berry take some things and if Green Berry hadn't given her a note for those things, payable to her. Yes, she said, "he took some oxen but not by her permission & sold them and give his note to her for sixty dollars . . ." She said she'd offered the note to Smith even though Smith had no right to the note "nor the money for which the cattle was sold."
Barker asked Annanias if Mary hadn't loaned him money and if he hadn't given her a note, payable to her. Yes, he said, he'd borrowed $20, had given her his note for it and had repaid her. He said he didn't know the $20 had belonged to the estate. He signed his name rather unskillfully.
Green Berry said that "if he did take" anything from Tom's house, Smith had no right to it, except for two things. And Green said he'd offered those items to Smith. One item was saddlebags and the other appears to have been a harness.
Grantham and West appeared, too, that day, in open court in Cassville. They said Tom was "of sound mind and fully understood" what he was doing when he had his will drawn. Grantham said he'd signed Tom's name to the will because Tom had asked him to.
Grantham also testified that day in the administrator's case against "Mary E. Phillips," Annanias and Green Berry. Unfortunately the clerk's handwriting that day was especially bad. It appears that Grantham may have given a deposition, rather than appear in open court. Whichever, he offered new insight into the confusion, although perhaps adding to it.
Silas said that Tom deeded property to his children about the time the will was prepared. "I wrote a deed to Green Berry Phillips," Grantham said, "and there was a bond given but I did not write the bond." Green Berry gave Tom the bond and Tom deeded to Green Berry 40 acres, Silas said.
The matter was further complicated when Silas said that Green Berry gave a bond that he would deed 80 acres in Greene County to Amos Phillips when Amos came of age.
Moreover, Silas said, "the bond for the other 40 acres of land was give [sic] by [Green Berry] to sell at the time of the death or marriage of the old lady." Beyond that, Silas said he'd heard Green Berry "say that he had given up the deeds for the land and the trade was to be canceled, and the old man was to destroy the bonds and he expected he had done so. Green Berry was to sell the 40 acres that was deeded to the old lady at her death or marriage and the proceeds to be equally divided between his three daughters Easter, Mary & Malinda."
Muddling things still further, Silas said Green Berry gave a bond for 40 acres, "which he was to sell and divide between his three daughters. Both bonds were to be destroyed," and Green Berry had said he'd given up the deeds. This reference, it would appear, is repetitive; Green Berry seems to have had only one daughter then, so when Silas discussed this bond, he likely was talking about the one involving Tom's daughters Easter, Mary and Malinda. Green Berry appeared the next day, too, swearing in open court that he had taken nothing from the estate, but that "all he took was of his own right, to wit a yoke of oxen which he has sold . . . "
Finally that same day, March 7, 1855, the will, the one transcribed above, was "confirmed" and admitted to probate. Then Annanias, Green Berry and Ebenezer got the court to revoke Smith's letters of administration. This apparently was an about-face from their original insistence that Smith administer the estate according to the will. But by this time, tempers must have been short indeed.
The court named the public administrator to handle the estate and ordered Smith to "deliver all papers, moneys and effects in his hands and belonging to the estate" to the public administrator, James M. Barker, who presumably was the J.M. Barker who had been Smith's lawyer.
On May 24, 1855, Sheriff Samuel Fulbright of Greene County arrested Mary on "an attachment issued from the clerk's office in Barry County." Mary was freed on $100 bond, with Green Berry also pledging a $100 bond, on condition she appear in court in Cassville June 1. Neither Mary nor Green Berry actually put up the money but they acknowledged their indebtedness to the state of Missouri, should she fail to appear.
On June 30, 1855, Smith gave Barker a stack of notes dated September 4, 1854, the day of the sale. Barker recorded that the note Mary had given included the phrase "and others," and seems to have scrawled "et al" on most of the other notes for some reason. Barker signed a receipt for:
1 note on Mary Jane Philips
and others dated Sept. 4, 1854 for $95.00
1 note of W.P. Hemphill et al Dated
Sept. 4, 1854 26.12 1/2
1 note on Franklin Gibson et al
Dated Sept. 4, 1854 7.75
1 note on Malinday Philips et al
Dated Sept. 4, 1854 75.00
1 note on Annias Philips et al
Dated Sept. 4, 1854 45.00
1 note on John Rhodes et al
Dated Sept. 4, 1854 19.30
1 note on Annias Philips et al
Dated 4 Sept. 1854 16.70
1 note on R.R. Feaster et al
Dated 4 Sept. 1854 8.40
1 note on G. Philips et al
Dated 4 Sept. 1854 20.00
1 note on Ebenezer Philips
Dated Sept. 4th Sept. [sic] 32.70
1 note on William Waid et al
Dated Sept. 4th, 1854 6.05
Money on hand 270.19
In Indiana, Martha Stagg found herself in legal red tape, too. On April 3, 1855, she applied for bounty land under the new law of March 3. Appearing before Adam Brower, a justice of the peace in Jennings County, she said she was 66, that she was collecting $80 a year as the widow of a Revolutionary War soldier, and that she hadn't remarried. Samuel Arbuckle and Reason Redman witnessed her mark and vouched for her. Arbuckle marked, too.
On October 18, 1855, the Department of Interior's pension commissioner issued certificate 8166, entitling Martha to 160 acres of federal land. On October 31, she sold the certificate to George Fries of Cincinnati. She handled the sale in Jennings, apparently by signing the back of the certificate and having the transaction notarized. Perhaps she was merely following her Cincinnati lawyer's instructions and mailed the document to him so that he could pass it to Fries. No sale price was noted.
On November 25, 1855, Barker filed another inventory with the Barry court:
Inventory of the papers and evidence of debt of the Estate of Thomas H Philips decd, placed in my hand as administrator Dedimus of said Estate,
Malinday Philips note $75.00
Mary Jane Philips " 95.00
E Philips " 32.70
William Wade " 6.05
Robert R. Feaster " 8.40
Annias Philips " 16.70
John Roads " 29.30
Amos P. Philips " 45.00
Greenbury Philips " 20.00
Franklin Gibson " 7.75[?]
W.P. Hemphill " 26.12 1/2
Money on hand 100.00
There seems to be no way to add the notes up to exactly $353.02. The dollar amount of the "Roads" note has been written over and perhaps that accounts for the apparently faulty addition. Rhoads had given a note for $19.30, so, more than likely, the $29.30 figure is $10 too high. But that still leaves the arithmetic $1 off.
On December 12, 1855, George Fries used Martha's certificate at the land office at Fort Dodge, Kansas, to obtain 160 acres in section 12 of township 91 north of range 19 west.
Martha died July 2, 1856. She was buried with Stagg at Hopewell Methodist Cemetery, one mile north of Commiskey. Their stones were weathered but in reasonably good shape into the 1980s, easily findable on the first row to the far left. (Nearby, in the same row, is an interesting stone inscribed: "Evan Thomas, Feb. 22, 1757 to March 15, 1840, aged 82 years, 23 days. The old revolutioner was born in Maryland. When a boy the Indians killed all but him and by hiding he got away. On Dec. 10, 1778 was married to H Nixson. Jan. 29, 1789 was married to S. Booth. Dec. 25, 1810 was married to M. Everton." Some agency, perhaps the DAR, has noted on an additional marker that Evan was a private in Colonel Grisham's Virginia regiment and that Evan actually died February 1, 1840. John Stagg and Evan must have had many stories to exchange.)
Residents say that in Martha's day there was a Methodist Church adjacent to the cemetery.
A Bible owned by one of Martha's descendants contains family data and has been copied and recopied several times over. (See Elizabeth Esther Arbuckle in generation three.) One copy of these Bible records lists Martha's date of death as July 2, 1874. Although many riddles could be solved had Martha lived that long, the Bible record apparently has been miscopied. The public library in North Vernon has transcriptions of tombstone inscriptions throughout Jennings County and that compilation gives Martha's year of death as 1856; in 1977 I read the actual tombstone inscription as 1856. After the transcription of the Bible record surfaced, Myron Phillips of Deputy, Indiana, examined the stone and agreed that it is inscribed 1856. Copies of pension records provided by the National Archives do not show when Martha's pension ended; presumably a more thorough examination of pension records would verify the 1856 date of death.
Most Phillips descendants had forgotten Martha until the late 1970s, when details of her remarriage were pieced together. Some Arbuckle descendants remembered hearing of her and have speculated that she and Stagg were Sarah Stagg's parents. Few details are known about Sarah. A document dated 1850 in the pension files shows that Sarah Sloat, widow of Philip Sloat, was "the only surviving daughter and heir at law of John Stagg and that she was also the legal heir of Paul Stagg, relationship not shown."
Back in Missouri, the probate dragged on into 1856, the lawyers obviously enjoying it. As if Easter Feaster didn't have enough troubles, her husband died that year and his estate went to probate, too. John Smith administered that, too, and sold several lots from the estate, indicating that perhaps he had represented Easter's interest in Tom's probate fiasco.
Sometime or other, Barker filed an accounting. No date shows on the copy that Barry's clerk provided in 1986. The handwriting on the large sheet is sloppy and, as usual, the lawyers tried to confuse things with Latin gibberish. Here is an approximate text:
J.M. Barker Public administrator and ex officio adm. [the phrase could be read "Referee adm."] of the Estate of Thos. [initial illegible] Philips deceased Debanas [dedimus?] now [?] Fist [first?] annual [annul] Settlement.
Amount of bill of appraisement
[apparent erasure] $448.50
Amount of sale bill 409.95
amt added. 17.05
Ballance due 293.33
To amt allowed Jno Smith
previous admt per Voucher No. 1. $41.43
" Paid J.M. Barker aty fees No.2 25.00
Cash paid V.M. Parker
Voucher No. 3 1.00
Cash paid Jackson Voucher No. 4 .50
Cash " Wm Hulbert " No. 5 3.50
Cash " Wm Medline " No. 6 .50
Cash " Wm Gardner " No. 7 1.00
Cash " John Medlin " No. 8 1.00
Cash " Wm Johnson " No. 9 1.00
Cash " H.G. Anderson " No. 10 1.00
Cash " D.P. Parker " No. 11 1.00
Cash " J.N. Fly Sheriff " No. 12 52.41
Cash " J.N. fly " " No. 13 1.33
Cash " A. G. Anderson " No. 14 1.00
In May 1857, the court ordered Barker to pay Mary the proceeds from the sale of the estate's personal property.
But on May 1, 1858, Mary was back in court to get Barker to give her the money that he'd been ordered to give her a year before.
Finally, the next day, all sides agreed on a settlement and, looking back from nearly 150 years later, it was a surprising settlement indeed:
"It is agreed between the administrator of the said estate and Mary Phillips who claims under the will of said Phillips that said adm make his settlement at the May term of said court for the year 1858 & said estate be eaqually divided between Martha Phillips and said Mary Phillips and the children of said Thomas H. Phillips whose names are John Phillips, Isaac Phillips, Elizabeth Arbuckle, Martha Arbuckle, Easter Feaster, Green berry Phillips, Annanius Phillips, Ebenezer Phillips, Mary Phillips and Malinda Phillips in eaqual portions & that the of the suit [as it reads] contesting the validity of [word illegible] will be paid out of the estate.
By B.L. Hendrick her att.
J.M. Barker for
Obviously the settlement left many questions: Who besides the former Martha Pitts could have been "Martha Phillips"? Why wasn't she referred to as "Martha Stagg"? Did the court know she'd died? Would it have mattered? Was she entitled to share in her late ex-husband's estate, even after remarrying? Did Tom's children in Indiana split their deceased mother's share, too, and get more than those in Missouri? Or perhaps had Tom married another woman named Martha before he married Mary? And who intervened, who told the court about Tom's children in Indiana?
On May 18, 1858, Malinda and Amos Phillips, "minor heirs of Thomas H.," went before the court over in Greene County and chose Lindsay Nichols as their guardian. This didn't necessarily mean that Mary lost custody of the children. Old-time courts, in those days when women had few rights, usually tried to make sure fatherless children had an adult male looking out for their interests. Lindsay seems to have been a justice of the peace for a time. He had been born about 1822 in Tennessee. Obviously, he could have been a relative, especially with Mary having entrusted him with some of Tom's money for "safekeeping." (There was a Martha Phillips in Barry, but she hardly seems a factor. She'd been born Martha Smith. Husband James Phillips had died in Barry.)
On May 25, 1858, Barker filed his final settlement, a "liability of $520.20," and the court told him to "pay said amount in equal parts to Martha Philips and Mary Philips and the children" of Thomas H. Phillips.
A text of the final settlement, the left side of which is omitted from my copy:
Final Settlent of the county of Barry, and adm. debonaus [dedimus?] now [?] [illegible] Barker Public administrator of the Estate of Thomas H. Philips Decd. [illegible] with said estate, Dt [Debit?]
[illegible] of sale Bill that
[illegible] in to my hands
in notes 353.02 1/2
[illegible] cash received
[illegible] former adm. 270.19
[line blank] 103.01
[on the "Cr." side]
Amount of former settlement
Brought forward $131.69
[Above item marked out but included in calculations]
J.R. Ch --- [?]
Cash paid for aty fee & cases
in the circuit Court 15.00
Commission $623.21 1/2 31.16
For advertising final settlement 2.50
Clerk fees & Sheriffs fees
& pro Juge
in contesting the will 10.43
Probate Judge's fees 1.40
Administrative fees 30.00
Cash paid Sheriff of Greene Co.
per Receipt No. 1 10.00
Cash paid W.H. Graves For
advertising Letters of Adm. 2.50
J.M. Barker administrator of the Estate of Thomas H. Philips decd In account with said Estate, Final Settlement
Amount of Inventory 416.10
Amount of Sale Bill 425.00
[line blank] 321.67
Ballance due the Estate $519.43
[blank or off page's Xerox] 30.00
[on the "Cr." side]
Amount former settlement
brought forward 131.69
Cash paid J.R. Ch--- atty fees
2 cases in the circuit court 15.00
For advertising final settlement 2.50
Cash paid Sheriff of Green Co. 10.00
Cash paid Sheriff & Clerk in
contesting the validity of
the will & Probate Judge 10.43
Probate Judge fees
in Probate Court 1.40
Commission on $841.10 42.05
Cash paid W.H. Graves for advis-
ing letters of admo- 2.50
Crdt by Amt not collected 106.10
Adm. fees 30.00
Barker's commission on the $841 was 5 percent. Adding in the $30 administrative fee, he got about 8 percent.
In 1860 the census taker recorded the following household in Center township of Greene County: Mary Phillips, 62; Amos, 16; N. Mason, 25; Malinda Mason, 22; and Buchanan Mason, two months. "N. Mason" was Nathanial Mason, Malinda's new husband. He and Amos gave their occupations as farmers.
In an oddity, Washington Arbuckle, one of Tom's grandsons from Indiana, lived in Flat Creek township of Barry County in 1900 with his family. He eventually returned to Indiana. In what probably was another coincidence, James Wendell ("Welly") Phillips, grandson of Indiana-raised John T. Phillips, moved to Joplin, Missouri, about 1916. Some of his descendants live in or near Aurora, as do some descendants of the children Tom took to Missouri.
In the late 1970s, John Stagg's name was among those engraved on a plaque affixed to the courthouse in Vernon, Indiana, to honor the county's Revolutionary War veterans. (Descendants of John T. Phillips will note also that their apparent ancestor Michael Courtney is likewise honored on the plaque.)
A list of children born to Tom and Martha: Elizabeth in 1817, John T. in 1819, Easter about 1820, a son who died young, Isaac in 1826, Green Berry in 1828 and Martha in 1829.
Those children born to Tom after leaving Martha: Annanias in 1830, Ebenezer in 1832, Mary Jane in 1836, Malinda in 1838 and perhaps Amos in 1844.
Elizabeth, John, Martha and Isaac grew up in Indiana, the others in Missouri.
Tom's descendants in the Civil War included sons Green and Ebenezer, and grandsons Francis Arbuckle, James Harvey Phillips and William Riley Phillips on the Union side, and James and Levi Feaster on the Confederate side.
The U.S. Geological Survey map made in 1956 and revised in 1975 shows that to reach Tom's old farm in Greene County you would:
Drive east on route 160 to downtown Ash Grove. In the center of town, turn right and go due south across the railroad tracks and out of town. After three and one-half miles, look to your left. Tom's land, which doesn't run flush up to the road, would start a few hundred feet away from the road. About this time you'll cross a steam called "Mathew Brown Branch." Continue about three-fourths of a mile along this same road, until it turns sharply to your left and goes east toward Bois D'Arc. You may see signs for Stony Point Church or Scott Spring. Follow the road to your left and after a few hundred yards you'll see a road going off to the right (it goes to Johns Chapel Church). Do not turn on this road. This road marks the beginning of Tom's front footage on the main road. In other words, Tom's land begins on your left, just as you see the road on right. (The road to Johns Chapel follows the section line, in other words; the road out of Ash Grove was off a bit from the section line). The 1956 map shows that Tom's land would begin where the trees begin. In other words, as of 1956, Tom's land began where some farmer had left a stand of trees as a windbreak. Of course this might have changed by now. Continue east on the same road (the one out of Ash Grove) until you see a paved road going off to the right. Pass this road and continue on a very short ways, perhaps only 100 feet, and you should see a dirt road going off to the left. Perhaps this was the road to Tom's house. The 1956 map shows two dwellings on this property, one not far up the dirt road on the right, and another at the end of the dirt road several hundred yards off. Tom's land continues to front the main road to Bois D'Arc for another few hundred yards.
Bois D'Arc was Tom's post office. If he went to church, he probably went to Johns Chapel, which is just one-half miles south of the road you were on. Tom's son Ebenezer and his family are buried at Johns Chapel. If you had time, you might want to look for Ebenezer's grave, which might have a Union War Veteran's marker on it.
Tom's parents remain unidentified. Old Philemon's son James is said to have settled in Virginia. Ezekiel remains a possible father, or grandfather. We know little about him.
MOUNT PISGAH CHURCH
On July 21, 1818, pioneer Hoosiers began circulating a subscription for the building of a log church. Adam Troutman agreed to deed at least an acre near Raccoon Creek as a site. Giving money were G. Campbell, James Lining, Robert Smith, Milton Robertson, Joshua Deputy, Alex B. Wilson, Thomas Ammons, Samuel Hutchison, Patrick Wilson, Thomas Gasaway, John Gudgel, Sam White, Thomas Jackson, R. Whitwood, Lewis Black, W.C. Wilson, Ezekiel Phillips, John Phillips, Aben Tebbetts, Andrew Wilson, James Blankenship, C. Cordrey, Benj. Ramsey, William Whitedresson, A. Chitwood, Joshua Tull, Joseph Wiley, Geo. Wilson, Contrey, Evan Thomas, Henry Dixon, William D. Wilson and Moses Wilson.
Wilson family records show that Patrick Willson and Andrew Willson plastered the logs on the inside for $30 and that Patrick Willson and brother Alexander built the fireplace. The little structure was ready by that November 5 and was called Pisgah Church. It was on a hill, and one circuit rider noted that it looked like Mount Pisgah. Members decided to add the word to the name.
In 1832, members replaced the log church with a frame church somewhat down the hill. In 1852-53, a brick replacement was built. On Sunday July 26, 1953, members celebrated the structure's centennial. It's two miles southeast of Deputy, in Jefferson County. It overlooks the monument to John Craig Wilson.
Andrew Pitts' experiences, although slightly earlier than Tom's, give an idea of the hardships involved in settling in early-day Indiana. Here's an excerpt from The Early History of Washington County With special Reference to Its Early School History and Pioneer Lives by Forrest Wayne Davis: "Andrew Pitts was a native of Chatham County, North Carolina. In March 1809 he decided to go to Indiana Territory, and with his family traveled six weeks through the wilderness until they finally made camp on the banks of the Ohio, opposite where Jeffersonville now stands. The next day they crossed the Ohio River on a flatboat and started north to Rice's Lick, then the center of civilization in the country. They went to the home of William Lindley,, which was later called the William Penn Trueblood Place, and Lindley was the son-in-law of Andrew Pitts. Here they remained in the little cabin of Lindley's until Pitts could purchase a piece of land and build himself a cabin. He bought land to the east of where Salem was laid out, put a tent thereon for some time, then erected his cabin and lived on until his death. The tent which he first erected was large as there were 10 in the family, but they enjoyed themselves, although bothered at night very much by the howling of the wolves and other wild animals. All breadstuff had to be brought from the falls of the Ohio and for many days at a time the settlers lived upon the game of the forest. Flax did not grow well at first and Pitts had to make trips down to the falls clothing, leaving the family alone for those trips. In 1810 one trip was made and Pitts brought back cotton, which the wife and daughters soon spun and wove into cloth for clothing. The Indians also made frequent raids on the settlers, but the worst one was at the time Andrew was called back to North Carolina. This was the Pigeon Roost Massacre and word was sent out that the settlers must do the best they could. The wife took her children and hid in the cliffs near the salt works until it was reported that all was clear. Pitts was overjoyed finding all safe when he returned. Pitts died February 2, 1845 and was buried in the old Blue River cemetery northeast of Salem." (Pitts bought land in Harrison County from the Land Office in Jeffersonville in 1810. During the massacre, on September 3, 1812, the Shawnees killed about 12 settlers in what is now Scott County.) Could Tom have gone to Indiana because of the Pitts' in-laws? It's possible. It's a long shot. An 1884 atlas of Jennings County shows that a John A. Pitts owned land in Commiskey, plus a tract west of town. But 1884 was a long way from 1826.
13 pages as is, 20 if i go to 12 point.
by putting in paragraph indents, it became 15 pages.
FamilySearch says Lindsey Nichols was born April 6, 1818 in Tennessee or North Carolina, married Louisa Redfeard on November 14, 1844 in Greene County. He's said to have died February 6, 1894 and was buried in Johns Chapel Cemetery.