Tag Archives: Marshall AR

An Account of Searcy County, Arkansas

The following account of Searcy County, Arkansas is quoted from a book with the incredibly long title of  The Province and the States – A History of the Province of Louisiana Under France and Spain, and of the Territories and States of the United States Formed Therefrom, Volume VII, published in 1904.

Searcy county, formerly included in Marion county, came into existence November 5, 1835, and its name was soon changed to Marion county. The present Searcy county was created out of Marion county December 30, 1838. It is bounded, north by Boone and Marion counties, east by Stone, Baxter and Van Buren counties, south by Pope and Van Buren counties, west by Newton county. It was named in honor of Richard Searcy, who came from Tennessee to Lawrence county in 1817 and was prominent in Arkansas affairs as long as he lived.

Searcy county’s population in 1840 was 936; in 1850, 1,979; in 1860, 5,271; in 1870, 5,614; in 1880, 7,278; in 1890, 9,664; in 1900, 11,988. This county is well supplied with public schools and churches. There is also one high school, the Marshall academy, at Marshall, the county seat. Marshall, the largest town in the county, has several churches, high schools, mills, two newspapers, and a diversity of mercantile and mining interests. St. Joe, Leslie, Blanco, Snowball, Witt’s Springs and Tomahawk are other principal points in the county.

William Wood was judge of Searcy county, 1836-38; Joseph Rea, 1838-40; J. Campbell, 1840-42; J. D. Robertson, 1842-44; C. P. Thomas, 1844-48; P. B. Ruff, 1848-50; J. K. Lenna, 1850-52; A. J. Melton, 1852-56; J. S. Wilson, 1856-62; W. H. Jones, 1862-64; J. J. Barnes, 1864-66; Josiah Lane, 1866-72; F. A. Robertson, 1874-76, 1878-80; Jesse Cypert, 1876-78, 1880-84; J. A. McIntire, 1884-86; W. N. Cummings, 1886-90; J. A. Rombo, 1890-92; N. S. Bratton, 1892-94; G. W. Drewery, 1894-98; W. H. Sutterfield, 1898-1902; J. A. Moore, 1902-04.

William Kavanaugh was clerk, 1836-38; William Ruttes, 1838-40; T. H. Boyce, 1840-42; J. M. Hensley, 1842-44; C. J. Bolton, 1844; Alex. Hill, 1844-48, 1852-64; C. A. McCain, 1848-52; J. S. Stevenson, 1864-66; W. M. Hayes, 1866-68; C. A. P. Horn, 1868-74; S. E. Hatchett, 1874-76; J. W. Morris, 1876-78; J. N. Hamilton, 1878-80; J. W. Hensley, 1880-84; M. Dampf, 1884-86; V. C. Bratton, 1886-90; M. A. Sanders, 1890-94; J. R. Aday, 1894-98; J. M. McCall, 1898-1900; W. F. Reeves, 1900-02; J. W. Smith, 1902-04. This official is clerk of the circuit court and ex-officio clerk of the county and probate courts and recorder.

E. M. Hale was sheriff, 1836-38; Joe Brown, 1838-42; Josiah Lane, 1842-44; J. C. Jamerson, 1844-46; Hiram Evans, 1846-47; C. A. McCain, 1847-48; William Thornhill, 1848-50; R. N. Melton, 1850-52; Alex. Gray, 1852-54; P. A. Tyler, 1854-58; W. S. Lindsey, 1858-60; T. M. Alexander, 1860-62; S. L. Redwine, 1862-64; J. W. S. Leslie, 1864-66; L. D. Jameson, 1866-72; B. P. Hensley, 1872-74; C. F. Williams, 1874-76; J. N. Hamilton, 1876-78; A. R. Allen, 1878-80; N. J. McBride, 1880-84; B. F. Snow, 1884-86; C. P. Lawrence, 1886-90; A. H. Luna, 1890-92 (superseded by M. J. Bride); W. P. Hodges, 1892-94; V. C. Bratton, 1894-96; J. N. Bromley, 1896-98, 1902-04; J. A. Melton, 1898-1900; R. A. Watts, 1900-02.

V. Robertson was treasurer, 1838-42; J. D. Shaw, 1842-44, 1858-60; Robert Cagle, 1844-46; William Baker, 1846-50; Joseph Rea, 1850-54; L. Burns, 1854-58; E. Long, 1860-64; W. S. Boyd, 1864-66; F. Thompson, 1866-68; G. Ross, 1868-72; J. W. Hensley, 1872-74; J. W. Morris, 1874-76, 1890-92; T. Thompson, 1876-88; John W. Morris, 1888-90; Matthew Sooter, 1892-94; C. A. Horn, 1894-98; N. M. Bratton, 1898-1900; J. T. Gray, 1900-04.

The Republican, established 1890, is published at Marshall by Albert Garrison. The Mountain Wave, established 1892, is published at Marshall by William A. Wenrick.

Sources

Godspeed, Weston Arthur, ed.  The Province and the States, Volume VII, page 145-7. Madison, WI, USA: The Western Historical Association, 1904. Retrieved from Google Books on 20 October 2011.

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Obituary for Mary Matilda (Bohannon) Graham

A copy of this obituary was provided to me by Louise Graham Bower. I do not know in which paper it appeared, though it was possibly the Marshall Republican, the same paper that published John Henry Graham’s obituary nineteen months later.

Mrs. MARY BOHANNON[1]

                              

Mrs. Mary Matilda Bohannon Graham, daughter of the late Neal Bohannon and Mary Bohannon, departed this life Thursday September 21, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Nona Lathum, at Watts at the age of 75 years.

She was born July 29, 1869, in the Watts community, and was married to John H. Graham, October 4, 1888[2]. To this union 10 children were born.

Surviving are her husband, seven children, Mrs. Evisa Collins of Greenbriar, Ark., Jesse Graham of Watts, Jasper Graham of Morley, Mo., Mrs. Emma Mainord of Purcell, Okla., Mrs. Stella Martin of Mt. Judea, Ark., and Mrs. Nona Lathum and Dan Graham of Watts; 28 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren; three brothers, William Bohannon of Commanche, Okla., Daniel Bohannon of Watts and John Bohannon of Osceola, Ark., and a sister, Mrs. Winnie McCluskey of Oswalt, Okla.

Mrs. Graham professed faith in Christ at an early age and was a member of the Free Will Baptist church.

Pallbearers were Chester Treat, Albert Graham, Chester Bohannon, Ray Nelson, Russell Allen, and Franky Lathum.

The flower girls were Nellie Allen, Nola Collins, Ermadean Watts, Joyce Lathum, Ruby Graham and Hester Bohannon.

The funeral services were conducted Saturday, September 23, at 10 a.m. by Rev. C. E. Gray, pastor of the Methodist church of Marshall, and burial was in the Shady Grove cemetery in charge of the Coffman Funeral Home of Marshall.

Notes

[1] It’s a bit curious to me that though Tildy was married at the time of her death, her obituary was titled by her maiden name.

[2] The date of John and Tildy’s marriage was incorrectly stated here.  It was also incorrectly stated in John’s obituary. They were actually married on 3 October 1889 according to the copy of the original marriage document available online at FamilySearch.org.

JHG Marriage License

Sources

Scan of original obituary provided by Louise Graham Bower, newspaper of publication unknown, date of publication circa September 1944.

FamilySearch.org:  Arkansas County Marriages, 1837 – 1957.


Surprise Packet

I received the other day a surprise packet of Graham family information from Ms. Louise Bower, whom I had met in June at the Graham Family Reunion in Marshall, Arkansas. The packet included photocopies of Louise’s handwritten notes, a photograph of Sarah (Scott) Graham, a copy of Sarah’s death certificate, Mary Matilda (Bohannon) Graham’s obituary, a photograph of John Henry Graham, Matilda and their children (including my grandpa Daniel as a baby), and a hand-printed family data sheet for John Henry Graham and his family. Some of this material Louise had provided at the family reunion, but some of it was new to me.

The family data sheet was of particular interest to me because it contained the full names, birth dates, marriage dates, and some death dates of all of the children of John Henry Graham, and the source cited for the information was a family bible that at the time it was copied was in the possession of my grandpa, Daniel Graham.  The address recorded on the family data sheet was grandpa’s address in Illinois. Grandpa moved back to Arkansas in the late 1970s, and he died in 1983. Was this family data sheet created in the 1970s? Where is the bible now?  Could this be “grandma’s bible” that my cousin Connie says that she now possesses?

Upon closer inspection I think this data sheet was created in the late 1970s. On the right-hand side of the page, though partially cut-off, is the name Nellie, with a partial address, and the name Evisa. Beneath that is Nellie again, listed as “family representative” and her relationship given as “grand-dau” – cut off. That must be Nellie Collins Allen, the daughter of Evisa Graham Collins and grand-daughter of  John Henry Graham, and this sheet is in Nellie’s own printing. Nellie died in 1982.

I had already compiled most of the information on the family data sheet from other sources, but it’s great to have it affirmed. Some of the information is new, however, so I will be updating entries here at Graham Ancestry soon.

Thank you, Louise!


Obituary: Daniel Paig Graham

This is the obituary for my grandpa, Daniel Graham, originally published in the Marshall Mountain Wave.

DANIEL PAIG GRAHAM

Daniel Paig1 Graham, 73, of Marshall, died March 15 in the Baptist Medical Center in Little Rock.

He was born August 12, 1909 in Searcy County.  He was a retired painter and a member of the Rambo Freewill Baptist Church in Marshall.

Survivors include his wife, Blanche; three sons, Leroy of Marshall, William of Harvey, Illinois, and Jimmy Dale of East Prairie, Illinois2, a daughter, Janice Booker of Halls, Tennessee; a sister, Emma Mainord of Parcel, Oklahoma; 12 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.

Services were March 19 in Coffman Chapel with Rev. Allen Brock officiating.

Burial was in Mainord Cemetery, Marshall, by Coffman Funeral Home.

Notes

1. Daniel’s middle name was spelled “Page” according to the John Henry Graham Family Data Sheet by Nellie Collins Allen, as transcribed from the Graham Family Bible.

2. East Prairie is in Missouri, not Illinois.

Sources

“Daniel Paig Graham”, Marshall Mountain Wave, 24 March 1983.


A Doughboy in the Golden Acorn Division

During my recent trip to Marshall, Arkansas I visited the grave of my grand uncle William Thomas Graham.  As I mentioned previously, his grave marker listed the unit with which he served during the first World War: the 348th Infantry, 87th Division.  I hit the Internet and ran several searches on the unit to see what I could learn.

The U.S. Army Center of Military History has online the entire lineage and honors of the 348th Regiment, which is the successor of the 348th Infantry.  Here is the portion that pertains to the unit’s World War I service:

Constituted 5 August 1917 in the National Army as the 348th Infantry and assigned to the 87th Division

Organized in September 1917 at Camp Pike, Arkansas

Demobilized in March 1919 at Camp Dix, New Jersey

CAMPAIGN PARTICIPATION CREDIT

World War I
Streamer without inscription

The streamer without inscription is noteworthy.  The U.S Army Institute of Heraldry states on the topic that “war service streamers without inscriptions were awarded during or prior to World War II to units located in the theater but did not participate in designated campaigns nor specified battles/locations.”  That means that the 348th Infantry served overseas in the war theater, but did not see combat.  A unit that did see combat would have the relevant campaign inscribed upon the streamer.

Searching on the 87th Division, the 348th Infantry’s parent organization, I found an article at WikiPedia (not the best of sources, but it’ll suit the purpose Golden Acornof this article) that states the 87th “was a National Army division allocated to Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi” and that it was “utilized as a pool of laborers” when it went overseas.  That seems consistent with being in the war theater but not seeing any combat.

As to the reason the 87th was nicknamed the Golden Acorn Division, well, take a look at its patch.  This patch was worn by all Soldiers in the 348th Infantry.

WWI Roster DetailI also came across a photograph of a framed unit roster for Company F, 348th Infantry.  This was an incredibly lucky find because this was the exact unit in which William served, and his name can be seen on the roster in the middle row, sixth down.

I hit the newspaper archives at Google and GenealogyBank and came across several articles about the return of the 348th Infantry from a six month overseas tour in France, landing in New York City on 8 March 1919.  Company F arrived in New York on the Chicago, a steamship operated by the French Line.  I’ll be posting some of those articles separately, but here is a postcard that shows what the Chicago looked like.

SS Chicago


How I Spent My Arkansas Vacation

A couple of weeks ago I took a week’s vacation from work so that I could attend the North Arkansas Ancestor Fair and the Graham family reunion, both in Marshall, Arkansas.  This will be a recap of the highlights.

Travellin’ Down

Left Chicagoland and drove south.  Our goal the first day was simply to travel to East Saint Louis, Illinois for an overnight hotel stay, and then visit the Gateway Arch in Saint Louis before continuing on.  That didn’t work out so well.  As we were packing up the car at the hotel the following morning I noticed that the rear left tire seemed low.  “That’s why, right there,” said my wife Ashli as she pointed to a nail embedded in the tire.  So instead of going to the Gateway Arch we went to Walmart to get the tire patched.  With the morning gone, we then travelled on to Marshall, promising to visit the Arch on the way back.

Arrived in Marshall in the early evening and got a room at the Sunset Hotel.  Dinner at the nearby Sunset Restaurant. Everyone stopped what they were doing to look at us when we entered. “Who are these strangers?” they must’ve been thinking.

A (Half) Day at the Fair

Following breakfast at the Sunset Restaurant (“Didn’t I see y’all last night?” the waitress asked us. “Yes,” I said, “and you’ll see us again tonight!”), we spent the morning at the first sessions of the North Arkansas Ancestor Fair, which was held at the still-under-construction Veterans Memorial Hall.  While I was at the sessions on finding Civil War ancestors, Ashli and the kids wandered over to a nearby flea market. Yeah, this vacation was really all for me, they were just along for the ride.

The Searcy County Memorial Association is accepting donations to complete the hall’s construction, and a $100 donation will get donors a plaque with the name of a veteran that they wish to honor.  I thought about getting a plaque to honor William Thomas Graham, my grand uncle that served in the Army during World War I.

Lunch at Sonic, then we ditched the second half of the fair to visit the Searcy County Library.  The library has a very good genealogy wing with numerous books and records on the county and its citizens.  I spent the afternoon going through the various volumes of obituaries from the local papers, furiously typing some into the my iPad because I didn’t have any change for the copier.  As the afternoon went on, more and more people from the fair began to show up at the library, and I heard how the afternoon session had become so hot as to be unbearable.

Dinner at the Sunset Restaurant (leaving just before the fair’s mixer dinner commenced), then met up with mom and dad, who had come over from Alabama for the Graham family reunion.  We followed dad out to East Lawn Cemetery to lay flowers upon the graves of Uncle Leroy and Aunt Lorice, then Ashli and I wandered around the cemetery taking photos of any name that rang any bell in the family tree.  Then we all drove over to Sulphur Springs Cemetery to visit the graves of Uncle Millard and Aunt Ermadean Kelley and for more pictures.

Saturday Cemetery Tour

Breakfast at the Sunset with mom and dad.  Then they went to visit dad’s cousin Doyle Graham while we went to the Genealogy Swap Meet at the “civic center”.  I put that in quotes because that’s what the building was called in the fair’s promotional material, but there was no such sign at the actual building, which led us to drive way past our destination in search of this place before we turned around, decided that brown brick building we passed must have been it, and finally arrived.  Went from table to table looking over stuff and chatting with folks.  Had a nice conversation with Barbara Van Camp, who runs the Watts Family site at MyFamily.com and organizes the annual Watts family reunion in Marshall. I’m sure she won’t mind if I plug it, so plan now to attend the Watts reunion in October!

Met with mom and dad at Kelley’s Restaurant (I wondered if the owner was related to uncle Millard, but we didn’t learn the answer (but it’s probably “probably”)), then went in search of Shady Grove Cemetery, where most of the Searcy County Grahams are buried.  We drove down Arkansas Highway 254 for so long that dad became unsure of the direction and pulled over.  As I was pulling in behind him, I noticed that he’d pulled over right at the cemetery!  I parked the car and got out, then the realization dawned on dad that we were there and he parked, too.  Ashli took a lot of photographs here, and I noted that someone had placed newer stones for Jesse and Sarah Graham – their original stones were so weather-worn that they were altogether unreadable.  Took several photographs of the marker for William Thomas Graham, which named the Army unit that he served with in the war, which I hadn’t previously known.

We then went up the mountain to visit Rambo Cemetery, where my grandparents (dad’s parents) are buried.  Saturday was Decoration Day at Rambo so mom brought flowers, and with my daughter’s help they placed them on the graves of grandma and grandpa and Uncle Charles and Aunt Ruby.  Just after the flowers were placed, dad’s sister Aunt Jan showed up with one of her daughters, Marie, and her family, so there was a little impromptu reunion as we all wandered around the cemetery.

As we were leaving the cemetery I asked dad if he could remember the way to the Rambo School.  He did, and so we followed him there.  I was surprised to see that it was abandoned and weathered, as I had heard that it had been refurbished and was being used as a community center.  That had been true, but that was also some time ago, and now the school stands unused.  Dad tried the door and it was unlocked, so we stepped inside for a moment. There were still rows of chairs and tables inside, and it looked like it had been used for church services. Dad told us how it looked when he went to school there.  Back outside the school, it occurred to me to ask dad exactly where he had been born.  “In a cabin right up the road” he said, “I could probably find the land but I bet the cabin is gone.”  He offered to take us but I declined.  It was getting late, the kids were getting tired and so was mom.  They all stayed in the car here – only Ashli, dad and me explored the school.

Dinner that evening was just Ashli and me at Pizza Hut while the kids stayed at the hotel. We were getting tired of the Sunset Restaurant.

Graham Reunion

Didn’t meet mom and dad for breakfast – skipped it altogether.  They went to visit dad’s niece while we continued our cemetery tour at the little Marshall Cemetery there in town.  Didn’t recognize any names from my research, but we snapped a few photographs of whatever interested us.

I decided I wanted to visit Bear Creek Cemetery, so we went out driving down Arkansas Highway 27 to find it.  Never did find it, but we ended up at Canaan Cemetery where we snapped a few photos of the possibly related.

Long about that time mom called on the cell phone to ask where we were since they were about to serve lunch at the reunion, so we hightailed it up the mountain and to the fire department.  Ate lunch and reminisced with some cousins I hadn’t seen in nearly two decades.  Ashli and the kids sat at the table behind me, mostly keeping to themselves and probably wishing we’d go to the Buffalo River for a swim.

Travellin’ Up

Left the reunion and hit the wide open road.  Stopped briefly at the Buffalo River to try for that swim, but it was so crowded we decided against it, so we went on.  Got a hotel room in Sullivan, Missouri, then ate dinner at a Jack in the Box, which I hadn’t been to since the late 1970s, when all the ones in Illinois closed.

Breakfast at Cracker Barrel, then on to Saint Louis and the Gateway Arch!  It was confusing to find the entrance to the arch’s parking lot.  Ended up accidently taking a turn that put me on the Eads Bridge over the swollen Mississippi River.  There was a traffic signal at the Illinois end of the bridge, and at Ashli’s insistence I did a u-turn to head back across.  In mid-u-turn, I spotted an East Saint Louis police car pulling up to the traffic light (the East Saint Louis Police Department is right there!).  I swore and kept on going back across the bridge, checking the rear-view mirror the entire time to see if the police was following, but he didn’t.  I guess he didn’t want the hassle of following me into another state jurisdiction for a traffic violation.

The Gateway Arch has a tram system to take visitors to the top.  The cars of the tram seat five people, but they are small and cramped, and the doors are tiny.  It looks and feels a bit like entering a pod from some 1960s time travel movie.  As I was purchasing the tickets, the salesperson asked if any of us were “claustrophobic, afraid of heights or prone to motion sickness”.  I replied, “Not yet.”

The sky was clear and sunny, so the view from the observation area was great.  To the east we could see Illinois and the flooding it had endured from the Mississippi River, and to the west was the city of Saint Louis.  I could feel the arch swaying, and it would vibrate as the trams arrived at the top.

After we left the arch, the rest of the trip was unremarkable.  We got home safely, unloaded the car, and went to bed.


Who is Buried in William’s Grave?

I recently returned from a sojourn to Marshall, Arkansas where I attended the North Arkansas Ancestor Fair and the Graham Family reunion for the descendants of Jesse and Sarah Graham.  I met a lot of friendly folks and gathered a lot of material for this journal, but at the same time I know there’s more to be had, so I want to go back next year!

The Question

The ancestors about which I fielded the most questions was William Graham, both of them.  One of them is buried at Shady Grove Cemetery in Arkansas.  The questions I got were all the same:  Which one is buried there?

The First William

The first William Graham was the son of Jesse and Sarah Graham, and was born sometime around 1865 somewhere in Alabama.  In 1880, he was living in Bear Creek Township with his parents, sisters Eliza and Mary, and brother John.

William Graham 1880 Census

And that’s really all that I know about him.  I haven’t found him on any other census, nor do I know what happened to him after 1880.

The Second William

The second William was William Thomas Graham, the second son of John Henry Graham and thus the nephew of the first William.  As I previously chronicled, this William served during the First World War and was honorably discharged.

The Grave

Here is a photograph of the grave maker at Shady Grove Cemetery, as taken by my wife:

WTGraham Grave Marker

As you can see, this William Graham was a Private in the 348th Infantry, 87th Division, and died on 12 September 1920.

The Answer

The 348th Infantry was a World War I unit that was constituted 5 August 1917 and then organized in September of that year at Camp Pike, Arkansas.  It was demobilized in March 1919 at Camp Dix, New Jersey.

We already know that the second William served in the Army during World War I, but did the first?

The Selective Service Act of 1917 authorized the federal government to raise a National Army through draft to fight the war in Europe.  There were three draft registrations for World War I:

  • The first, 5 June 1917, was for all men between the ages of 21 and 31.  This is the draft for which William Thomas Graham and his two brothers Jessie Cornelius Graham and John Jasper Graham registered.
  • The second, 5 June 1918, registered those who attained age 21 after 5 June 1917.
  • The third registration was held on 12 September 1918 for men age 18 through 45.

The first William would’ve been 52 in 1917, making him ineligible to register for military service in World War I.  Furthermore, the 1900 census sheet for William’s mother Sarah suggests that William had died some time before 1900 (see Jesse & Sarah Graham).  Thus, the man buried in Shady Grove Cemetery must be William Thomas Graham, the second son of John Henry Graham.

Sources

Ancestry.com:  United States Federal Census for 1880 and 1900;  World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917 – 1918.

US Army Center of Military History:  348th Regiment Lineage and Honors

Find A Grave: Memorial for William Graham.

Wikipedia:  Selective Service Act of 1917.

Photograph of the grave marker of William Graham, taken at Shady Grove Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas on Saturday, 4 June 2011, by Ashli Graham.


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