Monday, October 1, 2012
In the south west corner of the stone building section of our museum is our Civil War Display. On the wall we have a photo of members of the Brumley Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R. about which you can read more at this location on our website.)
The photo is old, but probably taken after the turn of the 19th century (photo 01).
01 Brumley GAR
We only have been able to identify five of the members of that photo:
Front Row: first man on left is James Martin Hawkins (1847-1934), 6th man is James Lewis Pemberton (1845-1931), 10th and last man is Elijah M. Dyer (1849-1920).
Back Row: 3rd man from left is Emanuel Lett or Jett (a black man). The man in the white shirt standing in front of the flag is Henry Clay Jackson (1839-1932).
Of the five we have identified James Martin Hawkins’ (photo 02) biography was presented at this previous Progress Notes.
02 James M. Hawkins
And Henry Clay Jackson’s (photo 03) biography was presented at this previous Progress Notes.
03 Henry Clay Jackson
A short biography of the family of Emanuel Lett written by Peggy Hake can be found at this location on our website.
However, we do have information to share about James Lewis Pemberton which I will present this week.
James Lewis Pemberton
04 James Lewis Pemberton
A short summary of the life of James Pemberton in Miller County is presented in his obituary:
James Lewis Pemberton
Iberia Sentinel, December 1931
James Lewis Pemberton, one of our county's best citizens, died Wednesday, December 16, at the old Pemberton homestead, west of Iberia. Mr. Pemberton, who was the father of a large family of children and held in highest regard by neighbors and friends, was 86 years old at the time of his death. He had often said that he wished to die on the old home place, and this wish was granted him, for he peacefully passed away there.
He was united in marriage to Miss Fannie Williams. She passed away four or five years ago, but there are seven children who survive them. They are John, Press, Elbert, Wade, Mrs. D.G. (Mahala) Wall and Mrs Ray (Oma) Casey of Iberia, and Wilbert of San Antonio, Texas.
Mr. Pemberton was a member of the Baptist church. Funeral services were conducted at the home Friday by Rev. Holt and burial was at the Williams cemetery, three-fourths mile from the Pemberton home. Fannie and James are both buried in the Williams Cemetery.
James Lewis Pemberton’s earliest recorded ancestor was George Pemberton born in 1774 in Virginia. James, however, was born in Illinois but lived his adult life in Miller County, Missouri. Here is a website giving a complete genealogy of the Pemberton family in the USA.
And at that website you can find this short summary of James Pemberton:
152. James Lewis4 Pemberton (Preston3, William2, George1) was born June 30, 1845 in Menard County, Illinois, and died December 16, 1931 in Miller County, Missouri. He married Frances Jane Williams March 01, 1866 in Miller County, Missouri. She was born June 20, 1845, and died May 26, 1926 in Miller County, Missouri.
Children of James Pemberton and Frances Williams are:
242 i. Mahala J. Pemberton, born Abt. 1868.
243 ii. John Pemberton, born Abt. 1873.
244 iii. Lewis P. Pemberton, born Abt. 1875.
245 iv. Elbert Pemberton, born Abt. 1879.
After leaving Illinois and arriving in Miller County sometime before the Civil War, James’ family settled on a farm which was very close to the John Williams farm. James and John Williams’ daughter, Francis (Fanny) Jane Williams, were sweethearts (photo 05).
05 Francis Jane Williams m. James L. Pemberton
However, their courtship had to be in secret because Francis’ father, John Williams, was a strong supporter of the southern cause before the Civil War whereas James was an advocate for the North. The story is told that they had courted before James enlisted. As he was leaving to join the Union army he tried to kiss her, but she slapped him away! Years later Fanny told her granddaughter: "I sent your grandfather to war with his cheeks burning. Never let a man hold your hand until you are engaged. Never let him kiss you until you are married."
Even though John Williams, father of Francis, was a strong supporter of the southern cause, one of his sons, John Riley, was an advocate of the northern side. Perhaps that is why he and James Pemberton were good friends. By late 1864 John Riley was old enough to go to war. So he and his best friend, James Lewis Pemberton, enlisted in the Union Army. In Missouri and the other Border States families were often divided in their loyalties. Sadly, on March 5, 1865 John Riley died of camp disease while bivouacked outside St. Louis. Just a few weeks later the war ended when Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865. However James Pemberton returned home to the welcoming arms of his soon to be wife, Frances Williams, and soon they began to establish a large family. Here is a photo taken of the family a number of years after the children had been born (photo 06):
06 James Pemberton Family:
John, Mahalia, Wilburt, James L., Elber, Frances, Naomi, Wade and Preston
And here is another photo of James and Frances in the later years of their life (photo 07):
07 James Lewis Pemberton and Francis Jane (Williams) Pemberton
The Pemberton house is still standing where James and Frances lived, located adjacent to the original John Williams farm. I took some photos of the home several years ago (photos 08 - 13).
08 Front of James Pemberton House
09 James Pemberton House
10 James Pemberton House
11 Spring House at James Pemberton Home
12 Cut Stone Chimney at James Pemberton House
13 Decoration above door at James Pemberton House
Even though the Pembertons’ and Williams’ had taken opposite sides during the Civil War, the union of James Pemberton and Frances Williams created a strong bond between the two families after the war which has lasted until today. In fact, every year in late spring descendents of the Williams and Pemberton families gather together at the time of the Williams’ Cemetery Reunion.
Last Monday the museum hosted Alan Sullivan, consulting engineer for Ameren Missouri, who presented a very interesting and detailed history of the construction of Bagnell Dam during the years 1930-1931. I had featured Alan’s biography and history with Ameren in the September 17 Progress Notes which you can review here:
The occasion was a heart warming homecoming type of event since Alan was raised in Tuscumbia and known quite well by most of those who attended his Power Point enhanced historical review of the Dam. Here are photos of Alan and some of those who attended his talk (photos 14, 15 and 16):
14 Alan Sullivan Bagnell Dam Presentation
15 Alan Sullivan Bagnell Dam Presentation
16 Alan Sullivan and Board Member Gary Carrender
We certainly appreciated Alan’s presentation; his more than thirty years association with the Bagnell Dam has made him a veritable human encyclopedia regarding any aspect of the function and structure of this huge hydroelectric structure. What was particularly interesting was Alan’s memory of many anecdotes and trivia which he had accumulated not only during his own time there but also from the oral history given him by his Uncle Lloyd Slone and Grandfather Elmer Slone who were among the first employees which built the dam.
Alan told us that the very harsh drought we have experienced this year has caused the situation of having a lower water table at the lake as well as periods when less water is being released to the Osage River down stream. This has caused some difficulties for those who fish the river not only in maneuvering their fishing boats but also in a general reduction in catching fish.
However, some who fish the river are accustomed to the many variables which impact fishing on the Osage and have their own ways of somehow or other hooking a fish or two or more during a day’s outing. Here are photos of Jack and Dean Edwards and Homer Witt and an old Autogram article taken on one of the good fishing days (photos 17, 18 and 19).
17 Jack and Dean Edwards
18 Jack and Maudine Edwards Catching Fish - Autogram Sent. - May 9, 1968
19 Homer Witt - Autogram Sent. - May 9, 1968
One of our interesting visitors to the museum recently was Dennis Williams of Eldon (photo 20).
20 Dennis Williams, GGG Grandson of John 'Hoppin' Clark
Dennis is a GGG grandson of John ‘Hoppin’ Clark, one of the most interesting of the old time Miller County settlers. No one has found a verified photo of ‘Hoppin’ Clark and none probably exists. Dennis stopped by to verify just where his famous ancestor’s tombstone was located. One of our board members, Jim Clark, who also is a descendent of ‘Hoppin’ Clark, directed Dennis to A road going east off Highway 17 about seven miles south of Tuscumbia. The Clark cemetery is about five miles east on A road. Here are photos of the Clark Cemetery and John Hoppin’ Clark’s tombstone (photos 21 and 22).
21 Clark Cemetary at the top of this hill is where
John 'Hoppin' Clark
is buried in the center of the Cedar Trees
22 John 'Hoppin' Patterson Clark Tombstone
The story of ‘Hoppin’ Clark was written several years ago by our historian, Peggy Hake:
John ‘Hoppin’ Clark
By Peggy Hake
There has been a beautiful legend handed down through the generations about John 'Hoppin' Clark. He acquired this nickname through the impossible feat of jumping over covered wagons! He was a loner for a few years preferring to travel the wilds of Kentucky's back country. One night he ventured upon a wagon train traveling westward and they hired him to serve as the scout. On this wagon train was an Indian family with the English name of Farmer who had a beautiful young daughter named Snow Princess. Her English name was Elizabeth and John 'Hoppin' fell in love with this beautiful Indian maiden. He asked her father for his consent to marry her, but he refused, so John kidnapped Snow Princess and they were eventually married without her father's blessing. John 'Hoppin' & Elizabeth Clark moved into Miller Co. and settled near his sister and family who had bought land in Osage township.
As a child, I was told many stories about this colorful couple, but my favorite has to be this bit of legend: One day old Hoppin' went out squirrel hunting and was gone all day. By nightfall, Betsy (Elizabeth) was getting a little worried. After dark he finally came home but was a terrible mess---he was scratched, torn, and bleeding all over. He was dragging a big, black panther and as he threw it into the kitchen door, he said these infamous words...
“Here Betsy, skin this squirrel!!”
It is also family legend that John 'Hoppin' Clark served as a scout for the Cherokee Indian Nation when they were forced from their homes in the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina & eastern Tennessee. This was the “Trail of Tears” march to Oklahoma territory in the late 1830s.
We now have the Walter Stillwell trunk on display in our museum (photo 23).
23 Walter Stillwell Trunk on Display
I had written about this amazing treasure trove of historical Miller County artifacts and documents in this previous Progress Notes.
Included in the display are some interesting historical papers and records. The trunk itself is very old and of unique design. It can be found on the upper floor of the new addition to the museum.
That’s all for this week.
Previous article links are in a dropdown menu at the top of all of the pages.