Biographical Sketches

Biographies from Miller County People

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Surnames Beginning With 'Q & R'


  • Frank S. Ramsey was born in Miller County on 1 Dec 1867 a son of George W. Ramsey and Mary Albertson. He was one of several children born to George and Mary including:
  • 1. Sarah E. Ramsey b. 1847 m. James A. Percival
  • 2. Richard Logan Ramsey 1849-193_
  • m. 1) Lucy Capps Bilyeu
  • 2) Mary Capps Bilyeu
  • 3. William W. Ramsey 1851-1871
  • 4. Mary J. Ramsey 1852-1871
  • 5. Virginia A. Ramsey 1855-1883 m. Peter Bilyeu
  • 6. James E. Ramsey 1858- m. Laura C. Bilyeu
  • 7. Matilda C. Ramsey 1859-1882
  • m. Owen Calvin Wilson
  • 8. Nancy E. Ramsey 1861-1863
  • 9. George M. Ramsey 1865-1939
  • m. Sarah Forrester
  • 10. Frank S. Ramsey 1867-1937
  • m. Minnie A. Jarrett
  • Frank was born in Miller County on the 'old Ramsey place', located about 6 miles east of Tuscumbia in December 1867. He married Minnie A. Jarrett, daughter of David Jarrett (1822-1874) and Jemima Sherley (1837-1909) of Osage township and a granddaughter of John J. Jarrett (l795-1867). Frank and Minnie were childless although the 1900 census indicated they had a deceased child.

    Frank S. Ramsey was engaged in the mercantile business in Miller and adjoining counties for over 40 years. He operated stores in Iberia, Eldon, and Crocker, but returned to Iberia a few years before his death in 1937. After selling his Iberia store, he started a business in the Marchant and Abbett building, which business he was conducting at the time of his death. Two of the locations of his stores in Iberia were at the corner of Main and Lombar Ave. which was the Adams Mercantile Store as I was growing up in Iberia in the early 1940s. The other location was on the corner of Pearl and Lombar Ave. which was south of Eads Garage. I remember the old two-story building that once stood there, but can't remember exactly who had a store in the structure in the late 1930s and early 40s.

    According to Okley Kinder, "Frank Ramsey ran a store across the street from the Kinder's Market when he died in 1937. Previous owners were 'Fatty' George Mace, and later George Adams" I remember that in the upstairs area the Modern Woodmen of America Lodge #5253 was located for a few years (organized in 1907) and then a movie theatre was placed on the second floor. It is only a vague memory to me, but I can still see the old steps that had to be climbed to reach the second floor and then the folding chairs that served as theatre seats.

    The death of Frank Ramsey was a very sad situation because he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head in August 1937. His obituary described his last day when he was found in his Ford V-8 car on Highway 17 just beyond the Miller/Pulaski County line at the J. W. Bear place. His body was discovered by a salesman for the Messenger Corporation, a calendar and novelty company, who had been to Iberia and was enroute to Richland in Pulaski County. Mr. Ramsey had left his store at 9:30 that morning and he had been dead about 40 minutes when the salesman found his body inside his car and then reported the tragedy to the Adams and Casey Funeral Directors in Iberia who, in turn, notified Dr. George D. Walker, the Miller County coroner. Since the death occurred outside the jurisdiction of Miller County, the Pulaski County coroner was called. No inquest was held because it was apparent it was a 'plain case of suicide'.

    Frank S. Ramsey was a member of the Iberia Christian Church and his services were held in the church, conducted by Rev. John Phillips, pastor of the Iberia Baptist Church. Burial was in the Iberia Cemetery. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife, Minnie Jarrett Ramsey, and 2 brothers: James E. Ramsey of Newton, KS and George M. Ramsey of near Iberia. Minnie Jarrett Ramsey lived until 2 March 1949 and was then buried beside Frank at Iberia Cemetery.


    Richard Logan Ramsey was born in Miller County 21 August 1849 at the old Ramsey homestead in Osage township, east of Tuscumbia. He was a son of George and Mary (Albertson) Ramsey. George (1823-1882) and Mary (1827-1886) were married about 1845/46 but no record was found in local marriage records, so they probably married before moving to Miller County.

     George W. & Mary Alberson Ramsey
    George W. & Mary Alberson Ramsey

  • They reared several children on their Osage township farm including:
  • 1. Sarah E. Ramsey b. 1847 m. James A.S. Percival
  • 2. Richard Logan Ramsey 1849-1935 m. (1) Lucy Capps (2) Mary Capps-Bilyeu
  • 3. William W. Ramsey 1851-1871
  • 4. Mary J. Ramsey 1852-1871
  • 5. Virginia A. Ramsey 1855-1883 m. Peter Bilyeu
  • 6. James E. Ramsey b.1858 m. Laura Bilyeu
  • 7. Matilda C. Ramsey 1850-1882 m. Owen Calvin Wilson
  • 8. Nancy E. Ramsey 1861-1863
  • 9. George W. Ramsey 1864-1939 m. Sarah Forrester
  • 10. Frank M. Ramsey 1869-1937 m. Minnie Jarrett
  • In 1860, their neighbors included the families of McDonald, Albertson, Barton, Hensley, Nixdorf, Wyrick and Bilyeu.

    Richard Logan Ramsey, oldest son of George and Mary, first married Lucy Bilyeu on Christmas Day 1870. She was born in 1853 and died in 1871 at the age of 18 years. Lucy is buried in the Ramsey Family Cemetery in Osage township, near Hwy. A.

    On August 26, 1877 Richard married Mary Elizabeth Capps-Bilyeu, widow of Henry Bilyeu. Mary Elizabeth was a daughter of Silas Capps and Julia Ann Brumley. Her father died in 1865 during the Civil War and, according to records, is buried in a military cemetery in Indiana.

  • Mary Elizabeth and her first husband, Henry Bilyeu, were parents of three children:
  • AUGUSTA BILYEU b. 1869 m. John Wallis
  • WESLEY BILYEU b. 1871 m. _______(later moved to Wyoming)
  • SARAH LEONA BILYEU b. 1873 m. Thomas J. Barnett
  • Richard Logan Ramsey and Mary Elizabeth (Capps-Bilyeu) became parents of four children who were half brother and sisters to the Bilyeu children.

  • They were:
  • MYRTLE VIOLA RAMSEY b. Dec 1883 m. George W. Duncan
  • JANIE N. RAMSEY b. Mar 1886 m. Albert T.Graham
  • JOHN F. RAMSEY b. Sept 1889 m. _______
  • NELLIE B. RAMSEY b. Nov 1897 m. Hobart Wall
  • Mary Elizabeth died in 1922 and was buried in the New Hope Cemetery in Glaize Township near Kaiser. Sometime before 1900, Richard and Mary left their Osage Township farm and moved to Glaize Township where they settled west of Brumley. Mary's daughter, Augusta (Bilyeu) and her husband, John Wallis, lived on an adjoining farm in the 1900 census. Other neighbors were the Popes, Albertsons, Haddox, and Wrights.

    Following the death of Mary, Richard lived for a few years with his daughter, Janie Graham, but later moved back to his own home place, which was called 'Fairview Farm', where he spent the rest of his life.

    Richard Logan Ramsey died 16 June 1935, at the age of 85 years, at his home about 4 miles west of Brumley. His funeral services were held at the New Hope Baptist Church and he was buried in the church cemetery nearby. He was buried beside his wife with whom he had spent 45 years of marriage and lived for 13 years as her widower.


    Sarah E. Ramsey was born in Miller County 21 October 1846, the oldest daughter of George W. & Mary B. Ramsey. Her father was a native of Kentucky, born in the Blue Grass State on May 20, 1823. Her mother was born in Tennessee 28 January 1827. Evidently her parents married before they came to Miller Co. sometime in the early 1840s. They settled in Osage Township near the families of Bilyeu, Capps, Thacker, Williams, and Wilson.

     James A.S. & Sarah Ramsey Percival
    James A.S. & Sarah Ramsey Percival

  • The children of George W. & Mary B. Ramsey were:
  • SARAH E. b. 1846 m. James A. Percival 1871
  • RICHARD L. b. 1849 m. (l) Lucy Bilyeu 1870 (2) Mary E. Capps-Bilyeu 1877<
  • WILLIAM W. (1851-1871)
  • MARY J. (1853-1871)
  • VIRGINIA A. (1855-1883) m. Peter Bilyeu
  • JAMES E. b. 1858 m. Laura Bilyeu 1888
  • MATILDA C. (1859-1882) m. Owen C. Wilson 1879
  • NANCY E. (1861-1863)
  • GEORGE M. (1864-1939) m. Sarah E. Forrester 1884
  • FRANCIS/FRANK S. (1867-1937) m. Minnie A. Jarrett 1887.

  •  Seif was son of James a.s. Percival and Sarah Ramsey
    Seif was son of James a.s. Percival and Sarah Ramsey

    George & Mary Ramsey are buried in the Ramsey Family Cemetery, located in a pasture on the Mrs. Bryce Fischer farm in Osage Township. The old cemetery is well-kept, very neat, and surrounded with good fencing and steel posts. Several members of the Ramsey family are buried there as well as members of the Wilson, Bilyeu, Percival, Patterson & Blankenship families.

    Sarah E. Ramsey, the first child of George and Mary, was reared on the Osage Township farm. On 18 March 1871, at age 25, she married James A. Percival (sometimes spelled Perciville) in Miller County. Their marriage was performed by John Bear, Judge of the County Court. James was several years older than Sarah, born circa 1830 in Kentucky. He came into Miller Co. after the Civil War and if he had been married previously, no record is found.

    They moved into Glaize Township and settled near Brumley.

  • Over the years they became parents to seven children including:
  • MARY J. PERCIVAL 1871-1880
  • GEORGE PERCIVAL 1873-1880
  • WILLIAM H. PERCIVAL 1875-1876
  • (These three children are buried in the Ramsey Family Cemetery)
  • Sarah died 7 February 1923 at age 76 years. She was survived by 3 daughters and l son who all lived in the Brumley area. She was also survived by 4 brothers: Richard Ramsey of Brumley; James Ramsey of Kansas; George Ramsey & Frank Ramsey, both of Iberia. Her funeral services were conducted by James Foster and she was buried beside her husband, James Percival, at Freedom Cemetery in neighboring Camden County, MO.


    Isabelle L. Reynolds was a daughter of Robert Reynolds and Martha Jane Pugh. Her father was a native of Ireland and her mother was born in Virginia.

    I do not know when Robert Reynolds left Ireland and came to America. He was born circa 1814 in Ireland and was in America by 1838. He and Martha Jane Pugh must have married sometime in the era of 1845-50. Isabelle, their oldest daughter, was born in Illinois in 1850. Martha Jane was born circa 1831 in Virginia so was several years younger than Robert Reynolds. I do not know if he had been married previously but is is very likely that he may have had another wife before he married Martha. He was in his mid 30s when they married and evidently she was in her late teens.

    Isabelle, daughter of Robert and Martha Jane, was born near Galena, Daviess County, Illinois in 1850. According to one source (GOODSPEED'S HISTORY OF MILLER COUNTY, MO) Robert moved to Illinois about 1838 and was one of the county's earliest settlers. He may have married Martha Jane Pugh in Daviess County, Ill. About 1868-69, Robert and Martha Jane left Illinois and moved to Miller County, MO and settled in Saline Township.

  • They were parents of several children including:
  • 1. Isabelle L. Reynolds 1850-1899 m James H. Agee 1869
  • 2. Elizabeth Reynolds b. c/1851 Ill.
  • 3. Thomas Reynolds b. c/1854 Ill.
  • 4. William Reynolds b. c/1856 Ill.
  • 5. Sidley Reynolds b. c/1859 Ill.
  • 6. Catherine Reynolds b. c/1864 Ill.
  • 7. Martha J. Reynolds b. c/1866 Penn.
  • 8. Frances M. Reynolds b. c/1868 Penn.
  • 9. Satina Reynolds b c/1872 Mo.
  • According to GOODSPEED'S HISTORY OF MILLER COUNTY (and other Central Mo Counties), MISSOURI, printed in 1889, Robert and Martha (Pugh) Reynolds left Miller County in the early 1880s and moved back to McKeesport Pennsylvania where they were still living in 1889. McKeesport is located just a short distance south of Pittsburgh, PA in Washington County. More information may be found about them in that county's records.

    I found no marriages in Miller County for the children of Robert and Martha Jane Reynolds except for Isabelle who married James Agee in 1869. She may have been the only one of their 9 children to remain in Miller County where she and James Agee reared 12 children: Emma Florence, Mary Jane, Rosa Nellie, Thomas Jefferson, Sarah/Sally, James Warren, Robert Lee, George Taylor, John Franklin, Willard, Edward and Ilene.

    THE MILLER COUNTY VIDETTE, Tuscumbia, MO, Thursday October 14, 1875

    "Last week we noticed the death of one of our most respected citizens, Owen Riggs. We will now attempt a review of his life. He was born in Tyler Co., West Virginia. Was usually called the 'long reach' on the Ohio River. At his death he was 59 years old. From boyhood, he was raised on a farm on which he was born, and was an industrious and faithful boy, he thus worked until manhood. At this time he done some boating on the Ohio and Missipp (sic) at odd spels when not busy on the farm. In the year 1838, he came to Miller County and purchased some real estate with a view of someday locating here, but remained on the Virginia farm and continued boating here, but remained on the Virginia farm and continued boating on the Ohio and Missippi until 1844 when he came to Miller Co. to live. One of his first deeds and boldest ventures of his eventful life, was the building of a flat boat on the Travern (Tavern) creek in this county, load it with pork, taking it down the Osage, Missouri and Missippi rivers into the Yazoo Pass, trading. Finally went down the Missippi and closed out his load of pork at Vicksburg, he then came back to Miller Co., where he engaged in farming, raising stock, buying and shipping to a very great extend. In 1847, he married the daughter of Henry C. Lurton, by whom he had 2 daughters, who are both living and married. His first wife died in 1858. In 1863 he married Madada (Malinda) Birdsong, by whom he had 2 children who are now living to mourn his loss. In 1857, he went into partnership with D. Cunningham (Daniel Cummings) in which venture he lost heavily. During these many years he bought wheat, corn, and tobacco and shipped it.

    Cororants (cronies) took advantage of his kindness and nichered from him. He died comparitive poor. His father is still living on the old farm where Owen started in life and is now over 100 years old (born circa 1775). We believe he has but one brother living, Edmond Riggs, who is a resident of this county. During the war the Bushwhackers, supposing him to have a large amount of money and in attempting to force him to disgorge, they built a fire in the woods and burned his legs into a crisp, from which he suffered for many years. In fact, it shattered his constitution so that he never recovered his former self. This was one of the most self (sic) acts that was perpetrated during the War in this part of Missouri. This imperfect and brief sketch is all we can give as it is next to impossible to get the correct data. We have lost one of our worthiest citizens. May his departed spirit rest in peace."

    NOTE: Owen Riggs established the original town of Old St.Elizabeth on the Osage River in 1869, located on the east bank. He helped to establish the first Catholic Church in Miller Co. when it was built at Old St. Elizabeth about 1870. Owen Riggs once owned 6000 acres in Miller County in its early days! It took 9 years to settle his estate after his death. With his death came the slow demise of Old St. Elizabeth on the Osage.

    CISLY ANN MARTIN - death notice

    Cisly Ann Martin died at the home of her son, George W. Martin at Ulmon's Ridge on 31 December 1890. Cisly Ann was born in Pulaski County, Tenn. on 27 August 1819 and moved to Missouri in 1857 with her husband, John Martin.


    Cisley Ann Roberts was born 27 Aug 1819 in Pulaski County, Kentucky, located in the southeastern part of the state. At this time I do not know the identity of her parents. At the age of 15 years, on 22 Nov 1834, Cisley married John Martin in Pulaski Co., KY. The Martin family, from whom John was descended, has been researched and traced back to 1650 in Bedwin, England. The Martin family came to America about 1683 and settled in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

    In the mid 1850s, Cisley Ann and John Martin came to Miller County and settled on a farm just east of present-day Ulman. Six of their eight children were born back in Pulaski Co., KY and the two youngest daughters were born after they settled in Glaize Township. Some of their neighbors in the mid-19th century were the families of Reed, Howell, Glass, Bear, Pierce, Hendricks, Wilson, and Coburn.

  • Their children were:
  • GEORGE W. MARTIN 1839-1914 m. Rachel A._____
  • JOHN MARTIN JR. b. 1843 m. (1) Elizabeth Dunnington (2) Violet Anna Dunnington
  • MARY/POLLY MARTIN b. 1844 m. Alexander Wilson
  • GIDEON MARTIN b. 1846 m. (no record)
  • JAMES G. MARTIN 1851-1862
  • BENJAMIN MARTIN 1856-1861
  • SARAH M. MARTIN b. 1858 m. George W. Curry
  • ROSENA MARTIN b. 1861 m. (1) W. T. Sidwell (2) James J. Pennington
  • During the Civil War, John Martin Sr., at the age of 46 years, volunteered to serve in the 6th Regiment of the Missouri Cavalry. He spent almost a year as a scout for his unit, but was finally released because of medical problems. He spent the remainder of his life suffering from complications, which were a result of the war. He died on 4 Oct 1877 at the age of 62 (born 16 Jul 1814). He was buried in the Martin family cemetery beside his two young sons. This old cemetery is located on what was later called 'the Belle Dawson estate'.

    After John's death, Cisley continued to live on their farm. As the widow of a Union soldier, she received a widow's pension from the U.S. government of $12 per month. Cisley died on 31 Dec 1890. Per a news item in an old Miller County Autogram (dated January 1891), she died at the home of her oldest son, George W. Martin, in Ulman. Cisley was buried beside her husband and two sons in the family plot at Martin cemetery on the land they homesteaded about 35 years earlier.


    Theodore B. Robinson was born 3 Apr 1837 about three miles west of Farmington, St. Francois County, MO. He was one of eleven children born to Philip R. Robinson (1797-1870) and Margaret M. Moore (1801-1856). His father was born in Kentucky and his mother in East Tennessee.

  • Their children were:
  • OSCAR F. ROBINSON 1821- 1861 died in Civil War
  • AMANDA M. ROBINSON b. c/1824
  • ELIZABETH R. ROBINSON b. 1826 m. H. C. McFarland
  • GEORGE W. ROBINSON 1830-1863 m. Elizabeth J. Reed (he also died in the Civil War)
  • JOANNA H. ROBINSON 1831-1916 m. Wencelaus Ponder
  • MARY M. ROBINSON b. 1834 m. Alexander Carnes
  • THEODORE B. ROBINSON 1837-1900 m. (1) Martha Hawkins (2)Parthenia Burks-McCarty
  • GERALDINE F. ROBINSON 1840-1869 m. Henry Bear
  • RACHEL B. ROBINSON b. 1843 m. Jesse D. Salsman
  • SARAH E. ROBINSON 1845-1907 m. Mastin J. Wornell
  • The Robinson family came to Miller County from southeast Missouri in 1849 and located eight miles south of Tuscumbia in the Little Richwoods. Theodore was a young boy when his family came to Miller County and he attended the common schools in his district. In 1861, at the age of 24 years, he enlisted in McClurg's Regiment of the Missouri Home Guards and later enlisted into Co. H of the 6th Missouri Cavalry where he served three more years during the war. He had one brother, George, who also served in the Union Army. Their oldest brother, Oscar, served with the Confederate troops and was killed near Springfield in the battle of Wilson's Creek. It is thought that brother fought brother in that battle and did not know the other was there!

    Before his discharge in February 1865, Theodore was involved in battles in Pea Ridge, Arkansas; Vicksburg, Champion Hill, and Ft. Gibson, Mississippi; and then took part in the Red River expedition. He returned back to his Miller County home in 1865 and within a month had married his first wife, Martha C. Hawkins, daughter of William and Catherine (McCubbin) Hawkins of the Brumley area. She died in 1868 and he then married Parthenia Burks-McCarty in January 1870. Parthenia was the widow of P. Gordon McCarty and they had one daughter, Mary/Mollie McCarty, born c/1852.

    Theodore Robinson was the father of one child, a daughter Mary Olive Robinson, who was only a baby when her mother died in 1868. He also reared his stepdaughter, Mary/Mollie McCarty. Theodore's daughter, Mary Olive, married Professor Herbert Lee Moles in 1884 and his stepdaughter, Mary/Mollie McCarty, married Joseph L. Cummings in 1888.

  • The children of Mary Olive (Robinson) and Herbert Moles were:
  • OPAL MYRTLE MOLES 1886-1889
  • ETHEL SUSAN MOLES b. Oct 1888
  • RUBY MOLES b. Mar 1891
  • ROBERT MOLES b. Aug 1892
  • THOMAS H. MOLES b. May 1894
  • JOEL LEO MOLES 1896-1900
  • MARY O. MOLES b. Jun 1898
  • HERBERT MOLES 1899-1900
  • Even though Theodore was the father of only one child, he was the grandfather of many grandchildren which he enjoyed over the years.

    In 1866, Theodore Robinson was elected county clerk and circuit clerk of Miller County and held those offices for 12 years. After leaving public office, he began to read law and was admitted to the bar in September 1876. By 1880, he entered politics once again and was elected prosecuting attorney of Miller County. In 1888, he was elected as a Republican state delegate from the 11th District to the National Republican Convention in Chicago. The Convention nominated Benjamin Harrison as Republican candidate for President and he was elected in the following general election. The Robinsons had been supporters of the Democrat party prior to coming to Miller County but Theodore changed his politics to Republican during the years he ran for and held public office in the county. Later, he changed back to the Democrat party and was appointed to fill the vacancy of Judge of the Missouri 14th Judicial Circuit in September 1899. The circuit included the counties of Miller, Cole, Maries and Moniteau. He held that office almost a year until his death, in August 1900.

    Judge Theodore B. Robinson was a member of the Christian Church, the Iberia Masonic Lodge #410, the I.O.O.F. (Independent Order of Odd Fellows), and the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) and was a prominent attorney in Tuscumbia for many years. He owned several good farms in the county as well as town property in Tuscumbia.

    In August 1900, Theodore B. Robinson died at his home in Tuscumbia at the age of 63 years. He was preceded in death by his two wives, Martha (Hawkins) in 1868 and Parthenia (Burks-McCarty) in 1893. Mary Olive (Robinson), only child of Theodore, lived only two months longer than her father. She died in October 1900. Professor Moles, Mary's husband, was left with several small children to rear along. He married his second wife, Olive May Atkinson, in 1902 and she reared Theodore's grandchildren. The Robinson and Moles families are buried in Tuscumbia Cemetery.


  • There were two different Rook families that lived in the Big Richwoods of Miller County near Iberia, but I can't tie them together as being from the same family......the first one was Franklin Rook, born in July 1848, who married Martha Emeline Long, born August 1853, and they had several children including:
  • Perry Rook b. Nov 1873 m. Nettie Slone
  • William Rook b. Apr 1878 m. Nancy E. Sing
  • George S. Rook b. Dec 1880 m.
  • Rosa M. Rook b. May 1885 m. (1) Wm.H.Shelton (2)_____Musick
  • Alvia Pryor Rook b. July 1889 m. Fannie J. Flaugher
  • Their neighbors in 1900 included Jacob Smith, Gordon Skaggs, Wiley Shackleford, Charles Newhart, Phillip Ponder, James Renfrow, Henry Humphrey, and Isaac Groves.

     Franklin Rook and Martha Emeline (Long)
    Frank Rook and Martha Emeline Long

    Frank Rook died in a fire at the home of his son, Perry Rook. I have already written an article about this family and this tragic episode in a past issue of Window to the Past.................

    The other Rook family was Robert A. Rook, born c/1845, m. Margaret E. (Mayfield?) about 1868. One of their descendants lives at Dixon, MO and she is not sure but thought Margaret may have been a Mayfield before marriage. Robert and Margaret had 10 children but only reared two daughters.....They have 3 children buried at the Billingsley Cemetery, located east of Iberia.

  • The known children of Robert and Margaret Rook were:
  • 1-Veva Rook 1880-1880
  • 2-Emma F. Rook 1881-1881
  • 3-Nora A. Rook 1883-1883
  • 4-Mary Etta Rook 1887-1955 m. George W. Beal (1885-1978) son of Benjamin F. & Caroline (Allen) Beal
  • 5-Susan I. Rook 1896-1974 m. Benjamin H. Munch (1892-1975) in 1923
  • Their neighbors in 1900 were Lewis Hughes, Frank Wilson, John D. Dickerson, Hugh Cross, Frank Thomas, and John Durham.

    The person from Dixon wrote me a letter in 2002 and stated the following about her ancestors: "My paternal grandmother was Mary Etta Rook Beal (22 Sep 1887-22 Sep 1955) and is buried at Billingsley Cemetery. She insisted on being buried there in 1955....She married George Washington Beal (6 March 1885-died 1978).......Her parents were R. A. (Robert) Rook and M. E. (Margaret E. Mayfield?)......I have no dates for these 2 people and am not sure of the maiden name of Mayfield. Grandmother had only one sister that I know of, Susan (Susie) Rook Munch (22 Jul 1898-14 Mar 1974), who married Benjamin H. Munch (8 Oct 1892-30 Sep 1975) on December 24, 1923......My grandfather's parents are at the Billingsley Cemetery: Benjamin F. (Frank) Beal and Caroline (Allen) Beal who were married at the home of Daniel Lawson on July 5, 1883.....They do not have headstones, so I do not have birth or death records for them."


    The Rowden family of Miller and Maries counties are descendants of John Rowden, an English sea captain who came to America. He brought his wife and son, John Jr., and they settled in Colonial Virginia. It has been family legend handed down through the generations that Capt. John Rowden made a trip back to his native England and never returned to his family in America and was presumed lost at sea. The son, John Jr., carried the Rowden family name forward in early America.

    Abraham Rowden, a descendant of Capt. John Rowden, was born in Henry County, Virginia (Pittsylvania County) in 1752. Abraham was a son of John Rowden, born ca 1738 and Sarah Echols of Henry County, Virginia. The Echols family history is well researched and documented, reaching back to early Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah was a daughter of Abraham Echols and Sarah Tamer and a granddaughter of John Echols and Mary Cave. John and Sarah had several children including: Abraham Echols Rowden b. ca/1752 m. Rachel Cheek; Laban Rowden b. c/1760 m. Millie Adams in Pittsylvania Co., VA 1785; Joseph Rowden b. c/1765 m. Susannah/Sooky Adams, Pittsbyvania Co., VA; John Rowden Jr. b. c/1756 m. Mary Brewer; Tabitha Rowden b. c/d1767 m. John Glover Crane, Pittsylvania Co., VA.

    John and Sarah (Echols) Rowden moved into East Tennessee in their later years of life. John died in Roane County, Tennessee in 1817 and his probate record is on file at the courthouse in Kingston (Estate Book A, page 93). His heirs are named: Abraham, Laban, John Jr., Tabitha, and Susey (also called Sookey) widow of Joseph Rowden. Sarah had preceded John in death prior to 1817.

    Abraham, called Abram, married Rachel Cheek in Virginia about 1780. It is rumored she was an Indian, but this has not been proven. They were parents of at least four sons, although there were probably other children as well. Their known children were: Nathaniel Rowden b. 25 Mar 1785 Henry Co., VA m. (1) Nancy Crain (2) name not known (3) Margaret McFarland (4) Anna McKinney Dennis (5) Elizabeth Hickman; Asa Rowden b. 11 Aug 1792 Henry Co., VA m. Margaret Hannah in East Tennessee; Hardin Benton Rowden b. ? d. ? (lived in Tennessee, Alabama, Illinois and Iowa); Abraham Rowden Jr. b. c/1807 m. Ann Brandon 1825 Roane County, TN.

    For several years the Rowdens remained in East Tennessee in the counties of Roane, Rhea, McMinn and Meigs. There they married, reared their children, and homesteaded land in the Hiwassee Indian District. But wandering was in their blood and new lands beckoned them onward. Some of the family went to Alabama for awhile and others moved to Jersey County, Illinois. There are many Rowden descendants living in central Illinois today whose ancestors remained in the "Land of Lincoln". An International Rowden Family Association was organized about 1985 and Rowden descendants from all over the United States and Canada met every year for a three-day reunion; sometimes in Missouri; and also in Illinois and Oklahoma. (The organization disbanded several years ago and is no longer in existence. I attended most all of these reunions and it was unfortunate the interest died away…Peggy Hake)

    Nathaniel Rowden and most of his surviving children followed Asa to Missouri from Illinois. Nathaniel was quite a character…he fathered 22 children by five wives. He outlived all but his fifth wife, Elizabeth Hickman, who was many years younger than he. As far as can be determined, he was never married to more than one wife at a time. One researcher of the family insists Nathaniel was of the Mormon faith and was polygamous; but there is no foundation of proof for that theory.

  • There are three branches of the Rowden family which have extended to the present time in Miller and Maries counties.
  • 1. Asa and Margaret (Hannah) Rowden lived in Maries County and died there. Their children were: Robert Rowden m. Nancy Tyree; Asa E. (Ake) Rowden m. (1) Catherine Hill (2) Emma Hutchison; William Rowden m. Matilda Lawson; Rufus Rowden m. Polly Massey; James H. (Dog Tail) Rowden m. Emeline Powers; Rachel Rowden m. John Elsey; Sarah Rowden m. Isaac Crismon (called one-arm Ike).
  • 2. Nathaniel Rowden and his many children:
  • By wife number 1 (Nancy Crain/Crane m. 10 Mar 1812 Robertson Co., TN): James E. Rowden b. c/1812 m. Margaret Lawson; William Harrison Rowden b. c/1813 m. Malvina Bailey; Sarah/Sally Rowden b. c/1815 m. (1) Andrew Lawson (2) John Hardin Rowden (I am descended from Sarah/Sally and her first husband, Andrew Lawson…Peggy Hake).
  • By wife number 2 (name not known; married in Tennessee): Martha/Patsy Rowden b. c/1825 m. Barton Parks (it is believed other children were born between 1815 and 1825 who did not survive.)
  • By wife number 3 (Margaret McFarland m. 1828 Rhea County, TN): Nathaniel Wiley Rowden b. c/1831 m. (1) Sarah Davenport (2) Sarah Pittman (3) Mary Coats (4) Hannah Tyson; Jane D. Rowden b. c/1829 m. David Wilson; Nancy C. Rowden b. c/1835 m Calvin Dial.
  • By wife number 4 (Anna McKinney Dennis m. 1836 in IL): Lucy Caroline Rowden b. c/1837 m. (1) Aaron Hickman (2) Thomas Hickman; Malinda Rowden b. c/1838 m. John H. Brandon; Isaac of Roane Co., TN. Darnel Rowden b. c/1845 m. Caroline Clark; Jacob L. Rowden b. 1845 m. Agnes B. Clark; Francis Marion Rowden b. 1840 (no other record found).
  • By wife number 5 (Elizabeth Hickman m. 1848 Osage Co., MO): Missouri Ann Rowden b. 1851 m. John Henry Clark; Andrew Rowden b. 1853 (no records); Margeret Rowden b. 1854 (no records); John Rowden b. 1856 (no records); Alonzo Rowden b. 1858 (no records).
  • 3. Meshac Rowden, son of Joseph and Susannah (Adams) Rowden and his wife, Sarah McNabb of Roan Co., TN. They married in Roan Co. on May 5, 1816. It is believed Meshac was a cousin to Asa and Nathaniel Rowden. Meshac and Sarah settled in Miller Co. before 1850 near the site of Brays Mill. Their children were: John Rowden b. c/1823 m. Martha ______; William Rowden b. c/1818 m. Abigail Renfrow 1843 in Roan Co., TN; Elletha Rowden b. c/1821 m. Joseph Johnston in 1840 in Roane Co., TN; Joseph was killed by bushwhackers in the Civil War in Miller County.
  • Meshac, William and Abigail are all buried in the old Brays Cemetery, it is believed. Meshac's wife, Sarah, daughter Elletha, and son John all moved to Crawford Co., MO after the Civil War.
  • Researching the Rowden family is a wonderful journey backward in time…they were made of good, pioneer stock…tough and adventurous. It is documented they were farmers, early-day teachers, Indian traders, wanderers, soldiers, politicians, attorneys, and hotel operators. Of such is what has made America the outstanding nation it is today.


    The year was 1915 and the place was the new railroad town called Meta in Osage County, MO. Meta came into existence at the turn of the century when the St. Louis, Kansas City, and Colorado Railroad decided to run their tracks through that portion of Osage County. It was a typical boom railroad town that literally sprang up overnight and the clapboard buildings grew as quickly. The town has much history and part of that history was the killing of the Rowden brothers on the dusty streets of Meta in 1915.

    Oliver Rowden, born 1896, and his older brother, Chesley Rowden, born 1894, were sons of John 'Tolike' Rowden and Rachel Short who married in Miller County in 1874. In the 1900 census of Miller County, John/Tolike was living in Richwoods Township near the families of Whitaker, Kellison, Lawson, Hickey, Crismon, and Hodge. He was a widower at that time with 5 sons and 1 daughter still living in his household. Chesley and Oliver were the youngest.

    As the two boys grew older, they had built reputations of being rowdy, rough and tough and loved 'carousing' round. One day they were in Argyle, a small German settlement a few miles east of Meta and they had raised a ruckus there. Evidently Meta's Marshall received advance notice, by railroad telegraph that the two brothers had hopped a train which was heading toward Meta. When the train pulled into Meta, Marshall Louie Radmacher and Marshall Allen Singer were waiting.

    According to the story told me a few years ago by Claude Rowden of St. Clair, MO (a nephew of Chesley and Oliver), his uncle Chesley got off the train first and was immediately attacked with a billy-club by the lawmen. Oliver emerged and immediately started running up the railroad tracks. It was said by an eyewitness that one of the lawmen yelled 'halt' and Oliver raised his hands into the air. A shot rang out and one of the lawmen had fired his gun. The bullet hit Oliver in the back, killing him instantly. Chesley could not escape their wrath and the eyewitness said they beat him so badly that he died at the scene also........This seems to have been a very terrible episode where a gun was fired first and questions asked second.

    The case was brought to trial in the Osage County Circuit Court, but the lawmen were cleared of all charges. Claude Rowden, who related this story to me, said his father, Wilford Rowden, had an old mule that he sold for $100 and the money was used to hire an attorney to argue this case in court, but it was to no avail. Nothing was ever done to vindicate the death of the two Rowden brothers. They were buried at Wansing Cemetery (today known as Meta Southside Cemetery).


    Abraham E. Rowden was born in Maries County, Missouri Sept. 29, 1845, a son of James E. Rowden (1812-1889) and Margaret Lawson (1818-1899). He was a grandson of Nathaniel Rowden and his first wife, Nancy Crain, who married in Robertson County, Tennessee on March 10, 1812. Nathaniel Rowden was my great-great-great-grandfather, so I am descended from the same family as Abraham E. Rowden.

     James E. Rowden 1811-1889 & Margaret (Peggy) Lawson Rowden
    James E. Rowden 1811-1889 & Margaret (Peggy) Lawson Rowden

    The history of the Rowden family has been well documented from Capt. John Rowden, an English sea captain, who came to America with his wife and young son, John Jr. It is family legend that Capt. John sailed back to England and was lost at sea. The Rowden family of America was all descended from John Rowden Jr.

    The Rowdens settled in East Tennessee for several years and then ventured on to Jersey County, Illinois, where some of the family put down roots and remained in that western Illinois county. Others moved on to Central Missouri and settled in what is today western Maries County and eastern Miller County.

    James E. Rowden and Margaret Lawson married back in East Tennessee (probably Roane County) where their older children were born. In the late 1830s they came to Missouri and the remainder of their large family was born here.

  • The children included:
  • 1. Nancy Jane Rowden b. 1836 m. no record found
  • 2. William Nathaniel Rowden 1838-1888
  • 3. Sarah Ann Rowden b. 1840 m. no record found
  • 4. Jehu C. Rowden (died in the Civil War in Louisiana)
  • 5. James Washington Rowden 1843-1923 m. Juda Crismono
  • 6. Abraham E. Rowden 1845-1927 m. (1) Delila Ann Lawson (2) Margaret Whitaker
  • 7. Silas Rowden b. 1848 d. before 1860
  • 8. Margaret Elizabeth Rowden b. 1849
  • 9. Matilda Eveline Rowden b. 1854 m. William L. Clark
  • 10. John G. Rowden 1855-1938 m. Tabitha Emeline Davidson
  • 11. Mary C. Rowden 1859-1880 m. George M. Barr
  • 12. Malinda F. Rowden 1863 d. after 1944 in St. Louis
  • Abraham E. Rowden, son of James and Margaret (Whitaker) Rowden, married Delilah Ann Lawson and she died just a short while later. They had no children. Delilah was a daughter of William George Lawson and Malinda Elmira Blankenship. On Jan. 1, 1889, Abraham married Margaret J. Whitaker (186901942) who was a daughter of Mark H. and Mary J. Whitaker of Miller County. Abraham and Margaret had four children but only two survived their father at his death, including Robert Rowden and Mrs. Boon Wilson. I could not find the name of their daughter, who was listed in an obituary as Mrs. Wilson.

    Abraham's middle name may have been Echols because that was a family name that had been handed down for several generations. Over the years Abraham was called "Uncle Abe Rowden" by his many friends, neighbors, and relative. HE almost lived to reach his 83rd birthday when he died on June 9, 1927. According to his obituary, he was survived by his wife, two children, a brother in Oklahoma and a sister in St. Louis. His funeral was held at the Little Tavern Church near Meyerstown in western Maries County. Today we know the church as Wheeler Church and Cemetery. He and his wife are buried at Wheeler Cemetery, which is located near the old church.

    NOTE: There are many descendants of the Rowden family living all over America and Canada. For many years there was an annual Rowden Family International Reunion and I attended several of them. Some were held in Illinois, in Missouri, Tennessee and Oklahoma. It was amazing to meet so many folks who had common ancestral bonds with me and I have made some very long-lasting friendships, including distant cousins and their families from the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, Canada.


    Isaac Darneal Rowden was born in Illinois on July 22, 1841. He was a son of Nathaniel Rowden and his fourth wife, Anna McKinney Dennis. Nathaniel and Anna married in Greene Co., IL in 1836. She was the widow of William Dennis and a daughter of Abraham and Mary McKinney.

    Isaac's paternal grandparents were Abraham and Rachel (Cheek) Rowden, early pioneers of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Isaac came to Central Missouri with his parents sometime after 1841 where other members of the Rowden family had also settled. The land where the Rowdens homesteaded was in eastern Miller County and western Maries County, so these families are found in census records in both counties. The Rowden's family history has been researched very thoroughly and extends back many generations to Colonial Virginia and even earlier to 17th century England.

    Isaac Darneal Rowden married Caroline L. Clark in Miller County on 7 November 1865. Caroline was born in Miller County 4 October 1846 and was a daughter of Alexander Clark and Minerva Davidson-Myers. Her maternal grandparents were John P. 'Hoppin' and Elizabeth (Farmber) Clark and her maternal grandparents were William O. and Rhoda (Boyd) Davidson, all who came to Miller County in the mid 1830s from Greenup County, Kentucky.

    NOTE: It seems that no matter whom I research for my articles, I have some connection to at least one family. While compiling this article, I found I have ancestral ties to the Rowdens, Clarks, and Boyds.

    During the Civil War, Isaac enlisted into military service and served as a private in Co. K of the 12th Missouri Cavalry during 1863-1865. He was wounded during this time and was released from duty, but he re-enlisted and served "with conspicuous bravery", per his obituary. In some of his military records, it says he suffered from deafness in his right ear so evidently this was an injury he obtained while fighting in the war. Other Miller County men who fought with Isaac in Co. K of the 12th MO Cavalry were Silas Capps, John A. Setser, John Schubert, and Greenville Boyd.

    Isaac and Caroline married after he returned from the Civil War and by 1870 they were living in Miller County in eastern Osage township. Some of the neighbors were the families of Clark, Boyd, Cross, Davidson, Hamilton, Ahart, Humphrey, and Whalen. In their home were three young children: Jacob, Minerva, and Mary Agnes. Ten more children would be born by 1891.

    In 1880, Isaac and Caroline had moved to Maries County and were living in Miller Township (near the Miller County line). Their neighbors there were the Healeys, Blankenships, Clarks, Palmers, Hickeys, Bransons, Lawsons, Claytons, and Rowdens.

  • The children of Isaac and Caroline (Clark) Rowden were:
  • JACOB H. ROWDEN 1866-1881
  • MINERVA A. ROWDEN b. 1868 m. William Boyd
  • MARY AGNES ROWDEN b. 1870 m. James R. Goff
  • ISAAC ELMER ROWDEN 1873-1963 m. Arizona Workman
  • GEORGE WASHINGTON ROWDEN 1879-1958 m. Leffa Snyder
  • ISABELL ROWDEN 1882-1883
  • DAISY M. ROWDEN 1884-1884
  • PEARL ROWDEN b. 1885 m. Carroll Stevens
  • BESSIE H. ROWDEN b. 1888 m. James M. Hardin
  • DESSIE M. ROWDEN b. 1888 (twin to Bessie) m. Lewis M. Tidwell
  • OLIVE MAUDE ROWDEN b. 1891 m. Rufus Ray Crum
  • Sometime before the turn of the 20th century, Isaac, Caroline, and their children left Missouri and first traveled to Lincoln County, OK where they stayed for a short time. They decided to go to the Northwest and traveled to Idaho, first locating near the Slickpoo Indian Mission in Asotin County. They also lived in Nez Perce County and about 1919, moved to Lewiston, Idaho near the Washington state line. It was in Lewiston that Isaac died on September 9, 1926 at the age of 85 years. He had suffered a paralytic stroke ten months earlier and never recovered. He was survived by his aged wife, to whom he had been married almost 61 years, 8 children, 32 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. Caroline (Clark) Rowden lived until February 4, 1929 when she died at the age of 83 years.

    NOTE: In 1992, I heard from a great granddaughter of Isaac and Caroline Rowden. She lives in Pasco, Washington and wrote me a wonderful letter about her grandfather, George Washington Rowden, oldest son of Isaac and Caroline. About 1982, she went back to Idaho to visit the old homestead of her great grandparents, accompanied by her mother and sister. The farmhouse was gone, but parts of the chimney and foundation remained. She said, "The yellow 'homestead rose' that Isaac and Caroline had planted by the door was in full, glorious bloom". The old barn was still standing. The farm was located on the Little Mission creek near the Slickpoo Mission of the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. I am sure their visit to the family's pioneer homestead rekindled some wonderful old memories for the granddaughter and great granddaughter of Isaac and Caroline Rowden!


    James Washington Rowden, son of James E. and Margaret (Lawson) Rowden, was born in Maries County, Missouri, on Sept. 1, 1843. James was the grandson of Nathaniel Rowden and his first wife and a great-grandson of Abraham and Rachel (Cheek) Rowden of Henry County, Virginia. The brothers and sisters of James Washington Rowden were John G. Rowden, Abram E. Rowden, Jehu Rowden, William N. Rowden, Nancy Rowden, Elizabeth Rowden, Emeline Rowden, Malinda Rowden and Mary Rowden. James and Margaret Rowden were the first of the Rowden family to move to Central Missouri. They settled in western Maries County and reared their large family there. They homesteaded land in the area in 1839 and about 1841 other Rowden families came to Missouri from Tennessee and Alabama.

    On Jan. 1, 1865, James W. Rowden married Matilda Jane Whitaker, their marriage performed by Elder Charles Mayfield. Matilda Jane was born in Miller County in June 1846, a daughter of Thomas and Susan (West) Whitaker.

  • They were parents of 12 children including:
  • 1. Joseph Rowden b. 1865 m. Mary Burks
  • 2. George Rowden b. 1866 died 1867
  • 3. Adeline Rowden b. 1868 died 1876
  • 4. Susan Rowden b. 1872 died 1876
  • 5. Margaret Rowden b. 1872 died 1873 (twin to Susan)
  • 6. Alcena Rowden b. 1873 m. Gideon M. Durham
  • 7. Mary Rowden b. 1874 m. (1) William Burd (2) _____Steiner
  • 8. Cora Rowden b. 1877 m. George Shelton
  • 9. Thomas Rowden b. 1878 died 1879
  • 10. Daisy Rowden b. 1882 died 1888
  • 11. Livonia Rowden b. 1884 m. Isaac Sherrell
  • 12. Emma Rowden b. 1887 m. Everett Jones
  • Matilda Whitaker Rowden, wife of James, was connected with the Rowden Hotel in Iberia for a number of years (per his obituary). I suppose that meant she was the owner or proprietor of the old hotel. Matilda died March 23, 1908. Joe Rowden, one of the sons, met almost instant death when a team of horses ran away with him on March 3, 1914. Cora Rowden Shelton, the youngest child of James and Matilda, died three days after the death of her father on December 15, 1923 (James had died three days earlier on Dec. 12).

    At his death in December 1923, James Wash Rowden was 80 years old. According to his obituary, his death was caused by heart disease. His funeral services were held at the Bray's schoolhouse with Evangelist Bessie Evans officiating. James was an old Civil War veteran and member of the Iberia American Legion gave an impressive burial service at Brays Cemetery where he was laid to rest. The few remaining local Civil War veterans, who were members of the G.A.R.(Grand Army of the Republic), were unable to attend so the American Legion volunteered.


    Of Maries County, Missouri

    Robert Rowden was born in 1819 in Roane County, Tennessee and was a son of Asa and Margaret (Hannah) Rowden. Asa was born in Henry County, Virginia in1792. His parents were Abram/Abraham and Rachel (Cheek) Rowden, natives of Henry County, VA who were born in 1752 and 1762 respectively. About 1797, Abram Rowden immigrated to Roane County in East Tennessee where he died in 1822. He was a tiller of the soil, teaching school in the winter. There was a Revolutionary soldier called Lord Rowden who shared his name. (NOTE: It is thought Abram Echols Rowden was a son of John Rowden and Sarah Echols and a descendant of John Rowden, a sea captain, who came to America in the 18th century.)

    Asa Rowden served as a substitute for his brother, Nathaniel, in the Indian War of 1812, serving as a ranger near Edwardsville, Illinois. In 1837 he removed from Roane Co., TN to DeKalb Co., Alabama and in April, 1842, to Osage (now Maries) County, MO. Asa died in 1865 and his wife, who was born in Blount Co., TN in 1797, died in 1873. At the age of 17 years, Robert Rowden went with his parents to Alabama where his uncle, H. B. (Hardin Benton) Rowden, was engaged in selling goods to the Cherokee Indians. He entered the employment of his uncle and when, 2 years later, the Cherokees were removed west, he went to work in a saw mill t $11 per month, which he continued 2 years, at the expiration of which time he returned, in ill-health with $75 and his saddle and horse.

    In 1842, Robert Rowden went to Missouri, where he worked a year or two at $11 per month and finally erected a primitive mill on Tavern creek for grinding corn. He subsequently engaged in teaching, and 17 Sept 1846, married Nancy A. Tyree who was born in Hardin Co., KY in 1826.

    Of the nine children born to this union, six grew to maturity including: Sarah E. (deceased in 1889) m. Stephen Helton; Satterwhite, now a law student at the State University; Cordelia, wife of John W. Breeden; Louis C. who died in April 1888 at age 32 (at his death he was serving as circuit clerk and recorder of Maries County); Robert Lincoln, a graduate of the law department of the State University at Columbia, MO; and Nina Ann.

    Robert engaged in milling for a time after his marriage and his earnings finally enabled him to engage in merchandising with $50 worth of goods, first in a corner of the mill, later to the more commodious smoke-house and finally in a log cabin with puncheon doors and dirt floor. In the meantime he added a second-hand horse mill to his property, all of which he and his wife attended to. By 1860, he had accumulated $6,000 and was about to purchase his cousin's mill and open a large business, when the Civil War began and before the contract was signed, the owner was a refugee in Illinois (I guess this was referring to his cousin-name unknown). Not discouraged, Robert 'held the fort' until June 1864 when was deprived of all, save his land, energy and good name. He was obliged to take refuge at Vienna where he established himself with a stock of good worth $300 and was again raided and robbed. He then purchased another stock of goods on credit, and continued selling until 1876, at which time he had become the local banker and postmaster.

    He was elected county treasurer in 1874, to which position he was 3 times re-elected, serving in all 8 years. He was justice of the peace for 20 years and judge of the county court for 6 years.. Judge Rowden became one of the most prominent citizens of Maries Co. He also conducted a large loaning business. Robert Rowden died on February 14, 1889. Nancy (Tyree) Rowden died two months earlier on 19 Dec 1888 and both are buried at the Vienna Public Cemetery.

    NOTE: Peggy Smith Hake is a descendant of Nathaniel Rowden and his first wife, Nancy Crain. Their daughter, Sarah Rowden, was Peggy's great-great-great grandmother. Sarah's first husband was Andrew Lawson and they had 6 children. Peggy is descended from their daughter, Clarissa Jane Lawson-Shelton.

  • 1. Abraham Echols Rowden b. c/1752 m. Rachel Cheek
  • 2. Laban Rowden b. c/ 1760 m. Millie Adams
  • 3. Joseph Rowden b. c/1765 m. Susannah Adams
  • 4. John Rowden Jr. b. c/1758 m. Mary Brewer
  • 5. Tabitha Rowden b. c/1767 m. John Glover Crane

  • 1. Nathaniel Rowden b. 25 Mar 1785 Henry Co, VA d. 4 Feb 1872 Miller Co., MO
  • m. (1) Nancy Crane/Crain (2) name not known (3) Margaret McFarland (4) Anna McKinney Dennis (5) Elizabeth Hickman
  • 2. Asa Rowden b. 11 Aug 1792 Henry Co., VA m. Margaret Hannah
  • 3. Hardin Benton Rowden b. c/1800 VA d. 1857 in Iowa
  • 4. Abraham Rowden Jr. b. c/1807 m. Ann Brandon
  • NOTE: I did not have the names of Pinina, William E., or Rachel..........(Peggy)

  • 1. James E. Rowden b. c/1812, m. Margaret Lawson
  • 2. Wm. Harrison Rowden b. c/1813, m. Malvina Bailey
  • 3. Sarah/Sally Rowden b. c/1815, m. (1) Andrew Lawson (2)John Hardin Rowden
  • 4. Martha/Patsy Rowden b. c/1825, m. Barton Parks
  • 5. Nathaniel Wiley Rowden b. c/1831, m. (1) Sarah Davenport (2)Sarah Pittman (3)Mary Coats (4) Hannah Tyson
  • 6. Jane D. Rowden b. c/1829, m. David Wilson
  • 7. Nancy Caroline Rowden b. c/1835, m. Calvin Dial
  • 8. Lucy C. Rowden b. c/1837, m. (1)Aaron Hickman (2) Thos. Hickman
  • 9. Malinda Rowden b. c/1838, m. John H. Brandon
  • 10. Isaac Darneal Rowden b. 1843, m. Caroline Clark
  • 11. Jacob L. Rowden b. 1845, m. Agnes B. Clark
  • 12. Francis Marion Rowden b. 1840, m. (no record found)
  • 13. Missouri Ann Rowden b. 1851, m. John Henry Clark
  • 14. Andrew Rowden b. 1853, m. (no record found)
  • 15. Margaret Rowden b. 1854, m. (no record found)
  • 16. John Rowden b. 1856, m. Rachel Short
  • 17. Alonzo Rowden b. 1858, m. Emmaline Crow
  • The names of the other 5 children have not been found.....may have died in infancy.

    NOTE: There is some question about child #15 (Margaret). The oldest son, James E. Rowden (born about. 1812), married Margaret E. Lawson. I think he had a much younger sister named Margaret E. Rowden (born abt. 1854). I could find no record of a marriage for her, so she may have never married or died young. (Peggy)

    (Written by Dollie Thompson, as told to her by Sina Messersmith Thompson, a granddaughter of John and Sarah Rowden)

    It has been most interesting to me, that my mother-in-law, Sina (Messersmith) Thompson, can so vividly recall her grandmother (Sarah/Sally Rowden). She didn't know too much about her childhood, but did know her in the later years. Sarah Harden Rowden came from Tennessee. What city or town in that state mother did not know. She was a very smart woman. Her life was a very busy one being a midwife. Mother Thompson (Sina) said her services were in constant demand. She traveled everywhere with the doctors and went whenever she was needed. Even to staying with the young mother after the baby was born.

    Her first marriage was to a man named *(1) Lawson (Andrew). She had several children by him. Mother said she couldn't remember how many or their names. However, she did remember three girls---Caroline, the oldest for whom mother was named and married a Crismon; Polly Ann married a Shelton; her sister, Clarisee also married a Shelton.

    Mother didn't know Sarah's first husband *(2),who passed away leaving her with several children, but she did remember real well Sarah's second husband, John Rowden. He was Sarah's second or third cousin. He was a very handsome man. Mother says of him, "He was the handsomest man in the county. He was several years younger than Sarah. He was a very hard worker and a great pioneer." They bought land and he worked very hard tilling the soil. I do not know where this land is. *(3) To John and Sarah more children were born. The oldest in this family were Harriet Rowden (Sina's mother), Ann Crismon, James Rowden, Roe Rowden and the last child was Abraham. Mother said that they called him Abe and he was pitiful. He had never matured physically or mentally. He had never been sent to school. She said that he was never any care, he just was slow.

    On this land that John bought, he worked very hard. Finally he bought a thrashing machine. It was while working on this thrashing machine that he received a sun stroke. This was to be the sad ending of hardworking, handsome John. It was soon after the sunstroke that his mind left him. He was sent to an institution in Fulton, MO. He stayed there a few weeks and instead of helping his health, physically he grew worse and worse. He was finally sent home where he lived quite sometime after that. However, he never fully regained his health or mentality again. Mother said it sure was pitiful to see him, for he grieved constantly. He had always been so strong and so proud of his land. The boys, Roe and Jim, tried to farm, but they never did it like John did. So, finally, they sold the ranch to a man named Jim Duncan *(4). I do not know if this was before or after John's death. I do not know what year John died or how old any of the children were.

    The last years of Sarah Rowden were spent with her daughter, Polly Ann. Polly Ann lived only about a half mile from Hiram Messersmith and his wife, Harriet (Rowden). Mother did mention , here before I forget, that the ranch that John and Sarah had was about twenty miles east of Tuscumbia...on that ranch was a *(5) cemetery where lot of the family had been buried. Anyway, at Polly Ann's home, where Sarah was staying, while having pneumonia, a fire broke out and the whole place was on fire. Mother said she remembered her father getting a mattress to put his mother-in-law on and bringing her to their home. While the house was burning, they had placed Sarah in the spring house. She came then to live with the Messersmith's. Mother said she was getting along fine and decided she would like to take a walk with her daughter. She got her feet wet and had a relapse from her pneumonia. She died there at the home at the age of 76 *(6). She was a very wonderful person. She buried two men and raised their families and helped to bring many lives into the world in Missouri. I don't know about the deaths of her children, but mother said that Abe lived to be about 35 or 40 years old.

    NOTES :

    *(1)---Sarah Rowden, daughter of Nathaniel Rowden and his first wife (Nancy Crain), first married Andrew Lawson back in East Tennessee. They came to Miller County before 1840 and settled in Osage township near the Maries County boundary line. Before his death in 1846, they became parents of 6 children: WILLIAM LAWSON b. 1834 TN; GEORGE LAWSON b. 1835 TN; MARY ANN/POLLY LAWSON b. 1838 TN m. William Shelton; NANCY CAROLINE LAWSON b. 1840 MO; CLARISSA JANE LAWSON b. 1842 MO m. Edmund F. Shelton; MARGARET LOUISA LAWSON b. 1844 MO m. James Shelton-------The Shelton men were brothers, sons of George Washington Shelton of McMinn Co., TN who also moved to Miller County.

    *(2)---Andrew Lawson was born 25 Dec 1812 in East Tennessee. He was a son of Nathan Lawson and Christina (High). The Lawson families came to Miller and Maries Counties about the same time as the Rowdens. Andrew and Sarah were married and had 3 children when they moved from Tennessee. He died in 1846 at the age of 34 years and was probably the first person buried in what is known today as the Duncan Cemetery. The land where the old cemetery is located was on land homesteaded by Andrew and Sarah Lawson when they came to Miller County.

    *(3)---The children born to Sarah Rowden-Lawson-Rowden and her second husband (John Hardin Rowden) were: HARRIETT FRANCES ROWDEN b. 1847 m. Hiram Messersmith; DANIEL ROWDEN b. 1848 (no record of marriage found-he may have died young); ABRAHAM/ABE ROWDEN b. 1849 (he never married and died circa 1885-1890); ANNA E. ROWDEN b. 1851 m. Hugh Crismon; JAMES H. ROWDEN b. 1855 m. Sarah J. Lawson; and LEVI MONROE/ROE ROWDEN b. 1857 m. Rittie Brandon.

    *(4)---I could find no James Duncan living in the area where the Lawson/Rowden farm was located in the census of 1880 nor 1900. BUT, a woman named Rachel Duncan was living in the immediate area very near Hiram and Harriett Messersmith and William and Mary Ann/Polly Ann (Lawson) Shelton. Harriett and Polly Ann were daughters of Sarah Rowden........Rachel Duncan was living there in both the census of 1880 and 1900. She may have been the owner of the old Lawson/Rowden homeplace and James Duncan may have been her son. There was a James and Mary (Pittman) Duncan living in Maries County during 1880 in Miller township.............

    *(5)---I believe the cemetery she is referring to is the Duncan Cemetery, which has been there for many, many years. Andrew Lawson (1812-1846) is the first person placed in the cemetery. It was located on his homesteaded land and the cemetery has been in existence since 1846 (156 years in 2002).

    *(6)---It would appear that Sarah Rowden-Lawson-Rowden died circa 1891. She was born in 1815 and died at the age of 76, which would have been about 1890-91..........Her place of burial is unknown but there is the possibility she is buried at the old Duncan cemetery, since it is in the community where she lived most of her adult years, reared her children, and outlived two husbands.


    Satterwaite Rowden, who lived in Maries County the majority of his life, wrote a letter before his death in 1934 and it was found in his family bible many years later. Satterwaite was born 17 March 1850 and died 21 July 1934. He married Miss Alma Miller on November 24, 1889.....Satterwaite is an unusual name and he was given this name in honor of his grandfather, Satterwaite Tyree. ......For anyone researching Rowden family history, this old letter is of great importance.

    He wrote....
    "My ancestor, John Rowden, was an English sea captain of a merchant vessel and in 1868, settled on the Stauton River in what is now Henry Couny, Virginia......Leaving his wife, who before her marriage was a Miss Johnson, and only son named John, he returned to England and is supposed to have gone down in the Atlantic Ocean. Their son, John Rowden, heretofore named, raised a large family which continued to remain there in said county through several generations. I am not familiar with their names until my great grandfather, Abram Rowden, was born about 1750 in or near Henry County, Virginia . John was married to a Ms. Echols (Sarah Hubbard Echols, a widow from Halifax Co., Virginia). She was from a noted family who was the first person buried in the Rowden graveyard (known now as the Red Cemetery) in western Maries County.

    Asa Rowden, my grandfather, was born in said Henry County, Virginia on 11 Aug 1792 and moved when a young man to Roane County, Tennessee where he married Margaret Hanna/Hannah, whose mother had been previously married to a Mr. Smith. Said Margaret Hanna's mother saw her first husband, Mr. Smith, killed and scalped in her presence in his cabin in or near Blount County or Roane County, Tennessee. He was murdered by the Seminole and Creek Indians. She was shot in the leg with an arrow and her husband was killed. She and her two daughters, also named Smith, were captured by the Indians and carried on horseback to what is now the state of Florida where they were held captives or slaves by the Indians for many years.

    Their relatives finally learned of their whereabouts and ransomed them through the Spanish traders and they were returned to Blount County, Tennessee. Margaret's mother then married a man by the name of Hanna, being her 2nd husband. My grandfather, Asa Rowden, had an older brother, Nathaniel Rowden, was a soldier in the War of 1812 with the Illinois troops (who came west) and were stationed at what is now the town of Edwardsville in Madison County, Illinois. His wife died and Asa Rowden, my grandfather, came to said town (then a fort) at that time and the said Asa Rowden visited St. Louis. Asa took the place of Nathaniel in his troop and Nathaniel returned to Tennessee to look after his two children, James E. Rowden and Sarah/Sally Rowden.

    The Indians were then around the fort, now Edwardsville, and I have often heard my grandfather tell of the horse and foot races the troops would have with the Indians about the fort and of his visits to St. Louis, then a French village, and of his talks with the trappers and hunters who then came on hunts to the Ozark regions for buffalo, furs, and other wild game and who told him then of the fine clear streams and abundant wild grass in said region. My father, Robert Rowden, was born in Roane County, Tennessee on 16 October 1819."

    This letter has been a storehouse of priceless information for me because the John Rowden mentioned in the first lines of his letter, was also my ancestor and I am the 10th generation in descent from this first John Rowden. My 4th great grandfather, Abram Rowden, was mentioned in the letter as well as my great great great grandmother, Sally Rowden-Lawson-Rowden.

    Satterwaite Rowden, who wrote this small biography of his Rowden ancestors, was twice Circuit Clerk & Recorder of Maries County before 1888. His father before him also was a Maries County official for a number of years and his grandfather, Asa Rowden, served in Missouri's legislature in the 1850s.


    Buckner J. Russell was born in Cole County, Mo, on 9/291830. He was the fourth of six children born to Hiram B. Russell (1804-1885) and Jemima Etter (1804-1879), natives of Kentucky and Virginia respectively. The Russell family had the distinction of having two towns named after them--Russell in Logan County Kentucky and Russellville in Cole County Mo.

    Hiram & Jemima, Buckner's parents, came to Missouri in 1826 and settled in what is now Moniteau County (then Cole County) but later moved to Saline Township in Miller County. They were among the county's earliest settlers. Hiram bought farm land (about 210 acres) on the northern county prairie, where he improved and cultivated land.

  • They reared six children including:
  • 1. Alexander M. Russell born c/1826 married Louisa Cotten 1848.
  • 2. James M. Russell born 1828 married Martha J. ?????.
  • 3. Jane Russell born c/1829 (never married)
  • 4. Buckner J. Russell born 1830 married Mahala Clark 1850.
  • 5. Susan M. Russell born 1832 married C. W. Popejoy 1854.
  • 6. William Russell born 1835 married Mary Crisp 1853.
  • Later in life, Hiram & Jemima moved to the Mt. Pleasant community where she died in 1879 and Hiram died in 1885. Both are buried at the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.

    Buckner J. Russell helped his father on the family farm and helped to cleat the land. He was educated in the subscription schools (each family paid a fee for a teacher) of northern Miller County. In 1850, Buckner married Martha Jane Clark, a daughter of James Clark and Mary/Polly Stubblefield, natives of East Tenn.

    Buckner J. Russell became a successful farmer and stock raiser of Saline Township. By 1889, he owned two farms and had 360 acres under cultivation. He raised a good grade of livestock, including cattle and hogs, which he shipped to market twice yearly. He was interested in getting his children properly educated and helped to organize a school district in his township.

    Buckner and Martha Jane were parents of 10 children, eight of whom lived to adulthood.

  • They were:
  • 1. Mary Elizabeth Russell born 1852 married William Harrison 1875.
  • 2. Ann Elizabeth Russell born 1853 died young.
  • 3. Nancy Adeline Russell 1854-1942 married John Van Hooser 1874.
  • 4. James Alexander Russell 1856-1883 married Susan F. Currence1876.
  • 5. Hiram Thomas Russell 1858-1891 married Margaret S. Bond 1877.
  • 6. William Franklin Russell 1860-1935 married Mary A. Bond 1880.
  • 7. John Russell born c/1862 died in infancy.
  • 8. Martha Jane Russell 1864-1922 married Samuel B. Etter 1885.
  • 9. Samuel Buckner Russell 1867-1952 married Lucy Heldstab 1889.
  • 10. Lewis Cummins Russell 1869-1959 married Adora M. Clark.
  • In the 1900 census of Saline Township, Buckner was age 70 and Martha was 71. They were living in the east part of Saline Township near the families of Allee, Berry, Wyrick, Burris, Atkins, Bolton and Walser. Buckner lived until 1907. His wife of 55 years, Martha Jane (Clark) died two years earlier, in 1905. Both are buried at the Mt. Pleasant AF & Am Cemetery, where many other members of the Russell family are interred.
    Buckner J. Russell, Sept. 29, 1830-Jan. 26, 1907
    Martha J. (Clark) Russell, May 9, 1829-Aug. 20, 1905.


    Nancy Adeline Russell was born in Miller County on Nov. 18, 1854, a daughter of Hiram Buckner Russell (b.1831) and Martha J. Clark (b.1828). Her grandparents, Hiram & Jemima Russell were early settlers of Miller County and came to Central Missouri before 1840 from Tennessee.

  • Some of the children of Hiram Buckner Russell & Martha J. Clark were:
  • 1. Mary D. Russell b. c/1852
  • 2. Nancy Adeline Russell b.1854
  • 3. James A. Russell b. c/1857
  • 4. Hiram T. Russell b. c/1858
  • 5. William F. Russell b. c/1860
  • 6. Samuel Russell
  • 7. Lewis Russell
  • In 1860, the Russells were living in Saline Township, near the families of Miller, Haynes, VanHooser, Hicks, Long, Wyrick and Stephens.

    Nancy Adeline Russell married John Van Hooser in Miller County Feb. 26. 1873, the marriage performed by B. I. Berkley, minister of the gospel. John was born in Miller county July 26, 1849, the younger of two sons born to Buford Van Hooser and his second wife, Deborah Jenkins-Freeman.

    Deborah was the widow of James Freeman, who died in Miller County in the early 1840s, leaving her with six young children to rear alone. They had married in Clairbourne County Tennessee and moved to Miller County in the late 1830s.

    NOTE: Deborah Jenkins-Freeman-Van Hooser and her first husband, James Freeman, were my great-great-great grandparents....I am a descendant of their daughter, Jane Freeman, who married Greenville Boyd in Miller County on Dec.18, 1856.

    Per information found in the book, "Goodspeed's 1889 history of Benton, Cole, Miller, Morgan, and Maries Counties," John & Nancy VanHooser owned 290 acres of prime land in Saline Township where they built a home in 1885. The land was improved and cultivated and John planted 100 apple trees as well as other small fruit trees. He had many acres of timber and was a successful stockraiser of Saline Township. He was a member of the school board, the Agricultural Wheel, and took a great interest in education for his children. They were members of the Olean Christian Church in 1889.

  • Nancy Adeline & John VanHooser became parents of four children who were:
  • 1. Hiram Buckner Van Hooser (b. 1876) (married Mary A. Bond 2/21/1895, and then married Mary Hill 11/11/1900.
  • 2. Martha Leona Van Hooser (b. 1878) married Oliver Etter 1894 and then married J.C. Dicknite.
  • 3. Nancy Meck Van Hooser (b. 1882) married Thomas W. Bond 1904.
  • 4. Deborah Jane Van Hooser (b. 1886) married William A. Allen.
  • In the census of 1900, Nancy & John Van Hooser were living in the east part of Saline Township near the families of Belshe, Gilleland, Bond, Dooley, Proctor, Hinds, Blackburn and Buster. In their home was son, Hiram and his daughter Grace, age 3 years, and the two youngest children of the Van Hoosers, Nancy Meck and Deborah Jane Van Hooser.

    John Van Hooser preceded Nancy in death. He died on Jan. 1, 1932, at the age of 82 and was buried at Eldon Cemetery. Nancy Adeline remained his widow and lived until Oct. 8, 1942, when she died at her home near Etterville, almost reaching her 88th birthday. She was survived by four children, 12 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and two brothers, Samuel and Louis Russell. Her services were held at the Etterville Christian Church, conducted by Rev. A. L. Alexander of Eldon, with burial in Eldon Cemetery beside her husband, John Van Hooser, who had died 10 years earlier.

    © 2007 - Miller County Historical Society