Volume 3, Number 2
This issue we start publishing the marriage records of Taney County as recorded in the Court House at Forsyth.
Members of the Taneycomo Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution spent many hours copying these records. Mrs. Ralph S. Coughenour, registrar of the chapter, assembled the records and paged the same.
We feel fortunate that members of the Taneycomo Chapter permit us to make these records available to the White River Valley Historical Society through the Quarterly. For this, we thank them.
The picture opposite page 19 in the Winter 1967-68 issue is of Nancy Jefferson Gearheart, second wife of William B. Sims. All of their children were reared in Taney County. The picture was reproduced from a water color made in Tennessee about 1854-55, before she was married. Mrs. Lloyd H. Ryser sent the copy for the Quarterly.
We continue to struggle to keep alive the QUARTERLY. The material is ready for the Summer and Fall issues. That, I will take to the print shop as fast as an issue comes off the press. Perhaps I am an optimist, but I expect funds enough to permit the four issues for this year.
Mrs. Frank Hodges brought to us a letter from Ida Belle McGill, youngest daughter of Joe McGill (Joe of the Ozarks) and Ida Berry McGill. Ida Berry was grandmother to Mrs. Hodges and Joe McGill was step grandfather to Mrs. Hodges. Ida Belle McGill is associate professor of Psychology at Northern Arizona University. In her letter she says:
"I do not have a chronological memory, and my rememberances are highly personal... My interest is people-the why of their behavior, their personality, their relationships.
"I found Grandmother McGill's picture. She was one-fourth Cherokee Indian. She lived at Bee Creek. We went out through Kirbyville and I think it was yet Taney County. I used to go and stay several days at a time with her. She was a kind of a folk doctor or medicine woman. Straight as an Indian, wise in the ways of the earth and people, strong, quiet, at peace with herself and other people. She had a very strong sense of beauty, order, the recurring rhythms of the world.
"The name McGill means son of a disciple. Grandfather McGill was minister. I never saw him. I think he died young with tuberculosis.
"I believe Dad was 16 years older than mother. The two families had known each other. He had carried mother around when she was a baby. He married and had a large family. Three of these children are alive: Sister Mary Huff, 95 years of age, lives at Texahoma, Okla.; Sister Effie McGlashen, who is in her eighties is in a rest or nursing home in Dalhart, Texas; and brother John, who is also in the eighties is in Springfield, Missouri.
"I do not remember when Dad died. It seems like 1927-28, the winter likely 28. It was the winter of a big snow and a big flu epidemic. Transportation was stopped, ground frozen, etc. He went out to Bragg, Okla., where his son Robert, now dead, lived. Dad got sick. He wanted the family to come out, and we did. I think that we were out there a little over a year during which time he died. He was buried out there.
"Personal memories are pleasant, I am like my father in many ways and consider him a wonderful teacher. So many things that are psychologically sound, he knew.
"He was always willing to answer my questions. Mother had five girls older than I. She and Dad had lost their mates; (Mother was married to Mr. Waugh, who I believe was killed in a logging accident of some kind, and to Mr. Kaneaster who died.) Dad's children were married or away when he met mother and they got married. Joel died but James and I survived. Anyway, maybe because I had these five sisters, I always asked many questions. Mother often thought I was too young, but Dad would always say 'If she is old enough to ask questions, she is old enough to have answers... and some times he'd say, 'Now isn't the time or the place here, but before you go to sleep you will have your question answered (when the company leaves, etc.) and never once did he let me down. Once when I had just gone to sleep, he opened the door, 'Do you still want your question answered?', and of course I did. He would say, 'Is that what you want to know?'
"He loved to improve livestock, the soil, his section of the world, cows, horses, hogs, chickens -he was always trying to breed better ones. Once when mother thought he had paid too much for a pedigreed horse, she said, 'You would trade any one of these children for a horse with a long enough pedigree.' I remember going over, putting my hand in his and saying, 'My daddy would not trade me for a horse.' They both laughed.
"Neither had a good formal education, but
"Dad would let us have many things if we would take care of them. One of the things he would always say when we wanted to do something or to make something, 'Now just how do you think you are going to do that?' If we had some kind of a plan that indicated we had given it some thought, he would let us try it. If we did not take care of pets, he warned us, if that did not help, they disappeared.
"Money came and went. He would say, 'Well, we had money yesterday, and we will probably have money tomorrow, and anyone can get him self through a day'. He had a keen sense of humor, particularly of the ridiculous. Once a man said to him, 'Laugh, Joe McGill, laugh. You would laugh if hell was on fire'. Dad said, 'I always thought it was'.
"We had grace before meals ... He helped many boys that got into trouble. He was pretty good at straightening them out.
"Two other things stand out clearly in my mind: one, at a time when most rural people did not take a newspaper, Dad took two-one a Democratic paper and one a Republican. I remember some of the neighbors telling him that he could save time and work if he could make up his mind which party he belonged to (quite a few people would come over and ask him how to vote, and what to do). He said that he preferred to make up his own mind and if he heard only one side, it would be the other fellow doing his thinking for him. He preferred to do his own.
"The other, had to do with Government help. One year when farmers were having a very rough time, the government offered free seed if they would sign some kind of paper certifying need. Dad was supposed to be the only man in the county who refused help. He said that those big capital letters, U. S. just meant 'Us' and that he could tighten his belt and get through."
Jewell Ross Mehus, Editor
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