The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

I am informed by reliable authority that the first Circuit Court held in Ozark County, Mo. was convened at the residence of Wm. Holt who came here in the early part of 1838 and lived on the east side of Little North Fork ¾ of a mile above the mouth of Barren Fork. It is said that the spot of ground where Mr. Holt’s house stood is growed up in timber now. While court was in session a goodly number of people who attended court boarded at Mr. Holts. P. J. (Pleasant) McCollough waited on the court as sheriff. Jim Stanfield was clerk of the court and was the first clerk of the county. Wm. Holt was selected as one of the grand jurors and Jesse Evans was one of the men who served on the petit jury. The names of some of the citizens who transacted business with this court were David Mahan who lived just below where Thornfield is now, David Hancock who lived on the east side of the creek just above upper Turkey, Sugar Jones who lived at the mouth of Upper Turkey, and Bob Hicks who lived on Bryants Fork. Charles H. Allin who was born in the state of Georgia in 1781 was the presiding judge. This court was held in the winter and the weather was cold and while court was in session Judge Allin wore an overcoat made of buffalo hides. Some years after this Mr. Allin was Mr. Edwards opponent in the race for governor of Missouri and was defeated. Mr. Allin and Sterling Price served together once as members of the Missouri legislature and were very intimate friends. During the Civil War Price was a major general in the Confederate Army. Some years before the breaking out of the war Price presented Judge Allin with a fine walking cane that was nicely ornamented and varnished. The nub (head) was made of bone or ivory. The staff was bamboo wood and the lower part of it was incased in brass. Judge Allin died in 1861 but just before his death he presented this cane to his son Thomas J. Allin who came to Taney County, Mo. in 1868 and lived near Pro-tem many years and finally went to Kansas and died there in 1903 aged 97 years. The greater part of the foregoing information relating to the session of this court was given me by Mr. Tom McCullough son of Pleasant McCullough.

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