One of the early days settlers of Southern Missouri was James H. Sallee son of Arranna Chastein (Chat) and Martha (Green) Sallee, and was born in Madison County, Ark. April 10, 1833. His parents left Arkansas when he was an infant and moved into Schuler County Illinoise. After living there a few months they moved into Missouri and lived a short while in Green County, and then moved down to Big Beaver Creek in now what is Douglas County. He said that he was too young to have any recollection only what his parents told him until they arrived on Beaver Creek where he had his first recollection of a small incident which was a lasting one which come about this ways "My father took me to the creek to water the horses. I was just big enough to ride a lone and my father put me astride of an old gray horse he called gray and while he rode another horse he lead the one I was riding. When we reached the creek and had rode into the water to let the horses drink old gray put his head down to the water so sudden that I tumbled off him over his head into the water which was knee deep to a man. When I struck the water I cried out in terror until I was strangled. My father leaped off his horse into the water as soon as he could and sprang to my struggling form and jerked me up out of the water and held me up by the heels and pounded me between the shoulders to force the water out of my lungs that I had sucked in. After I had revived he put me back on old gray again and I rode back to the house a much wiser boy than I was before."
When we left Beaver Creek my father settled on Little North Fork a mile and a half below the present site of Thornfield. The tract of land on which he settled was known afterward as the Capt. Bill Piland farm. Here my father cleared a few acres of land and put in a small crop. The wolves, bear and other wild beast would attack our small bunch of hogs every few days. When we heard a hog squealing we would run with the dogs and gun and drive the wild beast away. Sometimes they would kill a hog before we were able to reach them or badly cripple one. In speaking the names of a few of the early residents In that locality, he mentions David Mahan and Noah Mahan, Sugar Jones, and the old man Conner who lived on the Please Place, Noah Mahan was the first settler on the land where Thornfield now stands. While my father lived here he lost three head of horses and having no other team to cultivate the land with he sold his Improvement to Harrison Bullard. The next place we moved to after leaving Little North Fork was at a fine spring of water at the foot of a hill 300 yards from where Igo Post Office Is now on Pond Fork. My father bought the claim from a man of the name of Creek. I remember that William Cowan a noted hunter lived on Pond Fork below us. During the following fall after we had moved to Pond Fork my father killed 24 bear, some of which was very fat. He saved all the hides and salted the meat down for bacon. The fat or lard what we did not need for our own use was put in an ox wagon with fur and deer hides and hauled to St. Louis and exchanged for salt coffee and other needful supplies. Leven T. Green settled land on Pona Fork one mile above Igo.
The place where Green lived is called the Milton Place now. The first school house built on Pond Fork was established near where Igo is by my father and Priestly Cobb and two of Billy Stones sons whose given names were Sam and John. It was a log house scalped down and rib poles and roof weighted down with small logs. The first religious service I ever attended was on Little North Fork on what is called the Sammy Stone Place below Thornfield. Thatcher Wells was an Episcopalian Methodist conducted the meeting and was assisted by an elder of the church whose sir name was Elder."
Jim Sallee as well as his father was a noted Methodist preacher and done a great deal of preaching in several neighborhoods in Ozark and Taney Counties, Mo. and Marion County, Ark. He began to preach in 1851. When the Civil War broke out Jim Sallee took sides with the Union and commanded Co. B. 16th Missouri Cavalry which was under the command of Col. John F. McMahan with regimental headquarters at different towns in Southern Missouri such as Springfield, Lebanon and Marshfield. Capt. Jim H. Sallee informed me that the names of his brothers were Steven, Leven Thomas, Richard L. Levi and Henderson. Tom was a soldier in the Federal Army and was a member of Co. F. Col. John S. Phelps regiment and was killed at the battle of Pea Ridge. The names of his sisters were Rebecca Moriah, Mary, Ollie Ann, and Adaline. Mary married Ben Clark son of Flemmon Clark. Capt. Sallee says that his fathers remains rest In the National Graveyard at Springfield, Mo. He died at Cassville in Barry County and was buried there but later on his remains were exhumed and taken to Springfield as mentioned. His mother is buried in the graveyard on the Ed Welch farm below Igo, Post Office.
A number of other pioneer sketches as given by Capt. Jim Sallee is noted down in other chapters.
Springfield-Greene County Library