THE SCOUNDRELS WERE BAFFLED
By S. C. Turnbo
One of the earliest settlers on Big Creek was Robert Casebolt. He settled on school land on the west side of the creek in Ozark County, Missouri. A fine spring of water run our of the hill 150 yards north of the house. He built a small hut for temporary use until he could build a better house which was 18 feet square. Then he added another house 16 by 18 feet 10 feet south of the first house (not the hut) with a hall between and made a porch on the west side of the last house built. Both buildings were constructed out of loge. Mr. Casebolt was born in the state of Tennessee in 1811. His wife was named Jemima and was a daughter of Matthew and Lucinda Sims and was born in the state of Indiana in 1815. Her parents emigrated to Green County, Missouri, when she was a little child and there was scarcely a settlement in that part of Missouri. Mr. Sims and his family camped a few days on the ground where a part of the old town of Springfield now stands. There was not an improvement of any sort there then and was the home of the deer and wild Turkey. Robert went from Tennessee to Green County later where as time went on he met his future wife, Miss Jemima Sims, on Sac River, a tributary of the Osage, and they were married on this stream in the early thirties. They lived in Missouri until in 1836 when they moved in Marion County, Arkansas, and lived on White River. They settled the bottom just below Bull Bottom which was afterward known as the John Terry place. Mr. Casebolt brought a fine yoke of steers with him and during the following winter after his arrival here while he and wife were clearing some land in the bottom a hack-berry tree fell on one of the oxen and killed it. After leaving this bottom they settled on Big Creek where they made their home until after the commencement of the Civil War. The following are the names of some of the settlers who lived on the lower part of Big Creek from the time Mr. Casebolt went to Big Creek until the outbreak of the war.
Bert McAfee lived on what is now the Sam Holett place. Charley Smith lived on the upper part of the Pate Druggins place. Bery Morris lived on the opposite side of the creek from Smiths. Martin Johnson lived awhile on the Smith place. Jim McVey lived on what is now the Aaron Quick place. Lewis Ramsey lived there after McVey left. Ramsey had three sons named John., Walter, and Ebb and a daughter named Mahala. Billy Howard and his two sons, Bill and Doss, settled the lower Aaron Quick farm. Mat Magness and his two brothers, Bob and Teaf, lived on what is now the Fately land. Mat Magness married Huldah Milum, daughter of Bleuf Milum. Teaf married her sister, Sarah Ann Milum. Bob married Miss Susan Lantz, daughter of Mose Lantz. Wilshire Magness, a brother of the other Magness boys, lived at the mouth of Little Cedar Creek on what is now the Steve Copelin land. Wilshire married Miss Nancy Elizabeth Holt, daughter of Billy Holt. Flemmon Clark and Peggie Clark, his wife, lived at the mouth of the creek. Ben Clark, son of Flemmon, lived on White River Just below his fathers place. Jack Smith, a son-in-law of Flemmon Clarks, lived on the creek a short distance above the mouth.
Mr. Casebolt and his wife reared a large family. The names of part of the children are as follows. Christiana, their eldest., was born on Sac River. Lucinda, their next eldest, was also born there. Jemima was the next oldest. She married Elisha Friend, son of Peter Friend. Mary Janes their next oldest. was born in 1840. She married Bill Trimble, son of Allin Trimble. Robert was born in 1841. This child was 11 months old when his parents moved to Big Creek. Serena,, Becca Ann, James F. and Sarah were born on Big Creek. Serena married Steve Friend, another son of Peter Friend, When Serena died Steve married her sister, Christiana. Sarah married Win Yocum, son of Asa Yocum. Jemima and Serena both lie buried in the Asa Yocum graveyard. Lucinda and Becoa Ann died on the old Tom Brown farm just below the mouth of Trimbles Creek and as we have said elsewhere their bodies rest in the Trimble graveyard. James F. married Hollis daughter of Bob Hollis.
As we have already said., Mr. Casebolt and his family were true Southerners, fearless and met all kinds of hardships and done their duty without wavering. Casebolt was captain of a small company of men a few months in 1962. The entire family suffered from the depredations of theives during the war and they found it necessary to conceal as much of their provision and other things that were useful as could be done. Among the last named was an ox cart, the wheels of which were banded with heavy iron tire and Mrs. Caigebolt and her daughters pulled and pushed the cart to the top of the hill west of the house and hid it in a thicket of brush. By some means word got out where the cart was concealed and its whereabouts was soon known over the neighborhood. One day three men rode up to the yard gate and stopped. Two of them dismounted and ,vent into the house to plunder and select articles of the household to carry off. The other man rode on up the hill toward where the cart was hid and in a few minutes Mrs. Case-bolt and her daughters heard him pounding on the wheels to get the tire off and Mrs. Casebolt remarked, "If that scoundrel aint found the cart and is knocking the tire off; two of you girls go with me and well go see about it. And Jane and Lucinda stepped forward to go with her. Then turning to the other children she says, "The rest of you stay here and keep them other two rascals from stealing what is In the house." But as Mrs. Casebolt and the two girls left the house the two men walked out of the house and mounted their horses and rode on by the women and hurried up the hill to where their comrade was at work on the cart, and the three women when they reached the spot where the cart was the three men were there. The man had one tire off and had given it to one of the men on horseback and he was holding it. One of the girls told him to give it up but he refused to do so. "I will take it away from you," said she, and she took hold of it and attempted to pull it away from him. But he held to it and the other girl went to her aid and with their combined strength they jerked the tire away from him which came near pulling him off of his horse. The scene was exciting and degrading to the men for they cursed and abused the women and the latter called them theives and robbers. The man on the ground tried to get the tire off of the other wheel and Mr. Casebolt ordered him to quit and let the tire alone but he cursed her and went on trying to take it off. Then she snatched up a rock and threatened to knock him down with it but this did not daunt him. At this moment he got the tire off and it fell to the ground. But as he stooped over to pick up the tire the women snatched it up and hung both the tires on one of the standards of the cart, and Mrs. Casebolt says, "Girls, let us take the cart to the house, and the two girls darted to the end of the tongue and raised it and pulled it along while their mother walked just behind the cart to guard the tire. While they were taking the cart and tire down the hill and Into the house yard the men followed them on their horses and abused the women in a scandalous manner and threatened to burn their house. When the women had pulled and pushed the cart into the yard the three men halted at the yard fence and went on their abuse in such a rough way and swearing that they were going to burn the house until Mrs. Casebolt determined she would not bear it any longer and she snatched up a stout club of wood and Jane picked up the chopping axe. Mrs. Casebolt says, the first man that dismounts from his horse I will kill him." and Jane says, the first man that crosses the fence into the yard I will chop him to pieces with this ax." The men now used the vilest language they could command with their tongues but they dared not get off their horses. They were baffled, Directly two of them rode off, but the other man swore he was not ready to go until he burned the house. Mrs. Casebolt says to him "If you do not leave here at once your dead body will be found in a hole of water in Big Creek," and the scoundrel finding that he was outdone by the brave and honest women who were defending their home started off and followed on after his companions. The land on which the Casebolts lived is known now as the Ben Quick farm. James Casebolt, a nephew of Robert Casebolt, settled the Ed Quick farm, which is just below there. Jake Casebolt, a brother of Roberts,, lived on the Gasconade River in Pulaski County, Missouri. John Casebolt, another brother, lived on Finley Creek 6 miles northeast of Sparta in Christian County. The most of the fore-going account was furnished me by James F. Casebolt, youngest son of Robert Casebolt.
Springfield-Greene County Library