Volume 9, Number 11 - Spring 1988

History of James Oliver By Noma Johnson

The oldest water-powered mill on Swan Creek, and perhaps the oldest one in Taney County, was built and operated by James Oliver who settled on Swan Creek in 1831. The mill was located about a mile above the mouth of the stream and only a short distance above Cole’s Spring. The ownership of the mill was later transfered to James’ son William, who operated it for a time before sellingitto George Gibson.

The exact year of its construction is unknown, but it is believed to have been built in the mid-1830’s and to have ceased operation just prior to the Civil War. This pioneer industry being the only mill in the vicinity capable of grinding corn and sawing lumber, undoubtably served many early settlers. The anchoring irons that held the mill dam are still embedded in the bedrock where the old mill was built.

The above information was taken from the book, The Land of Taney, by Elmo Ingenthron, pgs. 169-70.

James Oliver was county judge during 1837-1844, The Land of Taney, by Elmo Ingenthron, p.23.

James Oliver, son of John and Martha Oliver, was born c. 1785 in Boone County, Kentucky.

James married Rachel Holman, born c. 1786, daughter of Edward and Abigail (Williams) Holman. Their marriage date was 5 April 1810, Gallatin County, Kentucky.

They had 12 children. Some of them were born inBoone County, Ky., someofthemborninVermillion County, Indiana, some born in Callaway Co., Mo., and the last 2 were born in Taney Co., Mo.

Children of Jamesand Rachel:

I. Archibald Oliver b. 31 Aug. 1811, Boone County, Ky. d. 28 June 1849 (Ark?) m. 6 June 1833, Taney Co., Mo. Elizabeth Garner, da. of Samuel and Rachel (Pugh) Garner.


1. Rachel b. 17 April 1834, Taney Co., Mo., d. 26 Aug 1835.

2. Theopholis b. 22 Dec. 1835, Taney Co., Mo., d. 26 Jan. 1837.

3. SarahJane b.3OMar. 1838,TaneyCo.,Mo. d. 1906.

4. James Monroe b. 12 Nov. 1841, Taney Co., Mo., d. 6 Aug. 1898.

5. Willoughby N. b. 24 Mar. 1844, Ark., d. 13 Jun. 1923.

6. William Holman b. 4 Mar. 1848, (Taney Co..Mo.?) d. 21 Jun. 1920., m. 12 Dec. 1866 Martha Cummings b. 29 Nov. 1849, Logan Co., Ark.

7. Archibald Jr. b. 1849, d. 1849.

II. John Oliver b. 28 April 1813, Boone County, Ky. d. 24 Feb. 1881. m. 20 Jan. 1836, Greene Co., Mo. Frances Archer b. 1810, Tenn. John buried Lewallen Cemetery near Branson, Mo. Frances buried in cemetery near Kimberling City, Mo.


Have information on only one of John and Frances’ children.

1. James Oliver b. 1838 Taney Co., Mo. d. 1913 m. Kizaar Lewallen b. 9 April 1836, Tenn. d. 22 Mar. 1920. Both buried Lewallen Cemetery near Branson, Mo. James was a soldier in the Civil War in the Union Army.

James and Kizaar’s Children

1. John R. Oliver b. 9 Feb. 1859, Taney Co., Mo. d. 7 Oct. 1899, m.(1) 9 Feb 1887 Dora E. Stewart, m.(2) 6 May 1890 Dovie White b. 12 Sept. 1867 d. 6 Oct. 1899. John and Dovie both buried Lewallen Cemetery

2. Jesse William Oliver b. 22 Feb. 1861, Taney Co., Mo. in the same log cabin that his father was born in near where Powersite Dam is now. m. 1883 Salina Parilee Benton, da. of James F. and July (Bayles) Benton, b. 8 Aug. 1866, Iowa, d. 9 Nov. 1939, Branson, Mo. Jesse and Salina Oliver buried Lewallen Cemetery. Jesse was a well known stock raiser and one of the early presidents of the Bank of Branson.

3. Richard Oliver b. c. 1864, Kansas. Wife’s name Lucretia.

4. Francis Oliver b. c. 1866, Kansas.

5. James Oliver b. c. 1869, Kansas.

6. Mary F. Oliver b. 3 Jan. 1872, Mo., d. 12 July 1954, m. 14 July 1896 Charles Thompson b. 11 Nov. 1858 d. 20 May 1942. Mary and Charles Thompson buried Lewallen Cemetery.

7. Emma Oliver b. 9 Jan. 1873, Mo., d. 17 Apr. 1965, m. James M. Holliday 18 Feb. 1893, son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Lambert) Holliday b. 26 Feb. 1870, Mo., d. 10 Sept. 1964. Emma and James Holliday both buried Gobblers Knob Cemetery.


III. Abigail Oliverb. c. 1815, Boone County, Kentucky, m. 27 June 1833 William Archer in Greene Co., Mo. He was first judge of Taney County.

IV. William Oliver b. 6 Oct. 1816, Boone County, Ky. d. McLennan County, Texas, 3 June 1908. m. (1) Annie Haggardb. 1818(16 May) Tenn. d. 13 Dec. 1851, Taney County. 1 da. born 11 Nov 1851 Annie Oliver d. 1918, Texas. m.(2) Margaret Beals 17 Mar. 1853, Forsyth, Mo. b. 25 Dec. 1828, Vermillion Co. Illinois, da. of Johnathan and Elizabeth Beals, d. 14 April 1909, McLennan Co., Texas. Children of William and Margaret (Beals) Oliver

1. Elizabeth Oliver b.26 Feb. 1854, Taney Co., Mo. d. 4 July 1930, m. William Price. No children.

2. Paralee Oliver b. 12 Nov. 1855, McLennan Co., Texas, m. 21 Sept. 1873 John Henry b. Va.

3. James N. Oliver b. 27 July 1859, McLennan Co., Texas, m. 16 Nov. 1881 Mary Bilbo, James d. 11 Oct. 1916, Texas.

4. Jeff D. Oliver b.17 Nov. 1861, McLennan Co., Texas, d. 26 Oct. 1928, m. Lina Nash 4 Jan. 1885.

5. William J. Oliver b. 9 Sept. 1863, McLennan Co., Texas, d. 18 June 1927, m. 7 May 1885 Mattie Torans.

6. Susan M. Oliver b. 21 July 1866, McLennan Co., Texas, d. 2 June 1897, m. 15 May 1883 W. S. Mitchell.

7. George W. Oliver b. 9 Mar 1868, McLennan County, Texas, d. 10 Oct. 1927, m. 16 Sept. 1891 Delurah Rosamond. Note: Sr. William’s first child with wife Annie Haggard. Annie Oliver married J.S.P. McNatt 30 May 1867. They had 13 children in Texas.

V. Cynthia Oliver b. July 1818, Boone Co. Kentucky, d. 5 Mar. 1885, Cook County, Texas, m. Sandipher Spearman, settled in Cook Co., Texas.

VI. Lucinda Oliver b. c. 1820, Vermillion County, Indiana, m. James Archer, settled in Parker County, Texas.

VII. Martha Oliver b. c. 1823, Vermillion County, Indiana, m. Turner Haggard, Taney Co. Mo.

VIII. James Oliver Jr. b. 1825, Vermillion Co., Indiana, m. Elizabeth M. ?, settled in Lorena Texas, McLennan County.

IX. Milton Oliver b. 21 March 1827, Callaway County, Mo., d. 21 March 1905, Bellefonte, Boone Co., Ark., m. Kisire Haggard, b. 22 July 1826, Tenn., d. 1872 Apr. 25, Ark., da. of Nathaniel and Jane Leonard Haggard who came to Taney Co. c. 1848 from Roane Co., Tenn. They settled on White River Taney Co., Mo. Milton and Kisire Haggard Oliver are both buried Bellefonte Cemetery, Bellefonte, Boone County, Arkansas. Milton served in the Civil War as a Confederate Soldier in Green’s Mo. Cavalry Company E, 1864 -1865. He was wounded severely but survived.

Children of Milton Oliver and Kisire Haggard Oliver:

1. Artelia Eminda b. 31 Aug. 1845, Taney Co. Mo., d. 8 Oct. 1932, Bellefonte, Ark., buried Bellefonte Cemetery. m. William Hall 12 Jan 1873, Bellefonte.

2. Elias William b. 1848 Taney Co., Mo. m. 25 Dec. 1870, Angeline Gavin, Bellefonte.

3. James Nathaniel b.1854 Taney Co., Mo. m. Mary June Starkey 27 Dec 1874, Bellefonte.

4. Campbell B. b. 1857 Taney Co., Mo.

5. Ellen Jane (my grandmother) b. 1859 Taney Co., Mo. d. 1899, Bellefonte, m. John W. Baker b. 1860, Fulton Co., Ark., d. 1904 Tulsa, Okla. Marriage date: 28 Dec. 1877, Beilefonte. Milton Oliver married 2nd Julia Ann Harrison 1875. Julia d. 1924, buried Bellefonte Cemetery.

X. Henry Oliver b. 1828 Callaway Co., Mo. d. was shot during the Civil War and was killed. m. E. ___ b. Tenn. Henry & wife were in Taney Co. 1850 Census. Henry in 1860 Census McLennan Co., Tx., with no wife and 2 das.

XI. Fielding Oliver b. Taney Co. , Mo., died young, buried on Oliver property?

XII. Elizabeth Oliver b. c. 1834 Taney Co., Mo., d. c. 1854/55 Taney Co., Mo., buried Oliver property? m. Alpheus Wheeler b. c. 1807, Va.

Children of Alpheus and Elizabeth Oliver Wheeler

1. BentonJ. b.c. 1852, Taney Co., Mo., killed in Texas 1867/9.

2. Henry T. b. 9 May 1854, Taney Co., Mo., d.

2 Aug. 1885, m. 2 Mar. 1874 Mary Hannah May, b. 4 Oct. 1857, Taney Co., da. ofJohn and Amanda Morgan May. Mary d. 25 April 1926.



State of Missouri
County of Taney
On this 29th day ofJuly A.D. 1912, before me personally came James Oliver, to me personally known to be of lawful age and entitled to full credit, who being by me first duly sworn, upon his oath deposes and says:

My name is James Oliver, I am 74 years of age going on 75, was born in Taney County, Missouri, and have lived here all of my life, except eight years. I know tracts of land now known as the Sam J. Wheeler farm. I (k)new it when it belonged to my grand-father, James Oliver. I was born a few miles up river from that farm and lived on the Wheeler farm with my father, a part of the time before I married. My grandfather James Oliver, sold the place to one Aipheus Wheeler who paid (h)im in cash, he paid gold, when I was a boy 10 or 15 years old. Before grandfather move off Aiphus (sic) Wheeler married Elizabeth Oliver, the ulaughter of grandfather, James Oliver. My father’s name was John Oliver, Elizabeth Oliver Wheeler died there and left two sons, Henry T. and Benton J. Wheeler, Benton was the oldest one. Alpheu~ Wheeler then married widow Franklin some time before the Civil War. I do not known her given name, and was well acquainted with her family too. They lived on the tract adjoining up stream on the north bank of White River, now called the Grover land. Benton J. Wheeler and Henry T. Wheeler went to Texas just before the war, Benton died there and was not brought back, that was during the war, he might have been killed, we were own cousins. I had gone to Kansas and when I cam(e) back after the war I met Henry T. Wheeler and he told me about Benton J.

Aipheus Wheeler died some time before the war and Preston Haggard had charge as administrator or guardian or something like that, and settled on Aipheus Wheeler’s estate and turned the said farm over to the possession of Henry Wheeler when he came of age. After Alpheus Wheeler’s death his widow (formerly Franklin) went back to her home place and then married; It seem to me she married the father of Benjamin

F. McKinney, she married him before the war. Henry T. Wheeler married and Mrs. Mary Root, now Jim G. Root’s wife was the widow of Henry T. Wheeler. They had three sons, John was the oldest, he never married and died before Henry T. Wheeler died, and when Henry T. Wheeler died he left as his sole heirs his widow, Mary H. Wheeler and their two sons David and Sam. Grandfather James Oliver, who sold the land to Aipheus Wheeler, died in Texas at the age of 96. I saw him here about 1872 or 1873 when he was going back to Texas in a wagon t(w)o years before his death. I know of my own knowledged (sic) that from Aipheus Wheeler and down through him to Sam J. Wheeler they have undisputed possession of the said Sam J. Wheeler farm in Lots 1 and 4 of Section 8 and Lot 1 of Section 5, Township 23 North Range 20 West since long before the war. No one ever questioned their title, and they have held the peaceable, adverse, open, notorious and undisputed possession thereof since the time that Aipheus Wheeler bought it from my grandfather, James Oliver, which I expect was at least as early as 1852, which I judge by my age. Ben McKinney and William E. Moore know about this. I do not know any one that knows more than Ben and Billy. Further deponent saith not.

James Oliver

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 29th day of July A.D. 1912

My commission expires March 13, 1916

(Seal) Ross Brown, Notary Public

Filed for Record Jan 6th, 1913 and recorded in Book 43 at page 146.


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