Volume 4, Number 10 - Winter 1972-73

The Herndon Family
Compiled by Cinita Davis Brown

The ‘Herndon Cemetery Inscriptions" compiled by J. Vernie Hicks and published in the summer issue of the W. R. V. H. S. Journal inspired me to try and put together a bit of the Herndon family history. This cemetery is located near Wasola in Ozark County. The S.C. (Stephen) Herndon who deeded the land for the cemetery to the public was my great grandfather. It is my understanding that Stephen’s first wife, Phoebe C. Herndon (22 October 1821-14 August 1862), was the first person to be buried in the Herndon Cemetery. My grandmother, Rebecca Herndon Davis (26 September 1860-23 January 1927) was the baby in a family of eight children when her mother died. Now for a closer look at this Stephen C. Herndon, his ancestors and descendents.

George Herndon, born 1795 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, moved his family to Ozark County in 1850 and settled near Piland’s Store. The same year he made application for "bounty land" in that county. Stephen C. was the third son of this George. This 1850 date would indicate that the Herndon Family was among the early settlers of Ozark County. A backward look also indicates that the Herndon Family was among the early settlers in America.

No. 100 William Herndon, born 1648 and died in 1722, came from England and settled in New Kent County, Virginia in 1673. In 1677 he married Catherine Digges (1654-1727). She was the daughter of Edward Digges (1621-1675) and Edward Digges was the third son of Sir Dudley Digges of Chilham Castle, Co. Kent. This Sir Dudley Digges was a member of the London Company which colonized Jamestown, the first American Colony. He was also a friend of Henry Hudson and in 1610 helped him finance that explorer’s last voyage. Edward Digges, son of Sir Dudley and father of our Catherine Digges Herndon, was the Governor of the Virginia Colony 1656-1658. (Now shouldn’t this inspire a study of this period of history by the many Herndon descendants in school today? See, "great, great, great grandpa" was part of it!)

200 Edward Herndon was one of the three children of William Herndon and Catherine Digges. He was born in 1678 in Kent County, Virginia and died in 1745; married in 1698 to Mary Waller.

300 William Herndon (1706-1783), third son of Edward Herndon and Mary Wailer, married Ann Drysdale, daughter of Col. Hugh Drysdale, who was Lieut. Gov. of Virginia from 1722-1726. They were the parents of eight children. The fifth son was Joseph.

400 Joseph Herndon was born 1739 probably in Caroline County, Virginia. He was married twice—first to Polly Eilliot and secondly to Susanna Haislip. He was the father of twenty children—all of whom were named and left a bequest in his will probated in 1811.

500 Reuben Herndon, eldest child of Joseph Herndon and Polly Eilliott, was born 25 September 1765 in Goochland County, Virginia and died in 1855 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He was married to Hannah Long, daughter of Edward and Jane Long, in 1792 in Pittsylvania County.

600 George Herndon (our first Herndon in Ozark County) was the second son of Reuben Herndon and Hannah Long. As previously stated he came to Ozark County in 1850. Records indicate that he too is buried in the Herndon Cemetery, but if so, he has no marker at his grave. George Herndon served in


the Virginia Militia during the War of 1812. He married Hannah Cox in East Tennessee and lived in Lincoln County, Tennessee until after the birth of all nine of their children. In May of 1871 when he applied for a war pension his wife was dead.

700 Children of George Herndon and Hannah Cox:

701 Jane—22 July 1818—married Joseph Williams and lived in Tennessee.

702 Margaret—10 May 1820—married Anthony Williams and lived in Kentucky.

703 Stephen C.—2 December 182 1—27 March 1897. (A more complete biography at end of this listing.)

704 William W. Herndon—3 December 1823, was a resident of Alabama and was never heard from by any of the family following Civil War.

705 Henry W. Herndon—21 June 1825—was married 2 Dec. 1847 to Martha A. C. Piland (born 22 Nov. 1830 in Hertford County, N. C.) and had six sons and three daughters. He was a practicing physician and surgeon many years, but later was ordained to the ministry and became a missionary for the Baptist Church. He left Ozark County as a young man and established his home near Osceola, Mo. In April 1878 he started to ride a pony to Ozark County to visit his relatives there. On the trip he was taken ill and died April 12 shortly after arriving at the home of his brother, Stephen C. Herndon, near Almartha.

706 Nathan Herndon—8 Feb. 1828—was married to Mary Jane Todd (born 26 March 1832; died 19 March 1914) and they were parents of three sons and four daughters. He served in Capt. Martindale’s Company of Ozark County Home Guards and was killed in a guerrilla raid in the winter of 1864.

Nathan and Mary Jane Todd Herndon were the parents of the following children:

Hannah, wife of John Wesley Thompson; Sarah Jane, wife of Nathan W. Cross; Chloe, died young; Milton; Marian; Abner, who also died young.

After Nathan’s death Mary Jane (who was a distant relative of Mary Todd Lincoln) married Robert Hicks. He was serving as Ozark County Representative in 1863 when he became ill and died in Jefferson City. The story of how a fellow representative came riding his own horse and leading Robert’s horse which was carrying his belongings and bearing the news of Robert’s death is part of "our family folklore."

Children born to Robert and Mary Jane Todd Herndon Hicks were Thomas Robert who married Laura Eddings. They are the ancestors of all of the "Wasola Hicks clan." The other son, Arthur Franklin, who died in 1915 was never married.

Mrs. Viola (C. E.) Hicks, now of Ava but formerly of Wasola, has done an extensive study of this Hicks-Herndon and related families. This is being published now for members of her family. My what a legacy she is giving her offspring which now numbers three generations. How the generations yet to be born will appreciate the efforts of "Grandmother Hicks" in the years of tomorrow which are to come.

707 Isaiah Herndon—1 Jan. 1830—was killed during the Civil War. One source said he was hanged by Rebels in a raid in Webster County but no records were available from National Archives.

708 Mary Ann Herndon—2 Jan. 1833— married William Piland. He served as Captain of Co. I , Forty-Sixth Reqiment Mol Vol. Inf.

709 Minerva Herndon—25 Jan. 1835—married Sam Stone and reared her family in Ozark County.

And now for a closer look at Stephen C. Herndon—number 703 on listing.

As indicated on the chart Stephen C. Herndon was born in Tennessee on 2 Dec. 1821. He married Phoebe Fredricks in 1843


Alonzo Herndon - 8 November, 1866
Jane Gaston Herndon - 19 May 1866
Larry - 30 September 1887
Roy V. - 1 May 1889
Ora - 22 February 1891
Alonzo was the son of Stephen C. and Lucinda Herndon

in Kentucky and they came to Ozark County in 1850 when his parents and the rest of the family also came. They were the parents of eight children: Henry; Susannah who married John McCracken; George W.—24 Jan. 1849-19 Aug. 1926—was a Baptist minister and is buried in the Herndon Cemetery; Hannah who married James McGowan and lived in Texas County; James W.; Phillip; Lucretia who married Samuel Williams; and Rebecca who married John Davis. After the death of Phoebe in 1862 Stephen C. married Mrs. Lucinda Philpot McHowan in 1863. They became parents of five children: Melissa who married John H. Piland: Alzonzo; Delilah who married Thomas A. Kay; Joan who married John Eddings; and Nellie who married Stonewall J. Frazier.

As a child I loved to hear my father tell and retell the story of how his grandpa was shot by a bunch of Rebels, stripped of his shoes and clothes except for his underwear and left to die. Of course, "the Rebs" had also taken his horse, saddle, and gun. Imagine my surprise and delight when I received Stephen C. Herndon’s Civil War record from


National Archives and the following account (copied exactly as it appears) of Stephen’s injury was included among the papers.

"that in June 1864 at Ozark Co. Mo. we was detaled from the above named co and regt to Escort Stephen C. Herndon to Marshfield Mo. a distance of 65 miles for the purpose of havein his hand amputated which had been shot a day or so previous by bushwhackers and we went and escorted the said Stephen C. Herndon to Marsh-field in co with other soldiers, he was hald in a hack and his hand was badly tore up and hit looked like hit had been done with a shotgun he Seeme to Suffer real bad on the trip we Left him at Marshfield because there was no surgeon nearer at the time."

This account of the injury was given in an affidavit made by L.D. Haskins in November of 1893 when Stephen C. Herndon made application for a Civil War pension.

Goodspeed's Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region ends the biography of Stephen C. Herndon like this—"He has served his country in various capacities at different times, was presiding judge of Ozark County before the war, was county and circuit clerk by appointment for some time during the war and has since been associated and probate judge of the county. He is a member of Robert Burns Lodge No. 496 of the A. F. & A. M. at Gainesville, and politically is a Republican. He has been an active and industrious man all his life. He is very widely and favorably known and he fully deserves the esteem in which he is held."

Marion Herndon and his wife Nancy
Marion Herndon and his wife Nancy.
Marion was the son of Nathan and Mary Jane Todd Herndon.

The thirteen children of Stephen C. Herndon have left many, many descendants in this area. My primary interest as been in his eighth child Rebecca Ellen (2 Sept. 1860-23 Jan. 1927) who married John T. Davis (9 Oct. 1854-2 June 1926) on 31 Jan. 1878. They were the parents of twelve children:

Daniel Webster 18 Dec. 1878

William Stephen 27 Dec. 1880-22 Oct. 1918

Commodore 18 Dec. 1882-13 Sept. 1963

Melissa Ann 30 April 1885- June 1972

Minnie Ethel 20 Sept. 1887-

Florence Edna 22 Oct. 1889-13 Jan. 1890

Elmer Lee 24 Feb. 1891-

Neal Segal 20 Sept. 1893-

Enoch Lincoln 15 Jan. 1896-

Loy Abner 13 Oct. 1898-14 Mar. 1899

George Washington 7 May 1900-

Fred 8 Feb. 1903-29 Sept. 1926

As in any family history there is no beginning and no ending. This falls far short of completing any branch of the Herndon family tree, but it should bring many persons to the place where they can look at it and say—"Oh yes, this one was my father, my grandfather, my great grandfather, etc." or in some way relate their family to persons they have read about in this article.


Mary Jane Todd Herndon Hicks (1832-1914) Stephen C. Herndon (1821-1897) and his second wife, Lucinda Philpot McHowan Herndon (1831-1912)
Mary Jane Todd Herndon Hicks (1832-1914). Her first husband, Nathan Herndon, was killed in a guerilla raid in the winter of 1864. He and Stephen C. were brothers and lived on "joinin' farms" on Springcreek near Almartha. Secondly she was married to Robert Hicks, an early representative of Ozark and Douglas County in the legislature. Stephen C. Herndon (1821-1897) and his second wife, Lucinda Philpot McHowan Herndon (1831-1912). Note: Left hand "shot off" and right eye "put out" in Civil War by "Bushwhackers."

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