Volume 6, Number 10 - Winter 1979

Josiah McQuire and Elizabeth (Ball) McQuire
by Cletys R. Ackerman

In researching the history of my great grandfather George Washington DeWitt I accumulated several scraps of information about my great grandma Elizabeth (Ball) McQuire and great grandpa Josiah McQuire. Most of the data came from my mother Lydia (DeWitt) Ackerman, my cousin Lillian (Rector) Collins, Morrilton, Arkansas, and my cousin Ida May (McQuire) Culbertson. Also the National Archives, and census lists.

My great grandma Elizabeth Ball was born in Claiborn County Tennessee on July 9, 1832. She married my great grandpa Josiah McQuire on Dec. 21, 1847 at the age of 15, in Hancock County Tennessee. Claiborn county and Hancock county lay along the border of Tennessee just South of the Cumberland Gap on the Virginia border. From my cousin Lillian (Rector) Collins, Morrilton, Ark., with whose family great grandma Elizabeth lived for several years I obtained the information that friction developed within the family (I suspect the slavery problem) and great grandpa McQuire moved with his family to South East Indiana, near North Vernon in Jennings county, where my grandma Rebecca Morris McQuire was born, (grandma Becky). They had eight children; Anna, Sarah, William, Edley, Alexander, John, Mary, and grandma Becky. Of these only four reached maturity; Edley, John, Mary and grandma Becky. At the onset of the war between the states Great grandpa Josiah McQuire enlisted in Company "E", 82nd regiment of the Indiaha Volunteers, serving under a Captain Hendrecks.

He was in Tennessee when he contracted the measles and had almost recovered when he contracted a very violent form of diarrhea which resulted in his death, at the military hospital near Gallatin, Tenn. After the war my great grandma Elizabeth McQuire had a very rough


time but eventually it all worked out because she and her brother George, and two sisters Martha and Rebekah eventually migrated to South West Missouri and North West Arkansas. Great Uncle George Ball wound up somewhere in Arkansas and I know very little about him. Martha Ball married a man by the last name of Haney and at one time lived in Diggins, Missouri, and Rebekah Ball married a man named Golden. Both Martha and Rebekah are burned in the Rose Hill cemetary near Billings, Missouri.

Of my grandma brothers and sister; Her brother Edley McQuire married Adaline Susan Melton. They had two children; Ida May and Henry. His second wife was Sarah (West) Smith and there were two children from this union; Laura C. and Ora L. great grandpa McQuire also helped raise his sister Nancy McQuire who was only 4 when their mother died.

Great uncle Edley McQuire’s daughter Ida May married John Culbertson and they had 7 children; Zelda Pearl, 5-11-1897, Alta Theora 2-5-1901, John Edley 9-3-1903, Henry Allen 6-18-1905, Otis Jerry 9-29-1909, Oren 8-12-1913, 5-6-1914, and James Maxwell 8-2-1914. Zelda Pearl married Albert Tippet and they had 4 children; Geraldine, Juanita, Jeanette, and Martin A. Of these Geraldine married Cotton Fry and they have one girl; Carrol Ann Fry. Juanita married A. G. Peck and they have two girls; Gay and Anita. Gay married Fred Blackmore, a Naval man. Jeanette married Robert Taylor and they have three girls; Bonnie, Dianne, and Katherin, Martin A. married Patrick Butcher and have one daughter Mary and an adopted daughter, Martha.

Grandma Becky (McQuire) DeWitt’s brother John McQuire married Katherine West (sister to Sarah (West, Smith) and they had 7 children; Anna, Jean, Ott, Mamie, Vada, Hazel and Walter. They lived in Rogers, Ark., and at one time great uncle John McQuire served as Mayor.

Grandma Becky’s sister Mary McQuire married Robert Armstrong Copp and they lived at Calico Rock, Arkansas. I obtained their childrens names from my mother Lydia DeWitt Ackerman but her memory at the time was rather vague. The names she gave me were; Judge, Elizabeth, Julia, and Jep. I remember them visiting us at Billings, Mo. when I was quite small and was amazed at the way my cousins would rush out to see the Frisco trains that passed through Billings at this time.

Cousin Ida May also wrote that great great grandpa McQuire’s name was believed to be William McQuire and he came from Virginia.


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