The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

On the 31st of October, 1903, I met Bill Henseley In the Creek Nation. He was then 64 years old being born in Wayne County, Tennessee, May 4, 1839. His parents, Mark Henseley and Sally (Simmons) Henseley, emigrated to Searcy County, Ark., in the year 1840 when Bill was just one year old and settled on land 2 ½ miles west of where the town of Marshall, the present county seat of Searcy County, now is. Mr. Henseley has an excellent memory for a man of his age and related a few pioneer incidents that occurred in that country. He says that George Norman was the first settler on the land where Marshall is. After Mr. Norman sold his land it was laid off into town lots. In referring to the town of Leslie in Wiley’s Cove he said the land on which the town was built on was once owned by the Leslie family. The old man’s full name was Captain Sam Leslie. A man of the name of Ben Potter also lived on this same land. The names of a few of the settlers who lived neighbors to the Leslie family were three of the Griffin men—Jess, Clint and Lank, and the Beggleys—Henry and Hiram. These men were all used to the ravages of the savage beasts that Inhabited this locality and made all the efforts in their power to save their stock from falling into the power of the wild animals, and no doubt did stave off a great deal of destruction of their live property, but with all their vigilant eyes the onslaught on their stock by the ravenous beasts was telling on them. One day a hungry panther crept up near Leslie’s house and attacked a two years old colt that belonged to the Leslie family by springing on it in plain view of the dwelling. The old man Leslie and Mr. Potter ran out of the house with guns in hand to kill the stealthy beast, but it created such a stir and noise while it was killing the young horse that the men were over excited and shot at the animal 9 times without hitting it and it killed the colt in spite of their efforts to prevent it. But they did manage to drive it away before it had time to fill up on fresh horse flesh."

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