The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

One day recently I stood on the Summit of the river bluff opposite the upper part of my fathers old farm on the right bank of White River in the south east corner of Taney County, Mo. We lived on this land from the month of October 1853 until the 13 of February 1859 when my father sold it to Sam Magness. Many years afterward it was known as the Bill Dial place and is known now as the Baxter Brown Farm. The spot where I stood on the Bluff is opposite what was once called the 14 acre field where upon a rise just below this field stood a log house all trace of which has now disappeared. When we moved to this farm John Fisher and his Brother Enoch Fisher was living in this house several months and worked for my father. After he moved away Buck Jones lived in it a while. He wass succeeded by Martin Johnson who married my fathers sister Gracie Turnbo in Maury County Tennessee. Johnsons children were named Elizabeth, Gennie, Mary and Everette. As I stood on a high precipice over looking the spot where the house stood I called to mind old time memories and the death of John Fisher who was shot to death by a party of men during war times. Account of the killing was given me by Mr. Henry Sanders and others. And according to their statements Mr. Fisher was taken at the residence of Abe Coles on Big Creek. This place is called now the Dave Carries land. The men conducted their doomed prisoner to Lick Creek below Gainesville, Missouri and when two miles below Gainesville they left the road and took Fisher up on the side of a bald hill on the west side of the creek and put him to death and rode away. The body lay there until the following day but in the meantime the hogs had discovered it and devoured a part of it. Among those who assisted to bury the remains were Peter Keesee and old Billy (W. G.) Pumphrey. The body was carried some 200 yards from where the man met death and placed under a small apple tree on the Ace Turley land where a grave was dug and the body was lowered into it with the same clothes that he was shot to death in and without a coffin. Fishers clothes had been badly torn by the hogs while they were consumming a portion of the body. It is said that the apple tree that Fisher was buried under stood there until it was a large tree. In the course of time while this land was being cultivated some of his bones were turned up by the plow, the parties being ignorant as to the exact locality of the grave. After this time the spot of ground where the bones were exposed was not disturbed any more. The land on which Fisher was buried is called now the Jim Martin farm. John Fishers wife was named Thankful. She was a daughter of old uncle Jimmie Jones the hatter.

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