The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Old settlers of Crooked Creek like pioneers of other sections of the Ozarks love to narrate events of long ago. Mr. George W. Trammel an old timer who was born and reared on Crooked Creek in what is now Boone County Arkansas numbered among the earliest people of this section. Mr. Trammel moved to Parker County Texas in his old age where he died in 1902. He was a son of Mr. Dennis Trammel who settled on Crooked Creek when there were but few white people living on this stream. He married soon after his arrival here and settled what is known now as the Eli Young farm on Crooked Creek and is 4 miles above the present site of Powell. Here on this land George Trammel was born April 10, 1835. His father lived just one year after his birth and he was 21 years old when his mother died, which occurred in 1856. Their remains both rest in the Davidson grave yard 5 miles above Powell. Among the names of the earliest residents of Crooked Creek as mentioned by Mr. Trammel are John Young and Elizabeth his wife who came there In 1850. Mr. Eli Young and Rachel Young his wife settled on Crooked Creek in 1830. Eli Young died in 1856 and his wife died 10 years later. They are both buried in the Davidson grave yard. Mr. Trammel says that this silent village of the dead was started by the death of two Indians who were the first buried here in the year 1831. I well remember said he of seeing several bands of Indians pass through here when I was a little fellow. The ground where the Davidson grave yard is was once a camping place for the Indians. I have seen the Indians beat corn in their mortars on several occasions. I have seen them form their mortars in sound logs or they would fell a tree and hack out small but square troughs and then dress them out until they were fit to beat their corn in. Mrs. Rachel Young was my grandmother and I have heard my mother say that when she was a small girl my grandmother sent her to the spring one day for water and a band of Indiana come the spring while she was there and stopped to get water. Some of them threatened to strike her with their Tommyhawks. Whether they meant to kill her or only to frighten her is not known. My mother said that she screamed out in terror and the band left the spring immediately and went on up Crooked Creek.

Mr. Trammel went on to say that an Indian offered to show Eli Young a salt spring for a pony. The red man claimed that this saline water gushed out of the ground near Boat Mountain. This Indian claimed that when the water reached the surface of the earth it flowed under the ground again. Mr. Young declined to accept the trade. He did not believe that the so called salt spring had any existence and that the fellow was trying to humbug him. However there were a few white men who hunted for this spring but they never discovered any water that tasted like salt water. It was supposed by some that if there were really such a spring in the vicinity of Boat Mountain the Indians had concealed it with a flat stone.

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