The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

One day in the month of August 1906 I met J. C. (Jim) Rhodes near Jackson’s switch Indian Territory Creek Nation and had an interview with him concerning early times when many people who lived east of the father of waters were changing their locations to the west of that great stream of water. Mr. Rhodes said that his Brother William Rhodes and my uncles James and Jess Rhodes and my sister Caroline wife of Jess Moseby all left Cumberland County Kentucky together in 1853 and moved into Missouri and settled in Laclede County which is bounded by Dallas west on the north by Camden on the east by Pulaski and Texas counties, on the south by Webster and Wright. My Brother William was unmarried when he arrived in Laclede County. Continued Mr. Rhodes said "I was born In Cumberland County Kentucky November 10, 1842. My fathers given name was John, my mother’s name was Martha (Gay) Rhodes. In 1856 my parents with myself and my brother Jess Rhodes and my sister Matilda Rhodes and James Field a nephew of my father’s moved from Kentucky to Missouri in an ox wagon and settled In Laclede County 6 miles south of Bellfonte Post Office where we received our mail. On our arrival there my father settled on government land in the barrens just north of Bear Creek where he built a log cabin. But soon after he moved into this cabin he sold his improvement to Meridy Moseby and bought a claim of Bill Dotson who lived on Bear Creek where he opened up a farm. One of the earliest settlers of our neighborhood was Daniel Smith who had been living there since the latter forties and lived on the Gasconade River at the mouth of Bear Creek. Some years before Smith came to Missouri he was our neighbor in Kentucky and wrote my father several letters which induced him to leave Kentucky and move Into Missouri. Among other settlers who lived in our neighborhood were Isaac Riddle and Eliza his wife. Doc Willoughby and John Quinn the last named wife was Nancy. Silas Berry and Polly his wife Jess Golasky who was a widower. Jim Bryant Mose Johnson Conelius Moseby and Bobby Davis. Riddle, Golasky, Bryant, Davis and Willoughby were all southern men in sentiment. Cornelius Moseby was a federal soldier and Silas Berry was a Confederate Soldier. In refering to the first religious services he ever attended Mr. Rhodes said that it was held in a small log hut on Bear Creek one mile and half below his father’s residence and was called the Mayfield Church House. The floor was composed of rough split logs and the seats were of the same kind of timber. I have a vivid recollection of that Sunday morning for I and my brothers Jess and John and my sister Matilda and both my parents went to the church house in the same old wagon that we moved from Kentucky in. The wagon was drawn by the slow moving oxen. This was before the Civil War and I well recollect that there was a large crowd collected there. The majority of which could not get into the house. Mr. Rhodes said that his father died at the age of 74 years and is buried in the cemetery at Austin in Cass County, Mo. His mother was 73 years old when she died and lies buried in a grave yard in Pettis County, Mo.

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