The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

One among the roughest streams in North Arkansas is Jimmies Creek in Marion County, which empties into White River just below the mouths of the Two Sisters Creeks. Jimmies Creek is noted for its many rugged mountains gulches and rough hollows, but never the less it is inhabited by several industrious families and a few people settled along this water course several years before the war. Among the residents here is Billy Parker son of John Garrison Parker and Mary (Johnson) Parker. Billy Parker was born in Rutherford County, Tennessee October 29, 1832, and when he was grown up to be a young man he turned his head westward, he arrived at Yellville in Marion County Ark. in the year 1850. He said that Yellville was only a small country village then and contained only two small stores. Jim Berry owned one of them and Bob Jefferson and Jess Wickersham was the proprietors of the other store. Some of the names of the other citizens who lived at Yellville at the time were John Wickersham and Jim Wickersham who were brothers to Jess Wickersham. There was another Wickersham whose given name was George. There were also Prink Jefferson and the old man Jefferson, Gid Thompson, John Estes, Garrison Phillips, Dr. William Oowdry, Jess Young and Judge Wood. "I remember" said Mr. Parker "that George Wickersham was accused of killing Tutt by ambushing him in the bluff at town while Mr. Tutt was going down the creek. Alph Burns shot and killed Doe Treat who weighed 250 pounds. I. C. (Ice) Stinnette was sheriffe of Marion County when I come to Yellville in 1850. Billy Brown succeeded him in the sheriffes office. After Mr. Brown was killed, Mr. Stinnette served again as sheriffe. I have a fresh recollection that when Brown was killed and after John and Randolph Coker was put in jail at Yellville I was appointed as one of the guards to watch the jail and prevent the escape of the Coker boys who were chained together. During one dark night while a violent thunder and rain storm was passing over someone got in to the jail house and cut the chains off of the ankles of the Coker boys and lead them out of the jail house and the two prisnors made their escape. But I was not on guard that night.

I moved to Jimmies Creek in 1852 and bought an improvement from Mr. Elam McCracken who come to Jimmies Creek in 1851. There were hundreds of wolves on this stream when we went there. My wife whose name is Elizabeth and who is a daughter of Elam McCracken had a busy time keeping the wolves from destroying all of our flock of sheep. Some of the early residents of Jimmies Creek were Jimmie Lawson, William Jones commonly known as ‘Flatty’ Jim Gage, John McVey, Jones Osburn, Jim Lovell, and Carl Pace. Bill Flippin was the first man I heard preach on Jimmies Creek which occurred long before the war where the wild cat school house now is. Carl Pace taught the first school in this neighborhood which was taught in the year 1857 in a small log house that John Parker built on Wild Cat Creek which empties into Jimmies Creek. John Pangle was the man who built the little water mill on Jimmies before the Civil War commenced. This little corn cracker stood just below where Kingdom Springs is now."

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