The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

have often met people who formerly lived in Green County Mo. that enjoyed to converse of the old days in that part of the state. Many stories relating to this section which are strictly true have never been collected and put in print should have a place in history. Mr. J. A. (Jim) Thomas of Brown Branch Taney County Mo. is a son of W. A. (Woodman) Thomas who settled in Green County in 1840, where Jim Thomas was born four miles north east of Springfield September 6. 1853. On the night of August 31, 1906 I remained over night with Bud Sherrod who lived near Hercules and I saw Mr. Thomas there where he gave me a few reminiscences of Green County. He said that both his parents were dead, his mother dying in 1855 and rests in a graveyard near Springfield. His father lies buried in a graveyard on the old state road ten miles east of Springfield. "My first recollections of Springfield" said Mr. Thomas "is that John Abbott had a store there. He was an old man when he died which occurred some time after the close of the war. Dan Fullbright who died many years ago also kept a store there when I was a very small boy. Among the leading citizens who lived in Green County was ‘Mosse’ Rudd who owned 30 slaves and was very kind to them. Jimmie Dishman was also a slave holder and Sam Caldwell was another early settler there who owned a number of negroes. Tanner Sam Caldwell was a son of Sam Caldwell just mentioned. Joe Danforth was a brother of John Danforth who lived at Forsythe. One of Joe Danforth’s former slaves was a negro man named Oscar who had bought his freedom long before the stormy days of the war broke out. This negro was a noted black 8mith and Danforth was kind to him for he was an honest and trusty slave and allowed him many privileges that was not granted to other negroes and permitted him to earn all the money he could of nights and Saturdays at work in the shop and keep the wages for his own use. He was very saving with his money and when he had accumulated $1,000 he paid it over to his master for his liberty. After he had purchased his own freedom he bought his wife from his master agreeing to pay $1,000 for her too and did pay as much as $500 on the contract but before he was able to finish making the entire payment for his wife the war came up and President Lincoln interfered with the contracting parties by proclaiming the negroes free and thus he did not pay the remaining $500 for his better half. The first school I ever attended was taught in a very small log house of split logs by Mrs. Leslie a young married lady. This house was still standing there in the fall of 1905 but the roof was gone and the logs badly decayed. It stands near where the old state road use to lead near where we lived 4 miles from N. E. Springfield.

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