The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Among a few names of the pioneer settlers who lived on Clear Creek, a tributary stream of Crooked Creek in Marion County, Ark. was Bill Magness who resided at a fine spring of water in a hollow that runs into Clear Creek. Bill Magness was a son of Joe Magness and married Miss Jane Onstott a sister of the writer’s mother. Jimmie Magness a relative of Bill Magness lived on Crooked Creek. Jimmie Magness was an old man and had several sons and daughters the names of which were Morgan and Perry who were twins and John, Jim, Sam and Bill. The last named died quite young. Among his daughters were Betsey who married John Tabor and Nancy who married Nimrod Teaf and Polly who married a man of the name of King. He had another daughter named Patsey. Wilshire Magness son of Joe Magness lived on Big Creek just over the line in Marion County. Wilshire was a brother of Bill Magness and these men would exchange visits with each other every year after crops were laid by. One warm day in the month of July 1855 when their first born was an infant which they named Joseph R. Wilshire and his wife whose name was Nancy Elizabeth started from their home on Big Creek to visit their relatives and friends who lived on Clear and Crooked Creeks. It was a long hot day’s ride and a while before they arrived at George Woods Mill on East Sugar Loaf Creek the little baby boy become fretful and irritable and its mother was unable to pacify it. They stopped at the creek and gave it some water but this did not seem to relieve it and they went on the residence of Mr. Woods and stopped at the yard fence to get it some sweet milk. Mrs. Woods whose name was Nancy, come out of the house with a big pone of corn bread and a half gallon tin cup the last of which she gave to one of her little girls and says to her "run to the spring house and get this cup full of sweet milk and bring it back to me", and while the child was absent she stood at the yard fence and held the bread in her hand until the girl come back with the milk and reaching out her hand for the cup the girl gave it to her then she handed the bread and milk to Mrs. Magness for the infant. This amused Mr. Magness and his wife but they thanked Mrs. Woods in offering their baby plenty to eat. But said our child is not grown and can not eat so much as you have offered it and the infant itself refused to accept it and Mrs. Magness gave the bread and milk back to the kind woman and after thanking her again for her courtesy they went on their way. The foregoing was told me by Mrs. Magness herself a short time before her death. But she had been married twice more since the little incident occurred. Her last husband was Henry Clark.

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