The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Nearly all the old timers of Marion County, Ark. have passed over the great gulf of darkness that lies between life and death. It will only be a few years more when they will all be gone to the silent village where they will never more sit by their fire sides and entertain each other with pioneer reminiscenses of the rock ribbed hills of Northwest Arkansas. May the great ruler of heaven and earth pour out his blessings of mercy and permit their souls to enter the place of joy and peace in the other life. Let us hope that we will all meet together in the better world where sorrow and troubles are not known. Among the early day pioneers of Marion County is John B. Hudson son of Jesse and Matilda (Everette) Hudson and was born on Crooked Creek 4 miles below the site of Powell on Christmas day in 1837. His parents died many years ago and they both rest in the cemetery at the mouth of Georges Creek. This graveyard is an ancient one; the dead bodies of a few Indians were the first interments here. Near this graveyard is a church house and school building. The White River branch of the Missouri Pacific Railway passed near this spot also. Mr. Hudson stated to the writer that his grand parents John and Agnes Hudson when they died were the first white people buried here. "My grandfather John Hudson settled the creek bottom just below the mouth of Georges Creek and cleared the first land there in 1833. He lived in the bottom opposite the spout spring. This land is known now as the Davenport farm. Also "dancin" Bill Wood, John Overcan and Sheriffe Billy Brown who were all very early settlers here are buried here. Several years ago a new graveyard was started some 300 yards northeast of the old burial ground." Continuing, Mr. Hudson said that his father Jesse Hudson settled the Joe Burleson farm 1 ½ miles above the mouth of Georges Creek where he worked in a blacksmith shop and "shod" ponies for the Indians and also repaired rifles and done other work for the red men. When I was a little boy my father sold his claim and blacksmith shop on Crooked Creek and bought an improvement of Jesse Everette on Georges Creek 5 ¼ miles north of Yellville. Georges Creek took its name from George Wood who built the mill at the Big Spring on East Sugar Loaf Creek in 1854. Soon after we moved to Georges Creek my father was attacked with palsey which affected his hands and arms very seriously. It almost debarred him from labor of any kind and he never did recover from it. He had a wheel like construction prepared in the house with small levers attached to a shaft or beam set up right and by pushing against one of these levers and walking a circle afforded him relief and rest. Just before he was attacked by the palsey he built a little cotton gin on the creek near the house. This gin was opperated by water and was a small affair yet it ginned all the cotton that was grown for home use 8 and 10 miles distant from Georges Creek." The writer will say here that he has seen Mr. Jesse Hudson on many occasions walking around on the floor of his house holding to the levers to relieve his paralytic body and limbs as much as possible. We lived then on the north bank of White River 21 miles north of Mr. Hudsons but not withstanding this distance my mother sent me on several occasions with a sack full of seed cotton to Hudsons gin to have the seed taken out for domestic use. Sometimes I would ride this distance on a horse bareback and carry the cotton before me. I give this to show how we did some things in the early days.

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