The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

This story of early incidents relating to Forsyth Taney County, Mo. was narrated to me by Mr. B. B. (Ben) Price a lawyer and merchant of Forsyth in the month of October 1905. In giving the story Mr. Price said that he was born in Green County, Mo. 1848. "My father’s name was Wm. C. Price. We came to Forsyth in the early fifties when the town contained only a few buildings. In the year 1855 a man of the name of Bobby Deshay came to Forsyth from the state of Kentucky. Soon after his arrival here we learned that he was a son of Governor Deshay of that state and that he had killed a man near his old home in that country and was put on trial for murder in the first degree and found guilty and was condemned to be hung but rather than face the ignominy of one of his children suffering a disgraceful death on the gallows the grief stricken Governor pardoned his guilty son and furnished him means to travel on and the wayward young man made his way to Taney County, Mo. and took up his abode in the town of Forsyth where in a few months notwithstanding the bad news that followed him he taught a subscription school in the village. But before he taught the school he purchased a long cable rope from the owner of the steam boat Ben Lea which had made several trips to Forsyth and when he began teaching the school he took the big rope into the Swan Creek Bottom just above town and holding to one end of the rope he climbed a large stooping sycamore tree and fastened the end of the rope took hold of my father and carried him to the swing and place on the seat and told him to hold fast to the rope which he did then they began swinging him to and fro. As he would swing back the men would give him a hard push and he would swing higher and higher until once or twice his body was 40 feet above the ground which scared him and he came near loosing his hold on the rope and falling to the ground. This frightened his friends and they let him down and the fun was at an end. They did not intend to carry it so far. Then the joke turned on the 5 grand jurors who had taken such an active part in the fun of swinging my father and the entire audience roared out in laughter. This same man Deshay who constructed the swing forged a note after his school was out and absconded to Texas and that was the last we heard of him.

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