The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Among the citizens of Taney County Mo. who were born in the state of Iowa is Reuben S. Deardorff son of David and Elizabeth (Bethy) Deardorff his mother was a daughter of Jacob Rook. Mr. Deardorff was born at the mouth of Skunk River in Desmoines County Iowa August the 5, 1848.

He with his parents moved to Cedar County, Mo. in 1857 when he was 9 years old. Both his parents died in 1879 in 24 hours of each others death. Their bodies received interment in separate coffins but in the same grave in the cemetery on a beautiful high mound on the old Deardorff farm three miles from Jericho in Cedar County. "My father Dave Deardorff donated 4 acres of land for the use of this cemetery. The dead body of doctor Allen a pioneer resident
of that neighborhood was the first interment there which occurred soon after the close of the civil war. A number of tombstones can be seen 6 miles north of it. On our arrival here in 1857 my father bought this farm from Matthew D. Russell. This land is just a few miles west of Cedar
Creek which flows into Sac River. When we stopped here our nearest neighbors was George Johnson and Sarah his wife, and Simon Peter Collins and Bethy his wife. Collins was a Baptist preacher. He had a brother whose name was Henry Collins. These families including ourselves lived In a black jack grove of timber. A few months after we had moved here a man of the name of Robertson taught a school near our house. Education was something new in Cedar County at that time and the people were a little backward about sending their children to school. Where
we come from in Iowa education among the people had been pushed forward and I and my brother Jake had learned to read well in McGuffeys 4th reader and had learned to spell in the old elementary speller. On the first day that Robertson taught this school I and my brother Jake taken the 4 reader with us expecting to take lessons in it but when we handed the books to the teacher he proved to be cranky, ill tempered and self conceited. And says to us, "you gentlemen take them books back home, I know nothing about them and you don’t either" and gave us a short lesson in a childs primmer that we already knew by heart. He made sport of our 4th readers which caused I and my brother to have an ill feeling against the teacher. I had only attended school but a few days when I and the teacher fell out over a frivolous matter and he gave me a severe whipping. Among my school mates were Jass Long, Sim Pyle, Dutch Pyle, Will Gidding and Debbie Gidding. These boys were all good associates of mine and they knew the teacher was to fast and the boys protested against Robertson threshing me so severely and wanted to know of him why he whipped me and the only excuse he offered in approval of it was that I was not a Missourian. As this school was the first one I and my ever attended that the students spelled out we called it a "Blab mouthed school". When the writer interviewed Mr. Deardorff he lived about 2 ½ miles from Protem between this place and Big Creek.

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