The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

A horrible account of the death of a lady in Green County, Mo. in the long ago was furnished me by Mr. Jams Thomas a former residence of Green County, Mo. four miles northeast of Springfield. In furnishing the account Mr. Thomas said that Warren Steward was one of the early settlers of Green County in the neighborhood where his father Mr. Woodman Thomas lived one night his wife who was an industrious and kind hearted woman went to a neighbors house to assist in waiting on a member of the family that was sick and returned back home before day break. As the weather was bitter cold she found that her husband had kept a rousing fire in the fire place all night to keep the room warm but on her arrival Mr. Steward and the children were in bed asleep. Feeling very tired and sleepy Mrs. Steward sit down in a chair before the fire to rest and warm herself before retiring to bed. She had not sit down but a few minutes before she dropped into a deep sleep and pitched head foremost into the fire. Of course this awakened her instantly but not before her face and hands were seriously burned and her clothing caught on fire. Her screams and noise of the scramble to get out of the fire awoke her husband and children and they all leaped from the beds and run to assist her as soon as possible. She wore a dress of cotton cloth of her own manufacture and it was easy to ignite and before her husband could get ahold of her the eating flames had enveloped her and she darted out of the house and with heart rending screams she made for the spring as fast as she could go. On reaching the water she leaped into it and with agonizing pain she rolled in it and extinguished the fire before any of the family were able to get to her. But too late the fire had done its deadly work and the poor woman lingered a few hours only when death put an end to her terrible agony and suffering.

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