The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Among accounts of sorrowful and pitiable scenes I have gathered from the pioneer settlers is this one which was furnished me by Mrs. Elizabeth Clark daughter of Wm. Holt who lived on the farm just above the mouth of Shoal Creek. She said that many years ago two brothers lived on the left bank of the river in what is now Keesee Township Marion County, Ark. on what was once known as the Mat Hoodenpyle Place and the Peter Hoodenpyle Place. This last place is known now as the John Riddle land. Solomon Loveall and Silas Loveall were their names. Silas lived in the upper end of the bottom opposite Bradleys ferry. Solomon lived across the hollow from where the Mat Hoodenpile residence stood years afterward. Silas Lovealls wifes name was Mary Ann. He also had a little girl named Mary Ann who died while they lived in the bottom and they buried her in the Hoodenpyle Grave Yard. Solomon’s wife was named Peggie. During a lasting spell of cold weather and snow in the winter of 1849-50 Solomon had an attack of pneumonia which the settlers called winter fever or lung fever the name of which was more appropriate than the first named. He suffered a great deal and continued to grow worse until lie was nigh unto death. There were only a few people living in the neighborhood where the Lovealls lived. But that did not matter how far they lived off the people would leave their homes a long distance off and come and wait on the sick man. Bill (River Bill) Coker who lived on the right bank of the river above where Bradley’s Ferry is now would take two of his slave men and go to the sick mans house of nights and render all the aid he could to make the suffering man as comfortable as circumstances would admit. The duty of the two negroes were to chop wood and keep up good fires. "One night," said Mrs. Clark, "I and my brother R. S. (Dick) Holt went to Mr. Lovealls to assist to wait on him and during the night he become much worse, he was so desperately bad that we expected him to pass away at any moment. Rube Denton and Polly Denton his wife was there. John Fritts son of George Fritts and his wife whose name was Martha, daughter of old John Graham were there also, We had all give him up and expected the death angel to appear at any hour and Solomon believed it too. He was a chair maker and had worked hard at his trade, and had several chairs on hand and the man had promised a few chairs to parties who lived a long distance off and they had paid Mr. Loveall in advance for them. His wife had waited on her husband so long that her strength was almost exhausted and the friends and neighbors who had collected there that night had insisted on the devoted wife to retire to bed and rest and sleep and they would take care of her husband. Mr. Loveall thinking that he was not long for this world called his brother Silas to his bed side and informed him of the debts he owed and the men’s names that had paid him for chairs and who had not received them yet. The man though suffering severely and breathing hard gave his brother all the directions necessary and was very particular about those debts to be paid in chairs and "the chairs are ready" said he. His brother made a solemn promise that he would see that all was made right with every one he owed and Solomon seemed now to be well pleased and remarked to his brother, "Silas, I can go satisfied now". Solomons wife woke up just before her husband and his brother quit talking and on finding out what the conversation between her sick husband and his brother related to gave up in tears and grief. She was nearly exhausted for the want of rest. She had been faithful to do all in her power to administer to the comfort of her dying husband. They were in a far off land away from nearly all their kindred and friends and among strangers but those people who they called strangers were kind to them and had been watchful and careful to do all in their power to relieve their wants and distress, they had visited them often both day and night and there was not a time during her husbands illness that they needed help but that those people were ready to aid them in some way that was useful and acceptable. Poor woman her sorrow was great, what would she do? Then she went to the bed side where her dear husband lay moaning from the effects of the extreme pain in his lungs and begged him not to die that she could not give him up and after she had appealed to him repeatedly not to leave her she began to pray for his recovery and sent her prayers up to Heaven to save her husband from death. "Oh great God of Heaven" she prayed, "Please do not let my poor sick man die. If you do dear Lord, I will be left alone with my dear little children to face sore trials of this world and starvation. Oh dear Lord, I appeal to you with an humble heart to restore my beloved sick husband to health again". And thus ending her prayer she grew more hopeful and was willing to trust in God, and to the surprise of all it seemed that the woman’s petition to the all wise God for the preservation of her husbands life was answered for from that hour the man did not suffer so bad and commenced to mend and gradually improved in strength and his breathing grew easier and his suffering was less severe until he entirely recovered his usual health and in the following spring which was in 1850 he and his brother Silas moved back to the state of Iowa where they originally lived."

The writer will state that he remembers meeting the two Loveall families in Katies Prairie north of Elbow Creek in Taney County Mo. one Sunday after they had started to move back to Iowa. They were moving in ox wagons.

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