The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

The following is a peculiar account and was told me by Mr. Ira T. Davis near Choska Indian Territory one day in the month of January 1904. Said he, "While I lived in Southern Missouri a prominent merchant of the name of Campbell lived in West Plains Howell County. Mr. Campbell was a drinking man but was well liked by the most of people and had many friends. Outside of his drinking too freely he bore an excellent character. He did not use profane language nor allow it used in his house. Altogether he was a civil man. One Sunday during a protracted meeting which was held in the town Mr. Campbell and Mary Campbell his wife attended the 11 a.m. services. The preacher in the course of his sermon spoke rather abusive of drunkards and drunkenness in general to which Mr. Campbell took offense and told his wife after dinner that if she desired to attend the evening services she was at liberty to do so "But I am not going back for I think the preacher used unnecessary language about me—that it is none of his business how much whiskey I drink for I pay for it and its no ones business but my own. I attend to my own affairs and do not harm anybody and do not try to run anybodys business but my own. Soon after his wife had left the dwelling on her way back to meeting, Mr. Campbell who was alone at the house said he heard a peculiar voice that informed him that he must die on the following day at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Though. this noise appeared very strange yet he believed it was some of his friends playing a prank on him and he searched all through the house and around it to locate the noise and find the one that produced it but failed to do so. The voice continued to speak to him at short intervals using the same tone and words repeatedly that he must die at three o’clock in the afternoon on the following Monday. When his wife come back to the house from meeting she found her husband excited and anxious about something and she says "What is wrong" and he told her what he had heard while she was gone to meeting—that some strange voice had told him he must dieat 3 o’clock the next evening and stopping a moment he says "Can’t you hear it now" and she answered in the negative, and he says "I can hear it plain now and it is a warning of my death" and he ask his wife to request some of the preachers to move the meeting to his house which was done on the following day according to Campbells wish. When the services commenced Campbell said he could not get humble enough to please God and that he wanted to prostrate himself on the ground and ask the people to take up the floor and remove it out of the house and they did so and Campbell got down on the ground under where the floor had been and prayed. Doctors were present to note his condition and demise if such should be the case. At last as the religious services were carried on and when 3 o’clock came around Mr. Campbell died sure enough and when the physicians announced his death a great excitement in the congregation followed and services closed for the time. Mr. Davis said that this incident occurred in West Plains in the year 1876 and gives the following names as references. Will McGinty, John McGinty and Mrs. Martha Jackson, the last named was a sister to Mr. Campbells wife. The two McGintys were nephews of Campbells and a host of other people could testify to this strange and peculiar case," said Mr. Davis.

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