The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Years ago the main road between the Sugar Loaf country and Yellville, Ark. struck Georges Creek 6 ½ miles from Yellville and followed it 2 ½ miles when it left the creek and led by the residence of W. C. Whitlock who lived on the ridge 3 miles north of Yellville as has already been said. Mr. Whitlock was cruelly murdered in war days and his family moved into Missouri where they remained until 1867 when they returned back to their home. Among Mr. Whitlocks children was a daughter named Sarah Emiline who sickened and died in the latter part of 1857. The bereaved parents loved their child so dearly that they had her body buried in the orchard that was in front of the door yard. Here they could care for her grave by planting flowers and prevent the weeds from growing over it. There was some consolation to the parents in having the remains of their beloved child resting near the house so they could look out at the door and see the little mound of dirt which hid the mortal remains of their darling daughter, but after Mr. Whitlock was killed and his family was forced to leave their home they had to leave the grave unguarded and the fence around the orchard was soon destroyed and the little mound was trod upon by stock and it was also soon covered with weeds and bushes. But when the family returned it was not neglected, the weeds and bushes were cleaned off and the grave put in its usual shape. In a few years Mrs. Whitlock realized that they would have to give up their home and live elsewhere and not desiring to go off and leave the grave of her child to be neglected and likely to be plowed over at some future time she decided to have the remains taken up and buried in the grave yard where her father received interment on Lee’s Mountain.

Mrs. Lizzie B. Brown give me an account of the exhuming of the body.

Mrs. Brown is a sister of the dead girl and said that she was taken up in about 3 years after they returned home. Mrs. Brown said that the coffin was in a good state of preservation and on opening the coffin she said, "My sisters face with the exception of the flesh being dried on the bones presented a natural appearance. All the features showed distinctly. A few locks of hair had become detached from the head but with the exceptions of that the hair and its dressing had retained its shape and color. The ear rings had dropped from the ears and lay in the bottom of the coffin".

The writer will say here that he has seen this grave on several occasions while passing the residence of Mr. Whitlocks and also viewed the grave a year or two after the remains had been exhumed and reintered.

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