The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

In the cemetery at Protem, Missouri, is a grave with the following words and figures: "W. H. (Bill) Tackette One of the Mountain Meadow Survivors. Born January 20,1856 aged 35 years, 6 months and 6 days." Mr. Tackette was too young to remember anything about that terrible massacre on the 18 of September, 1857. But his brother, Milam Tackette, who was a year or more older than he could remember some of the horrible incidents of that blood curdling affair. One of the harrowing scenes that he could call to mind was that he saw one of the murderers of these helpless imigrants pursue his mother to the hind end of a wagon and there strike her down and kill her with an instrument by hitting her on the back of the head with it. The murdering of these men and women and the children that was large enough to tell about it was a horrible affair and the people of the United States will never forget it.

Bill Tackette married Miss Viney Harris, daughter of Mr. E. E. Harris, who died near Protem and is buried in the cemetery there. Mr. Tackette and his wife lived a number of years on Shoal Creek just above the town of Protem.

Charley Stallcup and his wife fell victims to this awful massacre. Stallcup’s wife was Winnie Wood, daughter of George Wood who owned the mill at the Big Spring on East Sugar Loaf Creek. A number of years before the Mountain Meadow massacre Stallcup lived in the old Rube Denton house at the Bucks Shoals Ford on White River in what is now Keesee township in Marion County, Arkansas. It was told by a some of the settlers that Charley Stallcup was with George Coker when he went to Jake Navels house to kill him. Cage Hogan had come to Mr. Navels to warn him of danger and had just left when Coker and Stallcup come. When Coker rode up he made his horse leap over the yard fence into the door yard. Then he made his horse go on to Navels porch and Nave warned him to ride off of the porch and Coker refused then Nave took hold of the bridle rein and lead the horse off. Nave was a widower then. His wife, Mrs. Sally Nave, died a year or more before, leaving several little children and Mr. Nave put the children up on the bed to prevent Coker from running over them with his horse. As soon as Nave lead the horse off the porch Coker forced the horse back on the porch and rode him into the house and Nave lead him out. At this Coker drew his pistol to shoot Nave but the latter was prepared and shot Coker twice before he could shoot Nave and he fell from his horse dead. In the meantime Stallcup had hid in the chimney corner and When Coker fell Nave run around the house to hunt for him but Stallcup was gone. Nave killed Coker with a 7 shot pepper box revolver, and he marked the two barrels that the balls were shot from that he killed Coker with. Mr. Nave lived at the Big Spring in what is now known as the Jake Nave Bend on White River in Boone County, Arkansas. Nave had many friends and he lay concealed in the White River bluffs many days before the excitement of Coker’s friends died out. Navels friends were true to him and carried him provision where he was concealed. Nave stayed in the bluff at the mouth of Shoal Creek a number of days where he never lacked for anything to eat. He also remained in the bluff several days on the west side of Little North Fork from the mouth of Spring Creek where John and Abe Nave, his brothers, and others befriended him.

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