The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

One among the horrible accounts of the atrocities perpetrated by guerrillas and other blood thirsty men of war days is this one which was furnished me by Mrs. Elvira Eoff, wife of Mr. Billy Eoff. Mrs. Eoff is a daughter of Jethrey and Nancy Pennywell. She was born in Wilson County, Tennessee, December 29th, 1833. Her father was killed at Granby, Mo. Her mother was found dead in bed. The remains of her father and mother rest In a graveyard near where her father was killed. Mrs. Eoff’s grandfather on her mother’s side was Thomas Whitlock and was born and reared in Virginia. Mrs. Eoff came to the Arkansas River when she was quite young and seen them putting up the first house at Dardanelle In 1844. She came to what Is now Boone County, Ark., in the year 1853 where her and Mr. Eoff were married in a few months after her arrival there. She says that she recollects that Eli King as being the first man who went Into business at Bellfonte. He had a small grocery store there. Soon after this Bill Potts put up a little dry goods store there. In speaking of some of the awful murders and tortures that were enacted in Boone County during war times, Mrs. Eoff related the following. "Dan Wilson, a noted Methodist preacher who lived on the left prong of Crooked Creek, was captured one day with Al Parker, son of Berry Parker, and another man whose name is forgotten and conducted to the edge of the timber near the Huzza Prairie 4 miles from his home. Mr. Wilson was a prayerful man and he prayed all the way from home. His captors tried to make him keep quiet, but he continued his devotions in spite of their threats, when one of the bushwhackers remarked that he could stop his fuss and grabbed him and with the assistance of his partners in crime, he pulled his tongue out and cut part of It off. Soon after this they killed the three men and laid their inanimate forms between two logs and covered them with leaves, chunks and a little dirt. They lay there a few days before they were discovered. Some of the women of the neighborhood taken the fore wheels of a wagon drawn by a yoke of oxen and hauled the dead bodies to the Billy Eoff graveyard 4 miles from Bellfonte and gave them as decent a burial as circumstances would permit. Among the ladies who assisted at this grim work was Pop Max, wife of Lewis Max and sister of Mr. Wilson."

Mrs. Elvira Eoff died in Taney County, Mo., 3 ½ miles S.E. of Protem May 25, 1907, and was buried in the cemetery at Protem on the evening of the following day after her death.

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