Edward Pulliam, 1636, Henrico County, Virginia, Ancestor of James Hart

Edward Pulliam, Immigrant Ancestor of James Hart, 1636 Henrico County, Virginia

All Saints Church, Ripley, Yorkshire, England


All Saints Church dates from the 14th Century,

and this building or an earlier version of it

stood in Ripley when Edward Pulliam,

my paternal great great grandmother Nicey Pulliam Hart’s

immigrant ancestor, was born there in 1607.

Edward Pulliam emigrated to Virginia in 1636.

. .


. .

This family descent chart leads to

 Nicey Pulliam* who married Alfred Evans Hart

of Callaway County, Missouri (ca. 1600-1833)

and follows with their family descent to the present.


Edward Pulliam’s parents are as yet undetermined


Edward Pulliam

was born between 1600 and 1606 in Ripley, Yorkshire, England

(another source specifies 1607)

and emigrated to Virginia Colony in 1636.

His date of death and his wife’s name are unknown.

Father of James Pulliam


James Pulliam married Mary Clarke

was born about 1640 in Hanover County, Virginia

Mary Clarke was born in London, England

Parents of William Pulliam, Sr.


William Pulliam, Sr. married Ann Patterson

about 1687 in New Kent County, Virginia

was born about 1665 in Hanover County, Virginia and died after 1715

Ann Patterson was born about 1667 in Virginia


James Pulliam – b. ca. 1689

William Pulliam, Jr. – b. 1690

John Pulliam – b. ca. 1695

Benjamin Pulliam – b. ca. 1700

Anne Pulliam – b. 1701, d. 1794

Thomas Obadiah Pulliam – b. May 12, 1702

Patterson Pulliam – b. ca. 1705


John Pulliam married Agnes Allen

born 1695 and died February 6, 1734 in Hanover County, Virginia


William Pulliam, John Pulliam, Jr., Drewry Pulliam,

Agness Pulliam, Elizabeth Pulliam, Sarah Pulliam, Joseph Pulliam,

James Pulliam, Sr.


James Pulliam, Sr. married Elizabeth Allen Stone

February 28, 1757 in Lunenburg County, Virginia

was born ca. 1726 in Lunenburg County, Virginia

and died September 19, 1799 in Person County, North Carolina

Elizabeth Allen Stone was born about 1741 in Virginia

and died in May 1819 in Person County, North Carolina


Elizabeth Anne Pulliam – b. November 22, 1769

John Winn Pulliam – b. October 10, 1765

Richard Pulliam – b. September 9, 1763

Byrd Pulliam – b. November 11, 1767, d. 1866

Mary Stone Pulliam – b. July 26, 1761

Susannah T. Pulliam – b. March 9, 1772

Agnes Allen Pulliam – b. April 3, 1776

James Pulliam, Jr. – b. June 25, 1774

Drury Allen Pulliam – b. March 28, 1778

Anne Sargent Pulliam – b. September 3, 1780


Drury Allen Pulliam married Susannah Gilliam Williams

on December 3, 1798 in Person County, North Carolina

was born March 28, 1778 in Lunenburg County, Virginia and died ?

possibly in Callaway County, Missouri

Susannah Gilliam Williams was born October 31, 1776 and her death

is noted in the Hart Family Bible for February 3, 1848.


A historical note about Drewsy Allen Pulliam published in 

William and Mary Quarterly follows at the end of this post.



Mary W. – b. September 7, 1800

John Winn – b. 1801, d. ?

m. Elizabeth Hart in 1833 (sister of AEH)

Agnes – b. 1800-1803?, d. 1880 *

m. Samuel Cole in 1851 ~ see Hart Family Bible

James William – b. March 2, 1804

Letha – b. abt. May 6, 1809, d. January 15, 1892

in Carroll County, Missouri

Henry – b. 1811 *

Banister – b. 1813, d. aft. 1880

m. Nancy Ingram in 1833

Nicey Pulliam

b. January 18, 1814 in Virginia

and d. August 22, 1843 in Callaway County, Missouri

Martha Ann – b. July 20, 1816, d. September 12, 1888

m. Andrew Jackson “Jack”  Stan(d)ley in 1847

Aurillia – b. August 29, 1818, d. August 13, 1909 *

see next page below regarding 1850 Census


Nicey Pulliam married Alfred Evans Hart

on January 17, 1833 in Callaway County, Missouri

Alfred Evans Hart  was born July 29, 1805 in Halifax County, Virginia

and died May 9, 1872 in Pocahontas, Randolph County, Arkansas


All of them born in Callaway County, Missouri

Mary Ann Hatcher Hart – b. June 9, 1834

Susannah Gilliam Hart – b. July 17, 1836

Henry Adkinson Hart – b. August 25, 1838

Thomas Jefferson Hart – b. October 9, 1840

Benjamin Johnson Hart – b. July 25, 1842


*1850 Census of Carroll County, Missouri:  Henry, Agnes, and Aurillia Pulliam

are living together and raising Henry Adkinson Hart and Benjamin Johnson Hart,

sons of Nicey Pulliam (dec.) and Alfred Evans Hart (remarried / Arkansas).

Mary Ann Hatcher Hart

married John R. Newman on February 7, 1855

in Callaway County, Missouri

She died February 10, 1917 in Carroll County, Missouri

Susannah Gilliam Hart

married Moses Stanley – date unknown

Henry Adkinson Hart

married Parilee Stanley on October 28, 1858

Thomas Jefferson Hart

married Elizabeth Jane Brock on December 17, 1861


Benjamin Johnson Hart married Amanda Lou Austin

on December 13, 1866 probably in Carroll County, Missouri

was born July 25, 1842 in ? and died October 26, 1924 in Carroll County, Missouri

Amanda Lou Austin

was born August 5, 1846 probably in Carroll County, Missouri

and died December 27, 1926 in Carroll County, Missouri


James Alfred Hart – b. October 29, 1867

Emma Willard Hart – b. March 5, 1869

Lenora Hart – b. June 1, 1871

Ann Eliza Hart – b. April 4, 1873

Keturah Sena Hart – b. February 1, 1877

Mary Lizzabeth (Elizabeth?) Hart b. June 9, 1879

Robert Thomas Hart – b. March 21, 1882

Grover Benjamin Hart – b. March 10, 1885

Joseph Yuen Hart – b. May 10, 1890


Robert Thomas Hart married Lovie Glenora Bowles

on March 30, 1904 probably in Carroll County, Missouri

was born on March 30, 1882 probably in Carroll County, Missouri

and died on January 5, 1955 in Carroll County, Missouri

Lovie Glenora Bowles

was born October 31, 1884 probably in Carroll County, Missouri

and died on June 16, 1965 in Livingston County, Missouri


Cecil Oren Hart – b. September 4, 1905

Vercil Robert Hart – b. December 7, 1906

James Martin Hart – b. March 30, 1910

Gladys Lou Hart – b. August 23, 1912

Charles Ray Hart – b. September 3, 1916


James Martin Hart married Alene May Wagaman

on July 6, 1951 in Auburn, New York

was born March 30, 1910 near Norborne, Missouri

and died October 7, 1979 in Carrollton, Missouri

Alene Wagaman was born October 8, 1918 in Kansas City, Missouri

and died December 2, 1990 in Columbia, Missouri


James Martin Hart, Jr.

was born on January 14, 1953 in Monticello, Iowa

Donald Ray Hart

was born on October 4, 1954 in Junction City, Kansas


James Martin Hart, Jr. married Denise Gayle Rauscher

on June 14, 1980 in Brookfield, Missouri

Denise Rauscher was born July 20, 1953 in Kansas City, Missouri


Nathaniel Austin Hart

was born September 11, 1983 in Chillicothe, Missouri

Ethan Tyler Hart

was born July 15, 1985 in Chillicothe, Missouri

Two genealogical databases note hfer as Nicy Pullium, name spelled

differently than her ancestors’ Pulliam.  *In addition, the Hart Family Bible

of Benjamin J. Hart and Robert T. Hart spells her name as Nicey Pullium.

I have chosen the conventional Nicey Pulliam.

The Pulliam Family details preceding Nicey Pulliam and Alfred Evans Hart

were provided to me in email attachments by Sharon Catlin Coleman in 2001.

Drewsy Allen Pulliam

Drewsy Allen Pulliam was one of the youngest of James and Elizabeth’s ten
(10) children. The 1820 Census lists fourteen people in Drewsy A. Pulliam’s
household but may include some of the minor children orphaned by the
previous deaths of his brothers and sister. Yet, it is certainly not
inconceivable that he and Susannah could have produced twelve (12) children
in twenty-one years. Banister Pulliam was one of their children and the
records indicate that he was the youngest son.

Sometime between August of 1823 and August of 1824, Drewsy Allen Pulliam
joined other members of his family in a westward migration. He had sold his
interest in his father’s 160 acre estate to his brother Byrd in 1821, and
two years later he was forced to mortgage all his personal property. Leaving
the Gents (now Ghents) Creek area of Person County, North Carolina, several
members of the family went directly to Tennessee where they were living by
1830, but Drewsy Allen Pulliam stopped for a while in western North Carolina
somewhere in the Macon County area. He did not buy land while in the area so
it is impossible to say precisely where he resided. On February 22, 1833,
Drury A.’s son, Banister, married Nancy Ingram, daughter of Goldman Ingram.
Since Goldman had married a full blooded Cherokee (Jemima), it seems
reasonable to assume that Drewsy Allen Pulliam had settled in the part of
Macon County still belonging to the Cherokee Indians. Since the land was not
then open for settlement, he could not take a title to the property, and it
appears that he moved on to Tennessee before the land was officially opened
and Cherokee County created. By 1840, Drewsy Allen Pulliam was living in
Montgomery County, Tennessee.

(Information from Dr. Jerry Cross, genealogist, Cary, North Carolina: 164
William & Mary Quarterly, Vol 21, (1) 57.)


Family of Alfred Evans Hart (1805-1872)

Family of Alfred Evans Hart (1805-1979)

Old Randolph County Courthouse at Pocahontas, Arkansas


new Randolph_County_Arkansas_Courthouse

New Randolph County Courthouse


Randolph_ar map

Randolph County borders southern Missouri, near the bootheel, and Pocahontas is the county seat.


Descendants of Alfred Evans Hart

For years Alfred Evans Hart’s name was only a name in a family bible, and I knew nothing about him except his birth and marriage dates and that he was my great great grandfather. I knew his children’s names and I knew when his wife died. For reasons unknown to me as a teenager, our family did not know when he died or know any other details about his life. That changed when I made the acquaintance of Sharon Catlin Coleman in 2000.

After we met online through a family history forum for the Hart Family, Sharon, a descendant of Henry Adkinson Hart, and I, a descendant of Benjamin Johnson Hart, brothers and sons of Alfred, worked together during 2000 and 2001 to piece together the history of Alfred Evans Hart, whose history was lost to us. How that came to be is a sad moment of family history for which I still do not know all the particulars. Until our work together, all that I knew of Alfred Evans Hart were the details referred to in the family bible that belonged to his son Benjamin (See my recent March 3 post: Benjamin Hart’s Family Bible Record.) Other names listed in the bible record and their relationships were not clear to me until I met Sharon, who gave me her family history notes and her insight into the Pulliam Family.

What I did learn first of Alfred’s early fate was this: After my great great grandmother Nicey Pulliam Hart died in Callaway County, Missouri, in 1843, about a year after Benjamin’s birth in 1842 (he was the fifth and youngest child), Alfred apparently placed his five children with various members of his Hart siblings or with his wife’s Pulliam siblings and left. I mean left them . . . forever. From that point of 1843 onward until we started finding information about Alfred and Lucy Ann Stokes in Tennessee and Arkansas, everything about him was a blank, including his death. We knew pieces of his Callaway County life through the records of his father Nowel Alfred Hart’s estate, but that was it. And when I last talked to my now deceased aunt Gladys Hart Bunge in 2001 about family memories, she had no recollection at all of any stories about Alfred. She was born in 1912 and she was twelve when Benjamin died in 1924–she remembered him, but she knew he did not tell much of his childhood to pass down to his son Robert, her father. She did at the time recall a memory of Benjamin’s oldest sister, Mary Ann Hatcher Hart Newman, whom she called “Aunt Hatch” and whom she remembered as an old lady sitting on her farmhouse porch and smoking a pipe when Gladys visited her as a girl. That is a tiny fragment I love knowing now. She also vaguely recalled hearing the name Nowel, but with no particulars, just a shadowy recall of the name.

The following note is from Sharon Coleman’s Pulliam Family file (2000) entitled “Family Descent of Edward Pulliam, Emigrant,” and it verifies that Henry and Benjamin were being raised by three of Nicey’s siblings in Carroll County:

*1850 Census of Carroll County, Missouri:

Henry Pulliam, Agnes Pulliam, and Aurilla Pulliam are living together

and raising Henry Adkinson Hart and Benjamin Johnson Hart,

sons of Nicey Pulliam (dec.) and Alfred Evans Hart (presence unknown).


[Agnes Pulliam married Samuel Cole in 1851;

her marriage and death are noted in the Hart Family Bible.]

~ jmh 3.31.13 ~


Sharon and I share a common interest in my great great grandfather as indicated above. In August 2002 we met for two days in Pocahontas, Arkansas, and together we sifted through the probate records originally housed in the Old Courthouse, pictured above, and made copies of papers from the estate of Alfred Hart’s second wife Lucy Ann Stokes Hart. I think we may have copied some extant records from the estates of some of their children, but memory fails me at the moment, and like all forms of “good intentions” those papers are safely stored away somewhere here at Harthouse on Main, but I have not looked into them for some time. That will have to be a task for a later time and for perhaps another post on this blog. However, we could not have met together and pursued the courthouse searching that we did without the work of Tom Stokes of White Hall, Arkansas, who shared his family history research with us in 2001 after we found his name and connected with him through a Stokes Family forum. It was only after seeing his notes that we could verify we were indeed searching for the correct Alfred Hart (sometimes given in records with or without an E or Evans in his name), because Tom’s files included names and details of Sharon’s and my family ancestors which connected his Hart / Stokes history to our Hart / Pulliam history.

The remainder of this post is quite lengthy, but I am presenting it intact because I think to divide it would only confuse readers unfamiliar with the names and generations given here. Indeed, this file may only be of limited interest to someone who likes family history, but my real target is for future readers connected to Hart Family history who will want availability of this record for their own researches, whenever that may occur. Readers familiar with Family Tree Maker files or other genealogical files will be able to decipher this more easily. For readers approaching it with limited curiosity, I will warn with this disclaimer that currently most of this file is presented as it came to me from Tom Stokes twelve years ago, although I believe it may have some details added to it later by Sharon Coleman regarding her memories of people named in her branch of the family record. My memory for some of the details of the work we shared back and forth may be faulty here! The file has not been edited or corrected for questionable spellings of names nor have missing dates been added to it. I have also left intact certain explanatory notes in the text that may or may not be correct as a curiosity showing how these kinds of records shape and change as people piece them together from many sources over the context of many years, until someday someone may say “Voila! It is finished!” But can it every really be finished? For in some distant year someone will find one more detail to make one more leaf upon the tree.

James Hart, March 31, 2013


(The following family file for Alfred Evans Hart

is by Tom Stokes of White Hall, Arkansas)


Generation No. 1

1.  ALFRED EVANS HART was born July 29, 1805 in Halifax Co., VA, and died May 09, 1872 in Pocahontas, Randolph County, Arkansas.  He married (1) NICEY PULLIAM January 17, 1833 in Callaway Co., MO.  She was born January 18, 1814 in VA, and died August 22, 1843 in Callaway Co., MO.  He married (2) WILDA MOORE Aft. 1843 in ?.    He married (3) LUCY ANN E. STOKES Abt. 1850 in Lauderdale Co., TN, daughter of THOMAS W. STOKES and SARAH JANE DEWES.  She was born abt. September 1832 in Virginia, and died February 07, 1914 in Pocahontas, Randolph County, Arkansas.

[Sharon and I never could find anything to substantiate a marriage to Wilda Moore, shown above as marriage number 2; however, the birth dates given further down for daughters Martha (1847) and Sarah (1850) would seem to support the idea if Alfred married Lucy “about 1850.” I also do not understand the designations of “stepchild” given below for Lucy’s children born after 1850. jmh 3.31.13]


Jeanette (Kauffman) Girkin Redman says Alfred may have lived in Parker Co, TX with other Harts.  She also believes he married a second time, maybe in Parker Co., to a lady named “Josie” who appears on the 1920 census living with Henry Adkinson Hart. (It is believed Josie is Alfred’s daughter rather than his wife.)  She states further that she has been told Alfred remarried and had additional children; she has made a search of the Arkansas Census and found no information on him other than a possibility of:

White County Roll #, page 833, Gray Township, Arkansas taken June 6, 1860:  Hart, A. (Alfred?), living in dwelling with T.? Hart; age at time of census 60, white male, retired farmer, value of real estate $4,600; value of personal estate $1,000. Place of birth Virginia.  (Is this our missing Alfred Evans Hart?)

My research indicates Alfred may have died in Independence Co., AR in 1879.  It is believed his second wife was Lucy Ann Stokes [daughter of Thomas and Sarah Ann (nee?) STOKES) and that they were married in about 1850.  I believe Lucy Ann may have been born in Lauderdale Co., TN, and they were married in probably MO.  (The FHC library file [online] indicates they were married in Lauderdale Co., TN.)

Jeff Elliott has provided the name of Wilda Moore as the second wife–possibly from Gerald Hart’s research.  Could this mean Alfred could have been married three times?  With Wilda being wife #2 and Lucy Ann as wife #3?


May be spelled “Nicy.” [This spelling should be regarded as incorrect. jmh 3.31.13]


As per Randolph County Histories: Lucy was a good business woman and the Harts became successful in farming and stock raising.  Lucy was very good with horses and the ones she raised and trained became an extra source of income for the family especially when Alfred’s health began to fail.  A family story tells that in 1870, she was taking some horses to Pocahontas to sell when she was attacked by horse thieves.  She managed to fight them off with a whip and brought the horses racing into Pocahontas at a dead run.  The thieves were never identified but it became a family joke that she had tangled with Quantrell’s raiders and won.  Alfred died May 9, 1872, after a lengthy illness.  Lucy later married James M. Bradley.  In later years both relatives and friends began to call her “Grandman” Bradley as a term of respect.  After James Bradley’s death she married William Breeding but this marriage ended in divorce.  She spent her last days sharing a home with an unmarried daughter, Josephine Hart, near the home of another daughter, Mary Hart Abanathy in Attica community.  Lucy died February 7, 1914 after a long illness.  Her obituary states that she left four generations of descendants “which few families of this county can boast.”  They were daughter, Mrs. T. B. Abanathy, granddaughter, Mrs. Lucy Pettit, great granddaughter Mrs. Stone Eaton and great grandson, Baby Stone Eaton.  Many present day residents of Randolph County are descended from this pioneer couple.  (Information from public census records, newspaper records and private family records) By Maxine Meeks Notes for Alfred Evans Hart: {Alfred Hart family FTW}

Children of ALFRED HART and NICEY PULLIAM are:

i.    MARY ANN HATCHER2 HART, b. June 02, 1834, probably Callaway Co., MO; d. February 07, 1917, Carrollton, Carroll, MO.

ii.    SUSANNAH GILLIAM HART, b. July 17, 1836, MO; d. 1873, Carroll Co., MO.

iii.    HENRY ADKINSON HART, b. August 25, 1838, Callaway Co., MO; d. May 05, 1925, Owasso, Tulsa, OK.

iv.    THOMAS JEFFERSON HART, b. October 09, 1840, MO; d. January 09, 1902, Carrollton, Carroll, MO; m. ELIZABETH JANE BROCK, December 19, 1862, ?; b. March 08, 1840, ?; d. October 17, 1924, Carroll Co., MO.


On Roll 718 of the 1860 MO census at Wakenda, Carroll Co. the following is found:

Henry Pulliam, age 52, male, farmer, E/V $480; personal value $645, born VA.

Martha age 37, female, born KY

Jefferson Hart, age 19, born MO (this is Thomas Jefferson Hart, son of Alfred Evans and Nicey (Pulliam) Hart.)


Burial: Abt. January 09, 1902, Powell Cemetery, Carroll Co., MO43,44,45

v.    BENJAMIN JOHNSON HART, b. July 25, 1842, MO; d. October 26, 1924, Carrollton, Carroll, MO.


Children of ALFRED HART and LUCY STOKES are:

vi.    MARTHA W. HART, b. Abt. 1847.

vii.    WILLIAM SAMUEL HART, b. Abt. 1851.

viii.    SARAH E. HART, b. 1850, Missouri; Stepchild.

ix.    JAMES M. HART, b. November 1853, Lauderdale County, TN; Stepchild.

x.    JOSEPH G. HART, b. 1859, Independence County, AR; Stepchild; m. F.E. GORDON, April 02, 1880, Randolph County, AR; b. 1859, Randolph Co, AR.

xi.    AMERICA HART, b. 1862, Randolph County, AR; Stepchild.

xii.    JOSEPHINE HART, b. Abt. 1866, Randolph County, AR; Stepchild.

xiii.    JESSE HART, b. Bef. 1868, Randolph County, AR; Stepchild.

Generation No. 2

2.  MARY ANN HATCHER HART (ALFRED EVANS1) was born June 02, 1834 in probably Callaway Co., MO, and died February 07, 1917 in Carrollton, Carroll, MO.  She married JOHN R. NEWMAN February 08, 1855 in Carroll Co., MO.  He was born Unknown in South Carolina, and died 1872 in Callaway Co., MO?


Jeff Elliott’s family page indicates Mary Ann’s name was Mary Ann Hatcher Hart.


Burial: Abt. February 07, 1917, Powell Cemetery, Carroll Co., MO74,75,76

Children of MARY HART and JOHN NEWMAN are:

7.                i.    MARY ELIZABETH NEWMAN, b. October 31, 1857, Callaway Co., MO; d. October 12, 1892, Carroll Co., MO.

8.               ii.    THOMAS A. NEWMAN, b. Unknown, ?; d. December 18, 1931, ?.

3.  SUSANNAH GILLIAM HART (ALFRED EVANS1) was born July 17, 1836 in MO, and died 1873 in Carroll Co., MO.  She married MOSES STANDLEY February 02, 1853 in Carroll Co., MO.  He was born May 16, 1825 in KY, and died September 16, 1912 in Carroll Co., MO.


Susannah (or Susan) Hart was the sister of Henry Adkinson and Benjamin Hart.


2 Aug 1870 Census, Wakenda Twp., p. 449a

Moses Stanley  45  KY  Farmer  140/415

Susan                33  MO

Mary E.              19  MO

Nancy                13  MO

Madora T.          11  MO

Ben T (or J)         9  MO

Martha                 7  MO

Lydia T or L         5  MO

William H.           3  MO

Adie                4/12  MO born in April

1880 Carroll Co., MO Census

Moses Standley  54 b. KY parents VA

Martha J.             16

Benjamin            19

William N.           13

Lidda L.               15

Addy                    10

Allen                      8

1900 Van Horn Twp, Carroll Co., MO Census

Moses Standley  May  1825  75  KY  VA  VA living with son Benjamin


Burial: Aft. September 16, 1912, Powell Cemetery, Carroll Co., MO

Census: 1870, Wakenda Twp, Carroll Co., MO


i.    JAMES REUBEN STANDLEY, b. 1854, Carroll Co., MO; d. February 21, 1863, Carroll Co., MO.

9.               ii.    NICY JANE (NANCY) STANDLEY, b. 1857, MO; d. 1932, ?.

iii.    MADORA FRANCIS MATTIE” STANDLEY, b. 1859, Carroll Co., MO; d. Unknown, ?; m. JOHN BRANNER, Abt. 1886, MO?; b. October 1861, VA; d. Unknown, ?.

10.            iv.    BENJAMIN FRANKLIN STANDLEY, b. June 25, 1861, Carroll Co., MO; d. April 15, 1933, Carrollton, Carroll Co., MO.

v.    MARTHA STANDLEY, b. 1863, Carroll Co., MO; d. Unknown, ?.

11.            vi.    LYDIA T. STANDLEY, b. 1865, Carroll Co., MO; d. December 19, 1933, Omaha, NE.

vii.    WILLIAM H. STANDLEY, b. January 01, 1867, Trotter Twp, Carroll Co., MO; d. Bef. January 12, 1929, Carroll Co., MO.

viii.    ADA “ADDIE” STANDLEY, b. 1869, Carroll Co., MO; d. Unknown, ?; m. ? ADKINS, Unknown, ?; b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?.


1900 Census lists a servant in the Thadus M. Brandon household b. Feb 1872 aged 28 b. MO, father KY and mother MO.  This could be Addie who is listed on the 1870 census.

ix.    ALLEN A. STANDLEY, b. Abt. February 1872, Carroll Co., MO; d. Unknown, ?

4.  HENRY ADKINSON HART (ALFRED EVANS1) was born August 25, 1838 in Callaway Co., MO, and died May 05, 1925 in Owasso, Tulsa, OK.  He married PARLEE D. STANDLEY October 28, 1858 in Carroll Co., MO  (FHC IGI lists date as 26 Oct 1865).  She was born December 19, 1840 in Carroll Co., MO, and died December 21, 1905 in Owasso, Tulsa, OK.


Henry A. Hart served in the Civil War in the militia under Captain Reuben Standley (father of Henry’s wife Parlee) and Captain Beatty.  In 1849 he moved to Carroll Co., MO; in 1853 he moved to Callaway Co., MO, and in 1857 he returned to Carroll Co., Mo.  In 1876 he was living in Carrollton, MO.  He was a Mason and a farmer.  Some say he was also a teacher.  He had a white goatee mustache.

After moving to Oklahoma, he owned two sections of land west of Owasso, OK.  His son Frank (William Franklin) Hart, bought the property and Frank’s son Willie (Bud) obtained ownership.  In 1998, Willie’s widow, Janet, still lives on part of the property.  It is not known if she is living on all of the original land or not.

A probate record dated March 24, 1932 for H.A. Hart, Sr. is found at File #8202 Tulsa County Courthouse.

Jeanette (Kauffman) Girkin Redman was told Henry and his family moved to Indian Territory (near present day Owasso) by covered wagon and driving 1000 mules.  It is not known how Abraham Lincoln Kauffman became acquainted with the family.  A Jesse Madison came to Oklahoma with the Harts.  Jesse is identified on the 1880 census of Carroll Co., MO living with the Harts.

1880 Missouri census

Vol. 6, E.D. 151, Sheet 25, Line 47

Carroll Co., Beatty Street

Henry Hart, white, age 42, birthplace MO

Pamylee Hart, wife, age 38, birthplace MO

William F., son, age 19, state not reported

Mary B. (my great-grandmother), daughter, age 15, state not reported

Andrew, son, age 12, birthplace MO

Rilla M., daughter, age 8, birthplace MO

Emma J., daughter, age 5, birthplace MO

Sopha E., daughter, age 1, birthplace MO (should be Sophia Lee)

Also identified is Jesse Madison (taken to nurse), age 11 months, birthplace MO

From History of Carroll County, Missouri, St. Louis, Missouri Historical Company, published 1881, at page 660: “Henry A. Hart was born Aug 25, 1838 in Callaway Co., MO.  In 1849 he moved to Carroll County and lived there four years, then returned to Callaway County.  In 1857 he again moved to Carroll County, and has since made this county his home.  He has followed the occupation of farming all of his life.  In November 1858, he married Miss Parlee Standley, daughter of Reuben Standley.  During the war Mr. Hart was in the militia under Captains Standley and Beatty; he is the father of eight children, seven of whom are still living, and named as follows:  William F., Mary B., Andrew J., Rilla M., Emma J., Sopia L., and Henry A.  Mr. Hart and wife are members of the Methodist church; he is also a member of the Masonic fraternity.  Mr. Hart’s father Alfred Hart, was born in Virginia in 1805; he was a farmer all his life and died in Arkansas in 1872.  Mr. Hart’s mother died when he was quite small.”

In the 1850 census Henry A. Hart and Benjamin J. Hart are shown living with the Henry and Agnes Pulliam family.  It is assumed these are relatives of their mother, Nicy Pulliam.  Nicy (Pulliam) Hart died August 22, 1843, shortly after her son Benjamin was born (July 25, 1842).  In the 1850 census, Henry is 11 years and Benjamin is age 7.

In notes from Sam Sheehan’s (Sam I) letter to his children dated Christmas 1969, he says “. . .In the meantime, my mother, Sophia Lee Hart, and her family migrated from Carroll County, Missouri, to Indian Territory.  The Henry Atkins [sic] Hart family shipped much of their household effects to Claremore, Indian Territory, and drove in covered wagons that carried supplies, food for the family, livestock and dogs.  They unloaded the freight cars at Claremore and settled on what is now the Hallsel Ranch west of Owasso, evidently this settlement occurred about 1898 when the ‘Curtis Act’ was passed. . . .”  So, is his next paragraph, which states, “Henry A. Hart, prior to moving to Indian Territory from Carroll Co., MO, owned and operated a general store in northwest Arkansas.”  contradictory?


Census: 1850, Carroll Co., MO, Line 21, House # 142, Family # 142 (w/Pulliam family)146,147


Jeanette Girkins (Russell Kauffman’s daughter) says the tombstone reads Sophia (or Sofa) Parilee Hart. Jeanette took pictures of this and G-Grandpa Hart’s stones in 1979. There are also “a lot of” other Harts in the Owassa Cemetery.

Received e-mail from Alvin Brownlee saying her name is Parmalie D. Stanley.  On some WFT pages she is also shown as Darlie Stanley.


Seal to Spouse: 06 May 1966LA, Family History Center IGI, Duncanville, TX147


12.              i.    WILLIAM FRANKLIN “FRANK” HART, b. 1860, MO; d. 1923, Collinsville, Tulsa, OK.

13.             ii.    MARY BENNETT “MOLLIE” HART, b. November 03, 1865, Carrollton, Carroll, MO?; d. July 28, 1950, Ketchum, Craig, OK.

iii.    ANDREW JACKSON “JACK” HART, b. November 25, 1868, MO; d. July 22, 1944, Owasso, Tulsa, OK; m. ERMA (NEE?) HART, Unknown, ?; b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?.

iv.    RILLA M. “RILLY” HART, b. November 28, 1872, Carrollton, Carroll, MO; d. Unknown, Carrollton, Carroll, MO; m. DANIEL A. HENDERSON, February 27, 1890, Carroll Co., MO; b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?.

v.    EMMA JO HART, b. June 02, 1876, MO; d. October 26, 1946, Owasso, Tulsa, OK; m. ? GIBBONS, Unknown, ?; b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?.

Notes for EMMA JO HART:

Note Jeanette (Kauffman) Girkin Redman’s notes say Emma married a Mr. Gibbons.  She is buried at Fairview Cemetery in Owasso, Tulsa Co., OK as Emma Hart.

14.            vi.    SOPHIA LEE HART, b. December 02, 1878, Carrollton, Carroll, MO; d. September 03, 1940, Collinsville, Tulsa, OK.

vii.    HENRY A. “AD” HART, b. May 30, 1881, MO; d. October 03, 1950, Owasso, Tulsa, OK; m. NEVER MARRIED.

Notes for HENRY A. “AD” HART:

In “State of Missouri, History of McDonald County” reference is made on page 78, second full paragraph, “The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union was organized February 16, 1888, with the following named members:…Mrs. Mary Hart . . . Miss Addie M. Hart,   honorary members.  Mrs. America Chenoweth is president; Mrs. Kate Nichols corresponding and Miss Addie M. Hart recording secretary.  The present membership is twenty-three.”  Is our Add a female and this possibly our Add Hart?

15.           viii.    SAM HART, b. 1883, Carrollton, Carroll, MO; d. 1952, Owasso, Tulsa, OK.

5.  BENJAMIN JOHNSON HART (ALFRED EVANS) was born July 25, 1842 in MO, and died October 26, 1924 in Carrollton, Carroll, MO.  He married AMANDA LOU AUSTIN December 13, 1866 in Carrollton, Carroll, MO.  She was born August 05, 1846 in Livingston Co., MO, and died December 27, 1926 in Trotter Twp, Carrollton, Carroll, MO.


At the 1850 MO Census, Benjamin (aged 7) and his brother, Henry A. Hart (aged 11), are listed as living with Henry and Agnes Pulliam’s family.  Also in this household are Orilla(?) age 24 years.  The story I have been told  by several members of the family is that Alfred Evans Hart, Ben and Henry’s father, was despondent over the death of their mother, Nicey, and he left the boys to be raised by their “Pulliam grandparents.”

1880 census MO, Vol. 6, E.D. 15, Sheet 15, Line 37

Ben J. Hart, white male, age 30, birthplace MO, Carroll Co., MCD Beatty.

Amanda, wife, age 28, birthplace MO


James 11, birthplace MO

Emery 10, birthplace MO

Leaneora, age 8, birthplace MO

Anna E., age 7, birthplace MO

Seana C., age 4, birthplace MO

Mary E., age 1, birthplace MO

also listed in this household are:

Arrilla Pulliam, (aunt), age 65, birthplace VA

Agnes Cole (aunt), age 80, birthplace VA [this will be Agnes Pulliam who married Samuel Cole]


Burial: Abt. October 26, 1924, Ebenezer Cemetery, Carrollton, Carroll, MO179,180

Census: 1850, Carroll Co., Missouri, page 1, line 22181,182


Burial: Abt. September 16, 1941, Ebenezer Cemetery, Carrollton, Carroll, MO183,184


[I have more complete information.  JMH 8.1.2001]

i.    EMMA WILLARD HART, b. March 05, 1869, prob. Carrollton, Carroll, MO; d. August 02, 1949, prob. Carrollton, Carroll, MO.


Burial: Ebenezer Cemetery, Carrollton, Carroll, MO

16.             ii.    ROBERT THOMAS HART, b. March 30, 1882, prob. Carrollton, Carroll, MO; d. January 05, 1955, Carrollton, Carroll, MO.

iii.    JOSEPH YUEN HART, b. May 10, 1890, prob. Carrollton, Carroll, MO; d. September 17, 1970, Carrollton, Carroll, MO; m. MINNIE M(?); b. February 01, 1890, ?; d. October 28, 1951, prob. Carroll Co., MO.


Burial: Ebenezer Cemetery, Carrollton, Carroll, MO

iv.    JAMES ALFRED HART, b. Unknown, prob. Carrollton, Carroll, MO; d. Unknown, Carrollton, Carroll, MO.

More About JAMES A. HART:

Burial: Ebenezer Cemetery, Carrollton, Carroll, MO

v.    LENORA HART, b. Unknown, prob. Carrollton, Carroll, MO; d. Unknown, Carrollton, Carroll, MO; m. ? DOTSON, Unknown, ? b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?.


Burial: Ebenezer Cemetery, Carrollton, Carroll, MO

vi.    KENTURAH SENA HART, b. Unknown, prob. Carrollton, Carroll, MO; d. Unknown, Carrollton, Carroll, MO; m. ? BIRCH, Unknown, ?; b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?.


Burial: Ebenezer Cemetery, Carrollton, Carroll, MO

vii.    MARY ELIZABETH HART, b. Unknown, prob. Carrollton, Carroll, MO; d. Unknown, Carrollton, Carroll, MO; m. ? BRADSHAW, Unknown, ?; b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?.


Burial: Ebenezer Cemetery, Carrollton, Carroll, MO

17.           viii.    GROVER BENJAMIN HART, b. Unknown, prob. Carrollton, Carroll, MO; d. Unknown, Carrollton, Carroll, MO.

18.            ix.    ANNA E. HART, b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?.

6.  JAMES M. HART (ALFRED EVANS) was born November 1853 in Lauderdale County, TN.  He married (1) SARAH LUTICIA ASHWORTH November 10, 1872 in Randolph County, AR.  She was born Abt. 1853 in KY.  He married (2) IDA SEGRAVES 1896 in Randolph County, AR.

Children of JAMES HART and SARAH ASHWORTH are:

i.    BIRDIE HART, b. Abt. 1876.

ii.    CHARLES HART, b. Abt. 1878.

19.            iii.    LUCY A. HART, b. December 17, 1882, Randolph Co, AR; d. May 09, 1962, Randolph Co, AR.

iv.    THOMAS G. HART.


vi.    CLARA HART.


Children of JAMES HART and IDA SEGRAVES are:


ix.    JESSE HART.

x.    JAKE HART.

xi.    LILIA HART.

xii.    MAY HART.

xiii.    LUCY HART.

xiv.    THOMAS HART.


Generation No. 3

7.  MARY ELIZABETH NEWMAN (MARY ANN HATCHER HART, ALFRED EVANS) was born October 31, 1857 in Callaway Co., MO, and died October 12, 1892 in Carroll Co., MO.  She married JAMES ALLEN STANLEY November 13, 1876 in Carroll Co., MO.  He was born November 24, 1847 in Callaway Co., MO, and died December 29, 1913 in Trotter Twp., Carroll Co., MO. [Both are buried in Powell Cemetery, Carroll County, Mo.]


Burial: Powell Cemetery, Carroll Co., MO

Children of MARY NEWMAN and JAMES STANLEY are:

i.    INA (LAVINA?) STANDLEY, b. October 24, 1877, Carroll Co., MO; d. February 04, 1964, Carroll Co., MO; m. EWELL PAYTON SHERWOOD, October 26, 1904, Carroll Co., MO; b. March 04, 1877, Carroll Co., MO; d. December 15, 1932, Carroll Co., MO.

ii.    DORA A. STANDLEY, b. Abt. 1879, Carroll Co., MO.

iii.    VADA STANDLEY, b. Abt. October 1882.

8.  THOMAS A. NEWMAN (MARY ANN HATCHER HART, ALFRED EVANS) was born Unknown in ?, and died December 18, 1931 in ?.  He married MARY ANN ROSE November 05, 1891 in Carroll Co., MO.  She was born Unknown in ?, and died July 03, 1957 in ?.

Children of THOMAS NEWMAN and MARY ROSE are:

i.    ONA NEWMAN, b. October 16, 1892, Carroll Co., MO; d. December 07, 1974, Carroll Co., MO.

ii.    RHODA NEWMAN, b. May 31, 1895.


[Alfred Hart Family. FTW]

Still living in Carrollton, Carroll,  MO

iii.    IRMA NEWMAN, b. August 21, 1895, ?; d. Unknown, ?; m. CLARENCE FARRIS, 1923, ?; b. Unknown, ?; d. 1973, ?.


Residence: Abt. 1983, Lebanon, Oregon

iv.    LESLIE NEWMAN, b. June 01, 1901; d. March 1998, Carroll Co., MO.

9.  NICY JANE (NANCY) STANDLEY (SUSANNAH GILLIAM HART, ALFRED EVANS) was born 1857 in MO, and died 1932 in ?.  She married JOHN A. COOPER August 21, 1881 in Carroll Co., MO.  He was born 1857 in ?, and died 1911 in ?.


Burial: Beatty Cemetery, Carroll Co., MO

More About JOHN A. COOPER:

Burial: Beatty Cemetery, Carroll Co., MO

Children of NICY STANDLEY and JOHN COOPER are:

i.    SUSAN F. COOPER, b. 1882, MO; d. 1882, MO.


Burial: Beatty Cemetery, Carroll Co., MO

ii.    DORA LEE COOPER, b. 1883, MO; d. 1884, MO.


Burial: Beatty Cemetery, Carroll Co., MO

iii.    MARION L. COOPER IV, b. 1885, MO; d. 1892, ?.


Burial: Beatty Cemetery, Carroll Co., MO

10.  BENJAMIN FRANKLIN STANDLEY (SUSANNAH GILLIAM2 HART, ALFRED EVANS) was born June 25, 1861 in Carroll Co., MO, and died April 15, 1933 in Carrollton, Carroll Co., MO.  He married MINNIE JANE THOMAS February 29, 1888 in prob Carroll Co., MO.  She was born April 06, 1871 in Tippecanoe Co., IN, and died September 05, 1933 in Carroll Co., MO.


From:  Republican Record 21 Apr 1933.

Death Summons to Benjamin F. Stanley.  Benjamin Franklin Stanley, a well known farmer residing west of Carrollton MO, son of Moses and Susan (Hart) Stanley, was b. in Carroll Co Mo 25 Jun 1861 d. at his home Saturday 15 Apr 1933 after some years of suffering from anemia and was bedfast for nearly a year.

His mother died when he was yet of tender years, the father in 1912, Sep 16th.  Preceded in death by 3 brothers and 2 sisters, three dying in infancy.  A brother Wm. H. Stanley d. Jun 1930 and a sister Mrs. Nicy Cooper 6 Jun 1932.  Survived by a brother A. A. Stanley of Tulsa OK and four sisters.  Mrs. Mattie Branner of Carrollton; Mrs. Mary Nicodemus of Chicago; Mrs. Lydia Cochran of Omaha and Mrs. Ada Adkins of Sugar Creek community.

On Feb 29 1881 he married Minnie Thomas.  They had 8 children, 3 died in infancy, youngest child Orville Lee died 1917.  Survivors; Oliver and Roy of the home.  Scott of the vicinity, Earl and Mrs Fred Howland living north and west of the home and from Carrollton.

Attending the funeral from a distance; Mr. and Mrs. Ed Willowby of KC; Mrs. Ada Adkins and son of Sugar Creek; Mrs. Mattie Branner of Carrollton; Funeral held Monday Apr 17 at Beaty church conducted by Rev. Ralph E. Powell, burial at Powell Cemetery.


Burial: April 17, 1933, Buried at Powell Cemetery, Carroll Co., MO


From 8 Sep 1933 issue The Republican Reporter, Carrollton, MO:

Mrs. Ben F. Stanley d. at her home 8 miles west of Carrollton Tuesday, Sept. 5.  Minnie Jane Thomas daughter of Ezekiel and Jane Eckman Thomas b. in Tippecanoe Co IN Apr 6, 1871.  Mother died when she was 5 weeks old.  On Feb 29, 1888 she married Benjamin F. Stanley who d. Apr 15th this year. 8 Children, three dying in infancy.  Youngest child Orville Lee d. 12 Dec 1917.  Surviving are Roy, Mrs. Fred Howland and Earl of Norborne, Scott and Oliver.  One sister Mrs. George Halsey of Tina and 8 grandchildren.  Two sisters proceeded her in death, Mrs. James Goodson of Venita OK and Mrs. Chas Dickinson of Tina.  Her step mother Mrs. Martha Thomas of Wichita KS, 3 half sisters, Mrs. Lena Nighswonder and Mrs. Mary Zehr of KS and Mrs. Anna Savage in TX.  2 half brothers George and Esom Thomas both of Nevada MO.  Burial in Powell Cemetery.


i.    ROY A.4 STANDLEY, b. August 14, 1892, Carroll Co., MO; d. April 04, 1941, Tina, Carroll, MO; m. SADIE J. HOWLAND, Unknown, ?; b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?.

ii.    EFFIE STANDLEY, b. June 1895, Carroll Co., MO.

iii.    EARL STANDLEY, b. Abt. 1902, Carroll Co., MO; d. Aft. September 05, 1933.

iv.    SCOTT M. STANDLEY, b. October 06, 1906, Carroll Co., MO; d. June 14, 1982, Joplin, , MO.


Burial: Beatty Cemetery, Carroll Co., MO322,323

v.    OLIVER C. STANDLEY, b. Abt. 1909; d. Aft. September 05, 1933.

vi.    INFANT STANDLEY, b. Unknown.

vii.    ORVILLE LEE STANDLEY, b. Unknown; d. December 12, 1917.

11.  LYDIA T. STANDLEY (SUSANNAH GILLIAM HART, ALFRED EVANS) was born 1865 in Carroll Co., MO, and died December 19, 1933 in Omaha, NE332,333.  She married JOHN COCHRAN 1886 in prob. Carroll Co., MO.  He was born Unknown in ?, and died 1923 in ?.


The Republican Record, Carrollton, MO, 22 Dec 1993 issue.  Mrs. Lydia Stanley Cocharan aged 68 died in Omaha NE, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 1933.  Lydia Stanley was daughter of Moses and Susan Hart Stanley and born in Nov 1865.  She attended Trotter school.  Married John Cochran in 1886 and had 8 children, one dying in infancy.  Surviving: Mrs. Herbert Smith, Mrs. Charles Smith, Mrs. Jesse McCormick, Robert A., John Russell, Lillian and Harold all of Omaha. Mr. Cocharan d. 1923.

She was one of a family of 11, seven of whom had preceded her in death.  Mrs. James Sage in 1879, Wm. H. Stanley in 1929, Ben Stanley in Apr, 1933, Mrs. Nicy Cooper in June 1932 and 3 had died infancy.  Survived by sisters; Mrs.  Mattie Branner, Mrs. Ada Adkins of KC, Mrs. Mary Nicodemus of Chicago. Brother A. A. Stanley of Tulsa OK and others.  Services in Omaha Thursday and body arrived in Carrollton on Friday burial at Oak Hill.


i.    ROBERT A4 COCHRAN, b. Unknown.

ii.    JOHN RUSSELL COCHRAN, b. Unknown.

iii.    LILLIAN COCHRAN, b. Unknown.

iv.    HAROLD COCHRAN, b. Unknown.

v.    GIRL [CORA]* COCHRAN, b. Unknown, ?; m. HERBERT SMITH, Unknown, ?; b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?.

vi.    GIRL COCHRAN, b. Unknown, ?; m. CHARLES SMITH, Unknown, ?; b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?.

vii.    GIRL COCHRAN, b. Unknown, ?; m. JESSE MCCORMICK, Unknown, ?; b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?.

viii.    UNKNOWN COCHRAN, b. Unknown.

*Cora’s name provided to me by her descendant Jeffrey Robb (see comments below) on April 7, 2016.

12.  WILLIAM FRANKLIN “FRANK” HART (HENRY ADKINSON2, ALFRED EVANS1) was born 1860 in MO, and died 1923 in Collinsville, Tulsa, OK.  He married ELIZA JANE “LIZZIE” JOHNSON Unknown in ?.  She was born 1863 in ?, and died 1933 in Collinsville, Tulsa, OK.


i.    FLOYD4 HART, b. Abt. 1888, ?; m. PEARL DOWNEY, December 24, 1909, Tulsa, Tulsa, OK; b. Abt. 1891, ?.

Marriage Notes for FLOYD HART and PEARL DOWNEY:

E-mail from Jeanette (Kauffman) Redman 3 July 1999, “I obtained my Tulsa Annual and it has the marriage application for Floyd Hart age 21, Miss Pearl Downey 18 with the official being N. J. Gubser – Tulsa County Judge, witnesses O. P.  Marshall and G. W. Davis. The marriage date was Dec. 24, 1909, Tulsa, OK, page 508 from marriage record books. This was the first name on the list so it jumped out at me.”

ii.    ROLLA HART, b. Unknown.

iii.    IDA HART, b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?; m. ? SMITH, Unknown, ?; b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?.

More About IDA HART:

Burial: Fairview Cemetery, Owasso, Tulsa, OK356,357

More About ? SMITH:

Burial: Fairview Cemetery, Owasso, Tulsa, OK358,359

13.  MARY BENNETT “MOLLIE” HART (HENRY ADKINSON2, ALFRED EVANS1) was born November 03, 1865 in Carrollton, Carroll, MO?, and died July 28, 1950 in Ketchum, Craig, OK.  She married ABRAHAM LINCOLN “LINK” KAUFFMAN February 12, 1885 in Carrollton, Carroll, MO.  He was born September 09, 1864 in Perry Co., PA367,368,369, and died August 12, 1936 in Ketchum, Craig, OK.


An article contributed for the Craig County Democrat’s November 7, 1935 issue says a surprise birthday dinner  celebrating Mrs. A. L. Kauffman’s 70th birthday was held on the previous Sunday.  Present were “Mrs. W. A. Lemon and little daughter Murrel Carson, Loren Larson of Vinita, Frank Kauffman of Owasso, Mrs. Sophie Sheehan of Collinsville, Jack and Erma Hart, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Hart and Sons of Owasso, Mrs. K.H. Howard and family, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Bullard and family of Ketchum, and Mrs. Hermon Lemon of Ketchum, and Grover Jackson.  They all had a merry good time and left wishing her many more happy birthdays.”

Glenden Jeanette (Kauffman) Redman says, she remembers her Grandma Kauffman was a mean old woman.  Jeanette also said that when Grandpa Kauffman died “they (meaning her children, I believe) had to make her put on a clean dress.”

My mother and her sister, Maxine, say they remember their grandmother as being very lazy.

Claudine said that her mother, Cecil (Howard) Lollar “always told a story about Grandma Kauffman (who it seems she did say she was mean), never washed fruit jars when she emptied them, then because Cecil had little hands she got to do it before canning season, and of course, that would be hard.”  Claudine goes on to say “All those pioneer ladies had life so rough they would’ve had to work at being happy, cheerful people.”  But, Claudine “thinks she would’ve washed her fruit jars though!  Thank heavens for dishwashers much less drawing water out of a well, heating it, etc., etc.”

I have a picture of Great-Grandma Kauffman, Grandma Howard, my mother Margaret, and myself that was taken in about 1946.  I was very young, it appears that I was about 18-24 months old.  I have no memory of her.


Burial: Ketchum Cemetery, Ketchum, Craig, OK  Seal to Spouse: 20Nov1985LG, Family History Center, Duncanville, TX IGI as of Mar 1992


Family stories are told that Donna (Howard) Lipe was about 2 when G-Grandpa Kauffman died and she played under his bier at the wake.

From Jeanette (Kauffman) Redman’s notes:

“I have been told that Abraham Lincoln Kauffman was born in Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., PA.  I have searched census records and been unable to find any information regarding this person.  My mother, Inez Kauffman, gave me these names of his siblings several years before she died:  Elmer, Jake, Joe, Will, Anna Kauffman Simpson, and Rebecca Kauffman Be(a)rrier.  I have a picture of Aunt “Beck” taken with Grandpa Abraham.  My cousin, Janet Eastin Kauffman said she heard her mother-in-law Sadie Kauffman talk about an Aunt Beck.”

In the 1900 census their last name is spelled Coffman.  Town 20, N. Range 14 East – Enumeration by James Williams 1900 Cherokee Nation Census Roll #1845, Micro-copy T623 Coffman, Abraham – head of family, white, Sept 1865, age 37, married for 15 years.  Place of birth Pennsylvania.  Father’s place of birth Germany, Mother’s place of birth Germany.  Farmer, renting farm house.

Coffman, Mollie – wife, white, female, Nov 1866, age 37, married for 15 years.  Place of Birth Missouri.  Father’s place of birth Missouri,

Mother’s place of birth Missouri.

Katie – daughter, white female, Oct 1886, age ??, single

Frank – son, white male, Jan 1891, age 9, single

Lucille – daughter, white female, Mar. 1895, age 5, single

Russell – son, white male, Oct 1899, age ?, single

Census shows that all can read and write.


13th Census of the U.S. 1910 State of Oklahoma

Tulsa County Dawson Township, May 11 and 12, 1910

Roll 1275, Family #192-196

Kauffman, A.L. – Head of Household, age 45, married for 25 years, born in Penn., Trade/Occupation – labor/farmer.  Speaks English, Mother/father -born in Penn. Retired and works for own account.  Is able to read and write.  Owns two farms.

Kauffman, Mary – Housewife, age 44, married for 25 years.  Mother of 8, 7 living. Born in Missouri, Father/mother born in Missouri.  Speaks English, is able to read and write.

H.F. – son, white male, age 19, single

Lucille – daughter, white female, age 15, single

Ruby A. – daughter, white female, age 6, single

Thelma – daughter, white female, age 2, single

14th Census of the U.S. (1920 census)

State OK, County Craig; township Municipal #8.  Enumeration Date 14 Jan 1920, Roll 1458, sheet 52, District  precincts 2 and 3

Abraham L. Coffman, farmer, house number 69, head of house, owned house, mortgaged, white, 55, married, born PA, able to write

Mary Coffman, wife, 54, married in MO

Ruby A. Coffman, daughter, 16, born in OK

Thelma M. Coffman, daughter, 12, born in OK

The above information does not match.  A.L. Kauffman is buried under the name of Kauffman.  All of the children are identified spelling the name Kauffman.  It is assumed Kauffman is the correct spelling of this name.


Burial: Abt. August 12, 1936, Ketchum Cemetery, Ketchum, Craig, OK


i.    WILLIAM HENRY4 KAUFFMAN, b. December 27, 1883, Carroll Co., MO; d. October 30, 1885, Carroll Co., MO; m. NEVER MARRIED.


Burial: Abt. October 30, 1885, Powell Cemetery, Carroll Co., MO

ii.    KATIE CLEVELAND KAUFFMAN, b. October 10, 1887, ?; d. February 1937, Vinita, Craig, OK; m. JOSEPH ADAMS, Abt. 1908, ?; b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?.


Katie died in the State Hospital at Vinita.  Aunt Maxine said that she believed when Katie began the change of life she “lost her mind.”

iii.    HOMER FRANKLIN KAUFFMAN, b. January 21, 1891, Carrollton, Carroll, MO; d. February 04, 1943, Owasso, Tulsa, OK; m. SADIE ELIZABETH JACKSON, April 06, 1913, ?; b. March 08, 1895, ?; d. November 06, 1969, Owasso, Tulsa, OK.


When Russell’s brother Frank died, Jeanette wrote me “I knew my Uncle Frank and loved him very much.  He died in 1943, one month to the day after my family moved to California during the war.  Dad could not get gasoline to come back to the funeral.  I know how hard this was for him.  His (Frank’s) two sons were very close to me.  I love his daughter-in-law Janet, we still see each other.  She is the one that had the picture of great grandpa Henry.  She also had a small brown paper bag which had a telegram written on the side.  It was from my dad saying he could not get gas to come to the funeral, she had found this in Aunt Sadie’s purse when she was looking for something for a costume party.  I have this and treasure this brown paper sack.  It is unreal that this was the way a telegram was handled by a small town.”


Burial: February 04, 1943, Fairview Cemetery, Owasso, Tulsa, OK402

iv.    BLANCH (NMI) KAUFFMAN, b. January 10, 1893, Carrollton, Carroll, MO (?); d. December 28, 1963, Sapulpa, Creek, OK; m. KENNETH HUNT HOWARD, January 10, 1910, Tulsa, Tulsa, OK; b. December 09, 1883, Hamilton Co., TX; d. October 11, 1953, Ketchum, Craig, OK.


Blanch worked for various families, among whom were the Steele’s, Manser’s, LaFortune’s and others at their homes on Grand Lake.  She also took care of a lady named Mrs. Haddock (whom Sharon Neal called Grandma Haddock).  Two of Blanch’s daughters, Maxine and Margaret, say that “mother was the hardest working woman she ever met.”

Claudine (Lollar) Pope remembers her grandmother’s cinnamon rolls and picking blackberries, and today Claudine is a “third generation blackberry picker!”  Claudine also remembers Grandma bringing big red onions home from work.

In September 1997, Blanch’s granddaughter, Myrna Sue (Howard) McKinney, related a recent story.  Myrna had retired from the 8-5 routine and began to clean houses.  She works for a Mr. and Mrs. Bob Steele.  Mrs. Steele told Myrna that she was a darn good housekeeper but not the best they had ever had.  Myrna asked her who was the best they had.  Mrs. Steele related that a long time ago, when the Grand River Dam Authority was building the bridge across the Grand Lake, there was a lady who was the best.  She related that the lady not only cleaned several of the homes, but she also took care of all of their children and did the laundry for the single men working on the Dam.  Mrs. Steele also said that they found out the lady walked about 5 miles to and from work every day.  She said that when they found that out, they always took her home but could never get there before the lady showed up for work.  Myrna told Mrs. Steele, “that was my grandmother.”  Her children remember her as being a hard worker, as do the grandchildren that are old enough to remember her.

Also at the 1997 family reunion, Charles Kenneth Howard’s wife, Elsie, made cinnamon rolls that were the closest to Grandma’s that Maxine, Charles Kenneth, or Sharon could recall having ever eaten since Grandma died.  The taste of Elsie’s cinnamon syrup in the pan brought back many happy memories.  Now, don’t get me wrong, Grandma’s were still the best, and many of us have tried to make them like her, but Elsie has come the closest to making what we all dearly loved and remember so well.  When Grandma made cinnamon rolls, she baked two pans; one pan for the family and one pan for Aunt Jackie.  All of those not attending the family reunion this year missed out on a really special treat!

Bette, Blanch’s daughter, said when “Sharon Neal was a little girl she always slept with Grandma.  One time when all of the other kids were there Sharon decided to sleep with them instead.  When it came time to go to bed, she went to bed with Grandma and when asked why she wasn’t sleeping with the other kids, her reply was ‘I changed up my mind.'”  Bette said they all used that phrase when they changed their mind about something for a long time after that.

Grandma crocheted beautifully, and sold two twin-sized bedspreads that she had crocheted for $500 in about 1963.  This was a lot of money for handwork.  Sharon Neal has several pieces of crochet work done by her grandmother, including a dress she crocheted for her when Sharon was six-months old, two pillow tops that, upon close scrutiny, have pieces of her hair crocheted into the fine work, and several doilies and an apron with heart-shaped bib that was made when she was a little girl.

Mrs. Howard also did piece quilting, but did not do the actual quilting of the bed covers.  She would piece the tops together and then send them to the Indians for the quilting process.  When she died, Bette and Clarance picked up 40 quilt tops that the Indians had quilted for her. Blanch’s intent was to have a quilt top for each one of her children and each one of her grandchildren.  Sharon’s top is a Lone Star quilt. Sharon bound the edges (very poorly!) in 1983 or 1984 and presented it to her daughter, Ryma, who also loves quilts, for Christmas that year. Claudine treasures her Lone Star quilt as well, and says that her daughter, Jane, knows its value too.  Claudine also has crocheted dresses and a headscarf grandma made from a parachute.

Besides crocheting and quilting, Grandma Howard also cross stitched, and she taught Sharon this craft in 1962 and 1963, using gingham cloth.  They cross stitched many snowflake patterns on the gingham and then made skirts and blouses to sell.  A snowflake was centered in the back of a blouse and possibly one was on a breast pocket.  The hemline of the skirts would have the snowflake pattern all the way around it.  The two spent many evening hours working on these items.  In 1997, cross stitch is still one of Sharon’s favorite past times, although she, too, sews, crochets, and pieces quilt tops.  Like her grandmother, Sharon does not like to perform the actual quilting.

At Christmas 1963, Grandma attended the family celebration at Aunt Bette’s in Catoosa, OK.  She did not bring any handwork with her at this holiday which was very unusual because Grandma never let her hands be still.  She talked by phone to the children who were not at the Christmas festivities (Cecil [possibly], Harold, who was in California, and Margaret, who was in San Antonio).  Later, on Christmas Day, she suffered a heart attack and died three days later on December 28.  She was buried on December 31, 1963 next to her husband, Kenneth Hunt Howard, at the Ketchum Cemetery in Ketchum, OK.

When Grandma died, Aunt Maxine took Sharon (Catlin) Coleman to Vinita to Luginbuel’s Funeral Home to view her body.  It looked to her (and Maxine agreed) that “Grandma was breathing.”  This was the first time Sharon (then 19 years old) recalled ever seeing her grandmother “asleep.”


Burial: December 31, 1963, Ketchum Cemetery, Ketchum, Craig, OK

Cause of Death: heart failure

Religion: Church of Christ


Kenneth’s obituary says he was survived by two brothers, U.H. and Ernest, and five sisters who are not named.  I am certain of the living sisters:  Joe Lee, Ruth, Lorraine, and Hallie.  I do not know which of the other two, Inez or Myra, were living.  The obituary says he moved from Tulsa to Craig Co. in 1910 and had resided at the farm two-miles west of Ketchum for the past 30 years.  I know from his surviving children that after the birth of daughter Cecil in White Oak, OK, the family removed to San Antonio, TX, where son Weldon was born.  After this they returned to the Ketchum, OK area.

Where was Kenneth born?  I have always heard Huntsville, TX.  However, records from Luginbuel Funeral Home says he was born in Brownsville, TX.  His parents are found to be living in Hamilton Co., TX at the 1880 census.  Did they go east or south? In looking at maps, I’m thinking he was born in Brownwood, TX, but will have to wait on his birth certificate to see where he was born.

His daughter Maxine said that when Kenneth’s sister Joe Lee Howard Wagenschein and Joe Lee’s cousin (Walter Howard?) were working on “Ten Generations of Virginia Howards” they asked Grandpa to contribute $3 and asked for genealogical information about his children.  Grandpa thought it was a ploy to get money from him and would not contribute nor give the requested information!  Consequently, Joe Lee and Walter listed the children whose information Joe Lee could remember and not all of his children appeared in the book.

Maxine said that one time Kenneth’s sister Joe Lee and at least one other sibling came to visit the Oklahoma Howards.  One of the relatives asked one of Kenneth’s children (Weldon Maxine believed) how much money they had. The questioning went back and forth when Kenneth’s son told the inquirer “Well, he’s put all of his children through school (of eleven children, eight went to college and one to business school),”  to which the inquirer replied, “Well, I guess he’s better off than we are.”  Unlike Kenneth, most of his relatives were well-to-do financially.

The original home, a two-story one, burned in May 1948 or ’49.  Both Kenneth and Blanch were very badly burned in the fire.  I have been told that the curtains covering a kitchen window touched a burner on the gas stove and caught fire.  Jackie (the most organized) was the only child to save most of her things from the fire.   Grandpa was in the hospital in Vinita for some time recuperating from his burns.  Sharon recalls being taken to the side of the hospital and being able to look down into a (basement?) window to see her grandfather.  Grandma Howard was burned more severely but she was back at work cleaning “lake homes” soon after fire.

A new home was built and still stands, with its modifications, in 1997.  The living room and one bedroom has been enlarged, a second bath has been added to the bedroom, and the screened-in porch has been enclosed. Berber carpeting now covers the solid oak plank floors.  The son, Ernest Dean Howard, had inside plumbing put in the home in about 1956.  Sharon, her husband Bill, aunt Bette and uncle Clarence visited the home in 1993.  Sharon revisited with her mother and uncle Vernon Grubbs again in August

1997.  Pictures taken are from the 1993 visit.

Maxine, Kenneth’s daughter, said that her father left home when he was about 16 or 17 years old and went to Oklahoma.  He worked on the Kauffman family farm, where he met and married their daughter, Blanch.  They remained in Oklahoma for a while and were living in White Oak, Oklahoma when their daughter Cecil was born.  The Howards then moved to San Antonio, Texas, where their son, Weldon, was born.  Shortly after his birth they returned to Oklahoma.

Margaret, another of Kenneth’s daughters, said Mr. Howard was a “gentleman’s farmer.”  He was a tenant farmer for Ewing Halsell (from San Antonio) and bought the farm in Ketchum from Mr. Halsell.  The Howard’s were dairy farmers and the milk was taken to Ketchum to be sold.  It was on these trips with her grandfather that Sharon was able to get chocolate ice cream!

Howard Edgar, one of the grandsons, went with grandpa to sell the milk one cold day in January.  Of course, Howard wanted ice cream.  Grandpa told him it was too cold for ice cream.  After they finished the milk delivery, Howard leaned back in the truck’s seat, wiped his brow, and said “Phew, it sure is hot.”  I imagine Howard got ice cream!

Grandpa Howard served for many years on the Ketchum School Board.  He was very active with the Church of Christ that he and his family attended. During a communion, Sharon ran outside to the car and told her Aunt Jackie, “Come on in and eat.”

Of her grandfather, Claudine (Lollar) Pope says, “I remember Grandpa Howard bragging on me for sweeping at their house – I couldn’t have been too old as I was 14 when he died.”

Weldon’s son Charles Kenneth remembers a trip to Springdale, Arkansas one cold day when he and Sharon Neal rode in the back of the pick-up truck. They were taking Aunt Hallie to Springdale to visit with Uncle Uhland.  (This was in probably 1951 or 1952.)  Charles and Sharon ate bananas until they were sick.  Although a vague memory, both remember the trip being taken on a very cold day and neither are particularly fond of bananas!

Sharon Neal (Catlin) Coleman adored her grandfather and his death left an empty spot in her life.  She cherishes a pillow cover that was made with ribbons from the funeral sprays at his funeral.  She was in fourth grade in Harlingen, Texas, and had come home for lunch when she was told that her grandpa had died.  Her mother Margaret said Sharon cried herself to sleep for many months after her grandfather’s death.  Margaret also said there could be a room full of people and when Sharon walked in her grandpa saw no one but her.  Perhaps it was a mutual admiration society!

Maxine says that when her daughter Roberta Ann was born she became a favorite of Grandpa.  (I prefer to think this wasn’t so!)

Grandpa Howard was very fond of all his grandchildren.  Each one of us who were around him a lot have very special memories.  Most of us were around the farm a lot during the summers.

I have vague memories of Grandpa Howard playing a harmonica (he called it his juice harp).

Received from mother March 28, 1999

The info you sent regarding Parlee Standley Hart was very interesting.  Does that mean he is part Cherokee?  Charles Kenneth should be quite interested in that!.  Yes, Daddy had worked for Ewing Halsell for years – Halsell had farms all over Oklahoma & Missouri.  That is how Daddy met Mother I understand.  Ewing Halsell and his wife, Lucille, are buried in Vinita.  Craig Campbell was pall bearer at his funeral (or hers, I don’t remember what he told us about that).  Anyway there is the big Arboreteum (however you spell it) here named for Lucille Halsell – and of course the street over around Medical Center is Ewing Halsell Drive.  Daddy & Mother had lived here in S.A. at one time – in fact Weldon was born here I believe.  Anyway, I didn’t understand all the info you sent – will have to read it more closely when I have more time.  Will send a copy to Maxine.  She will remember more than I.  Yes, I knew Ray Sheehan was supposed to be the father of Ruby’s boys.  You know Bill Kauffman is now married to an Indian gal and lives at Ft Gibson.  Bob had died a few years ago.

Well, gotta go.  Guess we will be free to get up for Miss Meg’s 2nd birthday.  She is absolutely the cutest thing going.  Jake is going to

have to be awfully cute and smart to outdo her!

See ya.    Love,  Mom


Burial: October 12, 1953, Ketchum Cemetery, Ketchum, Craig, OK

Cause of Death: heart failure423

Occupation: farmer423

Religion: Church of Christ423

Social Security Number: 448-10-6003423


From Clay Darnell, 26 May 1999:  “I work in City Hall just a couple of minutes from the Tulsa County Court House. I went over on my break and discovered a marriage record. If you send me your address I will forward to you. Brief excerpt follows.

Application: Kenneth H. Howard aged 26 and Blanch Kauffman aged 17. Dated Jan 10, 1910. Resides in Tulsa, OK. Consent given by her father A.L. Kauffman.

License: Ceremony performed by C. W. Kerr Ordained Minister, Presbyterian Church , Tulsa, OK.”

Witnesses:  H.F. Kauffman of Tulsa, OK and Wm. Hart of Owasso, OK. (note, it appears that Hart’s name is spelled Lect or something similar).

The number for this Marriage record appears to be 1136, copy is fair.  It is sworn to on 10 Jan 1910 and the certificate of marriage is filed 11 Jan 1910, and says they marriage was performed on the 10th day of January 1910 at Tulsa.

v.    MYRTLE LUCILLE KAUFFMAN, b. March 26, 1895, Carrollton, Carroll, MO; d. April 21, 1971, Ketchum, Craig, OK; m. (1) GROVER CLEVELAND JACKSON, March 11, 1914, Ketchum, Craig, OK?; b. 1893, ?; d. February 16, 1926, Ketchum, Craig, OK; m. (2) WILLIAM A. LEMONS, Unknown, ?; b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?.

vi.    RUSSELL ALEXANDER KAUFFMAN, b. October 11, 1899, Carrollton, Carroll, MO; d. April 23, 1979, Tulsa, Tulsa, OK; m. INEZ LUCILLE AUGENSTEIN, June 28, 1920, Whiting, IN; b. June 13, 1902, Waldo, Marion, OH; d. November 30, 1987, Tulsa, Tulsa, OK.


See More about notes under Homer Franklin Kauffman.

vii.    RUBY ANN KAUFFMAN, b. August 15, 1903, Tulsa, Tulsa, OK; d. January 15, 1982, Broken Arrow, Tulsa, OK; m. NEVER MARRIED.


Ruby was accidentally dropped on a cement step when she was a small girl, causing a severe spinal injury.  The accident caused her to be crippled and on crutches for the rest of her life.

The story is told that Ruby’s parents never knew she was pregnant until the twins were born.  The Kenneth Howard family went to the Kauffmans almost every Sunday after church.  The Sunday after the boys were born, A.L. Kauffman took Kenneth Hunt Howard around the orchard and farm while A.L. told Kenneth of the boys births.  The story is relayed that neither A.L. nor Kenneth were very happy about this event but both loved the boys.  Aunt Maxine, in her letter to me of October 1992, said that Roy Sheehan was the father of Bob & Bill.  She said he “was committed to the state hospital in Vinita after the boys were born, and she thought he had committed suicide.”  (I think Roy was “Alva Ray Sheehan,” son of Sophia (Hart) and Luther Sheehan.  This story has later proved to be untrue, Ray was killed by a driver that had fallen asleep at the wheel.)

Ruby worked as the dispatcher for a (the?) taxicab company in Vinita for many, many years.  She began at a salary of $1 a day and “worked up” to $2 a day before her retirement.  When she left there, she had no retirement.  In 1976 when I visited with her in Tulsa, the Welfare department had called and asked her to come in to prove her disability.  My cousin told me if she went, and fell while in their building, he would personally see to it that she would “own the state.”

In my December 22, 1999 e-mail to Bill Kauffman, I said “Your mother was my great-aunt.  Oh how I loved Aunt Ruby…as did all of us kids that were the older grandchildren of Blanch and Kenneth.  I remember the last time I visited with her in 1976 with my daughter who was young.  Ruby was living in Tulsa next to a grocery store.  The store had to build a fence between their parking lot and her house to comply with a city ordinance.  They built the fence to comply, but they stopped the height at her window sill so she could still see out the window.  I thought that was so neat.  I also remember her having a police scanner.”

“Another old, old memory of mine is that Grandma and Grandpa Howard had twin cows.  I got to name them–Bob and Bill!  When Grandma milked them, I braided their tails.  They were gentle as she didn’t have to put kickers on them.  I can’t imagine doing that today, but it’s one of my favorite memories!  I can still see their stalls in the barn–one of them was right in front of the ladder going up to the hay loft.  When we were in Ketchum several years ago, I took a wonderful picture of the barn.  The only thing different about it from what I remember is that the new owners had painted it white instead of the barn red.”


Burial: January 18, 1982, Memorial Park Cemetery, Tulsa, OK449,450

viii.    THELMA MAXINE KAUFFMAN, b. July 03, 1907, Tulsa, Tulsa, OK; d. February 06, 1983, Afton, Ottawa, OK; m. BARTO FLOYD BULLARD, February 27, 1926, ?; b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?.


The December 18, 1924 issue of Craig Co. Gazette says of its 7th and 8th grade students, “Pupils not tardy–. . ., Thelma Kaufmann, . . . and 7th Grade pupils making an average of 100 percent for the month Thelma Kauffman.”  Mrs. Lotta M. Watson, teacher.  (Note Kauffman is spelled two different ways.)


Jeanette’s notes indicate this marriage to have taken place on July 3, with no year listed.

14.  SOPHIA LEE HART (HENRY ADKINSON2, ALFRED EVANS1) was born December 02, 1878 in Carrollton, Carroll, MO, and died September 03, 1940 in Collinsville, Tulsa, OK.  She married LUTHER SHEEHAN July 03, 1901 in Carrollton, Carroll, MO.  He was born March 23, 1877 in ?, and died October 02, 1919 in Collinsville, Tulsa, OK.


Subject:         Hart geneology

Date:         Mon, 18 Jan 1999 12:56:12 -0600

From:        Sallie Taylor <sisd@airmail.net>

To:         billcol@ix.netcom.com, cejasam@aol.com

Good Morning!

Just a quick message to introduce you both to each other.  Sharon, here is Sallie’s message I received after visiting with Mary Ellen.  Sallie, Sharon is descended from your branch of the HART family.

Sallie, Sharon lives over in the Ft. Worth / Dallas area.  Can you let us know where you live?  And as I indicated in my earlier message, I will be getting more data to you when I finally get back home early next week.


Roger Roberson

Lynden, WA


Hi!  It is nice to meet you Sharon and know that I have Hart relative in the Metroplex.  I also live in Springtown and work for Springtown ISD as Curriculum Director for the schools.



Subject:          Re: Hart geneology

Date:         Tue, 19 Jan 1999 09:36:19 EST

From:        CejaSam@aol.com

To:         sisd@airmail.net, billcol@ix.netcom.com

In a message dated 1/19/99 9:15:50 AM, sisd@airmail.net writes:

Do you use a genealogy program so I can send you a gedcom file of the Hart family?  I noticed in your reply to me that you had a cejasam@aol.com on there and wondered if it is your home mail or another closely related “cousin.”



“Cejasam” here!  Sallie(sisd@airmail.net) is my sister.  I live in Ponca City, Okla. (Sam Sheehan II, 6750 East South Avenue, 74604).  I would be delighted to have a gedcom file of the Hart family!  I use the Ancestor genealogy program so I should have no problem reading the file.

Since I located the burial site of Henry Adkinson Hart my Great Grandfather I have been a regular on Memorial Day each year in visiting his final resting place.





ii.    ALVA RAY SHEEHAN, b. April 17, 1911, prob. Tulsa Co., OK; d. January 14, 1935, Owasso, Tulsa, OK?.


Regarding my e-mail to Sam Sheehan regarding story about Alva Ray committing suicide when learning about the birth of the twins, or the other story that he was run over by a car while talking to someone in another car.  Sam replied, “……… it was a hay truck with the driver asleep!  The accident happened East of Skitook on a steep hill.  Believe he and his new(?) wife had bought a farm on the South side of the road.  This was related to me by my Dad.”


15.  SAM3 HART (HENRY ADKINSON2, ALFRED EVANS1) was born 1883 in Carrollton, Carroll, MO, and died 1952 in Owasso, Tulsa, OK.  He married NORA SCOTT Unknown in ?.  She was born 1892 in ?, and died 1969 in Owasso, Tulsa, OK.

Children of SAM HART and NORA SCOTT are:

i.    ROY4 HART, b. October 26, 1918, ?; d. November 07, 1922, Owasso, Tulsa, OK.

ii.    NINA HART, b. September 27, 1925, prob. Owasso, Tulsa, OK; d. September 05, 1926, prob. Owasso, Tulsa, OK.

16.  ROBERT THOMAS3 HART (BENJAMIN JOHNSON2, ALFRED EVANS1) was born March 30, 1882 in prob. Carrollton, Carroll, MO, and died January 05, 1955 in Carrollton, Carroll, MO.  He married LOVIE GLENORA BOWLES March 30, 1904 in ?.  She was born 1884 in ?, and died 1965 in prob. Carroll Co., MO.


Burial: Ebenezer Cemetery, Carrollton, Carroll, MO

Children of ROBERT HART and LOVIE BOWLES are:

i.    CECIL OREN4 HART, b. September 04, 1905, Carrollton, Carroll, MO; d. 1996; m. EVELYN METZ, April 01, 1927, Carroll Co., MO; b. October 04, 1908, Wildwood, NJ.

ii.    VERCIL R. HART, b. December 07, 1906, ?; d. Abt. April 15, 1950, prob. Carroll Co., MO; m. DOROTHY N(?); b. July 16, 1912.

iii.    JAMES M. HART, b. March 30, 1910, ?; d. October 07, 1979, prob. Carroll Co., MO; m. ALENE M [Wagaman], Unknown, ?; b. October 08, 1918, ?; d. December 02, 1990, prob. Carroll Co., MO. [Note: I did add my mother’s maiden name to this file. jmh 3.31.13]

iv.    GLADYS LOU HART, b. August 23, 1912, Carroll Co., MO; m. VIRGIL HENRY BUNGE, Unknown; b. August 05, 1917, ?; d. February 11, 1973, prob. Carroll Co., MO.

v.    CHARLES RAY HART, b. September 03, 1916, ?; d. Abt. October 13, 1995, prob. Carroll Co., MO; m. FLOSSIE M. HUNTER; b. January 24, 1921, ?.

17.  GROVER BENJAMIN3 HART (BENJAMIN JOHNSON2, ALFRED EVANS1) was born Unknown in prob. Carrollton, Carroll, MO, and died Unknown in Carrollton, Carroll, MO.  He married BESSIE LORENE BOWLES June 06, 1906 in Carrollton, Carroll, MO.  She was born Unknown in ?, and died Unknown in ?.


Burial: Ebenezer Cemetery, Carrollton, Carroll, MO534,535


i.    LOUISE4 HART, b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?; m. HARRY PIERSON ELLIOTT, Unknown, ?; b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?.

18.  ANNA E. HART (BENJAMIN JOHNSON2, ALFRED EVANS1) was born Unknown in ?, and died Unknown in ?.  She married FRANK WAMPLER Unknown in ?.  He was born Unknown in ?, and died Unknown in ?.


i.    LETHA WAMPLER, b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?; m. ? WELCHON, Unknown, ?; b. Unknown, ?; d. Unknown, ?.

19.  LUCY A. HART (JAMES M.2, ALFRED EVANS1) was born December 17, 1882 in Randolph Co, AR, and died May 09, 1962 in Randolph Co, AR.  She married WILLIAM MILAS SAGO.

Children of LUCY HART and WILLIAM SAGO are:

20.              i.    RUTH4 SAGO, b. February 22, 1901, Randolph Co, AR.

21.             ii.    MINNIE A. SAGO, b. October 04, 1904.

22.            iii.    MAZIE V. SAGO, b. February 10, 1909.

iv.    RAYMOND SAGO, b. February 18, 1911; d. October 05, 1912.

23.             v.    MERYLE SAGO, b. July 02, 1913.

vi.    BEN MAX SAGO, b. August 15, 1918; m. GLENDAL MAXINE RIGGS, December 04, 1948; b. March 14, 1926; d. March 05, 1976.

Generation No. 4

20.  RUTH SAGO (LUCY A.3 HART, JAMES M.2, ALFRED EVANS1) was born February 22, 1901 in Randolph Co, AR.  She married JAMES THOMAS MORRIS July 24, 1918 in Randolph County, AR.

Marriage Notes for RUTH SAGO and JAMES MORRIS:

* Marriage record–Randolph County AR– BK 19,  p. 161

Children of RUTH SAGO and JAMES MORRIS are:

i.    CHARLES HENRY5 MORRIS, b. October 01, 1922; d. Unknown, In infancy.

ii.    ROBERT EDWARD MORRIS, b. June 18, 1924.

iii.    HAROLD FRANKLIN MORRIS, b. September 12, 1925.

iv.    THOMAS RAYBURN MORRIS, b. July 1927.

v.    BILLY JOE MORRIS, b. September 09, 1928; d. Unknown, In infancy540.

vi.    JOHN LLOYD MORRIS, b. December 21, 1930.

vii.    PATSY RUTH MORRIS, b. March 01, 1932; m. BERNARD JOHN BROADBENT.

21.  MINNIE A.4 SAGO (LUCY A.3 HART, JAMES M.2, ALFRED EVANS1) was born October 04, 1904.  She married EVERETT DECKER July 18, 1925.  He was born March 01, 1905.


i.    LEON5 DECKER, b. September 24, 1934; d. December 17, 1934.

22.  MAZIE V.4 SAGO (LUCY A.3 HART, JAMES M.2, ALFRED EVANS1) was born February 10, 1909.  She married THOMAS FRED MCCOY November 05, 1927.  He was born Abt. 1906.


i.    CHARLENE5 MCCOY, b. April 28, 1933; m. ALBERT NESSON.

23.  MERYLE SAGO (LUCY A.3 HART, JAMES M.2, ALFRED EVANS1) was born July 02, 1913.  She married WILLIAM HENRY WAYMON May 14, 1940.  He was born March 08, 1907.


i.    MARY LOU WAYMON, b. June 18, 1941; m. DALE CULLISON.

ii.    SANDRA KAY WAYMON, b. September 11, 1946; m. JERRY WAYNE HACKWORTH; b. October 01, 1943.


This is the end of Tom Stokes’ record of Alfred E. Hart’s family.

Wills of Three Hart Ancestors

Hart Ancestors: Wills of John, Caleb, Nowell

Document boxes such as these, at one time hidden away in desks and cupboards, once contained the gold for which genealogists and family historians go in search of today in court house vaults and on the Internet: Letters, Inventories, Deeds of Property, Last Wills and Testaments, tangible proof of lifetimes lived and recorded. Now the boxes turn up in antique stores, their once precious contents long lost to those of us who would read them with the savor of discovery.


In 2000 and 2001, when I first started using the Internet to research family history, I was surprised at what I could unearth with some persistent searching and sleuthing and bookmarking for future reference. Resources have greatly improved in the last 12 years as I have continued with my prospecting in fits and starts. I still regard myself as a beginner in this endeavor, so I am inspired by what I see other people have accomplished and displayed through their blogs and websites. We used to think only “important people” would be worthy of such close scrutiny into their daily lives, or be the subject of “biography”; but today any American ancestor can have his or her day–if we descendants are persistent in our hunts and imaginative in our presentation. When I discovered the Wills of my ancestors John Hart, Sr., his son Caleb Hart, and Caleb’s son Nowel Alfred Hart, I will admit I was surprised to learn of the social and economic history these documents divulged through the names of slaves bequeathed as inheritable property.  James Hart


The Last Will and Testament for Three of My Earliest Ancestors:

John Hart, Sr., Caleb Hart, and Nowel Alfred Hart

~ the first three currently known generations of my ancestry ~


John Hart’s will, book 2 Page 34 (2 June 1793) Charlotte Co. VA


JOHN HART SEN Will Charlotte County Virginia


Last Will and Testament of John Hart sen.

Charlotte Co., Virginia, Will Book 2, Page 34-34a


In the name of God amen I John Hart sen. being apprehensive of the uncertainty of life and afflicted at this time by a disorder which may prove mortal do in my sound mind and memory, constitute and ordain this to be my last will and testament. Imprimis I do give To my son Caleb Hart and his heirs a negro boy named Ned & a girl named Jude, Item I do give to my son William Hart and to his heirs two negro boys named London and James, Item I do give to my son John Hart and to his heirs two negro boys Shadrack & Harry. Item I do give to my son Israel Hart and to his heirs two negroes a boy named Limon & a girl named Kate. Item I do give to Beasley Hart and his heirs two negroes named Tally & Nancy. Item I do give to Thomas Hart & to his heirs a girl named Eve and a boy named Emanuel, and a negro boy named Lewis in consideration of his being overseer for me several years. Item I do give to my daughter Elizabeth the wife of Gabriel Beasley a negro girl named Milly with all her increase as well those already born as those to be born and no more. Item I do confirm unto the estate of William Beasley dec. a negro girl named Fan and all her children as well as those born and those to be born, whom I gave to William Beasley in his life time and desire that the said slaves shall go to the legal representatives of the said William Beasley as if he had died having a full legal title to her. Item I do give to my Grand Daughter Mary the daughter of Cornelius Hart Dec. a negro named Isaac and no more to her & to her heirs. Item I do give to my wife during her natural life all the residue of my estate real and personal and of every nature and kind whatsoever subject to the payment if of my debts, and after the death of my dear wife I do authorize and desire my executors or the survivors of them to sell the whole of my land and all my slaves not before specifically given to there increases at a public sale to the highest bidder for the best price that can be obtained at twelve months credit taking of the purchaser or purchasers bonds with good security for the payment of the consideration money, and when such bond or bonds shall be taken. I do authorize my executors or the survivors of them to make to the purchaser or purchases a lawful title in fee simple to the land by deed and a title to the slaves. It is my desire and request to my executors to sell my land & slaves to any of my children rather then to any other person, provided they or any of them will give as much for the property as the executor shall think the property is worth, and will give sufficient security for payment of the considered money, otherwise they will devised to sell the land and slaves to any other persons. Item, It is my desire that if all the debts are not paid at the death of my wife my executors shall first pay the debt which may then be due by part of the proceeds of the sales of the aforesaid land and slaves. Item, After the death of my wife I do desire that the value of the whole estate both real and personal above given to her for life shall be equally divided with the increase amongst my following children, Caleb, William, John, Israel, Beasley, Thomas, and my daughter Nancy Beasley and their heirs, share and share alike, I do appoint Robert Bedford & John Spencer & William Hart Executors of this my last Will & Testament in Testimony whereof I do hereto set my hand and affix my seal this second day of June 1793.

Signed sealed and acknowledged in the presence of Paul
Carrington, Jr., Robert Bedford, John Hart John Hart (SS)

At a court held for Charlotte County the 2nd day of September 1793 –
This Last Will and Testament of John Hart dec. was exhibited in court by John Spencer, Robert Bedford and William Hart the executor herein named and the same was proved by the oath of Robert Bedford and John Hart and ordered to be recorded. On the motion of William Hart who made the Oath According to the Law certificate is granted to him for obtaining a probate of the said will in due form he giving security whereupon he together with Phillip King and Obediah Brumfield his securities ?? entered into and acknowledged their bond according to the law for that purpose reserving liberty to the other executors or fores to join in the probate there of when they shall think fit.

Teste Thomas Read cc

(2 Sept. 1793)
(1) Son Caleb Hart Negro, Ned, Jude
(2) Son William Hart Negro, London, James
(3) Son John Hart Negro, Shadrack, Harry
(4) Son Isreal Hart Negro, Limon, Kate
(5) Son Beasley Hart Negro, Tally, Nancy
(6) Son Thomas Hart Negro, Eva, Emanuel, Lewis
(7) Dau. Elizabeth wife of Gabriel Beasley Negro, Milly

I give to the Estate of William Beasley “Dec.” Negro, Tan

Grand Dau. Mary Dau. of Cornelius Hart “Dec.” Negro Isaac

Wife Rest of Estate during her life.
Inventory 3 Feb 1794 (Will Book 2, Page 40)

Note of explanation by Jerry Hart of North Carolina, July 20, 2001

The way I looked at the will, John had eight children. First part of will lists Elizabeth wife of Gabriel Beasley. Last part of will calls her Nancy Beasley. I think Elizabeth and Nancy are the same person. If not why would Elizabeth receive Milly in first part and not be listed in the last part. Also why was Nancy not listed in first part, but listed in last part to share in the estate after her mother’s death and Elizabeth not listed?

Caleb Hart Private, Virginia Revolutionary War.


Caleb Hart’s Will Halifax County, Virginia

 14 June 1810 Book 8 Page 318 23 July 1810

I give to my beloved wife Mary Hart, during her natural life, live stock, have a good house built on my land.

(1) I give to my son John E. Hart that part of land lying on Hico River above the Spring Branch.

(2) I give to my son Nowel A. Hart, land on Hico River below the Spring Branch.

(3) I give to my son Reuben one hundred pounds & no more. John & Nowel to pay this one hundred pounds. (1/4 part of estate)

(4) John & Nowel to pay seven hundred pounds to my daughter Jinsey Davenport & her children.

John E. Hart & Nowel A. Hart my executors.

Last Will & Testament of Caleb Hart (ca 1754 – bef 14 June 1810)

Filed: Halifax Co. VA 14 June 1810 Book 8 Page 318


Will dated June 11, 1810


Condemn by the time of aquodaunum it is my desire that my two sons John E. and Nowel A. shall have all the profit that shall arise from my mill jointly to them their heirs and assigns forever.

ITEM – I give and bequeath to my son Reuben Hart one hundred pounds and no more. It is my will that my two sons John E. and Nowel A. shall pay the said one hundred pounds which I suppose to be one fourth part of the profit coming from the mill until the hundred pounds is paid off; to him his heirs and assigns forever.

ITEM – It is my will and desire that my two sons John E. Hart and Nowel A. Hart should arise out of my Estate seven hundred pounds for the benefit of my daughter Jincey Davenport and her children and out of the seven hundred pounds they are to purchase a tract of land to the amount of eight hundred dollars more or less for the benefit of my daughter Jincy and children after the purchase of the land she is to have one third part of the profit arising from the mill until the seven hundred pounds is paid off.

ITEM – I do appoint my two sons John E. Hart and Nowel A. Hart my executors revoking and annulling all other mill gifts or bequeath by me heretofore made.

Notifying this and no other to be my last will and testament, in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 11 day of June 1810 my executors lived before signed.

Signed Caleb Hart SS

Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of William Chandler, Sam Eastes, Obadiah (?)

From file of Sharon Catlin Coleman, 7 June 2000

Last Will and Testament of Nowel A. Hart (ca 1776 – 24 May 1837)

Filed in Callaway Co., MO 21 May 1838


Will Dated October 21, 1830


In the name of God Amen, I Nowel A. Hart of Halifax County, Virginia do make and constitute this my last will and testament in manner and form as follows: Item – it is my wish and desire that as soon after my death as my executrix herein after named may think proper she may sell the land whereon I now reside or so much thereof as she may think proper and pay all my just debts, and if she think proper to sell the whole it is my will and desire that the purchase with the residue of the money after paying my debts such as a tract of land as she may think proper either in this county or the west and that she have the whole management and control of my Estate both real and personal during her natural life, under the following conditions, Si_?_ that she raise and support my younger children and further that she make such advances to my children as the situation of my Estate will admit on their marriage or coming to the age of twenty-one years so as that they shall not receive more than an equal proportion of my estate and finally it is my will and desire that after the death of my wife the whole of my Estate then remaining be equally divided among all my children, having reference to what may have been advanced to any of them previously. Item – I hereby constitute my loving, wife Elizabeth Hart Executrix of this my last will and testament and will that she be permitted to qualify to the same ___ the management of my Estate without being required to give security. Given under my hand and seal this 21st day of October 1830.

Nowel A. Hart
Tho Easley
Elijah Linden (Lindau?)
Allen Halliburton

From file of Sharon Catlin Coleman, 7 June 2000

Ancestry details for these men can be seen at an earlier post of February 27, 2013:


From Roadways of Memory – Part I

From Roadways of Memory - Part I


The front section of this vernacular house is a nearly exact replica

in size, style, and setting for the Ab Johnson and Braden houses.

This house has a two-story section at the back; those houses did not.


Wanderings From the Roadways of Memory

An Essay Into Memory and Vanished Time

James Hart




Composition Note: The working title of this essay, during composition and afterwards, was originally intended to be “Memorial Days: A Poem Deconstructed,” but on completion, I no longer think that is the best title. I have settled on a title that I hope is more resonant of the essay’s principal themes. What I have done here as a form of creative non-fiction is take an older prose poem of mine entitled “Memorial Days” and break it down line by line with the intention of using each line as a starting point for memory and association to explore what was going on behind my thinking over fifteen years ago that collapsed itself into this poem. Each italicized portion is a line from the poem that determines a theme for the section.

March 8, 2013


Time eats them all eventually, the houses of my memory gone year by hungry year.

I believe I inhabit a cemetery state of mind, and melancholy is my muse. For as long as I can remember, I have found cemeteries a welcome landscape for a living soul. I may go to leave flowers on family plots as a token of my annual pilgrimage, but so often in my life I have found myself in a cemetery communing with the resident dead with some silent understanding that I never try to define. I walk as if I belong there. It is comforting. I do admit that a barren plot without trees I find less heartening—my family’s forebears are buried in a treeless triangle of acreage, bounded by a junction of two roads and a side lane, known as Ebenezer Cemetery, in Carroll County, west of Bogard, Missouri.

I share my mother’s silent desire that we might rest eternally among the ancient oak trees and rolling slopes of Oak Hill Cemetery in Carrollton, Missouri, where her parents and grandparents rest, but that did not become our reality. She followed my father into the earth of his ancestors on a treeless rise overlooking miles of rural calm, no matter which direction one looks out from Ebenezer. The surrounding countryside is beautiful in late May when green timothy and brome have reached their early maturity and the wind’s endless motion sweeps a sea of long grass over meadows toward a shoreline of trees. White clover carpets our feet wherever we stand looking out. Beauty rises to be found in every prospect, and we need not rely upon Keats and dreams of Grecian urns to know its truth, nor walk with Gray when “the curfew tolls the knell of parting day.”

I began this essay from the devouring jaws of time, recalling then how each year when I make that pilgrimage toward homeland and the haunted heartland of my own making, that like marks on a chart of progress, I notice another house or barn has gone down to its timbered darkness. Sometimes I may recall the farmers’ or families’ names of the people who once lived in the spaces these vanished walls bounded. Sometimes the names have slipped off as well with memory’s easy releases of too much detail after six decades. It always comes to me as a conscious wince, the horizon missing another familiar roofline and chimney, the valley below a hilltop missing another weathervaned barn like a molar fallen from an open jaw. These are my pains of passage because I am as powerless as the next man to halt their decline, decay, and ultimate demise.

Another piece of memory that has vanished is trying to recall a cemetery I visited with my parents on a summer Sunday afternoon before I was twelve years old. I no longer recall what ancestors we were seeking, the name of the plot of ground, or its exact location, except to know we were somewhere in the countryside near Braymer, Missouri. What I do recall of that day was my enjoyment of traipsing around in the tall grasses looking for uncommon monuments, touching lichen lined names on old marble, looking for ornamented tablet surfaces of scrolls or praying hands, and treading upon the whispering dead without feeling as if I were the invader. Yes, I know my thoughts are now today’s peace of mind placing words into a glimmer of time I barely recall the real details from, but what I firmly remember is my sense of happiness at trekking over the grassy land of a cemetery, perfectly at peace, inherently at home, and not regretting missing an afternoon of child’s games with friends or the towered bastions of imagination I had already begun to inhabit in books. Yes, happiness, not melancholy, makes the earliest remembered thread I might pull from a skein of cemetery memories. I use no skulls to mark my memento mori.

Most of them just slowly fold, disappearing into omnivorous earth marked by weedy drives and hollow stands of trees where a barn and asymmetrical emptiness hold the harvest of the years.

Victor Ball, Charlie Vaughn, Ray Braden, Ab Johnson, Ben Forrest, these are men’s names once attached to houses or barns that slowly folded into the earth, a few timbers at a time until they fell or someone burned the remains among dead trees bulldozed up into a pile of brush or made into its own pyre of sweet, consuming fire. Actually, Ben Forrest’s house still stands a sentinel on a rise across the road from a farm belonging to a man named Jones, but his enormous barn, a true cathedral of barn design, is long gone to the willpower of rain, ruin, and slow collapse. The Forrest barn was huge, weathered red, and L-shaped, and in the long wing to the east of its main section, rose a long ascending wooden slope that teams of horses pulling hay wagons could slowly mount into the hayloft overhead. This is the only barn I know of from my youth in this part of mid-Missouri that possessed such an architectural feature built well over one hundred years ago. It is quite a feat to imagine a team of horses pulling a loaded wagon of loose hay up into the loft, and then see the farmer and his sons roll the wagon back down by hand, for there was ample room to work and unload the hay but not to turn the wagon around, and then lead the patient horses back down the wooden slope to the work of sunlight and sky.

When I recall Ab Johnson, I remember two impressions years apart from one another: a slim, gray taciturn man in a black pickup truck, and the first ruined house that I loved for its weathered truths.  Ab was gone from the neighborhood before I got out of grade school at Bogard, so if he died or moved away I don’t recall, and I’m not sure anyone of my generation who still lives nearby could tell me now. The elders who might remember him, well, they’ve followed Ab on the same path to the past that is lost to us living now. Among my earliest childhood memories then are the “Nutman” and Ab. I could not swear to you if Ab’s truck was a Ford or a Chevrolet, but it was a black and rusted remnant from the 1940’s with ample rounded fenders and it was still out on the road after 1960. From time to time, Ab in his truck rattled up the gravel driveway and stopped under the elm tree between the house and the barn. I don’t believe he ever stopped to talk to my father unless he first noted that our 1953 Ford truck was also parked in its spot under the elm, and then he’d stop, knowing my father was at home.  I don’t remember the sound of the man’s voice at all; I just recall how quietly he muttered his conversations to my dad—usually a request for help he needed, or maybe he’d offer to help us with hay or harvest. In my earliest years, I know my father often shared work with neighbors of a similar age who helped each other out when needed. Later, he started to hire teenage sons of neighbors to work, and eventually my brother Donald and I were old enough that we became his work crew and he allowed us to hire out to neighbors as well. But in those early years Ab motoring past our house in his decrepit truck was a fixture of the neighborhood, so by the time I was an older teenager and would go hunting up in the hills north of our farm, I remember the shock I felt when I happened onto Ab’s house in a clearing in the woods for the first time.

By the time I would go walking up in the hills to get away and think or to hunt in the fall and winter in the late 1960’s, Ab Johnson’s house was already well advanced in ruin. The two township gravel roads that led to his place in a clearing were no longer maintained, the house sat back in an open space surrounded by woods on all four sides, and the road that ran past the entrance to the yard was overgrown in grass and weeds—only a ghost of gravel remaining in the turf that increased with the seasons. The house itself—the vernacular Civil War era frame house with two rooms down, two rooms up, a center chimney, and stairs tucked into a corner closet somewhere—sat crooked and leaning, weathered dark, dark gray, almost charcoal in color, so long ago had it seen its last paint. Not a flake remained. The door was fallen in onto the floor, the windows were empty of glass in the sashes, and the floor had up-heaved itself in ripples of boards and rotted joists settled into the earth, and several broken places exposed the openings of dens dug by ground hogs that made their homes underneath it. This house looked as if it had advanced for fifty years or more into its slow consummation with the soil, yet Ab had last lived there within the earlier of my first twenty years on earth.  As a young man, I realized looking in on the ruined house in that first visit that Ab must have lived in poverty, perhaps in his ancestors’ home, but that his house had declined as his life had declined—into a cascade of wreckage that eventually fell down and disappeared, just as Ab disappeared from our daily details, and then from our memories, and then . . . the “rest is silence.” Somehow, it’s a sadly fitting end for a taciturn man whose name I hold onto for a few moments today, because no amount of recall will let me remember Ab Johnson’s face. It has eroded from my memory with the same finality as his pioneer house I once loved because it gave me a view into the ruins of time more real to me than any book could ever make me see.

That other shadow man from the past, the “Nutman,” lived at Tina, Missouri, and would go driving around the neighborhoods in the autumn, inquiring at farms if we had any “wahnuts” he could pick up, and which I assume he later sold somewhere. The Nutman was thought by us to be a little “crazy,” and I clearly recall my mother kept handy in the kitchen her longest butcher knife with at least a 10-inch blade on it which she would have in hand if he showed up at our door while my father was away working. My mother could fearlessly drive runaway bulls back to a neighbor’s pasture, if need be, but this poor soul was one man she did not trust when home alone with two small boys. I don’t know that I ever knew the man’s real name, and I have no memory of his eventual fate, but I do remember glimmers of this man at our kitchen door from time to time: he possessed one roving, spastic eye that he could not control and one normal eye fixed on whomever he faced, he was overweight and shirtless in blue overalls in the summer, with close cropped dark hair, and he generally needed a shave for two or three days’ worth of stubble. Memory claims that he probably smelled potently unwashed, but I will not swear to that. But among the remnants of childhood that left their indelible shadows on my imagination—the Nutman lives, and my mother still wields her wicked knife.

Sometimes they fall to predatory storms, scavengers nosing their bony remains.

My wife Denise knows the nearly physical pain I endured for a few seasons as the last remnants of my boyhood home marked the yard where Cora Smithpeter built her dream home in 1905. Within a year or two after my father’s death, my mother had sold our farm and moved to a house in Carrollton, and just in time to avoid an episode that I’m sure would have been her death. I think it was in the early summer of 1982, but some months after she had left the place, the neighborhood was hit by a tornado. When I drove down there later to see the damage, the region looked like a ragged war zone: as if treetops had been twisted, savaged, and shredded by cannon bombardment—the hail storm afterwards—and it took those surviving trees three or four years to heal the signs of their near destruction. The house (large, plain Queen Anne style, eight rooms, two stories and a kitchen wing) had been set slightly askew on its foundation, but it stood; the barn had been flattened into a heap inviting fire. One minor detail I have always remembered from this visit: the weathervane on the  lightning rod from the center of the barn roof was nowhere to be found. Had a neighbor retrieved it first, or the wind carried it into the fields, I never knew. Every window had imploded into the house—shards of glass littered floors everywhere. And I will never forget the mosaic stains of shredded bluegrass stems and pear tree leaves plastered across the wall tiles in the bathroom we had made from the old kitchen pantry. Every room on the western side of the house, the direction from which the storm hit, looked as if the wind had clawed loose surfaces of turf and flung them after the windows’ vanished glass. Why I said this event would have marked my mother’s death is my assurance that she probably would have thought she could sit out the storm in the bay window of our dining room on the west side of the house. She and I so often had sat in rocking chairs there and admired lightning and other shows of nature over the years. By the time my mother might have made herself go outside to seek shelter in the root cellar a few paces south of the kitchen door . . . well, I can see no happy ending here. To be swept up by the arms of the wind and set down somewhere distant like a battered doll, or to be sliced by flying glass when those three windows in the bay descended into the room . . . neither of those scenarios, to recall Shakespeare, is a “consummation devoutly to be wished.”

So from the ruined house Ted Lock, the man who had bought the farm from my mother, began a salvage operation and took out doors, Victorian woodwork and baseboards, and the cherry wood staircase from which my mother and I had scraped by hand with pocket knives all the old, blackened, alligatored varnish on it when I was fourteen. That was my first true labor of love, because I led my mother into helping me restore the staircase—not the other way around. The staircase was unlike any other I have seen in a rural farmhouse. It was Cora Smithpeter’s singular ode to grandness—that staircase. How she built the house was overall modest for its large size and style and country placement, but the staircase hall was a triumph of millwork—newel post, hand rails, spindles, rising in two turns and landings, and a large landing the length of the hallway overhead, ending at a window under a truncated tower—all in native cherry wood. After we scraped it and varnished it anew, that clean wood had such a reddened glow that I can see in my memory, along with the ghost of its treads going up the exposed hallway’s plaster wall after the house was half torn down and stood that way on the landscape for several years, causing me the admitted anguish that I alluded to earlier. In time pounding rains prised loose remnants of my mother’s pink stained hall wallpaper that bubbled and fluttered in the wind, waving in jocular gestures at passersby in their cars.

I remember taking my sons when they were very young to poke about the ruins of the house once or twice, and we brought home a few unclaimed ornaments from the door and window woodwork, which I still have around here somewhere. The corner pieces above each door and window in the kitchen had the older molded circular bulls’ eye design, but the larger front rooms and bedrooms upstairs had rectangular pieces with piecrust cuts along the top and an incised daisy shape on a stem rising from between two leaf fronds arcing to right and left of it. Other than the attempted grandeur of the staircase, these woodwork ornaments were the house’s only other Victorian detail that one might call “frilly,” or my wife would say—“silly for woodwork.” But Denise is the one who mentioned in passing to Glaphy O’Neal, the mother of the farm’s owner at that time, at a funeral visitation for a neighbor if she would ask her son to burn the remains of the house instead of letting them slowly rot and fall a few timbers at a time. By that time it was a mournful, broken wreck: the living room’s outer walls gone, revealing the exposed hallway wall with the ghost stairs ascending to the sky where no floor remained, and beyond that the floors of the bedrooms my brother and I slept in were open to the sky—no walls up there to contain a thing, and the empty boxes of my parents’ bedroom and the dining room below them. By that time it looked as if a giant child’s hand had deconstructed a toy house one block at a time, casting away a few, and leaving a few blocks stacked haphazardly to buffet whatever the wind had left to throw its way. In truth, I will share that the only other comfort from this memory would have been the gift of tossing a lit match onto the accelerants of straw and gasoline I might have used if I’d been allowed to do the burning myself. Because, like Nathaniel Hawthorne who loved to see a good blaze in Salem or Concord, there is in me the spirit of a pyromaniac who has played with fire, as a child, and to my great fortune, I ignited no discord with my father when I used to set tiny fires in pretend houses made of piled up sticks and bricks behind the tractor shed at the end of our vegetable garden. Yes, my sons reading this now, I did this, and I am not ashamed.

From Roadways of Memory – Part II

From Roadways of Memory - Part II


Though it is missing the kitchen wing behind it,

this house is very close in style to the Daugherty house that I loved.


Wanderings From the Roadways of Memory

An Essay Into Memory and Vanished Time

James Hart




A few find grace in salvage taken somewhere further down the road.

In Chapter 2 of Walden, “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For,” Henry David Thoreau makes this observation about imaginary ownership of other men’s farms:  “I have frequently seen a poet withdraw, having enjoyed the most valuable part of a farm, while the crusty farmer supposed that he had got a few wild apples only. Why, the owner does not know it for many years when a poet has put his farm in rhyme, the most admirable kind of invisible fence, has fairly impounded it, milked it, skimmed it, and got all the cream, and left the farmer only the skimmed milk.” I feel that way when I salvage the fallen ruins of Ray Braden’s pioneer home which stood on the hill above our farm to the west of us, and when I recall the house that belonged to Herman Daugherty’s grandfather that stood on an abandoned road a mile south of our farm. Both of these houses shared the same construction features as Ab Johnson’s house; they all three stood in the neighborhood in the days of the Civil War, or were built shortly afterward, with the exception that both houses had an added single-story wing on the back of the house for the kitchen. The Braden house was only slightly different yet in having a roofed, and partially closed in, dog-trot feature connecting the kitchen to the house. And I recall numerous times as a boy walking up to Ray’s house and climbing the sloping, rocky driveway into the pasture around his house at the top of the hill. Always, as I approached the house I slowed with temerity and caution because I knew that dog-trot would be infested with some of Ray’s sleeping hound dogs that rose up and lumbered into the lawn to bark and nose and nudge about my face and shoulders. They never offered to bite me, but coming face to face with a pack of baying hounds was still enough to make me cautious no matter how many times I’d been reassured of safety.

I can recall Ray Braden more vividly than some men from my childhood because I don’t think any one man had a stronger influence over my Romanticist’s imagination when I was a child than he. Ray was the son of pioneers who lived as pioneers lived for the entire time he was a part of my youth. Often when he shared meals at our kitchen table, Ray told us tales about his ancestors coming to Carroll County in a covered wagon and building the first house in the neighborhood—his house—up on its hill commanding one of the best views in the region between his house and Bogard Mound a few miles south of us. Ray was the man who knew the kitchen we sat in at my house had formerly been a single-room house and lean-to on the north hill of our farm, and he remembered how the men working for Mr. Smithpeter had hitched several teams of horses to skids placed under it and dragged it down the hill to its present position before building the large house in front of it. That history accounted for why the kitchen had bead board wainscoting and different window woodwork than the rest of the house.

Ray was already “old” in my view when I was a boy. He was of my grandparents’ generation, meaning born in the late 19th century, and he was probably a boy or youth when he witnessed our house being built. His brothers Walter and William had served as soldiers in the Great War—World War I—and they often wanted my father to share his memories of World War II with them, but that never happened.  My father was increasingly silent about his war experience as we matured, and I often wonder if he would have lived longer, could I have gotten him to talk to me about it as an older man, but I believe I’d have witnessed the same taciturn silence from him on that point. But to return to Ray, the man always sported an untidy sprouting of graying hair usually mussed about his head by wind and his own hand, a few gnarled teeth with gaps for those gone missing, and kind hearted, pale blue eyes the color of chicory that grows by the roadside. Ray punctuated his stories with guffaws of laughter that rocked his head with ragged nods and agitated jerks of his shoulders, and he entertained us with the past that lived in his mind whether we were at table, or riding on a hay wagon, or standing around the barnyard after work was done until the time later in his life when he became a danger to himself and to the neighbors and was sent away to Fulton by his family.

Even as a youth, I knew that walking up the hill into Ray’s meadow surrounding his house was to step into another time. When I said Ray lived as pioneers lived, I meant it somewhat literally. His house, which we were never invited to enter, may have had the electricity of a single bulb suspended from the ceiling in the three rooms downstairs, but he had no telephone. Throughout my experience of him in the 1950’s and 1960’s, Ray did all of his farm work with a team of draft horses. He mowed hay with a horse-drawn mower, he put up his hay loose with a pitchfork on his father’s flatbed wagon with spoke wheels, and if he grubbed weeds from his fields, he did so on hands and knees, wearing a straw hat with a ragged brim. On numerous occasions Ray’s team might escape the wire gate pulled across his driveway entrance and go gallivanting about the neighborhood until someone among us drove them home. Eventually, his team produced a colt that grew up alongside its mother, and once when it was about a two-year-old, all three of Ray’s horses escaped on a Sunday morning when I was fifteen, broke through the wire gateway into a pasture where our two horses were penned and lured them away for a long adventure that resulted in my horse Lucky receiving a hoof injury that marked him as not so “lucky” for the rest of his days.

Ray’s house was shaded by a thick stand of older trees around it, and in the regions behind the house an imaginative boy could find himself far away in time. His outbuildings included a barn as old as the house, and it featured hand hewn posts and beams and wooden pegs holding them all together. Numerous older barns in our neighborhood were leftovers of pioneer construction with adze marks in the beams made by men who planed them by hand and then hand-whittled pegs that pinned these barns together, solid for a century or more if the farmers kept their roofs in repair. Adjacent to the barn were an ancient chicken coop and a log-wall stable with handmade wood shingles—used for his horses in the summer time when they did not need the barn’s better cover. The stable was constructed of three walls and open on the long east side of it, providing the horses some shade from late afternoon heat. Somewhere nearer the house was one of those ancient underground root cellars, such as we had one also on our farm, but Ray’s was a step up in design by having one of those barrel-topped concrete and stone bunker-looking entrances with a handmade door opening to the stairs descending to the darkness below. Our cellar, on the other hand, featured a large door resting at an angle on slanted foundations, and it had to be heaved up and leaned against a post to reveal the stairs at our feet. I always envied our neighbors’ cellars and their little concrete entrance huts.

Beyond this medley of buildings scattered among the trees and the wildflowers that dotted the long grasses, for Ray never owned a lawnmower unless he had one of those old fashioned push mowers with a barrel of whirling blades, or he used a hand sickle, rested Ray’s true little piece of Eden—a sizable orchard with a variety of apple, peach, and plum trees planted by his ancestors and still producing delicious fruit summer after summer despite the bent and gnarled nature of his trees.  To wander here where bee song filled the summer breeze and birds sang from the trees was to enter a corner of paradise planted by pioneers and tended then by their son who shared a shepherd’s spirit with the will of the wind and the soul of the sunlight. Looking back on the Braden farm now, I know I have for a brief time in my life experienced the grace of former days that Thoreau describes so ardently in Walden:

At a certain season of our life we are accustomed to consider every spot as the possible site of a house. I have thus surveyed the country on every side within a dozen miles of where I live. In imagination I have bought all the farms in succession, for all were to be bought, and I knew their price. I walked over each farmer’s premises, tasted his wild apples, discoursed on husbandry with him, took his farm at his price, at any price, mortgaging it to him in my mind; even put a higher price on it — took everything but a deed of it — took his word for his deed, for I dearly love to talk — cultivated it, and him too to some extent, I trust, and withdrew when I had enjoyed it long enough, leaving him to carry it on. . . . Wherever I sat, there I might live, and the landscape radiated from me accordingly. What is a house but a sedes, a seat? — better if a country seat. I discovered many a site for a house not likely to be soon improved, which some might have thought too far from the village, but to my eyes the village was too far from it. Well, there I might live, I said; and there I did live, for an hour, a summer and a winter life; saw how I could let the years run off, buffet the winter through, and see the spring come in. The future inhabitants of this region, wherever they may place their houses, may be sure that they have been anticipated. An afternoon sufficed to lay out the land into orchard, wood-lot, and pasture, and to decide what fine oaks or pines should be left to stand before the door, and whence each blasted tree could be seen to the best advantage; and then I let it lie, fallow, perchance, for a man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.

The Thoreau Reader. Annotated Works of Henry David Thoreau. The Thoreau Society. 3 Mar. 2013 http://thoreau.eserver.org/default.html.

Ray Braden was indeed a man “rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone,” and though I can not claim knowing if he read Thoreau, if I ever knew a man who lived inherently the wisdom of these words, it was he. I too claim the rights of Thoreau’s imaginary ownership, looking back now on Braden Farm and I help myself once more to a few wild apples glowing so temptingly red on trees gnarled by the rigors of time.

Tabulating these former houses, another one down and gone, makes a mental calendar, a way of giving annual form to formlessness, as I drive out country roads to decorate my family’s dead where they lay in cemeteries bearing family or biblical names: Braden, Mt. Zion, Appleberry, and Ebenezer, my favorite name for its hard meaning: stone of help.

I have no clear memory of when the Daugherty house south of our farm disappeared from the landscape, although I know it was in the years after I moved away from the farm to go to college and to begin a life that would not be dependent on the vagaries of crops, herds, and weather—for that was how I viewed as a youth my father’s captive duties to farm life. This house stood a half-mile down an abandoned road—in the sense that the township no longer “maintained” it with gravel and road grader—that varied from slippery mud to powdery dust and dandelions, depending on the seasons we used it. Eventually the road passed beyond the Daugherty farm and some edges of other farms that had back field access to this road, and it emerged as a graveled quarter mile that ran past Cecil Isaacs’ farm and connected to the gravel road that led us to Ebenezer Cemetery, skirting the edges of the other Smithpeter farm along the way. In those youthful years, how many ways did I experience this maze of country roads leading to various farms in that corner of Carroll County, and unlike Theseus, I need no thread now to guide me from their maze these forty-plus years later. Today, I believe I could guide my sons to drive me through them with my eyes closed, relying on my body’s memory of hills, curves, and necessary stops. My earliest navigations of them were from the backseat of my father’s 1949 Ford coupe or his 1953 Ford truck (which he bought the year I was born and it transported him, my mother, and me to various places we lived in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Indiana during the years he drove a bulldozer for pipeline work). Later, I wandered those roads by bicycle and horse back, and then by tractor as I worked for various farmers during my teenage years. So, I had many opportunities to drive past the Daugherty house and wonder what was within its weathered, unpainted walls, because Herman’s mother had moved from it long before I was born and lived in a smaller house across the road from his farm.

It sat there for years harmed only by the vandals of time and weather, shaded by maples, and looking so inviting. I recall one summer day when I was baling hay for Herman, and taking a rest under the trees, I soon summoned the courage to see if the door were locked. It was not. It took me very little time to debate—would I trespass or pass on by? Well, I was sixteen and I could not help myself—and in I walked. I know now that I could have asked Herman to let me see the house and he might have laughed, but he’d have said, “Sure, but I can’t imagine what’s in there of interest.” But that would be the expression of someone who did not understand the Romanticist’s attachment to ruins and follies—no matter what architectural form they take in a more modern age. For me, here was a pioneer home, an open door for entry, and an invitation to another time, and I accepted. The house had never been modernized—ever. Its wood kitchen cupboards were the same hand-made ones built by the original builder. These stood across the room from the house’s central chimney that offered a flue hole for a wood burning cook stove. The kitchen sink was a built-in zinc-lined wooden affair under the east window of the room, with an iron pitcher pump mounted in it to bring up water from a well under the kitchen. This was a convenience often unheard of in those early days when this house was built—our own farmhouse had a sandstone well curb and a deep well outside the kitchen door. In our early years there—pre-1960 and before we had plumbing in the house—my brother Don and I would quarrel about who had the last turn pumping a bucket of water for the kitchen when it was raining, sleeting, or snowing and was completely uninviting to go out to grip an icy, slippery pump handle. Wandering into the two front rooms, I looked around, admired what remained of fifty-year-old wallpapers from early in the century when my father was born in 1910, noted the parlor side of the chimney also missing its flue cover, stove pipe, and wood stove, and then I opened a cupboard door in the corner to discover the staircase rising to the upstairs. After a short look at the two rooms upstairs, I was ready to go back outside and return to the reality of a sunlit hayfield. I know now with the right selection of primitive antique furniture—the kind my wife has collected for years—I could move into that house today, imagining  myself an older  Henry Thoreau, and I would be supremely happy, I’m sure—in my “country seat” that I have imagined in so many houses, in so many ways, over so many years.  Such are the fractures in time, allowing us to imagine something that would be perfect for us, even if we are powerless to make it happen in reality.

Now, in wandering these old roadways of my memory, I could never go very far in any one direction without arriving ultimately at another Smithpeter house—the dream house of my youth and the object of my mother’s deeply felt veneration. For if Scarlet O’Hara’s Tara were ever to stand anywhere else, its likeness surely stood here on a hilltop a quarter-mile off the road, surrounded by venerable oak and hickory trees, and reached by a gravel lane that curved down a slope, ran past a duck pond, and climbed back up the hill to lead visitors to a stone mounting block used for horseback and carriage arrivals and departures from the time the house was built ca. 1854 by William Smithpeter until over one hundred years later when I would ride a school bus up to this house to pick up the Starnes girls when they attended high school at Bogard.  Always painted white in the years I saw it, the Smithpeter house was one of Carroll County’s true ante-bellum survivors into modern times. It featured two square two-story columns supporting a front portico centered between pairs of windows to the right and left, with a smaller inset portico supporting a balcony over the front door. Green roof shingles and green shutters, white paint and pillars, this house looked like a remnant of a southern dream time placed a little too far north of Dixie. It looked out from its hilltop among oak trees that must have been twice as old as the house itself, and though it would not rival Oak Alley at Vacherie, Louisiana, it was a worthy substitute for southern grace and grandeur transplanted to a hilltop overseeing rolling Missouri farmland. The builder of the house rests among my ancestors at Ebenezer, and in 1905 his son John G. Smithpeter with his wife Cora Estelle Powers Smithpeter built the house I grew up in on our farm three miles northeast of this grand setting. Born in 1904, their daughter Zelma Evelyn Smithpeter grew up in the house and eventually became a coloratura soprano with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and later, by some reports, with the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Regrettably, the William Smithpeter house burned one night in the early 1980’s, ironically, in a fire caused by a modern woodstove burning too hot for its old chimney, though I have to say that dying by fire is perhaps a more fitting end for a proud old house than falling victim to decades of damp and decay.

From Roadways of Memory – Part III

From Roadways of Memory - Part III


Though not truly the same style, the scale and presence of this

house will serve to illustrate the Smithpeter House, 1905.


Wanderings From the Roadways of Memory

An Essay Into Memory and Vanished Time

James Hart




Out of touch with generations, my fingertips trace their vanishing names eroding the older stones, victims of discerning water and digestive weather.

Throughout this odyssey of the mind roving over the countryside of the dead, I’ve alluded to cemeteries and the deaths of houses and barns remembered and admired in my youth. Among the cemeteries of Carroll County, I’ve described my feelings for Ebenezer and Oak Hill, but another burial ground I admire for its serenity lies at the top of a hill reached by a steep, curving gravel road. Braden Cemetery, surrounded by woods, holds some of the earliest settlers of the neighborhood at rest there, principally ancestors of Ray Braden’s family, and it lies no more than a mile east through the woods and clearings from the site of Ab Johnson’s house.  Among the tombstones there visitors will find a half dozen or so primitive slabs of limestone dug up from the earth long ago by practical men who needed to mark their loved ones’ graves, but they either had no money or no resource for purchasing cut and polished white marble. The shapers of these stones placed them vertically in the earth after having used something sharp, a chisel point or a hand-forged nail, to laboriously scratch into them the names and dates they bear. Seeing them over a hundred and fifty years after they were made, one can barely make out any of their details with the aid of penetrating sunlight and close peering and touching to discern the letters under lichens. These names and numbers, at the hands of time and ungenerous weather, now bear the mystery of ancient runes more than the names of men and women who once armed themselves with axes and hammers and needles and thread to forge a life from the frontier that lay before them. I could never return to visit Braden Cemetery without searching out these special stones to ponder their connection to the primitive imperative that bonds the human in us to the silent afterlife with the same assurance that first led Paleolithic men to bury their dead with ritual and ceremony.

My parents’ names more newly hewn will someday feed the cravings of a distant wind.

Though I belong to the landscape of the living, my spirit often dwells in shadows and in a glimmer land that is something like a mirage rising from a noonday roadway crossed with imaginary flickers seen from the corner of one’s eye. In moments of deep peace and restful silence I can be roused suddenly by the assurance I’ve heard my mother’s voice calling out to me from the corridors of time. I’ve never actually felt I was “hearing things” as a signal of some kind of mental disturbance needing professional advice, but yet I’ve felt the calm assurance of that voice multiple times in my life and it gives me peace and connection to something unseen, and it eases the rigors of sorrow better than any other restorative I could name.

I find in these thoughts the same bountiful guidance I receive from reading this noble poem by Emily Dickenson:

There's a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons – 
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes – 

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us – 
We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the Meanings, are – 

None may teach it – Any – 
'Tis the Seal Despair – 
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air – 

When it comes, the Landscape listens – 
Shadows – hold their breath – 
When it goes, 'tis like the Distance
On the look of Death –

I feel reasonably assured that Emily inhabited the same shadowscapes and glimmerfields that house my spirit with a calm fortitude that I can not explain. How does one who endures without the traditional founts of faith begin to explain to anyone else the stony stamina that arises from pure intangible nuance and dreamscape? But like Ralph Waldo Emerson, who thrived on strong imagination wedded to resolute intuition, I believe I place as much faith in my airborne specters of a truth unseen as he placed in his benevolent Over-Soul. When I consider that my father has been gone from my life for nearly thirty-five years—now over half of my life—and my mother’s passing occurred twenty-three years ago, I should be able to consider these losses with some objectivity. But, truthfully, that is one of my failings; and if I say that “melancholy is my muse,” then my parents have become my guardians of memory, my mentors of loneliness, my shamans of my own shadow land. We humans place our faith in many forms of unseen trustees of truth, and I believe my rather abstract appreciation of my parents’ role in my life is as reassuring for me as placing faith in a holy man who died on a cross is sustaining for all true believing Christians. And a revelation to me is the awareness that when I set out to write this piece about finding solace in cemeteries and abandoned houses, I had no clear sense of where might my destination lay or how my roads of imagination might diverge into a yellow wood of time regained.

My sons endure their strange pilgrimage across the countryside of the dead, requesting favorite family stories to help the car move more quickly along the miles as I tell myself I serve the replenished past for them.

The bonds I hold in my soul for the old Smithpeter house where I grew up are two-fold. One is the spirit of the house itself, which I admired as a youth because I knew it was unique in our neighborhood. No other house within a five-mile radius was commensurate in size or style; in fact, it takes little imagination to see that my present home in Brookfield, Missouri, was purchased by my wife and me because of its general similarities of style and layout (for me at least) to my childhood home. With one exception—the Brookfield house is larger and has more rooms. The other bond is the knowledge that my father James M. Hart bought the house and farm for his home in 1955 because he had lived in the Smithpeter house as a youth himself, from the time that he was sixteen until age twenty-two (about 1926 to 1932), and so for him it was as close as he could get to living on a “home place” because his father Robert Thomas Hart never owned a farm of his own. From the time of my father’s birth in a large farmhouse northeast of Norborne, Missouri, that I recall being driven past once as a child, until he bought a house in Carrollton for his parents to live in when he went to serve in World War II, Robert Hart’s family had moved from one rental arrangement to another, living on a variety of farms for about thirty years. The time in the Smithpeter house may have been one of their longest stays in one place, but I can’t state that as an absolute fact. What I do know is that any family stories from my father’s youth regarding his relationships with his four siblings are associated with that house—perhaps because it was so easy for him to point to locations in the house while telling stories at the kitchen table or from his favorite chair in the living room.

When my sons were young boys, I told them some of these memories along with stories of my own childhood while we were driving down to Bogard and Carrollton for our annual Memorial Day visits—and it is this habit of being that first led me to write the poem that I’m using for the structure of this essay. When I look back into memory, I realize some of the stories I remember hearing did occur at other houses in other rooms; but some of them were indelibly linked to my memories of Elmwood, for this is the name my mother Alene Wagaman Hart gave the house one summer when she had been inspired by reading some novel about southern plantation life. Whose book it was I can’t recall now, but my mother liked the “fancy” of Elmwood well enough to put it on some stationery and address labels that she used throughout my youth. One tale involved my uncle Charles Hart, the youngest of the five who was ten years old when they moved to the house, and a prank he played on his older brothers. I can’t recall what Charles was “getting even” for, but he decided on his way up to bed earlier than his brothers to dribble molasses up the stair treads so that they would mess up their socks when they came up later in the dark. During their time in the house it did not yet have electricity, so the boys probably were in the habit of scooting up the stairs in the dark very quickly to get to bed. When I lived in that house we often did not heat the upstairs, although it was possible with a small coal-oil heater in the central hall, but in those days I’m sure my father and his brothers slept in cold rooms. I never knew if the molasses story was a summer or winter story, but I do recall many times my father and uncles erupting in laughter at re-telling the story—mostly for the sake of recalling the “skinning” Charles got from his father as punishment for such wasteful foolishness. For modern readers who don’t know what homemade “blackstrap molasses” looks like, well suffice it to say that it would be no easy clean-up in a house without hot running water and with only the aid of candles or kerosene lamp to cast some light on the offending mess.

Looking back on how protective my father always was of his younger sister Gladys, one story surprises me. This happened in the kitchen around their kitchen table which stood in the same corner of the room that our table occupied thirty years later, the only difference being that when they lived in the house, there was no doorway in that corner passing into the room north of it that we used for a formal dining room. There was, however, a window in that corner looking out onto what had become a covered porch between the pantry and the larger block of the house. Again, I am unsure what exact behaviors led to the remembered event, but Gladys had been teasing her older brother James up to a point where he was suddenly tired of it, and he reached out carelessly to shove her away from his chair with his elbow, and she lost her balance backwards and came within inches of falling through that closed window. It was my father’s quick wit and firm grasp of her dress front and snapping her back upright that saved her from falling through the window and being cut up by the glass. I think the point of this story, from Gladys’s telling it over the years, was to demonstrate that no matter what a little “shit” she might have been at times, her big brother always loved her and looked out for her. And that part is true—my father dropped out of school after the ninth or tenth grade in order to go to work and help his father support the family, but most especially to help make the money that paid school tuition for Gladys and Charles to graduate from high school at Bogard. As a teenager going to school there, I remember killing time in the big upstairs hallway where class pictures dating from the 1920’s to the present time were on display on the walls and in both stairwells up to the top floor. Memory fails me at the moment if Cecil and Vercil were in any pictures—they may have graduated somewhere else. Gladys and Charles were in class pictures. James was not. When he was an old man, his not graduating from high school was probably my father’s severest regret—yet he also felt some pride that he had made it possible for his younger sister and brother to finish school. Over the years I heard them both repeatedly praise my father with sincere and genuine words spoken to me for what he had done for them; and if they did feel a bit of shared guilt—we did not dwell on that.

One more tale I’ll share is Gladys’s story involving a “play party,” a violin, and the wickedness of dancing. It also shows the moral character of my grandmother, Lovie Glenora Bowles Hart, who was called Nora, and who died when I was twelve years old. I don’t believe a birthday was involved, but for whatever the cause, Gladys had talked her mother into allowing her to have what she called a play party and to invite some young friends to the house for a party on a Saturday night. My grandmother must have outlined to her what behaviors and entertainments would be acceptable, and which games would not. Parlor games, yes. Card games, no. Music and singing, yes. Dancing, no, no, and again, no. One thing I remember hearing told about my grandparents Robert and Nora is that one was Baptist and one was Methodist, although sadly now, I do not know which one observed which faith. But Nora was staunch in her beliefs and dancing was the devil’s own wickedness, to hear Gladys remember this story.  So the friends were invited and assembled at the house and the party was successfully underway—in the kitchen. My grandparents and any other adults that were present were in one of the two front parlors of the house, and they were out of hearing was my aunt’s assumption.

Now to understand how the young people thought they might sneak in some dancing—because one young wag had brought along his violin or “fiddle,” my aunt’s word, and one thing led to another with the grownups out of the room—one needs to see the configuration of the rooms in those days and how it differed by the 1960’s when we lived there. The one door in the northeast part of the wall of the kitchen led into the dining room on the east side of the house (the room my parents used for their bedroom downstairs), and west of that through a doorway was one parlor (which we used for a dining room when my parents put another door in the north kitchen wall to connect the two rooms), and to the north of this room, through a pair of sliding pocket doors, was the room that would have been the best parlor (my parents’ living room) which had a door to the hallway and the front door onto the front porch facing the road. Both parlors had large angled window bays across the end that let in abundant light and air, and they gave the house part of its distinctive external character. With the grownups in that far front parlor, and two rooms intervening with no connecting door to see or hear through it directly, the young folks thought they could strike up some fiddle music and have a few dances. Not for long. Nora soon appeared at the door to the kitchen, brows knit, lips tight with disapproval, and announced in her firm, quiet voice, “We’ll have no dancing in this house, young lady, or this party ends now.” And so the younger set returned to their tamer games, Nora returned to her parlor, and the last strains of violin music chased the threat of wickedness into the night’s quiet air.

From Roadways of Memory – Coda

From Roadways of Memory - Coda


American Vernacular.
House near Millard, Missouri


Wanderings From the Roadways of Memory

An Essay Into Memory and Vanished Time

James Hart




But I know it’s only my lonely hopefulness that these stones might flesh familiar bones, that houses might home us again, that time’s insatiability might turn to stone before it swallows my fading name.

A man named Pierre Lagacé, who lives in Quebec and who has made my recent acquaintance by commenting on my writing in Harthouse on Main, shared this thought recently about information I had posted about my great grandfather Benjamin Johnson Hart: “Some people wonder why some people are interested in dead people. Simple . . . . Dead people are really dead when no one remembers them.” And there, poignant and plain spoken, is the force behind my writing this essay. For several years now, my sons, Ethan especially, have asked me to “write this stuff down” so they will know our family’s history. And so, whether I call my effort an “essay” or “creative non-fiction,” I now comply. One of the ironies of life that plagues me when I think of it is this:  Because my father married late in life (he married at age forty-one and he was forty-three when I was born), this positioned my brother and me to be much younger than most of our first cousins. I have just turned sixty this year, and most of my cousins are in their seventies or their eighties—or they too have died. At this time I am one surviving aunt’s life away from being among the “oldest living generation” of my family. It is conceivable that if I live a long life, I will outlive all of my first cousins and many of my second cousins as well—among them only one that I can name is younger than me, one or two of them are the same age, and the rest of them are older than me, or I do not really know who they are. One of the truths of our time is that families grow distant from one another, and they spread out across the continent to different parts of the country with such ease and nonchalance. The further away we go, the less likely we return, even for short visits.

Some members of my family that I saw regularly at reunions when I was a youth I have not seen in thirty or forty years. Some have returned infrequently for funerals. Those of our previous generation—my parents and my aunts and uncles—were the glue that held our family bonds together. They are gone, and we are going—further and further into distance and forgetfulness. The world we live in today is so not the world I was born into or lived in for the first twenty years of my life. I used to look back on my father’s life and conjecture how much change he’d seen from his birth year of 1910 (the year of Halley’s Comet and Mark Twain’s death year)  until his death year in 1979. He watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon in 1969—the only sunny summer’s day I can recall from my youth when my father did not make us do needed farm work that day, but instead we hovered around the television to see that “one small step for man” because my father knew it was perhaps the most momentous peace time experience of his life. What giant strides we’ve taken since then and where we are going tomorrow is impossible to determine, but just in my working on this piece of writing have I begun to consider the range of change that has occurred in my own lifetime since my father’s death. Some days, if I let myself think negative thoughts, I begin to fear we are hurtling onto a trajectory of doom, I just don’t know if it will be political or environmental. Sometimes I wonder if the “American Dream” we all desire but can not clearly define is flirting with obsolescence. Sometimes I wonder if the doomsday prophets of global warming won’t have the last laugh. Many times I’d like to join Ray Braden’s pioneer ancestors in their covered wagons and begin again the long journey back into the grassy hinterlands that thrived behind his cornflower blue eyes and move on ever westward toward some perfect evening star to capture a lost dream redeemed.

And so we take the fast road home under darkness sifting down from stars: my sons sensing this rhythm in their sleeping breathing, their heads resting and rocking with the car’s urgent pace, dreaming their ancestors’ feasted dreams.

The ending of my prose poem recalls my sons from their youngest years when they used to go with me on my journeys into “the countryside of the dead.” After a long day of traipsing about cemeteries, and visiting my mother and aunts in Carrollton until they started to pass away into the eternal silence, and usually including a stop in the city park with picnic food from Sonic, by day’s end when we would set out onto Highway 24 to come home by way of Brunswick and Mendon, my sons would soon nod off and sleep the whole way home. When they were older and still went along we may have talked of topics brought up by the day’s visits, or I might have humored them with silly talk. It varied from year to year. I know one year I alarmed them when they were younger by asking them to imagine a huge hand coming down out of the sky and squashing the car flat in the road like a hapless bug. I still don’t know what mood prompted that foolishness, but it’s true. It made me laugh then, and it still provokes a smile now. What I would wish for my sons now is that they too will assume the mantle of family and help me keep mine alive by encouraging my words and passing them on when they have the chance.

Among my many collections of things I’ve packed into my house over the years is an extensive collection of photographs of people from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—what Denise calls my “instant ancestors” and one of my sons calls “boxes of dead people.” I have several fine photographs of my own early family members—more from my mother’s family than from my father’s—but there is urgency in my soul that seeks to rescue these mostly unknown people who are now just sepia specters on paper and card stock. Sometimes they have names, but that is of little consequence today when they are barren echoes lost to a world that does not value them. I have to wonder what passage of circumstances allows them to be abandoned by their families and to end up in a box sold for a few dollars at auction, or to be tagged and sold at flea markets to ornament someone’s wall or to indifferently populate a collection of pictures amassed in a box. If they are “lucky” like paper denizens of some city of the dead, they get to come out of the box’s darkness and share in the light of day. They are redeemed for a moment and lifted from the darkness to shine for my eyes with their paper surface’s pale, ghostly glow. Even if their names are lost, to see them is “to live them again,” and if only for a moment, to defy that death that comes when no one remembers them. That would be my legacy contained in these words for my sons or for my readers, and to leave them with this thought by L. P. Hartley: “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there,” and I am their determined ambassador.

Poems of Related Interest

John Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”

Thomas Gray, “Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard”

William Cullen Bryant, “Thanatopsis”