Friday, April 18, 2014


Rev. Jabez Ham (1796-1842) = Farmer. Hard-shelled Baptist minister. Born on August 3 to Rhoda and Stephen Ham, Sr. of Madison Co, KY.

Jabe married Hannah S. Todd (b.1798), daughter of Hannah and Peter Todd [1756, PA.- c.1841, Ky.) a former Revolutionary War Soldier , on January 13, 1814. They emigrated to Missouri in 1817 and altogether had 14 children. A dark chapter came into their lives when Indians massacred all passengers, including two of their boys, on a wagon train going west but one, Joel Campbell Ham (1818-1887). He escaped by crawling into a haystack and the Indians overlooked him. He returned to Missouri.

Rev. Jabez Ham organized a church on Loutre Creek in Montgomery County, Missouri called New Providence *. In a letter, written by a Callaway County woman to her sister in Kentucky about a wedding she attended officiated by him, she described him thus: "He had on a long buckskin overcoat that looked so funny! Mr. Ham was a spelling and reading the ceremony from the book." He was said to be quite a character. Another story involves a State senator, one Mr. Harper who left Montgomery County to get a load of corn in Callaway County. Harper wore his usual home-spun clothes and on his way back home, he went by a house where Jabe was preaching. Harper stopped by to hear it and during the services, Jabe asked the congregation to kneel in prayer, which all did except Harper, who leaned his head upon his hand. Then Jabe prayed that the Lord would bless "that Virginia man, who had on store clothes, and was afraid or too proud to get down on his knees."

He passed away in Callaway County, Missouri on December 12, 1842 and is buried in the New Providence church cemetery.

(Note: Rev. Ham was my 4th great-grandfather.)


* Historical Note: According to my unpublished research into pioneer Missouri churches 1541-1910, Joseph Baker (d.1811) came from Kentucky to Montgomery County in 1809. He organized a Baptist church in 1810 on Loutre Creek, called "The Church on Loutre." In September of that year, the congregation called Joseph Baker as their pastor, electing William Savage clerk and set apart Samuel Brown as deacon. Since there are many types of Baptists, the churches may have had doctrinal differences or Baker's church and Ham's church may have been some distance apart on the creek, or perhaps, for some reason, the congregation drifted apart and Jabez Ham reorganized the church body. More study is needed.


More to Read:
1. The Ham Family Kith and Kin. By Rev. Ervin Charles Tipton. San Rafael, CA. 1977.
2. Madison County, Kentucky Marriage Records, Vol. 1, p. 113.
3. Pioneer Families of Missouri. By Byron and Rose, History of Pettis Co, p. 972.
4. Revolutionary War Records for Peter Todd, #S31430, Rowan County, NC under Capt. Robert Moore

Friday, January 31, 2014

Mary Engelbreit


Mary Engelbreit (b. 1952) = German-American Artist. Best known for cherries, checks, cottage roses, dots, hearts, Scotties, and Ann Estelle, whose namesake is Mary's maternal grandmother and wears glasses like Mary (second grade).

Once upon a time, a little girl was born on June 5 to "Papa" (d. 1990) & Mary Lois Engelbreit and she grew up in St. Louis, Missouri along with her younger sisters, Alexa and Peggy. She loved to draw and her first studio was in a linen closet. Some of her childhood memories are the shopping trips downtown with her mother for new straw bonnets for her and her sisters to wear to church on Easter Sunday and rambling together through flea markets.

When her high school guidance counselor at Visitation Academy recommended an university educator degree, Mary ignored the advice, skipping both university and art design school and immediately began her career in the arts at various jobs such as a free-lancer, after school at an art supply store, then at an advertising agency, as an editorial cartoonist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and for greeting card companies. Early on she made it a policy to associate with supportive people.

Like one of her illustrated fairy-tales, Mary began dating Phil Delano, an administrator in the county juvenile court system, in 1974 and married producing two sons, Evan in 1980 and Will, 1983. Eventually a granddaughter, Mikayla and a storybook cottage came along.

Mary's dearest dream was illustrating children's books, like the vintage ones her mother read to her growing up and in 1993, she finally realized it with the first of many, Hans Christian Andersen's Snow Queen. Many of her nostalgic and charming designs are translated into other products and today, her "Empire of Cuteness," is a multi-million-dollar company. Yes, she bloomed where she planted.


Quote: "She creates things that touch your heart. Her drawings have that nice quality. Crudeness and vulgarity hit us in the face everyday. Mary's pictures capture something we love and are losing fast." (Mary Lois Engelbreit.)


More to Read:
1. Mary Engelbreit, INK.
2. Mary Engelbreit: The Art and the Artist. By Patrick Regan with Mary Engelbreit. Andrews & McMeel, Kansas City, MO., 1996.
3. Home Sweet Home: A Journey Through Mary's Dream Home. By Patrick Regan. Andrews McMeel, KCMO, 2004.
4. Mary Engelbreit: Cross Stitch For All Seasons. Meredith Press, 1997.
5. Missouri Legends: Famous People from the Show-Me State. By John W. Brown, Reedy Press, St. Louis, Mo; 2008.


Read biographies of Mary's Favorite Artists: Joan Walsh Auglund, Seymour Chwast, Milton Glaser, Johnny Gruelle, Peter Max, Maxfield Parrish, and Jessie Wilcox Smith


Places to Visit:
St. Louis
Andrews McMeel Publishing Co, Kansas City

Friday, November 29, 2013

Obadiah Smith

Obadiah Smith (1805-1863) = Pioneer farmer & preacher. Soldier in Black Hawk War. Born in Kentucky, he emigrated with his family to Missouri when he was a young man. His wife, Lucinda, born in North Carolina, also emigrated with her parents to Missouri some years previous to their marriage in 1832 and when they arrived in Cedar County, MO in 1837, they had two small children with them -- Ruben (4 yrs) and John (2 yrs), named for Obadiah's brother, John M. Smith. John M. became known in Cedar Creek for his agility and strength. He loved to demonstrate it by lifting two ordinary men at the same time without apparent effort.

Obadiah had very little schooling, but had an interest in reading and understanding the teachings of the Bible. He also had a passion for holy living. Even before he completed his own home [Sec. 3; Twp. 35; R 27], he began promoting the idea of establishing a Baptist church in the area with his neighbors which they did the following summer. Elders Hiram Savage and Elijah Williams and Deacon William Savage organized the new Cedar Creek Baptist church on July 1st, 1838. In August, the small congregation elected Obadiah as moderator for the new church. Later he felt called to preach and preach he did, but didn't receive ordination until September 1841.

Lucinda died shortly after the family settled in Cedar County and Obadiah married her younger sister Elizabeth Hartman. They had six children -- Andrew, Henry, Peter, Campbell, Samuel W. and Catherine (b. 1849).

During the Civil War, he put aside church work and entered politics, being appointed to the State Legislature (1862-63). He was killed with his own weapon, a rifle, while standing next to his wife by deceptive Confederate soldiers who came to visit them.


More to Read:

1. History of Hickory, Polk, Cedar, Dade and Barton Counties, Missouri. Goodspeed, Chicago, 1889.
2. Historical Sketches of Cedar County Missouri. By Clayton Abbott. Stockton, MO. 1967.


Places to Visit:

1. Hackleman Cemetery, Cedar County, MO.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Rev. Alexander M. Sullens


Rev. Alexander M. Sullens* (1830-1905)  = Christian (Campbellite; Disciples of Christ) Minister. Union Soldier in Civil War.

Alexander, born in Mill Springs, Wayne county, Kentucky on Oct 15, the third of thirteen, to John (1804-1883) and Malinda Thompson Sullens (1805-1867), emigrated from Kentucky to Miller county, Missouri where his brother was born the following year. Alexander's grandparents were Peter & Mary Carson Sullens, Sr. Alexander's first cousin, Judge John H. Sullens of Adrian, Bates County, MO.,  born in Kentucky the year before he was, was elected to both circuit court and as a Missouri state legislator. As a victim of the Burnt District, John, along with other representatives, asked the editor of the St. Louis Republican paper to publish George Caleb Bingham's letter concerning General Thomas Ewing's Order No. 11.

Alexander married Martha (1831-1914), daughter of Abraham and Nancy Ritter on May 19, 1849 in Cole County, MO and to this union six children were born -- William. Jasper  (1850-1829); John Thomas (1852-1935); Mary E. (b.1857); George Washington (1859-1896); Ezra L. (1861-1930); and Lewis Pinkney "Pink" Sullens (1867-1945). Their son, William, played a fiddle and it is said that he could play all night and not play the same song twice. William's son, Loyd Carl would accompany his father on his banjo.

Alexander pastored the Spring Garden Christian Church, the mother church of all the Disciples of Christ churches in Miller County. The church was organized in 1840 and two church houses were built in the northwest corner of the present day cemetery in 1845 and 1870. When his granddaughter, Cora Lee (1875-1955), daughter of William Jasper and Nannie C. Scrivner (1857-1901) Sullens, married William Thornton Rush (1874-1954), son of James M. (1826-1892) & Theresa Jane Loveall Rush (1835-1909), on March 30, 1902,  he officiated at their wedding ceremony.

 * my husband's third-great grandfather

 More to Read:

1. Bingham: Fighting Artist. By Lew Larkin. School of the Ozarks Press, Point Lookout, MO. 1971. P. 293.
2. The History of Cass and Bates Counties, Missouri. St. Joseph, Mo. National Historical Company, 1883. p. 1299-1300. Repository: Midwest Genealogy Center, Independence, MO, www.mymcpl.org
3. Miller County, MO. Marriages, Bk. E. P. 137 By A. M. Sullins.
4. The Rush Report. Compiled by Gaynelle Jenkins Moore with research assistance by David W. Rush. Historical Data Services, Glens Falls, NY; 2003.
5. Peter Sullens and Mary Carson and Two Hundred Years of Descendants. By Maude Sullens Hoffman. Printed by J.W. Brown. 1971.
5. Miller County, Missouri Communities: Spring Garden

Places to Visit:
1. Spring Garden Cemetery, AA Hwy & Binkley Road (north of 54 Hwy), Spring Garden, Miller County, MO. 


Alexander Sullen's Civil War Tombstone
Spring Garden, MO. cemetery
Certificate that came with Civil War tombstone
signed by US President

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Rev. Isaac McCoy

Rev. Isaac McCoy (1784-1846) = Baptist Missionary. Surveyor. US Commissioner Indian Agent. Ferry operator. Born in Pennsylvania and reared in the frontier settlements of Indiana and Kentucky.
Isaac brought his family of six west in 1830. His son, John Calvin, born in Indiana in 1811, his daughter, Delilah, and his son-in-law, Dr. Johnston Lykins. When the Rev. McCoy arrived, he knelt, offered prayer and dedicated the land.
Isaac built a log cabin high on a hill (northeast corner of Main and Linwood Blvd.) overlooking what was to become Westport.
In August of 1830, Isaac McCoy addressed a council of Shawnees on the subject of establishing a Baptist mission. He wrote in his diary: "The Methodists have been talking of forming an establishment among them. Today more than twenty Shawanoes assembled in obedience to a call of Major John Campbell, [sub-agent] to whom I made a pretty lengthy address on the subject of a mission being established among them. The celebrated Shawnaoe prophet, who was so often heard of in the last war, and brother to Tecumseh, replied briefly to me. An answer will be deferred, until I return from my tour in the wilderness."
Isaac McCoy surveyed the Indian reservation land in Kansas. Mrs. Eliza McCoy, a niece, worked at the Wea Baptist Mission near Paola in 1848.  
On July 13, 1835, Isaac purchased a female slave named Chiney for $15 to prevent her from being torn from her husband and family. He was against slavery, but promised to provide her freedom when Chiney had paid him back.. He left Chiney to his wife in his will and Jotham Meeker, another Baptist missionary, witnessed it.
A marker was placed at McCoy’s  home, near what became St. Luke’s Hospital on Wornall Road, in 1961 by the Jackson County Historical Society.
 
 
Historical Note: Isaac's brother-in-law, Judge William Polke of Rochester, was the conductor of the Pottawatomie Indians during the Trail of Death from Indiana to the Indian territory in Kansas in 1838.


 More to Read:
1. McCoy Papers, Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, KS www.KSHS.org
2. The Annual Register of Indian Affairs within the Western (or Indian) Territory. By Isaac McCoy, 1837-1838. KSHS.org
3. History of the Baptist Indian Missions. by Isaac McCoy. 1840.
4. The Memoir of Mrs. Eliza McCoy. Calvin McCormick, Dallas, Texas, 1892.
5. Jackson County Pioneers. By Pearl Wilcox. 1975
6. A Historic Outline of Grinter Place from 1825 to 1878. Compiled by Harry E. Hanson. c. 1970.
7. “The Trail of Death” by Marilyn Mullins, Osawatomie and Its People. Osawatomie Historic Society, 1995
8. Annals of Shawnee Methodist Mission. Compiled by Martha B. Caldwell. Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, KS. 1977.
9. John Brown and the Legend of Fifty-Six. By James Claude Malin. 1942.
10. The History of the Jackson County Historical Society: 1909 to 1996. By Wilda Sandy. 1996. and  Here Lies Kansas City: A Collection of Our City’s Notables and Their Final Resting Places. Wilda Sandy. 1984.
 

Places to see in Mo and KS.
1. Westport Landing, Missouri River and Grand Ave, Kansas City
2. Residence Marker, near St. Luke’s Hospital on Wornall. Kansas City, MO. Jackson County Historical Society. 1961.
3. John Calvin McCoy’s former home, 711 Olive Street, Kansas City, MO.
4. John built a two story log cabin in 1833 at 444 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO.
5. Look up! The Westport Historical marker is attached to a brick building on the corner of Pennysylvania and Westport Roads, Kansas City, MO.
6. Mary Ann Isaacs Dagenette Peoria's home, 708 E. Kaskaskia St., Paola (Private home).
7. Wea Baptist Mission History, Miami County Historical Museum, Paola, KS.
8. Red Bridge, spans Red Bridge Road between Blue River Parkway and Holmes Road, Kansas City, MO
9. Union Cemetery, 227 East 28th Terr., Kansas City, MO.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Rev. Nathan Scarritt


Rev. Nathan Scarritt (1821-1890) = Methodist Preacher and Teacher. Missionary. Nathan was born in Edwardsville, Illinois on April 14 and was educated at McKendree College, in Lebanon, Illinois.

He arrived in the Kansas City area in September of 1848 to teach the classics at Rev. Thomas Johnson’s Shawnee Methodist Indian Manual Labor School. He also taught at early grammar schools in Westport, at a seminary for young women and at a Bible training school for missionaries.

Rev. Scarritt preached at the Delaware Indian Methodist Mission White Church organized by Rev. Thomas Johnson for a time. In 1852, the Independence Methodist circuit was dropped and a new Kansas and Westport circuit filled, with Rev. Scarritt appointed as preacher. He attended the St. Louis Methodist Conference at Springfield, MO. on Wednesday, October 24, 1855. Nathan was presiding elder over the Lecompton district in the fourth session of the Kansas Methodist Mission Conference held in Tecumseh on September 23, 1859.  In 1858-59, he was appointed to the Shawnee Reserve, and for the next two years he was the presiding elder of the Lecompton district. Later he preached at the Washington Street Methodist Episcopal Church, a preaching point begun by a Methodist layman, W.B. Barber in 1877.

Nathan married Martha Matilda Chick, daughter of Col. William Miles (1794-1847) and Ann Eliza Smith Chick (1796-1876) and produced nine children. Originally, Nathan and Martha lived in Westport, in a tidy two-story frame house, but moved to a farm in 1862, close to today’s Cliff Drive and Gladstone Blvd in Kansas City. Still standing is his eldest son’s 1898 Scarritt-Royster home.  In October of 1874, he married Mrs. Ruth E. Scarritt, the widow of his brother Isaac.

Nathan died on May 22 and is buried in the Mt. Washington Cemetery in Independence, MO. 

More to Read:
1. Kansas City Then & Now 3. By Monroe Dodd, Kansas City Star Books, 2007.
2. Here Lies Kansas City: A Collection of Our City’s Notables and Their Final Resting Places. Wilda Sandy. 1984.
3. He Came To Pray: History of White Church Christian Church: 1832-1996.
4. Lecompton Methodist Church" By Iona Spencer. Bald Eagle. Lecompton Historical Society, Lecompton, KS. Summer, 1998.
5. Methodist Episcopal Church, South History. By Rev. Joab Spencer.
6. Postcards from Old Kansas City. By Mrs. Sam Ray. 1980.
7. Westport: Missouri's Port of Many Returns. By Patricia Cleary Miller. Lowell Press, Kansas City, Mo. 1983. Repository: Mid-Continent Public Library, Raytown Branch, 10016 E. 62st, Raytown, MO.www.mymcpl.org


Places to Visit in KS. & MO.
1. Shawnee Indian Mission Historic Site & Museum, 3403 W. 53rd, Fairway, KS www.kshs.org/places/shawnee/
2. White Christian Church/Delaware Indian Mission (see stained glass window), 2200 N. 85th St., Kansas City, Wyandotte County, KS.
3. Lecompton & Tecumseh, KS.
4. Former home stood at 4038 Central street, Kansas City, MO.
5. Scarritt Point Memorial, (first home site), West side of Walrond Street and Norledge Ave, at Kessler Park, Scarritt Spring, Kansas City, MO.
6. Scarritt Building, 9th & Walnut, Kansas City, MO. (completed in 1907)
7. Scarritt-Royster home, 3500 Gladstone Blvd, Kansas City, MO.
8. Mt. Washington Cemetery, 614 Brookside Drive, Independence, MO.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Elizabeth "Bess" Virginia Wallace Truman


Elizabeth "Bess" Virginia Wallace Truman (1885-1982) = Former First Lady. Favorite colors: Plum, Blue. Born in Independence, MO on February 13 to David Willock, a banker, and Margaret "Madge" Gates Wallace . She was the eldest and only daughter of four children. With blue-eyes and golden curls, Bess, in her future husband Harry S. Truman's estimation, was the "sweetest, prettiest girl" he had ever seen when he saw her for the first time in Sunday School at the age of six. She was very popular and she graduated from the Independence High School in 1901. She also attended the Barstow School for Girls in Kansas City, for a year.

When Harry moved to Grandview, MO. to help his father with the farm and while he was away at war, they wrote letters regularly.

They were married on June 28, 1919, at an Episcopal Church and lived in her widowed mother's home. In 1924, Mary Margaret, their first and only child, was born there.

When Harry became active in politics, first in Kansas City, then in Washington D.C., she traveled with him and fulfilled the social obligations of her position as a Judge's wife, a US Senator's wife, and First Lady after the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. During Harry's second term, they were denied the pleasure of living in the White House until early 1952, while the century-old Executive Mansion underwent a major renovation. During this time, they lived in Blair House instead. In  late 1952, she welcomed Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower as the new First Lady to the White House. She was looking forward to going home to Independence. Her chief enjoyments there were reading books from her library and devoting time to friends and family such as her daughter, Margaret, and husband, Clifton Daniel, and their four grandsons.

More to Read:
1. Our First Ladies: Martha Washington to Pat Ryan Nixon. By Jane & Burt McConnell. 1969.
2. The First Ladies. By Margaret Brown Klapthor. White House Historical Association, Washington, D.C., 1979.
3. American Inaugurals: The Speeches, the Presidents, and Their Times. By Kristen Woronoff. Blackbirch Press, New York, 2002.
4. The Presidents In American History. By Dr. Charles A. & Wm. Beard, PhD. Julian Messner, New York, 1935; re-printed 1977.
5. Presidents of the United States. Jane & Burt McConnell.
6. Childhoods of the American Presidents. By William O. Foss. McFarland & Co, 2005.
7. Homes and Libraries of the Presidents. By William G. Clotworthy. McDonald & Woodward, 2008.
8. Hospital Hill: an Illustrated Account of Public Healthcare Institutions in Kansas City, Missouri. James L. Soward, Kansas City: Truman Medical Center Charitable Foundation, 1995

 
Places to Visit:
1. NationalAgricultural Center and Hall of Fame (Harry's plow), 630 Hall of Fame Drive, Bonner Springs, KS.
2. Bess Truman Clinic, Truman Medical Hospital Lakewood, 7900 Lee's Summit Road, Kansas City, MO.
3. Truman Heritage Festival
4. Truman Home, 219 North Delaware, Independence, MO.
5. Truman Library, 500 West US Highway 24, Independence, MO.
Bess and Harry are buried on the site of the Truman Library.