Quincy Bell, Civil War Hero or Political Thug?, Part 2

I hope you read part 1 because we’re jumping right into part 2, no introduction!


Transcription of the first newspaper article:

“From Texas County.

Still Another Spurious Delegate at Marshfield – A Fugitive from Justice turns up in a Representative Capacity.

Houston, Texas Co., Aug. 4.

To the Editor of the Daily Leader:

Springfield papers, containing an account of the Marshfield convention, have just been received here.  From them we learn that one Q. A. Bell was in that convention as a delegate from Texas County.  No Radical convention has been held in this county to appoint delegates to the Marshfield convention, nor for any other purpose.  Mr. Q. A. Bell got into a scrape here, and left the county to avoid being arrested by the officers of the law.  He ran away from Texas county- a fugitive from justice- went into Webster county and stayed with some relatives until the Marshfield convention came off.  He has just got back, and I understand he says he is ashamed of what he did, and would not have gone into the convention but that some of Havens’ friends at Marshfield “fixed up his papers,” and insisted that he act as a delegate – that they assured him “it was all right enough, and nobody would ever find it out.”

Suffrage Radical”

It was alright enough.  You ever told yourself that about something?  Maybe next time, just say no!  I wish I could tell you that I understand everything that happened but I don’t.  I’ve sat on this story for about a year, maybe a little longer, because I was trying to figure out the whole story.  I’m not going to hold out any longer.  In trying to figure it all out there is another article we need to read but it is in such poor shape that it’s nearly impossible to read.  I’ve transcribed as much of the article as possible, and as well as possible, below.


“Daily Leader

Thursday, August 11, 1870

Was the nomination of the ten dollar, hundred day ??? by the Marshfield convention a cut-and-dried affair or was it not? Was the convention which made the nomination a body representative of the real contingent of the Radical party in the district, or did it represent only that ??? “ring” in that party?  It now appears that the two individuals admitted to the convention as delegates authorized to ??? the vote of Ozark county, were not only spurious and self-constituted, but in no manner reflected the sentiment or wishes of the majority of the party in that ???.  One of them, in fact, had not been in the county or the State three months, and was not therefore a qualified voter.  It appears that McDonald county, which no primary convention was held and no exp??? whatever of ??? as to candidates was had, was in like manner misrepresented in the person of W. H. Goody ????.  And now it further appears that Texas county, failing to send a delegation found herself honored in the convention by being accredited in that body with a fugitive from justice, Q. A. Bell, who was picked up in the streets of Marshfield and clothed with representative honors by an ??? of the Havens clique.  Here, ???, we have three ??? casting their votes at Marshfield for a candidate and the representative of principles notoriously ignored by a large majority of the party whose views they assumed to represent.  Add to these Christian county, in which the friends of the amendment ??? align two to one, and also add Greene, ????? not the question become one worth the ??? of the party whether they have not been imposed on, their real sentiments misrepresented, and their wishes overridden in the action of the Marshfield meeting! Does it not become even a more serious question whether they will abide by and submit to the usurpations of a mere clique, bent upon carrying out the will and the wishes, not of the majority, but the barest minority of the party?”

That’s where the article ends.  I can hardly make heads or tails of it other than Quincy wasn’t alone in this mess and there was a clique known as the Havens clique that was a minority in the Radical Party of 1870.  So I Googled it, of course!  Apparently, in the five years following the Civil War, Missouri was deeply divided.  The conservatives had split into several factions over a variety of issues and they couldn’t seem to agree on anything.  In this void rose up the Radical Union Party.  They wanted to get rid of slavery as well as Missouri’s reputation of being a state overcome with guerilla warfare.  The party was progressive in their thinking.  You can learn more here.

Suffice it to say, Quincy got sucked into all this- whether willingly or through cajoling- and it didn’t end well for him.  I really can’t tell you much more than that right now but there is at least one more article I need to transcribe.  Unfortunately, it’s taking a lot longer than I thought it would.  So, over the next week or two I’m going to be transcribing and reporting to you about the Marshfield Convention and the craziness that went on there and maybe when I’m done we’ll have this all figured out.

So enjoy your stay right here in the middle of a big old political, legal mess for Quincy.  I’ll catch up with you soon with the rest of the story.

Until then,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

Clippings are from Newspapers.com

Quincy Bell, Civil War Hero or Political Thug?, Part 1

We can all be different people at different times.  No one is static.  So can someone be both a hero and a thug in different circumstances?  I’m going to explore that question today in the life of my paternal 3rd great-grandfather, Quincy Adam BELL.  He was married to Elizabeth Emoline STEPHENSON (possibly spelled STEVESON, STEPHESON or STEVENSON).  The line of descent is from Quincy through his daughter Eliza, and Eliza’s son Ralph LARKIN who was my great-grandfather.  Quincy was born on this date (13 March) in 1825.  I have not written about Quincy before.  Normally I would take the time to introduce him to you but today I have a story to tell you that my sister-in-law has been asking me to tell for over a year.  (By the way, you should visit her blog over at Down in the Root Cellar.)  I will give you an abbreviated introduction but mostly I want to get right into his story.

Quincy was born in Tennessee but he lived the majority of his life in Missouri.  He came to Missouri with his parents and siblings sometime around 1836.  I want to skip ahead though, to Quincy at age 36.  The year was 1861 and America was barreling toward a civil war.  Quincy volunteered to serve for the Union.  On 28 August 1861, Quincy enrolled as a Private in Captain Coleman’s Company, Missouri Infantry for a period of 6 months.  One of his fellow Privates was John Smith PHELPS who had served both in the Missouri House of Representatives and in Congress (including serving on the House Ways and Means Committee) since 1840.  (I think it was this connection with PHELPS that caused Quincy to end up in a situation that got him in trouble later in his life.)  They fought in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek after which the company retreated to Rolla, Phelps County, Missouri (which was named after John Smith Phelps when it was created).  It was during this time that, in a special arrangement with President Abraham LINCOLN, John Smith PHELPS organized an infantry regiment – Phelps’ Infantry Regiment.  By November of 1861, Quincy had enrolled as a Private in Company A, Phelps’ Infantry Regiment in Rolla, Phelps County, Missouri.  They spent most of the winter of 1861-1862 at Fort Wyman in Rolla, Phelps County, Missouri.  In March of 1862, the Company fought a fierce battle at Pea Ridge, Benton County, Arkansas.  The battle lasted two days.


Pea Ridge Battlefield maps found on Wikipedia.


Sketch of the Last Hour of the Battle of Pea Ridge found on Wikipedia.

Quincy’s muster-out date from Company A, Phelps’ Infantry was 11 April 1862.  He mustered out in Springfield, Greene County, Missouri and was given $26.62 for “clothing in kind or money advanced”.  He was marked as Present.  I don’t know the succession of events but I have found an index card showing that Quincy mustered in to Company M of the 16th Missouri Cavalry as a Private and before he mustered out he had been promoted to Quartermaster Sergeant.  A Quartermaster Sergeant is in charge of supplies, as I understand it.  I know that he was in this company in 1863 but that’s as close as I’ve gotten so far.

You can read a short couple of paragraphs about the 16th Missouri at NPS.gov.  One thing I know this company was doing in 1863 other than fighting in skirmishes was fighting Confederate Guerillas in the Springfield, Greene County, Missouri area.  You can read a short snippet about Phelps’ Regiment also at NPS.gov.

Other researchers have listed him as being in Berry’s Battalion Cavalry,  Cass County Home Guards Cavalry, Stewart’s Battalion Cavalry, and Van Horn’s Battalion Cavalry during 1863.  I have not found documentation to support these claims yet.

Now, I want to skip ahead a little.  The year is 1870 and very politically charged- much like the current political climate.  It’s 11 August in Missouri- hot, humid, nearly unbearable.  Quincy is 45 years old.  I’m going to leave you right here for the night and finish the story tomorrow.  Be sure you come back because this is where he runs into trouble!

Until tomorrow,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

Sources: NPS.gov; Wikipedia; Fold3; Ancestry; https://www.civilwar.org/learn/civil-war/battles/pea-ridge (I like CivilWar.org’s battlefield photos better).  I encourage you to explore CivilWarTalk.com’s website as well.

John Bell and Sarah Hardin- Another Postmaster and His Wife

Today’s blog post is about my paternal 4th great grandparents, John BELL and Sarah HARDIN who were married in January of 1822.  I have never found a marriage certificate for them.  The date given is one I have received from other researchers.  I mentioned this couple in an earlier blog post.  As I was writing this week I realized that in recent posts I’ve forgotten to tell you which line leads me to each of these ancestors.  For John and Sarah, I descend through John and Sarah’s son Quincy, through Quincy’s daughter Eliza (whom I recently wrote about here), and Eliza’s daughter (and my great-grandmother) Bessie.  I’ll try to remember to include an ancestral line in future posts. 

John BELL was born about 1795 possibly in North Carolina or Kentucky.  I don’t know for sure who his parents were.  There is much about John that I haven’t been able to figure out.  I have yet to find a birth or marriage record.  His burial location is on private property and in the 1970’s the then-owners of that land destroyed the headstones and the Bell family cemetery.  This information comes from researcher Shirley Davis who visited with the people who owned the land at that time.

Sarah HARDIN was born about 1806 in Rutherford County, North Carolina to Hardy and Tabitha (ROBERTS) HARDIN.  Their last name is also commonly spelled HARDEN.  Sarah has been easier to research than John but there is still much about Sarah that I don’t know.  She is buried in the same location as John so there are the same difficulties with no one knowing exactly where that is.

John and Sarah lived in Sweetwater, McMinn County, Tennessee at the beginning of their marriage between 1820-1830.  In 1838 they moved to Greene County, Missouri with their children- Quincy, Calvin, Serena, Elvina, Catherine, Alexander, James, Sarah, and Hannah.  After the family moved there, Phebe and Mary were born.

John was the first Postmaster at the Dallas, Missouri, Post Office (Greene County).  The first Postmaster appointment I can find for him was at the Dallas (Missouri) Post Office on 19 December 1844.  He as there until 27 May 1846.  The following day John SMITH replaced him at Dallas Post Office.  On 15 January 1847, John was appointed Postmaster at the post office in St. Paul, Missouri.  Another researcher (Shirley Davis) has said that the St. Paul Post Office was on John’s property.  As I’ve said in previous blog posts, the postmaster often kept the post office in his own home.  John’s property was Southwest of Marshfield, Missouri, on the James River.  I believe it is that area that is known as Bell Ford, which you will see on several of the family records.  There is also a place called Bell Spring that was named after our Bell family.  Here is a map showing Bell Springs Road and Bell Ford Road.

Bell Hardin post - bell springs map

Here is a zoomed-out map of the same area.  #1 is Marshfield, Missouri.  #2 is Fordland, Missouri.  #3 is Seymour, Missouri.

bell hardin post zoomed out bell spring map.jpg

This map will give you a better idea of location.  Within this triangle of Marshfield-Fordland-Seymour is where John and Sarah HARDIN BELL lived and where Bell Springs and Bell Ford are located.  My guess is they lived closest to where #4- High Prairie- is.  When I looked for St. Paul (the name of the post office John ran out of his home) the Geographic Names Information System indicated that St. Paul Cemetery is located in a place now called High Prairie.  So this is my best guess as to where they lived.  St. Paul Post Office didn’t exist for very long and there is no longer a place in Webster or Greene County, Missouri going by the name St. Paul.  The area shown in the map would, of course, also be the general area where the Bell family cemetery is located.  These maps were found at Any Place America’s website.

I’ve read that John ran the St. Paul Post Office until his death.  Government records show that he was Postmaster there until 30 November 1848.   However, the will transcription given by Shirley Davis shows that John died “on or about” 7 September 1848.  The Postmaster records for this time period are difficult to read so it is very possible that John had no gap in employment as a Postmaster.  In addition to being difficult to read, the records aren’t indexed.  At this time though, these are the only records I’ve found of his employment as Postmaster.  The census records for his era do not list types of employment so this may be all we ever learn of what John did for a living.  

After John’s death in 1848, Sarah remained in Greene County, Missouri.  In 1855, Webster County, Missouri was created from part of Greene County, Missouri.  This area included the place where Sarah BELL lived.  As far as I can tell, Sarah remained there until her death.  Her adult daughters lived with her for much of her life.  At least one of the daughters never married.  Sarah and John, along with some of their children and grandchildren, were buried in the Bell family cemetery which is on private property.  (See above discussion.) 

Here is a teaser for the next time I post about Sarah.  She had two little girls living with her in the 1870 census- Sarah C. DeSHZER and Cynthia A. BELL.  I don’t know who these girls are but I suspect they are grandchildren.  Notice that living close to Sarah was her daughter Elvina BELL JACK.  I believe the woman living in between Sarah and Elvina was one of Sarah’s other daughters but I haven’t been able to prove or disprove that theory.  Here is a screenshot of that census:

bell hardin census image

(Screenshot from Ancestry.com)

There is so much more to know about this family but I’m going to stop here for now.  I plan to return to this family later in the year to finish their story.


Until next time,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

Eliza Emoline Bell, Independence Girl

This time last week we were celebrating Independence Day in the U.S..  I planned this post for that date but I was having internet problems last week.  Eliza is the ancestor I was working on back on February when my posts got derailed.  She is my paternal 2nd great grandmother.  July is Eliza’s birthday month.  Her death date anniversary was 25 February 1934.  I’ve written about Eliza here with a follow-up to that post here and I published a photo here that I believe might be Eliza if you’d like to refresh your memory about her before going on.  Eliza was born in Roubidoux, Texas County, Missouri in July of 1871.  Her dad, Quincy, was 46 years old and her mom, Elizabeth (Quincy’s second wife) was 26 years old. 

Roubidoux doesn’t exist as an official place anymore but before it became a ghost town, it was located in the Salem Plateau region of the Ozarks at the confluence of the east and west forks of Roubidoux Creek, about 12 miles northwest of Houston, Missouri (the county seat).  

Independence Girl blog post Eliza Emoline Bell

The above map shows the location of Roubidoux, Missouri. 

Their post office was established in 1850 and was in operation until 1953.  The town was named after the creek but the creek was named after Joseph Robidoux, a French explorer.  The township of Roubidoux does still exist and has since 1845 which happens to be the same year that Ashley County was renamed as Texas County, Missouri.  Texas County was the largest county in Missouri and was named after the state of Texas which was the largest state in the Union.  Before Eliza was born her dad fought in the Civil War for the Confederacy.  Most men in Texas County were Confederates and were more concerned with the question of secession than that of slavery since there were very few slave owners in Texas County in the 1860’s.

Eliza married at a very young 16 years old to Samuel Morris WILLIAMS.  I haven’t yet found proof of what happened to Samuel but theories abound from the oft retold family story that he was killed by a train in 1905 to the theory that he abandoned Eliza and their children and ended up marrying another woman.  In any case, Eliza had been single (or widowed) about 3 years when she married John Charles F. SNEARY in 1908.  John was a local widower who had been married twice before he married Eliza.  In 1910, John and Eliza were living at 1300 North Monroe Street in Enid, Garfield County, Oklahoma.  I wanted to give you a map so you could see where they lived but my internet still isn’t up to par so I’ll let you Google that on your own.

Another interesting thing I found in the 1910 census is that Eliza said she had given birth to 11 children and only 9 were living at that time.  My grandma always named 12 children that were born before 1910 and then she named one being born after 1910.  I also have information saying that Eliza and John had a baby together.  I think the two deceased children Eliza was referring to were the twins, Lorinzo Dall and William Sherman.  I am uncertain what happened to Ruel, the baby born after Martin.  He lived to at least age 2 when he was listed in a census entry in 1915 in the state of Kansas.  I do know that in 1915, Ruel was censused with the last name of WILLIAMS even though family oral history says Eliza and Samuel were not together after 1905 and I have documentation showing that Eliza married John SNEARY in 1908.  I suspect that Ruel was the baby that Eliza and John had together and that the census taker made a mistake.  However, I have no proof of that.  The family did live in Iola, Kansas in 1915 with Ruel and the other children and Ruel doesn’t show up on any more census entries with the family after that 1915 census.  One additional fact is that their SNEARY baby is buried in Iola, Allen County, Kansas. 

Infant Sneary Obituary

When the SNEARY baby died, the family was living at 625 S Second St in Iola, Kansas.  Again, I wanted to give you a map but the internet isn’t cooperating so you’ll have to Google that one on your own again.

The last thing I recently discovered about Eliza was in a census entry that was taken when Eliza was about 5 years old.  This census was an 1876 Missouri state census.  It is the one piece of documentation that I can find that connects Eliza’s mom with the surname TYREE (spelled many different ways including TIRY).  My grandma always gave four surnames for Eliza’s mom- TYREE, MOODY, STEVESON, and BELL with the BELL name being her married name from her marriage with my ancestor, Quincy BELL (Eliza’s dad).  (Don’t forget there is also that pesky photo with the last name HENNIG that I believe may belong to this family!)  I have never been certain which is a maiden name and which are married names or even if all these names belong to the same family.  In any case, back to my discovery- the 1876 census showed a Mary A. TIRY living with Eliza’s mom.  The census does not say whether Mary is Eliza’s half-sister, cousin, other relation, or no relation at all.  I am assuming that Mary is closely related though since the TYREE name is a name associated with Eliza’s mom.

1876 census Independence Girl blog post

Above, the 1876 Missouri state census showing a Mary A. TIRY living with Quincy and Emely BELLE (a misspelling of the BELL name). 

Over the 1910’s and 1920’s, John and Eliza moved around and slowly worked their way back to Upton Township in Texas County, Missouri where Eliza died in 1934.  She is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Success, Texas County, Missouri with John SNEARY.  My grandma always described John as a good man- very kind and loving- and a good grandpa to her.  I’m glad to know that after a hard life full of loss that Eliza was able to end her life with a good man who took care of her and the children and grandchildren.

Hopefully it won’t be much longer before I finally make a breakthrough on Eliza’s mom’s family and get all those names sorted out.

Until next time,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog


Memorial Day Military Roll Call

This is my Memorial Day 2015 Military Roll Call.  I'm only listing direct ancestors.  If I missed anyone, please feel free to leave a comment or message me.  I did not list cousins, uncles or anyone not in my direct line so if you wish to add yourself or someone that is not in my direct line- feel free to leave a comment or message me.  Happy Memorial Day and don't forget:

DRAKE Family:
Vietnam:  Roy Drake
Civil War: Sanders Littrell           
                Joseph Larkin
                Bartlett Underwood
                Quincy Bell
Mexican-American:  Ervin Drake
Revolution:  Aquilla Greer

Also don't want to forget my son-in-law who served: Timothy Easter

BATES Family:
Spanish-American:  William Riter
Civil War:  John Bates
                James Bullock
                Charles Seely
                John Davis
                Jefferson Latty
War of 1812:  Frederick Foster
                    Benjamin White
Revolution:  William Chenoweth

Bart WILLIAMS' Family:
Korean:  Bart Williams Sr.
Civil War:  Frances DeWitt
                Richard DeWitt
                William Page
War of 1812:  Isaac DeWitt
Revolution:  Peter DeWitt

~Lisa @ Days of Our Lives