Missour Genealogy Trails

The History Of
Benton County, Missouri
Volume 1
Compiled And Written By:
Publishers: White & Miles
Copyrighted November 1, 1969
The Printery Clinton, Mo. , Warsaw, Mo.
 Chapter 3 Cont'


The Joseph Miller family settled in Benton County in 1852, coming from Green County, Kentucky. Some of the daughters were married but their husbands came along, all but the oldest daughter Celia and spouse. A great-granddaughter of Joseph Miller is Ethel L. Wilson of Cucamonga, California, who lived on a farm near Warsaw until she was seven. She gave us the following items about the Miller family: When Joseph Miller decided to move to Missouri, he sold all his horses except Burry Ann (the name came because she was always getting burrs in her mane and tail), packed a few belongings and hired an old man with an ox team to take the family to Green River. The family left Kentucky by flat boat down the Green River to the Ohio; thence by river steamer down the Ohio and up the Mississippi past: St. Louis where they changed boats, and thence up the Osage River. They disembarked at Linn Creek where Joseph mounted "Burry Ann" and rode for some one to move them to their new home. They located about eight miles north of Warsaw, on a bluff above the Little Tebo River. There were sugar maples and they made maple sugar. The spiles were elderberry. The troughs held a gallon, They also made sorghum molasses, and raised corn, wheat, tobacco and vegetables. They bought their first cook-stove, called a step-stove in 1860. They used trundle beds with strawticks, in the summer time they ate and cooked in a separate kitchen, but cooked in the shed in winter time. When I think of these wonderful pioneers, I am reminded of W. D, Gallagher's poem:

Our forest life was rought and rude,
And dangers closed us round;
But here, amid the green old trees,
Freedom was sought and found.
Oft through our cabins, wintery blast,
Would rush with shrieks and moan;
We cared not. Though they were but frail,
We felt they were our own.
Oh, free and manly lives we led,
Mid verdure or mild snow;
In the days when we were Pioneers:
Full Two hundred years ago.

The wild flowers in the woods, blackwalnuts and hickory nuts in the fall. Wild strawberries.that I used to pick on my way horne from school, and put in my lunch pail, a think it was a lard bucket), wild grapes, and blackberries. Mother making sorghum, and the picnic lunches we had under the trees where she made it, and pigs that rolled in the scum she removed from the sorghum. In the winter time. the apples that we had buried in the ground, how good they were, sorghum candy. 'popcorn balls, parched corn, and ice cream mother made from hail. Mother reading to us. The time Daddywas building the barn and Grandpa Miller looked at it and yelled, "GoodLord Almighty. George Miller, that barn's crooked....didn't I raise you better than that." And how Otho Jackson used to sing folk songs to us--"the preacher and the bear." and "the bumble bee's wedding."

As of 1960 all thatwas left of the second Joseph Miller horne was just the stones of the fireplace and the foundation. And. on up the hill, only a few stones marked the location of the George Miller horne, but they still showed the outline of the house and a search turned up a stove leg and door. piece of an old iron kettle and some pieces of crockery. Little left of these old homes. But the flowers still grow in the yards, including Easter lilies at the second Joseph Miller place. Allison Frizzell, in the 1960's believed that the place he lived was the original Joseph Miller horne. When they carne there, he said, there was a log horne with a shed room and a spring and a huge tree by it.


Between September 24 and October 1, 1830, an emigrant party of at least 29 people started north from Greene County, Kentucky to establish new homes in western Illinois. Pleasant McCubbin was the leader of the group, which also included his brother, David, both their families, and William H. Rupe, whose wife was the former Eleanor McCubbin. (Rupe and Pleasant McCubbin had married each other's sister.) They did go to Illinois. But both the David and Pleasant McCubbin families in the early 1830's carne to Benton County to settle, David first, then, in 1836, Pleasant and his family. The Rupes also carne to Missouri.

Dave McCubbin built the log house now owned and occupied by Theodore D., Chance. The latter is composed of two separate buildings, connected and covered with one roof, about eight or ten feet apart. Each log room had a large fireplace. Logs for these fireplaces were dragged to the space between the buildings, called the entry,putinthe desired door and dragged in to the fireplace needing them. Tradition says that Dave McCubbin invented the first metal plow. It was not well accepted as farmers were sure it would poison the earth to the extent that crops could not be raised. David McCubbin died in 1908 and was about 94 years old. Pleasant McCubbin (born September 19, 1804) died on October 6, 1863 and was buried in a cemetery near Warsaw. The Pleasant McCubbin family settled in the neighborhood of the old Sterret homestead, west of Warsaw. Shortly after moving here, Pleasant helped build the first house in Warsaw.


 Thomas and Yeureth Alexander were born in North Carolina in 1773 and 1776, moved to Kentucky, then to Tennessee and came to Benton County in 1816. (There's no written proof of this date but the family does know that they came just after a son, George Alexander, married Nancy Morton, which was in December of 1815.) They went back to Tennessee after five years, then returned here in 1830. Thomas and Yeureth had eight children, some of whom were born in Kentucky and others in Tennessee. .

The children, although grown, came to Missouri with their parents, with the exception of one who died, noted in courthouse records as "Squire" Alexander. They were: Judge George Alexander, Sarah Alexander (Mrs. Asa McKenzie), Nancy Alexander (Mrs. William Stewart or Stuart); Mary "Polly" Alexander (Mrs. Valentine Hammond);LouannaAlexander (Mrs. James Morton); Thomas Harrison Alexander (whomarried Eliza Norton); Emily Alexander (who married Isaac Weaver).

"Squire" Alexander's son, George Madison, also came to Missouri with the family and later served in the Mexican War. He was married to two Nancy's, Nancy Weaver and Nancy Blackwell, and is buried in Dade County. The family first settled on Turkey Creek, then moved into the Fairfield area. They purchased land from the Indians and had extensive land holdings. George Alexander was the most prominent of the Alexander sons. He was the County's first south side judge, serving two terms. He had numerous slaves and tradition says they did most of the rock work on the first bridge at Fairfield. He also owned the Fairfield mill at one time.

 George Alexander and his wife Nancy had eight children--James Madison, who died during the Mexican War and whonever married; Amy, who married William Williams; Emeline, wife of William Bishop (no relation to Zebulon and Thomas Bishop, as far as can be ascertained); Mary Ann who married Zebulon Bishop and whodied before he went on to Oregon; David Franklin, who married Nancy Wright, then married Agnes Zook; George Thomas, who was shot in the back at Osceola by Union Soldiers--he was a Confederate soldier-his wife was named Temperance but we don't have her maiden name; Mariah, who married Seth Howard; John Haywood, who married Dicey Cox. Mrs. Nora Quick of Warsaw, a great-granddaughter of Judge George Alexander, had these recollections about the family in early days.

On his first trip to Missouri about 1816, the Judge brought his bride, Nancy  and 143 head of horses from Tennessee. They crossed the Misaissippf River onice 18 inches thick. The Judge went first, his wife bring' ing up the rear. The ice began to break with the last horse. Judge Alexander yelled at his wife to jump from the horses and come on, but she stayed on her horse, which, plunging from ice flow to ice flow, made it safely to shore.


THIS HOUSE WAS BUILT By David Franklin and Agnes Alexander in the early 1850's and was a stage stop for the Hannibal, Boonville, Joplin stage line. Picture was taken in 1964, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Robb occupants of the house. It's located around three miles south of Warsaw.


Nancy's father had given her a Negro slave name Syl as a wedding present. Syl stayed with the family and she lived to be 103. By the time the Judge returned to Tennessee, he owned more than his father-in-law. Nancy Alexander, the Judge's wife, was, like many early pioneer women, skilled in taking the place of doctors when none were available. She assisted many women, colored and white, in childbirth. She was an excellent horsewoman, once rode 150 miles to get a draft for making wool coverlets. Mrs. Quick has a counterpane she made back in 1818. When the family again came to Missouri, they crossed the Mississippi on a ferry. A yoke of oxen, Buck and Bright, became frightened and their prancing was proving a threat. Someone suggested gouging their eyes out but the problem was solved by tying a red handkerchief over their eyes. On this trip, the women brought out their wheels ani would spin wool rolls while their teams rested. Mrs. Quick's grandmother, the late Amy Alexander Williams, said she could remember turning the wheel, altho only three years old at the time. The Judge's son James Madison was a 1st Lieutenant in the Mexican War. He contracted measles and got up too soon.

He had a set-back and died and was buried in santa Fe. When he left home, he went laughing, and did not return. Several of his buddies and kinsmen left crying, but came back alive. Marlar, the oldest daughter, ran off and married Seth Howard. After she died, Judge Alexander raised her three boys, Billie, Frank and John Howard. Her sister, Amy Williams, took Marlar's daughter Mary and raised her. John Howard (Lena Wilson's father) was the Judge's oldest grandson, and was just six months younger then the Judge's youngest son, Jolin. He was favored by being given a farm and this good fortune did not come to all the grandsons. Tom, a Confederate soldier, was captured enroute to Osceola in the Civil War, had his hands tied behind him, and was shot in the head (this was believed to have happened some where between Fristoe and Warsaw.) He was captured by Union Captain Webb, who had been his friend. Amy Alexander had warned her brother never to give up to Capt. Webb, but he told her: "Oh, me...he is my good friend••he'li stand by me." 'The Alexanders were told that, when captured, Tom told Capt. Webb: "A good friend told me never to give up to you." To which Webb replied: "If I knew who that good friend was, they would go just like you are going." That is why Amy Williams and other Alexanders had such hatred for Republicans during their lifetime.

 Mary married Zeb Bishop and had a son named George. When his mother died, Judge Alexander took him to raise. It is believed that he may have taken Alexander for his last name, as he was his grandfather's namesake. The Judge sent him to school in St. Louis. He was very handsome, attracted female attention but didn't pay much attention to all the fluttering about him. He was killed when he was working on a building, fell off the scaffolding and broke his neck. Nancy married Bill Bishop, no 'kln to -Zeb "Bishop, They had a daughter, Victoria. Nancy died and Bill married again and had two other girls. Judge Alexander took Victoria and raised her. Her daughter was Hattie Bartsche of Wheatland, who passed away a few years ago. Amy married William Harrison Williams and they had 10 children, Joe died of brain fever when he was 7, Frank died young, of membraneous croup. Besides raising her own still-large brood, Amy had a hand in raising her niece and nephews, children of her older sister, Marlar, In addition, she raised three grandchildren, children of her son Zebedee, whose wife died of quick consumption when the children were aged 6, 3 1/2 and 14 months. When Amy was 12, her youngest brother John was born. He was made. administrator of his father's estate and it took him three days and nights to count up all possessions and net worth. Frank Alexander, Lena Glenn's father, was John's oldest son and he said he could remember his grandfather counting out $12,000 silver dollars, in addition to all his land holdings. The Judge was the richest man in Benton County.

When he lived on the old Howard place, later owned by Lena Wilson, he had 23 Negro slaves. That manpower was used to build the bridge and mill at Fairfield. The Judge's house was a double log construction, with open hallway between, puncheon floors, low ceilings and one and a-half stories. Each winter, he would kill 16 beef and 32 hogs to feed the household. One of the slaves, Jonas, used to hide his bacon and meat in a hollow log to keep a fellow slave, Wilse (father of Jonas Alexander of Warsaw--still living) from taking it. Judge Alexander went to the South and purchased a slave named Charles who was only six years old, deciding to make a preacher out of him. Price was $600. There was much grief when he was torn from his  mother's arm and the youngster was taken away. He had an intestinal upset, and the Judge took him off his horse (he rode sitting behind the Judge), took his clothes off, washed them in a creek, then hung them on the bushes to dry. While they were drying, he fashioned a diaper out of a bandanna handkerchief for the little boy. Frank, crippled in the war, spent the rest of his life in a wheel chair. He was baptized shortly before his death, six years after he was shot, and they cut the ice in the river, wheeled him in his chair to baptize him. John married Dicie Cox and had ten children, one dying in infancy. Among the other children were Frank, Mollie Suiter, Ida Grace, Elsie Iiams, Tempa Murray, Myrtle Holley, John Lee, Zebedee (who took. his own life), and Wallace.

Another son, David Franklin Alexander. married Nancy Wright and they had two child.ren, John W. and Mary Ann. John W. operated one of the three ferries in Warsaw, was active in the Democratic party and  was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. In 1884, when he was postmaster, he published a list of names of people who had not called for their mail in The Enterprise.

Also in that year, he received a letter from his uncle, H. B. Wright, which notified him that Wright was half-owner of a silver mine in Bellvue, Idaho, which had plenty of pay ore in sight and an offer to purchase for $500,000 cash. John later moved to Washington state. Letters indicate that most of his family died of tuberculosis. John suffered a fatal hemmorage while on a ship bound. for Alaska, forcing the ship to return to Seattle. Last heard of any of this branch of the family was in 1907 when his son, Frank, wrote to relatives here, telling them of the deaths in his family. Frank, at that time, was working for Western Union. David Franklin Alexander's first wife, Nancy Wright, died young and is buried in the Wright cemetery in Shawnee Bend. Frank then married . Agnes Zook who had come here with her mother, Temperance Zook. They had two sons, Walter Henry and James Madison. Walter moved to California where he operated a clothing store in Woodland, later working for the railroad in Oakland, where he was hit by a train and killed. His son, Ernest, at the time of his death, was vice-president of the Angle-London-Paris-National Bank, now operated under another name. Another son lived in Sacramento, Walter married three times: first, Laura Huddelson, who was Ernest's mother; then a Roseberry, from Woodland, California and their son was Walter Franklin Alexander;  the third wife "Mug" Wilson.

Another son of David Franklin Alexander, James Madison II, known as Matt, married Mary Elizabeth See, daughter of Edmund See. They were parents of Lorn, Clarence, Ed, Fred, and James Madison Ill, also Annie Laird, Leota Ray, and Laura Price (for General Price) Allen. .

 David Franklin Alexander and his wife, Agnes, built a house on the old Fairfield road, about three miles south of Warsaw (the Sam Robb house.) It was used as a stage stop for the Hannibal-BoonvilleSpringfield stage line. The 15-inch-white-pine-boards used in the ceilings were hauled here from Arkansas by ox team. The barn and slave cabins are no longer standing but the stones were used for foundations in the present barn. James Madison Alexander II was born in this house in 1857 and. on his 83rd birthday went back to "slide down the bannister one more time." He did---head first.

David Franklin Alexander fought in the battle of Cole Camp, as a Confederate, and. one of his grandsons, one ofJames Madison Alexander Ill's sons, in Iowa, still has the watch he carried through the battle.

A listing of family names of people descended from Thomas and Yeureth Alexander , Grandchildren, Great-grandchildren, down to perhaps nine or ten generations, includes the following family names: Owen, Shull, Holly, Williams, McKenzie, Iiams, Suiter, McLerran, Harper, Copp, Cobb, Crawford, Dietz, Crosswhite, Matthews, Green, McCracken, Ketchum, Tipton, Breshears, Christy, Tavener, Eidson, Mullins, Glen, Huntress, Waisner, Ashinhurst, Rhodes, Mulkey, Harris, Howard, Drake, Suiter, Love, Wilson, Coates, Bailey, Craig, Eickoff, Laird. Bartsche, Wisdom, Murray, Weaver, Dickerson, Quick, Cunningham, Holloway, EUdell, Grace, Campbell, Henderson, Meader, Wisdom, Downing, Duke, Button, Shinn, Wright, Morton, Hedgpeth, Dull, Jenkins,. Hunziker, Stroud, Miller, Turpen, King, Watkins, Hubbard, Foster, Sweeney, Jones, Haseltine, Crabtree, Davidson, Meyers, Byer, Cox, Boring Ferguson Moree, Powell, Williams, Thurmon,  Guenther, Gabriei Stover, Sartin, Bird, Lapp, James, Hotchkiss, Ramp, Mitchener, Burnfin, Logan, Antwiler, Walthall, Tweedy, Allen, Woirhaye, Bell, Adams, Tucker, Root, Kindle, Carter, Satterfield, Benningfield, Suggs, Glenn, Ray, Hogue, Wayne, Austin, Nelson, Edge, Smith, Scott, Moore, Young, Thomas, Cain, Beard, Hutchen, Parsons, Johnson,Sites, Thompson, Gross, Hill, Ralston, Easter, Dickey, Dial, Levan, Hale, Bassett, Cramer, Harvey, Bowman, Hearn, Robinette, Gregory, Hudson, Bennett, Mellies, Engard, Smith, Mays, Bentley, Salsman, Montgomery, Keith, Lockhart, Coffman, Blais, Maner, Lesure, Hollingsworth, Palmer Kettle, Gardner, Cutsinger, Shepherd, Shireman, Handlen, Wallen, Stiltz, Kimble, Wagner, Dean, Hart, Swopes, Biggs, Evert, Berryman, Harbitt, Neal. Scholp, Plummer, Samson, Webster, Mothersbaugh, Quint, Klinger, Cowan, Cochran, Hill, Gowens, Belk and undoubtedly still others.



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