Taney County Missouri
Missouri Genealogy Trails
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Obituaries and Death Notices

Samuel Watkins Anderson
son of Ann Eliza & Thomas W. Anderson, died in Forsythe, Taney Co., Mo. 12 Aug. 1857, aged about two years.
Source: "Missouri Pioneers County & Genealogical Records," vol. XVIII by Nadine Hodges and Mrs. Howard Woodruff; March 1973; tr. by GT Transcription Team.

J. J. Brown
Ozark, Mo., Jan. 3 – This morning at 7:30 o'clock J. J. Brown, an old attorney of Ozark, died at his residence of apoplexy. He had been engaged in the practice of the law since the war and was well known in southwest Missouri. He was for many years a citizen of Forsyth and held the office of prosecuting attorney of Taney county two terms. He had a strong taste for newspaper work, having founded several weeklies in Taney and Christian counties. His last newspaper enterprise was the Sparta Pioneer, a Christian county weekly started about six months ago. (Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Missouri), dated March 17, 1920: Submitted by Denise Burge)

James Brown
Desperado Brown Killed - A Notorious Outlaw of Taney County Shoots a Man and is Hunted Down
Springfield, Mo., Aug. 21 – James Brown, a notorious desperado who lived most of the time in Taney county, was charged with robbing a farm house across the line in Arkansas in the vicinity of Lead Hill, and yesterday morning a party of men learning of his whereabouts undertook to effect his arrest. A man named Harris, who was some distance ahead of the others, saw Brown in the woods about six miles north of Forsythe and was immediately fired upon, the bullet hitting him in the abdomen and lodging in the back. Harris returned the fire, but before the rest of the party could come up, Brown had disappeared in the woods. The ball was cut from the wounded man's body and at last accounts he was still conscious, but the physician thinks it is impossible for him to recover. Another party of men headed by James Burch, deputy marshal, and J.C. Sheridan was organized last night to hunt Brown down, and following his trail they found him in the woods about four miles from where Harris was shot yesterday. Brown saw his pursuers and started to run, at the same time flourishing his pistol as if trying or threatening to shoot. The posse called to him three times to stop to which he paid no attention and James Burch leveled his revolver and fired, and when Burch and his companions reached the spot he was dead, the bullet having struck him in the center of the back. There was also another wound on his left side, which was no doubt made by the shot fired from Harris' pistol yesterday. Brown was about 40 years old and had the reputation of being a worthless scamp. While in this city more than a year ago he robbed an old man from Christian county of $300, was arrested and lodged in jail and on the following night made his escape. The sheriff offered $50 reward for his recapture, but his whereabouts have been unknown until this evening when Deuty Marshal Sheridan came to claim the reward.

John D. Caldwell
Dead, John D. Caldwell, Esq., recently elected a member of the House of Representatives from Taney and Stone counties, died a few days ago. He was a lawyer of some eminence, and leaves a wife and four children, with a multitude of friends to lament his death. [The Glasgow Weekly Times, Thursday, October 14, 1858; Submitters Name: Kathy McDaniel]

Goldie Marie (Maggard) Parker Combs
Funeral services for Goldie Marie Combs, 76, of Bradleyville, were held March 10, 2008, in the Kissee-Schofield-Eakins Funeral Home in Forsyth with Reverend David Easley and Reverend James Stuart officiating. Burial was in Patterson Cemetery in Bradleyville. Visitation was held from 6 to 8 p.m. on March 9, 2008, in the funeral home. Mrs. Combs died March 6, 2008 at her residence. Goldie was born the daughter of John and Eva Dora Maggard. She married Gerald Parker in Jasper County but later moved to Forsyth after his death. She later married Ernest Combs in 1993 and moved to Bradleyville. She was a member of the Hercules Church in Bradleyville. She is preceded in death by her first husband, Gerald Parker; son, Danny Leroy Parker; daughter, Kathryn Ann Patrick; brothers, Roscoe, Ray, and Ralph Maggard; and granddaughter Ronda Millard. She is survived by her husband Ernest, of the home; sons, Ernest Parker and his wife Linda, of Alba, Kenneth Parker, of Walker, David Parker and his wife Brenda of Sarcoxie, Shelva Combs, Elva Combs and his wife Sharon, all three of Ozark, Boyd Combs and his wife Kayla, of Bradleyville; daughters, Evelyn Cleveland and her husband Charles, of Carthage, Linda Cleveland and her husband Jessie, of Avilla, Sharon Smith, of Walker, Betty Maggard and her husband Rick, of Lamar, Ethel Bradley, of Slater, and Diann Knehans and her husband Mike, of Sumtner, S.C.; sister, Hazel Maggard and her husband Loren, of Oldfield; 26 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. [Branson Daily News; Submitters Name: Jody Eggensperger]

Charles O. Choules
FORSYTH, Mo. - Charles O. Choules, 82, of Forsyth, formerly of Lincoln, died Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2006, at Piatt County Nursing Home in Monticello. He was born June 10, 1924, in Fairview, Idaho, the son of Elmer and Irene Oliverson Choules. He married Mary Louise Forsythe in 1945 in Lincoln; she died in 1985. A daughter also preceded him in death. Mr. Choules was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, serving from 1942 to 1945. He owned and operated Choules Farm Construction in Lincoln. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Branson, Mo. Survivors: daughter, Maralee C. Lyons of Atwood; son, John C. Choules of Mahomet; seven grandchildren; a great-grandchild; two brothers, Clayne Choules of Washougal, Wash., and Nathan Choules of Chubbuck, Idaho; and two sisters, Ruth Kokol of Needles, Calif., and Helen Hill of Lake Havasu City, Ariz. Services: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Fricke-Calvert-Schrader Funeral Home, Lincoln. Burial: Harmony Cemetery, Beason. [State Journal-Register, (Springfield, IL) October 14, 2006]

Asa Edward
DANVILLE - Asa Edwards, 73, of Rockaway Beach, Mo., formerly of Danville, died at 12:39 p.m. Wednesday (Nov. 24, 1999) at Ferrell Duncan Clinic, Springfield, Mo.. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Sunset Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 3940 N. Vermilion St., Danville. Burial will be in Sunset Memorial Park, Danville, with military rites by American Legion Post 210. Visitation will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.  The News-Gazette (Champaign-Urbana, IL) - November 26, 1999; submitted by: Candi H.]

Owen Fisher
Crushed by a Mule
Springfield, Mo., July 17 – Owen Fisher, a prominent farmer in Taney County, aged 65 years, met his death in a very peculiar manner a few days ago. He tried to get the mule he was riding to cross White River, near Forsyth, when the animal became stubborn and backed up against a bending tree, crushing Fisher so that he died from his injuries the following day. The unfortunate man was buried yesterday. [St. Louis Republic (St. Louis, Missouri), dated July 18, 1889: Submitted by Denise Burge]

Abner Holcomb
Farmer Killed In Quarrel -- Ozark Neighbors Said to Have Had Trouble Over Stock Deal
Springfield, Mo., Aug. 6 – The Ozark region had another tragedy added to its long list yesterday afternoon, when Abner Holcomb, a farmer residing about twenty miles east of Forsythe, near Hercules, Taney County, was shot and fatally wounded by a neighbor as a result of an argument. When found at midnight Tuesday by neighbors, Holcomb was dying. He died at 9 o'clock this morning at his home. No arrests have been made. According to a report, the shooting followed an altercation between Holcomb and two neighbors over a stock deal. Judge Adams of Taney County left this afternoon for the scene of the trouble to make an investigation. An inquest will be held tomorrow morning. Arrests probably will follow. [Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Missouri), dated August 7, 1919: Submitted by Denise Burge]

Isaac Lewis
A Bald Knob Chief -- Murder of "Big Ike" Lewis in Taney County, Missouri, at a Mountain Dance
Galena, Mo., Sept. 8 – Nine fearful stabs and cuts, seven of which would have caused death, and a blow on the head from a four-pound stone, which crushed the skull to a shapeless mass, ended the life of Isaac Lewis, or Louis, better known as "Big Ike," and noted as a chief of the famous Taney County Bald Knobbers, who maintained such a reign of terror in this section several years ago. "Big Ike was murdered on the night of August 31, and John Abney, who is charged with striking the blow with the stone, is in the Ozark Christian County Jail, while Marion Bearden and his son John, who are accused of doing the stabbing, are in hiding in the mountains. "Big Ike" was popular among his fellow citizens of Taney, and beyond his extreme dislike of "ther revenoos," as the internal revenue officers are called in this country, for their activity in interfering with the making and makers of mountain dew of the illicit brand, he was not known to entertain any ill-will against anyone – in fact he had no reason, for he stood 6 feet in his stockings, weighed 200 pounds, not an ounce of which was superfluous flesh, and had the reputation of being able to whip any two men in the three counties of Christian, Taney and Stone. It is true that it was suspicioned that he had a hand in the lynching of Bright and the killing of Deputy Sheriff Williams here several years ago – in fact, he was charged with leading the lynching party, but he never admitted it and no evidence to prove it was brought to the fore. The murder of "Big Ike" took place at the house of a neighbor named Abney, father of the one in jail. It seems that Mary Lewis wanted to go to Abney's to a dance. Her father let her go to help Mrs. Abney get supper for the dancers, but told her to come home early to attend her sister, who was seriously ill. She did not return. He went after her and found her with young Bearden, who was her sweetheart. She refused to go home, and "Ike" slapped her face, so she says. Then he went out, cursing. Old man Abney went to him and asked him not to raise a row. He said he would not, but was going on home out of respect to Mr. and Mrs. Abney. He left in company with his nephews, "Little Ike" and Colfax Lewis. When about 100 yards from the house he was overtaken by Marion Bearden, who, it was alleged, accused him of saying that his son, John Bearden, was the cause of the Lewis girl not going home. "Big Ike" denied it, and started on home. Bearden, it was testified to at the preliminary hearing of Abney, reiterated the charges, and, calling to his son, attacked Lewis. John Bearden, followed by the two young Abneys and other friends, rushed out and in 10 minutes Lewis was a corpse. The Beardens took to the mountains and the Abneys were arrested, and yesterday John was held for the Grand Jury, as stated, while James was discharged. Thus died one of the noted men of the Bald Knob country, and over whose death the mountaineers are more exercised than they have been since the great raid of the officers of the law, and the killings and murders of six years ago. [St. Louis Republic (St. Louis, Missouri), dated September 9, 1895: Submitted by Denise Burge]

J. McCulum
J. McCulum, Taney county, Missouri, died of cholera, June 13th, 40 miles west of Fort Kearny, aged 13 years. [Daily Missouri Republican (St. Louis, Missouri), dated October 7, 1850: Submitted by Denise Burge]

Capt. J. R. Van Zandt
A Mexican War Veteran Dies
Springfield, Mo. – Capt. J. R. Van Zandt, 95 years old, a veteran of the war with Mexico and of the Civil War, died Wednesday at his home near Kirbyville, Taney County. For some time he was a Methodist circuit rider in the Ozarks. Thirty years ago he was a member of the state legislature. From the Kansas City Times (Kansas City, Missouri), dated January 4, 1890: Editor and Lawyer Gone [Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Missouri), dated March 17, 1920: Submitted by Denise Burge]

James Williams
Died For His Duty
A good thing has happened in Missouri – something that is worth for liberty and law, for peace and good order and good will in the State, all the newspaper editorials that could be written and all the sermons that could be preached for a year to come. A plain, unassuming man has taken his life in his hand and has given it freely, generously, bravely, for the State. The self-sacrifice of James Williams, Deputy Sheriff of Taney County, is the best thing that has been done for Missouri and for the Mississippi Valley in a long time.  Such a sacrifice was obliged to come, and we are glad it has come in Missouri, where such self-sacrifice was most needed. Taney County is the breeding ground of mob anarchy in Missouri. It was in Taney County that the so-called "Bald Knobbers" organized themselves to commit mob murders and did commit them at their pleasure until after a particularly atrocious crime the love of law and order was so roused that many of them were brought to justice. By this same element of desperadoes, outlaws and murderers this brave and faithful and dutiful Missourian has been killed, simply because he was not a coward or a sympathizer with murder.
According to one report they shot him in the back while he was defending the prisoner put in his ward under his oath of office. According to another, they attacked him the courtroom and shot him down because he did his duty and would not perjure himself. It makes no great difference about the details of his murder. The essential fact of the case is that he was brave enough, true enough, self-sacrificing enough to die for Missouri and for the welfare of all its people.  There are in St. Louis and other cities of Missouri many wealthy people who out of dread of mobs and "mob law," which is only another name for the anarchy of diabolism, are willing to spend large sums for militia, who are continually appealing to the State to appropriate money to strengthen the militia. The Republic has no hope of the law and order of the bayonet, but here is a case where more can be done for law and order, for peace and liberty, than by paying to maintain a hundred thousand bayonets in the State. Where the Sheriff fails under our system of government everything fails. This Sheriff did not fail. He died freely like a free and faithful Missourian for his State.
The Republic wants $5,000, $3,000 for his family, $2,000 to put in the yard of the Court House of Taney County a monument "to Law, Order and Liberty," with his name on it and the inscription: "He died well and freely. He died for Missouri." The paper opens the subscription with $50, which we think should be the maximum of any one subscription, with 50 cents as a minimum. We have already received in cash $10 additional for the fund. It ought not to be allowed to drag. There could be no worthier charity, no better means of recognizing the truth, loyalty and heroism that is innate in the most commonplace man; that will show itself in nobly unpretentious self-sacrifice whenever it is properly appealed to as it always is when duty is made clear.  The Republic hopes that Governor Francis will go to the limit of the law in offering the reward for the arrest and conviction of the murderers in this case. He will be amply justified in sending a special message that will allow the Legislature to take action increasing the reward. The men who murdered Mr. Williams and his prisoner should be hanged with all the cold-blooded and solemn deliberation of the law against murder and anarchy. The noble example set by Mr. Williams will not be without its imitators. The spirit of anarchy is more active now in its manifestations than we have ever known it to be. In Missouri the first effectual resistance to it has been offered in Taney County, and we believe that only these Bald Knobbers are of Missourians brutal enough to take the life of a servant of the people when offered for his duty. But however that may be, the Anarchists must be checked, and they will find that they will not be allowed to commit murder at their pleasure without paying for it. James Williams is not the only brave and faithful servant of the people of Missouri, and before many more jails are stormed in this State, there will be a dozen or so Anarchists left around the doors to show the world that the law of Missouri are not mere words. [St. Louis Republic (St. Louis, Missouri), dated March 16, 1892: Submitted by Denise Burge]


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