Biographical Sketches

Biographies from Miller County People

 Increase Font Size  Decrease Font Size

Surnames Beginning With 'D'


Zebedee S. Davidson was born in Miller County on February 29, 1856. He was one of fifteen children born to John Davidson (1800-1875) and his two wives. I do not know the name of his first wife, but his second wife was Mahala Lawson (1815-1861), born in Tennessee. She was a daughter of David and Nancy (Shelton) Lawson. John Davidson, born in 1800 in North Carolina, was several years older than Mahala. John and his family came to Missouri circa 1830 and were early settlers of what is now Miller County. John married Mahala in Miller County on August 20, 1848. Their children were: MILES J. DAVIDSON b. 1850 m. (1) Sarah Brown (2) Electa Hopkins; RHODA M. DAVIDSON b. 1852 m. John C. Topping; ZEBEDEE S. DAVIDSON b. 1856 m. Cecelia/Sisley Wilson; SAMPSON S. DAVIDSON 1860-1887; and twins, TABITHA & ADELINE DAVIDSON b. 1859. Evidently Adeline died as a young child.

Some of John's children by his first wife were: JOHN W. DAVIDSON b. c/1833 m. Elizabeth______; ROBERT J. DAVIDSON b. c/1844 m. Agnes Wyrick; & MARTHA DAVIDSON b. c/1846, m. Jefferson Nicholds. At least six of John's children have not been identified.

John Davidson was a constable of Equality Township for about 6 years and his family lived in that township near the families of Wigington, Nicholds, Casey, Brockman, Scott, Dobson, Patterson, and Wyrick. Mahala (Lawson) Davidson died in 1861 leaving John with several young children. I believe he may have married a third wife, Mary F. Holeyfield, in 1862. This has not been confirmed because by the 1870 cenus, John was the head of household with 4 teenagers in the home, but no wife was listed. At that time they were living near the Osage Township boundary line near the families of Topping, Wyrick, Lupardus, and Salsman. John Davidson died in 1875.

Zebedee S. Davidson, a son of John and Mahala, married Cecelia Wilson (called Sisley) on January 9, 1880. Sisley was born 31 Jul 1867 in Miller County, a daughter of William and Eliza Wilson and a great granddaughter of 'Cave' John Wilson and his wife, Nellie. Zebedee and Sisley lived most of their married lives in Osage Township near Brushy Ford Creek where they reared four children on their large farm. Some of their neighbors at the turn of the 20th century included Wm. & Mary (Agnew) Burks, Everett & Stella Brumley; John & Lucy Lilly; Anthony P. & Wilhelmina Nixdorf; Charles & Pauline (Nixdorf) Burks, William & Eliza Wilson, and Joseph & Tabitha (Jarrett) Hensley. The children of Zebedee and Sisley were: WILLIS A. DAVIDSON b. 1881 m. Ida B. Hensley 1898; JOHN W. DAVIDSON (1885-1887); URAH GRACE DAVIDSON b. 1888 m. John M. James 1904; and BERTHA E. DAVIDSON b. 1898 m. Bert R. Hendricks. Zebedee and Sisley were members of the Fairview Christian Church which was near the area where they lived. In later years, when both had advanced to their senior years, Zebedee and Sisley moved to Iberia. Zebedee died 29 December 1927 at the age of 71 years.

Cecelia/Sisley lived until 28 March 1933. Both are buried at Mylee Cemetery, located in the Brushy Fork country of southern Osage Township about 11/2miles north of Highway 17.


Sometimes when I research a story from the past it is not always one with happy memories but instead is a more sorrowful story and the following is more along those lines. On 9 Nov 1836, Martha Day made an indenture of her young son, Thomas Day, to a man named William Blize. The child was only 5 years old. This transaction occurred in the Pulaski County, MO probate court.

At first it was unsettling to read that a mother had indentured her young son (signed away her child's future to another person) until he was 21 years old-16 years of servitude as a farmer's apprentice. But I later learned about some of the early laws of Missouri (and probably other states) during this period of time. A woman in the 1830s did not voluntarily give up her children to be bound to another person. It was the LAW. Believe it or not, in the early years of this country's history, an attempt was made to keep taxes at a minimum. The County Court judges were required to find some method of preventing the county from having to pay for the care of its indigent citizens. A woman whose husband had died (or sometimes absconded) was required to display how she expected to maintain her family. If the wife/widow had no means of support (no income from farm acreage or slave labor or family support) the County Court would parcel out her children to families willing to provide for the child/children. For the most part, the 'adoptive' family came out the winner for voluntarily taking in a poor child. Frequently the child became little more than a slave. From this info I would speculate that Martha Day had no choice but to indenture out her son, Thomas, to William Blize until he reached the age of 21 years.

As I read further into the legal papers it became almost comical to see the rules and regulations she had to sign in order to have her 5-year old son indentured. The following is part of the agreement: "He shall serve his master well and truly and shall keep his security and keep his lawful commands; he shall not do his master wrong nor suffer to be done to others. The goods of his master he shall not embezzle, shall not play cards, dice, or any other unlawful game, or go to taverns or ale houses, nor shall frequent fornication (houses of ill repute). GIVE ME A BREAK, THIS WAS A 5-YEAR OLD CHILD! The master shall instruct, teach or cause the same be done in the best manner and shall provide good wholesome meat, drink, washing, and apparel fit and convenient for such apprentice, shall teach him reading, writing, and common arithmetic and at the expiration of time, shall give him 2 decent suits of clothes, a good horse, saddle and bridle. So after 16 years of farm labor, he was entitled to 2 suits of clothes, a horse, bridle and saddle--cheap wages even for those days.

Thomas Day stayed with William Blize as a farmer apprentice for 6 years. On 24 Feb 1842, William Blize and his attorney requested the Pulaski County probate court release the indenture agreement. Thomas was only 11 years old when this transaction happened. Blize stated he had moved to Miller County. In the Miller County census of 1840, William Blize, his wife, and children were living in Richwoods Township. In his home were 5 boys and 3 girls. Since William Blize did not release Thomas from his indenture until 1842, I would imagine he was one of the 5 boys listed in the Blize household.

The whereabouts of Thomas Day from 1842 until 1852 are not known. On 15 July 1852, at the age of 20 years, he married Melvina Pemberton. Their marriage is recorded in Miller County records and was performed by Elder Thomas Winfrey of Miller County. According to information given in census records, Thomas was born in Tennessee in 1831. Melvina was a daughter of Thomas Pemberton and Dicey Winfrey. She was born 3 Mar 1833 in Henry Co., TN and died 22 Feb 1887 in Pulaski Co., MO. It is believed Thomas Day died about 1909 and is buried at Concord Church cemetery beside Melvina, but without a tombstone.

  • Thomas and Melvina (Pemberton) Day were parents of 10 children. They were:
  • 1. William Day b. c/1853 m. Levanda C. Goza
  • 2. James Day b. c/1854 m. Eliza J. Carlton
  • 3. Sarah Jane Day b. c/1856 m. (1) James Long (2) Simon/Anderson Keeth
  • 4. Mary Day b. c/1858 m. William James Brumley
  • 5. Lucinda Day b. c/1859 m. (1) Ellis M. 'Pat' Thornsberry (2) John Shelton
  • 6. John Melvin Day b. c/1861 m. Polly Ann Keeth
  • 7. Nancy Day b. c/1864 m. James Durham
  • 8. Melinda Day b. c/1866 m. Andrew Jackson Kanaster
  • 9. Thomas Day b. c/1871 m. Mary Delphy Lively
  • l0. Benjamin Day b. no record found
  • In the 1860 census of Pulaski County, Tavern township, the neighbors of Thomas and Melvina Day were the families of Mashburn, Johnson, McDowell, Pemberton, Ray, Luttrell, Reynolds, Thornton, Shelton, and Smith. All these families were living in the Hawkeye area of Pulaski County with Miller County being only a short distance north. I can find no record of Thomas and Melvina after 1871. One family researcher reported Thomas Sr. was living in the home of Thomas Jr. in the Pulaski County 1900 census. Thomas Day Jr. (1871-1950) is buried at the Concord Church cemetery. He and Mary (Lively) had six children per information found in a small obituary report.

    No other information was found about Martha Day, mother of Thomas Sr., who signed indenture papers for her son to be a farmer's apprentice to William Blize in November 1836. In some of Thomas' Civil War records he states he was raised an orphan and did not know exactly when he was born. His mother, Martha, must have died in the same time era she signed indenture papers for him in 1836. Perhaps his memories of his mother were few and vague if she died when he was only about 5 years old.

    NOTE: I wish to thank Barbara Pemberton of Cape Girardeau, Myra Thornsberry of Richland, and Dolores Manyik of Calhan, CO for sending me information about the Day/Pemberton/Winfrey/Thornsberry families.


    Simon Easton Deardeuff was born in Litchfield, Illinois on April 2, 1862. Simon was a son of Simon Peter and Susan Elander Deardeuff. Some of the brothers and sisters of Simon Easton were James S. Deardeuff b. March 1866; Thomas E. Deardeuff b. Mar 1873; and Nancy M. Deardeuff b. Dec 1874. Simon's paternal ancestors were natives of Ohio. Earlier, his ancestors lived in Virginia. His mother's ancestors were from the southern states of Tennessee and Virginia.

    I am not sure when the Deardeuff family left Illinois and came to Miller County, but it was in the latter part of the 19th century. On August 12, 1886, Simon married Ida Prater, the sixth child of John Monroe Prater and Mary Stein. The Praters were living in southern Richwoods Township in the Johnson school community which was near the Pulaski County boundary line. The Prater family came to Miller Co. circa 1883 from Fayette County, Illinois. Ida was only 15 years old when they married while Simon was a more mature 23. Ida Prater Deardeuff was born 14 Feb 1871 in Fayette Co., Illinois.

    Simon Easton and Ida were parents of fourteen children, but only ten survived to adulthood. The children were: Jennie Alice Deardeuff 1889-1982 m. (1) Wesley Eugene Tallman (2) Felix Setser; John S. Deardeuff b. 1890 m. Ada Butcher; Emmett G. Deardeuff b. 1894 m. Effie Hally; Clark W. Deardeuff b. 1900 m. Mildred Butcher; Clarence Deardeuff 1900-1900 (twin to Clark); Sarah Ellen Deardeuff 1902-1948 m Floyd Roberson; James Thurman Deardeuff b. 1904 m. Ina Morrison; Ruby L. Deardeuff b. 1905 m. Roy West; Thomas G. Deardeuff b. 1907 m. Gladys Hale; Mary E. Deardeuff b. 1909 m. (1) Wilbur Scott (2) Elbert Summa; Earnest Deardeuff b. 1913 m. Reba Jones....two other children died in infancy.

    Simon Easton Deardeuff died at the age of 94 years on May 10, 1956. His wife of 69 years, Ida Prater Deardeuff, had died a year earlier on Sept. 23, 1955. Both are buried at Bethany Cemetery in neighboring Pulaski County. When he died in 1956, Simon was survived by 9 children; 42 grandchildren; and 40 great grandchildren. He and Ida left a wonderful legacy and heritage, which will go onward for many generations.


    Margaret E. Cochran was born about 1845 in Indiana (one source says Decatur, Ill.) She died in Miller County, MO., in 1934, at age 88.About 1865, she married George W. Deatley in Illinois and they had several children born in that state.

  • The children were:
  • 1. Ida M. Deatley b Mar. 1867 m 1) James M. Clark 1885; 2) William D. McGriff 1909.
  • 2. William Deatley, b Jan 1869 m Agnes G. ?
  • 3. Joseph F. Deatley b 1871 m. ?
  • 4. Alfred N. Deatley b April 1875 m ?
  • 5. John T. Deatley b Oct. 1878 m Linnett Bilyeu 1905
  • 6. this child, name unknown, probably died in infancy.
  • By 1880 Margaret was a widow and was living with her five children in Maries Co., MO., in Miller Township. According to the census records, Margaret was a native of Indiana; her father born in Massachusetts, and her mother born in North Carolina. I do not know if she came to MO. before or after the death of her husband, George W. Deatley.

    The first record of the name Deatley in Miller County records was the marriage of her only daughter, Ida, to James M. Clark in 1885. The Clarks were residents of Osage Township, living near the Big Tavern Creek, a few miles southwest of St. Elizabeth. The widow, Margaret Deatley, married William R. Airhart/Ahart circa 1898. William R. Airhart was a widower, born Dec. 1832 in Missouri. The Airharts were an early pioneering family of Osage Township, having settled there before Miller County was formed in 1837.

  • William and his first wife, Martha J. (Humphrey), whom he married on June 22, 1854, were the parents of at least eight children:
  • 1. Mary A. Airhart 1861 - 1882
  • 2. Missouri Airhart b c/1864
  • 3. Nancy A. Airhart b c/1867 m. James Crider 1891
  • 4. James N. Airhart b c/1872 m Mary J. Wickham 1893
  • 5. John F. Airhart b c/1873 m. Mary Melvina Humphrey 1904
  • 6. Susan E. Airhart b c/1876
  • 7. Martha C. Airhart b c/1878
  • 8. William R. Airhart b c/1881 m. Margaret Brandon 1898
  • The neighbors of the Airharts during the 1880 census included the families of Doubikin, Evers, Clark, Cross, Airhart, Lawson, Sanderson, Albertson, Hawk, Musick, Wickham and Holtmeyer. There is no record of the marriage of William R. Airhart and Margaret (Cochran) Deatley in Miller County records, but apparently they married about 1898-99. In 1900, they were living on the Clark farm in Osage Township, where Margaret's daughter, Ida, and her husband, James Clark, were rearing their family. In the Airhart home were Margaret & George's two sons, Alfred and John D. Deatley, and William & Martha's two sons, John and William Airhart. Their neighbors in 1900 were the Hamiltons, Humphreys, Schultes, Crosses, Rehagens, Holtmeyers, Struemphs, Wickhams, and Airharts.

    Margaret's second husband, William Airhart, died April 13, 1904, and was buried beside his first wife, Martha J. (Humphrey) in the Airhart/Ahart family cemetery in Osage Township. William R. Airhart was a Civil War veteran and has a military stone marking his grave. He served as a private in Company I of the 4th Regiment, Missouri State Militia. After the death of William Airhart, Margaret Cochran-Deatley-Airhart lived for 29 years with her daughter and family, William and Ida McGriff, on the old Clark/McGriff farm. She died there in 1934 at age 88. Her services were held in the home and were conducted by Rev. Charles M. Sooter. Her obituary said she was a member of the Christian Newlight Church, which may have been the Humphreys Creek Christian Church, located in Osage Township, a few miles from the Clark farm. She was buried in the Clark/McGriff Cemetery, which was located on the land near their home.

    Today the old cemetery is still there, sitting on a hillside overlooking the Big Tavern Creek, which flows through the picturesque valley below.


    Eliza R. Denton was born in Indiana on September 26, 1847. When a young child, her parents moved to Illinois and finally, at the age of 19 years (c/1866), she came to central Missouri. In her obituary, her parents were not named so at this time I have to speculate...There is the possibility her father was Noah Denton, born c/1809 in Tennessee.

  • Some of her siblings may have been the following:
  • 1. Jacob Denton m. Nancy Adeline Bond
  • 2. Joseph Denton m. Cynthia Amanda Coxie
  • 3. Nancy Denton m. Phillip C. Admire
  • 4. James Denton
  • All these Denton family members lived in Richwoods Township during the census of 1870. Eliza Denton married Edmund W. Burks in Miller County on May 2, 1869. He was one of several children born to Allen and Temperance Burks of McMinn County, Tennessee.

  • Their children included:
  • 1. Willis Burks b. c/1833 m. (1) Margaret McCubbin (2) Mary Beckerstaff
  • 2. John R. Burks b. c/1836 m. Catherine Casey
  • 3. William D. Burks b. c/1838 m.
  • 4. Edmund W. Burks b. 1841 m. Eliza Denton
  • 5. Nancy Burks b. c/1844 m. Benj. Castleman
  • 6. Mary/Polly Burks b. c/1847 m. James Casey
  • 7. Jesse W. Burks b. c/1850 m. Alcena Lansdown
  • During the census of 1900, Edmund and Eliza (Denton) Burks were living in Richwoods Township, north of Iberia. Their neighbors were the families of Watkins, Casey, McCubbin, Barton, Hendricks, Cooper, Adams, Lewis, and Colvin.

    By 1900, they had two sons and one daughter living and two children had died in infancy. Their surviving children included a daughter, Cora A. Burks, born Sept. 1874. She married Chauncey Rinehart in 1904 and later married a Mr. Woolsey and moved to Illinois. The oldest son, Bentley Howard Burks, was born in July 1876 and married Nancy A. Shelton in 1901. In later years they lived at Crocker, Pulaski County, MO. The youngest son, Robert Theodore Burks, was born in July 1885 and he married Rosa Barton in 1908. In later years they lived in Salem, Dent County, MO.

    Eliza Denton Burks died at the home of her son, Howard Burks, in Crocker on 25 August 1922 at the age of 73 years. Edmund Burks, her husband of 56 years, died in January 1925. Both are buried in Hickory Point cemetery near the little country church where both attended and were members.


    John Erb Dickerson was born in Tennessee 16 April 1845, a son of John M. Dickerson (b.c/1820) and Elizabeth Jane Dickerson (1823-1888), natives of Tennessee. An early census record stated John M. Dickerson was born in Mississippi, but I suspect he was actually born in Tennessee. John & Elizabeth Jane married in Tennessee about 1840 and stayed for awhile. They moved to Miller County in the time era 1847-1848 and settled about 3 miles east of Iberia in the Big Richwoods.

  • They were parents of several children including:
  • 1. Margaret M. Dickerson b.c/1841 m. Pleasant A. Turner 1859
  • 2. James C.T. Dickerson b.c/1843 m. no record found
  • 3. John Erb Dickerson 1845-1935 m. Rebecca Jane Phillips 1876
  • 4. Parthena A. Dickerson b. c/1849 m. no record found
  • 5. Missouri Matilda Dickerson 1852-1876 m. no record found
  • 6. Eliza Jane Dickerson b. c/1855 m. no record found
  • 7. Henry P. Dickerson 1857-1887 m. Isabella A. Setser 1878
  • 8. Louisa Minerva Dickerson 1859-1933 m. Wellington Johnston 1879
  • The Dickerson family continued to live south and east of Iberia during the various censuses and some of their neighbors in those years included the families of Bilyeu, Davis, Breeden, Forbis, Shelton, Atwell, Thompson, Hargiss, Carroll, Johnston, Cross, Burks, and other Dickerson families.

    John Erb Dickerson married Rebecca Jane Phillips (1849-1904) on January 30, 1876. Their marriage was performed by Elder T.B. Phillips. Rebecca was a daughter of Jonathan/John A. and Ann W. Phillips of Tennessee. They came to Miller County after the Civil War and settled near the Dickerson family southeast of Iberia.

  • She was oldest of five children born to her parents including:
  • 1. Rebecca Jane Phillips b.1849 m. John Erb Dickerson 1876
  • 2. Isaac Mitchem Phillips b. 1856 m. Izora Belle Willis 1885
  • 3. Mary Catherine Phillips b. 1858 m. Peter J. Carlton 1880
  • 4. Sarah F. Phillips b. 1862 m. no record found
  • 5. Franklin Phillips b. 1864 m. (he was still unmarried in 1900)
  • John and Rebecca continued to live on their farm a few miles from Iberia and reared their six children (the 7th child died in infancy).

  • Their surviving children were:
  • 1. Martin Luther Dickerson b. Aug.1876 m. Orra M. Key
  • 2. Henry Harris Dickerson 1878-1961 m. Stella Mace 1908
  • 3. Thomas Wesley Dickerson 1879-1963 m. Anna M.Durham
  • 4. Walter A.Dickerson 1882-1969 m. Marcia M. Gardner 1909
  • 5. Gertrude A. Dickerson b. Feb 1885 m. Henry Newton 1911
  • 6. Maggie E. Dickerson 1880-1968 m. never married
  • Rebecca Phillips Dickerson preceded John in death by 31 years. She died in 1904 and was buried at Billingsley Cemetery a short distance east of Iberia. John Erb Dickerson died on April 15, 1935 just one day short of his 90th birthday. When John died in 1935 he was one of the oldest citizens of the Iberia area and was one of the few remaining veterans of the Civil War. He served with the Union forces in Company E of the 48th Missouri Infantry. He was a member of the Iberia G.A.R. Post #111 during its existence and is one of those featured in the picture of the old veterans which hangs inside the foyer of the Iberia American Legion post (formerly the G.A.R. Post). John came from one of those families which had members who supported both the North and the South during the Civil War. This was not uncommon situation in Miller County during the years of the rebellion.

    NOTE: Henry M. Dickerson, whom I believe was a nephew to John R. Dickerson and a cousin to John Erb, married Nancy Castleman of Richwoods Township 10 February 1855. I believe Henry was a son of Thomas J. and Jane Dickerson, who also settled in the Big Richwoods about the same time as John M. & Elizabeth Jane Dickerson, his brother and wife. In September 1859, Henry laid out a plat for the town site of Iberia. Shortly after the plat was filed at the courthouse, new business places began to spring up around the new town. Henry Dickerson, with his partner, Matthias Noyes, were among the town's first storekeepers. There are many references to the Dickerson family in "Jenkins History of Miller County" After the Civil War, Henry M. Dickerson, the man who platted Iberia, seems to have disappeared from the scene. I suspect he and his wife, Nancy (Castleman) moved away from the area with her Castleman family. There were problems between many Miller County families because of their loyalties to the Union and Confederate beliefs. It took many years for the old hostilities and hatreds to settle down.


    John E. Dickerson was born in Tennessee on April 16, 1845 and died in Miller County on April 15, 1935, age 90 years. When he was about 3 years old, he came with his parents to Miller Co. and they located on a farm situated east of Iberia that was known for years at the ' old Dickerson place'. John married Rebecca Jane Phillips of Miller Co. and they were parents of 7 children including: Luther, Wesley, Harris, Maggie, Mrs. Henry Newton, and Walter. One son died in infancy. During the Civil War he served with the Union army in Company E, 48th Missouri Calvary. He was a member of the old Grand Army of the Republic Post in Iberia until his death. Both John and his wife, Rebecca, are buried at Billingsley cemetery, east of Iberia. (John: 1845-1935; Rebecca : 1849-1904)


    William Powell Dixon was born May 11, 1812 in Roxburg, Person County, North Carolina. I have not been able to learn the name of his parents. William was an early settler of what is today Miller County, but when he arrived in central Missouri, the county had not been formed. As early as 1833, he had made a land entry on the northern prairie near Spring Garden (then Cole County).

    While still a young unmarried man, William was elected as Miller County's first Circuit Clerk and Recorder on august 6, 1838. He held this office from 1838 to 1856. During the same period of time he also served as Clerk of the County Court. The two offices were combined during those years. In 1844, William asked to have a building constructed on "Village Square" near the first courthouse (built of logs). The old courthouse was so cold during the winter months that William said he would build his own public office if the Court would provide the funding. They gave him $75 and he put up a new one-room building and moved the county records into it.

    Earlier, before being elected to the public office, he had a general store and trading post at Pleasant Mount (Mt. Pleasant) and was one of the first businessmen of the county. After his election in 1838, out of necessity, he moved to Tuscumbia to be near the courthouse. It has been said that "it's almost certain the name Tuscumbia was suggested by William P. Dixon". He was also given credit for naming Spring Garden, but I can't confirm these claims since it seems to be legend and not fact.

    On May 21, 1839, William married Nancy Minerva Wilkes in Miller County, a daughter of Edmund and Cynthia (Houston) Wilkes. His parents married in Maury County, Tennessee on 8 December 1819. Edmund Wilkes was also in the political history of Miller County, serving as the first Miller County Representative in the Missouri State Legislature during 1838 to 1840. Nancy Wilkes Dixon was born in Maury County, TN on July 10, 1822 and was one of five children born to her parents.

  • They were:
  • 1. Albert Gallatin Wilkes 1820-1880 m. Lucy Adcock 1842
  • 2. Nancy Minerva Wilkes 1823-1869 m. William Powell Dixon 1839
  • 3. Lanceford Bramlett Wilkes 1824-1901
  • 4. Peter Singleton Wilkes 1826-1900
  • 5. Benjamin Franklin Wilkes 1828-1847
  • William P. Dixon and his wife, Nancy Minerva, spent part of their married life in Tuscumbia while he held public office and later moved to Mt. Pleasant, Saline Township. They were members of the Methodist church in Mt. Pleasant where William served on the board of trustees. In 1859, William was a partner with John Sullens in a general store in Mt. Pleasant called Dixon & Sullens.

  • The children born to William and Nancy were:
  • 1. Levonia Josephine Dixon 1840-1919 m. Dr. William Rufus Kennard
  • 2. Marion Dixon 1842-1848
  • 3. Thomas Edmund Dixon 1845-1922 m. Frances Jane Norfleet
  • 4. Elizabeth Dixon 184801852
  • 5. Mary Louella Dixon 1849-1932 m. #1-David M. Barnett #2-George Golden
  • 6. Nancy A. Dixon 1853- m. A. Spake
  • 7. William Price Dixon b.__ d.___
  • William P. Dixon was a slave-owner who owned three slaves in 1860, valued at $1400. His father-in-law, Edmund Wilkes, also owned nine slaves the same year with a value of $5400. Both men were Southerners, having come to Missouri from North Carolina and Virginia and probably brought slaves with them when they came to central Missouri.

    When the Civil War moved into Missouri many Southern sympathizers were rounded up in the Mt. Pleasant area. William Dixon and Edmund Wilkes evidently were able to avoid capture for quite sometime and hid out in a cave in the Saline Creek area. Nancy and her young daughter, Mary Louella, were able to keep in touch with the men and probably supplied them with food to survive.

    In 1864, William was arrested and sent to a military prison at Jefferson City. I do not know what happened to his father-in-law, Edmund Wilkes, at the time. I know that Edmund eventually lived at California, Moniteau County, MO where he died in 1869. Nancy Wilkes was quite a determined lady….after the arrest of William, she wrote a letter of protest to President Abraham Lincoln and the president issued an order to have William released from the prison.

    William, Nancy, and their family left Miller County and never returned. She became ill in 1869 and traveled to Lexington, Kentucky for some medical treatment. Her brother, Lanceford Wilkes, was living there and she died at his home.

    William Powell Dixon lived for 24 years after the death of his wife. In 1893, he died at the home of his daughter and her husband, Dr. William R. and Josephine (Dixon) Kennard in Rockdale, Milam County, Texas. He was survived by 5 children: Josephine Dixon Kennard of Rockdale, Texas; Thomas Edmund Wilkes of Vernon County, MO; William Price Dixon of Kansas City, MO; Mary Louella Dixon-Golden of San Antonio, Texas; and Nanny/Nancy Dixon-Spake of Johnson County, MO. Two children had died many years before and were buried somewhere in Miller County (Marion 1842-1848 and Elizabeth 1848-1852).

    I have seen the signature of William P. Dixon on many old records at the Miller County courthouse where he served in the Circuit Clerk, Recorder, and County Clerk offices for many years in the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s…..The name becomes so familiar that one feels as though you knew him personally.


    James Dooley was born in Bedford Co., VA 14 Feb 1760 and evidently married his wife Mary there also. She was 18 years younger than James, born in 1778 and she was probably his 2nd wife. In 1800, at the age of 40 years, James pulled up stakes and moved to Maury Co., Tenn. I am sure he had more children than I found record of. His son Uriah S. Dooley was born in Tenn. in 1809; son Esom B. Dooley born 1811 Tenn. and son Edward Dooley born in Tenn. in 1815. James was getting along in years when these three sons were born.

    James, Mary, Edward, Esom B., Uriah S., and his wife Elizabeth, moved to Miller Co. circa 1829 making them among the county's earliest settlers. Their son, Edward, died in 1835 and was buried in northeast Miller Co., probably the first person buried in the Dooley cemetery. It is located about half way between Rocky Mount and Eldon, approx. 1/4 mile east of Route Z. The earliest record I could find for a land entry of this Dooley clan was in 1833 when Uriah Dooley, son of old James, entered some land about 3 miles southeast of present-day Eldon. In 1838, James homesteaded and patented 40 acres about 1 1/2 miles west of Uriah's land and about 2 miles east of the Morgan Co. line. Over the next few years, to about 1857, James, Uriah, & Esom entered and patented 560 additional acres in the same general area.

    Dooley cemetery lies 1/2 mile northwest of Uriah's original land entry of 1838. In 1839, Esom B. Dooley married Ellen Brockman. The Brockman family was an old pioneering family of Miller Co. having come here about the same time as the Dooleys and they settled in the Osage River country near Tuscumbia.

    Esom was 28 years old and Ellen 17 years at the time of their marriage. In 1854, Elizabeth E. Dooley, wife of Uriah, died at the age of 36 years and was buried in the Dooley cemetery. In 1857, Uriah took a second wife, Nancy A. Allen. He and Elizabeth had at least 3 children: Uriah S., Jr.; John B.; and Corlenda A. These children all died between the ages of 4 and 19 years. He and his second wife, Nancy, had a son named Samuel T. Dooley who was born in 1860 and died in 1865. Mary Dooley, wife of old James, died in 1847 at the age of 69 years. All these graves can be found in the Dooley cemetery.

    I am sure that Esom and Uriah had other children who survived to adulthood because the family was carried on for many generations. Their lineage was carried into the families of Taylor, Vernon, Cotten and Etter. The Dooleys were slave owners, having come from the southern states of Virginia and Tennessee. In 1860, just prior to the Civil War, James Dooley, who was 100 years old, owned 7 slaves valued at $3000. By 1862, a second assessment was made and the value of their slaves had made a drastic drop. His slaves' value had dropped to only $400. This gives you an idea the effect the Civil War was having on these slave owners in 1862.

    In 1863, James Dooley died at the age of 103 years. At the time of his death, he owned several slaves and they were all sold at public auction for $75 each. Their names, mentioned in his estate, were: Hannah, Nancy, Caroline, Harriett, Patsy and baby, Lemantha Ann and baby, and Samuel. This sale of his slaves was the last entry on slaves in the record books of Miller County's Court. The war was over and slavery was abolished in Missouri on 11 January 1865 by a proclamation signed by Gov. Thomas C. Fletcher. The bill of sale on these Dooley slaves was approved by the County Court in May 1865, four months after slavery had been officially abolished in Missouri. Old James Dooley died without knowing that his black folk should have been free men and women.

    In 1892, almost 30 years after he had died, a story was printed about James Dooley in THE TIPTON TIMES in Moniteau Co. It told about a remarkable character named James Dooley. He was past 60 years old when he came to Miller Co. and immediately he went to work cleaning up and building a home. All the materials in his house were solid oak, which would have been more appropriate for railroad timbers. The plates were 18 inches square, corner posts the same size. The rafters were 6 in. thick without a joint, every plank extending the full length of the house. All the lumber was sawed by whipsaw and there was not one nail anywhere in this remarkable house. It was put together with wooden pens!

    In his backyard, he had two houses or rather one house with 3 rooms, 16 ft. square, one for his saddle horse, one for his dogs, and the other for his smokehouse. Old James Dooley had 8 slaves, all women (NOTE: In his estate, he had a slave named Samuel, so I am assuming that he owned 7 black women and 1 black man). They performed all the work of his farm. He never worked horses, never owned a wagon. All the hauling necessary was done by oxen and carts. Several years prior to his death in 1863, a friend in Tuscumbia, a marble cutter, told him if he lived to be 100 years old, he would make him a tombstone free of charge and when old James died, his promise was carried out. Between the ages of 96 and 99 years, James joined the Baptist church and it is said people came from 50 miles around to see him baptized!


    Thomas Doubikin was born in England in 1846, a son of John Doubikin (1803-1888) and Marian Anne Kennington (1814-1884), of Dunholme, England. He was one of 8 children born to John and Marian including: James, Betsy (Bonner), George, Thomas, Anne, Fowler, and Ann. He also had 2 half-sisters, Mary Ann and Sarah, born to John and his first wife, Elizabeth Wilson (1802-1834). Thomas came to America in 1871 from his home in England called Caenby Corner in Yorkshire. He settled in Miller County in the Big Tavern Valley of Osage Township. He later called his farm home Caenby Corner, U.S.A.

    In 1873, Thomas married Nancy Ellen Hensley, the daughter of his neighbor. Nancy was born in 1854, the daughter of a John Hensley, Jr. and Marian Sanderson.

  • John and Marian were parents of 9 children including:
  • RACHEL JANE m. (1) William Crane (2) M. Crawford (3) Boyd Roark;
  • WILLIAM MORRIS m. Catherine Wilson;
  • SARAH A. m. William L. Crane, Jr.;
  • BENJAMIN F. m. (1) Lena Miller (2) Mary Cooper Vaughn;
  • MARY ELIZABETH (never married);
  • JAMES m. Etter Pierce;
  • JOSEPH m. Tabetha Ellen Jarrett;
  • THOMAS m. Avazena Jarrett;
  • NANCY ELLEN m. Thomas Doubikin.
  • Thomas and Nancy continued to live on their beautiful Caenby Corner farm and as the years went by, six children were born to them. Thomas established a post office in his home and also set up a general store at Caenby Corner. In addition to being the postmaster and storekeeper, he was also a prosperous cattle farmer in the region.

  • The children of Thomas and Nancy (Hensley) Doubikin were:
  • ELIZABETH D. b. 1875 m. Thomas Gray;
  • MARY b. 1876 m. David Snellings;
  • DORA b. 1879 m.
  • Joseph McDonald;
  • JOHN WALTER b. 1883 m. Anna Shockley;
  • EMMA D. b. 1888 m. Fred Gardner;
  • MINNIE b. 1893 m. Barney Tyler.
  • Thomas died in 1911 and Nancy lived until 1915. Both are buried at the Iberia cemetery...(Thomas: 29 Mar 1846-12 Apr 1911. Nancy Ellen: 13 Jul 1854-4 Jul 1915).

    John Walter Doubikin, son of Thomas and Nancy (Hensley) and a grandson of John and Marian Anne (Kennington) Doubilin of Dunholme, England, was born in Miller County in 1883. In 1902, John Walter married Annie Lee Shockley, daughter of John R. Shockley (1819-1901) and his 2nd wife, Lucinda Adeline Holeyfield (1838-1886).

  • John and Lucinda produced 6 children:
  • EDWARD 1876-1960 m. Maude Gardner;
  • GEORGIA A. 1878-1961 m. Jay Adams;
  • ANNIE LEE 1882-1970 m. John Walter Doubikin;
  • PEARLEY 1883-1926 m. Lara Shackleford;
  • MAUDE 1885-1965 m. Dr. R. Marshall;
  • JOSEPH 1886-1886 (died in infancy).
  • John Shockley's first wife was Mary Birdsong. Before her death, she gave birth to 2 children: JOSEPHINE m. Joel Blankenship; and ISIDORE m._______Daton.

  • The children of John Walter Doubikin and Annie Lee Shockley were:
  • BERTHA ELVA born 1903 m. Fred L. Harris (no children)
  • LONNIE EDWARD (1904-1958) m. Dona Brumley (no children)
  • DOROTHY ALICE (1906-1983) m. Richard Findley (no children)
  • LILLIE ICY (1907-1974) m. Freeman Hammons (I son)
  • JOHN WALTER (1913-1913...died at age 1 month).
  • The only descendant of John Walter and Annie Doubikin is a grandson, John Doubikin Hammons, son of Lillie (Doubikin) and Freeman Hammons. John lives in Sedalia, Pettis Co., Missouri with his wife and three children. Walter and Annie are buried at Livingston cemetery (formerly known as the Castleman Cemetery). Walter Doubikin 1 Mar 1883-11 Dec 1960 Annie Doubikin 17 Oct 1882-23 Mar 1970

    Bertha Doubikin Harris and her husband, Fred, live today on the original Doubikin farm, homesteaded by her grandfather, Thomas Doubikin, in 1871. Doubikin family members and their descendants have lived on and farmed this beautiful valley of the Big Tavern for almost 120 years.

    NOTE: My sincere thanks are sent to Bertha Doubikin Harris for the foregoing information. Much of my data was taken from her book entitled "CAENBY CORNER AND THE DOUBIKIN FAMILY HISTORY", written and published in 1989. For further information concerning these families of Doubikin, Hensley, and Shockley, you may contact Bertha at the following address:

  • Bertha Doubikin Harris
  • Caenby Corner
  • Rt. 1, Box 65
  • St. Elizabeth, Mo 65075


    Dora E. Doubikin was born in Miller County on May 5, 1879, a daughter of Thomas Doubikin (1846-1911) and Nancy Ellen Hensley (1854-1915). Thomas Doubikin was a native of England and Nancy Ellen Hensley was from an early Miller County pioneer family. Dora was born and reared in the Big Tavern country of Osage township at Caenby Corner, the farm named for her father's native home in England.

  • The children of Thomas Doubikin and Nancy (Hensley) were:
  • MARY DOUBIKIN b. 1875 m. David Snelling;
  • JANE ELIZABETH DOUBIBKIN b. 1876 m. Thomas Gray;
  • DORA E. DOUBIKIN b. 1879 m. Joseph S. McDonald;
  • JOHN WALTER DOUBIKIN b. 1883 m. Annie Shockley;
  • EMMA S. DOUBIKIN b. 1888 m. Fred Gardner;
  • MINNIE DOUBIKIN b. 1893 m. Barney Tyler.
  • Dora married Joseph S. (sometimes found recorded as Josiah) McDonald on March 12, 1896. Joe McDonald was born in Miller County in January 1870, a son of James E. McDonald (1827-1892), a native of Maryland, and his wife, Sarah E. Bilyeu (1827-1917), born in Indiana. James and Sarah are buried at the old Bilyeu Cemetery, located in Osage township near the intersection of Highways A and PP.

  • The children of James E. McDonald and Sarah Bilyeu were:
  • MARY H. MCDONALD b. c/1860 m. Edward Stephens;
  • WILLIAM E. MCDONALD b. c/1861 m. Mary Abbett;
  • JOHN F. MCDONALD b. c/1862 m. Ella J. Pierce;
  • BENJAMIN MCDONALD b. c/1868 m. May Lupardus;
  • JOSEPH MCDONALD b. 1870 m. Dora Doubikin;
  • LUCY A. MCDONALD b. c/1872 m. Wm. T. Thompson;
  • MIRANDA MCDONALD b. c/1873;
  • JAMES L. MCDONALD b. 1875 m. Della C. Thompson.
  • In 1900, Joe and Dora (Doubikin) McDonald were living in Osage township with their two older children, Elsie age 3 and Irvin (an infant). Their close neighbors were James and Mary (Clark) Flaugher and an old widower named Jeremiah Helsel, born in Pennsylvania in 1836. Other neighbors included Lewis and Catherine Edwards, Benjamin and Maria Johnson, Charles and Eveline Burks, and Francis and Missouri Varner.

  • Dora and Joe McDonald were parents of several children including:
  • ELSIE G. MCDONALD b. 1897 m. (1)____Burks (2)_____Roark;
  • JAMES IRVIN MCDONALD b. 1899 m. (1) Lena_____(2) Mary Shockley (3) Nellie Helton; EVELYN MCDONALD b. 1902 m. Fred Stark;
  • THOMAS MCDONALD b. 1904 m. Fern Alexander;
  • GAY MCDONALD b. 1908 m. Gladys Sherrell;
  • WALTER MCDONALD b. 1911 m. Helen_____;
  • ERNEST MCDONALD b. 1913 m. Anna Christenson.
  • Joe McDonald died in October 1947 and was buried at Iberia Cemetery. Dora Doubikin McDonald lived for 25 years as his widow and died on February 23, 1972, almost reaching her 93rd birthday. She was survived by many descendants, including 7 children, 27 grandchildren, 39 great grandchildren, and 18 great, great grandchildren. Her funeral services were conducted at the Iberia Assembly of God Church where she had been a member for many years. She was laid to rest beside her husband at Iberia Cemetery.


    Malinda Louise Drace was born in Missouri in November 1853. I have not been able to find her maiden name at this time. On February 18, 1876, she married James T. Drace but I do not know where they were married because no record was found in Miller County. In her obituary it does not give the name of her father and mother so trying to find her ancestry is difficult. NOTE: Info received from James K. Shelton of Nevada, MO says that James Thomas Drace married Malinda Louisa Rook in 1876, but he did not know where they married.

    James T. Drace was a son of Daniel and Malinda (Alkire) Drace and they were living in Miller County, Richwoods township, during the census of 1860. It appears James was one of several children born to Daniel and Malinda including Elizabeth Drace born c/1847; James T. Drace born 1848; Mary A. Drace b. 1850 (buried at Iberia Cemetery); Vernetta Drace b. c/1851; and George W. Drace b. c/1856. NOTE: Also per info received from James K. Shelton-----James Drace was a son of Daniel Drace and his first wife, America Huffman (they married in 1846). Evidently America died before 1856 because it was that year that James married Malinda Alkire.

    In 1880, James T. Drace and Malinda Louise had been married for about 4 years and were living in Richwoods Township in the Iberia area near the families of Tallman, Dial, Setser, Gardner, McCubbin, and Ferguson. His stepmother, Malinda Drace (widow of Daniel) lived next door to James. She was 65 years old (born in VA c/1815). Her brother, George W. Alkire, age 40 years, lived with her also.

    James and Malinda were parents of 10 children. They were: Mary A. Drace b. Dec 1876 m. Lester Francis of New York 1903; Martha E. Drace b. Jan 1877 m. Robert Shackleford 1901; Nancy/Nettie Drace b. Aug 1879 (never married); Jennie Drace b. Apr 1883 m. John Coffee 1912; John Thomas Drace b. Oct 1886 m. Ida M. Whittle 1910; Bertha E. Drace b. Jan 1889 m. James Elmer Whittle 1908; Charles E. Drace b. Dec 1890 m. Edna F. Whittle 1911; and Electa C. Drace b. Jul 1893 m. Henry Currence. Evidently 2 other children died young.

    James T. Drace died in 1911 and was buried at the Iberia Cemetery. Malinda Louise lived until August 11, 1934. She died at the home of her daughter, Electa Currence, who was living in Barnett, Morgan Co., MO. She was almost 81 years old at her death and was survived by 6 of her 10 children; 17 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren and 3 step-grandchildren. Her funeral services were held at Iberia Cemetery by Rev. Frank Moneymaker and she was laid to rest beside her husband, James.


    Anton Dubbert, son of Johannes Dubbert and Elizabeth Shauf, was born in Lipstein, Germany on March 2, 1857. About 1872, at the age of 16 years, he came to America and it is family legend he was a stowaway on the ship that brought him across the Atlantic.

    Eventually he came to Miller County where he married Josephine Hake on February 16, 1885. She was a daughter of Bernard Henry Hake and Katherine Wankum. Father Cosmos Seeberger, priest of Charlestown (St. Elizabeth), performed the wedding ceremony.

    In 1880, there was another family named Dubbert living in Miller County. They were August and Elizabeth Dubbert and they had six children enumerated during the census taken that year. August may have been an older brother or an uncle to Anton and perhaps that is why he ventured into Miller County.

    After Anton and Josephine married they settled on a farm in the Big Tavern country of Osage Township and for the remainder of his life he farmed this land which was in the northeast part of the county, south of St. Elizabeth. Their neighbors in the 1900 census included John and Elizabeth (Buechter) Volmert, Louisa Wilson, William R. Drake, Davis Hickey, William & Ida Deatley, and James Clark.

  • The children born to Anton and Josephine were:
  • 1. Henry Lawrence Dubbert 1886-1914
  • 2. Frances Elizabeth Dubbert 1887-1978 m. William George Kirkweg
  • 3. Louise Benjamin Dubbert 1889-1939
  • 4. Paulus Anthony Dubbert 1891-1937
  • 5. Theresa A. Dubbert b. Feb 1894 m. Henry H. Boeckmann
  • 6. Cecelia T. Dubbert 1895-1905
  • 7. John E.Dubbert 1897-1901
  • 8. John J. Dubbert 1900-1976
  • 9. George Dubbert 1904-1923
  • Anton Dubbert died October 8, 1935 and was buried at St. Anthony cemetery in the small village of St. Anthony in Richwoods Township. He was buried beside his wife, Josephine, who had died 10 years previously on February 11, 1926.

    NOTE: I saw a small obituary that was written when Anton died in 1936 but it did not give very much information. Raymond Shaefer of Olympia, Washington, a descendant of the Dubbert family, sent me additional information so I could make this article more complete.


    Henry J. Dulle, Collector of Cole County during the late 19th century, was born at Jefferson City on June 4, 1848. He was a son of Gerhard Herman Dulle and Anna Marie Hacke/Haake, both natives of Hanover, Germany. His parents married in Cole County on 27 Feb 1846. The Dulle family was of the Catholic faith and among the early members of St. Peter's Catholic Church in Jeff. City when it organized in 1846.

    Gerhard Herman Dulle, father of Henry, was a miller by trade in Cole County. By 1869 his old mill was rebuilt and was converted to a roller mill. His son, Henry, and stepson, John W. Schulte, began milling about 1868and continued on in that business for many years. Gerhard Dulle was also active in Cole County politics. He served as sheriff for several years and then became collector of the county from 1878-1882


    In 1882, his son, Henry J. Dulle, was elected to the collector's office and served for several terms. The Dulle family had control of the collector's office for many years of the mid to late 19th century. Henry J. Dulle married Theresa Peschel, a native of Austria. She was a daughter of Wenzel and Mary Peschel. Henry and Theresa became parents of four sons and four daughters including: Edward Dulle, Henry Dulle Jr., Victor Dulle, Theodore William Dulle, Mary Clara Dulle, Emma Dulle, Ida Dulle, and Annie Dulle. Henry served as a treasurer of the church committee at St. Peter's for many years. He supported the Republican Party and served as county collect for several years; was a stockholder in the First National Bank; member of St. John's Orphan Society; a member of the Catholic Knights of America; and a director of the Jefferson City Brick Yard Company.

    The Gerhard H. Dulle Milling Company was incorporated January 22, 1885 with Henry J. Dulle, John W. Schulte, B. Dulle, and Mrs. Anna Maria Dulle as board members. They also owned the Capitol Star Mills and the Victoria Mills where they employed almost 30 people of the community. The Dulle family played a major role in the business world surrounding Jefferson City and Cole County in the late 1800s and have carried the family traditions onward to the present generation.


    It is believed the Duncan family of Miller County is descendants of Peter Duncan who settled in Westmoreland Co., Virginia about 1650. His son, Marshal Duncan, and wife, Mary Ann, were living in Prince William Co., VA circa 1735 and eventually they moved southward into Rowan Co., North Carolina where Marshall died in 1777.

    A son of Marshall, Charles Duncan and his wife, Lurannah, were in Surry Co., NC in 1771 and moved into Washington Co., Tennessee about 1785. Charles died in Washington County in 1818. Charles and Lurannah were parents of several children, one who was the father of Charles Duncan, born in Lincoln Co., Kentucky in 1797. It is believed that two daughters of Charles Duncan (b. 1797) married into the ancestral families of Shelton and Luttrell who eventually came to southern Miller Co. in the mid 19th century. The families of Duncan, Shelton, and Luttrell have had close ties for many generations.

    In 1860, two Duncan brothers, Greenberry and Gillam, were living in southeast Glaize Township of Miller Co. Greenberry, age 16, was living in the home of Mary Jane Smith (widow of Thomas L. Smith) and her 8 children. On an adjoining farm, Gillam Duncan, age 18, was living in the Hamon Shelton home. I am sure they were closely related and the two teenagers had come to central Missouri from Marion Co., IL to live among their kinfolks. I believe the father and mother of Greenberry and Gillam eventually moved to the same region of central Missouri and settled near their sons. Hayden Duncan born 1820 and his wife, Sarah Duncan born 1817, were natives of Tennessee and were enumerated in the 1870 census of Pulaski Co. living next door to Greenberry and his family in northern Tavern Township of Pulaski Co. Their farms bordered the Miller Co. line so it was easy for the census taker to put them in either county.

    Greenberry Duncan married Elizabeth Shelton, daughter of Peter and Rhoda (Barnett) Shelton in Miller Co. on March 5, 1866, the marriage performed by Rev. Thomas Owen Workman. Seven months later, on October 11, 1866, Gillam married Lucinda Jane Henderson, daughter of William and Casanda (Shelton) Henderson. Rev. Workman also performed that marriage. Both families continued to live on the southern prairies of the Miller/Pulaski boundary line where they homesteaded many acres of rich, plentiful land.

  • The children of Greenberry and Elizabeth (Shelton) Duncan were:
  • SARAH E. DUNCAN (1866-1878);
  • SUSAN F. DUNCAN (1867-1867);
  • JOSEPH DUNCAN (1868-?) m. Malinda J. Luttrell;
  • JOHN DUNCAN (19 April 1870-15 Apr 1947) m. Rutha J. Workman (1866-1944) in 1887;
  • HAYDEN DUNCAN (1872-1873);
  • MARTHA J. DUNCAN 1875-?) m. John Witt 1896;
  • SOPHRONA DUNCAN (1877-?) m. James W. Witt 1896;
  • FRANCIS M. DUNCAN (1882-1883).
  • There may have been more children that I did not find record of.
  • Greenberry, Elizabeth, and many of their children are buried at the Duncan-Shelton family Cemetery, located on the farm of Ralph Duncan in southern Miller Co. Greenberry's grave is marked with a Civil War stone and does not give the date of his birth and death:

  • G.B. Duncan Co M-3rd MO Cav.
  • Elizabeth Duncan 29 Aug 1846-27 Feb 1892
  • Peter Shelton 10 April 1821-1 Dec 1883
  • Rhoda Shelton 15 Jul 1821-4 Mar 1896

  • Gillam Duncan and Lucinda (Henderson) had several children including:
  • MARION F. DUNCAN born ca 1870;
  • JOHN D. DUNCAN born ca 1871;
  • ANDREW DUNCAN born ca 1873;
  • JAMES R. DUNCAN born ca 1874;
  • THOMAS J. DUNCAN born ca 1876: and
  • CHARLES E. DUNCAN born ca 1878.
  • There were probably other children born after 1880.
  • John Duncan, son of Greenberry and Elizabeth (Shelton) Duncan, was born 19 April 1870. He married Rutha J. Workman, daughter of Benjamin and Salena (Witt) Workman, on 28 April 1887, The marriage performed by Rev. Thomas O. Workman, a cousin to Rutha.

  • Benjamin and Salena (married 13 Feb 1844 in Miller Co.) were parents of several children:
  • JOHN WORKMAN born ca 1845 m.?;
  • ISAAC WORKMAN (1847-1883)never married;
  • GEORGE WORKMAN born ca 1849 m. Sarah Luttrell 1877;
  • LYDIA WORKMAN born ca 1851, never married;
  • ELIZABETH WORKMAN born ca 1853 m. ? ;
  • FRANCES /Fanny WORKMAN b. ca 1856 m. James T. Jarvis 1877;
  • WILLIAM WORKMAN born ca 1858 m. Phobe A. Robinett 1881;
  • JAMES C. WORKMAN born ca 1861 m. Susan Carson 1883;
  • and RUTHA J. WORKMAN (17 Mar 1866-11 Jan 1944) m. John Duncan in 1887.
  • John and Rutha (Workman) Duncan reared their family in the Mt. Union community of eastern Glaize Township.

  • Their children included:
  • CORA DRUCELLA DUNCAN b.14 Feb 1889 m. Horace Greeley Allee B. 9 Jan 1881;
  • WILLARD JACKSON DUNCAN b. 27 Apr 1892 m. Mildred Wall b. 9 Oct 1893)
  • ELIZABETH (Betsey) DUNCAN born 15 Dec 1894 m. Guy Franklin Wall born 22 July 1891;
  • CLYDE DUNCAN born 27 May 1896 m. Sarah Mildred Cochran b. 23 Feb 1899:
  • URSHEL ELBERT DUNCAN born 4 Sept 1898, never married:
  • ALTHA MAE DUNCAN born 1Feb 1901 m.Perry Earnest Plemmons born 15 Aug 1896;
  • LUTHER DUNCAN born 27 Oct. 1905 m.Venice Cochran born 3 Sept 1910;
  • RALPH DUNCAN born 13 Aug 1903 m. Gladys Wall born 20 Dec 1908;
  • OPAL DUNCAN born 11 Nov 1908 m. Milton Luttrell born 17 May 1902.


    Dr. George Washington Duncan was born 28 October 1879 in northeast Richwoods Township near Iberia. He was a son of James R. Duncan (1851-1923) and Sarah Jane Wilson (1858-1949). His father, James, was born in Davidson County, Tennessee near Nashville on 18 Sep 1851. The brothers and sisters of James were Emily Duncan b. c/1848; Ellen Duncan b. c/1856; and John C. Duncan b. c/1859.

    James R. Duncan, father of Dr. George, married Sarah Jane Wilson on November 15, 1874 in Maries County, MO. She was a daughter Jesse L. and Mary/Polly Ann Wilson. Her father, a captain in the Confederate Army, was killed in the Civil War near Springfield, MO. Later her mother married James Knox Polk Hale and had two daughters by James Hale before his death in 1873. The children born to Mary/Polly Wilson-Duncan-Hale included: Sarah Wilson, the oldest born 1858, William E. Wilson b. 1859; George W. Wilson b. 1861; Sophia C. Hale b. 1870; and Clarissa A. Hale b. c/1872.

    In 1880, James and Sarah Jane were living in western Maries County, in Boone Township, near the families of Messersmith, Vaughan, Wilson, Crismon, and Skaggs. Sarah's two half-sisters, Sophia and Clarissa, were also living in their household.

    The children of James R. Duncan and Sarah Jane Wilson were: William Marion Duncan 1875-1944 m. Judith Lavonia______; Laura F. Duncan 1878-1879; George Washington Duncan 1879-1941 m. Myrtle Viola Ramsey; Jesse M. Duncan 1884-1890; Parthenia/Thena Duncan 1893-1925 m Coad Strickland; and Mary Olive Duncan b.____ m.______Vaughan.

    George Washington Duncan, son of James and Sarah, attended a country school in Maries County and graduated from Iberia Academy in 1904. His goal to become a doctor progressed forward when he entered Washington University in St. Louis and graduated from their school of medicine in 1908. He returned to Iberia, not too many from his old home place, and began his career as a country doctor.

    Dr. George married Myrtle Viola Ramsey at Iberia on June 29, 1905. She was a daughter of Richard L. Ramsey (b. Aug 1849) and Mary Elizabeth Capps (b. March 1853). Myrtle's paternal grandparents were George Washington and Mary B. Ramsey of Osage township and her maternal grandparents were Silas and Julia (Brumley) Capps, also of Osage township. Myrtle Viola's siblings were Augustus Bilyeu, Wesley Bilyeu, and Leona Bilyeu (her half-brothers and sisters from her mother's first marriage); James N. Ramsey, John F. Ramsey, and Nellie B. Ramsey (her own brothers and sister).

    Dr. George W. Duncan practiced his profession in Iberia for many years during the first half of the 20th century. He was a member of the Baptist Church and the Masonic Lodge. He was very active in the Republican Party, serving as Miller County chairman of the 8th Congressional District. In 1916, he represented the 8th District as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Chicago. During the presidential campaign of 1916, he served on the executive committee of the Republican State Committee. Myrtle Ramsey Duncan served three terms as Iberia's postmistress. She was also active in the Eastern Star, Royal Neighbors, and other civic organizations of the Iberia community.

    Their children were Dorothy Alice Duncan b. 1906 m. Otis Grant James; Dr. Byron Lambert Duncan b. 1908 m. Glee Casey; and Dr. Morris Dewayne Duncan b. 1919. All the children were graduates of Iberia Academy and Drury College in Springfield.

    Dr. George W. Duncan lived until November 2, 1941 when he died at the age of 62 years. He is buried at Iberia Cemetery alongside his son, Byron and wife. There is no listing for his wife, Myrtle, in the Iberia Cemetery (per inventoried records), but I would presume she was buried there.


    James Russell Duncan was born in Garrard Co., Kentucky on Dec. 23, 1839, the oldest of 6 children born to Alvis and Ann (Palmer) Duncan. Alvis Duncan was born 2 Feb 1818 in Washington Co., East Tennessee and Ann was a native of Garrard Co., Kentucky, born 13 Apr 1808. They married in Garrard Co. and about 1844 moved to Miller County where they farmed in eastern Richwoods Township.

  • Their six children were:
  • JAMES RUSSELL DUNCAN 1839-1913 m. Sarah E. Scott 1864;
  • SARAH JANE DUNCAN 1841-1925 m. James E. Hughes 1862;
  • WILLIAM DUNCAN b. 1844 died young;
  • RUTH DUNCAN b. 1847 died young;
  • MARY M. DUNCAN b. 1850 m. James D. Berry 1871;
  • JOHN M. DUNCAN b. 1853 m. (1) Emeline Bond 1879 (2) Nancy B. Lair 1890.
  • The Duncan family was members of the Baptist Church. Alvis died 4 March 1882 and Ann lived until 5 March 1898. Both are buried at Strickland Cemetery in eastern Maries County. James Russell Duncan, oldest son of Alvis and Ann, served in the Civil War in 1863 & 1864 and was in two different companies in the Enrolled Missouri Militia. In 1864 (perhaps while still in the Union army) he married Sarah E. Scott of Laclede Co., MO. Sarah was born 10 Sept 1846 in Missouri, a daughter of William H. & Mary C. Scott of Laclede County, MO. Her father was born in Kentucky in 1817 and her mother was a native of Missouri.

    In 1880, James and Sarah Duncan were living in western Maries County in Miller Township. Their neighbors in those years were the families of Pankey, Hughes, Lee, Goforth, Strickland, Bumpass, Copeland, Lawson, Yoakum, Veasman, and Helton. In 1889, James R. Duncan owned 800 acres of land in Miller, Maries, and Pulaski counties. He was also a prominent stock dealer in his community, a member of the Agricultural Wheel, and a member of the Masons.

  • James Russell Duncan and Sarah E. (Scott) were parents of 13 children including:
  • PARALEE DUNCAN 1864-1891 m. Benjamin F. Branson;
  • ELBEN DUNCAN 1866-1943;
  • MILFORD DUNCAN 1868-1927 m. (1) Malinda______ (2) Stella______;
  • ALICE DUNCAN 1869-1946 m. Thomas F. Branson;
  • DORA DUNCAN 1871-1874;
  • LILLIE DUNCAN b. 1874;
  • LAWRENCE DUNCAN b. 1874 (twin to Lillie--no record found of a marriage for either child); DELLARD DUNCAN 1875-1876;
  • LYDA DUNCAN b. 1877;
  • ELLA DUNCAN 1881-1890;
  • IVAN DUNCAN b. 1879;
  • ALVIS DUNCAN b. (after 1880).
  • James Russell Duncan died at the age of 74 years on November 29, 1913 and was buried at Strickland Cemetery in Maries County where his parents and 3 young children were already buried. His wife, Sarah E. (Scott) Duncan, lived as his widow for 30 years and died December 20, 1943 at the advanced age of 97 years. She was placed beside her husband and other family members at Strickland Cemetery.


    Note: I printed this story about 5 years ago, but have had some questions asked about the old cemetery where Elijah Dyer is buried which is located outside the rock fence to the south of Iberia Cemetery. I have added some information to the original story so decided to reprint it again for those who have inquired about the old graves of the Dyer family. Peggy Smith Hake.

    Elijah and Amy Dyer came to Miller County about 1836-37 and settled in the Big Richwoods on land that would one day be a part of Iberia. In 1838, Elijah homesteaded several acres by means of a U.S. government land grant and built a log home. He and Amy had lived in Bedford Co., Tennessee prior to coming to Miller County and before that had lived in Pittsylvania Co., Virginia. Both were natives of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    In March 1840, Elijah Dyer was licensed as a grocer at Iberia and the county court established a polling place at his house for voters in Richwoods Township. He died in 1841 but his home remained the polling place until 1850.

    In 1840, when the census was taken, Elijah and Amy lived in Richwoods Township near the families of Reuben Short, William Henderson, William Rothwell, John L. West, Hugh Snelling, Abraham Castleman, Sally Bond, David Shelton, John Shelton, George W. Shelton, Daniel Austin, Mordica Lane and John Mace. None of these families were what we would consider close neighbors because the Big Richwoods around the Iberia area in 1840 was sparsely settled.

    NOTE: Iberia was not officially platted as a town until 1859 by Henry M. Dickerson, but it was called by that name for almost 20 years before becoming a platted town site.

    Elijah Dyer was born 24 May 1786 in Virginia. He was a son of Squire Haman and Frances Dyer. He married Amy Dyer, daughter of Gilbert and Ann (Morton) Dyer of Pittsylvania Co., Virginia.

  • They were parents of five sons:
  • Obadiah/Oby Dyer b. c/1819 m. Caroline T. Castleman 1840;
  • Haman Dyer m. Angeline T. Bond 1841;
  • John Dyer b. c/1825 m. Nancy Bilyeu 1843;
  • Lewis Dyer b. c/1827 m. (1) Nancy Jane Dial 1850 (2) Sarah Linkees 1858; and
  • William Dyer b. c/1832 m. Jenetta_________.
  • Elijah died at Iberia 27 November 1841 at the age of 55 years. He was the first person buried at the site of Iberia Cemetery, inventoried as Dyer Cemetery. A single stone and a rough fieldstone is located just beyond the south stone wall of Iberia's cemetery. About 100 feet beyond the opening of the wall and to the left is the burial site of Elijah Dyer. At one time a road connected the cemetery with a road that ran southeasterly from Iberia.

    A few years later, the site of Elijah's burial place was owned by Samuel P. and Mary Malvina Tucker. In 1858, the Tuckers conveyed a deed to the trustees of the United Baptist Church of the Big Richwoods giving them a one-acre plot to establish a church and cemetery. They built a log church on the site and began burying at the cemetery that exists today.

    When Elijah Dyer died in 1841, he left a probate record that is on file at the courthouse. His wife, Amy and son Obadiah, were made the executors of his estate. The witnesses to his probate when it was written in November 1840, was Abraham Castleman, Evan L. Short, and James Gentry. He gave his wife, Amy, the 120 acres where their "plantation" was located and later it would be inherited by youngest son, William. His other four sons were given 80 acres each. At his death, he owned at least 400 acres in and near today's Iberia. Eight months later, on July 14, 1842, Amy Dyer married Sherwood P. Record and she gave up her rights as the widow and executor of the estate of Elijah Dyer. Evidently Sherwood Record died before 1850 because Amy was still living in Richwoods Township with her son, Lewis Dyer and wife, Nancy (Dial). Also in their home were Jane and Elijah Dyer who were children of John and Nancy (Bilyeu) Dyer. Nancy had died before 1850 leaving two young children to be reared by kinfolks. I am not sure where their father went after Nancy's death because the children remained in Miller County. Living nearby in the 1850 census was the other sons, William, Haman, Lewis and Obadiah Dyer.

    By 1860, Amy Dyer was probably deceased because she is not found in Miller County census records. Her sons, Haman and Lewis were still in the Iberia area. William had moved to Johnson County, MO and John Dyer had disappeared from the scene as well. Haman Dyer opened a general store in Iberia in 1860 and had also been a schoolteacher in the same community. In 1857-58, he served as a school trustee of District #13 and was also a Justice of the Peace in the Big Richwoods.

    It has been said that the graves found outside the Iberia Cemetery were those of slaves, but that is not correct. Elijah Dyer was a white man, born and reared in Colonial Virginia who later became an early pioneer in the Big Richwoods of southern Miller County. Even though they were from Virginia and later lived in Tennessee, there is no indication the Dyer family ever owned slaves. No slaves are mentioned in Elijah's probate records and in those years, if a person was a slave-owner, they were enumerated as personal property and divided at the death of the owner. Many of the old probate records of Miller County made reference to slaves being sold or divided out to family members at the death of the slave-owner. That is not the case for Elijah Dyer! Also, in the Miller County Assessor's records, slave-owners were listed in the 1840s, 1850s and early 1860s showing the number of slaves owned and their approximate value. Elijah Dyer is not among those listed as owning slaves in the assessor's books.

    By 1870, and after the Civil War was over, the Dyer family no longer appears in Miller County census records with the exception of the children of John and Nancy (Bilyeu) Dyer. In 1870, they were living with their mother's Bilyeu kinfolks in Osage township.

    In 1988, when I wrote my book, IBERIA ACADEMY AND THE TOWN, ITS HISTORY, I did not give much mention to the Elijah Dyer family. I did not realize at that time that they played an important role in the early settlement and establishment of Iberia. This story I have now written about their family will acquaint historians and genealogists of the area with the family history of the Dyer family. Over the years I have corresponded with several persons who have researched this family and I have received some interesting information from these descendants.

    © 2007 - Miller County Historical Society