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Black Oak, Leathers Farm Cemetery - Reclaimed
[also known as Riddle Cemetery]
GPS Coordinates 36-20-53 North by 93 - 21 - 03 West

[ email: adaymail @ yahoo.com ]


Trees in Background are in the Cemetery

BLACK OAK CEMETERY -


Until recently, the only known name for this cemetery was Leathers Farm Cemetery or Riddle Cemetery. Mr. Norton that owns the land where the cemetery is located says that Eva Bell Meek told him the cemetery was Black Oak Cemetery.

Photo at the left was taken in 1997 when grandson was only 2 years old. He is now 15 years old and almost 6 feet tall. A new photo of grandson is forthcoming, but click HERE for current images of the cemetery.

Listing by Gene Norris, September 4, 1984 and Carl Stamps November 1984. The cemetery is located on the Dan Norton (1997) farm approximately 4 miles east-northeast of Green Forest on old Alf Leathers farm (Sec. 31, Twp 20 N. R. 22 W.) Driving Directions to this cemetery.

Prior to April, 2011, the cemetery was overgrown with many unmarked sandstones knocked down or broken. George Aday, with a little help from his wife, cleaned the cemetery of brush, trees and debris, and repaired the fence. Jacob Shank's grave marker was lifted, the grave leveled and the stone reset. The Lieuette Capps stone and the William F. Cox stone were both broken and buried about 6 inches underground. George found both stones and they are now upright and cleaned. A huge oak tree was down and reached from the southeastern corner to the southwest corner of the cemetery. The tree fell within a foot of the John Leathers grave marker. George cut the end of the tree into firewood, cut the remainder of the tree into four sections and removed each section with the tractor on April 10, 2011. The Aday family is going to regularly maintain the cemetery which is located on a neighbor's land about a half mile from the Aday home.

Carl Stamps reported that some of the stones were damaged by trees blown down by the 1927 tornado and Watson Leathers said there was a fence around the cemetery that the tornado took out. Gene Norris wrote that the cemetery has not been used since about 1912 and is one of the oldest in Carroll County. The stones face the northwest. In 1984 there were about 40 unmarked rocks or stones in this cemetery.

Stone inscription [click on the photo for a large version of the image]
Jacob Shank
Died April 24 1884 aged 46 yrs 1 mo 22 days
A loving husband and a father dear,
A faithful friend lies b.uried here.

Research has indentified Jacob Shank was born 2 March 1838 in Holmes County, Ohio to John and Juliann Shank. Jacob served in the Union Army from 14 Sep 1861 to 31 Oct 1864, 16th Infantry Regiment Ohio, Company B. He married Mary Turney 28 August 1858, Holmes County, Ohio. In 1875 Jacob, Mary and a daughter are in Crawford County, Kansas. In 1880, Jacob and Mary are in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. In 1882 Jacob purchased the John J. Dixon farm just a quarter mile or so from this cemetery. After Jacob died, Mary Shank married Thomas Payne Wilson, Carroll County, Arkansas, 1894. According to the 1900 Carroll County, AR census Mary Wilson was mother of 3 children with one living. Ruth Ann Shank born about 1860 is the only identified child of Jacob and Mary. Ruth Ann married Alfred Kincaid in Crawford County, Kansas. She divorced Alfred in Carroll County, AR in 1885. Her three children were Georgianna (Gussie?), Mary Aline and Jacob Kincaid as identified in the divorce records. In 1900 Jacob Kincaid is living in Green Forest, AR with his mother and grandmother. Georgianna (Gussie) married James Boatright in Crawford County, Kansas and had one child named Mary Maude Boatright. We would like to make contact with living descendants of Jacob Shank [email adaymail @ yahoo. com].

Stone inscription [click image for larger version]
Minnie M. Cox
dau of A. J. & E. P Cox
Died Sept 3 1884
aged 7 mo & 28 ds

Minnie, William F., and John A. Cox were children of Andrew Jackson and Emily Paralee [Anderson] Cox. A. J. Cox homesteaded land less than a mile from this cemetery.

Stone inscription [click image for larger version]

William F. Cox
Son of A. J. & E. P. Cox
Died Aug. 29 1884
Aged 10 yrs. 11 mo, 14 ds

Minnie, William F., and John A. Cox were children of Andrew Jackson and Emily Paralee [Anderson] Cox. A. J. Cox homesteaded land less than a mile from this cemetery.

Stone inscription [click image for larger version]

John A. Cox
Son of A. J. & E. P. Cox
Died July 30 1870
Aged 1mo 12 ds

Minnie, William F., and John A. Cox were children of Andrew Jackson and Emily Paralee [Anderson] Cox. A. J. Cox homesteaded land less than a mile from this cemetery.

Stone inscription [click image for larger version]

Gorretty A.
Dau of W. L. & M. A. Capps
Born April 28 1876
Died Sept 5 1877

Gorretty is probably a daughter of William Lawyner Capps and his wife, Mary A. William's father George Washington Capps and his brother John Thomas Capps owned land less than a mile from this cemetery. The other Capps children buried in the cemetery would then be cousins to Gorretty.

Stone inscription [click image for larger version]

Effie
Daughter of J. T. & S. M. Capps
Born Dec 12 1873
Died July 17 1876

Effie and Lieuettie are daughters of John Thomas Capps and Scitoa M. Leathers. John V. Leathers, buried nearby, is their grandfather. John Thomas Capps homesteaded land a quarter mile from the cemetery and John V. Leathers homesteaded the land where the cemetery is located.

Stone inscription [click image for larger version]

Lieuettie
Daughter of J. T. & S. M. Capps
Born May 1 1872
Died May 19 1873
Effie and Lieuettie are daughters of John Thomas Capps and Scitoa M. Leathers. John V. Leathers, buried nearby, is their grandfather. John Thomas Capps homesteaded land a quarter mile from the cemetery and John V. Leathers homesteaded the land where the cemetery is located.
Stone inscription [click image for larger version]

John V. Leathers
Died November 11 1875
Aged 48 yrs 2 mos. & 9 dys
gone but not forgotten

John Vinson Leathers was a veteran in the Confederate Army, Bishops Co., Harrell's Arkansas Cavalry, during the Civil War

John V. Leathers homesteaded the land where the cemetery is located. At least 4 of his grandchildren are buried in the cemetery. The land was owned by his grandson until after 1950. There was at one time a large apple orchard next to the cemetery.

Stone inscription [click image for larger version]

Morna Leathers
5 April 1899 AR
15 Nov 1899
5 th child of A E & E W K

Infant Son Leathers
3 Dec 1909 AR
7 Dec 1909
8 th child of A E & E W K

Children of Alfred Eugene and Elizabeth Kirkland Leathers. Grandchildren of John V. Leathers and cousins to Effie and Lieuettie Capps. Alfred Leathers lived about a half mile from this cemetery and owned the land where the cemetery is located.

Stone inscription [click image for larger version]

J McNiel
Hand craved sandstone rock, no other information on the stone. Stone is broken and down.

I think the initial is a J, and in 1984, Gene Norris read it as a J. However, if you click to enlarge the image and look at the initial, it is a small letter t. Other letters in the name are all capital letters except for the c, so I still believe the first initial is intended to be J. Others my disagree.

I believe this is the gravemarker of Joel McNiel. The M. Chauncy buried in a space to one side of this stone is Mary Melissa McNiel Chauncy, wife of Warren Gideon Chauncy and daughter of Joel McNiel and Nancy Ball. The C. Wallace buried by M. Chauncy is likely Sarah C. McNiel Wallace,another McNiel daughter. Joel McNiel homesteaded land about a mile from this cemetery in 1860 and is listed on the 1860 Carroll County census, Hickory township as HH# 926
Joel McNeal age 51 born NC
Nancy McNeal age 44 born NC
Sarah C. McNeal age 16 born NC
Mary M. McNeal age 14 born NC
America A. McNeal age 13 born NC
Martin M. McNeal age 7 born NC
Martha P. McNeal age 5 born NC

Y at the end of name.

Stone inscription [click image for larger version]

M Chauncy
no other information is on the stone
It stands adjacent to the J. McNiel and C. Wallace stones which are both broken and down.

M. Chauncy is Mary Melissa McNiel Chauncy, wife of Warren Chauncy and daughter of Joel McNiel and Nancy Ball. Mary Chauncy died sometime between 1885 when her father's estate was settled and 1900 when she is not listed on the census.

I do not find Joel or Nancy McNiel on the 1870 census of Arkansas or Missouri, however, their children are living in Union township, Laclede Co. Missouri with Sarah C. Wallace and a son George A. Wallace living with Warren D. (HH# 134) and Mary Chauncy. America McNeal (HH# 125) is listed as head of household a short distance from her sister with siblings with her. Martha P. is listed as Permelia in 1870. Manly M. McNeal, a brother age 18 and George J. McNeal age 9 are with America on this census. America married Rodney Onslow Hardy in Laclede County and had a son named Albert Clinton Hardy, b. Dec. 29, 1872. America died Sept. 19, 1874. In 1885, Warren Chauncy and Martin Manly McNiel sell the land from Joel McNiel's estate in Carroll County, Arkansas. The deed books identify this land as the estate of Joel McNiel and name Albert Hardy as son of America Hardy deceased and George A. Wallace as son of Sarah Wallace deceased as heirs of Joel McNiel.

If the above listed J. McNiel is not the gravemarker of Joel McNiel, it is a marker for someone in his family, but I strongly believe this marker is for Joel McNiel and that he died sometime between 1860 and 1870. It is likely that Nancy McNiel also died during this time frame and is buried in one of the graves marked only by a native rock in this cemetery.

The y at the end of the name M Chauncy is carved sideways right below the c in this name. It is hand carved and the carver ran out of room for the name, placing the y below the rest of the name. The y is not really evident in this photo, but it is clearly there on the stone

Stone inscription [click image for larger version]

C Wallace
no other information is on the stone
Stone is down.

I believe C. Wallace is Sarah Catherine McNiel Wallace identified as a deceased daughter of Joel McNiel on 1885 Joel McNeil estate land records in Carroll County, Arkansas deed book A. Her son, George A. Wallace is listed as a Joel McNiel heir through his deceased mother. George Amduda Wallace's death certificate 6 February 1947, Greene County, MO identifies his mother as Mary McNiel, father Theoplis Wallace. I believe his mother was actually Sarah C. McNiel and Mary McNiel was his aunt. His mother died when he was very young and the death certificate informant was his step-son, who would never have known either of the McNiel sisters.

There are 2 stacked stone graves nearby the McNiel family graves. I can find no markings on these stacked stone graves, but it is likely that these are McNiel family graves. Stacked Stone Graves Photo

See above listings for added information on the McNiel family.

Stone inscription [click image for larger version]

M. McNiel
no other information is on the stone
Stone is down.

This stone is located about 12 to 20 feet from the other McNiel graves, but it is the same hand carved sandstone marker as the others. It could be a marker for Martha Permelia McNiel, daughter of Joel McNiel and Nancy Ball. I have not found any record of Martha Permelia after the 1870 census in Laclede County, Missouri. It is also possible that this marker is for another unknown member of the McNiel family.

See above listings for added information on the McNiel family.

Stone inscription [click image for larger version]

William H. H. Riddle
Born Dec 30 1840
Died April 12 1912

This is William Henry Harrison Riddle, a veteran of the Civil War, Co. C, Powers' 14th Arkansas Infantry. Stories about William (Bill) Harrison can be found in Turnbo's Ozark tales. William Harrison lived over 10 miles from this cemetery.

It is somewhat of a mystery as to why the Riddle family chose to bury William and his wife Hester in this cemetery that is some distance in 1894 miles from their home. However, it is much closer to the Riddle home in the Shaver, Arkansas community than Laclede County, Missouri where some of the McNiel family members buried in the cemetery were living before their burial here.

Stone inscription [click image for larger version]

Hester A. Riddle
Jan 10 1838
Oct 19 1894

Hester is Hester Ann Nelson, wife of William H. H. Riddle

The two Riddle graves are in the Northwest corner of the cemetery, some distance from the other marked graves in the cemetery. There are numerous graves throughout the cemetery marked only with a native sandstone rock with no visible markings. I can find only 15 gravemarkers within the cemetery with visible markings, however, the cemetery is full of graves for unknown individuals.



Carroll County Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc.
P.O. Box 249
Berryville, AR 72616-0249
Phone 870 423-6312

URL: www.rootsweb.com/~arcchs/blackoakcem.html

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