THE BACKTRACKERã

VOLUME II                                              January 1973                                         NUMBER I

Contents and Policies..............................................................................................................1

New Members..........................................................................................................................2

President’s Notes.....................................................................................................................3

Crumley-Crumly Information....................................................................................................4

The information is from three sources; Larry Bohannon – cemetery

information, James E. Egger - recent family information, Donna Cooper –

early family history.

 

Crawford Co. Arkansas Tax List..........................................................................................5, 6

“Personal Tax Lists of Crawford County, Arkansas, 1821-1826” was originally

published in the Arkansas Gazette. It is continued in this issue on page 18.

 

In Memory of Grandma Barber, by Mrs. Mark Masur..........................................................7, 8

“In Memory of Grandma Barber by Caroline Masur” is the history of Maranda

Caroline Brown who married Henry Barber. It is the story of her youth and

married life in Taney County, Missouri, and Seminole County, Oklahoma.

 

Franklin Co. Arkansas News Clippings, Mrs. Bessie Rowland..........................................9, 10

Franklin County, Arkansas”, is the continuation of the Diary of Mrs. T. H.

Moore. It is dated from 6 June 1896, to 9 June 1899.

 

Index to Madison Co. Biographies...................................................................................11, 12

This is an alphabetized list of biographies from Goodspeed’s History of

Northwest Arkansas.

 

Bible Record, Heard Family, Mary Remy Cunningham.........................................................13

These Bible records, submitted by Mary Remy Cunningham, of Ponca

City,Oklahoma, are the records of James Heard, 1813-1874, who lived in Van

Buren County. He is the son of John Heard, Jr. of Jasper County, Georgia,

who died in 1825. Included are his first wife, Olive Crane, born 1804, and her

children, along with his second wife, Annis Boren, born 1812, and her

children. Other names mentioned are Maxey, Boren, Crane, Howell, Allen,

Wagner, Remy, Huggins, and Lovett. More family information and records are

included.

 

Claim of Widow for Pension, Francis E. Harris....................................................................14

“War with Mexico” is the claim for this service pension request by Margaret

Lea, widow of Prior Lea. Her statement and also the statements of James R.

Cox and John P. Scott, her witness, dated March 29, 1887, are part of the

article.

 

“As I Remember It” - Mr. Alvin Seamster, By Edith Bates.............................................15, 16

This is a brief biography of Alvin Seamster and the history of his efforts

toward purchasing Pea Ridge Battlefield Park.

 

Obituaries from Springdale News...................................................................................17, 18

The obituaries are dated from September 1971 through March 1972. This

only includes the individuals born before 1910.

 

Queries..........................................................................................................19, 20, 21, 22, 23

Index.....................................................................................................................................24

This Surname Index is the original index from the Backtracker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                   INDEX

NAME

PAGE

 

 

 

 

ABERCROMBIE

8

 

ADAMS

9,10

 

ALLEN

10,13

 

ALLRED

18

 

AUSTIN

13

 

BATES

15

 

BAGKEY

9

 

BANKS

15

 

BARBER

7,8

 

BERRY

10

 

BILL

10

 

BLACKBORN

10

 

BLACKBURN

9

 

BOHANNON

4

 

BOREN

13

 

BOWEN

18

 

BROWN

7

 

BUCKHANON

13

 

BURROUGHS

17

 

BURTON

14

 

CARPENTER

17

 

CARPON(I)A

14

 

CARTER

10

 

CATES

18

 

COLE

15

 

CONASTER

10

 

COOPER

4,10

 

COX

8,10,14

 

CRANE

13

 

CRUMLEY

4

 

CRUMLY

4

 

CUNNINGHAM

13

 

DAUGHERTY

17

 

DAVID

18

 

DEARDEUFF

17

 

DELOZIER

17

 

DENTON

17

 

DICKSON

15

 

DIERICH

17

 

DIFFENBACHER

18

 

DODD

17

 

DODSON

17

 

DORSEY

17

 

DOSS

17

 

DOUGLAS

7

 

DOUGLASS

10,17

 

DOWDLE

9

 

DOWNUM

17

 

DRAIN

17

 

DRAKE

17

 

DUNN

17

 

EADES

17

 

EASTERLING

17

 

EASTERLY

17

 

EATON

17

 

EDMISTON

17

 

EDSTER

17

 

EGGER

4

 

EICHENBERGER

9

 

EISENHOWER

16

 

ELDRIDGE

17

 

ELLYSON

17

 

ELMER

17

 

ELROD

17

 

ELVING

17

 

EMRICK

18

 

ENTREKIN

17

 

EPPERSON

18

 

ERWIN

18

 

ESLEY

18

 

EVANS

18

 

EWALT

18

 

FAIR

18

 

FANNING

18

 

FARLEY

18

 

FARMER

18

 

FARROW

18

 

FERGUSON

18

 

FERRELL

18

 

FIELD

18

 

FIELDS

18

 

FINLEY

8

 

FISHER

18

 

FORESTER

13

 

FORREST

9

 

GARNER

9

 

GIBBS

4

 

GILL

17

 

GIPSON

18

 

GRAHAM

18

 

GREER

9

 

GUILLETT

4

 

HADDOCK

4

 

HAIRSTON

9

 

HARRIS

14

 

HEARD

13

 

HISAW

4

 

HOWELL

13

 

HUDSON

10

 

HUGGINS

13

 

HULS

15

 

HUNE

15

 

JOHNSON

18

 

JONES

41

 

KAUPP

4

 

KEITH

17

 

KILGORE

15

 

KING

15

 

KNOTTS

10, 18

 

LACY

17

 

LAMPKIN

18

 

LARSON

17

 

LEA

8, 14

 

LEAVITT

13

 

LESTER

13

 

LITTLE

18

 

LUNDSTROM

17

 

McCOY

17

 

MARKHAM

18

 

MASON

16

 

MASUR

7

 

MATHIS

9

 

MAXEY

10, 13

 

MILLER

17

 

MOORE

9, 10, 17

 

NICHOLS

10, 15

 

NORMAN

17

 

PARKER

13

 

PARKS

9

 

PARRISH

17

 

PETERSON

17

 

POLLY

10

 

PRATER

17

 

PRICHARD

18

 

PROTHEROE

9

 

QUAILE

9

 

RAUCH

8

 

REMY

13

 

RICHARDSON

9, 10

 

RILEY

15, 18

 

ROACH

10

 

ROSS

9

 

ROWLAND

10

 

RUMBAUGH

4

 

SANDERS

15

 

SCHOLZE

15

 

SCOTT

14

 

SEAMSTER

15, 16

 

SHANNON

14

 

SHIBLEY

10

 

SIMPSON

13

 

SMITH

18

 

STANLEY

9

 

STOAKS

9, 10

 

STRINGER

4

 

SULLIVAN

18

 

SWANSON

17

 

TIETZ

17

 

TILLMAN

16

 

TOLLISON

10

 

VALENTINE

10

 

WAGNER

9, 13

 

WARD (WOOD?)

13

 

WASSON

17

 

WHITE

15, 18

 

WILLIAMS

10

 

WOLF

18

 

WOODRUFF

9

 

YANCEY

8

 

 

 

 

 

 


“AS I REMEMBER IT”

 

MR. ALVIN SEAMSTER

 

By Edith Bates

 

When the subject of local history and genealogy of Northwest Arkansas arises, the name of Mr. Alvin Seamster is almost inevitably introduced.

           

Mr. Seamster has been interested in history and genealogy for at least seventy-three of his eighty-one years.  He remembers that when he was about seven years old he began taking notes as he listened to the speakers in the public park at Bentonville.  “These speakers might be ex-slaves or politicians,” he says.  “Anyone who wanted to say something simply climbed up on a box or something and made a speech.”

           

Bit by bit over the years he has collected the genealogies of approximately a thousand early-day families of Northwest Arkansas and Southwest Missouri.

 

Alvin Seamster was born on the line dividing Benton County, AR., and the Indian Territory on March 1, 1891.  He had eight brothers and one sister.   They were the children of Martin Luther Seamster (born in Schuyler Co., Missouri, June 16, 1844, died 1936) and Nancy Jane Cole, born Oct. 18, 1852, in McDonald Co., Mo., just seven miles from the present home of her son, Alvin.  She died in 1927, and of the nine children, only three are still living; Alvin and his brothers, Roy and Jesse, both of whom live in Bentonville.  “Mother didn’t like to have it mentioned, but her father and the mother of Jesse James were first cousins,” Mr. Seamster says.

 

Mr. Seamster first attended school at Hiwasse, AR., where the family had moved.  He started at the age of seven in the third grade, and explains that he had always listened while his brothers did their home-work, and there was no point in repeating the first and second grades!

           

The town of Hiwasse was originally called Old Dickson in honor of Joe Daniel Dickson.  When the railroad was built from Bentonville to Centerton, a man named John Henry Keith was instrumental in having the name changed to Hiwasse after the river in Tennessee, where he had previously lived.  Among the people Mr. Seamster remembers as neighbors in Hiwasse in the early 1900s were several families named Banks from N. Carolina, the Nichols family from Tennessee, and Joe Beasley (who became the County Judge) from Tennessee.

 

When Alvin was twelve the Seamster family moved to a new location four miles west of Centerton, and there he grew to young manhood.

 

In 1911 Alvin taught a one-room country school at Sycamore in Washington County.  One of his pupils was Ella Huls, a daughter of John W. and Emily Hune Huls.  Mr. Huls was a farmer at Mt. Comfort and they were the parents of four sons and four daughters.

 

The next year on August 1, 1912, teacher and pupil, Alvin Seamster and Ella Huls, were married by the Rev. J. F. Kilgore at his home in Fayetteville.  They had five children.  The first daughter, Yvonne, died Feb. 16, 1964.  She was the wife of M. L. White, and left two sons, Alvin Morris and William White.  John William, the first son, married Marjorie Sanders of Mena, AR.  They live at Ft. Smith, and have two sons, Billie and Stevie.  The next daughter, Mary, wife of Milton Scholze, lives in Rogers and has a daughter, Anita Lee, and a son, Milton Randall.  Alice Lee (Mrs. Amiel Riley) also lives in Rogers, and has three sons:  Richard, Robert and Randy.  The youngest son, Alvin Martin (“never called anything but ‘Buddy’”, his mother says) married Betty Mason of Hindsville, and they have a daughter, Laura Yvonne, and a son, John Martin.  Buddy Seamster’s attractive home is only a few yards from that of his parents.

 

The young Mr. Seamster taught three more terms in country schools, all in Benton County.  He then took a job that was to last for forty years - that of mail carrier on Rural Route Three out of Bentonville, AR.  For the first six years he used a horse and buggy, afterward a Model T.  He began “reading law” in his spare time, passed his examinations, and for twenty-five years he was an attorney as well as a mail carrier.  He was the mayor of Bentonville from 1950 to 1957, when he retired.

 

Along with his interest in people and their histories, Mr. Seamster was fascinated with the things the early settlers used.  He began to collect old furniture, dishes, implements, books, documents, photographs, newspapers; anything and everything we now call “antique”.

 

Fourteen years ago the Seamsters moved to a beautiful country location near Garfield, and soon work begun on his long-cherished dream of a museum.  In 1962 the building was finished and Seamster’s Museum was opened.  Each item was meticulously labeled, and the Museum attracted thousands of visitors.  His large collection of Civil War material was particularly popular, and some items in the Museum date back to Revolutionary War days.  His extensive collection of old coins and stamps is kept safe in a bank vault.

 

Alvin Seamster is listed in ”Who’s Who of Historians of the South and Southwest” (1927-28).  He is pleased by the fact that a thesis he wrote at the age of nineteen while attending a summer session at the University of Arkansas, just recently made possible the declaration of the Ridge House in Fayetteville as a national monument to be preserved by the government.  He has long studied the history of the Cherokee Indians and the Trail of Tears.  He has promised to make a tape-recording of this information for the Pea Ridge National Park.

           

For forty-five years he worked to have the Pea Ridge Battlefield declared a National Park; starting by writing to Congressman Tillman in 1914 a suggestion that the government buy 100 acres including the Elkhorn Tavern.  He wrote year after year to other congressmen urging the purchase of the Battlefield.  Finally President Eisenhower signed a bill declaring the Battlefield a National Park, provided that the State of Arkansas would buy the land from private owners.  This was done by increasing the state sales tax, and 4210 acres were purchased, which became the beautiful and historic Pea Ridge National Park.

 

Mr. Seamster’s health is frail now.  The museum is closed, but he still writes history for people all over the United States.  His eyes shine with interest, his wit is well-honed, and his memory is phenomenal.  He personifies that old-fashioned but meaningful phrase “a gentleman and a scholar”.  The kindliness of his face and his conversation suggest that his interest in people comes from a deep love of all people.


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