JEFFERSON COUNTY ILLINOIS
Williamson and Lina Pickett Barnett
Williamson and Lina Pickett Barnett, who homesteaded in Jefferson
County, had two children, Felix Grundy born January 5, 1844 and Mary
Elizabeth who later married John Manker Cockrum.
Felix at 17 joined the 18th Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Co.
Din 1861 and served until the end of the Civil War. He married Rebecca
Jane Pickett in 1863.
Rebecca Jane born in 1847 to Margaret Ann Hackworth of Tennessee and
William Pickett of Kentucky. They were well-to-do landowners and had
slaves. Rebecca was one of 12 children: Lihue, Delila (Lyle), Rebecca
Jane, John, Jessie, Bill Granville, Burrell, Jemima, Celia, Ambrose,
Lane, and a three year-old who fell into a fireplace and was burned.
The family came to Jefferson County in a covered wagon and settled on a
farm. William Pickett lived 76 years and Margaret Ann 86 years.
Felix's sister Mary and husband John lived on the home place near her
parents, Williamson and Lina. They had six children: Lon (Alonza
Dennis); Bob (Clemon Lee); Jim (James Grundy father of Orville, Venita,
and Dorothy); Lizzy (Mary Elizabeth); Ada, married a Pearce; and Cora,
later married a Robinson, who now lives in Ina with Ada's daughter Feme
Felix and Mary Jane homesteaded a 40-acre farm in Moore's Prairie. Seven
children were born and raised here:
William Stanifer, 1865; Williamson (Wid) 1869; James Oliver (Odd) 1872;
Minnie E., 1876; Myrta Marget, 1880; Carrie Belle, 1883; and Anna
Abigail, 1887, who married Charlie Atkinson in 1904 and had two sons,
Dean and Ausby. After Charlie died, Anna married Sherman Hall and lived
in Mt. Vernon until her death in 1972.
(Stan) Stanifer married Julia Buck. Two of Stan's 12 children were born
on the farm, Alvey J. being one of them. Alvey and wife, Lona, live in
Kennett, Missouri and were teachers. Albert, Stan's youngest, lives in
St. Louis. Three daughters, Canoy, Myrl, and Annie survive. When Stan
died at 96 he had 112 descendants.
Felix and his boys farmed, hunted, and trapped. Becky Jane knew and used
woods plants for medicine and food. She made all the family clothes,
carding, spinning and dyeing to knit stockings and mittens. When Felix
died December 5, 1897 Rebecca was left with two minor children but
received a Civil War widow's pension.
After a whirlwind courtship, Myrta M. (Myrtle) married Cleveland Runkel
of Madison. They eloped and were married in Mt. Vernon in 1903. They had
three children: Sylvan, Geneva, and Dorothy born in Jacksonville,
Illinois. The Runkels moved to Moline in 1918. Sylvan graduated from
Iowa State in forestry and worked until 1974 for the U.S. Soil
Conservation Service as a botanist. He served as a glider pilot (JOist
Airborne) and was wounded in Normandy on D-Day during World War II. He
is married and has six children and ten grandchildren in Des Moines, Iowa.
Dorothy married James E. Martin in Rock Island in 1936.
They live in Denver, Colorado and have three children: Doris, Rodney,
and Tim and six grandchildren.
Geneva married Paul Henss in 1930. They have two children, Don, an
attorney who served as a legislator in Springfield for six years, and
Virginia, a school nurse and former airlines stewardess. They have
eight grandchildren. Geneva was a Moline High School nurse for 21 years.
Myrtle, a strong, independent, conscientious woman was a deaconess in
the Union Congregational Church for 17 years and all those years she
raised the grapes and made the juice for Church Communion. She lived to
be almost 95 and died in 1975.
Source: Facts and Folks of Jefferson Co, IL
Submitted By: Sandy (Whalen) Bauer