The following is an account of my recent trip to Stone and Barry County, Missouri. I guess I will start from the beginning. It all started about a year ago, when I started to really get interested in trying to find my ancestors from Stone and Barry Counties.
One night I found one of the greatest sites on the internet. I found the MOSTONE web page. After exploring MOSTONE and connecting to the Barry County link, I came back to the Stone Co. page and entered the chat room. I was greeted by the following people, Shirley Evans (birdie), Robin Biddle (mindvoice) and George King, (shakespr). I was asked which family I was researching and when I replied KING, Shirley said she was going to leave if one more King researcher came into the chat room. It seems that both Robin and George were doing work on my King family. It was also the first time Robin and Shirley had met George. As it turned out Robin, Shirley and George have been very helpful over the past months with my research. All three have been after me to come on down to Galena and Cape Fair. George and Robin were planning a meeting in the near future, but I was not able to make arrangements to make it. George planed another trip in the summer, but I couldn't get away to get there then either. Seemed like everytime I would talk to Robin or Shirley they would ask when I was coming to Missouri?
I was finally able to get every thing put together and finally scheduled a trip on the 16th of October. Robin, Shirley and I started to count down the days. I had agreed to meet Robin at the little store in Galena, (as it turned out it is the only store in Galena that sells anything).
On the 16th I flew out headed to Springfield, MO. I had decided
to stay in Branson, MO since Galena and Cape Fair were so close.
I arrived in Springfield and it was raining. Not just raining but
pouring! I got my rental car and headed to Branson and to the motel
I was staying at. It was after midnight when I finally got checked
in. I was finally close to where my ancestors had homesteaded.
I was there but my luggage didn't make it. My luggage wouldn't show
up until the afternoon on Tuesday.
Sunday, October 17, 1999
Sunday morning I was up and ready to find the Galena store. Not knowing how long it would take to drive there, I left early and got to Galena about a half-hour before Robin and Shirley. I made it on my own despite Robin and Shirley worrying about me getting lost! Finally I met my long lost kin (Robin is kin through the Kings, Carneys and Stones by marriage, Shirley says she isn't kin, but she feels like she should be). We drank a few cups of coffee and got to know each other in person. After all we have been chat kin for over a year. We had an appointment to meet Ruth Asher around 1pm. We decided to head for the Cape Fair cemetery. Visited a lot of graves. Very moving to see where my family is in their final resting place. After over an hour in the Cape Fair cemetery we went over to meet with Ruth. Ruth Asher is a direct relation through the Carney's and Stones. Ruth decided to go with us to show us around a little bit and to take us to Claude Kings. With Ruth guiding us we started out. We went over to meet Claude King and his wife Opal. Claude and my mother had the same great great grandfather, Joseph M King. We had a very enjoyable visit with Claude and his wife. Then if was off again with Ruth guiding us. Claude had told her where my great grandfather William Jasper King lived when they took off for Idaho around 1898. Went down some roads that I am not sure if the car rental would approve of, but we made it ok. Ruth took us down the "holler", where the Kings had lived; down farther to where the Cedar Bluff School stands. My great grandfather Wm. J King (Bill King) was a teacher and also superintendent of Cedar Bluff School. Then farther down the "holler" to the Wilson cemetery and found more kin, then we headed back to Cape Fair. Ruth pointed out where the old swinging bridge used to be, where she used to live, and many many other interesting places. We took Ruth home and I headed back to Branson, with a promise to meet Robin and Shirley at 10am at the Library in Galena the following morning.
Monday, October 18, 1999.
Made it to Galena again, (surprised Robin and Shirley), never did figure out why they thought I would get lost. Meet at the library as planned. I was required to sign in and was directed to a reference room where Shirley and Robin were. Shirley and Robin showed me a wealth of research material that was available. Robin even showed me a list of jail guests that showed my GG Grandfather Joseph M. King had spent 18 days in jail for assault and battery. You never know when you will find a skeleton or two in the closet! It was very interesting to find out how many times Robin seemed to be related through marriage to George and me!! Since I hadn't had breakfast we decided to head to the Galena Country Store and Restaurant and Liquor Store. While we were eating the proprietor overheard us talking genealogy and asked me where I was from and what families I was kin to. I told him, King, Carney, Stone, and Barnard. He said we should talk to the gentleman at the counter. About then the person standing at the counter spoke up and said he also overheard us talking and he wasn't going any place without talking to us. As it turns out his name was Terry Carney. MORE kin! Terry's great great grandfather was a brother to my great great grandmother Hester Ann Carney; both are descendents of Calvin Carney.
Terry didn't have any plans for that afternoon and he offered to show us around. He said he knew where the two Carney cemeteries were and would take us to them. The two cemeteries he took us to are both down dirt roads and across the "holler". I was especially interested in these, because one is the burial site of Gilbert Barnard, my great great grandfather, who was married to Hester A. Carney and died Nov. 12, 1865 twelve days after my great grandmother was born. Finding this grave was one of the highlights of my trip, before I left home, I was asked what I would be doing down in Missouri. My standard answer was I was going to visit my dead relation. This turned out to be truer than ever when I was standing before their graves. After the two small Carney cemeteries we went to the larger Carney cemetery. Here we found many Kings and Carney's from my line and Robin found one of her long lost relation that she had been looking for quite a long time. After visiting the three cemeteries, Terry Carney showed us where Carney Spring was. Carney Spring is the headwater of Carney Branch Creek. The spring comes out of a rock formation on the side of a hill. We then took Terry back to his mother's house in Galena, said goodbye and thanked him for showing us around the countryside. I told Shirley and Robin goodbye and headed back to Branson, with a promise to meet them on Wednesday at the store in Galena. I had planned to do a little site seeing on my own on Tuesday. I also had shopping to do since my luggage still hadn't arrived yet. Tuesday I took off for Silver Dollar City, I had promised my brother Jerry that if I had time and could find it I would go see the "Fairy Cave". Before I headed to Missouri I asked both Shirley and Robin if they knew where the Fairy Cave was. Since they didn't know it by that name I asked Ruth Asher and she told me it had been changed to Talking Rocks Cavern. Since I had seen the signs on how to get there I knew where I was going. My brother Jerry and my sister Cathy were about 7 and 5 years old when they visited Missouri with our mother Elva A. King Schab and our grandparents B.F. and Anna King the summer of 1946. A year before I was born. I was always told by my dad that I was a result of a trip my mother had taken to Missouri, now the pieces were beginning to fit together, (but that is another story). The most vivid memory Jerry seemed to have of this trip was a visit to the Fairy Cave. Since my sister Cathy was only 5 or so when she was in Missouri, her most vivid memory was of Uncle Hee Haw! We finally figured out that Uncle Hee Haw was Lemuel King. Jerry and Cathy nicknamed him Uncle Hee Haw because of the mules he had in his pasture when they stayed at his house during that visit. I was glad that I went to see the cave, it was a very beautiful and interesting place.
Wednesday, October 20, 1999
I was up early again, and off to Galena. Met with Robin and Shirley at the Galena Country Store, (starting to get used to the good breakfast). After visiting a little, we headed to Cape Fair to see Ruth again and to see if she would be able to identify any of the pictures I had brought along with me. My luggage arrived late Tuesday afternoon finally, and my pictures and King Family Bible that was in my luggage. Between Ruth and a couple of her quilting group they were able to identify one of the pictures as Elijah Stone and family. This picture was in with several I have that I have been unable to identify. We visited awhile with some of the quilting group and headed to Wheelerville, where Robin was staying. When we got there her cousins Helen and Joe had just arrived from Kansas and Nevada. After introductions, I found out that Helen and Joe had been raised in Southern Idaho in the small town of Rupert. I couldn't believe they were from Rupert. I had just traveled 1800 miles and meet someone who went to high school with a cousin of mine on my SCHAB side. Just goes to prove what a small world it can be!
I had one more stop I wanted to make and needed Shirley and Robin to help me get there. I wanted to go to Crane, MO and meet Ben Carney. We had the address, but no one was sure exactly where the street was that Ben lived on. After driving through all the streets and over all the hills in Crane we stopped and asked directions and a gentleman said he was leaving and follow him and he would show us were Ben lived. (We only past his house about three times). Robin had to take Shirley home to Marionville and then had to get back to her company, so I stayed and had the opportunity to talk to Ben Carney for about an hour. It was really enjoyable to spend the time talking to Ben. Ben's father and my grandfather were cousins, so once again I get to meet some close "kin
I drove back to Branson remembering all my kin I had met, both deceased and alive. And how fortunate I was to have such wonderful friends and family. I was a little sad to have to leave the Ozark country the next morning to catch a flight in Springfield and head back home to Walla Walla, WA. In the near future I will return to the Ozark hill country to find more of my kin. I remember what Terry Carney told me, "Don't forget to wave to anyone in Galena or Cape Fair, cuz they are all KIN to ya".
I would like to express a special Thank You to: Robin Biddle, Shirley
Evans, Ruth Asher, Ben Carney, Claude King and Terry Carney for making
me feel at home and like family.