The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

Remembering the Shoals

James Hamilton Isbell…

was a dedicated local, national and international leader much honored and an Isbell relative.

He was in military intelligence.  He was  48 years, 1 month, 19 days old at the time of his death.

His Birdwell and Isbell lineage follows:

>Rev. Levi Isbell and Sarah Birdwell
>>Elijah Miller Isbell and Jane Dowdy
>>>Wm Joseph Isbell and Annora Florence Hall
>>>>James Dolphus Isbell Sr and Jessie Lucille Payne
>>>>>James Dolphus Isbell Jr  and Maggie Neal Cox
>>>>>>Tommy Eugene Isbell  b. 6 Oct 1944  and m1 Sherry Walker
>>>>>>>James Hamilton Isbell  b.Jan. 29, 1970 Huntsville, Alabama,
  married first: Lara                           Anne Bashore b. 22 Nov 1970  (artist, Huntsville); divorced; and married                               second to Jennifer, his widow.

Lt Cdr James HAmilton Isbell copy

January 29, 1970 – March 20, 2018 James H. Isbell passed away on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. He is preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Carl T. and Carolyn Walker and Stepfather, Richard Dinges; paternal grandmother, Maggie Huser and Step grandfather, Frank Huser. Left to cherish his memory is his wife, Jennifer Isbell; 4 sons, Walker Isbell, Connor Laney, Elijah Isbell, and Ethan Isbell; mother, Sherry Dinges; father, Tommy Isbell; Stepmother, Patricia Isbell; sister, Tammy Bourque (Brian); 2 brothers, Michael Dinges (Victoria) and Brad Helton (Amy); and several nieces and nephews. Mr. Isbell served in the US Navy. James was a native of Huntsville and graduated from Huntsville High School in 1988. He graduated from Auburn University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and International Relations. He later earned a Doctor of Philosophy in U.S. Military and Diplomatic History from the University of Alabama in 2002. James served in the Alabama National Guard from 1993 to 1999 and was commissioned in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 2004 as a Naval Intelligence Officer, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander. James deployed twice, in 2007 and 2012, to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan. LCDR Isbell’s most recent military assignment was with the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Missile and Space Intelligence Center, where he was awarded a Defense Meritorious Service Medal In addition to his military service, Dr. Isbell spent over 20 years serving his country as a civilian professional, conducting political and military research and analysis in support of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Department of State, and Department of the Army. His civilian career culminated in becoming the USASMDC/ARSTRAT Political and Military Advisor in April 2014. Dr. Isbell was also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville since 1994, where he taught world history, strategy and policy, and military history. He was beloved by his students and fellow faculty. James was an ardent fan of Auburn football, a devoted and loving husband and father, and faithful friend. He enjoyed reading and spending time with loved ones at his family’s home on Smith Lake You may visit with the family at Valhalla Funeral Home on Saturday, March 24 from 12:00 to 2:00pm with services commencing at 2:00pm in Valhalla’s chapel. Interment will immediately follow in Rice Cemetery in Franklin County, TN.

Published in The Huntsville Times on Mar. 23, 2018

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The True Location of the RICE Cemetery is in Franklin County, Tennessee.  The confusion is because the cemetery is located about one mile inside the Tennessee State line and the people who are Buried there are mostly from Jackson County Alabama. It is located in a large wildlife refuge mostly in franklin CountyTenn. so it is several miles away from any place or homes in Tennessee.

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REDSTONE ARSENAL, AL, UNITED STATES

04.09.2018

Story by Jason Cutshaw 

U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command  

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama – A dedicated local, national and international leader was honored by his U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command team members during a memorial ceremony April 3.

Dr. James H. Isbell, who served as the USASMDC/ARSTRAT political and military affairs adviser since April 2014, passed away March 20.

“Everybody is here today because they admired, respected and in some cases loved James,” said Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson, SMDC commanding general. “He made a very powerful impression to me. He was one of my most trusted advisers. Immediately, James established himself as a professional and as a person of trust. I can’t say enough good things about James,” he continued. “There isn’t anybody I know who could take complex issues that arise and figure out clear, practical solutions. When I think of James and what words may best describe him, they are: passionate, compassionate, devoted, loyal, exceptionally smart and a continual learner. He is a Soldier. He is a sailor. He is a gentleman, And I think everybody would agree in here, that he is a patriot.

“It is with great sadness, but fond memories, that we bid farewell to Dr. James Isbell,” Dickinson added. “May God bless you, James, and may God bless your wonderful family.”

Isbell was a native of Huntsville. Prior to joining SMDC, he spent 18 years conducting political and military research and analysis in support of the offices of the secretary of defense, the State Department and the department of the Army.

He served in the Army National Guard from 1993 to 1999 and earned his doctorate in 2002 from the University of Alabama.

In 2004, Isbell commissioned into the U.S. Navy Reserves as an intelligence officer, where he served until his passing. His Navy Reserve assignments include Navy Forces Central Command, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Missile and Space Intelligence Center, and two tours in Afghanistan.

“All of the things he did dovetailed together and really made him a perfect selection to be the international and political and military affairs adviser for the Army Space and Missile Defense Command,” said Dr. John Fairlamb, former SMDC political and military adviser.

In the command, Isbell had the responsibility of ensuring missile treaty compliance for the Army and his duties included interacting with the Kwajalein Atoll and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or RMI, leadership. Isbell worked to foster a positive relationship with the Marshallese government.

His recent efforts led to legislative protections regarding longstanding concerns in the RMI and the continuation of the Ri-Katak program at Kwajalein that allows Marshallese children to attend school with American children.

“Saying goodbye is very, very hard,” said James B. Johnson Jr., deputy to the SMDC commander. “One of the things about James that stands out to me is that he was the consumate professional. We could always count on James to provide sage advice, and he was passionate in his many endeavers as the command’s political and military affairs adviser.

“We spend a tremendous amount of time with our coworkers. In many respects our coworkers are like members of our family,” he continued. “We work together. We laugh together. We travel together; and we occassionally make each other mad, but the good times far outweigh the bad. With our coworkers we develop bonds and deep friendships, so losing our close friend is very hard.

“I would like thank Dr. Isbell for making a difference for our nation, for making a difference for this command, and he made a difference in my life,” Johnson added. “He will be greatly missed.”

During the ceremony, Dickinson presented Isbell’s family with the Department of the Army Meritorious Civilian Service Award for his service to the nation.

Also, the Republic of Marshall Island Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade John M. Silk presented Isbell with the Distinguished Foreign Service Award for advancing “the mutual defense and security relations and cooperation between the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the United States of America and has proved his worth as a representative of his country in areas important to the foreign, economic and political policies of both nations.” It added that at all times Isbell showed the calmness, clarity, dedication and judgment that are the characteristics of an outstanding political and military adviser, and a true friend of the Marshallese people.

Isbell is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and their four sons; Walker, Connor, Eli and Ethan.

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James Hamilton Isbell comes from a long line of distinguished patriots. His forefathers served in the Revolutionary War and all wars since. Ancestors from both sides took part in major historical matters, to include the Watauga Settlement.

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Officer down…

Federal Prohibition Agent Irby U. Scruggs

United States Department of the Treasury – Internal Revenue Service – Prohibition Unit, U.S. Government

End of Watch Saturday, April 30, 1921

IRBY U. SCRUGGS

Federal Prohibition Agent Irby Scruggs was shot and killed following a raid on a still in Knox County, Tennessee.

As he and a sheriff’s deputy returned to Knoxville the deputy took offense at an order by Agent Scruggs that none of the seized liquor could be drunk. After Agent Scruggs told the deputy to put away a gun he carried on his lap the deputy shot him. Despite being mortally wounded, Agent Scruggs returned fire and killed the deputy.

Irby U Scruggs was the husband of Willie Fullerton, and the son of William P Scruggs 1840-1896 and wife Laura O Upshaw 15 Dec 1845-12 June 1879. Laura O Upshaw was the daughter of Lewis Green Upshaw 1785–1860 and Priscilla Menefee Laughlin 1811–1875 of Elkton, Giles County, Tennessee.

Irby and Willie Scruggs were the parents of Gaston Scruggs, Laura Scruggs, and Willia Scruggs.


A Conundrum of family history…

brothers, cousins, grandparents, fathers, uncles all with the same name.

Cousin Ray Isbell shared this article on two Isbell cousins with the same name in the same time period:

What would be the odds of finding two men, 1st cousins, same name, (their fathers were brothers), one Confederate, one Union, buried in the same Church cemetery. One received a Federal Pension, the Rebel a pension from the State of Tennessee. The “home-grown” Yank began the war as a Confederate. The one that stayed true to Dixie, probably died an “un-reconstructed” Johnny Reb. Both went through the Siege of Vicksburg, and returned to east Tennessee about the same time. Recently, while combining genealogy and Civil War, I discovered these men and my connection to them through my 4 x great-grandmother, and their cousin, Elizabeth Isbell Land.

Monroe County, like all of east Tennessee was bitterly divided during the Civil War. It also became a haven for bushwhackers, like John “Bushwhacker” Kirkland, John Denton, and others that in most cases, had deserted both sides. Bushwhacking continued there for at least five years after the war ended.

pendelton isbell headstone.jpg
Union Veteran Pendelton Isbell’s headstone in Hopewell Baptist Cemetery

On Sept. 24, 1861, Company F, 62nd Tennessee Infantry was enrolled into Confederate Service. On 10/1/1862, Pendelton, (listed as Penitton) Isbell joined himself to this company. On July 4, 1863, the Confederate garrison at Vicksburg, Miss. was surrendered. Most of the Confederates were “paroled until exchanged” and allowed to return home. Pendelton was one of seven paroled east Tennesseans with the Isbell surname, probably all were either his cousins or brothers.

On August 1, 1864, Pendelton enlisted and mustered as a Private into Captain James L. Pearson’s Company D, Union 3rd Tennessee Mounted Infantry,at Loudon, Tennessee. The 3rd was one of several 90-day units formed in east Tennessee, many of their members being rebel deserters, organized to combat the lessening Confederate resistance, and bands of marauding guerrillas. By December, 1864, the war for this Pendelton Isbell ended. On July 28, 1890, he applied for a Federal pension. Following his death in 1896, his widow, Sarah Emaline, applied for a widow’s pension. He filed claim for his own personal horse in 1881, he used during his service. That said horse was his own private property; that he continued mounted upon said private horse, and continued to use him in the service until the 30th day of Nov 1864 when he was discharged as aforesaid. . . . when said horse was taken from the service by claimant . . . He now claims pay at the then legal rates for the use and risk of said private horse from the 25th day of July 1864, when he entered the service to the 30 day of November 1864 when said horse was taken from the service as aforesaid. . . He was mustered for the time for which he claims pay for use and risk of horse as aforesaid on Rolls at the following places On the 25 July 1864 at Loudon Tenn. . . and he hereby constitutes and appoints Robinson & Blackman of Madisonville Tenn his Attorneys.

pendelton isbell.jpg 
Index card to his Union Veteran’s pension. (also contains his attorney’s signatures)

p. isbell confederate.jpg
Confederate Veteran Pendelton Monroe Isbell 
applied for a Confederate Pension on October 15, 1901. He stated he was “almost 73 years old”, being born Nov.4, 1828, in Monroe County, Tennessee. He enlisted April 17, 1861 into Company B 3rd Tennessee Infantry, commanded by Colonel John Crawford Vaughn. “I was wounded in the battle of Tazwell, Tennessee, shot through the right leg with a minnie ball, four inches above the knee, also shot in the head above the left eye, causing loss of the left eye, and partial use of the right leg. He was attended to by Regimental Surgeon, Dr. A.C. Blevins, and detailed to other duties until he was well enough to do normal duty. I never asked for a discharge”. He surrendered and was paroled home, at Wytheville, Virginia, May, 1865. He said he “never took the Oath of Allegiance to the U.S. Government”, and wouldn’t “under any circumstances”.

Photos courtesy of Find-A-Grave sites maintained by Isbell family historian and my cousin Ray Isbell . Thanks Ray ! 

Source: https://civilwartalk.com/threads/a-recent-find-a-civil-war-believe-it-or-not.144206/


So, Menefee women were important,too…

Mildred Emily Menefee was born in 24 May in Jonesboro, Missouri. She was the daughter of  Dr Buell Fountain Menefee and Flora Catherine Baker Menefee.

Mildred Emily Menefee descends from Revolutionary War Soldier, Jarrett Menefee. She became a Daughter of the American Revolution on Jarrett Menefee’s line back in

Jarrett Menefee was born 1721 in Spotsylvania County, Colony of Virginia. Jarrett Menefee died 7 March 1811 in Lincoln, Kentucky County of Virginia. He was the father of William Menefee, Jonas Menefee,

Jarrett Menefee gave service in Virginia with the rank of Private. He served under Captain Benjamin Logan.[3] He, sons,  and other family members served to gain America’s Independence. They were awarded land warrants for their service, first in Kentucky County, Virginia.

In her own right, Mildred Emily Menefee Warlow, made her own contributions to the greater good of society during her long lifetime. She was 93 years of age at her death. She married John Franklin Wardlow and had but one child, John Wardlow.

1940 Federal Census record

Name: Mildred Menefee
Event Type: Census
Event Date: 1940
Event Place: Montgomery City, Montgomery Township, Montgomery, Missouri, United States
Sex: Female
Age: 25
Marital Status: Single
Race (Original): White
Race: White
Relationship to Head of Household (Original): Daughter
Relationship to Head of Household: Daughter
Birthplace: Missouri
Birth Year (Estimated): 1915
Last Place of Residence: Same House
District: 70-16
Family Number: 178
Sheet Number and Letter: 8B
Line Number: 52
Affiliate Publication Number: T627
Affiliate Film Number: 2131
Digital Folder Number: 005460066
Image Number: 00214
Household Role Sex Age Birthplace
Buell Menefee Head M 52 Missouri
Flora Menefee Wife F 52 Missouri
Mildred Menefee Daughter F 25 Missouri[2]

Daughter of Buell Fountain Menefee and Flora Baker

Wife of John Franklin Wardlow

Obituary WARDLOW-Mildred Menefee Wardlow, age 92 , died at her home in Villa Gardens Apartments on June 22, 2006. A Pasadena resident since 1952, Mildred was born in Jonesburg, Mo., May 24, 1914 to Dr. Buell Menefee and Flora Baker Menefee.

She attended the University of Missouri, where she served as Mortar Board president and was a member of the Alpha Phi sorority. She graduated with a BS and a BA in 1938. During undergraduate school, she worked as an actuary with the State of Missouri Insurance Department. Mildred was among the first female executives of IBM. She graduated from the IBM School, and worked there from 1939-1946.

After marrying and having a son, she returned to college, obtained a Masters from CSULA, and attended USC to complete her teaching credentials. She served as a counselor at John Muir High School (1954-1957) before going on to work at Pasadena City College. Mildred Wardlow started working at PCC in 1957. She was Dean of Administration, later appointed Vice President of Administration, and retired from that position in June of 1980. A fountain dedicated to Mildred Wardlow is located at the Community Skills Center of PCC.

Mildred married Col. John Franklin Wardlow, U.S. Army, on June 11, 1942. Their son, John Wardlow, was born Jan. 29,1947. A devoted wife and mother, Mildred was widowed Dec.30, 1972. She never remarried.

Mrs. Wardlow loved Pasadena, PCC, and was active in the community after her retirement. She belonged to the Women’s City Club, the Women’s Civic League, the Fine Arts Club and the Pasadena Arts Council.

In addition to having been widowed, Mildred was preceded in death by her beloved son John Wardlow (Jan. 29,1947-Dec. 27,1997) an attorney who graduated from USC, and who practiced law in Tallahassee, FL.

She is survived by her adoring daughter-in-law, Susan Wardlow Anderson, Susan’s husband, Tom Anderson, and a host of very dear friends. A very good woman, Mildred will be missed by all who knew her. Cabot and Sons Funeral Home are handling her final arrangements. Her ashes are to be scattered at sea. A celebration of her life will be held at Villa Gardens, 842 E. Villa St., at Villa Vista. 2:30 pm, Wednesday, June 28.


Sources

  1. MEMORIAL ID 157153337
  2. Citing this Record: “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K77D-6BL : accessed 7 January 2018), Mildred Menefee in household of Buell Menefee, Montgomery City, Montgomery Township, Montgomery, Missouri, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 70-16, sheet 8B, line 52, family 178, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 2131
  3. Collins History of Kentucky , Volume 1, P 12

Sometime inlaws are outlaws…

or something to that effect.

Samuel Boulds Barron who was born  16 Oct 1808 in Greene County, Georgia and died 8 June 1886 in Nacogdoches, Nocogdoches, Texas married Phoebe C Barber born 1818 and died 1900. They had a number of children. Their known chidlren are:Sarah Elizabeth Barron 1838–1924, Mahala Ann Barron 1843–1910, Samuel B Barron 1844–1932, Tillitha Barron born 1845, J T Barron 1845–1880, Phineas Barron 1854–1939, Marcus LaFayette Fate Barron 1857–194, Louisa J Barron 1859–1891.

While Samuel B Barron have descendants that were residents and natives of the Shoals area, it is Samuel Boulds Barron’s daughter Mahala Ann Barron who married William Wilson Walker that is of interest at present.With all the bravery in the Revolutionary War, the Indian Wars, the War of Northern Aggression, and the Vietnam Conflict that Barron men fought in and Barron wives and families suffered through, it is the infamous that seem to catch interest.

Mahala Ann Barron was born about 1843 in Nacogdoches, Texas. Her parents were Samuel Boulds Barron and Phoebe C Barber. She married William Wilson “W.W.” Walker on March 18, 1886. They divorced on March 24, 1910.

They had several children:

Charles Samuel Walker (1866 – 1956)
Mary Elizabeth Walker Toms (1869 – 1930)
Susan “Susie” Virginia Walker Muckleroy (1876 – 1966)
Belle Zora Walker Briggs (1879 – 1962)
Walter Willis Walker (1880 – 1960)
Cumie Talitha Walker Barrow (1874 – 1942)
William Alexander Walker

Mahala Ann Barron Walker had a daughter named Cumie Talitha Walker. She was born 21 Nov 1874 in Nacogdoches, Texas. Cumie Talitha had siblings by the names of Charles Walker and Mary Elizabeth Waker Toms. Cumie Talitha Walker married Henry Basil Barrow. Cumie Talitha Walker Barrow died 14 Aug 1942 om Dallas, Texas.

Henry Basil Barrow and Cumie Talitha Walker were the parents of Elvin Wilson Barrow, Artie Adelle Barrow Keys, Marvin Ivan Barrow Sr, Nellie May Barrow Francis, Leon C Barrow, and Lillian Marie Barrow Scoma. And, they were the parents of Clyde Chestnut Barrow.

Clyde Chestnut Barrow was born on 24 March 1909, in Telico, Texas. He was the fifth of seven children born into a family lacking in worldly  riches but a close-knit farming family. His family’s farm failed due to drought and they eventually moved to Dallas, Texas. Clyde Chestnut Barrow, who was a small and unassuming boy, attended school until the age of 16 and had ambitions of becoming a musician, learning to play both the guitar and saxophone.

However, under the influence of his older brother, Buck, Clyde soon turned to a life of crime. Beginning with petty thievery, then graduating to stealing cars, Clyde soon escalated his activities to armed robbery. By late 1929, at the age of 20, Clyde was already a fugitive from the law, wanted by authorities for several robberies.

And then he joined with Bonnie.

Bonnie and Clyde

In January 1930, Clyde met a 19-year-old waitress named Bonnie Parker through a mutual friend and was immediately smitten. But after spending much time together during the following weeks, their budding romance was interrupted when Clyde was arrested and convicted on various counts of auto theft.

Once in prison, Clyde’s thoughts turned to escape. By this time, he and Bonnie had fallen deeply in love, and Clyde was overtaken by heartache. Sharing his sentiments, much to the dismay of her mother, a lovesick Bonnie was more than willing to help the man she called her soulmate, and soon after his conviction she smuggled a gun into the prison for him. On March 11, 1930, Clyde used the weapon to escape with his cellmates, but they were captured a week later. Clyde was then sentenced to 14 years of hard labor, eventually being transferred to Eastham State Farm, where he was repeatedly sexually assaulted by another inmate.

While Clyde was serving his sentence, he and Bonnie began a passionate correspondence with each other, and once again, Clyde’s thoughts turned to escape. Hoping to be relieved of his grueling work detail and paroled, Clyde had his big toe and part of another toe cut off in an “accident.’ (As a result, he would walk with a permanent limp and be forced to drive in his socks.) Unbeknownst to Clyde, his desperate scheme was unnecessary—his mother had already convinced the judge in his case to grant him parole. He was released two weeks later, in February 1932. Source: Clyde Barrow Biography.com

It did not end well for Bonnie and Clyde, even when the shootout happened and they were killed, they were so famous that souvenir seekers ravaged the scene, cutting one of Clyde’s ears for a take home souvenir. They wanted to be buried together or side by side, but their wish was not granted as they were buried separately.


Another Menefee man to be proud of…

Richard Hickman Menefee (December 4, 1809 – February 20, 1841) was a U.S. Representative from Kentucky. Due to his oratory skill, he was dubbed “the young Patrick Henry of the West.” He was presumed the successor to Henry Clay as leader of the Whig Party until his death at age thirty-one.

Menefee received a meager education in his early life. A dispute with his stepfather caused him to leave home in his mid-teens. He worked as a teacher to support himself and pay to finish his education. He graduated from Transylvania University and studied law. In 1831, he was appointed Commonwealth’s Attorney for Kentucky’s eleventh district and was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives the following year.

In 1836, Menefee was elected to the House of Representatives. His best known speech in that body urged restraint in the Caroline affair with the British. His reputation, and that of fellow Kentuckian John J. Crittenden, were tarnished due to their involvement in a duel between Representatives William J. Graves and Jonathan Cilley in which the latter was mortally wounded. He did not stand for re-election following his term in office and returned to his legal practice. In 1841, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, but died five days later before he could take office. Menifee County, Kentucky, despite the spelling discrepancy, is named in his honor[1]


Eulogy given by Thomas F Marshall at the death of Hon Richard Hickman Menefee:

Hon. Richard H Menefee, the statesman and lawyer, in honor of when Menifee County was named, was born near Owingsville, Bath County, Kentucky, in the year 1810(1809). In early life he taught a school, to supply the means for obtaining a profession.His success at the bar was rapid and brilliant. He was barely eligible when he was elected to represent the county of Montgomery in the Kentucky legislature. In that body he served terms, 1835, ’37 and early established a character for ability which spread his name through the state. At twenty-seven years of age, as the Whig candidate he was elected to congress by 234 majority over Judge Richard French, one of the most popular and astute Democratic politicians of the day, and in a district where the latter had been elected two years before, by an overwhelming majority. He served but one term, 1837-39. His efforts on the floor of the house, bearing the impress of high genius and commanding talent, soon placed him in the front rank of debaters, at a time when congress was remarkable for the number of its able men. At the close of his term of service he removed to Lexington, as a larger field for the practice of his profession. Business flowed in upon him, and he was rapidly amassing a fortune which would have enabled him to re-enter public life, and accomplish those ardent desires cherished form his early boyhood. His career was prematurely checked by his death, Feb. 20, 1841, when only 31 years of age. Over the whole state his death cast a gloom. It has been the fortune of but few men, of the same age, to achieve a reputation so splendid. Born in obscurity, and forced to struggle in early life against an array of depressing influences sufficient to crush any common spirit, he had rapidly but surely attained an eminence which fixed upon him the eyes of all America, as one of our most promising statesmen,while at home his view of public policy were known to be at once liberal, comprehensive; and profound, he was great as a lawyer and greater as a statesmen.
The eulogy of Thomas F. Marshall upon Mr Menefee’s life and services —

the tribute of genius to genius, of brilliant but erratic genius to genius still more brilliant but self-poised and commanding — is one of the most graceful and eloquent in the whole field of panegyric literature.[1]

Richard Hickman Menefee’s son Richard Jouett Menefee contributed to the content of the book that honors his father.


Hon Richard H Menefee’s death date is given as 20 and 21 Feb 1841. Since his eulogy gives his death date as 20 Feb 1841, that is the date used here.


Let me tell you bout the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees, and a thing called love…

I am your parents’ generation, and the world was ever ever so much better for my generation growing up. We did not suffer through the Great Depression like our parents and grandparents.I often say that we lived in a Norman Rockwell world. I miss my America. I want my America for my littles who are right now elementary age.
I grew up in southwest Sheffield, not exactly a privileged part of town, but we felt rich. Our community was safe even for girls to wander around on bikes. Our school system actually taught instead of indoctrinated. And in our neighborhood there were railroad workers, construction workers, business owners, and retired grandparents. We looked at families who did not have as much as us, but we were never really well off, with compassion. I recall the teachers dressing one set of kids every day who came to school dirty and ragged.
The uber left did a number on America during the Vietnam conflict; and the brave soldiers returning never to this day got the welcome back they deserved. There have been crooks in office, to note Richard Nixon aka Tricky Dicky. There was LBJ who was disastrous for America…whose wife was a slumloard; and useless Presidents like Carter who put the country into such a malaise that it still hurts your heart yet today. But there have been heroes, too. Our fathers WERE the Greatest Generation and shed blood and died to allow their children and future generations to have continued freedom. That seems to have dissipated today.
We knew the enemy of America, the biggest was Khrushchev who pounded his shoe on the table and said that he would destroy America. For a little girl that was frightening But it was equally as heartening when you saw that the adult generation was going to have none of that. In your lifetime there has been perhaps Bill Clinton who was not a great President and could not keep his pants zipped, but was forced into somewhat greatness by the like of Newt Gingrich who was Speaker of the House and Art Laffer…afterwards he declared that the era of big government was over, a balanced federal budget came to fruition, and America was prosperous and safe. Please take the time to study Art Laffer and the Laffer Curve, bet you Donald Trump knows it well. Then there was Obama under whom America has declined so much, to the point that it is at the brink of not existing. And now Hillary Clinton wants to double down on Obama’s mantras and implement many times as much misery. It is now that Trump has miraculously come upon the scene. He may have some warts, but nothing compared to his opponent. He is a doer, he is a results oriented man, and he is a patriot. The stark contrast between him and his opponent is so deep and wide; there is really only one choice for those who love America. For those who are religious, then it is a good thing if you pray for his safety (after so many political opposition people have suddenly felled dead in the past of your lifetime) and pray that he is righteous and stays that way, and pray that he makes America back to some semblance of what she was, even greater. There is a great service that Christians can do right now to protect their children, grandchildren and future generations and that is to put social issues aside this election and think about all the great things that can and will be accomplished for those who cannot yet vote…for elections are not about us (and unfortunately that is what most Obama voters believed…free phones, free stuff, going to pay my mortgage and put gas in my car)…or the me of you. Elections are always about making the nation better for the next generation. So stand up and make America better for the future generations. That is the America I see and the one I live in now is not nearly as great as the one I grew up in. I worked hard in the 2008 and 2012 elections to keep America from the brink, but the candidates were failed candidates. This election there is only one candidate that is failed….and she must defeated for the sake of our future generations. This is my studied opinion, made from research over almost a decade, lifetime. I love my America. I love my children and grandchildren. I will love my future generations if I get to meet them, but not likely will I get to meet them. We each have a civic duty to protect them and that means being politically informed and active.
Okay, so this treatise was not so much about the birds, bees, flowers or trees, as it was about a thing called LOVE. It was about LOVE for my nation. It was about LOVE for my family. It was about LOVE for my children, which is one less now; LOVE for my grandson and his wife, love for my two littles who are the twinkle in my eyes – my great-grandchildren. And how I am responsible to do everything possible to make my America as great for them as it was for me. And it was every bit as much about honoring our parents, the Greatest Generation, who fought to maintain the freedom that this country has almost thrown away; and the many sacrifices that past generations have made to provide the nation’s children a better future than their present.
What would be so nice would be for those of my generation to comment about how their world looked as they grew up and contrast it with today. I think that would be very instructive.

A beautiful description of mother…

by Dr James Martin Peebles (1822-1922). Nancy Brown Peebles’ eldest son described his parents in detail in 1911 when he was 90 years old. The description will follow verbatim:

My mother lived in a log house, brought up seven children, did her own work, spun the flax for the household linen and helped raise the flocks from whose backs the wool was clipped with her own hands. She fashioned into cloth, and in turn cut and made into clothes for her family. At night we were lighted by the feeble but kindly glow of candles dipped by her own hand. When we were sick, the medicine came from her herbs, drying in the bunches over the fireplace, where also hung the red peppers and the dried apples on strings, and the ears of corn, the old flint-lock rifle of Revolution fame, and the powder horn, and in one side of the fireplace in a niche of its own was the oven where the many loaves were baked to feed the family. There was a room that was musical many hours, now and then, with the whirl of spindles and the shuffle of the handloom, and mother was here spinning and weaving. These were but part of her duties, as I look back, and not an hour of her long life – she lived to be eighty-eight- but her hands were occupied. She worked from dawn to dusk, and on Sunday with a sprig of spearmint and a rose in her hand she went to church and sang in the choir. The neighbors used to call her Aunt Nancy, and when a child was born they sent for Aunt Nancy, and it was Aunt Nancy that laid out the dead. In one corner she had a cabinet of simples, her old-fashioned remedies for the sick. She was strong in her faith, and one of her favorite hymns was, “While Shepherds Watched.” I can, in imagination, still hear her strong inflections as she emphasized important words, like “angel” and “glory.” She sang as though she could catch a glimpse of the other shore. And as she stood in the choir, with her little tuning fork to her ear, under her leadership the choir broke into such words as these:

While shepherds watched their flocks by night
All seated on the ground,
The a-n-g-e-l of the Lord came down
And g-l-o-r-y shone around

My mother was a strong noble character, severe but kindly. She raised five sons and two daughters, and brought them up in the fear of God. Misfortunes taught her many hard lessons! Father and mother, in temperament and to an extent in ambitions, were the direct opposite. Mother from her early youth had been taught to command, and she broke the horse on which she afterwards rode; and when she was a schoolteacher, she made her boys and girls mind the rules, or be punished. Father was a militia-captain, an easy-going, good-natured, honest jovial man, who loved pleasant companionships, and who sometimes drank more than was good for him; and so made bad bargains and at last his land slipped away. Mother and the growing children made another home, and late in life found them again independent, under their own roof-tree.

Source: Hours With Famous Americans, Little Books About Big Men * Life Portraits of Leaders Whose Creative work Has Made for National Progress * In this number – Dr James M Peebles – Being Peculiarly the Ideas and Observations of John Hubert Grusel,Peebles Publishing Company, Highland Park, Los Angeles, CA, 1911, unnumbered


Tishomngo, does that name sound familiar?

Captain Tisho Mingo

Captain Tisho Mingo was a veteran warrior of the Choctaw, departed this life on the 5th inst. Although but little known beyond the limits of his nation, yet he was a man that has seen wars and fought battles—stood high among his own people as a brave and good man. He served under General Wayne in the Revolutionary War, for which he received a pension from the Government of the United States; and in the late war with England, he served under General Jackson, and did many deeds of valor. He had fought in nine battles of the United States. As a friend he has served the white man faithfully. His last words were: “When I am gone, beat the drum and fire the guns.”

 

  I hear the sound of the drum—the report of “death guns” is roaring in our valley—a warrior’s spirit is passing away. The brave Tisho Mingo, the veteran warrior of our tribe, is gone! His clansmen are gathering around the corpse. Long years have passed since first his native hills re-echoed his war-hoop—when grey-headed warriors gathered around his war dance, and said, “Go, young warrior, go—It is beloved Washington who calls for help.” Our aged warrior and chieftains are all gone. Tisho Mingo, the last of the brave, is gone! They are all gone!—Tuscaloosa Flag of the Union, June 30, 1841.Source: Thomas McAdory Owen’s Revolutionary Soldiers in Alabama, Alabama Department of Archives.

 

 


Hang down your head Tom Dooley…

Life Story of James Martin Isbell

Colonel James Martin Isbell was a noted local historian and author. James Martin Isbell was the son of Thomas Isbell and Lucinda Petty.James Martin Isbell was a grandson of Thomas Isbell and Discretion Howard Isbell.

James Martin Isbell married Sarah Louise Horton, daughter of David Eagles Horton and Sarah Jane Dula Horton. Sarah Louise Horton was the granddaughter of Nathan and Elizabeth Eagles Horton on her paternal side. She was the granddaughter of William S. Dula and Theodosia Beasley Dula on her maternal side.

Sarah Louise Horton Isbell was a second cousin of Tom Dula (Dooley) who was tracked down and captured by Colonel James Martin Isbell for the murder of Laura Foster. Colonel James Martin Isbell had previously led the search which located the body of Laura Foster. The song about Tom Dooley has been revived a couple of times over the decades, the most famous version being sung by The Kingston Trio; it was entitled Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley. The ballad was number one for one week in 1958. It has been re-recorded by many singers since.

Colonel James Martin Isbell was a second cousin of Col. Thomas Charles Land (1828-1912), who wrote the Ballad of Tom Dula (also known as “Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley”), and his brother Linville Land who made the coffins of both Laura Foster and Tom Dula.

Tom Dula was a grand-nephew of the John Dula who got into a brawl with Thomas Isbell, grandfather of Colonel James Martin Isbell, on28 November28, 1796, during which Dula bit off Tom Isbell’s earlobe.

Ballad of Tom Dula by John Foster West: “Col. James M. Isbell, if we may believe the records, was more responsible for finding Laura Foster’s body…and…the prosecution of Tom Dula than any other individual. Col. Isbell was one of the aristocrats of Happy Valley. He was the great-grandson of Benjamin Howard…”

Colonel James Martin Isbell is cited as an authority in many local histories, pioneer North Carolina and Virginia accounts as well as several family histories. He is cited throughout records and newspaper articles of the Tom Dula murder trial, consistently referred to as Col. James M. Isbell.

“Col. James M. Isbell’s grandfather(sic), Martin, told him that Daniel Boone used to live six miles below James M. Isbell’s present home near the bank of the Yadkin river, on a little creek now known as Beaver Creek, one mile from where it flows into the Yadkin river, near Holman’s ford. The Boone house was in a little swamp and canebrake surrounding the point of a ridge, with but one approach—that by the ridge. The swamp was in the shape of a horse-shoe, with the point of the ridge projecting into it. The foundations of the chimney are still there, and the cabin itself has not been gone more than 52 years. Alfred Foster, who owned the land, showed Col. Isbell the cabin, which was still there during his boyhood, and he remembered how it looked. His grandmother, the wife of Benjamin Howard, knew Boone well as he often stayed with her father, Benjamin Howard, at the mouth of Elk creek, now Elkville.”[2]

“COL. JAMES M. ISBELL. According to the statement made by this gentleman in May 1909, Benjamin Howard, his (great)grandfather, owned land near the village of Boone and used to range his stock in the mountains surrounding that picturesque village. He built a cabin of logs in front of what is now the Boys’ Dormitory of the Appalachian Training School for the accommodation of himself and his herders whenever he or they should come from his home on the headwaters of the Yadkin, at Elkville. Among the herders was an African slave named Burrell. When Col. Isbell was a boy, say, about 1845, Burrell was still alive, but was said to have been over 100 years old. He told Col. Isbell that he had billoted Daniel Boone across the Blue Ridge to the Howard cabin in the first trip Boone ever took across the mountains.”[3]

Footnote 5: In the same book is the statement of James M. Isbell to J.P.A. in May, 1909, at latter’s home.[4]

Footnote 6: It [meaning the cabin of Benjamin Howard] “could still be seen, a few years ago, at the foot of a range of hills some seven and a half miles above Wilkesboro, in Wilkes county.” Thwaites’ “Daniel Boone,” p.78.

1885: The LENOIR TOPIC, 1(?) October 1885, p.4, printed a letter from W.E. White about Daniel Boone’s life in the Yadkin Valley area, which included, “Col. James Isbell, of King’s Creek township(,) could perhaps say something concerning Godfrey Isbell and Pendleton Isbell who were pioneers and also soldiers of Col. Cleveland’s command.” Godfrey Isbell had been bondsman at the marriage of Col. James Isbell’s grandfather Thomas Isbell to Discretion Howard.

Daniel Boone: Master of the Wilderness (1939), by John Bakeless, p. 438, footnote 32.2 gives a footnote citation as follows about the cabin and Burrell’s account of it: “Burrell, the old slave, told the story to Col. James Martin Isbell, of King’s Creek, N. C. Col. Isbell’s grandmother, Mrs. Jordan Councill, daughter of Burrell’s owner, verified the story. She had herself known Daniel Boone.[5]

Mrs. Jordan Councill was the former Sarah Howard, sister of James Martin Isbell’s grandmother. Mrs Sarah Howard Councill was Col.James Martin Isbell’s great-aunt.


Thomas Isbell and Lucinda Petty Isbell household is listed in the 1850 Federal Census record for Caldwell County, North Carolina. The census shows the parents of James Isbell, age 13. According to the census, the parents were Thomas Isbell, b. circa 1800 in N.C. and Luncinda Isbell, b. circa 1811 in N.C.

Name: Thomas Isbell
Age: 50
Estimated birth year: abt 1800
Birth Place: North Carolina
Gender: Male
Home in 1850 (City,County,State): Kings Creek, Caldwell, North Carolina
Household Members: Name Age
Thomas Isbell 50 *
Lucinda Isbell 39 *
James Isbell 13 *
Louisa Isbell 9
Cornelia Isbell 1[6]

Marriage:

Name: James M. Isbell
Event Type: Marriage
Event Date: 01 Mar 1857
Event Place: , Caldwell, North Carolina, United States
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Sarah Louisa Horton
Spouse’s Gender: Female
Reference ID: V. 1-5 p19
GS Film Number: 000590352
Digital Folder Number: 007613706[7]

Military Service during the War Between the States

James M. Isbell was Captain of Company A, 22nd N.C. Regiment. Three sons of John and Frances Knight Land (James, Thomas, & John) served under him until he was wounded and discharged. He was also a witness in Tom Land’s Confederate pension application, filed in east Tennessee.

Name: James M Isbell
Residence: Caldwell County, North Carolina
Age at Enlistment: 23
Enlistment Date: 30 Apr 1861
Rank at enlistment: 2nd Lieut
State Served: North Carolina
Survived the War?: Yes
Service Record: Commissioned an officer in Company A, North Carolina 22nd :Infantry Regiment on 30 Apr 1861.
Mustered out on 15 Jul 1861.
Enlisted in Company A, North Carolina 22nd Infantry
Regiment on 09 Aug 1861.
Promoted to Full Captain on 31 May 1862.
Promoted to Full 1st Lieutenant on 01 May 1862.
Mustered out on 13 Oct 1862.

Civic Duty

1864 – James Martin Isbell was a member of the North Carolina Senate for the 46th Senatorial District


1870 Federal Census:

Name: James M Isbell
Event Type: Census
Event Year: 1870
Event Place: North Carolina, United States
Gender: Male
Age: 32
Race: White
Race (Original): W
Birth Year (Estimated): 1837-1838
Birthplace: North Carolina
Page Number: 2
Household ID: 16
Line Number: 17[8]
Household Role Sex Age Birthplace
James M Isbell M 32 North Carolina
Sarah L Isbell F 31 North Carolina
John Isbell M 10 North Carolina
Mary V Isbell F 8 North Carolina
Thomas Isbell M 6 North Carolina[9]

Death of Mary Virginia Isbell:

Name: Mary Virginia Isbell
Event Type: Death
Event Date: 07 Feb 1940
Event Place: Lenoir, Caldwell, North Carolina
Birth Year: 1861
Burial Date: 08 Feb 1940
Cemetery: Isbell
Residence Place: Lenoir, NC
Gender: Female
Age: 78
Marital Status: Single
Race (Original): White
Occupation: None
Birth Date: 06 Oct 1861
Birthplace: Nc
Father’s Name: J M Isbell
Father’s Birthplace: Nc
Mother’s Name: Sarah Horton
Mother’s Birthplace: Nc
Reference ID: fn 2164 cn 279
GS Film number: 1943179[10]

Death of daughter Sarah Louise Isbell:

Name: Sarah Louise Setzer
Event Type: Death
Event Date: 18 Aug 1955
Event Place: Morganton, Burke, N. C.
Birth Year: 1875
Burial Date: 20 Aug 1955
Burial Place: Caldwell Co., N. C.
Cemetery: Grandin Bapt.
Gender: Female
Age: 80
Marital Status: Married
Race (Original): White
Occupation: Seamstress
Birth Date: 10 May 1875
Birthplace: Caldwell Co., N. C.
Father’s Name: James Martin Isbell
Mother’s Name: Sarah Louisa Horton
Reference ID: v 18A cn 18416
GS Film number: 1927217[11]

Death of daughter Sarah Frances Isbell:

Name: Sarah Frances Thomas
Event Type: Death
Event Date: 28 Sep 1964
Event Place: Lenoir, Caldwell, North Carolina
Birth Year: 1873
Burial Date: 29 Sep 1964
Burial Place: Caldwell County, North Carolina
Cemetery: Grandin Baptist Cemetery
Residence Place: Lenoir, Caldwell, North Carolina
Address: 208 Vance Street
Gender: Female
Age: 91
Marital Status: Widowed
Race (Original): white
Occupation: Housewife, Ret.Teacher
Birth Date: 03 Feb 1873
Birthplace: Caldwell County, North Carolina
Father’s Name: James M. Isbell
Mother’s Name: Sarah Louise Horton
Spouse’s Name: J. W. Thomas
Reference ID: v 27A cn 27083
GS Film number: 1953510[12]

James M. Isbell and Sarah Louise Horton Isbell are still head of household in the 1910 Census for Kings Creek, Caldwell County, North Carolina. They still have some children residing with them.[13]

His wife, Sarah Horton Isbell, died in Jan. 1919 and the death certificate stated she was a widow.

The original memorial created by Autumn on Find-A-Grave states:

Burial:
James Martin Isbell
Isbell Cemetery (uncertain as to the location)
  • His wife’s death certificate stated burial at Isbell Cemetery.

(Location of the Isbell Cemetery was probably at the site of the Isbell plantation.)

The joint tombstone of Colonel James Martin Isbell and wife Saray Horton Isbell’s grave is at Grandin Baptist Church Cemetery.

Biography written by Carolyn Murray Greer 13 Sep 2017

Sources

  1. Find A Grave Memorial# 52594193
  2. Western North Carolina: A History (1730-1913) By John Preston Arthur,1914), p.81
  3. Western North Carolina: A History (1730-1913) By John Preston Arthur,1914), p.82
  4. Western North Carolina: A History (1730-1913) By John Preston Arthur,1914), p.95
  5. “Trail of Daniel Boone,” Skyland Magazine, by John P Arthur, 1:652 (S 1914)
  6. 1850 United States Federal Census Record, Kings Creek, Caldwell, North Carolina
  7. Citing this Record: “North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979 ,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FZ1Z-X25 : 22 December 2016), James M. Isbell and Sarah Louisa Horton, 01 Mar 1857; citing , Caldwell, North Carolina, United States, p. V. 1-5 p19, Office of Archives and History, Division of Archives and Records. State Archive of North Carolina and various county Register of Deeds; FHL microfilm 590,352
  8. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Publication Number: M593, GS Film number: 000552626, Digital Folder Number: 004277203, Image Number: 00052
  9. Citing this Record: “United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MW8H-C12 : 12 April 2016), James M Isbell, North Carolina, United States; citing p. 2, family 16, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,626
  10. Citing this Record: “North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FPK8-Q9F : 17 July 2017), J M Isbell in entry for Mary Virginia Isbell, 07 Feb 1940; citing Lenoir, Caldwell, North Carolina, fn 2164 cn 279, State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh; FHL microfilm 1,943,179
  11. Citing this Record: “North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FPDY-DBC : 17 July 2017), James Martin Isbell in entry for Sarah Louise Setzer, 18 Aug 1955; citing Morganton, Burke, N. C., v 18A cn 18416, State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh; FHL microfilm 1,927,217
  12. Citing this Record: “North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FG1X-8VG : 18 July 2017), James M. Isbell in entry for Sarah Frances Thomas, 28 Sep 1964; citing Lenoir, Caldwell, North Carolina, v 27A cn 27083, State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh; FHL microfilm 1,953,510
  13. 1910 United States Federal Census, Kings Creek, Caldwell County, North Carolina