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Letter from Emanuel & Gladys SPICKARD to John Carr SPICKARD
Source:  Letter from Emanuel SPICKARD (and wife, Gladys), of Springfield, MO, to John Carr SPICKARD.  No date is given, but the text indicates it was written in 1972 or '73.  Photocopy courtesy of Phyllis Houlding.

I do not know for certain whether this typescript version is the original letter itself or a transcription of a handwritten original.  The fact that even the signature is typed suggests it's a transcription.

Someone has handwritten some corrections on the letter, specifically with regard to Mary Ann THOMPSON's first husband, Alexander IRVIN / ERVIN.  Whatever surname the author had originally typed has been obliterated completely with the handwritten "Irvin."  Wherever this substitution occurs, I have placed the surname in italics and enclosed it in brackets.   Spelling errors are as in the original.  The left edge of the text was clipped off in the photocopy.  I was able to deduce most of the missing text.  (Names were boldfaced by me.)

This is your "classic" family history letter, the kind you hope to find, but then end up tearing your hair over because you know that, while it contains kernels of truth, it is a garbled version of family tales mixed and muddled through many retellings, then dimmed by faded memories.  You're grateful for the leads such a letter gives you and for a glimpse of your family's lore.  Still, every assertion of fact must be verified because such a letter only confirms what every experienced lawyer knows:  that there are few things less reliable than an eye-witness, but that one of those things is hearsay, which is the reason hearsay is inadmissible in court.  As judges in the court of genealogy, we have agreed to allow hearsay evidence to be heard, but we must then turn into lawyers and submit the evidence that supports or refutes the testimony.

I've interspersed sections of the letter with what verification or refutation I have found thus far.  These sections are indicated by this color and font.
Springfield, Mo.
-
?r. John Carr Spickard

Yes, we are distant cousins.  I tell any 'new' SpickardsI meet that we are cousins, because we all are from the same 'stock' - Ha!  Your letter received and it was good to hear from you.  I will just start off this by answering your questions.  As you noticed at the Centennial - I am the Spickard -- genealogist and have been for 65 years - I've visited - and talked to - and met more Spickards than we thought ever lived.  Ha!  I nearly always tell any I write to, who 'they' are - sounds crazy, doesn't it?  Now -- you are the son of John Spickard, who was the son of Roy Spickard, who was the son of John Thomas Spickard, who was the oldest son of George Spickard and Marry Ann (Thompson) SpickardJohn was born in 1854 and died in 1938.  He was a brother of Maggie (Spickard) Hutton whose daughter Esther Hutton is who I take care of here in Springfield.
 

It appears John Carr has written Emanuel based on having talked to him, possibly having met him for the first time, at some "Centennial" celebration.  Does any have a clue what Centiannial this was?  It might help in dating the letter more closely.

As for the "begats" presented above, other sources are consistent with them, so they appear correct (sources on family group sheets linked below).


John Carr SPICKARD'S line:

John Smith SPICKARD, Sr. (1798-1840) & Mary Magdalene DEEDS (1800-1837)
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George Alexander SPICKARD (1823-1899) & Mary Ann THOMPSON (1829-1911)
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John Thomas SPICKARD (1854-1938) & Mary Candace SHINN
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Roy SPICKARD (1873-1949) & Maude Muller MOORE (1875-1958)
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John C. SPICKARD (1897- ) & Ms. __?__
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John Carr SPICKARD & Joyce __?__


Esther HUTTON's line:

George Alexander SPICKARD (1823-1899) & Mary Ann THOMPSON (1829-1911)
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Isaac Angus HUTTON (1812-1850s) & Mary Magd. "Maggie" SPICKARD (1866-1850s)
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Esther HUTTON (1890- )


Yes, I am well acquainted with Betty Spickard here in Springfield who writes for the Ozark Mt. Magizine.  Her father and mother are Berne and Gertrude - Berne is the son of Edward Spickard who was the [?]th child of George Spickard.  He is a cousin of Roy Spickard.  He had a brother Wilmer who died of cancer in 1938.  Ed died here in Nov. 1940.  Ed had another son named Linden who was killed in a hunting accident in Nov. 1916.  Their old home was what is now the Burl Shipps place.  (page 128 in the Centennial Book)
When writing of Betty, Emanual is referring to a contemporary whom he knows personally (and who lives in the same town), so we can place a high degree of credibility on his statements about her.  The 1900 Census confirms that Ed & Rosa had sons Wilmer and Berne, plus an unnamed infant boy who may have been Linden.

Betty SPICKARD'S line:

George Alexander SPICKARD (1823-1899) & Mary Ann THOMPSON (1829-1911)
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Edward Augustus "Ed" SPICKARD (1869-1940) & Rosa JOINER (1868-    )
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Berne SPICKARD (1897-1979) & Gertrude __?__ (1899-1989)
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Betty SPICKARD

Yes, John H. Spickard of Wichita Kan. came from the Virginia 'stock' which is now Byronside, West Virginia.  He has a son in Kanses city now, I think his name is [Gerald?].  I also have a son in KC, his name is Roland [E.?/B.?] - only two Spickards in the KC, phone directory, I think.
I have not been able to identify John H. SPICKARD.  Clearly he was still alive at the time and known to our writer, so Emanuel's statements about him are credible.  I was able to find a John SPICKARD (1911-1997) in the SSDI who is probably this person.  He was the only John SPICKARD with a "Last Residence" of Wichita, KS.

So far, so good, but now we move from the contemporary to the past, and the difficulties begin…

Now as to George A. Spickard marrying Marry Ann Thompson [Irvin].  In 1840 a man by the name of Thomas Thompson had a large plantation near Booneville, Mo. that he had bought with inheritance money from Kentucky.  He had 28 Slaves - and was very prosperous. 
And here I hardly know where to begin… 

Based on tax rolls Thomas THOMPSON's father, Peter THOMPSON, does appear to have died in 1839 or 1840, but he died in Missouri, not Kentucky.  Thomas was in Missouri by at least 1821, and Peter followed in 1827 with his married daughter, Rachel, and her husband William T. WYATT.  Peter did not sell his land in Kentucky when he left, but paid taxes on it via an agent until 1839.  The "heirs of Peter THOMPSON" paid taxes on the land in Kentucky until at least 1845, so it was not the sale of that land that led to any earlier prosperity for Thomas.

We know that Thomas's father, Peter THOMPONS, owned land (up to 348 acres) and horses (up to 7) and one slave in Kentucky, so he was not poor, but the wealth to buy 28 slaves did not come from Kentucky.

There is a Boonville in Cooper Co., MO, but as far as I know, Thomas was not known to have ever lived in Cooper County.  Thomas's father-in-law, Isaac DAVIS, settled in Hallsville, Boone Co., MO, in 1818.  Has Hallsville, Boone County, been transmuted into Booneville?  I think so because the really prosperous one, here, was Thomas's father-in-law, Isaac DAVIS, who died in Boone County in 1834.  I suspect the "inheritance" here was that of Thomas's wife, Delilah (DAVIS) THOMPSON, from her father.

He had made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ and joined the Church of Christ (known as Campbellites, because they were followers of Alezander Campbell).  In 1846 there was a split in the Church of Christ over the doctrine of the New Birth being essential to salvation - and - of having musical instruments in the church.  The new group pulled away and organized the New Christian Church as it is today. Thomas Thompson, in their very first meeting experienced heart-felt religion, which is the new birth, and was truly and genuinely saved.  He went into a period of 'thankful praying' and the Holy Spirit spoke to him and called him to preach, and be a missionary for the new church.  He told God he wasn't capable but he couldn't sleep or rest until the Spirit assured him that He would make him capable to do the work.  God sent him a buyer for his farm, and told him to free his Negro slaves.  He did frae them but they had no place to go so they stayed on with him and his family.  So in 1846 he came to Grundy County and bought a 320 acre farm 2 miles north of Middleberry.  He tried to organzie a New Christian Church there but it was too early for the people there.  God Said (this is his own account) "A am sending you to a new - and strange land where you are needed very much, for this work".  It was to Stockton, Calif.  So he sold out again - and in the Spring of 1848 he and his family, and all his freed slaves, joined a wagon train for Stockton, Calif.  He said it was wonderful how God led and cared for them all the 8 months on the road.  At Stockton he at once began the organization of a Christian Church.  He was in this process when the gold was discovered and the 'rush' came.  I have some pictures and information about the 100th Anniversary of the church which he had organized there, when they celebrated in 1951.

Rev. Thompson has a daughter named Mary Ann.  She had married a man named [Irvin], but her husband had died.  She was left with a daughter. -- Now, back to George A Spickard - He had married Elizabeth Cantrel of Mill Grove.  They had a son named Charley.  So they joined a wagon train bound for the Gold fields in April 1849.  It was a terribly long and hard journey.  When within 12 miles of their destination, Elizabeth took sick with Mountain Fever and died in four days.  What a grief for your Great, Great, Grandfather.  They tore up a wagon bed to [Sept 21 1850]

[George & Mary Ann married Oct. 23 1851 at Coloma Calif.]

make a casket and they tenderly buried her (in no cemetery, but) beside the wagon road.  They moved on the last 12 miles, and Rev. Thompson soon heard of their arrival and he came to comfort and minister.  In a few days (weeks) they returned to the grave and Rev. Thompson preached Elizabeth's funeral at her grave site.  Thus George met Mary Ann.  She had a small child and… [unreadable — on a fold in the paper] …on Charley.  They had much in common, as the old saying goes, and in the fall of 1850 [1851] Rev. Thomas Thompson married them.

Now I will close up hurriedly concerning the Rev. Thompson.  He was the first pastor of the first Christian Church of Stockton, Calif. and remained their pastor until his retirement.  They returned to Spickard, (Rev. Thompson and wife) [at?] George's request, and lived the rest of their lives - on a place about a mile west of the George Spickard farm - up on the hill southwest of you - and later moved a short distance southeast of where you live on the old Bake Wilson place to the Austin farm.  There they both died, and at their request, were buried on that farm.  I was up there one time and your Grandfather Roy took me down there and showed me their graves.  I wish you would go sometime and see if you can find their graves now. Roy called it 'one of the old Austin's farms'.  I think it was the fall after the big Grand River flood in 1909 that I was there.  It was southeast of the Groff cemetery.  There was some kind of a marker, I remember.

No, her maiden name Thompson - she married a [Irvin] first.

Yes, John Smith Spickard was my Grandfather.  He is buried in Groff cemetery, his tomb-stone is about the middle of the cemetery.  My Grandmother later married Bert Wilson, and they are buried together, and have a big stone, about 20 steps southwest of my Grandfather.  My Grandsons and I visited their graves when we were at the Centennial.  The 'Smith' in John Spickard's name is from his mother, she was a 'Smith' from in or near Hillsborough, Ohio.

Emanuel SPICKARD's line:

John Smith SPICKARD, Sr. (1798-1840) & Mary Magdalene DEEDS (1800-1837)
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John Smith SPICKARD, Jr. (1825-1862) & Delilah S. REID (1835-1905)
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William Franklin SPICKARD (1859- ) & Ms. __?__
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Emanuel SPICKARD (1893- ) & Gladys __?__
|
Roland SPICKARD

Ha!  I challenge you to find where a Spickard ever did 'time' in a penitentiary.

Now I must close this up.  I'm so glad you are getting your new house.  The next time I am up there ai will stop and admire it.  If you and your wife Joyce, ever come to Springfield you must call on us.  We are on a suburban acreage.  The way to find us is to stop at one of 'the thousand' motels and call 865-7886 and tell us where you are and I'll come after you.  Springfield is rather a big city now - 10 miles square, and more than 120,000 population.

I went back to the country and town where our ancestors came from, in Jan. 1919 - during World War 1, when I was in France.  I spent 3 days in and around Colmar, Alsace, - visited a cemetery 3 miles west of Colmar where a number of 'Spickerts' are buried.  They spelled the name S_P_I_C_K_E_R_T.  I wanted to get on the program at the Centennial and tell about my visit there, but felt the program was already 'full-up'.  I am partly retired now as a Missionary Baptist Minister.  I spent nearly 40 years pastoring churches and doing Mission work.  You see, I'll be 80 years old Sept. 8th 1973.  I hope to get back to Spickard in the 'not too distant' future.  I understand they have a 'program' every Sept.

When you see Bonnie tell her we send 'well wishes'.

Best Wishes to you and Joyce,
Emanuel and wife, Gladys
Family Group Sheet of Thomas THOMPSON & Delilah DAVIS
Source:

1.  Social Security Death Index (online at RootsWeb.com; missing columns contained no data):
Name Birth Death Last Residence SSN Issued
JOHN SPICKARD 23 Jan 1911 10 Sep 1997 67217 (Wichita, Sedgwick, KS) 711-14-8048 Long-time or retired
railroad worker
He is the only John SPICKARD with Last Residence in Wichita or even KS.  There are no John SPICKARDs with Last Benefit in KS, and none issued in KS to a John SPICKARD.

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