Debby Styles CHRISTMAS IN DECATUR COUNTY IN 1864 It was Christmas Eve, 1864, and four of the Grayson boys, John, Hyrum, Will and Beryl were in the Union Army. Grandfather Grayson had built two new houses since the cabin first mentioned. The first a large commodious log house at the corner near the present iron bridge. Then a more modern frame house where a Mr. Maddux lives on the top of the hill east of the bridge. This has always been known as the Grayson home and it was here the family lived in 1864 and for many years afterward. There is a small branch-dry most of the year-that empties into Sandcreek just East of this Range line road. Like in the recent war, help was scarce so Grandfather Grayson built his hog pen near this little stream; “wild cat creek” to be near his big corn crop in the “bend field” to the east. A rainstorm came in the night, and wildcat creek went on a rampage, carrying the four fattening hogs to a place down the river. This was a very serious matter as the family would be short on meat until another bunch could be bought and fattened. The day before Christmas, Uncle Billy Boicourt, who lived on an adjoining farm to the northwest, came over to hear the war news, and incidentally asked Grandfather Grayson if he and Uncle Sam (the only son too young to go into the army) would come over and help butcher. Also asking him to bring their scalding barrel along on the sled, and of course bring the womenfolk to help with the work and cook a good dinner. When evening came, Uncle William said, “Uncle Wren, you had bad luck losing your fattening hogs, so load in a couple of these and take them home with you.” (Family Note: Wren, Jr. was addressed as 'Uncle Wren' by his adult children) Next morning was Christmas-an eventful day in the Grayson home the women folk had made sausage and had a big dinner in the oven and boiling in the pots in the fireplace. Besides Uncle Sam, the girls at home were Katherine, Mary, Lucinda, Eliza (the author's mother in 1867) and Anabel, the baby. A older sister, Rebecca, had married James W. Myers, and lived southeast of Westport in the brick house which is standing today on the hill south of Sandcreek. Uncle John Grayson had been captured by the Confederate soldiers and was in Andersonville prison. He had written a year before that he had been captured and was on his way to some prison and no word had been received from him during the year. Late in the evening the daughter, Eliza, was standing on the back porch looking towards the road at the bottom the hill. She noted three people coming up the hill-two women supporting a man and helping him make the grade up the hill-towards the house. Running into the house she told the folks that her sisters, Aunt Beck Myers and Aunt Kate, later Mrs. Melvin Higgins, and Brother John were coming up the hill. It was pandemonium as they all rushed t the door and down the hill to meet them. I will not attempt to describe that joyful meeting. John had been discharged on account of disability and had come to Greensburg. One of the first men he saw as he unloaded from the train was Uncle Levi Gidding, who brought him to Westport. Uncle Jim Myers and Aunt Beck and Aunt Kate were there in the big family sled buying some groceries from Dr. William. McCullouqh's general store. They took Uncle John in the sled to the road east from the present site of Fredonia Church, and he and his two sister walked the balance of the way while Uncle Jim Myers went east past the old Dixon homestead to his own home to take care of the livestock for the night, and then going on to the Grayson home to join the festivities. Johnny Boicourt and Uncle Will Grayson arrived home on furloughs, and Aunt Jane (McCammon) Grayson, Beryl's wife and her two baby girls, Annie and Minnie, had come over from her father's, Uncle Jimmy McGammons to tell the good news that Beryl, who was in a hospital in Nashville, recovering from a bullet wound which nearly cost his life at Missionary Ridge, was well enough to come home if someone would come after him. Other neighbors had dropped in to see the returned soldiers, and discuss the war, nearing its end as all verily believed. The table was set and while getting ready to seat them all at the enlarged table, someone suggested to Grandpa Grayson that he should read a chapter from the Bible and lead in the singing. He read the Bible, but excused himself from leading the singing, as he knew only one sag, “A Charge to Keep Have I”, so Uncle Jim Myers led with, “The Lilly of the Valley”. Then Grandfather Grayson offered thanks for the meal and happy occasion. Uncle John sat there almost dumbfounded with tears running down his cheeks, and told them that he was thinking of his starving comrades still left in Andersonville. He told them it was impossible for him to eat as his doctor gave strict orders to be careful of this line for a long time. So Grandma Grayson cried as she gave him large bowl of mush and milk. A bright moonlight night and Uncle Jim took his (brood) and all the neighbors that lived along the way, and saw that they were safely landed at their own homes. Grandpa Grayson read the chapter about Moses and the children of Israel hunting the Promised Land, offered prayer for the boys still at the front. So ended the happy Christmas at the Grayson home south of Westport in 1864. Story published in Westport, Indiana newspaper in December 1943. Written by S.J. Richardson, newspaperman and publisher, and son of Eliza Ellen Grayson.
Apr 05, 2005 · posted to the surname Grayson
Debby Styles Hi Mary is this Naomi Brown? Was she once married to James Smith?
Apr 14, 2005 · posted to the photo Naomi, Emery Tonkinson
Debby Styles HI Could you tell me where your Davies are from? I am researching family of David Davies from Whales..wife Mary Douglas children Lillian Ellen, Bessie, Ida May, Kittie, Maragret, Susie, Tommie, and George...Many were from Fresno CA...San Francisco...Oakland.. Lillian married Charles Tyson. They lived in San Fran..CA If any of this sounds familar could you let me know..thanks debby
Jan 17, 2005 · posted to the photo Anna (Annie) Davies & family
Debby Styles I looked and I already have it posted under James Clyde Turner and Nancy Telitha Smith any questions on the names or such I have more info on them. There are other pictures in here at different ages of them posted by others.
Oct 04, 2004 · posted to the photo Ida Smith Thompson(?) and family
Debby Styles Mary I think this family looks like the Turner/Smith family picture I have...I will post it after this...Look at the photo and see if you agree...debby
Oct 04, 2004 · posted to the photo Ida Smith Thompson(?) and family
Debby Styles Robert I have been out of town...I will look for more pictures of them but I don't think I have many more with either of them. I knew Darlene and her family when they lived here in Oroville. We use to visit them a lot. We had so few family members in CA that Aunt Bert and Aunt Elma were the only ones we visited a lot. I still remember Darlenes house in the country and playing with her boys, Patsy was grown so I did not know her really. I will email you once i am caught up on some things. take care debby
Oct 03, 2004 · posted to the photo John Smith
Debby Styles My Smiths are from the N.E corner of OK. Miami, Commerce and because they are only miles from Baxter Springs KS and Joplin MO they are also in that area.
Feb 26, 2004 · posted to the photo William Franklin Smith
Debby Styles Hi....Thanks for pointing that out....I got the picture with the names already on it from a distant relative..I wondered where the George fit in..because I have a list of the 8 children and did not find a George..I knew the other names were nick-names...Do you know was the picture taken in TX? I have a web page with some of this info If you want me to direct you there. I am missing some info on this family maybe we could compare notes and I could fill in some of the missing blanks...you might have. I am related from Nancy Smiths side..thanks debby
Jan 14, 2005 · posted to the photo James Clyde Turner and Nancy Telitha Smith
Debby Styles do you know how he fits in with our family....I have no Roberts...or Isabel......thanks debby
Jun 18, 2004 · posted to the photo Robert Edgar Smith - Button Photo
Debby Styles Do you have a date of birth and location on him? thanks debby
Jun 18, 2004 · posted to the photo Elmo Smith