Wilkerson Family of Pulaski County, Missouri

Marvel Wilkerson was born in Tennessee about 1810. We have little documentation for Marvel and have nothing to substantiate his birth in Tennessee, other than the 1850 Census. However, some Wilkerson researchers suspect that Marvel was the son of an unknown Wilkerson (possibly Thomas) and Ann Nowlin or Nolan, originally from Rutherford County, North Carolina.

The first document we find with Marvel’s name is his marriage to Eveline Bradley on August 2, 1832; both of Gallatin County, Illinois. The marriage license was obtained in Equality Township (west of Shawneetown) the day prior. It should be noted that Marvel’s name is listed as “Wilkinson”.

The next record found for Marvel is a land purchase record in Gallatin County, Illinois. On November 9, 1836, Marvel purchased 49.32 acres in Shawneetown for $61.65.  In 1838 we find that a Land Patent for the above referenced property was granted to Marvel Wilkinson on 28 July 1838.  

The young Wilkerson family is listed in the 1840 Federal Census:

1840 Federal Census, State of Illinois, Gallatin County, North Fork Township.
Marvel is listed as one male between the ages of 30 and 40. There is one female, between 20 and 30 (probably his wife Eveline Bradley). There are two children listed with the family: 1 male under 5 and one female under 5 (probably son, Noah Hampton and daughter, Jane). The family is next door to a Hugh Bradley and Joshua Bradley, probably relatives of Eveline.

Sometime between 1841 (when son William was born) and 1847, Eveline must have died. No record of her death or burial has been found. But Marvel married Ann Scribner (usually listed as Eliza J.) on November 4, 1847.  Apparently, Eliza was a widow, with a daughter named Tennessee. According to Tennessee’s obituary, she was born on January 10, 1847 in the state of Tennessee and her natural father (surname Anderson) died before she was born.  If this is true, then her mother emigrated from Tennessee and remarried within the year.

Sometime before 1850 the family moved to Pulaski County Missouri. They are listed on the 1850 Census as follows:

1850 Federal Census, State of Missouri, Pulaski County, District 72
Willkinson, Marie (?)   age 40  born Tennessee
                      Eliza J.        age 21  born Tennessee
                    Jane ?         age 17  born Illinois
                    Noah H.     age 11   born Illinois
                    William      age 9     born Illinois
                    Tennessee age 3     born Illinois
Scribner, Maranda       age 15   Born Illinois

Between 1850 and 1858, the family must have moved to Texas for a short time. Marvel and Eliza’s youngest son, John Daniel Wilkerson, was born about January 1854. His step-sister, Tennessee, also reports a sojourn in Texas as recounted in her obituary (Crocker News, May 6, 1920):

“Her father died before she was born and she with her mother and stepfather moved to the state of Texas in about the year 1852 making the trip overland in a wagon drawn by oxen. They moved from Texas to Pulaski County (Missouri) in about 1854 where she has since resided.”

Around 1858, Marvel died. No grave or death record has been found, but a single page from his probate file was found at the Pulaski County Courthouse. The document is dated December 15, 1858. The heirs of Marvel Wilkerson are listed as follows:  Lidda, the widow, Jane (or June), Hamton, William, David, and John Wilkerson, all of Pulaski County.  Marvel did not leave a will. Lidda made her mark, indicating that she could not read or write.  

Sometime between 1858 and 1860, Eliza (or Lidda), married again. She is listed with her new husband, William Ingraham on the 1860 Census:

1860 Federal Census, State of Missouri, Pulaski County, Township 36, Range 12

Ingraham, William   age 31   born Illinois
                    Jane        age 32   born Tennessee
              Tennessee   age 14   born Illinois  
                   David        age  9   born Missouri
                    Jane         age 6    born Arkansas
                   John         age  6    born Texas
                 Charity       age 3   born Arkansas
                  James        age 2    born Missouri
Jones, Polly                age 29   born Tennessee
             William          age 8     born Arkansas
             Marville         age 4    born Missouri

Tennessee, David, and John were probably “Jane’s” children, while Jane and Charity were probably William’s from a previous marriage. Possibly, the child James, age 2, was both William and Jane’s. ( Polly Jones may be Marvel’s daughter, “Jane” having married a Jones and having been widowed).

Family tradition says that “Jane” or “Lidda” died between 1860 and the end of the Civil War. An excerpt from a letter written by Harry Clifton Wilkerson (son of John D. Wilkerson) recounts the story as follows:

“The lore that I grew up with was that the parents of Aunt Tenny, Uncle Dave and my father both died while they were children, the father sometime before the Civil War and the mother sometime during the war, probably early in the period.

After Wilkerson died, the widow married an Ingram. I remember Uncle Dave telling me that he used to go with Ingram to Rolla to haul freight to Waynesville. The railroad only went to Rolla in this period. Uncle Dave drove the team and Ingram walked along in the woods parallel and in ear shot of the cluck of the wagon. He did this in the event a hostile band would meet them Ingram could get away. The assumption was that the band would not harm the boy, Uncle Dave. In this way I suppose he would avoid arrest, imprisonment, maybe death, or impressments into the army. As I understand it, Ingram was trying to be neutral.

The mother died later, probably soon after the war began and the three children were farmed out to different families. I do not know how Aunt Tenny fared at this time. I had some hints that Uncle Dave was raised by the Rayles’. I do know that Uncle Dave could easily find fault with Dr. Rayles doctoring. I do not know what bearing his early life might have had on this.

I am much more certain of my father’s early life. He was ‘raised’ by a Robinson, Horace Robinson’s grandfather, and with Joe Robinson, Horace’s father. I went to school with Horace. The Robinsons lived in Colley Hollow. My father must have spent all or nearly all of his boyhood life there because I never heard him talk of any other place in connection with his boyhood years.

Next he linked up with the Davis Planing (Construction) Company of Richland, and later of Springfield, and worked for them for about 20 years, all of it before I was born in 1891. He moved on the farm in the fall of 1891 after I was born in May.   

My early awareness of my uncles was that Uncle Dave and Uncle Joe lived close together in the Bear Ridge area with well established homes and families with me as the baby of the whole outfit.

When I was about 15 years old a letter addressed vaguely to the Wilkinson family came our way. It was signed by Uncle Bill and came from Whitesboro, Texas. He later visited us twice. Herbert Wilkerson of Detroit has his picture but he did not know who he was until I told him about 4 years ago. He and a red headed Uncle Hamp were half brothers of Aunt Tenny and her brothers. Uncle Hamp died before the Civil War. Uncle Bill was a member of the Texas Rangers at Wilson Creek and Shiloh. He was wounded in the latter battle and missed most of the rest of the war.

 It seems to me that Uncle Bill said that when his father married again after his mother died that he and Uncle Hamp went to Texas. It could very well have been when his father died and the mother of Aunt Tenny and her brothers married again that they went to Texas, or even when their father died. These dates were probably pretty close together. Whichever it was they went to Texas in 1856 as I remember it.  

When the mother died homes were found for the children. Uncle Dave’s tombstone has 1851 as his birth date. It is also the date on my father’s stone but that must be in error. I remember by father said that he barely remembered one thing about the Civil War. It was a contingent of one side, the Union Army I presume, chasing a band of Confederates by where he lived late in the war. He was still amazed at the soldiers riding their horses at full speed over such rough terrain,

I remember his saying that some horses were rider less with blood on the saddles. This account by my father seems to make his birth date of 1851 wrong and it is more likely 1854. It is possible that the encounter he reported was earlier than ‘near the close of the war’.  It could have been a year or two after the war in this guerilla ridden region.   

I have the impression that Uncle Dave was about 12 or 13 years of age when the family was broken up. I remember his describing his first visit to the Robinson home to see my father and how touching was his first glimpse of his little tow headed brother.

When Uncle Bill visited us he said that the spelling of the name was Wilkinson (I am pretty sure that it was not Wilkenson.) I do not have any notion whether anybody with any of these spellings owned any land or real estate, or whether the name Ingram can be found in the abstract office. The abstract people might be of help in unraveling the spelling problem here.

I always assumed that Aunt Tenny was born in Tennessee. My father’s obituary indicated that he was born in Texas. This information could have been provided by Uncle Dave. There must have been family ties with both Tennessee and Texas.

Another angle that might shed light would be to see what genealogy that could be found about a Wilkinson that had a prominent position in the west during Aaron Burr’s time. He was accused with hobnobbing with Burr some.

I remember Aunt Tenny as a very delightful person for me to visit. She showered me with compliments on my size, build, looks, etc. I never was around her enough to hear anything from her about the history of the family Maybe your mother could give you the sort of thing I am giving you here.” (Undated, typed letter by H. C. Wilkinson to Tom Turpin, probably from December 1976 – post-stamped)

The story of David Wilkerson driving the wagon, while his step-father walked along in the background is repeated by David’s granddaughter, Bonita Roam:

“I will copy the parts of letters from Cliff Wilkerson. There is one thing I notice Cliff said Grandpa Dave was born in 1858. Well, I have heard Grandpa say many times he didn’t know exactly when he was born, but figured he was 10 years old when the Civil War was over in 1860. That seems to me to be more like his age because we know that he drove an ox team of his stepfather Ingram with ties to be sold at Rolla. Ingram knew he would be shot if caught with the ties and he figured they wouldn’t shoot the child. So Ingram walked in the woods along the road and Granddad drove the team. 

He was caught – they took the ox team and load of ties. In Grandpa’s own words ‘They kicked my hind end and swatted me around and turned me loose.’  So he would have been 6 years old had he been born in 1858 rather young for a boy to drive a team of oxen that distance.” (Hand-written letter from Bonnie Roam Weber to Lucy Chloe Bassman, April 25, 1978).

Apparently, David Wilkerson’s stepfather, William Ingraham (or Ingram), was abusive. Dave’s granddaughter, Bonnie Belle, recounts:

“Ingram beat Grandpa and his mother. I have heard him talk of it many times. He finally ask his stepfather if he would go away and make his own way if he would not come after him. It was agreed and Grandpa thought he was 9 years old when this occurred. He went to a Rayl family who owned slaves. They lived ‘above’ Waynesville. Now where ‘above’ Waynesville would be I do not know.”  (Letter from Bonnie Roam Weber to Lucy Chloe Bassman, April 25, 1978)

“Aunt Tenny” or Tennessee (Anderson) Wilkerson married Marion Jewell on August 3, 1862.  This date would correspond closely with the proposed date of “Jane” or “Lidda” Wilkerson Ingram’s death.  Tennessee would have been 15 years old. Perhaps marriage at such a young age was an escape from an unhappy home life with an abusive stepfather.  Marion Jewel served in the 48th Missouri Infantry and died in 1865 of tuberculosis. She later married Joseph Turpin (who also served in the 48th Missouri Infantry) in 1875.

Hand-written note by Lucy Chloe Wilkerson Bassman: “Hampton or Hamton Wilkerson was a brother to David and John. He was redheaded and quite a rounder. He drank, fought at the drop of a hat. He died in Texas from sun stroke just before the war. Little is known of him.”

More hand-written notes by Lucy Chloe Wilkerson Bassman:

“This is from Cliff Wilkerson. Uncle Bill was a member of the Texas Rangers at Wilson’s Creek; this was a unit under General McCullock in the Confederate Army. He joined Price to protect Arkansas from invasion but would not follow further because he considered his mission accomplished

Uncle Bill was at the battle of Shiloh, Miss. In the next year 1862, he was wounded there and missed most of the war. A bullet shelled off his femur or thigh bone.

Uncle Hamp died of heat prostration before the Civil War. He was redheaded and high tempered. He would beg Uncle Bill to go to town with him – he would promise not to get in fights before Uncle Bill would go. This must of helped some if there was no fire water around.”

More hand-written notes by Lucy Chloe Wilkerson Bassman:

“Chesterville – could be Missouri or Texas.
Jeptho Wilkerson, wife Nellie, daughter Frances.
Wm Wilkerson - Jeptho father
Maude & Ruth- Jeptho’s sisters
All of these came from Kansas in the spring of 1907.
Nellie had a daughter Hazel who was born in Dec. 1907.
Eagle Lake is mentioned several times in this paper.
Jeptho was a rice farmer.
After reading more on this report I think Chesterville is in Texas. Eagle Lake is mentioned in this report.

Nr. & Mrs. Jeptho Wilkerson owned a hotel in Chesterville from Jan. I, 1908 to Jan. 1909, then Mrs. Chris Cook (Maude Wilkerson, we suppose was Jeptho’s daughter) took the hotel over in 1910. Jeptho Wilkerson was also a carpenter. He did finishing inside of churches.    

Wilkerson, William, 2 daughters, Maude and Ruth and a married son Jeptho and wife Nellie, one daughter, Frances came from Kansas in the spring of 1907. Jeptho daughter Hazel was born here. They were rice farmers, carpenters and painters. Nellie managed a hotel for a year. The younger family returned to Kansas in late 1908. Maude managed hotel- married Chris Cook, daughter Florence born here, moved to Houston 1912. This is from Chestervile report.” (hand-written notes by Lucy Chloe Wilkerson Bassman.

William Wilkerson

William Wilkerson (son of Marvel and Eveline Bradley) first appears in the historical record on the 1850 Census for Pulaski County, Missouri. He is listed as 9 years old and born in Illinois, as is his older sister, Jane and brother, Noah H.   

Neither Noah, nor William has been found in the 1860 census. It seems likely that the Wilkerson family moved to Texas somewhere around 1852. Sometime before 1858, the family returned to Pulaski County, Missouri, where Marvel died in 1858. According to the single page that survives from Marvel’s probate file, both Noah Hampton and William (along with the younger siblings) were residents of Pulaski County at that time.

Since William Wilkerson (or Wilkinson) is a very common name, it is difficult to acertain if any person found in the records is “our” William Wilkerson. However, if we follow the clues provided in the family account of William’s visit to Pulaski County in the early 1900’s, we are lead to a William Wilkerson who married Martha White in Jefferson County, Illinois in 1871. According to a letter written by Harry Clifton Wilkerson, William visited the Wilkerson family when Harry was 15 years old. This would have been about 1905. If we assume that the notes that Lucy Chloe Wilkerson wrote about William and his family resulted from this visit, then we can follow “our” William Wilkerson to Kansas and then on to Texas.

William Wilkerson married Martha A. White in Jefferson County, Illinois on May 28, 1871. In the 1870 Census for Jefferson County, Illinois, William Wilkerson is living with Susan Wilkerson (age difficult to read), along with, James Wilkerson, age 19 and Ella, age 16. Four pages later, we find Martha White, age 18, living with her parents, Crosby and Sarah White.

On the 1880 Census for Jefferson County, Illinois, William is living with Martha and 3 children: Gideon, age 8, Jeptha, age 4 and Eltheny, age 2. Bible records for this family have been found on the internet (posted by Bill J. Granville). They list Williams’ date of birth as April 5, 1846. Gideon was born on April 24, 1872; Jeptha was born on May 7, 1876 and Etna E. was born on July 12, 1878. All these dates of birth match the children on this census. In addition, the bible lists the exact marriage date for William and Martha as May 28, 1871.

Sometime between 1880 and 1895, the family moved to Marion Township, Smith County, Kansas. On a Kansas State Census from 1895, the family is listed as:

Wilkerson, William, age 48  born Illinois
                     Martha, age 42  born Illinois
                     Jeptha, age 18   born Illinois
                     Etta, age 16        born Illinois
                     Elmer, age 12      born Missouri
                     Alfred, age 8       born Kansas
                     Maude, age 6     born Kansas
                     Ruth, age 2         born Kansas

On March 15, 1900, Martha Wilkerson died in Kansas:

“Died, at her home 3 ½ miles from Reamsville, Mrs. Martha Wilkerson, the wife of Wm. Wilkerson, aged 47 years. The deceased had been sick for three weeks with pneumonia, but was considered out of danger by Drs. Slagle and McCammon, when they began the faith cure and stopped all medicine and in nine days she died. She leaves a husband, an aged mother, three daughters and four sons to mourn the loss of a kind and affectionate wife, daughter and mother. She has been so interested in church work for the last few years; we can see her yet, as she would talk earnestly in church this winter. And as we looked at those cold, forever stilled lips last Friday we thought of the many kind encouraging words we had heard come from them. Rev. Prosser made a few remarks at the Mennonite church, be…” (The Smith County Pioneer, March 22, 1900)

The family was listed on the 1900 census as follows:

Martin Township, Smith County, Kansas

Wilkerson, Wm.   B. April 1846   Illinois   Farmer        
                  Jeptha, B. May 1876    Illinois   Telegraph Operator
                  Elmer   B. April 1882    Missouri   Farm Labor
                  Wm Jr. (?) B. Aug.  1886   Kansas  Farm Labor
                  Maud    B. Aug. 1888    Kansas
                   Ruth     B. Dec. 1892     Kansas
(All these dates of birth match the bible record listed by Bill Granville. However, “Elmer” is listed in the bible as “Henry E.” and “Ruth” is listed as “Jennie R.”)

By the 1910 Census, William had moved to Colorado County, Texas with his two youngest daughters:

Wilkerson, Wm   age 64   B. Illinois
                     Ruth  age 17  B. Kansas
Cook, Christopher,  age 26  B. Kansas
            Maud,  age 21, B. Kansas
     Florence, age 6/12  B. Texas

A document called “From Chesterville 1895-1920” written by Ruth Anderson, includes a brief account of the family’s stay in Colorado County:

“Wikerson, William, two daughters, Maude and Ruth, and a married son Jeptha, and wife Nellie, one daughter, Frances came from Kansas in the spring of 1907. Jeptha’s daughter Hazel was born here. Were rice farmers, carpenters and painters. Nellie managed the hotel for a year. The younger family returned to Kansas in late 1908. Maude managed hotel, married Chris Cook, daughter Florence born here, moved to Houston 1912.”

William’s son Jeptha had moved to Alfalfa County, Oklahoma by the 1910 census and is listed as follows:

Wilkerson, Jeptha  age 33  B. Illinois
                     Nellie, age 25   B. Kansas
                    Frances, age 4   B. Kansas
                    Nellie, age 2      B. Texas
                    Stafford, age 1/12  B. Oklahoma
(several of these names match the hand-written notes recorded by Lucy Chloe Wilkerson. I assume the notes are from the visit the Wilkersons made to Pulaski County around 1905.)

In 1917, Christopher Cook is listed in the Houston, Texas City Directory at 4606 Pine Blvd. His occupation is listed at Desel-Boettcher Co., a wholesale produce company (the building is now a Spagetti Warehouse and is reportedly haunted). His daughter, Mildred is also listed at this address. William Wilkerson is listed separately at this address, his occupation is carpenter.

By 1920, Christopher Cook had died. Maude is listed in the 1920 Census as a widow. The family is still living at 4606 Pine, including William Wilkerson:

Houston, Ward 6, Harris County, Texas

Cook, Maude,   age 31   B. Kansas 
        Florence, age 10     B. Texas
           Avis, age 6            B. Texas
         Everett, age 4         B. Texas
        Christian, age 1 6/12   B. Texas
Wilkerson, Wm   age 73   B. Illinois       carpenter
                    Wm. A.  age 33  B. Kansas    painter 

William Wilkerson died on April 24, 1922 in Houston, Jefferson County, Texas. Unfortunately, his death certificate does not list his parents’ names, although his father’s birthplace is listed as Virginia. His birth date is listed as April 5th, but the year is not filled in.   His age is listed as 76, which would make his year of birth about 1846. William’s occupation was listed as carpenter.

“William Wilkerson, aged 76 years, 4606 Pine Street, died at 1pm Monday at a local hospital. He is survived by a son, W.A. Wilkerson and two daughters, Mrs. Maude Cook and Mrs. J. L. David of Kentucky. The body is being held by the Houston Undertaking Company, pending the making of funeral arrangements.” (The Houston Chronicle, April 1922)

“Funeral services for William Wilkerson, 4606 Pine Street who died at 2 Monday afternoon, will be held at 2 this afternoon at the chapel of the Houston Undertaking Company. Rev. R. E. Ledbetter will conduct the services. Burial will be in Glenwood Cemetery.” (The Houston Chronicle, April 26, 1922)

Maude must have remarried before 1930. Unfortunately, she was widowed again shortly thereafter. She is listed in the 1930 Census for Houston, Harris County, Texas:

Bryant, Maud   age 40  B. Kansas
 Cook, Iris   age 17   B. Texas
Everett, age 14  B. Texas
(Their address is recorded as 4606 Dickson Street)

Maude died on February 27, 1984 after a long and probably difficult life:

“Mrs.Maude J. Bryant, 95 of Houston, passed away Monday, February 27, 1984. Native of Reamsville, Kansas, Houston resident for 74 years. Member of the West End United Methodist Church. Survivors: son, Cris K. Cook, Manvel, Texas; daughter, Mrs.  Avis Hebert, Houston; nine grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, five great-great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Family will receive friends from 7 til 9 p.m., Tuesday, February 28th, Niday Broadway Funeral Home. Graveside services and interment 11a.m., Wednesday, Glenwood Cemetery with the Rev. Frederick Marsh officiating. Niday Funeral Home, 4136 Broadway, 644-3831”

According to the Granville bible posting, Jeptha Wilkerson died on February 18, 1921. No death record or obit has been located for him. As of the 1920 Census, he was living in Lincoln Township, Alfalfa County, Oklahoma:

Wilkerson, J. S.  age 43  B. Illinois
                   Nellie   age 34   B. Kansas
                   Francis age 13  B. Kansas
                   Hazel age 12   B. Texas
                   ??       age 9  B. Oklahoma
                  Ruth  age 7    B. Oklahoma
             Elizabeth  age 5   B. Oklahoma
             Margaret   age 3/12  B. Oklahoma

Is this family “our” William Wilkerson’s? It all rests on the letters left to us by Harry Clifton Wilkerson and Lucy Chloe Wilkerson. The coincidences would be extraordinary if this was not “our” family. However, one detail that does not match our information is William’s year of birth. The William Wilkerson in these historical documents consistently lists his year of birth as 1846. But almost certainly “our” William Wilkerson was born around 1841 for him to be listed on the 1850 census as 9 years old.  Hopefully, future research or contact with William’s descendents will resolve this mystery.     

David Walton Wilkerson

David Wilkerson was probably born on April 18, 1851. As we learned earlier from family accounts, he probably didn’t know his exact birth date as he was orphaned at a young age (somewhere between ages of 10-15). In the 1860 Census, Dave is listed as 9 years old, born in Missouri.

In 1858, his father, Marvel Wilkerson died of unknown causes. David would have been about 7 years old. His mother, Eliza Jane Scribner Wilkerson, remarried sometime between 1858 and 1860. Apparently, the stepfather was abusive and David left his stepfather’s house, either at the death of his mother, or on his own volition to escape his stepfather’s abuse. None of the Wilkerson siblings have been found in the 1870 census. However, according to David’s tales later in life, he went to live with a family named Rayl.    

According to a local history, the Rayls were long-time residents of Pualski County, “In the 1820’s Jesse A. Rayl, Sr. came to this county. Jesse A.  Jr. (1846-1913) opened a drug store in Crocker in the 1890’s. His daughter, Babe, married Tom Turpin, a great grandson of Josiah Turpin (the first settler of the whole area). They lived in the house near the depot, now occupied by the Fausts. Dr. J. E. Rayl, who practiced medicine and owned a drug store in Crocker during the first part of this century, was a son of Jesse A Rayl, Jr. (The First Hundred Years of Crocker, by Nellie (Stites) Wills, 1968)    

“The Rayls had sent a Negro slave east to be educated so she could teach their children. This slave taught Granddad to read by the light of the fireplace as no candles were allowed in the slave cabins. Later on he was allowed to go to school for 3 months and I’ve heard him say he learned his ‘figures’ at this time.

For board and linsy clothing he herded cattle on the free range and told me many times that he had no shoes until he was 15 years old and when he had to bring in the cows off the range he would scare wild hogs out of their beds and warm his feet where they lay in the warm leaves. He died crying he would kill Ingram and talking to his mother.”  (Hand-written letter from Bonnie Roam Weber to Lucy Chloe Bassman, April 25, 1978).

On July 19, 1874, David Wilkerson married Amanda Isabel Hensley. David would have been about 23 and Amanda was about 18. Unfortunately, the only record we have for the marriage is a transcribed family bible (the whereabouts of the original is unknown), the Pulaski County Courthouse records were destroyed in a fire in 1903. Amanda Hensley’s parents were John Hensley and Margaret Calvoit Kerley; both of Gasconade County, Missouri.  John Hensley died about 1859, so Amanda understood the feeling of growing up without a father. During their courtship, David Wilkerson must have been working outside of Pulaski County. Some of Amanda’s letters to David survive. She must have received a very rudimentary education as her letters are written phonetically.

The first surviving letter written by Amanda Hensley to Dave Wilkerson is dated December 1872. It does not specifically mention an engagement, but they must have been in love that early because Amanda writes, “So I will close soon be telling (?) you to write soon sir I am yours in love until deth.”

A letter from June 1874 indicates that David was still working somewhere outside of Pulaski County and that Amanda was still not completely sure they would marry, “ Believe me marrien? Bothers me but little, though could I call back one year I would to meet with you a Sunday would be mi delite. I could talk and walk with you from morning til nite why do you think you will keep me single? Why do you jittery? the man that maireyes me to keep me single is not hard to do. I hope I am none the worst for it. I will close for this time hoping to hire from you soon. Remember me in time to ist? Miss Amanda I. Hensley to hire intended company Mr. D. W. Wilkson.” (Letter dated June 5, 1874)   

David and his young family appear on the 1880 Federal Census for Missouri:

Wilkerson, David     age 28  born Missouri
                    Manda   age 25  born Missouri
                 Margaret  age  3  born Missouri
                   Manda    age  4/12  born Missouri (born in the month of January)
(Daughter “Margaret” is probably Almedia and infant “Manda” is probably Maude who was born on January 12, 1880)

Three more children were born in the 1880’s: William Walton Darwood Wilkerson was born on April 24, 1882. He was always known as “Wood” Wilkerson. Marvel Alphus Wilkerson was born on February 25, 1885. Another daughter, Clara Florence Wilkerson was born on April 18, 1889 (David’s birthday).

Amanda Hensley Wilkerson died on April 2, 1896 (the date is recorded on her tombstone). Family lore says she had some kind of cancer (ovarian?). The doctor operated on her on the kitchen table and she died shortly thereafter.  A note from Lucy Chloe Wilkerson Bassman recorded:

“When grandma Wilkerson died -
Aunt Meda was 19 years old.
Aunt Maude was 16 years old.
Daddy was 14 years old.
Aunt Clara was 7 years old.”

(Marvel Alphus is not included in grandma’s list because he died in 1906, before she was born.)

Dave Wilkerson married Malinda Hale on September 19, 1897, a little more than a year after Amanda’s death. Certainly, he needed help raising 4 children.  Malinda would have been about 36 years old. My grandmother (Lucy Chloe Wilkerson Bassman) always claimed that she was “full-blooded, Cherokee Indian”. No evidence of Native American ancestry has been located.  Apparently, she was a strict stepmother. Lucy Chloe recalls that Wood Wilkerson never ate between meals because he was ‘afraid’ of his stepmother.

Dave and Malinda did not have any children, or none that survived.

In 1899, David registered the purchase of 80 acres in Section 33, Twp 37, Range 12. David may have purchased this land with the intention of giving it to his son, Wood Wilkerson. Wood married Clara Jane Routh in 1904. According to Lucy Chloe Wilkerson Bassman (Wood’s daughter), in his old age David lived in a small cabin next to Wood’s house on the farm. While living there, Aunt Maude (Bartlett) would visit “Pa”, but wouldn’t stop to visit Wood or Clara. They found out later that David had been giving Maud money.

While David was living on Wood’s farm, they rented out the “Ridge” farm that David bought for Wood when he first married Clara Routh. After David died, Maude asked Wood what he was going to do with that farm (thinking that they would divide it amongst the heirs). But Wood said, “Pa bought that farm for me, so I am going to keep it.” When Maude said that was not fair, Wood confronted her with the money David had been giving her. She “tried to lie of out it”. But Wood said he had it in writing. After that Maude never talked to Wood again.

Wood and his sister Clara (Roam) stayed close. Grandma said that Uncle Reagan (Roam) might have had something to do with this. He “kind of ruled the roost” and he thought Wood was right to keep the farm.      

David’s probate file seems to confirm this story. There is real estate in the Inventory and Appraisement document, described as 95.4 acres in Section 4, Township 36, Range 12. It is valued at $3,000. However, the final disbursement of the estate was $10 to Dorothy Lee Miller (great-granddaughter and descendant of David’s daughter Almeda Wilkerson who preceded David in death), and $40 each to Wood, Maude and Clara. There are no other references to the real estate in the file. Perhaps David had already transferred the property to Wood. Or perhaps it was handled separately from the probate court.

David Walton Wilkerson died on December 21, 1933. He was 83 years old.

“David W. Wilkerson Dies at Home Near Crocker, at Age of 82”

David. W. Wilkerson was born in the State of Missouri, April 18, 1851, and died at his home near Crocker, Mo. Dec. 21, 1933, at the age of 82 years, 8 months and three days. He was a life-long resident of Pulaski County.

Mr. Wilkerson was married to Amanda Hensley, July 19, 1874, and to this union 6 children were born, three preceding him to the grave. The three surviving children are: Maude Bartlett and Wood W. Wilkerson of Crocker, Mo., and Clara Roam of St. Louis. He was married to Malinda Hale, Sept. 19, 1897. She passed away some 20 years ago.

He united with the Christian church in the year 1909 and was a member of the Crocker Christian Church at the time of his death. Besides the three above named children he leaves to mourn his passing, 11 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were conducted from the Crocker Christian Church by Elder C. H. Moneymaker, and interment was in the Crocker cemetery under the direction of J. L. Hoops and sons.” 

Great-grandmother Clara Routh Wilkerson, helped take care of David in his final days.  My grandmother, Lucy Chloe Wilkerson, remembered him from the time that he stayed with the family:

“Grandpa Routh was very religious, but Grandpa Wilkerson was not so religious. He was tall and thin… He had snow-white hair and he was always smooth-shaven and kept his hair short….Grandpa Wilkerson had an aristocratic air about him.” Grandma remembered that David Wilkerson spoke very well, he enunciated perfectly.  He walked proudly and dressed well. But for some reason, the Rouths and the Wilkersons didn’t seem to get along well. Clara Routh was ‘not liked’ by her Wilkerson-in-laws.”

However, grandma also said that Eli Routh and David Wilkerson were good friends. Dave was Christian Church – not Church of Christ. Grandma liked Grandpa Wilkerson better than Grandpa Routh because the Rouths were “stand-offish” and more religious.  Grandpa Wilkerson “made-over” the grand kids, while the Rouths did not.  The Rouths had money and lived in town, they didn’t like country people.

 

William Walton Darwood “Wood” Wilkerson  

“Wood” Wilkerson was born on April 24, 1882 near Crocker, Missouri. His mother, Amanda Hensley Wilkerson died when Wood was about 14 years old. His father, David Wilkerson remarried Malinda Hale about a year later.

In 1901, Wood left the area for work in Hudson, Arkansas. He was gone at least through the end of 1902. Several letters written by his younger brother, Marvel “Alfie” survive. In the letters, Alfie keeps his brother informed of the goings on in Pulaski County and occasionally takes care of some business for Wood.

“I intend to write you a few lines in answer to your letter which I just received. I was glad to hear from you and hear that you was well. We are all well at present and have got the house on the river about 2/3 completed. We have been at work on it all fall and I never was as tired of anything in my life. We are done cutting corn and commence sowing tomorrow wheet. Well, you wanted to know how Grace is getting along. Fordom? Brought her home and Mr. Singleton has got her now. I think he will treat her all right for his horses always looks right.” (Letter Alfie Wilkerson to Wood Wilkerson, Sept. 22, 1901)

Sadly, Alfie died of unknown causes in June of 1906.

In 1904, Wood married Clara Jane Routh, daughter of Eli Routh and Parmela Overby.  An entry in the family bible records:

“Wood Wilkerson and Clara Routh were united in Holy Matrimony on the 1st day of January 1904 at the home of Henry Roam, by Henry Roam. Witness: Clara Wilkerson Roam (Wood’s sister).

 Wood would have been 22 and Clara was 19.  Their first child, Charles Alphus Wilkerson was born on September 9, 1904.   A second child, John Sidney Wilkerson was born on July 14, 1906.  John Sidney died on Oct. 8, 1906 of unknown causes. Apparently, the death was very hard on Clara Jane, because Lucy Chloe (her daughter) stated that she was ill from October until the following spring. Aunt Maude took care of her and the family during her illness.

On February 21, 1908, a third child was born, Wilmer Sell Wilkerson. Lucy Chloe recalls that “Sell” got his unusual name because he was born during a bad snow storm. Dr. Sell arrived to deliver the baby, despite the terrible weather, so Clara named him after the doctor. Apparently, Sell wasn’t the first baby that Dr. Sell delivered in a snow storm:

“Dr. Wilmer J. Sell was born in Allentown, Penn. He practiced medicine in the Laquey area of Pulaski County from 1906 to 1908 when he moved to Waynesville. In 1919 he moved to Crocker. He died in Feb. 1941.  During the 22 years of practice in Crocker, he heard the first cry of many a newborn baby. With genuine interest, he watched these babies grow up – and finally, as president of the school board, with genuine pride he presented many of them with high school diplomas. He took advantage of these opportune moments to remind them of a part in their lives played by him. After a quick glance of recognition he would remark with a distinct German accent “Ah! You were one of my babies.” He, his wife, Edna; son, Wilmer, and daughter, Thurley were very fond of children. Dr. Sell battles the elements as well as disease at all hours of the day and night.  Often without pay –never for a big fee. For a house call $3.00. An office call, 50 cents or a dollar. For this money’s worth, he gave professional service plus deep feeling and sympathetic understanding.” (The First Hundred Years of Crocker)

My grandmother, Lucy Chloe Wilkerson, was born on May 1, 1913. Unfortunately, I never asked her why there was such a gap between her birth and Sell’s (5 years). She was definitely the baby of the family and the only girl, so she freely admitted that she was somewhat spoiled.

In September 1918, Wood registered for the draft during World War I. He was 36 years old, but within the legal limit of those required to register (all men born between Sept. 11, 1872 to Sept. 12, 1900). Wood lists his nearest relative as his wife, Clara Wilkerson. At the time they were living in Swedeborg, Pulaski County, Missouri. Wood was 5 feet, 6 inches tall and of medium build. His eyes were brown and his hair is listed as dark.     

About 1924, Wood began working for the Highway Department. Grandma often said he did not like farming much.  When he got the job with the Highway Department, he had his son Sell take over the farm.

For a while the family ran a summer resort on what was Dave Wilkerson’s land, called Bear Ridge Resort. Grandma helped by leading horse rides, etc. She didn’t like it much because she thought all the guests from St. Louis were condescending.  

Wood suffered a serious accident while working for the Highway Department:

“Two Waynesville Men Seriously Injured When Struck by Car Saturday”

“Hit While Repairing ‘66’ Pavement”

“Two Waynesville men, Wm. Gaddy and Wood Wilkerson, were seriously injured Saturday morning when struck by a car as they were making road repairs on U.S. Highway 66, near Pleasant Grove School, 6 miles west of here. The car was driven by J. A. Diehl, a young man of Sacramento, California, and according to officers here who took him into custody following the accident, admitted he ‘was driving pretty fast’ but said that he was forced to hit the two men when another car pulled in front of him.

Both Mr. Gaddy and Mr. Wilkerson were brought here to the office of Dr. C. A. Talbot for emergency treatment before being taken on to Rolla hospital for further examination and treatment.

Gaddy suffered a double fracture of the right leg with, with a cracked leg and broken hip. His left leg was broken below the knee. Attendants at the hospital expressed the opinion that he could be released in a few weeks.

Wilkerson suffered a compound fracture of the left leg which was badly crushed. We have been advised that he will have to remain in the hospital for at least six weeks, possibly longer.

Diehl was arrested after the accident when the case was brought before Justice of the Peace T. R. Cox on a charge of felony. The case was annulled at the hearing Tuesday and he was rearrested in a charge of misdemeanor, with trial to be in Circuit Court at the March term. He filled bond and was allowed to return to California, his car was retained as security.”

A letter written by Wood Wilkerson to his daughter, Lucy Chloe Wilkerson Bassman:

“Aug. 14th and Sunday

Just a word in regard to our new house it is a buty. A little odd we built it that way. It has a hard wood floor you know black jack poles with the bark pealed off one side to give them the floss. With gunny socks windows. Will have to wait till Sell makes molassis so we can cover it with cain pommies that will be a little more oddity. That is all we have got done till I rite again.

So come up it will do you good to see this house.

So I guess will ring off – Yours truly, Dad”

Wood Wilkerson died on July 5, 1951, suddenly of a heart attack. Although he had not been feeling well it was quite a surprise that he died so unexpectedly. My grandmother, Lucy Chloe Wilkerson Bassman, often told the story of receiving the telegram notifying her of his death, while she was pregnant with her daughter Claudia.  

Obit

“Funeral Services Held Saturday for Wood Wilkerson of Crocker”

“William Walton Darwood Wilkerson, son of D. W. and Amanda Wilkerson was born April 24, 1882 and departed this life July 5, 1951, age at the time of his passing 69 years, 2 months and 11 days.

He was married in January of 1904 to Clara Jane Routh and to them were born four children, Charles A., who preceded his father in death 10 months ago at the age of 46 years; John Sidney, who passed away in infancy. A son, Sell Wilkerson of Crocker and a daughter, Lucy Chloe Bassman of St. Louis and his wife, Clara remain.  He also leaves 11 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

Besides his immediate family he leaves one sister Mrs. Clara Roam of Crocker, Mo., several nieces and nephews and a host of other relatives and friends. His father and mother and two sisters and two brothers preceded him in death.

He united with the Church of Christ in Lebanon in 1939 and remained true to his faith until his death.

 Mr. Wilkerson was employed by the Missouri State Highway Department for 27 years, which in itself, speaks for his efficiency and dependability.

Wood, as he was familiarly known, was highly respected among his acquaintances and friends and was never known to make an enemy. He was never known to refuse anyone help in time of need or refuse a favor when asked.

He will be sadly missed by his family, relatives and friends, but their loss is his eternal gain.

Memorial services were held Saturday afternoon at 2:30pm at the Christian Church of Crocker with the Rev. Larry Robertson officiating. Internment was made in Crocker cemetery under the direction of Hedges Funeral Home.

Pall bearers were James Kinsley, Harold Laughlin, Paul long, Harold Vendergriff, Perry Carter and Travis Lowery. Honorary pallbearers were Clyde Bailey, Sam R. Adkinson, Virgil Williams and Wade Alexander. All pallbearers were men of the Highway Department with whom he had worked during his 27 years with the department.” 

 

Lucy Chloe Wilkerson Bassman

My grandmother, Lucy Chloe Wilkerson Bassman, was born on May 1, 1913. I know the name “Lucy” came from her grandmother, Lucy Parmelia Overby Routh. I am not sure where the Chloe came from.

One of my grandmother’s earliest memories is of the troop transports during World War I. For a time, her father owned a lumber company in Swedeborg, Missouri and the train depot was across the street. He would hold up grandma (who must have only been 4 or 5) so she could wave to the soldiers as they traveled on the train.  

During her elementary school years, Grandma went to the Cowan school, although another school, called Sweet Home School was on land donated by her great-uncle, John Wilkerson.  The Cowan school had only one room.  There were about 20 students and one teacher, 1st grade through the 8th.

 Her future husband, John Victor Bassman also went to the Cowan school until the 6th grade, when he moved to the Miller school.   Grandma attended Cowan school until she graduated from the 8th grade.

Grandma had a hard time with arithmetic. She remembers Grandpa (John Victor Bassman) found her under a tree one day, worrying about some math problems. He did the sums for her; she always remembered how nice he was.

Grandma did not go to Crocker High School because it was too far away – 5 miles. Wood and Clara wouldn’t let her go to school that distance by herself. Instead, they arranged for her to take music lessons. She was an accomplished pianist and played at church regularly. (Neither Grandma nor Grandpa went to high school, so they both only had 8th grade educations.)

Grandma was very close to her first cousins, Jesse and Sidney Routh. They went to school with her and they stayed life-long friends. When Sidney and John Victor Bassman were about 11, they were wrestling at school. Somehow, Sidney’s arm was broken. The teacher put it in a sling and then Sell (grandma’s brother) and Virgil (Sidney’s brother) took turns carrying Sidney home. The Rouths didn’t have a car, so they had to take Sidney to the doctor in a horse and wagon. It took about an hour to get into Crocker where Dr. Sell’s office was. Dr. Sell set his arm, but he must have set it wrong, because Sidney’s arm was crooked for the rest of his life. He did not blame Grandpa and they remained friend for the rest of their lives. 

 Grandma started wearing lipstick when she was about 15. Great-grandma didn’t say anything. But when Grandma bought a bathing-suit, Great -grandma had a fit. She thought it was indecent. It was pretty short – between the knees and the hips.

They didn’t have a radio until Grandma was 13-14. Great-grandma didn’t want the radio, but Great-grandpa got it anyway.  Once they had it, Great-grandma ended up liking it. My grandmother had her first coca-cola at about 15 and she didn’t like it much. Grandma was not allowed to drink root beer, because great-grandma was Church of Christ and very strict. Since the soda had the word “beer” in it, they couldn’t drink it.  They also were not allowed to dance or play cards.

They used to have “singings”, where they would all go to neighbors’ houses and sing, usually religious music.  Some people had instruments. Great-grandpa had an old organ and he was also a fiddler. Uncle Elmer Routh’s wife, Edna, was a music teacher.  She taught Grandma how to play piano.

Grandma explained to me that back then, if someone died, you couldn’t leave the body alone. Someone had to ‘sit with’ the body, even all through the night. Relatives were ‘laid out’ right in the family living room and family members took turns ‘sitting with’ the deceased. Obviously, people were buried pretty quickly after they died, especially in summer months.  

Grandma said that in those days, if you saw a car coming up the drive you would immediately go kill a chicken and start making dinner for the guest. Great-grandmother would tell grandma to go ‘wring a chicken’s neck’, but my grandma did not do a good job of it, so great-grandmother ended up doing it. It was one of many ways that grandma felt favored or spoiled as a child. Apparently, great-grandmother worked very hard her whole life. Running a farm was extremely hard work. So even though grandma did not have disposable diapers, or a washing machine or a freezer, she still felt lucky that she didn’t have to work like the women in the generation before her.    

Grandma says she remembers when women gained the vote (in 1920), her maternal grandfather came over and said “the world is about to end, women have the vote”. Great-grandmother (Clara Routh Wilkerson) didn’t feel the need to vote. But later, a friend of the family’s was running for office and he drove over and said “Clara Jane, I’ll take you over to the polling station if you will vote for me”. That was the first time great-grandmother voted.

The Wilkersons may not have ‘gone in for’ most new-fangled contraptions (like the radio), but they were early adherents of the automobile. There are many photos of my grandmother with various Model T cars. She learned to drive very early, because her father had an accident and was unable to drive for some time, so he had grandma do the driving.

When they were teenagers, grandma’s cousin, Sidney Routh, started seeing Christine Hilderbrand. Christine had gotten pregnant when some boys were visiting with her older brother who was living in Iowa or somewhere. They all came to Missouri to hunt and fish.

Christine had been going with Sidney, but when these boys had been visiting, Sidney left her alone. After the boys went home, Sidney and Christine started going out again.

One night, they came to Grandma’s house (a Sunday). Grandma was already in bed. They said they had decided to get married that night and wanted her to go with them. So grandma got dressed and they all went and woke-up a Baptist preacher, who married them for $5. Sidney was in his overalls (and not too clean) and Christine was in a black wrap-around dress which wasn’t too clean because she had been working in the kitchen. Grandma and the preacher’s wife were the witnesses. Grandma said the preacher didn’t hesitate to marry them at such short notice – as long as he got his $5. 

When you go through the old photo albums, you see lots of photos of grandma with her various boyfriends. She looks like someone out of a Bonnie and Clyde movie. One of Grandma’s old boyfriends was Glenn Poulson (in lots of the old photos).  Grandma thought they might get married, until he told her he wanted to marry someone who would take care of his mom.  Grandma dumped him as soon as she figured that out. Later, he married Marie Robertson. They had at least one son: Loyd.  Glenn died of cancer in Columbia, Missouri. His sister, Edna, married Clarence Routh (son of Nathan Routh).

Sidney Routh (grandma’s first cousin), Grandpa (John Victor Bassman), Fred Miller, Leo Miller and Jesse Routh all got in Sidney’s car and went looking for work during the depression. Jesse wrote the best letters – he’d make fun of all the others – he was the clown.  Leo got sick, so they put him on a bus and sent him home. Later, Fred had to leave too.

They all worked on a farm in Nebraska. Sidney’s car was a Model T Ford. The top came off and wouldn’t latch down, so they left it on the side of the road. 

Grandma started “going with” Grandpa when they got back from their road trip.  Fred Miller was red-headed & freckly (not Grandma’s type). Leo was the best looking one – but he knew it, so he was kind of stuck on himself.

Lucy Chloe Wilkerson married John Victor Bassman on March 12, 1938. She wore a navy blue dress with a flowered top. She got it in Springfield. Grandpa wore a tan suit.

The wedding was in Waynesville at the Baptist preacher’s house. Grandma and Grandpa Wilkerson did not attend.  When asked, Grandma said that in those days, weddings weren’t a big deal and they just didn’t want to come up to Waynesville.

Ruth Caldwell ‘stood up’ with grandma and Arthur Stalton (the groom’s sister Minnie’s stepson) stood up with Grandpa. No photos were taken. They married around 5:00pm and then immediately drove to St. Louis (where Grandpa was working).

“Miss Lucy Chloe Wilkerson, Bride of Victor Bassman”

“Miss Lucy Chloe Wilkerson of Lebanon, formerly of Waynesville and Victor Bassman of St. Louis were united in marriage Saturday afternoon, March 12, at the home of and by Rev. J. L. Hicks, Baptist minister. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wood Wilkerson of Lebanon, and Mr. Bassman is the son of Mr. and Mrs. G.C.  Bassman of near Crocker.

The bride was dressed in blue and wore blue accessories. She was attended by Miss Ruth Cadwell of Waynesville, and Mr. Bassman was attended by Arthur Stulten of St. Louis.

A wedding supper was served at the home of the groom’s parents. Guests were Junior Bassman and Mrs. Mary Bays and the wedding party. Immediately following the supper the newlyweds left for St. Louis where the groom is employed and where they will make their home.

Both young people have many friends in this section and the Democrat joins them in wishing them happiness.” (Newspaper clipping, 1938)

Grandpa had already rented a 2-room apartment. Grandpa had given money to Minnie and Laura (his sisters) to furnish it.  The apartment was on University.  Later Henry, Grandpa’s brother, came to live with them.  One leg of Henry’s was shorter than the other.  He had some illness in it (bone cancer?) He had to have one leg amputated above the knee.  Grandpa Bassman (George Caspar Bassman) gave Henry enough money to go to jewelry school.  Henry then went to live with Minnie (their sister).  After awhile, Minnie and Henry (her husband) decided to move to the country and asked Grandma and Grandpa if they would take care of Henry.  Henry lived with them for 10 years! He didn’t move out until he got married.  His wife’s name was Anne (?). She was a tiny little woman, smoked like a fiend with a whinny, smoker’s voice.  She was a great dresser.

When Vic Bassman (Grandma and Grandpa’s first child) was 3 months old, Grandma brought Vic to Waynesville to see Great-grandma and Great-grandpa. They were at the bus station waiting. They thought Vic was cute as can be.  The bus ride was 4-6 hours.

When Grandpa bought the house on Plover, they went in on it 3 ways: Grandma, Grandpa and Henry. They made a pact that whenever someone wanted to sell – they would only ask for the amount they put in it.  But when Henry got married and wanted his part, he wanted more than he had put in.  Grandpa and Henry did not speak to each other for 4 years over this disagreement. 

Throughout her life, grandma was a terrific quilter and embroiderer. She made ‘theme’ quilts for all the grand-kids. My brother was really into birds when he was young, so grandma embroidered and quilted a series of bird illustrations. Growing up in the 70’s, I got a Holly Hobby quilt. Grandma’s work won blue ribbons at the fair.

She was also a wonderful cook. Grandpa always had a huge garden, so most of what grandma served was fresh from the garden. There is nothing on this earth as good as a BLT sandwich fresh from the garden! She would serve things that as a child I found disgusting, like turnips, rutabaga and guinea hen.  She told me that she had cooked squirrel and possum, but even she thought possum was gross. I particularly loved her corn bread and deviled eggs. She would crumble up corn bread into buttermilk and eat it with a spoon.

Even though my paternal grandma spoiled us rotten, I always leaned towards Grandma Bassman. She was like a mom….strict, but you knew she loved you. Until the end, she never gave up on any of my siblings…no matter how much we had screwed up our lives.  

My grandmother was very clear-minded until her final days (she lived to be 94 years old). She could look at a photo of 50 years ago; tell you exactly what she had been wearing and what so-and-so had just said when the photo had been taken. She told me many stories about her family and life growing up.  It must have been hard for her to outlive nearly everyone she had known and loved.

I always thought that Grandma Bassman was beautiful. Her hair in old age was pure white, which she wore in a Gibson-girl style ‘up-do’. (In her youth, her hair had been strawberry blond). She had very blue eyes which could look very piercing if you were misbehaving. Although she grew heavy as she aged, she still had great legs and people would comment on them even when she was an old lady. On the day she died, one of the last things she asked for was to have her daughter fix her hair. It wasn’t that she was vain, but she had pride and wanted to look good, even in the hospital. 

Obit

In Memory of Lucy Chloe Bassman, 1913-2007

Lucy Chloe Bassman, daughter of W.W. “Wood” Wilkerson and Clara Jane Routh was born May 1, 1913 in Crocker, Pulaski County, Missouri, and departed this life Friday, October 12, 2007 at Missouri Baptist Hospital in Town & Country, Missouri.

On March 12, 1938 she united in marriage with John Victor Bassman, and to this union was born four children, all surviving.

Lucy was a beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was a talented quilt-maker, needle worker and wonderful cook. She was a member of the Hayes Street Church of Christ for many years.

Those surviving include her four children, Victor of Manchester, MO, Chloe Murphy of Denver, CO, Woody of Ballwin, MO and Claudia Nelms and her husband, Jack of Ballwin, MO; four grandchildren, Erin of Austin, TX, Brian of Denver, CO, Michael of Wagoner, OK and Brennan of San Francisco, CA; also a dear friend, Dennis Murphy of St. Louis, MO; other relatives and friends.

Lucy is preceded in death by her parents, brothers, Charles Alphus, John Sidney, and Wilmer Sell, and her husband, John Victor who passed away March 19, 2003.”