Connections of a Few Cash Families Through Craighead County Pioneers

compiled by Carmen R. Baxter

Many inhabitants of the Cash community are descendants of Craighead County pioneers. From Arkansas' territorial days to the incorporation of Cash in 1894, settlers from the states east of the Mississippi moved into Arkansas. Droughts and exhausted land in the East prompted many to move to the state. Others came to claim soldier bounty land. Some settlers were on their way to Texas and stayed in Arkansas after seeing the richness of the land. Whatever the reason, these pioneer families settled in the county and their descendants spread out across the area and intermarried with other families to the point that it could be said that practically everyone in and around Cash are related. This account will cover only a few families who currently have descendants in Cash. No attempt is made to bring lineage down to the present. Hopefully, enough information is given in some cases that one can determine his or her connection to the "ties that bind".

Three of the pioneer families that came to western Craighead County in the 1830's and provide most of the connections among the Cash families are the Pierces, the Simmons, and the Cooks. The Pierce and Simmons families settled in an area between Valley View and Gilkerson that later became known as Grinder Settlement. The Cooks settled in the Big Creek Settlement in northwestern Craighead County. Members of the Cook family moved southwest and settled in the Cash and Egypt vicinities.

The Pierce family arrived from Giles County, Tennessee in 1831. The family included John Pierce, his wife Nancy McGuire and their children, the mother Alsey Pierce of Virginia, and a sister, Eliza Pierce. John and his wife Nancy Pierce had the following children: Albert married Rebecca Simmons, Louisa married Charles McDaniel, Samuel married Mary, Elizabeth married John Carey, William married 1) Mary and 2) Sarah F., Caroline married William Stotts, Jeremiah married Paralee Rickles, Rebecca married G. W. Lamberson, Mary A. married James R. Darr, and John.

Albert and Rebecca Pierce had the following children: Mary, Franklin, David, Samuel, John, Sarah, Nancy, Joseph, Calvin, and George. William and Mary Pierce had Melvina and Rebecca J. Samuel and Mary Pierce had Franklin, Nancy A., and Albert. William and Caroline Stotts had Andrew, Rebecca A., Mary E., and Eliza.

G. W. and Rebecca Lamberson had Abraham D. and Mary J. who married James Weaver. John and Elizabeth Carey had Jane, Caroline, Levi, and John. James and Mary Darr had William H. and John L. Charles and Louisa McDaniel's children were Hiram, Susan, and Delena. Their sons John and Will died young.

Eliza Pierce, a sister of John Pierce, married William Cook who may have been related to the Big Creek Cooks. Probably married in Arkansas, they moved to Mississippi for a few years where their sons Thomas, John, and Hugh were born. It is not known if William Cook died in Mississippi or Arkansas but by the 1840's, Eliza Cook was back in the Big Creek Settlement where she married Dr. Charles Lee, born in Virginia. Some years after the death of Dr. Charles Lee, the family moved to live near other Pierce relations in the old Grinder Settlement area. Charles and Eliza Lee had three children: Benjamin Franklin "Frank", Claiborne Norman, and Allice.

Frank Lee married Mary Pierce, daughter of Albert and Rebecca (Simmons) Pierce and had the following children: Calvin, Susan married a Lawson, William Charles married Sarah Ann Johnson, Nancy "Minnie" married J. R. Tidmore, John, Harriet married a Messingill, Rebecca "Becky" married J. T. Page, Eliza, Josie married George Cleveland Neely, and Harrison Columbus. Claiborne Norman Lee married Mary E. Leathers and their children were as follows: Rosa, Dora, and Kansas married a Darr.

The Simmons and Grinder families arrived from Maury and Lawrence Counties, Tennessee in the late 1830's and settled Grinder Settlement. Joseph and his wife Sarah (Edwards) Simmons married 1810 in Orange County, North Carolina and a few years later moved to Tennessee. The Grinders came to Tennessee from Stokes County, North Carolina. Four of Joseph and Sarah Simmons children were as follows: John married Mahuldah Grinder, Thomas married Barbary Grinder, Rebecca married Albert Pierce son of John and Nancy (McGuire) Pierce, and Wadey married (1) Leroy Voss, (2) a Wortham, and (3) William E. Howell.

The Grinder family included not only Mahuldah and Barbary who married John and Thomas Simmons, respectively, but also their brother Joshua for whom Grinder Settlement was named; their mother Frances, widow of Joshua, Sr.; and brothers Nicholas, James, and Samuel. This Grinder family is related to the Robert Evans Grinder family of Hickman County, Tennessee. Robert Grinder had an inn on the Natchez Trace where Meriwether Lewis either committed suicide or was murdered. Meriwether Lewis was one of the leaders of the Lewis and Clark Expedition which explored from the Louisiana Territory to the Pacific Northwest.

The children of John and Mahuldah (Grinder) Simmons were Joseph, Thomas, Craig, and Sidney. After Mahuldah's death, John Simmons married Margaret (?) McGowen McDugle and had Synthia J. Thomas and Barbary (Grinder) Simmons children were John, Henry C. "Hen", Joseph G. "Joe", James L., Wesley, and George W. John died of measles in Memphis during the Civil War. Henry C. also served in the Civil War. Two of his wives were Amanda (Osborn) Watkins and Mary F. (West) Fisher. Joseph G. Simmons had two or three wives which included Mary Cook and Malinda Howell. Wadey (Simmons) Voss Wortham Howell had the following children: R. J., Sarah, Smith, Charlotte, and Mary Voss who married John Weaver, Louisa and John W. Wortham, Joseph, Malinda B., Nancy A., and Nannah T. Howell.

Members of the Simmons and Grinders families had reputations for being rough characters, the three most noteworthy being Henry C., Joseph G., and Craig Simmons. Because Craig was constantly in court, the court bailiff simply yelled out Craig's first name instead of announcing the case. Some shootings and mysterious disappearances were blamed on Henry or Joe. However, nothing has ever been proved.

The Isaac Gibson family came to Grinder Settlement about 1841 from the Maury County, Tennessee, vicinity and located near Gilkerson. Isaac Gibson's wife was Nancy (Edwards) Gibson who may have been related to Sarah (Edwards) Simmons, wife of Joseph Simmons. Isaac and Nancy's children were as follows: Anna, Thomas, Rebecca, Henry C., Isaac, Jr. married Margaret Cox, Leroy Whig married 1) Jane Howell and 2) Angeline Grisson, John W. married 1) a York and 2) a Howell, William C. married Sarah Simmons, and Jane married 1) William Broadaway and 2) Wes Howell. Isaac and Margaret Gibson's children were as follows: Thomas married Malina, W. W. married Cora Johnson, Will married Rosa Lee, daughter of Claiborne Lee, Webb, Herman married Dora Lee, another daughter of Claiborne Lee, Dixie, and Margaret.

Another dominant family of Craighead County were the Cooks who located in the Big Creek Settlement. The family came from Carroll County, Tennessee with the Bobbitts, Cardwells, and Burrows. The Christopher and George Cook families settled in eastern Big Creek and two relations, brothers Isaac and John T. Cook settled close to the Cache River near the Egypt area. Isaac married Caroline, daughter of Thomas and Ada/Edith Patton of Alabama who settled at Strawfloor in 1832. Thomas Patton died before 1840 near Strawfloor. John T. married Mary who may have been a Patton. Both Isaac and John T. Cook lived near the Pattons before Isaac and John T.'s families moved to Mississippi. Isaac's family returned to Arkansas in the 1840's and moved to Big Creek. John T.'s family returned about 1854 and moved close to the Cache River near Egypt.

Isaac and Caroline Cook's children were Andrew J., Levi who married Brunetta Hendrix, Isaac who married Sarah A. and was living in the household of James L. Cureton in 1870, James, Elizabeth, William Thomas, and Mary J. John T. and Mary Cook's children were Mary who married Joseph G. Simmons, son of Thomas and Barbary Simmons; Eda Jane who married John W. Wortham, son of Wadey (Simmons) Voss Wortham Howell; Louisa F. who married Hite Hamilton; William T.; Benjamin; Samuel Jackson who married 1) Martha A. Parker, 2) Laura Armour, daughter of Mary (?) Armour Crisler, 3) Ann C. "Nancy" Rollins, and 4) Eveline Rollins, Nancy's sister; and George W. Cook.

Accompanying the Cooks to Arkansas were the Bobbitt clan led by a widow, Lodicia "Disa" Bobbitt of Alabama. Her children were as follows: Moses L. "Len" married Rachel, Samuel P. married Nancy Cardwell, Lively married a Moore, Lodicia married William F. Sims, Emmaline married Devaney Burrow, Martha Ann married William Cook, and Edward.

In 1857, a large number of families left Alabama and settled between Cash and Bono. Some of these families included the Matthews, the Crislers, the Penixes, and the Coles of Cherokee County, Alabama. Even though the four families are related to each other because of intermarriage with the Matthews family, only the Crislers and the Matthews ended up in the Cash vicinity. The children of John and Elizabeth (Croft) Matthews who came to Arkansas were Dr. William C. Matthews who married 1) Julia Hale and 2) James Martha "Jane" Crisler; Isabella J. who married William R. Penix, Sr., and 3) James M. Broadaway; and Eleanor who married Henry Cole, one of the four Cole brothers from Georgia. The Matthews family are of Welsh descent and immigrated from England to Virginia. The descendants of Virginia Colonial Governor Samuel Mat(t)hews moved to North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama.

William C. and Julia (Hale) Matthews had one daughter Isabella who married first John Frank Boyd and after his death William C. Collins. William C. and Jane (Crisler) Matthews' children were as follows: Anna married a Hamilton; Louisa E. married James Hamilton; William Martin married Mary Caldonia Simmons, daughter of Henry C. and Amanda Simmons; Emily married James Howell; John Adam married Mary Barbara Simmons, daughter of Joseph G. and Mary (Cook) Simmons; and James Mary "Jimmie" married James L. Cureton.

The Crisler family that migrated to Arkansas included not only Jane (Crisler) Matthews, daughter of Jonathan and Mary Ann (Crawley) Crisler, but also three brothers: Simeon Willis who married Mary E. Land and later died in the Civil War; George Addison who married Mary (?) Armour; and James Henry. The Cash families with the Crisler surname are descended from George Crisler. The Crisler family migrated to Pennsylvania from Germany about 1718. Theobald Christler born 1719 moved to the Madison County, Virginia vicinity in the 1730's. He married Rosina Gar, daughter of Andreas Gar who came to the colonies from Germany in 1736. The Christler/Crisler family intermarried with other descendants of German Lutheran colonists. From Virginia, the Crislers scattered to the western states with the Cash ancestors going to Georgia and Alabama.

Other families that moved into the Cash area were related to the Loftin and Burkett families of Jackson County. The William Loftin family came from southern Virginia and settled in Montgomery County, North Carolina where William served as a colonel in a militia during the Revolutionary War. From there, the family moved to Rutherford County, Tennessee. One of William's sons, Eldridge Loftin who married Elizabeth Moore, left Tennessee with some of his children in the early 1850's and settled in Jackson County, Arkansas. The children that came to Arkansas were Robert Moore Loftin, Rachel who never married, Levenia who married Charles Garmon, William Lodowick, Samuel W. who married Elizabeth Denton and they had a daughter Cora who married Dr. John Henry McCurry, and John Random who married 1) Elizabeth S. West and 2) Mary Leech.

Robert Moore Loftin settled near the Cache River in what is now known as the Johnson Community. He married Anvalary Burkett, daughter of Tennessee-born Membrance William and Melinda Burkett, who settled in the Grubbs area in the late 1840's. The Burketts came to Grubbs from either Mississippi or Tennessee where they lived for a few years after moving from Illinois. Robert and Anvalary Loftin had four children: Elizabeth Melinda who married Daniel Boone Johnson, Rachel Moore who married Daniel Walch McGinnis, and the twins Albert who died as a baby and Mary who died at age 10.

Robert M. Loftin served in the First Tennessee lnfantry during the Cherokee Wars in 1838. In 1859, he was one of three commissioners elected to select a site as the county seat of Craighead County which became Jonesboro. He also served as a deputy for the county. Though Robert did not enlist in the Confederate Army during the Civil War like his brother John, it is believed he was sympathetic to the Southern Cause. When Robert learned that the war had ended, he went down to the Cache River and sat all day on the bank, wondering what would become of him. He did not need to wonder. Deputy Robert Loftin was killed May 1865 when attempting to make an arrest in the suspect's home.

After Robert Loftin's death, his wife Anvalary married three more times. She married 2) Daniel/David Barton, 3) Isaac Roberts by whom she had Sarah Anvalary that died as a baby, and 4) John Logan by whom she had Oma C. who married William Farmer. Anvalary had a sister Frances who married 1) Miles Blansett, son of Elijah and Ann Blansett, 2) a Weeks, and 3) D. F. McCoy. The Blansetts came to the Grubbs area from Wayne County, Illinois. There are still descendants living near Grubbs and Cash. Another Burkett sister, Mary Muranett married William W. Sanliend and lived near her sister Anvalary in 1870.

Daniel Boone Johnson, son of Thomas R. and Nancy Johnson, and Daniel Walch McGinnis, son of George and Lavina (Bruff) McGinnis, both came from Union County, Illinois and married Robert Loftin's daughters. The Johnson and McGinnis families were neighbors in Illinois but it is not known if they were related. Thomas Johnson left Kentucky with some of his children from a previous marriage and located in Illinois where he married Nancy. It is said that a dozen or more children resulted from his multiple marriages. His son, Daniel Johnson married when he was about nineteen in Illinois to Sarah Hall who died in 1874. In that year, Daniel and his brothers James Noel and Ramsey S., still minors under the law, were placed under the guardianship of Mathew Stokes, Sr., relationship unknown. The mother Nancy was now dead, the father having died before 1870. Christopher C. Davis who married a sister, Laura Johnson, was involved in the guardianship case.

About 1875, Daniel Johnson hoboed his way to Arkansas and came to the Cash area. Daniel McGinnis, reputed to be a preacher, followed him down later. James Noel Johnson also came down to Arkansas. He was eventually blinded after being kicked in the head by a mule. Two Johnson sisters and their families also moved down from Illinois and located near Cash: Nancy Emma who married G. W. Daniels and Julia who married James O'Neal.

Daniel Johnson became a notable citizen of Craighead county, having accumulated enough land and stock to leave his heirs nice farms. Despite the vast improvement in his life and increase in material possessions, he did not forget his humble beginnings. Having been a hobo in his early days, he never turned one away from his door. He and his wife Elizabeth M. Johnson had the following children: Samuel who died as a baby; Sarah Ann who married William Charles Lee, son of Benjamin Franklin and Mary (Pierce) Lee; Cora Lee who married W. W. Gibson son of Isaac Gibson, Jr., Walter Thomas, sheriff of Craighead 1925-1929, who married Pearl Gibson; George Daniel who married Maude Barber; Robert Houston who married Vernie Gibson; and Pearl who married Claud Gregory.

Several families from Franklin and Coffee counties Tennessee located in Craighead countv after 1840. The Boyd and Foster families came to the Cash area through Harrisburg by way of Nigger Wool Swamp from Coffee County, Tennessee in the 1850's. During the 1870's, members of the two families went up to Franklin, Arkansas for a few years and then moved back down to Cash.

John Boyd of Ireland married Sarah Neely and had the following children in Tennessee: George Washington, Francis Marion, John G., and Martha. After John Boyd's death in the 1830's in Tennessee. Sarah married Hugh Foster. Their children were William C. N., Sarah Jane, James Knox Polk, Margaret and Laura F. Josephine. Francis M. Boyd married Eliza who may have been a Puryear, John G. Boyd married Nancy who may have been a Turner, William C. N. Foster married Sarah J. Campbell. Sarah Jane Foster married Curtis West, and Margaret married a Ross.

Francis M. and Eliza Boyd's children included Albert S., Carrie who married William Woods, and Elizabeth who married William Wimpy. John G. and Nancy Boyd's children were as follows: John Frank married Isabella Matthews, daughter of William C. and Julia Matthews; George W. married 1) Henrietta Hall and 2) Sallie Howell; Turner W. married M. A. Catherine "Katie" Hall; Samuel C. married 1) Celia Gordon and 2) Mrs. Jennie Phifield; Sarah Jane "Jennie" married James A. S. McAnally; and Grant married Sarah M. Whitlow.

William C. N. and Sarah Foster's children were as follows: William B., Hugh J., Marietta, Joseph C., and Thomas G. married Rosie E. Armour. Curtis and Sarah West's children included Mary F. who married 1) a Fisher and 2) Henry C. Simmons, son of Thomas and Barbary Simmons, Lillie G. who married John Faust, William C. who married Lina Boyd, daughter of John Frank and Isabella Boyd, and John T. who married Barbara Simmons.

Members of the Thomas P. Hall family intermarried with the Boyds. The Halls were of French and Black Dutch descent and came to Tuscaloosa County, Alabama from South Carolina. The family located in Arkansas about 1857 along with other Georgia and Alabama families. Thomas P. and Lidia Louisa Hall's children were as follows: Nancy M. married a Lewis, Salina E. "Bettie" married Joseph Jackson, Crawford, Miles A., Henrietta S. married George W. Boyd, P. Glover, M. A. Catherine "Katie" Hall married Turner W. Boyd, and America A. married T. S. Johnson. Katie Hall Boyd was said to be petite with jet black hair and pretty as a picture. Henrietta Hall Boyd was as fair as Katie was dark.

The above account does not cover all the links between the old Cash families. Other families that contribute to the "binding ties" are the Howells, the Hamiltons, the McAlisters, the Dodsons, the Downs, the McDaniels, and the Curetons, just to name a few. Some of these families will be covered in other sections of the book.

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