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Independence County

Historical Society





October 19, 2013


July, 2013


April, 2013


January, 2013


October 21, 2012


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The officers of the Independence County Historical Society for 2013-2014 are:

President                                        Nelson Barnett

Vice-President                                Jan Rorie

  and Program Chair

Corresponding Secretary                Regina Weaver

and Membership Chair

Recording Secretary & Historian    Mary Cooper Miller

Treasurer                                        Kenny Gerhardt


Council Members

George Lankford (Immediate Past President), Anne Griffin Moore (Museum) ,

Craig Ogilvie, Alan Bufford , Scott Lien

Editorial Committee

Nancy Britton                                             Jan Rorie (technology)

Marilynn Chlebak                                     George Lankford




Winter Meeting - January 15, 2012

The Independence County Historical Society and the Batesville Genealogical Society will hold a joint meeting on Sunday, January 15, 2012 in the Rider Room at First Community Bank in Batesville, Arkansas at 2 p.m.  Russell Baker will present the program, In Search of the Blue and Gray: Researching Civil War Ancestors.  Mr. Baker is the author of several award-winning historical and genealogical publications, including the Historical Directory of Arkansas Post Offices 1832-1971 and the Arkansas Township Atlas.  The program is open to the public.


The Independence County Historical Society is now on Facebook!!  Please become a fan!  We can upload pictures, questions, and stories quickly and communicate information instantly.          Search  for  Independence County Historical Society.


Back issues of the Independence County Chronicle are $6 each plus $1.50 postage and handling.

ICHS, P. O. Box 2722, Batesville, AR  72503


Dues Reminder

2012 dues were payable on January 1, and will be considered late by June 1.

The July Independence County Chronicle will not be mailed to overdue members.

Send checks for $50 (Sustaining) or $25 (Regular) to:


P. O. Box 2722

Batesville, AR   72503

    The Independence County Historical Society announces the sale of back issues
of the Chronicle.

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 Description: C:\Users\user\Documents\Independence\public\blueball.gifChronicle Index October 1959 - October 1969

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 Description: C:\Users\user\Documents\Independence\public\blueball.gifChronicle Index January 1970 - October 1979



 Description: Description: C:\Users\user\Documents\Independence\public\blueball.gifChronicle Index January 1980 - October 1989

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 Description: Description: C:\Users\user\Documents\Independence\public\blueball.gifChronicle Index January 1990 - October 1999

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 Description: Description: C:\Users\user\Documents\Independence\public\blueball.gifChronicle Index January 2000 - January 2012


Here is a list of the issues which ARE NOT AVAILABLE:

October 1959, January 1960, October 1960
January 1961, April 1961, July 1961, October 1961
January 1962, April 1962, July 1962
January 1967, October 1974, April 1975, July 1975
October 1984-July 1985,  April 1991-July 1991, April 1993-July 1993
April 1998-July 1998, October 2001-January 2002



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Regular membership dues are $25.00 annually.
Contributing membership dues are $50.00 annually.
Back issues of the Independence County Chronicle are available at $6.00 per issue; please add
$1.50 per issue for postage.  Three issues will cost $10.00:  April 1976, January 1979, and Oct. 1984-July 1985.
e-mail for Kenny Gerhardt 
Write to: 
          Kenny  Gerhardt, Treasurer
          P. O. Box 2722
          Batesville, AR  72503
Checks may be made payable to the Independence County Historical Society (ICHS).


Fall Meeting - October 16, 2011

What was it like to be a teenager or a little kid during the days of the Great Depression of the 1930s, and to live through World War II in the 1940s, seeing it through the eyes of a youngster? How much has the appearance of the town changed? How much have the games and activities changed? Come join the Independence County Historical Society at our fall meeting and hear our panel of youngsters reminisce. Be ready to ask them some questions. Jim Barnett, Lou Ann Hance, Ann Rhodes, and Robert Stroud will have the answers!

The meeting will be held at First Community Bank (Ryder Room) on Sunday afternoon, October 16, at 1 p.m. 

It is open to the public and all are welcome.


From the Independence County Society Newsletter, October 2010:


October 17, 2010  -  2 p.m.  -  Rider Room, First Community Bank,  Batesville, Arkansas

     The regular fall meeting of the Independence County Historical Society and the Batesville Genealogical Society will be held on Sunday afternoon,

October 17, at 2 p.m. in the Rider Room at First Community Bank.  The program will kick off our participation in the four-year statewide recognition

of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War (2011-2015).  Dr. George Lankford, president of the Historical Society, is a member of the Arkansas Civil War

Sesquicentennial Commission.

     A panel of four speakers  -  Linda Bennett (Baptist), Nancy Britton (Methodist), George Lankford (Presbyterian), and Craig Ogilvie (Cumberland

Presbyterian)  -  will give brief presentations about the stances taken by local churches of each of the four denominations in the years preceding the

Civil War.  After these presentations, the speakers will discuss actions taken by the churches as they tried to deal with the issues of slavery and secession.

Questions and brief comments from the audience will be taken, time permitting.




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Can you identify these students?  You can e-mail Toney Walden         or Mel Huddleston


from the Independence County Historical Society Newsletter, Vol. X, No. 1, April 2010:

     The spring meeting of the Independence County Historical Society and the Batesville Genealogical Society will be held on Sunday afternoon,

April 18, at 2 p.m. in the Ryder Room of First Community Bank.   The speaker will be James J. Johnston, a retired Foreign Service Officer, who

has been researching the Civil War in the Arkansas Ozarks, especially Searcy County, for almost fifty years.  He is active in many local historical,

genealogical, and archaeological organizations and events and writes and publishes the bimonthly Searcy County Ancestor Information Exchange.

He has also created and produces, with help, the North Arkansas Ancestor Fair -- now in its 21st year.

     Johnston has served as president of the Searcy County Historical Society, the Scottish Society of Northwest Arkansas, and the Ko-ko-ci Chapter

of the Arkansas Archaeological Society.  He won the latter organization's McGimsey Award for "Outstanding Contributions to the Preservation of

Arkansas Heritage."

     His list of publications is long and impressive.  His articles have appeared in the Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Ozarks Mountaineer, Mid-South

Folklore, and Arkansas Family Historian among others.  Some of his most interesting research has been done on the pro-Union Arkansas Peace


     His topic for this meeting will be "1861: Arkansas Divided--Arkansas Restored?"  Arkansans were divided over secession--most wanted to

remain in the Union where they felt secure, but after Lincoln was elected and called for troops to put down insurrection after Fort Sumter

surrendered, they voted the state out of the Union.  All came together in support of the Confederacy--or did they?

     During a brief business session, the Historical Society Nominating Committee will make its report, and officers will be elected.  The 2010 ICHS

Heritage Award will be announced.



1816 Sermon

from "Pioneers and Makers of Arkansas" by Josiah Shinn, page 273, published 1908. 
Eli Lindsey began preaching on Strawberry in 1814 and his circuit ran from Little Red River north to what is now Missouri.  He was a Methodist, and he had his own methods.  Colonel Morgan Magness states that the visits of Eli to Oil Trough Bottom were irregular; that he attended all the house raisings, log rollings, quiltings, marriages, and frolics.  He would encourage the young people to dance and after they were through would preach to them.  At the end of the year 1815 he reported ninety-five members in his circuit.  In 1816 he visited the spot where Batesville now stands and found a man named Reed in possession of a new house he had just finished for a store.  Lindsey asked the privilege to christen it, which was granted.  He sent out to Miller's Creek, to Lafferty's Creek, to Greenbrier, and all around, and notified the folks to come out.  They came with their guns, and a fine old crowd it was.  Colonel Miller and his boys, Colonel Peel and sons, the widow Lafferty and sons, Major Robert Magness and his army of boys, the Craigs, Ruddells, Trammels, Beans, Gillets, Holabys [Holderbys], Trimbles, and Kelleys were all there with their guns stacked around the walls.  Old Eli began his sermon and in a short time the dogs started a bear.  Old Eli said: "The service is adjourned in order that the men may kill that bear."  They rolled out with alacrity, mounted their horses, pursued Bruin and killed him.  They then went back to the new house, where Eli "thanked God for men who knew how to shoot and for women who knew how to pray," and finished his sermon.


Here is when I believe these families came to what is now Independence County, Arkansas  (in 1816 it was Lawrence County, Missouri Territory):

1807    Trammel                            1814    Gillett

1809    Kelly                                    1814    Lindsey

1810    Lafferty                               1814    Miller

1810    Trimble                              1814    Peel

1812    Reed                                    1814    Ruddell

1813    Magness                             1815    John B. Craig

1814    Bean                                    1816    Holderby


1807   -   Trammel

If "the Trammels" included Nicholas Trammel, we know a little bit about him.  From Pioneers and Makers of Arkansas by Josiah Shinn, page 98:

     "Nicholas Trammel had a square mile in Independence confirmed in 1817, based on a ten years' continuous

       residence, which he sold in 1821 to Morgan Magness, a Tennessean.  The occupancy was proved by

       Charles Kelly, one of the oldest settlers of Independence County."

Nicholas Trammel was born in 1780 in Tennessee.  He was in trouble several times.  An article edited by Margaret Ross in the Arkansas Gazette,

24 August 1959, says "On April 27, 1813, Cherokee Indians living on White River petitioned the Governor of Missouri Territory, asking for the

removal of 'a few bad men combined together for the purpose of stealing our horses.'  Nicholas Trammel's name headed the list of 20 men accused

of stealing the Cherokees' horses."  The list also included Robert Trimble, William Trimble, and John Lafferty Senr., according to the article "Some

Indian Incidents Along White River 1813-1822" by Duane Huddleston published in the July 1974 Chronicle, page 38.  Nicholas Trammel later

moved to Nacogdoches, Texas where he was accused of slave and horse theft.  He died in Texas in 1856.  There was also a Jacob Trammel, but

I haven't found out anything about him.     Trammel's Trace is named after Nicholas Trammel.


1809   -   Kelly

1810  -  Lafferty

1810  -  Trimble

1812  -  Reed

1813  -  Magness






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     Dues for 2010 are $25.00.  Checks should be made payable to ICHS.



The Independence County Historical Society was organized in 1959 in Batesville, 
Arkansas.  Vol. I, No. 1 of the Independence County Historical Society Chronicle 
was published in October of 1959.  Paul T. Wayland was the first president of the ICHS.
The 1890 Personal Property Tax Assessment List for Independence County, Arkansas,
transcription and research by Nancy Britton and Nana Farris, first published in 1985,
has been reprinted and is available from the ICHS for $18.00 (this includes postage).
A few copies of Independence Pioneers Volume I and Independence Pioneers Volume II
are available from the ICHS for $15.00 (this includes postage).

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Independence County Censuses


The reconstructed 1820 Arkansas Territory census was published by James Logan Morgan in 1984.  
The 1830 and 1840 censuses for Independence County were compiled and published in paperback form 
by Mrs. Leister E. Presley.
The 1850 census was transcribed by James Logan Morgan and published by
the Northeast Arkansas Genealogical Association in Newport in 1971.  

The 1860 census was transcribed and published by Ardith Olene Foster in 1982. 

Part of Marriage Record A has been transcribed.  See Marriage Record A,

Independence County, Arkansas


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President's Letter 2009

Celebrating Our 50th!

     The Independence County Historical Society and its incredible Chronicle have been a part of my life since 1976, well over half of their existence.  Next year, 2009, is the fiftieth year of ICHS's service to the people of this region.  Being elected president of the Society during this significant year is both an honor and a challenge.  It is an honor because the Society has achieved so much and is so highly regarded by the hundreds of people who have been and are members of it, and sitting in the president's chair is inevitably humbling.  It is a challenge because the Society's five decades of recovering, preserving, and teaching the story of the area's rich history need to be celebrated properly, and it is hard to feel up to the task.

     We will warm up to the coming year by having an unusual Fall meeting in Batesville's Pioneer Cemetery on October 19.  We have arranged for two special guests to visit and tell us about their friends who are buried in the old Public Burying Ground - Charles Kelly from the first decades and Lizzie Allen from the 1860s.  If weather permits, they will walk us around the cemetery and tell us some of the stories of the lives of the people who sleep beneath the stones.  That's at 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 19.

     The four quarterly meetings of 2009 will give us a look at local genealogy (January 18), at the earliest non-Indian settlers (April 19), at shared photographs of the settlers in the county up to the present day (July 19), and the 50th birthday celebration and display of historical "treasures" (October 18).  We'll share more information about these meetings as time draws nearer.

     In addition, we will offer you opportunities to sharpen your skills at doing local history.  Through the year the Society, in league with other historical organizations (such as the Batesville Genealogical Society and the Old Independence Regional Museum), will provide four hands-on workshops on (1) how to find and read public records and maps, (2) how to start looking for your ancestors, (3) how to protect your family treasures (documents and artifacts), and (4) how to use the Independence County Chronicle for research.  Dates have not been set yet, and details will be announced later, but start thinking now about which of these workshops (or all of them!) you will want to attend.  Watch for further announcements.


Dictionary of Independence County Biography

      There is yet another big project in the works for next year.  Stories about so many people's lives have been researched and published in the Chronicle through the past five decades!  We know an astounding amount of information about the personalities and events that make up the historical saga of Independence County.  It's time for us to get these data into easily located format.  In 2009, that means computers and the Internet.  In celebration of the 50th, each member of your Board has agreed to read the Chronicles and write up a thumbnail biographical sketch of five people.  This will be the beginning of a multi-year project that will eventually become an online Independence County Biographical Dictionary, easily accessible by all.

     The work has already started, and maybe even before the end of the 50th year the Society's new tool for learning about the past will be available on your computer.  You are invited to be part of this project - in fact, we need you.  If you want to write up one or more entries, please pick your person and let me know.  I will maintain the central memory bank and keep a running list of the people who are being researched.  If someone is already working on the person you choose, I'll be able to head you off before you get too far into it and help you select another subject.

     Here's a sample of what an entry might look like:

     Miller, Simon (ca. 1754-1850).  Born in Virginia, and served as an ensign in the Revolutionary army in 1779.  Sold his share of his parents' farm to his brothers William and John in 1799 and moved to Tennessee.  Married Elizabeth (Joanna) Read, daughter of William Read of Bradford County, VA.  They had eight children:  John, Samuel, Read, Simon, Jessee, Elizabeth, Nancy, and Sally. By 1814, Simon Jr. and his family were in Arkansas.  The oldest son, John, bought three lots and moved to the new Lawrence County seat at Davidsonville, but the family moved to the Poke Bayou area after the creation of Independence County in 1820.  Through his son John, Simon Miller was the grandfather of William Read Miller, first native-born governor of Arkansas.  [Sources: Public records, family records.]

     2009 will be a busy year, and there will be something for everyone to do.  If you know people who have not yet joined the Society but who should have done so long ago, this is the year to urge them to join us.  You might even give them their first year's membership just to get them started.  What a great Christmas present!

     There's never been a better time to be a part of the Independence County Historical Society.  After all, the 50th year is also the launching pad for the next 50 years.

                                                                              ---George Lankford, president


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