Sunday, September 2, 2018


While others are doing most of the detective work on the Marks family line, ever occassionally I will jump back into the groove too. Sometimes, I will come across something, get a burr in my shoe, and try to get to the bottom of it. Sometimes, that produces interesting possibilities.

What we know, is that one William Marks JR, the oldest of the (we believe) Marks brothers of Chatham County married one Miss Margaret Salter of Bladen County.

Margaret Salter Marks, daughter of William Salter - feirt v? U JJJJ2D la Sampson county, on the...

Wilmington Chronicle
(Wilmington, North Carolina)
  • Page 3

So, I went looking in Bladen for any trace of our Marks family.

What I found was that William Marks had land grants, from 1802 to 1808, on the NorthWest side of the North West branch of the Cape Fear River. Two were in Bladen County and one was in New Hanover. The grants were on the same side of the same river with the same neighbors in both counties. I believe this was more of a division of counties than any movement of residence of the individuals. Bladen began as a large county and at one time included our current counties of Stanly, Montgomery and Anson. Over the centuries and decades, it was trimmed to its current size and neighbors to Sampson, Orange, New Hanover and Brunswick Counties.

Handdrawn map of Bladen river landings

I only found William Marks in the one grant in New Hanover County. There was no other trace of him. He lived in Bladen. I have not yet dug into the neighboring counties of Brunswick, Orange and Sampson. He was a young man, and seemed to stay close to the families he had relation with;the McKay's,  the Salters, and the Lloyds. He married Margaret Salter, daughter of William Salter. Her sister Mary married a McKay. There may have been more intermarriage and connections between the three families than that. We haven't gotten that far. But James Iver McKay, a well-documented mover and shaker, did leave a house in Elizabeth(town) and a bay mare to his namesake, James McKay Marks, a son of William Marks Jr. and Margarter Salter Marks.

But this post was not meant to be about William, although he was obviously the dominant Marks. He does link Bladen County to the Chatham County Marks family, however, and it is from Chatham that the Marks family who settled later along the Pee Dee River, from whom I claim decsent, originated prior to their arrival here.

Northwest Quadrant of 1885 McDuffie and Gillespie Map of Bladen County, NC

This post is about Ewell Marks. There were two of them.

The 1834 codicil to Isham Gunter's 1834 will mentions his grandson Ewell Marks and heeds him to take care of his mother, Mary Gunter Marks. So Mary Marks had a son named Ewell. We, meaning a collective of Marks descendants, had assumed Mary was a widow and the widow of James Marks, who last shows up in the 1820 census. John Marks was alive past 1840, and appears in Montgomery County (Stanly County side) as late as 1838. But a recently found deed on our research trip to Chatham clearly showed John to be the husband of Mary, not James. In a way, it made sense, as her sister Caty (Catherine) Gunter Marks is listed as head of household in the 1830 Montgomery County census, West Pee Dee (Stanly) side of the river. But it does not make sense as far as Isham Gunters will.

Isham Gunter (1731-1834) Death Notice

The will does not claim Mary is a widow, it just states, "Whereas I have given unto my daugther Mary Marks an equal share of my estate as will appear by the above will, now her share I give to my grandson Ewell Marks for the following purpose and to be applied to the following use, that is that he may and shall from time to time and as he may think proper and at his discretion maintain and support his mother Mary on the same Should Mary die before she gets the said property in her possession then to be equally divided between her surviving children." 

He then signs and dates it, June 16, 1834.

This whole thing is a puzzle. While Caty obviously was a widow by 1834, her father did not parlay her share or interest in her inheitance to one of her sons. Mary was not a widow, but may have been abandoned by her husband. While Caty may not have lived until 1840, and was definately not alive in 1850, Mary lived past 1860. Why did Isham feel Mary not capable of handling her own inheritance?While father-in-laws often left property to their son-in-laws, "in right of" their wives, Isham did not do this. What was wrong with Mary?  Why was John found in Montgomery County with his son, William "Buck" Marks, but not Mary?

So many questions to answer.

Gunter, Isham Sr

Ewell, grandson of Isham Gunter, did not remain in North Carolina. By 1849, he had migrated west, as many a young man did, to Henry County, Tennessee.  Henry County is located in the northwest section of that state, on the state line with Kentucky. There he married a Miss Henrietta M Shelton and later they migrated, with her younger brother John, to Mississippi County, Missouri.

This younger Ewell Marks may have well been named for the older Ewell Marks, to whom this post refers.

In the Bladen County, North Carolina Land Warrants and Grants 1802-1935, Deeds 4870 through 4878 all deal with the McKay family and their associated extended family.

4870 concerns Archibald McKay and 100 acres on Colly Swamp with John Mckay and Joseph Singletary as chain carriers.

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4871 - John McKay,  200 acres on the North East side of the North West River and joins William Salter's corner, William Salter being the father-in-law of William Marks.

4872-William Marks, 80 acres granted on May 18, 1803 in addition to 100 acres sold to him by G. Knowles, on the Southwest side of the Northwest River, between Lucas and Ellison. And an addition 80 acres on the Northwest side of the Northwest River survey by W. Herndon. Begins at George Lucas's lower corner on the river and joins Ellison. John McKay and Ewel Marks, chain carriers.

Now, chain carriers were,for the most part, young men, often teenagers, as it was a physically demanding task. If this Ewell Marks is the same Ewell Marks I've traced to Arkansas, he was born in 1782 and would have been about 21 years old here, which makes sense and matches to the possibilities.

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4873 - John McKay for 100 acres on the Northwest side of the Northwest River on the West side of Gum Swamp and the north side of Singletary's drain.

4874 and 4875 do not involve this group.

4876 David Lloyd on the Northeast side of the Northwest River, near Kelly's corner. With J. Russ and J Ewell as chain carriers.

I mention the above one, because the Lloyd family seems closely connected to the McKay and Salter families, with James Iver Mckay leaving property to a Salter Lloyd in addition to James McKay Marks. And here someone with the surname Ewell is acting as a chain carrier. Is the first name Ewell indicative of a maternal surname of Ewell somewhere up the line?

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4877 John Mckay- 25 acres 1804, joins his own lines, Northeast side of the Northwest River.  James Larkins' upper corner, joins Lucas. J Russ and Ewell Marks chain carriers.

Now, this one has me thinking, as the Russ is mentioned, could the "J Ewell" in 4876 have been a mistake and it was actually Ewell Marks?

4878 John McKay again, another 100 acres of the Northeast side of the Northwest River joining James Larkens and Jennet Spencelove with John Russ and Ewell Marks again as chain carriers.

There are several pages of deeds that duplicate and replicate the names, the same section of river, the same neighbors. William Marks and George Lucas Jr. chain carrying for George Lucas and Will Marks and Ewell Marks chain carrying for George Lucas, the McKays and the Lloyds.

Ewell Marks never claims his own land. The Mckay's and Salters are well-documented in Bladen County. I intend to look well into those families to see any other Marks connections.

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Ewell Marks seemed to be in Bladen County, NC from 1801 until possibly 1808. At that time William Marks Jr. joins John and James Marks in Chatham County, NC.

Ewell Marks joins the army and is engaged in the War of 1812.

The US Army Register for this war gives his age as 30 and his estimated year of birth as 1784. He enlisted on 12 June, 1814 as a Private in the US Rifles. An interesting notes gives his alias, or nickname as "Enoch H." Marks. Just above him is an Elijah Marble whose nickname was "Marble".

This record actually gives quite a bit of information about Ewell Marks. He was 5 foot 7 and a half inches tall with Hazel eyes, black hair and light complexion. By trade, he was a carpenter.

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His place of birth is given as Fairfax, Farquier, Viginia. Could this be where our Marks originated? Is this the same Ewell? It is definately worth looking into.

He was enlisted in June of 1814 at Kenhawa Courthouse by Captain Carrington for a period of 5 years.

His record reads: RR Captain E. Carringtons Company, Woodstock, Shennandoah Valley 1814
Feb 27, 1815 present, Captain W. L. Dusshay's Company, Carlisle barracks.
April 20, 1815 present by transfer
Deserted April 26, 1815

Ewell Marks Military record on Fold3

Name:Euel Martes
[Ewell Marks] 
Home in 1820 (City, County, State):Kanawha, Virginia
Enumeration Date:August 7, 1820
Free White Persons - Males - 45 and over:1
Free White Persons - Females - 16 thru 25:1
Number of Persons - Engaged in Agriculture:1
Free White Persons - Over 25:1
Total Free White Persons:2
Total All Persons - White, Slaves, Colored, Other:2

Ewell next  shows up in the 1820 census of Kenawha, Virginia, which is now in West Virginia. He appears to have possibly been married to a much younger woman, or either, he employed a housekeeper. He may have even left a young family in West Virginia before he headed west.

Charleston in the early 1800's in the painting by Roger Lucas.
Charleston, West Virginia in the early 1800's by Roger Lucas

Kanawha County was formed in 1789 while it was still part of the State of Virginia. It was named for the Kanawha River, which is a tributary of the Ohio River, which in turn, had been named for the Native America tribe, Kanawha. In 1863, it became part of West Virginia.

Situated in the Appalachians, with Charleston it's County Seat, Ewell Marks could have probably not picked a more remote and sparsely populated area in which to settle. Old Stomping Grounds of Daniel Boone, it had had its share of turbulence with the local Native tribes. Most of the settlers were soldiers who had recieved the property as bounties in the French and Indian wars. Ewell Marks was not one of these, but he had enlisted at Kanawha Courthouse in 1814 during the War of 1812, so it appears he may have been in Kanawha prior to that date.
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One of the earliest settlers to the Kanawha Valley was a man named Walter Kelly. While he was massacred, members of his family survived, due to his precautions. The Kelly family links Ewell Marks in his travels, which is why I mention them.

The story of Walter Kelly is told in the following excerpts from:

Source: History of West Virginia; By Virgil Anson Lewis; publ. 1887; Pgs. 570-577;
Transcribed and submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack

The first attempt at a settlement within the present limits of the county, or on the lower course of the New River-Kanawha was that of Walter Kelly in 1774. It appears that he came from North Carolina to the Virginia frontier, and not content to remain in Greenbrier, then the most western outpost of civilization, pushed out into the wilderness, and at the mouth of what has ever since been known as Kelly's creek - a stream falling into the Kanawha twenty miles above Charleston-reared his cabin. Sadly was he made to pay for his temerity. Shortly after his settlement the scouts sent out from Greenbrier learned that the savages were preparing for hostilities. A messenger was at once sent to warn Kelly of his danger. The following, subjoined from Wither's "Chronicles of Border Warfare," tells the story of his fate.

"When the express arrived at the cabin of Walter Kelly, twenty miles below the falls, Captain John Field, of Culpeper, who had been in active service during the French and Indian War, and was then engaged in making surveys, was there with a young Scotchman and a negro woman. Kelly, with great prudence, directly sent his family to Greenbrier, under the care of a younger brother. But Captain Field, considering the apprehension as groundless, determined on remaining with Kelly, who from prudential motives did not wish to subject himself to observation by mingling with others. Left with no persons but the Scot and the Negro, they were not long permitted to doubt the reality of those dangers of which they had been forewarned by Captain Stuart.

"Very soon after Kelly's family had left the cabin, and while yet within hearing of it, a party of Indians approached, unperceived, near to Kelly and Field, who were engaged in drawing leather from a tan-trough in the yard. The first intimation which Field had of their approach, was the discharge of several guns and the fall of Kelly. He then ran briskly toward the house to get possession of a gun, but recollecting that it was unloaded, he changed his course and sprang into a cornfield, which screened him from the observation of the Indians; they supposing that he had taken refuge in the cabin, rushed immediately into it. Here they found the Scotchman and the Negro woman, the latter of whom they killed, and making a prisoner of the young man, returned and scalped Kelly.

"When Kelly's family reached the Greenbrier settlement, they mentioned their fears for the fate of those whom they had left on the Kanawha, not doubting but that the guns which they had heard soon after leaving the cabin, had been discharged at them by Indians. Captain Stuart, with a promptitude which must ever command admiration, exerted himself effectually to raise a volunteer corps, and proceed to the scene of action, with a view of ascertaining whether the Indians had been there; and if they had, and he could meet with them, to endeavor to punish them for the outrage, and thus prevent the repetition of similar deeds of violence.

"They had not, however, gone far before they were met by Captain Field, whose appearance of itself fully told the tale of woe. He had run upwards of eighty miles, naked, except his shirt, and without food; his body nearly exhausted with fatigue, anxiety and hunger, and his limbs grievously lacerated with briers and brush. Captain Stuart, fearing lest the success of the Indians might induce them to push immediately for the settlements, thought proper to return and prepare for that event."

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If you notice in the above Bladen County deeds, David Lloyd's property bordered that of a Kelly. There were also multiple members of the Waddell family in Bladen County, one branch which ventured forth into Anson County, NC. Waddells and Kelly's were both found in Kanawha County, West Virginia as well. Whether the presence of these two families had anything to do with Ewell Marks being there, I can't say. It's simply a possibility, but somewhere along the way, Ewell Marks hooked up with Bill Kelly.

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Sometime in between  1820 and 1825, Ewell Marks was on the move again. This time he headed for the Ozarks. Perhaps West Virginia was growing a little too populous and civilized for Ewell Marks. He seems to appear to like the mountains and the frontiers. Perhaps he saw opportunity to be had in the state of Arkansas. Perhaps he just followed Bill Kelly.

What I do know is that by 1824, he had settled on the Little North Branch of the White River in Marion County, Arkansas near the Missouri state line. He and Bill Kelly built a mill. And this is probably where he died.

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Marion County was established in 1836, and was orginanlly part of Izard County. The White River runs through it at a Northwest to Southeastern angle. It begins in Missouri. Ewell Marks settled on the Northwest branch of this river.

Name:Eweline H. Marks
County:Independence County
Township:Tax List 1824
Record Type:Tax List
Database:AR 1819-1829 Tax Lists Index

The "ine" on the end of his name is a transcription error from a note made by the tax collector. I've got to look more closely into it to see what the tax man meant. Adds mystery to the life of Ewell Marks.  From "The History of Independence County Arkansas" by A. C. McInnnis, Batesville, Arkansas 1976, this same tax list, transcribed, lists a definate Ewell H. Marks being a tax payer in 1824.

Livingston, Robert
Magness, David M.
Magness, Jonathan
Magness, Morgan
Magness, Perry G.
Marks, Ewel H.
Martin, Hugh
Martin, John
Martin, Joshua
Martin, William

He first shows up in the 1824 Tax List of Independence County, Arkansas. A quick look at the history of Arkansas must be had to piece together Ewell's records. In 1815 Missouri Territory established Lawrence County, a huge tract of land that covered most of what was Northern Arkansas. Independence become the 9th County formed in Arkansas and the 4th one in the new Arkansas Territory.

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A description of the new county was as follows:

"All that portion of the county of Lawrence bounded as
follows, to wit: Beginning at point in Big Black River halfway
between the mouth of Strawberry and Bayou Cure and running
from thence in a direct line to the dividing ridge aforesaid to the
headwaters of Bayou Cure aforesaid, then along the dividing
ridge between Strawberry River and White River to the northern
line of the territory and then with said boundary line to the
southeast bank of the main branch of White River, then down
the said river to the northeast corner of the Cherokee claim,
thence southwestwardly with said claim to the Little Red River,
thence down same to the mouth, then along the northern
boundary of the county of Arkansas to a point southeast of the
beginning to be laid off and erected into a separate and distinct
county to be called and known by the name of Independence County."

Izard County was formed from a portion of Independence County in 1825.

NameEwel K. Marks
CountyIzard County
TownshipArkansas Territory
Record TypeTax list
DatabaseAR 1830-1839 Tax Lists Index

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 Ewell Marks is shown in Izard County in 1830.

Name:Ewel H. Marks
County:Izard County
Township:Arkansas Territory
Record Type:Tax list
Database:AR 1830-1839 Tax Lists Index

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Ewell Marks was taxed in Izard County in 1831.

Name:Ewell H. Marks
County:Izard County
Township:Arkansas Territory
Record Type:Tax list
Database:AR 1830-1839 Tax Lists Index

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In 1832.....

Name:Ewel H. Marks
County:Izard County
Township:Arkansas Territory
Record Type:Tax list
Database:AR 1830-1839 Tax Lists Index

And in 1833, but escaped the 1830 census.

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Or did he? A look at the actual 1830 census shows a short census of 7 pages, extremely faded and barely, if at all legible. In maginification, I see a name I believe to be Ewell. The transcriber has it truly mangled, however.

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Reading about the citizens of early Marion, Ewell also seemed to interact with those who lived in Lead Hill, Boone County, too. Running a mill, of course they accepted business from all around. He seemed to be in the uppper Northwest Corner of the county, near the Boone County border and near the Missouri State line.

Name:E H Morks
[E H Marks] 
Home in 1840 (City, County, State):Littleworth Fork, Marion, Arkansas
Free White Persons - Males - 50 thru 59:1
Persons Employed in Agriculture:1
Total Free White Persons:1
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves:1

Marion County was established from that portion of Izard that Ewell had settled in. He clearly appears in the 1840 census, which gives little information except that he was not a married man and lived alone. He was however, surrounded by a large number of the Hogan family, and the census was only 2 pages. This was a sparsely settled area and Ewell was clearly one of it's earliest settlers. He had actively resided in 3 counties, without moving his residenced at all, it appears.

Name:Ewel H Marks
Birth Year:abt 1783
Home in 1850:Marion, Arkansas, USA
Family Number:110
Household Members:
Ewel H Marks67

The 1850 was his last census. He is shown still single, age 67, and still living among the large Hogan family. He obviously passed away before 1860, and 67 being a good age of survival for a pioneer in this era, so we can safely assume, probably of natural causes.

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Historic Marion County cabin

Ewell H Marks was most likely buried in the old Hogan Cemetery in the Northwest corner of  Marion County. As along the Yadkin River in North Carolina, when the dams were built, lakes created and waterways changed, so did the lay of the land, displacing homesteads, farms, churchs and cemeteries. Ewell's grave was either moved to Oakland cemetery across the state line, or he lies beneath Bull Shoals Lake. The following excerpt from explains the removal.

Oakland Cemetery: (Is not listed in the Cemetery Book unless I missed it( (MCH: Is on Hwy 5. Since Bull Shoals was built, this cemetery has been moved and is now in Baxter County, near the Missouri line. It is mostly Marion County people buried there, having been originally located under the present Bull Shoals Lake. After the lake was built, this cemetery, along with the Anglin, Hogan and Yocham graveyards were moved to this site. Unfortunately, many names and dates were lost in the move. There is one old stone I was not able to read the name - born 1770, died 1812. In January 1925, when White River was at flood stage, a heavily loaded boat overturned at Gar Shoals, drowning several. Among them were Tessie Billings, aged 13, buried there; her Uncle Rush Shew, born 1894, drowned January 1925. Others would have suffered the same fate had it not been for the courage of Alva Johnson. This incident is covered in another chapter. Many old time names are found here. Among the most numerous burials are Hogans, Newtons and Yochams.)

Silas Claiborne Turnbo was born in Missouri in 1844. He was a Civil War soldier who married a Miss Holt in 1865, after the war and became the father of 5 children raised in Keesee County, Arkansas. He stated he did not have much education, but attended a medical school after the war and became a medical practitioner for a time in Northern Arkansas. He wrote for multiple newspapers and wrote at least two books. His memories and stories of pioneer Arkansas are historic treasures. Below are a couple of stories that mention the Marks Mill that Ewell established. I've included them because they paint a colorful and turbulent tale of the atmosphere and lifestyles of the era in which Ewell lived and worked.

By S. C. Turnbo
There Is a small hill a short distance east of Dugginsville, Mo. that has some note which occurred in this wise. In the early settlement of White River and Little North Fork the settlers in going from one settlement to another would follow the trails made by the Indians. Conspicuous among these trails was one that lead from near where Theadosia is now through the hills to White River at the mouth of Little North Fork. This trail lead by the foot of the hill just mentioned. One of the early settlers on the last named stream was Polander Smith and Sallie Smith his wife who lived just below where Theadosia now is. In 1838 Smith after his little boy was killed which we have mentioned elsewhere went to drinking freely. He said the liquor would help drown his grief at the loss of his little son which was a veritable mistake. A man of the name of Marks had built a small mill at the mouth of Little North Fork and the scattering settlers who lived a long distance from the mills as well as those who resided closer to it patronized it. One cold day in January 1839 Polander Smith rode to Marks Mill with a sack of corn and followed the old Indian trail mentioned. On arriving at the mill he found plenty of whiskey there and soon had his fill on it. Near night he started back home with his meal and a jug of whiskey. It was after night when he reached this hill. It was bitter cold with north west wind blowing. Here at the base of the hill the cold and liquor overcome him and he fell off of his horse and lay there until day light. Fortunately for him he wore a heavy suit of home spun clothes that his wife had woven and as the forest had not yet been swept by forest fire there was a thick mat of dead grass where he fell from the horse which saved him from freezing to death. But as it was he was severely frost bit and otherwise be numb with cold. But his drunken stupor had passed off. The horse did not leave him and was feeding close by when the man roused up, but the sack of meal had fell off in a few feet of where he lay on his bed of dry grass. Smith rose to his feet and staggered around over the rough stones until his circulation was roused and went to his horse, and leaving the sack of meal where it fell he managed to mount his and rode home with great difficulty. His hands and feet was bad frozen and he was in a helpless condition. Neighbors were scarce and Paton Keesee who lived below him on the creek insisted on Smith and his family to be taken to his house where he could be better cared for and Smith finally consented to go and after he was taken to Keesees house the frozen flesh on his feet sloughed off and the bone of one big toe was exposed to the second joint. Smith begged Keesee to out the bone off which he refused to do but he told Smith he would send for 3 or 4 of the settlers to come and they would consult together as to what was best to do for there was not a surgeon to be had and when the men arrived at Keesees house they went out and held a long council and decided that they would not amputate the bone. If they did and Smith was to die the law might take hold of them and when they announced their decision to Smith he become irritated at their refusal to take the bone off and he says "I can take it off" and called for a chizzel and mallet and they handed them to him and placing his foot on the solid puncheon floor the man proceeded to cut the bone off with the chizzel at one stroke with the mallet and gave the bone to Keesee with the request that he bury the bone with him when he died and Keesee promised to do so. Smith never recovered and only lived a few months longer and died at Keesees house. His remains were given burial at the mouth of Brattons Spring Creek where his little son was laid to rest. But Keesee forgot to place the bone in Smiths coffin and never called it to mind for nearly a year after the death of Smith. Then he taken the little bone to the grave yard and dug a hole a foot or two deep in Smith grave and buried the bone. The hill where Smith lay out that bitter cola night is known to the present day as "Smiths Bala Hill". The foregoing account was told me by Elias and Peter Keesee sons of Paton Keesee.

Rush Historic District, Marion County, ARK.

By S. C. Turnbo

Between the mouths of Little North Fork and Gooleys Spring Creek is a bluff with a high precipice from the top of which an observer has a sweeping view of an interesting scenery. The two creeks mentioned mingle their waters together Just before entering White River. On the opposite side of the river is two old settled farms that was once occupied by Harve and Jake Yocum sons of Mike Yocum. On this land is an old settlers grave yard in which lie the mortal remains of a number of pioneers. Among the earliest settlers who rest here are Jake Yocum and Eemiline his wife and Jimmie Jones the hatter. A small grove of timber marks their grave yard. In viewing the beautiful White River we notice that each shore is fringed with hundreds of sycamore trees. There is a sharp curve or bend in the river here that resembles a horse shoe in shape with the toe on the opposite side just above the mouth of the two creeks. At the mouth of these creeks is the head of the gar shoals with a noted ripple of water a short distance below the ford. At the foot of the shoals is the John Due Ferry. A short distance below the crossing of the ferry is where a man was drowned once. On the right bank of the river is where Jim Dial was shot and killed one night at a dance. The bottom on the left bank of the river just below Gooldys Spring Creek is the old Joe Hogan land which is one of the oldest farms on the upper White River. Looking southward across the gorge-like form of Gooleys Spring Creek rear the little town Oakland is the noted Hogan Flat. Turning to the right and casting our eyes down the tall precipitous bluff we have a nice view of Little North Fork. One quarter of a mile up the creek from the river is the old mill site where Marks and Kelly built the first mill here in 1825 which was afterward owned by Mike Yocum who rebuilt the mill and added a saw mill to it. All of which was run by water power. Years ago during winter time when there was thick ice in the creek and river a young man and a young woman was drowned in Yocums Mill Pond. The names of these unfortunate people were Sam Nara and Hannah Friend. Miss Friend was a daughter of Jake and Polly Friend who lived on the flat of land near where Hollinsworth Mill now is. Mr. Nara and her were intending to get married that day but had to go across the river on business and return back to Mr. Friends before the ceremony could be performed and the young ladies brother went with them. The parties went down on the east side of the creek and passed under the narrows and crossed the creek on the ice at Yocums Mill Pond. On their return back home Yocum was grinding corn on his mill and the water in the mill pond had drained off until it was several inches below the ice and when the three had walked out on the ice in the middle of the pond the ice give away and precipitated Mr. Nara and his fiance into the water. Young Friend escaped. The young man Nard made heroic efforts to save her life by raising her up on the edge of the ice but the ice would give way and she would drop back again into the water. This was repeated by the brave young man some 4 times and though he was an excellent swimmer but the cold water chilled his body and limbs until he was helpless and they both sank to rise no more until their bodies were recovered from the water. It is said that a few bystanders on the bank of the creek were so excited that they made no efforts to rescue them except that they tossed a few chunks of wood and pieces of plank onto the ice thinking that they could get to them. Miss Hannah Friend was a sister of Peter Friend who lived in the bend of White River that bears his name. I am also informed by the old settlers that on another occasion a man by the name of Cooper while under the influence of liquor rode into the creek just below the mill and was drowned. His body was taken out of the creek 50 yards above the mouth.

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Ewing Hogan was the next door neighbor of Ewell Marks.

By S. C. Turnbo
The sickening details of the killing of two men during the turbulent days of the Civil War was given me by Mr. Ewing Hogan son of Joe Hogan who was one of the earliest settlers on White River near where the village of Oakland Marion County, Ark. now stands. Mr. Hogan was only a little boy when the clash between the north and south occurred. In giving the account of the death of the two men he said that their names were Jim Elliot and Bill McClure and they were shot and killed in the field just below the mouth of Little North Fork and Gooleys Spring Creek, but the land where they were shot to death on was not in cultivation then but was cleared up after the war. The exact spot where they were killed was near 200 yards from where the John Due Ferry is or east of the ferry boat landing on the left bank. "I saw both the bodies in a half an hour after they were shot and they were the first dead men I ever saw that had been shot to death. Mr. Elliots wifes name was Delila. Two negro boys named Isom and Jack that belonged to Jake Yocum assisted Mrs. Becea Yocum wife of Harve Yocum and other women to take the bodies across the river and give them interment in the grave yard on the Jake and Harve Yocum farm. Mr. Elliots wife helped to carry the bleeding form of her dead husband to the river where the ferry boat landing is now and after the dead men were conveyed across the river she did all she could to assist them in carrying them both to the grave yard where a grave was dug and the bodies were put in an ordinary box together and lowered into the grave and the dirt filled in and a new mound of dirt made to show where two more victims of the war were laid to rest. I well remember" continued Mr. Hogan "that Mrs. Elliots dress was besmeared with blood that had drained from the bullet wound on her husbands body while she was assisting to carry it. This was only one among the awful incidents of murder and strife along White River in the angry days of war" said Mr. Hogan as he ended this sad account.

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By S. C. Turnbo
A number of years before Marks and Kelly built a little mill at the mouth of Little North Fork in Marion County, Ark., Jake Friend and Polly Friend, his wife, lived here. But I am reliably informed that Bill Howard was the first settler at this mill site. Howard came from Kentucky. Howard called his wife "Sis." She died many years before the breaking out of the Civil War and is buried in the Asa Yocum graveyard opposite the Bull Bottom. When Mr. Friend came to the mouth of Little North Fork he planted a quantity of peach and apple seeds that he had brought with him. When the young scions were old enough to transplant he put them out and the scions grew to be fine fruit trees and this orchard bore tine fruit and was noted one for many years. During Mr. Friend’s residence here a band of drunken Indians entered the cabin one day to massacres the family, but before the Indians were able to make a beginning of their bloody work they were foiled by one of the white men who was in the house who snatched up a billet of wood and knocked the leader of the Indians down and the other Indiana left the cabin in haste. The leader or subchief when he rose on his feet and seeing that all his friends had deserted him and that by this time the white people had armed themselves for defense sneaked out of the house and joined the band and they all went on their way without giving the family any more trouble.

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To summarize the life of Ewell Marks:

  • He was born in 1783 or 1784 in Virginia. 
  • According to his military record, he was born either in Fairfax or Fauquier County, Virginia
  • His alias, per the military record was "Enoch H. Marks". Actually, it looks like Ewell Marks was born in Fairfax, but his alias was Enoch, born in Fauquier. 

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The beautiful hills of Fauquier County, Virginia

  • He was in Bladen County, North Carolina from about 1802 until 1808. He was involved and associated with the McKay, Lloyd and Salter families. William Marks Jr. married Margaret Salter, daughter of William Salter of Bladen County. William Marks Jr. moved up the Cape Fear River to Chatham County, NC. William Marks Jr. was associated with John and James Marks of Chatham. John and James Marks married Mary and Catherine Gunter, daughters of Isham Gunter of Chatham, respectively. 
  • Ewell Marks enlisted in the US Army in November of  1814 at Kanawha County Courthouse in Virginia. This area would later become part of West Virginia. 
  • Ewell Marks gave his occupation as a Carpenter. 
  • Ewell Marks was 5 foot 7 and a half inches tall. He had Hazel eyes, black hair and was of light complexion. He was 30 years old in 1814.
  • He was present in Woodstock, Shenendoah County, Virginia in February of 1815.
  • He deserted on April 26, 1815.
  • Ewell Marks was living in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia in 1820. With him was a female between the ages of 16 and 25, possibly a wife. 
  • Ewell Marks arrived to the Little North Fork of the White River in Northern Arkansas by 1824. He was taxed in Independence County in 1824. 
  • He established a mill at the Mouth of the Little North Fork by 1825 with Bill Kelly. 
  • This part of Arkansas became Izard in 1825.
  • Ewell Marks was taxed in Izard County in 1830-1833. 
  • This part of Izard County became Marion County in 1836. 
  • Ewell Marks appears in Marion County, Arkansas in the 1840 and 1850 census. In both he is a single man. He was listed as 67 years old in 1850.
  • Ewell Marks is last mentioned in records concerning the death of Young Hogan in 1852. He lived among the Hogans in both the 1840 and 1850 census. His middle name was possibly Hogan, as it appears in the faded 1830 census. It is too faded to be certain. 

Was Ewell H. Marks in Bladen County, NC, Kanawha County, VA and Marion County, ARK the same man? I believe so. It flows. There is no overlapping contradictions.

Believing that William Jr. , John, James and a barely mentioned George Marks were brothers, was Ewell Marks a possible 5th brother? The age range fits, as John and James were born between 1775 and 1784.  If so, were they all born in Virginia?

What Marks was in Fairfax or Fauqier Counties of Virginia in the 1780's? Was William Marks Sr. the William Marks that appears in the 1790 census of Warren County, North Carolina? It appears he had 2 daughters and 5 sons. It is thought that Susan who married Abner Gunter of Chatham County, NC was one daughter.

Name:William Marks
[William Mark] 
Home in 1790 (City, County, State):Warren, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - Under 16:5
Free White Persons - Males - 16 and over:1
Free White Persons - Females:3
Number of Household Members:9

Possibilities. Ideas. But the search rolls on.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post on Ewell Marks. Things are finally starting to come together.