Saturday, August 24, 2013

From Jones to Jones with Friends: Part 2

The next stop on Thursday's tombstone trail, after leaving the Brown farm, was the Adcock family cemetery, which has hidden for years in plain sight a mile east of Sunnyslope Church of Christ in Section 26 of Wright Township. Tombstone tourists included (from left) Jacob Vincent, Doris (Cottrell) Christensen, Harold Mitchell, Dianne (Vincent) Mitchell, Cary DeVore and Kari Spinler. Paula Spinler and Marilyn Vincent dodged the camera this time.

I've known the cemetery was here for a long time, but have driven past many times without knowing where. It was not marked and trees and brush had grown up to screen the tombstones, located some distance into the small plot.

The cemetery is on the south side of the road just before a "T" intersection that presents the options of continuing straight east or turning left and coming out just east of Confidence.

There's been a recent and remarkable change here. Brush has been removed and crowded trees thinned, the graveyard has been refenced (sturdy woven wire with osage orange posts to the east, south and west and vinyl to the north) and it is now neatly mown, clearly visible and easily accessible. A sign will be coming. Although some stumps still need to be pulled and the stones have not been restored yet, it's been quite a transformation.

Charles and Jane Ann (Faulkner) Adcock, several of their children and perhaps three grandchildren are buried here. If there are unrelated burials, the graves are not marked. Here's Paula trying to read one of the tombstone inscriptions. Many are badly weathered.

Charles, born during 1807 in New York, married Jane Ann ca. 1829 and arrived in Iowa about 1849, perhaps settling first in Wayne County, perhaps living for a time elsewhere. The cemetery probably was located on a part of their original claim, but by 1897 --- when their son, Charles Adcock Jr., still owned land in the neighborhood --- the tract surrounding it had changed hands. According to Orpha Green's history of Wright Township, Charles Sr. and Jane Adcock deeded the cemetery to the public on May 2, 1870.

The earliest marked graves seem to be those of the Adcocks' daughter, Elizabeth Ann Bland, and her infant son. She is identified on the stone as the wife of I.L. Bland, or perhaps J.L. Bland. The inscriptions are very difficult to read. She died March 18, 1854, age 23.

The next of the Adcock children to die was son Mordecai, on April 19, 1867, age 20.

Daughter Mary Jane (Adcock) Rissler, wife of George, died on June 21, 1872, age 33. Margaret, who left two young sons, Charles J. and James, was George Rissler's second wife. His first wife, Martha Jane Morlan, had died Aug. 14, 1863, leaving three young daughters, and is buried at Jones Cemetery, which we visited later on Thursday.

One of George and Martha (Morlan) Rissler's daughters was Elzan Rissler, who married James F. Yocum. These were the great-grandparents of Jacob and Dianne; their sister, Elzan (Vincent) McMurry, shares her great-grandmother's name.

Jane Ann Adcock, wife and mother, died on April 26, 1873, age 69. Charles, who was about four years Jane's junior, survived until July 2, 1883, when he died at age 76 and was buried here with his with his wife and children.

Two of the Adcock children, Richard and Mary Jane, died not marry. Richard died Nov. 27, 1882, age 52; and Mary Jane, on Feb. 14, 1886, age 56. Both are buried here. Marilyn and Doris are attempting to decipher Richard's inscription here.

Only two of the Adcock children lived longer lives. Harriet E., born during 1841, married Daniel Butts and moved to Kellerton in Ringgold County, where she died on May 10, 1907. One of her sons, Charley, who died in 1889, is buried in a marked grave at Adcock Cemetery and two other children --- Fanny and David --- reportedly are buried here in unmarked graves.

Charles Adcock Jr., born 1834, married Josephine Burns at Confidence during 1876 and they lived in the area until 1895 when, concerned for his health, they moved to New Mexico. That move seems to have paid off. The couple moved to Hiwasse, Arkansas, during 1901 and he died there on Nov. 9, 1926, age 92.


After leaving Adcock, we drove due east a couple of miles --- just across the Wayne-Appanoose county line --- to "Squire" Spencer F. Wadlington's gravesite. Doris and Dianne are deciphering the inscription on his tombstone here.

I've written before about this place, and Wadlington, so go here for details.

The short version is that Wadlington --- a significant character in Centerville's earliest history --- moved out here to the northwest corner of Appanoose County during the late 1850s or early 1860s and, in 1866, constructed a fine brick house for himself of bricks burned on the site with limestone foundation blocks quarried nearby. When he died here on Nov. 4, 1878, he was buried just north of the house.

The house is now a ruin, overrun by brush and trees with only a gable end or two and some other elements visible. That's the front gable above and brick and stonework at the southeast corner below. Cary and Marilyn climbed into the brush so that they could look into the ruin through what once was the front door.

Jacob was able to add more information Thursday, including the fact that Squire Wadlington is not buried alone here, but shares the grave enclosure with an infant child of the land's first owners.

The late Pauline (Barker) Vincent, his mother, identified the Wadlington farmstead in her writings as "the old home site of Robert and Susan Davis ..., where they settled when they came to Iowa in 1851. The grave of their baby is inside the fence alongside (the) Wadlington grave." (Robert and Susan Davis were great-grandparents of Pauline's father, J. Milton Barker.)

Jacob also remembered that his father, Howard Vincent, had wired the old brick and stone house for electricity --- quite a task because of its fort-like structure --- when R.E.A. lines first reached it during the 1950s.

He shared these snapshots, taken during 1972. Howard and Jacob are standing here on the front steps of the old house, abandoned already, but still intact.

And here's J.M. Barker standing beside Squire Wadlington's then-fallen tombstone with his grandson, J.M. Vincent. Note that the fence here is the original. The current fence around in the gravesite is a replacement.

Before we left the Wadlington site, Jake pointed us toward something I'd never noticed before. At some time in the past, a farmer has parked his hay rake near a small tree, then never moved it --- probably because he'd replaced it with newer equipment.

As years passed, the tree began to absorb the rake and one of its wheels now is firmly incorporated into the tree trunk. There's probably a lesson here about the ability of nature to prevail, but others are going to have to expand upon it.

The next (and final) installment --- McDaniel and Jones cemeteries --- will follow in a day or two. I'm off now to the heirloom garden to pick tomatoes and see how the Moon and Stars are doing.

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