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Ira DeBusk

Ira DeBusk son of Christopher  Columbus DeBusk and Lydia Blevins was born 01 Dec 1859 in Washington County, Virginia and died 08 Mar 1944 in Cleburne County, Arkansas. He married Salura Douglas Ellis daughter of Miles Thomas Ellis and Malissa Phips 05 Apr 1883 in Dickson County, Tennessee. They are both buried at Cleburne County, Arkansas

Ira and his brother Thomas took their family on 2 October 1901 from Sylvia, Tennessee to Quitman, Arkansas . They formed a wagon train of three wagons along with Charley Ellis, Don Mathis and Isaac Edwards.

Don Mathis being a musician, brought along his banjo. They had music and singing each night at camp.

The children of the group was recuperating from whooping cough and the second night they camped across the road from a farmhouse. The lady was sitting on the front porch rocking her baby. One of the children began coughing. She hurried inside and shut the door after her. At dusk the man of the house came out and got the axe and carried it inside.

After four or five days of travel they stopped at Bridgeport, Arkansas, for the men to work on the railroad that was being built through there. Ira got up on morning to feed the stock and discovered one mule was gone. But as luck would have it he had lost 1/2 of a shoe so he could track him. He had started back the same road we had traveled. Ira caught up with him about sundown calmly grazing in a pasture. He got back to camp the next night.

Several uneventful days followed. Some of the men would take their guns and dogs and hunt birds and other game along the wayside, supplying the table with fresh meat. On one occasion three of the boys got lost and didn't get to camp until about midnight.

At Poplar Bluff, Missouri, they stopped at a small zoo and let the children see the zoo animals and birds. One other night it was pouring rain and they stayed in a wagon yard. There was an animal that had distemper and their animals caught the disease which slowed them down. They traveled quite a distance on a highway on the Tennessee and Kentucky border. It was a novelty for the children to be in Tennessee on one side and Kentucky on the other side.

Each week they had to stop at a spring or creek to do the laundry. They crossed the Tennessee and Mississippi River in a row boat. One river was crossed by cable. At on camp my sister took all her trinkets out and built a play house. Our mother called her and she left all her things there. She grieved for them for a while. When the children got too tired they would walk between the wagons. On one occasion one little girl fell out of the wagon and went between the horse and the single tree. She was not hurt. This little girl was Viola.

At Bridgeport, Arkansas the children picked cotton, the first they had seen. Thomas and family left the wagon train at Bridgeport and came to Quitman. Isaac Edwards and Don Mathis left the wagon train at Bridgeport and went back to Tennessee by train.

They crossed the Mississippi River at Cairo, Illinois (Kentucky). We waded in the water. They traveled the Old Military road from Batesville to Shiloah, crossed Red River at Shiloah and up Bean (Boon?) Gap and down by the Ed Laum place arriving at Quitman on 1 December 1901

signed Grace Clifton