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Alonzo & Minnie McCullar Alonzo McCullar Family

Alonzo and Minnie McCullar

Our McCullar Family


Joy (Tanksley) Arter

This quest started so very simple!! Just a request from “MA”, “BIG MOMMA” OR “GRANDMA”, which ever name you called her by.

I was doing paralegal work on mineral ownership at Mt. Ida, AR in 1979. She asked me one Saturday if I would get her a copy of Granddad’s parents’ marriage license. At this point I had no idea where they were from.

On Friday, the County Recorder asked me if I had finished my work?, I told her no, that I did not have time to complete the last piece of property and would be back on Monday, but I would like for her to see if she could find my Great Grandparents, William Thomas Breckenridge McCullar and Sarah Spicer’s marriage license, Which she did.

We visited awhile and I told her that the company I was working for was going to be disappointed because no one would sign a mineral lease.

On Monday when I got back, I could not park at the courthouse and had to park at the Baptist Church by the cemetery. When I went in, I told her if she had told me it was court day, I would not have come. At that time the courthouse was 6 tiny rooms, and it was full of people. She said it’s not court day, these people have come to sign their leases. HOW CLANISH THE McCULLAR’S ARE. Everyone I had contacted was a descendant of the McCullar’s.

Well that was Grandma’s first request. Her second one was to find her parents’ graves. She had been told they did not have markers but were buried next to Mattie and Hamp Talley. That Mattie had died in child birth and the baby was buried with her. This one I did not fulfill before she died. The second was to locate Mina Minerva’s grave at Antlers, Ok. I could not do this one either as it is unmarked, but 2010 I had a stone set next to Odie May’s grave at Old Bokoshe with her name, birth, death, daughter of Minnie & Alonzo McCullar, at rest Antlers, Oklahoma.

Lanny: You or Aunt Beaulah really threw me a curve on the M.M being Alonzo’s aunt, she was actually his daughter.

Back to the story, after Grandma died Mother got really sick. She called me one night and said if you would just try, you could find Mother’s parents graves. I had been in every cemetery in 10 counties, researched all of the cemetery census books and not been able to find them before she died. I said Mother you know I’ve looked for them for years and can’t find them. “I KNOW YOU CAN, AND I AM GOING TO DIE AND I WANT TO TELL MY MOTHER WHERE THEY ARE BURIED WHEN I SEE HER”. Oh boy!!! My next words really got me in hot water. I said Mother, if you believe in the resurrection; you know Grandma knows where her parents are buried. The next words do not bear repeating, they resulted in me taking off work the next day and going to the Poteau library and looking at old newspapers, and every old book they had. After 4+ hours I found it, a little cemetery on private property at Pocola. So I went over there asked the people if I could go into their pasture and check the grave stones. They were really nice and said yes, and come any time. Well Martha and H.H. Talley were buried there. I already knew from Henry Peck’s history of LeFlore County that H.H. Talley was called Hamp and he ran a ferry across the Poteau River for years before 1907. So I called Mother and told her I had found them and did she want me to come and get her, so she could see the graves. She said NO, I’m too sick but you meet Melba at the convenience store and take her there, I WANT TO KNOW YOU ARE NOT LYING TO ME! Well I never lied to her in my life, but I waited on Melba and took her back to the cemetery.

NEXT request Mom had was easy to fulfill and LARRY KENNEDY gave me a good laugh over this one. She called me one day just before I got to Ft. Smith and asked me if I could find out for sure if Grandma’s Father Malachi Herring was murdered. So I knew the date and I went to the library and looked at the micro film for the Ft. Smith Elevator for that week and there it was. Since then I’ve found it in the Springfield, Missouri newspaper and the Dallas Herald.

Also the Dallas Herald reported that Thomas Bowman, an old man was arrested for the murder of Malachi Herring, the reason given was because he had asked him to stop visiting his young wife and he did not.

Larry’s comment about my research “I found out my great grandfather was a womanizer”. Maybe and maybe not. People give all kinds of excuses for murder. I do know that the newspapers all say that Malachi was a prominent farmer in the area. Also he rented from Nancy Hardaway who was a widow at that time and later married Mr. Edwards. The same Mr. Edwards that Uncle Lawrence Kennedy found Malachi mentioned in a book written about the Edwards store. Also Thomas Bowman was her Uncle.

A question I also have about this murder concerns the murder of John Middleton, Belle Starr’s lover. He was found by Hamp Talley at the same place that Malachi was murdered. No one was ever arrested for John Middleton’s death. He was murdered on May 3, 1885 and Malachi was murdered August 10, 1885. They both have the same description. They both were riding horses; they both were killed at Hamp Talley’s ferry crossing. Did Thomas Bowman mistake John Middleton for Malachi and then wait until it appeared no one was going to try to find who murdered John Middleton? I do not know, but it raises all kinds of questions. John Middleton was supposed to always carry a lot of cash, he was well known in the area. He traveled frequently between Porum Landing and Dardanelle, Arkansas where his Mother lived. He had to stay out of Ft. Smith, Arkansas because he was a wanted man, so he always crossed Poteau River at the ford, which was west of Pocola and then went east to Dardanelle, thru what is now the Greenwood, Arkansas area. I wonder if Malachi was also in the habit of carrying cash, he was 32 years old on May 31st before he died. John Middleton was 41 when he was killed.

He could have thought the jury might have been more lenient on him for defending his wife’s honor rather than murder for money. Whatever retribution came sure and fast. He died of pneumonia in jail at Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Malachi’s murder took place during Hanging Judge Parker’s jurisdiction over Indian Territory. Judge Parker took the bench, 10 May 1875, and the court was discontinued, 1 September 1896. These records have been moved to Texas to the National Archives.

Grandmother was born January 1, 1882, so she was 3 years old when her father was murdered.


She said that her Mother died about 1888, which will fit in with other information given later.

From my talking with her:
  1. I was not sure of her Mother’s name. So I ordered a copy of her death certificate. Mother put on it that her name was Susan Roberts. I’m sure this must have been true as Grandma remembered the important things she was told so well.

  2. She was the 6th child born, the other 5 died at childbirth or shortly thereafter. I thought this highly unlikely until I found out her Aunt’s history with children. So it is most surely true. Allowing 1 ½ years per child would be 9 years so her parent married when her Father was 22 or about 1875.

  3. She remembered her Mother having hair so long that when she sat in a chair and sat on it, it still touched the floor.

  4. Her Mother was basically an invalid from the time Malachi died until she died.

  5. One cold snowy evening, her Mother told her to go to the neighbors and get their night meal. Grandma told her it was cold and she had no shoes. Her Mother told her to tie some rags on her feet and go get their meal; the people were not kin to them but were good enough to feed them. WHAT AN UNFORTUNATE REMARK! Grandma died not knowing the three women she called Aunt were her Father’s sister. BUT REMEMBER THE TIMES. I GREW UP CALLING PEOPLE AUNT, UNCLE, GRANNY THAT I KNEW WHERE NOT KIN, IT WAS A MATTER OF RESPECT.

I think that it was her Grandfather Stephen Herring and her Father’s youngest sister, whom she was named for, Arminda Caroline Herring. Her Grandfather died September 7, 1908 and Arminda “Aunt Minnie” did not marry until 1889, after her Mother died.

  1. Her next memory was being taken to Bengal (an old mining and timber town, north of Talihina) by Aunt Minnie and her husband Dr. James B. Jones. They almost starved to death at that place she said and in the middle of winter, they loaded up the wagon, Aunt Minnie heated rocks and wrapped them up and they kept their feet on them on the way back. They left her with Aunt Mary Switzer who shaved her head because her hair was thick with head lice. Grandma said she hated waiting on her hair to grow out. Also she said Aunt Mary was rough when she fixed her hair and always pulled it.

SO, this is where I was with the Herring Family until Mom called late one night. I’ve always been in bed all my life by 10 p.m. but after Daddy died Mom would read till real late and she certainly did not mind calling me between 11 and 11:30 at night when something came up in her mind. This night she called and said JOY, I want you to call a man at Poteau. His name is Orville Fry and every time I see him he makes a remark about us being cousins. Find out what he is talking about. I said okay Mom I’ll call Orville tomorrow, I know him. YOU DO!! WHY DO YOU KNOW HIM? Well he has worked on my lawnmower and he is also mine and your mail carrier Mary Monks Father.

Well I called Orville and asked him and he said I do not know how we are kin. My sister Earline Fry Winfrey at Tulsa might know, it is just what Mother always said. He gave me her telephone number and I called, she had the flu but could not remember ever knowing any more than Orville knew. This was just before Thanksgiving. Anyway out of the blue in April of the next year Earline called and said she had been cleaning out a closet and found 2 little boxes that her Mother had given her before she died and said Earline keep these, they belonged to your Grandmother Camsada Bonds. I have never opened them do you want to come up and look at what is in them with me. I said, can we come tomorrow and my Mother comes with me. She said sure. So Melba, Mom and I went to Tulsa. What a treasure those two little boxes were. They were those little boxes that small sheets of stationary came in with usually six envelopes. They were full of pictures, and old tin types and a day book that day laborers and farmers used.

This is the information written in the day book

Martha M. Hanna born October 6, 1823 in Alabama, died September 30, 1875 married Stephen E. Herring born February 26, 1826 in Alabama, died September 7, 1908 married on September 18, 1844 in Itawamba County, Mississippi. I called the county and they sent me a copy of the marriage license.

  1. Mary Jane, born July 10, 1845, died January 7, 1908 buried at Shady Point married Martin Switzer, an immigrant from Switzerland. They have 5 stillborn or died young sons buried in and around Shady Point. Their only child to survive was Sarah Elizabeth (We knew her as Aunt Sally and very nice), she married first Walter Pitts who was killed in a mine accident and then Richard Muncy who was a merchant and mayor of Keota. He had lots of children by his first wife. She had one daughter by Walter Pitts who died early but as a grown up.

  2. Elizabeth born December 26, 1846 (she was alive on the 1860 census but I know no more about her).

  3. Andrew Madison born September 18, 1848 died prior 1860

  4. Martha A. “Mattie” born September 25, 1850 died in childbirth April 18, 1887. Married H.H. “Hamp” Talley

  5. Malachi born May 31, 1853 murdered August 10, 1885.

  6. Stephen Pary born August 10,1855, died November 12, 1856

  7. Stephen C. born August 10, 1855 died before 1860

  8. Camsada “Aunt Sadie” born January 1, 1858 died March 1, 1932 married George G. Bonds December 25, 1879, they had two daughters. Jessie Melvina and Ethel who married Ralph Fry and was Orvile and Earline Fry Winfrey’s Mother.

  9. Arminda Caroline (Aunt Minnie) born March 6, 1860 and died September 26, 1942, married Dr. James B. Jones; they had one child Walter Jones. When she died they she across the fence from Milton Cemetery and on the north side of the school house.

  10. George Reuben born October 1863, died September 22, 1864.

Dr. James B. Jones was a practicing physician and also the first postmaster of Shady Point, at that time it was 2 miles west on the Latham Road and was called Harrison.

He apparently did more free medical care than what he got paid for.

My memories of Grandma McCullar, is that she was a very calm person and she loved to whistle. I liked sitting in her kitchen while she was cooking and softly whistling. Always upset me when Grandpa would come in and say “Minnie I’ve told you and told you that a whistling woman and a crowing hen would come to a no good end” Well at that time she was at least 78 years old and I thought she was wonderful.

I remember one of the black people who used to work for my Dad telling me he always thought Grandpa was mean to her. He said he told Grandpa, that they would horse whip a black man who had his pregnant wife picking up potatoes with a baby sitting in a washtub at the end of the row. So he, Lonzo, told her to go to the house and cook lunch for all of us and that was not what I meant, she should not be doing either of the jobs.

A little side note is due here. Aunt Beaulah Partain was so much like Grandma and I tried and tried to get her to talk to me about the family and she would not. Two days before she died Lanny ran to town and I was sitting with her. She said Joy I will tell you one thing, and remember this. My Father could not read or write when he married my Mother. She taught him to read and write while she was teaching us older children.


You would have thought that this would have been easier but it certainly has not been. Mainly because of the 1870 census that has lots of errors in it. Secondly, the later census has J.J. McCullar and it took several years and finding his sale of his farm near Mt. Ida and the deed was signed John Jackson, to even know what his name was. There had been a lot of guess work on his name.

This census taker in 1870 asked Name of Head of Household. Jack was the answer, as J.J. was also called Jack. Next question was age, the answer was 65, as J.J. was born in 1829 this was not his age. So the conjecture for years was that Jack age 65 was his Father, this is not true; Jane his Mother was 65 in 1870. So she was the person giving the information. Her age is consistent in census before and census after. She was born in 1795. Maiden name is not known at this time.


1850 Census of Greenville, South Carolina, Jane is with her husband William McCullough, 87, who was born 1763 in Ireland. I would think she is his second wife. THIS CONFORMS VERY WELL WITH WHAT GRANDPA ALONZO TOLD ME SEVERAL TIMES THAT THE LAST NAME GOT CHANGED BUT HE DID NOT KNOW WHY.

From the 1860 Census, William is dead and she is living with her daughter, Penelope Lucinda McCullough Martin, born 1831 and her grandchildren Ellen, born 1857, and John Martin, born 1859. Family history states that Penelope’s husband drowned crossing the Mississippi River in 1859.

NOTE:  After this information was printed and passed out at the Oct. 13, 2011 McCullar Reunion at The Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital in Dallas, Texas.  After the meeting, I was visiting Doris Jean “Dot” Kennedy Langford at the hospital in McAlester, Ok where she had been during the reunion as they were giving her a pace maker. Out of the blue she said ‘Have you ever heard of someone drowning while crossing the Mississippi River”?  I said yes, but who told you?  She said Uncle “Bud”, (this was Harland Dee McCullar).  He did not tell her who or she did not remember who.  Uncle Dee was old enough to have known John Martin, he also knew W.T. McCullar, so I think it is safe to assume they knew what they were talking about.  Now I think it is safe to say that Matliah Martin who was Penelope’s husband and his brother did drown while crossing the Mississippi River in 1860.  Penelope also lived with Elizabeth Martin, her sister-in-law and it was her husband who died at that time.  Thus for sure J.J. had one sister and maybe a whole slew of half-brothers and sisters if I am right in my thinking but have not proved it yet.


We also know that he had two own brothers, Benjamin and Thomas, along with John Jackson they enlisted in the Confederate Army on 11 December 1861 at Camp Moore in Louisiana. Their enlistments state that they were living in Union Parish, Louisiana at that time. John Jackson was a Private in Company E and was discharged 4 March 1864.

A statement from the Book, “Thomas McCullar, his kin and descendants”, published in January 2000 by Gene Brewington of J.J. “He (Thomas) was 6’ 2” tall, weighed 285 pounds, and by his own statement, “Never met a man he couldn’t whip”. He could stand on his head when he was in his eighties.

Well, his nephew, our Great Grandfather, W.T. did the same thing in his eighties. Mother said I would not go to Bokoshe on the Saturday of “Booster Days” because that old man with his long white beard would get on a street corner and stand on his head, so people would pitch pennies to him. When Sam Morgan knew he had only a couple of days to live he had his daughter Norma to call me to come to his house. What he told me was W.T. would go to Bokoshe and stand on his head on the street corner so people would pitch pennies to him, Sam was several years older than Mother.

Now, some about J.J. and his children.

J.J. was born 1829 in Georgia. He died after 1895 in Indian Territory. He married Martha Ellender, born Dec. 10, 1828 died Jan. 3, 1870 at Mt. Ida, Arkansas. Her Father John Ellender was born in Kent, England. J.J. and married her 1853 at Spearsville, Union Parish, Louisiana.

Their children:
  1. James C born Dec. 18, 1854 died Feb. 17, 1875 buried at Mt. Ida beside his mother.

  2. Nancy, born 1855 in Georgia. Her dress caught on fire at the wash pot and she died.

  3. William Thomas Breckenridge (W.T.) born Dec 17, 1856 and died Dec. 1938 he married Sarah Spicer and they are buried at Old Bokoshe Cemetery.

  4. Palmyra Jane (Clarrie) born Dec. 1860 date of death unknown. She is buried in an unmarked grave at Checotah, Ok. She died of a ruptured appendix. She married her first husband was John W. Cooper at Mt. Ida March 8, 1877. He was hung for being a horse thief. Her second husband was Marion Lewis Spicer. They were married at a double wedding with W.T. and Lewis sister Sarah Spicer. He rode a horse from Williams, Ok in a driving cold rain to attend her funeral and died three days later of pneumonia. They are buried side by side.

  5. Perry C. (Perryman), born Dec. 1861 in Louisiana. Died March 30, 1931, buried at Hilldale Cemetery near Hanna, Ok. He married Martha Baggs on Feb. 18, 1886 at Mt. Ida, Ark.

  6. Greenberry Dallas (Doc) born March 22, 1865 in Louisiana (see the 3 year skip here for the Civil War) died March 27, 1931. He married J.E. Moss Oct 11, 1891 at Mt. Ida, Julie French May 17, 1897 at McAlester and then Mary Ellen Shaddon Dec. 24, 1904 at Waldron, AR.

  7. Feriber (Fearby,) born Sept 26, 1866 in Louisiana. Died April 29, 1897 buried at Iron Bridge Cemetery at Keota, with her baby Aggie. Died of problems associated with child birth. Married Godfrey Stancill (Stancell) March 4, 1886 at Mt. Ida.

  8. Jane J., born 1869 in Louisiana. Married James R. Wheeler May 27, 1899 at Mt. Ida. She was the only child who stayed in Arkansas when John J. moved to Indian Territory.

They raised John Martin born 1868 in Louisiana. His Father drowned and his Mother was Penelope Lucinda, J.J.’s sister.

Then Martha died. He married Martha’s sister July 20, 1870 at Farmerville, Louisiana. Thus the conjecture for the reason he was not at home for the June 14, 1870 census is wrong. Farmerville is only 120 miles south of Mt. Ida.


Harriet Ellender was born 1854, in Mississippi. Thus she was 25 years younger than John J.

Their Children:

  1. George Wiley born Sept 27, 1871 at Mt. Ida, Ark. Died Feb 5, 1957 at Yanush, Ok, married first Maggie Carnes June 28, 1894 at Mt. Ida, AR, next Hibernia Nancy Gentry (Nannie) March 14, 1900 at McAlester, Ok. HER FATHER, DAVE GENTRY, FIGURES GREATLY IN THIS NARRATIVE. Of their children, Unia a daughter and their son, Lanie are important to us in more ways than one.

  2. Helen (Ellen) born 1872 at Mt. Ida, buried at Hartshorne, Ok married first an Upton at Mt. Ida, second William J. Dickson May 8, 1889 at Mt. Ida, AR.

  3. John Jewel born Dec 30, 1874 in London, AK died Nov 15, 1964 buried at Hartshorne, OK. Married first Oppie Stafford at McAlester, OK.

  4. Nov 4, 1899. This marriage license says Julius McCullar. 2nd wife Melissa Ella Spoon, of London, AK on Oct 1, 1910. They lived near Robber’s Cave State Park at Wilburton; she is buried at Hartshorne, OK. They had I believe her obituary says, 20 children, lots of children and at least two sets of twins.

    THE IMPORTANT CHILD OF THIS MARRIAGE WAS Buster born Oct 12, 1915 married Viola Nixon. Buster’s children were: Bandy, Markey, Norbid, Vera Joyce, Pearly, Goldman, Dee, Wanda, Nadine, Lela Buffo, Irene and Mayme. GRANDPA McCullar really liked Goldman. Goldman’s death is a mystery; he died in a one car accident Aug 29, 1970. The family does not believe it was an accident, nor do his friends that I have talked with. He had found a large bar of silver on Mountain Fork Creek one or two days before and had been showing it all over McCurtain. The bar of silver was not in his car.

    Vera Joyce is my age and she has been gathering information on the family as long or longer than I have, and we will have parts of some letters she received from family members who were older than our parents.

  5. Elmirey, born 1875, in Arkansas, per letter to Vera Joyce McCullar from Unia McCullar McDonald, stated that George Wiley said her dress caught on fire at the fireplace. She ran outside and he followed trying to catch her. By the time he caught her she was burnt real bad, he tore her dress off and they started to the Doctor with her; but because of the miles she died before they got there.

  6.  Mary T., aka Ivy, born 1877 in Arkansas, married A. Hanna of Cameron, OK 20 August 1896.

  7. Fay, a son born 1880, Unia McCullar McDonald wrote Vera Joyce that a girl “misconception because Fay was a common male name at that time” was riding the coupling pole on the wagon (this was a pole that stuck out from under the wagon in the rear, was for attaching buckets, milk cows, etc. to), was thrown off of it an on to a stump that had a sharp splinter sticking up and died at that time. As told by George Wiley McCullar to Unia his daughter.

  8. Benjamin (Ben) W. born 14 March 1886 died 26 Aug 1967 at McAlester, buried Hartshorne, OK with his first wife Laura E. Gainer. After Laura died he married Lilly-?-

  9. Howard H. born 19 Feb 1891 died 31 Dec. 1965. He married Hattie May Jordan at Hartshorne in 1910, they are both buried at Hartshorne. Their children and grandchildren operated various businesses at Hartshorne

  10. Sara Elizabeth born 24 Nov 1891 married Louis Alexander Terry at Spiro, Ok 21 June 1907. They moved to Seattle, Washington but she was brought back to Spiro for burial. Louis died at Spiro. They were divorced but she raised her son at Seattle and her Granddaughter Ann Terry lives at Hansville, Washington. She came and stayed two weeks with me in 2009 and came back this year 2011 and stayed with me a week. Reminds me of Aunt Jim.

Thus John J. was the father of 20 children. He was also a very successful farmer at Mt. Ida. He owned 360 acres of land, paid the most in real estate and personal property tax of any rural resident in the county.


This is where Vera Joyce’s letters come in handy.

From a letter, written to her (Vera Joyce), July 23, 1983, from Lanie McCullar. He was in his 80’s at the time of writing and living in Oregon.

Excerpt from the letter:

After Martha died, Grandpa went back to Mississippi and married her sister Harriet Ellender (we now know the Ellender’s had moved from Mississippi prior to his marriage to Harriet and were living at Farmerville, Louisiana), which was Dad’s Mother (Harriett), which was my Grandmother and she was a full blood Cherokee (not so, her Father was from Kent, England). I guess she was a holy terror-Unia (Lanie’s sister) remembers when she tried to poison the family-guess she decided she did not like white people. When she poisoned the food my Granddad on Mom’s side, Dave Gentry, got on to it and wouldn’t let the family eat the food-so Dad gave him an argument that he thought the food was OK-so Dave told him to feed some to Dad’s prize dog-he did and in a little while the dog died. His Father, George Wiley would have been 24 at the time.

This happened in Arkansas. J.J. immediately sold the farm; Harriet’s X was placed on the deed of sale. He then gathered up all the children except Jane as her husband did not want to move and came to the Williams area of Indian Territory. This was November 1895. He did not bring Harriett with them as thru this date of September 19, 2011 we still have not been able to find out any more about her. The baby Sara Elizabeth was 4 at the time and he brought her with him.

Excuses allow us to change history. Harriett and Martha could have had some Indian Blood but probably not Cherokee as their Mother Katherine Edwards was born 1813 in Caroline, Maryland.

When J.J. moved the family to the Williams area, they attended the Missionary Baptist Church of Christ at Friendship. Friendship was an old subscription school, subscription schools ceased to exist after state hood in 1907. It is on the Old Military Road that turns west at George Street in Pocola and wanders along the south bank of the Poteau River and then comes out at Williams. The Ford and Ferry across the river was between Williams and Panama for the south side and between Pocola and Spiro on the north side. The north side Ferry was Hamp Talley’s.

The Church Clerk was Martin Switzer who raised Grandma McCullar. I have a photocopy of the minutes; they are in the Library at Poteau. Melba would not want me to put this into this brochure but it can be read by anybody that wants to sit in the library and read it. It cannot be removed from the library.

  • July 1897 - Among other items, Brothers accepted by baptism: J. J. McCullar, ? McCullar, W.T. McCullar, Sisters accepted by baptism: Ethel Spicer, Ida McCullar, Sarah E. Switzer (we knew her as Aunt Sally Muncy, grandma’s cousin).

  • July 1901 - Sarah McCullar baptized

  • March 1902 - There was an argument the church got involved in on who owned a mare whether it was owned by W.T. McCullar or A.J. Henson. “Resolved by this church that the whole rent is false and that the said mare never was the lawful property of W.T. McCULLAR but was a stray running loose on the range at the time. Bro. Henson taking her up had the pony poste. Resolved”

  • July1904 - Brother Alonzo McCullar reported of being intoxicated.

After Alonzo’s funeral Grandmother McCullar told Aunt Ruth McCullar Broome that she knew her funeral would be held at the Church of Christ but she always had been a Baptist at heart. Things have a way of working out. Because there was no church large enough to hold her family when she died and her funeral was held at the School Cafeteria at Bokoshe, Ok.


He married Sarah A. Spicer born April 15, 1861 in Arkansas. She died November 11, 1927 and both are buried at Old Bokoshe Cemetery. Her Grandparents were Henry and Sarah Spicer. Her parents were Lewis and Mirain Spicer, on the 1860 census, Hugh Horton, stage coach driver was living with them.


  1. William Andrew Alonzo (Lon or Lonny), born October 1878 at Mt. Ida, AR. And died November 29, 1963, he is buried at Old Bokoshe Cemetery with his wife Arminda Delcina (Minnie) Herring. I think it is safe to assume they met at the Church at Friendship. SO MANY QUESTIONS I WISHED I HAD ASKED HER.

  2. Ida M. (Ann) born October 27, 1880 at Mt. Ida and died October 5, 1961 at Williams, OK. She is buried at Greenhill Cemetery with her husband Elias (Eli) M. Butler. I remember as being so very nice, to me.

  3. Sarah born November 20, 1884, in AR. Married Perry Terry September 21, 1907 at Ft. Smith, AR.

  4. Cordelia (Delia) born March 28, 1886 in Ark, died 1966. She married Andrew Joel (Aut) Goforth; they are buried at Greenhill Cemetery. She is the Great Grandmother of Jim Folsom of Kent, WA, who stays with me a week every 18 months. He is really different but we get along real well. I did not know her but knew where she had lived, being told one time by one of the Butler Cousins. THIS WAS ANOTHER one of Mother’s phone calls. Only this time it was 7 in the morning, she asked me if I knew where Aunt Delia used to live and I said yes. She said I will be there in 30 minutes I want you to take me to her house. SO BEFORE WORK, I took her to Aunt Delia’s house, which as of today it is still being lived in and is over 100 years old. When we got there, I told her I knew who lived there, did she want me to ask them if she could come in. Her answer “NO, I just wanted to know if you really knew where she lived”. No one like my Mother!!

  5. Walter Dee born January 17, 1888 in AR. He married Winnie Leodis Harding who died December 29, 1970 in Selma, Fresno, California. They had 9 children. The next to youngest was Arlin Ray born Sept 30, 1934 and married Ollie Mae Shropshire. SOMEHOW Ollie found out I was into family research, called Mother, who thought she had been dead for years and got my phone number. She then called me and asked me if she could send me some family information. She sent me a huge package of pictures and a full family tree down to the most current child of Walter Dee’s family. INCLUDED in the package was information on Alexander McCullar’s application for a Revolutionary War Pension. Uncle Jessie had sent it to Walter years ago but I cannot tie him to our family.

  6. Minnie born August 22, 1890

  7. Mary Lee (Aunt Lela) born January 7, 1893 and died April 10, 1981. She is buried at Hanna, OK cemetery. She spent most of her life in Vinita the asylum for insane people. Mother told me that they would find her without clothes on, on full moon nights dancing in the barn loft. They sent her to Vinita when W.T. and Sarah woke up one night and she was standing over their bed with the chopping axe.

  8. Hattie Viola born May 30, 1895 in Indian Territory. She married Luther (Butch) Kincaid at Bokoshe, Ok November 11, 1914. They are both buried at Holdenville, OK

  9. Shular born April 25, 1897 at Cameron, Indian Territory. Died March 30, 1981 and is buried at Hanna, OK. He was a private in the U.S. Army in WW1 and never married. His photos are so neat; he looks like all the girls would have chased him.

  10. Jesse born November 3, 1899 and died at Henryetta, OK on April 5, 1981. He and his wife are buried at Hanna, OK. He married Nellie May Whitfield, sister to Elisha Whitfield. Their parents were Luther B. Whitfield and Viola Hyde. Luther and Viola lived ½ mile west of Grandma Minnie’s goose pond in a really neat white house. The Gilbreaths bought it when they went back to Alabama. Gilbreaths were the ones living in it that I remember. Aunt Nellie was blind most of her life. I remember Uncle Jesse telling me that she had just painted the outside of their house and how nice it looked. She did a perfect job. It was Uncle Jesse who sent Alexander McCullar’s pension application to Uncle Walter Dee. Their 4th child is Orville Jesse (O.J.) he lives at Hanna; I called him to ask what he knew about the family. He said nothing and he did not know that his Father had done any research on it. He had inherited a large picture of W.T. and Sarah which he has on his living room wall.


Their parents were Palmyra Jane and Lewis Spicer. When they died so close together they took in the following and added them to their 10 children: Leander (Brunce), Jefferson (Jeff), Ellen, Estel, John, Clara, Lewis, Burtha Cordelia (thus there was two Cordelia’s in the family), Lisa Tennessee.


Their oldest was Grandpa born 1878. Tennessee the oldest Spicer child was born 1879. Their youngest was Jesse born 1899; the youngest Spicer child Lewis was born 1893.

All 19 children were successful in life. Life was not easy but they made it and raised really nice, hardworking children. I knew almost all of them and know lots of their children and grandchildren.

Tennessee‘s great grandchild Dewey Shoup owns D&D Pharmacy at Poteau. Her Great-Great Grandchild, Dennis Shoup, is Superintendent at Bokoshe.

Estel’s Great-Great Granddaughter is Carrie Underwood. She has really been successful with her singing career.


William Andrew Alonzo McCullar,
 born Aug 22, 1878 died November 29, 1963
Arminda Delcina (Minnie) Herring,
 born January 1, 1882 died February 14, 1983,
both are buried at Old Bokoshe Cemetery.

Telling the below tale about Aunt Case reminded me of one about Grandma. This was told to me years later by Mr. Cleve Scranton. He said Grandma came in his Grocery Store one Saturday during World War II. When she gathered up her groceries and took them to the counter, he glanced down and her underpants had fallen to the floor. You could not get elastic during the war so the women all put buttons on their under wear or draw strings. He said I cleared my throat a couple of times, looked around in the store to see if anyone was close. Leaned over the counter and said “Mrs. McCullar your bloomers are at your feet”. He said she did not even change expression, just stepped out of them, leaned over, picked them up and put them in her purse and continued her conversation. He said what impressed me so much was her calmness. She was always calm.

Their Children:

  1. Erie (Ary) D. born June 25, 1899 died December 25, 1976 married James Rudolphus Burgess born February 11, 1919 and died June 10, 1971 both are buried at Hanna.

    I can remember riding in the back of Grandpa’s truck to Hanna to see Aunt Erie a few times when Mother went up there with them. THE MOST AMAZING thing I remember was being on Grandma and Grandpa’s front porch at their 50th wedding anniversary when Millard came driving down the highway with Uncle James in the front seat of the pickup and Aunt Erie looking every bit like a Choctaw Indian Queen (I had just seen a picture of the Choctaw Chief Moshalatubbee) in that huge chair Millard had built for her and riding in the back of the pickup.

  2. Clara Angeline born October 24, 1901 died March 1978. She married Elisha E. Whitfield born 1896 and died March 27, 1940. They are both buried at Old Bokoshe Cemetery.

  3. Dr. Minor of Spiro was with Mother waiting for me to be born that day when Aunt Clara sent one of the boys up to Mother’s to get him. He died March 27, 1940 and I was born March 27, 1940.

    In 1950 we moved into the house he died in and lived there about 12 months. Mother could not live in it, she had horrible nightmares about Uncle Elisha being buried alive.

    Aunt Clara and I were buddies, she cooked at the lunch room at school, we rode the first bus, so got to school about 45 minutes before classes. I would go to the lunch room and open cans for her. Always stayed with her when weather was bad and did not want to walk back up the mountain after a night time activity at school. If weather was nice I always walked home afterwards.

  4. Beaulah born March 21, 1904 died February 22, 2001. Married Charles Edwin Partain born April 10, 1898 and died March 1, 1977. Aunt Beaulah!! I thought she had the spirit of an angel. Probably the daughter that was most like Grandma.

  5. Mina Minerva born September 27, 1906 and died April 23, 1907 at age of 10 months. Buried at Antlers, OK. I set her a stone in Old Bokoshe Cemetery. Wished I had thought of doing it before Grandma died. It worried her that she would be forgotten.

  6. Ruth born February 1, 1908 died. Married Charles Broome. Taught at the women’s reformatory at Gainesville, Texas until she retired.

  7. She amazed me. I thought she must be the toughest cookie around. I remember one Christmas she brought two of the girl's home with her. Grandpa was helping her load her car and I was just hanging around. He said Ruthie what did those girls do? They seem so nice. She did not even lift her head up out of the trunk. She just said “They murdered their parents”. The comeback was quick. He said RUTH don’t you ever bring another one of those girls home with you. Of course they did not murder their parents; she could never have brought a murderer out of the jail.

  8. Odie Mae born May 1, 1910 died January 21, 1911 buried at Old Bokoshe Cemetery

  9. Maude born December 5, 1911 died February 11, 1994. Married Lawrence Kennedy.

    Actually I’m ashamed to say I never really got very well acquainted with Aunt Maude. Since I helped Daddy in the peanut fields and Uncle Lawrence threshed them for us I knew him much better. He was fun and was always thinking of things to do. I remember the 4th of July pick nick at Mountain Fork Creek we had lots of fun. When I was at Uncle Lawrence and Aunt Maude’s I usually spent all my time in his Grandmother’s bedroom. I could really sit there all day and listen to her stories about when she was young. Mrs. Smith had more stories than I can remember now.

  10. Carrie Deletha (Case) born February 4, 1914 and died 1994. Married Pete Loren McLemore, they are both buried at Floral Haven Cemetery, Broken Arrow, OK

    When I was growing up and we would go to visit, she was always busy, as she worked full time. I remember Mother got mad at Daddy and we went to Aunt Case’s for about a month. She kept saying she was going to get a divorce. Then Grandpa McCullar showed up one day in his pick up and told her to gather up everything, she was going home, which of course we did.

    Another visit, when I was about 13, I stayed with them about a week. The highlight of that trip was climbing out the bedroom window with Bobbie Sue and going to the local hangout after everyone was in bed. I really thought our meat was hash but she got us back in the house without anyone knowing we were gone. But I always had doubts; I kinda thought Uncle Pete knew.

    My favorite story about Aunt Case was told to me by Aunt Jim. Saturday was the day that Grandpa took the butter and eggs to town and traded them for flour, coffee, etc. Aunt Case wanted something from town and Grandma told her that she would have to wait a week because the groceries they needed would use up all the butter and eggs money. And there was no extra money. She told Aunt Case to go draw the butter up out of the well and wrap it for town. Grandma did not mold her butter but put it into round one pound balls. Aunt Case went and got it and when she came in the back door of the kitchen she said “Jim did you ever see any damn butter rolls” and proceeded to roll those butter balls the full length of that 24 foot kitchen to Aunt Jim who was at the other end. Aunt Jim said she grabbed them up, rubbed them off a little bit and wrapped them up, before Grandma found out and Grandpa took them to town.

  11. Jimmye Thelma born June 16, 1916 and died Nov. 9, 2001. Married Robert Elsworth Nixon. Both are buried at Floral Haven Cemetery, Broken Arrow, OK

    Uncle Bob taught me how to watch a good golf game on television. He would call me during a golf game. I went shopping one time with Aunt Jim; we spent 6 hours looking for the perfect blouse, NEVER AGAIN.

    After Uncle Bob died and I was single I would go stay with her at least one week end a month. She was always so much fun.

  12. Harland D. (Dee) born October 1, 1918 died August 21, 1999. Married Grace Smith.

    Of all of my Aunts and Uncles on both Daddy and Mother’s side I would rather spend my time at their house. Life there was simple with no pretensions. Aunt Grace was a very good cook.

    I remember Uncle Dee running the water sprinkler on the lawn at night during hot summer nights, it made sleeping so nice. I remember the Fishing trips to Turner Falls, with all of Aunt Grace’s family. This was like being given a little bit of heaven while on earth. Uncle Dee taught me to like being out of doors for fun, instead of for work, like it was on the farm at home.

    I’m sure they never even thought of it but they made a huge impression on me as a child growing up. She was so calm, and he was so thoughtful. Of course a great big plus was being with Peggy and Ray and Kay.

  13. Opal Inez born September 10, 1920 died March 6, 2004 married Vernon Eugene (Cotton) Tanksley.

What do I say about my Mother?? We were noon time and evening and I’m not talking of the time we got up. She was all action.

She thought I was all dreams. I think she realized before she died that I dreamed for a long time before I put them into action.

That brings me to my research. When I started it, she could not understand why I would want to know. Before she died, she said one day too many things happen to you, when you are on a research trip. I believe these people want to be found.

She was thrilled the day I called her and told her that I had accidently found Fearby’s grave. I had gone with Philip to see if he could put a John Boat in at the old Whiskey Trail Crossing on San Bois Creek. Coming back he asked me if I had ever been at Iron Bridge Cemetery, it is on the East Bank at the Crossing I said I did not know there was a cemetery there. He turned down the road and we got out at the cemetery. He was walking down the center row calling out names. Two small stones in the center on the east side caught my attention and just seemed to pull me to them. When I got to them it was Fearby and her daughter Aggie.

I have spent so much time trying to put this together, that I dream about it. One night I dreamed I was standing at the edge of the woods, at early night, looking at a log cabin. It had a tiny window that had a slight orange glow, like a candle burning inside and for glass it might have had white canvas. I stood there a few minutes thinking who would live in the middle of this heavy forest? The door opened a small crack and a man’s voice said are you coming to bed tonight?  There was a woman sitting on a bench beside the door, she said in a few moments, it such a beautiful night tonight.

My first thought was that is where Stephen and Martha Herring are and it looks like along the south line of Missouri or the north line of Arkansas. At this point I had put in hours and hours trying to those Herrings but could not. The Herrings are numerous, they came to America very early, about the same time the Plymouth Rock people came. Anyway I could hardly wait until the Library at Ft. Smith opened the next morning which was Saturday. Because I wanted to find the 1860 census which gives a lot more information than some of the others and should have all the living children I had spent almost all of my Saturdays that year at the Library. This was before online census was available and Poteau had very few of the micro films, but Ft. Smith has all of the local states. Because Izard County was the only one of the northern counties census that was not being used, I started looking through it. Third page there they were. OF COURSE, that famous way of spelling the census takers used instead of asking how do you spell your name? It was spelled HEARIN.

I have one last story tell

The day that Grandma and Granddad moved to McCurtain, Mother had gone to help them. We went with her. There was one room in that house we had never been allowed to go into. It was the very back room behind the kitchen. I followed Grandma into it and to the left hanging on the wall was a Civil War Uniform. I asked her about it and she said it was Grandpa’s, I knew it was not my Grandpa because he was not old enough to be in the Civil War. I thought it was W.T.’s because Mother had told me the room was W.T.’s. I now know Grandma meant J.J. because he was the Grandpa that was in the Civil War. There was one other thing in that room; a very old camel back truck against the wall under the uniform. Grandma opened it to go through it and it had the oddest odor. I asked her about it and she said it was opium. That Grandpa had started using it during the Civil War. In 1973 I was walking down a sidewalk in Casablanca. I smelled that odor again. I told my husband Dave Monks, that someone was smoking a Hookah and then had to explain to him that was a water pipe. Anyway he laughed and we got to the corner and I could see two men sitting on a door stoop. I turned and went to them and asked them if they were smoking a hookah, one said yes, would I like to try it. I said no, but were they using Opium? They said yes. After all that time I still knew the smell.

Well I’m sorry but I have to tell you about Markey and the DNA test. Joyce, Ann and I decided to have a family member, male, to do the DNA test. I asked Joyce to ask Markey if he would do it. She hesitated, thinking that he would not understand, but he had been watching all the “who dun It” shows and knew instantly. He almost drove her crazy calling every day to see if the kit had come in and then while we were waiting on the results. When the results came in she told him he was a 63% match to Kelly McCullar of Farmerville, Louisiana. IN TRUE McCULLAR FASHION HIS REMARK WAS; “WELL WE KNOW THERE WEREN’T NO NIGGERS IN THE WOOD PILE”. We know Kelly’s great grandfather George McCullar was very close to J.J. and either his Uncle or Half-brother. Ann and I spent 4 hours with him in 2009. Since then he has been a 45% match with a McCullough in Ireland and one in Scotland. Which indicates that the family was probably in Henry VIII’s removal of people, in Scotland to Ireland when he confiscated the Catholic Church lands in Ireland. McCullar is not a name in either country. It is the American version of McCullough. Since William McCullough was here long before the Irish Potato Famine of the 1800’s when the majority of the Irish came to America, we know the family has been here a long time. Since at least 1764, as William was born in Ireland in 1763.

I do not know how long it takes for DNA to change or why it changes. I know it does and Ann has not had time to check it out for me. If it did not change then the scientist would not be trying so hard to find which race of people we came from.

Now I would like for each of you to write me a short set of memories so that we can pass these on down like the ones Joyce wrote to in the 80’s did. You can send you short stories and/or memories to me at the following e-mail address.

Revised: September 09, 2017