Tyra D and Rebecca (Wilburn) Bishop Family
Subject: Re: Placing Info On Website
Date: 28 Dec 97 From: email@example.com (Nancy L. Lee)
> Nancy, am going to place your email info out on my website... including
> the court documents about Greenberry Bishop... do you see any problem
> with this?...
Dear Bill, I see no problem with your using these records on the net. Maybe
they can add to someone's work. I am adding a copy of a presentation I gave
at Liberty Church last summer. Since it was a speech I didn't list sources.
I used works compiled by Grace Dillard. Actual church records, newspaper
articles, Pioneer families, and I believe the History of Callaway Co. Spent
a couple of hours at the Montgomery Co Historical Society today to get out
of the house. I am lost in time again! Nancy
LIBERTY CHURCH July 8, 1997
I get emotional about Liberty Church. I have a number of childhood memories
associated with this building and churchyard. As a small child I would
accompany my grandmother, Ruth Lavender Hale, to Liberty to clean the
church prior to Sunday services. The key was hidden under a rock in front
of the church and no one worried that it would be bothered to be there. My
older sister and I would come in and run up and down the aisles till my
grandmother scolded us. We walked throughout the cemetery reading
inscriptions. I never felt threatened in the cemetery, just like I was
visiting old friends I hadn’t seen for awhile. I guess this came from my
grandmother Hale. She spent many an hour walking this Cemetery and Augusta
Presbyterian Church cemetery with me sharing the lives of the people and
the families who built the community with me. I hope I can share some of
this local history with you today.
I remember standing up in the middle pew when I was five years old and
announcing I was staying a few days with my grandparents because my mother
had two babies. And I remember my grandfather Hale’s funeral service here
and the comfort I received from this church. Like a friend with their arm
tight around your shoulder to offer support.
Local historian, Grace Dillard, collected for many years bits and pieces of
history about the Shamrock community. She wrote the "History of Liberty
Church" that you may have seen. With out her accumulation of facts and
reccollections from those who have now passed a lot of history may have
On the third Lord’s day in August 1839 ten Pioneer Christians met for the
purpose of organizing a Christian Church. They met somewhere in the
neighborhood and more than likely at the home of William B. Douglas near
Loutre Creek. The church was organized and given the name of Liberty. In
November of the same year William B. Douglas was appointed Elder and John
T. Dillard, Deacon. Brother William B. Douglas became their first minister
and preached here for about 25 years.
The site of the first church building was located about a quarter of a
mile northwest of the now nonexistant town of Venice, just over the line in
Audrain county, on the farm of Pinckney French. The first church was made
of hewn logs from trees growing on the site. It faced south with a large
brick chimney on the west side. The bricks were probably baked on the
premises. On the east side was a lean-to-shed running the full length of
the east side. This was for the negro slaves. The logs between the lean-to-
shed and the main building were sawed out so that the slaves could enjoy
The floor of the main room was brick and the lean-to-shed was dirt. The
room was heated by a huge fireplace. The church benches were made from
The hitching post and stile block were near the creek, south of the church.
John Wells reminenced in the church history that he often had to go with
his mother to hitch her horse. That was something no LADY was supposed to
do in those days. The parishoners had to climb the hill on foot.
I would like to tell you a little about some of the charter members:
Barba Collins was born in Tennessee or Virginia the 27th of July 1793 to
William and Martha Isbell Collins. It is most likely that Barba was born
after his parents moved from Halifax County Virginia to Sumner County
Tennessee. After his William’s death in 1808 Martha and her brood of nine
children moved to Christian County Kentucky. William’s Will is recorded in
Christian County, Kentucky.
The siblings of Barba Collins were Elizabeth, who married a Mr. Howell,
Thomas, George, Daniel, Nancy who married Burger Harraldson, William and
Samuel who migrated to Pulaski County Arkansas, Martha who married John
Durham and James who married Nancy Chick.
Barba was a soldier in the War of 1812 fighting at the Battle of New
Orleans in 1814 where the British were soundly defeated.
Following the war Barba married Martha Johns August 27th 1818 in Kentucky
where they had a number of children.
1. W. D. born about 1822 in Ky. Was part of the group from Callaway
county Mo. to the gold fields of California in 1849.
2. Morgan H. born Oct 19 1823 in Ky. Joined his brothers on the wagon
train to California in 1849. But didn’t stay long as he married
Nancy Jane Surber in Audrain County on July 1, 1852 in Audrain
3. Samuel G. born in Ky. married Elizabeth Kemp. Joined the group from
Callaway County Mo. to the gold fields of California in 1849. A
Confererate soldier he was killed at the Battle of Pea Ridge.
4. Glover born in Kentucky
5. Joel B. the first child from this union born in Missouri about 1831
6. Robert born about 1833 in Missouri
7. Ann E. born about 1835 in Missouri
8. Mary born August 27, 1837 in Missouri married Andrew J.Douglas.
They lived south of the present town of Benton City and are buried
The move to Missouri must have occured in the late 1820’s to early 1830’s
based on the approximate birth dates of the children born in Kentucky and
Missouri. Various records give the date as early as 1826 and as late as
1833. Martha died in and is probably buried in the Collins cemetery in the
Shamrock area. The Cemetery is marked with native stones. Ruth Lavender
Hale said it lay in the fence row east of the cabin and was still visable
in the early 1900’s.
Barba and Martha were founding members of the Liberty Christian Church near
Shamrock, Callaway County, Missouri in 1839.
Barba married a second time to Polly (Chick) Read, the widow of William
Read. She had at least one child, Alexander, at the time of the marriage.
At least one source gives the location of this marriage as Kentucky but
this is doubtful since Martha was still living and in Missouri with Barba
as late as 1839. One child was born to Polly and Barba before Polly’s death
in 1843 or 44. Polly it might be noted was a sister to Barba’s brother
9. Lucy D. born in 1843 in Missouri married John Will Duncan a Confede-
rate veteran. They homesteaded in Texas.
Barba married a third time to the widow of James McMurtry, Serelda or
Terelda (Hayes) McMurtry. She was the daughter of Boone Hays a grandson of
the explorer Daniel Boone. Serelda had at least five McMurtry children at
the time of their marriage November 19, 1844 in Callaway County, Mo.
Two children were born to this union
10. Amazon born in 1846 married Izprah Calbreath. Like his brother he
was a Confederate soldier. He was killed in an accident in 1927
and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Mexico, Mo.
11. Martha born in 1848 married Alfred B. Hayes.
On the 1850 Census there were 15 people living in the Collins cabin west of
Barba died at his son’s home near Shamrock on July 3rd 1879 in his 86th
year. He is buried in the Collins Cemetery.
I am a descendant of Barba and his first wife Martha John Collins.
JOHN T. DILLARD
The parents of John Dillard were natives of England. John settled in
Caroline County Virginia marrying Lucy Taliaferro, whose parents were
natives of Ireland. They had a number of children:
1. Thomas, a surgeon died in Philadelphia
2. John T. married Margaret Steele, of Missouri, and settled in Callaway
County in 1832.
3. Mary married John Waller, of Kentucky, who settled in Callaway County
4. Isabella married John French, who settled in Callaway County in 1821.
5. William, a physician, married first Martha Hochaday, of Kentucky,
settling in Callaway - county in 1832. After her death he married
6. Margaret married James Hochaday, of Kentucky settling in Callaway
County in 1831.
7. Franklin E., also a physician married Ann Bernard and after her death
he married her sister settling in Callaway county in 1833.
8. James D. married Sallie A. French settling here in 1833.
Grace Dillard a decendant of the Dillard family is a retired school teacher
currently residing in the Mexico Manor retirement home. She spent many
years collecting photographs and interviewing the old timers. She has
generously shared a number of her works with the Callaway County library
and Historical Society.
WILLIAM B. DOUGLAS
William B. Douglass was born in Bedford county Virginia on the 27th day of
January 1810. Coming to Callaway county Missouri in 1830 he first taught
school near Readsville.. A number of his students were grown pupils who
didn’t know their letters.. It was the fashion then to study out loud in
the schoolroom, and each one would try to get his lessons in a louder tone
than the others. At times the noise was so great it could be heard one half
It was probably there he met his future wife, Lucy Chick, who had come from
Christian County Kentucky, with her mother and 8 of her 14 siblings to
Callaway county in 1830. William and Lucy moved across the line in Audrain
county in 1833. Here he farmed and taught school in the winter months for
Settling on Loutre Creek in the early pioneer days of this area, his home
was a stopping place for many new-comers . Appreciating the disadvantages
under which new-comers laboured he threw his door open to many families as
a temporary home.
Although he was brought up in the Presbyterian faith after a meeting
conducted by Rev. Marcus P. Wills he switched to the Christian faith and
first preached on the 3rd Sunday in June 1832. Mr. Douglass was frequently
called on to marry couples. On one occasion he went seven miles to marry a
couple, through a drenching rain, swimming several creeks that lay in his
route, and returning the same day, for which he received fifty cents. Then
he had to go thirteen miles on a cold and rainy day and pay that fifty
cents to have the marriage recorded. Such were the trials of pioneer
William Douglass never made any charge for his preaching in his twenty five
years with Liberty church. However, once the officers of the church felt a
sting of conscious about this and believing they might wound his feelings
if they made the offer. The officials stewed over this for a couple of
months finally getting up the nerve to send one man to ask if he would be
offended if they took up a collection for him. To which he replied that he
would gladly receive any amount they would contribute. After much scurrying
and hurrying about twenty dollars was collected and presented to him. This
grand old Christian then turned to the deacon handing him the entire amount
and told him to keep it for the benefit of the church. The well you see at
the northeast corner of the present building was the benefit of the
contribution taken up for twenty five years of loyal service for the Lord.
William and Lucy Douglass were the parents of ten children:
1. David W.
2. Sallie A. both of whom died early in life
4. Nancy J. who married Robert Sallee
5. William A.
6. Jacob W.
7. Joseph C.
8. Martha C. who married William S. Bullard
9. John W.
10. Samuel H.
In addition to their own children they raised the two orphan children of
William B’s brother, Edward H. and Mary J. Ogden Douglass, formerly of
Bedford County Vrginia. Edward and Mary with two small children had come to
Missouri settling on Loutre Creek not far from William and Lucy in 1837,
but he and his wife both died the following year from the effects of a dose
of poison they took through mistake, believing it to be calomel. They left
two children both small. James W. and Andrew J. James W. had a blacksmith
shop at Guthrie. Andrew married Mary Collins the daughter of Barba Collins.
He held the office of justice of the peace in Loutre Township, Audrain county
and later presiding justice of the court as well as president of the court.
Uncle Billie Douglas, as he was fondly called, won the hearts of people by
his two most predominate characteristics, modesty and humility. He passed
on in 1880 followed by his widow in 1883. They are buried at Unity Cemetery
south of Benton City.
Mary probably was the wife of Banks Hall a neighbor of the Douglass family
WILLIAM, ISABELLA & RICHARD PEARSON
At this time I have found no record of them beyond their names on the list
of Charter members.
In 1853 Tyra Bishop and his wife Rebecca donated land for the churchyard
and cemetery. It was located in Callaway County in Section 9, Shamrock
township 49, Range 7 West. At this time the first of three churches was
erected on this site. It was never painted.
Mr. John Wells laid the foundation and Mr. Austin built the building. It
faced south with two doors on the south side. The pulpit which was three
steps high stood between the doors. Late comers had to enter facing the
congregation which was embarrasing for them. As was the custom of the day
the pews were divided by a plank nailed down the center of the middle row
of benches. Men sat on the east half and women on the west half. A young
man bringing his girlfriend to the east door then hurried to the west door
and if they maneuvered it just right could sit on the same bench.
There were usually three church services. One held on Saturday night and
two on Sunday. Membership had risen to 170.
In 1873 the building was deemed unsafe and a new building built.It was a
white frame building with two doors on the south. A fence surrounded the
building with a stile block on the south and hitching posts on the west and
south sides of the church yard.
William Douglass’ son often said the records of the church were buried in a
tin box under the pulpit of this building. In December 1890 membership had
risen to 214.
After 39 years this building was too replaced during the summer of 1912. A
crowd of 4 to 500 was assembled to pay their respects to the passing of
the old church that meant so much to them and their forebearers that Sunday.
George Edward Hale was hired to build the new church at a cost of $1600
which was collected before work was begun. It was their fourth building and
the one currently standing. Lumber was hauled by team and wagon from
Auxvasse. A trip took a full day. To make this more interesting young
ladies of the community would accompany young men furnishing a lunch to eat
along the way. Many local men assisted Uncle Ed Hale with the building. As
this church has always felt a part of the community.
The new building was quite large for a rural church. There are two doors on
the south side entering into a vestibule. The back room served as a Sunday
School room and later as a dining area. There are five windows in this area
which provide ventilation and light. At first the church was lit with gas
lamps and later replaced with electric lights.
At the dedication service in November 1912 the crowd was too large for the
building spilling over into the church yard. The new building was free of
debt and $745 was raised by the congregation that day.
Besides monetary contributions, gifts were donated :
The stain glass window in the pulpit area was placed there by Forest and
J.J. Noel in memory of their mother, Mrs. Linnie Covington Noel.
The pews were a donation given by Elmer Johnson, my great grandfather in
memory of his parents who are buried in the Liberty Cemetery. The H.O.
Peery family donated the wooden collection plates in memory of their mother.
Before this the men’s hats were used.
Over the years the community has changed and people moved in and out of the
Shamrock area. Services began being held only on the first and third
Sundays with a lunch served on the third Sunday. During this time a few
changes have been made. The inside and outside of the church were renevated
in 1953 & 4, the floors sanded and a furnace installed. The east vestibule
was made into a kitchenette and hinged tables hung on the south and east
walls of the Sunday School room.
On October 15, 1939 the church celebrated its 100th anniversary with an all
day meeting accomadating 500 people. Several former pastors were in
attendance including A. F. Larson who served the congregation for 22 years.
Hollie Hale, my great uncle who was raised just south of the present
church in the home now occupied by his nephew, Don Hale. J. D. Greer and
In the early days of the church protracted meetings held an important part
in building the church. A protracted meeting was usually held in the
morning and evening for from 5 to 15 days. The congregation usually became
a little more enthusiastic and jubilant than at a Revival. The protracted
meetings were usually held in July, August or September and not much later
than October since "Old Loutre Creek" was the scene of baptism.
The first baptising pool to be mentioned in the records was the one near
"Old Todd’s Mill" and second the "Old Baptising Hole" both on Loutre Creek
on the present Don Hale farm.
Reverand A. F. Larson served the congregation longest pastoring for 38
years, from 1918 to 1956. Besides pastoring Liberty church he served as the
pastor of the Auxvasse Christian Church and joined the faculty of William
Woods College in Fulton in 1927. For 25 years he taught the Men’s Bible
Class at the Christian Church in Fulton. During his active ministry in
Callaway county he also served at Hams Prairie and Richland Christian
Churches. He enjoyed the affectionate title of "Parson Larson" because it
typlified him, a favorite minister in times of happiness and sorrow alike.
A number of families have played vital rolls in the life of Liberty Church.
I hesitate to start naming these families for I know I will leave out some
one. Please know if I don’t include a family it is an oversight from
ignorance only and I mean no disrespect:
The Lester Peery family -- I remember Ruth Peery playing the piano
throughout my childhood.
The Bishop family, Boswells, McCowns, and Hales. The Noels, Covingtons and
The Simpsons and Erwins -- I remember Effie Simpson Erwin visiting me in
the hospital and her gift of an apple. I was too sick to eat it but I’ve
never forgotten it because I associated her with this church and the love
and peace I felt here.-- I remember the Erwin family all of my life. When I
moved to Hannibal in 1985 I was drawn to a church there only to discover
the Sunday School teacher to be, Delores Helbing, a grandaughter of Elbert
Erwin the former Superintendent and Sunday School teacher from Liberty.
Immediately I had a friend and felt at home.
The Lail family, the Coils, and the Dillards. Grace Dillard taught grade
school at the 4 room school house I attended.
The Romans, Holts, Hortons, Garvers, McCowns, Johnsons and Cranes are old
families of this community.
All these families feel like home to me and their names represent the
Most of the area families migrated here from Virginia or Kentucky. Coming
with other family members or joining former neighbors or relatives who came
ahead of them. Like all old communities, you can’t talk about any one
because sure as the world they are kinfolks. Even those who aren’t actually
related claim kin because of the close association of the families
throughout the years as our family and the Robinson and Wilburn families
have for generations.
Callaway County was a farm community and before the civil war many families
owned a slave or two. Generally, I believe they were treated well. The Noel
family had a slave, Em Smith. After her freedom was granted she chose to
remain with the Noel family. Em is buried here in the Noel family plot with
her wards she cared for so well. I grew up every spring picking Virginia
bluebells started in her flower garden at my grandmothers.
On the wall in the Sunday School room you will notice a framed list of
veterans buried here and in surrounding cemeteries. Since this was rebel
territory, you will note that only veterans of the Confederate States of
America are included in list of veterans from the war between the states.
Each Memorial day a flag is flown at half mast in the center of the
cemetery to honor our veterans.
The Liberty Church Cemetery Association was organized in October of 1883.
They had to send a representative to Jefferson City to enlist the Governors
help in granting a franchise. The name was later shortened to Liberty
Out in the Cemetery a good many of my ancestors were laid at rest. My
great, great, great grandmother Dye. And her daughter, Mary who married
Richard E. Johnson. He was a brother of the New Florence Johnson family.
They are my great, great, grandparents. My Hale grandparents and great
grandparents are resting on the eastern side of the cemetery. As well as my
parents and a neice. My son’s great great grndfather on his father’s side
can be located with a homemade marker in the northwest corner. As well as
so many cousins and aunts and uncles I can’t begin to list them all.
One of the most interesting tomstones in the cemetery has a story that goes
along with it:
In September of 1877 a Union Pacific train car was robbed 162 miles west of
the Wyoming Territory by six masked men. They secured $65,000 in coin and
$500 in currency. The train passengers were relieved of their cash and
One of the six mask men was James Berry. A detective was put on the trail
of the men. He overheard Berry and a man by the name of Collins talking
about their plans and where they lived. Berry was subsequently followed to
Callaway County. A posse out of Mexico forced a neighbor of Berry’s to lead
them to his home near Shamrock.
Berry was ambushed near his home. Evidence found on him pointed to the
robbery. Sherriff Glascock shot James Berry in the leg as he ran from them.
His wife and six small children were greatly distressed as their home was
searched. He was taken to the Ringo Hotel in Mexico to await trial. But
died within a few days of gangreen.
Local sentiment ran high for Berry, as it did for the James boys and
Youngers. This being a neighbrhood of southern families. James Berry’s
tombstone was inscribed killed by sherrif Glascock. The Sherriff’s family
was put out by this, and as I understand, it was their family that broke
his stone into.
For years the bottom of the stone was stored in a caretakers shed. My
grandmother Hale told me the story many times and showed me the broken
stone. It is now at the gravesite, still in two pieces. You can locate
this in the area of the flag pole.
My grandmother said the possee passed by my great great grandparent’s home
inroute to Mexico. They ask for water for the horses and received quite a
tongue lashing from Margaret Witten Hale. Her sympathies were with anyone
who had fought for the south, as James Berry had. The Hale home had been
burned out twice while her husband fought for the Confederacy.
Walter Higgenbottom told my sister that as he grew up he was taken to the
spot James Berry was ambused many times by his father and told the story,
so he wouldn’t forget the history of the community.
I hope you have learned a little about the history of our community down
here. We have our individual families, but most of all, we are people of
the Shamrock community. Decendants of a pioneers who sometimes erred but
for the most part were solid people building their community through hard
work, hardship, and a firm trust in God.
Nancy Hale Lee
1062 Co. Rd. 1041
Martinsburg, Mo. 65264
July 8, 1997