Published by the Wright County, Missouri Historical Society

For information on the book, contact the Wright County, Missouri Historical Society


This transcription has been carefully proofread, but, as with all such works, mistakes are possible. Corrections to the text as it appears in the book are welcome.

IMPORTANT:  In the interest of genealogical accuracy, it is necessary to note here that certain facts cited in articles here come from faulty initial research many years ago which has been passed down for several generations as "fact." So in an effort to correct this error, we note here that, at the time of this posting, there is NO CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE as to the parents of "Old" James Claxton who married Temperance Ratliff/Rackley and moved from Bedford Co., TN to Wright Co., MO. If anyone has that CONCLUSIVE PROOF, PLEASE, PLEASE share it as MANY Claxton researchers are VERY INTERESTED in finding this evidence!!! Please e-mail me with any corrections, evidence, or questions about this Claxton line.



[PAGE 244]

CLAXTON- Alfred Raymond “Alf” or “A. R.” Claxton was born in Wright County April 4, 1884.  He grew up in the county on April 27, 1907 married Rebecca Emaline “Reba” Jones who was born in 1886.  Reba had taught schools in Wright County.  They settled in the county where Alf farmed and also operated general stores in Smittle and St. George.

            Alf’s parents were Henderson and Nancy Jane Claxton.  Henderson was born in Tennessee in 1822.  His family migrated from Tennessee to Missouri.  Alf’s cousin, P. P. Claxton of Tennessee was the first U.S. Commissioner of Education.

            Alf and Reba had four children:  Russell Tinsley (Feb. 13, 1908 – 1987); Rolland Dallas (Jan. 26, 1910-1972); Fay Bernice (Williams) (Jan. 19, 1918) and Fred F. (May 28, 1920).  Fay and Fred live in Benton, IL.  Russell and Rolland attended Hartville High School.  The family moved to Kansas City in 1929.  Alf died in Kansas City March 31, 1967 and Reba died in 1957.

            Fred had three children:  Anne Elyse (1954) lives in Dallas, TX with her eleven year old daughter Jordan; Laura Fay (Eader) (1956) lives in West Frankfort, IL with her husband and two children, Sara Elizabeth (1983) and Matthew Kay (1990); James Timothy (1960) lives in Benton , IL with his wife Amy and two children, Jason (1983) and Mart Katherine (1990).  Submitted by Fred Claxton


CLAXTON-George Fian “Andy” Claxton (1879-1961) and Ila Young Claxton (1879-1959) set up housekeeping on eighty acres along Elk Creek near a spring that was called “Andy’s Spring” by the oldtimers.  In times of drought, neighbors hauled water from the spring and travelers passing nearby watered their horses and themselves. Arrowheads found in and around the spring gave evidence of former occupation by Indian Tribes.  When the new road was built on higher ground, Andy built Ila another home which is still standing and is occupied by a family.  In this home, Ila gave birth to their only child, Clarence Elmer (July 28, 1899-Oct. 29, 1989).  They also took in Baine Hamilton and raised him as their own until his passing at the age of sixteen.


[picture:  Claxton – 50th wedding anniversary (1957):  Russell, Fay, Rolland and Mary, Reba and Alf, Fred and Evelyn holding Anne and Laura.]


            Clarence paid court to Doshia Mae Smith (1899-1955) and won her hand in marriage on August 8, 1918.  Doshia was one of thirteen children whose parents were John P. (1850) and Ellen M. Moorehouse Smith (1858-1941).

            Clarence and Doshia made their home on a farm three miles from Andy and Ila.  Into this home four sons were born:  Dwight of San Diego, B. T. “Bill deceased, Dolan of Competition and John T. of Lebanon, MO.  Clarence and Doshia had ten grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

            Ila’s parents were Tom and Nancy Palmer Young.  Andy’s parents were John Wesley (1832-1924) and Samantha Sumner Claxton (1842-1909).  Submitted by John T. Claxton


CLAXTON-William Calvin Claxton (1853-1934), son of James Anderson and Elizabeth Jane Harrison Claxton, married Emma Elizabeth Campbell (1858-1937).  They had:  A. Della (1875) married Mr. McBean; R. Mista (1877); Charles M. (1879); Leese E. (1881); Claude E. (1883); twins Clara and Harry (1885).  Harry married Margaret Young; Clema (1887) married Grover McHenry; S. Allie (1889); John Newton (1891-1973) married Bessie Agnes Cottengim (1892-1976); Oma O. Claxton (1893) married Bob Barham; Roy C. (1895).

            “Uncle Cal” and “Aunt Emma” lived along the banks of Woods Fork where they homesteaded.  Cal and his brothers, Newton Cyrus and Henry, had adjoining farms.  John Newton and Bessie Claxton came back from California and settled on the farm when Cal and Emma moved to Hartville, locating on Peep Hill.  The farm is still in the family.

            John Newton and Bessie Cottengim Claxton had:  James William (1916) married Oma Flora Addington and had James Keith (1941).  Dennis Bruce (1945) and Gary Newton (1948); Gene Cottengim married Eunice Jean Crellin; Billy Burke (1921-1942 during World War II); Betty Nell (1926-1944) from injuries received in a car accident on the night of the Junior-Senior banquet).  Submitted by Wanda Keith


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CLAXTON-James Cannon (Jan. 20, 1849), son of James Anderson and Elizabeth “Eliza” Jane Harrison Claxton, bought a farm on Elk Creek which he sold to Edward A. Claxton. Then, Cannon bought a farm farther down on Elk Creek along what is now Highway Z.

            Cannon married Nancy Young and they had three children:  Canzada married Jim Baker, had Emmitt, Ruth, Nancy and Lee; Albert married Cora Bohannon, had five children who died at birth; Della married Roy Edwards, had Othel, Myrtle, Lee, Edna and Eula.

            Nancy died and is buried at the Claxton Cemetery.  Cannon then married Jeritha Baker Rogers, daughter of Andy Baker.  She had married George Rogers and had three children:  Will accidentally shot himself in the mouth with a muzzle loading rifle while blowing through the muzzle to see if it was loaded; Minnie married Truston Rippee and Martha married Tom Lawler.

            Cannon and Jeritha had:  Jane married Will Lawler, had Clarence who died in 1991; Bland, who died as a teenager when a horse ran away with him causing Bland’s head to be caught between a gate and gate post; Lina married Grover Cook, had Clifford, Hazel and Lowell, second married Roy Coffman, had Jimmy and Juanita; Sarah Elizabeth married Clay Cravens, had Peggy, Winfred, Clifton, Edwin, Richard, and Sarah Frances “Sally”; James “Jim” married Dellar Moore, and drowned in 1933 swimming in the river at the Hurricane Hole on the Gasconade.

            Cannon was a very prosperous farmer.  He told his brother, Ed that he would put in a hundred dollars for every ten dollars Ed gave for the construction of the Claxton Community Church.  Many of the Claxton family members are buried in the Claxton CemeterySubmitted by Wanda Keith


CLAXTON-Charles Vance Claxton (Oct. 20, 1885 in Competition, MO) married Mary “Bood” Cline (Feb. 1, 1879 in Evening Shade, MO).  They had four children:  Everett Ely (April 4, 1907) married Hazel Johnson; Pearl Lee (Feb. 13, 1909) married Myrtle Blanche Wade, daughter of William Alvin and Bertha Ann Rippee Wade; Haden Jurl (May 13, 1914) married Erma; Clint Lee “Buzz” (Sept. 29, 1916) married Irene Labrinsk. 


[Picture:  Charles Vance Claxton Family (1946) – Pearl Lee, Charles Vance, Hayden Jurl, Mary “Bood”, Clint Lee “Buzz” and Everett Ely.]


            Charley, son of John W. and Samantha Claxton, was raised in the Elk Creek area north of Manes.  When he was a young man, his bachelor uncle, Mike Claxton, gave him some land to farm.  In the 1920’s he lost interest in the farm, sold it and bought a store in Manes.  It was one of those old-time stores where the men sat around an old potbellied stove, whittled, chewed tobacco and told tales.  Charley’s first grandson, Mike Claxton, used to spend lots of time at the store.  The men taught him to chew tobacco when he was about four.  Charley and Mary kept Mike most of the time even when he was older.

            The Depression took it’s [sic] toll on Charley’s store and he was forced to sell it in the mid 1930’s.  He went to Shoshone, Idaho and found work.  His sons, Pearl, Hayden and Clint soon followed him to Idaho.  Charley spent the rest of his life in Shoshone, working as a farm hand and later as a bartender.  He died Feb. 2, 1951 and Mary “Bood” died Jan. 31, 1957.  They are buried in the Shoshone, Idaho CemeterySubmitted by Billy M. Claxton.


CLAXTON-Clarence Elmer Claxton (July 28, 1899-Oct. 29, 1989), and Doshia Mae Smith were married August 8, 1918 and made their home on a farm three miles from Clarence’s parents, Andy and Ila Claxton.  Clarence had attended Fincher School in Wright County and had taught there for one year after he graduated.  After his marriage to Doshia, they farmed and later both worked at Ft. Leonard Wood.  Doshia and Clarence always enjoyed the visits of relatives and friends (especially young people) in their home.


[picture:  Clarence and Doshia Claxton]


            Clarence and Doshia had four sons:  Dwight, Dolan, B. T. “Bill” and John T.  Doshia, one of the thirteen children of John P. (1850) and Ellen M. Moorehouse Smith, passed away April 9, 1955.

            On March 12, 1961 Clarence married Velma Irene Kelly and they moved to Kansas City, MO where they worked at Sears.  When they retired, they moved to Miami, OK and lived there until Oct. 29, 1989 when Clarence passed away at a “youthful” ninety.

            Clarence and Doshia’s descendants in 1991 number:  three sons, nine grandchildren, nine step-grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, fourteen step-great-grandchildren and six step-great-great grandchildren.  Submitted by John T. and Joan Claxton


CLAXTON-Dudley C. Claxton (1857-1933) married Emily Coday (1860-1909), daughter of Samuel and Mary Jane Binkley Coday in 1879.  They owned a farm in the Pleasant Hill community five miles west of Hartville only two miles from where Emily was raised.  Although they had no children, they raised Oma Pierson one of four children of David W. G. and Sarah Jane Stacy Pierson.  Oma’s twin brother Oda, her sister Mary and another brother Arthur were all raised by other people after David abandoned his family for another in Arkansas.  Sarah Jane gave her children away and left never to be heard from again.


[picture:  Dudley and Emily Claxton]


            Emily made her profession of faith at the age of 15 and remained a true and devoted Christian until her death. She and Dudley are buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery.

            Dudley was a deacon in the Pleasant Hill Freewill Baptist Church from 1902 until his death.  Not only did he farm very successfully, but he was also a salesman for Bate’s Liniment and drove around the countryside in a buggy selling this product which was good for internal and external application for whatever ailment one might have.  Later he drove a “Tin Lizzie” (Ford car).

            The following “receipt” for this liniment has been copied from a letter dated Feb. 28, 1908:  “one gallon terpentine [sic], two ounces each of oil Sassafras and oil Organum, one ounce each of oil Amber and oil Cedar, 4 ounces oil Gum Campur.  Put all together and let stand over night.  Then, ready for use.  Makes one gallon linament.”

            After Emily’s death Dudley married Mary Belle Shaddy whose husband had died. Dudley and Emily had intended for Oma to be their adopted daughter and heir.  They had the adoption papers drawn up but never signed them.  After Oma’s husband told Dudley that Oma could not inherit from him without the papers being signed and witnessed, Dudley and Mary Belle signed the adoption papers.

            The Claxton house with a few changes and repairs was still standing and livable until it burned in the early spring of 1991.  Submitted by Phyllis Rippee


CLAXTON-Edward Anderson Claxton (1871-1937), son of James Anderson and Eliza Jane Harrison Claxton, was raised on a farm along Woods Fork. In 1891 he married Ella Susan Bolian (1876-1949), daughter of James A. and Elizabeth Rippee Bolian. Ella was raised in the Pleasant Hill community.  Edward and Ella lived on his father’s farm until moving to homestead forty acres on the east side of Elk Creek. With fifty dollars to start a household, they purchased a four-cap cookstove with pots and pans included, a safe, a dresser and a corded bedstead from Cannon Claxton.  Later, additional land was purchased from James E. Claxton, George Washington Admire and Alec Smittle.  James Bolian and his son, Homer, were carpenters and constructed several buildings on this Claxton farm. 


[picture:  Edward Anderson and Ella Bolian Claxton (1936)]


            Edward and Ella were the parents of:  James Anderson married Jesse Webb; Verta Alice married John Moore; Opal Dexter married Ansel Stewart (see story); Ola Agnes married Sam Cravens; Julian Webb died young; Harold Clinton died young and Betty married John Fisher.  Verta, Ola and Betty are still living in Wright County.

            Edward was a farmer and cattleman.  The cattle were driven to market at Niangua and Conway.  After one such cattle drive, the money from the sale ($1800) was rolled and placed in a mug on the fireplace.  Ella was still recuperating from Harold’s birth when someone entered the south bedroom, found the middle door locked and went around to the east door which was also locked. 


[p. 246]

No entry was gained and all were safe.  The money was taken to the bank the following day.

            All meat and food was raised on the farm.  Ed raised wheat and corn which were taken to the mill and ground into flour and cornmeal.  He always went hunting on Thanksgiving morning.

            Edward donated money and labor to help build the Claxton Community Church for the Free Will Baptists who were meeting in the Mount Olive School.  They failed to organize in 1911 because Lina Claxton refused to move, thus allowing the Cumberland Presbyterian Church to be organized in 1912 and occupy the new building. The organizing leaders were Edward, Cannon and Andy Claxton; Alfred and Edward Hillhouse; James Emmerson and Arch Webb.  Edward was ordained a ruling elder and was honored by the Presbytery by being sent as a commissioner to General Assembly in McKenzie, TN.

            Ella was kept busy around the house and taught the girls how to cook and sew.  She was usually seen wearing a hat.  The family moved from Elk Creek to a farm on Highway 38 west of Hartville in 1932, where the John Fisher family resides in 1991.  Submitted by Wanda Keith


CLAXTON-The Claxtons were originally from England.  All Wright County Claxtons descend from James Claxton (1798 in Virginia-1871) and Temperance Ratcliff (some say Rackley) (1804 in North Carolina-1877).  They settled and farmed in Bedford County, Tennessee. When they decided to move [to] Missouri, one of their sons, Joshua Calvin and his wife Annie Jones remained in Tennessee and were the parents of Philander P. Claxton, a southern educator for whom Claxton, GA was named, as was Roy Claxton Acuff of Grand Ole Opry fame. 


[picture:  George Claxton family – Front:  Billy Gene, Bobbie Sue, Maxine.  Back:  George, Goldie, Belle (McClanahan) Ruby, Verba Lee and Vergie.]


            Another son of James and Temperance, Henderson C. married Susan Harrison and had:  Angeline (1850); Martha (1852) married Robert McDaris; Samuel (1855-1940) married Eliza Hillhouse and Cynthia (Shaver Latimer); Alice (1858) married Mr. Mathis; James (1859-1947) married Caroline Palmer and Jessie Barnett; Laura (1861-1884) married James Cope; John (1862-1949) married Leora Hamilton; Jane (1864-1947) married Bud Wynn; William (1866-1953) married Sarah Hillhouse and George Calvin (1868-1944) married Belle McClanahan (1882-1973).

James, Temperance and Henderson's two oldest daughters came from Tennessee to Missouri about 1855 and settle along Elk Creek in Wright County.  Henderson’s son, Samuel, was born in Green County and the others in Wright County.

George Calvin Claxton and Allie Belle McClanahan were married April 6, 1900.  Their children:  Infant daughter (1902); Verba Lee (1904) married Dewey Pool (1898-1945) and Edgar Young (1902-1991); Vergie (1909) married David Redinger (1909-1983); Goldie (1911-1983) married Lowell “Pat” Coday and had Richard (1944); Ruby (1915-1982) married Claude Iles (1911-1964) and had Margaret (1946-1977); infant son (1918); Maxine (1919) married Calvin Wynn (1916-1990) and had Kay (1937) married Beatrice Ducharme (1922) and had George (1947), Jacqueline (1948), Jim (1957) and Beth (1962); Bobbie Sue (1926) married Bill Long (1927) and had Phillip (1947).

George, a school teacher for several years, met Belle when she was one of his pupils.  After their marriage he ran general stores and farmed in several Wright County locations including Smittle, Manes, Grovesrping, Pleasant Hill and Hartville.  At one time, George and a half brother did some sheepherding in Oregon.  Maxine, Bill and Bobbie Sue grew upon the family farm in Hartville overlooking Lake Casador, below the Steele mansion.  Maxine still lives there.  Belle clerked Saturdays for Everett Claxton, was Hartville’s first Avon Lady, sold Fashion Frock dresses from samples and worked at local cafes.  All the children attended Hartville High School and all had Cy Craig and Rachel Carter as teachers. Most of the older Claxtons are buried at Durbin, Coldwater, Claxton and Pleasant Hill Cemeteries.

Henderson Claxton’s second marriage was to Nancy Martin.  They had: Franklin (1872-1948) married Florence Bolian; Rena (1875-1941) married William Thornhill and D. Hightower; Joseph (1879-1905) is buried at Brighton, CO; Noah (1882-1930) married Pearl McClanahan; Alfred (1884-1967) married Reba Jones; David (1886-1968) married Deemer Todd; Monroe (1888-1982) married Ethel Pridgen.  Monroe was sheriff of Wright County in the 1930’s.  Submitted by Bobbie Sue Claxton Long


CLAXTON-Guss Claxton (March 6, 1894-Sept. 2, 1949), son of John Wesley, Jr. “Brother” (Jan. 19, 1871-Dec. 19, 1946) and Flora Cope Claxton, was born in Wright County.  John is buried in Claxton Cemetery between his two wives, Flora and Ella F. Bohannon/Snow Claxton. 


[picture:  Gus and May Claxton with children Dairl, Esther and Dale]


            October 5, 1915 at Hartville, Guss married Myrtle May Austin (March 8, 1896-May 31, 1974), daughter of Albert and Laura Moseley Austin.  Gus and Myrtie [sic] had children:  Willis Dale (August 8, 1916) first married Lila Lavon Lee and had Shirley and Donna, second married Betty Kroeger; Dairl Dewain (May 6, 1919) married Vivian Mannhalter and had Bonnie Jean, Douglas Dewain and Judy Lynn, second married Lucille McCardie and had Cheryl Lee, Dale Dewain and Carolyn Sue; Esther (Jan 5, 1921-April 10, 1930); Ruby Naomi (Sept. 2, 1929 in Omaha, NE) married Norman Broders from Piedmont, MO and had Lyle Eugene and Carol.

            In 1925 Guss, his family and the Lee Austin family moved from Wright County to Iowa.  They drove Model “T” Fords over gravel roads, so the trip took a week.

            Guss was a Pentecostal minister, a farmer and also worked at a meat processing plant in Omaha.

            May had cancer and overcame it three years before she and Guss were involved in a car accident at Harrisonville, MO.  Guss died the day after the accident.  May suffered a broken leg that left her crippled.  She moved from Omaha to Bellevue, NE and lived there the rest of her life.  Norman and Ruby lived in part of her house.  May raised chickens, did babysitting and planted a large garden every year.  She was very active in church and was a very good cook who always had a new “receipt” to try.  She returned to Wright County almost every year to visit relatives and friends.  She loved to fish and liked to ride horses even though she had a bad leg.  Submitted by Charlotte Austin


CLAXTON-The three children of Everett and Chrissie Claxton were Jack Ray, E. C. Jr. and Carlee.

            Jack Ray was born in Hartville in 1921.  After graduating from high school, he attended college and soon after graduation enlisted in the Navy.  Upon discharge he opened a liquor store in Springfield, from there he moved to Kansas City where he owned and operated some hotels.  He left Kansas City for Los Angeles, CA where he continued in the hotel business. He moved to Ohio in the late 1950’s as a real estate developer and investor, becoming one of the largest owners of Memorial Garden Cemeteries in the state.  He married Sheila Smith June 3, 1962 in Athens, OH and they had two children, Jackie Renee (June 4, 1965) is a manager of design production for Liz Claiborne in New York City and Jay Randolph (July 10, 1969) is a student at Ohio University


[picture:  Carlee Claxton Johnson]


            E. C. Jr. was born in Rawlins, WY.  He attended school in Hartville and joined the Navy in 1941.  Upon discharge he spent most of his adult life in Los Angeles, CA and Portland, OR.  He married Fern Audrey Plocher Jan. 18, 1947 and they had seven children:  James William (August 15, 1947) married Veronika, had Laura (Sept. 7, 1975) and Jeffrey (July 28, 1978); Ella Christine (April 3, 1953) married Alan Boucher, had Michael (Oct. 3, 1974) and Joann (June 28, 1977); Chrissie Ann (May 1, 1958) married John Hall, had Misti (Feb. 28, 1979) and Eli (Sept. 21, 1982); Edward Charles (Feb. 11, 1957); Eva Cecile (July 6, 1961) married Clifford Erickson, had Clifford Jr. (June 28, 1988); Kathleen Fern (Nov. 26, 1962) married Robert Perry, had Michael Everett (Dec. 21, 1984).

            E. C. Claxton, Jr. died April 16, 1985 and is buried in Portland, OR.

            Carlee was born in Hartville in 1933.  After graduating from Drury College in 1955, she moved to Neosho, MO where she taught school for 25 years and continues to be active in the American Cancer Society.  She married Robert Johnson, an insurance agent, in 1955.  They have two children, John Christopher (Sept. 9, 1956) and Mitzi Jayne (Oct. 13, 1960).  Christopher married Mara Galvin in 1983 and had two children Robert Evan (August 28,


[p. 247]

[picture – E. C. and Jack Claxton]


1986) and Julia Celeste (March 6, 1989).  They reside in Kansas City where Christopher is an otolaryngologist and facial surgeon and Mara is an obstetrician and gynecologist.  Mitzi attended SMS, majoring in business. She married Joshua Glaser in 1987 and they have one child, Elliott Price, (June 6, 1991).  Joshua is a resident physician in surgery in Kansas City, where they make their home.  Submitted by Carlee Claxton Johnson


CLAXTON-    Henry Clay Claxton (April 21, 1861), son of James Anderson and Elizabeth Jane Harrison Claxton, was born in the house located in the bottom field near Elk Creek just north of the Claxton Church.  Henry was a farmer, carpenter, and served as justice of peace.  He married Mary Jane “Sissy” Pool and had six children:  Webb, Luther, Arvel, Lena, Lottie and Headley.

            Lena, Lottie and Headley died when quite young and are buried in lower Pleasant Hill Cemetery on Woods Fork.  Webb (1885-1925) married Mabel Luallin and had two children, Luallin and Louella (Comstock).  Webb was a Hartville mail carrier.  His car slid on an icy road, went over an embankment into a creek and he was killed.  Luther “Country” (1888-1948) never married.  Arvel (1894-1956) married Blanche Liedy (1898-1955), daughter of Adabert and Abigail Liedy.  Arvel was a mail carrier, worked in the post office, farmed and drove a truck for MFA.  Arvel and Blanche went to Wichita after they were married and Arvel worked in a tire factory.  They had two sons Delvin and Clifford.

            Delvin was born in Wichita in 1919 and in 1944 married Lorraine Ibsen (1919), daughter of Inger F. and Anna Kristina Paulson Ibsen from Denmark.  Delvin and Lorraine had two sons, Donnie and Paul.  Delvin was a graduate of Hartville High School, served with the Navy in World War II, worked for Kraft in Hartville, was transferred to Kraft in Springfield and worked there until 1973 when he was permanently disabled by a heart attack.

            Clifford (1925-1981) graduated from Hartville High School.  In 1958 he married Winnifred Ibsen, a sister to Lorraine.  He worked as janitor of the Glenstone Baptist Church in Springfield where he, Winnifred, Delvin and Lorraine were active members.  Clifford and Winnifred had no children.

            Delvin’s son, Donnie, married Joy Shelton and had a daughter, Julie in 1969.  His second marriage was to Carol Handley and he has a stepson and a stepdaughter.

            Delvin’s son, Paul (Jan. 12, 1951), married Marsha Ungaretti and had a daughter, Katherine Laura in 1980.  His second marriage was to Debbie Barnsback in 1985.  They have two children Kevin Paul (June 9, 1987) and Erin Leigh (Oct. 19, 1989).  Submitted by Wanda Keith.


CLAXTON – In 1853 “Old” James and Temperance A. Rackley Claxton came to Missouri and settled around Springfield.  James (1798) and Temperance (1804) came from Bedford County, Tennessee, bringing with them ten children:  Henderson (1823), Elizabeth (1825), James Anderson (1827), William Harvey (1829), John Wesley (1832), Noah (1835), George Coleman “Mike” (1840), Temperance A. (1840), Emily Adeline (1846) and Martha (1848).  The oldest child Richard (1820) had died and another son, Joshua Calvin (1830) chose to remain in Bedford County.  A daughter who was married to Steve Sanders returned to Bedford County a short time later.

            [picture – Claxton – Laura, Wilma, John Wesley, Sr., Wayne and Marve Claxton (1916)]

            They stopped around Springfield, then around 1855 they moved to Elk Creek.  John Wesley married Samantha Ann Sumner and from this marriage came thirteen children.  George Coleman “Mike” never married, but he lived with his brother John Wesley and his wife Samantha.  Mike owned large amounts of land and he gave each one of John Wesley’s children a piece of land.  Marve, the seventh son, was given some of Mike’s land and the house that John and Samantha had lived in.  Mike lived with Marve and his family for most of the rest of his life.  He died in 1924.

            At first Marve and his family lived in a log house near a big spring, where they got their water.  Then they built a house a quarter mile up the creek which had a hand-dug well.  Later in 1886 they had a well drilled that is still there with some water in it.

            After Samantha died of a heart attack, John Wesley lived with Marve and his family.  Marve married Laura Alice Kincheloe on Jan. 5, 1908.  From this marriage came two children, Wayne and Wilma.  We all lived in the old house until it burned in June 1917.  It took three weeks to get another house built, then Grandpa John Wesley lived with us until the time of his death.

            My brother, Wayne drove a truck from Springfield to St. Louis for Clyde and Earl Claxton.  In January 1930 it was very cold, snow and ice covered the ground.  Wayne came back from St. Louis, met Earl in Lebanon and exchanged trucks.  Wayne started back to St. Louis.  His truck turned over at Bourbon, MO, caught fire and because he was pinned under the truck Wayne died at the age of 20.

            After my mother and dad were gone I lived at Mt. Grove for six years.  Then I came back to the farm and raised my children:  L. E., Landa Lea and Billie Sue.  L. E. was drafted into the Army in  1960 and served in Korea.  He married Faye and had two children, Steve and Leaschia.  L. E. lives about fifteen miles from me.  Landa Lea married Randy Arnott, had two children, Mark and Noel and lives in Saugus, CA.  Billie Sue married Delbert Sharp, had two children, Michael Wayne and Jeffery James, and lives in Northview.

            I’m the last Claxton left on Elk Creek.  I still live in the house my folks built after the old one burned when I was four years old.  I still have the land that George “Mike” gave my father, Marve.  All of us lived a mile or two from each other.  All of the cousins grew up together and attended Fincher School.  There were about thirty-six of us.  There are only six left:  Eula Kincheloe, Amy Hamilton, Wilma Atkisson, Freeman Claxton, Velma Phillips and Dearl Cline.  Submitted by Wilma Atkisson


CLAXTON – James Claxton (1798-1871) son of James Anderson (1773-1815) and Sarah Hilloms Claxton, was born in Anderson County while his parents were traveling from North Carolina to east Tennessee.  His grandfather William Claxton (1754 in New Kent County, Virginia), a soldier in the First Virginia State Regiment during the American Revolutionary War, married Mary Ann Anderson (1755).

            James grew to manhood in Tennessee where he and his father served with General Anderson [sic] Jackson in the expedition against the Creek Indians in the War of 1812.  James was married in 1819 to Temperance Ratcliff (1804-1877) daughter of Joshua Ratcliff who was a native of North Carolina, one of the first settlers in Tennessee and a soldier in the Revolutionary War.  James farmed in Tennessee until the fall of 1853 when he moved by covered wagon to Greene County, Missouri where he farmed one year in the area where Drury College now stands.  He moved to Wright County for the great hunting ground, spring water and wild turkeys.  He owned six hundred acres of land.

            James and Temperance had children:  Richard (1820) stayed in Tennessee; Henderson (1822-1892) married Susan M. Harrison (1828-1870) and Nancy Martin (1847-1917); Elizabeth (1825) married Steve Sanders and remained in Tennessee; James Anderson (1826-1892) married Eliza Jane Harrison (1829-1909); William Harve (1829); Joshua Calvin (1830-1907) married Annie E. Jones and remained in Tennessee; Caroline (1831) died young; John Wesley (1832-1924) married Samantha Sumner who was part Cherokee Indian; Noah (1835-1915) married Lucinda Palmer and then Ophelia Russell; Temperance Adeline (1838) married Eb Wilson, lived near Glenwood School, had three children Albert, Tennie and Leatha; George Coleman “Uncle Mike” (1842-1903); Emily A. (1845-1925) married Henry A. Scott; Margaret C. (Jan. 23, 1848-April 14, 1880) married Samuel Russell of Mt. Grove and had four children Viola, Essa, Tommy and Jimmy.

            All Claxtons from Wright County are descendants of James and Temperance who are buried in Durbin Cemetery in Elk Creek TownshipSubmitted by Wanda Keith


CLAXTON – James Anderson Claxton (1826), son of James and Temperance Ratcliff Claxton, was the grandson of Joshua Ratcliff who served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War.  Joshua was wounded and when he died at the age of ninety, the scar from the wound was still visible upon his breast.  James Anderson was reared on a farm in Tennessee and married Eliza Jane Harrison, daughter of Edward Cannon and Eliza Jane McClane Harrison who were married in Bedford County, Tennessee.

            Eliza Jane bore her husband eleven children:  James Cannon (1849-1920) married Nancy Young and later Jeritha Baker Rogers; Amanda M. (1851-1863); William Calvin (1853-1934) married Emma Elizabeth Campbell; Newton Cyrus (1855-1935) married Frances P. Pool; Dudley C. (1857-1933) married Emily E. Coday and later Belle Teague Shaddy; Margaret A. (1859) married Issac Coday; Henry C. (April 21, 1861) married Mary Jane Pool; Jasper (Jan. 16, 1863-March 27, 1863); Hepsabeth (1864-1943) married Sam Whittaker; John R. (1870) married Melda Pool; Edward A. (1871-1937) married Ella Susan Bolian.

[p. 248]

            James A. Claxton came to Missouri in the fall of 1852 and remained in Pulaski County one year, Greene County five years, and moved to Wright County in 1858 where he purchased 698 acres of good land.  During the Civil War, he was in the State Militia and had a hideout in the woods to keep away from the bushwhackers. The family was living in the bottom field north of the Claxton Church at this time.  Soldiers of the Civil War were standing picket along the banks of Elk Creek.  A soldier knew a new baby had been born and asked to come in and see the baby.  Permission was given and he named the infant Henry Clay.

            James A. went to St. Louis and then to New Orleans by boat.  The story is told that since he was gone so long, upon returning home he threw his hat in the door to see if he was welcome.

            Eliza Jane spun thread, wove the material and made pants for the men.  The black and white thread made “salt-and-pepper” pants.

            James A. was a Democrat and a good citizen.  He died in 1892 and is buried in the Claxton Cemetery.

            Eliza Jane then married Daniel Latimer and after his death, she married A. M. Pool.  She died Dec. 1, 1909 and was buried in the Claxton Cemetery beside James A.  Submitted by Wanda Keith


CLAXTON-James Anderson Tiny” Claxton (July 6, 1894), son of Edward A. and Ella Susan Bolian Claxton, married Jessie Webb in 1919.  Anderson and Jessie had a son, Bolian A. (Dec. 29, 1919).  They made their home on the Smittle farm owned by Edward.  Their home was blown away on Thanksgiving Day 1926 while the family lay on the ground in a low place to escape the storm.  This marriage ended in divorce.

[picture – Anderson “Tiny” Claxton (1918)]

            Anderson, called in the first draft from Wright County on Oct. 4, 1917, served in World War I and received a disability discharge in the spring of 1918.  Bolian served in World War II and drowned in a flood as troops were trying to remove plane crash victims.  Bolian had married and had children.

            Anderson was a farmer and cattleman on one of the family farms he inherited from his mother.  The farm was located on Elk Creek and remains in the Claxton family.  In 1937, Anderson married Edna Goswick and after her death, he married Lillian Davis.  Submitted by Wanda Keith and Linda Blankenship


CLAXTON- James Edward Claxton (1859-1947) was born in the Elk Creek area of Wright County.  He was the son of Henderson Claxton (1823-1892) and Susan Harrison Claxton (1828-1870) who came from Bedford County, Tennessee in the 1850’s .  James Edward’s grandfather, James (1798-1871), was born on the road from North Carolina to Tennessee.  He came to Green County, Missouri in 1853 then to Wright County in 1858 with his wife, Temperance Ratcliff/Rathler Claxton (1804-1877).

            James Edward had four brothers and five sisters.  He also had six half brothers and one half sister.  One half brother, Monroe Claxton, was sheriff of Wright County in the 1930’s.

            Phoebe (Phebe) Caroline “Lina” Palmer (1860-1937) was the daughter of Isaac William Palmer (1819-1894) and Phoebe (Phebe) Hanes (1819-1892).  She was the youngest of seven children and was born in Jefferson County, TN.  Her family moved to Coles County, IL near Mattoon when she was three years old.  In 1874 Phoebe and her family came to Wright County in two covered wagons.  Her father, I. W. Palmer, was a preacher of a Baptist society established prior to 1885 in St. George, a village 11 miles northeast of Hartville.

[picture – James Claxton Family (1910)-1st row:  Oval L., James Edward, Phebe Caroline, Edith Agnes.  2nd row:  Ila May, Mary Ethel, Effie Lee, Ora Alice; 3rd row; Roy Byron, Rolson Freeman, Walter Arvil.]

            James Edward Claxton and Phoebe Caroline “Lina” Palmer were married in 1877.  They had four sons and five daughters.  The sons were:  Walter Arvil (1888-1957) who married Velie Davis in 1910; Rolson Freeman (1891-1978) who married Verba Latimer in 1916; Roy Byron (1893-1977) who married Wren Clark; Oval Lorraine (1903-1984)  who married Ann Carr in 1929.  The daughters were:  Ora Alice (1881-1971) who married James Eli Burney in 1900; Effie Lee (1883-1908) who married Sam Richardson in 1908; Mary Ethel (1885-1969), who married John L. Hightower in 1904; Ila May (1897-1966, who married Jesse Hildebrand in 1927; Edith Agnes (1899-1987) who married Claud G. Davis in 1932.

            James E. and “Lina” were farmers and lived on Elk Creek close to several other Claxton families.  When they retired they moved to Hartville.  They both loved music, especially Christian music and belonged to the Christian Harmony Band, a group of singers that performed in churches in Wright County.  “Lina” was well-known for her angel-food cakes.  She liked to write articles for religious publications.  She was especially active in the Temperance Pledge movement and succeeded in getting over 120 people to sign the International Sunday School Association Temperance Pledge book in 1913-1914.

            James Edward was a wonderful story teller.  His mind was clear and his memory was excellent until his sudden death at the age of 87 from a heart attack.  Submitted by Joan Claxton Waterworth


CLAXTON-Jesse Claxton (1879-1961), son of Newt and Paralee Pool Claxton, first married Lillie Murrell and then Alma Bramhall Jones.  Jesse and Alma lived west of Hartville while Jesse worked on his father’s farm and at various jobs in Hartvile.

            Jesse and Alma had five children:  Corinna (1917), Efton(1919-1991), Bertha Lee (1920), Jessie (1922-1978) and Gene (1928-1990).  All, except Gene, graduated from Hartville High School.

            The children often went to Grandpa’s to see what was going on.  One day after they returned, Alma asked them what they had learned.  One of the children, trying to tell that Newt was practicing for a “singing” said, “Oh, they’re just doing fe-sol-la-sol.”  Information was passed in both directions as Grandma was told that ma was making pickles and they didn’t have any cucumbers to eat. When they told ma what they had said, she threatened to never pick another cucumber until is was a [sic] big as their legs.  This was duly reported to Grandma and the children were in trouble with ma, as it was considered very improper to make a reference to one’s legs.


[picture – Jesse Claxton and Alma Bramhall Claxton]


            In the mid-1940’s, Jesse moved to Springfield where he was employed by O’Reilly Hospital.  Alma and the family moved there when Jesse was put on permanent status.


[picture – Claxton Kids:  Corinna, Bertha Lee, Jessie and Efton]


            Corinna (Shelton) taught in rural Wright County schools:  Rogers, London, Pleasant Valley and Oetting.  She was the teacher when Oetting School became a pilot school for innovative ideas.  The “show-case” of Wright County, it was the first to have a hot lunch program.  Food was donated by any family who had a surplus of anything.  A good imagination was used to call these “balanced meals.”  The children had to furnish their eating utensils and most of them brought a spoon.  Some were so poor that they owned only one spoon, so they had to carry it back and forth. Corinna also taught at Mansfield, Lebanon, in Hawaii, Yakima High School and Yakima College.  She still lives in Yakima, WA.

            Elton married Vinita Cantrell.  Vinita first saw him at a pie supper and told her friends that she was going to marry him, but first had to find out his name.  They farmed and worked for Tobin-Hamilton Shoe Company in Mansfield.  Childless, they were affectionately known as “Ma” and “Pa” by their many friends.  Efton was a deacon in the First Baptist Church of Mansfield.  Vinita still lives in Mansfield.

            Bertha Lee (Crane) was the family “tomboy”.  She wrote stories and poems for her own amusement and to keep anyone else from reading them, she would climb the highest tree she could find and tie her bundle of writings on the highest limb possible.  She would then sit on a lower branch and guard them.

            Jessie (Moore) enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps.  Later, she was the “right-hand” of the owner of a large insurance agency in Mesa, AZ.

            Gene “Boston” entered the Navy and served in the Mediterranean and Great Lakes areas.  Later, he became an interior decorator and then manager of a fast-food chain in MarylandSubmitted by Phyllis Rippee


CLAXTON-John H. Claxton (1863-1948), son of Henderson (1822-1982) and Susan M. Harrison Claxton (1828-1870), was known as “Little John”


[p. 249]

and “Bless Your Sweet Life.”  He was a Free Will Baptist minister.

            John married Leora “Daught” Hamilton, a sister to Peer Hamilton and Annaliza Hamilton Emmerson.  John and Leora had seven children:  O. L. married Cora Williams, daughter of Marian Williams, and O. L. was married three more times; Alta married Leman Irvin “Doc” Jones; Ira married Amos Jones; Dosha married Harve Austin; Homer married Ada Long and was married four more times; Clay died in infancy and Freda married Emmons Ferguson.  Information from research of Woodrow Claxton


CLAXTON – John Wesley Claxton (Dec. 18, 1832) was the son of James and Temperance Rackley Claxton.  James and his father, who was also named James, served in the Seminole Indian Wars in east Tennessee.  James Sr. was killed in 1815 and James Jr. was discharged in 1818.


[picture:  John Wesley and Samantha Ann Claxton (1890)]


            John Wesley Claxton married Samantha Ann Sumner, daughter of Isaac Watts and Elizabeth Sumner and had:  Mary (1862); tom (1864); Hila T. (1866); Laura (1868) married Joe Gourley; John Wesley Jr. (1871); Cora E. (1873) married Eldridge L. “Toot” Hamilton; Marve E. (1875) married Laura Kincheloe; Ada (1875); Effie “Sonk” (1877) married M. P. “Peer” Hamilton; George Fian “Andy” (1879) married Ila Young; James Harvey (1882) married Lena M.; Viola (1883) married Alonzo Cline; Charles Vance (1885).

            During the early part of the Civil War, John and Samantha had to go to St. James for protection by the Union Soldiers.  Bushwhackers kept threatening them at home, even thought [sic] John and Samantha offered them food and shelter.

            In 1912, the Claxtons had a Community Church built on Elk Creek across the road from the Claxton Cemetery.  In later years a Church of Christ was built nearby.  This land was given to Charley, youngest son of John Wesley, by his bachelor uncle, Mike Claxton.  Charley married Mary “Bood” Cline of Jerk Tail and later the land was passed down to his sons Pearl, Clint, Hayden and Everett.  In the 1980s they deeded it to the Claxton Cemetery Association.

            In the late 1920s Charley sold the farm and bought a store in Manes.  He lost the store in the Depression and in the 1930’s he went to Shoshone, ID along with some Austins, Procks, Youngs, Yates, Adams and Hickmans from Wright County. Charley’s sons Hayden, Pearl and Clint soon joined him in Idaho.  All of Charley’s family had passed away by 1988.

            *John Wesley Jr. (1871-1946) was called “Uncle Brother.”  He married Flora Cope and had one son, Gus (see story).  John’s second marriage was to Ella Bohannon.

            *Hila T. (1866-1926) married Cyrus Hamilton and had three children:  a daughter died in infancy; Jesse married Rosa Jones, had Oris, Ruth and Clifford; Fred married Retta Hough, daughter of Dr. J. V. Hough of Grovespring, and had Loretta Ruth, Betty Joe and Jack.  Submitted by Billy M. Claxton  *additions by Linda Blankenship


CLAXTON – William Hampton Claxton (Feb. 4, 1866-Feb. 13, 1953) married Sarah Frances Hillhouse (April 24, 1864 – May 15, 1953) on August 10, 1886.  They had eight children:  Mertie Armenta (1887-1960) married William Kimbrough and had three children:  Tessie Agnes (1889-1890); Celia Jane (1892) married Gus Frazier and had two children; Edward Lee (1894-1974) married Edna Riddle and had four children:  Newton Glenn (1897-1973) married Jane Bowen and had four children:  Elmer (1900-1991) married Alma Tiffee and had one child; Charlotte “Lottie” (1903-1988) married Ray Weller and had one child; second marriage to Henry B. Dibben who died in 1988; Edith Elizabeth (1905) married Jacob Thomas and had one child.


[picture:  Bill and Sarah Claxton]


            William “Bill” Claxton, son of Henderson and Susan Harrison Claxton, was born in Wright County.  In 1900 he moved the family to Idaho where they lived for about four years before moving back to Wright County.  A few years later the family moved to Van Buren, Carter County, Missouri.  Mertie Armenta had married and moved to Arkansas so Bill and Sarah decided to go there.  That just wasn’t the place so they returned to Van Buren for several years where Bill served as presiding judge.  Then, they returned to Wright County.

            Bill was a farmer, had a variety of farm animals and raised the feed for them.  There was always at least one fox hound around, since Bill was an avid fox hunter.  He was ready to go hunting when anyone suggested it, no matter how hot or cold the weather.  Many nights he was seen standing outside in his longjohns listening to the dogs run.

            To Bill’s dismay their last years had to be spent in Arkansas with a son.  He and Sarah died just months apart in 1953 and were buried in Claxton Cemetery, Wright County.  Lottie was buried beside them.  Submitted by Loveda Palmer


CLAXTON/CODAY – Margaret A. Claxton (Feb. 26, 1859), daughter of James Anderson and Elizabeth Jane (Harrison) Claxton, married Isaac Coday and had six children:  Albert, Rosa, Maude, Viola, Vada, and Roy.  Albert married Maude Curtis and had two children, Chase (died young) and Sybil; Rosa never married; Maude married John Wilbanks, son of Thomas (1840) and Nancy (1849) Wilbanks, and had Docia, Grace who married Jack Patterson, Mary, Joe, Jean and Tommie who married Baty from Mansfield:  Vada married Julian Davis and lived in the Mansfield area.  They had George, John Issac (died as a teenager), and Margaret Ann who married Bill Gann and has a son, Chris; Roy married Thonia Young, one daughter, Lucille; Viola (1895-1974) married Otta Draper (see history).  Charles Wilbanks, John’s brother, was a bachelor and made his home with Maude and John.

            Many members of this family died from tuberculosis.  Submitted by Wanda Keith


CLAXTON – Melvin Warren Claxton was born March 12, 1922 in Wright County to Homer Oscar and Ada Mae Long Claxton.  Melvin married Venita Faye Lawler on June 24, 1944 at the home of Rev. Willie Burney near Jerk Tail.  Venita’s parents were George Burgess and Mary Alice Benton Lawler.  Venita was born Dec. 25, 1925.


[picture:  Melvin and Venita Claxton]


            Melvin’s grandparents were John Henderson and Leora Hamilton Claxton and John Henry and Frances Elizabeth Ingels Long. Venita’s grandparents were William F. and Maude Hake Benton and Richard Thomas and Martha Silviana Rodgers Lawler.

            Melvin and Venita’s children were:  Jerry Warren and Brenton Wayne.  Jerry Warren was born June 14, 1945 at Jerk Tail.  He married Charlene Short and they had one son, Michael Warren.  Jerry and Charlene live in Mt. Grove where Jerry has been a truck driver for several years and Charlene is branch manager of Boatmen’s Bank.  Brenton Wayne was born July 28, 1950 at Lebanon.  Brent married Kimberly A. A. Harris on Oct. 24, 1987 and they have two children, Andrea Faye born May 6, 1988 and Amanda Reneé born May 29, 1989.  They live in Mt. Grove where Brent is a truck driver.  Kimberly is in the Army Reserves, stationed at Ft. Wood and she served in Desert Storm, Saudia Arabia for two months.  Melvin and Venita took care of the children while she was away.

            Melvin and Venita have lived on a farm north of Hartville for forty-five years.  They operated a grocery store at Jerk Tail for a while and Melvin has been a truck driver and a beef and dairy farmer.

            Melvin, Venita and their sons all attended the rural Coldwater School.  Brent was in the last class at Coldwater before it was consolidated into the Hartville School System.  They are members of New Home Free Will Baptist Church. Jerry and Brent both graduated from Hartville High SchoolSubmitted by Melvin Claxton


CLAXTON – George Coleman “Uncle Mike” Claxton (1842-1903), son of James and Temperance Ratcliff Claxton, was a bachelor who lived with his brother, John Wesley and family.  He owned a lot of land and was considered a rich landowner in his day.  He raised hay, corn, oats, wheat, horses, cattle and mules.  He gave land to the children of John W. and Samantha Sumner Claxton.

            He was a very strong man and a hard worker.  One time one of his fine colts was down.  It was in a shed of his barn and could not get up without a wagon being removed.  Uncle Mike got under the high-wheeled, iron-tired Springfield wagon and carried it on his back out of the shed and freed the colt.

            He used to carry a lead bullet in his mouth and chew on it to keep from craving water.  He only drank water when he watered his horses.  He said that he could bind as much wheat as two men could cradle or cradle as much as two men could bind.  Uncle Mike was about five feet six inches tall and wore a number five shoe.  Information from Woodrow Claxton book


CLAXTON – Monroe Perkins Claxton, commonly known as “M.P.”, belonged to one of the best known families in Wright County.  He was sheriff from 1933-36 and a merchant in many Wright County locations.


[Page 250]

            His great-grandfather, William Claxton, was born in New Ken County, Virginia in 1754 and served in the First Virginia State Regiment during the Revolutionary War.  He was married to Mary Ann Anderson and they were among the first settlers of North Carolina and Tennessee.  Their son James Claxton was born on the road from North Carolina to Tennessee in 1798.  James married Temperance Rackley and they had twelve children.  James served in the Black Hawk War under General Jackson [transcriber’s note:  Black Hawk war was 1832 and Andrew Jackson was president at that time so James could not have fought under him].

            The family moved near Springfield, MO in 1853 and in 1858 moved to Wright County where James died in 1871.  One of James and Temperance’s sons, Henderson married Susan Harrison and had ten children.  After Susan died in 1870, Henderson married Nancy Jane Martin of Cherokee Indian descent.  They had eight children:  Franklin, Sarenia, Joseph, Noah, Alfred, David, Monroe Perkins and a daughter who died in infancy.

            James and Henderson both settled in Elk Creek Township.  The original log home stood near the Durbin Cemetery and close to the Claxton Church and cemetery.  Henderson died in 1892.  Nancy and sons went to Denver, CO and worked in the coal mines and later returned to the family farm.  M. P. and Joe returned to Colorado where Joe died and M. P. moved back to Wright County.

            M. P. married Ethel I. Pridgen, whose family migrated from Tennessee.  They had ten children:  Leola (1908), Herbert (1912), Vera (1914), Zelpha (1916-1920), Fern (1919), Haden (1922), Helena (1923), Patty Lou (1925), Thomas Joseph (1928) and Twajana Lee (1931).

            M. P. and Ethel lived on the original farmstead with Nancy until her death in 1912.  In 1920 they purchased the St. George store.  This started their trading of stores and farms.  They later owned the New Grove, Manes, Wolf Creek and Cedar Gap stores.

            In 1932 M. P. was elected sheriff of Wright County and served a four-year term. They then moved to New Grove and purchased the store and two farms.  He closed the store during World War II.  They retired to Mt. Grove in the 1950’s, continuing to trade property.  During their 65 years of marriage they lived in over 50 places in Wright County.  Vera, Fern, Helena and T. J. migrated to California.  Herbert, Haden and Patty Lou live in Kansas City.  Only Leola Claxton Adamson and family remained in Wright CountySubmitted by Haden Claxton


CLAXTON – Newton Cyrus (1855-1935) and Frances Parlee Pool Claxton (1860-1928).  This family came into Missouri from Bedford County, Tennessee. The five brothers and two-half[sic] brothers seem to have arrived in Wright County in the mid or late 1800s.  Four of the brothers, Newt (N.C.), Calvin, Henry, John and half-brother Dudley settled on farms along and on both sides of Woods Fork branch of the Gasconade River, some two to five miles west of Hartville in and near the Pleasant Hill area.  The fifth brother Edward and half-brother Cannon settled east and northeast of Hartville in the Elk Creek area.


[picture:  Newton Cyrus and Frances Parlee Claxton (1910)]


            Newt and Parlee had following children:  William Arthur (1881-1911), Jesse Abraham (1879-1961), Pearl Ada (1855-1978) and Barney Anderson (1890-1946).

            Newt was a farmer and stockman and farmed his own land, consisting of several acres of good bottom land and a vast acreage of hill and timber land.  Of course, in those days all farming was done with horse-drawn equipment, and to say the least, that equipment was not always the best but rather what one could afford or obtain – much had already seen years of use.  Most crops were essential for survival – corn, wheat, oats and timothy and clover hay were the crops grown year after year, after year.  Corn and wheat for meal and flour for the kitchen; oats and hay for live stock feed, with long summer pastures, produced a few head of livestock for the market.  Of course, there were always enough milch cows held on the farm for milk and butter.  As I mentioned, the farm equipment was old and worn.  Many times I’ve seen the old binder break down and N. C. would finish wheat cutting with the old hand cradle, and that was work!

            In addition to long hours and hard work on the farm, N. C. found time for helping others and doing some community service.  He served as clerk of the Pleasant Hill School Board for several years.  Township Clerk, road overseer, and even finished teaching school one term when the regular teacher was unavailable.  He will best be remembered as one of the leaders of the Old Time Christian Harmony singing group.  They sang the notes (shaped) as well as the words, and many times without the books.

            The children’s occupations varied greatly but still all were close to the land and most of them spent some time on the old farm.  Arthur (1881-1911) taught school in his short adult life; Jesse (1879-1961) in his early adulthood was a member of the State Militia (now the National Guard) – in his mid-life years he lived on the old home place and farmed with his father and brother – in later years and until his death he was employed as orderly-medic at the Federal Prison Hospital in Springfield.  Pearl Ada (1885-1978) remained at home, doing the housekeeping and cooking, etc., and didn’t marry until just before the death of her mother.  Barney (1890-1946) early on was away from the farm, working as clerk in Hartville stores and as assistant postmaster during the term of the late George Summers.  In the mid-years of his life he lived near the old homeplace and farmed with his father and brother.  He was in poor health for several years, then went back to public work and, until the time of his death, was employed as guard at the Missouri State Prison, Jefferson City.

            N. C.’s farm was located two miles west of Hartville on the Marshfield Road, now State Route 38.  After the death of Parlee, Newt was fast failing in health so the farm was divided among the children and sold, the purchaser being brother Edward from the Elk Creek area.  Edward lived on the old home place until his death and the change of ownership now rests with Edward’s daughter, Betty, and her husband, Edwin Fisher.

            This brief history had been compiled, to the best of the writer’s ability, by the elder of two grandsons of Newt C., that being Elvin F. “Jake” Claxton, who is also the eldest survivor of this family, May 3, 1909 – 82 years of age.  Submitted by Elvin F. “Jake” Claxton


CLAXTON – Noah Claxton (1835-1915), son of James and Temperance Ratcliff Claxton, married Ophelia Melinda Russell (1846-1940) on Feb. 7, 1865.  His first wife, Lucinda Palmer, had died.  Noah was a businessman, who had a store on the square in Hartville.  He and Ophelia lived south of Hartville on a large farm, known as the Claxton Plantation, where he raised some of the best mules in the state.  It was later sold to the Wilsons.  At one time he was the largest taxpayer in Wright County.  A Democrat, he ran for the office of county treasurer in 1862 and was defeated.

            Hartville suffered a great deal during the Civil War.  Noah enlisted in the Missouri militia.  He was captured by the Confederates but was released near West Plains and returned to Hartville.  The stockade at Hartville was finished the same day the Federal train was burned on Beaver Creek.  On its completion, a pioneer fort builder challenged the crowd thus:  “I can put any man not weighing over 155 pounds out of the fort on a bet of a month’s wages.”  Noah, who was commissary sergeant, accepted the challenge and put the fort builder out – winning the bet!

            Noah and Ophelia’s children were:  Manley Calvin, Ora Eunice, Laura Ophelia, William Edward, Adella Temperance, Noah Floyd, Thomas Hollie, Samuel Hosea, Dora Lavenia and Josepheanane “Josie”.

            Ophelia lived to be ninety-four years old.  She spent her later years living with her daughter-in-law, Ella Claxton, and grandson Everett Claxton.  Both Noah and Ophelia are buried in Steele Memorial CemeterySubmitted by Carlee Claxton Johnson


CLAXTON – Pearl Lee Claxton (Feb. 13, 1909) was born just north of Manes on Elk Creek in Wright County.  His parents were Charles Vance and Mary “Bood” Cline Claxton.  On June 20, 1927, Pearl married Myrtle Blanche Wade in Lebanon, MO.  Witnesses were cousins, Wayne Claxton and Ester Mosley.  Wayne signed a fictitious name because was [sic] afraid that Blanche’s dad wouldn’t be too happy since she was under age.  Blanche’s parents were William Alvin and Bertha Ann Rippee Wade.

            Pearl spent most [sic] his early marriage working on farms in Wright County.  During the hard times of the Depression years, they were on a farm on Beaver Creek, near Jarrett’s Ford.  He fished all along the creek with trot lines.  Nearby was [sic] swimming hole called in the Patterson Hole.  After several years of cutting blackjack sprouts and picking rocks, trying to make a living, he packed up his belongings and family and headed for Shoshone, ID where his father was working.  Pearl arrived in the summer of 1938 and got a job on the Town Ranch, a large farm owned by one of the more influential men of the area.


[picture:  Pearl Lee Claxton Family 1986 – Richard Dean, Charles Lee “Pat’, Jimmy Everett, Doral Wade, Sharon Kay, Billy Max, Myrtle Blanche, Pearl Lee, Mike Gene.]


            In 1941 he went to work for the State Highway Department.  Much of the time during the winter months he plowed snow off the highways over most of the southern part of Idaho.  In the fall of 1943 the family moved to Dietrich, a small farming town about 15 miles east of Shoshone.  Pearl was sharecropping on one of three farms owned by Mr. Stimpson.  After a few years on the farm, Pearl decided to try his hand in the construction business.  The family moved to Buhl, ID in 1946 and he went to work for Morrison-Knudsen, which was building


[Page 251]

Dams along the Snake river to provide electrical power for Idaho.  He worked with them until a stroke disabled him in the late 1970s.

            Pearl and Blanche had eight children:  Mike Gene (Sept. 27, 1928) married Lavonne; Charles Lee “Pat” (Feb. 17, 1931) married Yvonne McGraw; Billy Max (May 22, 1933) married Barbara Helen Rippee; Franklin Wayne (August 10, 1935) married Dorothy Bolton; Doral Wade (Dec. 28, 1937) married Diane Baters; Richard Dean (March 19, 1941) married Peggy Miller; Jimmy Everett (Sept. 12, 1945) married Judy; Sharon Kay (April 5, 1947) married Ted Hancock.

            Pearl died Dec. 11, 1988 and Blanche died March 2, 1988.  They are buried at Buhl, ID.  Submitted by Billy M. Claxton


CLAXTON – Rolson Freeman Claxton (1891-1978) was the son of James Edward Claxton (1859-1947) and Phoebe Caroline “Lina” Palmer Claxton (1860-1937).  He was born on Elk Creek and had three brothers and five sisters.  He married Verba Latimer (1897-1981) in 1916.  Verba was the daughter of Francis Marion Latimer (1868-1903) and Cynthia Ann Shaver Latimer (1867-1950).


[picture:  Rolson and Verba Claxton 1916]


            Rolson and Verba’s first house was a two-room dwelling in the Elk Creek community with a hand-dug well.  While living there, in the winter of 1917-18 Rolson, Verba and their new baby, Virginia, contracted influenza from a young farmhand who had begged to stay the night because it was too cold for him to walk home.  All four were critically ill, but were nursed back to health by relatives.

            In August 1919, Rolson and Verba moved to a 160-acre farm three miles west of Hartville.  The farm was purchased for $5,000.  Rolson and Verba had saved $2,500 for the down payment but had to finance the remaining amount.  Their parents were sure they would never be able to repay such a large amount, but they did.  The living room of the two story farmhouse was originally a log cabin, but prior to 1919 it had been covered by finished lumber and the house had been enlarged.

            Rolson and Verba had five children:  Virginia Dare (1916) married Harold C. Bradshaw in 1948 and had a daughter, Joanne (1953); Lenora Genelle (1919) married Thomas P. Deaton in 1944 and had a son, Thomas Patrick (1951) married Pamela Ross in 1990 and a daughter, Rebecca Claxton Deaton (1954); James Francis (1926) married Jeanne Ballinger in 1950 and had daughter, Meredith Ann (1951) and a son, James Steven (1955); Joan (1934) married William A. Waterworth in 1959 and had three sons, William David (1960), Lawrence Alfred (1963), Charles Freeman (1969) and a daughter, Laura Ann (1968); and Lawrence Latimer Claxton (1923-1944) who was killed in World War II.

            Lawrence, a tail gunner on a bomber, was lost on a mission over the southern coast of France in 1944.  He was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously.  His name is carved on a marble “Wall of the Missing” in an American Military Cemetery in Draguignan, France.


[picture:  Claxton (1939) – Virginia, Rolson, Verba, Lawrence, James, Genelle and Joan in front]


Rolson and Verba were interested in education and all their children graduated from college.  All their grandchildren are college graduates or are attending college.  Prior to her marriage, Verba passed the State Teacher’s Examination and taught at Mt. Olive rural school in Wright County (1915-16).  Their three daughters were also teachers.  Their son, James, a World War II veteran, was on the faculty of the School of the Ozarks for several years and later was named director of the MFA Research Farm at Marshall, MO.

            Rolson Freeman “R.F.” smiled, joked, whistled and sang his way through the hard labor of farm life.  His property was as neat on the “back forty” as it was around the house and he was often seen riding his horse to check his cattle.  His pride and joy were his family and his farm.

Verba was an excellent seamstress and cook, and was famous for her pies, especially gooseberry.  For many years, she was active in the Rebekah Lodge and held local and district offices.  She was active in the Hartville Garden Club and served as president in 1970.

Rolson and Verba were members of the Pleasant Hill Free Will Baptist Church (located five miles west of Hartville) for many years where Rolson was a deacon.

            Their great-grandchildren are:  Arthur William (1976) and Stephanie Meredith Bahr (1982), son and daughter of Meredith Ann Claxton who married William Milton Bahr in 1969; Angie Kay and Amy Beth Claxton (1977), twin daughters of James Steven Claxton who married Debra Jameson; David Nobuhiro (1982) and Michael Kazuhiro Waterworth (1985), sons of William David Waterworth who married Hiromi Tani in 1982; David Keith (1987) and Thomas Michael Carron (1989), sons of Rebecca Claxton Deaton who married Keith Thompson Carron in 1984.  Submitted by Joan Claxton Waterworth


CLAXTON-Samuel Erskine Claxton (1855-1940), son of Henderson (1822-1892) and Susan M. Harrison Claxton (1828-1870), was born in Wright County.  His parents came from Tennessee to Springfield and then to Wright County about 1854 and settled where Elbert Martin lived.  The land is now owned by a Fisher.

            Sam married Eliza Jane Hillhouse (1862-1901), daughter of Newton and Charlotta Young Hillhouse, and had eight children:  Walter (1881-1894); Jason Newal (1883-1950) married Lula M. Keller (1887-1966) and had Ferrell who married Dillard Mallory (see George Mallory story), Chester married Ruth Greenlee and Lowell (1912-1974) married Freeda Latimer (1909); Essa (1885-1970) married Thomas Daniel (1887-1973), son of Dan and Sarah Daniel, had Oval who married Wilma Prock, and Opal who married Ancil Davis; Dessie married John Gravens and had Jewell and Leola; Otis married Amy Neil and had Fern, Eugene and Sammy; Susie married Elbert Gourley and had Jack, Gene and Norma Sue; Henderson Ezra married Virginia McGee; Edward Ray married Ruth Shamel and had Harold, Edwin and Glora.

            Samuel’s second wife was Cynthia Latimer and they had Vergie and Velma.

            Sam homesteaded land where Joe Walters now lives, farmed and taught school.

            He was teaching when John A. Russell was superintendent of schools in Wright County.  Sam taught at Coldwater in 1893.  He later bought the farm now owned by Paul Burris and lived there the rest of his life.  He is buried in Durbin CemeterySubmitted by Wanda Keith


CLAXTON-Thomas Hollie Claxton (1873-1899), son of Noah and Melinda Ophelia Russell Claxton, and Sarah Ellen “Ella” Black (1876-1971), daughter of William and Frances Fredonia Black, were married in Hartville, Jan. 21, 1894.  They had three children:  Howard (1894-1977), Charles Erbin (1896-1899) and Everett Cecil (1898-1976).  Hollie committed suicide at the age of twenty-five.


[picture:  Hollie and Ella Claxton with their children, Charles, Howard and Everett]


            Ella lived in Hartville and raised Howard and Everett.  “Aunt Ella”, as she was affectionately called, kept young people in her home so they could attend high school in Hartville.  She was active in the Rebekah Lodge for many years. They are all buried in the Steele Memorial Cemetery in Hartville.  Submitted by Carlee Claxton Johnson


CLAXTON-Walter Claxton (Sept. 28, 1888), son of James and Caroline “Lina” Palmer Claxton, was born in Wright County at St. George, MO.  Walter’s siblings were:  Alice (Burney), Effie (Richardson), Mary (Hightower), Ila Mae (Hildebrand), Edith (Davis), Rolson, Roy and Oval.


[picture:  Walter and Velie Claxton age 22 and 20]


Walter was raised in a Christian home of high standards where the Golden Rule was practiced.  The children were taught to obey and taught responsibility by having chores.  One chore of Walter and Rolson’s was to keep the wood box filled with split wood to cook with and Saturday the box had to be filled to cook with on Sunday.  One Saturday they decided to play instead of doing chores, so Sunday


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morning they were awakened by their mother throwing the covers off and applying the razor strap to them.  Needless to say, the box was never found empty on Sunday again.

            May 16, 1890 Velie Davis was born in Newton County, Arkansas to Jess and Katie Pittman Davis, the second of a family of six children which also included Albert, Andrew, Chester, Mintie (Hall) and Nota (Massey).  As a young girl, Velie moved with her family to Wright County, Missouri and settled near Smittle, MO.

            Walter and Velie met at Mt. Olive School where they both got their education.  They fell in love and were married at Hartville, MO on Nov. 3, 1910.  To this union eight children were born:  Vernon, Clifford, Sherman, Loraine, Jack, Dorothy (Lemery), Ruth (Berry) and Freeda (Myers).  Their life was spent on a farm where the Golden Rule was always observed.  Everyone worked hard to keep the farm going.

            Thanksgiving Day 1926, a tornado hit the community and several homes were completely destroyed.  It did damage all the way to Competition, MO.  A neighbor’s home was destroyed and Roy Emerson was found under a tree.  Walter pulled him from under the tree and carried him about ½ mile to his home where he was nursed back to health.  Walter worked alone to clear the road to the nearest doctor at Grovespring and arrived back home about midnight.  It was reported a “torpedo when through Competition and tore it all to pieces!”

            It wasn’t unusual for this home to be filled with happy people on Sundays and special days.  On one occasion after attending Sunday School and church there were fifty-four people at Walter and Velie’s for dinner.  Cured ham from the smokehouse and all the trimmings were prepared in a short time as everyone helped.  The men always ate first, then the women folks and the children ate what was left.  At Walter and Velie’s home, there was always plenty left and no one ever left this home in need.

            In 1956 Walter discovered he had a rare disease, “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”, only the third case in the United States.  He died Feb. 7, 1957.  In 1990, Velie celebrated her 100th birthday and six months later, she passed away.  Submitted by Dorothy Lemery


CLAXTON-William Harve Claxton (1829), son of James and Temperance Ratcliff Claxton, married Miss Locke, a redhead from Tennessee.  They had four children:  Mary married Crate Young; Cola married Mary Sanders, his first cousin; Cora “Dink” (October 1869-May 1949) married Lon Cope (October 1866-June 1939); “Bud” was the youngest child.

            William Harve always had fine horses.  During the Civil War, he had a very fast horse which was the envy of soldiers and bushwhackers.  They wanted to kill him and take his horse, but they could not catch him, nor could they find his hideout which was on Woodrow Claxton’s farm.  According to Woodrow Claxton, “William Harve always wore black leather boots and kept them well shined.  He sat straight as a die when in the saddle.”

            Cora and Lon had nine children:  Edward married Ella Marcum; Henry Oscar married Zettie Jones; Harve married Zetta Williams; Della married Arthur McBride; Hosea married Retha Admire, then Crystal Butler; Dora married Boyd L. Little; Raymond, a young man, died in the pasture when he went after the horses; Ada married Oris Whitworth; Grace married Marl Goddard.

            Many of Cora’s family are buried in Claxton CemeterySubmitted by Wanda Keith


CLAXTON-Woodrow Claxton (March 13, 1916-May 19, 1979), son of James Harve and Lena Mae Hightower Claxton, grew up on a farm near Grovespring, MO.  The farm had been owned by his great-uncle, George Colman “Mike” Claxton.  Woodrow had four siblings:  Beulah Lillian (April 6, 1905-April 21, 1978) married Otto Calton; Eula Verah (July 1, 1906) married Francis Leroy Kincheloe; Eppah (July 8, 1909) married Lavern Davis; Freeman (August 25, 1919).


[picture:  Kent and Kathy Claxton with sons Jason (10) and Jared (2) (1988)]


            On May 1, 1942 Woodrow married Anna Belle Emmerson (Nov. 7, 1923), daughter of Alfred Virgle and Amy Idelia Royster Emmerson.  Anna Belle grew up on a farm near St. George, MO along with her siblings:  Iva (April 7, 1913) married Amos Curtis (August 14, 1905); Chloriene (Jan. 4, 1920) married Walter Curtis (Jan. 6, 1918); Delvin (Feb.18, 1915) married Alene Chastain (April 8, 1916); Clifford (Nov. 9, 1916) married Katherine Austin (June 6, 1920).

            Woodrow taught school for 38 years, most of those as math teacher in the Mt. Grove High School. Anna Belle was employed in later years with Sho-Me Power Electric Corporation, then with Intercounty Electric Cooperative.  They had one son, James Kent (Oct. 11, 1956).  On August 15, 1976 he married Kathy Lynn Keith (Nov. 4, 1956), daughter of Vance and Wanda Keith of Hartville.  James and Kathy had two sons Jason Neil (May 27, 1977) and Jared (Oct. 21, 1985).  Woodrow had purchased three of the farms that once had been owned by his great-uncle Mike, one being the home place where he grew     up. At the time of his death, they were living on this farm which is near the Claxton Cemetery where Woodrow is buried.

            After Woodrow’s death, Kent and his family moved to this farm from Jonesboro, AR where they had been attending college.  Kathy remained there long enough to finish her masters degree and then joined him on the farm.  Kent had a dairy operation and Kathy taught school.  Kent had sold his dairy and was back in school, when he had a fatal accident on May 2, 1988.  The farm sold and Kathy and sons moved to Hartville.  Kathy teaches school at Grovespring.  Jason is active in baseball, basketball and band at Hartville High School and Jared is a student at Grovespring Elementary SchoolSubmitted by Anna Belle Claxton


CLALXTON/BOHANNON-Albert Claxton (1872-1945) was the son of James Cannon and Nancy Young Claxton.  The Claxton farm was located along Elk Creek where he grew to manhood.  Albert married Cora Bohannon (1876-1942) and they lived on the farm joining Clay Cravens, later owned by Francis Kincheloe.  After the death of Cannon Claxton, Albert moved back to his father’s farm, which was located where Highway Z crosses Elk Creek.

            Five children, including a set of twins, were born to Albert and Cora but all five babies died at birth.

            Albert was a very prosperous and generous farmer, who was always ready to help anyone.  He was a fine citizen and an asset to his community.  Albert and Cora enjoyed a happy life together, raised lots of food and entertained relatives and friends with bountiful meals and good conversation.

            The Elk Creek Fox Hunt was organized and held on the Albert Claxton farm.  It was moved to the Hillhouse farm and the Lee Austin farm now owned by James Stewart.

            All family members are buried in Claxton CemeterySubmitted by Wanda Keith


CLAXTON-Frank Claxton (1872-1948), son of Henderson and Nancy Jane Martin/Wallace Claxton, married Florence “Flora” Bolian (1881-1907), daughter of James A. and Elizabeth Jane (Rippee) Bolian.  Six children were born to them without the aid of a doctor:  Clyde, Claude, Bertha (1901), Estella (1904) and twins Earl and Murrell (1906).


[picture:  Nancy Jane Martin Wallace Claxton (1904)]


            At about the age of two years, Bertha fell into the fire around the wash kettle, her clothing caught fire and she died from the burns.  Estella died of croup at a very young age.

            Florence died during the birth of the twins.  Murrell and Earl were taken to raise by their grandparents, the Bolians.  Earl died when he was eight or nine months old of summer complaint.  Murrell lived with his grandparents until he was grown.

            Frank and his family lived in a log house south of the Durbin Community Church when Bertha died.  They were living in the homestead house on the Ed Claxton farm when Estella died.  They lived on top of the hill just north of what is now Highway H, west of Elk Creek and just south of the Ed Claxton farm when Florence died.  Frank was living where Clemon and Joyce Lowery’s home now stands when he left for Idaho.  He and his three sons Clyde, Claude and Murrell moved to Idaho where they made their homes.  They are buried there.

            In the early 1940s Frank returned to Wright County.  He had cut a mole on his face with a razor while shaving and it had become cancerous.  He made his home with his nieces, Mrs. Roy Emmerson and Mrs. Gene Dixon, but his last days were spent at the County Farm at Hartville.  He was buried in Durbin Cemetery beside his wife and three small children.  Submitted by Wanda Keith


CLAXTON/HIGHTOWER-James Harve Claxton (1882-1949), son of John W. (1832-1924) and Samantha A. Sumner Claxton (1842-1909), was married Dec. 13, 1903 to Lena Mae Hightower (1882-1961), daughter of Epathroditis and Rilda Frances Daughtry Hightower.

            James Harve and Lena Mae had five children:  Beulah Lillian (1905-1978) married Otto Calton (1906-1964), no children; Eula Verah (July 1, 1906) married Francis Leroy Kincheloe (1906-1964), had


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Phyllis Louise (1927) who married Melvin Amos, and Ellis Leroy (Sept 14, 1930) who married Maxine O’Quinn; Eppah (1909) married Uleth Laverne Davis, had Billy Warren (1937) who married Cleta Jane Ellingsworth; Woodrow (see story); Freeman (August 25, 1919) married Inez Irwin in 1942, had two children Christine Louise (1945) and Carl David (1946).  Submitted by Linda Blankenship


CLAXTON/POOL-John Ratcliff Claxton (Feb. 27, 1870), son of James Anderson and Eliza Jane Harrison Claxton, married Melda Pool.  They raised eight children on a farm along the Gasconade River now known as the Alvin Wynne farm.  The children were Orphia, Edna, Gertie, Aaron, Susan, Fannie, Jewell and Hubert.

            Orphia married Henry Helfrecht; Gertie married Mr. Keith; Hubert married Venice Ward, she had a daughter Barbara.

            John R. later married Cora Crawford Rumfelt, widow of James Rumfelt, a son of John Rumfelt.  Cora and James had two sons, Merlin and Loren.  Cora had a brother, Elmer Crawford.  John R. and Cora Claxton had two daughters, Jamie and Vera.

            The Claxton brothers who homesteaded along Woods Fork and the Gasconade would travel by wagon and take four hours or more to get to Elk Creek to visit other family members.  They would stay three or four days before making their journey back home.

            John R., Melda, their baby and Aaron are buried in Pleasant Hill CemeterySubmitted by Wanda Keith


CLAXTON/RIPPEE-Billy M. Claxton (May 22, 1933 in Manes, MO) was the son of Pearl Lee and Blanche Wade Claxton and grandson of Charles Vance and Mary “Bood” Cline Claxton and William Alvin and Bertha Ann Rippee Wade, all of Wright County.  Bill spent the first five years of his life on a farm near Manes and on Beaver Creek, near Jarrett’s Ford.


[picture:  Billy and Barbara Claxton with sons Mark Alan, Larry Gene and Billy Wayne]


            Largely due to the Depression and lack of work, Bill’s family moved to Shoshone, ID in 1938.  Bill started school there, and the family spent several years there while his father worked the farm and with the State Highway Department.  The family then moved to Dietrich, ID, a small farming town near Shoshone.  IN 1946 the family moved to Buhl, Idaho where Pearl Lee worked on construction jobs for about 30 years.  Bill started high school in Buhl.

            Barbara Helen Rippee (July 16, 1936 near Hartville, MO) was the daughter of Fred Harrison and Gladys Lily Stigall Rippee and the granddaughter of William Arthur and Eliza Ann Yeager Rippee and Dolen Esto and Emma Evlion Reddick Stigall of Wright County.  Barbara spent the first five years of her life on the Rippee farm southeast of Hartville.  Even though, she was too young to start school, she went with her older brothers.  The teacher was Betty Jean Austin, who in later years married Barbara’s uncle, Jason Rippee.

            About 1940, Barbara’s family moved to California where her father got a job with his first cousin, Art Rippee, in a chicken shop.  After a short return to Missouri, Barbara’s family moved to Buhl, ID where her father (an excellent carpenter) found work.

            Bill’s friendship with Barbara’s brothers, Frank, Joe and Art, led to his meeting Barbara.  They were married Dec. 26, 1954.  Bill was in the Air Force and they moved to Alamorgordo, [sic] New Mexico where he was stationed at nearby Holloman AFB.  Bill and Barbara had three children:  Mark Alan (1955), Larry Gene (1958) and Billy Wayne (1962).

            Bill got out of the service in March 1957, but took a job with the civil service and stayed at Holloman until he retired in 1988.  Barbara raised the boys and was an outstanding Den Mother with many awards for excellent programs.

            Mark had a talent for electronics and in later years opened a repair shop, which is now a flourishing business.  Larry worked at the Presto Manufacturing Plant in Alamogordo, first in the foundry and then on the assembly line as a forklift driver.  Billy graduated from New Mexico Tech as an environmental engineer and is working in Bismarck, ND.

            Bill and Barbara are enjoying their retirement by traveling around the country.  They also enjoy staying at home.  They travel to Wright County as often as they can to visit with friends and relatives and to work on their genealogy.  Submitted by Billy M. Claxton


CLAXTON/WHITTAKER-Hepsabeth Claxton (1864-1943), daughter of James A. and Eliza Jane Harrison Claxton and granddaughter of James and Temperance Claxton, married Samuel Dillard Whittaker (1858-1919) on Nov. 16, 1884.

            Hepsabeth and Samuel had eleven children:  Minnie (1886-1887); Noah (1887-1957) married Arizona Climer, had Ray Murrell; Melda (1889-1966) had a daughter, Inez and married Archie Robertson; Verba (1890-1930) married Dillard Newton and had Arthur; Barney (1892-1928) married Retha Cantrell and had Pansy, Donall and Barney, Jr.; Bessie (1894-1990) married Ben Duren and had Wilma; Minola (1897-1898); Verna (1899-1929) married Ava Buck and had Harold and Garland; Janie (1901-1927) married Orla Eaton and had Geneva and Galen; Lola (1904) married Burnie Cantrell, had Samuel D., Juanita and Donald; Lee (1906) married Ruth Gisel, had Sharon, Larry and Susan.  Sharon married Bobby Floyd, had Byron and Justin.  Larry had two children, Bradley and Cory.  Susan married Edward Dugger and had James Brent and Kelly Lynette.

            The Whittaker family lived west of Hartville; operated a hotel in Hartville where Jeanie’s Café now stands and moved to High Prairie (located between Hartville and Marshfield) where they operated a canning factory for many years.

            Lee moved to Kansas in 1927 and lived there through 1957.  He was employed most of those years as a truck driver.  He and Ruth enjoy living in Hartville and attend Pleasant Hill Church where he was a song leader for many years.  Submitted by Linda Blankenship




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CLAXTON – Everett Eli Claxton was born May 4, 1907 to Charles Vance and Mary “Bood” Cline Claxton on Elk Creek on the farm by Claxton Cemetery that was part of Charley’s land.  This land was given to Charley by his Uncle Mike Claxton.  The cemetery land was deeded to the Claxton Church of Christ by brothers Pearl and Clint before they died in 1986-88.  People were buried in this cemetery as early as the Civil War.  Old James helped to pioneer this and other land along Elk Creek.

            Everett attended school at Elk Creek and later in Manes, where his father owned and operated a general store.  Everett married first to Hazel Johnson and went to Omaha, NE where he had two daughters Virginia and Billie.  Everett’s first marriage ended in divorce and he married Esther Goodman.


[picture:  Everett and Esther Claxton]


            Everett traveled around some for a while eventually settling around Anaheim, CA.  There he worked as a maintenance man on buses for Greyhound and the school system.  Everett often visited his two brothers Pearl and Buzz in Idaho.  He was always a happy person and enjoyed visits from Pearl’s children.

            Everett died Jan. 7, 1974 and is buried in Memory Gardens, Memorial Park, Brea, CASubmitted by Billy M. Claxton.


CLAXTON-Hayden Jurl Claxton was born May 13, 1914 on Elk Creek in Wright County to Charles Vance and Mary “Bood” Cline Claxton.  Hayden was in the Army Medical Corps during World War II.  He served in the Aleutian Islands and in Alaska.  After the war he went to Salt Lake City to work in a tire and rim company for years.  He was married twice but had no children.

            My brothers Mike and Pat and I would drive down from Buhl, ID to visit with him.  After his first wife Emma died Hayden moved to Boise, ID where he opened his own tire and rim business and married Kay.


[picture:  Hayden Claxton in WWII Medical Corps]


            His grandparents John Wesley and Samantha Ann Sumner Claxton (see Volume I) were pioneer settlers of Elk Creek.  The Isaac Sumner family came before 1840.  Grandpa Isaac served on the side of the Union in the Civil War.  Submitted by Billy M. Claxton.


CLAXTON – Clint Lee “Buzz” Claxton was born Sept. 26, 1916 on Elk Creek in Wright County to Charles Vance and Mary “Bood” Cline Claxton (See Volume I).  He served in the Army Supply and Engineer Corps during World War II and was stationed throughout the Pacific for the duration of the war.

            His grandparents John W. and Samantha Sumner Claxton were settlers of the Elk Creek area in 1840-1850s.  His mother’s Cline family came from Jefferson County, Tennessee in the late 1860s.  Grandpa William Jacob Cline served in the Union Army in the Civil War in Tennessee.  William J. Cline married Hannah Jane Cannon.  The Clines settled around Jerktail in northern Wright County.


[picture:  Clint Claxton and son Harold Lee]


Clint’s dad, Charley, moved from Elk Creek to Manes where he bought a general store.  Clint


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Attended the Manes schools.  In late 1937 Charley and family went to Idaho looking for work after the Depression.  The Youngs, Procks, Hickmans and Yeates were there too.  They ended up in Shoshone.  Clint went to the Army from Shoshone and returned there after he was discharged.

            He moved to Buhl, ID in 1946 and worked on the dams along the Snake River.  He lived across the street from his brother Pearl.  His father Charley died in 1951 and mother Mary in 1957.  They are both buried in the Shoshone Cemetery.

            Clint married Irene Labrinsk in 1952.  She was a sister to Clint’s cousin Happy “Parris” Cline’s wife Hilma.  Clint and Irene had one son Harold Lee Claxton born in 1953.  Harold lives in Buhl, ID.  Clint worked for the Twin Falls County Canal Company which provides irrigation water for the farmers.  He was very close to us nephews and took us around with him from time to time.

            Clint died March 4, 1986 and is buried in the Buhl CemeterySubmitted by Billy M. Claxton.


CLAXTON – George Coleman “Uncle Mike” Claxton (see Volume I) came to Missouri with his family when he was about seventeen years old.  He never married and lived with his brother, John Wesley.  During the Civil War Mike was said to have hid his money in a fruit jar in a hole in the rock bluff.  John’s brother-in-law Duke Sumners had a gang of bushwhackers at the time and rode around shooting up the area.  John was spared and went to St. James, MO until the war ended.  John and Samantha’s first baby, Mary, was lost at this time.

            In May of 1890 the John Claxton home was robbed by five men who were digging a well for them.  Uncle Mike was robbed of $475 in cash and $2000 in notes.  The thieves were caught and brought to justice.


[picture:  Uncle Mike Claxton]


            Uncle Mike raised horses, cattle and hogs and accumulated lots of farm land on Elk Creek.  He gave each of brother John’s kids 40 to 80 acres of land.  He gave the youngest, Charles Vance, 120 acres, most of the stock and the farm machinery. Part of this farm is where the Claxton Cemetery is located.  Submitted by Billy M. Claxton.