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In Search of Slave Graves
Written by: Mrs. Elizabeth Stone
Box 97
Calico Rock, AR 72519
I found this article from 1980 in the Izard Historian and thought it might be of interest.

Last Spring I read an article in the ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT about Mr. And Mrs. Jack Bryant of Helena, Arkansas who were searching for the graves of slaves in Arkansas. This interested me because my grandfather Robert Lackey, owned some slaves, one of whom had a town named after him. I immediately contacted the reporter and he, in turn, contacted the Bryants. The Bryants phoned and made an appointment to visit me and the grave of the slave, “Little Joe.”

In August, 1979, Mr. And Mrs. Bryant and a friend, Ernestine Russell, visited me and we took a trip to Galatia Cemetery near old Joe in Baxter County. This was formerly in Izard County. The town “Old Joe” is about eight miles north of Calico Rock and was named for Robert Lackey’s slave. There are eight slave graves in the Galatia Cemetery.

The story of the slave has several variations but the family’s version is that Little Joe went out one afternoon to feed the cows. A storm caught him on the top of a steep mountain and he was killed. This mountain is still known as “Little Joe Mountain”. When the searchers found him, Little Joe was dead, and all his clothes were torn off. The postal officials wanted to name the post office for Little Joe. Someone suggested ‘Naked Joe” but the postal officials in Washington balked as they thought someone might be offended. Then they suggested the name of “Old Joe”. The town took this name.

The Bryants were invited to attend the October meeting of the Izard County Historical Society which was held in the Finley Creek Baptist Church. At this meeting both Mr. and Mrs. Bryant spoke about their search, how it started, and what progress had been made. Jack Bryant is a retired director of the Phillips County Office of Economic Opportunity. Their search began when they attended a wedding in April, 1979, at Quitman in the southern part of Cleburne County. The wedding was held at the Goodloe Community Church, which was built in 1843. The church was founded by five white families and two black slaves. They all worshipped there together. There are 26 slaves’ graves in the cemetery and they have only small stone slabs as markers. The names and dates are lacking.

After seeing these graves, Mr. Bryant decided to put forth some effort to see that these slaves would not be forgotten. In his talk to our society, he pointed out that the slaves in Izard County, although not as numerous as in other sections of Arkansas, nevertheless had helped open up this country, to clear the land, cultivate it, and had played an important part in its history; a part of that has almost been forgotten.

Since April, 1979 the Bryants have located 7, 202 graves in 26 counties in Arkansas. Their plans include visits to the rest of the counties of Arkansas, and to record where the graves are and how many slaves are buried at each plot. They hope that eventually they cat get a page added to the Arkansas history books listing the contributions of these people to the heritage of Arkansas.
The largest number of graves found at one site was on the property of a Mrs. Polk, whose husband’s great grandfather was a brother of President James Polk. They charted 999 slave graves on one section of her property and 250 on another.

In his talk at the October meeting he stressed the fact that many people, descendants of former slave owners, might not want to come forward and help him in locating these graves. He said that his search was not intended to embarrass anyone, that he is not trying to bring the issue of slavery up all over again. He said, “That’s behind us for good. We simply want to remember these people for what they did.”

Our black population has a much more difficult task in tracing their ancestry than the white members of our society. What makes it difficult is that so many of the slave families were separated. Then, when they were freed after the Civil War, they took the names of their owners. This made the problem of tracing their roots more difficult. We hope that the research being done by the Bryants will help the blacks who are searching for their own roots.

Anyone with knowledge of slave graves in Arkansas is urged to write Mr. or Mrs. Jack Bryant, 773 S. Biscoe St., Helena, AR 72342. (Note: This text and address is from 1980).

 

Here is some information I found while hunting my own line of Stringfellows. When I worked on the census for the years of 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 & 1930, I tried to copied all the Stringfellows/Strongfellows to keep each line straight since so many were named George, John, James, Williams, Henry, Edward, Joe and Robert. While doing research in Washington County, Texas, I ran across quite a few Afri-American familes and some are listed below to help researchers.

 

 

Descendants of George Stringfellow --these Stringfellow lines are of Afri-American descent.

1 George Stringfellow b: 1831 in TX?

Census: 1880 Washington Co. TX (Brenham) / JP5 ED 151
......... 2 Fanny Stringfellow b: 1860 in TX
............. +Charles Robertson

m: 05 Mar 1879 in Brenham, Washington Co. TX (# 618) Bk6 p310
......... 2 Daniel Stringfellow b: 1862 in TX
......... 2 Venue Stringfellow b: 1850 in TX
......... 2 Joseph Stringfellow b: 1864 in TX
............. +Mattie Harris m: 25 Nov 1889 in Washington Co. TX (#4610) bk10 p185
......... 2 George Stringfellow b: 1867 in TX
......... 2 Nina Stringfellow b: 1870 in TX
............. +Willie Brooks

m: 04 Jan 1890 in Brenham, Washington Co. TX (# 4714) Bk10 p237
......... 2 Mary Stringfellow b: 1873 in TX
......... 2 Wash Stringfellow b: 1876 in Washington Co. TX (Brenham)
......... 2 Mahala Stringfellow b: 1880 in Washington Co. TX (Brenham)

 

Descendants of A. Stringfellow

1 A. Stringfellow b: 1835 in AL Census 1: 1880 Jackson Co. LA p. 193b/ step father, Charles Kermichael 86 LA with family
.. +Tamy b: 1842
......... 2 Rachel Stringfellow b: 1860 in LA
......... 2 John Stringfellow b: 1867 in LA
......... 2 Wiley Stringfellow b: 1869 in LA
......... 2 Pleasant Stringfellow b: 1871 in LA
......... 2 James "Jim" Stringfellow b: 1873 in LA
......... 2 Sallie Stringfellow b: 1874 in LA
......... 2 Willie Stringfellow b: 1878 in LA
......... 2 Ella Stringfellow b: 1879 in LA

Descendants of James Adam Morgan

1 James Adam Morgan

Census: 1910 Dewitt Co. ED36 S303 Vol 38/
......... 2 Ada Morgan b: 1888

Census: 1910 Dewitt Co. ED36 S303 Vol 38/daughter of Adam James
............. +Stringfellow
......... 2 Berry Morgan Stringfellow b: 1910

Census: 1910 Dewitt Co. ED36 S303 Vol 38/daughter of Adam James
......... 2 Julgessus Morgan b: 1908

Census: 1910 Living with father in Dewitt Co. TX (father- Adam James or James Morgan or James Adam Morgan?

 



Descendants of Charles Stringfellow

1 Charles Stringfellow b: 1856 in TX

Census: 1880 Brenham, Washington Co. TX JP#5 ED148
.. +Kate b: 1860 in TX
......... 2 Sudan Stringfellow b: 1877 in TX
......... 2 Mary Stringfellow b: 1879 in TX


 

Descendants of Gaines Stringfellow

1 Gaines Stringfellow b: 1835 in MS

Census: 1920 Desmott, Chicot Co. AR ED 41 S19 L25 Vol 6/had grandchildren & dau-? living with him
......... 2 Son Stringfellow b: 1890
............. +Annie
.................... 3 Hench Stringfellow b: 1914
.................... 3 Flora Bell Stringfellow b: 1915 in AR
.................... 3 Clara Stringfellow b: 1917 in AR
.................... 3 Julia Stringfellow b: Bet. 1919 - 1920 in AR

 

Descendants of Pickens C. Stringfellow

1 Pickens C. Stringfellow b: 1866 in AR

Census 1: 1900 Lee Co. AR, Lee Township

Census 2: 1910 Lee Co. AR (Union TWP) Forrest City and Cutoff RD(near Dansby, AR)had step dau, Lucy Herrine 9 yrsAR & grandson, Oliver Banks age 8 AR living with family

Fact: Apr 2002 Richard Schaefer..email: rcsthor@aol.com/researching this family
. +Mary L. b: 1863 in AR m: 1890

Census: 1910 Lee Co. AR Forrest City and Cutoff RD(near Dansby, AR)/7 children/5 living


...... 2 Ory Stringfellow b: May 1891 d: Bef. 1910
...... 2 Ethel Stringfellow b: Jan 1893
...... 2 Eva Stringfellow b: Apr 1895
...... 2 Thomas Stringfellow b: 1897
...... 2 Ramsal Stringfellow b: Mar 1898
...... 2 Pickens Stringfellow b: Mar 1899 Fact: 1910 not on census with family; died young?


...... 2 Oscar Stringfellow b: 1900

 

Descendants of Stringfellow

1 Stringfellow
. +Rachle Brown b: 1851 in TX

Census: 1880 Washington Co. TX (Brenham) / JP5 ED 151 living with brother, Dave
...... 2 Robert Stringfellow b: 1864 in TX
...... 2 Emeline Stringfellow b: 1871 in TX
.......... +Cal Ewing

m: 18 Dec 1886 in Brenham, Washington Co. TX (# 3456) bk9 p231
...... 2 Tom Stringfellow b: 1873 in TX

Census 1: 1880 Washington Co. TX (Brenham) / JP5 ED 151 with mother Census 2: 1900 Washington Co. TX (Brenham)/ED105 S17 L5 Pct#3

Census 3: 1910 Washington Co. TX (Brenham)/ED108 s208

Census 4: 1920 Washington Co. TX (Brenham) ED143 S9 L19


.......... +Ida Williams b: 1873 in TX

m: 21 Dec 1892 in Washington Co. TX (#5735) bk12 p21 d: Aft. 1920 Father: Williams Mother: Laura


.............. 3 Robert Stringfellow b: Bet. 1900 - 1901
.............. 3 Laura Stringfellow b: Bet. 1902 - 1903
.................. +Ed "Eddie" Harris
...................... 4 Maddie Mae Harris b: 08 Oct 1928
...................... 4 Chester Lee Harris b: 31 Jan 1934
...................... 4 Ed "Eddie" Harris b: 06 Aug 1935
.............. 3 ThomasTommy Stringfellow b: Bet. 1906 - 1908
.................. +Almeta Charles
...................... 4 Elsie Stringfellow b: 30 Jan 1931
...................... 4 Robert Lee Stringfellow b: 08 May 1933
...................... 4 Dorthie Mae Stringfellow b: 09 Jan 1936
.............. 3 Aaron Stringfellow b: 1908
.................. +Estella "Stella" Hughes
...................... 4 Stella Mae Stringfellow b: 06 May 1932
...................... 4 Aaron Stringfellow, Jr. b: 15 May 1934 in Washington Co. TX (Brenham-TX Births)
.......................... +Delores Nickerson b: 1943

m: 28 Nov 1969 in Washington Co. TX (#124356)

d: Abt. 10 Oct 1974 in Washington Co. TX (Brenham)
...................... *2nd Wife of Aaron Stringfellow, Jr.:
.......................... +Bobbie J. Johnson b: 1942

m: 14 May 1976 in Washington Co. TX (#52146)
...................... 4 Dorothy Mae Stringfellow b: 11 Sep 1937 in Washington Co. TX (Brenham) (TX Births)
...................... 4 Lucile Stringfellow b: 26 Mar 1940 in Washington Co. TX (Brenham)(TX Births)
...................... 4 L.C. Stringfellow b: 12 Aug 1942
...................... 4 Thomas C. Stringfellow b: 29 Dec 1944
.......................... +Dorothy b: 1949

m: 05 Nov 1966 in Washington Co. TX
...................... 4 Emma Jean Stringfellow b: 26 Apr 1947
...................... 4 Hattie Marie Stringfellow b: 11 Apr 1948
.............. 3 Howie Stringfellow b: 1912
.............. 3 Cedar Stringfellow b: 1913
...... *2nd Wife of Tom Stringfellow:
.......... +Fannie b: Mar 1862 in TX m: Abt. 1895 d: Aft. 1900
.............. 3 Cora Stringfellow b: 1894
.............. 3 Juline T. Stringfellow b: Jun 1896 in TX
.............. 3 Chester Stringfellow b: 1898
.............. 3 Mahala L. Stringfellow b: Bet. Oct 1899 - 1900 in TX
...... 2 Arthur Stringfellow b: 1876 in TX
...... 2 James Stringfellow b: 1879 in TX

Census: 1880 Washington Co. TX (Brenham) / JP5 ED 151 living with Uncle Dave



More Stringfellow coming later.

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