Kelley McMahan White Craighead Stell

                       Jennifer White


From: "J. White" (
Subject: Re: KELLEY family--Hello
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2000 03:01:40 GMT

Thank you for your website address; it will keep me busy. I'm sure I'll
have more questions in the future, but for the time being I will send a
heartfelt thank you.

Jen White


You are welcome. There is another "Email" entry in progress for you and it 
will be added to from day to day until completed. I will currently focus 
attention on your line of family adding Family Group Records &c. Note under 
Civil War (Records) there is now a file for Robert McMahan Kelley's 
Confederate Military Service.


From: "J. White" (
Subject: Re: Reply
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 11:47:58 GMT

Just as a record update, I am in the process of requesting the
McMAHAN-KELLEY marriage certificate from (Illinois). It exists, allegedly,
and when I get my paws on it I can send you a jpeg of that, too, and the
address etc.

I'm working hard on this line now because it connects to the only living
relatives of mine who care and, other than me and my dad, they are in their
80s and I feel like I'm up against time at this point.

From: "J. White" (
Subject: McMAHAN Probate/Marriage in Illinois
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 23:10:15 GMT

Fellow researchers may be interested.

To obtain copies of Robert McMahan's probate file (box 5, tray 13) and/or 
the marriage record of William Kelly (sic) and Rebecca McMahan (Madison 
County, 6/14/1814, Vol 006, Page 0001, License No. 27) write or call:

Illinois Regional Archives Depository
c/o Special Collections
Morris Library--6632
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901

Telephone: (618) 453-3040

Their fantastic website can be found at:

                                                 26 April 1981

Dear David:

... Mrs. Kathryn Williams of Jacksonville, Ark. has shared your letter of 
31 March (1981) with me - in addition to, the very welcome material which 
you had previously compiled on the Kelley Family and forwarded to the 
Arkansas Genealogical Society.

By way of introduction, I am Burness Veal Kelley, Jr. son of Burness Sr.,
born 3 Nov 1902 to Martin Andrew and Sarah Addiline (Mitchell) Kelley and
will later supply you with what I know of my branch of the family. As you
can see Kathryn and I are first cousins. Hattie (Kelley) Nelson being my
father's elder sister. I had not seen Kathryn nor her brothers or sisters
since 1946 until 1980, and until then, my last contact with them - and my
grandmother Kelley - was about 1936, but did stop, passing through Sheridan
for a two hour visit in 1956 with Hattie.

... I would question my grandparents (maternal), with whom I lived, about 
their family. I only wish now that I remembered it better as they told it 
to me! Nevertheless, I have managed to retain lots of it plus the varied 
items of memorabilia I now have. Unfortunately, as mentioned previously, I 
had very little association with the Kelley side of the family because of 
my father and mother's divorce in the early 1930's, and living with my 
mother and her family, except for one short six to eight months period ... 
following their initial separation when I lived with dad and his parents 
who were then residing near the community of Pumphrey, Runnels County, 
Texas ... The area has since become almost devoid of houses ... It was 
approximately eight miles from the present city of Winters, Texas. In case 
you wonder why the detailed information, Pumphrey was where my maternal 
grandparents lived and farmed, where my mother completed high school, and 
where Ma & Pa Kelley, "Mart and Addie" as they were known to me, moved (to) 
from Big Springs, Texas (I think this is correct: Ed Mitchell, her brother 
lived there and later moved to Abilene, Texas). They ran a farm or 
share-cropped ... for a lawyer in Winters, Texas. His name was ... Gaston 
... My grandfather Martin (Kelley) became ill while I was living with them 
and we came to Sheridan, Arkansas traveling (by train) in the baggage car 
as he was confined to a cot. Though I did not know what was wrong with him 
at the time, Mr. Arthur Mitchell, Addie's nephew, with whom I visited last 
fall, said he had "hardening of the arteries" and that it affected his 
brain. This certainly is in keeping with my own memories of him - that he 
was very fond of me and I of him prior to his being "sick". After we came 
to Arkansas, I recall that my dad and Ma Kelley both - apparently at his 
own request, as my father later stated - made it very emphatic and somewhat 
frightening that I was never to go into his room alone. This certainly 
would be in keeping with his past history - as Arthur stated - of a very 
"high-tempered" individual who was later to be hospitalized in the State 
Mental Hospital for treatment. As he became progressively worse, dad 
returned me to my mother at Ranger, Texas because they feared that he might 
harm me, and he died 18 Nov 1931 at Sheridan, and is buried in Lost Creek 
Cemetery just out of Sheridan ... Addie expired on (the) 22 March 1948 and 
is likewise buried at Lost Creek Cemetery. Mary, Kathryn's sister and I 
visited their graves as well as Hattie and Robert Nelson's which are nearby 
while I was in Sheridan last fall ...

As previously mentioned I visited Sheridan in 1946 and spent several hours
with my grandmother Kelley; at that time I asked her several things about
the family history and wrote some of it down. She gave me a copy of an old
newspaper ... and a picture of Sarah Adeline Carpenter Kelley. At the time
of my visit to Arkansas last October I had the newspaper with me and gave
Kathryn photostatic copies of it. Unfortunately, the other articles from
both sides of the family ... were temporarily misplaced, and it was only
recently that I located them. Incidently ... the heading of the newspaper
... is: Page four, Sunday Magazine Section, Arkansas Gazette, April 3, 

The information which my grandmother gave me - some committed to memory and
some written - in 1946, is as follows: Sarah Adeline Carpenter Kelley,
Martin's mother, whose faded 3x5 sepia tone picture by I.H. Gore "Practical
Photographer" on reverse, I have just relocated, appears to be a rather
buxom, somewhat on the plump side lady of about 45 years (of) age with dark 
hair parted in the middle and pulled to what appears to be a "bun" or plat 
in the back. This tallies with what Ma Kelley described and I wrote down at
the time. Sarah Adaline Carpenter Kelley, (please note that though Ma 
Kelley and Sarah Adaline Carpenter Kelley shared a common name that she 
spelled hers "Addiline" which is the way she wrote it on my father's birth
certificate, a copy of which I have seen) ... was a "large, red-haired 
woman" further being described as almost six feet in height. She was a
"woman doctor" having apprenticed herself (this from memory now) to her
father who was also a physician for some years. She attended a one year
medical course in Chicago for females only - then returned to Arkansas and
practiced medicene ...  Ma Kelley said that the two of them grew their own 
opium poppies, extracted the crude opium gums, and took it to Chicago to 
the annual medical meeting to be traded for refined codeine and morphine to 
use in their medical practice.                                             

    Sarah Adaline Carpenter Kelley's father (in-law) William Kelley 
    was the Physician. Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern
    Arkansas, (The Goodspeed Publishing Company: Chicago, Nashville 
    and St. Louis), Clark County, page 146; Census Record: Pike County
    Arkansas 1860.

... Looking further in my notes of 1946, Ma Kelley told me that one of
Mart's sisters, Martha Stell had a husband who fought in the battle of
Jenkins Ferry during the Civil War - this was apparently Andrew Armstrong
Stell whom you have listed. Also, a sister ... married a Sellers ...
Richard Kelley married an Indian woman in Oklahoma according to her memory
and what I (had) written down at the time. And that's about all from that

Your information concerning the children of Martin Andrew and Sarah
Addiline Kelley seems to be essentially correct with what I have. I had
several pages in my notebook written as Arthur Mitchell discussed the
children but for some ... reason, those pages are missing or misplaced ...
but from memory. Jeffie born 1887 died at 18 months (Ma Kelley); Elmo
born 1888 died (age) 33 years of T.B. (Ma Kelley). He was a school teacher
and taught my father as well as Arthur Mitchell who showed me the site of
the old school. (His) wife was Mary Dillahuntie who also expired of T.B.
leaving one son Doris I. Kelley ... Charley, 20 Dec 1889 died 1890 ... of
burns from falling into (a) fire (Arthur Mitchell); Hattie; Elonzo (Lonnie)
wild, prankster and fun loving - died in Nashville, Ark. under 
circumstances of doubt according to Arthur; William (Willie) 1896 - was 
described as rather a sickly child by Arthur. He got up late in the 
morning, wouldn't eat much and simply sat around in the chair until later 
in the day, was "petted" a lot by Hattie and Addie and died of what Arthur 
thought was a ruptured appendix; Zola A. died of "chill settling in her 
lungs" according to Arthur; Burness V. born 3 March 1902, Brownstown, 
Sevier County, Ark., died 1964, Carthage, Texas. Arkansas Board of Health, 
(Births), Vol 144, page 298, gave the following: Martin Andrew Kelley born 
Delight, Ark., Pike County, age 40 years. Sarah Addiline Mitchell Kelley 
born Fayetteville, Washington County, Ark., age 37. Total children 
including this birth: 8; Deris 15 Oct 1904-1906 (no info).

Burness Veal Kelley married Sybil Edith Hill on 16 Feb 1924 recorded in
Ballinger, Texas, Vol. 5, page 527. I have their certificate of marriage
before me now signed by the county clerk on 16 April 1924 and 
stamped/sealed with the County Court seal. W.A. Forgey being the County
Clerk; (divorced) ... Children: Burness V. Kelley, Jr. b. 7 Dec 1924,
Ranger, Texas, Eastland County; Lella Waydeene Kelley, b. 13 Nov 1926,
same place.

Burness V. Sr. married Mary (Dinkins) Huey widow of Frank Huey about 1935.
More later when I talk to Mary who still resides at Carthage. (Children):
Sarah L. Kelley born 1936 died Oct 1939 of ptomaine; Michael W. Kelley b.
1939 or 1940; Thomas Martin Kelley (born) about 1942 ...

By now, I'm sure you must share some of the same feelings as are common to
mine; it is with something close to awe and reverence, yet something of a
sympathetic thankfulness with which I have returned to the several places
where my ancestors have gone from. Half remembered descriptions come to
life - old pictures (always stark and grim by the older methods) take on
life and color when I have found their original settings.

I talked to an elderly lady of 93 living in Franklin, Robertson County,
Texas who knew my maternal grandparents well ... date(d) my grandfather's 
younger brother and remembered when my mother was born. That the same 
minister who performed the marriage ceremony for my maternal grandmother's 
parents also married she and (also) my grandfather. The greatest however 
was that her mother and my grandfather's mother were sisters so we were 
related! Bless her heart; she died not long after that so I didn't get to 
talk to her anymore. But it was good to walk the same streets and paths -
to know that my great grandfather had walked some of the same when he was
a young boy orphaned by the Civil War and brought with his brother from
Georgia to Texas in a wagon to live with his mother's people.

I likewise felt the same in Delight - knowing that my ancestry went back
even further here; walking among the tombstones and grave markers. I
wondered what we shared in common - besides the name - if we could but

I have noted a strong trend toward health care fields in the family - at
least with which I am acquainted. As you know William (Kelley) was
apparently a physician, as apparantly Sarah Adeline Carpenter - several of
Hattie's grandchildren are in the health care area - 4 or 5 - and I was
in anesthesia until I retired and my sister was a student nurse when she
married later dropping out. I also note a definite trend toward seeking 
education in the family. Yet another, which I cannot trace back ... is
music. Elmo (Kelley) was a school teacher plus he played the organ ...
Arthur stated that when Elmo was home alone sometimes, he could hear him
playing and singing all the way over to their house; both families lived 
near the sawmill which Martin Andrew (Kelley) owned.

My father was musically inclined, singing and playing the guitar, even 
over the local (radio) station in Henderson, Texas for a while. I played 
semi-professionally in C&W bands in the late 1940's and some barbershop 
type. Still play "at" uke, guitar, harmonica, thumb piano and electric 
organ; my son Michael is well educated in music playing professionally even 
as a senior in high school until his marriage.

Arthur Mitchell and his wife Maggie, besides feeding me well and giving me
a place to stay for the night, were a most kind and gracious old couple. I
found that I had been to their house once previously in 1936 - but I
remembered very little about it. Arthur got out the old pickup and drove
me around the country-side pointing out the school site which I previously
mentioned, plus the former site of the sawmill and their respective homes.

Martin Andrew (Kelley) or "Mart" as Arthur called him (by the way Arthur
was born in 1894 within 2 miles of where he presently lives) owned the
sawmill there near Cowlingsville north of Brownstown and supplied all the
beams, lumber, shingles, etc. for the large cement plant which existed at
one time in the area - likewise all the company houses for workers and big
shots. Arthur's father Leonard worked at the sawmill and both families
lived close to it. Lonnie and William (he called him Bill) (Kelley) had a 
pet pig which they played with. One day, following a snow, they put Mart's 
boots on the pig which ran off down the hill toward the sawmill and Mart 
seeing the pig thus attired attempted to stop him. The pig ran between his
legs, upsetting him into the snow. Mart got up mad as a hornet and chased
the pig all around the mill! Another time the boys, including Arthur and
his brothers, spotted Mart's hiding place for his Christmas whiskey - 
behind the organ; they helped him drink it - with the expected reaction 
from Mart.

One of my most pleasant surprises was an old house that was still standing
and fairly well preserved - built by Mart (Kelley) about 1903-1904 to which
Arthur took me. If you have a copy of (the) Early History of Pike County,
it was very similiar in design and style to the one on page 126. High 
ceilings - walls of beautiful cypress - absolutely knot free - pine 
flooring - typical shape with (a) "dog trot" down the middle, front porch
and dog trot extending to (a) side porch in the rear.

Standing and walking about the old home was so very meaningful to me. I
loved Ma Kelley very much, though very strict in her Hardshell Baptist
morality, she was very kind and loving. She taught me many things when I
was little - especially Bibical life. She bought a book called How Granny
Told The Bible Stories which she gave me and read to me before I could
read about children mentioned in the Bible. Though battered and worn, I 
still have the book. She was a remarkable lady loosing all of her children
except Hattie and my dad, having a husband who apparently lost his business
and his health and finally dying, she retained a remarkably good outlook on
life and was a very strong personality.

Looking at the kitchen of that old house made it easier to imagine her as a
younger woman (we tend to think of our grandparents as always having been
old!) facing a new day - my father very young - possibly William ill and
sickly - my grandfather waiting (for) his breakfast - getting a 
wood-burning stove to function every morning was a ... task within itself.
The whole house was a testimonial reality to the skills my grandfather had 
as a craftsman - that I remember from watching him when I was a child. His
hands were clever in (the) manipulation of tools! Anyone who could eat peas
and beans with a knife - which is what he always ate with - had ... well
better be steady of hand! More than that, however, the house was kind of
"living evidence" a thousand times more eloquent than a gravestone in
saying: "These were my people; they lived here as a family sharing the same
happiness and sorrows that I now know in my own life." Kathryn Williams has
also visited the old house and fell in love with it as I did.

David, I shall bring this rather rambling affront to literary decency to a
halt without any words of sponsorship nor blame. I thank you for all the
previous work you have done in the past and are doing now concerning the
Kelley Family and which I have fallen heir to via Kathryn Williams ...

Best wishes in your continuing search -

                                                 B.V. Kelley Jr.
                                                 Rt 2 Box 275
                                                 Floresville, TX 78114

Enclosures: Family Group Records
Family Group Record                                                      1
Husband  Burness Veal Kelley Sr. 
Born                   Place 
Marr    16 Feb 1924    Place Ballenger, Runnells County, Texas
Died                   Place 
Bur                    Place 
Husband's Father  Martin Andrew Kelley
Husband's Mother  Sarah (Addiline) Mitchell
Husband's Other Wives  Mary (Denkins) Huey
Wife     Sybil Edith Hill
Born    17 May 1903    Place Robertson County, Texas
Died    19 Jun 1967    Place Eastland Hospital, Eastland, Texas
Bur                    Place Crossroads Cem., Southeast of Ranger, Texas
Wife's Father     James Caswell Hill
Wife's Mother     Earl Brown Faircloth
Wife's Other Husbands  Richard Tankersley
 1  Sex  Given Name
     M   Burness Veal Kelley Jr.
         Born      7 Dec 1924    Place Ranger, Eastland, Texas 
         Marr      5 Jan 1951    Place 
         To Whom  Greta Gay (Gardner) Cannon
 2  Sex  Given Name
     F   Lella Waydene Kelley
         Born     13 Nov 1926    Place Ranger, Eastland, Texas             
         Marr            1947    Place 
         To Whom  Sherman Ben Wallace
Burness Veal Kelley Sr. brother of Hattie Kelley Nelson. When married 1924,
address North Hunt St. Sybil Edith Hill born possibly Headsville Community.
Her residence at death Cisco, Texas.
Sources of Information: Family Records of Sybil E. Tankersley & B.V. Kelley
Jr.  1972 The Genealogical Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-day Saints, Inc.
Family Group Record                                                      2
Husband  Burness Veal Kelley Sr.
Born                   Place 
Marr                   Place Henderson, Texas
Died                   Place 
Bur                    Place 
Husband's Father  Martin Andrew Kelley
Husband's Mother  Sarah (Addiline) Mitchell
Husband's Other Wives  Sybil Edith Hill
Wife     Mary (Denkins) Huey
Born                   Place 
Died                   Place 
Bur                    Place 
Wife's Father     
Wife's Mother     
Wife's Other Husbands  Frank Huey
 1  Sex  Given Name
     F   Sarah Lajuana Kelley
         Born            1936    Place Henderson, Rusk, Texas 
         Died            1939    Place
 2  Sex  Given Name
     M   Michael Wayne Kelley
         Born        Abt 1940    Place Henderson, Rusk, Texas 
 3  Sex  Given Name
     M   Thomas Martin Kelley
         Born        Abt 1942    Place Henderson, Rusk, Texas 
Burness Veal Kelley Sr. brother of Hattie Kelley Nelson. Address at time of
marriage, Box 466, Joinerville, Texas. Stepson Jimmie Frank Huey born about
1931 lived in the household also. Sarah Lajuana Kelley died about age 3
from ptomaine poisoning and dehydration after becoming ill from chicken
salad sandwiches served at a friend's birthday party. She and B.V. Sr. are
buried near Joinerville, Texas, Rusk County, East of Gaston School on the
Henderson, Texas Highway near a small Methodist Church.
Sources of Information: B.V. (Kelley) Jr.  1972 The Genealogical Society
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Inc.

                                                 September 9, 1982

Mr. B.V. Kelley Jr.
Rt. 2, Box 275
Floresville, TX 78114

Dear Burness,

... It is obvious you are more than average ... informed about your family
history and genealogy. I too feel as you ... for our ancestors as I learn
about them and visit the places they lived ... I hope this exceptional long
delay in answering will be accepted as well as my sincere appreciation for
your letter.

I haven't developed too much more on the Kelley family lately but hope to
make some progress ... I have employed a lady ... who lives in Brunswick
County, Virginia to do research on the Kelley's in that county. There were
"Giles" Kelley/Kelly's living there by the 1740's. I have felt they may be
our family relations as the name "Giles" has come down through the family
... generations.

I ... have a copy of the Confederate war record of your great grandfather
Robert McMahan Kelley. He (enlisted) ... May 10, 1862 at Hamburg, Arkansas
for the period of 3 years (or during the war). Sometime between October 31,
1862 and April 30, 1863 he was wounded at Prairie Grove and returned home
on furlough. Later he returns for duty but ... on November 16, 1864 at
Military Prison, Little Rock, Arkansas (he) took the oath of allegiance to 
the United States. I imagine he had been captured ...

When Robert M. Kelley's father (William Kelley) died his Last Will and
Testament, dated January 5, 1869, mentioned "Robert M. Kelley's heirs" ...
indicating he was already dead. I ... checked the 1866 & 1867 Pike County,
Arkansas tax lists (the only ones available after the Civil War) and found
Robt. Kelley's name ... but on the 1867 tax list under his name is "Kelley, 
Robt. Guardian" who was assessed a ... small (amount of) tax ... this 
(suggests) he (has) died ... during the year 1867 and (an estate) guardian
appointed ... He still had 6 minor children at home in 1867 ...

Kathryn and I have (not) found your great grandmother (Sarah Kelley) and
her children that would have still been at home (during) the 1870 Pike (or 
in) surrounding counties census. They were either missed by the census
enumerator or temporarily moved away ...

I would like ... an opportunity to meet you.


                                                 David L. Kelley

                                                 Route 1, Box 125
                                                 Ashdown, Arkansas 71822
                                                 September 15, 1979

Dear David,

After a long spell of inactivity, I am back on my genealogy again and
wanted to send you some bits and pieces of information and ask you a
question or two. I am sending you my copy of an article on Jesse T. McMahan
who I think was (a) descendant of our Robert McMahan and Nancy Kester. I 
wonder what source you used for (the) parents of Robert McMahan Kelley and 
if you had seen this article. I imagine you're far ahead of me with your 
information and have already seen it.

Did Aunt Audrey Delaney tell you that Sarah Carpenter was (the) wife of
Robert McMahan Kelley? I don't know what her source of information ... but
she has a picture (tin-type) of Sarah who was an Indian. Aunt Audrey called
her a Doctor who went about ... treating the sick. In the 1850 census of
Pike Co., Ark. I found:

        Dwelling #289  John Carpenter         64           Va
                       Sarah                  60           Tenn
                       George                 21           Tenn
                       Polly                  18           Tenn
        Dwelling #290  Jesse Carpenter        35  Farmer   Ky
                       John                    7           Ark
                       Nancy J.                5           Ark
                       Amanda M.               2           Ark
        Dwelling #287  John Carpenter Jr.     32           Ky
                       Jane                   22           Tex
                       Sarah E.                5           Ark
                       Rebecca                 3           Ark
                       Louisa                 22           Ala
        Dwelling #286  John S. Carpenter      24           Ala
                       Elizabeth              23           Tex
                       Isaac                  12           Tex
I hope you can read this ...

                                                 Frances Mansfield

Enclosure: Biography of Jesse T. McMahan
Jesse T. McMahan, a pioneer farmer of Ouachita County and an eminently
self-made man, was born June 3, 1830 in Greene County, Ill., a son of 
Robert and Nancy (Conway) McMahan, natives of Tennessee and Kentucky. 
Robert McMahan was a son of Robert McMahan, Sr., also a native of 
Tennessee. Robert McMahan, Sr., moved to Illinois, being among the first
settlers of the State, and the first settler of Madison County. He was
there married to his first wife, who bore him six children. They were
captued by the Indians, and Mrs. McMahan and four of the children were
killed. One, an infant, was left at home in the cradle, being overlooked by
the Indians, and the other, a girl, was carried captive and held by the
Indians for four or five years. Mr. McMahan escaped a few days after his
capture and returned to his home to find the baby starved to death in its
cradle. He then returned to Tennessee, where he married his second wife,
the grandmother of our subject, Nancy Custer, of Tennessee, and soon after
the birth of their son Robert, father of our subject, they returned to
Madison County, Ill., where they lived until the father's death. Four or
five years after the capture and massacre of his wife and family, Mr.
McMahan reclaimed his daughter from the Indians, paying them a ransom for
her release. Her name was Lucy. She married a man by the name of Gaskell,
and was the mother of several children, and died in Madison County since
the war. Mrs. McMahan (the grandmother of our subject) died about 1865,
aged one hundred and five. Robert McMahan (the father of our subject) was
born in 1785, and reared to pioneer life in Madison County, Ill., and
married Miss Nancy Conway, a native of Kentucky, born about 1795, a 
daughter of Jesse Conway. His death occurred in 1869, and his wife followed
one year later. They were both members of the Baptist Church. They were the
parents of twelve children, ten of whom are still living - five boys and
five girls - viz.: Margaret (now Mrs. McBride, of Nebraska), Mary, Mrs.
Cochran (a widow residing in Scott County, Ill.), Henry (a farmer of Greene
County, Ill.), Rebecca, Mrs. Smith (of Scott County, Ill.), Jesse (the
subject of this sketch), Jane, Mrs. Wells (of Nebraska), Nathaniel (a
merchant of Manchester, Ill.), William (a miner in Missouri), Hester, Mrs.
McPherson (of Greene County, Ill.), and George (a merchant of Greene 
County, Ill.) Jesse McMahan, the subject of this sketch, was reared to
farm labor in Ilinois, and although he had no chance to attend school much,
he obtained a common-school education. In 1848 he came to Arkansas, and
worked out at farm labor, sending his wages home to his parents. Two years
later he came to Camden, Ouachita County, where he commenced work for
himself, being employed in the office of the constable at writing. Then he
engaged in business as a butcher for a year or so, after which he went to
school at Mine Creek, Hempstead County, for six months, then returned to
Camden, and was again employed in the constable's office, which was at that
time a very important office. He then formed a partnership with a man by
the name of Jennings, and embarked in the grocery business. One year later
he sold out his interest, then clerked in a dry goods store, a year or 
more, after which, in the fall of 1854, he engaged in steamboating on the
Ouachita and Red Rivers, and has since been engaged in that business in
connection with farming, having an interest in a steamer, and was employed
as pilot on the same until 1883. In 1861 Mr. McMahan enlisted in the First
Arkansas Infantry, of which he was captain, and served until April, 1862,
when he was wounded at the battle of Shiloh, being shot in the mouth, the
ball tearing out part of the lower jaw, teeth, and part of his tongue. He
received a discharge on account of disability, and returned home. He first
enlisted as orderly sergeant for a term of twelve months, and upon the
reorganization of his regiment he was made captain of his company. The 
First Arkansas Infantry was organized before the State seceded. Mr. McMahan
participated in the battles of Bull Run and Shiloh, besides many 
skirmishes. October 29, 1863, he was married to Miss Sarah Jones, a native
of this county, and a daughteer of Thomas and Sarah (Frazier) Jones, 
natives of Virginia and South Carolina, respectively. She was born February
10, 1846. They have never had any children of their own, but have raised
seven orphan children. They are now bringing up three children: Alice 
Scogin, Georgia Scogin and Thomas McMahan (his name also was Scogin, but
was adopted by subject and wife). Mr. McMahan bought his present farm in
1863, and moved on the place in 1865, and although he has been engaged in
steamboating, he has since carried on this farm and resided here, and since
1883 he has devoted his whole time and attention to farming, dairying and
stock-raising. He owns 585 acrs of land, with 160 acres under cultivation.
His principal crop in the past has been cotton, but since 1883 he has been
devoting his time to stock-raising and dairying, and now owns about 200 
head of cattle, and sells more milk and butter than any other farmer of
Ouachita County. He is a lover of fine stock, and owns some thoroughbrred
Jersey cattle, and Brown Leghorn and Wyandotte fowls, Toulon geese and 
Pekin white ducks; he also raises horses and mules and hogs for market. 
Both he and wife are earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
South. Mr. McMahan is a member of the Masonic order and of the County 
Wheel. Politically he affiliates with the Democratic party. He is one of
the leading farmers of Ouachita County, and takes an active interest in all
laudable public enterprises. Biographical and Historical Memoirs of 
Southern Arkansas, (The Goodspeed Publishing Company: Chicago, Nashville
and St. Louis), 1890, Ouachita County, page 678-679.

                            September 23, 1979

Mrs. B.L. Mansfield
Route 1, Box 125
Ashdown, Arkansas 71822

Dear Frances,

Before I answer your questions, let me thank you for writing. I called
Audrey last week and asked her (details) about the James Davis Mansfield 
family, their children and who they married ...

In answer to your question as to the source (for) the (parents) of Robert
McMahan Kelley, they are combined. First, ... the pages of an old Bible ... 
(of) William Kelley('s) ... from which he preached, are ... entries of his
family's births. (There) is (an) entry (for) "Robert McMahan Kelley" born
March 31, 1821.

Second, an abstract exists of the Last Will and Testament of William Kelley
recorded in an old abstract book, property of the Guaranty Abstract and 
Title Company of Murfreesboro, Arkansas. Dated January 5, 1869 and recorded 
in Will Book A, page 54, a burned record (unrestored), (it was) destroyed 
during a fire in 1895, reads: "I give and bequeath to my beloved children,
(Elijah) W. Kelley, Samuel Kelley, William J. Kelley, Elizabeth Kirkham,
Margaret Doss, Nancy Dossey heirs, and Robert M. Kelley's heirs, the sum of
one Dollar each ..."

... the Will reads Robert M. Kelley's heirs ... (and) indicates he has ...
died leaving children. I do not know when he died. The last record I have 
of him is when he was at the Military Prison in Little Rock, Arkansas and 
there made an oath of allegiance to the United States on November 16, 1864. 
He had been a private during the Civil War attached to Capt. Bragg's 
Company of Arkansas Infantry. This regiment was designated at various times 
as the 1st Regiment Trans-Mississippi Infantry, Pleasants' Regiment 
Arkansas Infantry and Bell's Regiment Arkansas Infantry; and at the same 
time it was also known as 1st Regiment Arkansas Infantry, 29th Regiment 
Arkansas Infantry and 37th Regiment Arkansas Infantry.

A record of marriage for William Kelley to Rebecca McMahan, date(d) June
14, 1814 is (recorded) in Madison County, Illinois ... that William Kelley
married Rebecca McMahan is (also) found (in) the biography of Samuel Kelley
of Howard County, Arkansas; Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern
Arkansas, page 277-278. (McMahan) was spelled phonetically as McMann.

... that Robert McMahan Kelley married Sarah Carpenter has been given ...
from the personal knowledge of Audrey and ... Mrs. Hattie Nelson, now
deceased, of Sheridan, Arkansas. She was the daughter of Martin Andrew
Kelley and his wife Sarah (Addiline) Mitchell. Martin Andrew Kelley ... the
son of Robert M. Kelley and Sarah Carpenter.

As to the (parents) of Sarah Carpenter wife of Robert M. Kelley, I have no
proof, but have supposed ... John and Sarah Carpenter enumerated in the
1850 Pike County, Arkansas census ...

Regarding the biography of Jesse T. McMahan, he was a nephew of Rebecca
McMahan, wife of William Kelley.


                                                 David L. Kelley

P.S. Jesse T. McMahan's father Robert McMahan, Jr. and a brother Thomas
     McMahan came to Pike County, Arkansas (circa 1848) ... They did not

Update 03.28.01              David Kelley 2000                 EM-00003.HTM