Finley Glover "Bud" and Mary Alice Dewitt Inman
The oldest son of John Wesley and Nancy Lavanda Wilson Inman (Finley Glover Inman, known as "Bud") was born March 6, 1869 in Christian County, named for his uncle and great-uncle.
The available evidence shows he grew up in the Inman family compound near Union Hill Church southwest of Nixa that now is the site of considerable subdivision development; the family appears to have abandoned the tobacco farming of Bud's grandfather Elkanah Inman and settled for subsistence crops and livestock, while selling, among other staples, sweet potatoes for cash in an almost cashless economy.
In September 1893, Bud and his cousin, William Daniel Wilson, traveled to Hunnewell, KS, where they prepared for the Cherokee Run, the massive claims-taking in Oklahoma that marked the end of the American frontier. No records indicate that Bud or Bill Wilson successfully staked a claim on that historic day, but their participation is recorded in a letter from Bill to his wife and Bud's cousin, Sarah Elizabeth Inman Wilson.
On Nov. 8, 1896 before Justice of the Peace Irving Edwards, Bud, a farmer, married Mary Alice Dewitt aka Lawson, and the couple eventually settled on a 24-acre stake within the 120-acre family compound founded by his father. John Wesley provided similar plots for two other sons, and yet another lived with him at his home.
Mary Alice (Oct. 19, 1881-March 18, 1939) gave birth to the couple's first child, Grace (or Gracie) Bell, there on Nov. 20, 1897.
Her second delivery was more hazardous, however. In one version of the story, the young Inman family had struck out for Oklahoma to resettle when an exodus of such Christian County families were headed for the new Indian Territory. The Inmans, however, thought better of resettlement after the brief trip and headed home. The timing was badly off because pregnant Mary Alice went into labor at Cassville, where son Robert was born under the wagon on Dec. 19, 1899.
Robert, however, said Bud and Mary Alice had left by wagon for Arkansas and the Boston Mountains to fetch Bud's brother John, who had been avoiding testimony in a trial, John's new wife Cora Frazier Inman and little son Edgar. (Robert said John was wanted to testify in the murder trial of Uncle Jack Inman and cousin Will Wilson for the murder of Uncle Dan Stephenson, but that trial occurred in 1882.)
Robert jested that under the circumstances, the young family must not have expected him to live because, unlike his brothers and sisters who survived infancy, he was not given a middle name. (In the 1900 census, he was identified erroneously as Evart F., indicating that a middle name, probably Finley, had been granted.)
Added to the family back in Christian County were George Riley on Jan. 4, 1901; Lonnie Elmer on Nov. 14, 1904; Fred Otto on May 15, 1906; Ida Mae on March 25, 1910; Mabel (who died as an infant) on Aug. 7, 1912; and Frances Laura on Sept. 20, 1913.
Little is known of Bud, but Mae recalls he had the reputation of a "man who, if he told you something, he meant it." She found out all too well as a toddler when her father instructed her not to leave the wooden plank front porch of their home to play. Mae spotted an oak branch that she wanted and disobeyed. "I got to play with it, but not the way you would imagine," she says of the whipping she got.
Like his brothers Jim and John, Bud maintained a sweet potato cellar where neighbors came in the winter to pick up the produce and take it to town to swap for coffee.
The brothers, while allotted specific sections of the farm, did not take title, at least through 1920. Land atlases show Will and Bud, for example, shared a 40-acre tract, but the 1920 census indicates that Will, John, Jim and Bud's widow were all renting their farms, apparently from father John Wesley.
At age 45, Bud died on Oct. 2, 1914 from typhoid and pneumonia, and he was buried in a wooden coffin in McConnell Memorial Cemetery. (Pneumonia repeatedly is cited as the cause of death among early family members; The diagnosis apparently was a catchall much as dozens of viruses and severe colds today are considered "the flu.")
Finley Glover's first name is spelled "Findley" on his gravestone, but all early records omit the "d" and spell the name like the Finley River and his uncles.
Mary Alice Dewitt Inman and life after Bud
Prospects seemed dismal for Mary Alice after Bud's death in 1914. The family of eight was crammed into a two-room house with a bedroom and kitchen, although Mary Alice somehow managed to accumulate the capital to add a separate bedroom for her sons later. The financing may have come from the sale to the Slays of the Guin Prairie farm, in which Mary Alice had one-third interest.
"There was no such thing as a job" in those early Ozark days, daughter Mae says, so the family joined its neighbors in eking a living from the hard, rocky soil. The family raised chickens, but had to save the eggs for sale in Nixa to generate cash for store goods. The Inmans couldn't afford a cow, but "borrowed" one from a neighbor. The children stripped cane, and the family took the stalks to a molasses mill, owned by Uncle John Inman, for processing. "To this day, I still yet don't allow molasses cookies or cake in my house," says Mae, who bears the scar from a cane knife wound.
Mary Alice maintained pumpkin and tomato patches, and the children collected and shelled dried cowpeas, which added variety to the pots of green beans and cabbage that she kept boiling on the wood stove, traditional Tennessee and Kentucky fare.
Little was store-bought. Mae remembers the "ash hopper," a barrel where ashes from the wood stove were dumped and treated periodically with water to produce lye. The lye was poured into kettles of animal fat to make soap.
The Inmans were not destitute for the time, however. They were able to range a horse or two, and the family had a crank telephone - a luxury unavailable in many areas of the country. As Mae recalls it, the phone service was provided without charge: the men strung wire on fence posts, and each subscriber was on the same line.
Above all, there was Mary Alice's steely conviction that poverty could be endured in dignity and with discipline. "She was clean...and she was a good cook," Mae recalls. The house "all had to be white," even the heavily traveled floors. On "wash day," the children were assigned to soap down the floors and rinse them down with water carried from a nearby pond. After each threshing season, the family's straw-bed ticking was washed meticulously and restuffed.
Mae remembers two types of regular neighborhood get-togethers: hog butcherings and "protracted" church meetings at Union Hill. Killing and dressing seven or eight hogs could occupy an entire day with neighbors. At noon, when the menfolk were called to eat, the children were posted outside to protect the carcasses from dogs - and they sliced off pork and roasted it over an open fire for their own meal.
The onset of hog-killing season brought a barrage of local newspaper advertisements with sales on lard buckets.
Union Hill Church
Union Hill Church began life in 1912 when John Wesley Inman, Bud's father, donated an acre of ground and neighbor Jim Young the lumber for a building. Each family bought a pew until enough seating was available.
In 1914 the first "revival" was held in the church, and a predominantly Missionary Baptist congregation was organized with the Rev. Wes Coughron as pastor. But the non-denominational church opened its doors to evangelists of most faiths, much the same as Friendship Baptist Church did back in Culleoka, Tennessee. The sessions were known as "protracted" meetings because, unlike modern-day revivals, they had no set completion date and often lasted four to five weeks. The Ozark newspaper in 1899 noted that one at a Porter Township chapel on the James River lasted for three weeks, leaving 100 persons ready for baptism.
These sessions harkened back to the Great Revival of early Tennessee when "meetings went on for days, often for weeks. At the height of the revival, preaching continued through the night in the ruddy flickering glare of bonfire and torch. When one preacher was exhausted, another took his place and in the larger gatherings as many as seven or eight might be exhorting at the same time....From miles around the people came, bringing their food and drink, their children...and dogs, as much for the pleasure of getting together, gossiping and lovemaking with their far-scattered neighbors as to hear the preaching." (Tennessee, 1939)
Mary Alice and her children attended the Union Hill services every night, and she was in charge of firing up the woodstove to heat the building. During cold weather, she often shared the duties with children Mae and Frances, who walked past the church on the way to Rosedale School.
(Note: each of John Wesley's dozens of living heirs has a claim on the one acre where the church stood until it burned many years ago. The deed specified that when the ground no longer was used for a church, ownership reverted to him or his heirs. Until 1990, no one, however, has wanted to absorb the legal expenses for a circuit court case - and the possible need to notify all the heirs - to reclaim the abandoned property. William Jack Inman, however, has cleared off the property, agreed to pay the taxes and set about building a kind of Inman park on the land.)
Going past the church, the trek to Rosedale School covered four miles; it was a typical one-room schoolhouse of its day with eight grades; no high schools yet operated in the area until 1906 and, even then, the Nixa High School only had two grades.
Mae proved recalcitrant in particular to attend school. "I would cry every morning because I didn't want to leave Momma," she says. The feelings were omens: Mae's school attendance was erratic, and she never finished grade school.
Tully O. Campbell
Life in Mary Alice's family changed abruptly with the reappearance of former neighbor and then - Springfieldian Tull(y) or T.O. Campbell in the community.
Tully (January 1883 - Nov. 6, 1941) was the posthumous son of John Polk Campbell (May 22, 1857, MO - Oct. 7, 1882) and wife C.A. McAlister of Center Township, Greene County; a nearby railroad depot was named Campbell Station, now known as the hamlet of Elwood. John Polk Campbell lived near Willard, with his father, H.H. Campbell (April 30, 1822 - April 26, 1889), and brothers, William R. (1860-1943) and J.M. (1849-1933). The founder of Springfield was a John Polk Campbell, who had a descendant by the same name, and Tully was likely part of that large Maury Co., TN family.
Tully's maternal grandfather, William H. McAlister (Dec. 15, 1823 - Aug. 30, 1895), came from a line of TN McAlisters, but moved to Georgia, where he met his wife Sarah A. (Sept. 1, 1836 - after 1900) and raised their children. William H. was the son of Wesley McAlister (Aug. 15, 1802 - Sept. 6, 1880) and his wife Sarah (March 27, 1806 - Jan. 29, 1898), both Tennesseans, who also moved to Center Township, Greene Co., before they died. All are buried in Clear Creek Cemetery, Center Township.
By 1874, Porter Township tax lists indicate John P. Campbell owned 40 acres near Guin and the Maynards, Hartleys and A.J. Jones family, although the Campbells were still living in Greene County in 1880.
Tull's mother also is said to have died young, and the orphan was living in Porter Township in 1900 with his grandmother from Georgia, Sarah A. McAlister , and a cousin, America Cain, next door to another cousin, widower Cyrus R. McAlister (Jan. 12, 1876 - July 12, 1907), who had six young children. (Tully had at least one brother, "S.," born in August 1879, but his fate is unknown.)
According to his Missouri State Penitentiary records, Tully was a stringbean of a man - 5-feet-10 1/4, weight of 137 pounds, black hair, hazel eyes and dark complexion. When he attended, he went to the Methodist Church. He didn't drink, at least much, and had finished grade school.
In 1901, Tully Campbell married Effie Chaffin Rhea, the stepdaughter of John Edwards and daughter of Callie Clemmons Chaffin Edwards, of the Porter Township area, with Tully's guardian-grandmother signing for the underage groom. The Chaffins were McConnell family cousins who lived southwest of Nixa.
Tully and Effie had two children, Walter and Lester. But Tully ran afoul of the law - stealing meat from his Chaffin in-laws, according to step-son Robert Inman. Tully was arrested for burglary in 1906 in Christian County and sentenced to three years in prison in August. The records suggest he was stealing in tandem with a newcomer to the community, James Burnett, 21, a Wisconsin native, who was likewise sentenced to three years for burglary. Burnett became mentally ill in prison and was sent to the State Asylum in Fulton; with apparent good behavior, Tully was released on Dec. 3, 1908.
The Campbells moved to Springfield, but Effie sued for divorce and won a final decree on May 14, 1915 in Greene County as well as custody of the children.
Her half-brother, John P. Edwards, still lived in the Nixa area, and Tully began working at least intermittently as a farm hand there. By 1920, Tully's son Walter had moved in with John and Eva Mae McConnell Edwards; next door was her cousin, William Alexander "Pa Bill" McConnell, and his family, including young son Henry.
Just across the hollow lived Mary Alice Inman and her children while Tully's son Lester, 18, was living and working on the farm of Roy and Lucy Sparkman just to the north.
Tully, however, wasn't to be found in Christian County in the 1920 census. He was living on Boonville Avenue in Springfield - at the Greene County Jail, under the supervision of Sheriff Joseph W. Webb, whose family also resided at the jail. Tully described himself as a "roofer" for the census taker.
On Nov. 29, 1919, Tully and his two sons had been charged with grand larceny for the theft of a collie and hound dog from W. E. and Calvin Carter, which they (over)valued at $100 each. Charges originally were sought, but never filed against an H. Welch, who posted the $200 bond for the Campbells. Lester's case was transferred to the secrecy of juvenile court, but Walter was acquitted by a jury on Dec. 9, 1919.
Tully, however, was convicted on the testimony of state witnesses Vigil
Carter, Callie Edwards, Roy Sparkman, Homer Vaughn and Oscar Edwards, drawing a fine of
$25 by the judge, who valued the dogs at $30 or more, altogether. Tully was unable to pay
the fine and was jailed for nonpayment of costs. A plaintive letter tells that he was
unable to buy "or procure" food while in the Greene Co. jail, which apparently
didn't feed the inmates.
Tully and Mary Alice Dewitt Inman Campbell
No records or memories remain to explain how Mary Alice met Tully or why she was attracted to this snakebitten day laborer, with the possible exception of loneliness and poverty; her Dewitt family had died or scattered, and she was dependent on the good graces of in-laws. To marry an ex-con ran counter to her exemplary nature, but some indications remain that the neighbors considered Tully's charges trumped up grievances rather than serious crime. Nonetheless, he was not a prize.
Tully and Mary Alice were wed in 1921, and the couple moved to Springfield. Eldest daughter Grace had married and left the household around 1918 when husband Walter McConnell returned from the Army. The Inman boys - Robert, George, Elmer and Fred - opted to remain on the farm and "batch it"; Robert, before he died, spoke with disdain of his stepfather, which his brothers appeared to share.
The Inman boys were willing to endure considerable hardship for their independence. Recalled Robert: "We all were cooking. We'd eat it, and we thought it was good. We'd throw it out and the dogs wouldn't even eat it." The boys eventually dispersed to other farms in the area and married.
Joining the newlyweds in Springfield were Mae and Frances along with, for a time, Tully's sons Walter and Lester Campbell, who grew close to their stepsisters.
Despite the attitude of the Inman brothers, Frances and Mae called Tully "Dad" for they had never known their real father except in hazy memories or others' stories. The new family shuttled among a succession of rooming houses and other rentals as Tully took odd jobs. The girls attended, among others, the old Nicholls School while living in Springfield.
The ultimate indignity followed: the family moved to a tent pitched beside the Inman boys' home. Better times followed around 1922 or 1923, when Tully and Mary Alice moved south to first one and then another home in Riverdale, a historic mill town that is becoming chic residential development today on the Finley River. "It was the best we ever had," Mae says of the Riverdale days. "They were better houses" than all the others. There, the children attended Harmony School.
But in 1923, Tully and Mary Alice returned to Springfield, and the nest quickly emptied as Mae and then Frances married. Less is known of Mary Alice's life in her remaining years because of communication and transportation problems in the underdeveloped Ozarks. At one point, she and Tully moved in as companions/caretakers for a Nixa family, but life generally was a succession of Tully's day labor and rented houses in Springfield. From 1929 to 1930, while living at 304 W. Elm, the Campbells took care of Mary Alice's granddaughter, Lela May McConnell, who died of whooping cough.
Mary Alice's final home was a small house along an alley in the rear of 758 W. Elm in Springfield. There, she died after an eight-day struggle with pneumonia at 9:30 p.m. March 18, 1939 at age 57. "Old Doc Williams (her physician) said she didn't have it," Mae says, "but she said she did because she'd had it before."
Mary Alice was buried beside her first husband, Finley Glover "Bud" Inman, in McConnell Memorial Cemetery. The dates on Mary Alice's stone are incorrect. They show she was born in 1879 on the same date as her sister. The correct years are 1878 for George, 1880 for Cora and 1881 for Mary Alice, although her death certificate says yet another date in 1878.
Tully Campbell married a third time, to Alice Snyder, shortly after Mary Alice's death. But he passed on Nov. 26, 1941 from complications of surgery to remove a benign prostate tumor, and he is interred in Clear Creek Cemetery four miles southwest of Willard beside most of his Campbell and McAlister relatives. His grave, however, is unmarked or was skipped by the cemetery inventory takers.
An Alice Campbell (1873-1946) lies in a grave removed from the other Campbells; it is unknown whether this woman was Tully's third wife.
Children of Bud and Mary Alice DeWitt Inman
I. Grace or Gracie Bell (Nov. 20,1897-Nov. 27, 1929)
Grace married John Walter McConnell (Dec. 21, 1892-Aug. 25, 1960), known better as just Walter, a World War I veteran and the older brother of Mae's husband, Henry. Although federal census records suggest that none of the children attended school, Mae says that "Grace probably had the best schooling of any of us," attending Rosedale southwest of Nixa.
An early photo of Grace and Walter, taken just before their marriage at a Springfield studio, shows a stylish, dapper, extremely handsome couple in their happiest, carefree days. War, a cascade of children, Grace's premature death and Walter's alcoholism soon marred this picture.
Grace and Walter married before he entered the Army and World War I in 1917. During his tour of service, she moved back into the Christian County home with Mary Alice and the Inman family. In 1920, the couple was living on the Lindsay Patton farm south of the James River and northwest of McConnell Cemetery, where their first child was born. Within two years they had moved southeast of Springfield.
On several occasions, while pregnant or recovering from a birth, Grace was joined by her sister, Mae, to help with the family. Grace "had a hard old go of it," Mae said. "The kids were so close together."
By the late 1920s Grace and Walter, a farm laborer, settled into the VonWagen house south of Brookline in Greene County along today's Highway M. In the "big house" on the so-called Anderson farm next door were his father William Alexander McConnell and whichever wife was current.
Grace was pregnant again when she died in 1929 from the complications of miscarriage and pneumonia. She was buried in McConnell Cemetery on Thanksgiving Day.
The Wallace Funeral Home records indicate Grace died while living at Elwood, near Willard, and the burial expenses were billed to R. E. Turman. This man may have been Robert Inman, her brother.
Among Grace and Walter's children:
- Ray (April 25, 1920-June 20, 1977), who never married, mirrored some of his father's worst problems with alcohol and was buried in McConnell Cemetery.
- Mary Elizabeth "Verna" (June 7, 1922) married Edgar "Ed" Thomas Springer, who now has retired from TWA in Kansas City, on May 4, 1941 in Springfield. His family owned Springer Produce, which included Lonnie Elmer Inman among its employees before he was disabled. The couple's four children are sons Gary Ray Sr. (b. Feb. 4, 1942) and Larry Charles (Feb. 28, 1943); and daughters Connie Jean (Sept. 7, 1950) and Donna June (April 27, 1952).
- Clyde Glover Lee (Nov. 16, 192?), who moved to California. Clyde has two children and lives today in Desert Shores; after years of no communication, he recently has contacted the Missouri family.
- William Okla (Feb. 29, 1924), who moved California and later died, although details are unavailable. He had four children.
- Clarence Wayne (Nov. 13, 1927), who married Juanita Ortman. The couple moved to California, live today in Stockton and raised six children, the last of whom married in 1990 and left home.
- Lela May (Nov. 13, 1927-Sept. 2, 1930), Wayne's twin, who died at age 2 of whooping cough while in the custody of Mary Alice and Tully Campbell.
The family degenerated through death, distance and dissolution. "Walter just fell apart when Grace died," says Ora Marie "Bobbi" Barnett Aliff, his niece.
Walter was known widely as an irresponsible alcoholic, and the problem grew worse. The other family members intervened quickly to raise the children, although he frequently locked horns with them, particularly over the eldest, Ray and Verna. Walter was apt to stir up trouble with his brothers and sisters by complaining to others about the children's treatment.
Robert Inman raised Wayne while George Inman took in Okla. Lela Mae went to her Campbell-Inman grandparents' custody until her death, when she was living with them at 304 W. Elm in Springfield. Clyde moved in first with Grace's cousin, Florence Inman Jones and her husband Harvey; the boy later was raised by Harvey's parents, Matt and Babe Jones.
Verna lived intermittently with Henry and Mae McConnell before settling with Frances Inman and her first husband, Dale Harrington. Ray also spent considerable time at the home of Henry and Mae, who as a 12-year-old had helped raise him while living with Grace and Walter. One memorable winter in the Depression, Henry and Mae, their five children, Walter and Ray all weathered together in a tiny two-room shack on Schuyler Creek southeast of Republic.
Walter died at the Veterans Administration hospital in Fayetteville, Arkansas, after a life as a panhandler and transient. Despite his drinking and continuing complaints about how well his in-laws and siblings were raising his children, Walter had his appealing side. "He'd come and stay for a while and then go off for a weekend. He'd come back with all the (neighborhood) stories. He could be right good company," said Mae.
Walter, who never remarried, is buried beside Grace in McConnell Cemetery.
Robert (Dec. 19, 1899-May 25. 1991)
Robert married Frances Ophelia Jones (April 18, 1905-Nov. 7, 1972) on Sept. 23, 1922 before JP Jim Wright McConnell. Ophelia was the daughter of Charles and Clara Sparkman Jones of Porter Township.
Clara was the second daughter of James Alexander and Ophelia Virginia Pruitt Sparkman; Clara's sister Martha Jane married Robert's uncle, James L. Inman.
After Tully and Mary Alice moved to Springfield and Riverdale, brother Fred helped Robert move northeast of Nixa. Brother Elmer was hired to work at the farm next door, and Robert was employed as a carpenter in Springfield in the 1920s.
In 1930, Robert returned to build a home on the original site of his grandfather John Wesley's family stake; he had held onto the 20-acre farm while the other Inmans all sold out, and the compound was overgrown with brush and briars. Besides farming and carpenter work, Robert also worked as a mill hand for a feed company.
When he turned age 91, he still was living alone in the same home. Unable to see well, he nevertheless persisted in refusing to install a telephone, much to the distress of his relatives. That Christmas, he caught the devil from his sole surviving sister Mae and daughter Joyce after he fell and cut up both arms while slipping and sliding on the icy swatches outside and fell into a corner of the house.
At his 91st birthday party, thrown by the McConnell and Inman sides of the family, relatives noticed a cough that proved to be an ill omen: Robert died the next spring of lung cancer at Mt. Vernon Park Care Center in Springfield. He is buried beside Ophelia in McConnell Cemetery.
While raising nephew Wayne McConnell, Robert and Ophelia had three
George Riley (Jan. 4, 1901-July 16, 1953)
George married Lucy Sparkman (Jan. 7, 1905-May 22, 1977). After their marriage, for unknown reasons, the couple changed the spelling of the family surname to "Inmon," and that version appears on the monument at McConnell Cemetery.
Lucy was the daughter of James Alexander Sparkman, and his second wife, widow Nellie Brown. Between them, James and Nellie had 11 children by their previous marriages and added another five: John, Lucy, Bill, Bob and Charles. Lucy's eldest half-sister, Martha Jane known as Janie, had married George Riley's uncle, James L. Inman.
George worked as a farmer and farm hand at Route 1, Nixa until his death
from cancer. After George's death, Lucy remarried to Warren Cavender, but she is interred
beside George. He and Lucy had three children:
Lonnie Elmer (Nov. 14, 1904-Nov. 20, 1966)
Elmer married Marcellia/Marcella Shadwick (1905), who still lives in Springfield. Elmer, also known as "Mutt," worked for Springer Produce of Springfield for many years, but later had to retire because his arm was amputated after a blood clot formed.
The couple had one son, Jimmy, who while pampered as an only child, later disowned his parents in objection to their drinking. Jimmy left the area, resurfacing at least once in Texas. The family was unable to contact him when Elmer died in 1966. Elmer and Marcella were separated for many years, but never divorced. Official records document the rocky relationship: from March 6 to 15, 1951, Marcella checked into the county almshouse until Elmer picked her up.
After Elmer lost his arm, relatives bought him a cigarette rolling machine - no store-bought ones for Elmer - and he entertained Mae's grandchildren on his frequent visits by putting them to work on rolling a new supply.
At the time of his death, Elmer was living on North Main in Springfield while Marcella had a house on State Avenue.
Like his brother George, Elmer decided to change the spelling of the family surname, but his brothers and sisters insisted on the Inman version for his monument at McConnell Cemetery. His legal first and middle names, however, are reversed on the stone. He was known as Lonnie while a child, but Elmer as an adult.
Fred Otto (May 15, 1906)
Fred lives with his second wife, Leola in Seymour, MO. Fred, unlike many of the Inmans, did not settle permanently in the local community because, as a Pentecostal minister, he found callings in several Midwestern states. On July 22, 1924, he married Tilda Marenia Jones (July 22, 1906-April 23, 1969), the cousin of his sister-in-law Ophelia Jones Inman; he remarried after Tilda's death. On Fred and Tilda's monument at McConnell Cemetery, the date of his birth is incorrectly listed as 1907 rather the 1906 verified by the family Bible.
To Fred and Tilda were born:
- Lee Otis (Oct. 4, 1925) married Sylvia Robs and follows in his father's footsteps as a preacher in Ponce de Leon, a small Stone County community. When he was born, he was given the first name of Leotis. But when he served in the World War, the services split his name in two. He never had a birth certificate, but before Tilda died, she arranged to sign the papers making Lee Otis his official name.
The couple has four sons, Denny Lee, Harold Dean and twins Fred and Chester.
- Henry Otto (Oct. 2, 1927) married Dorothy May Anderson and they had two daughters, Pamela Kay (Oct. 17, 1950) and Paula Sue (June 28, 1952).
Pamela married and divorced Stephen Greek, but not before adding son Douglas to the Inman family. Paula Sue married and divorced William "Billy" Price, and the couple had two daughters, Connie Lee and Christy Lyn.
- Imogene first married Sherman Matney, a preacher from Hurley, and then married Joe Cunningham. Imogene has three sons, Daniel, Frank and Fred, as well as two daughters, Debbie and Annie Ruth.
- Joe Glover. His family suffered from one of the great tragedies of the Inmans. Joe (Aug. 29, 1929), his wife, the former Ruby Jean Hargus (April 14, 1933), son Joe Steven (Jan. 8, 1949) and daughter Donna Jean (Dec. 20, 1951) were killed April 7, 1966 in an auto accident north of Springfield.
The 8:28 p.m. accident occurred after Joe and his family had decided to move from Nashua, MO, near Kansas City, to Jasper, Arkansas, where his father was living. The family had visited his brother Otto and were returning to Nashua from Springfield when young driver Joe Steven tried to pass a tractor-trailer truck while pulling a trailer himself. The family's car struck another tractor-trailer headon.
- Alice Virginia (March 9, 1934) , who married Edward Johns and lives in Seymour. The couple raised four children: Janice, Gary, Brenda and Angela
Janice C. (July 14, 1953) married David Buchanan and has two children: Amy Rena and Mark David. Gary E. (April 30, 1956) married Wendy Louise, and they have four children: Sarah Elizabeth, Jason Edward, Elaine Marie and Elliot Daniel. Brenda M. (Jan. 5, 1962) married Randall Kevin Smith while Angela June is unmarried.
- Gary David (Jan. 24, 1944), who married Neva Bernice Wooten. Their daughters are Lisa Delene and Sheila Ranae.
Ida Mae (March 25, 1910) (separate section)
II. Mabel (d. Aug. 7, 1912)
Little Mabel succumbed shortly after her birth at the Inman family compound. Along with two other, unidentified infant Inmans, she was buried in a grove of cedar trees, then surrounded by a fence. Over the years, however, the fence and family plot fell into disrepair, and pasturing and other farm work have obliterated traces of the original three graves. Virtually all the Inmans since have been buried in McConnell Cemetery.
- Frances Laura (Sept. 20, 1913-Nov. 24, 1990)
Frances married two railroad workers, first Dale Harrington and, after she divorced him over infidelities, Don Gray (May 17, 1911-Sept. 13, 1976). She and Don lived in Springfield.
Joe Wayne (June 23, 1929), who married Rosemund Huber and raised three children. Beverly Jo married Steve Ghan, and the couple have sons Mark and Matt. Judy Ann married Doug Long and adopted a child. Joe Wayne II, known as Jody when young, and his wife Lanett have one son, Jason. With brother Jimmy Dale, the senior Joe Wayne owned and operated profitable locker plant/meat markets in Nixa and Springfield.
Jimmy Dale (Oct. 25, 1931), who married Pat Edmundson and had four children: James Don, Pamela Lynn, Timothy and Patrick. James Don and his wife Dixie have two daughters. Pamela Lynn has children Chris and Jennifer from her first marriage to Gary Frazier and son Jamie by her subsequent marriage to Larry. Patrick lives in the home.
Besides the meat operation, Jimmy Dale owned a Chinese restaurant in Nixa that he divested in the late 1980s. He lives on a farm west of Nixa, near his brother's holdings, and does electrical work.
Carolyn Sue (Nov. 8, 1935), who married Homer Wayman and then Don Poole. Carolyn works for Consumers Markets of Springfield while Don is an employee of Montgomery Ward. By Wayman, Carolyn had a daughter, Susan Renee (June 5, 1962), and, by Poole, a son, Donnie (Jan. 15, 1972). Donna married Thomas Dean Curran in 1974, and the couple has two children: Vanessa Ranee Elizabeth.
Siblings of Mary Alice Dewitt Inman
Sarah Cora Dewitt Hicks Bussard Haskins (March 19, 1880-June 1,1958)
Cora married three times, the first to Frances Marion Hicks (June 1873) on Nov. 3, 1897 by Justice of the Peace Jim Wright McConnell. Hicks was followed by a Bussard and Tom Haskins, under whose name she is buried at McConnell Cemetery without him. Haskins preceded her in death.
Hicks fathered Cora's three children, and they originally lived in Porter Township with his mother, Sarah (October 1843). By 1906, the couple had joined Granny Lawson and George Dewett in Republic. Cora had moved to Springfield by the beginning of World War I and lived there until she died.
Cora divorced Hicks on Sept. 11, 1919, by default, in Greene County and gained custody of the two youngest children; Lula, the eldest, by then was married. Cora was living on North Rogers in Springfield when she died at Handley (City) Hospital from cardio-renal disease.
Among the children of Cora and Francis Marion Hicks:
1. Vesta Jane "Janie" (Aug. 26, 1906, Republic-March 1989) married Eldridge "Doc" Kynion, who is buried in National Cemetery, Springfield. The Kynions had two children: Barbara Lloyd (m. an O'Dowdy, d. 1946, buried in Greenlawn Cemetery) who had one daughter, Linda Sherill; and Lyla Mae (b. April 23, 1929, m. Bill?), who had a son, Patrick Rae.
2. George Leslie (March 14, 1901, Christian Co.-?) married in 1928 to Nellie Rema Plank, daugher of Sophronia Melton (Jan. 25, 1898 - July 2, 1967) and Walter Plank (August 1870) of Nixa. George and Nellie had one daughter, Rena Nell (Dec. 10, 1930) who married Richard Hunter (July 1, 1923) on Jan. 23, 1953. Rena and Richard had one daughter, Janel (Oct. 19, 1965).
3. Lula May (Dec. 28, 1898, Christian Co.) married Eddie Buttram (Christmas Day 1892-Dec. 10, 1982), a preacher and native of McClurg in Ozark Co, on June 20, 1918 in Springfield. Lula resides in a Springfield nursing center; Eddie is buried at Greenlawn Cemetery there. Lula and Eddie had four daughters:
Patty married John Harrison Thomas on Sept. 11, 1958,
and they live in Fair Grove. They had a son, Bud Harrison, and daughter Kathy Sue, who
married Phillip Kent and had two children, Cody Thomas and Elise Nichole. Edward
"Eddie" Lee married Casandra McMahon and had three sons, Kim Eugene, David and
Timothy; after a divorce, Eddie remarried to Connie Sue McConnell, and the couple lives on
a Christian County farm. Linda Kaye married and divorced Dale Edwards, and they had two
daughters, Angelee Kaye and Heather Ann; Linda and her children live in Billings. Denny
married Suzanne Hamby on July 4, 1975, and they have four children: Penny Marie, Corey
Lane, Ashley Hanna and Emma Lee; the couple lives in northern Missouri.
Wanda Aline (Oct. 4, 1925, Springfield, MO) married Elwood Harlin Sell (June 21, 1923) of Eudora, MO on May 24, 1947. The Sells, who live in Elwood near Willard, MO, have two daughters: Joyce Ann, who married Jim Ordell Heavin, had children Lisa Ann and Jamie Scott and lives in Republic; and Phyllis June, who married Dennis Lee Schmitt and had two sons, Brian Lee and Brock Allen. Phyllis and Dennis live in Forsyth.
Evelyn Naomia (April 22, 1928, Bridgeport, CT) married David R. Payne (March 28, 1925), the son of Charles F. and Ethel Payne of Republic, on Jan. 22, 1949. David and Evelyn live southwest of Springfield. They have two children: Randy Gene (Jan. 3, 1954) who married and divorced Marsha Celeste Allen of Kansas City and now lives in Riverside, Platte Co., MO; and Janet Kay (March 29, 1958) who married and divorced David Bowman. Janet Kay and her daughter, April Marie Bowman (April 7, 1976), live in Wichita.
George Lewis (Lawson) Dewett (March 18, 1878/9-Oct. 16, 1942)
According to son Ed's information on the death certificate, George was born while Emily Jane was living in Lexington, Fayette Co., KY.
George on March 29, 1906 married Mildred "Millie" Ruhama Harrington (Feb. 7, 1888-Oct. 19, 1922) of Republic, the daughter of William Enock and Elizabeth Abigale Ab Land Harrington. The couple apparently had met after George and his mother moved to Republic. The marriage came in a double ceremony, with Millie's brother Segie/Sigel "Sig" Harrington and Ellen Link also taking their vows.
George remarried after Millie's death to Eva R. Buckner. Son Ed Dewitt told a family interviewer that his father brought home a woman he introduced as his wife around 1928; she stayed about a week and left, Ed said. George and Eva were divorced on Feb. 5, 1931 by default on George's part. Her former name was restored by court order.
The Dewett family lived on farms east of Republic and near Nichols Junction, northwest of Springfield, before George settled in a small house in Republic. In 1921, the children were attending Buleh School on Highway M.
Records indicate that the family vacillated between a "Dewitt" or "Dewett" spelling of the name. George and Mildred's headstone carries the name Dewett at their gravesite in Harrington Cemetery.
Their five children are:
- Ed Lewis (June 30, 1914), of Republic, who married Lucille Handy Armstrong (Oct. 4, 1913). Lucille Handy had been married to Frankie Leroy Armstrong, who died of a heart attack before their first and only child, Frankie Leroy Jr., was born.
Ed worked as a mechanic and school bus driver while serving until recently on the local city council; after World War II the family lived in a home that was a converted school bus. Lucille and Ed had two daughters, Launia Ozman and Damarius Ainzlee, a nurse living in Denver, CO. Ed wanted to make sure his daughters had unique names, and he succeeded.
- Teddie "Ted" Edwin (Dec. 3, 1918 - July 14, 1991) was born in Nichols Junction, lived in Cupertino, CA after serving in the Navy and married Frances Elizabeth Gooch of Nixa, the daughter of a McConnell-Kenamore family cousin, Thomas Shirley Gooch and Mintie Louvanda Cox. Ted and Frances had two sons: Edwin David, who was killed in an airplane crash Jan. 25, 1985 (m. Kathy Lynn Wetterstrom, children Trisha Lynn and Bryce Alexander); and Lewis Mark, who is a minister (m. Margaret Ann Propert).
- Opel (Sept. 28, 1908-Dec. 28, 1911).
- Flossie Ann ( Jan. 30, 1907-July 19, 1978) married Raymond Maness (Oct. 9, 1905 - Oct. 28, 1982) of Republic on Aug. 15, 1925 and eventually moved near Boaz. The couple raised exotic fowl and rabbits, and the wildly overgrown place sported a bountiful crop of wild blackberries that attracted cousins, distant and close, in the summers. Raymond was retired from Lipscomb Feed and Grain of Springfield.
Flossie, Raymond, her sister Opal and son-in-law Gene Jones are interred at Harrington Cemetery.
The couple had five children:
- Bertha Mae (Dec. 15, 1911) married Jack Hall, a prizefighter in his youth, and they had a son, Jerry Lee (Nov. 12, 1930-June 20, 1987, m. Susan ?, daughter Charlotte, m. Velta Lovetra Estes, children Cynthia Ann, William Michael, David Lee, Lisa Dawn and Rhonda Lynn, m. Corrine ?, daughter Kimberly), and a daughter Juanita. Bertha remarried to Claude Gibson, and they had daughter Joan. Bertha now lives in a nursing facility. Jerry Lee is buried in Harrington Cemetery.
- Luther (May-Dec. 12, 1916), who never married.