This is part of a series of background notes on the Inman Family. It is provided by Otis Inman. The following are notes concerning the Inman family and their move to Arkansas. I reproduce these notes to offer you more insight into our family's heritage. They are reproduced as closely to the originals as possible. I hope they will be of use to you in your research.
I offer my thanks to Otis G. Inman for producing these documents so that we might all share in the Inman's great heritage. Jim Williams
Dear Mr. _____,
I have planned to write you for some time, but it seems that something keeps demanding my time. I read the letter you had written Thelma White saying you would like to have information on our Grandad Inman.
Bennie, I am going to tell you the things that I have pieced together about our grandad. First of all none of the children of Grandad's second family knew anything about their dad, most to them did not even know where he came to Arkansas from. Some knew he had a family before he married my Grandnother, some didn't, but none of them had any idea how many children he had, what their names were, or any other information. Ben Belcher has been a great help to me, he has given of his time and visited the cemetarys with me where the people are burried that I am about to tell you about, and the knowledge of the family he has given me is greatly appreciated. Also Virgle Inman son of John D Inman was a great help in proving the fact that Grandad was in fact from Tenn. I had written the county records, land records, tax records, marriage records and the Historical Society's through out Tenn, and had not found one thing that would indicate he was even in Tenn.
Until Virgle Inman sent a contract, where J W Inman bought a soap franchise for the County of Giles Tenn. One more thing I found in doing genealogy that might help to understand why so many people came from Tenn. The geography of the country is all mountains and the only way west for people from the Carolinas, Virginies, and others coming from that direction was to come through the Cumberlin Gap into Tenn and many would stop and make a crop as their food was in short supply for their animals and for them also, many children were formed there as they would be there for sometime raising a crop, some as many as 3 years.
Bennie our Grandfather Joseph Walker Inman was formed in Tenn 11 day of Jan 1852. His parents were both killed when he was a very small baby as he was still nursing. He was found by a colored lady shortly after his parents were killed, she herself had a small baby and she nursed grandad and her baby until an uncle by the name of Dave Inman could be found. (By the way the name Inman at the time was spelled by grandad as Inmon, he changed it to the Inman after he married my granmother). Dave Inman took grandad to raise, it is said by many that grandads folks had money, however as grandad got older he was mistreated by his uncle and he ran away when he was a small boy with nothing but the clothes on his back. I have heard the story that grandads parents had money but his uncle kept it all.
At this point I think it would help to remember that history tells us that the War Between the States started on April 12, 1861 and for the next four years the Country was in war until April 12, 1865. During this time throughout the States including Tenn many court houses and records were burned. They had what was refered to as bush wackers, these were outlaws killing for food, land, or just the fun of killing. Granddad would have been 9 years old when this started and 13 year old when it was over, however, remember the killing continued well into the 1890s by Bushwackers. The next date that I have is Grandad bought a soap franchise for Giles County Tenn. I have a copy of the document in my files, this document dated 21st day of September 1871. Giles County Tenn is located about the center of the State just above the Alabama line. Grandad married your Grandmother Mattie Jane Butler the last part of 1870 or early 1871. I am sure as their first child John D Inman was borned in Tenn 5th day Sept 1872. Their second child J B Inman borned also in Tenn 31st March 1876. These three children were borned in Giles County Tenn. I am sure their 3rd child Ida Bell Inman I am not sure as to the location she was borned. Ida Bell Inman borned 9 Sept 1877. At any rate the year 1876 or 1877 the family was ran out of Tenn by bushwackers who threatened to hang them in their own yard if they did not leave.
This brought them to the decision to come to Arkansas. I do know this was in the rainey season of the year as John was about 6 years old. He remembered they came on a train (this means they had only the clothes on their backs and what they could carry on a train). John said two men sat on the cowcatcher of the train with poles to push floating logs off the rail road track. It took 12 hours to cover 40 miles, from Giles County Tenn to Mephis, Tenn and the Mississippi River is about 180 miles as the crow flies.) Please remember the country did not have roads as we know them). It is my belief that grandad and family got on a boat at Memphis and went down the Mississippi to a town called Perthshire changed boats and came up the Arkansas River and landed at a small Community called Morrisons Bluff. At any rate it is a fact he came by train to Memphis and that he came by boat to Morrison Bluff, AR a little village on the banks of the Arkansas River 20 miles north east of Paris, Arkansas, this would have been in the year 1881 or 1882. I am not sure which of these two years it was. Grandad went to work at Morrison Bluff just eight years before Grandad. Mr Kenney built a flower mill in the fork of Cane Creek and the Arkansas River having damed up the creek enough to have water to turn the big wheel which in turn gave the power to operate the mill, he also built a black smith shop that he operated. Grandad worked in the mill and black smith shop for about 6 or 7 years. Ida Bell Inman their 3rd child was borned the 9th of Sept 1877 and I am not sure where probly in Tenn. I cannot be sure.
J B their second son died while grandad worked at the mill I cannot be sure of the date as the grave stone had been torn down and lost, when I had the opportunity to check on it. Therefore I have no date on his death he is however buried at Wares Chapple Cemetary at Tokalon, AR.
There is two stories as to how J B died the first one, which I believe to be true, he drowned in the pond or creek that turned the mill, the second one he died of the fever.
The next child Laura Etta Inman borned 24 July 1878 in the area of Morrison Bluff. I believe Grandad continued to work at the mill at Morrison Bluff and their 5th child was borned there also on 26th day of March 1883 1 year and 5 months later died 12 Aug 1884 and was buried at Wares Chapple Cemetary. Sometime between Aug 1884 and Feb 1886 they moved to Pine Bluff, AR in Jefferson County for it is here on the 11th of Feb 1886 that their 6th child Joseph Leanard Inman your father was borned.
Just one year and eleven days later your Grandmother, died and was buried at Wares Chapple Cemetary. Her death was the 22nd day of Feb 1887, I do not know if she died at Morrison Bluff or Pine Bluff, at any rate she is buried at Wares Chapple Cemetary. The next date is the death of Laura Etta Inman the 17th Aug 1898 Paris, AR. She was keeping house for the Cox family and also for Dr. Thompson's family in order that she could go to school there. Laura Etta is buried at the cemetary on Highway 22 east of Paris, AR. I have visited the graves in both cemetarys. Then on the 14th day April 1899 Ida Bell Inman married William Shore Belcher. I am not sure what date but they moved to Hollis, AR. The next year on July 1 1900 John D Inman married Sarah Ophelia Grounds, in Milford, Texas. Later they moved to Durant, Okla. If time permits I will tell you more about him later. On the 30th day of April 1891 Grandad Inman married Brancy Adeline Cotton who at the time had 1 son Will Inman borned 16th Aug 1885 and they made their home in the Ellsworth Community. Grandad also had one son Leonard who was living with him at the time of their marriage.
Before I continue I have been told that Mattie Jane Butler had a twin sister living around the Cross Road area. Her name was Mollie Lile. I have not had an opportunity to check this out but it was told to us by one of her grand children he is dead now but has a brother and sister living in Paris. This could have been the reason for them coming to Arkansas.
Joseph Walker Inman and Brancy Adeline had their first child Jessie Walker Inman borned 25 Oct 1892. Grandad was doing carpentry work and farming at this time. I have an old plain he used.
I mentioned earlier that Ida Bell married William Shore Belcher 14 April 1899 she would have been approximately 22 years old and they moved to Hollis, Arkansas, on the Perry and Yell County line. To this union was borned Benjaman Franklin Belcher 23 Feb 1901, George Washington Belcher 30 Oct 1902 and Stella Marie Belcher 19 Sep 1909. William Shore Belcher made mine timbers and props and his son Ben has one of the tools he used in his profession. It was on 23rd day of Nov 1911 that he died at their home in Hollis Arkansas. He died of broncial new monia.
Grandad and two of his sons, Edd about 19 years of age and Otis around 13 years of age went to Hollis to help Ida Bell after her husband had passed away. After their arrival they killed some hogs and was making ready to bring Ida Bell and the children back to the farm where grandad lived however the time was Christmas Eve Dec 24 1911. Ida Bell sent her oldest son Ben and Ed Inman into town to get some Christmas for the children since her husbands death she had not had an opportunity to get anything for them. While they were in town a man rode into town on a hourse and told them Ida Bell had died. They said later that she died of the fever. Ida Bell died Dec 24 1911 just 1 month and 1 day after her husband. She would have been 34 years old when she died.
Grandad, Edd, Otis, Ben, Geo and Stella, after the funeral began their journey back. They had with them two wagons one of which I am sure they went to Hollis in. One team of Mares, 1 horse colt, 1 cow and calf and the hog meat they had killed. Some three years earlier Leonard Inman moved to Texas.
On 11th day of July 1909 Joseph Leonard Inman married Flemie Ophelia Kuykendall in Texas. Miss Kuykendall was borned in Lufley, Alabama and moved to Texas some where around Feb 1892. At the time of their marrage Leonard would have been approximately 23 and she approximately 17 years old.
Grandad would eleven children children with and grandmother except for short periods of time (?). Grandad and grandmother attended church at McKendree Methodist Church. The Church had what has been refered to as a circut rider preacher for he pastured 4 churchs. There fore they had church services every 4th Sunday but they had Sunday School every Sunday. Joe Inman as he was called by everyone who knew him. He had many friends and well thought of by everyone who knew him. As I said before he was in the Soap business in Tenn. After coming to Arkansas he farmed, worked in a flower mill, black smith shop, made head stones for graves, and did carpenter work. As you can see he was a man that could adept to his surroundings.
I am very proud and feel deeply honored to have this man as my ancestor. As a matter of fact my wife and I have done genealogy on four familys and helped on others and I am proud to have the name Inman. In research on people you come to know and love them as you learned of the hardships and troubles they went through. You learn to appreciate the times we live in.
Joseph Walker Inman died 9th April 1915 at the farm near Ellsworth in Logan County and is buried at the Ellsworth Cemetary.
I am sure you know that John David Inman, Joseph Walker Inman oldest son was living in Durant, Okla and was killed in a tornado along with his oldest daughter Beaules Blanch on the 9th of April 1919. He and his wife Sarah Ophelia had 6 children.
Joseph Leonard Inman died at Fort Worth, Texas 8 Jan 1970 and is buried at Mount Olivet Cemetary in Fort Worth. He and his wife Flemie Ophelia had 12 children . They are as follows:
Jessie Walker Inman married Ruby Sevilla Lee 28th Aug 1911. They had six children.
Lela Inman married Y. C. Davis 21st Feb 1915. They had 4 children.
Sallie Hellen Inman married James Blaine White 9 Oct 1921 and they had 2 children.
James Blaine White lives at Paris, Arkansas at this time.
Ruth Charletta Inman married Troy Dwight Cosper 15 Oct 1922, better known as Jolly. They had no children. Ruth died 1st Sept 1967 at Prairie View, Arkansas. Jolly died Jun 12, 1981 and they are buried at Ellsworth, Arkansas.
Henry Edward married Elsie Tritt 7 Jan 1923. They had no children.
Edd died at the VA Hospital at Little Rock, Arkansas on 21 Dec 1954 and he and Elsie are buried at Ellsworth, Arkansas.
Bou Otho Inman married Ruth Walton 6th Dec 1925. They had one child, Hellen Sue Inman. Ruth, his wife, died 1 April 1932. Bou then married Nemah Rhea Colburn 30th Sep 1933. Bou and Nemah Rhea had 6 children. Bou and Nemah Rhea live near Scranton, Arkansas at this time.
Will Inman married Pearl Burnett 26 April 1926. They had no children. Bill died 16th June 1949 and is buried at Ellsworth, Arkansas. Pearl lives at Paris at this time.
Otis Anthony Inman married Mildred Lela Brown 22 Aug 1926 they had 2 children: Otis Glynn Inman and Bobby Lynn Inman. Otis died 18 April 1963 at Fort Smith, Arkansas. He is buried at Ellsworth, Arkansas.
Lela Inman Davis lives at Paris, Arkansas and Bou lives near Scranton, Arkansas are the only two living children of Joseph Walker Inman at this time.
Joseph Walker Inman had a total of 42 grand children. I could give the great grand children but I believe this will give you an idea how many people are in this world because of Joe Inman.
I have in my possession a complete file on every member of the family: dates of birth, marriage and death except for the last 5 years as I have not been able to keep up to date.
The Inman Family migrated to the New World from England as to the date I am not sure. I am sure you have a copy of the letter Rod sent to me about the 4 Inman Brothers owning a ship line in England. They sold it off and one went to Paris, France and became an artist (painting by him now hangs in the White House in Washington, D.C.). Another went to the Carolina's and went into the tobacco business. Another went to Philadelphia, Penn. The other brother went to the South and settled around Tenn. I have not been able to check this out from that end but I hope I can soon.
I hope this will give you some information on our Grandad you can use. If I can be of further service it will be my pleasure. And I would very much enjoy having you and your family come and visit us. I appreciate the help you gave me on your family.
Otis Glynn Inman