From The History of Stone County, Missouri

John William Inman

John W. Inmon

John W. Inmon, born April 16, 1828, died September 12, 1913.

John William Inman was born in Hardin County, Kentucky, April 16, 1828. He was the son of Ezekiel and Sally Sanders Inman. He bought his land in Stone County about 1845. He called this Rainbow Valley.

John went to the Mexican War in 1847. He went to Sante Fe and fought during Kit Carson’s time. On April 1, 1850, John went to seek his fortune in gold in the Gold Rush on California. He had a store in LaGrange, California, from 1850-1854. He left California with his fortune in gold on January 10, 1854.

John married Jane Payne in 1855. She was the daughter of Archibald Payne. They had six children and three died. His first one died of the fever as an infant. The fourth one froze to death as an infant. The sixth one died of the bloody flux. His living children were Henry, Martha, and William. John also served in the Civil War. They were forced out of their home by the bushwackers. They moved back after four years.

In the summer of 1870 Jane came down with encephalitis. She was never well after this. She had to be taken care of like a new born baby. They could not take care of her. There wasn’t any institution in Springfield. Jane was sent to St. Louis. There the Catholic sisters operated an institution called St. Vincent. She stayed there for sixteen years until she died on May 1, 1886.

John Inman died September 12, 1913, at the age of 85. He is buried in Rainbow Valley in Stone County.

Early Pioneer in Stone County - Inmons

John W. Inmon was born April 16, 1823, in Hardin County, Kentucky. He was the son of Ezekial and Sally Sanders Inmon and had a twin brother James. After the family moved to Indiana, Sally died when John was 6. His father went to Illinois and left his 6 children with relatives and friends. John never saw his father again. He lived with a relative until coming to Greene County, Missouri, in 1841, with his uncle Elijah Sanders.

He later lived with and worked for a family near Springfield. Later he met his brother, Henry, during their service in the Mexican War. He later met his sister, Elizabeth, in California during the Gold Rush years, but he never saw his sister, Mary, nor his brother, King, after leaving Illinois.

In 1847-48 John spent 18 months in the Mexican War. In November of 1847, his Uncle Elijah bought land in what was then Taney County. He sold this in 1849, to John Inmon. Later this became part of norther Stone County.

In 1860, John bought adjoining land under the 1820 Act of Congress that made provision forselling public lands. The deed was signed by President Buchanan. This deed was recorded in Stone County in 1867. All of this land except 3 acres of bluff lies on the west of James River between the Hootentown and McCall access. It is still in the Inmon family - owned by two great-granddaughters and two great-grandsons.

In 1850, on April 10, John left from Independence, Missouri, by wagon train to join the Gold Rush in California.

He panned for gold for several months before building a stone trading post with his Uncle

William Sanders and two other friends from Missouri. This location soon became LaGrange, California. The stone building that housed the store still stands, and beside it is a California historic marker with Sanders’ and Inmon’s names and date 1850-54 inscribed.

In January of 1854, John boarded a U. S. Mail and passenger ship, The New Falcon, to sail for New Orleans around Cape Horn. From New Orleans he came by river boat and then to Hutchison overland, then on to his farm.

John married Jane Payne on March 15, 1855. Three of their 6 children lived to adulthood -Henry, William, and Martha.

During the Civil War John served in the Home Guards (not the Missouri State Guards). The Home Guards were Unionists and volunteers. John was at the battle of Wilson Creek and helped get the wounded men into Springfield.

In January of 1864, bushwackers ran the Inmons out of their home. The big limestone fireplace was not finished, and some damage was done to an upstairs bedroom by the bushwacker’s large fires.

During the four years the bushwackers kept the house John and two friends opened a store in Ozark, Missouri. In the spring of 1868, the family returned to the farm. All the buildings were standing except the chicken and hog horses that had been used as firewood. Rail fences were missing, too.

In the summer of 1870, Jane became ill and ran a very high fever. She lived through but lost her mental processes. Hutchison had no facility to care for her. She was moved to a Catholic institution in St. Louis where she died 16 years later. John visited her as often as he could.

In 1877 John asked his friend, Governor John Phelps, to let him have a post office at his farm to serve the people in that section of Stone County. The Governor recommended his request; and on July 14, 1877, David M. Key, Postmaster General of the U. S., approved and appointed John Inmon postmaster of the “Sinclair Post Office.” Horseback mail was received semi-monthly. In 1880 mail came each week. Sinclair office operated until October 27, 1880.

There were no schools or churches near. John offered land, materials, and to hire a teacher if the fathers would build the school. It was opened in the summer of 1879. On August 28 the families gathered at the new log school for dinner and a dedication prayer service. John paid the first teacher ten dollars a month plus room and room.

In the winter of 1906, fire destroyed the school. The new Inmon school was built west of the log school off Inmon property.

In 1882, John’s thirteen year old son became ill at school and died that evening at home. Then in 1886, Jane died. Now his wife and three of their six children had died. His twin brother James now lived near him.

At the age of 85, John W. Inmon died at his farm on the James River on September 12, 1913. He truly was an early pioneer of Stone County, Missouri. His first land was purchased in 1849, when it was still a part of Taney County. John had selected a site on a hill top overlooking his farmwhere he wished to be buried, and he was. He first came to James River Valley by pack mule - there were no roads. On the day of his funeral, the first automobile to come to his farm valley brought his long-time friend, Major Weaver. He sounded military “Taps” at John’s grave.

By Inez Inmon Bowman

(Note the spelling of the Inmon-Inman name; also difference in date of birth of John William Inmon.)

The Home of John W. Inmon

The old John Inmon House.

The family of John W. Inmon.
From left, front row: Lilly Ackers, John Ackers, and Howard Inman.
Second row: Martha Inman, Anna Inman, John Inman, Grace Inman, May Massie Inman (wife of William Inman).
Back row: Henry Inman, Nancy Cloud Inman, and William Inman.