Scene of a Missouri riverboat
against the St. Louis Gateway Arch - Courtesy Gatewayarch.com
Missouri--The Show Me state was a key part of
America's way west.Often called the
Gateway to the West, Missouri played prominently in the pioneer history
of the United States. This territory, which gained statehood in 1821, was the
nation's crossroads for wagon trails west. Cutting across the state is the
wide, winding Missouri river, and the mighty Mississippi on the east.
Missouri is rich in US History with historic St.
Louis on the east and Kansas City on the west. Mark Twain wrote about his
boyhood life along the Mississippi in the northeast part of the state with his
famous Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn novels.
St. Louis had an early history. It was founded
in 1764 by a French fur trader and quickly became a transportation center
because it is at the confuence of toth the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.
Louis and Clark started their famous exploration from St Louis to the
Pacific in 1804. Riverboats on both the Missouri and Mississippi rivers were
common sights and many pioneers traveled these rivers as far west as they
Independence, (now part of greater Kansas City
on the state's far west side) was the beginning of both the Oregon and Santa
Fe trails. In 1854, border wars between Missouri and Kansas ensued over
In fact, the famous Supreme Court case, the Dred
Scott Decision involved the question of a Missouri slave's freedom (in this 1856
case, the court voted against the slave's freedom).
And Missouri was the scene of some Civil War
battles. Later, Jesse James, one of the country's most dangerous bandits,
terrorized Missouri for some 16 years after the Civil War.
Operator and Girl Elope
Will Prolong Honeymoon 'til Wreck Excitement is Over.
DANVILLE, Va., Jan 22. -- G. D. MADDOX, the block station operator on the
Southern railway whose neglect is alleged
to have caused the wreck on
Thanksgiving day at Lawlers,
when President Samuel SPENCER and others were
eloped with and married the daughter of John TAYLOR, a
farmer. MADDOX says he will apply for his former
position "as soon as
the excitement blows over."
--Kansas City Post, Tues Jan 22, 1907 from
John Obrien, Kansas City
Virginia Farmer- St Louis Slave Owner
Click here to read
the story of a Missouri Gentleman Farmer
Jesse T. Maddox of Virginia settles in Vernon County
|Ruffians--Like Father, Like Sons |
Missouri Family of Soldiers
Larkin Maddox, father of George and Richard
Maddox, (Civil War's Quantrill Raiders) was born in Kentucky on November
4, 1798. He was one of seven children of Revolutionary War soldier Sherwood Maddox
and Elizabeth (Ferguson).
Larkin's parents lived in Powhattan County, Virginia, during the
Revolutionary War. After that war the family moved to Scott County, Kentucky in
1793, later moving to Owen County, Kentucky. Larkin and his brother,
Sherwood Maddox, Jr., migrated to Missouri and the 1830 Federal census
shows them living in Callaway County, Missouri.
In a book from the St. Louis National Historical Company, 1884, entitled
"History of Callaway County, Missouri" in a section about the Maddox family, it
states in part..."Larkin married Jane Powers of Kentucky, and settled in
Callaway County in 1825. They came to Missouri in an ox cart, drawn by a yoke
of oxen and a blind horse, and after they settled in Callaway County he and his
wife used to ride the horse and one of the oxen to church, frequently going a
distance of fifteen or twenty miles, and back home the same day.
After the death of Mrs. Maddox, her husband married Emeline Belcher of
Cass County, Mo. He had twelve children by his two wives. Mr. Maddox was an
outspoken Southern sympathizer during the late war, and fearing the government
would confiscate a large body of land which he owned in Johnson County, (later
named Jackson County which is part of Kansas City) he deeded it to a friend to
hold for him until the troubles were all settled. The next day he was killed by
an accident on the cars, and the friend to whom he had intrusted so much
endeavored to keep the land, but had to relinquish it after four years of
litigation. Mr. Maddox was killed in the early part of 1865, about the close of
An article in the Louisiana (Mo) Journal of Sept. 9, 1865, states,
"Larkin Maddox of Jackson County, was run over by the cars at Pleasant Hill (Mo)
on Thursday last, and so seriously injured that he died in a few hours. It is
said that the train was in motion, and that he, in attempting to get on board
fell, and was crushed by the wheels passing over the lower part of his
body. He was between 65 and 70 years of age."
Larkin, along with his wife Jane, and children Larkin E., Thomas L., and
Anna Eliza, wife of Dr. W.H.H.Cundiff, are buried in the family plot in the
Baptist Union Cemetery in Cass County, Missouri. Larkin's tombstone, which is
next to his wife's, has a portion of the top missing, but it shows some of the
letters in his name and that he died August 31, 1865, aged 70 yrs. 9 mos., 25
A document by a Dr. A. W. Reese, entitled "Personal Recollections of the
Late Civil War in the United States," is housed in the State Historical Society
of Missouri. Many pages are devoted to Larkin Maddox and his sons, George and
Richard. Kansas was not yet a State, but a Territory, and Missouri was a "slave
state", and there were many border wars between the Kansas "Jayhawkers" and
the Missouri "Bushwhackers". Dr. Reese stated: "When I knew the Maddox
family in 1855, Larkin Maddox was immensely rich. He owned two or three
thousand acres of the best land in Jackson County, some 200 to 300 head of fine
mules and horses, and about sixty Negroes--none of which latter were valued at
less than $1,000 apiece.
He had four
sons and one daughter named respectively, Bill, Dick, George (pictured
here), Tom and Annie. The latter was at that time the wife of my friend
Doctor W.H.H. Cundiff, of Pleasant Hill, afterwards a distinguished Surgeon in
the United States Army. Mrs. Cundiff was very unlike her father and brothers in
her character. She was a most excellent woman--and a devoted, pious Christian.
The old man Maddox and his sons took a very active part in the "Border-Ruffian"
invasion of Kansas in 1855-6. They were pro-slavery men and their zeal and
partisan efforts in behalf of the southern cause in that memorable struggle made
them particularly obnoxious to the "free state" men of Kansas. Hence when the
rebellion broke out and the Kansas troops under Jennison and Lane, marched into
Mo. in 1861, old Maddox and his sons were early victims of their hatred and
revenge. The "Red Legs" made a descent upon the Maddox "ranche" carried off
their mules, horses, and other stock ---burned their houses, barns,
Negro-quarters, cribs and out-houses of all descriptions and took away with them
all of the Negroes on the place. They would doubtless have exterminated the
last Maddox on the face of the earth if they could have laid hands on them but
the sons fled to the brush and the old man found it convenient for him to make a
certain visit to the "loyal" state of Kentucky. He ventured back to Mo. before
the close of the war, but was speedily "nabbed" and lodged in the Independence
jail where he languished many months among bushwhackers and lice. After this he
was "banished" south of "Mason & Dixon" and was seen no more till peace was
declared when he again "Put in an appearance" at Pleasant Hill (Mo) in the
summer of 1855, where he fell from the train in attempting to get aboard while
it was in motion--was swept under the train--run over and killed."
Richard (Dick) Maddox was killed by an Indian in the "Indian
Nation". George Maddox moved his family to Jefferson City, Missouri,
where he lived out his life peacefully as a good citizen. He was employed as a
Guard at the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City. His obituary states
he served in the Confederate Army under General Jo Shelby and was also a member
of Quantrell's company. He was a member of the United Confederate
Veterans which group attended the funeral and escorted the remains to the
His full name was George Webster Maddox and he died in Jefferson
City on July 29, 1906.
With gratitude to submittor Marjorie M. Wagner,
granddaughter of George Webster Maddox, greatgranddaughter of Larkin Maddox, and
member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Grandson story on
the Quantrill Raider Maddox boys (one of the best yarns on this