Name: John Elbert? WILLARD
Birth: 1 DEC 1839 in St. Clair Co, Mo
Death: 2 MAR 1912 in Near Rover, Oregon Co, MO
Burial: 3 MAR 1912 Jolliff Cem Near Rover, Oregon Co, MO
FILE: ~/Documents/Mary Jo/2 Website gen files/colyott/John&SarahWillard.jpg
_SIZE: 227.000000 330.000000
Change Date: 13 APR 2017
John was my gg-grandfather
For pictures go to my webpage at:
The only ?document? I?ve seen Elbert used on was son Fred?s obit, which incidentally has Fred?s mother as ?Mary Alice Lumikinson?!!!
However, he was a peach grower and one of the most popular peaches at that time was the Elberta peach. I kind of wonder if this became attached to him by someone??
John Willard (my gg-grandfather) was born on Sunday, Dec 1, 1839, St. Clair County, Mo. (source: his obituary said St. Clair, Mo--unsure whether this is the town in Franklin Co. in eastern Missouri, but it was more likely the county of St. Clair in western Mo. next to Henry Co. where his parents were living in 1850--there actually was no St. Clair County until 1841, before that time that area was called Rives County).
He was living in Oregon Co., Mo. by 1860, where he was listed in the census as living with the John M. Moor family instead of with his parents, Martin & Polly Willard.
He joined the Confederate Army in August, 1861 -- Co. B, 8th Missouri Infantry. Led by Capt. Charles L. Johnson who enrolled at Thomasville, Oregon Co, Mo. John?s record shows he enlisted at ?Eleven Points Mills? which surely was around Thomasville.
He was the only one of his family to fight for the South. Although most of the inhabitants of Missouri (especially southern Missouri) supported the South, 2 of his Oregon county cousins, Bill & James Willard, who were raised in Illinois, held to their childhood loyalties, walked back to Illinois and joined the Union Army. And John's brother, Squire, who lived near Springfield, Mo. (a Union stronghold) joined the Union Army.
John's military records describe him as 5'8", grey eyes, light hair, fair complexion.
He was on a list of Confederate soldiers taken prisoner and paroled by Lt. Col. James Stuart, 10th IL Cavalry at Van Buren, Ark. (near Ft. Smith). His son, Joe related that John was in a POW camp at Fort Smith, Ark. He said they were released on Thanksgiving Day, 1864--a cold day with frost on the ground--and since John was barefoot, he wrapped sacks around his feet and walked over 200 miles back to Couch, Oregon Co., Mo.
His capture and release probably happened in 1862 instead of 1864 because his military record of this release was dated Jan 25, 1863 with a note on it "list not dated."
A website of the activity of the 10th IL Cavalry shows that they marched to Van Buren, Ark, Dec 27-29, 1862, and again were near Van Buren Feb 10, 1863.
?October 20, 1862, Lieut. Colonel James Stuart with 105 men attacked a camp of 300 rebels on Niauqua creek, Mo., killing four, wounding many and capturing one captain with twenty six men...?
John evidently stayed at home for a short time, got married sometime between Jan and June of 1863, and then rejoined his company. He was 23 years old when he married Sarah Jane Colyott, who was 15 or 16. I haven?t been able to find a marriage record so I don?t know if they married in Oregon Co. or Madison Co. where she was from. Sarah's mother's sister, Eliza (Brewer) Huddleston lived in Oregon Co. and since Sarah and her sister Louisa both married men from Oregon Co., they probably met them on visits to their Aunt Eliza's.
John was a private in Co. B, 8th Missouri Infantry (Mitchell's). He was reported left sick at the Pine Bluff hospital, July 17, 1863. Feb, 1864 is the last month he was reported on the army roll.
Sarah and John Willard had 11 children and lived the rest of their lives in Oregon Co., Mo. in the farming community between Rover and Alton, where John owned a nursery. He grafted apple trees, budded peach and plum trees, etc. and sold them for as low as 4-6 cents each. He developed the McGraw peach, a blue peach that ripens in October.
?In the late 1800s and early 1900s the largest peach orchard in Missouri, and hence in the nation, was in Oregon County. Many farmers had smaller commercial orchards and fruit production and canneries were important in the economy. ... Koshkonong, the ?Land of the Elberta Peach? had, in 1917 a ?Banner Year for Peach Growers.? Over 200 railroad cars of peaches were shipped from the various fruit stations.?[Oregon County History, p 4 & 14]
This story makes me wonder if the theory of John?s middle name being ?Elbert? came because he grew peaches. Maybe it was even a nickname.
His grandson, Arthur Willard had this to say: ?Grandpa?s old home place was west of the Bales place where Dad and Mother (Joe & Rhoda) lived, [later] the Israel Huddleston place, 80 acres of it on the north side of the road. Uncle Fred said that was where they were raised. Then 40 acres was bought later on the south side and 40 acres on the west end on the north and added to it before I bought it after Israel died. Then I sold it to Bill Childres and he built a new house on the south side.?
1870 census, Oregon Co, MO: #187
John Willard - 30, Mo
Sarah - 20 Mo
Joseph - 5
Squire - 4
Evan - 2
Polly - 66, Mo (John's mother)
1880 census, Oregon Co Mo, Highland twp:
John Willard - 40, IL IL IL
Sarah - 32, MO MO MO
Joseph - 15 MO
Squire - 13 Mo
Evan - 11 Mo
Anna - 9 Mo
Jane - 6 Mo
Telitha - 4 Mo
Stonewall - 2 Mo
1900 MO census, Oregon Co, Highland twp, p8 (June 11):
Willard, John (head) - 60, b Dec 1839 Mo, m 37 yrs, par b VA/OH
. . . . . Sarah J (wife) - 51, b Sept 1848, MO, 12 ch/10liv, par b MO
. . . . . Stonewall J. (son) - 21, b Mar 1879 MO
. . . . . Linna N (daug) - 16, b Feb 1884 MO
. . . . . Fred C. (son) - 12, b Dec 1886 MO
. . . . . Johnie (son) - 11, b Jan 1890 MO
Stephens, James R. (boarder) - 6, b Aug 1893 Mo
John and Sarah lived in Brandsville (just across the county line in Howell Co.) their last days together. Sarah died there in 1909, at the age of 60 (her tombstone incorrectly reads 1832-1908). John then lived with their son Joe, near Rover, and died in their home March 2, 1912 (age 72). They were both buried in the Jolliff Cemetery near Rover in Oregon Co., MO.
Newspaper article, 1910, probably in the Alton, Mo newspaper: The South Missourian. "A Birthday Anniversary Celebrated.
Friends, neighbors and relatives assisted John Willard in celebrating his 71st birthday anniversary on Thursday, Dec. 1, 1910. He was born in St. Clair, Mo., was married in the year 1865 to Sarah Colleott (sic), to which union 12 children were born, 10 of whom are still living. Sarah Willard, his wife, died in the year 1909. The celebration above mentioned took place at the home of Mr. Willard's oldest son, Rev. Joseph Willard, three miles southeast of Rover. Those who planned it, to the number of 30 persons, began to arrive about 11 o'clock with well-filled baskets and boxes of provisions. The old gentleman was somewhat surprised, and indeed well pleased. It was a very pleasant occasion, and one long to be remembered by all who participated in it. John Willard is the son of Martin Willard and has one brother and one sister living - Squire Willard of Brisco, Tenn (sic), and Mrs. Polly A. Lowe, of Ozark County. He is an old citizen of Highland township, Oregon county, and is well and favorably known to a large circle of friends. His grandchildren can be numbered by the score. Formerly engaged in farming he has of late been living a retired life, making his home with his children."
John's son, Joe, said that along with their own children, John and Sarah also raised his brother, Wm. Henry's sons, Milam and Martin. (Wm. Henry died in 1864, age 36, when these sons were 10 and 7).
They had 12 children (10 were still living in 1910).
For map of Oregon Co, Mo. go to:
Jolliff Cemetery is off 160 hwy. halfway between the turn off to Rover and the turn off to Thomasville.
The community where the Willards lived is a little SE of Rover.
John died in 1912, 4 months before his older brother Squire.
Death Certificate offers this information -
- full name: John Willard
- date of birth: Dec 1, 1839
- parents: Martin Willard (b Ky)
- place of death: Oregon Co, Highland twp, Rover (village), Mo
- date of death: March 2, 1912; age: 77 yrs, 8 mos, 2 days
- cause of death: pneumonia
- buried: Jolliff Cemetery, March 8, 1912
- informant: Joseph M. Willard, Rover, Mo.
Tombstone at Jolliff Cemetery, Oregon Co, Mo: John Willard, Sr., 1839-1912
Find A Grave Memorial# 15090358
Father: Martin WILLARD b: 1793 in Glade Hollow, Russell Co, Va.
Mother: Mary "Polly" LINDSEY b: 1803 in Ohio
Sarah Jane COLYOTT b: 17 SEP 1847 in Madison Co, Mo
BEF JUL 1863
in prob Oregon Co, MO
- Joseph Martin ?Joe? WILLARD b: 14 JUL 1865 in Near Thomasville, Oregon Co., Mo
- Squire WILLARD b: 1 FEB 1867 in Oregon Co, MO
- Evan WILLARD b: 1 MAY 1869 in Oregon Co, MO
- Polly Ann "Sissie" WILLARD b: 15 OCT 1871 in near Rover, Oregon Co, MO
- Lilla Jane WILLARD b: 7 APR 1874 in Oregon Co, MO
- Telitha C. "Lithie" WILLARD b: 1876 in Oregon Co, MO
- Stonewall Jackson WILLARD b: 7 MAR 1879 in Oregon Co, MO
- Sarah Dove "Dovie" WILLARD b: 9 JUN 1881 in Oregon Co, MO
- Nancy Flerindy ?Linnie? WILLARD b: 2 MAR 1883 in Oregon Co, MO
- Charles Frederick ?Fred? WILLARD b: 30 DEC 1886 in Oregon Co, MO
- John David "Johnny Smoker" WILLARD b: 13 JAN 1890 in Brandsville, Howell Co, Mo