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1922 History of the Spradlings

 Written in 1922 by Clive A. Spradling.
{Transcribed to computer May 23, 2003 with updating by Irene Dennison Herr}.


For many years I have desired the history of the Spradlings but even though I were in possession of such, I had no means of preserving it except by common pen and ink, until recently an opportunity presented itself, and taking advantage of it I secured a small printing outfit which prompted me with a determination to print our history in book form.
Dedicated to my beloved father, mother and sisters.


Unfortunately my father was only able to give me a very meager account of his forefathers but I will write it as he told it to me.

My grandfather, James H. Spradling was born near in Maury Co. near Nashville, Tenn[essee] on in the year of 1827. Four years later his father, James H. Spradling moved to Bond county. There he and his wife, Frances Trent Oliver, took out a claim, and amassed a small fortune. He was partly of Indian blood, and fought in both the Black Hawk and Mexican wars. James H., the son, married Cynthia Ann Jackson and continued prosperous on the land and at one time was the wealthiest man in Bond county.

He died July 15, 1920 at the ripe old age of 93 years. His wife preceded him into the great beyond March 31, 1883.


Spradlings Springs are located on the forty-acre tract entered by my father’s grandmother, which my father purchased of his father J. H., and improved into a widely known resort. It is situated in a beautiful little valley thru which flows Owl Creek surrounded by wooded scenery, where the owls hoot and screech in great glee in due season. For unknown ages pure cold water has gushed up thru clean white gravel. The water is clear as crystal as it bubbles up, but only for a few moments as the light causes a yellow mineral formation to appear. This is iron. Another spring only a few feet away, but coming from a different direction, is sulphur water. A sunken curb of concrete for each spring separates the two kinds of water.

A concrete swimming pool fed by spring water attracts thousands of people every season. A bath house with dressing rooms, store, tents, cottage modernly equipped, swings and tables in a shady spot like this is very inviting on a summer’s day.


Treasure hill is so named, because, somewhere on the crest of it lies buried, a treasure, buried by my great grandfather, his money for safe keeping, but how much, what in or where, no one knows. The old man simply forgot the place, although he plowed and dug and had his children dig, t’was of no avail.

Two holes, one round and one square, mark the location of the old house and well. The well was never used as its water was very salty. Growing on this old landmark are many black locust trees whose sweet scented blossoms greet you early in the spring.

This postcard advertisement was when Clive was helping his father sell the property. [The swimming pool fed by spring water pure cold but invigorating for young and old.]


In the year of 1892 J. H. Spradling made the following statements:

“James Spradling was the father of one son, James H., and two daughters, Emerentha Paralee and Frances Jane. I was born in Maury Co[unty], Tenn[essee], Aug. 1, 1828. My father lived 72 years and my mother, an old Virginian, lived 83 years.

I married Cynthia Ann Jackson of Indiana. Seven children were born to us, John F., Eliza F. W[illia]m. H., Albert M., George L., Laura and Harry W.”

John Francis had two children, Fred and Maud; (add firstborn: CoraMae)
(Eliza Dora: who had 4 daughters. Lydia, Daisy, Josephine, and an infant Diane who died)
Wm. Havrey.: Edward and Blanche;
Albert Marion.: Clive A., Ollie E., Mona A. and Viola Adele;
George L. : Harry, Charles, Arthur, and Goldie. Anna Wehrli, wife of George L., was born in Switzerland Aug. 22, 1962.
Laura B who later married Frank Stewart Brown and had Anabel and Nellie
Harry had no children.

Grover C. Spradling, of 2512A Marcus Ave., St. Louis, Mo. referred me to his father, George, of St. Clair, Mo. for information. Both the father and son were very generous, but naturally the two told the same story so I will quote the father.

“My great grandfather, David Spradling was born in S. Carolina in 1776. He came to East Tenn[essee] and raised a large family. I never saw them all. I remember Jesse, George, Joseph, Rachel, Talitta, Lenn, Obe, Susan and Rhoda, the two latter by his second marriage. Lenn lived at Ft. Smith, Ark[ansas] and Obe at Commerce, Mo. David at Totty’s Bend*, Hickman Co[unty], Tenn[essee]. He died there just 66 years ago at the age of 80. His father was born on a ship while coming to America from England.”

Elijah M. Spradling, father of Geo[rge] Cone, just quoted, was born in Marshal Co[unty], Tenn[essee] in 1824, and located in Barry Co[unty], Mo. in 1857, then in Franklin Co[unty], 1862 and later at Union where he died Oct. 12, 1890. Had a brother named Joseph. George Cone Spradling had five brothers and two sisters[:] Frank, Joseph, Len, Robert, Herbert, Martha Jane, and Lina. Grover was born in 1888. ( Unquoted taken from Grover’s letter.)


“My husband and I were both born and raised in Bowling Green K[entuck]y. My husband passed away four years ago at the age of 68. His father’s name was James, a Methodist Minister. He was a very old man when he died. He raised a large family but they are all dead now. His uncle Elisha settled in Springfield Mo. The old ancestors were from Tenn[essee].”

The last letter from Mr. Geo[rge] Cone Spradling of St. Clair, Mo. very clearly sets forth my own ancestry beyond a shadow of a doubt. Just read page 14 and connect with page S.[?] This is my first attempt at book-making and [I] am handicapped owing to the fact that my press is only a 3x5 and [I] have type enough only for one page at a time. I learned the printer’s trade, but quit it twenty years ago, so dear Reader, just overlook mistakes. Only a printer can realize what a task I have before me.

The first U.S. post-office in Mulberry Grove was early in ’34 with J.B. Woolard as post-master. The first house was built by David Hubbard. He and Dewelly kept the first store.
The village was surveyed in April 1841 by Asabel Enloe. It was first called Houston. The first school was taught by Arthur Shephard. The first preacher was Rev. J. B. Woolard. The fist passenger train went thru Mulberry Grove from Indianapolis, Ind[iana] to St. Louis, Mo. [on] Wed[nesday], June 8, 1870. Previous to the railroad, the stage coach was the means of travel. Four good horses were used with a relay at every ten or twelve miles, where at the sound of the stage horn, a fresh driver with a fresh team took up the work.


Albert M. Spradling, attorney at law of Cape Girardeau, Mo. writes —
“My grandfather’s name was Thomas Spradling and he came to this state from Coffee County, Tenn[essee] and first located in Phelps Co., and later to Cape Girardeau Co[unty], where he died. He married Susan G. Houston, and two children were born of the marriage: Marcus L. (my father) and Mary, who died in infancy.

I know nothing of my ancestry on the Spradling side of the house prior to my grandfather and little of him, due to the fact that he died when my father was but seven years old. My father was born on the 29th day of Sept[ember, 1849 and died in Feb[ruary], 1915. In Sept[ember], 1876 my father was married to Tennessee M. Lessley and twelve children were born, five boys and seven girls, namely: Albert M., Luther L., Silas W. , Thomas F. and Emerson M., Cora M. Strong, Carrie M. Gandy, Mollie, Edna, Blanche Ruby and Nina Spradling. Silas Thomas, Mollie and Edna are dead. I do not know the nationality of grandfather, although it occurs to me my father said he was German and English.”


“When my great-grandfather left S[outh] Carolina he settled in Warren Co[unty], East Tenn[essee]. He married there and some of his children were born there. There were eleven in all. I cannot give you the dates or in what year he left there and moved down in Bedford Co[unty], lived there awhile, then lived awhile in Marshall and Maury Counties. I don’t know in what year he came to Hickman Co., I heard my father and uncle tell about two of their uncles leaving home when my father and uncle were little boys. They started to go to Northern Ohio on a cedar raft. One was named James and the other Doc. That was what they called him. Doc took the measles at Cairo and died, and his brother James was never heard of but a few times after that. He had but little correspondence with his father, brothers, and sisters. When I was a small boy I knew a woman in Hickman Co., by the name of Kitty Perritt. They moved from there in Greenville, Ill[inois]. This was about 1854. She came back to visit her relatives and told my father she saw his Uncle Jim a few weeks back.

My father use to tell me he had an uncle somewhere in Ill[inois], one at Ft. Smith, Ark[ansas], one at Commerce, Mo. and two in Tenn[essee], one aunt in Texas and one in Independence, Mo. Rachel died at Washburn, Mo., in 1863. I have heard my father tell about his grandfather’s farm on Duck River. Every building was made of red cedar and all the land was fenced with red cedar.”

In the foregoing pages I have quoted all the information available. Many of the Spradlings failed to co-operate with me for some reason unknown to me.

I find that the first page of this booklet is very much in error as to Indian blood of great-grandfather, the birth place and date of his son, J. H. The son was undoubtedly born near Mulberry Grove, Ill[inois] on his father’s claim, and all he knew about Tenn[essee] was what his father told him. There is no record of Indian blood, neither can it be discerned by the eye. If there is, it must have been on the side of J.H.’s mother.

David Spradling was born in 1776 and died 1856. He had eleven children of which James is one, whose birth and death dates are unknown. James had one son and two daughters. J.H., the son, was born Aug[ust]. 1, 1828 and died July 15, 1920. He had seven children, John F., born Dec[ember] 18, 1850; Eliza P. Sept[ember]. 24, 1852; Wm. H. Dec[ember] 9, 1854; Albert M., Dec[ember] 5, 1859; George L. Aug[ust]. 23, ’62, Laura B. June 30, ’68 and Harry W., June 30, ’73.

Albert M. married Louisa E. Pigg [on] Oct[ober] 6, ’80. Four children were born to them: Clive A. March 28, 1883; Ollie E[lsie] August 7, 1885; Mona A. March 27, 1891, and Viola A[dele] May 25, 1894. Clive and Ollie at a double wedding married Ella Libbey and Robert A. Dennison [on] August 18, 1907. Mona married Conrad Bruns, May 30, 1912. Viola married Clarence Emerick, March 30, 1919. Two children were born to Clive and wife [Ella], both girls, Leola and Alberta, October 17, 1909. and November 11, 1911 respectively, which ends the Spradling generation on my side. One noticeable thing about Alberta’s birth is she was born at eleven o’clock on the eleventh day of the eleventh month in the year nineteen hundred and eleven.


Contributed 2017 Jul 13 by Irene Herr

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