Mystery Monday ~ People Like to Talk

William T Gadd was the enumerator on the 1880 Perry County Arkansas census, and scattered throughout it are notes that he wrote in answer to the health questions asked.

In the town of Perryville, W.T. noted that Charles Myers was afflicted with rheumatism- contracted in Illinois while on farm, and that he was unable to bend his knee joint.

Next up is William Holcomb. W.T. notes that he lost his leg by a chronic sore leg- amputated above the knee joint, but well since amputation.

John Matthews lost his forefinger on the right hand in 1873 by a pistol shot.

Poor Mr H.L. Loflin lost his leg by a team running away 18 years ago in Texas. It was cut off below knee joint, but he uses a peg leg and is in good health.

Jacob Smyers lost his left arm in a cleaning gin while in motion, cut off above elbow. This happened in 1879 in Alpin, Ar.

Seventeen year old Tenny Clemons had white swelling and lost the use of her leg.

Outside the city limits, there is Henry C Adams, who lost his left little finger due to a gunshot wound, and Chas Ellison who was wounded during the war and is on the pension rolls. Next door is Ruben T Goddard, a Mexican war veteran who lost all his family in a steamboat disaster and is now an object of charity, homeless and destitute.

John Hynes is paralyzed in his left arm due to a centipede bite in 1860, but he is able to do ordinary work, while Sarah Adcock is affected in the hip caused by rheumatism and Milton Hill is subject to spasm or fits since his boyhood, but not as severe as when young.

John Cheek, an orphan, was affected in his spine, caused from exposure, from ill treatment when he was 14 years old- his parents are dead.

Frederick Fuller was wounded during the war and is on the pension rolls.

And finally, Mary E Creasy, a widow, lost her husband.


He was waylaid and shot by William Watson in 1878, while at work, without provocation. Watson fled state and is still at large. $100 reward offered.


All of the notes Mr Gadd made are beneficial to particular family researchers. But I'm especially interested in Mary Creasy, whose husband was waylaid and murdered. I have a half first cousin, (three times removed) named William Watson, who disappeared from Perry County after the 1870 census. I've always wondered what happened to him. His step daughter is enumerated on the 1880 census with another family, but William and his wife Hulda - I've never found another trace of them.

Mystery Monday ~ Dica Elizabeth Clark Smith



Dica Elizabeth Clark Smith

 Dica Elizabeth Clark was born on June 9, 1880 in Bethel, Tennessee. Her parents are speculation to me and are both brick wall mysteries.

Around the mid 1890s Dica met and fell in love with Zion Whitfield Smith, who worked for the railroad. They were reportedly married on August 2, 1898, but I have yet to find a marriage license or index to prove the exact date and location.

I do know that their first child, Evaline Amanda Smith, was born on December 24, 1900 in Mesquite Texas, and the 1900 census enumerates them in Dallas Texas, living in a tent. Four years later, Dica gave birth to a son, Walter Eugene, who was born in Bryan, Jackson County Oklahoma.

Dica passed from this life when Walter was just 18 months old, leaving a husband with two small children to raise. At this time, the family resided in Red Bluff, Little River County Arkansas.

Dica is buried in an unmarked grave, most likely in Blackerby Cemetery. She was my husband's great grandmother.