Thursday, June 1, 2017

Armchair Genealogy

A Much Maligned Man: Sidney Washington Creek

Born: 13 January 1832 in Liberty, Clay County, Missouri
Died: 12 September 1892 in Liberty, Clay County, Missouri

Chapter 2 in the Life of the Much Maligned Man

       Our first chapter covering the life of Sidney Washington Creek ended with his marriage to Lucinda Estes and the beginning of their family. They had ten children who attained adulthood. A quirk of the Creek and Younger families seemed to be the bestowing of multiple names and nicknames for all the children so that various records are to be located using given names that, at first glance, appear not to belong to the person into whose life one is delving. Thus was certainly the case for Sidney and his bride, Lucinda.

•       The first child born to this union was Georgia Ann Mary Creek who arrived in December of 1854. Georgia would marry Benjamin A. Franklin (a famous name, but NOT the famed statesman, inventor, and unlikely ladies man of historical import).

•       The next child to arrive was Charles Jefferson “Jacob” Creek, born 12 January 1856 and who married Sarah Emma Reynolds, the granddaughter of Killian Anderson Creek and great granddaughter of Abraham Creek, a not so distant cousin to Charles.

•       Third in line was Emaline whose trail of names and nicknames is surely one for the books: Emma Evaline (Emaline, Emma, Emila) “Lucy” Creek, b. 17 Feb 1858, who is known to have wed three times: Emma was enumerated on two separate Census documents as being Emma Jones. The second marriage to Mr. Johnson is documented by the probate of her aunt Virginia Lee Younger Creek’s estate where she is listed as Emma Johnson and by the clerk’s recordation of her name at the time of her third marriage. She is shown as Emma Johnson on the clerk’s official marriage record when, at age 35, she wed Oliver James Breeden. No records have been found to ascertain the names and dates of marriage for the first two husbands. (She is also listed as a household member in sister Ludicy’s marriage list as Emma Evaline Pascoe along with one Alfred Pascoe. More mystery.)

•      Next in line is the mysterious Lamira (reputed to also be known as Elvira) who appears in the 1870 Census age 9, but not in school, and for whom no records exist beyond that point in time to this researcher’s knowledge. No marriage record age 18 or 19, no death records, and no appearance on future Census records. We must assume, therefore, this child did not attain adulthood and whose demise was not officially marked by Clay County clerks. An additional clue that this child may not have survived is the fact Aunt Virginia Lee (Younger) Creek does not leave a bequest in her name in her estate probated in 1895, although all other surviving heirs of Sidney Washington Creek are named as legatees.

•      Sidney Beauregard “Beau” Creek, second son, born in May of 1863, Beau had his own bit of problems as documented by the Liberty Tribune. (The paucity of documentation for vital events in this family’s history cause one to tear out hair! The Civil War and burnings of libraries, courthouses, and general mayhem cost family historians dearly.) We do know that on 6th January 1886, Beau wed Mary Eliza Whitten in Clay County. We know of three children born of this union: William Coleman, Nellie May, and Charles Sidney Creek. We have a date of death (15 Dec 1894) for Beau that has been carried down by many researchers for which absolutely no documentation has been located by your author. In fact, stories carried in the local newspapers of the time indicate that Beau got up to some meanness in concert with his cousin, one John Creek, and (reputedly) his older brother Charles Jefferson (which appears to have been a case of mistaken identity):
“Liberty Tribune Mar 24 1882; Mr. John Creek, who was arrested on suspision of shooting Mr. Mitchell, and taken to Clinton County and discharged, was in our office Wed, and says he had nothing whatever to do with the shooting, was at home sick with the mumps.”
“Plattsburg, Misouri Mar 22-David Mitchell, the victim of the recently attempted assassination near this place, yesterday evening swore out a warrant charging Charles Jefferson Creek, of Clay Co., with the crime.”
”Liberty Tribune Apr, 21, 1882 Beau Creek, confined to the jail at Plattsburg for shooting David L., Mitchell, has made a confession that John Creek hired him to do the deed. John Creek has been arrested. Men are cousins.”
      It appears little, if anything, came out of the issue as Beau wed in 1886 and fathered children in the ensuing years from 1887 to 1892. However, further research shows an S. B. Creek confined in the State prison at Joliet (listed as S B Creek, aged 37, born May 1863 in Missouri, confined to Illinois State Penitentiary, at Joliet, Will County, Illinois, literate, married some 11 years, occupied as a baker in prison) and the Census in 1910 also references one Sidney B Creek as an inmate (Age 48, Single, both parents born Missouri, out of work). These records could be attributed to a different Sidney B. Creek born about the same time in Missouri; however, it is interesting to note that Mary Eliza Whitten Creek relocated to Joliet, Illinois per the 1900 US Federal Census and remarried in 1905, before the 1910 Census. This lends credence to one Sidney B. Creek, inmate, being OUR Beau Creek. More mystery. The records for inmates in Joliet so far transcribed for historians do not include the data for this inmate.

•      Susan Ludicia (Ludisa, Sudisy, Ladicee, Dicie) Creek, born 25 May 1865, wed William Henry Parks on 27 Aug 1891, coming into the marriage as Ludicy Crandells and appearing on the 1900 US Census with Parks as Head of house in Joliet, Illinois, with a daughter, 13, named Lucy C. Crandall. No marriage to Crandall has yet been found. She is named as a legatee on her aunt Virginia Lee Younger Creek’s probate records as “Dicey Parks.” Her younger sister, Sarah Lee (called Sadie or Sally) married John Henry Parks, brother to William.

•      Lucinda “Lucy” Agnes Creek, born about 1868 per varying documents. The 1870 US Federal Census lists the household thusly: Post Office: Liberty. Name Age S W Creek 38 Lucenda Creek 38 Georgia Creek 16 Charles Creek 14 Eveline Creek 12 Elmira Creek 10 Sidney Creek 8 Lucinda Creek 6. This would omit Lucinda “Lucy” Agnes Creek who would be 2 years of age. It is possible she was residing with another family. The 1880 US Census: Name Age Sidney W. Creek 48 Lucinda Creek 44 Emeline Jones 21 Bougard S. Creek 18 Ludisa Creek 15 Lucinda Creek 12 Virginia Creek 10 Sarah L. Creek 8 Lillie M. Creek 3. (This census clearly lists Ludisa and Lucinda as separate daughters, three years separating them in age and would appear to confirm her birth year as 1868.) On 24 Oct 1888, Lucinda wed Joel Melvin Stallings. Two daughters were born of this union. Joel died in 1910. Lucinda lived many years in the State Home. Her mother referred to her as "my afflicted daughter" in her Will written in 1891. The will misspelled her married name as "Slottings" rather than Stollings. She died in the State Home 22 Oct 1941.

•      Virginia “Ginnie or Jennie” Darlisco Creek, born 1869 in Clay County. On 20 Jul 1889, Jennie would wed Joseph W. Hamilton, a marriage that would prove ominous in the history of this family. Joe Hamilton was inclined to drink and when he drank, family legend is that he was inclined to get ugly. And when he got ugly, poor Jennie was frequently the target of his anger.

•      Sarah Lee “Sadie, or Sally” Creek, born 7 Feb 1872. On 29 Oct 1890, Sally married John Henry Parks, brother to her brother-in-law William Henry Parks. Two sons were born of this union, Samuel W. and Charles Sidney. By 1900 it would appear this marriage had ended, as John lists himself as “widowed” on the Census and Sarah weds again on 12 Sep 1901 in Spokane, Washington to William L. Rozier. The 1910 Census shows Sarah Rozier living in Cripple Creek, Colorado, with sons Sam and Charles Parks. However, Sarah gave him another chance as a second marriage is recorded 19 Jan 1915 in Shoshone County, Idaho. William was a miner, a dangerous job but one which drew many men in order to support their families and, always, with that promise of immense riches. This marriage, too, would end in divorce, as Sarah ended her life as Sarah Shirley, with a daughter named Lillie Pearl Shirley. The name of the father to Lillie Pearl is lost to history.

•      Lilly or Lillie M (perhaps Madeleine per one researcher) Creek, born about 1873 in Kearney, Clay County. Lilly married William Simpson on the 17th of October 1891. By 1910 this marriage would have ended, as William Simpson is listed as “divorced, hired man” on the Census for that year. No other records have been located for Lilly that provide additional information for her life thereafter.

      The first documented trouble arising in the life of Sidney Washington Creek occurred when he was a young married man, having purchased farmland in order to provide for his new little family. It was not an easy life in those days, when a lack of birth control presented new mouths to feed at a fairly regular rate and all the food, clothing and shelter was earned by the hard physical labor and wise investments of the head of each house. Thus, we see a squabble over assets turn very ugly and present the first blemish on the reputation of Sid, an article in the Liberty Tribune:

      Your author has been unable to locate additional information regarding this incident, other than the biographical information for the victim. It would appear this incident was deemed by the investigating officers or the prosecutors for the county to have been a case of self-defense, for no record of incarceration or a break in the arrival of additional children to the household occurs.

      The trouble that would impact Sidney and all Americans during this critical time would be the simmering tensions that ultimately boiled over to incite a War unseen by Americans before or since – the great and horrible Civil War.

      Previous columns by your author have covered the tensions that arose between the abolitionists of Kansas and the slaveholders of Missouri who migrated from the Deep South states of Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, and surrounding areas. The system of slavery was deeply embedded in their heritage and was key to the success of their settlement of the western lands. There were atrocities on both sides of this argument, personal loss, outright thievery carried on in the name of the “cause” by both sides and deeply held convictions that exploded into the Civil War that split this young nation.

      Jacob Creek and his wife, Virginia Lee Younger Creek were right in the midst of this fomenting of hostility - intensely felt convictions held by both sides – an atmosphere rife with assaults and retaliations, spiraling into ever more intense hatred, which would reach its crescendo with the Civil War and its horrific aftermath. In 1870, Jacob Creek was listed as one of the Old Men of Clay County “Disfranchised.” After all his family’s contributions to the very existence of this country, the Northerners who flooded into Clay County to take over the rich farm lands and implant their banks and banking laws had the audacity to disenfranchise, among many other Southern sympathizers, this elderly man! The result was stripping away of one of the very most vital and essential rights – the right to vote.

   In these times and this atmosphere was Sidney Washington Creek maturing into a young husband, farmer, slave owner and father. His maternal uncle, Henry Washington Younger, was the father of the sons who would become infamous as the Younger Gang. His grandfather, through his many amorous liaisons would sow the seeds that would bring forth his mistress’ Parmelia Dorcas Wilson’s grandsons, the Daltons. The Younger boys would ride with Sid Creek alongside William Clarke Quantrell while cousin Abner Creek and brother Creth Creek would ride with “Bloody Bill” Anderson. The so-called leader of the Confederate group in Clay County treated his duties as more of an avocation than a vocation – showing little spine and even more desultory organization skills. Thus, when faced with the unending thievery, arson and heartless raids of the Red Legs of Kansas, the boys were attracted by the strength and flamboyant style of Quantrell. Cole Younger and brother-in-law John Jarrett would become Quantrell’s right-hand men.

   Thus, would these dramatic events affect the life of our young man, Sidney Washington Creek, cousin to the Youngers and the Daltons, trusted soldier for the Confederate cause riding with William Clarke Quantrell, one of the most flamboyant and controversial figures in that great and glorious and horrible War.

   Next month, the dramatic end to the story of Sidney Washington Creek. Stay tuned.
Researched and Compiled by Melinda Carroll Cohenour – Spring 2017.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

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