Todd and Bickle Trip from Arkansas to Texas – 1900

Back row: Thomas Jefferson, Margaret, Albert, Zula, James Monroe Walker, Elizabeth. Front row: Lee, Clara, Abner, Almeda, Bertha Mae (sitting in lap), Myrtie. Lee, the oldest son, is not in the picture.
Back row: Thomas Jefferson, Margaret, Albert, Zula, James Monroe Walker, Elizabeth. Front row: Lee, Clara, Abner, Almeda, Bertha Mae (sitting in lap), Myrtie. Lee, the oldest son, is not in the picture.

Today’s blog post is an interview conducted by Louise Todd Hunt with Jeff Todd and his sister Zula Todd McIntire. Also presented is information from Abner Newton Todd’s notebook with details of the wagon trip from Arkansas to Garland, Texas. The wonderful picture above, taken in 1904, was recently posted on by a cousin. I added the children’s names – if any are incorrect, let me know. This summer, I plan to retrace the Todd/Bickle route as best I can using current roads.

All the information below is from “The McIntires and the Elliotts of Bickle’s Cove, Stone County, Arkansas and the descendents of John McIntire of Maury County, Tennessee” by Pauline Mitchell Pierce, published January 1997 and used with her permission. Pauline’s work is in italics below.

On August 1, 1900, Arch Bickle and Abner Todd with their families left Stone County, Arkansas and arrived 18 days later in Garland, Dallas County, Texas to make their home. These men were first cousins.

Mr. Arch Bickle, his wife Roxie (Gaylor) Bickle, Allie, age 2, and Joe Bickle, the baby, had one covered wagon. His mother was Aunt Nan Bickle, sister of Frances Elmira Hay[n]es Todd.

Mr. Abner Newton Todd, born 1854 (the 1910 Stone County, AR census gives his birth date as Mar 1859, as does the Stone County Marriage record, but family charts from his family give the Oct 1859 date. PMP) in Cannon County, TN had migrated to Arkansas and married Almeda Elliott. They were bringing to Texas nine children in two covered wagons loaded with their possessions. One wagon was bought new for the trip and one he had made in his shop. The home-made wagon was made from green oak timber from the homestead. As the lumber had not been seasoned, it began to get loose and at night water was carried and poured on the wheels hoping they would swell and tighten up. It seemed as though they might fall apart.

Riding with the wagons was Barney Haynes, a 19 year old cousin, son of Noah Haynes. He was the hunter for the trip. Another rider was Craig Futrell who stayed in Garland for a few years, engaged in the photography business.

On leaving Mountain View, Arkansas they crossed Sylamore Creek (part of the White River) on a ferry near Calico Rock. The first day, they covered 30 miles and were as far as Clinton, then 14 miles to Scotland, 20 miles to Appleton and 21 miles to Russellville where they crossed the Arkansas River on a bridge and only made 3 miles that day, stopping at Dardanelle.

One day, Arch Bickle lost his dog who had been trotting alongside the wagons, Mr. Bickle rode back 10 miles and found the dog at the campsite of the night before.

The homemade wagon gave trouble. Abner Todd was uneasy about it. After the 59 miles to Magazine, he came the next day to Booneville and bought a new wagon. He left his homemade one to be sold. The spokes for the wheels had been shaped with a draw knife. A straight bar of steel bought and heated in the forge and shaped into an iron bank, one for each of the 4 wheels and welded together. He never received any money for his wagon he had left at Booneville.

Mr. Bickle lead the way with his wagon. The mules had never seen a train. As they came into Booneville and saw parked box cars on the tracks, Mr. Bickle started across the tracks. When the mules reached the tracks, a switch engine was coming and the frightened mules reared up in the air and bawled like a cow. They ran backwards and backed the wagon away from the tracks. If they had gone forward the wagon would have been hit. It was carrying Arch, Roxie, Allie and baby Joe.

Abner Todd had a 160 acre farm, a house, barn, a well and a blacksmith shop. It was a homestead, it was yours after you lived on the land 5 years. There was no sale made on the land. He sold the crop, his 20 head of cattle, 20-30 head of sheep and 50 head of hogs before leaving. Later he did sell the farm, sight unseen, for $500 to a Mr. Panther who lived on Mud Lane. He paid this $500 by gathering a cotton crop and giving Abner Todd his team of mules. They went to a Lawyer in Garland to prepare for the transfer of the 160 acres from Abner Todd to Mr. Panther. Later on, one of the Gaylors bought the place.

On the 8th day, they moved from Booneville to Mansfield, 21 miles; 9th day 12 miles to Hartford with was the last Arkansas town. The 10th day, they crossed into Indian Territory and came to Read Oak for 22 miles that day. This area was noted as a hideout for outlaws and a watch was set for each night that they were in Indian Territory.

The 11th day, they came to Wister Junction; the 12th day 22 miles to Wilberton. One night along the way they spend with a family named Lynn. The women spent all the next day visiting and washing clothes.

After crossing the Red River, probably at Bells, they were in Texas and did not set their guard at night. The first jack rabbits they had ever seen were around the southern part of Indian Territory. The rabbits were in droves; they ran in all directions. Barney shot some with his Uncle Abner’s gun.

A stop was made at Writewright, Texas for a visit with the John Todd family. He was a first cousin, also from Tennessee. At the John Todd farm they saw a steam thrasher at work in the wheat field. A big boiler was belching steam in the hot August sun.

It was a hot dusty trip of 18 days. They slept outside at night to be as cool as possible. They brought a milk cow along on the trip, brought food they had raised in Arkansas and purchased some supplies along the way.

Mr. and Mrs. Conner lived at Garland and the group came to their place and camped in the yard. The Todd family lived in a tent the first winter here. It snowed while they lived in the tent. Jeff Todd was 5 years old when they came. He had his 7th birthday, while they lived in the tent.

Following is a list of supplies with cost:

                100 lbs flour        $3.00                    1 sack meal         .70
                1 can oil                    .50                    1 box starch       .10
                1 spool thread       .05                      molasses           2.60         
                bran                        1.50                    quinine                 .50
                sugar                      1.00                    pencil                  .05

Abner Newton Todd, the son of Walker Everett Todd (see Civil War stories) and Frances Elmira (Elvira) Haynes, died on October 13, 1904,  from a gunshot wound. There is speculation on the cause of the gunshot, but most believe it was suicide. (from family stories – amp)

Almeda (sometimes written as Alameda) went on to raise their twelve children and became a very successful farmer and business woman, leaving all the children a nice inheritance when she died on May 14, 1935. She never remarried.

copyright © 2013 by Andrea Musgrove Perisho



Flag of Germany

Generations of wars and heavy taxation in southern Germany plus a severe winter in 1709 caused devastation in the land and impoverished the people, making many families seek relief by migrating.

They were called “Palatines” as most were from the Palatinate region of Germany. One group left in 1708, but a larger group left in 1709. They traveled down the Rhine River to Holland and camped near Rotterdam waiting for ships to England. Of 13,000 Germans who reached London in 1709, only an estimated quarter came on to New York.  The rest found refuge in other places. The huge migration overwhelmed the British government and caused a big political uproar.

Queen Anne encouraged this Protestant migration to her American colonies. Most boarded ships for New York in December 1709, but did not leave England until April 1710. They sailed on eleven crowded boats with unsanitary conditions. Typhus was a problem for these already malnourished refugees. Four hundred seventy people , most children, died before reaching America. With about twenty-one hundred survivors, the Palatine immigration was the largest single immigration to America in the colonial period.  

On reaching New York in June 1710, the ships were quarantined on Nutten Island (now Governor’s Island). Governor Hunter of New York needed the immigrants for the making of naval supplies of pitch, turpentine and tar. Most families first settled along the Hudson River in work camps, to pay off their passage. (This was not a well-thought out process, since Governor Hunter’s pine trees were the incorrect species for producing the needed naval supplies, causing more hardship for the refugees.) Some widows and children, deemed as unfit for the work camps, were left in New York.

Our first Eoff ancestor to come to colonial America was Hans Jacob Eoff (variously spelled Öff, Hoof, Oave and Offin) born October 17, 1679 in Grossheppach, Germany. He was serving an apprenticeship as a weaver, when his illegitimate son Johann Jacob Öff, born to Magdalena Nussbaum, was baptized on April 10, 1702.  Han Jacob and Magdalena married on June 14, 1702. Since an apprentice could not be married, the financial burden of not having a trade and the lure of cheap land could be the reason for the family’s migration. A subsistence list on July 1, 1710 in New York shows the Hans Jacob Off family with five members. By October 4, 1710, the family had decreased to three members. Hans Jacob Eoff died on September 24, 1710 on Governor’s Island, probably from typhus. A child must have also died before October 4, 1710. Magdalena Offin was listed with John Jacob Offin age 8 (or Johann Jacob Off/Eoff our direct ancestor and founder of the Eoff family in America), and Anna Barbara Offin age 6. Magdalena and her children were probably left in New York and did not go the ill-fated Hudson River work camps. She married Joan Peter Kassener (John Peter Castner) in New York 2 April, 1711.

Source for Eoff material – excerpts from “The Eoff Family from the Old World to the New”, from a manuscript by Roberta Grahame in “The McIntires and the Elliotts of Bickle’s Cove, Stone County, Arkansas and the descendents of John McIntire of Maury County, Tennessee” by Pauline Mitchell Pierce, January 1997.

The Eoff ancestors were in my maternal family line, through Edith McIntire Holder.

Copyrighted, 2012 by Andrea Musgrove Perisho.


James Monroe Elliott – Arkansas Calvary, Confederate, quartermaster.

Confederate Flag
James Monroe Elliott, as a young man

James Monroe Elliott was born on June 22, 1816 in Warren, Tennessee. His father was Stephen Elliott and his mother was Elizabeth; her last name is not known. In 1843, Monroe married Margaret Eoff in Tennessee, where they had three children. After the move to Sylamore, Izard County, Arkansas, Monroe and Margaret had 12 more children. Their last child, Almeda Ellen Elliott was born in 1867. She was Edith McIntire Holder’s grandmother.


According to family sources, James Monroe Elliott Sr. did not speak to his daughter Mary Jane (Elliott) McIntire for about 15 years because she married what he considered to be an unsuitable young man, John A. McIntire. The couple went on to have twelve children, including Thomas Hendrix, Edith McIntire Holder’s father. Edith’s father and mother were cousins.

James Monroe Elliott and Margaret Eoff, husband and wife

Monroe Elliott was 45 years old and had a wife and lots of children when he was more or less forced to volunteer in the Civil War.  At the time Monroe “volunteered,” his oldest sons were William and James, twins who were 13 years old, with three older daughters. Lucy, the oldest, was 20 years old; her husband died in the Civil War.

 Arkansas Peace Society of 1861

 There were many responsible family men around his age in the northern counties of Arkansas who simply did not want a war.  They just wanted to be left alone to raise their families and survive the best they could.  They formed the Arkansas Peace Society of 1861.  This was a secret organization who organized as a home guard to defend their families and their property if they were attacked.  The state of Arkansas was being run by a Confederate government and they accused its estimated 1700 members of treason.  Monroe volunteered to serve the Confederacy, as did most of the men, rather than go to a prison camp.   Monroe enlisted with the 8th Arkansas Cavalry (“Desha Rangers”), Companies F & S in Arkansas County on March 10, 1863, where he served as quartermaster-sergeant, a very responsible position.  

James Monroe Elliott, Sr. age 66

In 1882, Monroe sold his land in Stone County, Arkansas, left Margaret and his youngest three daughters behind. He moved with another female relative, acting as his wife, to the Republic of Texas.  (Monroe appears to be a bigamist, maybe twice! When he married Margaret, he was still married to a woman from Alabama. He must have been quite the ladies’ man.) Monroe died on July 16, 1897 in Gordon, Palo Pinto, Texas, United States at the age of 81, very poor. 



  • Rosters of the Desha Rangers, 8th Arkansas Cavalry, Carlton’s Arkansas Cavalry, and the 21st Arkansas Infantry are posted on Edward Gerdes’ Civil War Page at this URL: Edward Gerdes’ Civil War Page.
  • Index to Compiled Military Service Records, film M376, roll 7.  
  • “The McIntires and Elliotts of Bickle’s Cove, Stone County, Arkansas,” by Pauline Mitchell Pierce.

Copyrighted, 2012 by Andrea Musgrove Perisho.