116. George Wallace WILLIAMSON70,289,290,291,292,293,294 was born on 14 February 1841 in IN, Knox Co., Sandborn. He lived with his father and stepmother in IN, Knox Co., Sandborn on 11 September 1850. He lived in the household of William Hancock in IN, Pike Co., Jefferson on 2 June 1860. A "Declaration for Pension", filed later by his wife Melissa, states that he had lived in Pike Co., IN after he left the service after the Civil War. It is extrapolated from this that he lived there also for a while before the war, since he can be found nowhere else on the 1860 census. The 1860 census was taken in June; George mustered in in Dec of 1861. Between 1861 and 1863 in IN he enlisted in the Union, 58st IN Inf., Co I in the Civil War. His commander in Co. I was Captain William Chapell. He mustered in as a corporal on 16 December 1861 in IN, Gibson Co., Princeton. He was wounded in the Battle of Stone River on 31 December 1862 in TN, Rutherford Co., Murfreesboro. On 31 December 1862 George "had complete anchylosis of the joints of the forefinger of the right hand". From George's commanding officer's medical discharge report:
[In Jan. and Feb. 1863] "soldier has been unfit for duty all days by reason of a wound received in the right hand which renders his hand in a maner [sic] useless. Said named was received in the Battle of Stone River December 31st 1862 while doing his duty in battle."
From the same report, by the medical officer:
"I find him incapable of performing the duties of a soldier because of 'complete anchylosis for of [sic] the joints of the fore finger of the right hand with incomple [sic] anchylosis all the joints of the remaining fingers of the same hand.' Said injury is the result of a gun-shot wound received at the battle of Stone River December 31st, 1862."
ANCHYLOSIS--stiffness of a joint due to injury or disease, or when inflammation causes the joint-ends of bones to be so fused together that no motion can take place between them.
The same bullet that hit his hand also glanced up and hit his right cheek. He would carry that mark for the rest of his life. It is thought that a bullet hit his right hand holding the gunstock, then ricocheted upward and entered his cheek.
He was treated for his wound "at hospital #3 or #5" in Nashville, TN. He lived in IN, Pike Co. in 1863–1874. In an "Invalid Pension" affidavit filed in Daviess Co., IN on 2 May 1874, it states that George:
A later "Declaration for Pension" dated 9 Mar 1907 lists his places of residence since leaving the service were Pike Co., IN, and Brule, Iron Co., MO.
He mustered out as a private on 18 March 1863 in TN, Rutherford Co., Murfreesboro. Besides his battle wounds, his discharge diagnosis includes "kidney disease and general disabilities." He lived in MO, Iron Co., Iron Mountain in 1875. They bought the old homestead of Littlebury Vest, per an affidavit by his grandson, Mosby Vest. Mosby was George and Melissa's neighbor. This affidavit was filed on 23 Apr 1912 in support of Melissa in her pursuit of her widow's pension. George lived in MO, Iron Co., Kaolin on 12 June 1880. He lived in MO, Iron Co., Kaolin on 21 June 1900. Their married daughter Minnie Akers lived next to them. He died on 3 December 1909 in MO, Washington Co., Thomas Chapel Cemetery. George was a farmer . He was 5' 9-1/2", with a fair complexion, grey eyes, and light hair. Although George was using an 1838 birthdate by the 1860 census, this cannot be true. The 1840 census shows his father Aaron, Aaron's first wife Rosannah, and Aaron's brother John living in the household. There is no baby. Aaron and Rosannah were married in Mar of 1840, so the census was taken during or after that month. George was born 11 months after they were married, in Feb 1841. It is possible George, age 18, added 3 years to his age when he sought work after his parents died.
It is sometimes stated that George was born in Greene Co., IN. However, in 1840 his father Aaron lived in Knox Co., which is south of Greene Co. The family still lived in Knox Co. in 1850.
It is also sometimes stated that George's mother was Aaron's second wife, Mary Eleanor (Nelly) Wooden. [See note above]. The 1850 census shows George as 9 years old, born in 1841. Aaron did not marry Nelly until Jan 1843. Therefore, George was Rosannah's (only) child. George's brothers James (b. 1843) and Thomas (b. 1849) were born to second wife Nelly.
Between 1857-1859 occurred one of the 6 largest pandemic outbreaks of influenza known. Aaron died in Aug 1858, and Nelly is said, per family folklore, to have died several months later in the following year. She does not show up on the 1860 census, so this seems to be true.
However, it is also said that George and his siblings were orphans at an early age, and were consequently sent to an orphanage. In 1859, George would have been 18 years old, James would have been 16, and Thomas 10. George and James would have been too old for an orphanage. They could have either continued farming their father's land (probably keeping Thomas with them), lodged with relatives, or found work as farmhands. It does not seem probable that Thomas went to an orphanage, since he was also old enough to help on the farm. The boys also had relatives in the area who did not succumb to the influenza, so there would be no reason to place anyone in an orphanage.
Another mark against the orphanage theory is the pandemic influenza outbreak. With so many children losing parents, an orphanage would only have had room for younger children who couldn't be sent out to work. Farms hit by the outbreak would have needed replacement workers. So if the boys weren't working their parent's farm, or being kept by a relative, then George and James (at least) could have found work as farmhands. Therefore, this bit of family folklore seems to be false.
George Wallace WILLIAMSON and Melissa DAVIS were married on 21 August 1873 in IN, Greene Co.. A. B. Hungate and John H. Sanders were present at the wedding. Melissa DAVIS292,293,294,295,296,297,298,299 was born on 6 August 1844 in IN. She lived with her parents (possibly stepmother) in IN, Greene Co., Stafford on 23 August 1850. She lived next to Margaret (Williamson) and Elisha Collins, her future husband's sister. The Collins, Davises, and Williamsons all lived along Black Creek. She lived with her widowed mother (possibly stepmother) in IN, Greene Co., Stafford on 28 June 1860. Melissa lived with her mother (possibly stepmother), next to her brothers in IN, Greene Co., Stafford on 3 September 1870. On 3 September 1870 she was a domestic servant in IN, Greene Co., Stafford. She lived in MO, Iron Co., Iron Mountain in 1875. Melissa lived in MO, Iron Co., Kaolin on 12 June 1880. She lived next to her married daughter Minnie Akers in MO, Iron Co., Kaolin on 21 June 1900. She lived next to her married daughter Jane Martha Horton in MO, St. Francois Co., Randolph, Leadwood on 15 April 1910. Her son Claude lived with her. Melissa died on 15 April 1914 in MO, St. Francois Co., Randolph, Leadwood. She was buried in April 1914 in MO, Washington Co., Thomas Chapel Cemetery. Melissa's name was creatively spelled as Melesia, Melitia, Malicia, Malisa, and Mellisa.
On the 1850 census, Melissa’s father Samuel was from Tennessee and was married to a Juda (Judith) A. (unknown). Melissa’s father died when she was 4-8 years old. Family folklore says she became an orphan at an early age. Juda, however, was alive when Melissa was 14, if not longer. It is possible that Melissa's father Samuel had 2 wives, with Melissa being a child of the first wife.
She had at least 10 sisters and brothers: Mary, John, Washington, Julia A. Benjamin, Eliza, Amos, James, Priscilla, and Jane S. Davis.
Family folklore relates that Melissa was related to Jefferson Davis. This is unproven at this time.
From the recollection of Gerald Jostes, Mamie's grandson, 3 MAR 2008:
"Melissa, my great-grandmother, was a 'granny lady'. That's what they called midwives in those days. She used to get up on a mule with her bag and go all over the county to deliver babies. That's how she brought in extra money back then--they were so poor it was a good thing she could help out.
Grandpa Sam's second wife, Emma Heinrich, was a real witch. She was so mean my mom [Lulu] would never say her name again. My mom lived with Melissa [her grandmother] and she would come back to visit Sam for a month or so. Emma used to beat and abuse her and Alice something terrible, and say stuff like, "If you ever tell, I'll kill you." She would act all nice around Sam, and then when he went off to work, she would start in on my mother and Alice. I don't know about Martin--he pretty much stayed with Uncle Claud. Anyway, Sam came home one day and caught her at it. We don't know if somebody told him or he just came home early. The story from Uncle Claude is that he then took her and threw her into the road, and all her clothes with her, and told her to never come back. After that they were divorced.
George Wallace WILLIAMSON and Melissa DAVIS had the following children: