AN EARLY COMER to the Missouri border was Dan Collard, who settled in Daniel Boone's neighborhood, near present Marthasville, in what is now Warren county (then St. Charles county), in 1804 or 1805. He is believed to have been that Daniel Collard who is listed in Kegley's "Virginia Frontier" as on the "Pay Roll for a Detachment of Different Regiments on their march to Headquarters under Command of Captain Burnley and Lieutenant Samuel Gill, April 14, 1778, for the month of March."
Daniel Collard of the Virginia Revolutionary record was probably a brother of Joseph Collard, who was also in the Virginia Army of the Revolution. Daniel and Joseph both settled on the Missouri border at or about the same time, their earliest settlements, however, being on opposite sides of the Missouri river. Joseph (ancestor of the Pike county Collards) stopped first on the south side of the Missouri, in what is now Franklin county. Dan settled on the north side of the river, near the settlement of Daniel and Rebecca (Bryan) Boone, who had established themselves in this western wilderness some eight years before, in 1797. Dan's settlement was on the trail leading from Daniel Boone's off to the northwest to Fort Zumwalt.
Dan Collard is reputed to have been killed by border pirates while enroute with a load of furs to the town of St. Louis in 1816. He is said to have been a trapper and to have engaged in the early fur trade of the region, finding a market for his furs in St. Louis, as did Daniel Boone.
The St. Louis of 1816, which was Dan Collard's fur market, was a town of about 2,000, of which approximately two-thirds were French. Its three streets, hub-deep in mud in wet weather, ran parallel to the river front. They were called Main, Church and Barn Streets, being but recently anglicized from the French. On Main were located all the business houses of the town and the more substantial homes which included the two Chouteau mansions. To the west, scarcely beyond the town's limits, lay the Indian country, a great wilderness.
St. Louis, then the capital of Missouri Territory, was essentially a fur-trading post, as it had been since its founding in 1764. "Here was the colorful rendezvous of traders, voyagers, hunters and trappers-men who numbered among them Frenchmen, Americans, Negroes, Indians, Spaniards and Creoles. These contributed to the wealth of fur trading establishments, which, on the basis of peltries, engaged in national and even international financial transactions. When, in December, 1816, St. Louis opening its first bank, the bank notes, in token of the importance of the fur trade, were engraved with the emblem of the beaver."
Prominent citizens of the St. Louis of 1816 included the Chouteaus, Gratiots, Christies, O'Fallons, Soulards, Lucases, Labbadies, Cabannes, Sarpies, Bertholds and Prattes. Though no Protestant church existed advertisements in the Missouri Gazette announced the holding of "divine services" in the recently established St. Louis Theater. Catholic St. Louis in 1816 worshiped in the dilapidated old log church which was replaced in 1820 by Bishop DuBourg's brick cathedral.
St. Louis was not incorporated as a city until 1823. Although comparatively dormant in 1816, the town's future importance was foreshadowed by the increasing influx of immigration in that year. ‘Every ferry boat on the river is daily occupied in passing families, carriages, wagons, Negroes, carts, etc.," wrote a St. Louis journal of October 26, 1816. French St. Louis that was so well known to the pioneer men and women of our story was soon to become a tradition.
Facts as to the St. Louis of 1816 are chiefly from a compilation by the State Historical Society of Missouri, Floyd C. Shoemaker, secretary.
Dan Collard and his brother-in-law, William Banks, were probably settlers in the same neighborhood north of the Missouri. William Banks' wife was Mary Collard. They were married in Virginia May 13, 1754. In Virginia the names Collard and Collart seem to have designated, in some instances at least, members of the same family.
These early Collards in Missouri probably lived in constant fear of Indian atrocity. In their neighborhood occurred the awful massacre of the Ramsey family in 1815. It was to Collard's cabin that one of the Ramsey children fled, accompanied by an Indian boy, when the dreadful war whoop was raised. Collard is reputed to have been among the first to reach the scene of the encounter.
The Ramsey family massacre, one of the most sickening tragedies of the Indian war, occurred on May 20, 1815. The family lived about two miles northwest of present Marthasville. The family comprised husband and wife, five children and a half-breed Indian boy who had been adopted.
In Missouri border story it is related that Mrs. Ramsey went out from her cabin to milk the cows about sunrise on that May morning. Four of her children were playing in the yard. The fifth child, accompanied by the Indian boy, had gone to the spring for water. The father was at work near the cabin.
Suddenly the dreadful war whoop resounded as the Indians rushed from the woods. Mrs. Ramsey turned and ran for the house. She was fired upon and Mortally wounded. As she ran an Indian aimed a tomahawk at her, which she avoided by throwing herself headlong through the open bars of the rail fence. Finally, stumbling and crawling, she reached the house.
The father and husband was shot and severely wounded as he reached the door. As he fell, he seized a tin trumpet and blew a blast upon it, which had the effect of dispersing the Indians. Such a blast was known among the Indians to be a signal to the Rangers.
Three children lay tomahawked in the yard. One, a girl of 13, had been scalped alive. She lived in great agony for four days, then died. A fourth, a child just about to walk, like a scared animal hid itself in the weeds in a fence corner and escaped the savagery of the assailants. The two who had gone to the spring fled to a neighbor's (probably Collard's), two miles distant. A borderer, named Jesse Caton, while hunting that morning discovered the Indian trail and a few minutes later he heard the sounds of massacre. He spread the alarm as rapidly as the means of that day would permit. Among others notified was Colonel Nathan Boone, son of Daniel.
The scene which greeted the eyes of the first arrivals at the Ramsey cabin was indeed horrible. On the cabin floor lay two children in the agonies of death, blood and brains oozing at every gasp. From an adjoining room came the awful cries of the mother. She gave premature birth to a child and soon died. In the front room was Colonel Nathan Boone engaged in extracting a bullet from the body of the husband and father. The bullet had entered Ramsey's groin and lodged near the surface at the back of the hip.
"Strong men wept and muttered vengeance," says the early Missouri chronicler of this frightful massacre.
Another Dan Collard is recorded later in the Pike county Collard line, a son of John J. Collard and a brother of Jennie Brant Yokem's and Alvin T. Brant's mother. He was born at Pleasant Hill in 1857 and as his name was Daniel D. Collard and it was a custom in this family to name children for leading Pike countians it is possible that he was named directly for Daniel D. Hicks, early Pike county school teacher, merchant and county sheriff, and later one of the founders of the First National Bank of Pittsfield and an officer therein. Dan Collard was the father of Ora Waugh, who teaches at Independence, Missouri.
Joseph Collard, probably a brother of the first Dan and the first American Collard definitely identified by name in new world records, appears to have tarried but briefly on the south side of the Missouri river, where he established his family in 1805. His settlement was but a short distance up river from the early ferry of John Lewis, who settled there early in 1795, being reputed the first English-speaking farmer on the Missouri. John Lewis's daughter, Sarah Griffin Lewis, married Daniel Boone's son, Daniel Morgan Boone, in 1800, in the sixth year of the Lewis settlement.
Joseph Collard moved (probably later in the same year, 1805) into the District of St. Charles, north of the Missouri river. He died at Wood's Fort at the Big Spring, where now is Troy, county seat of Lincoln county, Missouri. His death occurred in the opening year of the 1812 war. His wife, whose identity is uncertain, probably died before or very soon after the migration to Missouri, probably when the last child, Mary Collard, born November 14, 1799, was still of very tender age. This is reasoned from the fact that the daughter was reared by her older sister, Margaret (called Peggy), who had married John Hunter and lived in Hunter's Fort. Dorothy (Dolly) Cannon, wife of old Sheriff Ephraim Cannon of early Pittsfield, was a sister of this John Hunter who married Peggy Collard. Sheriff Ephraim Cannon's sister, Lydia Cannon, married John Collard, brother of Peggy.
Joseph Collard is reputed to have been born in Ireland, to which his ancestors had fled from persecutions in France of the followers of John Calvin. When he came to America is unknown. Lindley's Records reveal that a Collard family from Ulster, North Ireland, was among the many Scotch-Irish immigrant families who settled in what is now Rockbridge county (then a part of Augustus county), Virginia, on land grants made to Irish John Lewis. The settlement of these grants began in 1737, in which year it is stated a hundred families were thus settled in the great Virginia valley.
Joseph Collard's children, according to records (some of them, unfortunately, very badly mutilated) in possession of Joseph's grandson, Nathan J. (Jay) Collard of Vandalia, Missouri, were born as follows: Abigail, born October 28, 1776; Elijah, born November 9, 1778; Charles, born November 30, 1781; John, born April 22, 1784; Margaret (Peggy), born July 24, 1786; Joseph, Jr., born August 29, 1794; James, born August 9, 1796; Mary, born November 14, 1799. This Bible record, which has been reproduced from an older mutilated Bible record, part of which is entirely lost, may be incomplete. Descendants name two other Collards, Lewis and Newton, whom they believe were sons of the first Joseph. Joseph Collard III, son of the second and grandson of the first Joseph, now 82, says he distinctly remembers his father talking of an Uncle Newton.
Says Victor Wayne Jones of Seattle, Washington, a great grandson of Felix Alver and Damaris (Lewis) Collard and one of the historians and genealogists of the family: "It is the compiler's opinion that his (Joseph's) branch of Collards were Huguenots, as many fled to Great Britain and Ireland as well as the American Colonies, during the persecution of the followers of John Calvin in France. The name of Collard is a very numerous one in France. Victor Hugo recites the name of ‘Royer Collard' in ‘Les Miserables.'"
John Collard, fourth child and third son of the first Joseph, was born (probably in Virginia) April 22, 1784. He married, in Kentucky (probably Christian county), Miss Lydia Cannon, a daughter of James and Rachel (Stark) Cannon. Their marriage was in 1809. He removed with his family to Missouri Territory late in 1817 or early in 1818, shortly after the birth of a fourth child, John J. Collard, who became a Pike county school teacher and clerk of the Pike county court.
John Collard was killed in an accident soon after he settled in Missouri Territory. His death occurred on June 18, 1818, of injuries sustained when a team of horses ran away, throwing him from the wagon. His will is of record in the court house at Troy, Missouri.
Lydia Cannon, who married John Collard, was a daughter of the American Revolution. Her father, James Cannon, was born in Newberry county, South Carolina, in 1762. In 1778, when he was only 16, he enlisted in Captain Matthew Gillespie's company in Colonel Levi Casey's Regiment, in the Continental Army. In the army he served altogether seven years as a private. During part of this service he was in Captain Thomas Stark's company in the army of General Pickens. Later, after the close of the war, he married Captain Stark's daughter, Rachel Stark. Captain Stark belonged to the rugged New Hampshire family of that name. He was a slave-holder and a relative of General John Stark, hero of the Battle of Bennington. The Stark family migrated originally from Germany to Scotland. One of the forebears was Bishop of Glasgow.
Archibald, John and Nathan Stark accompanied their parents from Glasgow to Londonderry, Ireland, in 1715. Archibald came to New Hampshire in 1720 and John in 1730. There is no record of Nathan in America. Archibald was the ancestor of General John of the Revolution, and Rachel Stark's father, Captain Thomas, was most likely descended from Archibald's brother, John Stark. Rachel's sister, Mary, married Elijah Collard, eldest son of the first Joseph and brother of John Collard. Mary was born in the closing days of the Revolution, July 20, 1782. She lived on the Cuivre river in Missouri, near her sister, Rachel Cannon, until her husband emigrated to Montgomery county, Texas, in the late 1820s, taking his family with him.
Numerous descendants of this Stark family settled in Pike county, Illinois, where further intermarriages occurred between the families of Stark and Cannon, among them the marriages of Elijah E. Cannon to Sarah S. Stark, August 26, 1855, and Gideon E. Cannon to Rebecca E. Stark, January 4, 1863, with Justice Marion C. Clark officiating at the latter wedding.
James Cannon, shortly after his marriage to Rachel Stark, settled in Davidson county, Tennessee, whence he removed to Christian county, Kentucky, and settled near Hopkinsville, where he remained until about the year 1820, in which year he moved to Missouri and settled on Bryant's Creek, north of New Hope, not far from Elsberry. There James Cannon died in 1842. His life occupation was farming. He received a pension in his old age for his services in the War of the Revolution.
Little is known of James Cannon's forebears. As O'Neall's "Annals of Newberry" suggests, his immediate forebears may have emigrated from County Antrim in Ireland. His father is believed to have been Samuel Cannon, who landed first (probably) at Philadelphia and thence moved southward. He married Lydia (maiden name unknown), who was a great aunt of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America in Civil War days. The family does not know on which side of Davis's family Lydia was descended.
The census of 1790 names an Isaac (probably Isaac Newton) Cannon, in Newberry county, South Carolina. He very likely was a brother of James. "Isaac Newton" has been a family name through successive generations of Cannons.