Chapter 164

John Collard Killed by Runaway in Missouri; Estate Sale Held 1818

JOHN COLLARD, fourth son of Joseph of the Revolution, married Lydia Cannon, daughter of James of the Revolution, in Kentucky, in 1809. They had four children, all born in Christian county, Kentucky, namely, Felix Alver, Isaphena, Rachel and John J. Collard. The first of these, Felix Alver Collard, so well known in the pioneer history of Pleasant Hill township, was born in Christian county, Kentucky, July 20, 1810. The last born, John J. Collard, prominent in Pike county affairs of a later date, was born in the Kentucky settlement, September 7, 1817.

John J. Collard was an infant when his parents started for Missouri late in 1817 or early in 1818. His father, Joseph Collard, had pioneered on the Missouri border, where he had settled in 1805 and where he had died at Wood's Fort (now Troy) in 1812. The son, John, settled near his father's old "Cuivre river grant" in St. Charles county, in that part that was soon to become Lincoln county. Lincoln county was erected out of old St. Charles at the seventh annual session of the Missouri territorial legislature at St. Louis, December 14, 1818.

Missouri had only seven counties when John Collard brought his family to what is now Lincoln county. They were St. Louis, St. Charles, Ste. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau, New Madrid, Washington and Howard. Missouri was still a territory, of which St. Louis was the capital. Missouri Territory (dating from 1812) included present Arkansas, Iowa, western Minnesota, the old Indian Territory (Oklahoma), the Dakotas, Nebraska, and most of Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming. East of the river lay the then territory of Illinois, whose capital was at Kaskaskia. In Illinois Territory a census was under way and steps being taken for a constitutional convention preliminary to admission of Illinois to statehood.

Such was the political and geographical background in the early months of 1818, about the time that the John Collard family migrated from Kentucky to Missouri Territory.

John Collard was killed by a wagon in a runaway accident soon after he settled in Missouri. His death is recorded as of June 18, 1818. He died intestate. Records of the administration of his estate rest in the archives of the probate court in the brick courthouse in Troy, Missouri. His older brother, Elijah Collard, pioneer on the Cuivre river and emigrant to Texas in the early 1830s (one account says late 1820s, an error), was administrator of his estate, and the widow of the deceased, Lydia Cannon Collard, was administratrix.

Yellowed papers, mostly roughly torn scraps of coarse unruled paper, some of them in handwriting barely legible, make up an interesting record of the John Collard estate. For instance, there is this receipt, given by Jeremiah Lewis, neighbor of the Collards back in Kentucky, to Edward Bradshaw, representing the estate and its administrators in Kentucky, dated December 13, 1819: "Recv'd of Edward Bradshaw twenty-three dollars and ten cents in notes due to Lidia Collard, widow of John Collard, Dec'd, it being in part pay for a wagon which I sold to sd. Lidia Collard a few days before she moved from Christian county."

Also there is Edward Bradshaw's receipt to Elijah Collard, administrator, dated May 22, 1820, which reads as follows: "Rcv'd $5.50 from Elijah Collard for a trunk I let decedent's widow have when she moved from Christian County to Missouri."

Elijah Collard, administrator, presented a bill against the estate for $78 covering time and expenses of a trip from Missouri back to Kentucky to collect money due his brother's estate. The bill recites that it took 39 days in the months of May and June, in the year 1820, to make the trip. Another trip was made in 1822 for which the bill was $78.25. A third trip in 1824 was billed by the administrator at $75.

John Collard loaned money in varying amounts, some of the loans in amounts of from $6 to $10, to numerous persons, taking the borrower's notes, of which there is a complete list in the estate records. The largest note was one given by Major Groom of Caldwell county, Kentucky, (adjoining Christian). Settlement of this note required Elijah Collard's attendance in Kentucky where the note was pressed for collection in the Caldwell circuit court.

A bill against the estate presented by a merchant of Todd county, Kentucky, indicates that the Collard family must have traded across the county line in Todd county, which lies next to Christian on the east.

Records of the estate disclose the source whence Felix Alver Collard and his sister Isaphena, elder children of John and Lydia Cannon Collard, got their earliest education on the Missouri border. The receipt of William Coapere, Tutor, dated at Troy, Missouri, September 3, 1819, reads: "Rcv'd from Elijah Collard $5.50 for tuition of said children of John Collard, deceased." Felix at this time was nine and Isaphena six.

John J. Collard, youngest of the four children, destined to become a school teacher and clerk of the county court in Pike county, Illinois, probably got his first schooling from Wetmore, an early Missouri pedagogue. A receipt signed by James Wetmore and dated in August, 1823, reads: "Received from Capt. Elijah Collard $1.75 for schooling of John Collard's children (deceased)." John J. was then about six.

At John Collard's sale, held at the Cuivre river settlement October 10, 1818 in connection with the settlement of his estate, the widow, Lydia Cannon Collard, bid in a slave woman and her two children at $1,075. Bidding for the slave and her children apparently was spirited. The appraisement sheet shows that the Negro slave woman and her two children had been appraised at $850.

In a "List of property exempt from inventory for the support and maintenance of Lydia Collard, widow of said John Collard, deceased, and her children, the appraisers set off one Negro boy, appraised at $400, two cows and calves at $30, and one umbrella, $5," a total of $435. The appraisers state that the number in the family is five, the widow and four small children. The appraisers, David Porter, Samuel Gibson and Daniel Draper, subscribe the inventory as "given under our hands in upper Cuivre Township, St. Charles County, Missouri Territory, this 10th day of October, 1818." The subscribed document is headed "An Inventory of the slaves and personal estate of John Collard, deceased, as given in to us the undersigned appraisers by Elijah Collard, administrator, and Lydia Collard, administratrix."

Lydia Collard brought almost the entire list of offerings at the sale. Among the items she purchased was a cotton wheel and pair of cards for $2, a side-saddle $1 (was appraised at $8), a bridle $5.50, one mare $55, a waggon sheet and bell $5. Michael Celser bought a "waggon and hind gears" for $53. Isaac Cannon (brother of Lydia Collard) bought an oven for $3.

The sale bill amounted to $1,325.89 ½ of which $1,075 was for the Negro woman and her children. Notes owed to John Collard totaled $2,376.33 3/4, making a total estate of $3,702.23 1/4.

One bill against the estate was that of James Charless for three insertions of the administration notice in the Missouri Gazette in April, 1819. The bill was $2.

Felix Alver Collard, eldest of John Collard's four children, was not yet eight years old when his father was killed; the youngest child, John J., was not ten months old. The three older children, Felix, Isaphena and Rachel, were for a time taken into the home of the deceased father's older brother, Charles Collard, a Baptist minister on the Missouri border. Charles Collard also had children of his own, Margaret Collard, who married John Buckaloo (son of Eliab), in Pike county, October 26, 1834, and Mary Collard, who married Freeland W. Rose in Lincoln county, Missouri, on July 14, 1831, with her uncle, Elijah Collard, an upper Cuivre township justice of the peace, officiating. John Buckaloo and his wife settled adjacent to the early Lewis, Galloway and Barnett settlement in Pleasant Hill township.

What became of Lydia Cannon Collard's slaves is undisclosed in the records. She came of a slave-holding family. Her father, James Cannon, was a slave-holder; her mother, Rachel Stark, also belonged to a slave-holding line. Whether Lydia freed her slaves before coming to Illinois is unknown. Her father in his will, indited June 30, 1836, provided for the emancipation of his household slaves upon his death, which occurred in 1842. Said he in his will, of record at Troy, Missouri: "My will and desire is that my two servants, Sarah and George, who are slaves, shall after my decease have their freedom and that my executor shall cause the necessary papers of emancipation to be made out properly, certified and delivered to each of said Slaves as soon as it conveniently can be done." His son, Isaac Cannon, who married John Collard's youngest sister, Mary Collard, was named executor of the will and entrusted to carry out the emancipation provision. The will was witnessed by Brice W. Hammack, Thomas Buchanan and David Willson (Wilson), the latter of whom married Isaphena Collard, daughter of James Cannon's daughter, Lydia.

Lydia Cannon Collard, widow of John, later married Isaac L. Thurman, an early settler near present Troy, Missouri. (Note: Some descendants contend that prior to this marriage, Lydia married a Newton Collard, a brother of her first husband, and by him had one son, John Collard, known among his Pike county, Illinois, relatives as "Missouri John.") Children by Lydia's marriage to Isaac Thurman were Elijah, Keziah (Kizzie), Granville, Ephraim Jackson, George W. and Mary Little (Polly) Thurman.

(Note: In Missouri records and in the early records of Pike county, Illinois, the name of this family is usually spelled "Thurman." In later records, some branches of the family have adopted the spelling "Thurmon.")

John J. Collard and, to some extent at least, the other children of Lydia by her Collard marriage were raised by Isaac Thurman along with his own children. The three older Collard children were for a considerable period of time in the home of their uncle, the Reverend Charles Collard, in Missouri.

It appears from records in the John Collard estate that Isaac L. Thurman and his family, including all four Collard children, may have come over into Illinois in 1824. A return to the August term of court in Lincoln county in 1824 by James Bradley, a service officer entrusted with papers to be served on the heirs of John Collard, states as to said heirs, namely: "Felix Collard, Isy F. Collard, Rachel Collard, James Collard and Lydia Collard," that "they are not found in my county." There is also the notation, "gone to Illinois."

If there was a removal to Illinois at that time, there must have been a subsequent removal back to Missouri. The life history of Ephraim Jackson Thurman (son of Isaac and Lydia) states that he was born August 18, 1832, in Missouri.

Further records of the children of Isaac L. Thurman and Lydia Cannon Collard Thurman will be related in connection with the story of Keziah (Kizzie) Thurman, who became the wife of Samuel Hardin Lewis, Jr., a son of the elder Samuel and his wife, Mary Barnett.