Thompson

Chapter 182

Businessmen of Early Bayville; the John J. Collard Teaching Line


DR. HEZEKIAH DODGE, whose name is so intimately associated with early Bayville and the Barton and Collard families, was born near Pompey, New York, received a good education, studied medicine and was graduated from a New York City institution. He was a son of Ezra and Mary (Foote) Dodge, natives of Ireland and Wales respectively, both of whom died in the Empire State. He located for practice of his profession in Sweet Springs, Virginia, but afterwards removed to Augusta, Georgia, where he remained six years. There he married Grenville Haynes, native of Botetourt county, Virginia, and daughter of Joseph and Jane Haynes, he a native of England, she of Ireland. The Haynes family had located on a Georgia plantation, near the town of Augusta.

In October, 1825 (or 1826) Dr. Dodge came to Illinois, traveling in a wagon and bringing with him four slaves whom he disposed of at Edwardsville, where he located for a short time, coming thence to the location on Bay Creek in what is now Pleasant Hill township, in the fall of 1826 (or 1827). One record indicates that he located at Edwardsville in October, 1826, and came to Pleasant Hill township a year later, October, 1827.

The Dodges, as noted in a preceding chapter, came to the Bay Creek country close upon the heels of Thomas and Rebecca (Holland) Barton (parents of John J. Collard's wife), who had removed from Kentucky to Missouri and came thence to Pleasant Hill township in the spring or summer of 1826, crossing the Mississippi river on a raft. Mrs. Dodge was a native of the same Virginia settlement that nurtured Thomas Barton and Rebecca Holland.

Grimshaw, the historian, describes Dr. Dodge of old Bayville as one of the most remarkable figures of early Pike county days, a "fit subject for a painter." He was "long, lean and lank," and particularly in a crowd and at court time he was the observed of all. He figured in one of the most noted lawsuits of early times. He charged one Zumwalt, a rival early-day miller on Bay Creek, with the destruction of his mill-dam at Bayville. Zumwalt was said to have remarked while at the home of his son-in-law on the night of the destruction of Dodge's dam: "Just now the muskrats are working on old Dodge's dam." Alpheus Wheeler, the tall, ungainly Highland lawyer who was considered such an oddity in the Illinois legislature to which he was elected from Pike county in 1838 and 1840, during this trial delivered one of those forensic outbursts that are numbered among the classics of the Pike county bar. Said he, assailing the character of the prosecuting witness, Dr. Dodge: "Dr. Dodge are a man so devoid of truth that when he speaks the truth he are griped." John Jay Ross, another attorney of that day, laughed so uproariously at Wheeler's outburst that the latter turned upon him and, bringing down his long arm with a majestic sweep, shouted: "I wish I had a tater, I would throw it down your throat."

The old cemetery of the Dodges, which today marks the site of the long-vanished Pike county pioneer town of Bayville, lies inside the Bay Creek levee and a short distance north of the present state highway bridge on the bluff road a mile and a half southeast of Pleasant Hill. The grave-stones, such parts of them as are still above the surface of the valley, are plainly observable from the highway where it crosses the bridge. Two of these stones mark the burials of Dr. Hezekiah Dodge, first physician and surgeon in that section of the county, and his wife Grenville, a daughter of the Old South. Dr. Dodge died February 28, 1873; his wife preceded him on October 8, 1872.

The Dodge burial ground is the only one of the eighteen burial plots in Pleasant Hill township that lies in bottom lands. All the others are atop the rugged hills. From the bridge at the site of the Dodge burials, off to the east and a little to the south, may be seen the numerous white stones of the Venable cemetery, on top of the high bluff.

No house stands today where once was Bayville. The nearest house to the spot is one across the creek and below the approach to the state highway bridge. This house is the home of the Carl Edwards family and belongs to the Sam Richards estate. It is known as the old Clarky Gant place. From Clark Gant it passed to John Turpin and from Turpin to Samuel Richards. Mrs. Carl Edwards was Edna B. Richards, daughter of Sam. Her mother was Sarah A. Galloway, daughter of Joseph B. and Sarah (Jennings) Galloway and granddaughter of James and Ursula (Lewis) Galloway, pioneers of the Bay Creek country.

M. E. DeCamp of Martinsburg, 81 years old, a native of Bayville, remembers the vanished town. His grandfather, Eliphalet DeCamp, had a store there in early days. Alexander Hemphill also had a store. Hemphill and DeCamp at a later period had a store in Pleasant Hill. Hemphill at one time (in the late 1860s) had a partner, E. T. Gresham, the firm being known as Hemphill & Gresham. Notes and accounts of this early firm are among the records of the estate of Alexander Hemphill.

In earlier days of Bayville, when John J. Collard was resident there, Jesse Hughes had a smithy and plow factory on the creek bank. He made the prairie plows (spelled "ploughs" on his bills of account) that were used by the first settlers to break up the stubborn bottom prairies around Bayville. Hughes was followed later by James Branson, who had a log smithy at Bayville, with George Ricketts in the wood-working department. William McClain was the last of the Bayville smithys. R. and J. McLaughlin were also among the Bayville merchants of John J. Collard's time.

Alexander Hemphill, the early Bayville storekeeper, was a Tennesseean, who settled, following his first migration, in Pike county, Missouri, where he married Margaret Wilson, member of the Wilson family whose history has been related. In 1840 they located in Calhoun county, coming thence to Bayville, in Pike county. He was a justice of the peace, an auctioneer, a ferry operator for a time at Clarksville, and supervisor from Pleasant Hill township in 1856- 57, and again in the Civil War period 1863 to 1865, when he was succeeded by his son, A. F. Hemphill.

Alexander Hemphill died September 6, 1868, at which time, according to records of his estate, he still had a store house at Bayville. John J. Collard was one of the appraisers of his estate, along with Samuel R. Cannon and John V. Bowman. Hemphill's farm property and store goods were sold at public sale following his death, as was the custom in those days. It was one of the biggest sales of that time. The sale bill, in the hand of John J. Collard, who clerked it, is a roll several yards in length, well preserved, recording hundreds of sale items, together with names of purchasers and prices paid, being on the whole an amazing example of clerkship. It took Auctioneer James H. Wheeling two days to cry this sale, October 3 and 4, 1868. He charged the estate $25 for the crying. Collard also assisted in settling the estate. He charged $25 for clerking the sale and for his services incident to the estate settlement.

Alexander Hemphill left surviving him, according to A. F. Hemphill's petition for letters of administration, his widow, Margaret Wilson Hemphill, and Aaron Francis, Samuel Walton, David Huston, Amelia J., and an heir of Robert N. Hemphill, who had died in Pike county, Missouri, "some time in the year 1850," according to the proof of death subscribed by the father, Alexander Hemphill on October 6, 1854. A. F. Hemphill was named administrator for the estate of Alex Hemphill.

Eliphalet DeCamp, another of Bayville's early merchants, died October 7, 1874. He was a native of Newark, New Jersey, who came west in early times and located in the French town of St. Louis, where he engaged in his trade as a hatter. One of his high top hats, considerably more than a century old, is still possessed by Fannie Hemphill of Pleasant Hill of Pleasant Hill. He was the father of William Thomas DeCamp and Adaline A. DeCamp, who married Joseph Turnbaugh.

Ezra Dodge, brother of Dr. Hezekiah, was another early settler near pioneer Bayville. His settlement was on the bluff road a mile down the bluff from Pleasant Hill, near the railroad crossing. He married Sarah A. Hendricks. He died in 1865. Among his children were Holland, Francis, Charles Henry, Sebrid, Sarah, Helen and Mrs. Ephraim I. (Mary Cornelia) Bennett. John J. Collard was also closely associated with this branch of the Dodge family.

Still another settler near Bayville was Eliab Buckaloo, one of the Ramsey Creek (Mo.) settlers of 1810 and closely associated with the early Bartons, parents of Mrs. Collard. Eliab Buckaloo died at Bayville, February 26, 1844. John J. Collard administered his estate. He was also named by the court as commissioner to sell Eliab's lands. Collard clerked the Buckaloo estate sale on April 26, 1844, for which Alexander Hemphill was the crier.

Thus we see how closely associated were those pioneer Bay Creek families whose honored names loom so distinctly in the story of that region. Many of them, travelers of wilderness trails, trail blazers for a new empire, had no schooling; some of them could not write their names. Invariably, it seems, the settlers of that region turned to the brilliant young school teacher, John J. Collard, for help in settling the estates of those who died, for guidance in affairs of law, for drawing and executing documents, etc. To him they entrusted their most intimate affairs.

John J. Collard acquired the 80 acres described as the west half of the southeast quarter of Section 22 in Pleasant Hill township (site of Bayville) on February 10, 1845. The transfer was from his wife's parents, Thomas and Rebecca Barton, who had settled there in 1826 and had obtained formal title thereto from the United States government on September 27, 1830, following the sale of the public lands. John J. and Mary Elizabeth Collard transferred this tract to Alexander Hemphill on September 14, 1847, and Hemphill on October 8, 1867, deeded a part of it to John McClain.

Gone is Bayville. Nothing now remains to suggest that here was once the metropolis of the Bay Creek country. Silence broods where a century ago were busy stores and the clanging mill. Here, in earlier times, the red men had encamped and on this spot chosen of the Indians the early white men also established themselves.

From the account of Colonel John Shaw, founder of the first Pike county seat of justice at Coles' Grove, it seems probable that it was on or very near this spot that Captain Nathan Boone (son of Daniel) and a party of spies, during the Indian war on the Missouri-Illinois frontier at the time of the second war with Britain, were set upon by three times their number of Indians, whom the doughty captain and his followers repulsed and drove from the field in a fierce night battle. Boone and his men were scouting at the time between the Mississippi and Illinois rivers and along the base of the bluff, following old Indian trails that roughly correspond with the present bluff road. This battle, according to Shaw, occurred the night of August 15, 1813.

At Bayville, John J. Collard established a dynasty of teachers. It was here in this Bay Creek country that the first- school in what is now Pleasant Hill township was established. This school was held in an abandoned settler's cabin at the foot of the bluff and near Bay Creek. A settler named Eliphalet Munn had lived there prior to that time. He disappeared. No one ever knew what became of him. The settlers, after about a year, used his log house for a school room. William Howell was the first teacher. This was in 1828.

A little later, the settlement held school in a log house near the home of Eliphalet DeCamp, the Bayville merchant. DeCamp's house stood on the south half of the southwest quarter of Section 22, Pleasant Hill township. This was at Bayville. DeCamp died there in 1874. This second schoolroom stood very near the present highway bridge.

The Bayville school of today is down the bluff, a short distance below the site of the early town of that name.

John J. Collard began teaching in the pioneer free schools of Pleasant Hill township in 1840. It is probable that he had taught a term or two in the early subscription schools at Bay Creek prior to 1840, probably as early as 1838. A teacher named Collard was in the township that early. It was probably John J.

It is probable that John J. Collard's forst schooling was received from one James Westmore, an early Missouri pedagogue. There is of record in the court house of Lincoln county, Missouri, a receipt signed by this James Wetmore, dated August, 1823, which acknowledges receipt from Captain Elijah Collard (uncle of John J. and administrator of his father's estate) of $1.75 for schooling of the deceased John Collard's children. The John Collard of this reference was John J. Collard's father. John J. was then nearly six years of age.

John J. Collard fathered a line of teachers. Four of his children became teachers. Mary Elizabeth, born during the family's sojourn in Bayville, became a teacher, as did several of her descendants, including her daughter, Jennie Alberta Brant (now Mrs. James C. Yokem of Pleasant Hill), and the latter's daughter, Mary Eva Yokem (now Mrs. Burdette Berry). Mary Elizabeth Brant's son, Alvin Truman Brant of Pittsfield, also has two daughters who have been teachers, namely, Thelma Brant (now Mrs. Harold Voshall of Pittsfield) and Beulah Brant (now Mrs. John Sommers of Jacksonville). Another teacher in this line was Naomi Craigmiles (Mrs. Russell Henry), whose mother, Nola Dole Brant, was a daughter of Mary Elizabeth (Collard) Brant and a granddaughter of John J. Collard.

Eliza Jane Collard was another daughter of John J. and Mary Elizabeth (Barton) Collard who became a school teacher. She later became the wife of M. H. Hulshult. She died in 1930.

John Ray Collard, a son of John J., was a teacher, as were three of his grandchildren, namely, Lucille, Audrey and Hazel Hoover, daughters of Herbert Hoover and John Ray Collard's daughter, Bertha (Collard) Hoover.

Another daughter, Ora Emma Collard, latest survivor of the John J. Collard children, was for many years a teacher in the public schools. She married George E. Hughes. She died at Blue Springs, Missouri, May 31, 1938. Ora Emma's daughter, Mrs. Clara (Hughes) Jones of Anaheim, California, also has a record as a teacher.

Other descendants of John J. Collard who became school teachers include Mrs. Ora Emma Collard Waugh, former Pike county teacher now teaching in the grade schools of Independence, Missouri. She is a daughter of John J. Collard's son, Daniel D. Collard, deceased.

Lucretia Collard, daughter of John J. Collard and wife of A. J. Ligon, had a son, Harvey Ligon, who taught school. Elijah Collard, son of John J., was not himself a teacher, but his son Clyde's daughter, Frances Collard (Mrs. John Robinson), engaged in teaching.

John J. Collard was the first of a Collard succession of teachers in the old Bayville school. He was followed in that school by his son, John Ray Collard, and by his daughter, Eliza Jane Collard; also by his granddaughter, Ora (Collard) Waugh, daughter of his son Dan.

Altogether a dozen descendants have followed in the footsteps of John J. Collard, Teacher.