FIFTH OF THE CHILDREN of John J. Collard and Mary Elizabeth Barton was Lucretia Collard, born in Pittsfield, August 30, 1849, the year of the California gold rush. Her father, John J. Collard, was then serving his first term as county clerk of Pike county. He had been elected to that office on the Democratic ticket in 1847, defeating his Whig opponent, Ozias M. Hatch, in the election of August 2 that year. Hatch later became Illinois secretary of state in 1857, when Bissell was governor, succeeding Alexander Starne, another Pike countian who had become secretary of state in 1853 when Matteson was governor.
Lucretia Collard married Allen Johnson Ligon on February 25, 1872, the wedding occurring at Pleasant Hill with Justice A. J. Lovell officiating. Mr. Ligon's first name appears in the 1880 census records as "Alien," he being then 39 years of age. He and his wife and son Harvey, who was three years old at the time of the census, were then living at Pleasant Hill. With them was Mr. Ligon's mother, Charity Ligon, then 67.
Lucretia Collard's husband belonged to a family that in the Colony of Virginia and in early Missouri Territory was closely associated with the Lewises, Porters, Sittons, Woodsons, Thurmans, Cannons, Hatchers, Womacks and others who figure prominently in this history.
The first Ligon of this branch of whom there is definite record was Robert Ligon of Virginia. Robert Ligon appears in history as a participant with Mrs. John Woodson in one of the many thrilling battles with Indians on the Virginia frontier. Mrs. Woodson, woman of heroic mold whose maiden name is unknown, was the wife of Dr. John Woodson, English emigrant ancestor of the large and influential Woodson family that is associated in American history with many of the leading colonial families that were later represented here on the Missouri- Illinois border.
One day, when living at "Fleur de Hundred," Mrs. Woodson's cabin was beset by Indians. Her husband was absent from home and she was alone with her two young sons. Robert Ligon, who chanced to be in the neighborhood, came to her assistance, or it may be that he himself was first attacked by the Indians and sought refuge in the Woodson cabin. At any rate Mrs. Woodson and Ligon fought off a large band of Indians, killing nine of them. Mrs. Woodson loaded the guns while Ligon fired them. Hearing a noise up her cabin chimney she threw her bed upon the coals in the fireplace. The stifling smoke brought down two Indians. She killed both of them, while Ligon was defending the cabin door and window. Mrs. Woodson's two young sons, John and Robert, were hidden during this battle in the potato hole. These two sons married early and their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren married into families that later we find represented here on the early Missouri-Illinois border, in Lincoln and Pike counties in Missouri and in Pike county in Illinois, in the families of Lewis, Porter, Cannon, Tucker, Turpin and Venable.
The first Ligon in early Missouri Territory (in that part of old St. Charles county that is now Lincoln county) came in 1816. He came in that surge of western migration that brought the two brothers-in-law, John Bryson (ancestor of the Louisiana, Missouri, Brysons) and John Venable (ancestor of the Pike county, Illinois, Venables) out of York district in South Carolina to the Missouri border in the spring or early summer of 1816. John Venable married John Bryson's sister, Mary E. Bryson. With them came two nephews of John Bryson. They settled on Buffalo Creek in what is now Pike county, Missouri. John and Mary (Bryson) Venable had a son Richard, whose son John was the father of the late Jack Venable, the well-known Pike county (Ill.) Auctioneer and father of Edmonds Venable of Pittsfield, also an auctioneer.
About the same time, in 1816, came another pioneer to the Missouri border who was destined to plant a great business here in the west. This was James Stark, who came from Bourbon county, Kentucky, to what is now Pike county, Missouri, and who later became a county judge in Pike county. He went back to Kentucky on horseback the following year (1817) and returning again to Missouri brought with him in a pair of saddlebags certain seeds, scions and rootlets, which marked the beginning of the Stark Brothers Nurseries, perhaps the largest nurseries in the world.
The Ligons, Collard and Cannons are found fraternizing on the Missouri border as early as 1816, when the settlers above mentioned began coming into that wild territory. Missouri Territory then included the present states of Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, western Minnesota, Oklahoma (the old Indian Territory), the Dakotas, Nebraska and most of Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming.
In 1816 Isaac Cannon and Henry Ligon of Tennessee were prospecting in Missouri Territory, arriving either together or about the same time on the Missouri border. Both stopped for a time at John Hunter's, in whose home Mary Collard, youngest sister of the first Missouri John Collard and aunt of Pike county John J. Collard, was being raised, following the death of her mother, wife of Joseph Collard of the Revolution. John Hunter's wife was Margaret Collard, an elder sister of Mary. John Hunter's daughter, Dorothy (Dolly) Hunter, was the third wife of Sheriff Ephraim Cannon of early Pike.
Isaac Cannon was a son of James and Rachel (Stark) Cannon and a brother of Lydia Cannon, whose first husband was John Collard, father of John J. Collard and grandfather of Lucretia Collard who married A. J. Ligon. Isaac Cannon on this trip to Missouri crossed the Mississippi river at the village of St. Louis and then made his way to St. Charles, going thence into the wilderness where he traveled alone over the northeastern part of the present state of Missouri.
At Hunter's, Cannon and Ligon became acquainted with various members of the pioneer Collard family, and between Isaac Cannon and young Mary Collard there began a courtship that culminated the following year (1817) in their marriage in Kentucky. Mary had returned there with Isaac Cannon in a party of men and women that set out on horseback from the Missouri border late in 1816. Isaac and Mary were married in Kentucky in February, 1817 and their wedding trip was a horseback ride to what is now Lincoln county, Missouri, where they settled near present Troy on land in which the young husband planted a corn crop that same year. These two pioneers were 24 and 17 when they were married.
In the early Missouri records the name Ligon is variously spelled. In most of the records the name is "Liggon" or "Liggin." The earliest Ligon of record in what is now Lincoln county was Henry Ligon (spelled "Liggin" in the Missouri record), whose wife was Elizabeth Womack. Henry Ligon and Elizabeth Womack were the paternal grandparents of Allen J. Ligon who married Lucretia Collard.
Henry and Elizabeth (Womack) Ligon had a daughter, Gabrilla Ligon, who married Charles Lewis Palmer, a kinsman of the noted Lewis pioneers of old St. Charles county, Missouri. Another of the Ligon daughters was Leucotha Ligon, who married Thomas Stevens. The ancestor of the Pike county Ligon families was William S. Ligon, the son of Henry and Elizabeth (Womack) Ligon.
William S. Ligon, father of Allen J. Ligon, was born in Tennessee May 11, 1812. He came with his father to what is now Lincoln county, Missouri, in 1817. There in 1833 he married Charity Gilliland, a daughter of John and Agnes Gilliland, early comers out of Kentucky to the Missouri border. She was born in Logan county, Kentucky, April 22, 1813.
William S. and Charity (Gilliland) Ligon had 13 children, namely: John Hiram Ligon, born in Lincoln county, August 19, 1834, died in Pike county, Illinois, June 6, 1913, buried in Green Pond cemetery in Montezuma township; Marget E. Ligon, born November 24, 1835, died March 6, 1898; Frances M. Ligon, born August 22, 1837; William H. Ligon, born June 23, 1839, died May 6, 1874; Allen Johnson Ligon (who married Lucretia Collard), born October 25, 1840, died June 13, 1919; Sarah A. Ligon, born June 7, 1842, married William Woods, died January 24, 1880; Mary C. Ligon, born March 9, 1844, died September 26, 1860; George S. Ligon, born October 16, 1845, died May 13, 1877; Richard W. Ligon, born September 25, 1847, died and buried at Elsberry, Missouri; (a son, Will Ligon, is still living at Elsberry; another son, Charles Ligon, died there; a daughter, Mrs. Nettie Bacus, died in St. Louis); Walter S. Ligon, born April 14, 1849, died April 6, 1850; Milton A. Ligon, born October 25, 1850, married Lucinda Kessler in Pike county, February 18, 1883, died January 29 or 30, 1920; Delila A. Ligon, born September 9, 1852, died October 24, 1853; and Christopher Columbus (Matt) Ligon, born on May 17, 1854, died near Rockport in Pike county, Illinois, March 29, 1920 and is buried in Wells cemetery in Pleasant Hill township.
John Hiram Ligon, brother of Allen J., a native of the Sulphur Lick neighborhood in Lincoln county, Missouri, on December 24, 1858 in Lincoln county married Isabell Bennett, native of henry county, Kentucky, where she was born April 6, 1839. She emigrated with her parents in 1848 to Lincoln county. The couple moved to Pike county, Illinois, in March, 1872. They had eight children, namely:
Delila Alice Ligon, born October 13, 1859, married Samuel A. Keys in Pike county, October 4, 1885; Douglas W. Ligon, born December 13, 1860, married Fannie Morgan in Pike county February 26, 1885; William H. Ligon, born July 6, 1862, died in California March 4, 1936; James Robert Ligon, born November 6, 1863, married Sarah Josephine Long in Pike county, October 16, 1886; Mary E. Ligon, born June 7, 1868, married Joseph H. Long in Pike county, May 15, 1888; Charles E. Ligon, born November 16, 1869, married Una E. Long in Pike county, September 15, 1893; Lura B. Ligon, born January 9, 1870, married Dick Hatcher, died April 10, 1903; John A. Ligon, born October 31, 1874, resides in Jacksonville, Illinois.
From this it will be noted that two brothers and a sister in the Ligon family married two sisters and a brother in the long family, the latter being children of William Franklin Long and Charlotte Elizabeth Hatcher, and grandchildren of Abner Nelson Long and Martha Jane Gale, so well known in the early history of Milton, Green Pond and Pearl. The Hatchers of the above record came to Pike county about 1848, and the marriage of Charlotte Elizabeth Hatcher and William Franklin Long (the latter born near Pearl March 21, 1837) took place August 14, 1857.
The John Hiram Ligon family statistics are from records preserved by his granddaughter, Mrs. Judson(Flossie Ligon) Hoover, residing on the Milton-Montezuma road, a daughter of James Robert and Sarah Josephine Long Ligon. John H. Ligon and his wife are buried at Green Pond. He died June 6, 1913; she March 29, 1916.
Other children of James Robert were Floyd of Lambert, Montana, Emery of Colombus, Ohio, and Pansy, wife of H. G. Anderson of White Hall.
Isabell (Bennett) Ligon, at the time of her death in March, 1916, left surviving her the following children and heirs: Mrs. Delila Keys of Pearl, Douglas Ligon and John Al Ligon of Winchester, William Ligon of Rockwood, Tennessee, Robert Ligon of White Hall, Mrs. Mary Long of Crawfordsville, Arkansas, Stella McPherson, a granddaughter, of Manchester, Illinois, Zilla Hatcher of Hillview and Opal Hatcher of Winchester, Illinois (both granddaughters) and the children of Charles Ligon, namely, Lovie Brock of Kennebec, South Dakota, and Joseph and Louis L. Ligon of Pukwana, South Dakota. The addresses given are those of March, 1916. Louis L. Ligon, son of Charles, married Ruth B. Hess of Pike county.
Christopher Columbus (Matt) Ligon, last born of the children of William S. and Charity (Gilliland) Ligon, died near Pittsfield March 29, 1920. He had married Kittie A. Ferguson March 1, 1882. Their children were Claude E. Logon, who married Belle Robison and who died leaving a daughter, Vera Ligon; Roy L. Ligon, who married Lucy Baughman; and Mrs. Jessie F. Schlieper.
Allen Johnson Ligon was a resident of Nebo at the time of his marriage to Lucretia Collard. Following their marriage they lived for a number of years in Pleasant Hill township. They then lived for some time at Nebo and it was while living there that Mr. Ligon's mother, Charity Ligon, died, January 16, 1899, at the age of 85 years, seven months and 25 days. She had made her home with them, her husband having died May 6, 1860. She is buried at Green Pond cemetery.
William S. Ligon, husband of Charity and father of Allen J. Ligon, had a sister, Nancy Ligon (the name is spelled "Liggon" in the Lincoln county, Missouri, record), who married Benjamin Capps in Lincoln county, September 30, 1836. He belonged to the Capps family that later became identified with Pike county, Illinois. He was a brother of that Isaac Capps who married Jemima Hubbard, sister of Charles Hubbard, one of the founding fathers of Pleasant Hill; also a brother of Stanford Capps, who was captain of the mess to which Felix Alver Collard (John J.'s older brother) belonged when crossing the plains to Oregon Territory in 1847.
Allen Johnson Ligon and Lucretia Collard had two children who was born and died December 1, 1872, and Harvey S. Ligon, born May 1, 1877, now a resident of Louisiana, Missouri, where he has long been employed in the tower of the Chicago & Alton Railroad.
Harvey S. Ligon married Nora Payne of Pike county and they located in Kansas City, Missouri, where, after a short married life, the wife died in 1903. Mr. Ligon was connected with the street car service and with a packing plant in Kansas City. Harvey Ligon taught school and later learned telegraphy. For many years he has been a telegraphy for the C. & A. Railroad. As this is written he lies dangerously ill in the Pike County Hospital at Louisiana. Because of heart trouble he was compelled to lay off his work in the C. & A. tower about two months ago. His residence is in the home of Mrs. Elizabeth L. Warner at 315 South Main Street.
Harvey's mother, Lucretia Collard Ligon, died January 16, 1905. His father, born October 25, 1840, died in Missouri June 13, 1919. Both are buried in Crescent Heights cemetery at Pleasant Hill, as is also the infant child who died in 1872.