B. Strickland & Mary (Gregory) Rushing Family Biography

Barnabus Strickland & Mary (Gregory) Rushing Family

Barnabus "Strickland" Rushing was born on Friday, November 13, 1829 in Crawford County, Georgia. He was the sixth child born to John and Sarah Rushing. John Rushing was a farmer and a Baptist minister.

When Strickland was a child, during the 1830's, he and his family moved to Stewart County, Georgia, which is where he spent most of his childhood. There he was educated and later began working as a farm laborer.
In the late 1840's, Strickland's parents, along with most of his brothers and sisters, moved to Mississippi, first to Madison County and later to Leake County. Strickland decided to stay in Stewart County, Georgia, and probably lived with one of his sisters and her new family. By this time he was apparently courting the girl who was later to become his wife.

In early 1850, at the age of 29, Strickland married Mary Baldwin Gregory, age 17, in Stewart County, Georgia. Mary was the daughter of Ivey Williams Gregory and Lucinda (Turner) Gregory.  She was born on Saturday, November 23, 1833 in Georgia.

Strickland and Mary Rushing lived with her parents for a while after they married. Ivey Gregory died in November of 1852 and Lucinda died not very long afterward. They left several young children behind.

On November 9, 1850, John Ivey Rushing was born to Strickland and Mary, and shortly thereafter they moved west to Leake County, Mississippi, where Strickland's parents had settled. They lived in southern Leake County, about two miles north of present day Tuscola. There, Strickland began farming. In 1853 James Matthew ("Matt") Rushing was born, and in 1855 Robert T. Rushing was born. Next on August 7, 1856 Elie Edward Rushing was born (in some places his name has appeared as "Ely" but it was pronounced "EE-LEE"). Paul Harrison Rushing was born to Strickland and Mary on November 11, 1858, and then on October 7, 1861 Mary "Lucinda" Rushing was born there in Leake County, Mississippi. In 1864 Sally W. Rushing was born, followed by Martha (or Mollie) "Celestia" Rushing, born in 1867. Finally, Strickland and Mary's ninth child, Lenora ("Nora") Senia Rushing, born on November 30, 1869.

Sometime during the 1850's Strickland's sister, Lizzy and her husband, Green B. Lewis, died and their children were divided among the Rushing family to raise them. Strickland's niece, Ella V. Lewis, who was born in about 1847, went to live with Strickland Rushing and his family. Ella later married James Adams.

B. Strickland Rushing played a role in the Reconstruction Period of Leake County, Mississippi following the Civil War. In 1865 he was a member of the Board of Police. He did not stay in office long because in October of 1865 Provisional Governor W. L. Sharkey ordered the Sheriff to hold a general election for county and beat officers to fill their unexpired terms. The former election was declared illegal because it was held under Confederate authority.

All of the men elected to the Board of Police in October of 1865 were Democrats. Presumably, since Strickland was a Republican or a "scalawag," he was not elected. It is likely that Strickland had formerly been a member of the Whig party. At the time of the Reconstruction of the South, many Whig party members joined the Republican party.

Northern carpetbaggers began infiltrating the South and took up political offices. The Democratic voters in Leake County were largely outnumbered by carpetbaggers, scalawags and Negro voters, due to the fact that many Democrats had become disfranchised. However, very few Republicans held office by election due to ballot box stuffing or to the fact that the votes they received were not counted. Intimidation of Negro voters also prevented many Republicans from being elected. Consequently, the Republicans who did get into office, including B. S. Rushing, held office by appointment.

In January of 1867 another election was held, at which time Strickland was put back into office as a member of the Board of Police. Strickland was the only Republican in office. In January of 1869 his term of office expired, but no successors had been elected or appointed, so he and the others continued to hold office. Then in July of 1869, all Republicans were elected to the Board of Police, and B. S. Rushing was one of them. Strickland held that office until 1872 when after a very strenuous campaign, the Democrats regained control of the county. Apparently it was then that Strickland's political career came to an end.

On the first day of January of 1872 Strickland and Mary Rushing purchased 160 acres of land from James W. Wilder for $150.00, equivalent to about 94 cents per acre. The land which was placed in Mary's name was located in Sections 19 and 20, about three miles northeast of Walnut Grove in Leake County, Mississippi. Strickland and his family began farming on that land.

Strickland and Mary's oldest child, John Ivey Rushing, married Louisa "Texas" Estes on July 25, 1872 in Leake County, Mississippi. Texas was a daughter of Reuben James (1828-1911) and Permelia (Reid) Estes. The next to marry was child number three, Robert T. Rushing, who married Rose D. Reed on or about October 25, 1855. Several years passed before Elie E. Rushing married Emily Ann Bounds on or about August 7, 1876. Then less than five months later, on December 21, 1876, Strickland and Mary's 15-year-old daughter, Mary "Lucinda" Rushing, was married to James Asberry Barber, son of Frank and Emily (Collinsworth) Barber. Next was second-born J. Matt Rushing who married M. Rebecca Jones on December 4, 1879. Together they had three children, but their marriage lasted barely over a decade and on March 10, 1890 they filed for divorce. Matt later remarried to Mary Ann Best. On January 5, 1881 M. Celestia Rushing married Isaiah Monroe Barber, a brother of Lucinda's husband. Later that year on December 22, Sally W. Rushing married D. J. Newborn. Sometime in the early 1880's Paul Harrison Rushing married Georgia Newborn, probably a sister of Sally's husband. And finally on New Year's Day, 1891, Nora S. Rushing married James ("Jim") Winston Henry.

In 1873 Strickland Rushing and three other men established the first school in southern Leake County. Mr. William J. Hamil donated the land at present day Rosebud Community and several men helped build the small one-room schoolhouse. Strickland was elected to be the first teacher so the school became known as "Rushing School." Strickland taught in this one room school house from 1873 until 1881. He was paid $40.00 per month from 1873 until 1876. In 1876 he made $35.00 per month and in 1877 it was reduced to $30.00 per month. In about 1873 Strickland's daughter, Mary Lucinda Rushing, taught school with him. A curtain was hung to divide the one room into two. Strickland taught on one side of the schoolhouse and Lucinda taught on the other. In about 1883 after Strickland had quit teaching, the name of the school was changed to "Hamil School." Strickland returned to teach another school year in 1888 and 1889. In about 1895 the name of the school was changed to "Rosebud School."


In 1891, Strickland and Mary Rushing moved to Van Zandt County, Texas, where several other Leake County families had been settling. They were said to have made the trip by train. On October 30, 1891, Strickland bought 115 acres of land on Willow Creek near Edgewood in the Ephraim Vansickle original land survey. Strickland bought the land from J. T. Thompson for $400. Several of Strickland and Mary's children and their families also moved to Van Zandt County at different times between 1890 and about 1893, including John and Louisa Rushing, Elie and Emily Rushing, James and Lucinda (Rushing) Barber, Isaiah and Celestia (Rushing) Barber and James Matthew Rushing.

Strickland died at the age of 69 on Friday, July 14, 1899 in Van Zandt County, Texas and was buried at Myrtle Springs Cemetery at Myrtle Springs, Texas. He and Mary had just sold their 115 acres of land about four months before his death. Mary died eleven years later at the age of 76 on Thursday, February 10, 1910 in Van Zandt County, Texas and was also buried at Myrtle Springs Cemetery next to Strickland.


This biography was compiled and written by Roland J. Heddins, copyright 2001. As further details are discovered, this biography will be updated. If you have any details to add or correct, please email me. No part of this biography may be published (in print or on the internet) without written permission. Thank you. -RJH


Rushing Family Photos

Family Biographies Page

Barber/Rushing Homepage