Prier Family of Barry Co., MO

Barry County, Missouri's Pioneer Families

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Joseph Thomas and Mary Melvina (Shull) Prier,

 By Darla Ball Marbut - Published with her permission


Joseph Thomas Prier was born April 22, 1871 in Butterfield, Barry County, MO, the son of George Washington Prier who was born April 1817 in Kanawha Co., VA, and Mary Freese who was born in Pratt, Ohio on Feb 11, 1842. She was listed on the 1850 census of Union Co., OH in the Adam Freese household. Joseph and Mary had seven children. The Prier family first settled in the Gunter Community near Butterfield, Barry Co., MO and then later they Moved to the Eagle Rock area of Barry County.
Pictured here are Joseph Thomas Prier and his wife Mary Shull. Photo is from the photo files of Wilma (Ball) Swanson, by way of Darla Marbut.

Joe married Mary Melvina Shull May 19, 1895. She was born Nov 23, 1869 and was the daughter of John and Phoebe (Brooks) Shull. As mentioned Joseph and Mary lived for a time near Butterfield, MO, in the Gunter Community, until they traded their property to Mary’s brother, Tison Shull for a farm on the Roaring River near Eagle Rock, MO. Joseph and Mary moved there to the Roaring River area about 1907 or 1908. They brought a wagon load of their belongings to the two storied white clapboard house and Joseph returned to Gunter to get another load. Mary stayed with the children in their new home. She had little light but when night came, but she and the children were a little bit frightened in their strange new home.
The Munsey Family had built the white house. A nearby cemetery had been named for them because they had given their land for it, because several of their children had died and were buried there. The house was two storied with three large high ceiling rooms downstairs, a large screened in porch beside the kitchen, and two large bedrooms upstairs. There was a front porch with the front door having small vertical panes of glass on each side. There was a large limestone chimney that heated the home. There were several out buildings including a unique storage and well house made of limestone back of the house. Today the Prier home is gone and all that is left is the well house.
Joseph did his own blacksmith jobs. He, his sons, and sometimes his grandsons, would walk along the train tracks in Butler Hollow picking up pieces of coal that had fallen from the train. Joseph used them for his forge.
Mary raised a huge garden near their home. She canned the food. Before the times of freezers she preserved the meat by smoking, salting it down, frying the sausage and packing it in lard in large stone jars. They had milk cows, chickens, hogs and beef cattle. There was a large hay field in the river bottoms behind the house. They put their hay in the loft of the large barn to feed cattle in the winter. Mary would
call the family to their meals by ringing a large dinner bell that was on top of a poll. The girls as well as the boys would work in the fields. They raised a lot of corn and the girls would help hoe it. As they lived on the banks of Roaring River, fish was also added to their diet.
Joseph and Mary took their children to church every Sunday. The Roaring River Baptist Church was a few miles down the river from their home. They drove a wagon to church for many years. It must have been cold during the winter riding in the open wagon. There are still Prier family members who are members of the Roaring River Baptist Church.
As many women did during those times, Mary used every scrape of cloth she had to makes quilts for the family use. She was very talented in her designs and her quilts were favorites among her children. She used feed sacks for making dresses, shirts, dish towels, wash clothes, underclothing, curtains, etc. For a time, feed sacks that had prints on them of flowers, etc., were used for the dresses, while the plain white ones were used for the dish towels, sheets, wash clothes, etc. Many of the scrapes from the feed sacks and also when the items made of feed sacks wore out were used in the quilts.
After Joseph had a stroke, and for a long time, he just sat quietly in a chair, Most of the time by the fireplace. And Mary managed to look after him at home until his death, which was on July 23rd, 1952. He is buried in the Munsey Cemetery a short distance from were he spent most of his life.
After Joseph’s death, Mary stayed in her home and her daughter Eva and her husband, Eldon lived with her during the summer. During the winter Mary often would go to Eva’s house. Mary also stayed for periods of time with her other children until her death, which was on Nov 7, 1960. She is buried in Munsey Cemetery and she is buried beside her husband Joseph. They were married 57 years.
Their children are listed below:
1. Ora May Prier born April 4, 1896, married Charles Elmon Ball, Jan 14, 1915
2. Eva Jane Prier born Oct 28, 1897, married Eldon Truman Ball, Jan 14, 1917
3. Leonard Joseph Prier born February 12, 1899, married Virgie Easley, August 29, 1926.
4. John Washington Prier born August 14, 1900, married Zona Marie Skelton, February 15, 1924, and after to her death he married Louise Lowery.
5. Tina Opal Prier born April 18, 1903, married Loren Everett Easley, November 23, 1923
6. Warner Prier born June 24, 1906, married Mary June Easley, December 5, 1928
7. Tison “Tice” Truman Prier born Oct 19, 1908, married Allie Maude Easley, May 3, 1935
8. Marion Francis Prier born June 27, 1911, married Edith Stever, June 27, 1938
9. Naomi Prier born February 12 , 1913, married Gerald Thompson, Jan 1, 1938

Tison "Tice" Truman Prier 1908 - 1990 d: July 13, 1990 b: October 19, 1908 in Barry Co., MO, +Allie Maudie Easley 1916 - 1996 d: March 24, 1996 m: May 03, 1935 in Barry Co., MO b: May 09, 1916 in Barry Co., MO

Marion Francis Prier 1911 - 1973 d: July 14, 1973 b: June 27, 1911 in Barry Co., MO +Edith Lyle Stever 1918 - m: June 27, 1938 b: March 10, 1918 in Mano, Barry Co., MO









Warner Elisha Prier 1906 - 1998 d: February 01, 1998 b: June 24, 1906 in Butterfield, Barry Co., MO +Mary June Easley 1909 - 2005 d: February 08, 2005 m: December 05, 1928 in Butterfield, Barry Co., MO b: June 23, 1909 in Barry Co., MO

Mary was a sister to Virgie Easley who married Warner's brother Leonard Prier.



Ora May Prier 1896 - 1993 d: March 28, 1993 b: April 04, 1896 in Butterfield, Barry Co., MO +Charles Elmon Ball 1896 - 1974 d: June 25, 1974 m: January 14, 1915 in Eagle Rock, MO b: May 26, 1896 in Eagle Rock, MO











From the photo files of Darla Marbut, Zona Marie (Skelton) and John W. Prier.  


John Prier


The photo of George Prier the father of Joseph Prier, from the photo files of Darla Marbut









This photo is of John Shull, Mary Shull Prier's father. From the photo files of Darla Marbut





The Photo is of the George and Mary (Freeze) Prier family. Darla said that she  could identify Joseph Prier second from the right. George and Mary's sons were Joseph, Wesley, Adam, Simon and Rowland. Their daughter's name was Frances who later married G. A. Crane and she is on the right in this photo.  From the photo files of Darla Marbut






This photo is of Joseph and Mary Prier with daughters, Ora and Eva sitting on Mary's lap.  From the photo files of Darla Marbut






Joe and Mary are buried in Munsey Cemetery, Barry Co., MO, photos are from the photo files of Darla Marbut.



This is the Prier house and children and the photo belongs to Carol Shipman.

It is used with her permission by way of Darla Marbut.
L-R: John Prier, Warner Prier, Tina Prier Easley, Ora Prier Ball holding Tice Prier and Leonard Prier.







For More reading go to the links given below.

William Simpson was born in Warrick Co., IN, died Camden, Cape Girardeau Co., MO and his wife Louisa Bristow died in LeFlore Co., OK, Louisa's parents were born in IL and likely were William and Sarah.]  William H. & Louisa (Bristow) Simpson  Louisa was the third wife of Alfred Reed, the father of George Reed.

Another page that has more on the Tucker family and their connection to the Haddock family is this one: Tucker Families of Benton County, AR - Listed are Nora Bell (Haddock) & Charles Kennion Tucker of Benton Co., AR and family. Nora Bell was the daughter of Richard Ransom Haddock and his wife Sarah Browning. She was the grand daughter of Charles and Susan (Meyers) Rumbaugh Haddock.

The Easley Family of Eagle Rock, Barry Co., MO, and their connection to many of the early families of that area.

The William Valentine Ball Family of Barry Co., MO - Many connections to Barry County.

Eagle Rock, Barry Co., MO, Study - This page has a lot of data about Eagle Rock in the early days and also mentions the Easley family connections to other families in the area. Darla Marbut's study on Eagle Rock is a vital part of what we know and understand about that part of Barry County, MO.

Barry County Stories - Page One  - by Darla Marbut - There is some Easley data on this page.

The Maloney Families of Barry County, but Darla Marbut. This is an excellent study of this family.

The Prier family of Eagle Rock and of Barry County, by Darla Marbut. Be sure and see all three pages.


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