Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Little Girl's Bravery: Logan County Ok 1893

Last month,a young lady by the name of Ruby came to The Black Family Genealogy and Historical meeting wanting to learn more about her family and wanted to learn more about the process of searching.

One of the comments she shared with me was oral history related to her ancestrial family who lived in Oklahoma. That family was frank and Meldia McGlory.

Ruby then mentioned that her grandmother Meldia's family had come to a horrible end but that the oral history was rather sketchy. She stated that there had been a robbery and her great grandmother's parents were killed.
Ruby in turn did not know the name of her grandmothers parents. She had also heard that her great grandmother was raised by family friends by the name of Sellers and later met and married Frank McGlory.

Here I go, nosey me again, loaded with the name of her family friend and the first name of the grandmother. I took to the 1900 census in Logan County Okla and after careful searching,there they were, Wilson Sellers and his wife Mary. In the household was Meldia Clark. (be sure and click on images for better viewing)

Another jewel was the state that this family came from. Since Tennessee was the state of birth, and the grandmother was born in 1879 I went to the 1880 census and found several Clark's. One of these families could have been Meldia's parents or other family members.

I decided to look for clues in the census by searching Meldie with her husband Peter McGlory. Perhaps then I could be able to help Ruby tie in the loose ends of the actual names of Meldia's parents.
I found Peter and Meldia in the 1920 census in Logan County Oklahoma and listed also were their children Lee and Gabriel.

The next step was to see if there may be a clue from a newspaper that was active in Oklahoma and had mentioned a family that had been murdered in Logan County or a surrounding county.

With tired eyes, I decided to continue my search the next day and shut down my computer for the night.

Just as I was about to get off I decided to look in the Guthrie Daily Leader an Oklahoma paper.

A heading caught my eye. "Negro Milligan Meets His Creator" I thought to myself hmmm this may be something to blog about in the future.

Reading on I realized this guy was the culprit in Ruby's Families massacre! Oh My Gosh!!!

The Milligan Hanging was the first legal hanging in Oklahoma. Oh, there had been plenty of hangings before then but Oklahoma was now a Territory and has been put in the books as such.

Dead,Dead Sheriff DeFord said as he pronounced his sentence on Milligan and asked if he had any last words.

Some of the other names mentioned I assume were friends who witnessed the hanging or were people involved in a church because there was numerous Reverends in attendance.

This is the story of what happened to the Clarks and Milligan's brutal role.

Clark had only been in the Deep Fork Settlement for a few weeks when his wife and child were bought to Oklahoma along with Milligan a youngster from their home town in Tennessee. Mr Clark had just built a log cabin for them to stay in.

Sometime after the ghastly deed happened a young girl came to collect money owed for her father and saw what had happened.

All for one hundred and seventy five dollars for a thief in the night.

After reading the story and finding the name Gabe and Hannah Clark, I went back to that 1880 census. Gabe could very well be Chester with wife Hannah. (that can be filed again for later.)I also went back to the 1920 census and saw that Meldia and Frank named one of her sons Gabe.

It is sad to read that a family was taken off the face of the earth because of greed
especially when they have tried to help you have a better life than what you had.

The one good thing that came out of the story was that the little girl Meldia lived to tell the story of what happened that day.

The little girl Meldia lived to grow up and have a loving husband and children.

The little girl grew up to have a great-grand daughter by the name of Ruby who wants to know her heritage and spread that heritage to others in her family.

The little girl had to endure those visions for the rest of her life but she was a brave little girl,one her ancestors must be very proud of.


Kathy Reed said...

This is a great post on so many levels. First of all, I am impressed with your research skills and how quickly you were able to put the story together. Secondly, you did the work for a complete stranger. Finally, I love how you tied it altogether with such a tribute to Meldia. What a great read!

Ms Vicky said...

Thank you for your kind words Kathy. I am thrilled to have helped in some way. It does my soul good.

Angela Y. Walton-Raji said...

What tragic story---but is one that needed to be told. The names of the Clarks should not be forgotten and you have helped to insure that the descendants of the Clarks can find closure, and move ahead and know that the tragic end to their ancestors does not end their lineage. Your research skills were wonderful!

Pat Crawford said...

Good morning Vicky, great job, just super. I knew the story of Meldia Clark McGlory two things I did not know, that the murderer was someone known to the family and
that the Guthrie Daily Leader carried the story. My great-great-great grandparents were Wilson and Mary Sellers of DeKalb Co. Tn. were friends of the Clark family while living in Tn.. The Sellers left Tn. in 1879 with Pap Singleton, the Great Exodus made Topeka Ks. their home. Moved to Okla. in 1888. Wilson & Mary cared for Meldia Savana Clark until Mary's untimely death. I must agree that Meldia was certainly a brave little girl and you did a wonderful job of telling her story the family will be very proud. Meldia has one son and many many grandchildren still living to read that wonderful story. You have blessed many hearts. Pat

iradoweary said...

Ms. Vicky.,
Thank you for sharing this powerful story produce through your valuable research. Good job, my friend.

Ms Vicky said...

Thanks Angela! There are so many stories out there just bulging at the seams to be heard.
This one came right on time I would say.

Ms Vicky said...

@ Pat Crawford, I am truly honored by your comments. Your greats had to be very compassionate people themselves to have taken their friends child in.

Sharon Sutton said...

I just love a nosy genealogy find! Excellent documentation and telling of the story. Our history is there just waiting for it to be told.
Your cousin in research,

Ms Vicky said...

Thank you Sharon!! You know I am waiting on your ancestors story to be told. Amen, These stories need to be told.
Back at you cousin in research