The Landreths

Rush Floyd, the son of Stephen Albert and Elsie (Bryant) Landreth, was born November 7, 1847, near Hillsville, Carroll County, Virginia. As the name implies, this was in a densely wooded mountainous section. The soil, in order to be cultivated, required clearing of the trees and removal of the rocks. However, the mountain slope with its many trees, wild berries and laurel made a beautiful setting for the Landreth homestead.

Great-grandfather Stephen Albert Landreth and Grandfather Rush Floyd Landreth were Union sympathizers but were drafted by the Confederacy to serve in the Home Militia. They served in Bond’s Cavalry which was guarding the lead mines at Fowler’s Crossing near Austinville, Virginia. Great-grandfather was the oldest man in the regiment, and Grandfather, then 18, was the youngest. General Sherman was making his famous “march to the sea” at this time. Capture of the lead mine at Fowler’s Crossing was another Union goal, a part of the overall plan to cut the South in two. As the Union army approached, Bond’s Cavalry, so outnumbered, hastily retreated. Although fired upon many times, Great-grandfather made his escape by hiding in a flock of sheep on the mountainside, later making his way to Fowler’s General Store from which, dressed as a woman, he returned to his regiment.

After the Civil War was over, Rush Floyd and Arenia, daughter of Joseph and Rebecca (Evans) Lineberry decided to get married. The nearest minister was in North Carolina, 16 miles away. Accompanied by Arenia’s oldest brother and his bride-to-be, they made the wedding journey on horseback, were married, and returned that evening. This double wedding took place June 10, 1866.

Rush Floyd cleared a few acres in the valley of his father’s farm and here he and his father, who was a good carpenter, built a cabin of split logs. This cabin had three windows and a large fireplace which provided both heat and a place to cook. Great-grandfather also made some walnut furniture, including a spool, bed and a safe for dishes. Grandfather continued clearing the land which required many weeks of hard labor. Meanwhile, many letters were being received from relatives and friends who had already migrated to Linn County. George and Catherine (Lineberry) Coulson had come in 1840 and settled at the point which later became Coulson Mills, Missouri, which was the United States Frontier Post Office (1848- 1853). Other relatives and friends lived near Bucklin. These letters urged them to come to Missouri and enjoy the many advantages the rich Prairie land had to offer.

After much deliberation, my grandparents decided to come to Linn County. Accompanied by Nimrod and Elizabeth (Lineberry) Newman, Andrew and Elizabeth (Landreth) Bowers, and the several children of the three couples, they boarded a west-bound train which was crowded with fellow emigrants. After a long and tiresome trip they arrived at Bucklin on a rainy afternoon in the fall of 1870.

At first Grandfather settled near Bucklin, later moving to a farm north of Marceline. In 1882, he bought a farm just west of Marceline from the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad Company. Six years later, Marceline was incorporated. It was at this time that Grandfather opened a coal mine on his farm. It proved to be a good mine which remained in production many years.

Grandfather was successful in farming which he enjoyed. Especially did he enjoy his garden, orchard and vineyard which were large ones that produced a bountiful supply of fruit and vegetables which were used to advantage.

Here they reared their seven children, Elsie, Joseph, Rebecca, Stephen, Harry, Enoch, and Luvinia. There are over 235 descendants of my grandparents, many of whom live in Linn County.

Grandfather was an active member of the Methodist Church and assisted in the erection of the church building.

After a lingering illness, grandmother passed away April 16, 1919. Harry, who was deaf from birth, was fatally injured when struck by a car and died October 24, 1923. Grandfather died April 3, 1938 at the age of 91 years.

Mable Landreth Wolfe

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