On the Barry County, MO, Lone Walnut Cemetery inscription - listed was Billy John Sprinkles - listed as still born. He was a twin to Bille Joe and was not still born. I've seen the cemetery maker for his twin - seems like it had Billy John's name on it too, but he didn't die. In fact, he is still living and lives near Seligman, MO on the highway that goes from Seligman to Roaring River. His twin Billie Joe Sprinkles was still born and is buried at Lone Walnut. They were born in 1939. Billy John was somewhat retarded and so he never completed school but he did go to school a little while.
Liza Sprinkles, the mother or grandmother, of Billy John, carried him around as a baby around next to her skin. She thought if she kept him warm and next to her body - and in her clothing he might survive. He was very tiny baby - small enough to hold in one hand. So she used her body heat to keep him alive and so she made a natural incubator for him. He was born at home and this was in 1939 when not even a doctor was anywhere near.
I was a little younger than he but I do remember the story becasue my grandparents told it often.
I think Liza was Jake Sprinkles wife or mother, but I can't remember which. She may have been a Brandon and I think she was related to George Brandon who was at one time a neighbor to the Sprinkles family. He may have been a brother or father to Liza. I can't remember. But I do know they are listed on the census records of Barry Co., MO.
Liza died in the 1940's and Jake remarried sometime later - maybe in the 1950's. I don't know how old he was then but I do remember that he was old then. Jake lived back in the woods from Lone Walnut in an old log house that had dirt floors. Before he married he and Billy John lived there alone. Jake ran a saw mill, which was located not too far from the Lone Walnut school house.
I know that he could make change in money transactions but I don't thank that he could read and write. I think that he could figure lumber measurement but that was about all that he could do. I always heard that he'd never gone to school.
In the 1940's Liza was making lye soap outside in a big black kettle and caught her clothing on fire and so she never recovered from that awful incident. As I remember, she did, however, live for a few weeks after that.
The Sprinkles family lived neighbors to my grandparents who in the early 1940's bought the George Brandon place after the Brandons had died. And so they became the neighbors to Jake, Liza, and Billy John Sprinkles.
My grandfather used to buy lumber from Jake.
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