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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Missouri: Benton County

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Jonas Blue Heath (Sr) b. 1810 accidental death tree fell on him
Posted by: Cameron heath (ID *****3991) Date: November 13, 2008 at 17:22:26
  of 1254

For other Heath researchers I'm posting this info that the middle initial B for Jonas B Heath Sr of Tom Twp, Benton Co MO has been confirmed as Blue, his mothers maiden name. In addition his manner of death has come to light. He was accidentally killed by a tree falling on him in Benton Co. Here is how I found it out:

JONAS BLUE HEATH (1810-1841), m. 28 July 1828 Margaret Preston BARRETT. (9 Aug 1809-1867).  He was born in Cabell Co. VA. Margaret’s parents were James and Sarah (Hatfield) Barrett from Cabell County VA . (Of the famous Hatfield vs. McCoy family feud saga.) Margaret Barrett was one of 9 children and most of her family moved on from Cabell Co. VA to Indiana or Illinois. Jonas Heath and Margaret Barrett married in Cabell Co VA. They were both young, he was 18 and she was 19. Their marriage bond was signed by Jonas and 2nd signer was Anderson Barrett. Marriage certificate appears with witness listed as David Harbour (neighbor in Cabell County). While in Cabell Co VA young Jonas B. Heath owned ‘70 acres on straight fork of Mud River’ via a Land Office Grant dated 16 Oct 1837. His father Israel (stonemason) owned 15 acres on the Guyandotte River beginning just below the mouth of Heath’s Creek at the upper end of Narrows. His brother James owned 50 acres on ‘east of Mud River.’ If you look at an early map of Cabell County of the period, you will see the the Mud River areas wind in and out all around the area of land owned by his father Israel Heath. Jonas and Margaret’s firstborn was a girl, Louisa born 1829 in Cabell Co. VA, and she was followed by Calloway G. Heath also born in Cabell Co. VA on 23 Feb 1831. Just before moving on to Missouri, Jonas and his family made a trip back to Indiana to visit with Margaret Barrett’s family (this was in 1838 as evidenced by the birth of one child born in Indiana and the next child born in Missouri 1840.)

Jonas B. Heath, in addition to being a farmer--was a Methodist Episcopal Church circuit rider minister. This would mean he served several churches within a certain distance of his home. A reference was found regarding his preaching while in Cabell Co VA which not only gives us a glimpse of the man, but tells us how he actually died in Missouri. No death certificate exists for him in MO so this was a wonderful find:

Sacramento, Cal, Sept 10, 1881
            I recollect too, that after my interview with Bishop Harris, Rev. J.L. Burchard came to me and pleasantly said: “I want you to remember that Logan Harris was not the only boy you helped start out to work in the old M.E. Church.    
            Of course I had not forgotten the sincere, honest, earnest face of the boy, when I took him by the hand and welcomed him into the M.E. Church. And this brings up other reflections. I remember the little girl who is now “Grandmother Burchard”, when I took her on my knee to keep her quiet, while my dear friend, her father, REV Jonas Heath, was preaching to a great congregation in Virginia, and urging , in eloquent and loving strains, that “godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
            I remember too, how pleasant it was to meet Brother Heath and family, years after this, over the Mississippi, in Missouri, and there renew the dear friendships of earlier years. And also of the sad sight after this viewing of the fatal tree which fell on my dear friend and brother, Jonas Heath, and took him off instantly into the eternal world.
Excerpt from a book entitled Autobiography of Lorenzo Waugh
Note: Rev J.L. Burchard referred to is Louisa Heath’s husband, the Rev John Luther Burchard whom she married in Benton Co MO and later moved to California with in Spring 1860. Louisa was the eldest daughter of (Rev) Jonas B Heath, son of Israel Heath and Elizabeth Blue.

Jonas moved out of Cabell Co. VA when he was about 29, moving his young family to Missouri, along with his parents and other family members 1839/40. He settled in Tom Township, Benton County along with his brothers Stephen Preston Heath and Richard Blue Heath. Israel and Elizabeth Heath are believed to have been with this group as two older adults 50-60 and 60-70 were enumerated in the household of Stephen Preston Heath in 1840 in Tom Township. (Stephen Preston Heath later moved by 1851 to Platte Co and Richard B Heath moved on to Texas in 1846.)

Jonas, Stephen and Richard all lived in an area in Tom Township that bordered Henry County. There are four land deeds for sections 17, 18, 19, 20. This area is between two rivers, the Osage and the Grand, and close to the town of Tackner. It was about 5 miles west of Warsaw, MO.. There was an old road that went through their property on into Henry County and the towns of Finley and Mt. Zion. According to historical accounts there was also a large indian encampment south of them which had an indian trading post.

Jonas Heath married younger than the other children, marrying at age 18, but had an early death, living to be only 30 years old (20 Dec 1841). As you can see from the above book excerpt he died completely unexpectedly at age 39 or 40, being felled by a tree. His wife was very pregnant at the time, she gave birth to a baby boy just 3 weeks after his death (16 Jan 1842) and named the little boy Jonas Blue Heath after his (now) deceased father. Jonas’s widow Margaret (Barrett) Heath lived another 27 years, stayed in Benton Co. MO and may in fact have married again very late in life. There is a Benton Co. MO marriage record for a ‘Mrs.’ Margaret Heath to a Markham Fristoe on 21 April 1861.She died 1 Aug 1867. The Markham Fristoe who was living in Benton Co. VA at the time was born 2 Nov 1894 and died 30 Apr 1868 in Benton Co. MO. This event taking place between census years and with both of them dying in 1867 leaves no way to prove it was the same ‘Mrs. Margaret Heath’ but I know of no other living in Benton Co. MO at the time.

We know that Jonas B. Heath wore glasses or ‘spectacles’ as they were called then.

Jonas B. Heath, died without a will. His property was inventoried for settlement on 21 Dec 1841 and most sold off by the estate administrator (James Browder) on 12 Jan 1842. Jonas owned quite a lot of property and ‘notes’ on various individuals that owed him money. A sampling: 1 yoke of oxen, 2 black/white faced steers, 1 dun cow, 1 cow and calf, 1 spotted cow, 2 red cows and 2 calves, 2 brindled heifers, 2 yearlings, six sheep, 1 bay horse, four pork hogs, 1 lot of stock hogs, 1 wagon, 1 plough, 1 lot of cooking utensils, 1 kettle, 1 lot of barrels, 2 lard stands, 1 grinding stone, 2 hoes, 1 saddle, 1 sidesaddle, 1 lot gloves and chains, 1 sifter, 1 log chain, 1 axe, 1 dun mare and colt, 1 rifle gun, 1 lot bacon, 1 silver watch, 1 watch, 1 block, 1 slate, 1 pr candle moulds, curry comb, 1 pr andirons shovel, 1 lot cupboard ware, 1 brass candlestick, 1 blowing horn and shoe polisher, 1 lot of tin ware, 6 volumes commentaries, 1 lot of books, 1 razor and shaving tools, 1 table and 10 chairs, 1 bed coverlet and sheet, 1/2 ownership of a red durham bull, 1 lot of stock corn and 1 lot of corn standing in field, 1 lot (8 barrels) corn, 1 head sheep, 1 bay colt, 1 pork hog, broad axe, iron wedge, 2 volumes of sermons, 1 trowel, 1 pr spectacles, accounts against John Rodgers, Hiram Burnard, William Bird, James Rodgers, William Blue, John Thompson and Alexander Thompson, Felix Lindsey, E.F. Yeager, and others, This is not a complete list , just a sampling. The widow Margaret retained the following items: 1 bread pan and strainer, 2 buckets and pans, 1 coffee pot and sifter, 1 lot of cupboardware, 1 pair of fire irons and 1 fire shovel, smoothing iron, 1 oven, 2 skillets, 1 tea kettle, 1 coffee mill, 1 lot of books, 1 geography, 1 dining table, 1 box, a clock, a trunk, and a bed and bedding. Bibles, books, hymn books, farm animals, guns, the silver watch and everything else was auctioned off and bought by neighbors (listed in probate). When everything was done, the estate of Jonas B Heath at the time of his death was $1,158.71.

10 Sept 1844 a Jonas Heath and brother Richard B Heath recorded a land purchase of 159.39 acres in Township 40-N, Range 22-W, Section 20 in Benton County MO. It is unclear how this came about. Perhaps RB Heath’s name was on it with Jonas because it had to be ‘re-recorded’ after Jonas’s death? Whatever the case, this jointly owned land was in court dispute for many years after Jonas B. Heath (the father’s) death, with the remaining owner Richard Blue Heath spending money for an attorney and being in court a lot. Jonas B Heath, the father, died in Tom Township, Benton Co. MO.  A Probate Court Case Index for 1832-1920 lists his date of death as 20 Dec 1840. This has to be in error and should have read 1841. I have found a document where he performed a marriage for a Benton County couple in summer of 1841, and the birth date of his last son (Jonas B Heath Jr) indicates it has to have been 1841. Final settlement for his probate was a year later Dec 1842 which was not unusual for the time. Jonas B. Heath served as Justice of the Peace. He and his wife Margaret and some of the children are buried in Shawnee Cemetery in Benton Co. MO.Their remains were ‘reinterred’. They were originally buried in Balliet/Balliette Cemetery but were moved due to a large river/dam project conducted in the county. This large water dam project caused the removal and loss of many old cemeteries and graves from the area. Only graves that were not in disrepair were moved. Many old graves on family farms that were buried in brush or timber were simply not found and lost forever when this project took place. They are all now under water. The gravestone for Jonas B Heath (the father) must have been redone and date of death was misread as it is incorrect on the headstone in the new cemetery. We know this from the date of death listed in the Missouri index as well as the dates on probated property records. The Army Corps of Engineers was responsible for this mass removal and reinterrment of old Missouri cemeteries affected by the dam project.

It is through the Jonas B Heath line that we have a lot of Heath descendants spread out in California, as you will see that some of his children decided to ‘move to the Far West.’

The known children of Jonas B. Heath and his wife Margaret (Barrett) Heath:
Louisa Ann Heath (1829) Cabell Co VA
Calloway Green Heath (1831) Cabell Co VA
Holloway Heath (died an infant)
William Spencer Heath (1833 died 1835)
John Barrett Heath (1836)
Louera Elizabeth Heath (1838)
Joseph Lacey Heath (1840)
Jonas Blue Heath Jr (1842)

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