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

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Re: Salt river executions
Posted by: Michael Thomas (ID *****2472) Date: January 28, 2009 at 20:58:33
In Reply to: Re: Salt river executions by Leon Kearns of 336

I dont know if this will help any or not but here is some more of what my grand father told me about the incident. Grand dad said that there were six men besides my great great grandfather (Obediah Thomas). All six were farmers but one may have also been a preacher. They were locked in a log cabin somewhere near the salt river and a rock was rolled against the door to keep them inside. Obediah believed they would be shot a dawn but the others did not. Obediah worked at the door trying to push the rock back far enough that he could squeeze out. To cover the noise he was making he would scratch on the door and growl like a dog. Once he heard a union soilder say "I'm gonna shoot that damn dog directly" and Obediah stopped for a little while then started up again. He finally got the door open enough that they could get out but the others refused to go with him. They said that they had know that young union officer all of his life and he wouldnt hurt them. Obediah escaped but was only able to get as far as a blackberry thicket where he hid and watched the others executed the next morning. Obediah was very close to one of the older men. Dont know if it was a family member or not. Some other of our family names that Obediah Thomas would have associated with are Eaton, Bush, Brown, Wilson and his neighbors at the farms next to his in clay county were Jesse Cole, and Zerelda James Samuels (mother of Frank and Jesse James. this is the incident that turned Obediah to Bushwhacking and apparently to robbery during and after the war up utill the late 1800s. Obediahs wife Mary Ann (Eaton) Thomas, left him in 1875 because he was an outlaw. I dont know if Obediah used any other names. But his son my great grandfather Charles Thomas named my grandfather and his brother after Frank and Jesse James. When asked about that all my grand dad would ever say to me is "pa knew them" meaning the james brothers. A cousin has a strong box padlock and a ring of wells fargo cage keys that were supposedly taken by Obediah or Charles or both during a robbery after the war. Another interesting note is that when the James gang robbed the stage near hotsprings arkansas and the train at Gad Hill Missouri the route they took home took them east through sharp county arkansas where Charles was living at that time and then north through Texas county missouri where Obediah was living since leaving Clay county in 1868. I hope that someone can help me piece this mystery together.

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