James Stamps O'Kelley66 was born on 26 July 1824 in Walton Co GA.
He appeared in the census in 1850 in Gordon, GA67
and one of Lucy's sisters is living with the family. Next door
lives two more sisters and James Shellnut Esq an influential
brother-in-law. James Shellnut is given in the
History of Gordon Co GA as an early settler, a road commissioner,
Justice of the Peace and Georgia State Senator. James O'Kelley and family appeared in the census in 1860 in
Militia District 973, Saliquoy
(Salacoa) Township, Gordon, Georgia.68
The seat for Saliquoy
(Salacoa) township was Red Bud located about eight miles northeast
of Calhoun but it appears James may have lived several miles east of Red
Bud, closer to Ranger. He appeared in the census in 1870 in Gordon Co, GA.70 He appeared in the census in 1880 in Lafayette, Crawford, Arkansas.71 James died in 1898 in Crawford, Arkansas, United States,
and is buried in Love Cemetery.
Saliquoy or Salacoa is the name of a creek located about 10 miles
northeast of Calhoun the county seat of Gordon Co along Red Bud
James appears on the rolls of District 973 at Red Bud, Saliquoy Township,
Gordon Co GA in the
82nd Regt Ga Militia but it was common place to draft all males into the
local militia so this cannot be taken as proof of voluntary service.
As fate would have it, Gordon Co became the path of the Union invasion of
Georgia as Union General
William Tecumseh Sherman with his 110 thousand troops began his Atlanta
Campaign at Chattanooga TN and they began their march southeast into Georgia
where 70 thousand CSA commanded by General
Joseph E Johnson waited. Their first major battle was at
Gordon Co Ga and it began May 13 and lasted until the 15th 1864 with each
side taking almost 3000 casulties. The site of the battle was located
just a few miles Northwest of Saliquoy Township where the James Stamps
O'Kelley and family were living. The map of the
Battle shows that the union Army would have been all around the area
that James and his family lived. Lucky for the family it wasn't
until after Sherman took Atlanta several months later that his army began
their destructive march through Georgia and South Carolina so
likely James Stamps O'Kelley didn't have his home and barn destroyed however
it was the duty of every person living in Georgia to resist the invading
army anyway possible and James Stamps O'Kelley was on the roster of the
local militia so it seems likely he had to do some duties during that
battle, he may not have shouldered a rifle but surely had to do some support
that freed regular CSA troops. James Stamps O'Kelley's oldest son was
almost 16 years of age so it seems likely that he had to provide some kind
of support as well but I know of no family stories that tell if James Stamps
O'Kelley or his family did as was expected of them, I can find no
records that indicate that any civilians living in northwest Georgia took
any part in harassing the Union advancements no any indicators that James
Stamps O'Kelley supported slavery or the confederate cause.
O'Kelley Oath of 1867. Only those who didn't serve in the
Confederacy were allowed to sign these Oaths.
to J Fred O'Kelly there is a great deal known about James Stamps
O'Kelley and Lucy Woodruff England. J Fred tells us that soon
after they married they moved to Gwinnett Co Georgia where two of
their children were born, Sarah Jane the Eldest and my great
grandfather, Charles William. By the 1850s the US Census
indicates they were living
in Gordon Co Ga but what J Fred doesn't tell us is they are living
next door to Lucy's sister and brother-in-law, James Shellnut Esq
who became a Justice, Road Commissioner and a State Senator. My grandfather James was a farmer but
J Fred O'Kelly
tells his readers that during the Civil War he
worked in a wagon factory for the Confederacy. It was likely when
Sherman made his march through Gordon Co Georgia in May 1864 that the invading Union Army
ended his occupation of wagon building and my grandfather was
reportedly given a permit to return to his home and shoe horses,
some days for the Union other days for the CSA.
Those traits appeared in my father and uncles as most my uncles were
carpenters and my father was an auto body repair or body and fender
as most people referred to them. At one time my father worked
at Armbrusters in Ft Smith building stretch Limos so in a way he too
followed the path of his great grandfather. Unlike his father and
grandfather, James never owned slaves but J Fred
O'Kelly says life was so difficult in
Georgia after the war that in December 1870 my grandfather hitched
two oxen named Logan and Darb to a covered wagon and brought his
family to Crawford County Arkansas arriving Feb 3, 1871. I
wonder if the death of two of James and Lucy's children may have
been their motivation to move but why
Arkansas? Well James's father and grandfather moved from
Virginia and around Georgia following free land, James move from
Walton Co to Gordon Co following free land. J Fred O'Kelly
tells us that Lucy's kin had moved to Crawford Co
and they helped them secure a farm. Lucy's brother was a
wealth mayor of Van Buren at the time. The US Census causes me
to believe they settled next to the Fine Springs Baptist Church and some have claimed James was
also a minister, I have found noting to confirm that was true, but
given many ministers in those days just took up the profession,
claiming they were "called" to preach, it seems possible that James
could have become a minister because his first two sons became ministers. It
seems certain he was not a minister when living in Gordon Co as he
never appears on any of the many marriage records for that county.
The data suggest that James Stamps and family were not the only ones
from Gordon Co GA who migrated, a
John Love and family are buried in the
Wesley Methodist Cemetery very near Red Bud where James and Lucy
lived and a J. O. Love and Uriah Love said to be the father of
John C Love the founder of
Love Cemetery in Crawford Co Arkansas also appears on the
82nd Regt Ga Militia rolls with James Stamps O'Kelley so it seems likely
that several families may have migrated from Gordon Co GA to the
Fine Springs area in Crawford County near or at the same time.
John Love buried is likely a relations of
John C Love the founder of the
Love Cemetery in Crawford County Arkansas. J. O Love who
appears on the
82nd Regt Ga Militia and his wife and children are still living in
Gordon Co Ga in the 1880 US Censes but since his wife and some of
their children are buried in
Love Cemetery Crawford Co Arkansas it seems certain he is the
Rev John O Love who was the first minister for the Fines Springs
Missonary Baptist Church founded July 14, 1883 as described on page
595 in the "History
of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, and
Sebastian Counties, Arkansas" a free book found on Google
books. James and Lucy's daughter Mary A
O'Kelley is listed as one of the founding members of the church.
Records indicate that Rev John O Love served in the Confederacy,
discharged as a Sgt and drew a pension in Crawford Co in the last
years of his life.
I have wondered about the route James and family would have
taken. Except for ferry crossings, it is possible they
traveled the entire route walking beside the oxen drawn wagon.
Wagons were a rough ride over unimproved roads so it is very
unlikely they would have rode in the wagon preferring walking over
the hard bumpy ride of the wagon. The Tennessee River was the
super highway of the area so they may have taken a river barge from
Chattanooga TN completely skipping travel by land over Alabama,
gotten off at Pickwick Landing and traveled over land until they
came to the Mississippi River but it is more likely they may not
have been able to afford such a trip and they followed the common
1870 road by going west out of Georgia through Huntsville and
Decater Alabama following the route that today's modern US 72 takes
to Memphis. There were not bridges over the Mississippi at
that time so they would have had to taken the ferry.
J Fred O'Kelly
provides no insight so the route they traveled may be lost to
history. J Fred O'Kelly
tells us they left Georgia in early December and arrived February 3
so if they traveled the entire route by land they would have had to
average about 10 miles each day but a river barge over the Tennessee
River would have reduced that burden considerable. I have
walked a ten mile well traveled trial, one can do it easily in day
and our ancestors were much hardier than I, they being accustom to
hard labor so I suppose it would have not have been anymore
difficult for them than any other aspect of their daily life but
still it was worthy of our appreciation.
J Fred O'Kelly
reported that the log cabin that James
and his family lived in was still standing in 1962 and while I don't
know exactly where this log home was located the 1880 US Census
makes it certain he was next door to Walter Fine and his
Fine Springs property. This seems confirm as in 1878 James
Stamps buried his wife, my grandmother at Love Cemetery.
Walter Fine was my mother's 1st Great Grandfather and she told me
Walter Fine lived behind what is today the "Northside Church of
Christ" that sets on US 71 Hwy north of Alma and 1/4 of a mile
south of Fine's Springs and
this location is
confirmed by land records. I grew up about 1/2 mile NW of
Walter Fine's home site and I was a young teen when J Fred O'Kelly
wrote his book and I don't recall any log cabin in the area but I
wasn't looking for one then so there could have been one and today
it no longer exists. In those days the US 71 Hwy route didn't
exists, the main road that came from Van Buren near Bond Special,
forded the creek and followed what is Pecan Dirve which ran into
Peach Drive going due east across what is I-49 today and turning
north on the west side of
Walter Fines home and followed past Fine's Springs on what is
the 282 loop today and on to Fayetteville.
History of Fine Springs by Ethel Mae Plum
Lucy Woodruff England66 was born on 17 May 1827 in Oglethorpe, Georgia, United States.
Lucy died on 8 March 1878 in Crawford, Arkansas, United
States from the measles and was buried in March 1878 in Love
Cemetery, Alma, Crawford Co, AR.
I wonder if my grandmother Lucy actually died from the measles or if she may have died from the treatment for measles as bleeding and blistering was still widely practiced, there can be little doubt that many died having already been weakened by a disease when they were bleed or blistered our of ignorance. This is difficult for us to imagine today but up until WWII considerable medical ignorance existed.
James Stamps O'Kelley and Lucy Woodruff England were married on 12 July 1845 in Walton, Georgia, United States,.72,73 They72,73 lived in Silaquoy,
Gordon, Georgia in 1860 and 1870.
This is an amazing story about how events shape our lives.
My maternal great, great, great grandparents,
Johnathan and Rachael
Fine moved from Washington Co to Crawford Co Arkansas sometime
between 1850 and 1860 and purchased what was to become
Fine's Springs. In
more modern times it has become
Fine Springs. Many of their adult children also came with them and one was my grandfather
acres in 1869 in Crawford Co. A log home still exists next to the springs today and it
is likely Walter built the home that engulfed it until very recent
times. The 1880 US Census records my great, great
grandfather, James Stamps O'Kelley and family next to Walter
so he must have been living near and maybe
next to my great, great, grandfather Walter Fine and family. At the time they could not have imagined that their
great, grandchildren Conley and Azana would marry and produce myself and my three
brothers. In 1887 my wife's great great grandfather,
Plum moved his family to Crawford County and they lived not far from the
springs. Walter and
Nancy died in 1902 and 1903 and the property appears to have passed
to John and Mary Fine because in 1912 a deed was recorded making
James and Susan Plum the owners and that included the log home and
springs. My wife's great, great grandfather did not remain
in Arkansas but a few years after than as he
sold some of the land and moved back to Iowa where he is buried but her great grandfather,
Ulysses Grant Plum
continued to live in a house on the 79 acres that once belonged to Walter
Fine. Usyssis Grant Plum's
son, Roy Lee Plum, who
was my wife's grandfather lived on the land until he died and his wife
was Ethel Philbrick, she was a celebrated columnist for the Press
Argus for maybe a half century writing about the happenings on what
she called Locus Knoll which was actually Fine Springs.
My great grandfather Charles William was a Baptist minister and he was pastor
of the Fine Springs Baptist Church which set about midway along the
horizon of the below photo. To the right along the horizon one
can see the two story building which housed the Fine Springs Public
School and the Masonic lodge was on the upper floor. If you look closely in the
below photograph of Fine's Springs, you will see the back of the
building barely visible through the trees in the top right had corner
of the photo. The school was consolidated with Alma so when the
church burned, the church moved into the bottom floor until that
building burned and the church dissolved. Two of my grandfathers and grandmothers and two sets of my wife's
grandparents are buried in the Love Cemetery not far from where they all lived
out their lives. My two sons
have a blood link to the Fine's Springs Community by three different
lines, their great, great, great O'Kelleys, their great, great,
great Plums, and their great, great, great grandparents the Fines.
To the left is an article authored by Ethel Plum about 1960 and
while it is mostly accurate, she does not listed Walter as once
owning the springs but that is to be expected because she was
reporting on an event that happen almost 100 years before and based
upon what she had been told about her husband's family history.
I had the privilege knowing Ethel she was my grandmother-in-law and
if she reported something that might have been in error, it was
because that it how the information was given to her.
The Fine's Springs Log House was built by
Rome James in 1844. A much larger log house was built
on the southside of Arkansas 282 Hwy where Arkansas 282 Loop
joins. Johnathan and Rachael
Fine and family moved into the larger 2 story log home that
operated as a stage stop. At some point the smaller log home was passed to William James
and Millie Fine son-in-law and daughter and they sold it and
79 acres which included the springs April 8 1875 to
Walter Fine, Millie's older brother and my 2nd maternal
The log house is not open to the public and it
is behind a very high locked fence. I was permitted
the rare opportunity to take photos of it. In the
picture is my wife Renee' and her father Roy Plum Jr and if
you look closely at the rock foundation you will see Renee's
little red dog, Annie.
In 1850 US Gordon Co Georgia Census, one of Lucy's sisters is found living
with the family and next door another sister married to James Shelnut also
has another sister living with them. In a later US Census this sister
is still living in the home of James Shelnut but she appears as Anglan and
not England and two younger Anglan children are also living with the Shelnut
family. In the history of Gordon Co Georgia by Lulie Pitts are found
several Anglans whose place of birth is given as South Carolina. It
might be possible that Lucy England's family were actually Anglans and in
time their name came to be spelled as England so researchers might desire to
look under both names in the records.
J Fred O'Kelly
tells us that James and Lucy settled a farm arranged by a relation of Lucy
England. William England who may have been a brother or cousin to Lucy
was the mayor of Van Buren before the Civil War, he owned and operated the
only Ferry that crossed the Arkansas River and landed at Ft Smith making him
both influential and wealthy. The Englands appear to have eventually
fell in both wealth and influence as they appear in the latter part of the
1800s somewhere around Cedarville.
James and Lucy are documented in both J Fred O'Kelly
and Alethea Jane Macon books. James Stamps O'Kelley and Lucy Woodruff England had the following children.
To my knowledge there are no documents or bible records to tell us this list is correct or in the
|Sarah Jane O'Kelley66 was born on 27 September 1846 in Gwinnett, Georgia, United States. She died on 1 June 1860 in Gordon, Georgia, United States.
Charles William O'Kelley.
|James Robert O'Kelley.
|Mary Ann Elizabeth O'Kelley.
|Margaret Louisa O'Kelley.
|John Francis O'Kelley66 was born on 11 May 1857 in Gordon, Georgia, United States. He died in 1870 in Gordon, Georgia, United States.
|Henry Benjamin O'Kelley.
moved away and changed his name to O'Kelly
|Frances Adeline O'Kelley66 was born on 15 January 1862 in Gordon, Georgia, United States. She died in June 1870 in Gordon, Georgia, United States.
|Annie Louvenia O'Kelley.
|George Crowder O'Kelley66 was born on 8 December 1868 in Gordon, Georgia, United States. He died in 1880 in Crawford, Arkansas, United States.
He was names after James Stamps O'Kelley's maternal great grand
|My Journey to
Gordon Co Georgia
|Contrary to what the ministers claim, I
live in a blessed time for at no time in the history of
my ancestors has any generation had the luxury and
ability to travel so carelessly around our globe.
I think we insult our ancestors when we claim that we
live in such terrible times and it is in the memory and
respect of the trials and troubles of my ancestors that
I write this.
second grandparents, James and Lucy O'Kelley
Walton Co Georgia then moved to
Gwinnett Co Georgia where my great grandfather
was born then when he was a toddler they moved to
Gordon Co sometimes near its creation in 1850 as
they are found in the 1850, 1860, and 1870 US Gordon Co
Census. Why did they move to Gordon Co? The
common factor seems to always be to receive free land.
That appears to have been why James Stamps grandfather
from Virginia to
Oglethorpe and why his father
Charles Dean moved from
Walton Co Georgia. Land was so plentiful that
lotteries were used to give it all away but I don't find
James Stamps O'Kelley in any lotteries so he likely
received land from the Chastains or from
Rev John P O'Kelley
both having received land in Gordon Co Georgia in the
1833 land lotteries.
Rev John P O'Kelley's
wife was a Chastain, it was one of her brothers who
moved to what came to be known as
Georgia Ridge in
Crawford County Arkansas.
James Stamps O'Kelley and family lived somewhere along
or near modern day hwy 156 as it travels east of Calhoun
GA. They may have lived near Chastain Road or
closer to Red Bud as it was the place where
Rev John P O'Kelley
received land in the lottery about fifteen years before
the arrival of James and Lucy. I find no
indicators that Rev
John P O'Kelley ever moved or lived upon the land he
received. The census places them in District 973
which is in the Red Bud area. I had been through
this area in 1984 but at that time I had no knowledge
that my second great grandparents had lived there, I
only knew they came from Georgia but thanks to our
advancements many records and books are available to me
that were not available to previous family researchers
so armed with this knowledge Renee' and I traveled to
Gordon Co GA July 6 2013 and viewed the lay of the land.
We walked the streets of
Calhoun GA a place that my grandparents surely came
to many times in their two decades living in that area.
Renee' and I found it to be a charming community, most
of the shops had what appeared to be thriving businesses
something rarely seen in small town America today.
You can see the photos I took of
Calhoun and our drive out to Saliquoy
(Salacoa) Park at this link. When my grandparents came to
Crawford Co, they had to ford creeks and rivers, take a
ferry over the Mississippi and likely the White river
and because the wagon were so bumpy it is likely they
walked most of their journey. It took them nearly
two months to make their travels but it took less than
12 hours of driving over modern highways in comfort for
Renee' and I to reach Gordon Co GA. To the left is
a photo Renee' took of me with my Mustang and Calhoun
appears in the background. We drove Highway 156
Salacoa park and even paused at Kelley Drive.
These Kelleys could be cousins but I have not made that
Gordon Co with his gently rolling hills and heavy forest
looks a lot like Crawford Co Arkansas so it seems likely
that James and Lucy felt at home when they arrived and
settle near Fine's Springs in Crawford Co Arkansas.
It is said that they left Georgia because living there
after the Civil War was very difficult but in my
research of the local newspapers I found that on
February 3 1871, the day it is said that James and Lucy
arrived in Crawford Co Arkansas, the Sheriff of Crawford
Co hung a black man on the court house lawn so
grandparents may have wondered if they had stopped too
soon in their quest to find peace for their family.