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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lost (or at least mostly forgotten) town rediscovered

Posted Saturday, June 30, 2007, at 3:30 PM

I didn't even know Jonesboro existed, much less that it once was the seat of Saline County.

Now I do, thanks to the Patsy Gregg Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Saline County Historical Society.

The DAR chapter commissioned a plaque back in 1929 to mark the place where the county court was held from 1831 to 1839 in what is now Napton but was known as Jonesboro at the time.

The plaque itself is unremarkable, but like most artifacts it helps ground the abstractions of history, lending them a stronger sense of reality. It's one thing to say there once was a place called Jonesboro that was the county seat long ago, it's another to know the outlines of the story AND be able to see and touch a 78-year-old little chunk of metal that marked the spot.

Of course, the plaque is sort of a secondary artifact, reference to rather than a witness to the life of Jonesboro. But until somebody discovers another artifact — maybe chunk of metal, part of the stove that kept officials warm as conducted the county's business; or a mug used to refresh them during their labors; or a scrap of paper noting some bit of financial matter — the plaque will serve nicely as our link to Jonesboro.

Napton of today is a sleepy little village, but when it was Jonesboro, when it was the center of county government business, I imagine it may have bustled at least a bit more. I'd like to know more about it. Was it bigger? What businesses thrived? Who were the characters that gave the place character?

Does anyone know?


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I have lived in the area my entire life and I have never heard about Jonesboro. I've probably even been in the area where Jonesboro once stood. This story is very intriguing and I'd love to hear more about Jonesboro. That is if there is anything else known about are region's Atlantis.

-- Posted by SecretAgentMichaelScarn on Tue, Nov 20, 2007, at 10:36 AM

OUR region's atlantis

-- Posted by SecretAgentMichaelScarn on Tue, Nov 20, 2007, at 1:16 PM

I'm definitely interested in learning more. In fact, I'm planning to visit Napton this week if all goes well and I'll be sure and post what I find out.

-- Posted by Eric Crump on Fri, Nov 30, 2007, at 6:10 PM

Sappington, Pearson & Co. was a major mercantile firm in Jonesboro. They were also connected to the Santa Fe trade. Around 1830, the company became Sappington, Marmaduke & Co. A lot of the "big names" we associate with Arrow Rock were also tied to Jonesboro. Most of the Sappington, Marmaduke, Jackson, Townsend, Brownlee and Finley (all early and prominent Saline County families) lived in-between these two communities. For many of them it was just as convenient to travel to either place. Jonesboro was also the "mustering ground" for the Saline County militia. At least one major expedition of the militia took to the field from Jonesboro in 1832 during the Black Hawk War.

-- Posted by Arrow Rock on Wed, Dec 12, 2007, at 1:22 PM

-- Posted by stupkettle on Mon, Jan 14, 2008, at 8:10 AM

I know of the town of Napton and I think that I might know of someone who could tell you something about Jonesbore but I am not sure. You might contact here and see if she know any thing she has lived in Napton most of her life. Her name is Mary Ruth Adcock and she lives there in Napton

-- Posted by stupkettle on Mon, Jan 14, 2008, at 8:12 AM

P.O. Box 11940

St. Louis, MO 63112-0040

314-746-4510

archives@mohistory.org

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Dr. John Sappington was born May 15, 1776, in Maryland. He was the son of Mark Brown Sappington and Rebecca Boyle Sappington. John studied medicine under his father until 1800 when he moved to Franklin, Tennessee, to begin his own practice. In 1814-1815, he studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and received his M.D. He returned to Franklin but later moved to Missouri in 1817. Sappington settled first in Howard County before making his permanent home in Arrow Rock, Saline County, in 1819.

Dr. Sappington is regarded as the first doctor to effectively use quinine for the treatment of malaria and fevers. He rejected the common practices of bloodletting and purges in favor of modern medical practices. In 1832, Sappington began to produce a malaria remedy named "Sappington's fever pills." He employed agents across the Midwest and South to sell the pills. By patenting his medicine and acting as manufacturer and wholesaler, Sappington alienated himself from many physicians of the period who looked upon his actions as unprofessional. The pills were extremely successful and sold by the millions. In 1844, Sappington wrote The Theory and Treatment of Fevers, a book written as a treatment guide for the general public. Dr. Sappington married Jane Breathitt in 1804. They had nine children. He died September 7, 1856, at his home, "Fox Castle," in Arrow Rock.

Meredith M. Marmaduke was born in Westmorland County, Virginia, in 1791. He was the son of Vincent and Sarah Porter Marmaduke. During the War of 1812, Marmaduke was commissioned a colonel of the Westmorland County militia. After the war, he was appointed U.S. marshal for the eastern district of Virginia and later served as clerk of the circuit court. Marmaduke moved to Missouri in 1821 for health reasons. He partnered with several men of Saline County and soon became a successful Santa Fe trader. By 1820, he had settled on a farm near Arrow Rock. He married Levinia Sappington, daughter of Dr. John Sappington. They had ten children. M.M. Marmaduke died in Arrow Rock in 1864.

Marmaduke engaged in the general merchandise business and formed Marmaduke and Company and was involved with the partnership of Marmaduke and Sappington Company. M.M. Marmaduke was heavily involved in statewide politics and was closely associated with Senator Thomas Hart Benton. Marmaduke used his influence to organize the first state fair in Missouri and served as the fair's president. In Saline County, he served as county surveyor and as a county judge. In 1840, Marmaduke was elected lieutenant governor of Missouri. He served in

this capacity until the death of Governor Thomas Reynolds in 1844. Thereafter, Marmaduke was acting governor until the end of the term. He ran for governor in 1844 but withdrew in favor of fellow Democrat John Edwards. After his term in office, Marmaduke remained active in Democratic politics in Missouri. In 1847, he was elected as a member of the state constitutional convention. When it became apparent that the South would secede from the Union, Marmaduke remained loyal to the federal cause. Marmaduke's son John broke with his father and enlisted as a Confederate officer. Brigadier General John Marmaduke commanded a force of Missouri volunteers throughout the war.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

The Sappington-Marmaduke Family Papers consist of correspondence, circulars, deeds, ferry licenses, bills of sale, receipts, land surveys, commissions, and account books. The collection is divided into two series: Correspondence Series (1810-1941) and Accounts Series, (1803-1895). Both series are arranged chronologically. The collection is indexed in the Archives Card Catalog.

The Sappington-Marmaduke Family Papers are a combined collection of the papers of Dr. John Sappington and M.M. Marmaduke. The Correspondence Series contains personal correspondence relating to family affairs, local news, Missouri politics, and business correspondence regarding Dr. Sappington's fever pill business and Marmaduke's mercantile and Santa Fe trade businesses. The collection contains correspondence to and from many individuals who are significant in Missouri history. Among the correspondents are Edward Bates, Thomas Hart Benton, Lilburn W. Boggs, William Clark, John Edwards, Seth Hardeman, Claiborne Fox Jackson, John Marmaduke, George Penn, and Thomas Reynolds. [Note: Dr. John Sappington of Arrow Rock, Missouri, should not be confused with John Sappington of Sappington, Missouri, whose papers are included in the Hawken-Sappington Family Papers.]

The Correspondence Series contains numerous documents relating to the family's slave holdings. Slaves owned by the Sappington and Marmaduke families are often mentioned by name. Numerous slave deeds and bills of sale exist throughout the collection. An 1821 copy of a county order establishing a slave patrol to police county roads and punish slaves caught out after 8 p.m. is among the items dealing with slavery. Slavery is also mentioned in a political context in M.M. Marmaduke's correspondence with various Missouri political figures.

The Correspondence Series contains manuscripts, receipts, orders, advertising circulars, business correspondence, and other material relating to Dr. Sappington's fever pills and the 1844 edition of his book The Theory and Treatment of Fevers. A copy of the manuscript "A Treatise on Fevers" is included in a bound volume. Letters to and from sales agents in the Midwest and southern U.S. document the sales of the fever pills including discussions of prices and marketing.

M.M. Marmaduke's involvement in the Santa Fe trade is represented by correspondence with his partners Samuel McClure and John Lucas. Among the items referring to the Santa Fe trade are Marmaduke's letters to and from William Clark, superintendent of Indian affairs, regarding items stolen from Marmaduke and his partners by the Osage Indians. The correspondence also contains details about trips to Santa Fe and Mexico.

The collection largely documents M.M. Marmaduke's involvement in Democratic politics in Missouri. Correspondence and circulars concerning political issues in Missouri from approximately 1830 to 1860 are represented in Marmaduke's papers. Information in the collection relates to Marmaduke's 1840 election to the office of lieutenant governor of Missouri, his political battles with anti-Benton Democrats, recommendations for political appointments, Marmaduke's ascension to the office of governor upon the suicide of Governor Thomas Reynolds in 1844, and his involvement in the state constitutional convention in 1847.

Correspondence and other papers relating to the life of Confederate Brigadier General John Sappington Marmaduke, son of M.M. Marmaduke, include John Marmaduke's grade cards from the U.S. Military Academy, letters to his friends while serving in the U.S. Army, Civil War military correspondence, and some postwar items.

The last folder in the Correspondence Series contains newspaper clippings of articles that relate to the history of the Sappington and Marmaduke homes, Sappington family history, and various events in the history of the Boonslick and/or Little Dixie region of Missouri written by Charles Van Ravenswaay.

The Accounts Series contains two boxes of receipts, memorandum books, bills, bills of sale, account books, ledgers, and other business account items. This series primarily documents the business activities of E.D. Sappington & Company and the firms of Marmaduke and Sappington and Pearson and Sappington. Information relating to the sales of Dr. Sappington's fever pills is contained in this series. The ledgers and daybooks of E.D. Sappington and Company, a grocery store, are included in this series. The books contain information on the store's operation from 1829-1845. Three volumes of the general merchandise business of Marmaduke and Company and Marmaduke and Sappington Company of St. Helena and Jonesboro, Missouri, detail the businesses' operations from 1832 to 1836.

Information pertaining to Dr. John Sappington and his Theory and Treatment of Fevers can be found in Thomas Hall's article "John Sappington," published in the Missouri Historical Review (Vol. 24, #2; January 1930). An examination of Sappington's farming and business ventures can be found in Lynn Morrow's "Dr. John Sappington: Southern Patriarch of the West," Missouri Historical Review (Vol. 90, #1; October 1995). Meredith Miles Marmaduke's Santa Fe trade journal along with notes by F.A. Sampson was published in the Missouri Historical Review (Vol. 6, #1; October 1911).

INVENTORY

Correspondence Series, 1810-1941; no date

Box 1 1810-1831

folder 1 1810-1821

folder 2 1822-1824

folder 3 1825-1827

folder 4 1828

folder 5 1829

folder 6 1830

folder 7 1831

Box 2 1832-1840

folder 1 1832-1834

folder 2 1835-1836

folder 3 1837-1838

folder 4 1839

folder 5 January-July 1840

folder 6 August-December 1840

Box 3 1841-1845

folder 1 1841

folder 2 1842

folder 3 1843

folder 4 January-June 1844

folder 5 July-December 1844

folder 6 1845

Box 4 1846-1850

folder 1 1846

folder 2 January-July 1847

folder 3 August-December 1847

folder 4 January-April 1848

folder 5 May-December 1848

folder 6 1849

folder 7 1850

Box 5 1851-1869; 1930-1941

folder 1 1851

folder 2 1852

folder 3 1853

folder 4 1854

folder 5 1855

folder 6 1856-1859

folder 7 1860-1869

folder 8 1930-1941; clippings

folder 9 Genealogy

Box 6 no date

folder 1 no date

folder 2 no date

folder 3 no date

Accounts Series, 1803-1895

Box 7 1803-1838

folder 1 1803-1822

folder 2 1823-1827

folder 3 1828-1830

folder 4 1831-1832

folder 5 1833-1834

folder 6 1835-1838

Box 8 1839-1895; no date

folder 1 1839

folder 2 1840-1842

folder 3 1843

folder 4 1844-1846

folder 5 1847-1849

folder 6 1850-1855

folder 7 1856-1895

folder 8 no date

folder 9 no date

Volumes, 1829-1845

Volume 1 Daybook; Marmaduke and Company, St. Helena, Missouri, May 28,1832-May 21,1833

Volume 2 Account book: Marmaduke and Company, St. Helena, Missouri, and Marmaduke and Sappington, Jonesboro, Missouri, May 17, 1832-August 1, 1833

Volume 3 Account book: Marmaduke and Company, St. Helena, Missouri, and Marmaduke and Sappington, Jonesboro, Missouri, 1832-1836

Volume 4 Daybook: E.D. Sappington and Company, Jan. 1-Sept. 30, 1830

Volume 5 Daybook: E.D. Sappington and Company, July 18-Dec. 31, 1830

Volume 6 Daybook: E.D. Sappington and Company, Jan. 4-July 31, 1831

Volume 7 Daybook: E.D. Sappington and Company, Jan. 1, 1831-Jan. 1, 1832

Volume 8 Daybook: E.D. Sappington and Company, Nov. 31, 1831-July 31, 1833

Volume 9 Daybook: E.D. Sappington and Company, July 31-Dec. 31, 1832

Volume 10 Daybook: E.D. Sappington and Company, Jan. 1-Aug. 1, 1833

Volume 11 Daybook: E.D. Sappington and Company, Aug. 5, 1833-June 24, 1836

Volume 12 Daybook: E.D. Sappington and Company, Jan. 4-July 31, 1834

Volume 13 Daybook: E.D. Sappington and Company, Aug. 1-Dec. 31, 1834

Volume 14 Daybook: E.D. Sappington and Company, Jan. 1-June 27, 1835

Volume 15 Daybook: E.D. Sappington and Company, July 1, 1835-Oct. 18, 1843

Volume 16 Expense journal: E.D. Sappington and Company, July 3, 1833-Jan. 26, 1835

Volume 17 Ledger: E.D. Sappington and Company, Oct. 1829-March 1845

Volume 18 Ledger: E.D. Sappington and Company, Feb. 18, 1830-Sept. 13, 1833

Volume 19 Ledger: E.D. Sappington and Company, 1834-1835

Volume 20 Manuscript: Dr. John Sappington's "A Treatise on Fevers"

-- Posted by marshallgirlatheart on Mon, Jan 21, 2008, at 11:44 AM

You may want to look into the Free Slave towns that sprung up in Saline County after the Civil war. At one existed south of Marshall. Many do not know that was part of the history of Saline County.

-- Posted by ghostwriter1978 on Fri, Jan 25, 2008, at 4:04 PM

Eric In the 1967 History of Saline County you can read about Jonesborough on pages 189-191. Also I told you my gr-grandfather was a sheriff of Saline county. He served in 1830. There is a lot more info about Jonesborough and Napton in the same book. Yours, Joyce Knight, Regent of Patsy Gregg Chapter of DAR.

-- Posted by Joyce Knight on Sat, Feb 2, 2008, at 2:12 PM


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Eric Crump is a former editor of The Marshall Democrat-News. He lives elsewhere now but still loves Marshall and Saline County. He's trying to catch up on all the stories he should have written while he was on staff.