Friday, December 19, 2008

Elisha Freeland Talley & Barbara Ellen Hudson

More untold stories of the survivors of Cane Creek

Elisha and Barbara Talley were one of the first families to be baptized at Cane Creek. They met and were taught by Elder Joseph Argyle, Edward Stevenson, and Martin Garn throughout the summer. By fall they were ready and were baptized on Sept 20th, 1879 by Martin Garn. Elder Hyrum Belnap was in attendance and recorded it in his journal.

Elisha was born 3 Mar 1837 to Allen Talley and Feriba Hemby. Barbara Ellen Hudson was born on 25 Apr 1837 to Brantley Jones Hudson and Molly (or Polly) Meddlin. Barbara had a brother named John R Hudson who may have been the father of John "Riley" Hudson who was killed at the massacre.

According to Willis Robison’s journal vol 4 Page 9, the Tally home was opposite where Slippery Creek joins Cane Creek. The Talleys were the back bone of the missionary effort at Cane Creek. The missionaries stayed there more than in any other home on the creek. It was about a mile down the creek from the Condor home. Missionary journals also indicate when certain family members were sick, or would help them mend clothing or shoes, or even hold meeting in their home. Elisha's family is mentioned dozens of times.

The Talley's had six children. All of them would have been old enough to have been at the Condor home on the day of the massacre. Two were already married.
  • Mary Ann Talley was twenty four at the time of the massacre. She was already married (to William Sealey) but still living on Cane Creek at the time of the massacre. I have no evidence she or her husband joined the LDS Church. But she was buried in the Condor Cemetery.
  • Margaret Ellen Talley was twenty, had married (to Thomas DePriest), and was living in the LDS community of Manassa, Colorado by 1883 and so was not at the massacre.
  • Leona Evelyn “Lonie” Talley was seventeen, single, and living at home. She would later marry John B Turnbow. She was burried in the Condor Cemetery. The grave is not marked.
  • Andrew Jackson Talley was fifteen; He appears in later articles as a guide to those visiting the site of the massacre. He is always identified in those articles as a faithful member who was at the massacre. He was buried in the Talley Cemetery.
  • Ulysses Britt Talley was twelve. Moved away to Arkansas when he was older.
  • Lewis Scott Talley was eight. He would later marry Mary E Mathis, daughter of Ruben Mathis the Vigilante who let Elder Jones escape.
In the Nashville Weekly American, 28 August 1884, John F. Henschen claimed that after the massacre, Elisha sold his 264 acre farm, farm equipment, livestock, and the crops still in the field to him for $500 just so he could leave at once. But they didn't go far. By the time of the 1900 census Elisha either still lived in Lewis County or had returned. Most of his children would go on to marry others from the area.

Although local newspapers would claim that all the Mormons either left or renounced their affiliation with the LDS Church, there is some indication that Elisha's family remained true. Elisha and Barbara, and two of their children were buried in the Condor Family Cemetery. So they still felt enough attachment to the Condor Family to be buried there.


Bruce Crow said...

After posting this I found a copy of the Act moving the County line between Lewis and Hickman county in 1897. Cane Creek ends up remaining in Lewis County, but the new line is so close the Act lists the names of the land owners whose land will be include in Lewis county. It includes the name Elisha Talley. It does not include John F. Henschen

Ardis Parshall said...

I've wondered but never known who were the members there that day. This is so valuable for placing the massacre in context, for placing it as one horrific event in the lifetimes of a number of people, not something that grew out of nowhere and vanished at the end of the day. Thanks for your good work.