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History Monday: John Field, Early Settler, Merchant

By Mike Watson

John Field is my ancestor, and the ancestor of many who still reside in Adair County. Here is a brief sketch from An Adair County Kentucky History, Volume 2.

John Field, Jr. was a son of John Field, Sr. and Sarah White. The elder Field died early in 1778 in Bedford County, VA, a young man, and left a will. He left a wife and two very young sons, John and Thomas. John was born in September 1777 in Bedford County; the birth date, place and later whereabouts of Thomas are unknown, but it is theorized that he died as a child, for no mention is ever found of him after the reference in the father's will. John Field, Jr. came to Adair County as a youth of barely sixteen years with his step-father, William Hurt, Sr.

John Field married Martisha Stapp, daughter of Joshua Stapp, Jr., in Green County 29 July 1801. He was an early merchant in Columbia, owned a vast amount of land in Adair and elsewhere, was the first county jailer, the first Columbia postmaster, and traveled widely. He went nearly bankrupt in the 1820s as a result of careless business practices that overwhelmed him after the Panic of 1819 reached Kentucky. He died in Adair, near Glensfork where he had lived after leaving Columbia in the 1820s, on 15 December 1857, and is buried, along with his wife, in the John Powell cemetery with no markers. This cemetery was the final resting place because his son, William B. Field, was the husband of Sarah Powell, daughter of John Powell, for whom the cemetery was named.

John and Martisha's children were:

1) Dr. Samuel Brents, born 21 March 1804 in Adair, died 4 August 1872, buried Columbia City Cemetery; married 24 August 1837 in Adair to Nancy Squires, born March 1820 Adair, died 12 January 1882, their issue: A) Anneliza, born 21 September 1838, died 21 May 1843; B) Margaret Susan, born 17 February 1842, died 21 July 1849; C) Samuel Houston, born 14 February 1845, died 8 July 1849; D) Mary Edgar, born 7 March 1848, died 8 August 1849; E) Ellen, born 25 July 1850, died 2 December 1856; F) Nancy Jane "Nannie", born 26 July 1854 Columbia, Adair County, died 9 January 1907 at home in Columbia, married William T. White in Adair in 1876, Methodist; G) William E. Fraser, born 1 February 1857 Adair, died 17 June 1862; H) James Samuel, born 27 February 1860 Adair, died 8 July 1862; I) Sarah B. "Miss Sallie", teacher and artist, born 18 April 1863 at Columbia, died 5 November 1939 at home in Columbia, buried in Columbia City Cemetery [no marker today], never married, Methodist;

2) William Buford, farmer, tax collector, census taker, born circa 1806, died 1866-1870, married first Sarah "Sallie" Powell, daughter of John Powell and Sarah Kelso, married second Mary "Polly" Watson, his issue, first marriage: A) John B., born 26 October 1841, died 6 November 1841; B) Silas Stapp, school teacher, born 26 September 1842 Adair; C) Martisha O., born 4 April 1844 Adair, died 11 May 1875 Adair, married Jonathan L. Watson, had issue; D) Harriett Anne, born 10 August 1846 Adair, died 9 May 1887, married George Washington Turner in Adair in 1875, had issue; E) William Buford, Jr., born 26 February 1849, died 15 September 1849;

William Buford's issue by second marriage: F) Ann E., born circa 1851 Adair; G) Sarah Buford "Sallie", born 17 December 1852 Adair, married William B. Yates in Adair 22 May 1877; H) Robert Stephen, born 24 January 1856 Adair, died 7 February 1945 Wilson County, KS, married Sarah Belle McElroy 28 September 1882 in Wilson County, KS; I) Samuel Brents, born 16 July 1858 Adair, died 18 August 1931 Kay County, OK, married Amanda Q. Yates in Adair 28 December 1880; J) Emily J., born circa 1860-61, married Oscar Graham; K) James H., born circa 1863-64; L) Elijah Durham, born 11 April 1866, died 28 March 1953 Montgomery County, KS, married Elvira Catherine Lewis 5 February 1888;

3) John F., farmer, born circa 1809 Adair, married Emily Green Powell in Adair 17 January 1832, she born circa 1810 Adair, had issue A) James S., born circa 1838; B) John R., born circa 1839 Green County; C) Leanora J., teacher, born circa 1842 Adair, married a Mr. Isbell; D) George A., born circa 1846 Adair, married Dollie Mullins in Russell County in 1881; E) Thomas L.D., born circa 1849 Adair;

4) Dr. Elijah Creel, born 1814-1816, died 1865-1870, married Elvira Bowman, born circa 1823 Casey County, died October 1874 Adair, their issue: A) George S., born circa 1844, married Sarah Josephine Hancock in Adair in 1866; B) Dr. William G. "Savage", born circa 1846, married Ann E. Price in Adair in 1877; C) Ann E., born circa 1848, married Charles R. Page in Adair in 1872; D) Marietta, born 1850; E) Martisha H., born circa 1851; F) Elijah C., born circa 1855 Adair, died 1898 Cleburn, TX; G) Susan E., born circa 1858, married F.M. Rain 1878; H) Elvira, born circa 1866;

5) Durham, who evidently died young;

and, perhaps, [6)] Ann Eliza; [7)]Robert Oliver.

[Adair marriages, tax lists, deeds, court orders, civil court cases; Adair censuses 1810-1880; Adair cemetery records (various); Adair vital statistics, deaths; John Powell Bible; Green County marriages, deeds; Russell County marriages; Russell County 1880 census; Bedford County, VA wills, deeds; Hurt Family History by Judge Rollin T. Hurt; Adair County News, various]

This story was posted on 2020-05-11 06:14:18
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