Bates County MO was established in 1841 from Cass, Jackson and Van Buren.

1850 Bates Co, MO Census

District 6

p. 253

311/311 Abraham REDFIELD, 54, m, farmer, 2500, NY
Phebe, 52, f, NY
John, 13, m, AR
William, 10, m, MO
David, 8, m, MO
Jessee B. Combs, 12, m, MO

Note: Parents of Jessee B. Combs, nor the below close neighbor Lucinda Combs, have yet to be identified. Is it possible these two Combs children could be the children of William Combs, son of Jesse B Combs of Henry Co, MO. Jesse's will, probated in 1848, mentioned heirs of his son William Combs des. but did not give names. Jesse Combs of Henry also had a son named Jesse and a daughter named Lucy Ann who are already accounted for in other 1850 census records. The relationship of Abraham and Phebe REDFIELD and Elizabeth WEDELL to these children is also unknown. Jesse is still with the REDFIELDS in the 1860 Vernon Co, MO census. Donna Ward posted the following biographical information on Abraham Redfield on the Genforum Redfield Forum. Abraham REDFIELD was with the Union mission family that arrived there in February, 1821, and remained there until the close, being released by the American Board on March 28, 1836. He was listed as a teacher and mechanic. He was born in Orange county, New York, in 1895. Three weeks after their arrival at Union he was married to Miss Phoebe Beach, who was also a member of the mission family. After they left Union, they settled in the vicinity of Deerfield, Missouri (Source: "The First Protestant Osage Missions 1820 - 1837." By Wm W. Graves page 248). Elizabeth WEDELL aka WEDDLE (see below) is next found in Napa Co, CA in the 1860 census.

315/315 Elizabeth WEDELL, 52, f, 200, NC
William, 22, m, MO
John, 19, m, MO
Henry, 17, m, MO
Moses, 18, m, MO
Sylvester, 13, m, MO
Livina, 11, f, MO
Lucinda Combs, 16 f, IL

Note: Moses is 18 and out of order based on age

(Source: District 6, Bates, Missouri; Roll: M432_392; Page: 253,, courtesy of Deb Coombs)

p. 364
Lucy Combs

p. 365 Jesse B. Combs

See Jesse B. Combs who d 1848, Henry Co, MO, naming daughter, Lucy and son, Jesse B. Not known if a connection.

1853-1856. See Combs Land in Missouri re patents of William H. and Benjamin B. Combs in this county. This may be Benjamin B. & William Harrison Combs of Benton Co, MO (s/o William Richardson & Elizabeth BLANTON Combs).

Death notices and obituaries : Bates County, Missouri and surrounding counties, 1868 thru 1888, by Fritts, Norma Lacy [This publication is basically a scapbook]

Bates County Record, 23 Oct 1869 Transcribed from microfilm by Natalie McClendon

James Westerbrook Shot in his own door by Theophilus R. Freeman.
The Murderer Arrested, Tried and Found Guilty.
He is to be Hanged Fri- day Dec 17th, '69.
He pleads Innocent to the last.

One of the most melancholy affairs which has occurred in our county for many years, took place on Saturday evening Oct. 16th, one half mile east of Butler. We give below a full account of the affair as reported to us:

Theophilus R. Freeman, (the prisoner) is about thirty years of age, came to the county some three years ago and has been engaged as a laborer. About eighteen months since his wife left him, leaving three children, the oldest seven years of age and the youngest about three. Since the departure of his wife he has been quite familiar with Mrs. [Jas.?] Westerbrook (the wife of the deceased) and it is rumored that an improper intimacy had been existing between the parties. In any event, Mr. Westbrook, (the deceased) on last Saturday, getting home earlier than usual, found Freeman there and at once ordered him off the premises. He (Freeman) came to town and procured a shot gun and about dusk returned to the residence of Westerbrook, remarking to two or three different parties before he left town that he was going to have a "shooting match of his own" - that "he was going to kill somebody" or words implying that he was intent on some desperate deed. He kept in the bushes near Westerbrook's house; he waited [?] opportunity to assassinate him. Westerbrook hearing a noise at the gate (doubtless created by Freeman) went out to ascertain the cause, supposing cattle were in the yard, and while standing at the gate he received the shot of Freeman who was partially hid, about twenty feet from him. He received nine buckshot, four taking effect in the abdomen. He walked part of the way to the house and fell, and was partially carried, by his wife and children, to the house. The report of the gun and the cries of the murdered man aroused the people in the vicinity who hasted to Westerbrook's house. Dr. Pyle was at once summoned, and at the request of Westerbrook who said that he recognized the man who shot him as Freeman, a posse turned out to [flod] the murderer.

About 9 o'clock Freeman armed with a double-barreled shot-gun, was arrested, coming in at the back way to his usual place of residence, by L.D. Condee, Esq. Westerbrook died of his wounds, stating in his dying declaration that Freeman had shot him.

Circuit court convening Monday, a special grand jury was summoned and at once [issued?] an indictment against Freeman, and at his own request the trial commence on Wednesday. P.H. Holcolm, Esq.Acting circuit attorney, assisted by Wm. Page, Esq., and A.T. Holcolm, Esq., conducted the prosecution. The prisoner was defended by Col. J.D. [Hince?] and L.D. Condee, Esq.

After the jury were empanelled the prisoner was given until the following morning to prepare his case, and after the evidence was all in, he was granted half a day to file motion for new trial and in arrest of judgment. The case closed about noon on Friday and the jury composed of Joseph Wix, Samuel Lion, J. Elmer, Wm. Requs, Irwin Walley, M. Pickett, James F. White, S.M. Pyle, Edwin Keller, Green Walton, R.S. Ferguson and D.W. Riley, after an absence of about twenty minutes returned a verdict of
Of murder in the first degree. At precisely five minutes after one o'clock today, (Saturday) the prisoner was brought into court by the Sheriff, and for a few minutes was in close consultation with his attorneys, after which the judge informed him that he had been found guilty of murder by the jury of his countrymen and asked him if he had anything to say-any reason why sentence should not be placed upon him, to which the prisoner answered in a low broken voice

"I've not much to say. Suppose if I am to be hung I will be hung innocent. There is a sort of grudge against me. Don't care for myself, have some little children that I'd like to be raised. Nothing more at present."

Judge Townsley pronounced the following sentence in a very impressive manner, causing every one present to feel the solemnity of the occasion: [Balance of article not included in scapbook.]

23 Jan 1870 Married MORGAN -- COMBS - - On the 23rd of January 1870, at the residence of the bride's father, by Esq. A.L. Betz, Mr. Sidney B. Morgan to Miss Rebecca Francis Combs.

Bates County (Missouri) Record 5 Nov 1870
(Natalie McClendon)

1870 US Census, Bates Co, MO

Grand River Twp

p. 53

66/65 James Dejarnett

67/66 Hult, Elizabeth, 26, f, w, keeps house, $--/300, b. MO
Dejarnett, Jefferson, 22, m, w, farmer, $--/300, MO
Dejarnett, Naomi, 1, f, w, home, MO
Dejarnett, Annie, 19, f, w, home, KY

Note: ages of Naomi and Annie are probably reversed. 1880 census confirms Naomi is mother of Annie. Marriage of Naomi Combs and Jefferson Dejarnett not yet found

70/69 Richard Dejarnett

Mt. Pleasant Twp

p. 93

43/44 Smith, Daniel B., 55, M W Farmer b. NY $3500 $1300
Smith, Mary M., 53, F W, keeping house, b. NY
Smith, Isa or Ira, 18, M W at school, b. Michigan
Combs, Sarah, 14, F W (no occupation listed) b. MO

Corporation of Butler

p. 115, June 7

34/38 Levi Combs, 58, M, W, Farmer, b. VA
Minerva Combs, 29(sic), M(sic), W, Keeping house, b. MO
Rebeca Combs, 18, F, W, at home, b. MO
Isabella Combs, 13, F, W, at home, b. MO
Richard Combs, 9, M, W, at home, b. MO
Thomas Freeman, 6, M, W, at home, b. MO
Virginia Freeman, 2, F, W, at home, b. MO
Sidney Morgan, 28, M, W, Farmer, b. IL, $1200 $1000

"/39 Benjamin Cox, 58, M, W, Teamster(?), b. IL, $3000 $1000
Robert Cox, 12, M, W, at home, b. IL

NMc Notes: [Thomas and Virginia Freeman are believed to be the children of Mary Ann Combs (d/o Levi and Minerva) and husband Theophilus R. Freeman, m. Pettis Co, MO abt 1863. See Bates Co Record article 1869 of James Westerbrook murder, and newspaper article on the death of Mary Ann Combs in 1885.

Sidney Morgan m. Rebecca Combs in Jan 1870, so were already married when this census recorded.

I believe Benjamin Cox to be actually Benajah M. Cox of St. Clair Co, IL, and also believed to be the uncle of Sidney Morgan.]

1880 US Census, Bates Co, MO



Combs, Levi, head, M, Married, W, 65, b. VA, occ. Well digger
Combs, Minerva, wife, F, Mar, W, 54, b. MO
Combs, Richard, son, M, sing, W, 18, at home
Freiman, Jennie, g.daug., F, sing, W, 12, b. MO

Death notices and obituaries : Bates County, Missouri and surrounding counties, 1868 thru 1888, by Fritts, Norma Lacy

Butler Weekly Times, 1868-1888:

Morgan, Mr. S.B., Bates County Times, 23 Nov 1881 "DIED, on Monday morning, October 3rd, Mr. S.B. Morgan, age about 50 years, after a painful (unreadable) of about three weeks -- Cleburne Chronicle

Mr. Morgan was a son-in-law of Mr. L. Combs of Butler, and a brother of Asa Morgan, also of this place."

Note: Cleburne is in Johnson Co, TX. Sidney B. Morgan m. Rebecca Frances "Fanny" Combs, d/o Levi and Minerva Johnson Combs 23 Jan 1870 in Bates Co, MO. Asa Morgan m. Sarah Virginia Combs, also d/o Levi and Minerva Johnson Combs, 5 Oct 1873, Bates Co, MO.

Mrs. Wilson Bates County Record, 10 Oct 1885

Our Citizens will remember that some two months ago a Mrs. Wilson brought the body of her husband to this city for burial; that he had been a railroad engineer, and had been killed in a railroad accident while on duty. They will also remember that the widow accompanying the remains was formerly Mrs. Freeman whose husband was sentenced to be hung for the murder of old man Westerbrook, many years ago, and who saved his neck by escaping from jail a day or two before the date of execution.

Mrs. Wilson was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Levi Combs, of our city and after the burial of her husband returned to New Mexico to settle up his business affairs. Nothing was heard from her after her departure, by the parents, until a telegram was received from Gallup, New Mexico, stating that she was dead and that her remains would be shipped to this place. They arrived in due time and were lain alongside of her husband, who preceded her only about one month.

Now comes the strange part of this sad affair. It will be seen by extracts from the Albuquerque Journal, published on our second page that there are strong suspicion that she was murdered-[?] for her money, as it was understood that she received seven thousand dollars from an insurance policy held on the life of her late husband. It is hoped that the authorities at Gallup will prosecute their inquiries as to the cause of her death and the whereabouts of her money and property. Mr. and Mrs. Combs are highly respected citizens of this place, but are not able [pecuntarly?] to attend to the matter. We hope that justice will prevail and that the money left will be given to the children and parents of the deceased.

Butler Weekly Times, Butler, MO, May 9, 1935 [transcribed from micofilm of original]

Mrs. Asa Morgan, age 80 years, died early Sunday morning, May 5, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Al Vincent in Amoret, MO. While Mrs. Morgan had been in delicate health for some time, the illness which resulted fatally was of only short duration.

The daughter of Levi and Minerva Combs, Sarah Virginia Combs was born at Versailles, MO, November 22, 1855, and came with her parents to Butler at the age of 11 years.

Here she grew to young womanhood and was united in marriage to Asa Morgan of this city, Oct 5, 1873. Mr. Morgan died June 11, 1927.

The surviving children are Mrs. J.W. Griggs, Phoenix, Ariz; David B. Morgan and Delbert A. Morgan, Springfield, Mo.; Robert E. Morgan, Jefferson City, Mo.; and Mrs. Al Vincent, Amoret. A brother, Richard Combs, of Butler, also survives.

Mrs. Morgan was a good woman, faithful and devoted wife and a loving, indulgent mother. Both she and her husband were unusually fond of children and it was their pleasure during their lifetime to aid and assist in rearing a number of children other than their own.

Funeral services were held Monday afternoon at the family home on South Broadway, conducted by Rev. J. H. Parrott of the First Christian Church. Internment was made in Oak Hill cemetery.

Note: Mrs. Al Vincent was one of those children that Sarah and Asa raised that was not their own. She was "Gladys" b. about 1902, adopted my the Morgans from an orphan train that came through Butler, according to Geraldine Morgan, wife of Allen V. Morgan, grandson of Asa and Sarah Morgan, in a letter to Natalie McClendon, 2/4/2002.

Cemetery Records of Bates County, Missouri

Oakhill Cemetery Butler, MO

Volume VIII - Part I
Name: Levi Combs
Co. K. 27th Mo. Mt. Civil War
Cemetery: Cak Hill Cemetery
Description: Located at Butler, Mo.
No date

Note: Grave in same plot with Mary A. Wilson, J. Harry Wilson, and one grave marked with plain rock. Mary A. Wilson was Mary Ann Combs, d/o Levi and Minerva Johnson Combs. Record of military service of Levi Combs in the unit listed on headstone has not been found. This headstone was paid for by the US government, which has the following record:

Card Records of Headstones provided for deceased Union Civil War Veterans, ca. 1879 - ca. 1903, Nat'l Archives microfilm #M1845:

Combs, Levi, pvt, Co H 27th Mo Mtd Inf, cem Oak Hill, Butler, MO, d. 6 Dec 1892

Important: All Records collected for this county may not have been added here as yet
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