My thanks to Jim Mitchell, descendant of Orlandlo, for the photocopies of these letters. My transcripts are below.
Osceoloa, Ark. March 31, 1930
Mr. Thomas N. Dysart
Some time ago you expressed a desire to know something more of the history of the Dysart family and I am enclosing herewith some data sent to me by Orlando and the carbon copy of my reply, which no doubt will be of interest to you. I do not not believe I have made any mistake in my letter to him, with respect to the family, but if I have, your mother will doubtless be able to correct it. She is the last surviving member of what to you and me is the old generation, and one of the finest of the lot. You probably cannot remember your father but your brother William is as much like him as a son could be like a father and if your mother has a pet amongst the children, I should think it would be he.
If you think your mother and Billy would like to look over the enclosed, send it along to them and then return it to me.
I have called at your office several times within the recent past but each time you were away. I would enjoy an evening with you, some time at your leisure. My regards to you and cousin Jess, and through you to Aunt Mollie and the other members of the family when you see them or write, and in this Lura would join if she knew I were writing.
L. S. Mitchell
Note: Lon (Leonidas) is writing to Thomas Nichols Dysart b. 1880 Sept 2, son of William Patton Dysart who was a brother of Martha Cowden Dysart, Leonidas Mitchell’s mother. They were first cousins. Thomas Nichols Dysart’s mother was Mary Susan Collins b. April 29, 1841, died 1936. Perhaps “Billie” is Thomas Nichols Dysart’s brother, William Patton Dysart b. Dec 11 1864 and died 1936 in Missouri.
March 31, 1930
Your letter of the 28th with enclosure came duly to hand and has been read with much interest and pleasure. The name carries the line of the Dysart family back one generation further than I had any knowledge i.e. to John Dysart, Sr., the father of our great grandfather, James Dysart, who came to Randolph County, Mo., from somewhere in Tennessee, away back somewhere about the year 1818. As you see by the record, he and his wife, nee Martha Cowden, both lived until the year 1853 and I expect our brother John may have had some recollection of them.
As great grandfather Craig was a captain in the Continental Army, during the revolution, we are sons of the Revolution from both sides of the house.
This is the first time I have ever known where our mother got her given name.
You may not know, so I am going to tell you that, to the best of my knowledge, James Dysart (born 1777, died 1853) and Martha Cowden Dysart, his wife, had five sons (three of whom I can remember) as follows: John, our grandfather, who always went by the name of “Jack”; Nichols, whom we always called “Uncle Nick”; Robert; Patton; and James, whom we always called “Uncle Jimps”. Of these, Robert and Patton I never saw and I think they both died long before the civil war. I assume that you know about the children of our grandparents but possibly not and I will give you their names, in the order of their births:
Martha Cowden, our mother;
William Patton, married Mary Susan Collins
Susan, married Green Demeron;
James Warren Peleg Spray married Mollie Frey; (Mary Jane)
Benjamin Robert, married Emma Turner;
Orpha, married E. D. Pearson;
Lescellas, married Ann Yates;
Bettie; married Pettis Parkinson; (I can remember this wedding)
Orlando, who died in young manhood, unmarried;
Laura, who died in young womanhood, unmarried.
You know, of course, that the mother of these, our grandmother, was Matilda Brooks. She had two sisters and three brothers and I can tell you about them some time when we are together, if you would like.
I never cease to regret the loss of all the information about the family history, on both sides of the house, compiled with such care and labor by Dr. John. We come from sturdy stock and if we have not amount to something, it is all our own fault.
I do not get to see Tom Dysart very often but, some time ago, he said he wanted to get together with me and find out as much as possible about the family. I am going to forward to him the data received from you and the carbon of this letter, for I think it will be of interest to him and no doubt also to Aunt Mollie and Dr. Billy. I shall be more than glad to give you all information which I may have about the family, at any time. Not long ago, at Owen’s request, I wrote up something of the incidents of my life and, after I get this data back from Tom I will send it to him, for I know he will be interested in it. After all, Orlando, I am forcibly reminded of what the immortal Sam Jones said viz. “the most important matter is not who my forebears were but what am I.”
The following is a copy of a letter received by Mrs. Llewellen Jones, of Independence, Missouri, from Mrs. W. N. Bagby, of Armstrong, Missouri.
John Dysart Sr.
Born Chester County, Pennsylvania, December 25, 1749; died Lewisburg, Tennessee, September 10, 1842. His first wife was Martha Patton. They married about 1773. We have no dates of her birth and death.
James Dysart, son of John Dysart, Sr. (our Great Great Grandfather) born 1777; died 1853. Married Martha Cowden about 1797. Martha Cowden born 1780; died 1853.
From here you branch off to your Great Grandfather, Grandfather’s Father, and yourself to finish your papers.
JOHN DYSART SR.
(From the Bureau of Pensions)
Date of enlistment: July 1 1776 Service: Oct. 1 1776 Rank: Private Superior Officers: Capt. … Col. State N.C.
Date of enlistment: 1777 Service: 6 months: Rank: Private, Cp. W. Moore Col. State N.C.
Date of enlistment: 1779 Service: 6 months Rank: Sergt Superior Officers: Cp. Robt. Patton, Col. McDowell
Date of enlistment: 1780 Service: 6 months Rank: Sergt Superior Officers: Cp. Sam Woods, Col. McDowell
Date of enlistment: 1781 Service: 6 months Rank: Sergt Superior Officers: Cp. Sam Woods, Col. McDowell
In battle of: Cane Creek and Kings Mountain
Residence of soldier at time of enlistment: Muddy Creek, Burke County, N.C.
Date of application for Pension: August 2, 1832. His claim allowed.
Residence at date of application: Bedford County, Tennessee; age at date of application: Born December 25, 1749, Chester County, Pennsylvania
REMARKS: Died September 10, 1842. Soldier was referred to as John Dysart, Sr. His father, James, and brother, William, were killed on the Yadkin River when General Davidson was killed.
G. M. Saltzgahen
February 28, 1919