Dec 6, 2019

Seventy years ago a U.S.president threatened violence against a blameless American citizen. The principles in this historical drama are President Harry Truman; his daughter, singer Margaret Truman; and famous music critic Paul Hume.

Margaret sang in a Washington, D.C. concert. Hume wrote that she was a poor singer. The president wrote what would these days be called a hate message:

"Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you'll need a new nose, a lot of beef steak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!"

Later on, one of our great institutions, the free market, suggested Hume was correct. Margaret was a poor singer. Later still, Hume and Truman met and got along cordially.

I leave it to the reader to decide if there's a tiny, but useful, lesson for 2019 America in all this.

Sep 13, 2019

Yang Dough

The Democrat's debate was a doozie as entertainment, and if my older readers want to think of it as a reprisal of"The Gong Show," I have no objections.
Yang was the only really interesting character. Everyone laughed his gift of $12,000 bucks each for 10 lucky folks, financed with his campaign money. But a couple of candidates got all huffy about "vote buying." That cracked me up. Imagine, a Democrat promising free stuff in return for your support. The very idea!
I will say that Yang streamlines freebie money. At least it's a direct, honest announcement that he believes your vote is for sale and his opening bid is a thousand clams, cash on the barrel head. The other ones muck it up with a lot of obscure bureaucratic word salads.

Aug 18, 2019

Beto O'Rourke's Safe Place

"Beto" O'Rourke hates you and your guns. He's pinning his Hail-to-the-Chief fantasies on mandatory gun buybacks, national licensing and registration, and red-flag laws to confiscate your collection of old Winchesters because someone doesn't like you. It's run-of-the-mill stuff from the unicorn left.

BUT, Beto decided to cover his butt  with a little theatre. Saturday, he went to an Arkansas gun show, ostensibly to talk things over with the loophole set -- guys like you and me, red of neck, rusty of pickup, heavy with the steel implements of mass slaughter.

So far it hasn't occurred to anyone to point out that there, amidst hundreds of these armed deplorables, he was probably in the safest place he'll ever be.

Aug 3, 2019

The Clark Side of our Farrell Line

Salem Wallace Clark was my great grandfather, the father of Emma Allie Clark Farrell, mother of my dad, Ottis R. Farrell.  He successfully farmed land a few miles north of Madison, Missouri. (I have visited the farm.) Salem appears to have had a good deal of influence  on my dad who called him "Pap" and mentioned him often, especially as dad taught me to make primitive toys  - sling shots, willow whistles and so forth. "Pap said this ... showed me how to...etc."

Salem was the son of Meredith Clark (b. 1809 in Garard County, Ky. and died 1894 in Monroe County, Mo.).  He was the grandson of  William Clark.

William left us with a recorded will, a rare revelation hinting at how some of our people lived. (I find almost nothing similar from the Farrell side.) William's Find-A-Grave entry reads:

William purchased 150 acres of land in Garrard County, KY in 1816. The land was located on the water of the White Lick Fork of Paint Lick Creek. It appears that this land was eventually sold by the heirs of William Clark in 1839. William made a will dated June 2, 1822 in which were mentioned his father John Clark, his mother Milly Clark, his wife Sarah, and his sons John, Meredith, George and William. The will was recorded in July, 1822.

The will left his father John and his mother Milly the plantation where they lived including the farm with 40 acres of land, also half of the horse mill, likewise the sugar camp that they now make use of during their material lives. To his wife Sarah the balance of his plantation during her material life and after her death the property to be sold and equally divided among all his children except his oldest son John who is to only have $10 of his estate. His wife is also to have all his cattle, hogs and sheep, but the colt his son Meredith is to have. His wife is to have the household and kitchen furniture and at her death it is to be sold and divided among all his children except John. His son George is to have all his smith tools, and his son John is to have his whip saw. After the death of John and Milly Clark the 40 acres of land should be sold and William's two youngest sons, Meredith and William, should have $15 each more than the rest as an extra, the balance of the money to be divided equal with them and all the rest of his children. His wife is also to have one log cabin, two axes and one iron (?). The witnesses to the will were Coleman Haley and John D. Stephens. Burial site unknown, but buried in Garrard County, Kentucky.

It is clear that William died young in 1822 even though we have no recorded birth date. This explains the anomaly of his leaving part of his estate to his parents.  His father outlived him by about 14 years. We have nothing to account for the (insulting?)  pittance he left his oldest son, John.


John Clark, like our John Farrell, was seven generations back from mine. In Kentucky, he lived only a few miles from our Farrells around Boonsboro. Each served as Revolutionary War fighter in the Virginia Continental Line. They remained neighbors after the large Kentucky-to-Missouri  migration  in the  late 1820s and/or '30s. Details below are from Find-A-Grave.

The family moved to Madison County, KY by 1795 as evidenced by a deed dated Nov. 27, 1795 in which John purchased 502 acres of land from Robert Daniel. The land was located on the east fork of Sugar Creek, and was bounded in part by the land of Abraham Stephens. Apparently, this part of Madison County became part of Garrard County when it was formed in 1796.

John served as a regular soldier in the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War. John's application for a military pension in 1818 stated that he enlisted at Goochland County Courthouse in VA, in March, 1775, and that he served as a private in Capt. Samuel Woodson's Company of the Ninth Virginia Regiment on the state line commanded by Col. Thomas Fleming, and after Col. Flemings death that he continued to serve in this regiment until Col. George Matthews commanded it and until July, 1777. In 1776 the regiment was taken on Continental pay and establishment, and he served upwards of 18 months in the Continental line. John was in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown, and at Germantown was taken prisoner by the British and detained for 8 months and 12 days. He had a discharge afterwards from the hands of Gen. Muhlenberg at the Valley Forge of Pennsylvania, having served 4 months over the period of his enlistment. His discharge was "burnt up" with his house after he moved to KY.

John was 62 years old at the time his pension application was filed in 1818. His pension papers state that John was a house carpenter by trade, but from old age and a complaint called the gravel or an obstruction in the bladder, he was unable to do "little or no manual work labor". His wife was also 62 years old and incapable of labor from a disease called the leprosy. Clark Burial site unknown, but buried in Garrard County, Kentucky.


Geography note: Garard County adjoins Madison County in Kentucky. The region is just south  and southeast  (10-40 miles)  of Lexington and is partially "blue grass" country, partially the western fringe of the Appalachians. This makes it easily conceivable that the Farrell and Clark families were friends or acquaintances as far back as the 1790s, well before each migrated to Monroe County, Missouri.