If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday - Pearl S. Buck


Friday, September 30, 2011

The Abduction of Maggie Brashear

Susan Margaret "Maggie" Brashear was bethrothed to Charles Henry "Charlie" Dunn.  The wedding was to take place on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, Sept. 26, 1886.  Maggie's father, W.W. Brashear, Esq. was not going to let anything keep this wedding from taking place.  Afterall, Charlie Dunn was Emily Singleton Dunn Kinder's son.  Emily's brother, John Abel Singleton was married to W.W.'s sister, Mary and Emily's other brother, William Meredith Singleton was married to W.W.'s other sister, Missouri Margaret.  This was the family plan.  A few days before the wedding Maggie went missing.  Her father had an idea so he didn't wait for the law, actual he was the law.  W.W. had been the Justice of the Peace for 18 years.  He knew his farmhand had something to do with Maggie's disappearance.  This former POW and Assemblyman was not going to let anyone take his daughter.  He hitched up his team of horses and took off after the kidnappers.  He followed them to Marion County and brought Maggie home and her kidnappers to jail.  It is unclear if Maggie actually ran away with them, if it was prank or an abduction.  Based on Maggie's testimony during the trial the kidnappers were released Sept. 22, 1886 and she was married to Charlie Dunn four days later on September 26, 1886.

From the Russelleville Democrat:

 Sept. 22, 1886: The sensation in Moreland township over the abduction of Maggie Brashear by James K. Biffle and Ed Bowden continues to excite wonderment in that usually quiet community.  The runaways were followed to Marion County by the father of the young lady and returned home.  Today, the young men will be tried before Esq. Peck on the serious charge of abduction.

 Oct., 1886:  The trial of J.K. Biffle for the abduction of Maggie Brashear came off last week and we understand that Biffle was discharged from custody on the testimony of the youny lady.  Mr. Ed Bowden whose name has been connected with the case, was only a witness, and not an accomplice as stated last week.

Maggie only lived 19 more years after her marriage to Charlie Dunn.  She died at the age of 35 of pnenomia two weeks after her ninth child was born.  Her oldest child and daugther, Maudie married five months later and left Arkansas, each child soon followed.  Charlie died in 1923 in Ryan, OK.
No one returned to Arkansas.

The family living in a logging camp, cir. 1902
Maggie died in 1905

I am the 5th generation from the union of Maggie and Charlie.  It is going into it's 7th generation.
So this is the story of the abduction of Maggie Brashear at least the part we know.  The real story lives in the mountains of Arkansas.
Territory Mom

P.S.  I'm taking a break from blogging for awhile.  You can go here for my explanation.  I'll be back soon. 


jennifer said...

I tagged you in a post! (Meme)


Joan said...

I love reading about family histories.

Enjoy your time off. =)

Oklahoma Granny said...

So glad to hear "the rest of the story." See you when you get back.

Lost City Denise said...

I apparently missed your tribute to Maggie when you posted it but have really enjoyed reading it today.

The history of families is always fascinating. I wish more people were comfortable with sharing - or even were aware of their family stories.

Keep it comin'...