The Bucher/Booker Family, 1686-1990: Chapter IX, Part 1


The James Booker and Christena Ready Family

(Son of David Booker and Theodosha Smith)

When first beginning my research of the Bookers of Decatur, Illinois, I knew that my great-great-grandfather was Samuel Hodge Booker. I remember as a child, a large picture, 24″ by 12″, of Samuel and his wife, Sarah Ann Roush, hung in my grandfather’s home. My grandfather, Lon Edward Booker, Sr., pointed to this portrait more than once and explained to me and his other grandchildren that the man and woman in the picture was our great-great-grandpa and grandma. He would tell us that Samuel had fought in the Civil War, and that our Booker family had come from Kentucky, and before that Virginia. He told me that his father, Edward Adam Booker, had been born in Decatur, Illinois. When I first checked the 1850 Federal Census of Macon Co., Illinois (Decatur), I discovered my great-great grandfather’s family. The 1850 Census was the first Federal Census that not only listed the head of the family, but also the wife and children by name, age, occupation, and place of birth. Samuel is listed under his father, James Booker. Here is James Booker’s family as found on the 1850 Federal Census of Macon Co., Decatur, Illinois.

James 35 yrs. Laborer KY

Christina 37 yrs. IN

Catherine E. 16 yrs. IN

Elizabeth 12 yrs. IN

Mary 10 yrs. IN

Samuel H. 8 yrs. IL

David 6 yrs. IL

James J. 2 yrs. IL

Christina C. 2 yrs. IL

Since his wife and his first three daughters were born in Indiana, I surmised that James Booker could probably be found on the 1840 Federal Census of Indiana. In checking the 1840 Census of Indiana, I found our James Booker living in Sullivan County. James, age 20 to 30 with his wife age 20 to 30, is listed with his first three daughters, two under the age of five and one between the ages of five and ten. Also listed immediately above James Booker on this census, was Gideon Ready, whom I later discovered to be the brother of James Booker’s wife, Christena. Several other documents convinced me I had found Samuel’s father in Sullivan County, Indiana. Samuel H. Booker’s Civil War enlistment papers state that Samuel was born in 1842 in Crawford County, Illinois. Crawford County is just across the border from Sullivan County, Indiana. Also, after researching all Crawford County Booker records, I came across a deed transaction dated March 6, 1847 in which James Booker bought 45 acres of land from a Thomas W. Hamilton for $80.00. Lastly, every census from 1850 until James’s death in 1887, list James’s birthplace as being in the state of Kentucky. But James’s death certificate incorrectly listed his place of birth as Indiana. As mentioned earlier in Chapter II, Theodosha Booker, widow of David Booker, and Jacob Booker (David’s brother) had moved their families to Sullivan County, Indiana about 1818 or 1819. James Booker’s gravestone in Long Creek, Illinois shows his birthdate as April 27, 1814. My guess is that because of James’s many early years in Indiana, and because his marriage to Christena (born in Indiana) took place in Indiana, the person giving the information to the doctor assumed that James was born in Indiana. Therefore, the doctor stated this information on James’s death certificate.

James Booker is also found on the 1855 Census of Illinois in Macon County. Listed as follows:

Jas. Booker Macon Co., IL

1 male 0 – 10 1 female 0 – 10

3 males 10 – 20 2 females 10 – 20

1 male 40 – 50 4 females 40 – 50

1 female 50 – 60

There is one male here in the age bracket of 10 to 20 years old that is unknown. Also, there are three females in the age bracket of 40 to 50 who are unknown, along with the one female listed between the age of 50 and 60. These unknown persons are probably not children of James and Christena, but more likely to be Booker or Ready relatives.

William F. McGuire, great-grandson of Catherine E. Booker McGuire (daughter of James Booker and Christena Ready), sent me information on the Booker/McGuire family, including several letters written by Christena Ready Booker and some of her children and grandchildren. These letters were written in the 1880’s and 1890’s. Some punctuation has been added for easier reading.


Casner P.O. Macon Co., Ill. October 3, 1885

Dear Son and Daughter,

it is with plasure I write you a few lines to let you know that we are all well as can be at present. hoping they may find you all well and doing well. we received your letter of last month and was glad to here from you the conections is all well. Sam and Sarah has another big boy [Edward A.]. it was born the 12th of september. it was eight pounds. we had nice wether. all fine till the last week. it has bin raining all week. you said your chickins was dying. we have lost some of our old chichins too with the colra but no young ones have died yet. well Cathrine it dont seeme to me like you were back and staid a year. it seems to me last like a dream. tell the children to rite. I like to here from them too.


_____[can’t read] dai_s is very lo with consumption. She is not expected to live long. Mrs. Brownle is very bad off with a cancer. Ja. querry’s wife is [?] laying very lo with consumption. well we would like to see you all. the best kind ___ well we have raised plenty of beans and cabage and potatoes to do us this winter. I want you to write and tell me how times is out there and how you are all getting along. rite soon. from James and Christna Booker to Davison and Cathrine McGuire and family when this you see please rememmber me.


Casner, P.O. macon Co., Ills. March the 18. 1886

Dear Son and Daughter,

it is with plasure I rite you a few lines to let you know how we are getting a long. we are all well excepting colds. father has the rumitism in his hip yet we received your letter some time a go. was glad to here from you. well we are having very nice wether here now. the easter flowers are come up growing nice now. it wont be long till farmer can plow for oats [?] if it dosnt rain. well Cathrine, elizebeth was down and staid a week with me. I think it is your time to come now. the big meeting at long Creek closed last Sunday. they had a big time. it lasted three weeks. they had sixty five conversans in the church. we have a big meeting now at Casner. Mrs. brownle died four weeks ago. Bill huntchings died last week. they dont think Alen travis will last long with his cancer. we would like to see you all the best kind. well cathrine, I am glad them stockins rached you all rite. I have had such good luck with my chicknes that I felt like I wanted to send you something. Caroline says, Davison you said you spoke in a joke about them mitens. I did not see the joke. I do not charge you for them nor I did not expect to get rich. hoping to here from you soon. I will close. from James and Christni Booker to Davison and Cathrine Mc guire. rite to me soon.


Casner, P.O. macon Co., Ills. September the 15. 1886

Dear Son and Daughter,

it is with plasure I rite you a few lines to let you know how we are getting a long. father has had something like the gravel. could not make watter only as they took it away. he is getting better now. the rest of us is as well as camen. we receved your letter of last month. was glad to here from you. well you must excuse me for not riting sooner. there has bin a right smart of sickness and a good meny deaths here this fawl. Willy Beach died since we got your letter. he had the consumption. he was complaining all summer with his lungs and very cough. henry howell is sick now. was better the last we herd. well we are going to get our molases made this wekk. we have bin drying apples. crops is toleble. good corn. wood have bin better if it could of had rain sooner. that rye you sent is nice. I am a goin to see it in the gardin next spring if I shell live till then. well Cathrine it is no use for you to look for eney of us out there. we can hardly get eney place close home. we would like to see you all the best kind if I could see you I could tell you lots that I cant rite. well rite to me soon. I always like to here from you. I must close for the present. from you father and mother J. and C. Booker to Davison and Cathrine Mc guire and family. rite to me soon.

Long Creek. Macon co., Ills. Nov. the 12. 1890

Dear Son and Daughter,

it is with plasure I once more rite you a few lines to let you know we are all well as comen at present. hoping they may find you all well. we receved your kind and welcom letter a few days ago. was glad to here from you. well it is getting to be pretty cool wether again. it don’t look like we have had a very long summer. well Cathrine we have got a pretty bird to. we only have one. it is a yellow topnot or crown bird, which ever you want to call it. we got it this summer from elisebeth. Rachel howell is married to a man by the name of Mr. L. A. kineman, a widower. they got married the 24th of September. tell Ruth we would like to see her boys. I think she might send me there pictures some time. well see you all the best kind. I will give you some of our prices. corn 45 cents a bushel, flour three dollars, a hundred potatoes one dollar a bushel, apples eighty cnts a bushel, butter 18 cents a pound, eggs 18 cents a dosan. there were not meny potatoes raised here this summer. we had a few peaches and some apples this fawl. will not have eney apples this winter. corn is pretty good here. well I will tell you what we are doing. David and George is cutting some wood to burn and mother is smoking and Care [Caroline] is riting this letter to you. I will send you a peice of mothers dress in this letter. it was 8 cents a yard. tell Birt to rite to me. I cant here from him eney more. it Ruth an france lives there, tell them to rite to me. I like to here from all. I will close fore the present. rite to me soon. from your mother and sister, Christna Booker to Davison and Cathrine Mc Guire and family. by by rite soon.


I also have two more letters with no dates. The first letter was written by Christena Caroline Booker, daughter of James Booker, to her niece, Ruth McGuire. The second letter’s first paragrah was written by Christena Booker, wife of James Booker, and the rest of the letter was written by Caroline to Ruth. The second letter was written just after James Jackson Booker’s marriage in December of 1872.

First Letter:


Well, Ruth a few words to you. I gess you are so fine out there with your new orgain that you dont want to be back here. Well, I have raised me five birds. They can make as much nois as an orgain. if you dont believe me come over and see. well, Ruth you did not rite to me in the last letter. you know I want you to rite. tell France I know he has forgot me. now he never says a word to me. tell him his legs is long enouf to come over. if he would rite to me soon. from Caroline Booker to Ruth Mcguire.

Second Letter:


Well, we are again to color some carpit rags. we will haf to make another new carpit this winter if we should live long enuf to need one. well Davison, you have got into so much bisness out there, I guess you will forgit about us. I want you to rite. it always does me good to here from you all. rite to me soon from James and Christna Booker to Davison and Cathrine Mc guire. [Caroline writes:] Well, Ruth, a few lines to you. I thought you would bee coming back soon. I hered that Rufus Huse had went out to see you. well, I would help you and your ma quilt some if I were there. come over and we will play croca. it is dry and nice to play now. we are agoin to have some new molases. Charley is hauling the cane down to Davids mill today. well, Ruth I gues you have hered that Jamesy Booker is married. He married got Anna Jones or Anna hard face, some calls her, for his wife. well, I am going down to Davids this evening to see them make molases. rite soon. from Caroline booker to Ruth A. Mc guire. by by.


Mrs. William (Mary) Wilking of Decatur, Illinois has in her possession the diary of Jacob Benson Myers, a long time resident of Long Creek, Illinois. The following excerpts from Myers’s diary were sent to me from William F. McGuire.


1871 January 31 – I gave David Booker for half Soleing my Daughter Adelles Shoes and one of my boots and fixing one of my boots – Paid $.50

March 16 – Paid David Booker for mending my left boot and Daughter Cora’s shoes Paid $1.00

April 26 – Geo McGuire as part pay on 5 days per day work at $.75 Paid $1.00

May 15 – Samuel Booker for sharpening my two horse plow Paid $.25

June 13 – D. McGuire ballance on 5 days work plowing by his son Paid $2.75

1872 January 26 – David Booker for mending Wife’s shoes and 1/2 Soling boots Paid $.75

Also, from the papers of Joseph Benson Myers, there is a letter from Francis L. McGuire, son of Davison McGuire and Catherine Booker McGuire, to Robert Myers. The letter is from Homerville, Nebraska, Gosper County, October 10, 1884. Postmarked 13 October. Francis writes, “Oh yes, Rob, when you see Uncle Sam Booker, tell him that Mother sayed for him to write (thank you)…”


James Booker died January 18, 1887 in Long Creek, Illinois, and was buried there in the Florey Cemetery. Christena, his wife, was born in Indiana (probably Sullivan County) on February 9, 1812, and died in Long Creek on November 8, 1891. She is buried next to her husband, sharing the same gravestone. Below their dates of death, a poem is engraved which reads, “Our father and mother are gone, They lie beneath the sod, Dear parents we miss so much, We know you rest with God.The Decatur Republican on Thursday January 20, 1887 records “Died in Long Creek Township Jan. 19, of pneumonia James Booker aged 73 years.” On Monday, November 9, 1891, the Decatur Republican records “Died at the family home in Long Creek Township, Sunday November 8, at 11:00 P.M., Mrs. Christina Booker 78 years, 9 months. Leaves 6 grown children; Funeral at 11:00 A.M. Tuesday.”


In 1985 I discovered that Mrs. Lourine Rose Hullinger (then living in Illiopolis, Illinois), the widow of Fred David Hullinger (a great-grandson of James Booker), had in her possession two pages from what appeared to have been James Booker’s family Bible. The first page listed births, and the second listed marriages beginning with James and Christena’s marriage on 27 January 1833. (See Bible Records at end of this Chapter)

Based on my own research and the Bible sheets, here are the children of James Booker and Christena Ready:

Catherine E. Booker b. 23/12/1833 Sullivan Co., IN. d. 11/4/1911 Mooreland, OK

Children: Jas. B. McGuire, Geo. W. McGuire, H. Andrew J. McGuire, Mary Eliz.. McGuire, Christina L. McGuire, Nancy E. McGuire, Frances L. McGuire, Ruth Ann McGuire, Amos B. McGuire, & John W. McGuire

Elizabeth Booker b. 15/4/1836 Sullivan Co., IN, d. living in Piatt Co., IL in 1905, Living as of April 1911

Children: Wm. Edward Howell, Washington L. Howell, Benjamin F. Howell, Christena R. Howell, & Ermina Howell

Mary Ann Booker b. 2/9/1839 Sullivan Co., IN, d. before 1880 Long Creek, IL

Children: Jas. Ben. Devore, Chas. H. Reynolds, John W. Reynolds, & Marion L. Reynolds

Samuel Hodge Booker b. 3/5/1842 Crawford Co., IL, d. 16/5/1930 Dawson, IL

Children: Andrew J. Booker, Samuel R. Booker, John M. Booker, William H. Booker, James N. Booker, Benjamin A. Booker, Sarah C. Booker, Chas. A. Booker, Cordealia A. Booker, Edward A. Booker, baby, & Alva L. Booker

David D. Booker, (Sr.) b. 14/6/1844 Crawford Co., IL, d. 24/3/1916 Niantic, IL

Children: James Clinton Booker, George Webster Booker, David D. Booker, & Martha Bell Booker

James Jackson Booker b. 28/11/1849 Crawford Co., IL, d. 10/7/1922 Long Creek, IL. Twin to Christena

Children: Christina Adeline Booker & Elsie Ethel Booker

Christena Caroline Booker b. 28/11/1849 Crawford Co., IL, d. 29/2/1920 Niantic, IL

Sarah Ellen Booker b. 15/10/1852 Long Creek, IL, d. bef. 1855 IL Census Sullivan Co., IN Married 27 January 1833 to Crawford Co., IL c.1841 to Macon Co., IL (Long Creek) c.1849

Sarah Ellen Booker d/o James Booker and Christena Ready died in infancy

Catherine E. Booker m. Davison McGuire

Elizabeth Booker m. Henry W. Howell (divorced in 1891)

Mary A. Booker m. Ben S. Devore – killed in C. W.; Mary remarried to James L. Reynolds

Christena Caroline Booker married John W. Warnick – dies; Christena C.. remarried to Taylor Guffey. No children by either marriage.

Filed on 6 June 1892 at 11;30 A.M., in the Macon County Recorder of Deeds is the following record:


“This Indenture Witnesseth, that the grantors, David Booker and Mary E Booker, his wife, J. J. Booker and Virginia A. Booker his wife, Charles H. Reynolds and Lillie M. Reynolds his wife, Catharine E. MGuire (formerly Catharine E. Booker) and Davidson MGuire her husband, Christina C. Booker (single), Elizabeth Howell (divorced), and Norman Pringle and Sarah A. Pringle his wife, of the county of Macon and State of Illinois, for and in consideration of the sum of twenty five hundred ($2500.00) dollars in hand paid, convey and warrant to Catharine A. Jones, of the Township of Long Creek, County of…, the following described real estate to wit: The North West quarter of the South East quarter of Section thirty five (35) Township sixteen (16) North, Range three (3) East of the third Principal Meridian containing forty (40) acres or less. Also ten (10) acres in width off the North end of the South West quarter of the South East quarter of Section thirty five (35) Township Sixteen (16) North, Range three (3) East of the third principal meridian, situated in the County of …. hereby releasing and waiving all rights under and by virtue of the homestead exemption laws of this State. The Grantors, David Booker, J. J. Booker, Catharine E. MGuire, Christina C. Booker, Elizabeth Howell and Charles H. Reynolds, being the only heirs at law of James Booker, deceased, who departed this life intestate, leaving his said heirs and Christina Booker as his only heirs at law; the said Christina Booker having departed this life since the death of her husband, James Booker. The grantor Charles H. Reynolds, being a grandchild and being the only heir at law of a deceased daughter, who departed this life prior to the death of her parents. Dated this twenty second day of April A.D. 1892.”

Before the above deed dated June 6, 1892 was recorded, and just after Christena Booker’s death in November 1891, Samuel H. Booker, her eldest son, sold his portion of the old homestead outright to Norman Pringle and his wife, Sarah A. Pringle. According to the deed on file in the Macon County Courthouse:


“S. H. Booker and S. A. Booker his wife, of the Osage Mills in the County of Benton and State of Arkansas for and in consideration of the sum of One Hundred Fifty Dollars in hand paid, Convey and Warrant to Norman Pringle of the City of Decatur County of Macon and State of Illinois the following described Real Estate: The undivided one seventh (1/7) part of the N.W. 1/4 S.E. 1/4 Section 35 Township 16 Range 3 east (40) acres) also 10 acres off N. side S.W. 1/4 S.E. 1/4 Sec. 35 Township 16 range 3 East. situated in the County of Macon in the State of Illinois, hereby releasing and waiving all rights under and by virtue of the Homestead Exemption Laws of this State. Dated this the 17 day of December A.D. 1891…”

The John Ready Family of Sullivan Co., Indiana

Although unable to find a copy of her death certificate, which would show Christena Booker’s maiden name, I discovered it by way of her children’s death certificates. Illinois death certificates after the 1900’s (depending on which county) show the name of the deceased’s father and the maiden name of the deceased’s mother. Most of Christena’s children’s death certificates state their mother’s maiden name as Ready or Reedy. This discovery led me back to Sullivan Co., Indiana to the Ready family of Carlisle Township.

From the original Land Tract Records, page 130, Vincennes Land Office, I found that Christena’s father, John Ready [spelled Reedy in the tract records] bought 80 acres of land in Sullivan County, Indiana on 14 October 1817. The land was located in Southeast Sullivan County “W 1/2 NE 31 7N 8W.” The 1820 Census of Sullivan Co., Indiana lists three “Readay” men residing there, but only one, John Readay (c.1775 – c.1835) with a daughter under the age of ten. The 1830 Census spelled his name “Ready.” According to the 1880 Census, Christena lists her parents as being from Pennsylvania. Harold Ready Winemiller, a descendant of John Ready living in Elmhurst, Illinois, believes that Christena’s father, John Ready, Sr., was born circa 1775 in Pennsylvania. Gideon Ready, Christena’s brother, at age 85 listed his parents on the 1900 Census in Topeka, Kansas as born in Germany. On 24 February 1986, Mr. Winemiller sent me the following children of John Readay [the German spelling – Riede], Reedy or Ready. I have combined his listing with the information sent to me in 1985 from Mary A. Ready of Norco, California. Her husband, Harold E. Ready [1925-1980], was a descendant of Gideon Ready.

James H. Ready b. 179?, d. unknown. Three male children

Elijah Ready b. 179?, d.. . On 1840 Census of Sullivan Co., IN. Age between 40 and 50 years. Four male children and three female children. John Ready, Jr. b. 179? ,d.. On 1820 Census of Sullivan Co., IN. On 1830 Census of Parke Co., IN. John Ready, Jr. and Clarissa Williams mentioned in Parke Co., Indiana Court records. Two males, and two females

Betsy Ready b. 1794, d.. Married 1815 to John Purcell

George S. Ready b. 1798 Kentucky, d. 1868??, (1) Married Nancy Gott, (2) Married Mariam Clark Gallagher, widow of William Gallagher. From 1st wife:

1. Mariah Ready, b. 1821. Marr. 1856 to Morris Reeves

2. Catharine Ready, b. 1823. Marr. Will Ready – not related

3. George Washington Ready, b. 1833, (1) Marr. Mary J. Johnson, (2) Marr. Elizabeth ?

4. Polly Ready. (1) Marr. Fleming Jones. (2) Marr. John Reeves

5. Richard Ready, Marr. Jane Gallagher

6. John D. Ready, b. 1839, d. 1880’s, (1) Marr. Ruth Gallagher, (2) Marr. Julia A. Bicknell Johnson, a widow. By 1st wife:

1. Indiana Ready, died in infancy

2. Mariam Alice Ready,

3. John F. Ready, died in infancy

4. William M. Ready, died in infancy

5. Richard Ready

6. Thomas Ready, b. 4/11/1867 Indiana, d. 3/6/1932. Marr. Sarah Eleanor Perry, (b. 5/12/1872 d. 27/2/1952). 12 children

7. Morton Ready

By Second Wife:

8. Ira D. Ready

9. George S. Ready

10. Emory M. Ready

11. Effie B. Ready

12. Charles Ready, died in early childhood

Jacob Ready b. 180? Kentucky, d.. On the 1830 Census of Sullivan Co., Indiana, age 20 to 30 years. Two sons, one daughter

Christena Ready b. 9/2/1812 Indiana, d. 8/11/1891 Long Creek, IL. Married 27/1/1833 to James Booker in Sullivan Co., IN. Buried Florey Cemetery, Long Creek

Gideon Ready b. 3/6/1814 Kentucky or Indiana, d. 2/12/1908 Topeka, KS. Buried Rochester Cemetery. Married circa 1832 to Eliza Jane Alsman, d/o Arron Alsman and Eliza Logue. Nine children:

1. John William Ready, b. 31/7/1834 Carlisle, Indiana, d. 18/3/1917 Willard, KS. Marr. 20/12/1855 in Decatur, IL to Sarah Stapleton. Civil War Veteran Co. G, 41st IL

2. James Arron Ready, b. 1/5/1838 Sullivan Co., IN, d. 5/3/1874 Topeka, KS. Marr. Margaret J. Childers 5/6/1862 Taylorville, Christian Co., IL. Bur. Topeka Cemetery. Margaret living in Springfield, IL in 1890. Five children:

1. Mary Ellen Ready, b. 27/2/1863 Decatur, IL. Marr. 23/9/1880 Topeka, KS to Albert Devers

2. Lottie Jane Ready, b. 12/7/1866 Decatur, IL. Marr. James D. Woods

3. William Harrison Ready, b. 17/9/1868 Decatur, IL, d. 21/12/1943 Peoria, Il. Marr. 24/4/1888 to Mary Morrow in Topeka, KS. One child:

1. James Harrison Ready, b. 7/6/1889 Topeka, KS, d. 7/6/1972 LA., CA. Bur. Roosevelt Mem.. Marr. Lucille E. Brown 27/4/1911 in Peoria, IL. Nine children

4. Eliza Ann Ready, b. 8/4/1871, Single. Living in 1893 in Loami, IL

5. Margaret Alice Ready, b. 8/11/1873. Marr. Will Sparks

3. William Harrison Ready, b. 7/4/1841, d. 6/4/1862 Killed at Shiloh, TN. Co. G., 41st IL INF. Marr. Catharine A. ?

4. Sarah Ellen Ready, b. 24/11/1843. Marr. Henry Oglesby. Sarah living next to Gideon 1900 Census, Topeka, KS

5. Mary Catharine Ready, b. 27/6/1846. Three marriages, (1) to J. Nichols, (2) to Jacob Reedy, (3) to Thomas F. Stapleton

6. Martha J. or Margaret Ready, b. 5/7/1849, d.. Marr. John W. Guffey

7. Christina A. Ready, b. 4/3/1853 Decatur, IL, d. before 1860 Census

8. George Gideon Ready, b. 27/5/1855 Decatur, IL, d.. Marr. 23/3/1872 to Sarah Ayer in Topeka, KS. Went to Jail in Kansas

9. Emily Ann Ready, b. 16/4/1859 Decatur, IL, (1) Marr. Geremiah Falconer, (2) Marr. James William Stapleton

The Readys and the Bookers were close neighbors in Sullivan County, Indiana, and as mentioned earlier, Christena’s older brother, Gideon Ready and family, are listed immediately above James Booker’s name on the 1840 Sullivan County, Indiana census. Besides Gideon, listed age 20 to 30, his wife age 20 to 30, his two sons under the age of 10, a female is listed, age 60 to 70 – probably Christena’s and Gideon’s widowed mother. Gideon also moved to Macon County, Illinois and is on the same 1850 and 1860 Census’s of Macon County as James Booker. Also, two Ready men fought in the Mexican – American War in the same Company that lists a cousin of our James – James Baxter Booker of Carlisle, Indiana, son of Jacob Booker. (James B. Booker also moved to Illinois prior to 1860, and can be found on the 1860 Census of Moultrie Co., Illinois – see Chapter III – Part 2) The names of the two men were Charles and William Ready.

One last note on the Ready family. In the diary of Charles H. Reynolds, son of Mary A. Booker Reynolds, he mentions that on 24 July 1919 in Long Creek, Illinois, “Willie Ready stayed all night with us – had been away for 42 years.” This person was most likely William Harrison Ready, son of James A. Ready and grandson of Gideon Ready. Willie was born in 1868 in Decatur, Illinois and was about the same age as his cousin, Charles H. Reynolds. William H. Ready died 21 December 1943, and was buried in the Springdale Cemetery, Illinois.


The Catherine E. Booker and Davison McGuire Family

James Booker’s first child, Catherine, was born 23 December 1833 in Indiana (most likely in Sullivan County). She married Davison McGuire on January 3, 1854 in Decatur, Illinois. William F. McGuire, living in Aromas, California, wrote to me in November of 1985 confirming much information found on those two pages from James Booker’s Bible. Mr. McGuire, a descendant of Davison McGuire and Catherine E. Booker, included in his letter the following information on Davison’s and Catherine’s children:

James Booker McGuire b. 5/11/1854 Long Creek, IL, d. 7/10/1855 Long Creek, IL

George Washington McGuire b. 22/2/1856 Long Creek, IL, d. 9/3/1874 Long Creek, IL

Harbart Andrew Jackson McGuire b. 7/12/1857 Long Creek, IL, d. 14/7/1877 McGuire Cemetery, on old Homestead, 10 miles S. of Elwood, NE

Mary Elizabeth McGuire b. 6/6/1859 Long Creek, IL, d. 2/5/1865 Long Creek, IL

Christina Lovena McGuire b. 2/2/1861 Long Creek, IL, d. 2/5/1865 Long Creek, IL

Nancy Ellen McGuire b. 2/12/1863 Long Creek, IL, d. 11/5/1865 Long Creek, IL

Francis Levi McGuire b. 27/10/1866 Long Creek, IL, d. 18/11/1947 Alva, OK

Ruth Ann McGuire b. 27/2/1868 Long Creek, IL,d. 14/9/1916 Little River, KS

Amos Berty McGuire b. 19/1/1872 Long Creek, IL, d. 4/9/1902 McGuire Cemetery, on old Homestead, 10 miles S. of Elwood, NE

John Wesley McGuire b. 7/8/1874 Gosper Co., NE, d. 13/9/1875 McGuire Cemetery, on old Homestead, 10 miles S. of Elwood, NE

According to William F. McGuire, Davison McGuire, born on 24 November 1829 in Indiana, was the son of John and Ellen McGuire of Macon Co., Illinois. John McGuire died approximately six months after Davison and Catherine’s marriage. Davison and his brothers and sister inherited the property their father owned. Eventually Davison bought out his brothers’ interest and became the sole owner. In 1873 the Davison and Catherine McGuire family homesteaded government land in what is now Gosper Co., Nebraska. Davison was elected to the office of County Sheriff for two terms of office, 1877 – 1881. In 1896 he claimed another 160 acres under the Timber Culture Act. He then owned and farmed with his family approximately 400 acres.

In 1904 Davison and Catherine sold the last of their farms and moved to Gentry, Benton Co., Arkansas. Their son, Francis Levi McGuire, moved to Crawford Co., Kansas, and later in 1907 to Woods County, Oklahoma, buying a farm northeast of Alva. Edith Eaton Rutherford (1900-1988), daughter of Ruth Ann McGuire Eaton, wrote in a letter to William F. McGuire in 1985 the following:


“We recently sold Ethel’s [Ethel Eaton Bush] household things as she will always be in the Rest Home, and I found this data, going through her papers. She said when we left Nebraska, we had 3 covered wagons, 1 saddle pony, and a water barrel, 1 milk cow, 7 children, 2 grandparents [Davison and Catherine McGuire], our parents [Ruth McGuire Eaton and her husband, Edward E. Eaton]; I was 3 or 4, but I can remember the trip to Arkansas. We had a home surrounded by persimmon trees. We had a horse named Charley that Dad used on his spring wagon to haul his butchered beef. We belonged to the Missionary Baptist Church….From Gentry [Arkansas] in 1907 we went [and] made our home in Mooreland, Oklahoma – on to Kansas in 1913…


I remember Grandma [Catherine Booker McGuire] real well – Our Dad [Edward Eaton] ran a hotel, and they had a big dining room – Mother, with the older girls help cooked the meals. I remember Grandma sitting in her rocking chair smoking her corn cob pipe. She wasn’t very old by todays standards, but we thought she was ancient. She was a sweet little lady…[In] Gentry, Arkansas…Dad had a meat market and Mother baked bread to sell. Mother [Ruth McGuire Eaton] was a lot like Uncle Bud [Francis L. McGuire] – so good natured and loveable – she had 12 children [and] died when she was 48 – believe it or not.”


Davison died 18 May 1906 in Crawford Co., Kansas and was buried in the McCune Cemetery in Crawford Co., Kansas. Here is Davison’s obituary found in “The McCune Herald”:



Davison McGuire who lives three miles west and one mile north of McCune died Thursday morning at one o’clock of congestion of the stomach. He was seventy eight years of age, he has suffered for many weeks but has been bed fast only a short time. He leaves to mourn his loss a wife, one son and two daughters and many other friends and relatives.

After settling Davison’s estate, Catherine moved with her daughter, Ruth Ann, and her family to Mooreland, Woodward Co., Oklahoma. Catherine died April 11, 1911 in Mooreland and was buried in the Mooreland Cemetery.

Her obituary is as follows:


Grandma McGuire Dead

Grandma McGuire passed on [to] her reward Tuesday after a lingering weakness due to old age. She made her home with her daughter, Mrs. E. E. Eaton and was a kind hearted and beloved old lady.

The funeral was held Wednesday morning at 11 o’clock from the Baptist church, conducted by Rev. J. H. Bridges; interment in the Mooreland cemetery.


Catherine E. McGuire was born Dec. 23, 1833, died April 11, 1911 at the age of 77 years 3 months and 21 days. She was converted and united with the Christian church at the age of 19 years. Was united in marriage with Davison McGuire at the age of 20 years. Ten children were born to them, of which two children survive her, one son, F. L. McGuire, Woods County, Okla, one daughter, Mrs. E. E. Eaton, Mooreland. Besides her children she is survived by two sisters, three brothers and a host of friends. She moved to Arkansas in 1904, and there she united with the Missionary Baptist and with the Mooreland church since coming to Oklahoma.

The Elizabeth Booker and Henry W. Howell Family

James Booker’s second child, Elizabeth, born 15 April 1836 in Indiana (most likely in Sullivan County), married Henry W. Howell on June 7, 1859 in Decatur, Illinois. According to Census’, Henry was born circa 1834 in Pennsylvania, the son of Ezekiel and Rachael Howell. Ezekiel and Rachael were both born in 1820 in New Jersey. The Booker Bible sheets state that Henry’s and Elizabeth’s first child, Edward William Howell, was born 12 June 1860. Edward and the remainder of the Howell children are reflected on the 1860 and 1870 Census of Macon Co., Illinois as follows:

Edward b. 1860 (born 12 June 1860)

Francis b. circa 1862

Rachael b. circa 1863

Lincoln b. circa 1865

Asmine? b. circa 1867

The Howell family was not listed on any Census’s of Macon County after 1870. Instead, the Henry Howell family is found on the 1880 Census in Piatt Co., Illinois in the Cerro Gordo Township (near Long Creek in Macon County). They are listed as follows:

Howell, Henry 45 Farmer IL [sic]

Elizabeth 43 KY [sic]

William 20 IL

Francis 18 IL

Christina 16 IL

_____lor 14 IL

Emma 12 IL

There is no Henry or Elizabeth Howell on the 1900 Census Piatt Co., Illinois or the 1900 Census Macon Co., Illinois. As mentioned earlier, Elizabeth is mentioned as “divorced” on the deed in which all of James Booker’s land is sold to a Catherine A. Jones. Circuit Court Record, 12 September, Term 1891, 19 September 1891, State of Illinois, Piatt Co., “Decree in case of Elizabeth Howell vs. Henry W. Howell” as appears on record in office of Circuit Court Record “S” on page 327. A copy was sent to Macon Co., Illinois 4 May 1892. Elizabeth Howell was awarded house and garden on an Eighty acre farm located at North Half of the North West Quarter of Section Thirty-Four (34), Town Sixteen, North Range 47, East of the Third P.M in Piatt Co., Illinois. This judgement was filed in the Macon County Clerk Circuit Court for record on 6 July 1905 at 4:55 P. M. and recorded in Volume 285, page 38. Stamped across the decree is the number 22459. From Circuit Court Records of Piatt County, Illinois, September Term 1891, I found the following record which states that Henry W. Howell and Elizabeth Howell had five children: William E. [Edward] Howell, Washington L. [Lincoln] Howell, Benjamin Francis Howell, C. [Christena] Rachael Howell, and Ermina Howell. I have to yet to discover what happened to the Howell children.

A postcard was sent to Martha Bell (Booker) Hullinger from E. H. Chambers dated December 2, 1912. The card could mean that Elizabeth or “Aunt Lizzie” as she was called, had remarried. Also, the postcard has her photograph on the front. There was no return address on the postcard.

Here are several letters written by Elizabeth Booker Howell and two of her children, to the McGuire family, all discovered by William F. McGuire. Again, I have added punctuation for clarity.


September 18th 1885, laplace piatt co., ill

Dear Sister, i once more try to write you a few lines to let you know how we are giting along by this time. my, how the time dose go. it has bin a month since i got your letter. now dont do as i have done. dont wait so long. i have bin so bisey that i had not time to writ sooner. well i will try to tell you all the news. in the first place we lost our old mare. in the seckent place, fathers lost there old red cow. well Samuel has a nother boy [Edward A.] at his house. it is a week old Saturday. Samey [?]is married so they tell me. we are vary bisey building france a new house down in the arched and we are going to build a new corn crib. we hav good crops this year. yes, i forgot we are all well as usel but had colds. i hope you are all well Cathrine. i do wish you wase hear to eat grapes with me. you said that you was so fat. well i am trying to keep up with you, but i am afraid it is not helthy fat for i do not feel very well at times. Henry has gon to negro campfir meeting in decatar. well i know i would like to see you all but we are a long ways apart. we may never see each other again, but if we do not meet in this world again, may we live so we will in the next world. now Dear Sister write soon. i must close for this time. Elizabeth H. to Cathrine and family McG.


_____15, 1885

Cousin Francis, I guess I will say Beans to you anyway, Beans.

I planted these seeds you sent me, and I donot know weather they have come up or not for I havent had time to look after them. we have been so buisy hawling lumber and I realy havent got time to write now. I half to get up at three o’clock in the morning. well, Francis what are you working at this fall?

well I guess I will close. I havent written very much, but I didnot feel much like writing although, I felt it was my duty. I hope you and

bertie is both well. I will close hopeing to hear from you soon. I remain as ever your Friend and Cousin, Washington L. Howell.

True frinds like ivey and the moss

Both land together,

Or together falls. write soon.

May the 22th 1888, la place piatt co.

Dear brother and Sister,

it is with plesur that i can seat my self to answer your kind and this welcome letter i reseved a few days ago. it found us all well as usel. I hope that you are all well. Daved hase been down with his back, but is better last i heard from him. it has been a vary backward spring, cold most of the time. i have fifty six little chicks. thay are doing well considern the bad weather. now about them seeds. yes, plant them right away soon as you can. yes, i can get you a halfbushel. i will send them as soon as i can get them gathered. plant them in rows four foot apart and cultivate as corn and then when they git large, are about six foot high you can set them where you want them to stand. now i hope you will understand all about them. i do not know what they are worth. i guess about fifty cents are what you think thay are worth. i have to go and pick one at a time just like picking berries. it takes some time. yes thay

[?] greed


this spring. thay are quit early and must be planted rite away. now i will close fore this time. hoping to hear from you soon. i remine your loving Sister [Elizabeth] until death.


[Written at top of letter] you did not say anthing about your new girl, i heard you had one.


laplace feb 2 1890

Dear Sister and family

i will try now to write you a few lines to let you know how we all are. we have all ben sick with the la grippe. is it got out there yet? we are some better now i hope when the few lines comes to hand they will find you all well. i have not seen Mother since i wrote to you before, but the last time i heard from her she was well. She has not had the la grippe yet, but when she does i am a fraid it will go afull hard with her, for its pretty rufe i tell you at the best. in the first place it will make you ache all over like ever bone would brake and then the head will all most burst. i tell you it ant vary good company. i ant hardly over it yet.

well, we are having a bad drizle day. it dont seem much like winter. we have not had any vary cold wether.

oh yes, Cathrine whare is Barnet? i have not heard from him fore a long time. i dont think that i wrote anything to hurt his feelings.

i have no letter from Henry yet, he has been gone a month now, and no word from him yet. i dont know what he means. O i do have so much truble that i dont know what to do. O i wish i could see you Cathrine. i could tell you lots more than i can write, but i must stop on that.


i was down to Mother’s yesterday. found all well. i shold [showed] Carry [Caroline] how to put the quilt to gether. heard that brother Jacks baby is vary sick with the lung fever.


how is Ruth and her baby. when i last heard, it had a sore throte.

well we are having hie winds today, and so warm that we dont need any fire. i just got a letter from Ermina and she says that her and her juet [?] is a guiting a long nicly.


how is france and his wife? are thay living with you are not. tell him i think he might send me his and wifes pictures. i would like to see them now. please do. O yes Cathrine, i heard that you are sewing carpit rags and i thought i would send you a self-threading sewing needle. i just think thay are nise for any body that cant see very good. just throw the thread over the end of the needle and pull it and it will slip in.

well, as i can not think of any thing more, i will close for this time by saying write soon and a long letter and tell me how you like the needle. that is all from your Sister, Elizabeth Howell to Sister, Cathrine Mcguire.

Here is one more letter not dated, written by Ermina Howell to her cousin, Ruth McGuire.


Dear Cousin Ruth,

it seems as though we both are hurried. I have to write this morning before breakfast. Mamma is going to Decatur to day and wants to strt early so while the rest are eating, I am writing.

We are looking for Aunt Lizzie Travis and family this evening. we have lots of work to do today. scrub the kitchen and porch, swep and dust, Bake, and I have one window to wash yet. do you like to keep house? I do. I hope you are well, I have a bad cold sore throat and am quite hoars. Oh yes, about Josiah Clark. he was at La Place not long ago and said he was agent for land in kansas, and got five hundred a year, but he looked as if he only got five dl. [dollars?] a yeare, these my paper is full and I have said nothing. I have just got through makeing some cookies. come over and get some. I dont know weather you can read this or not. I was in such a hurry. Yours with love. Ermina Howell. love to all, a kiss for you Aunt Catherine. write soon.


The Mary Ann Booker and James Linsey Reynolds Family

James Booker’s third child, Mary Ann Booker, born 2 September 1839 in Indiana (most likely Sullivan Co., Indiana), married Benjamin S. Devore on 9 January 1862 in Decatur, Illinois. Their only child was James Benjamin Devore, born 23 January 1863. Found in the Florey Cemetery in Long Creek, is Benjamin S. Devore’s grave. His tombstone states his name and “Co. K., 116 ILL. lNF.” The Booker Bible sheets state that Mary Ann (Booker) Devore remarried to James Linsey Reynolds on 13 March 1864. I believe that Benjamin Devore, Mary’s first husband, died in the Civil War. Mary Ann and her new husband, James, had three children that we know of:

Charles Harden Reynolds b. 15/2/1865 Long Creek, IL, d. 20/8/1945 Long Creek, IL, (See Part 2 of this Chapter)

John W. Reynolds b. Long Creek, IL, d. 20/1/1868 Long Creek, IL. Bur. Florey Cemetery

Marion L. Reynolds b. Long Creek, IL, d. 11/8/1869 Long Creek, IL. Bur. Florey Cemetery

I could not find the date of death of Mary Ann Booker, but I found her son, Charles H. Reynolds on the 1870 Census in Macon County, Long Creek, Illinois, listed with his grandparents, James and Christena Booker. However, I did find James Lindsey Reynolds obituary in the Decatur “Daily Review” dated 6 June 1916.


James Reynolds, Age 85, Dies. Was For Forty Years Well Known Resident of Long Creek

James L. Reynolds, for forty years a resident of Long Creek township, died at 5 o’clock Sunday afternoon at the home of his son, C. H. Reynolds in Long Creek. His age was eighty-five years, four months and eight days. His death was due to the infirmities of age.

Mr. Reynolds was a native of Kentucky. He moved to Long Creek township over forty years ago and had ever since been prominent in that community. He is survived by three children [sic], C. H. Reynolds of Long Creek, Mrs. Effie Hedrick of Long Creek and Mr. T. J. Reynolds of Cerrro Gordo. He also leaves one brother, Rev. Hardin Reynolds, who is pastor of the Christian Church at Winchester, KY.


The funeral was set for 3 o’clock Monday afternoon, and the interment in the Florey cemetery.

The obituary of James L. Reynolds is in error when it states that James L. Reynolds was survived by three children. Actually, Charles H. Reynolds was his only surviving child, and Effie Hedrick and T. J. Reynolds were the children of Charles H. Reynolds and therefore grandchildren of James L. Reynolds.

The Samuel Hodge Booker and Sarah Ann Rouse Family

Macon County, Illinois marriage records show that Samuel Hodge Booker married Sarah Anne Rouse or Roush on 22 June 1862 in Decatur, Illinois. The 1900 Federal Census was the first Census to list the number of children born by the mother and the number of children still living at the date of the Census. This census in 1900 reported that Sarah Anne Roush gave birth to twelve children of which only nine were living. Their twelve children were:

Andrew Jackson Booker b. 30/5/1863 Long Creek, IL, d. 6/12/1934 Columbus, KS

Samuel Robert Booker b. 19/3/1865 Long Creek, IL, d. 23/12/1931 Long Creek, IL

John M. Booker b. 7/5/1867 Long Creek, IL, d. ? 1920? Unknown. Supposedly died in swimming accident

William Henry Booker b. 12/5/1869 Long Creek, IL, d. 3/11/1953 Decatur, IL

James N. Booker b. 7/12/1871 Long Creek, IL, d. 14/8/1935 Decatur, IL

Benjamin A. Booker b. 27/4/1873 Long Creek, IL, d. 22/10/1881 Long Creek, IL. Death register gives birthplace as Indiana; and age at time of death 14 yrs., 7 months, 12 days. Bur. Florey Cemetery, no tombstone

Sarah Catherine Booker b. 11/2/1876 Long Creek, IL, d. 20/4/1953 Cherokee, KS

Charles Arthur Booker b. 22/2/1878 Newton Co., IN, d. 21/11/1884 Long Creek, IL. Death Register gives age at time of death to be 4 yrs., 9 months, 1 day. Bur. Florey Cemetery

Cordelia Adeline Booker b. 26/9/1881 Long Creek, IL, d. 7/9/1943 Columbus, KS

Baby Booker b. 2/8/1884 Long Creek, IL, d. ? Unknown

Edward Adam Booker b. 12/9/1885 Long Creek, IL, d. 12/10/1949 Natchez, MS

Alva Leonard Booker b. 6/2/1889 Rogers, AR, d. 30/3/1946 Wichita, KS

Samuel Hodge Booker’s wife, Sarah Anne Roush, was born 22 November 1843 in Ohio (exact birthplace in Ohio unknown). At this time I have been unable to find Sarah on any census prior to her marriage. Faye Alma Booker of Natchez, Mississippi, grandaughter of Samuel and Sarah, states that Sarah Roush had a twin sister, and that the twin never married. She further states that during the 1920’s, there were Roush relatives living in Natchez. All Census’ from 1870 to 1910 list Sarah Ann Roush Booker’s birth place as Ohio, and the 1880 Census shows both her parent’s birthplace as Ohio. The 1900 Census shows her parents born in Pennsylvania.

Handed down from generation to generation in the Samuel H. Booker family, “tradition” has always given Sarah Ann Roush’s ethnic background as Pennsylvania Dutch. This is a misnomer. Pennsylvania Dutch was taken from the word Deutsch, which means German. In other words Pennsylvania Dutch actually referred to the people of German ethnic background. Kenneth Booker of Long Creek, Illinois, states that as a child he played with an old Dutch wooden shoe. He was told by his father, Otis Samuel Booker, that the shoe once belonged to Sarah Ann Roush. (Kenneth also mentioned that when he was a child, he lost the shoe in an old well.) I didn’t think much about this story until my great-aunt, Faye A. Booker of Natchez, Mississippi, told me that when she was a child, her father, Edward A. Booker, described a wooden shoe he played with as a child. Incidentally, this story was related to me by Aunt Faye without her knowledge that Kenneth had already mentioned the wooden shoe story. Again, in genealogy, never discount anything! Sarah Catherine Booker Mason, daughter of Samuel H. Booker and Sarah Ann Roush, would occassionally talk to her daughter, Helen Marie Mason, in German. Helen writes, “Sometimes just for fun she would rattle off some sort of lingo I couldn’t understand. When I would ask what she said, she replied ‘oh thats Dutch for so and so.’ She would always say she was Dutch. However, Dad insisted she was German.”


Sarah Anne (Rouse or Roush) Booker died in Gravette, Benton County, Arkansas on 5 September 1908 and was buried in the Centerton, Arkansas Cemetery just across from the Methodist Church there. The only information on the gravestone is 1844-1908.

Samuel H. Booker died on 16 May 1930 in Dawson, Illinois near Springfield, and was buried in the same cemetery as his father and mother. Engraved on his gravestone is CO. F, 149th IL INF. I wrote the National Archives for his military and pension records. The records state that he mustered into the U. S. Army on 7 February 1865, guarded railroad supply lines with Sherman’s Army in Tennessee and Georgia that spring, and performed garrison duty that summer and fall with the Army occupying Dalton, and Calhoun, Georgia. Samuel mustered out of military service 26 January 1866 in Springfield, Illinois. His enlistment contract described him: occupation farmer, hazel eyes, fair complexion, brown hair, five feet-seven 1/2 inches, residence, Long Creek Township, Illinois, and born in Crawford County, Illinois.

Although he did muster out of the Army honorably, Samuel was court-marshalled once. (Robert Booker of Pesotum, Illinois great-grandson of Samuel H. Booker, has Samuel’s honorable discharge.) According to a copy of the court proceedings, Private Samuel H. Booker left his barracks in Calhoun, Georgia on the night of 16 November 1865 in direct disobediance of 1st Lieutenant D. G. Eldridge’s orders, his commanding officer. Later that evening at about 10:00, Samuel, while visiting “houses of ill-repute and remaining with lewd women,” was discovered by a patrol. He eluded his captors until the next morning when he returned to his barracks. He was court-marshalled, found guilty, and was given a sentence of loss of half-pay for two months, and thirty days hard labor.

Samuel became a blacksmith after the war. His shop was located in Casner, Illinois just two miles from Long Creek. By using Samuel’s military pension records and my own research, I was able to determine Samuel and Sarah’s places of residence. Samuel and his family moved to Lake City Township, Newton Co., Indiana after 1876, and can be found there on the 1880 Federal Census. He and Sarah had a son while in Indiana, Charles Arthur (who later died in 1884 in Long Creek). Samuel moved his family back to Long Creek around the end of 1880 or the first of 1881. Samuel moved to Kansas in 1883 for a few months, but returned to Long Creek later that year. He served as a director of Long Creek Township in 1888. He moved to Osage Mills, Benton Co., Arkansas, in late 1888 (near where Alva Leonard Booker was born), but returned to Decatur in the early 1890s’, first living in Pleasant Plains, Sangamon Co., Illinois. I have a picture (given to me by James F. Coker) of Cordelia Booker, Samuel’s second daughter, and her elementary school classmates dated 17 December 1893, Pleasant Plains. Surely, one of the young boys in the picture is my great-grandfather, Edward, but I have no way of identifying him.

The 1900 Census of Macon Co., Illinois lists Samuel H. and Sarah and their children, Cordelia, Edward and Alva, living on Howard Street in Decatur. Sarah is listed as having had twelve children, but only nine living.

Samuel Hodge Booker, wife, Sarah Ann and children, Edward and Alva, returned to Benton Co., Arkansas shortly after the 1900 Census. Samuel opened up a blacksmith shop in Centerton, Arkansas. He and Sarah moved to McCune, Kansas in 1905, then back to Centerton, Arkansas in 1906. On March 15, 1907, Samuel made a declaration for pension in Centerton, Arkansas, and after Sarah’s death there in 1908, he returned once again to Decatur. Samuel and new wife, Henrietta, are found on the 1910 Census in Decatur. Samuel had remarried on 4 September 1909 to Henrietta Goodman, maiden name Patton. She and Samuel separated 8 July 1913 in Decatur. Samuel, for the last time, remarried in 1917 to Clara H. Watson. Charles H. Reynolds wrote in his diary (in the author’s possession) that “S. H. Booker and Clarie Watson was married” on 24 December 1917, but does not say where. Charles also wrote that on 5 January 1918 Samuel and “Clarie” visited him shortly after their marriage, but because of the snow storm, Samuel and Clara stayed until the 8th. During the 1920’s Samuel and Clara lived in West Mineral, Kansas near his two daughters, Cordelia and Sarah Catherine, and their families in Columbus and Pittsburg. Sons, Alva L. Booker, lived in nearby Wichita, and Andrew Jackson Booker lived in Columbus.

Sometime after 1926, Samuel and Clara returned once again to Illinois, living in Dawson in Sangamon County. As mentioned earlier, Samuel died in May 1930, and his wife, Clara, died from injuries suffered in an automobile accident on the way to Samuel’s funeral. According to a Decatur newspaper article, Dale Booker, supposedly a grandson of Samuel, accidentally slid into the car carrying Clara. Later, the newspaper printed a retraction stating that Dale was not in any way related to Samuel. I have discovered that that was not entirely true either. Dale Booker was a great-grandson of James Baxter Booker, a first cousin to our James Booker (see Chapter III). On Saturday, 17 May 1930, the Illinois State Journal in Springfield, Illinois, gave the following obituary for Samuel Hodge Booker:


Dawson Vet 88 Dies At Home

Samuel H. Booker, 88 of Dawson died at his residence yesterday afternoon. He was a member of the G.A.R., Company F., 149th Reg. Mr. Booker was born in Crawford county and reared in the vicinity of Decatur. After the war he moved to Decatur, where he resided until 3 years ago, when he moved to Dawson. [sic]


Surviving are his wife, Clara; 2 daughters, Mrs. Kate Mason, Cherokee, KS, and Mrs. Deal M. Coker, Columbus, KS, and 6 sons, Andrew J. of Crowsburg, KS, Samuel R. and Wm. H., Decatur; James N. Springfield; Alvie, Wichita, KS and A. E. Booker, Natchez, KS [sic – should read Mississippi]. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.


The following day from the “Illinois State Journal”, page 8:


Booker Funeral is Set for Today

Funeral services for Samuel H. Booker, 88, of Dawson, will be held at the residence at 1:30 o’clock this afternoon and at 3 o’clock at the First Christian Church at Decatur. The G.A.R. [Grand Army of the Republic] will have charge of the church services. Rev. Mr. Crown will officiate. Interment will be in Long Creek cemetery near Decatur.


From Decatur, IL “Review”, Monday, May 19, 1930:



Dale Booker, Sullivan, Almost kills widowed Grandmother when auto meets oncoming car.

Hurrying to Decatur to attend the funeral of his grandfather, Dale Booker of Sullivan [IL] met the funeral procession on route 121 near Antioch five miles east of Decatur at 4:15, o’clock Sunday afternoon, turned out to avoid another car and skidded into two cars of the funeral cortege, almost killing his grandmother and severely injuring several others, including himself….S. H. Booker of Dawson, who died a few days ago in Springfield, had been brought to Decatur by a Springfield undertaker and the funeral was held at the First Christian church here. The cortege was enroute to the old Long Creek cemetery, sometimes called the Florey cemetery, when the accident occurred….Dale Booker, driving west in a Chrysler coupe, met the cortege and also met Everett Fitzgerald of Arthur, who had overtaken the cortege and was trying to pass. When he saw the Chrysler coming Fitzgerald turned off the slab. Fearing he would hit the Chevrolet driven by Fitzgerald, young Booker, who had also gotton [sic] off the slab, tried to get back on. The pavement was slippery and his car skidded into the first and second cars back of the hearse… The Chrysler, driven by Booker, and the Chevrolet of W. J. Pope, which was immediately back of the hearse, were badly wrecked…With Mr. and Mrs. Pope were Mrs. S. H. Booker, the widow; Mr. and Mrs. George Freeman and Miss Florence Smith. Mrs. Booker received three broken ribs, and it was feared one had punctured a lung. She was also bruised and cut. The others in that car were also badly bruised and shaken up… Mrs. A. T. Ford of Dawson was driving the second car back of the hearse. The ligaments of her left arm were torn and she was otherwise injured. Those most severely injured were brought to St. Mary’s hospital in the Moran and Sons ambulance. All except Mrs. Booker and Dale Booker were able to leave the hospital after their injuries had been dressed. All were from Dawson….Following the accident William J. Pope swore out a state warrant charging Dale Booker with reckless driving… At 2:30 P. M. Monday, Mrs. Booker’s condition was unchanged. Her injuries are considered very serious.

Decatur Newspaper clipping…no dates



The condition of Mrs. S. H. Booker of Dawson, who was badly injured Sunday P. M., when Dale Booker of Sullivan, driving a…crashed into a funeral cortege near Antioch on route 121, is still critical, although she was resting more comfortably Tuesday in St. Mary’s Hospital (Decatur). Dale is not seriously hurt and will be all right in a short time. Dale Booker is not related in any way to Mrs. S. H. Booker, said Mrs. E. C. Booker of 200 Virginia Ave. “I am a grandaughter of Mrs. S. H. Booker, and none of us ever saw or heard of Dale Booker of Sullivan until the accident…”

According to Charles H. Reynolds’ diary, Clara Watson Booker died 17

June 1930.

Mrs. Evelyn N. Hiser [1917- living in Decatur, IL], great-grandaughter of Samuel H. Booker, and grand-daughter of William H. Booker, was an eyewitness to the “Accident” during Samuel Booker’s funeral. She wrote to me in August 1988:


“I believe you said that Dale Booker was a cousin. I was always told he was no relative. I remember visiting him with my parents in the hospital when they went to visit Mrs. S. H. Booker. I was about maybe 12 years old (not sure). I remember it all as if it was today. I see D. Booker hanging out of [an] open car door with blood streaming down his face. He was unconscious. His car stopped directly across from the car I was riding in…”

The David D. Booker and Mary Elizabeth Tohill Family

David D. Booker, James Booker’s fifth child, was born 14 June 1844 in Crawford County, Illinois and died 24 March 1916. He married Mary Elizabeth Tohill on 8 October 1865. Mary, daughter of John and Martha Tohill, was also born in Crawford County, Illinois on 6 April 1844. According to the 1900 Federal Census of Mt. Zion Township, Macon Co., Illinois and their gravestones in the Mt. Zion Cemetery, Mary’s father, John Tohill, was born in Pennsylvania 14 Jun 1816 and died 13 December 1903; Mary’s mother, Martha, was born 22 April 1819 in Ohio amd died 9 June 1910. John’s father is listed as having been born in Ireland, and John’s mother in Pennsylvania. Mary’s mother, Martha, listed both her parent’s birthplaces as Ohio. Mary Tohill Booker died 17 September 1926 in Niantic, Illinois, and was buried next to her husband in the Long Point Cemetery in Niantic. David and Mary’s children were:

James Clinton Booker b. 8/10/1866 Long Creek, IL, d. 11/10/1942 Arapahoe, NE

George Webster Booker b. 3/11/1867 Decatur, IL, d. 19/8/1954 Edison, NE

David D. Booker, Jr. b. 27/3/1870 Decatur, IL, d. 11/8/1916 Niantic, IL

Martha Bell Booker b. 22/7/1874 Decatur, IL, d. 25/4/1949 Niantic, IL

I have not been able to locate an obituary for David D. Booker, Sr., but his wife’s is as follows:

From Decatur, IL “Review”, Sunday, 19 September 1926, page 24:


Mrs. Mary E. Booker passes away in Nebraska. Mrs. Mary E. Booker, widow of David Booker, died at 8:30 o’clock Friday morning at the home of her son, J. C. Booker, in Arapahoe, Neb. She was 82 years old last April. She went to visit her son three months ago and became ill and was not able to return. Before going to Nebraska she made her home with her daughter Mrs. Martha B. Stewart of Niantic.

Mrs. Booker was born in Crawford county, IL., April 6, 1844. Her husband died about 10 years ago. She was a member of the Methodist church in Niantic and was well known there. She is survived by three children, J. C. Booker of Arapahoe, Neb., Mrs. Martha B. Stewart of Niantic, and G. W. Booker of Edison, Neb. She also leaves three sisters and a brother: Mrs. Ella Winings of Bethany; Mrs. Sarah Kendall of Powers, Mich.; Mrs. Clarabelle Asherman of Rocky Ford, Colo., and George Tohill, of Lovington.

There are seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. The body will arrive in Decatur at 11:30 Sunday morning and will be taken to the Dawson and Wikoff chapel. The funeral will be held at 2 o’clock Monday afternoon at the Methodist church in Niantic. The burial will be in Long Point cemetery.

The James Jackson Booker and Virginia Ann Querry Family

James and Christena’s sixth and seventh children were twins, born on 28 November 1849 in Crawford County, Illinois. Their names were James Jackson Booker and Christena Caroline Booker. James married Virginia Ann Querry, widow of Harmon Beach, on 25 December 1872 in Decatur. James and Virginia’s children were:

Christina Adeline Booker b. 13/2/1878 Long Creek, IL, d. 28/10/1945 Decatur, IL

Elsie Ethel Booker b. 7/12/1887 Long Creek, IL, d. 5/9/1940 Sacramento, CA

From Decatur, IL “Herald”, Tuesday, 11 July 1922:


James J. Booker died in St. Mary’s hospital Monday evening of the infirmities of old age. The body was taken to the rooms of Moran and Sons. The time of the funeral has not been determined.

James J. Booker was born in Indiana [sic], and since he was 2 years of age had been a resident of Decatur. He leaves two daughters; Mrs. Christina Clements and Mrs. Elsie Jewell. (later the evening edition also included as survivors …his wife, Mrs. Mary Booker and a brother, Samuel Booker…)


From Decatur, IL “Herald”, Wednesday, 12 July 1922:


Funeral services for James J. Booker will be conducted in the chapel of Moran and Sons this afternoon.

James J. Booker’s first wife, Virginia or “Jenny”, died 3 February 1920, and was buried in the Fairlawn Cemetery. Her obituary follows:

Mrs. Jennie Booker

Mrs. Jennie Booker, wife of J. J. Booker, died in her home, 1108 West Green St., Tuesday night at 8:00. Her death followed an illness of several years. Mrs. Booker was born in Decatur February 2, 1850 in a house on the present sight of the Lincoln Square theatre. She is survived by her husband, her two daughters, Mrs. Teena Clements of Decatur and Mrs. Elsie Jewell of St. Louis, a brother W. B. Querry of Sullivan and seven grandchildren. No funeral arrangements have been made yet.

Christena Caroline Booker

According to the Booker Bible, Christena Caroline married John W. Warnick on 27 November 1895. John died, and Christena remarried to Taylor Guffey on 25 March 1915. Christina Caroline wrote two postcards to Martha Bell Hullinger with her picture on the front. The first dated 5 September 1911 is signed by C. C. Warnick, and the second is a picture of her with her new husband, Taylor Guffey (possibly their wedding picture). Christena Caroline died 29 February 1920 in Niantic, Illinois just outside Decatur.

>From Macon County Death Record Register #10 Page 534, Christina’s father is listed as James Booker of Indiana [sic], and mother, Christena Reedy of Indiana. Informant was Charles Harden Reynolds of Long Creek, her nephew, and Christena’s undertaker was H. M. Faith of Illiopolis. Christena Caroline Booker (Warnick) Guffy was buried on 2 March 1920 in the Long Point Cemetery.

From Decatur, IL “Review”, Thursday Evening, 4 March 1920, page 12:


Mrs. Guffey of Niantic buried.

The funeral of Mrs. Christina Caroline Guffey, wife of Taylor Guffey, who died from complications of diseases, Sunday, was held at the Christian Church, Tuesday morning at 10 o’clock conducted by the pastor Rev. Fred Nichols.. The pall bearers were W. H. and Oscar Erisman, Frank Kurkendall, Sam Gordon, John Purviance and J. T. Timmons.. Music furnished by Rollo Draystrem, Thurman Gasaway, Mrs. Homer Hill and Bessie Roberts. Miss Ella Pritchett was pianist. Burial was in Long Point Cemetery.

According to the Booker Bible records, James and Christena Booker had one other child, Sarah Ellen, born 15 October 1852. She is not listed on the 1855 Illinois Census, so I believe she died in infancy.

The Bucher/Booker Family, 1686-1990 © 1990 Charles Lee Booker Jr.


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