Sunday, October 24, 2004

Robert Smith Mabry, Sr.: Last residence in Marion County, Illinois (1827-1842/5)

In about 1827, Robert Smith and Rebeccah (Adams) Mabry and their children headed west again, eventually settling in Marion County, Illinois . Their son (and our ancestor) Robert Smith Mabry, Jr. would have only been about 2 years old when the family moved.

The Mabry family had lived about 15 years along the Kentucky-Tennessee border, before moving. It is likely that the oldest Mabry daughters, Martha and Nancy, married while the family still lived in Kentucky.

Once again, they were not alone in their move. Rebekkah's brother, John Adams, also moved from Logan County, Kentucky to Marion County, Illinois. Many other families from Kentucky and Tennessee also made the move, settling in the "Tennessee Prairie" area of Raccoon Township, in the southern part of the county.
"Tennessee prairie, so called because settled by Tennesseeans, is in the northwest and extends to Little Prairie, to which it is connected by a narrow strip. Like all settlements of Illinois, the first settlers chose the timber land; first, because they found it more convenient to build and for fuel; second, because they were used to timber and loved its protection from the summer sun and blast of winter; third, the flies with which the prairie was infested, especially the green-heads, rendered it almost impossible for horses to work during the heat of the day."
Rebeccah did not live long in Illinois. She died on January 26, 1828, three days after giving birth to the youngest Mabry child, Susan. (note: it is possible that Rebeccah died shortly before the Mabry family moved to Illinois)

Robert Mabry not only worked his farm and raised his children, he also contributed to the community:
"The first school-house was erected in section 18 [of Raccoon Township], in 1832. It had a chimney and fire place and no floor, but mother earth. The first teacher in this primitive school-house was Robert Mayberry."
Robert purchased several tracts of land from the Federal Goverment in Section 16 of Raccoon township in 1837-1839, totalling 120 acres.

Also in 1839, Robert married for a second time, to Penelope Hinds, almost 30 years his junior. They had one son, George W. Mabry.

Robert died in 1842 or 1845, in his late 60s, and was buried in Burge Cemetery in Raccoon Township.

All quotes are from "Brinkerhoff’'s History of Marion County Illinois" published in 1909 by B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana. (pages 104-111 and 171-173). This is a very romantic view of life on the frontier.

Note that the the family name is often spelled "Mayberry" in early documents.

Links
Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales Database
Illinois Land Plat Maps (1804-1891): For Marion County select "Southern Illinois"

Mini biography: Robert Smith Mabry, Sr.

Previous posts:
Robert S. Mabry: Live in Kentucky & Tennessee (1812-1827)
Robert S. Mabry: Life in Pittsylvania County, Virginia (1777-1812)
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