Of Grundy Co., MO

The following was written by the Reverend James MACK shortly before he died on 31 July 1913, at 88 years of age.

"I was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, March 5, 1825. My father´s name was Hamilton Mack, and mother´s Christine Eaton. I was born on a farm, herded sheep when a boy. Father died in 1842, and I came with mother and six sisters and one brother (John) to the U.S. in 1844. I was raised an Old School Presbyterian.

We settled in Adams Co., Ill. I was baptised into Christ in 1845. Was married May, 1850 by Elder Holmon Boyls to Alpha Lawrance, to this union ten was born, 8 boys and 2 girls, 4 boys died in infancy. The mother of these children went to sleep in Christ Feb. 3, 1898.

I began to preach in 1854, preached in Adams, Pike and Hancock Counties in Ill. Came to Missouri in 1865. Started the congregation at South Honey Creek (Skinner), preached 8 yrs. for them. Started congregation at Farmersville, preached for them six yrs. Started a congregation at Woltz Chapel. Preached in Livingston, Grundy and Mercer Co.

When this is read, my life´s work will be done on Earth and I will be where congregations never break up and Sabbaths have no end."

The grandparents of James MACK were John and Janet BELL MACK, married on 28 Apr.1765 in Avendale Parish, Strathaven, Scotland. They were the parents of at least 5 children:

1. John MACK b. 8 July, 1773
2. Margaret MACK b. 28 Aug. 1775
3. William Mack b. 2 Nov. 1779
*4 Hamilton MACK b. 19 Dec. 1780; d. 28 Oct. 1842; buried Strathaven, Lanarkshire, Scotland
5. James MACK b. 13 Aug. 1789
Hamilton MACK married Christian AITON on 26 Apr. 1817 in Avendale Parish, Strathaven. In the later years of his life their son James, liked to entertain his grandchildren with stories of his boyhood in Scotland. One grandchild, still living, recalls how he related their life as sheep herders. They raised many sheep, using their meat for food and the wool for clothing. All their clothing was hand knit with each child expected to learn to knit as soon as s/he was old enough in order to knit their own clothing. The sheep were taken to the brook where the wool was washed before the sheep were sheared. After it was sheared, it was carded, then spun into thread for weaving or knitting. Some of the wool was dyed for color. The family also raised goats to use for milk and cheese. They grew oats for grain which was ground for breakfast oatmeal and other uses.

Hamilton and Christian were the parents of the following children:

According to family tradition, Hamilton and Christian MACK were planning to come to the United States before his death in 1842. Two years after Hamilton died, Christian emmigrated with her eight children, son-in-law, Robert FERGUSON, and grandson, George, less than two years old. The voyage of six weeks brought them down the St. Lawrence Seaway to Chicago which was only a village at that time. They traveled on to Adams County, Illinois where they settled near the town of Payson.

On 19 May 1850, James MACK married Alpha LAWRENCE, the daughter of Woodford and Mary MEWMAW LAWRENCE. After their marriage in 1850, James and Alpha lived in Adams County until 1865 when they moved to Grundy County, Missouri. James was raised a Presbyterian but in 1845 he was baptized into the Christian Church. Immediately following, he began preaching in Adams, Hancock and Pike Counties in Illinois. Upon moving to Missouri, James and Alpha bought a farm near Farmersville, MO where they lived for many years. In 1872, James helped build the Farmersville Christian Church and preached there six years. This church membership was later transferred up the road into Grundy County to a new building and the congregation took the name Liberty Chapel. The new church was completed in 1921. Two of his grandsons, Charles and Oscar, raised their families in this church. James and Alpha were the parents of ten children.

On 7 June 1883, Woodford Wallace MACK married Annie Laurie SKINNER LEWIS the daughter of Charles and Amanda HERNDON SKINNER Annie Laurie SKINNER had married John J. LEWIS on 2 March, 1879. John died 17 Sep 1880, before the birth of their daughter, Lena, on 16 Nov. 1880. Cause of his death is not known. With a young daughter to support Annie then married Woodford MACK on 7 June, 1883. The SKINNER women must have been either frail or prone to disease because all but one died at young ages. Annie Laurie lived longer than some but she died 16 June, 1895 at the age of 37 leaving three small children. This left Woodford with three children of his own and a step daughter, Lena, thirteen, to raise. The three children of Woodford and Annie Laurie SKINNER MACK were:

Woodford next married Sarah (Sally) Frances SLONECKER ELLIS on 14 Nov. 1897. Sally had been married previously and had two children, Lanning and Lida. Woodford and Sally had one daughter, Lila Lola, b. 30 Nov. 1912. This family added another dimension to the saying,"Yours, mine, and ours," as they also had "hers", Annie Laurie´s daughter.

Charles and Amanda SKINNER had given their daughter, Annie Laurie, a farm which was the home for this family. Woodford was a good, industrious farmer and was able to add to the 130 acres given to his first wife, Annie, and increased the size to 280 acres. It was on the main road between Trenton and Chillicothe, Missouri. When the new road was to be built, he and other farmers along the route, would not give the right of way so Highway 65 was constructed two miles north. The farm is still in the family´s possession.

This material was graciously provided by Anna L. Martin

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This page was last updated 17 July 2003.