Saturday, December 19, 2015
52 Ancestors: Rachel Baird Stanfill 1823 - 1910
Rachel married Milton Stanfill in 1842, when they were just both 18. Milton's father had also come to Kentucky from North Carolina, and had a farm in Campbell, Tennessee (which borders Whitley, Kentucky), where Milton spent his childhood. In 1844, Rachel and Milton had the first of fourteen children, a daughter named Nancy. Eight more daughters and five sons followed over the next 15 years. Two daughters, Hannah and Rhoda, appear to have died in childhood.
Milton had a prosperous farm in Jacksboro, Tennessee for the next few years. When the Civil War broke out, he joined the Union Army and served in Co. B, Tennessee National Guard. Like many in Upper East Tennessee, the Stanfills and Bairds were Union sympathizers and their men served in the Union Army. Rachel's brothers also fought for the Union; in October 1862, while they were away from home, Confederate guards arrested their father, Lewis, because it was well-known that his family were Union sympathizers. He was taken to Salisbury Prison in North Carolina, where he remained until his death in May 1864, refusing to ever take an oath in support for the Confederacy.
After the war, Milton continued farming in Campbell County until his death in 1887 at the age of 64. In the late 1880's, the farmland in this area was beginning to be less productive, and Arkansas was offering free land in exchange for a commitment to farm it for five years. Many of the Stanfills chose to leave Tennessee for Madison, Arkansas, a community in the Ozark mountains in the northwestern part of the state. Some of Rachel's children chose to make the move; others remained in Tennessee (son Lewis moved to Arkansas, but later returned to Tennessee). Rachel chose to go to Arkansas and by 1900, she was living with her sons Lewis and William in Richland Township, where they had a farm. It must have been a hard choice to leave the only place she had ever lived, as well as many of her children and grandchildren, at a relatively late stage of life.
Rachel was living with her daughter, Louisa Stanfill McCarver, a widow, and Louisa's children in April 1910, when the census was taken. Her son Jesse (my great-grandfather) and his family lived next door. She died later that year at the age of 87. She is buried at Drake's Creek Cemetery in Madison, Arkansas. Milton is buried at Jacksboro Cemetery in Campbell, Tennessee.