Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Old Perrin Place: Search for Jane Mason Jeffery

This past Saturday morning, The EIC Crew, along with Freda Cruse Phillips and Martin Darrell, met Ken Coon at a gravel-pit above the White River Valley near Sylamore before heading down to the Old Perrin Place...previously the Daniel Jeffery Homestead. We've been wanting to visit this area of the county for nearly two years and were thrilled to get the chance to travel along the old CR18 route to the river-bottom.
The first white-settler to homestead the land and develop it as a farm was the brother of Jehoiada Jeffery, Daniel Jeffery. Later, the land was obtained by the family of Franklin Perrin.
Freda, a local historian from Stone County who is passionate about her work wrote the following:

Born in 1840 in Ohio, Franklin Perrin moved to Batesville with his parents prior to the 1850 census. He made friends with the young Jehoiada Jeffery and at age 30, they were both living at Sylamore with Celia Harris, 50, a mulatto, in 1870. In Feb 1888 Miss Celia deeded him the land on which they lived on Green Mountain Road, a portion of which is presently owned by Stan Townsend overlooking Sylamore. Franklin also bought land next to Daniel Jeffery’s farm on the opposite banks of the river. Frank had one older brother David and two younger brothers, Samuel and James and a sister, Sarah all of whom lived their lives in Independence and Izard County. Sarah was a school teacher in 1860 at the age of 18. Franklin Perrin died in 1917 at the age of 77 in Batesville, Arkansas. He was living in the home of his sister in law Eliza Teague Perrin at the time of his death. It is unclear when the Perrin’s sold the farm and moved to Batesville. People who grew up on Polk Mountain and in the valley above Sylamore in the 1930’s refer to the farm as the “old Perrin place” – the last of the original families from the 1800’s who lived there. Ken Coon is the current owner of the “old Perrin place”, the homesteaded land of Daniel Jeffery, son of Dr. Jane Mason Jeffery and “ol” Jim.

Our primary focus for this adventure was to finally visit the final resting place of Jane Mason Jeffery. Jane Mason Jeffery was the matriarch of the Jeffery clan and was well-known throughout the White River Valley as a doctor and midwife. Her story is possibly the most colorful and inspirational one amidst White River history. She is buried on the old Daniel Jeffery/Franklin Perrin Place having lived with her son after her husband and Jeffery Family patriarch, James (Old Jim), kicked her out of his home for practicing medicine along the river against his wishes. Jane is a revered ancestor of the Jeffery Family and therre are some wonderful family historians doing ongoing research into her life and those of her descendants who are in chief ways responsible for the developement of Izard County government and commerce.

We also learned about an alleged account that during Desoto's exploration of the White River, two of his expedition died and were buried on the bottom near the site of the Jane Mason grave. It has been reported by eyewitnesses that until relatively recently, two iron cross markers indicated the graves of these two early Spanish explorers. The crosses cannot now be located and were either stolen or washed away in the '82 flood.

We've put a video together of our adventure to the site and it is posted below.

Video at Bottom - Enjoy!

Freda would like to invite readers who may have information on the Perrin and Jeffery families and who are willing to share it to contact her via e-mail at:(
Or by phone at (870) 213 5015


Joshua Jeffery said...

I'm a family historian researching the Jeffery line, and this video and post really just struck me between the eyes.

There are two different Frank Perrin Jeffery's, one born March 1, 1882, dying December 19th, 1901, the other born February 28th, 1925 and dying May 18th, 1994. Both of these men are direct descendents in Jehoida Jeffery's line.

Frank Perrin must have made one heck of an impression on this family for two different men to be named after him.

What is also interesting is that my great-grandmother's maiden name is Perrin, she was born in Mt. Olive, so there must be a strong connection there.

Thanks again, Exploring Izard County, for providing insight into my family history!

Al-Ozarka said...

Our pleasure, Joshua!