Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Jacobs Family Farmstead

Video Below!

Mathias Jacobs, listed in North Carolina as a trader during the 1850 census, arrived with his family in Izard County sometime within the following decade. The family built at least one log home, and very probably another nearby which at some point was converted into a barn. The original cabin was added onto later with a two-room framed structure and still survives today, though in a sad state of repair.

The barn, which appears to be a square-log home to which a later log-structure was added in order to use the building for livestock, has been hidden under tin sheets for many years. Recently, the tin was removed so that the building can be removed to another location in the county and reconstructed as a get-a-way home.

Although research into Mathias Jacobs, so far, has resulted in little more than the information already shared above, an interesting item was found about his son, William P. Jacobs in connection to the post-Civil War Reconstruction period and the Brooks-Baxter War. William P. Jacobs served as County Registrar during the period of reconstruction. His name appears as a signatory to a report to the State of Arkansas listing names of all persons who voted illegally during the highly contested and controversial 1872 elections. Bitter rivalries existed during this time, chiefly because all ex-Confederate soldiers had been dis-enfranchised and were unable to vote. In fact, the election results contained so many irregularities in Arkansas that the electoral college in Washington rejected Arkansas' election results. The Gubernatorial contest in Arkansas was also very controversial as the "Carpetbagger" candidate, Joseph Brooks claimed to have won the election against his "scalawag" opponent, Elisha Baxter. The subsequent struggle for power resulted in several months of violence during the Brooks-Baxter War.

Izard County was not spared violence during this period as is evidenced by the following passage from the reflections of Owen "Happy" Kendrick about his father, William Thomas Kendrick contained in Sue Chrisco and Betty McCollum's Down Memory Lane Volume 3:

"My father related to me many incidents of those troublesome times during the days right after the Civil-War. I recall him telling me that most all of the Confederate soldiers were disenfranchised as citizens when they returned home. He said that he carried his regalia of the Ku Klux Klan with him at all times hidden under his saddle and would obligate a candidate for initiation at any place he met up with such candidate. This organization was for the purpose of saving the Southern States from the "Carpetbagger Governors" that the United States Government had appointed to govern the southern people.

My father was disenfranchised by the appointed Carpetbagger Governor of Arkansas. These governors were called Carpetbagger Governors by the southern people because they proved to be dishonest Northern Republicans and appointed Negroes to rule over the White people. At any rate, my Father's citizenship was taken away from him. He was not allowed to vote, hold any kind of office, serve on any juries, or take part in any political meetings. And most of the Confederate soldiers were placed under this rule when they returned home.

I remember him telling me about attending an election at old Lunenburg in Izard County at one time. He said that there were several other Ex-Confederate Veterans there and none of them were allowed to vote on account of their disenfranchisement. So he said that he and another one of his Ex-Confederate friends named John Hare went to a blacksmith shop where they secured themselves with a wagon wheel spoke apiece, went back to the polling place, whaled the judges good, broke up the election, destroyed the records, and went home. They were arrested for this offense but were never fined."

Note - William Kendrick's friend, John Hare, who is buried at Old Philadelphia is mentioned as a witness to two related murders from the period. Story developing...

The log-construction of this barn was unknown to us before the tin was removed a few weeks ago. Having recognized the need some time ago to get images of the old home but never having followed up, the occasion of the barn's dismantling prompted us to action! The Jacobs Place is an absolute hidden jewel and we are so proud to have been able to at least get photos and video before it is gone for good!

Just goes to never know what you'll find while out Exploring Izard County!


Art Jacobs said...

Thank you for posting this I thoroughly enjoyed viewing the video and glad to hear you are preserving the barn. It has been many years since I've been back to Izard County, home to my roots. My Great Great Grandfather John Wesley Jacobs, son of Mathias Jacobs had a beautiful home and barn not visible from the highway. The home has been torn down, but last time I was there the barn was still standing. I hope it's still preserved. Keep me posted on the Barn your relocating. Glad to hear future genrations will be able to view it.
Great, Great, Great Grandson of Mathias Jacobs
Arthur R. Jacobs

Michael Landers said...

I appreciate this interesting account of life in Southern Izard County after the Civil War. My great grandfather, E. G. Landers was one of the Confederate Vets living in Lunenburg at that time. Do not know if he participated in the election revolt. Michael Landers, El Dorado Arkansas