[page 0] THE LEVI SHUCK AND ELIZA KITSON FAMILY BY IDA RICHARDS SHUCK (MRS. ARTHUR L. SHUCK) SEPTEMBER 8, 1973 [page 1] This information on the Shuck family is a cross section on the pioneers who made up the frontier population of this community to the present date. Most of this information is from official records, old newspapers, Bible re- cords and from family reminiscences handed down from one to four or five generations. Many interesting people were not mentioned only in the genealogy history but we are not writing a book, just an outline of what has been accomplished by a few members of the Shuck family. We have confidence the future generation will surpass all generations to date. Each families interest and works could have filled a book. The Shuck family came from Germany many years ago and we are told there are many Shucks in Germany today. We find Shuck families in several States with their names spelled as we spell ours. The Levi Shuck Family came to Missouri from around Lexington, Kentucky we think in 1841. Since his family was the only family who came at that time, he had some others in his father's family who stayed in Kentucky. A John Shuck came from Bagdad Kentucky to visit the Levi Shuck families around Elsberry a good many years ago. He was Levi's nephew. Marion Shuck also visited Elsberry relatives in the early days and he was a brother of Levi Shuck. Mr. & Mrs. William Shuck visited relatives around Lexington, Kentucky and also visited some Shuck families at Kokomo, Indiana during their trip. It is presumed that James Kitson and Elizabeth Kitson are the parents of Eliza Kitson Shuck wife of Levi Shuck as it is recorded in Lincoln Co. Book G Page 248 Levi Shuck purchased forth acres of land from James & Elizabeth Kitson May 23, 1842 both parties were from Lincoln County Missouri. This farm was on Killderg Creek in Hurricane Township, Range 51 E.. It flows into Grimes Creek at Sledd, Mo. This farm was above Sledd, Mo. The Village at that time was called Smith's Mill. It was still called Smith's Mill in 1891 according to a letter by Rev. Taylor B. Green which was published in the "Elsberry Advance Weekly" at that time. After Mr. Levi Shuck bought the farm he later had a store in the village with [page 2] Taylor B. Green as his partner. When the Shuck boys were grown James, William and Cornelius the Shuck and Green store was sold. The change of name from Smith's Mill to Sledd came when Mrs. Susie Sledd kept the Post Office there. They changed the name and called it Sledd in honor of her. Her husband, Alexander Sledd kept the store after the Shuck and Green owners sold out. Later Levi Shuck sold his farm to Mr. Spotwood Omohundro and moved to the Levi Shuck farm East of Smith Chapel Church Hurricane Township Range 1E (137 acres). William Shuck's wife, Mrs. Margaret E. Graves Shuck inherited the farm from her parents, Mr. & Mrs. Reuben Wyatte & Mary Frances Lyon Graves who bought the farm from Mr. Smith when they came from Albemarle County Virginia in 1858. Mr. & Mrs. Levi Shuck lived on the southern half of the farm where his grand [ed.-son] Price Shuck lived later. Mr. & Mrs. William Shuck lived on the northern half in a large house until their family had grown up and then retired in Elsberry, where he indulged to his hearts desire in the out door sports of hunting and fishing. The farm now is known as the Stonewall J. Omohundro farm. The southern part of the farm is owned by Thos. O. Mueller. William Lee and Sterling Price, sons of William Shuck formed the Shuck Bros. Co. at Sledd and run a grist mill, which ground grain, corn & wheat for feed for the farmers of the community. Corn and wheat were also used for making bread. Since this was in the early days they used a steam engine for power. It was made in Bellville, Ill. They called it "Old Jumbo." We still have heavy paper sacks they used with "Choice Fresh Ground Corn Meal, Shuck Bros., Sledd, Mo.," printed on them. They were made in St. Louis. The Shuck Bros. moved "Old Jumbo" and the Mill to their home farm, the William Shuck farm, and continued grinding grain for a while. The need for a threshing machine to save the wheat and grain of their families and neighbors influenced William Lee and Sterling Price to get a separator. They used "Old Jumbo" on the threshing machine rig for a time. A New steam engine was bought in Minnesota and it was called "Minnie" it was used for several harvest crops on their separator. [page 3] Mr. Lee Brown also a grandson of Levi Shuck bought a threshing machine and he took over the runs the Shuck Brothers gave up. His son, J. T. Brown took over the route for several years after Mr. Lee Brown retired. Later the combines came in and the threshing machine became antique. J. T. Brown, Mr. Price Shuck and son Jesse had buzz saws with gasoline engines and sawed wood all over the community for their neighbors to hear their homes and cook their food. Three great grandsons of Levi Shuck also assisted farmers. Cecil Patton baled hay for over forty years; Reavis Patton delivered gas and oil to farmers and also kept a filling station at Auburn with a restaurant. At one time he run a restaurant in Elsberry. Leslie Patton was a Mechanic in Elsberry before going to St. Louis. Most of the Shuck men were grain and livestock farmers. They were also good Mechanics. They liked to use big and powerful machinery. They were progressive in all their undertaking. Mr. William Lee Shuck owned one of the first cars, Victrolas and radios in the community. Jesse B. Shuck was a graduate of Sweeny Auto Mechanical School in Kansas City. He and Avery Jamison owned and operated a garage in Elsberry, Mo. for several years. Richard N. Omohundro graduated from the American Auto Mechanics School in St. Louis. Jesse and Richard practiced their trades for many years. They were great grandsons of Levi Shuck. Mr. Joseph Brown managed an elevator in Dameron and Mr. & Mrs. William Reneau had the store there. We also have other Merchants in the family. Robert F. Shuck Sr. had a store in Elsberry. He and his wife also run Hotels in Elsberry, St. Louis and Clarksville, then a rooming house in Quincy, Ill. before they retired. Their daughter Mary Virginia Shuck Wenzel and husband have a T. V. and Radio Shop in Quincy today. Winnie Davis Watts and husband had a general store in Annada and Winnie was Postmaster there for many years. John Cobb run the Meat Market in Elsberry, his wife Obinetta Brown owned a dress shop and their son Andy Cobb has a corner store in Elsberry at the present time. Helen Brown Gladney and husband had a feed store in Elsberry for several years and currently have a drive-in store in Hill Crest. [page 4] Mrs. Isabelle Shuck kept a boarding and rooming house in Elsberry for years. She had many famous guests during the Chautauqua as many stayed there as it was convenient to the Chautauqua grounds during that week. She also boarded teachers & students. When the gravel road, now, known as CC came through about 1914-1917 Mr. William Lee Shuck was one of the overseers. This was a great improvement to our community. It gave many young men spending money as they hauled gravel. The Shuck family were public servants in every sense of the word. Leslie D. Leatherhead said, "One of these days Men will not be ordained to the Ministery, but ordained to whatever job they decide to take up, for all service to the community is service to God. The Farmers task is to feed God's children, conserve the soil and protect natural wild life. Religion has been first and foremost in the Shuck families. Levi Shuck's granddaughter Ada Bell Brown and grandson Joseph Walker Brown children of Elizabeth Shuck Brown married children of John Winn Davis who came to Missouri in 1835. He and his wife Alice Thornton Lewis came from Albermarle Co. Va. by the way of Kentucky. They spent the winter months of 1834 in Kentucky. He was the son of Hardin Davis & Miss Winn his wife of Hanover Co. Va. John Winn David bought a large track of land from Walker Gilmer Meriwether in Pike Co. near Prairieville now, Eolia. Mr. Davis fired bricks in his kiln to build his home and also enough to give 500,000 to build St. John's Episcopal church in Eolia. He also donated the land the church was built on and $1,000.00 The church was completed in 1856. It was organized in 1839 in a log School hou[se] near Eolia west on highway 61. It is the oldest Episcopal church built west of the Mississippi River. It is still used for worship today (1973). John Winn Davis build his home in 1840. It was a duplicate of the Davis home in Hanover Co. Va. and also the Davis home in England and it was named "Ashburton" after the first two homes. He used slaves to accomplish so much in five years. He first built a log cabin to live in while getting "Ashburton" ready. "Ashburton" is located on the South side of the road between Aberdeen and Turpin. It is owned by former Governor Lloyd Stark. The Levi Shuck family first worshipped in brush Arbors, in private homes and in White Hall School House. [page 5] Some pioneer families went to Paynesville to church. The group then went to worship in the Smith School house which was a larger log cabin. This was before Smith Chapel was build in 1871 and Ebenezer in 1876. Both churches were organized in 1869. We have been told Smith Chapel was organized in a brush arbor near Smith School. After the churches were built they attended the church of their choice. Smith Chapel was named for Mr. James Smith and wife Mrs. Elizabeth Lee Smith's family. They were grandparents of Mrs. Harriet Bell Green Shuck and were instrumental in getting the church organized. Their home served as a meet[ing] place for many years before the churches was build. Mrs. Smith was the last of the original group that organized Smith Chapel to pass away. Mrs. Shuck's parents, Rev. Taylor B. Green and wife Elizabeth Jerushia Smith were also charter members. Rev. Green was a licensed Methodist preacher in 1854 when he came to Missouri from West Virginia., and preached 28[?] years as a local minister. Their son-in-law Rev. J. B. Jeans was a christian minister. A great great grandson of Levi Shuck's Samuel Jeans Phoebus is a Presbyterian Minister in Pa. He is the son of Velma Shuck Phoebus and her husband Samuel Phoebus is a retired Holiness Minister. Yes, we have many Baptist, Mrs. Elizabeth Reneau was a familiar sight on the landscape driving in her buggy to Ebenezer to Saturday Meetings. We have Service Men in all branches of our Countrie's Service Department. Some have made careers of service for their country. We have tried to indicate which wars our men have served in the Genealogy History. John Carlton Cobb gave the Supreme Sacrifice in World War II. The Shucks also wanted the best education for their children. The small school houses were crowded to capacity in pioneer days. The older pupils went until they were twenty one years old and taught the younger pupils and the teachers taught some high school subjects. During the spring and summer they rode horse back or walked to subscriptions schools or to private teachers to further their education. William Lee Shuck went to the Paynesville Institute when William Pritchett was President during 1884-1892. We still have Mr. Shucks Astronomy text book [page 6] His wife Harriet Bell Green also attended the Institute and a business college in Kentucky. Mr. Pritchett moved the school to Glasgow, Mo. When it was closed in later years The Telescope was moved to Fayette and used by Central College. Many present day Shucks have two or three college degrees. Three have PHDs and there will be others as time goes on. They are Dr. Arthur Lee Shuck, Dr. Neal Underwood, and Dr. Robert Vallier. Dr. Shuck taught one year in Ashland High School; Hendrix College, Arkansas two years; San Angelo College, Texas, three years; Southwestern State College, Weatherford, Oklahoma, seventeen years; and he did seed research in Geneva, N. Y. a branch of Cornells University, seven years. He is a Botanist and received his PHD from Ill. University. He retired in 1966 and lives in Elsberry. Dr. Robert Vallier teaches in a college in Tenn. and Dr. Underwood is over around Chicago and is a Public Accountant for All State Farm Insurance. They have just started on their careers. We have many educators, teaching in college, high schools, elementary schools and some doing educational work. Elizabeth Brown's husband Dr. K. E. Thayer is a retired optometrist. Margaret Brown's husband A. T. Evans is Collector of Revenue for Lincoln County. She helps in the office. We know of three Veterinarians in our ranks; Dr. Ray Brown, Dr. Tommy Jack Omohundro and Dr. Samuel Bailey, the husband of Stella Brown. We purchased our home through the Ray Peasel and wife, Jane Dean Cobb Peasel Elsberry Realty & Insurance Co. in Elsberry in 1967. The Shuck women were creative progressive homemakers. Beside being wonder- ful cooks, housekeepers, mothers and nurses they had nimble fingers. Mrs. Isabelle Shuck Smith was a good seamstress and all three of her girls made beautiful costumes for their clients. Her grand daughter Louise Shoemaker Richards is a graduate of Moler's Beauty College in St. Louis and had a Beauty Shop in Elsberry for five years. She is now working for the Lincoln County Farmers Mutual Fire & Lightning Insurance Co. and her husband is a director of the Company. James S. Richards Jr. is also a farmer and an auctioneer. He [page 7] auctions from St. Louis to Hannibal, Mo. Lawrence Edwin Shoemaker is a Lieutenant in the Clark County Sheriff's Department at Las Vegas, Nevada. The seamstress talent was carried over in all the Shuck families. Mrs. Bird[ie] Shuck Omohundro's family is artist in dress making, Millinery, painting, interior decorating, nursing and crafts to name a few of their talents. Mabel Omohundro Irvine took an apprentice-ship in Millinery shop in Parsons, Kansas. She trimmed and made hats later in St. Louis and Elsberry. Mrs. Mary Jane Shuck Watts was a good neighbor and nurse. She helped to bring many of the children in the community into the world as well as this writer. She was always willing to help with the sick and do what she could. She and her husband Daniel R. Watts were most successful farmers as many other Shuck Families. They really made their mark by working the soil. We have seen her lantern light shining as she walked through the woods to Smith Chapel meetings with some of the family. The Shucks are a very patient unassuming and kind people. They have had many sorrows and disappointments as the genealogy history shows but they lived by the truism: "No burden is put upon you too heavy to bear." The Children of Levi and Eliza Kitson Shuck are sleeping in Peace in the local cemeteries. Mr. & Mrs. Reneau, Mr. Stewart, Mr. & Mrs. William Shuck and Mr. & Mrs. George Smith are at Oak Ridge. Mr. & Mrs. Daniel R. Watts at Clarksville, Mr. Cornelius Shuck at Elsberry and Mrs. Ellen Shuck his wife in the Smith Cemetery near Smith Chapel. Most of their children are in the same cemetery as their parents. It is presumed that Levi and Eliza Shuck's burial place was in the Smith cemetery as so many related families were at that early date. William Brown's husband of Elizabeth Shuck, burial place was in a private family cemetery off the road on north side between Turpin and Aberdeen near the Clopton School, we think on the Ralph Mackey farm. Mr. Brown died with cholera called the Asiatic Cholera which was a dreadful pestilence. It was so infectious that burial frequently took place at night by torchlight, and often women and parents assisted on burying their own dead. The bodies could never be removed. [page 8 or 32] They were put away on the spot. [Rest of line unreadable.] cemetery in Eolia, Mo. I wish to thank all who helped in anyway with their own families and their related families in this data. Your cooperation was wonderful. I thank Louise Richards for typing the manuscript. It has been a pleasure to do this for our family. I thank you again for your help. IDA RICHARDS SHUCK (Mrs. Arthur L. Shuck) September 8, 1973 P.S. This is just a beginning. We trust some great great grand daughter or grandson will start with Great Grandfather Levi Shuck in 1817 and trace back to Germany. I Thank you. I.R.S. [Pages 8 or 9 to 31 or 32: Family data.]
The version this text was transcribed from is from xerox of a copy that was in possession of my aunt who probably had it since 1973. In 2010, I found there is another typed version of this history that was apparently done around 1984/1985. That manuscript is located in a binder for the Shuck-Kitson family in the local history/genealogy room at the Palmer Library in Elsberry. The content is the same, the exceptions being some superficial differences in typing, pagination, abbreviations, punctuation and outline format; inclusion of a few events after 1973 and up to 1984; and addition of the following paragraph after the sentence "It was still called Smith's Mill in 1891 according to a letter by Rev. Taylor B. Green which was published in the Elsberry Advance Weekly at that time."
Thomas Smith, whom kept a general store in Elsberry almost 70 years, once told Leo Howdeshell that once in the early days, a couple of quail hunters were hunting quail on this said stream. One of their bird-dogs was named "Dirgen". Suddenly a covey of quail arose and one of the hunters shot hurriedly; and the other hunter exclaimed, Oh: You have killed "Dirgen". Ever after the said creek became known as "Killdirgen" Creek.
The pages were not numbered in the original typescript. The eight pages of introduction text were placed at the beginning, followed by the family data. The pages of my copy of the typescript were numbered manually and the last page of the text narrative was placed at the end, numbered as page 32. It should probably have been identified as page 8. The pages were likewise not numbered in the 1984/5 typescript, except for tiny, faint handwritten numbers in the lower left corner on some, but not all, pages. There are 34 pages plus the title page.
Some additions, errors and corrections to the introduction text are:
Corrections to information contained in the original family data section are:
Addenda by Neal Underwood, rev. 18 July 2010.
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