Recollections of
Ralph Judson FULKERSON

Line of Descent:
Guillaume VIGNE and Adrienne CUVELIER
Dirck VOLCKERTSZEN and Christine VIGNE
Volkert DIRCKS and Annetje PHILLIPS
Volkert FOLKERTSON and Femmetje BUYS
Folkert (Fulkard) FULKERSON and Maria BOGART
Captain Philip FULKERSON and Elizabeth BRUNER
Philip Adam FULKERSON and Mary Jane FULKERSON
William Judson FULKERSON and Nannie Elizabeth WOOLERY
Ralph Judson FULKERSON

  Ralph Judson FULKERSON, born in 1890, spent his first fourteen years living on a farm in Cass County, Missouri, with an extended family that included his grandparents Philip Adam FULKERSON (1814-1904) and Mary Jane FULKERSON. Sixty-eight years later, living at Buho, Idaho, he wrote the following letter to his cousin Marjorie Patterson, telling of his grandparents and other family members:

  "Our [great-grandfather] Adam Fulkerson was with General Jackson at New Orleans, Louisiana. He walked up the bank of the Mississippi and on in to Hartford, Ohio County, Kentucky. [Grandfather's] mother was Rebecca Wakeland. I think he had one sister name Margaret Graves [probably faulty memory], two half-brothers, Uncle [Richard] Ennis and [John] Perry.

  My grandmother, Mary Jane Fulkerson was born on 27 April 1820. Her father's name was Philip Fulkerson. Her father was the shoemaker for the neighborhood and his father was the powder maker. He also had a coopers yard, where they made barrels and kegs. They were married in 1839. They belonged to the Pond Run Baptist Church.

  His education consisted of one book, the Bible, and the old Webster's spelling book. He could hand the book to the teacher and recite and spell every word from memory.

  As a young man he made six or seven trips to New Orleans on a flat boat loaded with produce: corn, dressed pork or what have you. They would sell the boat and cargo, get on a steamboat and come back home. Those trips were exciting. Sometimes, when two boats got in a race it got tough and the captain would call for bacon to feed the boilers. That certainly raised steam!

  Grandfather was a wonderful judge of horse flesh. Our grandmother was a lover of beauty. Her house plants, and her patchwork quilts with fancy stitches with colored yarn were works of art. She was a wonderful cook and homemaker. Our grandfather, my pal, would take me on old Charlie, his buggy horse, and we would go down to Sugar Creek and gather May apples, pawpaws, hazel nuts, blackberries, mulberries, and whatever was in season. He was a temperate man, always left the table while it still tasted good.

  They moved to Missouri sometime in the early 1850s. They came to Old Index, east of the present Garden City, in the dead of winter. They could not find a house, so a Mr. Holcomb, father of Joe Holcomb, a pioneer Garden City druggist, took the family in for the winter, although, they had no more than two rooms. I think the next year they rented a farm 1/4 mile north of J.C. Gloyd's home. They lived at one time 1/4 mile east of your grandfather Morriss's home and for a time in Potowatomie, Kansas.

  During this time John Brown was feeling his oats. His gang was running Southern folks out of the country. Some of the neighbors told Grandfather he was next. He told them there were four or five of them big enough to use a gun and he did not want any trouble, but was not in the habit of running. Evidently Brown lost interest for they were not bothered.

  Then he bought 40 acres south of Fred Connelly's barn on the east side of the road and the house was 150 yards or so south of Connelly's tenant house. I have been at the well that was there. This is where the house was burned by the Kansas Redlegs. The only thing saved was a bucket of salt.

  Mrs. Cassidy was a wonderful neighbor. She had two boys who were members of the Kansas Gang that harassed the people. They told grandfather as long as [they] were along they would see he was not harmed, but they might let [the Gang] rough him up. Grandma's brother Uncle Harry [Harrison FULKERSON] was shot and killed when the gang burned Dayton, and her other brother Uncle Phil lived with them later. He and his wife Aunt Jenny lived at Lewis Station near Clinton, Mo. Emma's grandfather, Augustus Pulliam, came from Muhlenberg Co. Ky. and built the old log house in 1840. He was harassed more than our folks. He took his six children to Texas for the duration. After it was over, he came back to Cass County with a new wife who was younger than his oldest daughter. The Pulliam house was spared. After two or three years or so the folks came back to scorched land. Mr. Pulliam had plenty of land so he told Grandpa he would sell him sixty acres to get him to move down by him. So long as he lived he and Grandpa were together almost every day. Uncle Adam, the oldest son, was in the Confederate Army and at last a POW in Alton, Ill. Uncle Dick, Myrtle's grandfather, was in Illinois during the war. He got back to Missouri before they did, so he joined a wagon train and crossed the plains. Our grandfather was a man of strong character and has had a great influence on my life. These are just some of the things I remember; I am 82 and that part of my life seems very real."

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