John P. Bales and his wife, Nancy Strong, married in Clay County, Kentucky in 1843. By the 1850 census they appeared in Owsley County, KY. They were the parents of at least ten children, most of whom remained in Kentucky. John P. Bales, Sr. moved to Rockcastle County in 1865. He was listed in the county tax list for the first time that year. He had 400 acres in Rockcastle County and 100 acres in Laurel County. Both properties were listed as being on the Rockcastle River. Therefore, it is assumed that the river was all that separated the farms and the counties. John P. Bales, Sr., died December 18, 1876, of consumption. His Rockcastle County death record told that his parents had been Hawkins and Mary Bales and that he had been born in Owsley County, Kentucky.
Three of the children of John P. and Nancy married Rogers siblings and moved to Caldwell County, MO near Breckenridge. During the late 1890's or early 1900's, the families migrated down to Vernon County, living at various locations near Bronaugh and Moundville. This triple marriage involved:
James Bales was listed in Rockcastle County tax lists for the years of 1866, 1867, 1869, 1870, 1872, 1873, and 1874. He was on the militia list for 1868.
James Bales' first wife was Hattie Dauhs. They had lived in Kentucky and had had four children. Their daughters were Tabitha, Susie, and Laura. Their son was William J. Bales. The 1880 Rockcastle County census showed the four children living with their grandmother, Nancy Bales, age 57, who was a widow:
Living next door was Daniel Bales, age 28, his wife, Mary J., and their two sons, John and George. There is no mention of James or Hattie. One might surmise that Hattie had died by that time and that James was working elsewhere. This census was taken in late June, 1880. It was about 14 months later that James married his second wife, Elizabeth Rogers.
Second wife, Elizabeth Rogers was born April 16, 1850, in Garrard County, the second child of Joseph and Ellen Stewart Rogers. There has been some debate as to the correct year of her birth, but the 1850 date has to be correct. The 1850 federal census was taken on September 12, 1850 in Garrard County. Joseph and Ellen reported that the age of their daughter, Elizabeth, was 5/12. If her birth date were 1851 as some later records state, she could not have been listed in the 1850 census. Elizabeth grew up in Garrard and Rockcastle Counties.
Elizabeth was married to James Bales on September 17, 1881 in Rockcastle County. James was born April 8, 1848, in Kentucky, the son of John P. and Nancy Strong Bales. James' brother, John P. Bales married Elizabeth's sister, Emily Rogers and James' sister, Martha Bales, married Elizabeth's brother, Joseph F. Rogers. James applied for the marriage bond in the amount of $100 at Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County. Both James and Elizabeth were of lawful age. The marriage occurred at the home of Nancy Bales, the groom's mother. Witnesses were Daniel Bales and John Bales, brothers of James. R. A. Mobley, Minister of the Gospel, performed the ceremony.
James and Elizabeth came to Missouri by wagon train in 1887 (according to the obituary of their son Joe Bales). Some may question the accuracy of this date since the 1900 census said that some of James and Elizabeth's children were born in Kentucky as late as 1891. However, the census appears to have been wrong on this. The family first moved to north Missouri and later moved to Vernon County. It is likely that the family lived in Caldwell or Lincoln County near Breckenridge where Elizabeth's younger brothers, Travis and Thomas and their families had already located. Amanda Bales Crawford, a double niece of James and Elizabeth, remembered her Uncle Jim picking her up from school. Amanda said that she used to stay with her Aunt and Uncle sometimes.
On August 17, 1898, James purchased property in southwest Missouri - Vernon County. In 1888, an Isaac Shepherd had purchased property and signed a deed of trust. Several years later, he failed to make payment, so the property was auctioned on the Courthouse steps. James Bales was the high bidder, paying $485 for the 80 acres. The legal description was Lot 5, NW 1/4, Sec. 2, Twp. 34, Range 32N. This property is located about three miles east and one mile south of Moundville.
A Livingston County, MO, County Court record gives a clue as to when the family located to Vernon County. The January 9, 1899, Chillicothe Constitution, told,
"The county court continued in session today. The work of checking up the business of the last year was completed. A warrant was issued for $12 for the simple minded girl, Susan Bales. She was sent to her home in Vernon County this afternoon."
There is some confusion as to whether the family remained in Vernon County all of the time. The following note appeared in the personal items of the August 11, 1899, Breckenridge Bulletin,
"Jas. Bales and wife who had been visiting their daughter, Mrs. Joe Cox returned to their home near Chillicothe Wednesday evening."
However, certainly by 1900, the family was in Vernon County to stay. The 1900 Census showed James and Elizabeth Rogers Bales living in Moundville Township, with seven children.
James and Elizabeth had been married 19 years. Of the above children, all except Susie were from the marriage of James and Elizabeth. Descendants of the family believe that the birth places of Thomas and Daniel were listed incorrectly in the census. They believe that Thomas had been born at Breckenridge and Daniel had also been born in Missouri. James' son from his first marriage, William Bales, also lived in Moundville Township. He was listed as a servant and farm laborer for the Calvin Ream family, which included wife, Nellie and daughter, Dicy L., age 7. Just four years later, Calvin and Dicy died in a tragic train wreck near Sedalia, MO, on their way to the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. Three other Bronaugh residents died in that wreck including Dicy's cousin Gertrude Loud. The graves of the girls are well-known in Worsley Cemetery because of the elaborate statues and photo.
James and Elizabeth Bales and six of their children.
The James Bales family continued to live at the Moundville farm until 1905 when it was sold. On December 19, 1905, "James Bales and wife, Lizzie Bales," sold the 80 acre farm to her brother, Thomas Rodgers for $1,000. The family then moved to a farm near Bronaugh. The 1910 Vernon County Census listed the family as living on Inglish Road just outside Bronaugh:
James and Elizabeth had been married 28 years. They had had six children and all six were still living. Thomas and Daniel were listed as farm laborers. Thomas and Daniel's birth places are probably listed correctly in this census.
The census also showed that James' son by his first wife, William J. Bales (age 29), was living west of Bronaugh in Harrison Township with his wife of seven years, Bertha E, age 23; and their daughters, Ava C., age 3; and Mary I., age 11/12. William and Bertha had been married seven years, had had three children and two were still living. William's cousin on the Bales side, Allen Rogers, lived with them as a hired hand (William's father and Allen's mother were brother and sister.)
James Bales died on January 28, 1912. He was buried in Moore Cemetery. He died intestate, so his son, William J. Bales, listed the heirs for the Vernon County Probate Court. They were, in addition to his widow, Elizabeth Bales:
The other heir was one granddaughter, a daughter of Tabitha Johnson, deceased, a daughter of James Bales. Tabitha had died several years ago.
One of James and Elizabeth's sons died soon after James died. Daniel Bales wanted to go to California in 1921 and died along the way. Daniel's cousin, Amanda Bales Crawford recalled being told that the family was told that no one knew why Daniel died. He was working in a wheat field and just died. Mandy said that it cost his mother $800 to get his body shipped back to Missouri. Daniel was buried at Moore Cemetery near his parents:
Nov. 9, 1891 - Mar. 31, 1912
The 1920 Vernon County, Missouri Census showed that Elizabeth was living with her daughter, Amelia Bales Eaton, in the town of Moundville. Elizabeth was 70 years old and stated that she had been born in Kentucky, her father born in Virginia, and her mother in Kentucky.
Elizabeth Rogers Bales died February 8, 1923. Her death certificate listed the cause of death as chronic rheumatism, chronic nephritis and apperplexy. She was buried the next day on February 9, 1923 under the direction of Mr. Donaldson, the Moundville undertaker. Elizabeth was 72 years, 9 months and 23 days old at the time of her death. She was a widow. Her obituary appeared in the local paper:
Mrs. Lizzie Bales passed away Thursday morning at the home of her daughter, Mrs. L. P. Eaton at Moundville, MO. Death was caused by rheumatism, from which she suffered, the past eight years, being practically an invalid all of this time. Mrs. Bales was an old resident of this county, coming here a quarter of a century ago. She was nearly 73 years old. Surviving Mrs. Bales are two daughters, Mrs. Leslie Lucas, of Nevada and Mrs. Eaton of Moundville and four sons, Joseph, Thomas, Ed and William Bales, all of this county. Two brothers and two sisters, also survive her. She was a member of the Baptist Church. The funeral will be held Friday morning at 11 o'clock at the home of Mrs. Eaton and burial will be at Moore Cemetery.
The Bronaugh Journal of February 14, 1923, mentioned her death in the locals column:
"W. J. Bales and family and Tommy Bales attended the funeral of Tommy's mother at Moundville."
Elizabeth was buried beside her husband, James, and son, Daniel, in Moore Cemetery south of Nevada, MO. The birth date for Elizabeth is off by three years on the grave stone. Her birth year should be 1850.
William J. Bales, son of James and Hattie was a well known Bronaugh farmer for many years. He married Bertha McReynolds.
Joseph F. Rogers and Martha Bales Rogers
Joseph Franklin Rogers was born August 11 (or 13), 1859, in Garrard County, Kentucky, near Paint Lick. He was the fourth son of Joseph and Ellen Stewart Rogers. He grew up in Garrard County.
He met and courted Martha Bales from Rockcastle County, Kentucky. On July 14, 1879, Joseph F. applied for a bond to marry Martha Bales in Rockcastle County. He was the principal and Martha's brother, Thomas Bales, was surety. The bond was in the sum of $100. Joseph F. married Martha Bales on July 15, 1879, at the home of her mother, Nancy Bales. Witnesses were John Howard and Henry Holland. Researchers should be aware that the grave marker for Joseph F. and Martha incorrectly lists their marriage date as July 3, 1880. Rockcastle County Courthouse records prove that the 1879 date is correct.
Martha was a daughter of John P. and Nancy Strong Bales. John P. had fought in the Mexican war. He had died by the time Martha married. Martha was a sister of James Bales, husband of Elizabeth Rogers (Joseph F.'s second oldest sister) and of John Bales, husband of Emily Rogers (Joseph F.'s youngest sister.)
Joseph F. and Martha lived in Garrard County near Paint Lick and were listed in the 1900 Garrard County Census:
The census also told that Joseph and Martha had been married 22 years and had had nine children; seven were still living.
The Cartersville items in the Berea, Kentucky newspaper, The Citizen, of April 29, 1904 told of a brief move for the family:
"Joe Rogers Jr. moved to Hamilton, Ohio, but he and the family were back in two weeks."
This may have been in preparation for an upcoming move west because soon sometime after 1905, the family moved to Missouri. The "Lady Folk" and the little ones traveled on an Ohio River boat or packet to the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. They then went overland by horse and wagon, buggy and horseback. It is likely that they first went to north Missouri near Breckenridge where other family members lived. By late 1905, they had settled in southern Vernon County, MO where some of Joseph F.'s and Martha's brothers and sisters had already moved. Joseph F. continued farming.
The 1910 federal census showed the Joseph F. Rogers family living in Moundville Township, Vernon County:
The family was still living in Moundville Township in the 1920 Census. They were listed next to the Albert Saathoff family who lived a mile east of Bronaugh:
Joseph F. always had a heavy mustache much like his brothers, Thomas and Travis, always had. The January 20, 1936, Nevada Daily Mail, told of the death of Joseph F. Rogers:
Joseph Franklin Rogers, 76, died Saturday night at his home two and one-half miles northeast of Milo. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 Tuesday afternoon and burial will be held in the Moore Cemetery. Rev. David Emery will conduct the services. Mr. Rogers is survived by his widow, six sons and two daughters.
Martha Bales Rogers
His death certificate listed the cause of death as "acute cholecystitis". Martha Bales Rogers died in early May, 1946, at her home near Sheldon, and was buried beside Joseph F. in Moore Cemetery. Her obituary told that she had been a resident of Vernon county for 41 years. She was survived by six sons and three daughters: John of Louisville, KY; Delbert of Nevada; George of Independence, MO, Allen, of Chillicothe, MO; Frank of Protection , KS; Ralph of the home; Mrs. Ellen West of Hamilton, Ohio; Mrs. Lillie Harris of Kansas City; and Mrs. Lena Stearns, of Iowa. Also 32 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.
Emily Rogers was the youngest child of Joseph and Ellen Stewart Rogers. She was born December 25, 1867, near Paint Lick, KY. She grew up in Garrard and Rockcastle Counties.
She married John P. Bales on February 3, 1883. John P. Bales was a son of John P. and Nancy Strong Bales. John P. Jr. was a brother to James and Martha Bales who had married Emily's siblings, Elizabeth and Joseph F. Rogers. John had grown up in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. The 1880 census for that county showed John at age 16, working on the farm of his widowed mother, Nancy Bales. The census showed that at age 16, John could read, but could not write. On February 3, 1883, John Bales applied for a marriage bond. His brother, Daniel Bales, was his surety. They were bound in the sum of $100. John's signature on the bond, showed that he could write, but just barely. A hand-written note from her father, Joseph Rodgers, gave permission for the marriage. It was dated February 1, 1883. The note demonstrates that Joseph Rodgers could write. Another note, granting permission for the marriage, was signed by John P.'s mother, Nancy Bales. The actual marriage occurred that same day at A. J. Pike's. Dan Bales and Eli Pike were the witnesses. The marriage was performed by A. J. Pike, Minister of the Gospel.
Regarding, A. J. Pike. In the early 19880's, A. J. Pike was Justice of the Peace of Rockcastle County. There is an 1883 newspaper article about a Rockcastle County murder. Bill Dunnegan murdered 15 year old Nannie Bryant. While on the run, Nannie, ended up hiding out at the Bales homes in Rockcastle County. It's a fascinating story and Dunnegan sounds like a terrible character - most likely a drunk. Nannie's body was found in the Rockcastle River after Dunnegan had told the Bales' family he was going to kill her. A. J. Pike conducted the inquest in which the details of the murder were given. This would appear to be the same A. J. Pike who married John Bales and Emily Rogers.
During their early married years, John P. and Emily remained in the Paint Lick area. Their three daughters were born there:
Lena Bales Dahmer recalled that the family lived a quarter mile from Joseph and Ellen Rogers' home. Lena told that she would walk from her home to her grandparent's home. Since there was a spring between the homes, her parents would watch her half of the way and her grandparents the other half of the way to make sure she did not fall in. Lena also recalled that her mother and Grandmother Rogers raised turkeys. To sell them, they had to drive the turkeys to the market.
The John Bales family moved to Missouri in 1888. Lena Bales Dahmer recalled coming to Missouri on a train. Amanda Bales Crawford told that since Jenny was such a small child for the train trip that she played in the train car during the trip. Apparently there were mouse holes in the wall and Jenny played by sticking her fingers into the holes. The family first went to north Missouri near Breckenridge where Emily's brothers and sisters, Travis and Thomas Rogers, Elizabeth Bales and Margaret Woolwine were already living. In Missouri, John Bales worked for "Old Man Bothwell", wealthy farmer of Breckenridge. The family lived south of Breckenridge where the several thousand acres that Bothwell owned were located. Mandy Bales Crawford recalled that her father, John, had to cut though several fields to get to work for Bothwell. John and Emily's son, Pete Bales was born in April, 1889, at Breckenridge.
Mandy Bales Crawford recalled that her mother, Emily, never saw her parents again after she came to Missouri. Once, Emily decided to visit her family in Kentucky. Mandy recalled that they took her mother to the train station. Emily got half way to Kentucky and changed trains and came back home. She missed her children too much and was worried about them. Mandy said that maybe the worry was justified because the children were doing everything that their mother would not let them do.
Around 1900, the John Bales family moved to Vernon County, apparently moving at about the same time that Tom and Amanda Rogers moved there. John and Emily moved to Vernon County at the invitation of Jim Bales. Jim told them that he would help them find a place to live and that he was sure they would like Vernon county. The 1900 Census for Vernon County showed that the John Bales family was living on a farm in Center Township near Nevada:
John and Emily had been married for 18 years and had had only the four children.
Mandy Bales Crawford was interviewed in the April, 1992, Lamar Democrat newspaper upon the celebration of her 105th birthday. The story told of the family's move south:
"A journey through Missouri by covered wagon and meeting the outlaw Frank James are among the memories of Amanda Crawford....
Mrs. Crawford lived in Nevada much of her life. Her husband, Emil Crawford, was one of the Crawford comedians who performed around Nevada and toured the country.
She made a trip from northern Missouri to Vernon County in a covered wagon when she was 11 years old.
'My little banty chickens were in a little coop on the back of the wagon,' she says. 'My little rooster crowed every morning at four o'clock and woke us all up. O, we had a time.'
Her 9 year old brother, Pete, walked with their cattle most of the trip. Horse thieves tried to steal the horses, but Mrs. Crawford's father stopped them when he heard the horses pulling on their halters in the night.
The thieves fled in a hurry as he came out from under the wagon and fired several shots.
The family and their wagon crossed the Missouri River on a raft. They settled near Bronaugh.
Mrs. Crawford once talked to Frank James in the yard of the courthouse in Nevada.
'He was there, and he told us all about going down through the Ozarks in the mountains and hiding from people that were after them,' says Mrs. Crawford.
James and his friends had apparently been mistaken for another gang that had shot a family member of the pursuers."
Her recollection of seeing Frank James on the Nevada square is probably accurate. In 1886, Frank James and his wife, Annie, purchased a home from the Methodist Church in Nevada at 520 South Cedar. Some believe that the home was purchased for James by W. C. Bronaugh, founder of the town of that name. Apparently, Mr. Bronaugh's life had been saved by Cole Younger, a friend of James and also a member of a notorious gang. Frank James had moved to Texas by the early 1890's, but it is not unlikely that he returned to Missouri to visit old friends at a time that Amanda would have been there.
In a 1993 interview, Mandy recalled again the trip as her family moved to south Missouri. She remembered that when they arrived in Vernon County, they went to Uncle Jim Bales place and Aunt Liz was getting supper ready for them and was out in the sweet corn. Jim helped them find a place to live. Soon, the Bales family lived on a farm east of Bronaugh and the children attended Prairie Flower School.
The 1910 Vernon County Census showed the John P. Bales family living in Drywood Township, which is east of Moundville Township. They were in the Milo voting precinct:
John P. was listed as a farmer. Living next door were daughter, Amanda, and her husband of four years, Clyde C. Wilson.
The name of the fourth child of John and Emily is somewhat of a surprise. Family members always referred to the son as Pete A. Bales. However, both the 1900 and 1910 census records plainly refer to him as Portia Bales, which is certainly an unusual name for a boy. It is doubtful that anyone would have known Pete's real name if it were not for these census records. If the name had only been in one record, it could be called an error. But since both census records, taken ten years apart show Portia, there is little doubt as to its correctness.
By 1920, the girls were gone from home. The rest of the family was living in Vernon County, Drywood Township:
They were living next door to her nephew, Robert (Bob) Rogers and family.
John Bales died in Vernon County in 1929. His obituary in the March 28, 1929, Nevada Daily Mail read:
John P. Bales, an old and highly esteemed resident passed away at his home on North Main Street Tuesday evening, March 26, after a lingering illness of four months. Mr. Bales was well and favorably known, having lived in the county thirty years. He resided on his farm south of town until three years ago. His health failing him, he moved to town. He was born at Livingston, Kentucky, and was married there to Miss Emma Rogers who survives him. Also daughters, Mrs. L. H. Dahmer, Mrs. Emil Crawford of Nevada, Miss Jennie Bales of Kansas City, one son, Pete Bales of the home address, and three (?) grandchildren. The funeral was conducted at the Ferry Funeral Home by Bro. Duncan of the First Baptist Church, and the body was laid to rest at the Moore Cemetery, Wednesday.
Emily Rogers Bales continued to live in Nevada until her death in 1959. Her obituary in the Nevada Daily Mail read:
Dies Monday, Sept. 28, 1959
Mrs. John (Emma) Bales, 91, Nevada resident, for more than 62 years, died at 6:30 last night at a local nursing home, following an illness of about ten years. She was born December 25, 1867, in Kentucky, the daughter of Joseph and Ellen Rogers. On February 2, 1883, she was married in Paint Lick, KY, to John Bales who is deceased. Mrs. Bales was a member of the Baptist Church. Survivors include three daughters and one son: Mrs. Emil Crawford of Nevada, Miss Jennie Bales, Kansas City, Mrs. Lena Dahmer, Nevada, and Pete Bales Nevada, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Services will be conducted Wednesday afternoon at Ferry Funeral home. The Rev. John Nichols will officiate and burial will be in Moore Cemetery.
Their grave markers in Moore Cemetery read:
Information on William J. Bales is from materials purchased at the Bill and Juanita Bales estate sale in 2009.
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