The Bronaugh Family

submitted by Pam Phillips

The book (on the Wal Bronaugh web page) was autographed to Wal's cousin, Yelverton M. Bronaugh (Pam's GG grandfather). Their fathers were brothers. Yelverton's father was William Yelverton (Buck) Bronaugh. He was killed while leading a band of irregulars behind northern lines. After Buck's death, this band was taken over by John Rafters. Buck's body was hidden for fear of it being hung in effigy. His grave has never been found. Buck's home was destroyed by Union troops during the Civil War. My great-uncles went searching for its foundation in the earl 1970s. They finally did find it, but I have no abstract descriptions to give you as to its location. According to my uncles research, the area where Wal's home still stands, was a small community of Bronaugh families. There were originally six Bronaugh homes, a school, a cemetery, and a church there. When my uncles visited there were five still standing, but only three inhabited. The sixth home was Buck's and had been destroyed during the war. They were told that a lake was to be built in that area, but never visited to see if it was flooded by the lake.

I have the following stories:

When my great-grandfather, Claude Bronaugh (Buck's grandson), was engaged to my great-grandmother, Mary Dugan, her mother (Clara Miller-Dugan) told her the following story. When she was a small girl during the civil war, two men knocked at their door and asked for breakfast. As they sat down to eat one looked out the window and said, "There's Buck Bronaugh. Lets go get him." They ran out the door and lay down behind the rail fence at the edge of the yard. When Buck rode into range they both fired their weapons. That is all her mother remembers. We now know that although Buck was wounded, he rode on for several miles before he died. Mary's mother planted a tree with a spoon for the man who had been shot (Buck). My uncles saw that tree in 1973.

William Yelverton "Buck" Bronaugh b: 1821, m: Sept. 23, 1847 to Martha Newman, d: 1862 in Henry Co., MO.

The tree that was planted beside the Bronaugh home in 1862 in memory of "Buck" Bronaugh. Photo taken in 1973.

Although he was only 14, Yelverton M. Bronaugh (Buck's son) helped the irregulars after his father died by bringing them food and supplies. One night he was to meet two men along a country road in a grove of trees. As he approached the grove, one man ran out waving his arms and pointing behind Yelverton. Yelverton looked behind and saw a band of Union soldiers. He spurred his horse and fled across country. The soldiers killed the two men and followed Yelverton to a neighbor's barn where he was hidden. The soldiers voted whether to hang him or let him live. Fortunately, they voted to let him live because of his youth.

One day Yelverton and his son, Claude, were snapping corn in a wagon when they saw Wal approaching in his buggy. Yelverton said, "Wonder what office Wal is running for now? He probably expects me to quit snapping corn and drive him all over the country, introducing him, shaking hands, and asking folks to vote for him. Well, he is due for a surprise, because I'll not do it this time." Well, it seems that Wal did not help snap corn, but did sit in the wagon and drive the team. This was unnecessary because a good team will stay between the rows without the need of a driver. While he was driving the team, one of them hit him in the head with an ear of corn. When they apologized, Wal told them it was all right, and if he couldn't stay out of the way to go ahead and hit him. He spent the night with them and the next day Yelverton took off work and drove him around to all the neighbors.

Another story past down was about an elderly black woman, a former slave, who stay with C.C. Bronaugh. She remarked about his three sons, Wal, Frank, and Sam. She said that Wal would talk his way into heaven, Frank would buy his way in, but poor Sam. . . "There just ain't no way".

During the summer of 1974, the family living in Wal's home were excavating a stock tank or pond about a hundred yards to the northeast of the house and came upon part of a brick wall several feet below the surface of the ground. They reported that its use could not be identified. They theorized it might have been a passage way to Tebo Creek or an underground room.

The same family who resided in Wal's home were packing for a trip in 1973. They left a partially packed suitcase open on the bed of one of the second floor rooms and went downstairs to eat lunch. No one was upstairs during that time. When they returned, they found a rusty key on top of the clothes in the suitcase. A search was made for a crack or hole in the ceiling from which the key might have fallen, but none was found. My uncles saw the key and described it as a key about 100 years old that went to a small cabinet or safe.

Bronaugh home northeast of Clinton, MO. Photographed in 1973.


If you have questions about this page, please contact Pam Phillips

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This page is designed and maintained by Lyndon Irwin.