Early Bronaugh Residents

Skaggs Family

The James Skaggs family was among the earliest settlers of Center Township - Nevada. The 1887 county history tells that John Hale and Jesse Anderson came to Center township in the fall of 1840. On August 10, 1841, Luke Hale and James Skaggs joined them. Luke Hale was the father of John Hale and James Skaggs was John's brother-in-law. In other words, James Skaggs wife, Nancy, was a daughter of Luke Hale and a sister to John Hale.

By the 1860 Census, the family was just across the state line west, in Bourbon Co, Kansas Territory listed as James Scagg

Vernon County Marriage Book A -7 Aug 1856 lists the marriage of Thomas Hawkins to Mary Ann Skaggs, by C. L. Harris JP. It is strange that the census lists Mary Ann by her maiden name rather than by her married in the census record.

The 1870 census has the James Skaggs family in Moundville Township, Vernon County living next to the Hope family. It tells that James was born in Kentucky abt 1807 (age 63), wife Nancy was listed as age 55, born in Tennessee. Their children included:

Living with them were the same Hawkins' that had been with them in 1860 plus a son who had been born about 1864:

There is a burial in Avola Cemetery for Thomas Henry Hawkins. June 23, 1835 - March 12, 1919. He is listed as a son of James Hawkins and was a Confederate Pensioner. Beside him is Mary Lucinda Hawkins - August 9, 1857 - May 21, 1919. (So the assumption we can consider is that his first wife, Mary Ann Skaggs had died and his second wife was Mary Lucinda.) The burial place of Mary Ann Skaggs Hawkins is not known.

Vernon County Marriage Book A -19 Jan 1871 lists the marriage of James Washington Blevans to Sarah Jane Skaggs by J. A. Murphy, MG

The new Vernon County cemetery directory lists James Skaggs as being buried in McMullen Cemetery northeast of Bronaugh. His dates are July 30, 1806 to Feb 10 1871. Beside him is John Wesley Skaggs with dates of March 8, 1839 and died Feb 12 1871. We wonder what the circumstances caused the deaths of the father and son so close.

By the 1880 census, James had died. Nancy was listed as head of household and son James L. (age 29) was living with her as were her grandchildren James Hawkins, 20, and John Hawkins 17. There is no mention of their mother or father.

This scan from a photo from the Bronaugh Methodist Church is of "Mr. and Mrs. Skaggs." The surely has to be Luke Headley Skaggs, 1840 - 1925 and Susan R. Skaggs, 1852- 1936. Susan Hope and her family had been next door neighbors to the Skaggs family in the 1870 census. So Luke and Susan obviously married soon after that census.

By the 1880 census they were listed in Moundville Township:

  • Luke H. Skaggs, age 28, farmer, born Missouri
  • Susan Skaggs, age 27, born Tennessee
  • Nancy J. Skaggs, age 8, born Missouri (often referred to as Jennie)
  • Emma Skaggs, age 6, born Missouri
  • Mary Blevans, age 21, born Missouri, Boarder and School Teacher
  • James Hale, age 22, born Missouri, Farm Laborer


Jennie married C. W. Morrison.

Emma married Maurice Baker.

These are the Skaggs burials in Worsley Cemetery at Bronaugh.

Left is the marker for Luke Headley Skaggs 1840 - 1925 and his wife Susan R. Sakggs, 1852 - 1936.

The death certificate for Luke Headley Skaggs confirms his parents as James Skaggs and Nancy Hale and tells that he had been born in Pulaski County, MO.

The death certificate for Susan Skaggs lists her parents as Minor Hope and his wife Mary Reynolds Hope. It lists her birth date specifically as June 8, 1852.


Right: Nearby is Nancy (Hale) Skaggs 1817 - 1901, wife of James Skaggs (who was buried at McMullin Cemetery) and Luke's mother. The last burial in McMullen Cemetery was in 1881, so Nancy may have been buried at Worsley Cemetery because the other was rather abandoned by the time she died in 1901

One other Skaggs in early Vernon County is Nancy Skaggs who was the first wife of William S. Caton (son of Vernon County pioneer, Noah Caton). Nancy's dates are born September 15, 1820 and died February 11, 1847. She is buried at Deepwood Cemetery in Nevada (as is her husband). The question is - how does she fit in with the early Skaggs' on this page?

Thanks to Nancy Caton for contributing census and early information on this family. If you have Skaggs information to share or questions please let us know.

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This page is designed and maintained by Lyndon Irwin.