Our home/land was right in the middle of all this turmoil and unrest. It was said at one time, a Antebellum plantation home stood somewhere in the area, possibly on our land. It was burned to the ground by Union troops as per General Order No. 11. The order was in response to the Lawrence Massacre carried out by Quantrill's Raiders which included William (Bloody Bill) Anderson. Even though Clay County was not included in this order, county lines & loyalties were fuzzy during this time. Union troops didn't care and some commanders issued their own orders in the field using General Order No. 11 as their justification.
If you watched the show, you know that three members of Quantrill's group had ties to our land. They were violent & angry individuals who despised anything related to the Union. Two of the members were killed in action and we know that because of their deeds, their souls cannot rest.
Anyway, enough with the history lessons. I just wanted to give some prospective on the history here and how it ties to our property.
Living on 15+ acres of land with ties to all kinds of seedy individuals makes for the curiosity to explore. With that being said, Jennifer and I set out to the "Way Back". It's our 10 acres on the southern side of our property. It's beautiful; with trees, an open field and a creek running through it. During one our our adventures we stumbled upon a flat rock place perfectly near an huge tree. It was definitely put there by someone because it's not in an area that is subject to creek flooding. It also had a rock which appeared to used as a foot-stone as well as rocks outlining it. Any markings on the headstone had long since washed away. In light of the events occurring at our home, we decided to leave it be.
|A full picture of the grave on the Southwest corner of our property. Headstone & Foot-stone. It could be the grave of Lucy"Granny" Boggess.|
Owning a farm/ranch requires a lot of work on a daily basis. I spend a lot my free time tending to the needs of the land. I enjoy it however, I'm proud of what we have and I like keeping it looking nice. One early evening I was standing on the backside of the pond, I was looking through the treeline into the Way Back. I could hear gunshots. It's not unusual to hear them given that we live in a rural area. I don't really pay them much mind. While standing there, I hear a "whoosh" and I feel a tug at my pants. It knocked me backwards, stumbling a little. At first I thought a hawk or an owl had swooped down but I looked at my hip I saw my shirt and pants torn. I then notice blood. I realized I had been shot at that point! Thankfully it only grazed me but it still hurt like hell! I was pissed beyond words. I stormed back to the house and told Jennifer I'd been shot but it just grazed me. I was lucky. After I calmed down a bit I called the Sheriff's Department because someone was obviously trespassing on our land.
The deputy that came out was a friend of mine (benefit of living in a small town). We walked to the Way Back trying to get an idea of where the shot had originated from. During our walk, I told him about the grave. Naturally, he wanted to see it. His response was more curiosity than anything, "Why is there a grave on your property Lance?". I told him about all the crazy stuff going on at house. I could tell he was a little uneasy. His thoughts about the grave were that it was old and like I said, he was more curious than concerned.
|The foot-stone of the grave|
|Grave Headstone. The detectives determined it was "historical" and stopped poking it. The damage was already one however.|
The next day I got a call from the deputy, he said he was talking about the grave and his supervisor told him to take some detectives out and look into it further. They came out and started poking around the grave with depth sticks! I felt more than just a little concerned given what's been happening. They finally determined, it was an "historical" grave and left it alone. One of the detectives was a history buff. He started to tell me more about the area and asked if I would mind if he did some research on the grave and property.
The detective called me a couple days later and said a lot of the land around our area once belonged to the Boggess family as well as others, maybe named Peterson. He was able to talk to one of the Boggess descendants and was told the grave was problably Lucy "Granny" Boggess but that was all they would tell him. They didn't want to talk about our land, their family, or anything else about the area. The detective gave me the name of an Historian who was familiar with the area and it's history.
This historian was very familiar with the Boggess & Peterson name.
"As for the grave site, it is not unusual at all for early families to bury their dead in family cemeteries. Southerners also buried their slaves in family plots, usually in segregated areas. It is a tradition in the Upper South to maintain family cemeteries on the old home site, which includes Missouri's Little Dixie. Based upon what you have found in the creek and around your property, I would agree your land most likely is a part of an early farm site that may have belonged to the Peterson (?) family. The area around Kearney was settled early, c. 1820s. Several antebellum homes are near you and all built by Southerners from the 1820s to the 1850s. Unfortunately, only a few still stand compared to what was there when I was growing up.
The Boggess name is well known in Clay County. The family was from the Upper South and did live in the Kearney area, as well as Liberty and Excelsior Springs."
"With the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes." And my family was right in the middle of it.