John King Terry and wife Mary Ann

My father, Roy D. Terry, told me this story about his grandfather John King Terry.  During the Civil War John joined the Union Forces and his wife went to live with her family at a nearby farm.  

John served with a Capt. John Kelso, whom he much respected, and would later name a son for the man.  Out on patrol  hunting marauders, John recognized they were near his in-laws house.  He offered his captain and men a home cooked meal and rest for the horses.  They quickly agreed and set off.

Unknown to John, the mauraders had already hit the home of the inlaws (who had run away to remain hidden in the nearby woods).  The marauders had made off with many of the few remaining valuables of the family. They had taken a wooden box John had once kept ammunition in and had scooped up the family's silver spoons and valuables from their ancestors.  They had then ridden off when alerted to the approaching soldiers.

Seeing the family safe, John and the men immdediately set off trailing the thieves and trapped them in a cave.  The command was given to 'Fire until there is no reason to fire anymore.'   The goods of the Terry and Riddle families were recovered - along with valuables from other homes nearby. 

The box went on to serve the family for many years, and came to my father as a keepsake.  During the 1930's in the Ozarks times were very hard and one family down the road could not even afford a coffin when their small baby died.  My father gave them the box- once used to carry off a family treasure - in order for it to once more hold a family's small treasure taken too soon.

 Somewhere in the hills of Barry Co., Missouri a small wooden box from one family holds the remains of another family.  The names are gone but the story remains.

Marilyn A.  Hudson

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