All that was known was a man had died in a crash of a small plane somewhere in Oklahoma. A photo showing a minister by a new grave hidden by a mountain of flowers with "Pawhuska" scribbled on the back. A general time frame but no definite date.  That was the known story of the death of Melvin Marion Priest, son of Charles Reuben and Sena Adaline Boyd Priest of Barry Co., Missouri.  He was the ex-husband of Velma Dora Cochren Priest Terry.  He was also a cousin to her second husband, Roy Dennis Terry.  

Finally, searching through resources, a news clipping was found from the Oklahoman of July 23, 1950.  The accident occurred near Clinton in western Oklahoma.  He was listed as living in Vian located in Sequoya County on the Arkansas border to Oklahoma.  One of the historical tidbits learned was that prior to WW2 social security cards were often engraved on metal cards (thus explaining how it might have survived the fire intense enough to make identification difficult).  Shown in the image is a daughter and his wife, Velma ca 1943.

Still needed - a grave location...so one mystery solved and others remain.



Waters Family 
So often as I have tried to trace this group, I have seen the counties lacking some basic information concerning residents in their county.  So I am posting these notes so they may perhaps help others searching the line of Waters.

Our line is Jesse S. Waters, b. in Georgia who married Amelia Ann Fisher (d/o Moses and Lucy Shaver Fisher) in Union Co., IL in 1865.  They are then found on the Bollinger Co., Mo census, the Union County, Il, and the Mississippi Co., Mo census.  One line is in Butler Co., Mo. I have often thought they might have traveled into those areas because family might have been in those areas as well.  Recent information suggests Jesse might have been in Tennessee and Kentucky before Union Co., ca 1865.  If this is true, the groups listed revealing those birth areas may indeed be linked.

Bollinger Co., Il -, Union Twp, 1860, pp37
Lucy Waters,44 b 1816 Mo
Wm M Waters, 16, 1840’s Mo
Benj F Waters, 12, Mo
Thos A Waters 7, Mo
Mary R Waters, 6, Mo

Union Co., IL- 1865
Jesse Waters md Amelia Ann Fisher

Bollinger Co., MO – 1870 – Liberty Twp
Jesse (listed as John), 32, b. SC
Note: a Robert Fisher , 58, b. TN is nearby with wife Nancy (possible Fisher relative?)

Mississippi Co, MO -1870 – St. James Twp
George M. Waters, 13 b. Il in the home of an Alfred Hall

Mississippi Co., MO 1880 – St. James Twp
John C Waters 18 TN
Wm Waters 21 TN
Josp K Watters 25 TN  (I read the name this way)

Mississippi Co., MO 1900 – St James Twp
John M Waters 44 Ky
Thomas Waters 24 Ky
Jesse Waters           SC
Lulu Waters, 11, Ky with the Brumfield Family – sisterinlaw of Georgia Brumfield

Mississippi Co., MO 1900 – Long Praire Twp
John Waters 36, TN

Butler Co., MO – Ash Hill 1930
Frank B.Waters , 30 b MO, Ella, Benjamin, Delia,  Harrison, Myrtle

1860 – Union CO., IL
No waters listed
Fishers –
163a  11  Fisher         A**a             5     Ills              pg0163a.txt
218a  29  Fisher         Ann              50    NC                pg0214a.txt
163a  10  Fisher         Caroline         25    NC                pg0163a.txt
166a  28  Fisher         Elizabeth        7     Ills              pg0163a.txt
208b  16  Fisher         Elizabeth        61    NC                pg0205b.txt
166a  27  Fisher         Harrison         10    Ills              pg0163a.txt
208b  15  Fisher         John             63    NC                pg0205b.txt
167b  24  Fisher         John             22    Ills              pg0163a.txt
166a  26  Fisher         John             11    Ills              pg0163a.txt
166a  24  Fisher         Lucy Ann         37    Ga                pg0163a.txt
166a  25  Fisher         Martha           13    Ills              pg0163a.txt
166a  29  Fisher         Mary Ann         5     Ills              pg0163a.txt
166a  23  Fisher         Moses            39    NC                pg0163a.txt
163a  12  Fisher         Not named        2     Ills              pg0163a.txt
218a  30  Fisher         Phelix           18    Ills              pg0214a.txt
208b  17  Fisher         Rosannah         19    Ills              pg0205b.txt
163a  9   Fisher         Simeon           27    NC                pg0163a.txt
167b  25  Fisher         Sophia           20    NC                pg0163a.txt

1900 Butler Co., Mo – 
   17a      17a   Watters            Benjamine  F
   17a      17a   Watters            Benjamine F
   25a      25a   Watters            Edgar C
   25a      25a   Watters            George
   17a      17a   Watters            George W
   17a      17a   Watters            James C
   25a      25a   Watters            Martha E
   25a      25a   Watters            Nancy
   25a      25a   Watters            Nora M
   25a      25a   Watters            Ressa or Hessa
   25a      25a   Watters            Timothy C
   17a      17a   Watters            William H
   25a      25a   Watters            *  B.

1900 Butler Co., Mo – Victoria Waters Hudson Easley will go here by 1910-1920;
   31b      6b    Hudson             Benjamin
   14a      14a   Hudson             Benjamin L
   31b      6b    Hudson             Bessie B
   14a      14a   Hudson             Clauda L
   31b      6b    Hudson             Ella P
   14a      14a   Hudson             Hershell
   31b      6b    Hudson             Inda D
   14a      14a   Hudson             Lurra D
   14a      14a   Hudson             Mandy J
   31b      6b    Hudson             Nancy J

St. Francis twp,Butler Co., Mo 1900
John S Waters
Martha E Waters
Anta D Waters
John F Waters
Bessie J Waters
Essie M Waters
Walter Waters

1910 Mounds City, Pulaski Co., IL  - no clear connection other than locale where  the Hudson-Water family resided.
John W Waters
Mary E Waters
Olive M Waters
Clyde J Waters
Carrie M Waters



Hopefully, DNA will help clear up this family dead end.   For now, however, he is a true mystery.

Timeline of William Hudson

1827 –
Date generally associated with his birth via census records.  His children will generally answer he was born in Indiana, on the 1880 census he will say Virginia, and (if it is him on the 1870) census he says England. His daughter on one census further confuses the issues by saying he was born ‘at sea’.
1830 – unk

1840- unk

1850 – unk
  • ·         Although there is an older William Hudson in Vanderburgh Co., Indiana where ‘our’ William will marry in 1868 no known connection.  William might have had a 'first' family but no clear indication other than his age at the time he marries in 1868.
  • ·         In  Alexandria, Rapides, Louisiana , there is A Wm Hudson b 1827, single, carpenter, b. Va (Note later listing of work in a bed manufacturing business in Evansville).

1863 -  City Directory
  • ·         The Evansville City Directory for this year lists no William Hudson.

1861-65 – Military Service in Civil War?
  • ·         If he was born in Virginia, he may have served and then post war gone ‘west’ – landing in Evansville, Vanderburgh Co., Indiana – a Mississippi port city- would not have been strange.

1868 – Marriages Emily Jane Kane (believe the spelling of her name was Cain)
  • ·         July he marriages this woman, daughter of Lewis Cain and Millie Greer Carson Cain Parker , in the same place at this time may also be her step-brother Thomas Benjamin Carter, and William Cain.
  • · City directory lists a widow, Millie Parker (believe this to be Emily’s mother).

1870- Census - Evansville, Vanderburgh, Ind.
  • ·         Shows a Wm Hudson (says born England), with wife Emma, and son Lewis.  From other documents, Emily may have sometimes gone by the name “Emma” and may have sometimes used the last name Carter. (The death record for her son Lewis/Louis Hudson calls her Emma Carter).
  • ·         He might have answered England to hide his southern roots, some men did this in the post civil war days.
  • ·         This same census also shows in Pigeon Twp, Vanderburgh, Ind. Thomas Benjamin Carter, William Cain (Kane) and Millie Parker.  With them is a small child Benjamin Cain (Kane).  This is her step brother, her brother and her mother.  The child may be Emily’s or may be the child of a brother (one is unaccounted for and may have died in the Civil War).
  • · City directory for that year : City Directory (pg.159) lists one Wm Hudson, laborer at bed manuf John Tohill, Jacobsville

1880 – Census / Mound City, Pulaski Co., IL
  • ·         Listed is William (b. Va), wife Emily, daughter Millie, and son Lewis.  Also, is Benjamin Kane, identified as step-son (i.e., Thomas Benjamin Cain).
  • ·         The belief was Emily had married a Kane (Cain) but then once her parents were identified it was clear her mother, Millie Greer, had married 1) Cullen Carter, 2) Lewis Cain, 3) Edward Parker.  Note the naming pattern at work.  Benjamin, whose name appears to have been Thomas Benjamin Cain, may have been Emily’s illegitimate son, or what may be more likely, the son of a brother who died.  Emily may have then assumed the oversight of the child when her mother died.  Her brother Thomas Benjamin Carter buys a cemetery plot in 1876 in the ‘Mechanicsville’ Cemetery – which may refer to an area in old Evansville. No records of death or burial have been found.
  • ·         Pulaski or Alexander Co., Illinois /  Family appears dispersed by 1900 so he and wife may have died between 1880 census and 1900 - when they have not been located.  His wife's brother buys a cemetery plot in Pulaski Co., but no record found of a grave with names associated with the group.  The plot numbers seem difficult to track.  Several people known to have been buried in this area (from their death certificates) do not appear in indexes or on databases such as 'Find-a-Grave.'

1890 – Unknown

1900 -  Unknown


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