Lock Slave Cemetery

Barry Co., MO

Sec. 12, T24N, R26W

364820N 0934807W

Lock Family History by Richard Clark

Richard Clark is a Descendant of Jonas Griffith Sr. who died Jackson county, TN in 1828. Jonas' daughter Elender Griffith married Richard Lock in Madison county, Kentucky in 1792.

Richard says there are a number of errors and misconceptions in the following newspaper items and Goodspeed's 1888 History of Barry Co., MO. These are his findings:

The first section, the newspaper article about "Aunt Margaret Slow", has a number of errors. The Lock family did not come to Missouri from Tennessee directly. Richard Lock and Elender Griffith (daughter of Jonas Griffith) married in Madison county, Kentucky in 1792. They had settled in Illinois from Jackson county, Tennessee prior to statehood in 1818, possibly as early as 1812. In the 1820 census, they were shown in a section of White county, Illinois which became Hamilton county, Illinois in 1821, with Elender's brother, John Griffith, listed consecutively. The history of Hamilton county, Illinois lists among it's first settlers "Richard Lock and his sons, John, Jonas, William and Samuel". They were also mentioned in the early histories of neighboring Wayne county, Illinois. Their daughter, Susannah, married in Hamilton county during 1821, and daughter Nancy in 1825. By 1830, Richard and son James were listed in Washington county, Illinois, while his other sons were still listed in Hamilton county (others living in Washington county, Illinois at that time included James Short and his wife, Mary "Polly" Griffith Short, sister of Elender Griffith Lock, and their son, David Short). Although Illinois was in fact a northern slave state, with the last known emancipation occurring there in 1863, there is no indication in either the 1820 or 1830 census that the Lock family had slaves at that time, and their name does not appear in any of the slavery records maintained by the state of Illinois. There is no indication that they had held slaves previously in Jackson county,Tennessee.

The part of the article which stated John Lock was killed by a Union sympathizer is also baseless. Further down the page, there is speculation that John Lock was killed by either Wat Short or Mat Short in 1848, which is also incorrect. John's brother, Jonas Griffith Lock, had 2 daughters of his first marriage to Dolly Cason, who died without heirs and left property in Jackson county, Tennessee. Jonas and Dolly divorced in Illinois, with Dolly remarrying Jonas Lock's first cousin, Samuel Cull Griffith (son of John Griffith), and returning to Tennessee. Jonas did go to Tennessee and brought his elder daughters to Barry county for a time, but they soon returned to Tennessee. Testimony in that probate case from a number of family members clearly state that John Lock was killed by his first cousin, David Short, in a dispute over alleged stolen meal. [From the Jackson county, Tennessee court records: "John Lock said Polly Short's son Dave had stole some meal out of John Lock's mill. After she found out she went to the wheat field and got Dave and said she was going to make him kill him and he did kill him. Understand he used a knife in the bowels." - William York. Others testified to the same story with gruesome details.] This fact is born out by Barry county, Missouri probate records, showing Jonas G. Lock as bondsman of the estate of John G. Lock, filed 9 July 1842. John's heirs were listed as sons Jonas, James, William, and Samuel Farris, and his wife Sarah Short. There is no indication that David Short was prosecuted for killing his cousin. John's widow, Sarah, married his brother Jonas as his 3rd wife in 1852. The notion that John was killed in 1848 is further ruled out by the estate of his father, Richard Lock, filed on 6 September 1846, which listed "heirs of John G. Lock". [Note - there were a number of men named Samuel Farris/Pharris in the Lock family. It may have been to honor Samuel M. Pharris, early Barry county clerk; relationship, if any, unknown.]

That article goes on to say that "Aunt Margaret" was assigned to rearing Henrietta, infant daughter of John Lock. Again, that is incorrect. As the estate papers show, John had no daughters. In fact, Nancy "Henryetta" Lock wasn't born until 1855, some 13 years after John's death. She was, however, John's granddaughter. Her father, William Washington Lock, died of pneumonia in March, 1860. Her mother, Rebecca Ann Burton, was the widow of Samuel Farris Lock (William's brother), when she married William in 1852. Henryetta married Edward Francis Stubblefield on 24 March 1872, and Steven Sherman Ruddick about 1893. Henryetta was the mother of 9 children; daughter Anna Stubblefield was the wife of Campbell B. Erwin, and daughter Lillie Pearl Ruddick was the wife of Homer A. Ellis. At least part of the last sentence was correct.

1850 Mortality schedule - Mary Lock, nee Bradshaw, was the 2nd wife of Jonas Griffith Lock, married 7 June 1827 in Union county, Illinois (a part of "Little Egypt", and perhaps an influence in the Lock's later involvement with slavery). Testimony given in Jackson county, Tennessee court records stated her maiden name was Bradley, and that she and Jonas were unmarried and frequently arrested in Missouri for living together. Someone testified that all of their children were deceased prior to the court proceedings. It would appear that the testimony was aimed at deceiving the court into believing there were no other "legitimate", living heirs of Jonas Griffith Lock, which was untrue. Most had moved on to Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma.

1860 census - The image doesn't read "James", but perhaps "Jameas" Lock; this is actually Jonas G. Lock with his 3rd wife, widow of his brother John, Sarah Short. Besides several orphaned grandchildren in their home was Sarah M. (Griffith) "Vinsant", first cousin of Jonas G. Lock. She was the apparent widow of Elisha VanZandt, with her daughter, Mariah A. VanZandt, born in Illinois about 1852. Sarah's son, Jonas H. VanZandt, died and was buried in Randolph county, Illinois in 1853. Her husband was alive as of an 1847 Jackson county, Tennessee estate filing (as well as the 1850 census), but was deceased prior to the settlement of that estate several years later. Nothing else has been found on Sarah or her 3 daughters (Mary, Parzetta, and Mariah), as shown in the 1850 and 1860 census. Descendant of Jonas Griffith Sr., who died Jackson county, TN in 1828)


Cassville Democrat, March 27, 1920

Springfield Republican.

Aunt Margaret Slow, a Negro woman, 91 years old, who died at her home March 11, following an attack of influenza, was one of the pioneer residents of Greene County and Southwest Missouri. She was born Tennessee in 1829 as a slave by Jonas and John Lock, two prominent Southern slave traders.

After coming to Southwest Missouri the Lock family settled at McDowell, the county seat of Barry County, which at that time comprised all the territory now located in Barry, Lawrence, Stone, Newton, McDonald and Jasper Counties. Aunt Margaret, more commonly known as "Aunt Marg.", was one of the twenty slaves brought to this state from Tennessee by the Locks. In 1832 Southwest Missouri was sparsely settled and wild game was abundant. Jonas and John Lock were slave traders and race horse owners of more than local reputation, and as a result their home at McDowell became the popular meeting place for the most prominent men in this section of Missouri. Aunt Margaret spent her childhood days among these scenes and her keen memory retained many of the interesting stories which transpired. She was known as one of Springfield's most reliable word of mouth historians and was delighted the children of several generations with tales of early Missouri.

Jonas and John Lock encouraged the immigration of Southern slave owners of Missouri even up to the opening of the civil war. John Lock, the younger of the two brothers, was known throughout the Southern states and Missouri as a race owner and his track at McDowell, at that time was considered as one of the best of the middle west. Until a short time before her death Aunt Margaret retained her exceptional memory and could give the names of the race horses owned by the Locks. She could also remember Colonel Phelps, who was prominent in racing circles at that time and who, with John Lock, conducted several successful racing meets at the Phelps track south of the city where Phelps Grove park is now located.

At the opening of the civil war the Locks gave their slaves freedom and Jonas went South to join Southern army and was never heard of again.

John Lock, remained in Missouri, which soon developed into a hotbed of feuds and strife, and because of his success in business and racing a number of Lock's enemies conspired to take his life. One morning as Lock stepped out of the door of his home in McDowell, he was shot and instantly killed by a Union sympathizer. Aunt Margaret, who saw the murder was one of the principal witnesses for the state, when the slayer of Lock was convicted of the crime, but after sentence had been passed upon him effected an escape and was never captured. After the death of John Lock the duty of rearing his infant daughter, Henrietta, was assigned to Aunt Margaret. She faithfully served her master after his death by caring for the little girl until she had attained the age of eight years, Henrietta Lock, now Mrs. S. S. Ruddick of Crane, is still living and has two daughters Mrs. H. A. Ellis and Mrs. C. B. Erwin, both of whom reside in Springfield.

Story Below by: Darla Marbut and Gerald Haddock


Submitted by: Darla Marbut

Photo of Gerald Haddock setting the GPS location for the cemetery.

Directions: From McDowell you take Highway C West about 1 mile to farm road 1142 go South on it and the Lock House is about 1 mile. (You may travel a short distance on Farm Road 2085 before hitting Farm Road 1142 again.)

Coming from the South (Cassville), you would take Highway 37 to Purdy turn East (Right) on C Highway and travel to Farm Road 1142 with same instructions as above.

Goodspeed's History, published 1888, from Henry McCary's speech, page 573: "Washburn Prairie was settled first by a Mr. Washburn, in 1828, and Stone's Prairie by John Stone, and King's Prairie by George W. King; Starkey's Prairie by John W. Starkey; Hickam's Prairie, by Jacob Hickam

(Research Note: brother-in-law of Green Berry Easley); Jenkins' Creek by a man by the name of Jenkins, who died in his little cabin, in the dead of winter, no one but his wife and little children there. She had to travel all the way to Sudeth Meek's, a short distance south of Washburn Prairie, to get help to bury him, and no road from the mouth of Jenkins' Creek to the John Lock place, eight or ten miles; nothing but a deer or wolf trail to guide her. When I first came to this place there were but a few houses from Springfield to Washburn Prairie; one on Wilson Creek, ten or twelve miles, I believe, south of Springfield. One twelve or thirteen miles of that, and one other, by John Lock, on Flat Creek, and another, by C. J. Corder, on said creek, and one by Col. Littleberry Mason, near where Cassville now stands, on Flat Creek."

From Goodspeed: Township 24, Range 27, was opened for entry September 20, 1847. James G. Lock led in the purchase, buying in November, 1847, on Section 12.(That is the Butterfield area). The Lock house is north of Cassville toward Butterfield.

From Goodspeed - marriages are listed as listed below:

Sarah Lock married John S. Sturdy February 27, 1851, by J. T. Dumport, M. G.

Jonas G. Lock and Sarah Lock were married January 25, 1852, by Elisha Fly, J.P.

William W. Lock and Rebecca A. Lock were married June 4, 1852, by Dr. P. Base, MG

Caroline Lock married W. S. McConnell March 13, 1853, by G. K. Porter, MG

Sometimes the Lock surname is written Locke, but in all these documents it was spelled Lock.

Just down the road from this house, the land was owned by a Marbut family member.

At the back of this house is a slave cemetery. Some of the graves had stones on them but since has been removed. They were removed in recent years because Gary Marbut, Darla's husband, remembers when they were there.

Just to the left of the photo was an old cellar mostly underground.

Some of the cemetery stones were moved from the cemetery to the cellar.

Research by Gerald Haddock and Darla Marbut

Photo from the photo files of Darla Marbut


New England Salt Box House

You can see that the Lock House had lap siding shown under the double windows. We called the siding on top, brick siding and was tar paper with sand stuck on in the shape of bricks. It was good insulation against the cold and several old homes were covered with it even up to the 1950s.

There was a wing off the back of the above building, you can see the edge of it on the left. I expect it was the kitchen and dining area. Notice the door above the porch. I'm not sure it was placed there to walk out on the porch top as it was for ventilation.

We stopped at a neighbor's house and he told us again about the slave cemetery and also that there had been a race track back of the house.

Grant Foreman, Indian Removal, Univ. of Oklahoma Press - The Cherokees on the Trail of Tears were camped on and around the John Locke farm on 21 Dec 1837. Two Cherokee Indians died in the bitter cold that night and were buried on the John Locke place. From the research files of Gerald Haddock.

Census Study by Donna Cooper


In 1840 there were a few Lock families who were listed. They were J. J. Lock, Richard Lock and J. G. Lock given in the records.

J. J. Lock was given as age 40 to 50 with 1 male 5 to 10 and 2 males 10 15; 0120101 - 1210001

Richard Lock was given as 70 to 80 years old with a wife 60 to 70, there was also a 15 to 20 year old female in the house. They were given as 0000000001 and 000100001

J. G. Lock was listed as 40 to 50 years old. He had 0012301 -0001001.

J. G. Short and W. C. Short both lived nearby with quite a number of boys. W. C. was 30 to 40 and J. G. was age 40 to 50.

J. G. Short 0012301 - 0001001

W. C. Short 011001 - 010001

Code: 0 to 5, 5 to 10, 10 -15, 15 - 20, 20- 30, 30-40, 40 to 50, 50 - to 60, 60 -70, 70-80, 80 -90, 90 -100, over 100. Slaves listed were separately and there was a column for free colored.


April 13, 1907, Saturday, Cassville Democrat, Barry Co., MO - Historical Facts: In regard to Barry County in the long time ago.

Mat Short killed Lock in 1848, near McDowell.

[Research Note: In 1840 there was listed W. C. Short and J. S. Short. In 1850 there was Jonas G. and Susan (Taylor) Short in household #162 with children Elizabeth, age 3 and Mariah, age 3; and David and Mariah (Jones) Short in house #167 with no children listed.]

[Research Note: J. J. Lock was listed in 1840 but wasn't listed in 1850. Richard Lock wasn't listed either but he was pretty old in 1840 so he probably died before 1850. From this assumption, it appears J. J. Lock was killed by Wat Short.]

A closer look at Goodspeed brought facts that the paper did not supply. Goodspeed, pub. 1888, page 629 Wat Short killed Lock in 1848. So it was Wat Short and not Mat Short as the paper reported.

In 1850 Jonas G. Lock had listed that he owned 3 slaves and Sarah Lock had listed that she owned 1 female slave, age 21. Jonas' slaves who were given as a male, age 25, a female, age 25, and a male, age 11.


In 1850 listed on the census was, in household #162, Jonas G. Short who'd married Susan Taylor in 1839 in house # 162. Down the road a few doors away was David Short in house #167, who married to Mariah Jones in 1847 in Barry County. Another neighbor was Samuel Lock in household #177. Samuel was age 45, born in TN, with wife Nancy, was age 40, born in KY. They had several children, including a daughter, Elizabeth, age 17, MO; a son, Larkin, age 12, MO; a son, Frances, age 9, MO; a son, Richard, age 4, MO; and a son, John, age 2, MO.

Also in 1850, in house #181, was head of household, Samuel F. Lock, age 22, born in IL; with wife Rebeca, age 19, born in AR; and also listed was daughter, Sarah, age 12, born in MO, and too, listed were Sarah, age 55, born in KY; James Frazier, age 32, TN, wife Mary, age 31, born in TN; Nancy, age 12, born in MO; Martha S., age 9, born in MO; Mary C., age 6 born in MO; William A., age 3, born in MO; and Flerida E., age 2, born in MO.

In household #182, was Jonas G. Lock, age 51, born in KY; daughter Sarah, age 15, born MO; Elizabeth, age 11, MO; William, age 8, born in MO; Susan, age 6, born MO; and Alfred H., age 2, born in MO.

Next door in household #183 was John Lock, age 21, born in AR; wife Elizabeth, age 21, AL; Zedeck, age 1, born in MO.

Also in household #178 was Joseph Stubblefield with wife Martha Lock. Joseph was age 23, born in OH, Martha, age 20, born in IL, and Samuel, age 1, born in MO.

Household #207 was Richard Lock, age 19, born in MO, Caroline nee Burton, age 22, born in AL, son James M., age 1, born in MO. Next door to Richard Lock was James H. Bowlin and his wife Nancy Haddock.

Henry McCary who gave the speech about early Barry County lived in household #210, just a few doors from Richard Lock. In the year of 1850 Henry was age 40.

In 1850 the mortality schedules for Barry Co., MO, reported these two deaths in the Lock family.

Name: Mary Lock
Age: 39
Gender: F
Marital Status: Married
Birth Place: Illinois
Death Date: May
Mortality Records of 1850 - Barry County, Missouri

Name: Samuel Lock
Age: 16
Gender: M
Birth Place: Missouri
Death Date: Sep
Mortality Records of 1850 - Barry County, Missouri

In 1860, J. G. Short, a Federal, paid taxes in Barry County; and no Lock families paid taxes that were listed in the Goodspeed, pub. 1888; but on the 1860 Federal Census there was a James Lock listed in household #886, in McDonald Twp., of Barry County, MO.

James was age 62, born in KY, with wife Sarah, age 67, born in KY. Children were given as William, age 18, born in MO; Alfred, age 11, born in MO; Zedock, age 11, born in MO; John B., age 10, born in MO, and also in the household was Sarah Vinsant, age 49, born in TN, and Mariah A, age 8, born in IL. They lived between B. H. Shewmake, age 28, born in AR and Pleasant Matlock, age 29, born in TN.

James Lock reported several slaves on the census of 1860, including some mulatto listed ones. They ranged from age 3 to age 60.
age 3, Male, Mulatto
age 60, Female, Black
age 37, Female, Black
age 28, Female, Black
age 25, Male, Black
age 12, Female, Mulatto
age 11, Male, Black
age 6, Female, Mulatto
age 6, Female, Mulatto

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