|Birth: ||Feb. 6, 1819|
|Death: ||Feb. 6, 1900|
ELIZABETH YOCUM SCHELL - BIOGRAPHY researched & written by Gayle Foster - 2010- updated 2014.
PHOTOS - There are several photos of Elizabeth Yocum Schell in existence: 1) Double photo of two women, Elizabeth Yocum Schell and Margaret Vanzandt Morgan. Photo was pencil edited and isn't a perfect likeness of either woman. Elizabeth had dark hair in this photo, probably created from tintypes. Photo in 2009 in possession of Jean Hall of Powell; 2) Small tintype of Elizabeth taken about 1875-1885. Elizabeth wore a print dress with scarf around her neck. This photo showed her Cherokee characteristics, and that many of her children resembled her, including Manervia, Henry, and Mary. This tin-type was included in Schell-Pendergraft Book by Mary Southards, and also was posted to Ancestry.com in 2012 by Ethel Merchant, descendant of Lucinda Schell Pendergraft; 3) Tin-type photo of Elizabeth Yocum Schell, (seated wearing black silk dress and bonnet, with right arm raised on sidetable), taken about 1895 in McDonald County, Missouri. This tin-type is in the possession of descendant of Jesse Schell (1862-1946), Geneva Schell Beltramo of California in 2013. Another copy of this tin-type was passed down through the descendants of Henry Schell, Jr. (Melinda Schell Moore) in Texas. The only female ancestor that these two have in common is Elizabeth Yocum Schell, so the tin-type photo is undoubtedly of Elizabeth; 4) group photo with Philip Schell family, Elizabeth as an old woman, abt 1897, in the possession of Gayle Foster in 2013. The identities of all in this photo was done by Gretchen Schell Hendrickson Laughlin about 1985. Another photo exists according to Starlie Hall in 2013, and was in possession of Arlie and Jean Hall about 2000, but is now misplaced. This photo showed Elizabeth standing behind a man, and she was smoking a pipe. Date of photo is unknown, as is identity of man.
EARLY LIFE: Elizabeth was the daughter of JACOB YOCUM (1773VA-1845MO) and SARAH (abt1780TN-1850MO) Yocum. Sarah's last name before marriage is UNKNOWN. Many have searched for record of her name, and none has been found. Some have speculated that it might be Patterson, but this is incorrect. A younger Jacob Yocum (probably nephew of our Jacob) married a Patterson and this has caused confusion.
Elizabeth was born in Missouri territory along the White River, in the current state of Arkansas. References from Schoolcraft's journal locate the residence of the Yocums in 1819. There are some interesting descriptions of life in early Missouri Territory in Schoolcraft's writings. Elizabeth was the daughter of Jacob and Sarah Yocum. Her parents were early settlers in Stone County, Missouri. They moved there when Elizabeth was a small child. For a number of years her father paid the Indians an annual rental of thirty bushels of corn for the privilege of living among them. He kept a small farm with livestock, and hunted and trapped during the fur season. He shipped furs back to St. Louis annually, and he imported goods to trade with the local Indians. Jacob is also associated with the Yocum Silver Mine Legend, and the Yocum silver dollars. Elizabeth grew up in a frontier environment, and probably did not attend school or learn to read. Her middle name may have been Hannah - this name is repeated several times in her descendants.
CHEROKEE ANCESTRY: Elizabeth's mother, Sarah was a Cherokee Indian. Recent research on the Schell family has yielded records that relate to the Yocum family. These records are called the Guion Miller Rolls and are available on microfilm. In 1907 there was some federal money available to anyone who could prove that they were descended from an Eastern Cherokee that had lived in North Carolina or Tennessee during 1835-45. Several members of the Schell family in McDonald County Missouri completed applications, including Jesse Schell and Mary Schell Pendergraft, children of Henry and Elizabeth (Yocum) Schell. They claim their Cherokee heritage through their mother, Elizabeth Yocum Schell and her mother Sarah Yocum. Unfortunately, they don't have information going further back, and their claims were denied. However, these records do have some important family information. These records show the family knowledge that Sarah Yocum was Cherokee and had come from the Eastern Tribe. These records show that Elizabeth was a daughter of Jacob and Sarah Yocum. In addition, Mary Pendergraft's application includes one record that lists her Yocum aunts and uncles (sons and daughters of Jacob and Sarah Yocum). According to these documents, children of Jacob and Sarah Yocum included John, Saul, Penina, China, Fanny, Ruby, and Elizabeth.
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY: It is likely that Elizabeth Yocum met her future husband, Henry Schell through Yocum connections in Carroll County, Arkansas. Henry S(c)hell is on the 1834 Carroll County Arkansas Territorial Tax List. Michael Yocum is also on this tax list. He was an older brother of Elizabeth Yocum. In 1834 Henry moved to the Yocum settlement near the mouth of the James River in Missouri. On October 17, 1835, Henry Schell and Elizabeth Yocum (Yoachum) were married. Their marriage is recorded in Greene County, Missouri. The county boundaries have changed over the years. This area has been in several counties: Greene County, Taney County, and now Stone County.
In 1840 Elizabeth was included in the US Census for Taney County, Missouri in the James Township. This record was listed by the head of household, Henry Shell (Schell). The census listed wife and several young children. Nearby households include Jacob Yoakum, Levi Yokum, and Joseph Philibert.
About 1845 Elizabeth, Henry and their older children moved from Shell Knob area to McDonald County. Descendants of Lucinda recalled hearing that Elizabeth carried a favorite iron kettle (kittle as she called it) balanced on the top of her head as she road horseback on the trip from Shell Knob to their new home in McDonald County.
WIDOWED: Elizabeth Yocum Schell, now a widow, had small children to raise. Her older children assisted her when they were able. Since the union army had taken many of their provisions and livestock, Elizabeth was faced with the responsibility of taking care of the children and ensuring that they had something to eat. She was afraid that the bushwhackers would take her mule, and without it she wouldn't be able to plow the garden and raise food to eat. She reasoned that if the mule were blind it would be of no use to the Union soldiers, and wouldn't be taken, so she took a hot poker, and blinded the mule. These were desperate times that called for desperate measures. In 1870, Elizabeth and her younger children lived in Fox Township, McDonald County Missouri according to census records. The early township maps haven't survived, so the boundaries of Fox township aren't known. In 1870, they lived at the Schell homestead. In 1880, Elizabeth and two children, Sarah and Jesse lived at the Schell home place. The 1884 Land-ownership map showed E. Schell owned two 40 acre parcels of land in McDonald County, located in Section 17 and Section 20 of T21N R29W.
After all the children were grown the land was distributed to them. It was agreed that after the property was divided among her sons and daughters, Elizabeth would rotate stays with her many children. Nat, Philip, and Jacob built a small cabin on their land for her. A few years before her death, while staying with Philip, a group family photo was taken and she was included. She died while staying with Jacob and his family in the Fox community in 1900. A descendant, J. Leroy Armstrong, recalled Granny Schell's little cabin that stood about 75 feet from Jacob's home.
BURIAL: She was buried in Antioch Cemetery on a hilltop overlooking the banks of the Big Sugar Creek, and her grave marker confirms her birth and death dates. She was born Feb. 6, 1819 and died on her birthday, Feb. 6, 1900 at the age of 81. The tombstone says she was the daughter of Jacob and Sarah Yocum. Her tombstone has the first verse to the hymn "How firm a foundation." This hymn is also on her husband, Henry's grave marker.
Her death notice was in the Cassville Republican Newspaper. This is an exact, complete transcription. The author is not known. Her age and husband's name are inaccurate in the obituary. It is interesting that her birthplace is shown to be Bates County, Arkansas. It is known from other sources that the Yocum family lived in various places up and down the White River. However, there is no Bates County in Arkansas, so this probably refers to Batesville, Arkansas, a very early settlement on the White River in Arkansas.
DEATH NOTICE: Cassville Republican, Barry Co., MO, Thursday, Feb 15, 1900 -Ash News: Died, Grandma Shell, at the advanced age of 104 years. She was born in Bates Co., Ark., 1796; was married to Jacob Shell, a German, in 1818. In 1840 they came to Missouri settling on Big Sugar Creek in McDonald County. There they remained until Mr. Shell's death, which occurred in 1863. He was killed by the bushwhackers. Their union resulted in twelve children all of who are alive and among the foremost business men of McDonald County. -----
DESCENDANTS: Henry and Elizabeth had twelve children that lived to adulthood and married. They had over sixty grandchildren. Their many descendants live throughout the United States and elsewhere.
1840 US Census Taney County, Missouri;
1850 US Census McDonald County Missouri;
1860 US Census McDonald County Missouri;
1870 US Census McDonald County Missouri;
1880 US Census McDonald County Missouri;
1819 Scenes & Adventures in the Semi-Alpine Region of the Ozark Mountains of Missouri & Arkansas, by Henry R. Schoolcraft; Illustrated History of McDonald County MO, by J. A. Sturges, Pineville, MO., 1897;
Goodspeed's History of Carroll County Arkansas;
White River Chronicles of S. C Turnbo;
Early History of Stone County Missouri by Charles L. Hensen, published by White River Valley Historical Quarterly - 1964; Goodspeed's History of McDonald County Missouri;
Death Notice - Cassville Republican - 1900;
Guion-Miller Applications 1907, Jesse Schell, Mary Pendergraft;
Gravestone in Antioch Cemetery with dates, and parents names.
HISTORY OF ANTIOCH SCHOOL CHURCH, AND ANTIOCH CEMETERY: Antioch Cemetery, Chapel, and Church are located on what was Henry and Elizabeth Schell's land in McDonald County. The cemetery and chapel are west of Highway KK, and the Church is a little further north on the east side of Highway KK. The Antioch School was one among the first, if not the first, where a school of instruction was held in the area. Some of the early teachers were Joe Herd, Pinkey Henderson, 0.0. Fox, and others whose names are forgotten. Some teachers taught two or three terms. 0.0. Fox taught the last term of school here. The roll call was 144. shortly after this, the Antioch School District was divided into four school districts. Before this division, big crowds would gather there to attend exhibitions, Kangaroo Courts, singings, religious meetings and religious debates. Great crowds gathered for these. The Antioch School building was large, but after being torn down to make room for Antioch Church, a smaller building was erected with a basement divided into classrooms for religious purposes and it is in use today (2011). The land for the school and church was donated by Jacob Schell, son of Henry and Elizabeth. It may not have been deeded until later, by Jacob's son, Joshua. The church was established July 18, 1882 with elders J. A. (Arch Evans) and Al Broam and about 15 members. It grew to about 100 by 1928. Some early day preachers were Peter Roberts, Arch Evans, Elder Smith, Rufus Green, H. J. Good, Bro. Miller, Loren Dabbs, Jim Red, Elbert Packwood, C.H. Roe, Bro. Harmon, Bro. Elston. Brother Arch Evans preached over a period of many years. Antioch Cemetery is considered the family cemetery of the Schells, and other related families as well as other families that were earlier settlers of the area. Antioch Cemetery and Chapel are located on a beautiful hilltop overlooking the banks of Big Sugar Creek in McDonald County Missouri. This location was a church yard before it was a cemetery. An old church building stood on the property for many years. Family legend says that the old church was built from lumber from the old Van Winkle Saw Mill of War Eagle, Benton County Arkansas. This story is very similar to the history of the original home of Henry and Elizabeth Schell that was located nearby. The Schell home was built about 1845, and was built from lumber from the Van Winkle Mill. It is possible that they were built about the same time. This denomination of this church is unknown at this later time, possibly it was a 'union' church and used by several denominations. The first burial in the cemetery occurred in 1886, when Bell Clanton, the infant daughter of J.J. and Hannah (Schell) Clanton died and was buried there. The land at that time was owned by Hannah's father, Henry O. Schell who lived just north of the cemetery at Mountain. He had inherited the land from his parents, Henry Schell and Elizabeth (Yocum) Schell.
Some of the earliest graves represent many of the early families and include: Bell Clanton, 1886; Rose Pendergraft 1896; Rueben Burnett 1899; Elizabeth (Yocum) Schell 1900; J.J. Clanton 1902; Susan Vanzandt 1904; Mary Ann (Scott) Schell 1907; Mary Vanzandt 1906; Sarah Elizabeth (Strate) McCool 1908; Malissa Susan (Scott) Evans 1909; and William Archibald Evans 1910.
In the old days, when a family member died, the body was "laid out" in the home. Relatives and neighbors would go to the home of the loved one, and would "sit" with the family. The women might take their sewing basket and sit and do mending. It was also the custom for food to be taken to the home. These customs were meant to provide emotional support to the family of the deceased.
In those early days caskets and embalming were rarely used especially in the rural areas. The sons of Henry and Elizabeth Schell made most of the coffins in the community. Often a good supply of seasoned walnut lumber was kept on hand especially for this purpose. After covering the lid and the body of the casket with black satin cloth, the inside was covered with white material. White lace was put around the edge on the inside and wide black lace on the outside. The lid was fastened on with screws and nice handles were put on each side. This made a very nice and decent burial. He never charged anyone for his work, and he usually opened and closed the coffin at the funeral. Neighbors would gather at the cemetery, dig the grave down about four feet, then at the bottom of this, further deepen the grave in the shape of the coffin, which was about eight to fourteen inches at the head. This increased in width down to the shoulders, to the proper width, then tapered on down to the foot. The greatest difficult was in shaping the coffin at the shoulders. This was done with a hand saw, plane and boiling water, and one might be surprised how efficiently and quickly this was done.
The coffins were made of oak lumber, covered with broadcloth and lined with rayon. The materials for the coffins cost about $3.50, and if labor was charged it was an additional $.50. The coffin and body were taken to the cemetery by a wagon pulled by a team of horses. The grave would be dug by relatives and neighbors, and a vault was built of wood to line the grave. The coffin was lowered into the grave using the check lines off the harness of the horses. The headstone was a large fieldstone from the hillside. In the 1930s these traditions began to change to more modern ways. It was not until May 22, 1940 that a parcel of land was deeded to the Antioch Cemetery by Hannah (Schell) Clanton's two sons, Sherman and Purley Clanton. In 1971, another parcel was deeded by Martha Irene Schell. In 1980, an additional parcel was deeded by Carl and Viola Carden. In 2005 additional property was deeded by Jerry Carden. These individuals are all descendants of Henry and Elizabeth (Yocum) Schell. The old church building on the property stood until about 1945 when it was torn down and the current flag-stone chapel was built. The cemetery has been in continuous use through the years, with graves from all decades.
During the period 1930 to 1984 there were three caretakers that had the responsibility of the cemetery: (1930-1964 Samuel Joshua Schell; 1964-1971 Purley Clanton; 1971-1984 Rollo Vaun Schell) Records of burials were kept by the caretakers, and in 1975 Vaun Schell made small headstones from concrete to replace many of the unmarked stones. All but twelve graves were identified. A debt of gratitude is owed to these caretakers. Much of their labor was volunteer, and they sometimes paid for necessary items from their own funds. Vaun Schell has provided many details regarding the history of the cemetery. It is a tradition to attend church services at Antioch Church on Mother's day, bring a dish (of food) and then go to the cemetery to eat, visit, and decorate the graves. The Cemetery Chapel is opened to provide a space to set out the food on long tables. It is a wonderful time to gather and enjoy the food and company. This tradition has been going on for many years, at least since the 1950's and possibly earlier. There were group photos taken in the early 1950's in front of Antioch Church, of many members of the Schell family. In 1984, it was decided that a cemetery board would be formed and by-laws written. The cemetery is supported by donations. The first to serve were three trustees, Carl Carden, Eddie Winter, Dean Hall, and Secretary-treasurer Margarette Coberley. This system has continued until the present day (2010), and the cemetery is well-cared for and continues to provide comfort and refuge.
Henry Schell (1810 - 1863)*
Manervia Schell Fry (1836 - 1921)*
Nathaniel Schell (1839 - 1922)*
Frederick Schell (1840 - 1921)*
Henry Schell (1841 - 1928)*
Philip Schell (1846 - 1927)*
Jacob C. Schell (1849 - 1906)*
Mary Schell Pendergraft (1851 - 1945)*
Anna Schell Miller (1854 - 1931)*
Elizabeth Schell Ethridge (1855 - 1884)*
Lucinda Schell Pendergraft (1856 - 1940)*
Sarah Schell Burnett (1860 - 1938)*
Jesse Schell (1862 - 1946)*
Maintained by: Gayle Foster
Originally Created by: Gloria Jean
Record added: Feb 18, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6192186