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Mahala "Singing Water" Morris
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Birth: Apr. 15, 1789
North Carolina, USA
Death: Jan. 22, 1874
Arkansas, USA

An Extract From
The Children of John Blackwell
An American Odyssey
By
Peter Blackwell Preston
January 1999
CHAPTER 9 - THE FAMILY OF CLEMENT CUDE BLACKWELL

Clement Cude Blackwell was the seventh of nine children of Joseph Blackwell and Mary (Polly) Wilkins. He was born on 6 April 1826 on Wolf Creek, a tributary of Duck River, in the area that became known as Blackwell Hollow, in the northwest corner of Hickman County, Tennessee, astride the Hickman County-Perry County line. Clement Cude was named for his maternal grandfather Clement Wilkins, and John Cude, a close family friend and neighbor on Duck River (for whom Cude's Bend is named).

About five miles west of Blackwell Hollow, in Perry County, lived the Samuel Morris family on the Red Bank Branch of the Buffalo River. Samuel Morris had been born in Maryland and was married to a Cherokee Indian who was given the name Mahala. Mahala was born in North Carolina and was given a birth date of 15 May 1789. Her Cherokee name was Singing Water (as in a rocky stream or bubbling spring). She and Samuel Morris, who died around 1839, apparently had many children, the last of which was Jane Morris. Jane and Clement Blackwell were married on 6 September 1846 at Beardstown (there is still a church at that location), now incorporated into the current town of Lobeiville, in Perry County, Tennessee. Widow Mahala Morris came to live with them in Blackwell Hollow.

Their first child Jesse was born in 1848; twins Thomas and James died soon after their birth in 1849. In the autumn of 1850, within a short time after the birth of Jeremiah (later known as Dick), the Clement Blackwell family moved far to the west to Franklin County, Arkansas, northwest of Little Rock. They joined their cousin Jesse Blackwell (b. c l808) who had moved there from Hickman County around 1841, as noted in Chapter 3. Accompanying their immediate family was widow Mahala and possibly Clement's parents, Joseph and Mary. In the next few years, three more children were born: Samuel 1851, Richard 1853, Nancy 1854. Clement's father Joseph is believed to have died in Franklin County in 1858.

In search of an improved environment, Clement Blackwell moved, in 1855, to Tarrant County (Fort Worth), Texas; however, their stay was only a little over a year then returned to Arkansas. On their return trip by wagon their daughter Perniece was born on 11 March 1856, somewhere in northeast Texas. Upon their return to Arkansas, they settled in the Ozark Mountains on the Johnson County-Newton County line, in the same community to which cousin Jesse (b. c1808) had moved from Franklin County. By 1863 the community was joined by the James M. Shields family (see Chapter 3).

Between 1858 and 1867, six more children were born to Clement and Jennie at this location. Clement's first son, Jesse, married Matilda Hudson on 14 July 1867. She was a daughter of Andrew Hudson, a neighboring farmer in Newton County. In the same year Matilda Hudson's sister Eliza was married to William (Bill) Marion Carter. Bill was born in Polk County, Tennessee, on 1 October 1844 and came to Arkansas at age seven with his parents Zion Bly Carter and Berthenia Wright Carter, who was born in Tennessee on 5 September 1822. During the Civil War, Bill Carter was a private in the Union Army, in Company E, 4th Arkansas Cavalry, under Colonel Moore and General Runnels. In 1872 Bill Carter's wife Eliza Hudson died of childbirth complications, leaving him with three small children: Benjamin 1868, Sarah 1869, James 1872. Bill Carter apparently knew the Blackwell's through the Hudson's. So the story goes, Bill met Perniece Blackwell in the peanut patch and they were married on 11 December 1872, when Perniece was age sixteen.

On 17 August 1869, Clement Blackwell's eldest daughter Nancy, then age 15, married Simon Howard, who was then age 25. Around this time Richard, Nancy's brother, married Martha C. Byrd. In addition to marriages, the Blackwell-Hudson relationship became a common fence line when Clement Blackwell purchased 130 acres adjacent to John Hudson on the Hudson Fork of the Buffalo River in Newton County, near Parthenon. The land was purchased from Ambrose R. McPherson on 20 December 1869.

The 1870 census indicated that Jesse and his family were living in a separate household near his father and family. A few months prior to the census, on 2 March 1870, Leona Emmaline Blackwell was born, the fifteenth and last child of Clement and Jennie (Jane) Blackwell. Family matriarch Mahala, then 81, was still living with them, however, she died on 22 January 1874, at age 84. Mahala was buried in the Union Cemetery, on the south side of the town of Cincinnati in Washington County, Arkansas, near the Oklahoma border. The reason for her burial at that location is unknown, as the site is far removed from the Blackwell homestead. There is the possibility that, knowing death was near, she was being taken to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) to seek solace among the Cherokees." 
 
Family links: 
 Children:
  Jane W. Morris Blackwell (1829 - 1914)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
"MAHALA
MORRIS
DIED
Jan. 22, 1874
AGED
84Y.9M.7D"

"Our mother
In God's own morn her orb will
once more (be) a star in Paradise"
 
Burial:
Old Union Cemetery
Cincinnati
Washington County
Arkansas, USA
 
Maintained by: Pam R.
Originally Created by: Tracy L. Copeland-Copper...
Record added: May 07, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 5428783
Mahala Singing Water Morris
Added by: Glenita Randolph Guthrie
 
Mahala Singing Water Morris
Added by: Pam R.
 
Mahala Singing Water Morris
Added by: Pam R.
 
 
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Mahala Morris is my great, great, great, great grandmother.
- Jared Bell
 Added: Aug. 2, 2012
Mahala is my Great,Great,Great Grandmother. If any other decendants view this grave site, please contact me in Long Creek, Oregon.
- Neita Brockway
 Added: Mar. 6, 2012
Mahala is my Great,Great,Great Grandmother. If any other decendants view this grave site, please contact me in Long Creek, Oregon.
- Neita Brockway
 Added: Mar. 6, 2012
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