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 Fielding McDaniel

Fielding McDaniel

Harrison County, Kentucky, USA
Death 1 Apr 1877 (aged 58)
Lewis County, Missouri, USA
Burial Monticello, Lewis County, Missouri, USA
Memorial ID 5081116 · View Source
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Grandfather Fielding’s ancestors emigrated from Scotland sometime in the 18th century. They were in Pennsylvania for a while and then moved on to Kentucky, where some of them stayed and became bankers.

Fielding’s grandparents, Robert and LuAnn McDaniel, were both in the Revolutionary War, he as a soldier and she at Valley Forge as a nurse. They had ten children, of whom Fielding’s father George was one.

Fielding met and married his wife while still living in Kentucky, but they decided to migrated to Missouri in 1860. His wife and all his children moved with him, except Louisa Jane, who had died as an infant. They settled in Lewis Co., Missouri, where Fielding bought a farm and where he spent the remaining years of his life. He and his wife are buried in Zion Hill Cemetery, where there will be five generations buried after Uncle Bob takes his place there.

Fielding was the son of George McDaniel & Susana McDaniel. He married Nancy McClure on 9 February 1842 & they had 8 children.

Our McDaniel Lineage
The McDaniel family emigrated from Scotland in the early part of the 18th century and were in Pennsylvania, by the time Robert was born on 7 April 1787, in Harrisburg. He married Luann McDonnell, and they both served in the Revolutionary War, Luann as a nurse at Valley Forge. They later migrated to Kentucky, where Robert died on 4 July 1826. Sometime in the 1830's, Luann migrated to Sangamon Co., IL, with her two youngest sons and spent the remainder of her life there. She died 11 January 1850, and is buried at Mechanicsburg Cemetery, Mechanicsburg, IL, where the Daughters of the American Revolution have erected a bronze plaque on her grave commemorating her service in that war.

Robert and Luann's son George married Susana McDaniel on 10 May 1813, in Harrison Co., KY, and remained in the Cynthiana area, where he died 20 July 1847.

George and Susana's son Fielding married Nancy McClure on 9 Feb 1842, in Harrison Co., KY. Nancy was probably descended from Andrew McClure, who immigrated to the United States from Co. Donegal, Ireland, in the early 18th century. Her mother was said to be half Cherokee Indian.

When Fielding and Nancy migrated with their family to Lewis Co., MO, in the 1860's, they left behind their families, which included affluent bankers and slaveholders, and this was one of the countless families which experienced the heart wrenching sorrow which divided families at the time of the Civil War. All six of their grown daughters and their only son William Crockett came with them, and they settled down again to the farm life in Zion Township. Here all the children married, and William Crockett remained on the home place and raised his family there. It is said that upon returning home from a hunting expedition, he learned that his sisters had broken into his strongbox and spent all his money while he was gone. He threatened to horsewhip them unless they signed over their share of the family property to him.

William Crockett McDaniel and his wife Rosanna Foreman Nall raised two sons and three daughters on the family farm. Besides being a farmer, William Crockett owned a threshing machine and helped to support his family by traveling from place to place hiring out to others. His daughter Mary Evelyn was an old maid schoolteacher, and she and her sister Nancy Anne met their future husbands when they traveled to Montana on vacation to visit their Uncle Jeptha Porter Nall on his sheep ranch. Nancy Anne's future husband was from Montana, and she married him and settled down there, while Mary Evelyn's future husband was working there as a cowboy at the time. John Robert became an electrical engineer and resided in Dixon, IL. Jeptha Fielding lost one of his sons, a fighter pilot, in World War II, when his plane collided with another over London.

After attending agricultural college at Columbia, MO, Bill Knight married Anna Bea Gruber, a local girl from the neighboring township, and they spent the first year of their married life living with William Crockett and his unmarried daughter Mary Evelyn at the family homestead. It was here that their first child Edna May was born on her parents' first wedding anniversary. Bill Knight's brother Jep and his wife Nettie were also living in the home. Because of the dissension created by three women in the same kitchen, Bill Knight and Bea were soon given a small farm with a two room house a short distance away, and this would become their home for the remainder of their lives. Bea had purposely chosen a gray wedding dress, for according to an old saying prevalent then, "Married in gray you'll live far away," but she settled down within two miles of both the McDaniel and Gruber families.

Bill Knight was a good farmer and a good neighbor. He raised dairy cattle, hogs, and sheep, and kept two workhorses Jim and Dolly and a riding horse Coaly, as well as mules at one time. He was always available to help neighbors with dehorning, castrations, sheep shearing, or for whatever he might have been needed. He and Bea also ran a sorghum mill. People from far and near brought their cane here to be turned into sorghum, which was then a staple for sweetening, at a time when sugar was very expensive and farmers could grow their own cane. He also produced enough sorghum to sell and received orders from states as far away as Kentucky, Montana, and New York. Bea helped around the farm with milking, gardening, and corn shelling, and she also raised chickens and ducks. She sold eggs to the hatchery for many years and at one time even had her own incubator for hatching eggs. Bill Knight raised tobacco for his own use, and Bea always had a huge garden, in addition to an orchard containing apple, pear, cherry, peach, and plum trees. The house and yard were completely surrounded by flowers of all sorts, which Bea lovingly tended. Bea also helped with the birthing of babies in the community and often spent several days in the home helping to care for the mother after the birth. The old woman who had given Bea her first bath as a baby was given her final bath after death by Bea.

In addition to Edna May, Bill Knight and Bea had two other daughters, Dorothy Ellen and Leta Mildred. In 1920, tragedy struck. One day as Edna May was helping her father in the barnyard, she was kicked in the head by a mule and died the following day. The loss of their oldest child made the other two girls doubly precious to them.

Within a few years, two more rooms were added to the house, and this is the home in which Dorothy and Leta grew up. Although Dorothy was a year older, their parents wanted both girls to start school together, so Dorothy stayed home until Leta was also able to begin. They attended Plano School, riding to and from school each day on their pony. Dorothy was left-handed, and in these times, most pupils were compelled by their teachers to use their right hands, Bea insisted that Dorothy be allowed to use her left. When it was time to begin high school, their Uncle Bob and Aunt May, being childless, subsidized the education of all their nieces and nephews, letting them live in a house they owned in Canton, so they could attend school. May's unmarried sister Ruth lived with them and acted as housemother. After all the other nieces and nephews had graduated, Dorothy and Leta still had two more years to go before graduation. Uncle Bob then paid room and board for them and they lived with Lillie Davis for their remaining years of high school. Dorothy and Leta both took piano lessons, and Dorothy played the clarinet and Leta the trumpet in the school band. They also participated in high school basketball. Dorothy was elected best citizen her senior year of high school. Although it was necessary for them to miss school several days during first grade when they had measles, neither of them missed another day of school for the remaining eleven years.

After Dorothy and Leta married and left home, Bill Knight and Bea were left alone on the farm, but they continued to remain active with their individual occupations and interests. One of Bill Knight's favorite activities was visiting at the Derrahs store, and he spent many happy hours there, jawing with neighbors. He also spent a lot of time resting. He had rigged up the headphones from an old crystal radio set to the telephone party line and liked to lie on his bed and listen anonymously to neighborhood calls. Bea spent much of her spare time in making quilts and comforters and tending her flowers or playing her banjo on the front steps while Bill Knight sat in his rocking chair on the front porch and smoked his corncob pipe.

Bill Knight and Bea were both raised Baptists, and they raised their children in this faith, attending Sunday School frequently at Antioch Baptist Church. However, Bea had not been happy in this religion for some time, and after Leta married a Catholic, Bea and Leta together began to investigate the Catholic Church. Under the guidance of Fr. Gannon of Canton, they both decided this was the faith they believed and were both baptized into the Catholic Church in 1939. Being raised Baptist, the Catholic Church was anathema to Bill Knight, and he and Bea came close to divorce at this time. His family even encouraged him to have her committed to a mental institution, because they believed anyone would have to be insane to be Catholic. Despite all this, Bea persevered and was a very devout Catholic, attending Mass faithfully each Sunday at St. Patrick Church, decorating the altars with her beautiful flowers and assisting at the annual St. Patrick Day and Fourth of July celebrations.

After the grandchildren began to come along in 1938, Bill Knight and Bea delighted in them, and all the grandchildren loved to stay at Grandma and Grandpa's house and remember them fondly. There were so many things to do which children today could never dream of. You could dress up in all the old clothes in the attic, make hollyhock dolls, or braid the grass on top of the cave where Grandma stored her jars of canned food. There was a large yard where you could turn somersaults. If you were old enough, you could mow the yard with the old push mower and earn fifty cents, or you could ferret out "Molly weeds" and earn a penny each. Grandma would show you how to make a spool doll like she had as a girl, and you could use bits of her quilt scraps for clothes. You could go to the corncrib with Grandma and help her shell the corn or to the hen house to feed the chickens. It was so much fun to climb the mulberry tree and eat the juicy berries or swing in the swing which hung in the cedar tree in the front yard. Sometimes Grandpa would saddle up old Dolly or Jim and let you ride one of the horses. Grandpa raised watermelon and cantaloupe, and when there were melon feeds in the front yard, you always had to save the seeds for Grandpa to plant next year and the rinds so Grandma could make watermelon pickles.

In the summer of 1954 after Bill Knight's brother Bob had acquired assets enough to keep him and his wife comfortably for the remainder of their lives, they decided to take Bill Knight and Bea on the first real vacation of their lives, and the four of them traveled "Out West." The grandchildren eagerly followed their progress through postcards from Grandma as they toured Pipestone National Monument, Devil's Tower, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park, and Grand Teton National Park and learned how they had played in the snow in the mountains, fed the bears at Yellowstone, and visited Bea's cousins in Spokane, WA.

When Bill Knight died as a result of incompetent prostate surgery in 1956, Bea was devastated to lose her life partner of 43 years, but she was buoyed up by her faith in God, and she was never really alone. She continued to run the farm alone until in 1958, she remarried and had to help raise a stepson. It was difficult for her to help raise a teenage son, but she managed to do her part, and in 1965, she buried a husband for a second time.

Again, Bea was left to go on alone. As she grew older, she was employed as a dishwasher at a coffee shop in Canton, and continued to drive her own car to work and to Mass. However, she gave up her chickens after raising them for fifty years. One day in March 1976 after having been into town with her granddaughter Bernie to buy groceries and as Bernie was helping her carry them into the house, Bea sat down on the sofa to rest, and it was while sitting here that she died. She lies reunited in death with her first husband Bill Knight at Zion Hill Cemetery, but those of us who loved her miss her still.

Family Members






  • Created by: Lillie Riney
  • Added: 17 Oct 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5081116
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Fielding McDaniel (28 Aug 1818–1 Apr 1877), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5081116, citing Zion Hill Cemetery, Monticello, Lewis County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Lillie Riney (contributor 22403448) .