Cyrus J. Prater

Cyrus J. Prater

Death 18 Jan 1908 (aged 72)
Burial Gasconade County, Missouri, USA
Memorial ID 59342944 · View Source
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On the June 18, 1900 Census Record, he gives his birth date as January 1840 in Kentucky. He gives his marriage year as 1885 (but it was 1887) and stated he was married for 15 years (but they were married 13 years). I believe he just rounded them off for the census taker.

He married Virginia Frances DYSON in Maries County, MO. The source for this if found on page 188A in the Index to Marriage Book "B", Maries County, MO. 1881-1890. They married on 06 March 1887 at the home of her father (Manless Dyson).

Their first child (Ina Prater) was born in November.

He served in a few 'irregular' units during [and after] the war with most of his wife's uncles [he was 45 and she had just turned 18 when they married].

In the 1900 US Census Records, he and his family are listed under the name "Tyrus" Prather. He and Virginia were at that time married for 15 years and were living in Boulware, Gasconade, Missouri. His parents were listed as both being born in Scotland. It is unknown if he meant Scotland County (a northern county in Missouri) or the country of Scotland. Cyrus also states on this census record that he can read and write.

He is believed to be the first Prather that changed his last name to Prater according to a vague memory of his granddaughter.

His granddaughter firmly states that he ALWAYS was called Cyrus by all family members. Cyrus and his wife had 7 children-4 girls and 3 boys. Their last child was born in 1904.

Cyrus was 7 years older than Jesse James of the James Gang. He became so FASCINATED with James, the leader of the gang, (and Frank, his brother), that Cyrus named two of his sons after them: Jesse James Prater and Frank James Prater.

The Jesse James gang consisted of various members at different times and for different robberies. On at least one occasion, Cyrus rode with the gang. The hungry gang, hanging out in the woods, spotted and stole a pot of food that a farmer's wife was cooking. They ate it all and wanting to act as gentlemen...sent Cyrus back up the hill with the pot to return it. Well, the wife was ready for him and shots were fired. When Cyrus got home, he told his wife that he did not like being shot at. He followed the news accounts about the gang but never hung around them again.

The family legend is that wine glasses used at the wedding of Cyrus and Virginia were said to have been stolen from a Union officers railroad car.

*******It is unknown where he is actually buried. The Gasconade County Cemetery Survey Book created by the Gasconade Historical Society in 1985 is very detailed and Cyrus Prater is not listed in the entire county of Gasconade. He could be buried on a farm somewhere, because he was a farmer according to the census record of 1900.

His wife and daughter (Lola Belle) are both buried at Useful Cemetery. The son of Cyrus and Virginia is buried in Buschmann Cemetery. His name is Richard and he is in the Gasconade County Cemetery Survey Book.

This writer does not believe the headstone featured on this memorial page is his, I, therefore, created another memorial page for G.J. Prater.... because G.J. IS LISTED IN THE SURVEY BOOK.

According to a newspaper obit for his wife Virginia Frances Owens, (Jefferson City Post Tribune of June 28, 1962) it states in her obit that Cyrus Prater died in 1908 and goes on to tell of her next marriage to Steven Owens.

Cyrus Prater is my DIRECT ancestor.

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  • Maintained by: Barbara
  • Originally Created by: Doug Carroll
  • Added: 28 Sep 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 59342944
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Cyrus J. Prater (6 Jan 1836–18 Jan 1908), Find A Grave Memorial no. 59342944, citing Buschmann Cemetery, Gasconade County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Barbara (contributor 47460990) .