A Strange Affair

William Page was born 24 November 1766 in Albemarle Co., VA. He married 2 November 1790 in Albemarle Co., VA to Elizabeth Smith, and they had 4 known daughters. I wish to speak of two – Elizabeth Ann and Juliann.

Juliann was the youngest, born 15 October 1810.  She married on 27 December 1827 to Melkijah Gillock, the son of James Gillock and Celia Hunt.  Melkijah was born 6 January 1805, and died 28 August 1830.  In the 3 years they were married, Melkijah and Juliann had 2 children.  The son was named William P. Gillock, born 23 November 1828, died circa 1853.  He married Catherine Renfro, but they had no children before his untimely death.

The other child was a daughter named America.  America was born 23 July 1830, roughly a month before her father died, and she was left in the care of her aunt Elizabeth, when Juliann married John T. Barlow on September 7, 1840.  He and Juliann had 3 more children, 2 boys and a girl.  Frank and John Barlow, their sons, are buried in the Morrison- Hammer Cemetery on Horseshoe Bend of Boyd’s Creek, off old Hwy 63, in the woods now.

John and Juliann Barlow also had a daughter, Anna C. Barlow, who was born in 1846.  She married John B. Snoddy, and they moved west, ending up in Texas.  John was of the Snoddys of the Boyd’s Creek country, and his family were neighbors with John and Juliann Barlow.

Juliann was not well after she gave birth to Anna, and on September 4, 1847, around a year after Anna’s birth, she hung herself in an upstairs room of their house on Boyd’s Creek, located near the quarry between Burkesville Road and Hollow Road.  The house was supposedly the one Warren Tobin occupied for many years. There is a small cemetery there, known locally as the Powell, or Sikes, burying ground.  Warren Tobin and his wife and a few family members are buried there.

Juliann’s sister Elizabeth was born in 1796 in Virginia.  She married Robert Strange when she was in her late 30s, and they had no children, though she raised her niece, America Ann Gillock.  They both lived to be quite advanced in years, and America was their only heir.

When William Page came to Barren county from Virginia in 1812, he purchased land from John H. Baker, one of the bricklayers of the first courthouse at Glasgow.  The farm was on the north bank of Skaggs Creek, off of the present Hwy 249, about 5 miles south of Glasgow.  He lived on this farm until his death in 1839, and he is buried in a small family cemetery there.  The house was built between 1815 and 1824 by William Page.  Originally there were 4 rooms, 2 down and 2 up; rafters are hand-hewn yellow poplar with floors and mantels of black walnut.  Brick was made on the place.  At one time it was a stage stop with a driveway circling the house.  It is a handsome old home situated on a hill overlooking fine farm land and Skaggs Creek.

Elizabeth married Col. Robert Strange in 1838, shortly before her father’s death.  The Stranges were both along in years when they married, and I’m sure they knew they would never have children of their own.  It was probably at this time that they took in America to raise.  When William Page died, the house was left to the Stranges, and they in turn left it to America.  Betsy died in 1876, and Robert in 1887.  The Stranges were buried in the cemetery on the farm, which reverted to America.

America Gillock married 26 November 1849 to Hardin Davis Ralston.  He owned quite a large farm on the lower part of Skaggs Creek, near Bruce, off Hwy 31E.  They had 9 children, several boys in the brood, known as the Ralston Brothers.  They became quite famous locally as entrepreneurs.

In 1892, or thereabouts, the Strange farm was sold to Flem Page.  It contained a great deal of very valuable timber.  The land amounted to several hundred acres, and the sale of it brought many thousands of dollars.

In 1920 the property was purchased by John C. Rousseau, who occupied the home until 1930.  A portion of the land, if not all of it, went to Fanning Johnson, who owned most of the land on both sides of Skaggs Creek, from Hwy 249 at Ray’s Ford, around the bend of the creek to Buffalo Ford, and to the tip of land where Sneed Kinslow owned a fine farm in the long ago.  Fanning died in 1924, and his family carried on the management thereof.

John Rousseau sold the house in 1930 to Ernest “Jack” Brown, who then deeded the farm to his son, Robert Brown.  The last I knew Mr. and Mrs. Sam McGuire owned the Strange house and did still reside there.  As to Jack Brown, the old road from Hwy 249 south to old Buffalo Ford was named Jack Brown Road in his honor.



About Gclee

I am a long time genealogy and local history hunter from Barren Co., KY. I have many stories to share that may be of interest to other local genealogists and history buffs. I enjoy this as a hobby and hope I can be of encouragement to others. I also hope everyone enjoys my stories as much as I have enjoyed learning about them.
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One Response to A Strange Affair

  1. Sissy p. says:

    Hi, Thank you for sharing this. Melkijah Gillock was my long ago great Uncle and Julian was my Aunt. the story I was told my long ago Cousin American Jane her daughter find her mother, I would love to hear more about my family, The Childress, Greer, Gillock, Ellis and other families from Barren co ky. yes, my Mom family is related to half of barren co and other places in ky..

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