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WAYNE COUNTY JOURNAL BANNER
July 15, 1976 p. 4, Vol. 100, No. 22.

"Bicentennial Series: The Rubottom Family, Early Area Settlers"

By: Thomas W. Rubottom
Houston, Texas

This is reprinted by permission of the Wayne County Journal Banner, Piedmont, Missouri
And the family of Thomas W. Rubottom

Typed for the page by Mary Jane Hennon, Mjhennon@aol.com



This is one of a series of Bicentennial historical articles written especially for The Journal-Banner by its readers.

We are celebrating the two hundredth anniversary of the founding of our nation. Every individual in each generation of the past has contributed to the well being and growth of the nation. Today we stand as one of the great nations of the world. We have the oldest stable government ever devised by man. We as a people have more rights and freedom than any other country in the world.
The Rubottom family is a family that is truly representative of all that America stands for now and has stood for in the past. The family has contributed to the religious freedom enjoyed by all. They have contributed to the formation of our government. They have been pioneers in expanding our frontiers. Members of the family have entered into all the professions. They have been manufacturers, merchants, doctors, lawyers, clergymen, engineers, miners, and all other endeavors of the people. The family has contributed sons to defend our country and to guard the rights and freedom of the people. This has been a sacred trust handed down from generation to generation.
Eight generations of the Rubottom family have contributed their talents and ingenuity to the problems of their time. The family is a small family compared to many other families living in this country today. There are no more than two hundred individuals . . . living in the United States today bearing the name of Rubottom. Even so there are few families, which have contributed more to the overall development and permanency of the United States than this family.
Family tradition, search of records and written history gives us intimate knowledge of each generation of the Rubottom family. This knowledge helps us to understand the past and to see the future dimly. For the present it encourages us and makes us appreciative of our legacy.
The Rubottom family in America had its beginning with its forebearers in Wales. The written history of Wales is small. The Welsh part of the Scotch. The Welsh lived in clans before the fifteenth Century. Each clan was headed by a prince; thus each member of the clan was of Royal Blood. The Welsh were very proud of their ancestry. Genealogy was important to them. When the Welshman died his estate was divided equally among the members of the family or clan. A Welshman bore only one name. They proved their ancestry by adding their father's name to their own name, with the prefix AP. John AP Henry meant John the son of Henry. We find records giving as high as 35 names, such as John AP Henry AP Thomas AP Simon, etc. Land, cattle, and sheep were owned by the whole clan. They grazed their animals in the lowlands during the winter and in the high valleys during the summer. Their buildings were stone structures. The house and barn was separated by a breeze-way. Often a separate field house was used for storage of grain, fodder and tools.
Before Christianity was introduced into Wales, the Druids conducted their religious services and courts of law. The Druid religious structures were round. The Welsh built their Christian Churches on the Druid foundations; therefore many churches in Wales today are round structures. The Welsh cemeteries were adjacent to their churches. The Welsh people held their social and religious activities at their churches and cemeteries. They would travel long distances to attend festivals and meetings at their churches and cemeteries. They liked music and gatherings for social reasons, and have always liked their freedom and loved their country.
The Welsh loved their language, too. It is a difficult language to master. They have defended their country against all invaders. The Romans were unable to defeat the Welsh, and the English have tried to invade Wales several times but found the invasion too costly. The English used another tactic in dealing with the Welsh. They made their armed forces attractive to the Welshmen. They were so successful in this that the English Armies used on the European continent were mostly made up of Welshmen. The Welshmen were skillful craftsmen. They were excellent musicians and singers also. All Wales would have a festival each year, usually in August, and each community would display their handicraft work for sale or trade. This was a type of national fair. This custom is carried on in our own time. Most of the Welsh art and writing of the past have been destroyed or lost, but as far as we know the women wore colorful dress but the dress of the men was rather drab. The Welsh are of sturdy build, are fair complexioned and have light colored hair. The Welsh are very religious and unwavering in their loyalties.
The Revolution in the northern shires of England, which also affected life in Wales, was due to religious and political turmoil. This unrest caused many men to consider immigrating with their families to the American colonies. The colonies were becoming prosperous while England was occupied with wars on the European continent. During this period the colonies were allowed much freedom in government, religion and trade. The colonies were becoming a strong force in commerce with each other and countries of Europe. The colonies were producing furs, indigo, grain, tobacco and other products in ever-increasing quantities. The government of England took note of this condition and moved toward forcing all trade to be cleared through London. This led to unrest in the colonies.
About 1763 a young Welshman, still in his teenage years, arrived in a port on the Delaware River in America. We do not know whether the port was Chester or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He had started his voyage to America from an English port, probably Plymouth, as a stow-a-way. The voyage had been by way of ports to Holland and Ireland. The young man was Thomas Rubottom, the first person of that surname of which there is a record in America.
Thomas Rubottom was a member of the society of friends, (Quakers), and joined in the southern migration of Quakers from Delaware and Pennsylvania. He traveled through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and into North Carolina Colony. Thomas Rubottom located in what was Orange County, near where the town of Siler City is located. There he met Phebe Dixon, daughter of George and Ann (Chandler) Dixon. The Dixons were Quakers, so they had much in common. George Dixon's father was William, son of Henry and Rose Dixon, of County Armagh, Ireland. The Dixons had migrated from Scotland to Ireland due to the religious persecutions in Scotland under the Scotch king. William Dixon was born in 1662 in County Armagh, Ireland and was a Quaker immigrant to New Castle, Delaware. He married Ann Greg of New Castle. George Dixon was born in 1706 in New Castle, Delaware. He and his wife Ann (Chandler) Dixon moved from Delaware to Orange County, North Carolina in 1767. They were the parents of five children, Enoch, Caleb, Phebe, Joshua, and George. Ann Chandler's father, Swithin Chandler, and his wife Ann were the parents of eight children, all born in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Swithin Chandler's father died at sea on the voyage from England to America. The Chandler's home had been in Wiltshire, England.
Thomas Rubottom and Phebe (Dixon) Rubottom were the parents of nine children: Simon born in 1769, Ezekiel born in 1770, and seven girls. Thomas Rubottom was a member of the Chatham Militia of North Carolina in 1772. He and his brothers-in-law were active in the regulator movement before the Revolutionary War started. This organization was suppressed by the English and their petitions for better government ignored. Thomas Rubottom was a member of Captain Joab Brook's Company of the Chatham Militia. The company consisted of 138 men. Thomas Rubottom owned land in Chatham County, North Carolina in 1790. Thomas Rubottom and Phebe (Dixon) Rubottom died in Chatham County, North Carolina and are buried in the Old Napton Cemetery, Quaker, located just south of Siler City. The Quaker meeting house and school was also located near the cemetery. The last burial in the Napton Cemetery was a person named Dowd, a descendant of Thomas Rubottom and Phebe (Dixon) Rubottom's daughter Hannah (Rubottom) Dowd.
Simon Rubottom, son of Thomas and Phebe (Dixon) Rubottom, married Elizabeth Dunn of Orange County, North Carolina in 1790. They were the parents of fifteen children: Joseph, Mary, Jane, George, Thomas, Hannah, William, Ruth, Dinah, Samuel, Ezekiel, Elizabeth, John, Mahala, and Zeno. The family moved from North Carolina to Lawrence County, Indiana in 1815. They were Quakers and opposed to slavery as it existed in North Carolina. The Quakers were not all of the same opinion concerning slavery and many of them moved to Indiana. They established very progressive communities in Indiana. Simon Rubottom's descendants are to be found in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Nevada, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Oregon and California. Simon Rubottom's son, Thomas, was a member of a delegation that established the First Quaker Church west of the Mississippi River. The church was located in Iowa. His son, George, kept a diary of the family's move from North Carolina to Indiana in 1815. The letter is still in existence. His son William migrated to California in 1870 and settled in Los Angeles County. There he met William Wiley Rubottom, son of Ezekiel Rubottom of Wayne County, Missouri. This is the first record of the meeting of the two branches of the family. In 1907, Richard M. Rubottom, son of Lafayette Rubottom of Wayne County, Missouri, visited Samuel Rubottom, a son of Simon Rubottom, in Illinois. Descendants of Simon Rubottom and Elizabeth (Dunn) Rubottom have been outstanding in church work, as ministers in the Quaker organization, Methodist and Baptist ministers. They have also been outstanding in agriculture, music, manufacturing, teaching and other professions. Simon Rubottom and Elizabeth (Dunn) Rubottom lived in Parke County, Indiana when they died and were buried in the Bloomingdale Cemetery in Parke County.
Ezekiel Rubottom, son of Thomas Rubottom and Phebe (Dixon) Rubottom was born in Chatham County, North Carolina in 1770. He grew to maturity in Chatham and Moore Counties. He lived with his father's family in Moore County, North Carolina in 1790. Ezekiel Rubottom married Eleanor Bettis, daughter of Elija Bettis of Moore County in 1791. They were the parents of four children: Pleasant, Civility, Mary and William Wiley. The first three children named were born in Moore County, North Carolina; William Wiley Rubottom was born in Wayne County, Missouri in 1809. In 1803 Ezekiel Rubottom with Elijah Bettis and several other families emigrated from North Carolina westward through the Cumberland Gap through Tennessee. The wagon train consisted of twenty wagons. The wagon train entered Missouri territory in 1804. They traveled on until they reached what is now Wayne County, Missouri. Ezekiel Rubottom entered land in Wayne County in 1806. The land entered was located on the south bank of Lake Creek and west of the St. Francis River. Eleanor (Bettis) Rubottom died in 1809. Ezekiel Rubottom married, second, Parmelia Parish, daughter of Joseph Parish of Wayne County. The Parish family came originally, from Orange County, Virginia. The family was the first white family to settle in what is now Wayne County. Joseph Parish served in the Orange County, Virginia Militia during the Revolutionary War. Ezekiel Rubottom and Parmelia (Parish) Rubottom were the parents of eight children: David, Lafayette, Frances, Thomas P., Polashan, Simon Noel, Ezekiel, and Charnelsa. All the children were born in Wayne County.
Ezekiel Rubottom was probably educated in the Napton School established by the Quakers in 1780 in Chatham County, North Carolina. This school was located near the church meeting house and cemetery. He was trained as a blacksmith and gunsmith as was his brother Simon. The founding law, section two, establishing Wayne County, named Ezekiel Rubottom as one of the commissioners to choose a county seat. Ezekiel Rubottom was a surveyor and helped lay out parts of old Greenville. The same commissioners were also charged with laying out the precinct boundaries. Ezekiel Rubottom had experience in observing a new country being formed. He knew a strong government was essential to progress and development of the country. He had witnessed this in North Carolina. The country was only 36 years old when Ezekiel Rubottom was appointed Justice of the Peace in St. Francis Township, Cape Girardeau County, Territory of Missouri in 1817. He served as a member of the First General Assembly of the State of Missouri held in St. Charles, Missouri. He represented Wayne County in the assembly. Ezekiel Rubottom served in several county offices during the early days of the county. He was also a Baptist minister. Parmelia (Parish) Rubottom died in 1844 and was probably buried in the old Rubottom /Cemetery located behind their home. Ezekiel Chandler Rubottom died in 1857 at the age of 89 years. His grave is also, probably, beside Parmelia (Parish) Rubottom's grave in the old cemetery behind their home.
Pleasant D. Rubottom, son of Ezekiel Chandler Rubottom and Eleanor (Bettis) Rubottom was born in 1791 in Moore County, North Carolina. He married Jean Robinson of Wayne county, Missouri in 1815. This is all the history known of Pleasant D. Rubottom.
Civility Rubottom, daughter of Ezekiel Chandler Rubottom and Eleanor (Bettis) Rubottom, was born in Moore County, North Carolina, in 1795. She grew to maturity in Wayne county, Missouri and married, (1st), David Logan of Wayne County. She married (2nd), Overton Bettis of Wayne County. Civility Rubottom Bettis' descendants were pioneers in the development of Arkansas and Los Angeles County, California. Her descendants are found in Arkansas, Texas, and California.
Mary Rubottom, daughter of Ezekiel Chandler Rubottom and Eleanor (Bettis) Rubottom, was born in Moore County, North Carolina in 1797. She married Robert A. Logan of Wayne County, Missouri in 1816. Robert Logan was the first surveyor of Wayne County.
William Wiley Rubottom, son of Ezekiel Chandler Rubottom and Eleanor (Bettis) Rubottom was born in Wayne County, Missouri in 1809. He grew to maturity in Wayne County and married Sarah Ann Edwards of Wayne County. He led a wagon train to Spadra, Johnson County, Arkansas in 1842. About 1849 William Wiley Rubottom organized another wagon train and moved west to California. He settled in the El Monte District and later moved to Cucamonga, California. After he had been in California for about fifteen years be bought some land and started a town, which he named Spadra, after the township in Arkansas. He was the first postmaster of Spadra. He built a hotel on his land and called it the "Rubottom House." The stagecoaches used the "Rubottom House" to change horses and to rest the weary travelers on their long journeys. The hotel was known far and wide for its food and hospitality. William Wiley Rubottom was known as "Uncle Billy." He was a colorful character and was widely known in the Pomona Valley of California. In 1875 he and his wife Sarah and their grandson, Kewen Dorsey, visited his two brothers Thomas P. and Lafayette in Wayne County. The visit lasted about six months. During this time uncle Billy told his brother Lafayette that there were not any opossums in California. After the visit Uncle Billy and Sarah Ann returned to California. Lafayette Rubottom and his son Richard M. Rubottom trapped two pair of opossum and shipped them to Uncle Billy. Today there are many opossum in California, all descendants of the Wayne County opossums. William Wiley Rubottom and Sarah Ann (Edwards) Rubottom lived to celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary in the "Rubottom House". Descendants of William Wiley Rubottom and Sarah Ann (Edwards) Rubottom live in California. They died soon after their trip to Missouri and are buried near Spadra, California.
David Rubottom, son of Ezekiel Chandler Rubottom and Parmelia (Parish) Rubottom was born in Wayne County, Missouri in 1817. He grew to maturity in Wayne County, and married Elvira Timmons of Wayne County who was born in Kentucky. They were the parents of six children: Jane H., Sarah Ann, Frances L., Margret, Samuel and Timmel R. David Rubottom was a farmer in Wayne County and died young. He died about 1859.
Lafayette Rubottom, son of Ezekiel Chandler Rubottom and Parmelia (Parish) Rubottom, was born in Wayne County, Missouri in 1824. He grew to maturity in Wayne County and married Martha Creasy of Wayne County. She was the daughter of William and Bashaba (Taylor) Creasy of Wayne County. They were the parents of six children: Ezekiel C., Frances P., Richard M., Benjamin H., and Sallie P. Lafayette and Martha (Creasy) Rubottom lived with his father until he died. Lafayette Rubottom lived on the old home farm and purchased land adjacent to it. He was a successful and progressive farmer. Lafayette Rubottom served in the Confederate forces during the civil War. Lafayette Rubottom died in 1904 and is buried in the Rubottom Cemetery as is Martha (Creasy) Rubottom. The cemetery is located about two miles west of Old Greenville on the old Greenville to Piedmont road. Their descendants have been educators, lawyers, farmers, diplomats, politicians, ministers, business people, military careerists, marine enterprises and other endeavors.
Descendants of Lafayette Rubottom and Martha (Creasy) Rubottom are located in Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Texas, Washington DC, California and Florida.
Thomas P. Rubottom, son of Ezekiel Chandler Rubottom and Parmelia (Parish) Rubottom, was born in Wayne County, Missouri in 1827. He grew to maturity in Wayne County. The name of his first wife is unknown (NOTE FROM MARY JANE HENNON: His first wife was Mary Cox.) They were the parents of one child, Mary Penelope. Thomas P. Rubottom was married second, Frances Edward of Wayne County, Missouri. They were the parents of two children: Robert Lee and Charles. He married third, Sarah Emma (Huffman) Walker, widow of Robert Walker of Wayne County. Sarah Emma Huffman was born in Indiana. She and Robert Walker were the parents of two children: Mary E. G. Walker, born in Michigan, and Parmelia I. Walker born in Missouri. Thomas P. Rubottom and Sarah Emma (Huffman) Rubottom were the parents of four children: Kewen Dorsey, Thomas Newton, William Huston, and Frederick G. Sarah Emma (Huffman) Rubottom died in 1882. She was buried in the north side of the front yard of the home of their farm. Thomas P. Rubottom married fourth, Melissa McGhee, widow, living in Wayne County. Thomas P. Rubottom was an excellent farmer and at one time owned about 600 acres of land in Wayne County. During the Civil War he was a member of Company A. 47th Missouri Infantry of the Union Army. He was mustered into the service at Pilot Knob and was stationed at Patterson. He was in the Battle of Pilot Knob. A detachment of the Union Army was stationed on his farm. Many thought there was a cemetery between the house and the barn on his farm. This belief was due (to) there being many head stones located between the house and the barn. The tomb stones were placed there by the soldiers to use as card tables. At one time there were many relics of the Civil War on the hill back of the house. The writer has a cavalry sword used in the Battle of Greenville. Thomas P. Rubottom was a man of quick temper and an excellent boxer. He used this skill to advantage during the Civil War. He was of striking appearance; he had blue eyes, a fair complexion and was five foot ten inches in height. He and his brother Lafayette were very striking in their resemblance to each other. Thomas P. Rubottom died on his farm in 1908. He is buried in the Rubottom Cemetery, located about two miles west of old Greenville. Melissa (McGhee) Rubottom moved from the farm after the death of Thomas P. Rubottom and lived in Williamsville until her death about 1928. Descendants of Thomas P. Rubottom live in Missouri, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Florida, California and Illinois. The descendants have been prominent as educators, farmers, business people, engineers, politicians, miners, railroad employees, accountants, and many other professions.
Polashan Rubottom, daughter of Ezekiel Chandler Rubottom and Parmelia (Parish) Rubottom, was born in Wayne County, Missouri in 1829. She grew to maturity in Wayne County and married Champ Smith of this county. They were the parents of five children: William R., Anna, Mary E., Wayne B., and Mason. Champ Smith was the son of George Smith of Wayne County. The family lived in Butler County for a period of time. Champ Smith was killed by union troops in 1865. Champ Smith was born in Tennessee. His parents were born in Virginia. After the death of Champ Smith, Polashan (Rubottom) Smith moved back to Wayne County, Missouri. Descendants of Polashan (Rubottom) Smith live in Wayne and Butler Counties, Missouri
Simon Noel Rubottom, son of Ezekiel Chandler Rubottom and Parmelia Parish Rubottom, was born in Wayne County, Missouri in 1830. He grew to maturity in Wayne County and studied medicine. He was married to Eliza Wiscarver in Poplar Bluff, Missouri in 1859. He began the practice of medicine in Greenville, Missouri in 1861. He and his family moved from Wayne County to a farm located about fifteen miles northwest of Poplar Bluff. Simon Noel Rubottom and Eliza (Wiscarver) Rubottom were the parents of nine children: William L., Elcey T., and Perlie A., President T., Richard M., Ezekiel Z., George L., Oscar M., and Benjamin T. Simon Noel Rubottom continued his practice of medicine in Butler County, and he was also a successful farmer. He died December 6, 1906, and is buried in a cemetery near his farm. Eliza (Wiscarver) Rubottom died September 4, 1910. She is buried in the same cemetery as Simon Noel Rubottom. Descendants of Simon Noel Rubottom and Eliza (Wiscarver) Rubottom are to be found in Butler County, and St. Louis counties, Missouri. They are also found in Kansas and California. Their descendants have been successful in business, motion picture industries, farming, lawyers and other industries.
Ezekiel Rubottom, son of Ezekiel Chandler Rubottom and Parmelia (Parish) Rubottom, was born in Wayne County, Missouri. He grew to maturity in Wayne County, and married Elizabeth Timmons of Wayne County. They were the parents of two children: Emphery and William L. Rubottom. Ezekiel Rubottom moved from Wayne County to Los Angeles County, California about 1854 where he died in 1858. He is buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. Elizabeth (Timmons) Rubottom stayed in California after the death of Ezekiel and married Alvin Routree, a Deputy Sheriff of Los Angeles County, California. Descendants of Ezekiel Rubottom settled in Felton, California and were very successful as manufacturers of farm machinery. The "Rubottom" plow was widely used in California in the 1800's and 1900's. Descendants of Ezekiel Rubottom are still living in California.
Charnelsa Rubottom, daughter of Ezekiel Rubottom and Parmelia (Parish) Rubottom was born in Wayne County, Missouri in 1833. She grew to maturity in Wayne County, Missouri. The history of Charnelsa Rubottom is unknown.
The above is a sketchy history of the Rubottom family in America, from the start of the country to the present day. The history of the family has been the history of the country. This history reaches from coast to coast, including Alaska and Hawaii. Two Rubottom families of which there is a record have emigrated from the United States and settled in another country. One family emigrated to Alberta, Canada, another to Oslo, Norway.
The writer is a descendant of Thomas P. Rubottom. My father was William Huston Rubottom of Desloge, Missouri. My father and mother were married in Greenville in 1900. My father and mother moved to Desloge, Missouri in 1901. I remember well our family trip to Wayne County for the birthday celebrations of my grandfather, his eighty first birthday. We made the trip from Desloge toBismarck by livery stable rig and boarded a train for Piedmont. We were met at the station by my grandfather in a surrey with a fringe around the top. The trip from Piedmont to Greenville and the farm was uneventful but the next day was my grandfather's birthday. About 80 persons attended the celebration and dinner. Almost all were kin. To name a few, Alex Stephens and his wife, Ben Rubottom and wife Sallie, Kewen Rubottom and wife Addie, Thomas N. Rubottom and wife Mattie, William Smith and wife, Ezekiel Rubottom and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Storkley, Zeda McGhee and wife Maud, and some 25 younger people. There was also the old friend of the family, Nog Rainwater. In later years my brother bought a Model T Ford car and we made a pioneering trip to Greenville. What is now highway 67 was then little more than a trail at many places between Fredericktown and Greenville. The road followed the creek beds in many places. There were large boulders on the road too high for the car to pass over. My father and I would roll the boulder out to the side of the road and my brother would drive forward and pick us up for another adventure ahead.
I found Wayne County, Missouri a lovely section of the country to visit and the river a good place to spend time and fish. Many things have changed in Wayne County since 1908. The farms I knew are no more. The roads I knew are now jeep trails. The Thomas P. Rubottom house has been demolished these many years. Only the foundation remains. The old sandstone blocks of which it was built stand as a monument to things that have passed in Wayne County. Wayne County is a pleasant place to visit and dream of the past and the hardy pioneers who decided to establish their homes in this new and beautiful country.
The Rubottom surname has been present in Wayne County for 170 years. There is only one person by that surname living in this county today, as far as the writer knows. That is Roxie Rubottom, widow of Clarence L. Rubottom.



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