Aquilla Blackwell of Blackwell, Missouri

from History of Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Crawford & Gasconade Counties, Missouri, Goodspeed, 1888:

Aquilla Blackwell, another successful farmer and stock-raiser of Valle Township, was born in what is now St. Francois County, but then Washington County, below Blackwell’s Station, in 1844. He was the fourth of fourteen children born to William and Elizabeth (Cummins) Blackwell. The father was born in Kentucky, March 18, 1810, and when about eight years of age came with his parents to what is now St. Francois County, when the county was a vast wilderness. His father, Jeremiah Blackwell, settled near where Blackwell’s Station is now, and there passed the remainder of his days. Blackwell’s Station was named in honor of him. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. William Blackwell was married at the age of twenty-eight, and afterward settled near the North Big River Bridge, where he spent the remainder of his life. He cleared a good farm, and was an industrious, enterprising citizen. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and died in 1870. The mother was born in 1820, in Washington County, and died about 1881. She was the daughter of Samuel Cummins, an early settler of Washington County, but a native of Ireland, and was a member of the Baptist Church. Aquilla was educated in the rustic log schoolhouses of early times, and during the latter part of the war spent about six months in Canada. December 24, 1866, Miss Dolly A., daughter of Austin and Matilda Coleman, became his wife, and in this union twelve children were born, eleven now living: Leander, Allie J., John, William E., Ephraim, Anna, Vevey, Emmars (deceased), Albert A., Rolla R., Jefferson and Charley. Aquilla remained with his father in St. Francois County until 1868, when he settled on his present farm, then a dense forest, and the first stick of timber was cut to build his present house. He now has about 300 acres in cultivation, and about eleven miles of fence, making one of the best farms in Jefferson County. In all, he has about 960 acres, about 400 of which are in St. Francois County. Besides this he has considerable property in Blackwell’s Station. he lives ten miles southwest of De Soto, is an earnest worker for the cause of education, is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and the A. O. U. W. [Note: Ancient Order of United Workmen], and a Democrat in politics, casting his first presidential vote for H. Seymour in 1868. He and wife are devout members of the Baptist Church.

11 responses to “Aquilla Blackwell of Blackwell, Missouri

  1. I am the grandson of the late Milford Cain of Blackwell. I cant seem to find any information regarding the origins of my family there, I know several are buried in the Masonic Cemetery, but dont know who is who. Any help would be much appreciated!

    Justin Myhren

  2. I have recently bought property in Blackwell (Whaley property) and was wanting info on the history of it. The Pinson cemetery is located right behind us. I have found a lot of family pictures, old newspaper clippings, etc.I would love to find out more.

  3. Does anyone have any photos of the old Masonic lodge?

    • I do, but only as a color slide. Perhaps at some point I’ll get a digital copy made, but at the moment I have no way to post it. It’s a shame that several of the primary buildings in Blackwell were destroyed, apparently by arson.

    • A poor quality black and white photo appears here. Very little seems to have been posted on the Internet regarding Blackwell, other than various ridiculous claims of “ghost” experiences and the like. Such reports appear in books and web pages for, apparently, the entire Blackwell area, the entire Valles Mines area, and up and down every square inch of every road in between, as well as for seemingly about every other small town in the Midwest. I’ve noticed that these claims never seem to be written by locals, but always by outsiders.

      • Hello i have many photos of blackwell and they are very good my grandmother nora ward lived there. If you would like copies let me know they were very hard to find!

  4. kimberly daniels

    im fairly new to the blackwell area,,only 12 year s and i cant find much on blackwells history other than J. blackwell and the remains of his property. there are many old structures still standing and im sure some one lived there,,,and not to men. the old bank/jail and the 2 beautiful homes one on cole and the other on blackwell rd and cole. can you tell me any thing? thanks

    • There were some wonderful old buildings that evidently were destroyed for entertainment by an arsonist over the last several years. Those included the old general store and the incredibly cool-looking old Masonic Lodge. I think other buildings were just quietly torn down without anyone noticing, such as the tiff scales shed that used to sit by the railroad tracks. Before my time Blackwell had a depot.

  5. William and Elizabeth Blackwell

    My wife and I have a wooden box with the following carved neatly on the bottom: William Blackwell to Beth Cummins December 25, 1837. My wife bought it at an antique store in St. Louis, years ago.

    • That sounds like quite a find!

    • William and Elizabeth were my great-great-great grandparents. This would really be something special to see a photo of, if you could be so kind. Or, would you be willing to sell it? I’m working very hard on family tree and momentos of the family’s past for my 80-year old father (Carrol), who has a passion for Blackwell, Mo.
      Jeff Blackwell

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