Printed in "The Madison County Musings", Winter 1996 issue:


by Joy Russell

On the bank of a small Ozark creek, just four miles South of the Huntsville Square, surrounded by a thicket of small trees, stands this lonely tombstone. The grave is located in the McConnell Chapel Community, and says "J. K. Wolf, Departed this Life Feb. 1, 1862". Carved at the top is an open Bible. The stone stands about 3 feet high and is about 3 feet across. This is a genuine Madison County mystery since no one knows for certain why J. K. Wolf is buried in this location, where he came from, or what he died of.

We have heard several different versions of stories as to why J. K. Wolf is buried here. We have checked the records but have found no proof to verify these stories. Hopefully someone will read this article and will be able to shed some light on this mystery. It would appear that there are 2 other fieldstones, with no names, nearby.

Some people say that during the Civil War, a wagon traveled through Madison County  containing many wounded soldiers who had been wounded in a battle somewhere in Missouri. Abram McConnell operated a fur yard near this location and a large spring is located nearby. The wagon with the wounded men supposedly made camp here to rest for the night. Evidently J. K. Wolf was seriously wounded and died and was buried nearby.

Another version of a story says that J. K. Wolf was a Confederate Captain and had camped at this location for the night, when he was shot and killed by enemy soldiers.

Yet another version of this story says that there was a skirmish fought at this
location, and that J. K. Wolf was killed in the fighting. Some people also say that he
was an Indian.

Now let's look at the few facts that we do know for certain.

    J. K. Wolf definitely did die during the Civil War...February 1, 1862.
    Cannonballs have been found at this location by it is possible that a battle was fought here.
    J. K. Wolf does not appear on any military lists...either as Confederate or Union. Is it feasible to assume that if he had in fact been a Confederate Captain that some kind of record of that fact could be found? Also if he had been a Captain, why was this information omitted from the tombstone??
    J. K. Wolf does not appear on the census records or any other records of Madison County. He has not been found in any of the records of the surrounding counties either. If he was wounded in a battle fought in Missouri and they were on their way home, it stands to reason that his home was south of here.
    Someone knew the location of his grave and cared enough to come back and place this large tombstone on the grave. Doesn't it stand to reason that whoever placed the stone on the grave must have lived fairly close in order to do this?? Or was the tombstone carved and placed on the grave at the time of burial ??
It's easy to see that no one knows for certain the details of the death and burial of J. K. Wolf. We would like to hear any other versions of stories about him that you have heard. We would especially like to hear from you if you have proof of who he is or why he was buried at this location. We will print any other information that we get in future issues of The Musings. Send any information to Madison County Genealogical &
Historical Society, P. O. Box 427, Huntsville, Arkansas 72740

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