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Bramble Bush


Vol. 9, No. 2         April 2005         Yellville, Arkansas 72687

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A Thrilling Narrative of Katy Sage -
The Lost Child of Grayson

The following story was taken from a newspaper article in 1792, the Grayson Gazzette. This child was the daughter of James and Lovice Ott Sage. Read thru to the end and see how it connects with Marion County Arkansas.

       The circumstances of the following narrative are most remarkable, certainly stranger than fiction, and involve more to touch the heart and enlist the kindlier emotions of our nature than anything the writer has been able to pick up in his long residence among the mountains.
       On Elk Creek, in Grayson County, Virginia, lived, in 1792, a young and happy family, consisting of James Sage his wife and three or four small children. The morning the 11th of April in that year was bright and balmy, the early wild flowers were bursting into bloom, the song-birds were trilling their melody in the budding forest, the spangled trout were sporting in the crystal waters of the mountain stream, and all was peaceful and joyous around the cabin of the pioneer. The husband and father preparing his clearing for the summer crop, and the wife and mother preparing for the day's washing. She had gone to the little stream near by to build a fire, leaving her daughter Katy, then only five years old, chasing butterflies among the shrubs of the garden. After starting the fire, the mother returned to the cabin for the clothes she intended to wash, when she missed the child that had been seen sporting in the garden a short time before. After a diligent but fruitless search - for some little distance around the enclosure, she became alarmed and called her husband from the field, and they both sought the little one till night fell upon the scene, and still she could not be found. The weary hours of the night chased each other slowly on, and still the agonized parents heard no cheering answer to their continued calls. On the morrow the neighbors gathered in, the country at that time being very sparse but some fifty or sixty of them came together, and day after day and week after week they searched every cove, thicket, stream, cave and mountain-side, and still no tidings of the little wanderer.
       At length all except the father gave up the search in despair, who continued it for months, passing every square yard of ground for miles around, with the melancholy hope that at least the remains or some indications of the fate of the lost one might be found, which would be more satisfactory than the agonizing suspense that hung about the hearts of the parents. In his wanderings he heard of the fame of an old woman known by the name of Granny Moses, who lived beyond the mountain in North Carolina, and who was believed by the settlers to possess the faculty of revealing all mysteries future events lie sought her out and consulted her. After consulting her occult sciences, she informed him that the child was still living, but that he would never see her, though his wife, who would survive him, would hear from her child in her old age.
       Time wore on, thirty-one years had passed, and in 1823 the father died, and still no tidings of the lost one. Time was still on the wing, and amid its changes and revolutions and startling events, the mysterious disappearance of Katy Sage was unrevealed and almost forgotten. In the meantime the family became scattered - one of the sons settling in Lee county, Virginia, Another in Missouri, and a third in Kansas. Years swept on, and in 1854 Charles Sage, who lived in Kansas, having business with the Government, visited the Indian Agency on the border of that Territory. On entering the office, he attracted the attention of the Agent, who asked him if he had a sister or other female relation among the Indians, stating that there was a white woman among the Shawnees, who sometimes visited the Agency, to whom he bore a most remarkable resemblance. He informed the Agent that he was not aware of having such a relative, but that, more than sixty years before, a sister of his had been stolen or lost, who had never been heard from. The Agent, believing this woman among the Shawnees and the lost child to be one and the same, propose to send for her and have the mystery solved.
       She was sent for and came to the Agency with an interpreter, not being able to speak or understand English. As soon as Charles Sage saw her, he believed her to be his long lost sister, from the striking family resemblance, got her consent to go home with him, wrote at once to his brother Samuel in Missouri to come to Kansas immediately and see if he could recognize features, as he was old enough to remember their sister when she disappeared. He made the journey, and as soon as he saw her he burst into tears, so certain that she was his sister Katy. But all suspense and were dissipated when she informed them through an interpreter that she bad been taken from her home when a small child by a white man, lived several years among the Cherokees, then among the Creeks, and finally among the Shawnees, and that in all her wanderings, from tribe to tribe, and from country to country, she had retained the name of Katy. She had been three times married to chiefs of the Shawnee tribe, had lost an only child, and was now a widow.
       To place her identity beyond all cavil or doubt, the brothers wrote to their mother, still living on the same spot in Grayson county, Virginia, and then ninety-five years old, to know if she recollected any mark upon the person of Katy by which she might be recognized. In due time they received an answer that she with a ginger-colored spot on one of her shoulders, and being examined the spot was found. This entirely and unmistakably established her identity.
       The brothers now began to arrange to take her to their mother, but before their arrangements had Katy took the pneumonia and died, and the parents and lost child never met again on earth, they all "crossed over the river and are resting under shade of the trees."
       While the writer does not subscribe to human divinations, or human power to solve the mysterious providences in the womb of the future, he must regard the predictions of Granny Moses as the most remarkable since the days of the Witch of Endor.
       Should any reader be skeptical as to the truth of any of the remarkable circumstances above stated, they will be attested by Mrs. Elizabeth Delp, sister of the lost one, who still lives at the old homestead in Grayson, or Mr. Thompson Sage, a brother, at Stickleyville, Lee county, Virginia

The Abductor of Katy Sage -
The Horse Theif's Revenge

       Should any reader be skeptical as to the truth The preceding chapter is a truthful narrative of the abduction of Katy Sage, of Grayson county, in 1792, and this chapter will explain by whom the cruel outrage was perpetrated, and the motive prompting the bad man who cast this broad shadow upon an innocent family.
       James Sage, the father of Katy, was a native of Maryland, and a soldier of the Revolution. He belonged to the brigade of General Enoch Poor, and was in the battles of Brandywine, Monmouth and Germantown, endured the sufferings and privations of that terrible winter at Valley Forge, and was an eye-witness of the last act in the great drama - the surrender of Lord of Cornwallis at Yorktown. He married at Fredericktown, Maryland, in 1780, and after the close of the war the next year removed with his young wife to the "back woods," and settled on Cripple Creek, Wythe County, Virginia. He remained here some ten years and then removed to Elk Creek, in what is now Grayson County, where he resided where his child was stolen, the homestead being still in possession of his descendants.
       Owning several fine horses, and more than he needed for his then small farming operations, as did also two of his neighbors by the names of Delp and Cornut - names still familiar in that county - they concluded to turn them into the range, which, at that early day, was very fine, and sufficient to keep them, even in winter, in good condition, without additional food. This was early in the spring of 1792 and the horses had been out but a few weeks when Mr. Cornut, on going out to salt them, discovered that three of most valuable were missing. The three neighbors, with as little delay as possible, packed up provisions for the journey, shouldered their rifles and started in pursuit. They were not long in finding the trail, which led them along the bank and toward the source of that crooked and turbulent stream now known by the name of Holston, to the base of White Top mountain. Here the trail divided one of the horses keeping along the side of the mountain, the others slightly diverging from the regular trace.
       This was doubtless done for the purpose of baffling pursuit and made it apparent that there were at least two thieves. Mr. Sage followed the track of the single horse, and his companions followed those of the two. When the former reached the summit of that part of White Top known at this day as Elk Garden, the long swag connecting White Top and Balsam, even yet the most luxuriant and nutritious pasturage in all that vast range, he came upon three of the horses hobbled and quietly grazing, but the thieves, who were doubtless enjoying themselves in the cabin of one of the few squatters of that wild and almost inaccessible region, eluded their search. He soon called up his companions, and catching and mounting the horses which had their halters on them, they made their way back to the settlement.
       Suspicion had been directed to a man by the name of Talbert as the principal thief, who had been dodging about from settlement to settlement without apparent business or visible means of support, and who had been seen on Elk Creek a day or two before the disappearance of Katy Sage. He was never seen there afterwards, and it was the opinion of the community that he had stolen the child, and that the motive was revenge for the loss of the horses he had stolen from the father.
       Katy informed her brothers, through an interpreter, that she had been stolen by a white man, who picked her up in his arms, mulfiled her head and face with a handkerchief; and threatened to kill her if she gave any alarm. He carried her with considerable speed until he thought himself safe from pursuit, made his way to the Cherokee Nation, disposed of her there, disappeared, and she never heard of him afterwards.
       Katy's subsequent history being given in the preceding chapter, these facts are given to illustrate how slight a provocation may sometimes induce a bad man to commit a most inhuman crime. The child could be of no benefit to him, farther than the trifle the Indians might give - for her with the hope of securing a ransom, but the distress of the father in the loss of the little one, far more bitter than if it had died in his arms, was the gratification sought by her abductor, appropriately termed the Horse-thief's revenge.
       Now the real interesting part is that it is thought that a man named Talburt was the one who kidnapped her. Guess what, Frederick Benton Talburt b. Orange, VA 24 Mar 1771 d. 22 Jan 1842, White River Twp, Marion County, Arkansas. Looks like he was down in TN by 1792.
       Should any reader be skeptical as to the truth This could also be the key in the Ott family that members have been searching for so long.

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       Its SPRING IN THE OZARKS……. and what a spring it is.
       This area is beautiful this time of year. Winter has receded and mother nature has put on her finery. Flowers are blooming, the trees are in full dress green and the weather is beautiful. We here at the BB have had a very industrious winter. We have worked really hard at getting the books in the genealogy at the library refurbished and ready for the tourist season. We have added a scanner and updated the memory to our computer. We received a really cool donation of CD's and these are ready for viewing. Maddie Garrett, Sherry Berthot, Janice Mears, Barbara Holland, Dale, Mary Ann Richardson, Mysty McPherson, J.L. and Mary Pearce have been working really hard to give the genealogy room a new look. Don Ott and View did all the work getting the computer updated and the scanner installed. We are ready for summer, so come on over and inspect, view and use our genealogy room at the Marion County Library. Donations are readily accepted.
From the Editor, Vicki Roberts

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<1947 AR Miners

Marion County Historical Society is searching for information about the above picture. If there is anyone out there that can help us we would appreciate it.

Please send your guesses, facts or whatever to us here at the Bramble Bush

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Membership Dues for 2005 Are Due Now!

Annual dues of $12 must be received by HGSMCA no later than 30 Mar 2005 to continue to have the Bramble Bush at your fingertips through 2005. Don't miss even one issue. Get those dues in the mail today.
Send your check for $12 to HGSMCA, PO Box 761, Yellville AR 72687


Membership in the Historical Genealogical Society of Marion County Arkansas is $12 per year.
Membership for one year runs from 1 January to 31 December of that year.
Membership includes the quarterly newsletter Bramble Bush.
Membership begun later in the year includes all issues of Bramble Bush for that year.

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       SERVICE DIRECTORY is published in Bramble Bush as a service to those who may wish to advertise some of the many books, products, and services available that relate to historic and/or genealogical research. The charge per ad is $12 per year. Ads from both members and non-members are accepted. The name and address of a contact person must accompany each ad.

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"EARLY DAYS AND WAR TIMES IN NORTHERN ARKANSAS." Thomas Jerome Estes. Reprint 1999 (1928). $5. HGSMCA, PO Box 761, Yelville AR 72687.
"EARLY DAYS OF MARION COUNTY." Lester & Marian Burnes. Indexed. $25. Marian Burnes, 2102 W. Jefferson, Siloam Springs AR 72761.
"GENEALOGIES OF MARION COUNTY FAMILIES 1811-1900." Genealogies of 400+ families settling in MCAR by 1900. Hardbound. Indexed. $60. HGSMCA, PO Box 761, Yellville AR 7268.
"INDEX TO THE MOUNTAIN ECHO 12 March 1886 thru 26 June 1903." Births, marriages, deaths. Indexed. $24.50 + $3.50 s/h. Margie Garr, 1505 Mistletoe, Mountain Home AR 72653, (870)425-0405.
IZARD CO. AR 1830 FEDERAL CENSUS. Indexed. $4. Nancy A Wood, 4643 S 28 Avenue, Tulsa OK 74107.
MARION CO. AR 1840 FEDERAL CENSUS. Indexed. $4. Nancy A. Wood, 4643 S 28 Avenue, Tulsa OK 74107.
MARION CO. AR 1850 FEDERAL CENSUS. Indexed. $10. Nancy A. Wood, 4643 S 28 Avenue, Tulsa OK 74107.
MARION CO. AR 1870 FEDERAL CENSUS. Indexed. Annotated. $20. Nancie Todd Weber. HGSMCA, PO Box 761, Yellville AR 72687.
MARION CO. 1880 FEDERAL CENSUS. Indexed. $21. Gladys Horn Brown. HBSMCA. PO Box 761, Yellville AR 72687.
"MARION COUNTY MARRIAGE RECORDS 1887-1896." Marian Burnes & Vicki Roberts. Indexed. $15. Vicki Roberts, 363 MC 5032, Yellville AR 72687.
"MARION COUNTY MARRIAGE RECORDS 1896-1905" Marian Burnes & Vicki Roberts. Indexed. $15. Vicki Roberts, 363 MC 5032, Yellville AR 72687.
"MARION COUNTY MARRIAGES 1905-1917" Marian Burnes & Vicki Roberts. Indexed. $15. Vicki Robert, 2363 MC 5032, Yellville AR 72687.
"MARION COUNTY 1890 CENSUS." Reconstructed from 1880 & 1900 census, land, tax records, etc. Indexed. Hardbound. $45 HGSMCA, PO Box 761, Yellville AR 72687
The Mining Era of Marion County Arkansas by Vicki Roberts, $30.OO + $3 s&h, 2363 MC 5032 Yellville, AR 72687.
"Silver Anniversary" History of Marion County. Reprinted 2002. Indexed, $75 plus $5 sh, HGSMCA, PO Box 761, Yellville, AR 72687
"Marion County: The Divided" by Vicki Roberts and Mysty McPherson, $5.00 + $1 s&h HGSMCA, PO Box 761, Yellville AR 72687.
"Marion County, The Way She Was In 1836" by W.B. Flippin, $5.00 + $1.00 s&h PO Box 761 Yellville, AR 72687.
"Gleenings of Pioneer History" by W.R. Jones $5.00 + $1 s/h, PO Box 761 Yellville, AR 72687.
"White River Sketches" by A.C. Jefferys Vol I and II $5 each plus $1 each for shipping and handling. PO Box 761, Yellville AR 72687.

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GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH. Marion Co. AR and surrounding areas. Experienced researcher. $10 per hour plus copy costs and postage. Vicki Roterts, 2362 MC 5032, Yellville AR 72687; (870)449-6195 aft 6:00 pm CST. E-mail:
GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH. Marion Co. AR area. $10 per hour plus copy costs and postage. Experienced researcher. Mysty McPherson. 35 MC 6023, Yellville AR 72687. (870)-449-5223. E-mail:

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Bramble Bush

Bramble Bush is published quarterly by the Historic Genealogical Society of Marion County Arkansas, PO Box 761, Yellville AR 72687. EDITORIAL STAFF: Editor, Vicki Roberts; Design/Production, Mysty McPherson; Art Work, Bonnie Sanders; Queries, Sherry Berthot; Subscriptions, Barbara Holland; Printing, Penny Pincher Printing, 722 Locust, Conway AR 72034; Contributing writers, Janice Mears. HGSMCA OFFICERS: Chair, Vicki A. Roberts; Vice Chair, Mysty McPherson; Secretary, Sherry Berthot; Treasurer, Barbara Holland; Grants/Purchasing, Mysty Mcherson.

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