David Drury Spurlock, Jr. 

David was born Dec 15, 1818 in Floyd County, Kentucky, the 5th of 9 children.  (His age at death was supposedly 86 years, 9 months. If that is so, then he was born in 1817. Also a newspaper article about him in Jan 1901 says he was 84 years old, which would mean his birthdate was in 1816.)

His grandfather, John Spurlock, Jr., was the first white settler in Prestonburg (Floyd County) , Kentucky in 1791.  

His father, David Spurlock, Sr. was 9 years old when he moved to Kentucky. He married Susanna Hancock in 1804, going back "home" to Virginia to get married. Susanna's uncle, William Hancock, was a life-long friend and cohort of Daniel Boone, both of them eventually finishing out their lives near St. Louis, MO.

David Jr. was 12 years old in 1830 when his father moved the family to Crittenden County (founded 1825), Ark., across the Mississippi River from Memphis, TN.
In 1838 David Sr. was in Mooney township, Phillips County, Ark. [the next county south of Crittenden].

David  liked to tell the story about one day when it got completely dark and he hurried to get home. Soon it became light again and he found that it had been a full eclipse of the sun at 3:00 pm.  (from “A History of Liberty Hill and King’s Mill” published in the Sharp County Journal, May 1994). There was a total eclipse Nov, 30, 1834 that started in northern Georgia and moved through Memphis, TN and into northern Arkansas.  David would have been 16 years old then.

There is a story that David married first in Crittendon County and had a baby.  His wife and baby died about 1840 of malaria.  In 1840 he was back living with his father in Crittendon Co. The story makes sense because at that time the eastern part of Arkansas was swampy and not very fit for living. Many settlers moved farther west to the hill country of Arkansas where there was plenty of grassland for farming and lots of fish and wild game. Also David was 29 when he married 2nd, which would leave plenty of time for an earlier marriage.

“In Crittenden County, David Spurlock, Jr. cut cord wood and sold it for fuel to the steamboats that went up and down the Mississippi River. He heard that one particular steamboat had General Andrew Jackson on it, and he wanted it to stop and buy cordwood from him so he could meet his hero. When it looked like the steamboat was going by without stopping he began to holler and jump up and down and point to his pile of cordwood. The Captain brought his boat over, bought the cordwood, and David Jr. got to meet Andrew Jackson”  (from: “A History of Liberty Hill and King’s Mill”).
Perhaps this occurred in early Jan, 1840.  Jan 8, 1840 Andrew Jackson arrived in New Orleans to join in a 25th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans, Jan 8, 1815. Jackson was president 1829-1837.

[There was a marriage of David Spurlock and Calefonia Keller in Phillips Co, Ark, Nov 15, 1848, but that would have been too late--if the date has been read right.  Maybe the date should be 1838. It has David as 21 years old and Calefona 20. That would be an ok assumption except that it has David’s residence as Louisiana, and Calefona’s as Phillips, Ark. Mississippi is to the east of Phillips Co, but Louisiana is farther south.] [Book Trans-1, page 155]

There was a Thaddeus Keller in Mooney twp, Phillips Co, Ark. in 1840.

About 1846 David’s father, David Sr. and the whole Spurlock family moved west to Lawrence Co, Ark settling down around the area of King’s Mill (now in Sharp Co). He was 28 years old in 1847 when he married 2nd to 15-year-old Mary Morris
Estes.  They were married in Lawrence Co, Ark before it became Sharp County.

His brother Robert, and wife Mary's two brothers, Archie & Tom Estes went to California in 1850 looking for gold.

1850 Lawrence Co, Ark, Richwoods twp, fam #117, p198

Spurlock, David - 37, farmer, b KY

. . . . . Mary M. - 19 TN

. . . . . William M - 2 AR  (should be K but it definitely is M)

. . . . . John T  - 1 AR

next door:

Spurlock, John - 24 Ky

. . . . . Nancy A - 24 AR

. . . . . Louisa - 1 AR

. . . . . Nancy - 18 KY

There was a big jump in settlers between 1850-60, then the Civil War slowed settlement during the 60’s. And again between 1870-80 there was a big increase in settlers moving in.  The older settlers said “Georgia moved in” during the 70’s, though part of that increase was because in 1874 a strip of Independence County was cut off and added to Sharp County.  After 1880 the population has held pretty steady until the present day.  Most of the settlers all along came from Tennessee, though not the Spurlocks.  Settlers into Arkansas crossed the Mississippi River at Cape Girardeau or at Memphis.

1859 David Spurlock bought acres in twp 18N, R 5W, sec 28, 21, 23

1860 AR census - Lawrence Co, Richwoods twp, p 258-9:
Spurlock, David - 42, b KY, farmer
. . . . . Mary - 27, b TN
. . . . . Wm. C. - 11, b AR
. . . . . John T. - 10, b AR
. . . . . Robert A. - 7, b AR
. . . . . David D. - 6, b AR
. . . . . Martha B. - 3, b AR
. . . . . Eliza F. - 1, b AR

The Spurlocks attended Liberty Hill Methodist Church at Liberty Hill, Ark. “It is thought that the first log building erected in 1861 was built primarily as a church building with the school being added in the first year or two.”  The earliest membership records were lost, but records from 1875 on show that “25 people named Spurlock joined the church between 1876 and 1955.” Also joining the church were family members of those who married into the Spurlock family: Murphy, Endsley, Royal, Holt, Martin. (from: “A History of Liberty Hill and King’s Mill”).

During the Civil War David owned a grist mill at King’s Mill.  Sometime between 1862-64 David had a run-in with Union solders. The Yankees came by the mill regularly and forced David to supply food for them and their horses. One Sunday David and Mary (and persumably their 1st 7 children) were on their way home from church at Corinth when they were confronted by Union soliders at the mouth of Little creek. David was taken by the Yankees and held for a month before they released him. David was about 45 at the time, but he had not joined the army.

David was a farmer and lived the last of his life in Sharp County, Ark. (formed in 1868). 

The Estes family were slave holders, but David Spurlock Jr. was very opposed to slavery, even though he owned two, though these were probably his wife’s.  But this wasn't unusual.  People often felt that they couldn't help being a part of the system even if they didn't agree with it.

1870 AR census - Sharp Co, Richwoods twp, p 361:
Spurlock, David - 55, b KY, farmer
. . . . . Mary M. - 37, b TN
. . . . . John T. - 20, b AR
. . . . . Robert A. - 18, b AR
. . . . . David D. - 16, b AR
. . . . . Martha B. - 13, b AR
. . . . . Eliza - 11, b AR
. . . . . Mary C - 9, b AR
. . . . . Nancy G. - 6, b AR
. . . . . Rooda - 2, b AR
Spurlock, Nancy - 52, b KY  [David's sister]

1880 Ark census - Sharp Co, Richwoods twp:
Spurlock, David - 63 KY, par b VA
. . . . Mary (wife) - 48 TN, par b NC/SC
. . . . Drusilla (daug) - 14 AR
. . . . Susan R. (daug) - 12 AR
. . . . Joseph B. (son) - 8 AR
. . . . Charles J. (nephew) - 17  AR, par b KY/TN
Cox, Morgan (boarder) - 22 AL
Spurlock, Nancy (sister) - 60 KY, par b VA

Sharp County Record (newspaper in Ash Flat, Ark) Index

[Not sure if these all are for this David Spurlock, but it seems to be]

Jan 2, 1878 - Probate Court - John Spurlock, adm David Spurlock

Jan 4, 1878 - Commissioners Sale - David Spurlock, Sr and Drucilla Spurlock, sale of land of Anne E. Spurlock, deceased.

Feb 22, 1878 - Chancery Sale of Land - David Spurlock, sale of land, James G. Sims, Gdn.

Cancery Sale of Land - John Spurlock deceased, David Spurlock Admn, estate, re James G. Sims suit.

Mar 1, 1878 - Probate Court - David Spurlock, Admn. estate of John Spurlock.

                        Probate Court - David Spurlock, admn estate of M.J. Hardin

Mar 8, 1878 - Stray Notice - David Spurlock of Richwoods twp, roan colt.

Apr 19, 1879 - Circuit Court Docket - David Spurlock, complaint filed by James G. Sims.

Apr 1, 1880 - Redemption Notices - David Spurlock, land in Sec 21 & 29, T18N, R5W

Feb 3, 1881 - Notice - David Spurlock, admn. estate of John Spurlock, filed annual settlement

Mary died in Sept 1882 at the age of 50.   In May 1883 David married Matilda Clementine Nance.

Sharp County Marriages:
David Spurlock, Sr, 56 of Davidson Twp. & Matilda C. Nance, 46 of Davidson Twp; married May 13, 1883 by Rev. S.W. Register, deacon of the ME Church South.

Sharp County Record (newspaper in Ash Flat, Ark)
Not sure if these entries are about this David or for his nephew David (1839-1924, son of Pleasant). His nephew David was called Uncle David Spurlock after this David died, so its unclear exactly who it is.
Sharp County Record (newspaper in Ash Flat, Ark)

*Mar 4, 1898 - Kings Mill - Uncle David Spurlock is dangerously ill.

*July 29, 1898 - Center - Uncle Dave Spurlock is again down sick and is very feeble.

*Apr 21, 1899 - King’s Mill - Uncle Dave Spurlock has been very feeble lately, but is able to be up and about now.

*June 30, 1899 - King’s Mill - David Spurlock is moving up near Ash Flat  [I assume this is the David Spurlock this note is about]

*Aug 4, 1899 - King’s Mill - Rev. J.M. Willard and family of Koshkonong, Mo. have been visiting relatives and friends at King’s Mill the past week.  [His daughter, Rhoda’s family]

*Sept 1, 1899 - Uncle Dave Spurlock is able to attend Bro. Castleberry’s meeting at Bethel this week.

*Oct 13, 1899 - King’s Mill - Uncle David Spurlock and Mrs. M.J. Spurlock will go to Buffalo Island this week to spend a week or 10 days visiting. - [This must be David Spurlock and his daughter-in-law, wife of Wm. Karr. Buffalo Island is not really an island, but an area in NE Ark. that is between 2 rivers: St. Francis and Little River, south of Big Lake.]

*Jan 19, 1900 - Uncle Davy Spurlock is on foot and able to walk two or three miles. He is in his 83rd year.

*May 25, 1900 - King’s Mill - Rev. John D. Kelley preached an interesting sermon at Liberty Hill Sunday, after which Uncle Davie Spurlock led the prayer in his old time style to a very great extent, which caused some of our minds to run back and linger on fond memories of the past.

*June 29, 1900 - King’s Mill - Uncle Davie Spurlock was out at the primary and voted. He is 84 years old and has lived in this part of the country 51 years. He is greatly interested in politics yet.

*Sept 7, 1900 - King’s Mill - Uncle Dave Spurlock fell off the porch at Walker Clayton’s at Hardy and came very near killing himself. He is improving slowly. May the richest blessings rest on Mr. and Mrs. Clayton and their dear children for the kindness to Uncle Dave while there in his affliction.

*Sept 14, 1900 - King’s Mill - Uncle Dave Spurlock is improving very fast.

*Dec 14, 1900 - King’s Mill - Uncle David Spurlock is enjoying good health again.

1900 Sharp Co, Ark, Davidson Twp, p. 39:
Spurlock, David - 83 Ky
living with his daughter Mary Katherine’s family

Sharp County Record (newspaper in Ash Flat, Ark)

Feb 8, 1901 -

*Jan 11, 1901 - King’s Mill - Uncle Dave Spurlock is unusually strong for one of this age, 84 years.

*Feb 15, 1901 - King’s Mill - Uncle Dave Spurlock has been on the puny list the past week.

*Apr 19, 1901 - King’s Mill - Uncle Dave Spurlock keeps up surprisingly well for a man of his age.

*Aug 2, 1901 - Center Chutes - Uncle Dave Spurlock is going to Panhandle, Texas, on a visit soon.

*May 30, 1902 - Ash Flat - (town is recovering from a smallpox quarantine and expressed appreciation for help from the King’s Mill residences.)

*June 6, 1902 - King’s Mill - Uncle Dave Spurlock who has been visiting in Panhandle, Texas, for the past 10 months is among his many friends again.

*Aug 29, 1902 - Center - Your correspondent had a conversation with Uncle Dave Spurlock a short time ago whereby we learned that he was born in Floyd County, Kentucky, in December, 1817. He moved to Arkansas in 1831, and settled in Crittenden County, where he embraced religion on the Marion circuit in 1840. In 1849 he came to Lawrence County, now Sharp, and was married to Mary Estes July 8, 1849. He resided at the same place until he had raised 10 children all to be grown and married. He now has 100 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He will be 85 years old next December and is hale and hearty. Uncle Dave lives with his children, his wife, having been dead for several years. He walks from place to place at will during this hot weather. Uncle Dave is the oldest citizen of Davidson township.

*Dec 19, 1902 - King’s Mill - Uncle Dave Spurlock is now 85 years of age and is hale and hearty.

Between 1890 and 1910 was probably when the settlement of King’s Mill was flourishing the most. (History of Liberty Hill and King’s Mill). Years later the place was deserted and almost nothing is left of it.

David died in 1904 (age 86); both he and Mary were buried in Shiloh Cemetery, Ashflat, Sharp Co., Ark. His marker reads: 
SPURLOCK, David, 86 years, 9 mo., d. 18 Sept 1904
Here I lay my burden down, change my cross into a crown.

He and Mary had 10 children and 85 grandchildren.

*Find-a-grave Memorial # 10954312

Children of David Jr & Mary:
1. William Karr Spurlock - 
2. John Thomas Spurlock - pictures 
3. Robert Archibald Spurlock - 
4. David Drury Spurlock - pictures
5. Martha Belle Spurlock Murphy - pictures
6. Eliza Frances Spurlock Endsley - pictures
7. Mary Katherine Spurlock Foreman - pictures
8. Nancy Drucilla Spurlock Rogers - pictures
9. Susan Rhoda Spurlock Willard - pictures 
10. Joseph Benjamin Spurlock - pictures


Rhoda, Mary, Tom - 1927 

Two of David's children: Rhoda Willard & Ben Spurlock: 

Isn't it amazing how much they both look like their Dad! (especially Ben) 

 Rhoda, Ben & Mary 
I wonder if Mary looked more like David's wife, Mary Morris Estes.

Rhoda & Joe Willard on left, Ben & Tiny Spurlock on right 

In the middle is Ben's oldest daughter, Alma and her husband Cornelius Holt