Since I’ve put Dale Reeves, a local Civil War aficionado, in the spotlight with the photo of Civil War soldier, Pvt. John Strobel, I think I’ll leave him there a little longer.
On the same day Dale shared the Strobel photograph with me, he gave me a photo of a man by the name of Jarrett, who had enlisted on Aug. 5, 1861, at Kinmundy, Marion County. Dale said that this man was not a Fayette County soldier.
Knowing Jarrett as a Wilberton Township family name, I made a copy of the information, and found that although he traveled to Marion County to enlist because it was closer to his home, John F. Jarrett was a Fayette County man.
Jarrett’s military information, with a photo, was posted to the Illinois GenWeb, Civil War Photos Web site by his great-great granddaughter, Sandra Jarrett Ludwick. This is where Dale Reeves came across it. John F. Jarrett was on the muster list of Co. B, 40th Illinois Infantry.
Sandra said that John was born on Sept. 18, 1836, in Virginia, the son of William C. and Jane Watson Jarrett. Following the death of his wife, the father, William, married Agnes and brought his family to Fayette County in about 1848.
The earliest history of Fayette County, in 1878, credits William with keeping the first store in Wilberton Township – supplying the wants of his customers with such goods as whiskey, tobacco, coffee, ammunition and other things necessary to a pioneer’s existence. In exchange for them, he took coon and mink skins, which were legal tender at that time.
Eight years after the Jarrett family moved to Frogtown, William was involved in a tragedy in the village. Jarrett and Andrew Pruett were rival saloonkeepers, and both were under the influence of liquor when Jarrett shot and killed Pruett.
Courthouse records place the date of the shooting as May 9, 1856. Pruett, who was 38-years old at the time of his death, was the son of Andrew Pruett Sr. and Mary of Richmond County, N. Car. His wife, Nancy Stonecipher Pruett, and nine children, the youngest being 3 years old, survived.
William C. Jarrett was put on trial for the offense, but when it was proven that Pruett made the first attack, he was acquitted.
John F. Jarrett and Pamelia C. Pryor were married in Fayette County on Oct. 15, 1857, and settled in the Hickory Creek neighborhood. Pamelia was born on Feb. 29, 1832, in Pittsylvania County, Va., and came with her parents to Wilberton Township in 1848 in wagons pulled by oxen.
John and Pamelia were parents of two children, Perry W. and Alice L. Jarrett. Perry married Mary Brown, but she died in 1893 at the age of 32. His second marriage, to Sallieann Roberts, took place four years later.
Alice Jarrett married Orlando Lorenzo (O.L.) Brown, and their children were Lorenzo, Elsie and Rollie Brown. Alice died on March 9, 1888, at the age of 28 years, and O.L., a well-known insurance man, remarried. The late Ruth Lape and Fleta Kistler were daughters from O.L.’s second marriage.
John F. Jarrett died on June 21, 1874, of pulmonary consumption at his home in Wilberton Township, leaving his wife and two children. He was buried in Pamelia’s family cemetery, the Pryor Cemetery, in Section 11 of Wilberton Township.
Following his death, Pamelia applied for a pension from the government. She said that after the Battle of Shiloh, her husband was bleeding profusely and in order to save his life underwent an amputation of the right arm without the use of chloroform. The supply was exhausted, and he was held down by a comrade. Her husband was later sent to a hospital in St. Louis and discharged on Aug. 22, 1862.
Pamelia initially received a widow’s pension of $8 a month. Increases through the years until her death on Feb. 27, 1927, raised her pension to $50 per month.
Pamelia never remarried, and is buried beside her husband in her family graveyard.