© Kathy Duncan, 2017
On May 12, 1867, Jasper N. Jameson sat himself down to write a letter to his nephew R. W. McMullin. When he did, he created documentation that he had an additional sister, Eliza Mariah (Jameson) McMullin, who has been unaccounted for by Holcomb/Jameson researchers until now. He also inadvertently created documentation that his father was Robert Jameson, a “pioneer” of Jefferson County, Missouri. Evidently, Esther (Holcomb) and Robert Jameson lived in Jefferson County, Missouri prior to their move to Jasper County, Missouri.
The letter auctioned on ebay. By the time I found it, it had been archived on a website called WorthPoint. The image for the letter was no longer available, but fortunately the seller had transcribed the letter and included some speculation about it.
The seller’s notations:
“Up for auction today is a 2 ½ page handwritten letter that was written by a Jasper N. Jameson who was living in Salt Spring Valley California at the time he wrote this letter back in 1867. I had a difficult time finding this particular place and I believe it's in Calaveras County / but I also found a Salt Spring Valley in Glenn County, California. Either way, I don't think it ever was or is a very large town; might quite possibly be a ghost town right now. I would love to know any more information if any one has any. I did find a great web site that talked about a Salt Spring Valley California , some of the families and the mining operations going on back in the 1860's. You can view that site at;
As far as the letter goes, it's written to "Watson W. McMullin". W Watson lives, I'm not sure because the letter didn't come with its original envelope. I also want to note that Jasper seems to be staying with Watson's uncle, Volney Brooks.”
The seller’s partial transcription of the letter, which offers a tantalizing glimpse into the life of the Jamesons in California:
"Salt Spring Valley Cal
May 12 th , 1867
I recived your kind letter of the 7 th April yesterday which gave us much pleasure to hear from you and to learn that you were all well. We are all well except your aunt Amanda. She is very unwell. She has been sick for along time. She is just able to walk acros the house and has ben so for some time. I don't kno whether she is mending or not some times I think she is and then I think she is not. It is hard to tell tho she is under the treatment of a good doctor. He thinks he can cuer her. The rest of your Aunts, Uncles, cousins are all well.......Times are dul Money scace, provisions tolerable high. The people generly live prety well. Nearly all kinds of bisness is dull. People think they are doing well if they make but little more than a living. I have been so bissy that I have had no time to work my quortz to prove it but it is still thare and I still think it will give me a lift as soon as I can get to work it and if so as soon as I mak it I will get maried, that is if I can. I don't know how that will be for I am so insultingly ugly that my face insults nearly every young lady that I get acquainted with but if I should make a rase I ma look better for money goes a long ways with them in this country.......Thare is erbs groing in that country that dos not gro One of them is the butten snakeroot which I wish if you pleas and can by any means send me 2 or 3 ounceses of the root. You can dry the root and pulverize it and seal it up in a bottle or a paper and send it by the male or express and if you haf to pay for the carige of it thare, I will return you the money as soon as I learn the amount and send me some of the seed of the butten snakeroot.........At this time but remain yours until death, write soon so good by. Jasper N. Jameson to R. W. McMullin."
A search of the census in Missouri eventually turned up this promising household:
16 Oct. 1850, District No. 42, Jefferson County, Missiouri:
John T McMullin 37 M W Farmer $500 b. MO
Eliza M 30 F W b. MO
Jane C 13 F W b. MO
Joseph C. 10 M W b. MO
Richard W. 8 M W b. MO
Mary C. 1 F W b. MO
The same household in 1860:
13 Oct. 1860, Plattin Twp., Jefferson County, Missouri:
John McMullin 48 M Farmer $?500-$1,200 b. MO
Eliza 40 F b. MO
Joseph 18 M Farmer b. MO
Ritchard 18 M Farmer b. MO
Mary 11 F b. MO
Thomas McMullin 8 M b. MO
IdA A. 4 F b. MO
James 2 M b. MO
A search for Richard W. McMullin turned up the following Goodspeed biography:
R. W. McMullin is the present treasurer of Jefferson County, and is the editor of the "Jefferson Democrat". In the family of his parents, John T. and Eliza M. (Jamison) McMullin, were ten children, four of whom are living. R. W. the third child, and the eldest now living, was born in Jefferson County, June 2, 1842. John T. McMullin is a son of Samuel McMullin who was a native of Ireland, and settled in Jefferson County, near Valle Mines, in the latter part of the eighteenth century. Eliza M. McMullin was a daughter of Robert Jamison, who was also one of the pioneers of Jefferson County. The parents were married about 1837, and settled on a farm on Plattin Creek; the father was born in 1812, and was three times elected assessor of Jefferson County, performing the duties of that office to the satisfaction of all. R. W. was educated in the common schools, and in the winters of 1860 and 1863 taught a district school. In August, 1862, he enlisted for three years in the Thirty-first Regiment Missouri Volunteers, but was discharged at the expiration of three months on account of throat and lung diseases contracted in the service. February 1, 1863, he was appointed deputy county clerk under Samuel A. Reppy, in which capacity he served until May, 1865, being then appointed county clerk by Gov. Fletcher, retaining the latter office until November, 1866, when he was elected to the same position on the Radical ticket, and performed the duties of the office to the satisfaction of all and to his own credit. In June, 1871 Mr. McMullin purchased the "Jefferson Democrat," a paper in which he had been interested for some time previously. He still owns and conducts the paper, which is the most newsy and firmly established paper in Jefferson County. Mr. McMullin was elected county treasurer of the county in 1884, being elected to the same position in 1886. In March, 1864, occurred his marriage to Miss Mary E., daughter of B. S. Reppy, who died in 1865. The following year he married Miss Mary E., daughter of E. F. Honey, and to their union have been born four sons and four daughters. Mr. McMullin is an elder in the Presbyterian Church, and belongs to Joachim Lodge, No. 164, A. F. & A. M., and also to Cape Stone R. A. C., No. 33. He has taken great interest in Masonic matters and has served as D. D. G. M. of his Masonic district.
[Source: History of Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Crawford and Gasconade Counties, Biographical Appendix, Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1888.]
Jefferson County, Missouri marriage records reveal that Richard Watson McMullin married Mary E. Honey on 24 November 1866.
Additionally, there is this biography of Richard Watson McMullin from Missouri History Encyclopedia:
McMullin, Richard Watson, was born in Jefferson County, Missouri, June 2, 1842, son of John Thompson and Eliza M. McMullin. Both his parents were native Missourians, his father having been born in Jefferson County in 1812, and his mother in the same county in 1817. His father died at the age of seventy-six and his mother at the age of forty years. His paternal grandfather and grandmother came from the north of Ireland in 1808 and his maternal grandparents, Robert Jameson and wife, from Scotland in 1806. Richard W. McMullin was reared on a farm, receiving a common school education, and in 1862 espoused the Union cause and enlisted in the Thirty-first Missouri Infantry Volunteers, but after serving several months was discharged, disabled after a severe attack of illness. Several years later he had the misfortune to have both his arms badly crippled. Nevertheless an active and enterprising spirit compensated in a large measure for his physical disadvantages, and he has been a diligent and useful man of affairs in his county. In 1865, he assisted to establish the "Jefferson Democrat," and on the 1st of January, 1900, he purchased and took entire charge of the paper, which he has made on e of the most valuable and useful local journals in the State. He has served in various public capacities, county clerk, county treasurer, probate judge and deputy collector. He has been a zealous and influential Freemason, joining the lodge in 1866, and holding all the offices of honor and trust, and having an equally honorable official connection with other recognized secret orders. His political affiliations are with the Democratic party and he enjoys the full confidence of his copartisans, as is proved by the fact that he has served as a member of the Jefferson County Democratic committee, and of the State Democratic central committee, and was president of the convention in 1878 which gave to Honorable M.L. Clardy his first nomination for Congress. Mr. McMullin was married November 25, 1868, to Miss Mary E. Honey, daughter of E.F. Honey, clerk of the circuit court, and a member of one of the oldest and best families of Jefferson county. He is an exemplary member of the Presbyterian Church and has held the position of superintendent of the Sunday school for twenty-five years.
[Source: Missouri History Encyclopedia, 1901; Vol. 4; Section M; p. 279]
Thus, Richard Watson McMullin of Jefferson County, Missouri was the nephew, R.W. “Watson” McMullin, who Jasper N. Jameson was writing a letter to in 1867.
Additionally, Jefferson County, Missouri records revealed the date of John T. McMullin and Eliza Mariah Jameson’s marriage:
John F. McMullin and Eliza Mariah Jamison married on 21 April 1835 by Wm. G. Walker at Jefferson Co., Mo. the hand written index has John T. McMullin and Eliza Mariah Jameson
[Source: Jefferson Commissions and Marriages 1826 – 1838, p. 102]
John Thompson McMullin’s obituary appeared on 1 August 1888 in the Jefferson Democrat:
“DIED – At De Soto, July 29, 1888, John Thompson McMullin, in his 77th year. While in the discharge of his duties as Deputy Assessor, on the 16th, he was caught in a rain storm, which produced chills and fever; the fever assumed typhoid form and there was also inflammation of the bowels. During his last 21 hours he could neither see, hear, speak nor swallow, but con-tinued to breathe, almost once for every second of time.
He was buried on Monday, at his home on the Plattin. Mr. McMullin was of Irish parentage, and was born in Washington County, Missouri February 14, 1818, and was brought to this county before he was two years of age and resided here ever since. Of the early history of this county, he knew more than any one now living. His was an active and efficient particular in the pioneer struggles for the advancement of civilization, education, morality and religion.
As a county official, school teacher or minister of the Gospel, his influence always was for progress in what was right and good. In the neighborhood he was an ever-ready counsellor and guide; to those in sickness and distress, a minister of peace and consolation – while his hospitality, generosity and charity were only bounded by his means. His life was a struggle with poverty, but cheerfully borne. Twice comfortable homes were sacrificed by his having stood security for the contracts of others; but he never gave up the battle and would at once strike out to prepare another home for his family.
His first wife was Eliza M. Jameson, daughter of Robert Jameson, mother of the pioneer settlers of this county. To them were given nine children. Some of them died at an early age – two after having arrived at maturity. There are now but four living. He was married four times, his second wife living but a year or two, and his third but a month or two. His fourth, now left a widow for the second time, is a daughter of the late James Gowan of De Soto.”
Eliza Mariah (Jameson) McMullin died on 11 March 1861 and is buried in the McMullin Cemetery in Plattin, Jefferson County, Missouri
John Thompson McMullin died 29 July 1888 and is also buried in the McMullin Cemetery in Plattin, Jefferson County, Missouri.