Reuben & Lucy 

      Crayton

The Crayton's land approx. a half mile west
             of the Lone Jack battlefield

Reuben & Lucy's land, approximately half a mile west of the actual Lone Jack battlefield

                            Reuben

                            Born: September 24, 1822      Died: January 23, 1908

                            Burial: Hillcrest Cemetery      Place: Gravette, Benton County, Arkansas

 

                            Lucy

                            Born: May 15, 1856                  Died: April 28, 1926

                            Burial: Hillcrest Cemetery        Place: Gravette, Benton County, Arkansas

 

 

 

  Reuben and Lucy's stories found them dead center of the turmoil and border war that surrounded them! Before Reuben moved to Gravette, Benton County, Arkansas, he lived for several years in  Lone Jack, Missouri as a carpenter and architect. Many of his neighbors were a who's who of those that have went down in Lone Jack border war history such as Martin Rice, B. B. Cave, Caleb Winfrey and Benjamin Potter. And, because of the hostilities that were gripping the area, Reuben volunteered for a little known military group called the Westport (Mo.) Police Guard.

  On September 24, 1863, General Thomas Ewing issued General Order #12 that directed loyal citizens to the government to form organizations of military companies for the protection of their homes and persons against the Confederate guerrilla activity and for "defense of the nation." Six companies were formed in Harrisonville, Hickman Mills, Independence, Kansas City, Pleasant Hill and Westport. The WPG would later be called on to engage in the famous battle of Westport! Their duties there included guard duty at Kansas City and digging trenches while throwing up breatsworks as General Sterling Price's army closed in. During the battle of Westport, the WPG were on guard and picket duty as well as serving as scouts. In 1897, Reuben received a Civil War pension that confirms his WPG participation.

  Meanwhile, as Reuben is serving in the WPG, his future wife, Lucy Ann Henry was going through her own trials. She was living in Cass County with her father, George when Captain John Ballinger of the First Missouri State Militia Cavalry would pay them, and many other Cass County families such as the aforementioned Benjamin Potter, a visit. The Henry family was banished from the county. This information comes from a report written by Ballinger along with a list of those he sent packing.  

  Now comes that little twist I had teased before..... Genealogy shows that Reuben and his first wife, Paulina (who passed away in 1865) had a daughter named Elizabeth Cordelia Crayton and a son named Reuben. Elizabeth fell for a man named John and married him in Jackson County. Later, John and Elizabeth moved to Los Angeles, California with their children, John's mother, Maria and Elizabeth's brother, Reuben. Now, what makes this twist so unique and tie even stronger into the border wars? Well...John is the son of and Maria is the wife of.....some of you get it already?....William Jean Hunter. The same William Jean Hunter that was killed in the six man "Benjamin Potter massacre" in September of 1863 by Charles Coleman's 9th Kansas cavalry!

  So when you look up genealogy of Benjamin Potter massacre victim, William Jean Hunter, the Craytons are right there in the same family tree and link into perhaps that most heinous act in the Jackson County, Missouri area outside of the Union Jail Collapse!!

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