Share Your Story
Share your story

Stories by County
Adair County (1)
Barry County (2)
Boone County (1)
Buchanan County (1)
Butler County (1)
Greene County (1)
Jefferson County (1)
Lawrence County (2)
Lewis County (1)
Linn County (1)
Maries County (5)
Newton County (1)
Phelps County (2)
Putnam County (1)
Reynolds County (1)
Saint Charles County (1)
Shannon County (1)
Stone County (3)
Texas County (1)
Worth County (1)

Wagon Train to Missouri

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Wagon Train to Missouri

On March 20, 1852, a caravan of covered wagons left Lincoln County, Tennessee. Johnathan Gold, his sons William C. and Thomas, and at least twenty-three family members were heading for a ‘promised land’ in a place that was not yet named Christian County, Missouri. William, my great-great-great-grandfather, had traveled a year before to Green Valley, near what is now the town of Clever, to stake homestead claims for Johnathan, Thomas and himself.

The families arrived at the little settlement of Boaz on May 10. Most of the children of older brother Thomas were adults with families of their own, and the Golds, Caveners, Fugitts and Maples proliferated in northwestern Christian and Stone Counties. After the Civil War ravaged much of southwest Missouri, both William and Thomas purchased larger farms just a few miles south in Stone County.

The Gold name became very respected in Stone County, and the story of the “wagon train to Missouri” was passed from one generation to the next. In the late 1950s, James Ray Gold, a lifelong Stone County resident and descendant of Thomas Gold, decided to trace the family roots back to Tennessee. With no more than a desire, a high school education and a genuine love for his family name and heritage, Ray made several trips to Lincoln County, Tennessee. By patiently knocking on doors, Ray eventually connected with descendants of the brothers of Johnathan Gold.

Today, a strong family bond exists between the Golds of middle Tennessee, northern Alabama and southwestern Missouri. We lost our dear cousin Ray in 2008, but his legacy is a large family reunion in Crane, Missouri, every August. Gold descendants from all over the US make the annual trek, including several from Lincoln County, Tennessee.

It has been my honor and privilege to preside over that reunion for the last ten years. Meeting these folk and seeing the family resemblance – which goes far deeper than skin – reminds me of the quality of people who came to Missouri when it was still untamed, and have made it progress while preserving its beauty. – Paul Jackson

More Stories from Stone County  |  Share your story

Web Design Saint Louis by