Welcome all Clodfelter family members!From a letter written by Eugene Knox, son of John T. Knox, grandson of Ezekiel McNeely on 25 Oct., 1926, in Jackson, MO.
In the summer of 1818 there came on horseback from Cabarrus County, North Carolina one Phillip Clodfelter. He was of a family of 17 children, having nine brothers. His father gave each son two hundred dollars and a horse when they were old enough to shift for themselves. He passed along a road running near where New Wells in this county now stands and about a mile northwest of said site he passed a camping ground of the Shawnee Indians. These Indians, you recall, were originally inhabitants of the Scioto Valley of Ohio and were the bravest, most determined and resourceful enemies that the whites encountered west of the Allegheny Mountains. They were having some kind of a dance and as he passed two shots were fired. He did not know why, nor did he try to find the reason but immediately acted upon the theory that "distance lends enchantment to the view".
After viewing the country he returned to North Carolina, married, and the following year he, a brother John and the other brothers name I cannot recall came to Missouri. The Indians had been moved by the government and he entered land which was a part of their camping ground and his son now has as his garden plot the spot on which the Indians were holding their pow-wow.
The brother John settled near Appleton but I have found no trace of descendants. The other brother settled some distance northwest of Jackson.
Phillip Clodfelter was a cooper by trade. He made buckets, churns, tubs, barrels, and pails of various kinds. The writer well remembers seeing them in use. He has many contrivances made of wood and among them a wooden plow. This was all wood except an iron point. I well remember seeing this at the centennial celebration of 1876 at Shawneetown. This plow was also at one of the early Home Comings held at Jackson and a grandson told me it had been brought to Cape Girardeau but he did not know by whom.
In the same parade was a flail for beating out wheat belonging to Mr. Clodfelter and carried by Henry Moore, a brother-in-law of Dr. R. T. Henderson of Jackson. I had reached my sixth birthday two months previous to this but I can at this moment see the greater part of that parade.
Phillip Clodfelter possessed those stable qualities characteristic of the North Carolinians who sought homes in this far land. The records of Apple Creek Church show that he, with Thos. Wilson and Benny Brown, rented seat No. 1 in that church in the year 1826. A daughter, Margaret, married Ransom Mitchell, Elizabeth married Kennedy Stevenson and they both proved to be "Mothers of Israel". The writer gladly bears witness to the piety of grandma Stevenson and has no hesitancy in saying that no family reared in the north part of Cape County did more for the causes of morality, education, and religion than hers, a family of five sons and two daughters.
While the son Leonard Clodfelter has made as we say no great mark in the world, he has been a member of Apple Creek Church for nearly sixty nine years and of such is the bone and sinew of the land. When Leonard Clodfelter's marriage day arrived a great rain was falling and his intended Sarah Tricky lived on the opposite side of Shawnee Creek which was impassable all day the wedding was celebrated the following day.
Phillip Clodfelter lived more than four score years and sleeps in Apple Creek church yard.