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Columbus Franklin Roy

Columbus Franklin Roy

Submitted by : Sheryl McClure.


Taken from: Portrait and Biographical Record of Oklahoma, 1901


COLUMBUS FRANKLIN ROY. We find this thriving citizen of Logan county occupying the southwest quarter of section 12, township 19, range 2 west. The outline of his interesting and important history is as follows: A native of Pulaski county, Ky., Mr. Roy was born October 19, 1836, and is the son of Zachariah and Elizabeth (Wilson) Roy, the descendants of fine old families on both sides. He spent his youth on the farm with his parents, receiving a good common-school education. At the age of eighteen he started out to seek his fortune, migrating first to Cornell county, Ind., where he worked for a few months on a farm. Next he secured a situation on a flat boat freighting to New Orleans, on which he made one trip, then returning to Evansville, Ind., took train for Terre Haute, and from there footed it to Edgar county, Ill., where he hired out to Colonel Blackburn on a farm and worked for him four years. He saved his money and in 1858 crossed the Mississippi into Marion county, Iowa. There he hired out to Hon. Greene T. Clark, the first representative from that county, and a cousin of young Roy by marriage. He made his home with that family one winter.
In 1859 he rigged up a breaking team of four yoke of oxen to break prairie sod and was employed at this until 1860, when he drove to Coffey county, Kans., with oxen and a span of horses and there rigged out another outfit to break prairie land, but the ground was so dry that he found the task impossible, so he repaired to Kansas City and loaded up his wagon with freight for Pike's Peak. He proceeded as far west as Benton's Ford, but being warned that the Indians were on the war path and that it would not be safe to go further, he sold out his merchandise to some Mormons who needed supplies, receiving $13 per hundred for flour.
Mr. Roy now retraced his steps to Coffey county and from there drove his oxen through to Decatur county, Ill., where he traded for a horse team, throwing in a sack of salt he had hauled all the way back from the mountains. In Sangamon county, Ill., he applied to a lady for something to eat, telling her he had been taking his meals on the ground and he wanted a "square" meal at a table. She had a pair of twins, and told him one was a Lincoln and the other a Douglas child, adding that while her husband favored Lincoln, she was for Douglas and he could have a meal at the table if his sympathies were the same. Our subject was for Douglas and prophesied that if Lincoln was elected there would be a war. The lady agreed with him, but McWilton, who was along, laughed at him. He told them he had heard enough while in New Orleans to know the south meant war. Upon leaving he drove to Edgar county, Ill.., again entered the employ of Colonel Blackburn and was trusted by him to go out and buy cattle in Indiana and other points.
August 18, 1861, he was united in marriage with Miss Margaret Bell, a relative of John Bell, who ran for president with Breckenridge. She was born in Edgar county, Ill., and was the daughter of Robert and Susan (Caldwell) Bell.
The year following, 1862, Mr. Roy enlisted in Company A, Seventh Illinois Cavalry, and went with his regiment to Tennessee and Mississippi. While near LaGrange, the former state, he was kicked in the breast by his horse and as there was no hospital near, his captain, William Blackburn, ordered him sent to his own tent. Just before the Coffeyville skirmish they were ordered back and camped near a little mill. They had nothing to eat except grain they found in the mill. This they had ground and to hungry men it tasted good. After falling back to LaGrange a hospital was established and Mr. Roy was placed in it. He suffered from the results of his disability about fourteen weeks and his mind was in such a state that the time was a blank. Before being able to stand alone he was sent to Edgar county, Ill., and on his way north from Memphis became unconscious, falling on the ground on his arrival at Pana. He was picked up by a bystander and put on the train for Paris, where, after his arrival, he was carried by another man (Lieutenant Morisson) to a doctor's office. For about twenty-three years he had been trying to find this man, and also William Horsley.
Finally recovering from his disability, Mr. Roy, with his family, in 1864, located in Ringgold county, Iowa, where he engaged in the stock business. He was thus occupied eight years, then on account of failing health sold out and drove back to Kentucky among his own people, including his brothers, who were southern sympathizers. They notified him he could not talk abolition doctrine there, but he maintained his principles and they soon concluded to let him alone. After about a year of convalescence, he returned to Ringgold county, Iowa, and resumed his former business of cattle buyer but soon found this was too severe so he loaded his belongings in a wagon. He was so weak that a man was obliged to attend him and wait upon him. Proceeding to Nodaway county, Mo., he located on a fine farm of forty acres of new land. He put up a little cabin and lived there eight years. He took with him two of his nephews, whose father had died, and they were like sons to him, working faithfully for him while he permitted them to attend school all that was possible.
Upon selling out in Nodaway county, Mr. Roy drove through to Douglas county, Kans., and located on a farm belonging to Major Kenedy, who assigned to him sixty acres and told him to make what he could upon it. He was a true friend and a noble man. He remained there till August of that year, then set out for .Hot Springs, Ark., in hopes to regain his failing health. When reaching Linn county, Kans., he was so ill that he could not proceed any farther, and Captain Cook there put him in the way to trade for eighty acres of land. About that time he applied for a pension, but could not get it for lack of evidence to prove the justice of his claim. He was so patriotic he thought Uncle Sam needed it, and so let it go. However, through the efforts of W. H. Campbell, he was finally granted a pension of $12 per month.
Selling out in Linn county, he traveled from May to July and then settled in Dade county, Mo., where he secured forty acres of land, only eight acres being broken. There he remained three years. His next move was to Independence, Kans., near which place he bought a farm, but remained only ten weeks on account of illness, then went to live in the city of Independence. The next February he set out for Deadwood in the Dakotas and traveled as far as the Nibera river, but after driving from place to place sold his team and went to Council Bluffs and from there returned to Dade county, Mo., bought a team and wagon and started for Hot Springs. However, while on the way, he met a preacher who persuaded him not to go, so he turned around and went to Colorado Springs instead. After a few weeks' sojourn there he proceeded to Denver and thence to Cheyenne. There he sold his team and bought tickets to Walla Walla, Wash., where he lay ill and it was thought that he would die, but he finally recovered. Going to Kansas City, thence to Columbus, Kans., and from there (by courtesy of the conductor) to Joplin, Mo., he stopped on the farm of John Simms and lived in that vicinity three years, and then went to Girard, Kans. From there he removed to Vernon, Mo., remaining two years. In 1889, while making the run to Oklahoma, his horse was taken sick on the line an hour before the opening. However, thirty minutes afterwards, he reached his present claim, and here the horse again dropped down. Mr. Roy concluded to stay. He has made all the improvements, assisted by his sons, and now has a good farm.
Mr. Roy and his estimable wife are the parents of seven children: Mrs. Lucinda Adams, William T. Sherman, Frederic, Minnie (wife of Wm. Compton), Okay, Alta and Nellie. The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Of the sons, Frederic is a fine worker and good farmer, and stands high in his community.

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