Where Joe Allin Was Shot To Death 


by S. C. Turnbo


We have referred to Joe Allin elsewhere. We have told that he lived on Shoal Creek in Taney County, Mo. Joe was a son of Tempy Allin who lived on what is now the Ragdale Place on Shoal Creek and Bill Allin a brother of Joe's lived on the now Will Shafer Place on the sand stream. We have stated that Joe Allin was a wicked man in war times. He finally moved south of White River and lived on the "River" Bill Coker farm opposite the mouth of Shoal Creek. The Coker dwelling had been destroyed by fire in the war, but the Negro quarters were left untouched and Allin and his family occupied one of these. Joes wife was named Alwilda and no doubt she begged Joe to do better but he did not heed her advice. One day he went down to Crooked Creek and waited  in the woods until after night and went to Arch Hamiltons house and attempted to force his way into the house for the purpose of robbery. Mr. Hamilton was at home that night and as Joe was trying to push the door open, Hamilton shot and wounded him in the arm. This was on the old Hamilton farm above Powell. Before the wound healed and while he was carrying his wounded arm in a sling a party of men who had served in the Confederate Army and had returned home to find that Allin had been stealing without intermission and they were determined to put him to death and armed themselves and went to the Coker farm and captured him in the cabin where he lived and conducted him down the road that lead along between Cokers field and the bluff until they got down near where Bradleys ferry is now then up the hollow where it forks and the men taken him up the pant of the hill between the two hollows and just before arriving at the top they halted and seated the condemned man on a rock where the Protem and Lead Hill wagon way now is. The preliminaries were short. A handkerchief was tied over the mans eyes and the firing party was lined up before him. The approach of death was near. The sound of the guns would soon belch forth and Allin would land into eternity.

His poor wife was grieving for him for she believed that the men meant to kill him. His innocent children would be left to grope their way through the then land of blood and strife. Allin was told to prepare himself for he had now but a few moments to live and when the time was up orders were given to aim and fire and several bullets tore through his chest in the region of the heart and the dead body of Allin fell back on the rough stony ground and the men faced about and walked away leaving the corpse where it lay to be devoured by the vultures and wild beast. It was only a few months till the close of the war and when John Jones who served in the Confederate Army returned home he went to the place where Allin was executed and collected all the bones of Allin he could find and prepared a strong box for their reception and after enclosing the bones in this box he taken it to the south bank of the river near where the Bradley Ferry Landing is now and buried the box at the root of a tree. Finally this box with its humane bones by some means become disinterred and one day in the fall of 1869 while Tom Erwin lived on the "River" Bill Coker farm I and him visited the spot and examined the bones and put them back in the box and covered up the box again with dirt.                                                                                                                       »»»


The article above is from the Turnbo manuscripts by Silas Claiborne Turnbo (1844-1925), and was researched and contributed by Cherie Olson of Kent , WA.

Turnbo mentions a “Tom” Erwin in other of his writings, and it is assumed that he was referring to Thomas Johnston Erwin of Carroll County, Arkansas. If so, however, the passage “...in the fall of 1869 while Tom Erwin lived on the ’River’ Bill Coker farm…” is puzzling. While some Arkansas Erwin descendents believe that some of the Carroll County Erwins may have moved to Missouri to “sit out the war (Civil War),” there is every reason to believe that they would have returned well before 1869. 

Thomas J. Erwin and Nancy Caroline (Mathis) Erwin left Tennessee about 1848 and settled in Carroll County, AR. They later homesteaded on Dry Creek near the little town of Denver. The original homestead is currently part of the farm owned by great-great-granddaughter Glenna Trigg Combs and husband Gene Combs.                                                                                         Ed.