Postcards: Elliott family roots intertwine with Ray County history

By Linda Emley

Teddy Roosevelt Elliott stopped by the Museum this week and we were talking about the battle of Albany. It took me a few minutes before I realized why Teddy was a little nervous sitting on a bench in front of Capt. Anderson.
It’s because he is related to the Elliotts in this story. After talking for awhile we both agreed that there are two sides to any war and sometimes it’s best to just accept that and just move on.
The 1881 Ray County History Book has a section that is about some of our early settlers. The following is one of them: “Andrew Elliott was born in Ray County, Missouri, near where he now lives, on the 8th day of September, 1822. He received his educational training in Ray County, and has always lived here. The family from whom our subject is descended was of Irish origin, his great-grandfather having been a native of Ireland.
“Captain Elliott has been a farmer and stock raiser ever since he began business for himself. He enlisted in the service of the Union, and commanded Company A, 3d Regiment, Missouri State Militia, in the Civil War. John Elliott, father of the subject of this article, was collector of revenue for Ray County for the year 1827.
“Capt. Elliott was married in the autumn of 1868 to Miss Martha Ann Ballew, daughter of Mr. Joseph Ballew, now deceased. One child, Catharine Susie, is the issue of this marriage. Captain Elliott sold his own farm, consisting of 160 acres, and his interest in his father’s 500-acre estate to his brother in 1880, and intends retiring from active business cares during the remainder of his life.”
I know this sounds a little dry, but there is always a story behind the story. Capt. Andrew Elliott lived in Ray County for 77 years and he saw more than most of us will ever see.
Andrew Elliott was never alone because he had a twin brother named Anderson. When they were born, they joined a sister Millie that was almost 2 years old. The family grew when twin sisters Pernetie and Pernecie were born in 1827. A few years later, their dear mother Susan died and it was hard on their father John Elliott because his own father had died when he was a young boy back in North Carolina.
A while later, John married Eliza Culberston and the children had a stepmother. Six half siblings soon followed.
In 1856, John Elliott built a house from bricks that were made from clay found on his farm. This house is still standing and is located two miles north of Camden. His son, Andrew Elliott, later lived there. It had deep roots for Andrew because his father John was shot while standing in the doorway of this house.
The 1893 Portrait and Biographical Record of Clay, Ray, Carroll, Chariton, and Linn Counties, Missouri history book gives the following story: “John Elliott was well known as an old-line Whip and an uncompromising Union man. His devotion to the Union cost him his life, he having been murdered by a troop of the notorious “Bill” Anderson’s men. He was an old man at the time and nearly blind; yet this did not touch the hearts of the brutal men, for they shot him down while standing in his own doorway.”
Andrew Elliott was still living at home when his father was shot. We think John Elliott is buried in Elliott Cemetery near Orrick.
In 1862, Andrew organized the first company of Union soldiers in Ray County. The 1881 Ray County History Book gives the following account: “Andrew Elliott was captain of Company A, 3d M. S. M. Cavalry volunteers. He enlisted in December 1861, at Camden, Mo. and was shortly after elected captain of Co. A, by his fellow soldiers. He resigned in the fall of 1862, on account of being severely injured by the fall of his horse while in the service in southwest Missouri. He was a vigilant, active Union man, and did much to arouse enthusiasm in the cause of the government at the commencement of the war. He made a fine officer and was greatly endeared to his men. Since the war, he has been engaged in the business of farming, near Camden. He is a worthy citizen and highly esteemed by his neighbors.”
Page 305 of the 1881 Ray County History Book gives a few more details: “In April, 1862, a beautiful Union flag was presented company A, 3d M. S. M. Cavalry volunteers, commanded by Capt. Andrew Elliott, by the ladies of Camden, near the residence of Willis Warriner, Esq., on the lofty eminence overlooking the Missouri River. J. W. Black, on behalf of the ladies of Camden, presented the flag to the soldiers of Company A, with a neat and appropriate speech, as they were drawn up in a long and imposing line. It was received by them with great enthusiasm, and borne by them as the banner of their company through their long and arduous campaigns in southwest Missouri. On returning home after the close of the war, this flag was brought with them, and is now in the possession of one of the old soldiers of Co. A that afterward was company L, of the 6th M. S. M. Cavalry volunteers. Co. A was commanded by Capt. Andrew Elliott until Sept. 15, 1862, when he resigned.”
I would love to know if this flag is still around or if it has been lost in time.
Andrew’s twin bother, Anderson Elliott, was a second lieutenant from Oct. 2, 1862 until March 12, 1865. “Anderson Elliott was second lieutenant in company C, 51st E. M. M. Cavalry volunteers. He enlisted in 1862, and continued in the service until the close of the war. He made a fine energetic officer, and performed considerable service in Ray, and the surrounding counties. He has been a successful farmer for many years, in the vicinity of Camden.”
Anderson Elliott married Sarah Remeley and lived the rest of his days in Ray County.
There was an article about the twins in the May 18, 1899 Richmond Conservator. “Andrew and Anderson Elliott of near Camden, are twins brothers, natives of Ray County, and yet living on a portion of the old homestead of their father’s, one of the early settlers of the county. They were born on Sept. 22, 1822 and are now in their 77th year. Both hale and hearty, considering the fact that they have been hard-working industrious men and have gone seven miles past the three score and 10 years allotted to man. They have been good and useful citizens, are redheaded and are as much alike as two black-eyed peas, except that Capt. Andrew Elliott is slightly more bow-legged than his brother, Anderson. And Anderson’s nose is slightly flatter than that of his brother, Andrew. The reason for this latter apparent disfigurement is that a pet cub bear got hold of Anderson’s nose one day while his mother was getting dinner and almost sucked the life out of our little fellow. And ever afterwards his nose has been more or less flattened. Of course there are not many persons who know this, and in addition that their mother chopped off the head of three cub bears that she had on hand immediately after her boy’s nose had been flattened by one of them.”
Capt. Andrew Elliott died Jan. 19, 1900 and Lt. Anderson Elliott died Dec. 9, 1906. Both are buried at the Elliott Cemetery with many family members that died before them. These boys buried their mother when they were 10 years old, buried their father after the bushwhackers shot him in his own home and outlived all their sisters except for Millie. She married Daniel Tucker and lived until May 30, 1915. A half-brother of the twins named Thomas Elliott died during the Civil War while serving under Lt. Rakes.
There is at least one more tragedy in the life of Andrew and Anderson Elliott. Their sister Pernetie married Ambrose Tucker. Two of their children, Louisa Tucker and Anderson Tucker, died Aug. 4, 1852. Three days later, Pernetie Tucker died. All three are buried at the Brasher Cemetery with another Tucker daughter named Clementine. I have not been able to find out what tragic event happened in 1852, but I will keep looking for the rest of the tales about John Elliott’s children.
There are many people that still live around here that are related to the Elliotts and the Tuckers. After working on this story for several days, a young lady walked into the museum and asked if we had any info on the Tuckers. I’m sure she saw my eyes light up as I said, “Come on in and let me tell you about the Tuckers and the Elliotts.”

Have more to tell Linda about these families? Contact her in person at Ray County Museum or email

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