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Clingingsmith Family from Bollinger County, MO

Replies: 5

Re: Clingingsmith Family from Bollinger County, MO

Posted: 1361573100000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Ramsey, Newell, Chandler, Clingingsmith, Garrett, Cooper, Tucker, Underwood, Sitze, Yount, Whitener, Hueter, Harris, Osborn, Killian, Welch, Hill

Recently, I’ve been working again to solve an old Ramsey-Newell puzzle, dating from before 1850, in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri. I still haven’t solved it, but I’ve learned a lot about members of the Newell family in Cape Girardeau County and neighboring Bollinger County in the process, as well as a lot about the families to whom the Newell family was connected by marriage, including Coopers and Chandlers. One Newell-Chandler connection also introduced me to the Clingingsmith surname.

My puzzle involves Susan Ramsey, who married David Marion Newell. David was a son of Samuel Newell and Nancy (Garrett) Newell. Family lore names David’s wife, Susan (Ramsey) Newell, as a niece of Alfred Ramsey, my late father’s great-grandfather.

In 1850, David Marion Newell (6, b. MO) was living in the Cape Girardeau County household of his widowed mother Nancy (40, b. NC). That household (Dwelling 1530) was listed on the census not far above the household (Dwelling 1546) of Alfred Ramsey (33, b. MO). Where Susan Ramsey was in 1850 has so far escaped me, as have the identities of her parents.

In 1860, Nancy (Garrett) Newell was head of a household in Bollinger County, Missouri. I’m certain Nancy Newell and her family hadn’t moved between 1850 and 1860, but the county boundary had moved over them with the formation of Bollinger County in 1851, in part from land ceded by Cape Girardeau.

On the 1880 census, Susan Newell (34, b. MO) is listed in the household of “Marian” Newell (38, b. MO) in German Township, Bollinger County, Missouri.

One of the daughters listed in David Marion Newell’s household in 1880 was Sarah (8, b. MO). She was Sarah Elizabeth Newell (1871-1954), who married Thomas Jasper Cooper (1866-1952), a Bollinger County-born son of John Monroe Cooper and Amanda (Williams) Cooper. Thomas Jasper Cooper and John Monroe Cooper appear to have been kin of your Leo Cooper, to what degree I’m not exactly sure.

David Marion Newell’s sister Martha married Anderson Chandler. In 1850, Anderson and Martha (Newell) Chandler were living in Cape Girardeau County in Dwelling 1543, between the households of Martha’s mother, Nancy (Garrett) Newell, and my father’s great-grandfather, Alfred Ramsey.

Anderson Chandler’s nephew, Williamson Kyle Chandler, a son of Anderson’s brother Josephus, married Serelda Catherine Clingingsmith (1857-1980), a daughter of Alexander Clingingsmith and Sarah (Fulbright) Clingingsmith, in Bollinger County on 2 May 1875.

I don’t recall paying any attention to the Clingingsmith surname before I encountered Serelda Catherine Clingingsmith, who was living with her parents, her brother William, and her sister Sophronia in German Township, Bollinger County, in 1860.

Looking for information about Alexander Clingingsmith, I “Googled” Clingingsmith and Bollinger and found your October 2012 postings on this message board.

That started my search for any connection between Alexander Clingingsmith and your Navy Clingingsmith. I haven’t found a direct connection yet.

The Missouri State Archives maintains a death certificates database (, with death certificates from 1910 to 1962. The database contains 26 death certificates for individuals with the Clingingsmith surname. Among those from Bollinger County are:

Navy Lawrence Clingingsmith (1870-1954), listed as a son of Thomas Clingingsmith and Francis Tucker. Buried: Glen Allen Cemetery, Glen Allen, MO. The Informant was Mrs. Gilbert Underwood of Glen Allen [Daughter Marie (Clingingsmith) Underwood].

His widow, Nancy Caroline (Sitze) Clingingsmith (1870-1956), listed as a daughter of Emanual Sitze and Susan Sitze. Buried: Glen Allen Cemetery, Glen Allen, MO. The Informant was Mrs. Leo Cooper of Lutesville, MO [Daughter Bessie Irene (Clingingsmith) Cooper].

There’s also a Bollinger County death certificate for Emanuel Jacob Sitze (1880-1957), listed as a son of Emanuel Sitze and Susan Yount. He was Nancy Caroline (Sitze) Clingingsmith’s brother.

There’s also a St. Louis City death certificate for lawyer Williamson Kyle Chandler (1850-1923), listed as a son of J. Chandler (b. SC) and Caroline Welch (b. SC). It lists his usual place of residence as Marble Hill, MO. His nativity data on the 1880 census lists his father as born in North Carolina and his mother as born in Missouri. Those are the same birthplaces listed for his parents on the 1850 census of Cape Girardeau County. The 1880 census counted him in Lorance Township, Bollinger County; identified him as a county surveyor and farmer; and named his wife as Surilda C. Chandler (22, b. MO).

The 1880 census lists Williamson and Surilda Chandler’s son (4, b. MO) as Robert L. Chandler. His World War I draft Registration Card and his Missouri death certificate name him as General Lee Chandler, born on 6 March 1876 near Gravel Hill, Bollinger County, Missouri. General Lee Chandler and his wife, Mattie Lena (Hill) Chandler, died of pneumonia within four days of each other at Marble Hill in December 1918; she on 2 December, he on 6 December. General Lee Chandler’s death certificate named his parents as W. K. Chandler and Kate Clingingsmith, both born near Gravel Hill. His death certificate identified General Lee Chandler as a printer-journalist in the newspaper business.

On 13 April 2005, “marysday” posted to this message board biographical sketches of Bessie Irene (Clingingsmith) Cooper and her husband Leo, which were first published in the 1977 history of Bollinger County written by Mary Louisa (Hopkins) Hahn (1911-1992). The book may still be available through the Bollinger County Archives and Genealogical Society (

This was the biographical sketch of Bessie Irene (Clingingsmith) Cooper on page 839 of the Hahn book:


Bessie Irene Clingingsmith Cooper was born July 7, 1899 on a farm near the Trace Creek community, a daughter of Navy Lawrence and Nancy Caroline Sitze Clingingsmith. Her father was born at Burfordville, Feb. 4, 1870, to Thomas and Mary Tucker Clingingsmith. His ancestors, who came from Pennsylvania, were known as “Pennsylvania Dutch” and settled at Neely’s Landing in Cape Girardeau County. Navy Lawrence moved to Bollinger County at the age of 14 and was a farmer in Bollinger County until his death Sept. 17, 1954. Nancy Caroline Sitze (Clingingsmith) was born at Rock Point in Madison County near the Bollinger County line, on March 7, 1870. She and N. L. Clingingsmith were married March 28, 1897, and moved to Bollinger County where she also remained until her death, in September of 1956. She had taught one term of school at the Prospect school district in Bollinger County before her marriage. Her grandfather Sitze migrated from the Carolinas and homesteaded a section of land in Madison County at Rock Point, adjacent to the Bollinger County line. About 1902, Navy L. and Nancy Caroline Clingingsmith settled on a farm two miles from Glen Allen. Bessie Irene, one of their seven children, attended the Prospect and Glen Allen public schools. She entered Will Mayfield College in the fall of 1915, and after attending high school three years, taught three terms of school in Bollinger county. She finished her high school work at Will Mayfield in 1920, and attended Southeast Missouri State Teachers College at Cape Girardeau. The next 10 years she taught in Cape, Carter, New Madrid, Washington and St. Francois Counties. Her last five years of teaching were spent at Esther where she taught the fourth grade for two years and for three years was social studies teacher in the Junior High School.

In 1930, she was married to Leo Cooper and returned to Lutesville where they made their home. They became the parents of three children. After their marriage, Mrs. Cooper became bookkeeper for Mr. Cooper’s business. Later the business was incorporated and she became a share-holder and treasurer of this business, a position which she holds at the present time. She is a member of the First Baptist Church in Marble Hill, and has been a teacher, and a assistant teacher, of an adult women’s class. She has also been Sunday school secretary, and secretary of the adult department of Sunday school and secretary-treasurer of the Emma Davault Circle of Women’s Missionary Union for a number of years and still holds that position. Mrs. Cooper is also a member of Victory Chapter No. 431, Order of the Eastern Star and a past worthy matron of the order. In 1974, she was honored with a fifty-year pin by Victory Chapter. As a member of Lutesville Rebekah Lodge No. 605, she is also a past noble grand of that order.

This was the biographical sketch of Bessie Irene (Clingingsmith) Cooper’s husband Leo, which began on page 840 of the Hahn book:


Leo Cooper, son of Thomas Henry and Elizabeth Whitener Cooper, was born Jan. 20, 1894, near Grassy. He attended grade school at Patterson and Little Vine and later attended high school at Will Mayfield College in Marble Hill. He taught one year at the Gregory School in Bollinger County before entering the Army in July 1918. He was discharged at the end of World War I., after the armistice was signed on Nov. 11, 1918. Returning home, he took a course in motor mechanics and practiced his trade at various places until 1920 when his parents moved to Lutesville. After that, he began the practice of his trade at the parents’ home. Before moving to town, Thomas Henry Cooper, his father, had been a farmer in the Grassy community near the place his ancestors had settled when they migrated from Tennessee. Mr. Cooper’s maternal ancestors were some of the Whiteners who migrated from the Carolinas and settled in the Castor River community near Gravelton. On April 10, 1930, he and Bessie Irene Clingingsmith were married, at Bismarck. They became the parents of three children. Twin daughters born in 1933 were, Anna Lea who married Forrest Hueter, and Ella Dee who died in infancy. A son, Robert Leo, was born in 1941. Anna Lea graduated from Woodland High School in 1951 and attended Southeast Missouri State College in Cape Girardeau and the University of Missouri at Columbia. She is secretary of Cooper Auto Supply, Inc. and works a bookkeeper for the family business. She also teaches piano and voice in her extra time and is the mother of one daughter, Audrey Diann, born in 1960. Robert Leo lives in Phoenix, Ariz., and is married to the former Sue Harris whose home was in Ferguson. He graduated from Woodland High School in 1959, attended the University of Missouri at Columbia and was graduated from Southeast Missouri State College at Cape Girardeau in 1966. He attended Cape Business School one year and Ward’s Business School in St. Louis, where he studied the use of computers. He is now working for the State of Arizona as a Systems Designer.

In 1930 Leo Cooper built a business building across the street from his first location at his father’s home in Lutesville, on property he had previously purchased. After being moved into that building, June 7, 1930, the company was known as the Cooper Tire and Oil Company and carried that name until 1972. Then the business was incorporated and the name was changed to Cooper Auto Supply, Inc. and is owned by Mr. Cooper and members of his family. In the 1940s he became a commissioner of Special Road District No. 2 and served on its board for a number of years. At one time, he was an alderman of the City of Lutesville, and worked with Dr. Cornell, who was an alderman at the same time and Dr. John J. Myers, who was Lutesville’s mayor. Mr. Cooper also served two terms as a member of the school board during the time Delmar A. Cobble and Earl Smith were superintendents and consolidation was a big problem. In 1942, he became a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Marble Hill and held that position for 33 years, before ill health forced his retirement in 1975. Mr. Cooper is a member of the First Baptist Church in Marble Hill where he was secretary of the B.T.U. from 1966 to 1974. He is also a member of the I.O.O.F. Lodge in Lutesville, the American Legion, where he was awarded a fifty-year pin in 1975, and belongs to Veterans of World War I. Barracks No. 1311, in Cape Girardeau. His father died in 1936 at the age of 72, and his mother died in 1953 at the age of 86. He has one brother, Roy, of Fredericktown, and a sister, Zola Cooper Stephens of Cape Girardeau. An older brother died in infancy.

Navy Clingingsmith appeared on the 1880 census as “Laurence Clinginsmith” in this household in Liberty Township, Stoddard County, Missouri:

CLINGINSMITH Thomas Head 32 Male Married MO MO MO Common Laborer
CLINGINSMITH Sarah Wife 29 Female Married AR Ireland TN Keeping House
CLINGINSMITH Francis Daughter 12 Female Single MO MO MO
CLINGINSMITH Laurence Son 11 Male Single MO MO MO
CLINGINSMITH Silas Son 8 Male Single MO MO AR
CLINGINSMITH Elsebeth Daughter 4 Female Single MO MO AR
CLINGINSMITH Thomas Son 1 Male Single MO MO AR
OSBORN John Other 29 Male Single IN IN IN Common Laborer

From the change in nativity data from Navy to Silas, I assume Thomas married Sarah between 1870 and 1872.

I believe this was Thomas Clingingsmith’s household in Lorance Township, Bollinger County in 1870:

CLINGINSMITH D 24 Male White MO Farmer
CLINGINSMITH Margaret 25 Female White MO Keeping House
CLINGINSMITH Frances 2 Female White MO
CLINGINSMITH Conavy 3/12 Male White MO [Navy]
KILLIAN Amanda 23 Female White MO Domestic Servant

I suspect Thomas Clingingsmith’s full name was either Thomas Daniel Clingingsmith or Daniel Thomas Clingingsmith. During the Civil War, a Daniel T. Clingingsmith served as a Private in a Confederate unit -- Company G, 8th Regiment, Missouri Cavalry. A Thomas D. Clingingsmith served as a Private in the 8th Cavalry’s Company A. An Alexander Clingingsmith [Serelda Catherine (Clingingsmith) Chandler’s father?] served in the 8th Cavalry’s Company B.

You may know all of this already. If not, I hope it gives you some clues on which to search.

Happy hunting,

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