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Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Missouri Migration: John & Kizzie Littrell


......... When Uncle Jim and Dad returned to Tennessee after checking out Missouri, Dad didn't return with Uncle Jim and his family to Missouri until a few years later. Dad ran a store in Tennessee, but because he tended to extend too much credit - he eventually lost the store and decided to take his family and join Uncle Jim in Missouri.

View 1930 Tennessee Census for John Littrell’s family

A few days before the family moved, Viola married Lawrence Johnston, and they stayed in Tennessee as did Jesse.

So in January 1932, Dad loaded the remainder of the family into the back of Lee Flemmings flatbed truck ( Flemming made a living hauling families to Missouri ). The truck had only a partial tarp on it - so wrapped in quilts and toting "chicken in a lard can" we headed for Missouri.

John & Kizzie [East Prairie, MO.]


We worked for Bob Grear, sharecropping near LaForge for a while, and then moved into a two room shack on Uncle Jim's place. After that we lived on Joe Thomason's place and then East Prairie on property we purchased from Mom's brother Leslie Crutcher who lived next door. Mom and Dad lived the remainder of their lives in East Prairie.

In 1937 John and Kizzie lived near Walnut Grove and East Prairie, during that winter there was severe flooding on the Tennessee and Kentucky side of the Mississippi. As the flooding got worse it was decided that the 3rd dike would be blown to save east Prairie and relieve flooding on the other side of the river. At the time the family lived in a "stilt" house on the River Plain, so Kizzie and most of the family loaded up and headed for Tennessee.

Even as they left the water was floor board high on the truck they were riding in. Bertha and Red remained with Dad an moved everything they could up into the loft.

Most of the families in the flood plain temporarily moved into east Prairie - but Dad, Bertha and Red loaded up the Model T, and along with Alf Ball and his 2 wagons and 8 mules moved into a two-story house with _____(?) for 3-4 weeks during the flooding. The water was so high that it almost reached the second story. Local whiskey makers stayed in business by moving there stills into their lofts. Whiskey was obtained by floating up to the lofts.

After the water had receded the family returned to the house which had floated over a mile away. What wasn't moved out of the house or placed in the loft was lost. Unfortunately, the Family bible was in some boxes or a trunk that were lost in the flood. Evidently, at a later date, Mom tried to record all the family information into a new Bible, but much of that information has proven unreliable.....

As told by: Onine Littrell-Curtis, Bertha Littrell-Thurman, Red Littrell, & JD Littrell 1994

Links to related articles will be added here as they are posted.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

1930 Census entry for John Littrell & R. Benjamin Smith: Lawrence County, TN.


This Census record is the last peice of evidence that John & Kizzie we’re in Lawrence County, Tennessee. In 1929 John’s brother James had migrated to Missouri and in 1932 John and most of his family would Join James and other kinfolk from Lawrence County, Tennessee there.

1930 Census Littrell J n Ben SmithJohn & Kizzie, Ben & Suzie 

see also: The Tennessee to Missouri Migration:


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