Twelfth in a series
In doing the research for these articles and interviewing different people with New Prospect connections, the family of Rev. James H. Barker always came up during some part of the conversation. The impact that the Barker family left on the congregation and community cannot be overlooked. Many members of this family are interred in the New Prospect Cemetery. There has also been some type of connection with the New Prospect Baptist Church and this family for over 150 years. Although not charter members of the church, James Henry “Jim” Barker (1841-1899) and his brother George Thomas “Tom” Barker (1846-1937) were two of the earliest members of the church. They were both baptized into the membership of the congregation in August of 1859. They were the sons of John R. Barker (b. 1813) and wife Sarah (Whittemore) Barker (b. 1821), both natives of Rockingham, Richmond County, North Carolina. The Barker arrived in Wayne County from Madison County, Tennessee in the late 1850’s. The names of John R. and Sarah Barker never appear on any New Prospect church roll. It appears their sons stepped out and united with the congregation on their own. It has been previously stated in a prior article that James H. Barker was a Veteran of CO A 47th MO Volunteer Infantry. He was discharged as a 1st Sergeant. According to the diary of William Pinkney White, Barker was wounded at the Battle of Bollinger’s Mill. Family tradition states he walked with a limp the remainder of his life from the injury.
Eighth in a series
Seventh in a series
Throughout the years anyone who has spent any amount of time in the Bounds Creek community, knows that the east hillside behind the New Prospect Baptist Church is often referred to as “Allen Hill” or “Allen Corner.” That area of the cemetery is dominated by the descendants of Alfred Boler Allen (1826-1875) and his wife Frances Minerva (Herron) Allen (1829-1894), who are interred at the site as well. Genealogists can trace the family back to Cherokee County, Ala., where Alfred B. Allen is believed to be a son of John Allen (b. 1780). In August of 1860 Alfred B. Allen purchased 312 acres of land at the Jackson, Mo., land office. The land was in the Frazier Creek community in Wayne County and described as Section 3, Township 27-N, Range 4-E. The family made the move to Wayne County from Randolph County, Ark., sometime after the 1860 census. In August of 1861, Rev. A.G. Twidwell baptized the couple into the membership of New Prospect Baptist Church. At the time the couple had six children and had three more upon arriving in Missouri. The children were (in order of birth), James Murphy, William Burton, Marion Argier, Alsmus Boler, Henry Alfred, Allison Alexander, Mary Minerva, Andrew Franklin and Sarah Frances Jane. Alfred B. Allen soon thereafter enlisted as a private for the Union Army in CO A 47th MO Volunteer Infantry. He served six months in the Civil War and was discharged after developing tuberculosis. He eventually succumbed to the disease in 1875. His widow, Frances Minerva, lived out her days with different ones of her children. She received a widows pension of $12 a month until her death. Frances M. Allen, along with daughter Sarah, son Alsmus and a daughter-in-law were four of the 20 charter members, who in August of 1880, withdrew from New Prospect and organized the Bear Creek Baptist Church at White Hollow. In 1892, she returned to the congregation of New Prospect.