One of the best outcomes of this blog has been the family stories it has elicited…
Nancy Fore, great great grand daughter of Joseph‘s brother Davis, writes: “John Alexander’s land used to be that of the stagecoach stop along the Lincoln Trail. A cousin I met on line confirmed a story of my ggrandfather’s brother John Henry having wrestled with Lincoln. I shall have to look up her exact story. My mother had always said a family member had met Lincoln or had a wrestling match. Fun story and great to have it confirmed! Now to wonder if any other Maddox descendants have Lincoln stories to tell.”
It turns out Abe Lincoln really did do some wrestling in those Illinois towns. A 1995 Sports Illustrated story probably is the best recounting.
Nancy went on… “I tried to look up the story of the Heath Bar as Mom said Mrs. Heath made the candy in her kitchen and gave it out on holidays. [The eponymous Heathsville is a stone’s throw from John Napoleon’s farm.] The internet tells a different story and I have never heard once about poor Mrs. Heath and if she had any part of the candy making. Perhaps she just made small quantities at home to give to the neighbor children from her husband’s recipe or perhaps Mom’s story is incorrect and the factory made the candy and she brought candy home to give out. Sure would like to verify Mrs. Heath’s part in Mom’s story. Mom ate Heath bars her entire life. When looking the history of the Heath Bar on line, I read about a Robinson man who also told how he always ate Heath Bars. Any Heath Bar lovers in your family stories?”
And from Nancy Fore and Steve Maddox, great grandson of John Napoleon, come corroborated stories of gypsies somewhat forcibly camping out on the family lands: “I remember [my father] telling the story of them asking Poly if they could camp on his land. Poly allowed them to, but watched them closely. If I remember the story correctly, it was worse to NOT allow them to camp on your land. I also remember something about the Gypsies putting a mark on a tree to signify if a house was a friend or foe.”