Sunday, August 17, 2008

Rootbound in the Hills #238:
14 April 1992

by Rocky Macy

Do any of our readers have information regarding the State Lunatic Asylum of Missouri that would have been in operation in the 1850s? Where was it located? How would one go about finding and searching its records? Today's first correspondent wants to know. Please read on...

Lenore W. BENNION (Route 1, Box 254, Stark City, MO 64866) needs that information as she tries to pinpoint the location and date of death of Micajah H. CLARK, the husband of Mary E. CLARK. There is an M.H. CLARK listed on the 1840 census of Benton Township, Newton County, MO. Micajah and Mary are on the 1850 census of Newton County. That document lists him as being born in Virginia around 1805 and her as being born in Tennessee around 1821. A Harriet FISHER, aged seventeen and born in Tennessee, was in the home with them. Was Harriet a sister to Mary, or a friend or servant?

Micajah H.. CLARK (above) was the first postmaster of Oliver's Prairie (Newton County, MO) which was opened on 31 Mar 1841. He held that post off and on until 22 Feb 1849. Micajah CLARK also purchased 320 acres of land in Newton County and had a patent for it dated 26 May 1840.

Early probate records in Newton County show that in December of 1850 the estate of M.H. CLARK (insane) was being handled by a guardian, William WRIGHT. In September of 1855 M.H. CLARK was listed as deceased, and Thomas K. HARMON, Public Administrator of Newton County, MO, was in charge of his estate. The last reference to M.H. CLARK being alive and insane was on 4 June 1855 when William WRIGHT presented "his account this his final settlement as guardian..." M.H. CLARK may have died prior to the 4 June 1855 hearing.

In September of 1855 James HENDERSON, treasurer of the "State Lunatic Asylum" presented an account against the estate of M.H. CLARK as a balance due to the State Lunatic Asylum.

And now, back to the questions at hand. Where was the State Lunatic Asylum located, and how does one access its records? Lenore W. BENNION wants to know!

Over the past couple of years this columnist has been honored to have a few articles published in Heritage Quest, a national magazine of growing importance in the fields of genealogy and history. And although we have never met, I count the editors and publishers of Heritage Quest as good friends and among some of the best people involved in ancestoring.

It was pleasing to learn, therefore, that Heritage Quest has recently gone into the genealogical tour business. Leland MEITZLER, the owner and publisher of Heritage Quest, has announced that his company has started Heritage Quest Tours, the purpose of which is to offer genealogy tours to Salt Lake City for individuals. The programs are designed for Thursday arrivals with four days and three nights in Salt Lake. Hotel accommodations, transfers, breakfasts, and the assistance of a professional genealogist on staff with Heritage Quest are all included in the package.

For more information on this program, contact Heritage Quest Tours at 2800 Veterans Boulevard 166, Metairie, LA 70002. And be sure to tell those good folks at HQ that you heard about their new service through Rootbound!

And for more information on Heritage Quest magazine, write to P.O. Box 40, Orting, WA 98360. Each issue contains a good variety of interesting history and useful genealogy strategies.

Remember that Rootbound loves mail too. Send those queries to Rootbound in the Hills in care of this newspaper. We're here to help!

Happy hunting!

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