Boone Duden Historical Society & Archives

Timeline for Eviza Coshow – Thomas Howell Cemetery 10-1-2017 – by Cathie Schoppenhorst

My name is Eviza Lydia Howell Coshow and I have a story to tell. A lot of people in these parts called me Cousin Duck. I reckon they knew how much I liked the water and just like my ancestors, I liked an adventure. I'll bet you have heard of my grandmother,  Jemima, who was the daughter of Daniel and Rebecca Boone. Grandmother told me about being kidnapped by Indians at Fort Boonesborough and how my grandfather, Flanders Callaway, was one of the ones who followed their trail to rescue them. [She also said how badly the rescue party felt for their sweethearts, seeing them in such a plight with their clothes cut off above their knees, scratched and bleeding from being dragged. When they got home, Grandmother said the joy of her mother and the neighbors was past expression: She said her mother laughed and cried for joy, as she always did when over joyed.  During the siege, grandmother went out at night and gathered the spent balls that had hit the sides of the fort so they could re-mold the lead to use again against the enemy. I remember hearing her say how glad she was when the treaty was signed so she would not have to be confined to the garrison, but could go out and tend the garden. It was joyful times, she said.] My grandparents got married soon after that when she was only 14!

My mother, Susannah, was one of their 10 children, and I am one of their 80 grandchildren! My father was Thomas Howell, who is also speaking today. [I oftimes heard him say he came here and helped drive the red skins from the land-then the Hessian Dutch came and stole and confiscated his property. He was a very stout, active robust man, but suffered a death stroke and died 3 weeks later. I sat by him those three weeks, rubbing and trying to bring feeling to those dead limbs, with no avail.]

I was #8 of my parents' 14 children! [Let's see if I can name them all in order: first there was Coanza Burilla, Larkin Flanders, Eliza Ann, Pizarro William, Alonzo Boone, James Callaway, Amazon Cap, then me, Eviza Lydia, Mary Etaline, Amandelia, John Francis, Jemima Elizabeth, Lewis Morgan, and Sarah Minerva. As you can see, some of these are family names and some of them were new to the family. My papa told me Daniel Boone himself named Amazon after the great river.]

I was raised a spinner and a weaver of flax and wool. Some of you might have seen Maw Castlio's quilt made by the ladies of Howell's Prairie. I got to the quilting bee late, and was determined that my single pinney block should be included, even if the border had to be cut, and that's just what they did. I was always getting in a predicament: One Sunday I stepped out of the wagon at church and what do you think? I looked down and saw that I was only wearing one stocking and my other leg was bare.While I was dressing my feet, one of the children needed something, so I slipped my foot into my shoe and forgot about the stocking. I went on into church as if nothing was wrong and heard a good sermon, too.

I could play the violin and dance all night and still do the wash all the next day . I suppose there is some of the Boone in me. I belong to ME Church South: the discipline forbids it, or at least the ministers do, but I can fix up a violin today and lead my only son, William Coshow, in a real good old Fishers Hornpipe-Haste to the Wedding-Arkansaw traveler, and do not think it any harm-it's so natural for me. My father and five brothers played and I dearly love good violin music today. And I also learned to hunt, to provide food for our table.  When I was a young lady about 18 years of age, very stout and active, I killed a spike buck myself with just a knife, in the Missouri river, in January. It was quite cold and snowing a little. I floated him back to the shore, then ran home and changed my clothes. I never had a cold from it!

My oldest daughter, Varrillia E Terrill, lived in Mongomery County Mo. My youngest, Mary Susan Yarnall, was a good organist and lived in Callaway Co near Fulton, Missouri. I have but the three Children-my Son lived with me near the Missouri river in sight of  Mechanicsville Mo. My husband was Andrew Jackson Coshow and he was the son of William Coshow, who bought 161 acres of Daniel Boone's land. William's mother married Jonathan Bryan after her first husband died.

A lot of people have lived in this area their whole lives, but I was fortunate enough to do some traveling! My husband was a captain of a Missouri River steamboat, and I often accompanied him up and down the river. I traveled west in a covered wagon and lived in Montana in the 1870s. Before I left home, my mother told me I was taking my scalp to the Indians, so I had two switches cut out of my hair for my family to remember me. When I got there, the Sioux were on the warpath and we had many a scare. One day my son and his brother-in-law had to go to Bozman, so they told us to bar the door and keep a look out. That afternoon, we looked out and here come 7 Indians full tilt; I yelled out the window and told everybody to arm up and fight. The neighbors all ran to places of safety. I put my 2 little grandchildren in a barrel and stuffed feather beds and quilts around them. I took an axe from below the head of the stairs, so if they broke in and took to ascend the stairs, I would have split their heads as fast as they came.  I also nailed rugs over the windows. By this time, they were coming close. The old lady realized that they were a band of friendly Indians.  She began to holler to me: Don't shoot! Don't shoot!  I nearly fell vext, I was so well fortified and actually wanted to fight.  It proved to be a friendly band of Naspericius.  After that I lost sleepless nights with fear. My brother and son used to say “we can all sleep because mother will stand guard.” After my stay two years in Montana, I spent two years in California [on the Pacific-San Francisco-Sacramento-Healdsburg and Visalia-] it's a nice place, a lovely country to visit. My youngest brother Lewis M Howell and nephew, Lett Johnson lived there.

Even though I only had one eye, and lost my specks in the snow, I wrote many a letter to the historian Lyman Draper, answering his questions about my family. I knew the true stories, because I heard them from my Grandma Jemima. I told him just as Grandmother related it to her grandchildren. Oftimes I would beg her to tell me more Indian stories. Mr. Draper said he was going to put some of my stories in his book about Daniel Boone. I sure wished he would have finished that book so I could have read it!

Howell's Prairie Quilt: Nancy Howell (1788-1864) first married James Callaway (grandson of Daniel Boone) and had three children.  James was killed by Indians in 1815, and Callaway County was named after him.  When Nancy was 30 years old, she married 18-year-old John Harrison Castlio, and they had six children together.  In 1849, three of their sons, Fortunatus Boone Castlio (Doc), Othaniel Caleb Castlio (Maw), and Hiram Beverly Castlio (Bev), along with Nancy's son-in-law, Henry Snyder (husband of Theresa Callaway) went to California to seek their fortunes in the gold fields.  While the men were away, the women of Howell's Prairie, most of whom were relatives, pieced blocks for a quilt to be given to one of the brothers.  On March 5, 1851, women gathered at Nancy's house to finish the quilt and vote on which brother would receive the quilt.  Three cakes were prepared, each representing one of the brothers, and since the most slices were eaten from Maw's cake, he won the quilt.