The Orphaned Images Project: John (Judge) Botts

23 01 2011

John Judge Botts is Tippie’s paternal grandfather. Born 3.15.1815 in Clairborne County, Tennessee, he was the son of Thomas Botts and Martha Wilson. He had eight siblings: Nancy, Seth, Joshua, Susan Frances, Anna, Martha Elizabeth and Thomas Howard. He married Elizabeth Harvey 6.11.1835 in Howard County, Missouri. He was 20 and she was 14. They had 10 children (!): Sarah Margaret, Louisa, William Marion, John Dickerson, Martha Frances (Franny), Mary Ella, Lenora Belle (Nora), Emma Katherine, Nancy and Mary. He died 8.22.1896 in Salisbury, Chariton, Missouri.

The Botts family research reveals 1838 John and his brother Joshua were among the volunteers to the Mormon War. The Mormons raided this section, stealing fodder by cutting the corn and packing it on their horses, and digging potatoes and carrying them away. Sometimes they traded trinkets for it, but generally took what they could lay their hands on. John was the first settler of Parsons Creek township within its present domain. He first came in 1833, and his brother, Joshua came with him, and they put up a cabin of poles. He settled on section one, township fifty-seven, range twenty-two, but it was nearly three years before he brought his family.

From the Chariton Township archives: Judge Botts comes of an ancestry of brave-hearted pioneers and soldiers, who have shown the hearty manhood to help clear away the forests and build up states, and the moral courage to defend them. The founder of the family in this country came to America in the early days of the colonies. Judge’s grandfather, Joshua Botts, was a soldier in the war of the revolution, and followed the meteor like flag of the infant Republic until it moved in triumph from north to south. He afterwards became a pioneer settler of Tennessee and reared a large family. He lived to the advanced age of 106 years and finally died in Linn county.

The judge’s father, Thomas Botts, who was a soldier in the war of 1812, tore himself away from her whom he had just made his wife, and volunteered for the defense of his country. When the storm of the war had passed he became the first settler in the northern part of the county, at a time when his only neighbors were the knights of the torch and the tomahawk. He lived here many years and was a successful farmer and became very wealthy. His wife, formerly Miss Martha Wilson, daughter of Robert Wilson, was a woman worthy to be the wife of a soldier, pioneer and noble hearted man….About 1834, the family moved to Linn county, where the father died about 1852 and the mother about 1875.

Judge Botts was little more than a year old when his parents settled in this county in 1816. He grew up here and was married in 1835, Miss Elizabeth, daughter of William Harvey, becoming his wife. They were both quite young, the groom being only twenty and the bride fourteen, but their married life has been a happy one, and has been blessed with ten children: Louisa A., the wife of Dr. J. R. Sands, of Salisbury; William M., of Linn county, John D., Fanny, the wife of Dr. Worthington Morehead, and Misses Ella, Mary E., Nora B. and Emma B., all of this county. A year after his marriage, Judge B., moved to Linn county, and there lived until sixteen years ago, when he returned to this county. The qualities in a family that makes pioneers and soldiers in early and troublous times, in times of peace and in an advanced state of society, make prosperous, progressive citizens, leaders and representative men in their respective localities. Judge Botts became one of the largest and wealthiest farmers of Linn county, his farm numbering over 1,300 acres, and he was one of the leading citizens of the county. For thirty years he was a member of the county court, and two years later he was an able and popular representative of the people in the state legislature. In 1867, he returned to Howard county to spend the golden evening of his life under the vine and fig tree he had planted in the radiant morning. Here he has an elegant home supplied with every comfort. “How blest is he who crowns in shades like these, a youth of labor with an age of ease.”


Here’s an interesting connection to me (geographically). John Judge Botts’ grandfather, Joshua, was born in Overwharton Parish, Stafford, Virginia 7.24.1751. (Stafford is only about 30 miles from me!) Joshua married Sabina Birdwell in 1766 and they had four children: Seth, Ellen, Rebecca and Thomas (who was John Judge Botts’ father). Joshua died in 1857 in Linn, Missouri at the (unheard-of-in-that-era) age of 106.

This is the only photograph in any of the albums that had a name scribbled on the back! He’s a rather stern looking fella, isn’t he?