A Tender Story:
A TENDER LITTLE STORY
ROBERT ARCHIBALD SPURLOCK
This little story in the life of our ancestor, Robert A. Spurlock takes place in Sharp County Arkansas in 1872 when he was a young man of about 20 years old. King’s Mill in Sharp County is in the north central part of Arkansas and many of our relatives lived in that area. Robert was sometimes called R.A. and sometime Red Bob because he had red hair. Robert A. had many cousins and aunts and uncles in that area. Two of his cousins were also named Robert. The three cousins named Robert were called: Red Bob, Black Bob and Bob to keep them straight.
This isn’t a story about hair, it is a story about family and how families should take care of each other. It is a true story of life on the frontier of America in the late 1800’s in a very rough part of the country where there were few doctors or other conveniences we now take for granted; where large extended families, friends and neighbors had to rely on each other.
Robert’s Uncle John Spurlock died in June of 1872. His wife, Anna Eliza Estes Spurlock gave birth to a tiny baby girl on the Fourth of July that same year! Anna Eliza named her baby Eliza Matilda. Then in September of that same year, when baby Eliza Matilda was less than three months old, her mother Anna Eliza Estes Spurlock died! We don’t know what caused her death. We can imagine how sad she must have been because her husband had died such a short time ago. We do know that Eliza Matilda was her seventh child and that she was 38 years old. We don’t know how long she was ill or who took care of Anna Eliza during her illness but we do know she lived near her Aunt Mary Morris Estes and Uncle David Spurlock Jr. (Notice the names).
For some reason known only to those who were there, the decision was made to take the little orphan baby girl to Anna Eliza’s brother who lived in Izard County, over 20 miles away. Her double cousin, our ancestor, Robert Archibald (Red Bob) was the one who took this tiny baby to her Uncle Thomas Newton Estes. He carried her on horseback on a pillow for that long ride. We leave it to you to imagination what was going through his mind as he carried that precious baby all day long. Did the baby sleep most of the time or did she cry? How did he feed her and change her diaper? Did he sing and talk to her? Did he say prayers for her? We know our Spurlock relatives were very spiritual people.
We also know that Eliza Matilda grew up and married Ruke A. Harmon and had 10 children. They have a numerous posterity today. One of those children was Hubert Harmon. Hubert and his wife Eva Fenn Harmon were some of my parents Ransom and Georganna Spurlock’s closest cousins and dearest friends. Hubert and Eva were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and were very active in family history and genealogical research. We can thank them for much of the family history and temple work that has been done for the Spurlock Family.
Always remember this story and be ready to help each other in time of need. Always remember and appreciate your many, many wonderful ancestors. Always remember that Heavenly Father guides our lives, even in the tiniest details.