This sad little sign is all that remains of Ingram Cemetery in Lowell, AR. Located in a little triangle of grass at the intersection of Primrose and Phillips. In the need for progress the county has paved over all the graves. The sign reads:
HERE LIES BURIED
Rev. James Ingram 1826-1870
Shot in the back by John Stone
Francis Marion Easley 1832-1860
Easley Infant 1860-1861
circa 1869 Murdered
Unknown Man of Quantrill
So of course I had to go in search of information as to what led to the shooting of James Ingram. This is were the tale of frontier justice will end. So you can figure out what happened to Rev. James Ingram. (A note: Jim Ingram and James Ingram are one in the same person.)
The story begins in 1864. Jim Ingram was a notorious Bushwhacker during the civil war. Sometime in 1864, Ingram came upon William Stone's home called him to come outside. Upon exiting the home Ingram shot Stone in the doorway. William's son John told Ingram he would find him and kill him one day. Ingram went to Texas at the end of the war. Returning to Arkansas six years later in 1870. Within days of Ingram returning, John Stone lived up to his word. He found Ingram and killed him.
Theses are the pieces of the story that I have been able to find. Starting with who James (Jim) Ingram was.
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
PART I: 1865-1880
10 November 1870, Fountain & Journal, Mt. Vernon
Jim Ingram Killed
ALL GROWN UP: We learn from good authority, that the notorious brigand and brushwhacker, Jim Ingram, of Arkansas, was shot and killed by a young man named Stone[.] During the war in 1864, Ingram had command of a company of desperadoes who murdered and plundered Union men indiscriminately; and while on one of these excursions he called at the residence of Mr. Stone, sr., called him to the door and shot him dead. Young Stone, then aged 13 years, told Ingram that he would kill him when he grew to be a man. At the close of the war Ingram moved to Texas, where he remained until a few days previous to his death. Young Stone proved to be true to this promise, -- shooting Ingram the first meeting after his return from Texas. -- (BARRY CO. BANNER)
LOYALTY ON THE FRONTIER, OR SKETCHES OF UNION MEN OF THE
SOUTH-WEST WITH INCIDENTS AND ADVENTURES IN REBELLION ON THE BORDER
BY A.W. BISHOP
LIEUT. COL. FIRST ARKANSAS CAVALRY VOLUNTERRS
By Albert Webb Bishop
Not long since we received a communication from one James Ingram, the Captain of the most notorious of these bands that infest Benton county. The letter reached Fayetteville in a manner unknown to ordinary mail carrying, and was placed in our hands on the morning of the third of March. Why we should be the recipient of this missive we do not yet know, nor did the writer see fit to inform us. The letter was written in a bold hand, with red ink, or possibly a liquid more sanguineous, and as its chirography is another argument in favor of the intelligence of a class of men who so dread Negro equality, we insert it verbatim, punctuatim, literatimque;
White River hill to the molisha of Benton Madison and Washington co ark and all it ma consurn I am aposed to Burning and Robing famileys of ther stuff and provisions and a Buse to women tha molisha is a well aquainted with the hill as I am and if tha can take the advantage of me and my men from the brush and kil ar take us prisnors we will But try to pa it Back and will not go and Burn nor plunder nor giv absue but if you carey out the plan of Burning and Robing I shal Be compeled to paternise your plan But it is a plan that I abhor and I would Be glad you will drop the plan we don't want it sed that the suthern people Brot famileys to suffer and turn out of Dores I Expect to fight you on all occasions and if men fal prisoners in my hands tha will Be treeted as prisnors of wor tha will Be giv a triol and if that ar not gilty of 4 crimes tha will not be hurt and that is Buring Robing women and children of ther provisions house hole and abuse to famileys and murdering men at home not in armes the molishy knows that I hav not robed nor Burnt and hav treeted prisnors with respect to Curnel Bishop Dont you no that the war is clost at a end and you should be carful for you hav giv orders to murder inosent unarm men and Burn if you dont mind you will not Be forgot after peace I think men women and children that had no hand in Bringing up the war shud not be hurt.
Curnel Bishop post at Fayetteville ark from Capt James Ingrum of the 6th provose co Benton Co Ark
Feb 27 1863
Capt JAMES INGRM
Extracted from "Branded As Rebels"
Ingraham, James (Ingram?)- One of the most notorious leaders of a band of guerrillas in northwestern Arkansas. He harassed the Federal forces in the Fayetteville area by constantly ambushing their trains and mail carriers. At one time or another, he kept almost the entire Union cavalry regiment searching in the mountains for him. REF: Arkansas Historical Quanrterly, Summer 1965; Ozarks Watch, Leo E. Huff, Spring/Summer 1991.
This is the account of what transpired as seen by a bystander:
September 17, 1870
Obituaries of Washington County Arkansas
Page 43 & 44
INGRAM, James – Editors Democrat: I was on the ground at the time James Ingram was murdered at the Roberts school house on Sunday the 4th inst. I came up just before the shooting took place. I saw several men with revolvers buckled on and thought strange to see such a thing at church. In standing around I could see a good deal of secret talking among the crowd that was armed. In a few moments two wagons drove up and I noticed that they attracted considerable attention, particularly with the men who were armed; and upon Mr. Ingram coming up into the crowd I still noticed that he drew considerable attention. About this time I saw a scattering and getting out of the way and my attention was drawn to that spot when I saw John Stone draw a pistol and fire at Ingram. – Ingram run some distance and got behind a horse, Stone pursuing him, he then left the horse and started back towards the crowd when Stone fired again, the ball striking Ingram in the back, killing him almost instantly. – Stone followed his victim up to where he fell when Mr. Roberts caught him; the crowd of armed men then came up and I heard some person order Roberts to let that pistol go, which he did. Stone then run off, well guarded by his friends, some of them threatening to kill any man who attempted to arrest Stone. Such are the facts of the diabolical murder of John Ingram. Bystander.
So I guess it is now up to the reader to decide if it was a justified killing or a murder. I'm leaning toward justified but that is just my view.
I have not been able to find any information on the others listed on the sign. I would venture a guess and say that Francis Marion Easley died during childbirth since her death date is the same as the Easley infant's birth date. And with such limited information on the remaining people on the list its almost impossible to find information on them.
I am in the process of writing a letter to the historical society for the area to see what I can do to get the sign repainted or replaced with something a bit more permanent. I'll let you know later how that goes.