Monday, April 26, 2010

A Tale Of Frontier Justice - Rev. James Ingram Killed by John Stone

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:


Rev. James Ingram 1826-1870
Shot in the back by John Stone

Francis Marion Easley 1832-1860

Easley Infant 1860-1861

Landers Male
circa 1869

Negro Slave
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.


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)



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;

"hed quarter
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


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:

Fayetteville Democrat

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.


  1. Thanks for posting. My daughters and I were curious about the sign and wanted to know more of the story. I appreciate your research.

    G. Nail

  2. I am a direct descendant of Capt. Ingram. The accounts are pretty accurate. Not mentioned though is that he was a Cherokee Indian.

    Rod Otter Johnson

  3. This place has always interested my husband and I. Thanks for the information.

    Richard and Twila
    Nov. 8, 2010

  4. I read with great interest this information on James M. Ingram. He is my 2-gr-grandfather. I live in Benton Co., AR and it is the conclusion of researchers in this area that James killed one John Dudley Stone of the neighboring county of Washington. I have done a lot of research on this subject and I am confused by information here that suggests that James killed William B. Stone of Barry Co., MO?? Both John Dudley and William B. had sons named John, so who did James really kill???

    I would love to correspond with anyone who has some facts relative to the discussion. The Civil War was a terrible time for Union and Confederate families. Soldiers on both sides did unspeakable things that they didn't really want to do. I just want to examine the factual information and try to see where the facts lead us. Nobody is passing judgment. I can be contacted at

    Here is what I can say:
    - James was a Confederate soldier and acted in the capacity of a Partisan soldier. His speciality was disrupting Union supplies and mail shipments. He drove the Union crazy.

    - James did in fact send a letter to Union Colonal Albert Bishop asking him to quit attacking the women and childen in the area. James was a real thorn in Albert's side and it is no surprise that Albert would portray James as a "bad guy" in his memoir book "Loyalty on the Frontier".

    - During the course of the war, James apparently did kill some Stone man, whose son John vowed revenge. The question is "What Stone man and where did this killing occur?". Researchers here in Benton Co., AR say James killed Union soldier John Dudley Stone of Washington Co., AR in retaliation for John Dudley killing and mutilating Confederate soldiers. Apparently people in Barry Co., Mo say James killed William B. Stone of Barry Co. in some random killing. Both Stone men are reported to have died in 1864 and had sons named John. Several reports of the murder say that the son was 13 at the time of his father's murder. Based on census, the son of John Dudley is the only one who was 13 at the time of his father's death. The son of William B. would have been 18. So, that doesn't quite compute.

    - James M. Ingram absolutely DID NOT go to Texas after the war. He was executor of his father's estate 1867 - 1869 and I have court documents placing him in Benton Co., AR during that period. Also, his daughter, Virginia Lee Ingram (my gr-grandmother) was born in Benton Co. on 3-3-1868.

    - As for others at the gravesite, I can clarify that. This gravesite, although now is right out in the middle of the intersection of 2 roads, was once a private cemetery on land owned by Nelson Reed Graham and his wife, Susan Louisa Landers.
    . The Frances Marion Easley buried there is a man, the half-brother of James M. Ingram's 2nd wife, Sarah Easley and son-in-law of Nelson Reed Graham who owned the cemetery.
    . The Easley infant buried there is Eliza Jane Easley, daughter of Francis Marion Easley (buried there) and granddaughter of Nelson Reed Graham who owned the cemetery.
    . I suspect the Landers male is some relation to Nelson Reed's wife.
    . Wny is James M. Ingram buried in this cemetery? Answer, his 1st wife, Amanda Graham, was a niece of Nelson Reed Graham who owned the cemetery.

    Carole Dolisi Beaver

    1. I am also a descendent to James Ingram and have been working on our family tree. I would love to learn all the information that you can give me on this part of my family. I am still trying to connect all the dots. If you are willing to help me in my search please email me at I would love any help and information that you can give me. Thank you so much in advance.
      Amanda (Ingram) Stacklin

  5. @Carole Beaver Thank you for the information! It took me quite some time to find the information I did. I so very much appreciate the information you have provided. I never did get any response from anyone about getting the sign restored. As you can see it is in pretty rough shape. I'd be more than happy to add any more information if you would like to share it.

  6. Hi Tammi Thiele, I am happy to help clarify things. Just this last week I made a significant breakthrough in the question of "Who did James M. Ingram really kill - John Dudley Stone of Washington Co., AR or William B. Stone of Barry Co., MO?". I am now in contact with a gr-gr-granddaughter of John Dudley. The information her family has, to me, absolutely proves that James M. Ingram killed John Dudley Stone.
    The father of this gr-gr-granddaughter actually visited several times with "young John" Stone in Californa where "young John" was hiding/living. This father has been videotaped telling the whole story in his own words, based on what "young John" told him. That is very compelling proof in my mind. The family is very aware of this whole story and knows that their family member, "Uncle John to them", is the "young John" of the story. They even have a copy of his death certificate which confirms where he was born and who his parents were. I feel this family has the proof that I have been looking for. It is based on first hand accounts from people who actually talked to "young John".
    As for the issue of William B. Stone's killing, I don't know what proof that family might have. To me I am afraid they might have put 2 and 2 together and gotten 5 (smile). I am not criticizing them. We all work with the information we have, and certainly sometimes we make assumptions that don't end up being right. We all do the best we can.
    As for the marker at James M. Ingram's grave, you are absolutely right. It looks terrible, but I have great news. I am working now with a cousin to get a new marker placed there. We have a family member willing to buy the tombstone and the County Road department said it was ok for us to put a new marker there. So, it is our hope that it will be replaced next year. We are asking the county to place a concrete barrier around it so that the next car that comes down the road doesn't plow into it like they did the 1st wooden marker. The metal one there is actually the 2nd marker to have been placed at the site.
    Hope this helps clarify things.
    Carole Dolisi Beaver

  7. Again Thank you do much for the information. I have been asked about it a lot now I can let them know more about it.

    If you let me know when the get the new marker set I will go by and photograph it and get it posted here as well.

    Thanks again for all the information.

  8. You are most welcome. When we get the new marker in place, I will be sure to let you know.

    Carole Dolisi Beaver

  9. The new marker was dedicated saturday, june 9, 2012.