Francis Marion Underwood, Sr. was the son of Jesse and Mary Led better Underwood who were born in North Carolina and later moved to Roane Co., Tenn. and then to Union County Illinois in 1847. The parents had fourteen children. Francis Marion was one of Jessie’s five children who moved to Clay Co., Ark. sometime around 1867-69.
Francis Marion Underwood, Sr. (1824-1901) was born in Haywood Co., North Carolina and was married in the Underwood Cemetery, west of Piggott on land owned by Francis Marion. The couple had three children: Jesse J., Mary Elizabeth, Eliza, Margaret Ellen, Francis Marion, Jr., Martha Jane, and John Henry. These children will be taken up individually.
Francis Marion was a blacksmith, a farmer, and a Missionary Baptist. He enlisted in Anna, Union Co., Ill. in the Union Army in August, 1862 in Co., C, 109th Ill. Regt. Infantry Volunteers. He was discharged July, 1865 at Baton Rouge, La. (In those days soldiers had to find their own way home.) He was disabled with rheumatism, some loss f eyesight, nervous condition, catarrh of head, and kidney disease. His obituary reads: “F. M. Underwood, an old soldier, passed away quietly and peacefully at his home in Arkansas December 18th, 1901, being 77 year, 2 months, and 20 days of age. The deceased was the oldest of seven sons and seven daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Underwood. He leaves one brother, W. K. Underwood and two sisters, Mrs. M. J. Gore and Mrs. G. Stone. Our brother lived a consistent member of the Missionary Baptist church 60 years in which faith his father, mother, brothers, and sisters have lived and died. While we feel the sting of parting, we realize that our loss is his gain, that the family is being reunited in that home of the soul where all is friendship, love, and truth. God giveth and He taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. (signed: A brother)”.
Jesse J. Underwood (1849-1912), son of F. M. and Susannah, was born in Union Co., Ill. and married Mary Josephine and head ten children: Francis Marion (1872-1937) is buried in Piggott, William Alfred died young, Walter C. (1876-1875), Rosey Bell Alice Vaughn (1878-1913?), George Washington (1881-1884), Lisay Ann (1883-1884), Doore Jane (1885-1885), Mandy May (1886-1888), Myrtle May Crossno (1887- ) had a daughter Mrs. Ira Wilkins who lived at Senath; and Fred. Most of the children died young and are buried in the Underwood Cemetery. Myrtle said her mother also had a set of twins. Jessie moved to Kiefer, Okla. about 1901 and is buried there.
Mary Elizabeth Underwood (1854- ) married William Smith and had five children but trances of her have been lost. There was a Mary who was o the mortality schedule in 1880.
Eliza Underwood (1854- ) died as a child.
Margaret Ellen Underwood (1856-1917) married John Chiles Brandon (1840-1910) and had Edna Earl Brandon who married Arch Hughes IV, Royal Garland Brandon married Mabel Ada Price, Martha F. Brandon married Charlie Johnson, Elbert Owen Brandon married Gertie Montgomery, Minnie A. Brandon married Sid Miller, Benjamin H. Brandon married Dora Perry, Luda Belle Brandon married Nathan Zelmer Smith, and Lonnie Van Buren Brandon married Lillie Lillian Branson.
Francis Marion Underwood, Jr. (1858-1920) married Millie C. Warren in 1880 and had the following children: Arra (ira Bell) Underwood married (1) George Causey and had Homer, Hobert, Frank, Millie Conyers, Ollie Hardin; and (2) Will D. Permenter and had Opal McKEnney and William D. Perminter Jr.; John Thomas died young; William David married Mattie Ella Williams and had Virgil, Louis (Pacer), Bertha Mae Burgess, John Daniel, and Jessie; Jessie Franklin married Mrs. Ola Joiner; Marion C. died young; Nancy Ellen died young; Warren; Ernest Buford married Vera Ella Wiley and had Ernest Jake, William, Catherine Imogene, Ray Edward, Mary Lou Smart, and Joe Thomas; Daisy F. died young; Arthur married Edna Bernice Johnson and had Bernice Elaine Gordon, Ella Jean Lemons, Patsy Joyce Pobst, Geraldine Potts, and Sonya Cole; and Oscar Lee married Fredia Stallings and had Curtis Ray, Byron Maurice, and Mary Katherine Kirkpatrick.
Martha Jane Underwood (1863-1892) married James Powers (1850- ) and had a daughter, Cora L. Powers, who married a Crabtree and had a daughter, Nora Crabtree, born Oct., 1897 who married E. A. Jewell in 1919. Cora was married to William C. Milde 13 Dec., 1899. Martha Jane’s other children were Mary J. Powers and Louella E. (Lou) born Apr. 1889 in Missouri. The three children Cora Milde, a granddaughter, Nora Crabtree a great granddaughter, and Lou Powers a granddaughter, were living with F. M. Underwood on the 1900 Clay Co. Census. This was just before F. M. died in 1901. Jessie, the son of F. M., took over the guardianship of Jacob (F. M.’s son by a second marriage) and Martha’s daughter, Louella Powers. Louella Powers died at the age of 15 and is buried in the Underwood Cemetery.
John Henry Underwood (1866-1907) married Amanda Elizabeth Hodge in 1889, and he died from gangrene from broken ribs. Their children were Homer married Cassie Hamilton and died in Manila, Ark.; Bernie Bethel married Ruth Alice Nixon and died in Trumann, Ark.; Hubert Jackson married Mary Louise Nixon and died in Harrison, Ark.; Bertha married Otha Hartsoe and died in Cardwell, Mo.; Maude married Joe Wilkins; Buelah married John Stewart and Millard Williams; Chester and Lester died young; Marshall died young; and Hubert Jackson Underwood.
Francis Marion Underwood married the second time to Kasey Hillard, a full-blooded Cherokee who had Jacob Esau (May, 1888-1975), a twin, and died in childbirth with the other twin son. The mother and child were buried together in the Underwood Cemetery. Jacob married Iva Hendricks in Sapula, Okla. and he is buried there.
Francis Marion Underwood, Sr. was married a third time to Amelia Pitts of St. Francis on March 16, 1893. She must have died early because there is no more mention of her. He was a widower on the 1900 census.
Francis’s estate was settled Oct. 2, 1902 with an estate sale. Jesse purchased the gun that Francis, Sr. used in the Civil War and gave it to Jacob. John Henry bought the fife that Francis played in the Civil War and it was later lost by one of his children while they were playing and never found.