Gilbra (Gilbert) Seegraves (1797-1887), 80, and his disabled wife, Sarah Wilson Seegraves (1796-1885), 87, natives of Virginia and North Carolina, arrived in Greene County, Ark., in 1874 from Macon Co., Tenn. where they had emigrated to in 1839 and became pioneers of that locality. They are on the 1880 Clay County Census. Gilbra and Sarah had nine children: Louis, William, Maxwell, Samuel Tillman, Henry, Gilbra, Sarah, Martha, and John Henderson Seegraves. Gilbra came from a Scotch-Irish descent, and was a brick mason and farmer. Gilbra and Sarah are buried in the Seegraves cemetery with no stones. They, or their son, John, probably gave the land for this very small family cemetery. Gilbra’s first five children lived and died in Macon County, Tenn. and no information was found on the next three.
Dr. John Henderson Seegraves (1832-1909), the youngest child of Gilbra’s family, probably brought his aging parents with him when he moved to Clay County to set up his practice. Dr. Seegraves was born in Surry Co., N. C. on August 1, 1832 and was reared in Tennessee and had good school advantages. He studied medicine for three years under I. M. Livingston of Lafayette, Tenn. and practiced in partnership with him for four years. When the Civil War broke out he served in the Union Army as an assistant acting surgeon from 1864 to April 10, 1866, and participated in the battle of Nashville and was honorably discharged at Louisville. Later he received a pension on his service.
After the war, Dr. Seegraves began his practice in Clinton Co., Illinois and practiced there for six years before moving to Clay County, Ark. where he remained to practice his profession. He was also engaged in the drug business and was the local surgeon of the St. Louis, Arkansas, and Texas Railroad. He was also a president of the Clay County Medical Examining Board. He was a member of the G. A. R. and I. O. O. F., and the K. of H. Aside from his profession and the drug business, Dr. Seegraves was one of the prominent farmers of the County. The doctor and his wife were members of the Missionary Baptist Church.
Dr. Seegraves was married May 11, 1859 to Miss Margie Ann Atkerson (1838-1893), a native of Macon, Co., Tenn., and the daughter of John W. Atkerson of Macon, Co. Their fourteen children as taken from the family bible: Sarah J. (Dec. 1852-March 1860), Martha A. (June 1854- March 1860), James W. (June 1856- July 1858), John H. (May 1858-July 1858), Othello E. (Jan. 1860-Oct. 1860), Laura S. (July 1861-Dec. 1862), Clara Rosalyn (Oct. 1863-Sept. 1888), Lydia A. (May 1870- ), Idia Lillian (Feb. 1873-May 1902), Infant (June 1866-June 1866), Infant (April 1869-April 1869), Ora E. (Jan. 1878- ), Cora E. (March 1880-Feb. 1974), and John O. Seegraves (Sept. 1875- ).
Cora Rosalyn Seegraves, daughter of Dr. Seegraves and Margie, married George M. McNiel (1847-1897) and had (1) Ruth Edith who married Cicero Stewart; (2) George A. McNiel who served as deputy sheriff under his brother, J. A. McNiel, and then became sheriff of Boydsville. He was Piggott Sheriff and Collector 1926 to 1930. He married Maude Gwin and they had Gwin McNiel, Ralph, George Thurston and Ella Jean McNiel. (3) Ethel McNiel married O. A. Lynch. Cora and George are buried in the Seegraves Cemetery.
Lydia Ann Seegraves, daughter of Dr. Seegraves and Margie, married Millard S. Vance, a cousin, and had one daughter, Ora L. Seegraves before divorcing after ten years of marriage. Her second marriage was to Dr. Charles Augusta Washburn (1912-1946) of Mayfield, Ky. They had one child, Mildred L. Washburn. Lydia Ann died in Graves Co., Ky.
Ida Lillian Seegraves, daughter of Dr. Seegraves and Margie, married William L. Akers (1871-1906) and had Lillian L., Charles E., and Lottie. Ida died having twins on 17 May 1902, and the twins also died. The Vitascope Newspaper tells of Will Akers, a paralytic for several years, dying and leaving three motherless children.
John Oliver Seegraves, son of Dr. Seegraves and Margie, was born in Rector and is buried in Mounds Cemetery between his two wives. He was first married in Jan., 1897 to Sally Minnie Yancy (1876-1906), daughter of Howard Jefferson and Mary Ann Catherine (Molly) Keywood Yancy. They had these children: (1) Ruth Elmer Seegraves who married Luther Green Young in 1916. (2) Claude Henderson Seegraves is buried in Clayton, Mo. (3) Olive Jefferson Seegraves (1901-1902). (4) Margie Alice married John Franklin Jonson. She died in the Nromandy Hospital in St. Louis while visiting her daughter, Pauline Wagster. She is buried in Rector. (5)Louis Roland Seegraves married Eva Mae Smith and died in Paragould Hopsital. John Oliver’s second marriage was to Susan Philoclard Vaught Brooks about 1907 in Texas. They had Dean Seegraves (1909-1984) who married Olive Bland, and he is buried in Rock Springs Cemetery. Susan had children by her first marriage to Paul Brooks of Texas: Martha (Mattie) Brooks White Poppas ( -1961); Allen C. Brooks (1903-1986) died in Sikeston and never married and is buried in Rector; Paul Brooks (1900-1916) is buried either in Seegraves or Mounds with no marker. John Oliver Seegrave’s third marriage was to Effie Adair in April 1946 in Milford, Ill. and they lived there until she passed away. Effie is buried in Illinois.
Cora Edna Seegraves, daughter of Dr. Seegraves and Margie, married Harry S. Erwin in July 1898 in Clay County. For several years Harry had been in the Hardware Business in Rector with the Erwin (Irwin) Brothers. He died in Parkville, California and is buried there. He had a fine dairy farm and carried a good sum of life insurance. He left a 16-year-old son.
Dr. John Henderson Seegraves’s second marriage was to Ella D. ----- on Nov. 11, 1895 at Water Vallet, Miss. and she was put in a mental hospital in Little Rock after the Doctor died. Ella died there.