A number of earlier posts have detailed the life of John Meshack Phipps or Phips (1812-1916), son of Jesse Phipps (Ashe County, North Carolina to Owen County, Indiana to Putnam County, Missouri, died 1865). Jesse was a son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Reeves) Phips who died in Ashe County, North Carolina. Numerous deeds, land grants, court records, newspaper articles, and other materials pertain to John, but here is one which seems particularly interesting. This is from Nodaway County, Missouri Deed Book 7, pp. 25-26, It’s an “article of agreement” between John Meshack Phipps and David Yeisley, both of whom were living in Nodaway County at the time. Nodaway County, Missouri is on the Iowa state line, not far from Putnam County, Missouri, which also sits adjacent to Iowa. John Meshack Phipps’s father Jesse Phips or Phipps died of smallpox in Putnam County in 1865.
In the agreement, John leased his farms to Yeisley, with the option to buy. The farms were located on both sides of “the Hundred and two River” and consisted of 1,200 acres. This river is what’s known as the One Hundred and Two River, which is a tributary of the Platte River. John agreed to do various bits of work on the property first, including plastering in the house. The One Hundred and Two River, or 102 River, is believed by some to have derived its name from the Mormon Trail migration of 1847, and from the river being 102 miles from the Mormons’ previous camp. John and his twin brother Eli Shadrack Phips or Phipps were notorious outlaws, members of the infamous Long/Phips outlaw gang, and had earlier used the Mormon settlement at Nauvoo, Illinois as a hideout. Previous posts have mentioned related Mormon connections in Iowa and in the vicinity of St. Joseph, Missouri involving John Meshack Phips or Phipps.
The vast acreage owned by John Meshack Phipps, 1,200 acres in all, was leased to David Yeisley. Yeisley then transferred the lease to John Elsworth. David Yeisley was born 30 December 1826 in Ashland County, Ohio. He came to Iowa in 1848 and to Missouri in 1857. David Yeisley became a prominent farmer of Nodaway County, Missouri. Yeisley’s first wife was Olivia Elsworth, daughter of John Elsworth, perhaps the same John Elsworth to whom Yeisley transferred his lease. (See A Biographical History of Nodaway and Atchison Counties Missouri, Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1901, pp. 526-527.)
From Nodaway County, Missouri Deed Book 7, pp. 25-26:
Article of an agreement Made and concluded this the thirty first day of August 1859 By and between John M. Phipps of Nodaway County Missouri and David Yeisley of the Same place, Witnesseth that the said Phipps has this day leased or Rented to said Yeisley his farms of about twelve hundred acres situated in Nodaway County and Lying on both sides of the Hundred and two River for the term of two years from the first day of March next for the sum of four hundred and fifty dollars, Which Rent has this day been paid to Said Phipps by said Yeisley in full The Said Phipps agrees to plaster and put the House in good order also put the fences in good Repair Raise the Barn frame and furnish nails to finish the Same and pay for the Shingles at the machine cut the logs for all the Lumber and pay for Sawing the Same and deliver to Said Yeisley D. Elsworths note for finishing the Barn and pay all Taxes and assessments on Said farm during said term and plow furrows around the fields on West side of the River The Said Yeisley shall have a right to cut all the fire wood that may be necessary for the farm use from down timber Only and Cut from any timber whatever may be necessary to keep in Repair the fences, and Buildings and for farm use. And the Said Yeisley agrees to finish the Barn in a good Workin [i.e. working] an [i.e. and] like manner as specified in a contract with D. Elsworth and keep the whole property in like good Repair, Natural wear and decay and acidents [i.e. accidents] by the elements Excepted And the Said Phipps hereby agrees to give the said Yeisley the Privilege of Purchasing the Said farms at any time with in one year from the date hereof at Eight dollars per acre by paying one fourth of the purchase money at the time and securing the Balance by Mortgage on the same in Payments in one two three and four Equal and yearly payments from the date with interest and in case of a purchase the said Phipps agrees to apply the Rent four hundred and fifty dollars as part payment on the farms. To the above We both agree and in testimony of Which we hereunto subscribe our names the day and year first above written.
John M. Phipps
In presence of
W. P. Howard
[p. 26:] For a Valuable consideration I hereby garrantee [i.e. guarantee] the Performance of David Yeisley on the above Contract August 31st 1859
John his X mark Elsworth
In presence of
W. P. Howard
For Value received I hereby Sell and Transfer all my Right to the above Lease to John Elsworth And authorize him to act for me in all cases or in his own name and Receive all Rents and Benefits of Said property during the whole term of two years from the first day of March next as by consent of J. M. Phipps
I consent to the above assignment. Witness my hand and seal.
John M. Phipps (seal)
The last foregoing Article of Agreement was received by me for record on the 17th day of September A. D. 1859
Jas. B. Prather
- John Meshack Phipps
- John Meshack Phipps: Nauvoo Lot Owner, Outlaw, Early Indiana Business Partner
- John Meshack Phipps: Reformed Outlaw
- John Meshack Phipps: The Wealthy Farmer
- Oklahoma’s Oldest Man
- “Phelps Alias Phips” and Outlaw Hideouts
- The Phipps Twins at Nauvoo
- A Slice from the Life of John Meshack Phipps: 1850-1870