Squire Willard and Talitha C. (Rockholt) Stevens

Squire Willard

(Son of Martin)

1824 Mo. - 1912 Va.


SQUIRE was born Jan 16, 1824 in Marion Co, Mo (probably near Quincy, IL where his father was in 1826).

He married first Aug 20, 1846 to widow Talitha C. (Rockholt) Stevens (b abt 1817, TN).  Squire was 22 years old; she was 29. Talitha had been married first to Henry Isaac Stevens and had 2 sons, Henry Isaac Jr & Francis Marion, when she married Squire. In 1850 they were in Taney Co., MO. 


Squire joined the Union Army during the Civil War, enlisting in Co 46 of the Mo Vol Inf Sept 10, 1864 and was discharged March 10, 1865. He also, possibly a little earlier in the War, was a part of the Greene County Home Guards. According to his enlistment papers, at age 41, Squire was 5’10”, had grey eyes and a dark complexion. (His brother John joined the Confederate Army.)


He was an ordained Baptist minister and pastor of the Garrison Baptist Church.  He was also a surveyor, and a farmer.

Talitha died April 29, 1889 (age 72). In April, 1890 Squire was in Chadwick, Christian Co, Mo. near his nephew John Willard. 


He married second to Margaret E. (Hicks) Crist, Oct. 21, 1890 in Sparta, Mo. He was 66 years old and getting himself into a very troubled relationship. His pension request of 1890 said he had trouble with his wrist and with seeing out of his left eye.  (A large number of pensioners had eye troubles from bouts of the measles.) At some point, he moved to Jonesboro, TN as this is where he filed more pension papers in 1907.  This says that he moved from MO in 1899 then Bristol, Tn for four years, then Iuka Ks for 7 months, Townsend City, TN 13 months, Johnson City for 16 mos,  Jonesboro for 4 months. 


In 1899,  Margaret filed for half of the pension saying that Squire deserted her.  After his death in 1912 she filed for the full pension, but probably never received it as this is the last page of the file.

Sparta, MO 9/7/1899

"In the case of Maggie E. Willard, applying for 1/2 the pension of Squire Willard

“To whom it may concern, I have been acquainted with Squire Willard about twenty-five (25) years and Maggie E Willard his wife about eight (8) years. I will further state that during the last eight years the said Squire and Maggie E Willard have traded with me considerably during that time and the payments have always been made with the said Squire Willard’s pension money or moneys received from sale of his property.  I will further state that the said Maggie E. Willard was very mean and cruel in her treatment of her husband, the said Squire Willard.  She treated him in such a way as to make life very unpleasant for him.  She has threatened to kill him and I have myself felt very uneasy at different times, fearing that she might execute her threats.  Drs. Hedgperth and Bruton, practicing physicians of Sparta, inform me that they treated Squire Willard at one certain time and that he came very nearly dying from the direct cause of her abuse.  I will further state that the said Squire Willard parted from his wife the said Maggie E. Willard on account of her mean treatment to him and the fear of her killing him.   Now knowing the above statements to be true from direct personal acquaintance I do not think the said Maggie E. Willard is entitled to any part of the pension paid to the said Squire Willard by the United States Government 

  1. M.L. Burris. Subscribed and sworn to before me this Sept 8th, 1899 David Gairley, Notary Public"


Squire gg-granddaughter, Thelma, tells this story:

"After Squire & Margaret were married gossip leaked out that Margaret was suspected of killing her first husband. He had been shot while in bed, through a window. Squire was the preacher at the Baptist church in Garrison, MO, but Margaret kept after him to move back to Virginia, and finally got her way. Dave Willard, my gr-grandfather had gone back there and bought a house for Squire but it was still in Dave's name. Margaret's grown children lived with them also. The story is that when Squire died, Margaret didn't even let Dave know, and Squire had been dead 2 years before Dave found out. He was a religious man, but his dander was up. He contacted a lawyer and had him sell the house. Squire had run away from her once coming to Kansas to Dave's house. He lived there awhile and here came Margaret. Uncle Dennis said they all laughed because she had some canned peaches in her truck which froze on the way, ruining some of her clothes. He said Margaret threatened to kill him if he didn't come back to Virginia with her. That was the last they saw of Grandpap. I think they felt she was good to him as long as she got her way. Dave would never have put her out of the house if she had been fair to him, but not letting him know when his father died was too much."


In 1910 Squire Willard was 87 years old and living in the National Soldiers Home in Washington County, Tennessee.

Picture is probably when he was at the Soldier’s Home


It does seem that at some time they reconciled as he died July 1, 1912 in Bristol (Washington Co) Va where she had convinced him to go, and she filed an application from there before moving back to Tenn.   Squire's last years must not have been happy ones.  He was buried East Hill Cem., Bristol.


He had 2 Children: (both Talitha’s)


1. DAVID DANIEL WILLARD, b Feb 26, 1848, Christian Co, MO.

His children: [for pictures of his family see:  David]

Rachel’s:

    1)    Sarah Jane Willard, 1870-1909, age 39; m John Jackson Sutton.

    2)    Mary Elizabeth “Bessie” Willard, 1872-1945; m Albert Gardner; lived in Stafford Co., Ks.; ch: William, Nellie (b 1894; m C. Ezra Coons)

    3)    Amos James Willard, 1873-1962; m Cora Iva Hacker                                             

    4)    Robert Willard, b 1876; d same day; buried with his mother.

Laura’s:

    5)     Martha Willard, b 1881; d same day

    6)     Ellen Willard (Martha’s twin), b 1881; d same day

    7)     Francis Murrell  Rockhold Willard, 1882-1960; m Essie Rader

    8)     William Henry Willard, 1884-1974; m Julia Elizabeth Hacker (her niece, Cora Hacker, became her sister-in-law)

    9)     Squire Burleigh Willard, 1887-1918 (d in WWI, age 31);  m Eva Signor

    10)   Richard Willard, b 1889; d same day

    11)   Charles Wesley Willard, 1890-1916 (age 26)

    12)   Dennis Benton Willard, b 1891 (named for his grandfather Dennis Benton); m Mahala Mable Rader (sister of Essie)

    13)   Fredrick Burrel Willard, b 1893

    14)   Frances Estella Willard, b 1896


  1. 2.JAMES MARTIN WILLARD, born 12 Dec 1849 in Garrison, Christian Co, Mo. [see also James M. Willard]

James Martin had a cousin by the same name, son of Wm. Henry, who was born in 1852.

James married twice.  His first wife was the mother of Tabitha and Mary, then she died before the 1870 census.

In 1870 James and his 2 children were in Marion twp, Christian Co, Missouri living next door to his brother David and his wife Rachel. About 1871-73 he married Rachel Hyde.

In 1880 James was in Christian Co, Mo, Marion Twp with is second wife Rachel and children:

Willard, J.M. 30 Male

. . . . Rachel J. w 33 Mo

. . . . Talitha L. d 12 Mo

. . . . Mary F. d 10 Mo

. . . . Squire S. s 8

. . . . Louisa J. d 6

. . . . William H. s 5

. . . . Marion D (son) 2

. . . . Nancy E (daug) 2 (Marion's twin)


James had 2 children by his first wife (name unknown):

1. Talitha Lucinda (b1867, m Daniel Boone Boyd, d 1930

2. Mary F. (b1870, m Ullyses Grant Weatherman,  d aft 1941)

By his second wife Rachel, he had 9 children:

3. Squire Samuel "Sam" (abt 1872),

  1. 4.Louisa J. "Lula" (abt 1874, m ? Morgan),

  2. 5.William Henry (abt 1875, m Ella Weatherman, d 1943 Mo)

  3. 6.Marion David "Dave" (1880),

  4. 7.Nancy Elizabeth "Nan" (1880, Dave's twin, d 1959 Mo)

  5. 8.Cynthia Evalina “Lina” (1886),

  6. 9.George W. (1888),

  7. 10. Isabelle "Belle",  

  8. 11. Charles "Charley".


1900-1930 Nan was in Dallas County, Mo (north of Springfield). She had Lina and George with her in 1900 and Lina in 1910.

In 1910 Squire, William, Nan, Lina & George were all in Dallas County, Mo

In 1920 Dave was in Dallas Co. living with sister Lina


Quoting Laura Mae Richardson (daug of Talitha Lucinda Willard Boyd): "My Dad and brother went to Ozark, Mo. & he had a heart attack and died." I think this was about her granddad, James Martin Willard in 1891.


Willard Site map: Willard lineJames - Martin - Squire - Wm. HenryJohn - David - Joseph - home



Squire Willard and Talitha C. (Rockholt) Stevens

Squire Willard and Talitha C. (Rockholt) Stevens

Squire Willard’s tombstone

Squire Willard’s granddaughters in 1915, (daugs of James Martin Willard)

L to R: (according to the back of the picture)

  1. Mary F. m. Ullyses Grant Weatherman

  2. Sidney (not sure who she is, maybe Talitha Lucinda or Louisa?)

  3. Cynthia Evalina m. Robert Lorenzo Lowery

  4. Nancy Elizabeth m. John Henry Hopper

  5. Belle, (Isabelle), m ? Stroup

  6. Pearl (no info)


1-Henry Willard line -  2-James - 2-Martin - 3-Squire - 3-Wm. Henry -  3-John - 4-David - 4-Joseph - 5-Albert - 5-Gertrudehome