Missouri's Little Dixie
Eubank Family of Saline County, Missouri
Reuben B. Eubank Home, Saline County, Missouri, stamped W.L. Martin, Photographer, identified as "Grandpa Eubank's House." (Private Collection, may not be copied)
This c. 1880s image is of the Reuben B. Eubank’s Greek Revival/Italianate big house, which was the center of the Eubank’s plantation, located just northwest of Slater, Missouri. The large frame big house was demolished only a few years back.
Reuben B. Eubank
Born in Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky, on February 9, 1824, Reuben B. Eubank was said to be “one of the most successful farmers, stock-raisers, and stock-feeders in Saline county.” Reuben was raised on his father’s farm near Glasgow, Kentucky, where he received his education. As a young man, Reuben worked as a salesman and clerk for several mercantile stores in the area. From his employment in the retail trade, Mr. Eubank was able to save some $750, a nest egg that became the foundation for building his future holdings.
During the 1840s, the young entrepreneur Reuben Eubank married and settled down with his new family. Reuben joined the Baptist Church in 1844, a sign of his serious nature as a person who had plans and expectations for his life. On October 30, 1848, he Martha Thomson, the daughter of R. S. Thomson, an early Hart County, Kentucky, pioneer. In 1849, he moved with his new family to Hart County, where several of his children were born.
In 1855, the Eubank family and slaves moved to Missouri and first arrived in Miami, Saline County, on March 27th. It was here in Missouri where the Eubank family grew and flourished. In the fall of 1856, the Eubanks purchased a small tract of land owned by Owen Thomas Willis, who had arrived in 1850 from Culpepper county, Virginia. It was on the Willis land that the Eubanks built their beautiful home some time between 1856 and 1857. Reuben, his family, and slaves settled down in their new home, slave quarters, and farm in 1857. In 1859, the Eubanks joined the Christian Church. Family tradition also holds that Mr. Eubank was a Whig, but changed to the Democrat party in Missouri after the Whigs had died out.
A c. 1850s photograph of Reuben and most likely his
brother James, after their arrival in Saline County, Missouri.
Prior to the Civil War, Reuben Eubank was a large slave owner and successful hemp planter. In 1860, Reuben’s large estate was valued at $15,600 and he owned $9,600 in personal property. Included in his property were 8 slaves and 2 slave quarters. Most of his slaves were considered to be of a working age. Reuben was also interested in the agricultural advancements of the day, purchasing one of the first corn planters used in Saline County in 1858. Eubank’s life in Missouri was indeed a dramatic change from Kentucky, where he was a tenant farmer with only 4 slaves.
During the Civil War, the Eubank family suffered greatly from Little Dixie’s Civil War struggles and guerrilla conflict. Just as the war was getting underway in the Deep South, Reuben’s wife died on January 25, 1861. With battles and engagements raging between Union and Confederate forces within miles of his the Eubank’s plantation, and the constant harassment of guerrilla and Union forces, the Eubank estate was “literally stripped” of personal property. Even though the war years cost him dearly, he was able to recover after its end.
Reuben’s brother James, who had originally arrived in Saline County with his brother in 1855, served in the Confederate forces for Missouri. James was captured in late 1861 and sent to the notorious prisons of St. Louis and also Alton, Illinois. After taking the Union’s “oath,” he was released in in 1862. He did reenlist in 1864 with Lafayette County and Missouri’s General Joe Shelby. James surrendered in Shreveport, Louisiana, in1865, and later to Saline County.
By Gar Gene Fuenfhausen (C. 2009)
Reuben Eubanks in later life, c. 1870s.
Robert T. Eubank, son of Reuben and Martha Eubank.
Rueben Eubank, Jr., Son of Reuben and Martha Eubank.
Jerome Eubank, son of Reuben and Elizabeth Eubank,
who was born in 1865 and was a Missouri State Representative.
Research and Photographs by Gary Gene
Fuenfhausen . All published materials on this site are fully
copy written and may not be used in any manner without the written
consent of its owner.
. All published materials on this site are fully copy written and may not be used in any manner without the written consent of its owner.
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