Mrs. J. McGavock's perception of the character of the other McGavock's is different from what has been passed down in history books. According to Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Eastern Arkansas by Goodspeed Dr. F.G. McGavock "is one of those rare characters now so seldom met. A real Southern gentleman, in his veins flows the best blood of American." Yet period newspapers indicate that he wasn't above fighting with his neighbors about hogs. A Dr. Green Bennett, who owned land adjacent to McGavock's, was rounding up his hogs and inadvertantly some of McGavock's hogs were in the group. Words were exchanged and the result was McGavock receiving a head wound, the loss of a finger and gun shot wound through the mouth. Amazingly he survived but would endure several years of medical attention to the wounds.
Brief history of John J. McGavock:
John J. McGavock had an estimated birth year of 1835 in the 1860 Census for Pecan Point, Mississippi County Arkansas. His headstone says he was born in 1837. He was a son of Jacob McGavock, a wealthy and influential citizen of Nashville, and Louisa Caroline Grundy, a daughter of US Congressman, US Senator and US Attorney General Felix Grundy and his wife Ann Phillips Rogers.
|Believed to be the calling card of John J. McGavock, printed from an old engraving plate.|
Courtesy of Emily and Carter Baker
McGavock was a private in Forrest's 3rd Tennessee Cavalry, Co. B. He enlisted March 10, 186? at Memphis but was transferred to the 10th Reg't. Infantry Oct 15 1862. On April 16 1862 he requested a 10 day leave of absence "in consideration of his Negroes, Cotton, & Stock and being fifteen miles below Fort Pillow on the Arkansas side, Mississippi River,(which placed him close to his home at Pecan Point Arkansas) and being in danger of the Federal Army." He was hoping to have the opportunity to remove "the property mentioned" and save it from being confiscated by the US Army. He appears on a muster role dated Sept 1 to Dec 31 1862, Private, Co. D. McDonald Dragoons, Balch's Batt'n, Tennessee Cavalry, Forrest's 3rd Cav. He was "absent" commissioned by General Armstrong on October 14 1862. He appears on a Roll of Prisoners of War date May 11 1865, Gainesville, Ala, and listed Nashville Tennessee as his residence.
|Sallie Martin McGavock|
Photo Courtesy of Emily & Carter Baker
He married Sallie/Sally D. Martin on May 25, 1865 in Lowndes County Mississippi
In the 1870 census John and Sallie are living in Pecan Point Arkansas with their daughters Mary T., age 4, and Nannie, age 1.
John J. McGavock appears on US IRS Tax Assessment lists for Arkansas in 1871 and 1872.
July 2, 1872, the Little Rock Daily Republican reported that Capt. John McGavock sold his Pecan Point plantation "with all stock, implements and the growing crops now on the plantation, for the magnificent sum of $47,500" to Mr. James H. Edrington.
He beings appearing in Nashville City Directories in 1873, living at 25 S. Spruce, the same residence as his father Jacob McGavock. After the death of Jacob McGavock, John continues living at the Spruce address.
A brief note about John McGavock appeared in the Memphis Daily Appeal on July 5 1872 which said "John McGavock of Pecan Point Arkansas is summering in the "native heath" with old Nashville acquaintances."
The following death notice appeared in The Herald and Mail (Columbia Tenn) January 25 1878: "Mrs. Louisa C. McGavock, daughter of the great Felix Grundy, died in Nashville a few days since. She was born Feb. 10, 1798. She was mother of Col. Randall McGavock, Colonel of the 10th Tennessee, or Irish regiment, who was killed at Raymond, Miss., and of John J. McGavock, a prominent merchant of Nashville."
When John J. McGavock's brother, Edward J. McGavock, died in 1880 the funeral was held at the residence of John. From the Memphis Public Ledger April 13 1880, reprinted from Nashville American: 'The Late Edward J. McGavock. The remains of the late Edward J. McGavock, brother of John McGavock, arrived here last evening from new Orleans. The deceased was a son of the late Jacob McGavock, and was born in Nashville, but lived for the greater part of his life in Arkansas. he had gone from that state to New Orleans in the hope of recruiting his failing health. He was fifty years old, and served during the war in the Tenth Tennessee (Confederate) regiment. The funeral will occur from the residence of John J. McGavock, at 10 a.m. today."
On January 17 1882 the Public Ledger republished an article from the Nashville American with the Headline "The Raging Cumberland, It's Still Climbing Toward the Point of the Rise of 1847." One of the stores in danger of being flooded was that of John J. McGavock. "He has stored in the basement seven hundred tons of agricultural and other implements."
An article in the McMinnville Southern Standard appeared on September 15 1883 entitled
Sept 14 1876
John J. McGavock last appears in the Nashville City Directory for 1884.
In 1890, Goodspeed published the Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Eastern Arkansas. Dr. Felix Grundy McGavock, a brother of John J. McGavock has a lengthy biography in that publication but other family members are mentioned as well, including John. "John J., of Fayetteville, Ark., who recently disposed of a large estate in the county."
Sallie M. McGavock begins appearing in St. Louis Missouri city directories in 1895 as the widow of John J. and living at 2804 Russell Ave. with her daughter Mary Todd McGavock Baker. She appears in the 1900 Census for St Louis in the household of her daughter Mary.
James E. Baker, age 53, head
Mary Meg Baker (McGavock) age 33
Maud Baker, age 22
Harry E. Baker, age 21
George S. Baker, age 20
James E. Baker, age 1
Sally M. McGavock, age 55, mother-in-law
That is the last census Sallie appears in and the last city directory entry is for 1903, St. Louis. Her date of death and interment remain unknown at this time.