By Martha Noland
Buried in Mount Washington Cemetery are my grandmother, Nancy Isabell (Hallam) Millsap, two of her daughters, (my aunts) Odessa (Millsap) Thompson (her husband Glen) and Cora (Millsap) Rupard, her son Marian and his wife Gladys.
My grandmother Nancy was originally from Pennsylvania. About 1770 her ancestors, William and Henry Hallam left England. They landed on the Maryland shore, eventually settling in Pennsylvania becoming prominent citizens and merchants.
In the late 1800’s, after the Civil War, she and her family moved to Saline County, Missouri. There she met and married John Smith Millsap, after his service in the Civil War on May 7, 1867. Two years later, they traveled the Santa Fe Trail to Cherokee County, Kansas where her Hallam parents had moved.
While there, grandfather Millsap talked to a Mr. Hamlet who was selling a 160 acre farm in Platte County, Missouri near Parkville. They travelled to Platte County to see the property. For nefarious reasons Mr. Hamlet would only show the farm by night. Grandfather Millsap liked what he saw, returned to Kansas to collect his belongings and his family.
Now with 2 small children, grandfather and grandmother Millsap moved north by horse and wagon, herding several head of cattle approximately 350 miles. They traveled the historic Military Road connecting Ft. Scott and Ft. Leavenworth. The road closely followed the Kansas-Missouri border.
More children (total of 10) were born on this 160 acre farm: My mother, Bessie being number 8. She met and married my father, John Wesley Brenner, a native Platt Countian of German descent. I still live in Platte County about two miles from my mother’s homestead and 3 miles from my father’s family farm.
Later years, around 1900, brought discord to the John Smith Millsap family: a dissolution of marriage between John Smith Millsap and Nancy Isabell (Hallam) Millsap resulted.
After years of bearing and caring for 10 children while being a hardworking farm wife, grandmother then lived with her youngest daughter, Odessa, in Kansas City, Missouri.
After separation, I have been told, she became a seamstress for the George B. Peck Dry Goods Company in downtown Kansas City.
I like to think that her last years were pleasant, living with her daughter Odessa. She died in Kansas City, Missouri on July 27, 1927 at the age of 77.
Nancy Isabell (Hallam) Millsap (1850-1927)