Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Civil War Soldier: Pvt. John Rufus "J.R." MIDKIFF (1835 - 1909)

Source: Midkiff, John Rufus, Sr. Reprint of photograph. C. 1890. Original believed to be in the possession of John and Mary Lou Midkiff, Midkiff, Texas, 2004.

How Related: Brother of my husband's 2nd-great-grandfather

Born: 13 January 1835 in Lincoln (now Moore) Co., Tennessee

Parents: Franklin Preston MIDKIFF (c. 1800 - c. 1839) and Ellender "Nellie" OLIVER (c. 1807 - c. 1849)

Siblings: John was one of seven siblings and one of three brothers that served the Confederacy from Texas: Sarah Ann (1826 - 1912); unknown sister (b. c. 1825 - 1830); Elizabeth Carrie "Betsey" (1830 - 1912); William Franklin (1833 - 1920); unknown brother (b. c. 1836 - 1840); an Charles Anderson MIDKIFF, Sr. (1839 - 1919)

Married: first to Louisa Maria COLE (1839 - 1878) on 2 October 1856 in Lincoln (now Moore) Co., Tennessee. She was the sister to his brother William's wife, Frances. Married second to Judith "Judee" FARMER (c. 1842 - 1892) on 20 June 1878 in Grayson Co., Texas.

Children: Children of J.R. and Louisa:

  • Charles Preston (1857 - 1933)
  • Jeffalonia Elizabeth (1861 - 1955)
  • John Rufus, Jr. (1863 - 1880)
  • Martha Ann "Mattie" (1865 - 1956)
  • William Marcus (1868 - 1934)
  • Franklin Alexander (1870 - 1902)
  • Thomas Oscar "T.O." (1872 - 1940)
Child of J.R. and Judee: Maud MIDKIFF (1880 - 1880)


Source: Compiled Service Record Jacket of J. R. Midkiff. Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Texas. National Archives and Records Administration. Publication M323. Digital image purchased at Footnote [].

Enlisted: with his brother Charles on 5 June 1862 at Whitemound, Grayson Co., Texas in D.W. Baker's Company (Co. A), Hardeman's Cavalry (1st Regiment, Arizona Brigade, 31st Cavalry); private; Transferred 1 December 1863 to Capt. LeKorster's Company (E), 4th Regiment, Arizona Brigade.

Side served: Confederacy

Discharged: unknown


Biography or Information of Interest: Much of the biography of J.R.'s life can be found in the book Midkiff: A Texas Family, Town, and Way of Life by Mary Lou Midkiff, which traces the stories of J.R. and his son Thomas Oscar Midkiff and their successful attempts to provide a new and good life for their families in West Texas through the hard work of cattle ranching. J.R. had a general store for many years on his ranch in Midland County, which had a little post office with the postmark, Midkiff, Texas. Years later, a new post office with the same name was built not far over the county border in Upton County. You can read more in a post I published last November.

Died: 23 January 1909 of cancer, in Whitesboro, Grayson Co., Texas

Buried: between the graves of his first and second wives in Whitesboro Cemetery, Whitesboro, Grayson Co., Texas

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