Gold Bar


by Freda Cunningham

Natives of Nashville, TN, the Hope family "wagon trained" south and west after a severe epidemic of cholera and the deaths of several. There must have been eighteen or twenty wagons--maybe more--some deciding to stop in Mississippi. Most kept on to Vicksburg (what?) where they crossed the Mississippi River into Louisiana. This was in the early 1850's. Besides the Quinns, who sort of led the way, were the Hopes and Halberts. All homesteaded a large numberof acres in Grant County, Arkansas. Then their children scattered everywhere.

Arthur W. Hope was born October 28, 1833, in Nashville, Davidson Co., TN. He married Rebecca Quinn who was born in Davidson Co., TN in 1836. They were married in Prattsville, Grant Co., AR on October 30, 1855, and raised their family of 6 boys and 3 girls there.

Sherman Lot Hope was known as Bud. He was probably the oldest child. He was born March 24, 1859, and married Sarah Elizabeth Halbert on October 8, 1879 when he was 20. They had 6 of their children in Prattsville, AR., 4 boys and 2 girls. (1) Walter W. (2) Nora Anne (3) Grover Henry (4) Joshua Lot (5) Lawrence L. (6) Clara A. Walter died Oct. 24, 1881, at the age of 1 year.

Soon after the Land Run in Oklahoma, April 22, 1889, the Hopes, the Quinns and the Halberts decided to take advantage of the opportunities that had opened up in Indian Territory and moved their families to what is now Wynnewood, Garvin Co., OK. There were 3 girls born in Indian Territory (7) Ellen Maye (8) Zelma (9) Allena. Bud died January 9, 1901, at the age of 42. Momma Hope was left with Grover age 16, Joshua age 13 and Lawrence, age 11 to help farm the land. They lived in the community which is now Erin Springs and attended the Happy Hollar school. This is where Clara met Merrell Cunningham.

Clara Hope was the youngest when they moved from Arkansas. She probably attended school through the fourth or fifth grade. Times were tough without a Daddy. It took them all to make a living. At age 19 she married that handsome guy who too had moved to the Lindsay area from Strawberry, Arkansas.


Lee Cunningham's lived in Murfeesboro, TN. He may have been born in Virginia on May 17, 1829. It is thought his family may have migrated from England in the 1600's. Lee was in the Civil War and walked with a limp. Elizabeth Ann Dixon Sexton was born in Franklin, Warran Co, TN moved with her father to Lawrence Co., AR in 1840. She first married Merrell Hanley Wasson, April 30, 1847. They had a son W. S. Wasson who later lived in Plainview, TX, and a daughter 2 years younger who died Feb. 17, 1853. Mr. Wasson died in California, Aug. 29, 1852. On Oct. 24, 1854, Elizabeth Sexton Wasson married Lee Cunningham and to this union were born eleven children (1) Victoria Ann, died in infancy, (2) Editha Haseltine, (3) Millard Fillmore who married Matilda Elizabeth Taylor, Lindsay, OK (4) John Bell (5) Addie Jane who married W. H. Ware, Lewisville, AR and later a Taylor, Shellbyville, AR (6) Luvenia Elizabeth Lee (7) Mary Lucinda Califerna (8) Zilpha Luella who married J. W. Howard, Temple, OK; (9) Charles Walter, Temple, OK (10) Margaret Willie (11) boy not named. Lee died March 12, 1898 in Sharp County, AR. He was buried at Camp Grounds cemetery.

They had lived 1/4 mile north. Elizabeth moved to Brisco Co, TX, Dec. 1899; from there to Rush Springs, OK, June, 1901; then to Temple, OK, where she lived at the time of her death, Jan 21, 1911. She is buried in the Masonic cemetery in Temple. Only five children survived her in death.

Millard Fillmore Cunningham (Some records show his name is Merrell. Paul says he was always told it was Millard, anyway he went by Fillmore) was born January 3, 1859 in Sharp Co., AR. On Dec 18, 1882 he was married to Matilda Elizabeth Taylor. To this union 5 boys and 1 girl were born. (1)Merrell Leland (2)Scott (3)Taylor (4)Everett (5)Elmer (6) girl. Fillmore and Bell, his brother, operated a cotton gin and grist mill a short distance south of Camp Ground on the banks of Reed's Creek near Calamine, AR. They used water power. After Bell's death in 1899, Fillmore sold the mill and gin and moved to a farm at Lindsay, OK. His wife and daughter preceded him in death.

Matilda died Mar. 22, 1918, and her grave marker is in Green Hill Cemetery, Lindsay, OK. Eighteen years later, he was stricken with paralysis and died 2 weeks later in the home of his son, Taylor, near Alex, OK. He died January 19, 1936, at age 77 and is buried in Green Hill Cemetery, Lindsay, OK. There is no grave marker for him.

Merrell Leland Cunningham was born on June 6, 1886, at Strawberry, Lawrence Co., AR, three years before his family moved to Indian Territory near Lindsay, OK. During the youth of Merrell Leland Cunningham it was unusual for a boy to be able to complete school. Merrell probably attended school through the 9th grade. He liked math and history. There was the worst flood ever in 1908 around Lindsay. He met Clara Hope at the Happy Hollar school. On Nov. 10, 1910 at age 24 he married her.

Merrell share cropped several years. He bought a farm in the Hughes community from an Indian woman, Kitsy Willis, who had been given the land by the State. To this union were born 3 girls and 2 boys, the two youngest were twins, (1) Alta Ruth (2) Ralph Lee (3) Nora Faye (4) James Paul and (5) Jimmie Pauline.

Merrell was a very progressive farmer. He learned to terrace the rolling hills to keep the top soil from washing away. He invented a feeder chain to go on a broomcorn seeder and had the farm implement manufacturing company steal his invention. He never realized a penny from it. Merrell always kept his equipment in top notch condition. Known for his enjoyment in helping others, he generously let neighbors borrow his tools, only to have them returned many times dull or broken. Times were tough during the depression. Everyone was poor but nobody knew it. That was just the way things were. Merrell developed high blood pressure and suffered a stroke which left him hospitalized for seven years. During this time, Skelly Oil Company drilled for oil and hit pay dirt! Merrell died Nov. 9, 1955, at the age of 69 and was buried in Green Hill Cemetery. Stanley Miller and Merrell's granddaughter, Kay Webb Miller, have in their possession Merrell's Paris broomcorn seeder.

James "Paul" Cunningham, was called Sonny Boy until he started to school. He was born May 16, 1928, at home on the farm in the Hughes community. He graduated valedictorian of his high school class. He went on to college and earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Masters Degree in School Administration at Oklahoma University, Norman. He taught math at Capitol Hill Junior High, Oklahoma City, for four years before serving two years active duty with the US Air Force in Morocco. While Paul was finishing his tour of active duty he was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX. He married Freda Marie Ritchey in San Antonio, TX, December 28, 1957, shortly after completing 2 years in the military. They met in church choir at Trinity Baptist Church where Freda was on church staff as Music and Recreation Secretary and later Director of Junior and Intermediate Work.

To this union were born 2 girls and a boy (1) Carmen Lyn (2)Nancy Diane and (3) Grant Evan. Except for a part of 1979, when E. F. Hutton placed Paul in Management in their San Antonio branch office, this family has resided in Oklahoma City. In 1987, Paul formed his own mutual fund timing service, MeriTiming. Later the name was changed to Merit Advisors, Inc. In 1997, he began a fascinating hobby called Spellright, trying to find a way to improve on the way English is spelled.

Grant Evan Cunningham was born June 12, 1965, at Baptist Hospital, Oklahoma City, OK. He graduated from Putnam City North High School and got a Bachelors degree from Baylor University, Waco, TX. After a short time of being licensed as an investment accounts executive he followed his heart's desire into the music world in Nashville, TN. He traveled and sang with Harbor, worked for Hummingbird Recording Studio and is now Manager of the Artists and Repertoire Division (talent scouting) for Sparrow Recording. He is a successful lyrics writer of Christian contemporary music. He received a Dove Award in 1996 for "The Great Divide" sung by Point of Grace and a nomination in 1997 for "Healing Hands." On Feb. 10, 1990, he married Kristin Johnsen in Plano, TX. To this union twins were born on April 30, 1997 (1) Will Austin and (2) Evan James. They reside in Franklin, TN.

Gold Bar
Hope Genealogy

by Grover Hope (1995)

After studying the Quaker records at Swarthmore College, Philadelphia, Pa., we do not believe that the man we called Thomas I is the father of our Thomas II (Thomas of Sadsbury). Our line is solid back to Thomas of Sadsbury, but we must start again on ancestors prior to him. The first record we found of Thomas was in 1739 at Upper Octorara Presbyterian Church near Sadsbury, Pa. (1720). He was an elder and attended the Presbyterian Synod of Philadelphia on 23 May, 1739, 26 May 1742, 9 May 1746, 27 May 1752 and 28 May 1755 (from minutes of Presbyterian Synod of Philadelphia). Previous researchers that had him disowned by the Quakers for having joined the "Associators" 8 Feb 1747-48 to fight in the French and Indian War could not be correct. He did join the Associators, but he was not a Quaker when he joined. Another Thomas Hope, son of John Hope, who came over on the Unicorne was the Quaker who was disowned. Our Thomas was a Presbyterian who was probably part of the first or second wave of migration to America of Scotch-Irish in 1717-18, 1725-29, 1740-41, 1754-55, and 1771-75 from northern Ireland (Ulster). These were lowland Scots who had been relocated to Ireland by the King of England after he had defeated the Irish. Some of the Scots had been there for four generations before migrating to America. They were primarily Presbyterians and they tended to stay together and form Presbyterian churches in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. Ninety percent of the emigrants to Pennsylvania during 1717-29 were Scotch-Irish rather than Englisn, Scots or German. William Penn had died and his sons adopted a commercial view of Pennsylvania to the chagrin of the Quakers.

In 1743, Thomas Hope received a grant from the Sons of William Penn for 200 acres of land two miles west of Coatsville, Pa. on (*address deleted for privacy reasons*). There is a substantial colonial style rock house presently on the land which the descendents say dates back to Thomas. This home is in good condition and has been continuously occupied by his descendents to this day. The current descendent in occupancy, (*Name deleted for privacy reasons*) and her husband (*Name deleted for privacy reasons*) have the original grant in their possession. Any attempt to contact the (*Name deleted for privacy reasons*) should be made in writing through their daughter, (*Name and address deleted for privacy reasons*).

There was a James Hope and wife Annie in an adjacent township, Fallowfield, from 1732-1740 according to the tax rolls. James was a Presbyterian who moved to Bucks Co., Pa. (309 acres deed 1765) and then to Harford Co., Maryland by 1769 where he gave the land for the Bethel Presbyterian Church and graveyard. He then moved to South Carolina (now Mecklenburg Co., N.C., we think). In the Bethel Church history it states that James said his father fought in the Battle of Boyne. The Battle of Boyne was in 1690 along Boyne creek north of Dublin, Ireland, between followers of James II, King of England and William of Orange. William (Protestants) won and became King of England. The Church of England and the state then persecuted both the Catholics and the Presbyterians and this along with economic difficulties causd the Presbyterians to migrate to America. James Hope, apparently about the same age as Thomas, may have been a relative or even a brother of Thomas but to date we have no proof.

Adam Hope I (1729-1802) still has descendents in the Abingdon, Va area. (*Name and address deleted for privacy reasons*) spent the day with us and showed us Adam's home place where he had a mill. The mill stones from the mill are now in the possession of (*Name and address deleted for privacy reasons*).

Adam Hope II (1761-1841) is buried in a private family cemetery originally on his home place which address is now on Creekside Drive, Nashville, Tenn. His house is still standing at the end of Anton Drive, close to the cemetery.

Arthur Hope is buried in Philadelphia Cemetery on state highway 190 approximately 3 miles south east of Prattsville, Ark.

I hope some of the other researchers working on our line can discover the ancestors of Thomas Hope of Sadsbury.

Gold Bar