Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How Rush Chapel Cemetery Came to Be

James M. "Kain Tuck" Rush (1826-1892). Carpenter. Farmer. Pioneer. James M. was born in 1826 to Henson and Margaret Stout Rush, the first son of six children.

James married 2 times, first to Mary Blake circa 1848 in Kentucky. They were the first Rush family to migrate to Missouri. The following year, after Mary died in childbirth in Booneville, he headed west to California's gold fields.

Enroute with his wagon train, he stumbled across a nearly dead man who had been fenced in because he had fallen ill. Rather than risking the spread of a possible deadly disease, wagon trains often left the sick in wooden pens to ward off wild animals, with enough food and water to last them for a few days. As the wagon train meant to camp close by a few days, James nursed the man, named John Walls, until he regained his strength and was able, with James' help, to keep up with the travelers when they moved on. Mr. Walls dubbed James "Kain Tuck," because James was a "Kaintuckian" (from Kentucky); he felt indebted to the man who rescued him.

James had little success in finding gold, so he returned to Missouri, sailing around South America. He married his 2nd wife, Theresa Jane Loveall (1835-1909), February 1, 1855 in Miller County. Seven children were born to this union.

James was listed as a southern sympathizer in August of 1862 after the Civil War began, automatically revoking his citizenship. However, since he served in the Union Army as a private in Co. B, 6th Regiment MO. Cavalry from June 11, 1863 to July 18, 1865, was honorably discharged with no injuries, his citizenship rights were restored in May, 1866.
Both were laid to rest in the Rush Chapel Cemetery, Miller County, MO.

Rev. Edward Everett Sullens, M.G. (1865-1940) Circuit Rider. Edward was born July 3, 1865 in Brazito, Cole County, Mo. to Peter Washington Green and Sarah Ann (Johnston) Sullens. Edward began preaching for the Lord when he was about 19 years of age.

Edward married Viola Catherine Loveall (1866-1940), daughter of Daniel David and Frances Ann "Annie" (Sweaney) Loveall, May 18, 1887 in Tuscumbia, MO. They had 9 children. He performed two of his children's marriages and two of his daughters married ministers – Alva married Rev. Harrison Gordon Butler and Flossie married Rev. Clifford Moody.

Rev. Sullens organized the Jim Henry Methodist Church in the late 1800s. The church and furniture were built by himself and his brother, Enos Asbury Sullens (1867-1934). James M. and Theresa Jane Rush donated part of the Rush Hill land for the church and cemetery. It was known as the Jim Henry Methodist church for many years because of the location – Jim Henry was an Osage Indian who lived in the area between Tuscumbia and Mary's Home. The township now carries his name. Later the name of the cemetery was changed to Rush Chapel in memory of the early Rush pioneers who are buried there.

The Jim Henry church was one of Rev. Sullen's early pastorates. The rickety building was torn down about 1962. All that remains is the cemetery and a small picnic shelter that was built in the 1980s. The Rush family continues to meet there on Decoration (Memorial) Day once a year to decorate their loved ones graves. A descendant of Ephraim, James M's brother continues to care for the cemetery grounds.

Edward died August 26, 1940 in Hitchcock, OK and Viola died 3 months and one week later the same year in Eakley, Ok. Both are buried in Hobart, OK.

More to Read:
1.) Peter Sullens and Mary Carson and Two Hundred Years of Decendents. By Maude Sullens Hoffman, 1971.
2.) The Rush Report. Compiled by Gaynelle Jenkins Moore. Research Assistance: David W. Rush. March 2003.
3.) The Loveall Report. Compiled by Gaynelle Jenkins Moore. April 2010.
4.) Place Names Of Six South Central Counties of Missouri. Frank Weber. M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1938. Repository: State Historical Society of Mo.

Places to Visit in MO.

1.) Rush Chapel Cemetery, Jim Henry or Rush Road, Mary's Home, MO.
2.) Miller County Museum, 2005 Highway 52, Tuscumbia, MO.

Postscript: Most of the Rush family attended the Jim Henry Methodist church until the 1940s when the church closed. Afterwards, most of the family began to attend the Church of the Nazarene, then some left the Nazarene church to attend the more conservative Church of God of Holiness, both in Eldon, MO. A few, like Ishmael & Marie Rush, eventually chose to attend churches near their homes.


  1. hi my name is chad winters have been dong family research came across this. Alrick was my ggg grandpa. I have found all the way to louis winters but havent got much info on him or his parents.
    But now i know there from germay i been wanting to learn german be kinda cool to do

  2. Thanks for sharing that story! I loved reading all abt the history of our ancestors & the Rush Chapel. I was out there a few yrs back taking photo's of the tombstones & my Mom mentioned that the last time she was there, in Oct. '63 for Laura Alice Sullens Rush's funeral, there was a building standing that is no longer there. She was wondering what happened to it? I'll have to share this article with her. Though, you mentioned it was torn down in '62. Was there another building there besides that one?

    1. Not to my knowledge, however, there is a picnic shelter on a concrete pad there now, next to the cemetery. The fellow who presently owns the land around the cemetery has been doing a lot of work to enhance the looks of the hill, like removing the overgrown tangle of trees and brambly stuff, installing fencing, etc. One of my husband's cousins tends to the mowing and I know she would appreciate a donation to help with purchasing gasoline. If you visit the cemetery, be careful of where you park. The opposite side of the road has a never-ending strip of poison ivy growing along the ditch.

  3. Could someone please tell me how the Scrivner family relates to the Rush family?

  4. Susan, thank you for posting your question. See this post for a simplified chart of where a Scrivner married a Sullens and the descending Sullens married a Rush:


We welcome family related questions, comments, and additional information about this post and we will try to answer your questions in a timely fashion. Thanks for stopping by!