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   The first son of the third marriage of George Riley McCorkell was JOHN FRANKLIN McCORKELL, who was born on 23 July 1884, in Ross Township, near the mining town Scammon, Kansas. His mother, Lillias Jacinth Ketchum-McCorkell, had been previously married for nine years and recently had become a widow before marrying George R. McCorkell in 1883. Lillie had also several children which she brought to her new marriage, some of whom were her own (Minnie (1875), Lizzi (1877) and Hester Ketchum (1880)) and some were her step-children from Asa C. Ketchum's previous marriage (Grace Ketchum-Conley (1862) and Harry Ketchum (1870).

   John's father had also been married twice before and was recently a widower before marrying for the third time to Mrs. Lillie Ketchum. He had been previously married to Mary Daugherty (died 1855) and Jane O. Gifford (1836-1880) and had the following nine children: Samuel (ca 1851), Jame (1856), Jerome (1858), Andrew (1860-1860), Nora (ca 1862), Mary (1864), Lyda (1866), Jennie (1868) and Gifford (ca 1872). It can be assumed that only the younger children remained in the home and the old ones were already married. It can be see that young John F. McCorkell had several McCorkell half-siblings as well as several Ketchum half-siblings. In addition, his step-brother, Harry Ketchum who soon became a railroad telegraph operator, was still living in the home. Altogether their may have been six-to-eight children in the home when John was born.

   John was raised on the farm and lived in the country near Scammon, Kansas while his parents provided additional children: Riley (1886), Leona (1889-1889), Katie (1890), Claude (1892) and Anna Opal (1894-1894). He possibly began attending school in Scammon, but his family soon moved to nearby Joplin, Missouri in 1896. He most likely had the greater part of his schooling while living on Chestnut Street in Joplin.

   JOHN McCORKELL married LEODA MAY BUZZARD on 14 July 1907 lived in Webb City and remained there until the '1907 Panic.' Leoda said, "Everything was closed down all over the country -- All the money was yellow paper certificates which were very hard to cash." John worked in the Webb City mines ca 1907-08. On 19 April 1907, he and a group of miners had their picture taken, five minutes prior to an accident where they fell down a 160 foot shaft, in an elevator 'bucket.' John was hospitalized for a while and recovered. They returned to live in Seneca until 29 Jan 1913, when "John left for a job on a government ranch in Fallon, Nevada." John brought the family to Nevada nine months later. They remained in Fallon until the job ended.

   On 1 Feb 1914, John went to Riverside, Calif., to visit and old school mate and got a job working for the Riverside Portland Cement Co., as a fireman on the train. They lived in Riverside, but in Feb, 1915, he moved his family to Arlington and rented rooms from his half-sister, Elizabeth Thompson. John then went to Busby, Montana to visit his sister, Mrs. Kate Walker, to check on homesteading government land. It "fizzled out" and John returned in a month and moved the family back to Riverside.

   During a temporary layoff, John got a job in a Long Beach, Calif., garage. While there, he developed a severe cold which worsened into pleuro-pneumonia and finally into tuberculosis. John fought T.B. for the rest of his short life. John passed away 15 June 1917 at the Sunlight Sanitarium in Denver, Colorado. He was buried in the Swars Prairie Baptist cemetery, near Seneca, next to his maternal grandmother, Mrs. ELIZABETH (TARR) BURTON.

   After returing to Seneca, Missouri, Leoda later worked as a post office clerk around 1918-20. When her father became ill, Leoda quit and worked in his ("and Uncle Matt's") grocery store until he sold it (1920-35). After that, she clerked full and part-time in different jobs. Leoda McCorkell died in 1979 and was buried beside her husband in Swars Prairie Baptist cemetery, near Seneca, Newton County, Missouri.

   John and Leota McCorkell's children were VERNON MAURICE (1908), LOLITA LEONA (1910) and VERNA CATHERINE (1915). The only survivor, Lolita is still living in or near Seneca in 1993 and now lives in a resthome. Lolital first married T. O. Kirk and later married her deceased sister's husband, John M. Dragoo. Vernon was a well-respected Seneca 'police judge' until he passed away. Verna married John Morgan Dragoo and had several children before she passed away. One of their grandchildren, Gene Dragoo, is currently the Chief of Police in Seneca, Missouri. Several McCorkell-Dragoo descendants still live in or near Seneca.



   John Franklin McCorkell was born 23 July 1884 in Stiltson, near Scammon, Kansas. He was George Riley McCorkell's eleventh child, but the first issue of his third marriage. At his birth, John already had nine paternal McCorkell half-siblings and three maternal Ketchum half-siblings, in addition to Harry Ketchum, a step-brother. His paternal brothers and sisters were the result of his father's first two marriages before George's recent marriage to widow Lillie (Burton) Ketchum. His mother had only been married once before but Lillie's deceased husband had been married twice before he married her in Marble City, a southeastern Missouri town. Most of the older children had already left home and were married.

   This branch of the 'McCORKLE' family continued spelling their surname as 'McCORKELL,' which George Riley McCorkell changed circa 1863 -- sometime immediately before or after the Civil War. John's father served in the Civil War (see Chapter 6). It is unclear why he allowed his last name to be changed but it was most likely a phonetic interpretation by others that persisted. George was the only known sibling to allow his surname to evolve from McCorkle to McCorkell.

   John spent his early years on his father's farm in Stilton, Ross Township, Kansas. The nearest town was the mining town of Scammon and that is where most of the older family members attended school. John probably spent most of his early developmental years also attending the public schools in Scammon. When John was approximately twelve years old (1996), his family moved to a house on Chestnut Street in nearby Joplin, Missouri. He no doubt continued his public education in the Joplin school system. JOHN F. McCORKELL was married to LEODA M. BUZZARD on 14 July 1907, daughter of George Walter and Lillian Ethel (Welker) Buzzard, lived in Webb City and worked in the mines. On 19 April 1907, at twenty-five minutes past noon, John and four other men fell 160 feet in an "elevator bucket" down a mine shaft in Webb City. John spent seveeral weeks in a hospital recovering from his injuries. It is believed that John's underground environmental exposure later turned into what was called "miners consumption" and then developed into tuberculosis.

   Economic pressures soon motivated John in 1913 to accept a job on a government ranch in Fallon, Nevada. After a while, he sent for his wife LEODA; son, VERNON MAURICE, born 4 May 1908; and his daughter, LOLITA LEONA, born 18 March 1910. Both children were born in Seneca, Missouri. The job soon ended and the family moved to the southern California town of Arlington, Riverside County in January, 1914. John worked as a train fireman and his second daughter, VERNA CATHERINE, was born on 18 May 1915 in Riverside. John took a temporary job at a garage in Long Beach during a layoff period and soon developed a severe cold, which turned into pleuro-pneumonia and later on, into T.B.

   The family soon decided to return to Seneca, Missouri. During his short fight with his respiratory disease, John lived in a semi-isolation in small shed behind the family house in Seneca. During the terminal phase of his illness, John moved to the Sunlight Sanitarium in Denver, Colorado. John passed away on 15 June 1917 in Denver and was transported to Seneca for burial at Swars Prairie Baptist Cemetery -- four miles south of Seneca.

   Leoda McCorkell continued raising and supporting the family in Seneca. Eventually John's family grew up and assumed their life's duties. VERNON McCCORKELL became a well-respected 'police judge' in Seneca, remained single and passed away 19 February 1964 in Joplin, Missouri. LOLITA married T. O. KIRK, who later passed away in 1968 in Neosho, Missouri. They didn't have any children. VERNA married JOHN MORGAN DRAGOO, a plumber & electrician, and had three children: JOHN RICHARD (1938), JOAN KATHRYN (1936) and SUZANNE (1954). Verna (McCorkell) Dragoo passed away in 1972. Later on, Lolita remarried her deceased sister's husband, John M. Dragoo. Leoda McCorkell, the widow of John F. McCorkell, passed away on 23 January 1979, in Joplin, Missouri and is buried next to her husband at Swars Prairie Baptist Cemetery in Seneca.

The line continues with JOHN RICHARD DRAGOO, grandson of John Franklin McCorkell and son of Verna (McCorkell) & John M. Dragoo, who was born 16 April 1938 in Paducah, Kentucky. Richard married LINDA SUE WILLIAMS (1941) on 23 May 1959. Richard and Linda had three sons: MORRIS GENE (1960), STEPHEN LEE (1961) and JEFFREY SCOTT (1969). John and Linda still live in Seneca, Missouri. Richard is a plumber and electrician and Linda works for the county in Neosho.

   GENE DRAGOO is the Seneca Chief of Police and lived next door to his step-grandmother, Lolita (McCorkell) Kirk-Dragoo, until she moved into a resthome in 1993. Gene married LILA R. LUCUS and had two children: JOHNATHON RAY (1979) and JENNIFER ANN (1980). He was a fireman before he became the police chief. STEPHEN DRAGOO married DENICE and lives in Dallas, Texas. They have two children: TIMOTHY and ABBY. Stephen works for F. A. G. Bearing in Dallas. JEFFREY DRAGOO married MICHELLE VRELAND in 1992 and works for Ozark-Kennworth.

   Many of John Franklin McCorkell's family moved westward to California but a few McCorkell descendants still remain in Seneca and nearby in Miami, Oklahoma, as well as the local surrounding area.



(Seneca, Missouri)

"Sunday July 14th 1907, JOHN [McCORKELL] and I [LEOTA BUZZARD] were married at the home of Uncle D. K. Buzzard. After a weeks visit, we went to Webb City, Mo. where we lived at 624 N. Tom St. We stayed there only a short time when we moved to North Liberty St. where we stayed until Oct 1907, when the Panic came on and every thing was closed down all over the country. All the money was yellow paper certificates which were very hard to cash. We then came down on the farm at Father Mc's and stored our furniture there. John went back and forth to Webb City where he worked in the mines until along in April 1908 when he came home.

   "On Monday May 4th 1908, VERNON MAURICE McCORKELL was born. We were very proud of the little red-headed fellow who was so round and sweet and he grew so fast. The 3rd of August, we three went back [to] Webb City to live at 732 N. Prospect St. where we stayed until Xmas 1908, when we moved on the farm south of town 4 1/2 miles and lived there 2 years. We raised lots of corn, feed potatoes, canned worlds of fruit and raised lots of chickens, and also a strawberry patch. We did fine considering the dry weather.

"March 18th, 1910, LOLITA was born. The peach trees were all in bloom and the weather fine. Aunt Tama, Aunt Callie and Vivian and Dr. Campbell were there for dinner. Lolita only weighed 7 1/2 lbs and had such a fine lot of long black hair, was an awful good baby and slept most of the time.

   "In the fall of 1910 we moved into Seneca to live where we lived until 1913. On the 29th of Jan 1913, John left for Fallon, Nevada, to work on a Gov't ranch. Lolita and I were very lonesome after Pap had left and we waited 9 long months till we saw him again when we both went to Fallon, Nev. We were 4 nights and 3 days on the trip but we enjoyed it all as we saw so much of interest along the way. The folks were all glad to see us and we had such a nice furnished house to live in and such good neighbors. The air was fine and the climate great.

   "John worked for the Nevada Sugar Co. as a weigh master. We drove all over the country while there, saw all the large ranches including the Gibbs, Phipps and Robinson Ranches. Down's Ranch and lot of others I have forgotten the names, saw great herds of cattle, sheep and turkeys and lots of alfalfa. Everybody worked hard to make the country a success and one could see so far, and the Sierra Mts to the west were beautiful and looked so gigantic with their snow-capped peaks. The Sugar Co. shut down their factory and work being scarce, we decided to go to Southern Calif., down at Arlington, Calif. where John's old school mate and friend lived. We left Fallon, Nevada Sat., Jan. 3, 1914 and arrived at Arlington the 5th of Jan '14. We saw so much on the way came down the coast-line from Oakland Pier to Los Angeles. Saw the ocean, the most wonderful sight a person can imagine. We had on our winter clothes for when we left Nevada it was very cold and when we arrived in Southern Calif. the flowers were in bloom and everything green and beautiful.

   "We were at our friend R. V. MARTIN's for one month. While there, JOHN and VIRGE drove down to El Cajon, Calif. to visit John's mother [LILLIAS] and sister MINNIE. The had an enjoyable trip. Lydie and I stayed at home with the youngsters, MARTHA and LOLITA, we pieced 4 quilts while they were gone and quilted 3 of them. We sure had a picnic. Made candy, and had lots of peanuts and fruit to eat. When the men-folks cam back, we had a good dinner.

   "JOHN went to Riverside, Calif., Feb 1st and got him a good job on the train, as fireman working for the Riverside Portland Cement Co. The train-run was 6 miles to the main Line of the Santa Fe -- from Rialto, Colton then Riverside. We first lived at 838 Houghton St. in a duplex house belonging to Mr. and Mrs. C. G. BROWN then we moved on North Orange St. until Feb., 1915 when we moved down to Arlington, Calif. and rented rooms from John's sister, Mrs. ELIZABETH THOMPSON, where LOLITA and I stayed while John went up to his sister's, Mrs. KATE WALKER, at Busby, Montana, where they were supposed to get a homestead on Gov't land which was a fizzle from beginning to end. [John] was gone about a month, came back and we moved again to Riverside, Calif. 1056 West 11th St. -- first house at that time next to Mt. Rubidoux where they have the renowned Easter Sunrise services.

   "On May 18 - 1915 VERNA CATHERINE McCORKELL was born. She weighed 8 lbs, had beautiful blk hair about 1 1/2 in long, was round and fat and the best baby yet, slept on the sleeping porch right off the reel . . . a mocking bird had her nest in an umbrella tree right near the sleeping porch and sang most of the time also nightengale's sang all night. We had a lovely place to live every thing so nice, with rose garden, orange and lemon trees. Mrs. JESSIE SNYDER, who stayed with us 3 weeks. JOHN went down to Long Beach to work in a Garage during a lay off of the railroad crew. While there, taken a severe cold which later run into pleuro-pneumonia, which developed T.B. then for 2 years was a fight to regain . . . [four pages were missing or not copied].

   " . . . had a fall of 40 feet to the mile, Uncle Mat was engineer at the coal mine. This was a wonderful fruit country. I never saw such fine fruit. The orchards were kep clean and prunned. We canned pears, peaches, apricots, white and black cherries, blk berries, raspberries, current and goose berries. We would go down to the town below us, on Sat nights for groceries, The name of the town was Paonia, Colo. We had everything good to eat and Aunt Cora and I fooled Uncle Mat and he eat chilli for the first time and we put the chilli on the table and called it beans and of course he liked them and said, "Gee, what is this? It's awful good." And we said, "Chille." We didn't have to camouflage the beans anymore.

   "The climate was to high for Uncle Mat. He couldn't stay there too long, so they sold all their household goods to a family of Finnish people who were awful nice. They lived in a neighborhood of Austrians, Finns and Italians and they traded with an Austrian family by the name of PAVALYSICK. And had near neighbors Austrians named MAHELLAGE and LOLITA went to school and played with a little Italian girl named KATRINE AIME. She could sing like a lark and had beautiful long braids of hair. That was a fine summer and how one could sleep and rest. Aunt Cora had a beautiful year of flowers and the finnest garden of vegetables you ever saw. LOLITA and V.C. had a bunch of cuts to play with.

   "Aunt Cora had some friends down at Poonia named, Mrs. Bruce and daughter Nellie, who was LOLITA's school teacher at Bowie. We stayed all nite there with them and left the next morning for Seneca, Mo. We were over a week coming home and when we got to Pueblo, Colo., [it] commenced to rain and we were in rain and mud for several days. The roads were awful. One morning, we only made 17 miles, were in mud hub deep and it was like that until we reached Garden City, Kansas. We reached home one sultry afternoon and after being in a high climate, we nearly suffocated with the heat. Uncle Mat bought a place and went to housekeeping right away, as their bedding and trunks were all ready here.

   "In October 1918, I went to work at the post office as clerk for J. E. Shepherd, Postmaster. He was a fine man to work for. I worked there until Mar 1920, when my father got sick and I went down to work in the grocery store he and Uncle Mat had started in the Spring of 1919. They had a wonderful business and I worked there until Oct 1935. About 4 or more years before this, my father had sold out to Uncle Mat and in the fall of Oct 1935 he traded his stock of groceries to E. L. Odee for his farm at Kenwood, Okla. I worked for this man until Feb 1936. Odee was a queer man and he could almost hold his head in his hand. He told me one Friday eve, he was going to have a new clerk on Monday. I went right up the street and went in on Kulins dry goods side and told Hazel Houce that I had lost my job. When I got back to the store, she called me up and said to stop as I went home, which I did and Buck "said, "I'll give you a job. Come to work in the A.M (which was Sat A.M.)." I worked there steady until Aug 1936 when Charles Oliver came back and of course I lost out but I worked on Saturdays and extra days."



[JOHN F-6 (1884), GEORGE R. McCORKELL-5 (1830), ANDREW C-4 (ca 1789), SAMUEL-3 (1759), SAMUEL McCORKLE-2 (ca 1720's), (poss WILLIAM-1 (ca late 1690's) or poss JAMES-1 (1694))] JOHN FRANKLIN McCORKELL, b 23 Jul 1884 (near Scammon, Kansas), O (farmer, weigh master, train fireman, mechanic), L (<1896 (near Scammon, KS), 1896-1907 (Joplin, MO), 1907-13 (Webb City/Seneca, MO), 1913-14 (Fallon, NV), 1914 (Arlington/Riverside, CA), 1916 (Long Beach, CA), 1917 (Denver, CO)), d 15 Jun 1917 (Denver, CO) at Sunlight Sanitarium, bur Swars Prairie Baptist Cem (Seneca, MO); m LEODA MAY BUZZARD 14 Jul 1907 (Seneca, MO) [b 20 Jan 1889 (Seneca, MO), dau of George Walter & Lillian Ethel (Welker) Buzzard, O (Clerk), d 23 Jan 1979 (Joplin, MO), bur Swars Prairie Baptist Cem (Seneca, MO)], Children:

1M   VERNON MAURICE, b 4 May 1908 (Seneca, MO), never married, O (Police Judge; Plumber/electrician & Machinist), d 19 Feb 1964, bur Buzzard Cem (near Seneca)

2F   LOLITA LEODA, b 18 Mar 1910 (Seneca, MO), L (Seneca, MO), d 2 Nov 2001, bur Buzzard cem (Seneca, MO); m1 T. O. KIRK 20 Jun 1932 [d 21 Aug 1968], m2 JOHN MORGAN DRAGOO >1972, no children

3F   VERNA CATHERINE, b 18 May 1915 (Riverside, Riverside, CA)



   "VERNON MAURICE McCORKELL, Seneca businessman and municipal judge, died late yesterday morning in a Joplin hospital. He had been in ill health for about a year and was admitted to the hospital Tuesday night. Mr. McCorkell, 55, was born "May 4, 1908, in Seneca and lived in the house in which he was born all his life. In addition to serving nearly two complete terms as municipal judge, he was a plumber, machinist and electrician. He was an inactive deacon in the Seneca Christian Church. Survivors include his mother, Mrs. LEODA McCORKELL, Seneca; and two sisters, Mrs. JOHN DRAGOO, Seneca, and Mrs. T. O. KIRK, Neosho. Services will be held tomorrow afternoon at 2 in the Seneca Christian Church, with Rev. Robert Myers, Rev. J. A. Campbell and Rev. Wesley Smith, officiating. Burial will be in the Buzzard Cemetery, under direction of the Biddlecome Funeral Home, of Seneca. Pallbearers at the services will be Gail Webb, Roy Eads, Babe Brady, Francis Hoff, Worth Fowler and Wayne King, Honorary pallbearers will be J. L. Patton, Leo Farmer, H. N. Harrison, Aaron Chase and Lester Kellenberger."

   "LOLITA L. DRAGOO, 91, Seneca, MO, died at 12:45 am Friday, November 2, 2001 at Medicalodge in Neosho after a long illness. She was born March 18, 1910 in Seneca, MO, the daughter of John Franklin and Leoda Mae (Buzzard) McCorkell. She was a homemaker and a member of the High Street Christian Church in Neosho. She married John Morgan Dragoo at Seneca on July 11, 1972 following the deaths of their spouses: Thomas Kirk and Verna Catherine (McCorkell) Dragoo, her sister. John preceded Lolita in death on November 20, 1989. Also preceding her in death was her brother, Vernon McCorkell. She is survived by three stepchildren and their spouses; Joan and Gene Kellenberger of Tulsa, OK; John R and Linda Dragoo of Seneca; and Suzanne and Joe Kelly of Neosho; nine stepgrandchildren and several step-great-grandchildren. Graveside services under direction of Campbell-Biddlecome Funeral Home, Seneca, MO were at 2 pm Monday at the Buzzard Cemetary, east of Seneca. Rev P J Hutchison officiated. Grandsons served as pallbearers." [Joplin Globe, Neosho & Seneca papers]1

1. Kelly, Suzanne, Email 13 Nov 2001. "At Lolita's funeral there were about 40 attending, Bonnie Stoner and her daughter, Bonnie Jane; Jack McCorkell and his wife, our immediate family, my dads 2 sisters Helen and Bette, a niece and her daughter and several friends. It was a very beautiful afternoon, the weather was about 70 and just perfect. She is buried on one side of my dad (John), my mother Verna Catherine is on the other side of Daddy and Vernon is at their feet. The cemetery looked good, Morris is taking care of it still and doing a fine job."


[VERNA C-7 (1915), JOHN F-6 (1884), GEORGE R. McCORKELL-5 (1830), ANDREW C-4 (ca 1789), SAMUEL-3 (1759), SAMUEL McCORKLE-2 (ca 1720's), (poss WILLIAM-1 (ca late 1690's) or poss JAMES-1 (1694))] VERNA CATHERINE McCORKELL, b 18 May 1915 (Riverside, Riverside, CA), L (Riverside, CA) & (Seneca, MO), d 22 Jan 1972 (Joplin, MO); m JOHN MORGAN DRAGOO 27 Jun 1934 (Joplin, MO), E. H. Cullison, J.P. & Witnesses: W. D. Jones & Mrs. E. H. Cullison [b 14 Mar 1915 (Chicago, IL), O (Plumber/Electricial), L (<1935 (Chicago, IL) & >1934 (Seneca, MO), his m2 to Mrs. LOLITA (McCORKELL) KIRK (widowed sister-in-law), d 20 Nov 1989 (Joplin, MO), bur Buzzard Cem].


(March 14, 1915 - Nov. 20, 1989)

"JOHN M. DRAGOO, 74, former president of the Seneca School Board, and former Seneca City Council member, died at 9:40 p.m. Monday at St. John's Medical Center, Joplin, after an illness. Mr. Dragoo was born March 14, 1915, in Chicago, Ill., and moved to Seneca about 55 years ago. He was a retired plumber and electrician. He was a member of the High Street Christian Church, in Neosho.

"He married VERNA CATHERINE McCORKELL on June 27, 1934. She died Jan. 22, 1972. He and LOLITA KIRK were married July 11, 1972. She survives. Additional survivors include a son, JOHN R. DRAGOO, Seneca; two daughters, JOAN KEILENBERGER, Tulsa, Okla., and SUZANNE KELLY, Neosho; a brother, DAN DRAGOO, Hays, Kan.; three sisters, CLAIRE GRAINGER, San Pedro, Calif., BETTY ROUTLEDGE, and HELEN ABERNATHY, both of Joplin; eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

"Services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Seneca Christian Church. David Pieratt, minister, will officiate. Burial will be in Buzzard Cemetery, east of Seneca, under the direction of Campbell-Biddlecome Funeral Home. The casket will be closed at noon Wednesday and remain closed. Friends may call at the home at 804 Cleveland, Seneca."


1F   JOAN KATHRYN, b 7 Aug 1936 (St. Louis, MO), L 1989 (Tulsa, OK); m KEILENBERGER

2M   JOHN RICHARD, b 16 Apr 1938 (Paducah, KY)

3F   SUZANNE, b 13 Dec 1954 (Joplin, MO), L 1989 (Neosho, MO); m KELLY [RESEARCH:]


[JOAN K. DRAGOO-8 (1936), VERNA C-7 (1915), JOHN F-6 (1884), GEORGE R. McCORKELL-5 (1830), ANDREW C-4 (ca 1789), SAMUEL-3 (1759), SAMUEL McCORKLE-2 (ca 1720's), (poss WILLIAM-1 (ca late 1690's) or poss JAMES-1 (1694))] JOAN KATHRYN DRAGOO, b 7 Aug 1936 (St. Louis, MO), L 1989 (Tulsa, OK); m GENE KEILENBERGER 26 Sep 1954 (Seneca, MO) [son Lester & Mildred Kellenberger], Children:

1F   PAMELA JEAN, b 28 Aug 1957; m GREG WHEELER


3F   AMY JO, b 19 Sep 1966


[J. RICHARD DRAGOO-8 (1938), VERNA C-7 (1915), JOHN F-6 (1884), GEORGE R. McCORKELL-5 (1830), ANDREW C-4 (ca 1789), SAMUEL-3 (1759), SAMUEL McCORKLE-2 (ca 1720's), (poss WILLIAM-1 (ca late 1690's) or poss JAMES-1 (1694))] JOHN RICHARD DRAGOO, b 16 Apr 1938 (Paducah, KY), son of John & Verna (McCorkell) Dragoo, O (Plumber/Electrician), L 1993 (Seneca, MO); m LINDA SUE WILLIAMS 23 May 1959 [b 8 Aug 1941 (West Seneca, OK), dau Justin & Inez (Smith) Williams of (Yellville, AR)], Children:

1M   MORRIS GENE, b 29 Feb 1960 (Joplin, MO)

2M   STEPHEN LEE, b 11 Nov 1961 (Dallas, TX)

3M   JEFFREY SCOTT, b 20 Jan 1969 (Miami, OK), O (Ozark-Kennworth); m MICHELLE VRELAND May, 1992


[M. GENE-9 (1960), JOHN R. DRAGOO-8 (1938), VERNA C-7 (1915), JOHN F-6 (1884), GEORGE R. McCORKELL-5 (1830), ANDREW C-4 (ca 1789), SAMUEL-3 (1759), SAMUEL McCORKLE-2 (ca 1720's), (poss WILLIAM-1 (ca late 1690's) or poss JAMES-1 (1694))] MORRIS GENE DRAGOO, b 29 Feb 1960 (Joplin, MO), L 1993 (Seneca, MO), O (Fireman, Police Chief); m LILA RAYEANNE LUCUS [b28 Mar 1959 (Pueblo, CO), dau Melvin Ray & Evelyn May Lucus], Children:

1M   JOHNATHON RAY, b 10 Apr 1979 (Joplin, MO)

2F   JENNIFER ANN, b 28 Oct 1980 (Joplin, MO)


[STEPHEN L-9 (1961), JOHN R. DRAGOO-8 (1938), VERNA C-7 (1915), JOHN F-6 (1884), GEORGE R. McCORKELL-5 (1830), ANDREW C-4 (ca 1789), SAMUEL-3 (1759), SAMUEL McCORKLE-2 (ca 1720's), (poss WILLIAM-1 (ca late 1690's) or poss JAMES-1 (1694))] STEPHEN LEE DRAGOO, b 11 Nov 1961 (Dallas, TX), O (works at F. A. G. Bearing); m DENICE, Children:




[SUZANNE DRAGOO-8 (1954), VERNA C-7 (1915), JOHN F-6 (1884), GEORGE R. McCORKELL-5 (1830), ANDREW C-4 (ca 1789), SAMUEL-3 (1759), SAMUEL McCORKLE-2 (ca 1720's), (poss WILLIAM-1 (ca late 1690's) or poss JAMES-1 (1694))] SUZANNE DRAGOO, b 13 Dec 1954 (Joplin, Jasper Co., MO), L 1989 (Neosho, MO); m JOSEPH MARTIN KELLY 21 Oct 1978 (Seneca, MO) [b 25 May 1955 (Joplin, MO), son John & Minnie (Elbert) Kelly], Children: [RESEARCH:]

1M   EDWARD FRANKLIN, b 26 Dec 1978 (Portmouth, VA)

2F   CATHERINE ANN, b 9 Oct 98 (Joplin, MO)

3M   DANIEL WAYNE, b 4 Dec 1996 (Joplin, MO)


[EDWARD F. KELY-9 (1978), SUZANNE DRAGOO-8 (1954), VERNA C-7 (1915), JOHN F-6 (1884), GEORGE R. McCORKELL-5 (1830), ANDREW C-4 (ca 1789), SAMUEL-3 (1759), SAMUEL McCORKLE-2 (ca 1720's), (poss WILLIAM-1 (ca late 1690's) or poss JAMES-1 (1694))] EDWARD FRANKLIN KELLY, b 26 Dec 1978 (Portmouth, VA); m TINA LOUISE BURGESS 30 Dec 1993 (Neosho, Newton Co., MO) [b 23 Feb 1965, dau George & Sharon (Merrill) Burgess], Children:

1F   HEATHER MARIE, b 10 Jul 1994 (Moplin, MO)

2F   MEGAN LYNN, b 29 Jul 1998 (Joplin, MO)



   John Franklin McCorkell (1884) was the first son from George Riley McCorkell's (1832) third marriage to Mrs. Lillias J. Ketchum in 1883. She had three daughters, a step-son and her recently widowed mother (Elizabeth Burton) living with her at the time of their marriage. George had the youngest children from his first two marriages living with him -- perhaps five. They live on a farm in Stiltson, near Scammon, Kansas. Their combined family may have been as large as twelve at this time.

   They lived on the farm and attended the nearby public school in Scammon until 1896 when George moved his family to nearby Joplin, Missouri. John no doubt completed his education in Joplin. John met and married his wife, Leoda M. Buzzard, on 14 July 1907 at the D. K. Buzzard residence near Seneca, Missouri, in 1907. Apparently their marriage got off to a questionable economic start as the country was in a recession, which Leoda called "the Panic of 1907." John was apparently flexible and was willing to pursue employment in order to provide for his family. He worked as a miner, as a farmer, as a weigh-master, as a train fireman and possibly as a mechanic. In 1913 John followed many of his siblings (McCorkells, Ketchums, Bobos, Thompsons, etc.) and his wife's sister (Verna (Buzzard) Prophet) westward to Fallon, Nevada but eventually in 1914, settled near his friends and family in Riverside, California.

   It was while taking a temporary job in a garage in Long Beach, California, near the ocean, that a severe cold worsened into pleuro-pneumonia and then into tuberculosis. Many in the family believed he was originally exposed to "miners consumption" while working in the Webb City, Missouri mines. At one point, he and several others did fall in an 'elevator-bucket' 160 feet down a mine-shaft and he had to spend several weeks in a hospital recovering from his injuries.

   Leoda's historic letter describes many of the experiences and details of their migrations. Soon after John's diagnosis, the family went to Paonia, near Denver, Colorado. It isn't clear but it is believed that John entered Sunlight/Sunbright Sanitarium at this time. Leoda apparently was staying with her uncle Mat and aunt Cora. Her aunt and uncle sold out, due to the climate and altitude, and all returned to Seneca, Missouri. At some point and possibly at the same time, John also returned to Seneca and lived separately in a small abode behind the family house on Cleveland Street. Then, he apparently returned to the sanitarium when his condition became terminal. The family bible recorded that he died on 15 June 1917, in Denver, Colorado and was buried at Swars Prairie Baptist Cemetery in Seneca. His mother wrote in her Birthday Book that he was buried on the 20th by his grandmother at the age of 32 years, 10 months and 23 days.

   During their brief ten-year-marriage, John and Leoda McCorkell had three children: Vernon (1909, Seneca, MO), Lolita (1910, Seneca, MO) and Verna (1915, Riverside, CA). John and Leoda's family remained in the Seneca area and Leoda continued to raise the family. Of the three children, only Verna had children that continued this branch of the McCorkell line.

   Verna McCorkell inherited some French ancestry through her mother's Buzzard family and with her marriage to John Morgan Dragoo (1915), the French influence was even stronger. John Dragoo was a nineth generation descendant of French emigrant, Pierre Dragaud, who was a Huguenot that immigrated to America in 1687 (see Table 29). The name apparently evolved from Dragaud, Drague to Dragoo. A fourth generation Dragoo son was a Revolutionary War soldier. John's maternal-side of his family were probably early English emigrants and the Lamb family lived in New England and migrated westward to up-state New York. (The Lamb family followed a path similar to the Ketchum family (see the first-half of this book) and may have lived very close to each other in Onondaga County and in Cortland, New York.) At any rate, the Dragoo/Dragaud family have a long and proud history in America.

   Most of George McCorkell's family migrated to Riverside, California sometime between 1903 and 1915. It is unclear who exactly was the first of the extended family to migrate to southern California but it was probably one of the older siblings, either Jerome McCorkell or step-brother Harry Ketchum. Harry was married in Long Beach in 1903 before moving to northern California. Lillie was visiting her daughter Minnie (Ketchum) Bobo in El Cajon, near San Diego when John paid her a brief visit in 1914. As George R. McCorkell had passed away in 1910, Lillie McCorkell decided not to return to Missouri from her California visit and encouraged the family to all migrate to the Arlington-Riverside area. Evidently it appeared very luxurious to farmers -- good soil, lots of water and orange trees everywhere. In 1915, John's half-sister Lizzie (Ketchum) Thompson was living in Arlington when Leoda and the kids rented rooms. His youngest brother Claude is believed by some to be one of the earlier arrivals, sometime between 1910-1915, but this remains unvalidated. It is known that Claude joined the Army during World War I but it is not clear whether this was from California or Missouri. At any rate, the only descendants of George Riley McCorkell now living in Seneca, Missouri are the Dragoo family.



   John Franklin McCorkell was the tenth child born to George Riley McCorkle/McCorkell and also the first son of the third marriage, which was to widow Lillias Jacinth (Burton) Ketchum in 1883. John was born in 1884 in Stiltson, near Scammon, Kansas and spent his first twelve years living on the farm. In 1896, the family moved nearby to Joplin, Missouri. John was married to Leoda May Buzzard, a family of French descent, in Seneca, Missouri in 1907. The country was in a major recession that year and it was described as "the panic of 1907." John was working in the local mines in Webb City, slightly southeast of Joplin. He and four others were in an 'elevator bucket' when it fell down a 160 foot shaft. He was in the hospital several weeks recovering from his injuries. In 1910, his father passed away and was buried in the Baptist Cemetery in Joplin. Several members of his family had already migrated westward to Nevada and California. John followed in January 1913, when he went to work on a government ranch in Fallon, Nevada. He sent for his wife Leoda and two children, Vernon and Lolita, after nine months. In January 1914, they migrated to Arlington in southern California. John & Leoda's third child, Verna, was born in Riverside in 1915. Soon after this, John was diagnosed with having tuberculosis. They left the west coast and stopped at Leoda's aunt and uncle's in Paonia, Colorado. It is theorized that John may have entered Sunlight Sanitarium at this time, as Lolita was attending school in Bowie. At the end of the summer, they soon departed for Seneca, Missouri. At some point John also returned to Seneca but was again admitted in the Denver sanitarium near the end of his terminal phase. John F. McCorkell passed away in 1917 and was transported back to Seneca for burial in Swars Prairie Baptist Cemetery. Leoda kept the family going by clerking in a post office, grocery store and a dry goods store. Vernon never married but became a well-respected police judge in Seneca. Lolita married T. O. Kirk and Verna married John M. Dragoo. Only Verna had children. After the death of Lolita's husband and her sister Verna, Lolita became the second wife of John M. Dragoo. Several McCorkell-Dragoo descendants still live in Seneca, Missouri in 1993. Their combined main blood-lines are Scottish, English and French.


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