Sarah M. Briscoe
born: 15 Jul 1827 in Morgan Co., Alabama.
died: 15 Sep 1894 in Rivera, Los Angeles Co., California;
buried: Sep 1894 in Little Lake Cemetery, Santa Fe Springs, Los Angeles Co., California.
She married on 15 May 1844 in Sevier Co., Arkansas
James Dow Standlee
born: 22 Feb 1819 in Alabama
died: 27 Sep 1900 in Downey, Los Angeles Co., California;
buried: Sep 1900 in Little Lake Cemetery, Santa Fe Springs, Los Angeles Co., California.
James and Sarah Standlee and their family appear in the following federal censuses:
1850, 1860 Census, Blue Bayou Twsp, Sevier Co., Arkansas
1870 Census Los Nietos Township, Los Angeles Co., California, National Archives microfilm M593 Roll 73 p. 17 Los Nietos P 581 of Enumeration District, lines 28-35 Dwelling 166 Family 171
Sarah Briscoe, born in Alabama, moved to Arkansas with her family, apparently about the same time the Standlee family moved to Arkansas, from Morgan Co., Alabama. In Arkansas she married, at age 16, James Standlee, in Sevier Co., where they lived until they left for California in 1868. They moved, by oxcart over the old Santa Fe Trail, in 1868 to Los Angeles County, CA in the Rivera area, where James and his sons became prominent farmer-citizens.
James Standlee, born in Alabama, married Sarah Briscoe, also born in Alabama. James was a blacksmith and plied his trade in Arkansas as wagon builder, etc.
Roger Rees, great grandson of James Standlee, visited the Center Point, Arkansas area in 1952 searching for information on the Standlee and Briscoe families. His letter of 19 Jun 1952 to his mother Edna (Standlee) Rees related some interesting history. He had been referred to a Forrest Lee in Center Point by Judge Henry in Nashville. When he arrived in Center Point, he found Mr. Lee and indicated his desire for information on the Standlees and Briscoes. Mr. Lee said "sure I can tell you about them......Say, you have relations here- old Squire Graves and his two old maid sisters". Mr. Lee cautioned Roger that the Squire was a little touched in the head, but his two sisters were quite all right.
When they drove up to the Graves house, it was board, unpainted, breezeway, and generally run down like most of the South. When "Squire" Graves answered Mr. Lee's call, (he was) a tall, lanky, hick - hands and feet reminded Roger of what Abraham Lincoln looked like. When Lee asked Graves what he could tell Roger about the Standlees, he responded "Well, there was old Jim and his boys Dave, Dan, Joel, and Emily, etc. It's a funny thing, about 12 years ago a Mrs. McCormick came through here with some Standlee girls from Downey in California. The first Standlee who came in here was old Abe - my father's mother was a Standlee (this would be Margaret Standlee, aunt to Edward J. Standlee) and those old Standlee men came into here from Tennessee .....This old Standlee (Abraham) had 7 boys and 'thar ware' 3 or 4 girls. My grandmother (Margaret Standlee) was one of them. Then there ware some of them that married Coherns (Coughrans) and Kirbys. They left and went down below San Antonio way in Texas. My papa and grandpappy lived at Kirby. Old Standlee brung 3 or 4 boys and one old woman. Uncle Billy Graves went to Texas with the Kirbys. Papa and Joel (grandfather of Roger Rees and Norman Arrowsmith) went to school together in an old log schoolhouse about half way between here (Center Point) and the Standlee homestead. My father was Starling Graves. Old Jim had a lot of niggers. My grandpapa (Lewis Graves) had taken a load of hogs to New Orleans and met old Jim Standlee there. Old Jim got him to help bring some niggers back and hired him as an overseer where he met Margaret Standlee.......My grand daddy's name was Lewis A. Graves and he married Margaret Ellen Standlee.
Now Old Jim had a nigger he shore thought a lot of - Jim. This Jim he taught to be a blacksmith and could do all kinds of things. He made baskets and chairs and always used to come over here and get a cup of coffee on the back porch. He died about 1911-12. His son, Elmo Standlee lives in Nashville and draws an old age pension.
Papa said thar ware 2 or 3 of the Standlee boys that never come back after the war (1864) - Uncle Bill Standlee was one (at this point he was questioned on whether or not they were in the confederate army which brought forth the following response that) Uncle Abe was with my grandmother a lot and stayed at her house. When the Standlees left for California Old Abe went up North some place - that's what papa said. No, Mr. Rees, none of the Standlee boys was in the army. They were Jay Hawkers. (Roger supplied him with the term Bushwhackers to which Squire agreed that fitted too). That was how they had to get out of here - the Kirbys too - and leave these parts. You know those old Standlee boys had sense enough to turn their property into gold. Uncle Barnett buried gold in a fruit jar - he dug it up later though. Uncle Barnett went to California to the World Fair and stayed with Dan and Ed. ....................."
The sisters put in a word now and then - these were Cora who was an invalid and sews all the time, and Annie who was thin as a rail with two long (braids) down her back.
We finally started out to see the Standlee and Briscoe places and drove to within a hundred yards of where the house had been................took a picture of the Squire by what was the well and.... found the old spring. There is an old rose bush climbing a fig tree supposed to have been planted by "those old Standlee boys". The place is currently owned by George Whitmore (colored).
Forrest Lee has a brother who is a Methodist preacher in Center Point and a brother in Little Rock who is an attorney. This brother has an account of the history of Center Point written by their father who had been an attorney also. F. Lee tells me the Standlees are in it.
"Squire" Graves related another story. It seems, so the tale goes, that six niggers who told on the Standlee boys and their activities were taken out and hung. He promised to show Roger the spot. When Roger said that Joel was certainly too young for such things, the "Squire" assured him he (Joel) was not. Still another story. The Federals from Little Rock came down the old military road and it was alleged that Jim's wife (Sarah Briscoe Standlee) shot them in the doorway. This was all alleged to be the reason the Standlees and Kirbys got out. This is the source of the stories about the Standlees as Bushwackers and getting out to avoid loyalty oath, etc.
James Standlee moved his family to California in 1868 by oxcart, in a wagon train over the old Santa Fe Trail. After the move to Southern California, where they located in the Rivera area, this family became prominent farmer citizens of the area.
The 1870 census, taken just 2 years after they arrived in California, shows them to be in Los Nietos (Rivera was part of Los Nietos Township), with James age 51, farmer, $1250 real property, $350 personal property, b. Alabama. With him in the household were his wife, Sallie (Sarah) age 43, b. AL, sons David age 24 laborer Daniel age 21 laborer, John (actually Joel) age 18, dau. Emily age 15, and sons Oliver, age 12, and Edward, age 9, all children b. in Arkansas.
Information has been circulated that the Standlees left Arkansas for California to avoid having to sign the loyalty oath required after the Civil War. This is not true. Those in Blue Bayou Twsp, Sevier Co., Arkansas who took the loyalty oath in 1868 included James Standlee, Blacksmith, age 49, Jacob Custer, druggist, age 54, and David W. Standlee, age 23, farmer. These were the only adult men in this Standlee family in 1868. The next son, Daniel, was only 19, still a minor. (Custer was not in the family.)
James Standlee died in 1900 at the age of 81. He was living at that time in the home of his youngest son, Edward, in Downey, California.