Jefferson County Historical Society

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Aquilla Blackwell, another successful farmer and stock raiser of Valle
Township, was born in what is now St. Francois County, but then Washington
County, below Blackwell's Station, in 1844.  He was the fourth of 
fourteen children born to William and Elizabeth (Cummins) Blackwell.
The father was born in Kentucky, March 18, 1810, and when about eight
years of age came with his parents to what is now St. Francois County,
when the country was a vast wilderness.  His father, Jeremiah Blackwell
settled near where Blackwell's Station is now, and there passed the 
remainder of his days.  Blackwell's Station was named in honor of him. 
He was a soldier in the War of 1812.  William Blackwell was married at
the age of twenty-eight, and afterward settled near the North Big River
Bridge, where he spent the remainder of his life.  He cleared a good
farm, and was an industrious, enterprising citizen.  He was a member of
the Masonic fraternity, and died in 1870.  The mother was born in 1820,
in Washington County, and died about 1881.  She was the daughter of 
Samuel Cummins, an early settler of Washington County, but a native of
Ireland, and was a member of the Baptist Church. Aquilla was educated
in the rustic log schoolhouses of early times, and during the latter
part of the war spent about six months in Canada.  December 24, 1866,
Miss Dolly A., daughter of Austin and Matilda Coleman, became his wife,
and to this union twelve children were born, eleven now living: Leander,
Allie J., John, William E., Ephraim, Anna, Vevey, Emmars (deceased), 
Albert A., Rolla R., Jefferson and Charley. Aquilla remained with his
father in St. Francois County until 1868, when he settled on his present
farm, then a dense forest, and the first stick of timber was cut to 
build his present house. He now has about 300 acres in cultivation, 
and about eleven miles of fence, making one of the best farms in 
Jefferson County.  In all, he has about 960 acres, about 400 of which
are in St. Francois County. Besides this he has considerable property
in Blackwell's Station. He lives ten miles southwest of De Soto, is an
earnest worker for the cause of education, is a member of the Masonic
fraternity, and the A. O. U. W., and a Democrat in politics,casting
his first presidential vote for H. Seymour in 1868.  He and wife are
devout members of the Baptist Church.