Lee Rue Sturgell & Gertrude Shirley, Barry County, Missouri

Lee Rue Sturgell was the fifth child and second son born to Abijah Houston Sturgell and Martha Susannah Alberty.

Lee Rue Sturgell was born 3 December 1884 in Barry County, Missouri, where he lived his entire life. He married Gertrude Shirley on 8 August 1906 in Barry County.

Like most of his other family members, Lee Rue began married life as a farmer, but who worked for another farmer. Later, he owned his own farm, but by 1940, he was a mail carrier.

Lee Rue died from an accidental fall. He was riding in a truck on a highway near Cassville, Barry County, fell out and fractured his skull. He died ten hours later.


  1. Marlett Tillman, born 30 September 1907; died 20 March 1993, Lawrence County, Missouri; married (1) Hattie Marie Bollin, 1927, Lawrence County, Missouri (2) Dora Mary Black, 27 November 1929, Barry County, Missouri. They were the parents of three sons and four daughters.
  2. Elva Elizabeth, born 27 October 1913; died 20 April 2005, Lawrence County, Missouri; married George E. Madison, 21 May 1932, Barry County, Missouri. They had three sons and one daughter.
  3. Faydola, born 23 March 1916; died 31 May 2000, Joplin, Jasper, Missouri; married (1) Mr. Painter, before 1940 (2) Ernest Carl Hefley, 7 December 1940, Bentonville, Benton, Arkansas. They had one son.
Lee Rue, holding Elva, Gertrude and Marlett, c1914

This is a fun family for me, as my husband and I, along with his aunt and uncle, made a trip to Barry County, Missouri in 1994. Marlett had died a few months before, but I was able to meet his wife, Dora, Elva Madison and her husband, plus some of my husband’s Sturgell 3rd cousins. They still live on the land that the family owned a century before.

Marlett and Dora have one of the neatest gravestones I’ve ever seen.

They both absolutely loved their farm and this etching on the back of the gravestone looks just like it with the barn up on the right. By the way, the feet reflected on the stone belong to my husband and his uncle. 🙂

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