Tag Archives: Jacob Dulworth

The Curious Family of Maggie Nation

Maggie Nation has always been somewhat of a mystery in my husband’s family. She was born in 1892 in Kentucky, but was enumerated in the 1900 census living with her mother Tildy, Clay Nation and two other children.

We have:

Natons, Clay C., Head, born September 1873
Natons, Tildy J., Wife, born July 1871
Natons, Magie, Step Daughter, born March 1892
Nations, James, Son, born Jan 1896
Natons, Ether L. (should be Ethel), Daughter, born April 1900

Tildy reported that she had given birth to five children, four surviving, but only three are in this household. I’ve never figured out who or where the fourth child was.

Clay and Tilda had been married for five years according to this record, but their marriage record says otherwise:

Clay and Tilda actually married in Clay County, Tennessee on 20 June 1896, five months after the birth of son James. Although I cropped the census page, FYI, Clay and daughter Ethel were born in Tennessee. Tilda, Maggie and James were all born in Kentucky, probably Cumberland County, where the Dulworth family lived and where the Nation family lived on and off as they migrated back and forth between the two states.

Dave’s mother, Ruby, said the only “full blooded” sister that her mother, Ethel, had was her sister, Addie Florence, who wasn’t born until after the 1900 census. That implied that Maggie wasn’t a child of Clay Nation and that is supported by the 1900 census, which identifies her as a step daughter.

So who was Maggie Nation’s father? I thought it was a bit odd that she was named as a stepchild of Clay’s, but still given the Nation name and not the surname of her father or, if her mother wasn’t married at the time, her mother’s maiden name of Dulworth.

This past week, I decided to try to trace what became of Maggie Dulworth, as I had a name for her husband – Pierce Miller – but no other information.

A marriage appears in Overton County, Tennessee on 21 August 1910 for Pierce Miller and Maggie Nation. Unfortunately, they were both of age so no parental information is included on the marriage license.

Leaf hints showed the Pierce Miller was born on 8 January 1891 in Tennessee and he died on 21 October 1975 in Fresno County, California. There was also a link to Find A Grave with yet another link to his spouse “Mary Margaret Reiner,” who was buried in Anadarko, Caddo, Oklahoma, which makes sense because the Nation family moved to Oklahoma in the early 1900’s.

Someone kindly included a transcription of Maggie’s obituary:

The Carnegie Herald, Wed., Feb. 13, 1957
Reiner Funeral Is Held Monday At Local Church

Funeral services for Mrs. Joe Reiner were held at 2 p.m. Monday at the First Baptist Church, Carnegie, with Rev. W.F Crow officiating, Rev. J.J. McRee, pastor of the Carnegie Missionary Baptist church, assisted. Burial was at Anadarko, OK.

Mrs. Reiner, 64, was in her usual health when she was stricken suddenly with a heart attack and died about 1:30 p.m. Friday in her home. She was born May 28, 1892, in Clay County, Tenn. She came to Caddo county in 1925 and to the Carnegie community 14 years ago. She was married to Joe Reiner in 1941 in Duncan. Mrs. Reiner was converted at the early age of 12 in Tennessee and was baptized into the Baptist church.

She is survived by her 2nd husband, Joe Reiner; three sons and three daughters from 1st husband Pierce Miller; Odell Miller, Henry Miller and Clifton Miller, all of Sanger, Calif.; Mrs. Aline (Miller) Spence, Oklahoma City, Mrs. Alvie Dean (Miller) Morgan, Ponca City, and Mrs. Ovie (Miller) Cutshall of Bakersfield, Calif.; three brothers, Johnny Nation, Anadarko, Arlie Nation, Sanger, and Hazel Nation of Portersville, Calif.; her step-mother, Mrs. Mortiela Nation, also of Portersville; and 19 grandchildren: Ron and Darlene Miller (Odell’s children), Linda, Terry, Susan, Rick, Don, Diane and Mike (Henry’s children), Teresa, Lelan, Stanley, Harold and Clarissa (Clifton’s children), Helen and Ellen (Ovie’s twin daughter’s) of whom Ellen preceded Maggie in death in 1951.

Now, there was definitely a surprise here. First, notice it said her birthday was 28 May 1892 and that she was born in Clay County, TN. The 1900 census gave her birth month as March, but that could either have been census taker error or else whoever supplied the information gave it incorrectly. Clay and Tildy were both illiterate and couldn’t even so much as sign their names.

The bigger surprise was that one of her survivors was “her step-mother, Mrs. Mortiela Nation.” The given name is misspelled – this is Martelia Nation, wife of Clay Nation’s brother, Henry Jackson Nation!

This piece of information sent me back to the 1900 census looking for Henry and his family. Clay Nation was enumerated on 3 June 1900. Here is his brother, Henry, in 1900, living in Clay County, Tennessee next door to his and Clay’s parents, Joseph Michael Nation and Christianna Riddle Nation:

In this household, enumerated on 8 June 1900, we have:

Henry J., Head, born May 1866
Marteley, Wife, born January 1875
Maggie, Daughter, born May 1892
Willie E., Daughter, born June 1898
Harrison C., Son, born January 1900

Martelia reported giving birth to three children, all living. Henry and Martelia had been married for five years and a marriage record can also be found for them on 19 July 1894 in Overton County.

Interestingly, there is another marriage for “HJ Nation” on 28 August 1890 to Miss Cinda Tranbarger, also in Overton County and Find A Grave has a memorial to Cinda (although someone has combined Cinda and Martelia into one person) with a death date of 25 December 1893, no gravestone image shown.

I believe that both Maggie Nations in the 1900 census – the 8 year old living with Clay and Tilda and the 8 year old living with Henry and Martelia – are the same person and I believe Tilda was the mother. I particularly believe this because family information said Clay’s Maggie married Pierce Miller.

It appears that Henry Jackson Nation was Maggie’s father and Matilda Jane Dulworth was her mother, even though Henry was married to Lucinda at the time of Maggie’s conception. Even more difficult must have been the situation of Maggie living with her mother’s family since Clay’s brother and Clay’s wife appear to be Maggie’s natural parents.

The Nation and Dulworth families remained tangled into the 1900’s when Clay was arrested for, tried and acquitted of the murder of his brother-in-law, Jacob Dulworth, in 1913.

Oklahoma keeps death records closed to all except close family members until 75 years have passed. Maggie Nation Miller Reiner died in 1957 so it will be fifteen more years until her death certificate becomes public. I would love to see who is listed as her parents.

Murder Trial of Clayton Columbus Nation, 1913

Today’s post is about a difficult family situation that happened over a hundred years ago. The family members who first shared this story are now all gone.

Clayton Columbus Nation, or Clay as he was known, was born 18 September 1872 in Cumberland County, Kentucky to Joseph Michael Nation and his wife, Christianna (Annie) Riddle. He was the 7th of their eight children.

He married Matilda Jane Dulworth – yes, part of yesterday’s brick wall Dulworth-Broadway story – on 20 June 1896 in Clay County, Tennessee. Matilda Jane, or Tilda as she was known,  was the daughter of Abraham Dulworth and Mary Jane Adams.  She was also a bit older than husband Clay, having been born in July, about 1869, in Cumberland County, Kentucky. She was also the great granddaughter of John Dulworth and Mary Broadway, the subjects of yesterday’s post.

Matilda had several siblings, but her brother Jacob is the other piece of this sad story. Jake’s age varies slightly in the records, with his birth being noted as anywhere from 1889 to 1891.

On 13 June 1913, near Mangum, Greer County, Oklahoma, Clay Nation went to George Thompson’s home about 5:30 a.m. He was looking for his brother-in-law, Jake Dulworth, and he found him asleep outside on the porch. Clay aimed his gun, fired and killed him, hitting him in the lower stomach area. Jake died instantly and Clay went to the sheriff, told him what he and done and surrendered.

My husband’s aunt and I had heard this story from elderly family members, but instead of details, all they would say is “Those sure were hard times.” We decided to seek out the details on our own. First, I wrote to the Greer County Clerk, asking for copies of the court records of the trial that followed.  I received a quick reply back, with regrets that the trial record itself was missing. The folder where it should have been only had one record, the court docket:

Clay Nation, Court Docket Record 1913
Greer Co., OK County Clerk’s Office

The docket had no details of the court trial so I next looked to the Greer County Genealogical and Historical Society, hoping that there might be newspaper accounts of the trial. I received transcriptions of three newspaper articles. The Mangum Weekly Star carried the first news story of the murder on 19 June 1913:

Court proceedings certainly didn’t have the delays that happen today. Exactly one week later, on 26 June 1913, the newspaper reported that a jury had been selected, both sides had rested their cases and that the jury would be asked to deliver a verdict.


On 24 July 1913, the last article about the trial appeared in the paper and noted that the week before, many were surprised that Clay Nation had been acquitted of murder.

One short sentence in the first article may have been the reason that Clay was acquitted:  “From all appearances, this is one of the worst murder cases to come up in this community in several years, and it appears that not only was booze a contributing factor, but it seems that family affairs had much to do with it.”

The back story, which one elderly relative was willing to share, was that Clay Nation had found that Jake was romantically pursuing Clay’s daughter Ethel. Not only was Jake Ethel’s uncle, but she was only thirteen years old. Clay told him to keep away from her and the family and said if he caught him near her again, he would kill him. Apparently, Jake didn’t think Clay meant it, but he obviously did.

I don’t know if it is just chance or family intent, but there are no relatives that have a single photograph of either Clayton Nation or his wife, Matilda Jane. Clay died on 30 June 1922 in Granite, Greer, Oklahoma. Matilda survived him by nine years, passing away in 1931, also in Granite. They are buried side by side in the Granite City Cemetery.