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Homer Prentice of AR and OK

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Homer Prentice of Arkansas and Oklahoma
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Spring 2008 and Revised 6 Jan 2008

This is an updating of our earlier article on Homer Prentice of Arkansas and Oklahoma and replaces that earlier article.

1. J. W. Prentice was b. at an unknown date and place.

Although not yet fully confirmed, J. W. Prentice and his wife might be John Prentice and Phoebe Blaylock and a desc. of James Prentice of TN, AL and MS and a desc. of William Prentis of Williamsburg, VA. John and Phoebe did have a son named Henry who was b. Jul 1880 in MS. For more detail, see our Prentice eBook on "No Immigrant Ancestor."

By email of 30 Dec 2007, Kathy Jones provided the following information about J. W. Prentice:

    May 13, 1910: On Wednesday evening Mr. J.W. Prentiss, father of Henry Prentiss, who killed his wife at Allen, came in from Knoxville, Tenn to see his boy that he had not seen for several years. (John and Phebe did have a son, Henry, who was b. Jul 1880 in MS.)

    April 28, 1910: A. J. Prentis, of Boonville, Miss arrived in Ada yesterday to see his brother, Henry Prentis who wantonly killed his wife at Allen Sunday. (John and Phebe also had a son, Almus Jefferson "Jeff" Prentice, b c. 1886, MS, who lived in Jumpertown, a suburb of Booneville, MS.)

From the foregoing, we know that J. W. Prentice of Knoxville, TN, had 2 or more children:

  1. Henry Prentis/Prentice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [2]
  2. A. J. Prentis/Prentis of Boonville, MS.

2. Henry Prentice. The son of John and Phoebe Prentice, was b. Jul 1880 in MS per the 1900 census. If he is the Henry prentice who M. Minnie L. Yoakum, he would have been age 26 at the time of his 1906 marriage.

He m. Minnie L. Yoakum in 1906. Minnie was b. 13 September 1888 at Booneville, Prentiss Co., MS, d. 14 April 1910 and buried 18 April 1910 at Allen Free Cemetery, Allen, Pontotoc Co., OK. Henry Prentice murdered his wife, Minnie Yoakum in 1910 in Allen, Oklahoma. There are several articles concerning Henry's trial that can be found in the Ada Evening News (online at Ancestry.com) from that time period (per Kathy Jones, email, 28 Dec 2007). By email of 30 Dec 2007 and 5 Jan 2008, Kathy Jones has provided copies of the newpaper articles pertaining to the murder. They may be summarized as follows:

    The article is unclear whether Henry had a prior marriage. At his 1910 trial, Henrytestified he had been m. to Minnie about 4 years (m. c. 1906).

    Henry and Minnie had a violent disagreement and she fled from their home into their front yard. Henry chased her with a shotgun and shot her in their front yard. She died instantly. He then tried suicide by shooting himself in the chest. Henry was soon arrested, recovered from his wounds and was charged with murder. At trial, his defense was insanity, claiming that he had a history of mental illness and had no recollection of the events surrounding the murder. His father and a brother testified in his defense. Henry was convicted on the murder charge and received a life sentence.

Kathy Jones relates that it is family tradition that after serving part of his term, he was released from prison and later remarried. She says she has not yet confirmed such information.

    Note: On the hypothesis that Henry served up to 20 years before any release, we checked the 1910, 1920 and 1930 MS census. No Henry b. c. 1881, MS, appears in the 1910 or 1920 census. In the 1930 census for Beat 3, Prentiss Co., MS, we found a Henry J. Prentice, age 49 and b. c. 1881, MS, with both parents b. in MS. The census records his age "at first marriage" as 20, which would indicate he was approximately 21 years old with his first marriage year being about 1901.

    The 1930 names his wife as Sallie N., b. c. 1907, MS. The census records her age "at first marriage" as 18, which would indicate she had been married about 1925 at the age of 18. That is consistent with the ages of their children:

    1. Victor Prentice, b. c. 1926, MS
    2. Parke Prentice, b. c. 1928, MS

    The foregoing shows that Henry's "first marriage" about 1901 was some 24 years prior to his c. 1925 marriage to Sallie.

    Where was Henry between the time of his first marriage c. 1901 and 1925? Consider the following possibility: he married his 1st wife c. 1901, he m. Minnie about 1906, killed Minnie in 1910, spent the next 15 years in prison before being release about 1925, at which time he may have m. Sallie. Additional investigation is needed to prove, or disprove, that possibility.

For Minnie's parents, Frank and Nancy (Jumper) Yoakum and Minnie's siblings, see Footnote 1 . Update of 23 May 2004: Homer Prentice is the son of Henry Prentiss who m.

Homer and Minnie had 1 or more children, including:

  1. Homer Prentice, 4 Apr 1907, AR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [3]

3. Homer Prentice was b. 4 Apr 1907 in AR. Following Homer's mother's death in 1910, when Homer was age 3, Homer was raised by his grandparents. He appears in the 1910 and 1920 Allen, Pontotoc Co., OK census living with Frank Pierce Yoakum, his grandfather. Frank Pierce Yoakum was b. c. 1852-53 MS (the 1920 census says b. c. 1855-56, MS). Frank m. Nancy Ann Jumper c. 21 Jan 1873, Prentiss Co., MS. She was b. 14 Jun 1855 in Tishomingo Co., MS and d. c. 1921 in Allen, Pontotoc Co., OK.

Homer apparently spent his entire live in the vicinity of Allen because the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) shows that Homer died about Jul 1985 in Allen, Pontotoc Co., OK.

With help from Wilma Taylor, we have located the following Prentices listed in 2003 as having Allen, OK, addresses and it seems likely that those born by 1947 are his children and/or their spouses and that the ones born after that date are his grandchildren and/or their spouses:

                    GENE LEE PRENTICE      ALLEN      OK  72 580-857-2765	b. c. 1931
                    KATTIE M PRENTICE      ALLEN      OK  71		b. c. 1932
                    ELIZABETH L PRENTICE   ALLEN      OK  67		b. c. 1936
                    BENNY PRENTICE         ALLEN      OK  66		b. c. 1937
                    EDGAR L PRENTICE       ALLEN      OK  60		b. c. 1943
                    STEPHANIE KAY PRENTICE ALLEN      OK  56		b. c. 1947
                    BRADLEY LEE PRENTICE   ALLEN      OK  45		b. c. 1958
                    DEBBIE K PRENTICE      ALLEN      OK  43		b. c. 1960
                    PAUL DEAN PRENTICE     ALLEN      OK  33		b. c. 1970
                    DEREK JOHN PRENTICE    ALLEN      OK  20		b. c. 1980
                    AMBER KAYE PRENTICE    ALLEN      OK  22		b. c. 1981

Footnore 1: Children of Frank and Nancy (Jumper) Yoakum:
Children of Frank & Nancy

1: Philip James Yoakum, b. 20 October 1873 at Booneville, Prentiss Co., MS, m. Dora nmn Blackburn, 
m. Lenora nmn James, 11 January 1896

2: George William Yoakum, b. 3 November 1874 at Booneville, Prentiss Co., MS, m. a ??? Scroggins, 
m. Dora nmn Blackburn-Yoakum, d. 29 August 1951

3: Letha nmn Yoakum, b. 1878 at Booneville, Prentiss Co., MS

4: Mary Francis Yoakum , b. 25 July 1879 at Booneville, Prentiss Co., MS, m. Henry Lafayette Jones, 
d. 6 January 1919 at Allen, Pontotoc Co., OK, buried 9 January 1919 at Allen Free Cemetery,
Allen, Pontotoc Co., OK; 1 grandchild

5: Charlie nmn Yoakum, b. 1880 at Rockdale, Milam Co., TX

6: Lula nmn Yoakum, b. 1881 at Rockdale, Milam Co., TX, d. 1881

7: John Franklin Yoakum, b. 6 October 1882 at Booneville, Prentiss Co., MS, m. Minnie O. Yoakum 
nee ???, m. Frances Josephine Scaggs, 26 March 1900, d. 23 September 1964 at Allen, Pontotoc Co., 
OK, buried 26 September 1964 at Allen Free Cemetery, Allen, Pontotoc Co., OK

8: Minnie L. Yoakum, b. 13 September 1888 at Booneville, Prentiss Co., MS, m. Henry nmn Prentiss, 
1906, d. 14 April 1910, buried 18 April 1910 at Allen Free Cemetery, Allen, Pontotoc Co., OK

9: Clinton Oscar Yoakum, b. 31 October 1890 at Booneville, Prentiss Co., MS, div., m. Etta nmn McCall, 
d. 7 June 1955 at Allen, Pontotoc Co., OK, buried 10 June 1955 at Allen Free Cemetery, Allen, Pontotoc 
Co., OK

10: Guss Jefferson Yoakum, b. 1893 at Booneville, Prentiss Co., MS, d. 1900

11: Clifton David Yoakum, b. 6 October 1893 at Booneville, Prentiss Co., MS, m. Myrtle Alice Stout, 
24 December 1911, d. 8 January 1948 at Coolidge, Pinal Co., AZ, buried 11 January 1948 at Allen 
Free Cemetery, Allen, Pontotoc Co., OK; 3 grandchildren

12: Pearl Belle Yoakum, b. 4 December 1894 at Faulkner, Conway Co., AR, div., m. George Washington 
Sehorn, 29 June 1913

13: Lola nmn Yoakum, b. 13 May 1897 at Faulkner, Conway Co., AR, m. Thomas Jefferson McConnell, 
4 November 1916, d. July 1966

Correspondence:   If you have any information about the folks mentioned in this article, please send your information to us at the Prentice Newsletter. Be sure to give the full title and date of this article in the Subject line of the email.

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