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Smallwood Turner Noland & Smallwood Valentine Noland
For whom is Noland Road named?
Estill County, Kentucky


The Two Smallwood Nolands (Census Data)
Early Settler of Jackson County, Missouri
Property Ownerships of the Smallwoods
Hotel Owner (Innkeeper)
Mormon Struggle in Missouri
Slave Holder
Methodist Church in Independence, Missouri
First Jackson County Courthouse
Santa Fe Trader
Gold Miner
Home on Historic Register
Noland Road


A study of Jackson County, Missouri, history will lead you to the name Smallwood Noland many times: (1) early settler of Jackson County; (2) active in acquiring and disposing of Jackson County property; (3) farmer; (4) politician; (5) hotel owner; (6) involved in Mormon struggle in Missouri; (7) slave holder; (8) among first members of Methodist Church in Independence; (9) bidder to build the first Jackson County Courthouse and purchased after it was no longer used by the county; (10) trader on the Santa Fe Trail; (11) gold miner; (12) owner of house now on the national registry of historic places; (13) Noland Road possibly named after him; and (14) probably others.

What most Jackson County historians do not take into account is that there were two Smallwood Noland's in Jackson County at the same time and both were prominent in their own way. Smallwood Turner Noland is invariably referred to simply as Smallwood Noland. Smallwood Valentine Noland is invariably referred to as S. V. Noland or Smallwood V. Noland. The U. S. Census in 1840 shows both Smallwood Noland and S. V. Noland with different family information. It is clear, however, that my ancestor is Smallwood Turner Noland.

My research is still ongoing, but it appears to me that Smallwood Turner Noland was the farmer and hotel owner. Smallwood Valentine Noland was the politician. Smallwood Turner Noland's descendants remained in Jackson County for the most part. Although there are conflicting reports, it appears that Smallwood Valentine Noland died in Holt County, Missouri, and his wife and family moved to Oregon, probably on the Oregon Trail.

It should be noted that census data does show a third Smallwood, but he cannot be confused with the other two. The census of 1860 shows a Smallwood Noland who was a lumber merchant and 22 years old. This Smallwood probably is the son of Edward Turner Noland (son of Smallwood Turner Noland). My genealogy information shows Edward's son, Smallwood, being born in 1837, so that would make him about 22 or 23 in 1860. Both of the earlier Smallwood's had died by 1860.

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I believe that the common ancestors of both Smallwoods are Daniel Nowland and Henrietta Smallwood. To my knowledge, they had four sons and one daughter (at least). Three of the sons, James, Ledstone and Jesse, show up on my tree due to some second and third cousin marriages. The fourth son was Stephen and the daughter's name was Elizabeth. Smallwood Turner Noland is the son of Jesse and Smallwood Valentine Noland is the grandson of Stephen.

Following, I will set out the genealogy information that I have about each of the Smallwood Noland's. None of this is based on primary information and I have not been careful in documenting the source of the data that I do have. However, all of the information is uncontested; that is, I have found no contrary information unless noted.

Smallwood Turner Noland

According to my genealogy information, Smallwood Turner Noland is the son of Jesse Noland and Sarah Barbara Turner. Jesse was the son of Daniel Nowland and Henrietta Smallwood. Smallwood Turner Noland was born in Lincoln County, Kentucky, on August 20, 1786, and died on February 03, 1858, in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri.

It should be noted that Jesse Noland, his father, was a man of some note in Kentucky. Jesse was born in Charles County, Maryland, and died in Estill County, Kentucky. According to Lockett (Lockett, pp. 36 & 37) he became both wealthy and successful in business and Kentucky politics and as a minister. He owned property, part of which is now the small cities of Irvine and Ravena, KY, and he was a member of the Kentucky Assembly. Lockett states: "Jesse Noland was a rich man."

Smallwood Turner Noland married Nancy May McMonegal on September 6, 1806, in Madison County, Kentucky. Nancy was the daughter of Barnett McMonegal, an immigrant from Ireland, and Susan Pyle.

Smallwood Turner Noland and Nancy had nine known children (birth years in parenthesis): Edward Turner (1807), Sarah (1809), Jesse (1811), Martha A. (1812), Angeline L. (about 1814), Barnett McMonegal (1817), Joseph (about 1818), John Bergin (1827) and an unnamed male child (1829).

Smallwood Valentine Noland

Smallwood Valentine Noland is the son of Stephen Noland and Sarah Banks. Stephen Noland in turn is the son of Stephen Noland and Mary Hendren. And the second mentioned Stephen was the son of Daniel Nowland and Henrietta Smallwood. Smallwood Valentine Noland was born in Madison County, KY, about 1805, and died in 1845, in Holt County, Missouri. I have found information that makes me question the 1805 year of birth. He may have been born earlier, but if he was born in 1805, Smallwood Turner Noland was approximately 19 years older than Smallwood Valentine Noland.

Smallwood Valentine Noland married Sarah Profitt, probably on September 10, 1823, in Madison County, Kentucky. Sarah (also known as Sally) was the daughter of Pleasant Proffitt and Mary Martin.

Smallwood Valentine Noland and Sally had four known children (birth years in parenthesis): William Robert (1824), Pleasant Calvin (1830), Cordelia R., and Ledstone J.

Sally, Pleasant and, perhaps others from that family, moved to and died in Oregon.

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According to Pearl Wilcox, "Smallwood Noland came overland from Kentucky with a long wagon train and one hundred slaves, locating three miles southwest of Independence on Westport Road." (Wilcox, p. 282.)

She does not give the year of his arrival nor does she identify which Smallwood this is. What is likely, of course, is that the entire train probably did not belong to him and neither did all of the slaves. Multiple families usually traveled together in wagon trains, but I have no proof of the composition of Smallwood's wagon train. Possible, also, is that both Smallwoods came to Jackson County together in the same wagon train.

Given the wealth of his father, Jesse, Smallwood Turner probably had the financial ability to put together a wagon train. I have no evidence of the financial status of Smallwood Valentine, but there is some evidence that Smallwood Valentine owned a wagon freight company that operated between Kentucky and New Orleans (Lockett, p.11, citing ( Ronsheim). Is it possible that this attribution is another confusion between the two Smallwoods? IF, in fact, Smallwood Valentine was born in 1805, he was in his early twenties when he came to Jackson County. Would he have had time to establish a freight line before coming to Jackson County? Or was the freight line really the work of Smallwood Turner who would have been in his thirties by the time he left Kentucky. I have found no reference as to Smallwood Turner's occupation in Kentucky.

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I am in the process of examining the property ownerships of the two Smallwoods.

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Other than him being a politician, I have no information as to Smallwood Valentine Noland's occupation.

Smallwood Turner Noland, on the other hand, was a farmer. According to Pearl Wilcox (Wilcox, p. 283), "On his farmland he had a fine orchard and garden, tended by slaves, from which he supplied his hotel table. When peaches were ripe, he boasted that nobody could make better cobbler than his wife, Nancy."

Since Smallwood Turner Noland's wife was named Nancy, this reference is clear evidence that Smallwood Turner was a farmer and owner of the hotel.

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The History of Jackson County, Missouri, reports that "Jackson county was organized by an act of the General Assembly, approved December 15th, 1826." (Union, p. 180.) The first authorized election, however, was not until 1828.

"The representatives who have served Jackson County in the General Assembly:

  • 1828 – Smallwood V. Noland, 5th General Assembly.
  • 1830 – Robert Johnston, 6th General Assembly.
  • 1832 - Smallwood V. Noland, 7th General Assembly.
  • 1834 - Smallwood V. Noland, Richard Pristoe, 8th General Assembly.
  • 1836 - Smallwood V. Noland, Thomas Jeffries, 9th General Assembly."
(Union, p. 181.)

"During this [1836] session a new appointment was made for the 10th and 11th General Assemblies, and the counties of Jackson and Van Buren, (now Cass,) were constituted the 26th Senatorial District.

"1838 – 10th General Assembly, met November 19th, 1838. Smallwood V. Noland, 26th district.” (Union, p. 180.)

Based upon the Union book, it is fairly clear that Smallwood V. Noland was the politician, first person to represent Jackson County in the House of Representatives of the General Assembly from Jackson County and eventually a senator representing Jackson County.

In the past, I have had a few doubts about the information, however. First, Smallwood V. Noland would have been but 23 in 1828, if my genealogy information is correct. Second, there is the one term gap in the service of Smallwood V. Noland which causes me to think that perhaps the elder Smallwood Noland could have been elected in the first year and that the younger Smallwood might have then been elected in 1932 when at 28 he would have been a bit older.

In support of Smallwood V. Noland holding all of the offices set out in the Union book, it should be noted that its authors do seem to be aware that there were two Smallwoods, although they do not state so specifically. Secondly, I have emailed the Missouri Secretary of State who keeps the records of the state and their response supports the idea that Smallwood Valentine Noland is the only person who held the state representative and senate posts. A copy of my email correspondence is viewable by clicking here.

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According to Pearl Wilcox (Wilcox, p. 282), the Smallwood Noland Hotel was a hotel located at what is now 100 West Maple in Independence. The site had previously been a tavern run by William Lawrence.

Wilcox and Lockett (Lockett, page 18) say that the hotel was a two-story structure with a broad porch on the east side of the building. Wilcox says that it could accommodate four hundred guests if they slept two or three to a bed and on the floor – apparently, getting a hotel room back then did not necessarily entitle you to your own bed or even a shared bed.

Wilcox does not mention anything about which Smallwood this might be, but does say that food for the hotel was grown on Smallwood's farm and his wife, Nancy, made the best peach cobbler in the county. All of that is consistent with the hotel's owner being Smallwood Turner Noland, because Smallwood Turner's wife was Nancy and Smallwood Valentine's wife was Sarah (Sally). Lockett, also, mentions the peach cobbler story.

William Lockett (Lockett, pp. 18-21a) devoted over four pages to early Independence hotels which shows a lot of confusion over what the names of the hotels were and who owned them. There appears to have been at least one other hotel in early Independence, named at various times the Nebraska House, Jones Hotel and Metropolitan Hotel

Lockett, also, mentions other Nolands as hotel owners. Most prominent on the list is Jesse Noland, son of Smallwood Turner Noland. Lockett as well as others indicate that Jesse Noland acquired Smallwood's hotel upon the death of Smallwood. The Jones/Nebraska/Metropolitan establishment was a completely different building and Jesse was definitely involved in that hotel. On page 21A, Lockett has a picture of the hotel entitled "JONES HOTEL" underneath which is the caption "Jesse Noland….Proprietor". Furthermore, the 1860 census shows the names Jesse and Elizabeth Noland and 27 other persons and all 29 are connected with a bracket and the words "Jones Hotel".

Elizabeth Noland obviously was Jesse Noland's wife whose maiden name was Townsend. The World, a former newspaper in Kansas City announced her death on September 13, 1903. About Jesse and his hotel it states: "Mr. Noland built a hotel in Independence called the Noland house which was one of the finest buildings in the county and which was the wonder of the Missouri settlers who had seen nothing like it. The rooms were furnished in mahogany and the floors covered with velvet carpets." I have a copy of the article. The quality of the copy is too poor to try to scan and post, but I did type out the article (except for some menus of the hotel – later maybe) and I will post that in the near future.

Lockett (Lockett, p. 19) also refers to a hotel owned about 1838 by Woodward (Wood) Noland who was a son of Ledstone Noland. This is the only reference I have found to such an ownership. This Ledstone is the uncle of Smallwood Turner Noland and one of my ancestors. The hotel described as being owned by Woodward, however, is the same building he attributes to Smallwood Turner Noland, so I question this information.

The subject of early Independence hotels requires further research and I hope to develop an entire article about the subject. There is much confusion as to the ownerships and operation of the buildings, but what is important here is that none of my research has brought up the name of Smallwood Valentine Noland or any of his children relating to Independence hotels. The evidence is substantial that it was Smallwood Turner Noland that was the Smallwood that was in the hotel business.

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To set the stage, the Mormons came to Jackson County, Missouri, in 1831 and they were effectively driven from Jackson County by the non-Mormon citizenry of Jackson County in the latter part of 1832. Following their expulsion from Jackson County, they occupied other portions of western Missouri and continued to assert their right to live in Jackson County and to retrieve property which they lost as a result of their expulsion from Jackson County. Those efforts went on until 1838, when Missouri Gov. L. W. Boggs (the state senator from Jackson County immediately before Smallwood Valentine Noland's appointment) issued an order to the general in the area, stating that "[t]he Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must exterminated or driven from the State, if necessary for the public peace – their outrages are beyond all description." At that point the Mormons began leaving Missouri and left until nearly all were gone.

Bernd Foerster (Foerster, p. 25) says that "[Smallwood] Noland took a prominent part in the persecution and expulsion of the Latter Day Saints in 1833." He does not say which one was involved, but I believe that both Smallwood Turner and Smallwood Valentine were involved in some way. Neither do I know why he mentioned 1833 specifically. Other than this reference, I have found no other mention of either Smallwood's involvement in the expulsion of the Mormons from Jackson County.

Both Smallwoods are mentioned in The History of Jackson County, Missouri (Union, pp. 250-269) in regard to the situation after the Jackson County expulsion. Of particular interest is the story of the near drowning of both Smallwoods in the Missouri River following a meeting dealing with the Mormon situation.

In June of 1834, a judge in Clay County sought to have the Mormons and a group of the "most respectable citizens of Jackson County" meet at which time he would "explain to them his views" and attempt "to secure an amicable adjustment between the parties." Thus, on June 16, 1834, a group of 800 to 1,000 citizens of Clay County, including Mormons, and a delegation from Jackson County consisting of ten persons, met in Liberty, Missouri. Both Smallwoods were either part of the delegation or with the delegation. While the meeting did not solve the problem in the long term, apparently an immediate crisis was averted.

The Jackson County delegation returned home by way of a ferry on the Missouri river. Apparently, ten or twelve men and an equal number of horses were on board when the ferry filled with water and sank. Several of the men and horses perished. Both Smallwoods were on board, but survived. The Union history (Union, p. 262) relates that "S. V. Nolan could not swim, but catching hold of his horse's tail was hauled safely to the Jackson county shore…[O]ther men swam back to the Clay county shore where they all made it safe except Smallwood Nolan who clung to a 'sawyer' only a short distance from the shore. The men who made the shore built a fire and encouraged Nolan to 'cling on' till they could rescue him. He did cling with the grip of death. When daylight came and the men went in to take him off his scanty support, they found that the water was only waist deep and he could have waded to the shore with ease if he had known it."

The S. V. Noland mentioned above is no doubt Smallwood Valentine Noland and the Smallwood Noland mentioned would have to be Smallwood Turner Noland. They are obviously quite separate persons as each had quite different experiences in this tragedy.

The Noland name appears again in the Union history on page 264. On November 20, 1838, the governor recommended that a commission be established consisting of members of both houses of the General Assembly to deal inquire into the Mormon difficulties. Senator Noland was appointed as part of the Senate delegation. That commission concluded that it did not have sufficient evidence upon which to predicate a report.

Based upon above analysis, it would appear that it is Smallwood Valentine Noland would have been the senator on the commission.

This is an interesting subject and needs further examination. I am sure I will learn more about the Smallwoods in the Mormon struggle. Eventually, I would like to write an essay about the Mormon struggle in Missouri, but for now I am dealing with the issue only as it relates to the Smallwoods.

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The ugly head of slavery is raised when looking at my family prior to the Civil War. Several of my ancestors from the Noland tree owned slaves and Smallwood Turner Noland was one of Jackson County's largest slave holders.

The best, and possibly the most accurate, source for proving slave ownership is census data.

The 1830 census shows S. V. Noland as owning one slave in the age classification of 10 to 23 years. So far, I have not found a listing for Smallwood Turner Noland in the 1830 census

The 1840 census shows S. V. Noland owning no slaves. Smallwood [Turner] Noland on the other hand had 10 slaves as follows:

  • Males under 10 - 2
  • Males 10 to 24 - 3
  • Males 36 to 55 - 1
  • Females under 10 - 1
  • Females 10 to 24 - 2
  • Females 36 to 55 – 1

Based upon the ages of the persons (one male and one female in the age bracket 36 to 55), these slaves appear to be a family, although the upper end of the 10 to 24 bracket would allow for one or more younger couple.

Smallwood Valentine Noland does not appear in the 1850 census, because, I believe that he died in 1845. Smallwood Turner Noland, on the other hand, is shown in the 1850 census as owning 26 slaves. I do not believe that slaves in that census were listed by name or even the age/sex classifications.

By the 1860 census, both Smallwoods had died. Smallwood Turner's wife, Nancy, was still living and, of course, Smallwood's son, Jesse, had the hotel(s), so I presume they or other sons and daughters still had slaves, but I have not had time to research those possibilities.

What appears certain is that references to slave holdings by Smallwood Noland would be references to Smallwood Turner Noland and not Smallwood Valentine Noland, other than the one slave in 1830.

In this article, I will not dwell on the moral issue of slave ownership. The purpose of this article is to sort out the deeds of the two Smallwoods. I can only hope that my ancestors were not among those slave owners who beat or sexually molested their slaves. And, based upon the values that I have witnessed in my family I can only assume that these slaves were treated as fairly as possible in the situation of the times. I do intend to write, someday, an article that deals with this issue. I know that we could debate whether fair is even a word we can use in the context of slavery, but that is for a different article.

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According to The History of Jackson County, Missouri (Union, pp. 655 & 656), the Methodist Church South was organized in the year 1835 and some of the original members included: S. Noland, Nancy Nolan, Angeline Nolan and Jesse Nolan.

Pearl Wilcox (Wilcox, p. 158) reports that Smallwood Noland, as trustee, purchased lumber from a mill at Blue Mills for the first Methodist meetinghouse on April 4, 1839 at a total cost of $100.00.

The Smallwood involved with the Methodist Church must be Smallwood Turner Noland as the other Nolans (Nolands) involved were his wife and part of his family (see his genealogy information above).

As an aside, I want to note that Angeline is my great3 grandmother. Also, Ruben Wallace and Mary Wallace are listed as initial members. They most likely are related to Bess Wallace Truman. In fact, I believe that Ruben was her uncle.

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The first courthouse of Jackson County was constructed by Daniel P. Lewis at a cost of $150.00. The oak logs from which it was constructed were reputedly hewed by Sam Shepherd, a black slave. The county court, the county's administrative/legislative authority, held its first meeting there on August 11, 1828. (Foerster, p. 23)

According to The History of Jackson County, Missouri (Union, p. 639), S. V. Noland bid $179.00 to build the courthouse, but was outbid by Lewis by $29.00.

After the courthouse was no longer used, Smallwood Noland purchased the property from Jackson County. I have visited the log courthouse a couple of times and on my first visit there was a poster that said that Smallwood and his wife, Sally, owned it and sold it later. Sally was the wife of Smallwood Valentine Noland.

According to Pearl Wilcox (Wilcox, p. 136), Smallwood sold the property to Algernon S. Gilbert and Newell K. Whitney on February 20, 1832, for $371.00. They were merchants who were Latter Day Saints. After the Saints were driven from Jackson County and while they were in Far West, Missouri, the property was sold again. Ms. Wilcox does not say whether Smallwood sold it again, whether the Mormons sold it or if they were compensated.

In regard to the courthouse sale, I have secondary records showing Sally Noland as a co-grantee which would prove that it is Smallwood V. Noland that owned the courthouse. Of course, this involvement is consistent with his involvement in politics

According to Foerster (Foerster, p. 23), "In 1932 and 1933 Judge Harry S. Truman demonstrated his appreciation of historic structures by holding county court meeting (sic) here while the courthouse on the Square was being enlarged and remodeled."

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I really do not have much about any Santa Fe Trail activities by Smallwood Noland. Of course, his hotel was important as a final stop on the way west.

The document filed with the National Park Service in regard to the Noland home notes several Santa Fe expeditions undertaken by Noland (see particularly page 8). It is important to note that all of those events occurred after the date that I have for Smallwood Valentine Noland's death.

As mentioned above in the section Early Settler of Jackson County, Missouri, I have found one very interesting and possibly related item. According to William Lockett (Lockett, p 11),( Ronsheim) reported that Smallwood Noland established a wagon freight line from Kentucky to New Orleans. Apparently he mentions this in conjunction with the Smallwood Noland that was the son of Stephen Noland and Sarah Banks and who married Sally Proffitt which would be Smallwood Valentine Noland. For my concerns about the accuracy of this report, see the above article.

This area needs further research.

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Pearl Wilcox (Wilcox, p. 240) says that in October of 1849, Smallwood Noland led a small party to test the reported existence of gold on the Kansas River, some 160 miles due west.

The expedition returned without finding gold, but the apparently the possibility of finding gold caused quite a flurry in Independence.

Wilcox does not indicate which Smallwood was involved here, but my genealogy information is that Smallwood Valentine Noland had died in 1945. If that is true then this Smallwood can only be Smallwood Turner Noland.

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The Noland Home at 1024 Forest in Independence is on the National Register of Historic Places. In the official filing with the National Park Service, ownership of the house is attributed to Smallwood V. Noland, but I have significant doubts that Smallwood V. Noland really owned the house. Or, if he did own the house, too many things are attributed to him.

Looking at the official filing, I find what I believe to be significant errors in some of the so-called facts presented. For one thing many of the accomplishments attributed to Smallwood V. Noland occurred after the date that I have for his death. I really need to go to the Independence courthouse and look at the applicable deeds and other evidence of property transfers for more conclusive evidence.

Bernd Foerster (Foerster, p. 25) says this about the house and Smallwood: "…Smallwood Noland, innkeeper, who came from Kentucky … bought the property in 1833…Noland took a prominent part in the persecution and expulsion of the Latter Day Saints in 1833. He is listed in the 1840 census as the owner of 10 slaves. By 1850 he was worth $30,000 and owned 26 slaves."

Both Smallwoods had some role in the Mormon struggle, so the information about the Mormons does not establish which Smallwood owned the house. The census information about the worth of Smallwood and his slave holdings definitely identifies Smallwood Turner Noland.

I will be researching this question and, if I finally conclude that Smallwood Valentine did not own the house, I will present my findings to the Park Service and local newspapers.

I obtained a copy of the Registration Form and have it for you to read here. These are pictures (.jpg format) of the pages, so they are fairly large files and, therefore, take some time to download. The most important pages are pages 8 through 10 which discuss the historical significance of the home, so you may wish to just skip to those pages. Just click here to begin at the beginning of the document, or click here to go to page eight. To reduce the download time for 56k modems, the quality of the save is medium. If you want a better image, email me and I can provide better images or the document is easily obtainable from the National Park Service.

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For whom is Noland Road named? I have not established that it was named for either Smallwood Noland, but I will be looking into it. See what little I do know by going to my Noland Road article. I will work on this in the future.

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