Mary Jane Barry Killebrew (1796-1881)
Mary Jane Barry was born in Antrim, Ireland, July 17, 1796.  She married William H. Killebrew, son of Montgomery County pioneers Buckner and Mary Whitfield Killebrew, April 25, 1817.  She had eight children, and accompanied William to settle the newly available land in Central Mississippi in the 1830's.  Mary Jane died 1881 in Panola Co., MS.  
Mary Jane led an extraordinary life even for a pioneer wife, and luckily she left behind a "Sketch of The Killebrew Family," an unpublished account of her life written in 1867.  The "Sketch" is available at the Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library.
"At the age of twenty-one, your grandfather gave your father a tract of land for his future home, about five miles from Spring Creek.  To this he went with a little negro boy, about seven years old, whom all recollect as "Big Joe," who used to say that he raised you all.  A house was built of logs, one and one-half stories high, one room below, one above, here was bachelor's hall for five years.  A good sized clearing opened, and a fair prospect of making a living, he looked about for a wife, and found one in Miss Ann Johnson, whose father, Fauntly Johnson, a rather wealthy farmer, had moved from Virginia and settled about three miles off.  They married December 1812, and lived happily.  As son was born January 1814, and another son April 1816, which caused the death of the mother.   During this year I became acquainted with your father, and some others of the family, as my father had settled, as can be seen in the first memoir, on the West Fork of the Red River in 1814.  Our marriage April 1817 was the result, and I now commenced a new life.  Though I had never known experimentally, the duties attending farm life, I became the wife of a farmer, resolved to learn and perform what might be necessary to fill the position properly.  I always had a disposition to learn everything new which presented itself, and as I had associated for some years with the daughters of wealthy farmers, who had much domestic business to carry on, spinning, weaving, and all the et ceteras of female farm work was not entirely unknown to me.  However, when I moved home with my husband (in July) I did not enter at once on business of this kind.  I felt that I wished to assist in all that would increase our income, and as I would understand the duties of the school-room better than anything else, as there was a good opening for a neighborhood school, I at once undertook it, and by taking in a few boarders (by the week) made up a pretty profit, in addition to the farm income.  The same plan I followed the next year, though on a larger scale, and several boarders coming in, the daughters and relations of former patrons."
Sketch of Killebrew Family, Mary Jane Barry Killebrew, 1867
"The Female Boarding School, conducted by Mrs. Mary Jane R. Killebrew opened in the spring of 1821.  Fees of $100 per annum were listed for the courses:
the English language, grammatically, Writing, Arithmetic, Practical Geometry, Geography, Astronomy, Ancient and Modern History, the elements of Rhetoric and Composition, Drawing, Painting, Construction of Maps, &ct., Artificial Flowers, Embroidery, and various kinds of Needlework.  Students furnish own trunk and bed."
Along the Warioto, Ursula Smith Beach

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