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Joel and Martha Ann moved from Phelps Co. to Butler Co. to work in the timber business. They lived in a tent just north of Qulin, MO at the end of the railroad tracks. He had two teams of oxen and two teams of horses to log with. The area was known as Gumstump. They worked for Brokerage and Cooper.

They started farming after they had worked in timber. The lived on the Sunny Tompkin farm then moved to the Linky farm north of Qulin. A trip down river to the ferry crossing was a full days trip so they took the corn from the crib on the Tompkin farm, sacked it, loaded it in a boat and unloaded it on the Linky farm on the other side of the river

They later moved to Nation Bend.

Joel, while baling hay, slapped horses to make them go forward, they bolted breaking the double tree which hit his leg breaking it. They amputated the leg. He lived two or three weeks after the accident.

He was the son of M. Lewis Hayden Melton and Margaret Riley Welch . He is buried in Webb Cemetery just over the Missouri border in Arkansas. The grave is unmarked.