Friday, October 20, 2017

Amanda M. Holland

Amanda M. Holland, daughter of Aaron Berry Holland and Malinda Kelly, was born about 1840. She was the 4th child of 6—Margaret Gracy Holland, Frances M. Holland, Elisha Moses Perry Holland, Amanda M. Holland, Philip Allen Holland, and Aaron Berry Holland Jr. Amanda would be my half 1st cousin 5x removed. Our nearest common relative is Moses Holland, my 5th great grandfather.

On September 10, 1850, Amanda and her family lived in the Eastern Subdivision of Anderson County, South Carolina. Her father was a farmer with real estate valued at $400. A 63-year-old woman named Gracey Evans, born in Maryland, lived with them. Amanda, Elisha, Philip, and Aaron (enumerated as Alford) were all attending school at the time.

On July 20, 1860, Malinda, her parents, and brothers Allen and Berry lived in the 42nd District of Anderson County. Her father’s estate was now valued at $1,800 and he had a personal estate valued at $2,300. Both Allen and Berry were farm laborers, probably helping their father. Gracy Evans, now age 75, was living next door.

On July 7, 1870, Amanda, her parents, and brother Berry lived in the Brushy Creek Township of Anderson County. Berry, now married, was also living there with his wife Sarah (Ashemore) and daughters Martha Ann Holland (age 4) and J. Fannie Holland (age 2). Both Amanda’s father Aaron and brother Berry were farmers. Amanda, her mother, and sister-in-law Sarah took care of the house. Amanda’s father had real estate valued at $1020 and a personal estate valued at $380. Berry had a personal estate valued at $184.

Tragedy struck the Holland home in 1875. Amanda’s parents left home and headed to a church meeting in Grove Station on February 6, what was probably a normal Saturday morning in Anderson County. During the meeting, they were notified that their house was on fire so rushed home. To their horror, they found Amanda, the only person at home when the fire started, had burned to death in her bedroom. The Newberry Weekly Herald reported on the fire and death of Amanda on February 17, 1875:
Miss Amanda Holland, daughter of Mr. Aaron Holland, whose residence is two miles from Grove Station, on the Anderson side of Saluda, was burned to death, Saturday, 6th inst. Her father and Mrs. Holland were absent at Church. On reaching home he found some of the neighbors collected there, and the shocking fate of his daughter. The remains of her body being found in the locality of her room, where the dwelling had been, for it was burned together with kitchen and smoke house, with nearly all of their contents. It is supposed the clothing of the young lady caught fire first, accidentally. [Greenville Mountainer.]
The Greenville News (via the Anderson Intelligencer on February 11, 1875), reported that neighbors, upon seeing the smoke, made their way to the house and were able to save a sewing machine, some chairs, and bacon, but not poor Amanda. It was assumed that she accidentally caught her clothes on fire in the kitchen and then ran into her room where she burned to death. They found her “remains, consisting of the heart entire, a few bones and a portion of one arm.” The Greenville News also reported that “she may have been taken with a fit, to which she was sometimes liable, thereby setting her clothing on fire.” It sounds like she may have had health issues so perhaps that’s why this “maiden lady some thirty years of age” was still living at home with her parents.

The news was also reported by The Abbeville Press and Banner on February 17, 1875:
Miss Amanda Holland, daughter of Aaron Holland, at Grove Station, was burned to death last week by her clothing taking fire.
I haven’t been able to find Amanda’s final resting place. But that’s not the end of Amanda’s story. By the end of the year, the story took a different turn when The Anderson Intelligencer reported this story on December 30, 1875:
Horrible Development.—Our readers will doubtless remember the burning of a dwelling and all its contents in February last, belonging to Mr. Aaron B. Holland, near the Saluda River, in which the daughter of Mr. Holland was consumed. It was supposed at the time that the clothing of the young lady caught fire, and the calamity was thought to be entirely accidental, as the rest of the family were absent at Church, and no explanation could be given as to the origin of the fire. A correspondent of the Greenville News, however, gives fresh developments in the horrible affair, which would make it possible that the young lady and her family were at once the victims of rape, murder, robbery and the flames:
“It appears that a negro, named Stokes, lived near Holland’s at that time, but soon after went over into Pickens and committed some rascality. Officers got after him, and he returns to Holland’s neighborhood. In the meantime, he got married, but soon after left his wife. Said wife now states that Stokes told her that he went into Holland’s house on that day for the purpose of robbery, but that Miss Holland resisted his operations so vigorously that he killed her—threw the body on her bed, and set the bed on fire. This statement exactly coincides with the facts of the fire. Her bedroom was where the fire first broke out. When Mr. Holland first heard this report, he had Stokes arrested, and on Wednesday last he was taken before Trial Justice Smith, in Anderson, for examination. The result I have not heard.”
I haven’t found any news on what happened to Mr. Stokes but I hope he got what was coming to him. She didn’t deserve what happened to her.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Henry Clayborn Jones Jr.

Henry Clayborn Jones Jr.
Henry Clayborn Jones Jr., son of Henry Clayborn Jones Sr. and Sarah Elizabeth Tuck, was born in Georgia, most likely Walton County, on February 19, 1855. He was the oldest child of 11—Henry Clayborn Jones Jr., Martha Jane Jones, Elizabeth A. Jones, Bartow Jones, Midda A. Jones, Susanna A. Jones, James William Jones, Scion Jones, Elizabeth Jones, Mary Jones, and an unknown child. Henry’s sister, Elizabeth Jones, was my great-grandmother so that makes him my great grand uncle.

On June 17, 1860, five-year-old Henry lived with his family in Monroe, the Northern Division of Walton County, Georgia. Henry’s father was a farmer with a personal estate valued at $110. They lived next door to his uncle Abraham Benjamin Jones and his family—wife Sarah, daughters Sarah E. and Martha, and son James D. Jones. His paternal grandparents lived two doors away. Before Henry’s sixth birthday, the Civil War began on April 12, 1861. It wasn’t long before his father enlisted as a private in Company C of the Georgia 9th Infantry Regiment on June 13, 1861 and left home for the war. His father took a gunshot in his left shoulder blade during the battle of The Wilderness in Virginia on May 6, 1864. He would muster out at Appomattox Court House in Virginia April 8, 1865. Pension records show that the bullet was never removed, rendering his shoulder and arm useless. I wonder how this affected his work on the farm after he returned home. Did little Henry and his siblings have to help their father with the crops? Henry’s father was barely home from Virginia when his grandfather, Henry P. Jones, died on June 13, 1865. Or perhaps he hadn’t made it home yet. And then a year later, the family suffered another loss when Henry’s grandmother, Sarah Lightfoot Vickers Jones died on June 8, 1866. Both of his grandparents were buried at what would become the Jones Family Cemetery in Between, Walton County, Georgia.

On July 22, 1870, Henry lived with his family in Monroe, the Lindley’s District of Walton County, Georgia. His father was a farmer with an estate valued at $200. At age 14, Henry was working on the farm and was unable to read or write. A 35-year-old female named A. Jones lived alone next door, keeping house. I have yet to figure out who she was but assume she’s a relative with Jones as her last name.

I can’t find Henry in the 1880 census. He wasn’t living with the rest of the family in the Lindley’s district of Walton County. He was still single at this point so could have been living alone somewhere or working and living on someone else’s farm. I would still expect to find him enumerated somewhere but so far, no luck. He apparently stayed in Walton County though because that’s where he married Martha B. McCarty, daughter of Allen McCarty and Elizabeth Janes Camp, on January 7, 1883. Together Henry and Martha had seven children—Henry Allen Jones, James Marshall Jones, William Troy Jones, Pearl Elizabeth Jones, Charles Wesley Jones, Mary Etta Jones, and one unknown child.

The photo above was taken from this photo of Henry
and his wife Martha
Henry and Martha were married in Walton County, Georgia in 1883

On June 21, 1900, Henry and his family lived in the Vinegar Hill District of Walton County which I believe is Between. Henry and Martha had been married for 17 years. Martha was the mother of five children, all of which were living and in the home. Henry was a farmer, able to read and write. His sons Henry Allen Jones and William Troy Jones were farm laborers.

About 1908, Henry and his family attended the Henry Jones family reunion in Walton County. He is number 6 in the family reunion photo taken that day.

Henry is number 6. My grandma, Floria Mae Burnette, is number 17.

Henry, his parents, and siblings

As the decade came to a close, Henry lost his father when he died in Walton County on January 7, 1909. They buried him beside his parents in the Jones family cemetery in Between.

The year 1910 started off with sadness when Henry’s mother died in Walton County on January 21. She was buried beside his father in the Jones family cemetery in Between. On April 15, 1910, Henry and his family lived in Between. He and Martha had been married for 27 years. This is the record where I discovered the unknown child. The census enumerator recorded Martha as having had six children, five of which were living. She would have another daughter, Mary Etta, in 1901. Henry was a farmer on a general farm. Three children were living in the home—Troy, Pearl, and Charlie. Son Henry Allen Jones lived next door with his two daughters, Eula and Clara. The census record shows he’s married, but his wife isn’t living in the home. There was a William J. Jones family living next door to Henry Allen Jones. They could be family but I haven’t connected them yet.

On January 2, 1920, Henry and his family lived on Federal Highway in Between. At the age of 64, Henry owned his own farm. Four adult children were still in the home—Troy, Pearl, Charley, and Mary. Like their father, the boys were enumerated as farmers on a general farm so I assume they were working the family farm. Henry’s son, Henry Allen Jones, lived next door with his family—wife Lena, daughters Clara Belle and Louise, and son Ralph. A year and a month after the census enumerator visited, Henry died at home in Between on February 9, 1921 of acute indigestion, contributed by gall stones. Henry, a member of New Hope Methodist Church in Between, was buried in the church cemetery.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Mary Corrine Lankford

Mary Corrine Lankford
Mary Corrine Lankford, daughter of James C. Lankford and Mary Ann Wilson, was a New Year’s baby, born in Greene County, Georgia on January 1, 1882. She was the 6th child of 10—Homer J. Lankford, Alice Beman Lankford, Julia Lee Lankford, Jessica Corinne Lankford, James Vason Lankford, Mary Corrine Lankford, Nathan Lawrence Lankford, Vincent Thomas Langford, Oliver Wilson Lankford, and Lillie Della Lankford. She would have been my 2nd great-aunt. Her parents were my paternal 2nd great-grandparents.

On June 1, 1900, Mary and her family lived in Woodville, Greene County, Georgia. Mary’s father was a farmer. Her brothers James, Nathan, and Vincent were enumerated as farm laborers so were most likely helping their father on the farm. Oliver and Della were both attending school. The Lankford family lived next door to Julius C. Wilson and his family. Julius, Mary’s paternal first cousin, was the son of Emma Lankford and James L. Wilson. Emma was Mary’s aunt, sister of her father. Charles C. Davison and his family lived two doors away. Charles and Mary had a connection, although not direct. Charles was the stepson of Mary’s 1st cousin 2x removed.

When Mary was 18 years old, she married Jack Mullins Callaway, son of Lemuel Lawrence Callaway Jr. and Anna Josephine Mullins, in Greene County on August 27, 1900. James H. McWhorter, Ordinary in Greene County, performed the ceremony. Mary was living in Bairdstown, Oglethorpe County, Georgia when she married Jack according to his 1940 obituary. Jack’s brother was Robert Dawson Callaway who married my great-grandmother Alice Beman Lankford. Mary and Jack had nine children together—James Lemuel Callaway, Lelia Mae Callaway, John Beaman Callaway, Earnest Fielding Callaway, Lawrence Felton Callaway, Willie Raymond Callaway, Jessie Dell Callaway, Reuben Pierce Callaway, and Julius Mullins Callaway.

Mary’s father died in Greene County on January 21, 1908. He was buried at Penfield Cemetery in Penfield, Greene County, Georgia.

On April 23, 1910, Mary, Jack, and their five children lived on West Street in Penfield. Jack, who was enumerated as John, was a farmer on a general farm. Both Mary and Jack were able to read and write. Mary’s youngest child at the time, Felton, was six months old. Mary’s mother died in Penfield on March 26, 1919. She was buried beside her husband at Penfield Cemetery. Mary was pregnant with her son Julius at the time.

On January 24, 1920, Mary and her family continued to live in Penfield. Seven of her nine children, ages 18 to 6, were helping her and Jack work on the home farm. Mary’s sister Julia died on September 2, 1924 at the age of 49 in Wilkes County, Georgia from an enlarged spleen caused by leukemia. Julia was buried the next day at Resthaven Cemetery in Washington, Wilkes County, Georgia. Her brother James died on December 22, 1929 from chronic interstitial nephritis in Tryon, Polk County, North Carolina. His body was brought home and buried at Penfield Cemetery.

1920 Soundex cards for the Callaway family

On April 25, 1930, Mary and Jack started their third decade living in Penfield. Seven children, four of them adults, were still living at home—Beman, Ernest, Felton, Willie, Jessie, Reuben, and Julius. It appears that no one in the home was working at the time as they were all enumerated with an occupation of “none.”

Jack and Mary Callaway
By April 9, 1940, Mary and Jack left Penfield and had moved to Main Street in Greensboro, Greene County, Georgia. Their youngest son Julius still lived at home, along with a 12-year-old grandson named Bennie. Interesting to note that 22 years later (1962) Mary’s obituary listed Bennie as her son, not grandson. It doesn’t appear that either Mary or Jack were employed at that time. Julius, at age 20, was an inspector in a textile mill. Mary’s son Ernest lived next door and another son James lived next door to Ernest. Just eight days after the 1940 census was taken, Mary’s husband Jack died at home in Greensboro (April 17). His funeral was held at the Penfield Baptist Church on Friday, April 19. Jack was buried at the Greensboro City Cemetery.

Mary’s son Felton died in Fulton County, Georgia on March 16, 1950. He was buried at Greensboro City Cemetery. It seems this started a string of deaths in the family during the 1950s. Just over a year after the loss of Felton, Mary’s sister Jessica (aka Jessie) died at home in Greensboro on August 1, 1951 after an illness of 10 days. She was buried the next day at Penfield Cemetery. The year ended on a sad note when another sister (and my great-grandmother) died on December 5 at the home of her son, Homer Callaway, in Union Point, Greene County, Georgia. Alice was buried at Penfield Cemetery the next day. Four years later, her son Earnest died at his home in Greensboro on May 17, 1955 following a long illness. Earnest was buried at Greensboro City Cemetery. In just under a year, Mary’s brother Vincent died in Greensboro on June 17, 1956 from congestive heart failure and pneumonia due to hypertensive and arteriosclerotic cardio vascular disease. Vincent was buried on June 19 at Walker United Methodist Church Cemetery in Veazey, Greene County, Georgia. And finally, just over a year later, Mary’s brother Oliver died at Grady Hospital in Atlanta on August 21, 1957. He was buried on August 24 at Penfield Cemetery.

Mary celebrated her 80th birthday on January 1, 1962 and sadly died suddenly two days later at her home on South Main Street in Greensboro on January 3. Her funeral was held the next day at the First Baptist Church in Greensboro where she was a member. Mary was buried beside her husband at Greensboro City Cemetery. She was survived by daughters Leila and Jessie; sons James, John, Willie, Reuben, Julius, and Bennie; sister Della; brother Nathan; 22 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren. M. D. Weinstein, W. B. Caldwell, R. M. McCommons, Miles W. Lewis, George Mullins, and Lewis Brown served as pallbearers.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Jessie Pope Mullins

Jessie Pope Mullins, daughter of Benjamin Hill Mullins and Minnie Dennis, was born on February 10, 1893 in Georgia, most likely Greene County. She had eight siblings—Joseph Mullins, Earl Mullins, Henry Mullins, Mamie Mullins, Thomas Mullins, Russell Mullins, Samuel Edwin Mullins, and one unknown. She went by Pope and was the wife of my 1st great grand uncle. We have no common relative although we do have a connection—Jessie’s father was the brother of Anna Josephine Mullins who married Lemuel Lawrence Callaway Jr. Lemuel’s brother was Robert Dawson Callaway, who married my great-grandmother Alice Beman Lankford.

I’m not sure about Pope’s birthdate as I’ve found three different dates on three different records—the 1900 census record recorded her birth as May 1893; her death certificate recorded her birth as February 4, 1892; and her tombstone recorded her birth as February 10, 1893. I’ve chosen to use the date recorded on her tombstone and will be on the lookout for a birth record.

On June 4, 1900, Pope and her family lived in Woodville, Greene County, Georgia. She was enumerated as Popie, born May 1893. Pope’s parents had been married for 15 years. Her father Benjamin was a farmer. Her mother Minnie was enumerated as having seven children, all of which were living. Pope and her three older brothers were all in school. They lived four houses from Homer and Leslie Lankford. Homer was Alice Beman Lankford’s brother.

The Mullins family left Woodville at some point and moved to Penfield, Greene County, Georgia, less than five miles away. This is where the census taker found them on April 20, 1910, living on Sanders Street. Pope’s father was a farmer on a general farm. Brother Henry and Pope (again enumerated as Popie) were both working in a hosiery mill. Henry was a presser and Pope a looper. Her 13-year-old brother Tom was working odd jobs on the home farm. The 1910 census record shows that Pope’s mother had two more children since the 1900 census was taken—a boy they named Edwin and an unknown child that was no longer living. This is the only record I’ve found for this child at this point. Vince and Maude Langford, another brother of Alice Beman Lankford, lived two doors from the Mullins family. Living next door on the other side of the Mullins house was Martha Nicholson and next door to Martha was Susie Wilson, another connection to my Lankford family. Susie was the widow of Walter S. Wilson Sr., son of Emma S. Lankford, who was the daughter of James M. Lankford and Caroline Hobbs, my 3rd great grandparents. Martha was Susie’s mother.

Greene County, Georgia marriage certificate
Pope married Oliver Wilson Lankford, son of James C. Lankford (who was the son of James M. Lankford and Caroline Hobbs) and Mary Ann Wilson, in Greene County on December 18, 1910. Oliver was also the brother of my great-grandmother, Alice Beman Lankford. Pope and Oliver had five children together—James Whitty Lankford, Oliver Wilson Lankford, Jr., F. Albert Lankford, Elaine Lankford, and Ralph Lankford.

Here’s another case of Lankford vs. Langford. When Pope married Oliver, his last name was spelled with a “k” on their marriage certificate—Lankford. When the census enumerator visited on January 6, 1920, his last name was spelled with a “g” on the census record—Langford. As far as I can tell, they used Langford for the rest of their lives. Now back to the 1920 census record—Pope, Oliver, and their four children, ranging in age from 8 years to 11 months, lived on Hoyt Street in Athens, Clarke County, Georgia on January 6. Oliver was an automobile machinist. About 1927, Jessie and Oliver moved to Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia where they lived at 54 Linden Avenue NW. Today that would be near the Fox Theatre and The Varsity if you know that area of Atlanta. In 1928, the Atlanta City Directory recorded her as Hope. Pope and Oliver were still living on Linden Avenue in 1929 although they had moved to 76 W. Linden Street.

Pope Langford's death certificate
The year 1929 would turn tragic for the Langford family when Pope died suddenly on February 18 at Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta of a self-inflicted razor wound to the neck. Pope’s death certificate noted that she was mentally deranged at the time of her death, and in fact, had a history of mental illness. A local newspaper, The Atlanta Georgian, noted that “This is one of the saddest deaths that has effected many loved ones and friends in Greene County in many years. The deceased comes from one of the best families in the county, and as a young girl, at Penfield, she was loved and respected by all who knew her. It is believed by all who know Mrs. Langford and her family, that her health was impaired to an extent that she was not really responsible for what she did and the rash act of taking her life was caused from conditions that made her irresponsible.” A police investigation found that Pope’s mental health issues caused the actions leading to her death. She had apparently been arrested for shoplifting in December 1928 and was placed on probation after pleading guilty to the charges. Pope violated her probation on February 18 when she was again caught shoplifting and arrested. Realizing Pope had five children, the policemen assigned to her case took her home before going to the police station so she could cook dinner for her family. They waited outside while Pope went inside the house. After what they felt was too much time inside, the policemen sent Pope’s daughter Elaine to find out what was taking so long. Once inside, Elaine found her mother laying on the floor in what must have been a pool of blood. Elaine screamed and the police went inside the house and quickly realized that Pope had slashed her throat. How traumatic that must have been for 13-year-old Elaine! They called an ambulance but Pope died on the way to Georgia Baptist Hospital. The newspaper report didn’t mention whether the other four children were in the home at the time but I imagine they must have been. Pope’s body was taken to the Sam Greenberg and Company mortuary located at 95 Forrest Avenue NE in Atlanta (I believe Forrest Avenue is now named Ralph McGill Boulevard) and later transported to Penfield. She was buried at Penfield Cemetery following a service at Penfield Baptist Church. Pope was survived by her husband Oliver, five children (Whitty, Oliver, Albert, Elaine, and Ralph), parents Ben and Minnie, sister Mamie, and brothers Joseph, Henry, Russell, and Benjamin.

Pope’s stone at Penfield Cemetery shows a death date of February 27, however, according to her death certificate, it was Monday, February 18. Her death certificate notes her date of burial as February 19, however, the news article dated February 22 detailing her death notes that her funeral was held Wednesday, which would have been February 20. A February 20 article published by the Atlanta Constitution, notes that her remains were taken to Penfield for funeral services and interment on Tuesday afternoon which would have been February 19. The article doesn’t specify that she was buried on February 19 though.

Whatever the case, it’s all very sad considering the fact that Pope was only 37 years old and left five young children behind.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Leroy Thomas Holland Death Notice

Leroy Thomas Holland
I’ve blogged about my 2nd great grandfather Leroy Thomas Holland before but recently found a death notice that ran in The Intelligencer on May 12, 1892 so wanted to share that:
Mr. Lee Holland, a former citizen of this County, who lived near Belton, died at his home in Whitfield County, Ga., on Thursday of last week. Mr. Holland leaves a wife and three children and many other relatives and friends who feel deep sorrow at his death. The deceased was about 45 years of age, and though in the prime of manhood, he was fatally stricken with a case of fever, and in his death the bereaved wife and children see the hope of their life and the mainstay of their home cut down and taken from them. May they who have felt so heavily the hand of affliction turn to Him for comfort and support who has promised to be the stay of the widow and the Father to the orphans.
Unfortunately, the death notice is misleading for several reasons:

  • You had to be paying attention since it lists his name as Lee vs. Leroy.
  • It states that he “leaves a wife and three children” when he actually had seven children survive him: four by his first wife—Marion Scott Holland (age 33), Elijah Jeffers Holland (age 19), Andrew Turner Holland (age 16), and William Charles Holland (age 14); and three by his second wife—Aaron Hall Holland (age 11), Lawrence Lafayette Holland (age 9), and Joseph Norris Holland (age 4). Perhaps they took the information from his widow and she only acknowledged her three boys, all underage. Marion and Elijah were adults in 1892 but Andrew and William were still underage so I would have at least thought they would be recognized as survivors. 
  • It states that he was “about 45 years of age.” Leroy was born in 1835 so if you do the math, he was in fact 56 years old. That’s a big difference!

The Intelligencer, May 12, 1892

But the notice does confirm several pieces of information:

  • Leroy was from Belton, Anderson County, South Carolina.
  • He lived in Whitfield County, Georgia at the time of his death.
  • He died from an illness (his son Aaron would later write that Leroy had pneumonia when he died).

All genealogists know it’s important to prove your facts. This record shows that can sometimes be difficult.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Sarah Elizabeth Davison

Davison family plot at Bairdstown Cemetery
“We’re related to many of the people buried here although I don’t know how” is what Daddy once told me as we walked through Bairdstown Cemetery, a small well-kept cemetery located in Bairdstown, Oglethorpe County, Georgia. Bairdstown Cemetery is the final resting place of my paternal grandparents, several family members, and many Lankford’s in my tree but not in our immediate family. I remember looking at all the stones when we visited, wondering who these people were and how we were connected. Several years ago, I thought it would be interesting to connect the dots. This blog post is about one of those connections.

Sarah Elizabeth Davison, daughter of Joseph Davison and Susan C. Briscoe, was born on October 16, 1882 in Georgia (possibly Greene County where her parents lived in 1880). She was the third child of five—Mary Daisy Davison, Joseph Briscoe Davison, Sarah Elizabeth Davison, Ralph C. Davison, and Evelyn C. Davison. She went by Bessie. A relationship calculator tells me that she and I are 3rd cousins, 3x removed with our nearest common relatives being my 5th great-grandparents Robert L. Hobbs Sr. (1754–1845) and Mary Marion Caldwell (1759–1853).

When Bessie was four years old, her older sister Daisy died on May 4, 1887 of dysentery in Woodville, Greene County, Georgia. The Atlanta Constitution reported her death that same day:
Death of Miss Daisie Davison. Woodville, Ga., May 4.—[Special—Colonel and Mrs. James Davison lost their elder daughter, Miss Daisy, aged about thirteen years this morning, at 4 o’clock, with dysentery. The funeral services will take place at their residence tomorrow at 9 o’clock, conducted by Rev. M. W. Arnold, of Harwood, Ga., after which her remains will be taken to Bairdstown, Ga., for interment.
Just eight days after Daisy’s death, Bessie’s father, who also suffered from dysentery, died on May 12, 1887 in Woodville. The Atlanta Constitution reported his death on May 14:
Death of Colonel Davison. Woodville, Ga., May 13.—[Special.]—Colo. Joseph Davison, our efficient railroad and express agent and post master, breathed his last at his residence yesterday at 12 o’clock, after a short and serious attack of dysentery. He was in his forty-seventh year, and was one of the best citizens and highly respected by all who knew him.
Bairdstown Church
Both Daisy and Joseph were buried at Bairdstown Cemetery.

Happier times came 13 years later when on February 20, 1900, Bessie was one of four bridesmaids in her brother Joseph’s wedding to Julia Young which took place in Woodville. The wedding was deemed “One of the prettiest weddings of the season …” by The Atlanta Constitution. The bridesmaids wore organdy dresses and carried lilies and maidenhair ferns. On June 5, 1900, Bessie, her mother, brother Ralph, and sister Evelyn were still living in Woodville. There was a 21-year-old female school teacher named Hattie H. Thomas living in the home with them. Bessie, Ralph, and Evelyn were all attending school. Her mother’s occupation was listed as “Capitalist.” On May 16, 1901, 14 years after the death of her father, Bessie’s mother married Peyton W. Douglas in Greene County. After the wedding, the family apparently moved to Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia. In 1907, they lived at 562 Washington Street in Atlanta. Bessie was a music teacher. On September 3, 1908, Bessie attended the wedding of her cousin Dr. Thomas Callahan Davison to Laura Rutledge where she played Mendelssohn’s wedding march during the ceremony. Bessie wore a white point de esprit evergreen silk dress that day.

On April 19, 1910, Bessie was still living at the Washington Street house in Atlanta with her mother Susan, stepfather Peyton, and sister Evelyn. Susan and Peyton had been married for seven years, the second marriage for both. Peyton, a retired physician, was 69 years old. Susan, age 55, was retired as well. Bessie and Evelyn were both enumerated as music teachers.

Bessie and Evelyn were often written about in the social columns. On July 14, 1910, The Atlanta Constitution wrote:
Miss Davison Entertains. Miss Evelyn Davison entertained most delightfully at a matinee party Tuesday afternoon in honor of Miss Lucille Howell, of Valdosta; Miss Mary McGuffey, of Jackson, and Miss Bessie Davison.
Then on August 18, 1910, The Atlanta Constitution wrote:
Misses Bessie and Evelyn Davison entertained Monday evening complimentary to their guest, Miss Prudence Brooks, of Lexington, twenty guests entertained. 
And on August 21, 1910, The Atlanta Constitution wrote about a party held at the Washington Street house:
Misses Davison’s Party. An enjoyable event of the past week was the heart dice party given by Misses Bessie and Evelyn Davison at their home on Washington street to their guest, Miss Prudence Brooks, of Lexington. The house was beautifully decorated with ferns and golden glow. The first prize was won by Miss Ethel Adams, the consolation prize by Mr. James Lewis. After the game, delightful refreshments were served. Special music was rendered by Misses Morganstern, Fillingim, and Davison. Miss Bessie Davison received the guests wearing a lavender satin gown trimmed in medallions of silver and pearls. Miss Evelyn Davison assisted in receiving the guests and wore a cream messaline satin gown trimmed in ribbons and lace. Miss Brooks was attractive in a white satin trimmed in chiffon roses and pearls. Invited to meet the guest of honor were Misses Fannie Lee and Madge Ledbetter, Miss Bernie Legg, Misses Teresa T’Lene Thrower, Miss Ethel Adams, Miss Mamie Bowie, Miss Agnes Pearson, Misses Sophie, Teresa and Tillie Morganstern, Miss Irene Hartzog, Miss Carrie Edmondson, Miss Hattie Wise, Miss Eva Land, Miss Susie Wells, and Mrs. Guy Selman of Douglasville, Mr. Louis Brady, Dr. Walker Durham, Mr. Jake Morganstern, Mr. Edward Morganstern, Mr. Fonville McWhorter, Mr. Neil Edmondson, Mr. James Suddeth, Mr. Penn Dugham, and Dr. Jamie Salman.
On January 24, 1912, Bessie was her sister’s maid of honor when she married Ben Hill Cocroft in Fulton County, Georgia. The Atlanta Constitution reported the event on January 25, 1912:
Davison-Cocroft. An interesting wedding of yesterday afternoon was that of Miss Evelyn Capers Davison and Mr. Ben Hill Cocroft, of Thomasville, which took place at the home of the bride’s parents, Dr. and Mrs. Peyton Wade Douglas, at 3 o’clock. The home was prettily decorated with palms, ferns, pink roses and pink carnations. Miss Ellen Davison, of Cox college, played the wedding music, accompanied by Mrs. L. H. Fitzpatrick on the violin. Before the entrance of the bridal party Mrs. C. C. Cocroft, of Thomasville, sang “Because God Made Thee Mine,” and during the ceremony the “Angels Serenade” was softly played. Miss Bessie Davison was her sister’s maid of honor and Miss Nell Cocroft, of Thomasville, was the only bridesmaid. Mr. J. B. Bruden, of Mt. Vernon, was Mr. Cocroft’s best man and Mr. S. M. Bowden, of Macon, was groomsman. Little Misses Dorothy Launceford and Frances Wynne were flower girls. Dr. G. A. Nunnally, of Rome, uncle of the bride, was the officiating minister. The bride was becomingly gowned in a traveling suit of dark blue cloth with hat to match and carried a shower bouquet of bride roses and valley lilies. The maid of honor wore white crepe de chine and carried pink roses. The bridesmaid wore pink crepe de chine and carried white roses. The bride’s mother wore a gray satin gown with touches of heliotrope and wore a corsage bouquet of Parma violets. Mrs. C. C. Cocroft, of Thomasville, wore a gown of black velvet. Among the out-of-town guests were Dr. and Mrs. G. A. Nunnally, of Rome; Col. W. J. Nunnally of Rome; Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Cocroft, Miss Mary Cocroft, of Thomasville; Mr. J. D. Bruden, of Macon; Mr. and Mrs. E. P. Roane, of Monroe, and Mr. S. M. Bowden, of Macon. Mr. and Mrs. Cocroft left for a trip to Florida, and after February 4 will be at home in Thomasville, Ga.
Bessie’s 36-year-old brother Joseph died on October 15, 1913. He was buried in the family plot at Bairdstown Cemetery. His 36-year-old wife Julia (Young) Davison died less than two years later in Oglethorpe County on July 22, 1915. She was buried beside her husband at Bairdstown Cemetery.

Atlanta City Directory, 1913

Bessie lived at the Washington Street house in Atlanta and remained a music teacher until at least 1919. By January 8, 1920, she was living with a widowed woman named Mrs. S. F. Luidler in the Rochelle District of Wilcox County, Georgia and still teaching music.

Thanks to the Miami, Dade County, Florida city directories, I’m able to track Bessie through a good part of the next two decades. In 1924, she was listed twice—once at 256 NE 20th Terrace and then at 227 NE 3rd Street. The second listing on 3rd Street noted that she worked in real estate. Her sister Evelyn and her husband Ben lived at the 20th Terrace address. She may have worked for the Cocroft Realty Company located at 416 First National Bank Building which I assume belonged to her sister and brother-in-law. Bessie was working for a real estate company located at 806 Professional Building in Miami in 1926. She lived at 1770 NE 4th Avenue in 1927 and still lived there in 1928 and 1929. It appears that her sister and brother-in-law Ben lived there as well. Both Bessie and Ben were still working real estate.

On April 21, 1930, Bessie and her mother were living with Evelyn and Ben at 1770 NE 4th Avenue in Miami. At age 46, Bessie was not working, nor was her mother or sister. Ben was still a real estate realtor. They pretty much stayed on NE 4th Avenue until at least 1939. Bessie’s mother Susan died in Miami on November 23, 1937. Bessie and Evelyn took her body home to be buried in the family plot at Bairdstown Cemetery.

I can’t find Bessie in the 1940 census but the 1941 Miami city directory shows that she had ventured out on her own and lived at 1779 NE 2nd Court, apartment 18. Evelyn and Ben were still living in the NE 4th Avenue home. By 1942, Bessie had moved to 334 NE 26th Street but not for long. She died in Miami on February 11, 1942. Her body was returned home to Georgia and buried in the family plot at Bairdstown Cemetery. Her stone was inscribed with the words “The Lord Bless Thee and Give Thee Peace.” Bessie never married.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Florence G. Smith

Florence G. Smith, daughter of Erastus Smith and Jane Anderson, was born in Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania on December 2, 1876. She was the third child of four—Elsie Augusta Smith, Mary Jane Smith, Florence G. Smith, and Barton Richard Smith. Florence would be my husband’s 1st cousin 2x removed. Their nearest common relatives are his 2nd great grandparents, John Thompson Smith and Jane Gordon.

Florence lost her status as the baby of the family on September 7, 1879 when her brother Barton was born in Apollo on September 7, 1879.

On June 21, 1880, the Smith family lived in Apollo. Her father was a house painter and her mother a housekeeper. Florence was just nine years old when her 43-year-old father Erastus, a veteran of the Civil War, died in Apollo on April 13, 1886. He was buried at Apollo Cemetery there in Apollo.

On June 11, 1900, Florence lived in the Apollo home of John and Effie Hamilton. Mr. Hamilton was a hardware merchant in the area. A servant for the family, Florence most likely tended to their two young children—Ester (age 6) and Martha (age 3).

On March 30, 1907, Florence’s sister Elsie lost her one-year battle with pulmonary tuberculosis in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. According to Elsie’s death certificate, she was buried at Apollo Cemetery but she has a tombstone at Prospect Cemetery in Apollo. Elsie was just 37 years old and left one known son behind—Harry Anderson Wible. Less than a year later, Florence’s sister Mary died of heart disease in Apollo on January 12, 1908. The “Apollo Sentinel” reported her death on January 17, 1908:
Death of Mary Jane Smith—after a lingering illness Miss Mary Jane Smith died at the home of her mother, Mrs. J. R. Smith, on North Sixth Street, on Sunday, January 12th 1908, aged 33 years, 9 months and 8 days. The deceased was a Presbyterian by faith and was well liked by all who knew her. She is survived by a mother and a brother, Bart Smith, and a sister, Florence Smith. Funeral services were held Wednesday. Interment was made at the Prospect cemetery.
Two of the Smith children were gone now but it didn’t end there. In September 1909, Florence herself contracted pulmonary tuberculosis. She was attended by prominent Apollo physician Dr. T. J. Henry but succumbed to the disease on December 7. Florence was buried at Prospect Cemetery in Apollo. The “Apollo Sentinel” reported her death on December 10, 1909:
Florence Smith, daughter of Mrs. Jane Smith, died at her home on North Sixth Street on Tuesday, December 7th, aged 33 years. Death was caused by tuberculosis. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Funeral services were held at her late home Thursday afternoon. Rev. Leon Stewart preached the funeral services. Interment in the Prospect Cemetery.
Florence Smith's death certificate

Her death was also reported by “The Pittsburgh Press” on December 11:
Miss Florence G. Smith, only daughter of Mrs. Jane Smith of Apollo, Pa., was buried from the home of her mother Thursday. She was born in 1876 and was a member of the Presbyterian church. One brother, Barton Smith and the mother survive. The deceased father, Erastus C. Smith served throughout the Civil war and was a member of the 139th regiment Co. E.
Christmas was filled with sorrow that year.