Friday, November 17, 2017

Hidden house treasures

I’ve written about family treasures in the past but tonight I’m writing about someone else’s treasures—things we found in our house that belonged to previous owners.

Earlier tonight, we watched the CBS News and one of the stories was about a third-grade classroom at a 100-year-old school in Manhattan where the students were digging for treasures in the class closet (Students dig up treasures buried under 100-year-old school in NYC). They interviewed several of the students and you could hear the excitement in their voice as they talked about the treasures they were finding. It reminded me of the treasures we found buried in my house three and a half years ago when we did a major remodel. I remember on several occasions we felt the same type of excitement.

It started early in the remodel—the construction crew tore down the drywall on the top level of the house, leaving a gap at the base of the floor. Before they tore the walls completely down, my oldest son headed upstairs and started digging in the gap to see what he could find. The photo below shows some of the items he found after a couple of digs.


On another occasion, the crew found a copy of a January 1969 issue of Playboy magazine. That caused a lot of excitement amongst the crew so my husband gave them the magazine. Our two adult boys sure were mad at their Dad when they found out. He didn’t even ask them if they wanted it!



Then on another day, the crew found this stash of beer cans buried in the walls. The crew were all local and had grown up in the neighborhood. One of them said he used to hang out at this house with the boys that previously lived here and he may have even hidden some of the beer cans in the wall.


We lived in the house during the construction so when I got home from work every day, I’d check the house over to see what they had done that day. On one occasion, I found an Eveready battery and an empty box of candy cigarettes standing on the window seal at the top of the stairs. Having grown up watching the Flintstones, I got a chuckle out of the candy box.



Once they removed the drywall from the stairway, I noticed a huge stash of chewing gum wrappers stuffed in one step. At the time, I wondered why would some kid stuff empty gum wrappers in the walls. But then I wondered, why not!



I believe most of the items found up until this point were all from the family that lived in the house immediately before us. As far as we can remember, there were three boys in that family and they most likely had bedrooms upstairs so they were probably who had placed the hidden treasures.

Once the construction moved downstairs, we learned about another family that had lived in the house during the 1950s and 1960s—the Prathers. They had a little boy named Jackson. These are some of his school papers.


He went by Jack

This one is dated January 21, 1958

Jackson must have liked Superman. Here’s a Clark Kent trading card dated 1965.




They were God-loving people.


And they either attended, or knew someone who attended, the dedication of the St. Louis Arch on May 25, 1968.


The last item we found was this juice glass, still in perfect condition. It was sitting on a shelf underneath the stairwell where we have a huge storage area. It now sits on top of my family history bookcase as a reminder that others were here before us.


None of these treasures are of any value but, like the students in the CBS News story, I found it exciting and fun to find them and they are all a part of the history of our house.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Samuel Terrell Lankford, a U.S. Navy Veteran

In celebration of Veterans Day, today’s post is about a veteran in the Lankford family—Samuel Terrell Lankford—my Daddy.

At age 18, Daddy registered for service in the U.S. Navy in Greene County, Georgia. At the time, he worked in the packing department for the Union Manufacturing Company, a hosiery mill in Union Point there in Greene County. He left home and headed to Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia where he was inducted on September 19, 1944. He was sent to boot camp at Naval Station Great Lakes located near North Chicago, in Lake County, Illinois. On October 5, 1944, Daddy sent his mother a postcard from Great Lakes that reads:
Dearest all 
I haven’t got any stationary to write you today will try and write tomorrow. I’m doing just fine. Will be home before long. We had co. pictures made today will send one home as soon as I get them. Write me often as possible.
Love Sam


On November 19, 1944, Daddy wrote his aunt and uncle, Prince and Mary Burnette, to let them know he was coming home:
Dear Aunt and Uncle Prince
I hope this finds you all doing just fine. I’m just fine myself. I’m really tired though and I have to stand guard duty four hours from 12:00 midnight until 4:00 a.m. I know just about how I’m going to feel tomorrow. That’s one thing I don’t like about the Navy you have to stand guard about twice every week.
Well it won’t be long before I will be home. If nothing happens I probably be home about 5:00 p.m. Fri Dec. 1th. I’m not exactly sure about the time yet.
I’m going to find out and let Mama and them know though. I want everybody at home when I arrive if possible.
I have some pictures made. If you come out house while I’m there I’ll give you one.
I have to blackmail you some way to get you out home these last ones are pretty good. Well I’ll close now and sleep an hour or so. Write me before I leave.
Love Sam


My guess is that Daddy was allowed to go home for a visit after boot camp graduation. This was his first time being away from home and family so I’m sure he was excited.

After boot camp, Daddy served at the Naval Air Technical Training Command (NATTC) in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee which, according to Wikipedia, provided “initial and advanced technical training to various aviation operations, aviation maintenance and aviation support specialities coded under Navy enlisted aviation ratings and Marine Corps enlisted aviation Military Occupational Specialities.” Further training came at the Advanced Base Aviation Training Unit (ABATU) in Lido Beach, Long Island, Suffolk County, New York. From Long Island, he was transferred to USNABPD San Bruno, San Mateo County, California, and then finally served on the U.S.S. Laffey (DD 724).

This photo was taken during boot camp, ca. 1944

Photo taken in Memphis, Tennessee

The U.S. navy destroyer USS Laffey (DD-724) underway in 1964;
photo by U.S. Navy [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Over the years, Daddy often spoke of his time in the Navy but he only mentioned time spent in Long Island and on the Laffey. He apparently met a young woman in Long Island and has mentioned her a few times. He was a cook on the ship. Daddy was a good cook so I’m sure the sailors were happy. Now I’m wondering—did he already know how to cook before he joined the Navy, or did the Navy teach him how to cook. I’ll have to remember to ask that question next spring. Daddy never mentioned any of the training he received while in the Navy so that information was a surprise to me.

World War II ended on September 2, 1945 and as far as I know, he never saw battle.

On January 17, 1946, Daddy was authorized for a change in duty by the Commander Destroyers, Pacific Fleet (ComDesPac). He appears on a muster roll for the Laffey on February 1, 1946. On March 16, 1946, he was authorized to transfer to a separation center for discharge. He again appeared on a muster roll for the Laffey on April 1, 1946. After serving the U.S. Navy for 1 year, 6 months, and 16 days, Daddy received an honorable discharge in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida on April 4, 1946. His rank at the time of discharge was Seaman First Class, SV-6, USNR. He received an USNR Honorable Discharge Button, Honorable Service Lapel Button, and an Honorable Discharge Emblem. Single at time of discharge, Daddy returned home to Penfield, Greene County, Georgia, receiving a travel allowance of $17.75 and an initial mustering out pay of $100. He returned to work at Union Manufacturing before moving to Atlanta in 1947.

Thank you, Daddy, for your service!

Sam Lankford and Millard Lowry

Friday, November 3, 2017

John Thompson Smith

Smith-McIlwain headstone, Riverview Cemetery,
Apollo, Pennsylvania
John Thompson Smith, parents unknown, was born in St. Clairsville, Belmont County, Ohio on November 7, 1810. He was my husband’s 2nd great grandfather. Their nearest common relative is John Milton Smith.

Unfortunately, I have no record that tells me about John’s early years but at some point, he left St. Clairsville and moved to Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. About 1840, he married Jane Gordon, daughter of Matthew Gordon and Elizabeth [last name unknown]. I’ve recorded the location of their marriage as St. Clairsville, which is 100 miles from Apollo, but I can’t confirm that they were married there so if you’re researching this couple, you’ll need to find proof. Jane had previously been married to John McIlwain with whom she had four children—Margaret McIlwain, James Xenophon McIlwain, John S. McIlwain, and Eva McIlwain. According to Apollo’s Quasqui Centennial souvenir program published for its 125th anniversary, John McIlwain was one of the early settlers of the town of Warren, which eventually became part of the borough of Apollo. John (McIlwain) was a tavern owner in Apollo. After his death in 1837, Jane married John Thompson Smith. The book History of Apollo, PA. 1816 – 1916: The Year of a Hundred Years written by T. J. Henry (published in 1916 by The News-Record Publishing Company in Apollo) notes on page 23 … “After the death of John McIlwain, John T. Smith married his widow and they kept tavern for many years on the corner of Warren Avenue and First Street.” Henry also makes a reference to John “keeping tavern on the corner of North and Canal Streets” in Apollo but I haven’t figured out if it’s a different or the same tavern he mentioned on page 23 of his book.

John and Jane Smith had six children together—Electra Burnette Smith, Erastus C. Smith, Eunice Alvira Smith, Martha Jane Smith, Minerva Smith, and John Milton Smith. Electra was born in Armstrong County on February 11, 1841; Erastus was born in Allegheny County (possibly Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania on October 11, 1842; Eunice was born in Armstrong County on September 19, 1844; and Martha was born in Apollo on October 3, 1846. As the family grew, John and Jane became active in the Apollo community. Page 25 of Henry’s book notes “The voters were commanded to meet in the house of John Smith and elect a burgess and five councilmen. Robert McKissen and Wm. McCullough were appointed to publish and superintend the election, to be held May 3, 1848. At this election Robert McKissen was elected burgess and Wm. Nichols, Wm. Miller, George C. Bovard, John T. Smith, John Elwood and David Risher, town councilmen.”

From Apollo's anniversary celebration Quasqui Centennial program



Henry’s book also states “For many years the election was regularly held at the home of J. T. Smith and Mrs. Smith always served a turkey dinner to the board.”

John’s youngest daughter Minerva was born in Apollo on May 21, 1849. Just before her first birthday, Minerva contracted cholera and died on May 17, 1850. She was buried at Riverview Cemetery in Apollo.

John was one of six men elected to the first board of school directors in 1850. Late that same year, the census enumerator found him and his family still living in Apollo on November 7, 1850. The children ranged in age from nine to four. Two of Jane’s children from her first marriage lived in the home—Margaret McIlwain, age 20, and John McIlwain, age 14. There was also a 26-year-old male with the last name Chambers living in the home. I can’t read the census enumerator’s handwriting to tell what his first name was. John was an innkeeper with real estate valued at $2,000. Jane gave birth to their sixth and last child, John Milton Smith, in Apollo on February 27, 1851.

1850 Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania census for the John T. Smith family

John and his family were apparently members of the First Presbyterian Church in Apollo. The church baptismal record shows that James Xenophon McIlwain was baptized as an adult in April 1858, Electra Smith was baptized as an adult and Eunice, Martha, and John were baptized there as children on October 11, 1858.

First Presbyterian Church of Apollo baptism record listing
Eunice, Martha, and John Milton Smith

First Presbyterian Church in Apollo

On July 5, 1860, John and his family were still living in Apollo, running the inn. Both John and Jane were enumerated as an innkeeper. There had been no change to the value of their real estate, still recorded as $2,000. John had a personal estate valued at $500. Electra and Erastus were both enumerated as “labourer,” so perhaps they were both working at the inn as well, although Erastus was still attending school. The other three children were attending school.

1860 Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania census for the John T. Smith family

John was a postmaster for Apollo at one point, running the post office from his tavern. When Apollo celebrated its Quasqui Centennial from June 29 to July 4, 1941, John was included on page 24 of the souvenir program where it noted his part in Apollo’s first election. Page 41 of the program notes him as an Apollo “First”—the first tailor.



John died in Apollo on March 11, 1864. He was buried at Riverview Cemetery in Apollo. Jane outlived both of her husbands so must have buried them side by side and then she was buried with them when she died in 1877. The tombstone is a marker for all three.

John’s will was held in bond by Alexander Gordon, James Guthrie, and William Miller in the sum of $1,500 on April 5, 1864. Alexander was the administrator of John’s goods, chattels, and credits.

John’s name carried on for several generations. His son John Milton Smith named one of his sons John Thompson Smith. John Milton Smith’s daughter, Bertha Smith Athya, named one of her sons John Thompson Athya.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Harold O. Church

Harold O. Church, son of Samuel C. Church and Rhoda M. Kiger, was born on April 16, 1908 in Wetzel County, West Virginia. He was the fourth child of four—Archie Odes Church, Arlie Ogle Church, stillborn daughter Church, and Harold O. Church. His stillborn sister was born/died in Anthem, Wetzel County, West Virginia on June 20, 1906, two years before Harold was born. Harold’s mother was the sister of Louisa Virginia Kiger who married James Benton Church, Samuel’s brother and Harold’s uncle. Samuel and James were brothers of my husband’s grandmother Dessie Church. Harold would be my husband’s 1st cousin, 1x removed.

On May 10, 1910, Harold and his family lived in the Church District of Wetzel County. His father was a farmer on a general farm. Harold’s parents had been married for eight years. The census enumerator reported that Rhoda was the mother of three children, all of which were living. There was no mention of the stillborn daughter found in the General Index and Register of Births for Wetzel County, West Virginia.

Harold contracted diphtheria at the age of three years, seven months, and five days and died in Moses Run, Wetzel County, West Virginia on December 11, 1911. He was buried at Thomas Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery in Littleton, Wetzel County, West Virginia.

Death index listing Harold O. Church, Wetzel County, West Virginia

Harold is a descendant of Henry “Old Hundred” Church for whom the town of Hundred, West Virginia is named.

Thomas Chapel United Methodist Church, Wetzel County, West Virginia

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
Callaway
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.