Friday, August 25, 2017

Grady Ernest Arthur

Photo by P. Moon
Grady Ernest Arthur, son of Seaborn Arthur and Mary Eugenia “Jennie” Ruark, was born on February 25, 1895 in Greene County, Georgia. He was the sixth child of seven—Wade Hamilton Arthur, Clarence R. Arthur, Lorry M. Arthur, Nora Lee Arthur, Joel T. Arthur, Grady Ernest Arthur, and Gladys M. Arthur. Grady is the husband of my 2nd cousin 3x removed, Iona Lankford. We have no common relative.

On June 5, 1900, Grady and his family lived in Greshamville, Greene County, Georgia. His parents, who had been married for 22 years, had seven children, all of which were living. Grady’s father was a farmer. His brothers Wade and Clarence were both helping their father on the farm while Lorry and Lenora were both going to school. At age five, Grady apparently hadn’t started going to school yet. Grady’s father Seaborn died on January 31, 1906. He was buried at Watkinsville Cemetery in Watkinsville, Oconee County, Georgia.

On April 15, 1910, Grady, his widowed mother, brother Joel, and sister Gladys lived in the Fairplay District of Morgan County, Georgia. No one in the home worked. Grady’s brother Clarence and his family lived next door. Clarence earned his living as a cotton farmer.

The year 1915 didn’t start out well for Grady. The “Madisonian” reported on January 29, 1915 that Grady was “suffering from a case of mumps.” By February 12, “The Madisonian” reported that Grady had recovered. The year ended on a high note though with Grady taking a bride—he married Arvie M. Doster, daughter of William Thomas Doster and Nancy Elizabeth (last name unknown) on November 6 in Morgan County, Georgia. The “Madisonian” reported the marriage on November 12:
Married, last Sunday morning at 10 o’clock on the public highway near the Stallings old home, across Hard-Labor Creek, in the middle of the road, Miss Arrie Doster to Mr. Grady Arthur. The ceremony was performed by Judge Squire James W. Curtis, of Rutledge. To the contracting parties, May the Lord bless and abundantly pardon.
By the end of the month, Grady and Arvie had “moved to their new home south of Madison” according to the “Madisonian” on November 26. They welcomed their only child, a son they named Ernest G. Arthur, on May 5, 1916.

Grady registered for the World War I draft in Morgan County on June 5, 1917. He noted that he was a farmer, working for C. F. McDonald near Bostwick. Grady claimed exemption from the draft, most likely because he had a wife and child. Grady was of medium height, slender, had grey eyes, and dark hair.

Grady, Arvie, and Ernest were living at 430 Main Street in Madison, Morgan County, Georgia on January 9, 1920. Grady was a farmer. A month later, Grady lost his wife Arvie when she unexpectedly passed away at home in Madison following a brief illness. She was just 24 years old. Arvie was buried at Watkinsville Cemetery in Watkinsville. The “Madisonian” reported her death on February 13:
Death of Mrs. Arthur—Mrs. Grady Arthur died at her home in Madison Wednesday morning, after a brief illness. She was a daughter of Rev. and Mrs. W. T. Doster, of Drexel. She leaves a husband and one child, father, mother and several brothers and sisters to mourn her untimely death. The funeral was held yesterday, and the body of Mrs. Arthur carried to Watkinsville for interment. The “Madisonian” extends sympathies to the bereaved ones in this hour of deepest distress.
Arvie’s church remembered her in the “Madisonian” on February 20:
Baptist Church Notes (from Church Bulletin, Feb. 15) Mrs. Grady Arthur was buried at Watkinsville last Thursday afternoon, the funeral service being conducted by the pastor. To the husband and other relatives, the pastor and our membership give Christian sympathy.
Grady took a second bride on December 28, 1923 when he married Iona Lankford, daughter of William A. Lankford and Mollie Finch. Grady was 10 years older than 18-year old Iona. Grady and Iona welcomed a daughter they named Frances on August 5, 1925. During the mid-1920s, Grady turned to the food industry for work. In September 1924, he set up a meat market on First Street in Madison with a man named Bob Jackson. In 1927, he set up space with the Jago Supply Company on First Street selling groceries and fresh meats. In 1929, he was a meat cutter in the meat market of Harold Higginbotham’s store.

On April 10, 1930, Grady, Iona, and daughter Frances lived at 117 Plum Street in Madison, Morgan County, Georgia. Grady was enumerated as a salesman in a meat shop. In December 1930, he and his family moved “to the Jackins farm on the Greensboro highway, where he will farm the coming year, and also continue to furnish meats for his regular customers” according to the “Madisonian” on December 12. A tragic event occurred on November 24, 1932 when Grady’s brother Clarence apparently didn’t check for traffic before stepping into the road to cross the street. A car was coming and was unable to avoid hitting him. Clarence was taken to the hospital in Athens with two broken legs, a “couple of severe gashes across the skull, and other minor injuries.” He died several hours later without ever regaining consciousness. It was Thanksgiving Day. During happier times in September 1934, Grady and his family were making “rocking chair memories” (as my Mama likes to say), spending September 2 in Greensboro, Greene County, Georgia. They were probably celebrating the Labor Day holiday weekend and while there, Iona and Ernest “had the pleasure of going up for a ride in an airplane” according to the “Madisonian” on September 7.

Arthur family plot at Watkinsville Cemetery
Photo by P. Moon
On May 17, 1940, Grady and Iona lived in the Martins district of Morgan County, Georgia. Grady was a farmer on his own farm. His mother, sister Gladys, and niece Katherine lived next door. Grady’s 24-year-old son Ernest was still living at home—but not for long. On June 18, 1941, Ernest married Annie Ruth Burch, daughter of Mattie Burch—a happy time for the Arthur family. The end of the decade brought sad times for the Arthur family however. Grady’s mother died at home in Madison on March 28, 1949. They held her funeral the next day with burial at Watkinsville Cemetery in Watkinsville. By July 28, 1949, Grady found himself in a Madison hospital. Five days later, Grady died at home in Morgan County on August 2, 1949 following an illness of several months. His funeral service was held the next day at Hemperley’s Chapel with the Rev. J. R. Keene officiating. “Beautiful Isle of Somewhere” and “The Old Rugged Cross” were sung at the service. Grady was buried at the Watkinsville City Cemetery. He was a member of Sandy Creek Baptist Church and was 54 years old at the time of his death.


  1. Hi, I enjoy your posts. Thus Grady Arthur was my great-great uncle. Do you have any personal knowledge of him or his family, including Gladys Lankford, his sister? They married a brother and sister.

  2. Thank you for reading. No, I don't have any personal knowledge of Grady or his family and everything I know about him is here. Grady comes up in my tree. I randomly google people in my tree and if I find anything interesting, I blog about them.