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Photobucket
Burris clan in Russellville, Pope Co., AR, circa 1920/1921


There's a wall of photographs over my bed. I call it my dead relatives gallery, and I'm not really joking, although some of my family and friends laugh nervously when I say it.

I'm using this journal to share information I have acquired over the past several years for surnames in my family tree. The journal is "tag intensive" to make it easier to locate information and photos about specific surnames. (Tags list is in the left sidebar of the journal.)

They say you can choose your friends, but not your family. Personally, I find my family fascinating, and even more so the older I get. Sure, we have our share of archetypes - shrill, bossy women...strong "silent type" men...and the requisite number of "crazies." But hey, this is the deep South, and as Julia Sugarbaker said in Designing Women:

"...we're proud of our crazy people. We don't hide them up in the attic. We bring 'em right down to the living room and show 'em off. ...no one in the South ever asks if you have crazy people in your family. They just ask what side they're on." Like Julia, mine are on both sides.

Primary surnames researched include Ashmore, Balding, Burris, Callaway, Chapin, Darter, Duvall, Grooms, Harkey, Hayslip, Herrington, Hill, Holder, McBrayer, Meek, Parrish, Pettit, Shinn, Wharton, Williams.

All comments are welcome, including anonymous comments. You do not have to be a Dreamwidth member to comment, and may use Open ID, i.e., Google, WordPress, etc., to comment.

ETA: Most of the photos you will find in this journal were taken over 100 years ago. Regardless of their age, these photos were falling out of albums, or lying loose among family papers and I have scanned them to preserve them for posterity. Photos of gravestones appearing in this journal were taken by me.

I said all that to say this - if any of these photos are of your family members, just right click and save them to your computer. No one associated with this journal is going to chase you down to try and prosecute you for copyright infringement, as long as you don't claim you took the photo.

The written content of this journal is copyrighted. Don't use it without my written permission.


Email me at sharpchick13 at hotmail dot com.
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Yesterday, I went to the annual Callaway-Holder reunion in Clark Co., AR.

From one of my cousins, I learned how one of our other cousins had been very badly injured while employed in the office of the Pulaski County Circuit Clerk in 1892.

Sterling Roseberry Brown was the son of Emily Owsley Callaway. She was the daughter of Jonathan Owsley Callaway and Emily Hemphill. (Cousins of my generation, we descend from Jonathan Owsley Callaway's younger brother, Nathaniel C. Callaway.)
A TERRIBLE FALL
Ex-Chancery Clerk S. R. Brown Meets With An Awful Accident
He falls asleep while sitting in a window and plunges headforemost on a stone coping


S.R. Brown, an ex-Chancery Clerk, who has been employed recently in the Circuit Clerk's office, met with an accident about 2 o'clock this morning which is likely to prove fatal.

He had been working in the office since 8 o'clock, copying deeds.

He finished his work about 2 o'clock this morning and took a seat in the window on the north side of the building.

He fell asleep and fell out of the window, striking his head against the stone coping below, cutting a large gash in his head over the left eye. Employees in the office picked him up in an unconscious condition, and there being no hacks on the stand, the patrol wagon was called for, and he was taken to his uncle's residence on Nineteenth and Louisiana streets.

His body was cold and rigid, and from a hasty examination it appeared that his skull had been badly fractured.

Arkansas Gazette, Tuesday, 19 Jul 1892

A CRITICAL CASE
Condition of S.R. Brown Who Fell Out of the Court-house Window


Mr. S.R. Brown, who fell from a window in the Circuit Clerk's office early yesterday morning, is very seriously hurt. His skull was fractured and was trephined1 by his physicians early yesterday morning. At a late hour last night he was resting as well as could be expected.

The operation was performed several hours after the accident occurred, and although well performed, may not prove successful in saving the young man's life. Mr. Brown was kept under the influence of opiates during the day, and although he was able to understand what was spoken, he could only make answers to questions asked of him by a nod of the head.

With the exception of a partial paralysis he appears to suffer in no part of his body except the head. He has free use of his limbs and there is no evidence of bruises on his body, which increase the hope of his friends that he has received no internal injuries, and that he may be able to recover.

Several small bones were taken from the skull about two inches above the left eye, the opening being covered by a silver plate about the size of a quarter. Had the accident occurred the time of day when prompt surgical treatment could have been rendered, the chances for recovery would have been much better than under the present circumstances. His injury and his present symptoms are almost identically the same as those of the late Judge Martin, who lost his life recently in Oklahoma, O.T.

Arkansas Gazette, Wednesday, 20 Jul 1892

Fearful Accident
Mr. S.R. Brown, of Little Rock, who has many friends and relatives here, will be pained to read the following from the Little Rock Gazette, of Wednesday last [text substantially the same as 19 Jul 1892 Arkansas Gazette article, with the following exception]...He was taken to the residence of his uncle, Maj. J.W. Caloway (sic) where he lies in a critical condition.
The Southern Standard, Friday, 22 Jul 1892
It appears that Roseberry Brown recovered and went on to live for eighteen more years.

Sterling Roseberry Brown
Sterling Roseberry Brown, 50 years old, died at 8:30 o'clock last night at the home of his aunt, Mrs. J.W. Calloway (sic) 1900 Louisiana street.

Mr. Brown was born in Arkadelphia, where he lived until 1877, when he came to Little Rock. He lived here until 1906, when he moved to Lake Village to accept a position as deputy county clerk of Chicot County. He returned to Little Rock the first part of May and lived here until his death. During his former residence in this city, he was chancery clerk of Pulaski county for two terms. He was a member of the Royal Arcanum, Knights of Pythias and the Masonic lodge.

The body will be sent to Arkadelphia for burial.

Arkansas Gazette, Saturday, 21 May 1910

Death of Roseberry Brown

Sterling Roseberry Brown, aged 50 years, died at 6:30 o'clock on Friday night, the 20th of May at the home of his aunt, Mrs. J.W. Callaway2 in Little Rock. The remains were shipped to this place, his former home and placed in charge of Undertaker Newberry, and on Monday morning carried to Mt. Pisgah Cemetery3 and interred...His health failed him and then three weeks ago he returned to Little Rock.
The Southern Standard, Thursday, 26 May 1910
Sterling Roseberry Brown was buried beside his mother, Emily Owsley Callaway Brown, and shares a gravestone with her.
 photo Arnold - Brown Sterling Roseberry and Emily Owsley Callaway.jpg

 photo Arnold - Brown Sterling Roseberry closer.jpg

So now for my musings...

Here's what the north side of the Pulaski County Courthouse looks like:
 photo North side Pulaski Co Courthouse.jpg


*I think in order to have hit his head on stone coping, Roseberry fell from a third story window. I'd love to know which one was the one where the Circuit Clerks slaved away copying deeds. You know they put the lowest of the low highest in the Courthouse to suffer through the summer heat...
ETA 30 Jun 2015: A commenter on Facebook noted that the white stone annex was not added to the Pulaski County Courthouse until 1913. So, Roseberry would have fallen from a window on the north side of the original red stone courthouse.
 photo 100_0804a.jpg


*It's incredible to me that 27 years after he surrendered to Union troops at Shreveport, and "walked the whole distance back to Arkadelphia," Jonathan Wilson Callaway still called himself "Major." He did not die in the service of the Confederate States of America, nor were there career opportunities for him in the CSA after his surrender. I think that probably says a lot about his attitude toward black Americans afterward.

*I know journalism was different back then, but can you say "run on sentence?"
1tre·phine
trəˈfīn,trəˈfēn/
noun 1. a hole saw used in surgery to remove a circle of tissue or bone.
verb 1. operate on with a trephine.

2Annie Vickers Callaway, widow of Jonathan Wilson Callaway.

3Mt. Pisgah Cemetery is now known as Arnold Cemetery.
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This is so maddening.

Noodling around with searches to connect a bunch of Vernon Co., MO Callaways to mine.

Because I know they have to be descendants of Peter and not Thomas...

And then I find all these Burrises buried in the Callaway Cemetery in Vernon County.

And cannot connect any of them - there's a really well documented genealogy complete with links - to my Burrises.

And the men with the older records were born in North Carolina. We believe our William Burris came from North Carolina.

Just maddening...
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 photo IsabelleHerringtonLockridgeandBenjaminThomasHerrington 2.jpg
Isabelle Jane "Belle" Herrington, and older brother, Benjamin Thomas Herrington.
Photo circa 1945.

During the last four or five years of her life, my Aunt Jean was a tremendous source of information about some of the folks in our family tree.

It was when she and I were looking at my copy of the photo above, shared by my Aunt Mary Ann, that Aunt Jean told me about Belle Herrington's first marriage. She said her grandaunt Belle - her mother's paternal aunt - had been married first to a man named Boyd Thomason. She said it was a brief marriage, and then, Aunt Belle married Smith Lochridge.

I dutifully made the notes, and later, set out to find out about Aunt Belle's first, brief marriage.
I never could find a record of that first marriage.

And to complicate things, I found Aunt Belle in the 1920 census in Sparkman, in Dallas County, working as a "servant in a hotel." I thought that was odd, because most of the rest of her family lived in Malvern, in Hot Spring County, with the exception of her oldest brother, Jasper, who lived in Clark County.

Aunt Belle was a widow with two children.

And her last name was Jones. I scoured all the usual places to find the departed Mr. Jones, to no avail.

And concluded that Aunt Belle was married to Mr. Jones no later than age 21, so how could there have been an earlier marriage to anyone named Boyd Thomason?
In the fall of 2013, I published this entry, stating that Aunt Belle had not been married to anyone named Boyd Thomason, and if anyone reading the entry could tell me who Mr. Jones was, to please contact me.

I got that contact last week, by email.

From a descendant of the Thomason family, who knew quite a lot about Aaron Boyd Thomason.

Aaron Boyd Thomason was born on 26 Nov 1878 in Butler Co., KY to Thomas Lindsey Thomason and Mary E Langford. He was nearly ten years older than Aunt Belle.

According to my Thomason correspondent, Boyd (he was called by his middle name) and his brother Vivian, traveled multiple times in the early 1900s to Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma to work the oil fields and the timber industry. He surmises that it must have been on one of those trips to Arkansas that Boyd met and married Belle. He also said that Boyd owned a hotel and some stores in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

And he sent photos of the family that span a period roughly between 1910 (shortly after their daughter Ethel's birth) to about 1913, shortly after their son Thomas Boyd Thomason's birth.

 photo AaronBoydThomason_Ethel_Belle.jpg
Boyd, Ethel and Belle Thomason, photo circa 1910-1911

 photo AaronBoydThomasonandEthel.jpg
Boyd and Ethel

 photo ThomasBoydThomason.jpg
Thomas Boyd Thomason, born 16 Feb 1912

So then, I wondered...what happened to the marriage?

By 1920, Belle was calling herself a widow. That was a very common occurrence for women who were divorced, a shameful marital status in those days.

Both the children were born in Kentucky, Boyd's family home. I found a birth record for Thomas, and he was born in Paducah, McCracken Co., KY.

And I wondered about that. Why would Belle have been in Kentucky? Could her bridegroom have wanted to get her away from her own family? Was Belle's family disapproving of her choice in a mate?

But even more curious - why did Belle change her last name?
The Thomason descendant who emailed me had other information that caused me to think of some possible reasons why Belle Herrington was not simply content to be Belle Thomason.

In 1926, Boyd Thomason returned to Kentucky. To Logan County, where he robbed the Auburn bank. Although the bank robbery took place long after Belle and Boyd split (I keep remembering Aunt Jean saying it was a brief first marriage), what if Belle had become aware of some shady business dealings? Or some outright crimes?

I think it is possible that Belle and Boyd split up before he registered for the draft during World War I, in 1918. He did not list a wife as his nearest living relative.

 photo Boyd Thomason WWI draft card.jpg


What if Belle did not want to be connected in any way, shape or form to Boyd Thomason - and didn't want her kids connected to him either?

Or what if it was dangerous to be known as the ex-wife of Boyd Thomason?
Belle changed her surname and that of her children at a time when people could do that with no legal messiness. You just started using your new name, and that was that.

Her children retained Jones as their legal surnames - Ethel until her marriage to Orvel James Jones, and Thomas Boyd for the rest of his life, which included a stint in the United States Navy during World War II.

Belle remarried, to Smith Lochridge in 1927. They were living with Belle's daughter and son-in-law in the 1940 census, in Weleetka, Okfuskee Co., OK. Smith Lochridge died in 1941, and Belle spent her later years living in Weleetka, close to her daughter. Belle died in 1973 and is buried in Hillcrest Cemetery in Weleetka.

But Boyd Thomason lost the care and comfort of his family.
The 1930 census found Boyd doing time in the Kentucky Branch Penitentiary in Eddyville, KY.

I couldn't find him in the 1940 census. But I found him on 28 Apr 1943, in Terre Haute IN when he had to register for the old men's draft for World War II.

 photo AAron B Thomason no one.jpg


He was 64 years old, homeless, unemployed, and no one would know how to get in touch with him.

From my Thomason email correspondent:
His family here in Kentucky didn't want anything to do with him because he almost took them down with him. After the bank robbery, my grandfather rode him across the river in his wagon (not knowing he was on the run) and he hid the money under a fence post on my great-grandfather's farm (his brother). They were both mentioned in the newspaper articles and just barely avoided arrest. Nobody trusted him after that. I've heard a great aunt of mine who remembered him say he abandoned his family out west.
Aaron Boyd Thomason died on 24 Nov 1945 in Mount Vernon, Jefferson Co., IL. He was buried three days later in Oakwood Cemetery in Mount Vernon.

I understand he had cousins there.

 photo Aaron_Boyd_Thomason.jpg
Aaron Boyd Thomason

If any of the descendants of Ethel Jones (nee Thomason) Jones or Thomas Boyd Jones (nee Thomason) find this entry, you are welcome to right click and save on any of these photos.
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As I write this, I am sitting in one of my favorite places - my east porch, which looks out on gardens I built.

I have lived in this spot for twenty years. As I age, I am very glad I built the bones of these gardens as a younger woman.

And as I admire the results of my efforts two decades ago, I feel very close to both of my grandmothers. They also built gardens, and spent considerable time in their gardens.

Addie Louise Herrington had an herbaceous perennial border six feet deep around the perimeter of her home on Crittenden Street in Arkadelphia. I remember especially her camellia, and all of those blue hydrangeas.

Grandma Burris didn't have a porch, apart from the screened entryway to the kitchen. But she and Granddaddy Burris did put lawn chairs in the shaded part of the backyard.

 photo AddieLouiseHerringtonBurris1928.jpg
Louise Herrington Burris, 1908-1980


Doris Geneva Balding had a fully landscaped garden - of her design and built with a lot of her sweat. She hired out the large jobs - like the brick wall she paid my dad to build around her back garden.

Grandma Dee had a terrace, and almost always had a comfortable cushion laid out on her favorite terrace chair. She and Papaw Joe used the terrace as an extension of their home, an outdoor room.

 photo 020.jpg
Doris Balding Williams, 1907-1998

I totally "get it."

I know why my grandmothers spent so much time and put so much effort in their gardens.

There are times when you have to earth yourself. Times when yanking out weeds, and feeling crumbly earth slipping through your fingers allows you to leave behind what seemed just a few moments ago to be so important.

Times when you lose track of time as you let your garden consume all your senses. When the garden tells you that we are all connected.

And it teaches you that no matter what your spiritual paradigm, we humans are totally unnecessary to the changing of the cycles of nature. We're just gravy on the finished product, and will leave this earthly experience behind one day.

And the cycles will go on. So we don't need to go messing up this wondrous creation with toxins and a laissez faire attitude that we can just use, and use, and use without ever giving back.
These days, I am trying to just maintain the gardens. There's enough work in that for me.

My building projects have now turned to gardening in miniature.
 photo 06 04 2015 gnome garden3.jpg
gnome garden, May 2015


My anchor plant in the gnome garden is a dwarf twisted Hinoki cypress.
 photo 06 11 2015 dwarf hinoki cypress.jpg
Dwarf Twisted Hinoki Cypress 'Tsatsumi'


This little tree is a slow grower. Eventually it will outgrow the space, getting a couple of feet tall and about as wide. I haven't researched how it would respond to root pruning to keep it smaller. I'm really looking forward to seeing curling bark.

As time goes by, I can enjoy the planning of its replacement, and relocate this little cypress to its own pot.
The journey is good. I can make it even better by taking time to appreciate my garden.

I love and miss you both.

I'll see you on the other side.
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 photo pop_art_cartoon_ginger_woman_tearing_hair_out_-_154569740__medium_4x3.jpg

And not just in that maddening, tear-your-hair-out sense that comes with reaching a brick wall with them.

Sometimes they talk to me.

Not necessarily in words.

Grampa Chapin has been talking of late. His portrait keeps listing ever so slightly to the west.

Not every day, but for the last week or so, I'll look up in the morning, and see that it's tilted. I always straighten it up.

Naturally, I look for logical explanations first.
The cottage is a mobile home, so I thought maybe this occurred when the washer was on the spin cycle, and the vibrations were moving the portrait.

So I looked several times this morning to see if it happened. Nope, didn't move even a millimeter. Besides that, I only use the washer a couple of times a week. I haven't seen a connection.

I've stomped across the living room floor. No movement. But anyway, I don't stomp around the cottage.

I've slammed the door. No movement. I've slammed the wooden gates on the front and back of the porch.

Nada, zip, zilch.

So, I figure Grampa Chapin wants to get my attention for some reason.

It's those kinds of moments that make me grin, because they just reinforce the truism.

The journey is good.
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My sister and I went to Oakland & Fraternal Historic Cemetery Park yesterday to decorate family graves.

Together, we have a combined total of over two dozen ancestors, relatives and extended family members buried there, including several members of my brother-in-law's family.

And as we were placing flowers on the grave of our great great grandmother, Laura Isabelle Cunningham Balding, it finally hit me that the two people buried next to her were her son-in-law, Charles Edwin Seaman and her granddaughter, Ethel Ione Seaman Rich, Charles' daughter from his marriage to Laura's daughter, Nellie Ione Balding.

So natch, my genealogy ADD kicked in and as I was exploring this part of the family in greater depth, I ran into the birth certificate for Arthur Robert Sisson. He was Nellie's son from her second marriage to Arthur Wright Sisson.

 photo Arthur Robert Sisson birth cert.jpg


It says that with Arthur's birth, Nellie had borne 5 children, 4 of whom were living.

Who was the fifth kid, please? I can only account for Charles Ernest Seaman, Victor Claude Seaman, Ethel Ione Seaman Rich, and Arthur Robert Sisson. Was this fifth child a Seaman or Sisson?
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 photo jigsaw puzzle.jpg
I really enjoy appreciate use the bookmark feature in my family tree database software.

It allows me to pointedly obsess about family members who are the individual bricks in the all-too-familiar ancestral brick wall.

There they are, all splayed out in the left-hand column of my display. Of course, I can go to a different view so I don't see them.

But what's the fun in that? Part of the tortuous thrill of family history research is banging your head against those brick walls.

You know what I mean? Until it hurts so good.

Over, and over, and over.
So since he's there, and since I want so badly to be able to prove that Robert James Dunn was the younger brother of my great great grandmother Mary C. Dunn, circumstantially speaking, I already know he is.
Today, I found out where in Georgia he was born.

Just searching census records for the whole big, honking state of Georgia for Dunns is pointless.

I was actually looking at one of his daughters by Bob's second wife, Betty Dorella Wofford. (She was the 15 and a half year old daughter of Bob's neighbor, and was pregnant with their first child. But that's another story. Scroll about halfway down for the newspaper clipping.)

Florence Ella Dunn's birth certificate says her father was born in Cave Spring, GA. That's in Floyd County.
 photo Florence Ella Dunn birth certificate.jpg


So you know what I did next. Spent the next hour looking for Dunn in Floyd Co., GA in the 1850 and 1860 censuses, hoping I'd find Bob's parents.

Over the results returned, none of them fit - or else Bob, OR Mary and Martha - had been kicked to the curb as little kids.

There was even one couple living in Cave Spring, GA in the 1860 census. But they were 22 and 18 years old, no kids in the home, and too young to have been the parents of Martha, Mary and Robert Dunn.

I keep his photo close and talk to it from time to time. Because sometimes, they give me signs.

The journey is good.




**With apologies to Pink Floyd. But the lyrics to the first part are just too appropos...

And before you ask, you too can create a jigsaw puzzle from one of your family photos by clicking here.
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The more I shake the family tree, the larger it becomes.

And as I add people to it, I frequently discover facts about them that make me go in search of other facts.

Like why Hurrell Burris Tackett's World War II draft registration card had this big X on the front of it, and a notation Died Aug 4 1941.

He was just 27 years old.
I only ran across Hurrell - or HB, as he was apparently called - when I was researching Ora and Willie D Burris, sisters who married the same man.

They were the daughters of William Matthew Burris and Susan Rebecca Dalrymple.

Ora was the oldest, and married John Thomas Tackett when she was 16. Just a kid.

But so was Tom - he was also 16 when they married. They had five children, although I can only find three. The 1900 census says Ora was the mother of two children, one of whom was living at the time of the census (that was Thomas Orval Tackett). By 1910, Ora had borne five children, but only three of them were living - Thomas, Reba May and Clyde D.

And Ora must have been ill. Willie was living with Ora, Tom and the three children in Little Rock in the 1910 census. Ora died on 25 May 1910, three weeks after the 1910 census was taken on the family. Prior to her death, she was a dressmaker, working from home. Tom was a grocery manager. Seventeen year old Willie must have been taking care of the kids.
I can imagine that Willie was a comfort and provided sorely needed help for for her brother-in-law, caring for her nieces and nephew during her sister's illness and after her death.

Whether there was a blossoming romance or not, I do not know. Perhaps the logic of the arrangement was what prompted the marriage.

I think their families must have approved. Although Tom Tackett and Willie Burris were living in Little Rock, they went back home to Pope County to marry on 19 May 1913.

They had one child together, a son.

Hurrell Burris Tackett was born on 26 Jun 1914 in Little Rock.
The next record I ran into on HB Tackett was his own marriage record.

Pope County family ties must have been strong. HB married Sadie Maxine Claybrook on 6 Feb 1937 in Pope County.

A 1939 entry in the Little Rock, Arkansas, City Directory showed the couple living at 2103 Center Street in Little Rock.

And then came that curious draft card.
 photo WWII reg page 1.jpg

HB Tackett signed the card on 16 Oct 1940.

And since the draft registration was apparently cancelled in some fashion, I knew he did not die in World War II.

So I ordered his death certificate from the Arkansas Department of Health.

And waited.
HB's death certificate said he died of "fracture of the skull with brain injury" due to an auto accident on "highway #10" in Little Rock.

I knew there must have been news coverage of the accident. There was.
 photo AR Gazette Sunday 3 Aug 1941.jpg

Four Injured in Automobile Collision

Four persons were injured, one seriously, in an automobile accident several miles west of Little Rock on the Joseph T Robinson highway shortly before 1 this (Sunday) morning.

H.B. Tackett, who lives near Roosevelt road and Broadway, suffered an acute brain injury. Charliene Reinoehl, 511 East Seventh, received a broken leg. V.O. Tackett and William D. Vance were bruised. The vitims told deputy sheriffs their automobile was in a collision. They were taken to University hospital.

Arkansas Gazette, Sunday, 3 Aug 1941

And the next day...
 photo AR Gazette Monday 4 Aug 1941.jpg

Accident Victim Given Slim Recovery Chance

H.B. Tackett, Route 2, Little Rock, injured in an automobile accident five miles from Little Rock on Highway No. 10, was said to have "a slim chance of recovering" by attendants at the University hospital last night.

A brother, V.O. Tackett, Miss Charlene Reinoehl and William D. Vance, all of 511 East Seventh street, were released yesterday after receiving treatment for cuts and bruises. Deputy sheriffs said the Tackett car collided with a second car which failed to stop following the accident.

Arkansas Gazette, Monday, 4 Aug 1941

HB Tackett died of his injuries at 7:40 p.m. on 4 Aug 1941 at University Hospital.
HB's father provided the information for his death certificate. I found that HB was buried in Roselawn Memorial Park, in Little Rock, on 6 Aug 1941.

I called Roselawn because I had not been able to locate burial information for Tom or Willie Tackett. They are also buried at Roselawn.

When Tom Tackett gave the information for his son's death certificate, he said HB was single. I found that curious, and have been unable to find either death or divorce information for Sadie Maxine Claybrook Tackett.

And the second news article had an error in it. VO Tackett was not HB's brother. He was his first cousin - the son of Tom Tackett's older brother, Jesse Epp Tackett.

But I imagine the cousins were close. When VO's mother died in 1925 when VO was 11 years old, VO came to live with Tom and Willie Tackett by 1930, in Little Rock. So he and HB did spend a portion of their teenage years together.

In my mind's eye, I can see a distraught VO Tackett telling sheriff's deputies...

He's my brother.
You can leave a virtual flower on HB Tackett's Find a Grave memorial by clicking here.
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This Facebook page has lots of vintage Arkansas photos.

This past week has been one in which Arkansas family history photos have been shared.

It's a public group, so you should be able to see all the photos.
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My brother-in-law has been hard at work on his own family tree.

After the death of his mother, Mary Helen Rutherford Rollins, on 15 Mar 2014, Harry found a photo of her grandfather, David Childress Jordan, among her personal effects.

 photo David Childress Jordan crop.jpg


We still don't know David Jordan's exact date of death. But the photo is a treasure, because facts about Cricket's grandfather have been hard to come by.
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In 2011, I wrote this entry about another of James Littleton Burris' children from outside his marriage to Adaline Ashmore.

Nancy Elizabeth Burris Jones, the eldest of the surviving children of James Littleton Burris and Adaline Ashmore, had her younger brother, Irving, living with her in the 1880 census in Conway County.

She knew he was her brother. But she didn't know where his parents were born.

Sure she didn't. She was - reluctantly or otherwise - part of the conspiracy of silence surrounding her father's infidelity.
We have already established that James Littleton Burris had a relationship of many years standing with Martha Vick.

I've documented five children born to them.

But could there have been a sixth? Was little 8 year-old Irving one of their children?

I now believe the answer is yes.
After a renewed search this week, I think I found the sixth child of Martha Vick and James Littleton Burris.

His name was Ervin D Burris. His Find a Grave memorial says he was born on 3 Jun 1871.

That causes a conflict with the birthdate of a presumed (my presumption) brother - Benjamin Flemons "Flem" Hill. (Most of Martha's children took the surname Hill, even though Martha Vick's husband, William J Hill, had not been living with her since she began bearing James Littleton Burris' children.)

Flem Hill's Find a Grave memorial says he was born in 1871 also.

Unless Flem Hill and Ervin Burris were twins, that is unlikely.

So I looked at the 1900 census for Flem Hill, who was living in Wilson Twp, Yell Co., AR.

Census enumerators asked you how old you were on your last birthday. In the 1900 census, they asked for the month of your birth.

In this census taken on 21 Jun 1900, Flem Hill said he was 27 on his last birthday, and his birth month was August.

So he was born Aug 1872 - not 1871.

Which would make him the younger brother of Ervin D Burris, who obviously kept that Burris surname all his life. The oldest of the Vick/Burris brothers had tried to keep the Burris surname, up to 1888, when he married for the first time.

After all, he was James Littleton Burris, Jr. - later, James L Hill - and he knew it.
A couple of other Burris researchers have picked up on Irving Burris living with his big sister, Nancy Burris, in 1880.

And they have made him the son of James Littleton Burris and Adaline Ashmore in their family trees.

Because they don't know that the last child born to James and Adaline was Richard Burris, on 9 Apr 1868 on Isbell Creek.

And that when James had his first son with Martha Vick - James Littleton,Jr., - almost a year to the day later on 8 Apr 1869...

Well, Adaline was just done.
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Found some more orphaned family photos at one of my favorite flea markets.

All three were labeled on the back
 photo Leta Kennerly 5 months old.jpg


Leta K Kennerly was born on 13 Jun 1884 in Texas, and was 5 months old when this photo was take (so says the back of it).

She married Giles Dougherty Houston. Leta died on 24 Sep 1951 in Los Angeles County, CA. She is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, CA.
 photo Aaron Woodruff Lyon June 2 1890.jpg
Aaron Woodruff Lyon, the grandson of Aaron Woodruff Lyon (1797-1888), an early Arkansas settler and pioneer of education in Arkansas, was about 22 years old when his photo was taken on 2 Jun 1890 in Bakersfield, CA.

Sadly, I cannot seem to find much other information about "Woodruff" Lyon - as the photo has him labeled. I have not found a gravesite for him.
 photo Ethel McGuire Mrs Blake Evans.jpg


This photo was labeled Ethel McGuire Mrs. Blake Evans on the back.

Ethel was born in Independence Co., AR on 2 Mar 1874 to Walter Sharpe McGuire and Adaline Powell Street. She married Robert Blake Evans on 9 Jan 1912 in Independence Co., AR.

Ethel is buried with her husband in Oaklawn Cemetery, Batesville, Independence Co., AR.
I am happy to re-home these photos to descendants or family members at no cost.
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This is the part I love about collecting old postcards. From a flea market last week, I purchased a bit of Arkansas history.

Three sisters, the daughters of Abner Clark Evans and Mary Catherine Morrow. It appears the family lived, worked and died in Izard County after Abner and Catherine's marriage in 1855 in Independence County. All of these are buried in Barren Fork Cemetery, Mount Pleasant, Izard Co., AR.

Identification of the sisters on the back, and the date was 20 Nov 1922.

From left to right:
Sarah Elizabeth "Lizzie" Evans McSpadden - Jan 1867 - 9 Aug 1936
Minnie Kate Evans McSpadden - 26 Sep 1874 - 18 May 1936
Alice C Evans Sims - 5 May 1862 - 13 Nov 1947

I'd love to get this card home to direct descendants. If any of you have connections in Izard County and are able to locate direct descendants, please comment below or email me at sharpchick13 at hotmail dot com with an address to mail the card.
 photo EvansMcSpaddenfrontcrop.jpg

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Although the family tree is full of veterans and heroes of service - past and present - in the armed forces of the United States, I focus today on my ancestors who served in battles before and during the American Revolution.

James Samuel Ashmore - born 4 Nov 1732 in Harford Co., Maryland Colony. He was the son of Richard Ashmore and Margery Lindley.

James was one of the rabble-rousers who was determined to annoy, harass and set back the cause of our fledgling country's British oppressors.

So in an act of covert defiance, on 2 May 1771, James - along with his half-brother, Joshua Hadley, and several other men - burned a gunpowder train that was on its way to Tory General Waddell, which was intended to be used against the group of colonists protesting the unreasonable taxes being imposed upon them by the Brits. This group of men became known as The Black Boys of Cabarrus County, North Carolina, due to them blackening their faces before setting out on their destructive mission.

In his deposition about the incident taken on 22 Jun 1771, James said:
...they found and stopped the waggons and enquired for the powder that was carrying to General Waddell. When in the waggon belonging to Col. Alexander they found the powder and took it out of the waggons, broke open the hogsheads and kegs that contained the powder, and set the same on fire and destroyed some blankets, leggins, kettles, and other things, and then dispersed soon after, having at this deponent first joining of them sworn him to secrecy as they informed who they all before, and further his deponent sayeth not. (Sourced to this website.)

Public sentiment among the colonists grew overwhelmingly in favor of "The Black Boys." As stated here, When the drama of the Revolution opened, these same "Black Boys" stood up manfully for the cause of American freedom, and nobly assisted in achieving, on many a hard-fought battlefield, the independence of our country.

Line of descent to me:
James Samuel Ashmore/Elizabeth Balch
Joshua Bloomer Ashmore/Mary Henderson
Andrew Sawyer Ashmore/Elizabeth McCarley
Elizabeth Adeline Ashmore/James Littleton Burris
George Washington Burris, Sr./Mary Mathilda Wharton
George Washington Burris, Jr./Addie Louise Herrington
my dad
me
Jesse Williams - born 19 Jun 1750 in Newcastle County, Delaware Colony, died 29 Sep 1834 in Rockcastle Co., KY after being kicked by a horse he was shoeing.

He was the son of David Shion and Mary Williams, immigrants to Delaware Colony from Wales.

Jesse enlisted in the Revolutionary War at Baltimore, MD in the summer of 1776, and as was the practice for the voluntary army made up overwhelmingly of farmers, served his multiple week tours of duty until the summer of 1781. (Sourced to his descendant's application for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution, at this link.) Note - paywall for the link.

Line of descent to me:
Jesse Williams/Elizabeth Rachel Gott
David Williams/Elizabeth Rowe
Jacob Williams/Catherine C Mueller
Jo Desha Williams/Maxie Leah Meek
Jo(e) Duffie Williams/Doris Geneva Balding
my mother
me
Joel Chapin - born 22 Apr 1732 in Springfield, Hampden Co., Massachsetts Colony, died 17 Mar 1805 in Bernardston, Franklin Co., MA.

He was the son of Caleb Chapin and Catherine Dickinson.

History of the Town of Bernardston, Franklin County, Massachusetts. 1736 - 1900 by Lucy Jane Cutler Kellogg (publ. E A Hall and Company, 1902) describes Joel Chapin as one of the members of the "committee of inspection" established on 30 Jan 1775, "when war was an almost assured event" in colonial Massachusetts. Although I have been unable to turn up his service record, Joel must have served because his gravestone in Old Cemetery, Bernardston, Franklin Co., MA says he was Lieut. Joel Chapin.

Line of descent to me:
Joel Chapin/Sarah Burke
Solomon Chapin/Rebecca Porter
Joel Chapin/Adeline Foster
Nathaniel Foster Chapin/Elizabeth Pancoast-Harris
Frederick Chapin/Eada Belle Parrish
Hattie Belle Chapin/Victor Claude Balding
Doris Geneva Balding/Jo(e) Duffie Williams
my mother
me


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Betsey Ross flag at Valley Forge
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The older I get, the more I understand some of the things my grandmother, Doris Balding Williams, did.

Now, I understand the only-damp-but-not-soiled paper towel lying on the kitchen counter, ready to be used again.

Now, I understand the clotheslines strung up in the garage, and the car parked in the driveway.

Now, I understand the empty boxes of Russell Stovers candies. With me, it's those paper bags with the sturdy handles.

Now, I understand the joy of moving slowly through the garden making new discoveries every day. And sharing them with others.

Now, I understand leaving the sewing machine up. All the time.

Grandma Dee, it took me a half century, but now I understand.
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Doris Balding Williams, in her garden in 1972
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Hi! Guest Blogger Cristi Broach Hendry here, GGG Granddaughter of James Littleton Burris. My paternal grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Burris “Nana” (1917-1998,) was born and raised in Atkins, Arkansas. Had it not been for the Depression, I might call Arkansas home rather than Riverside, California.
The Burris family home

JL Burris’ son James Franklin Burris, Postmaster of Atkins, built a family home in Atkins in about 1880 (See photo below. The house has been torn down). My dad was born in that house and I appreciate the fact that the Burris family home is the reason my sister and I have Burris family stuff - a quilt made by Mary’s maternal grandmother, Postmaster Burris’ desk and his Postmaster certificate, and a lovely bureau that may date to the 1800s.
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James Franklin Burris II about 1925 or 1930

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Frank Burris' service station in Atkins. The Burris home is on the left.

Introduction to Mary

Mary and her second husband Otis “Papau” moved to San Diego in 1940 with my dad (more on that later). Until 1969, we lived in San Diego too, and we spent a lot of time together - particularly since Mary and Otis had a pool. Mary worked at a clothing store called Walker Scott in the 60s -- a very good job for someone with a lifelong love of beautiful clothes. I can’t remember exactly how tall Mary was -- about 5’2” -- but she wore her clothes like a movie star. Think Rita Hayworth. Otis was 6’3”, and we always said, looked like Gregory Peck (see photo below).
 photo NanaandPapau.jpg

They built a good life in San Diego. My dad spent his teen years surfing and playing volleyball. In the 60s they acquired a charming home with that pool I mentioned - and Otis had Karmann Ghia in his driveway. No matter that the steering wheel became detached on a trip to Arkansas. It was a cool car!
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Mary gets married

When Mary was 16, she married Astor Pettit Broach, also an Atkins family -- son of Margarite Victoria Pettit and William Broach “Ma and Pa Broach”. My father, James William Broach, was born in 1935 when Mary was 17. The Depression was in full swing, Pettit had drinking issues and the marriage didn’t last long after my father’s birth. Mary’s high school classmate, Otis Lamar Hanks (1914-1994) of Russellville, had been carrying a torch for Mary, and was waiting in the wings. They married in 1937. Otis loved Mary truly and deeply his whole life.
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Mary Elizabeth's high school class, 1933

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Mary Elizabeth Burris, age 4


The Depression

The Depression sent Otis looking for copper mining work in Colorado and my dad, known as “Billy,” stayed with the Broaches in Atkins. By 1938, Mary and Otis returned to Atkins, collected Billy and joined the migration West with so many others. Otis got work in a copper mine in the strangely named Miami, Arizona, where the legs of Billy’s bed had to be set in buckets of water to prevent scorpions from getting him. The wind and blowing sand drove Mary crazy and after a vacation in San Diego in 1940, they said -- this is for us!

War years

In 1940, war was in the offing and defense jobs offered employment - but housing was tight because of the number of people moving to San Diego for the jobs. Otis got a job at Convair and they did find an apartment, but distressingly - the apartment didn’t allow children. Billy lived with another family for the first year, which was understandably very hard on a five year old. Eventually, they found an apartment that allowed children and, after the war, they settled into a paradisical life in San Diego.
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Billy in a suit Otis tailored, 1945

 photo Dad.jpg
James William Broach senior class photo 1952


The good life

Mary and Otis were good at making friends -- Mary had a lively and engaging personality. My impression is that they had a very active social life. One thing that didn’t go exactly right is that my dad eloped after knowing my mom for six weeks. That shocked and hurt Mary - but given that he was 19, perhaps it had more to do with hormones than anything else. When dad called to tell her the news, she told him to come over and my mother should stay in the car until they had talked. And then they welcomed my mother into the family as their daughter.
No story of Mary Burris could be complete without mentioning she was an artist. Each of her grandchildren has a large canvas she painted hanging in our homes. In later years she took up ceramics, which I have displayed in my garden. I often think about what I can leave artistically for my family. Having a visual reminder of your loved ones is a marvelous thing.
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Mary and Cristi, 1959

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Mary Elizabeth, Cristi and Vicki


Staying connected

Mary was close to her mother - even though Abigail “Abby” Bailey Burris, by many accounts had a difficult and demanding personality. Mary and her parents visited each other fairly regularly - and considering the distance - that’s somewhat remarkable at that time. Abby and Frank Burris (James Franklin Burris II) never quite got into the beach culture -- included here is a photo of them sitting on the beach at La Jolla in full dress clothes.
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In the mid-60s, Mary’s brother, James Franklin Burris III “Jimmy” (1921-1992) and his family visited San Diego. My dad’s cousins, Sharon and Randy, were teenagers and they were totally fascinating to me at 8 years old. Sharon was a cheerleader and actively missing her boyfriend (now her husband Winston) and Randy was a musician (still is). They came packing their own Dr. Pepper (not available in San Diego!) Also remarkable was the fact that Uncle Jimmy built their home AND airplanes. He had a lifelong passion for planes.

In 1973, my dad took us to Little Rock to visit Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Twila. That trip left a deep impression on me. The southern ways, manners, lifestyle -- all so different than California. Gracious, slower, more time for family -- in fact -- life was all about family. My sister, mother and I visited Aunt Twila in Little Rock in 2004 -- and I felt the tug of the south all over again. We visited Atkins too, and Otis’ sister Johnnie Marie was still living there. I recall that after mentioning at the restaurant that we wanted to visit with Johnnie, the word went out and reached her at the beauty salon within a half hour.
Southern DNA

I treasure the artifacts of southern-ness that our family has held on to after migrating to California -- my Nana was a fantastic southern cook. Once I gave Nana a dessert cookbook and she was shocked. I really should have known that she never used a recipe for a dessert in her life -- the recipes were in her head. Nana and Aunt Twila used to defer to each other on fried chicken -- each said the other was the best cooker of fried chicken. I could never make up my mind. I have picked up some southern-isms in my speech -- y’all just makes sense to me! My dad didn’t stay Billy -- he reclaimed his first name as a teen and became Jim but he is still crazy for the the Razorbacks. Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie!


My thanks to Dee Burris Blakley for inviting me to do this guest blog -- it’s been wonderful revisiting the memories.

Cristi Broach Hendry
Cristi Broach Hendry is my third cousin, once removed.

If you are connected to the same branch of the Burris family as Cristi, and would like to contact her about this entry, you can either reply to the entry, or email her at:

cristihendry at gmail dot com
dee_burris: (Default)
There is no intention of a slight to the members of my family whose stories do not appear here.

I have chosen to feature for this Memorial Day three members of my family - one a direct ancestor and the other two my cousins - who died far from home and family.
The first is probably the most poignant for me, for the location of my g-g-g grandfather's grave was unknown to any of his family for nearly a century and a half.

Nathaniel C Callaway (1819-1862) went off to fight for the Confederate States of America on 6 Mar 1862. He enlisted in his home town of Arkadelphia, in Clark County, AR. His youngest child had just celebrated his fourth birthday. Nathaniel and his wife, Julia Ann, had just buried their second child nine months earlier.

And he just never came back. Nathaniel died of typhoid fever on 7 May 1862 at Southern Mothers' Hospital in Memphis - an overburdened facility staffed by nurses who really were Southern mothers.

None of the descendants at the annual family reunion knew when or where he died or was buried. No one’s parents knew what happened to him.

It took me two years of looking off and on until I finally mis-spelled his surname badly enough for a Google search engine to give me some valid results.

And I finally found him at Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis, TN. Not only that, but one of his cousins. They were buried in the section called Confederate Soldiers Rest.

So I rounded up a Callaway cousin and we came to see.

We discovered that Nathaniel C and Levi A Callaway’s graves were not formally marked, but had the numbered concrete markers installed on all the Confederate graves in 1886. So we ordered their military markers from the VA.

And waited. The gravestones were delivered to my workplace and carefully loaded by the truck driver into the back of my SUV. Joe and I could have had them delivered to Elmwood, but after 149 years, we just couldn't stand the thought that something might happen to them.

Joe and I were finally able to travel to Elmwood on 19 Feb 2011 to watch the stones being set on the graves.
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Todd Fox, the cemetery superintendent, set the stones for us. It may sound hokey, but when Mr. Fox was preparing Nathaniel and Levi Callaway's gravesites to install their stones, and told me I could have the tops of the numbered concrete columns he took out to lay the markers...

Well...

I jumped on it. Nathaniel's was 102, Levi's 140.
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So family, those weathered pieces of concrete at the bottom of the steps in the east garden?

They are priceless.
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Woodrow L. Rainey, S. 1/c.
Woodrow L Rainey, S. 1/c., 28, was killed in action in the South Pacific, the Navy Department has advised his wife, Mrs. Myrtle Nolen Rainey. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. E.C. Rainey of the Griffin Flat community.


Woodrow's parents were Edgar Clarence Rainey and Millie Mae Burris, making him my 4th cousin.

Woodrow died aboard the USS Kimberly, a Fletcher-class destroyer, in World War II. Departing San Pedro Bay on 21 March 1945 for radar picket duty, the destroyer, off the Ryūkyūs, was attacked 26 March by two Aichi D3A "Vals," dive bombers of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Despite accurate antiaircraft fire and numerous hits, one enemy plane, trailing fire and smoke, crashed into the aft gun mounts, killing 4 men and wounding 57.

His parents placed this stone in Appleton Cemetery in Pope County, AR in memory of him, although they were unable to bury his remains. Woodrow was buried at sea.
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Woodrow Lyle Rainey, 1916-26 Mar 1945
Seaman, 1st Class USN


I knew there was a memorial wall - the memorial to veterans who died in World War II during the invasion of Pearl Harbor.

I looked for Woodrow's name, and found it.

Photobucket


(You can search for names of your family members on "The Wall" by clicking this link, but you will have to be a member of Ancestry.com to see the images from the free index.)
John Elbert Burris was the son of Thomas Frank Burris and Winifred Brashear. He was only 20 years old when he was declared missing and presumed dead by the United States Navy on 1 Dec 1943. He was later classified as killed in action.

John was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously.

He is memorialized on The Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. The names of those whose remains were recovered and identified afterwards are punctuated with rosettes.
 photo PhilippinesTabletsofMissing.jpg

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I do not know if John's remains were ever recovered. He was my third cousin, once removed.
I created memorials for each of my relatives at Find a Grave. You can leave virtual flowers on those memorials by clicking the links below:
Private Nathaniel C Callaway, CSA
Seaman First Class Woodrow Lyle Rainey
Seaman Second Class John Elbert Burris
dee_burris: (Default)
Name: John Rush Johnson
Event Type: Marriage
Event Date (Formatted): 07 Sep 1957
Event Place: , Logan, Arkansas, United States
Age: 54
Birth Year (Estimated): 1903
Residence Place: State Sanatorium, Logan, Arkansas
Spouse's Name: Doris Cline
Spouse's Age: 49
Spouse's Birth Year (Estimated): 1908
Spouse's Residence Place: State Sanatorium, Logan, Arkansas
Marriage License Date: 06 Sep 1957
Page: 612
GS Film number: 2069449
Digital Folder Number: 004331522
Image Number: 00063
"Arkansas, County Marriages, 1837-1957," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NMTN-NBH : accessed 30 Apr 2014), John Rush Johnson and Doris Cline, 07 Sep 1957; citing , Logan, Arkansas, United States; FHL microfilm 2069449.

Name: Don Hooker
Event Type: Marriage
Event Date (Formatted): 10 Dec 1957
Event Place: , Logan, Arkansas, United States
Age: 22
Birth Year (Estimated): 1935
Residence Place: State Sanatorium, Logan, Arkansas
Spouse's Name: Erma Lee Johnson
Spouse's Age: 23
Spouse's Birth Year (Estimated): 1934
Spouse's Residence Place: State Sanatorium, Logan, Arkansas
Marriage License Date: 10 Dec 1957
Page: 628
GS Film number: 2069449
Digital Folder Number: 004331522
Image Number: 00071
"Arkansas, County Marriages, 1837-1957," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NMTN-JQC : accessed 30 Apr 2014), Don Hooker and Erma Lee Johnson, 10 Dec 1957; citing , Logan, Arkansas, United States; FHL microfilm 2069449.
Two things, actually.

Both of these couples' place of residence was the State Sanatorium in Logan County.

So I know something more about them.

They were Caucasian.

The State tuberculosis sanatorium for white people was at Booneville, in Logan County.

It was later converted into a warehouse for people with disabilities that Arkansas now very disingenuously calls a Human Development Center.
dee_burris: (Default)
He's one of my orphan relatives. Cyrus was the oldest of 10 children born to my third great grandparents, Nathaniel Foster Chapin and Elizabeth Pancoast Harris.

He never married or had children. Census and city directory records say that he followed in his father's footsteps and became a carpenter, but he doesn't seem to have been able to work at that trade consistently enough to support himself.

Cyrus never married. He also didn't seem to have set up his own house in his lifetime, living first with his parents into his young adulthood, and as an older adult, with his younger sisters and their families.

He lived with sister Addie the longest - from at least 1900 until her death in 1925. Then he moved from Denver, CO, to Altoona, PA, where he lived out the remainder of his life with his sister, Essie.
Cyrus' obituary made me curious.

Died at 3 o'clock this morning at the home of his sister, Mrs. Essie Lebolt Finn of 1421 Second street, following an illness of six weeks. He suffered from a complication of diseases.

I wondered what "complication of diseases" he had. As previously noted in this post, the 1880 census form said he had sciatic rheumatism, a very painful nerve disease that sometimes makes walking almost impossible. I found it really strange that a 27 year old man would have an illness that usually comes with advanced age.

So I ordered his death certificate from the State of Pennsylvania.
Cyrus' death certificate didn't note any central nervous system disorder.

It says he died of senility.

I've seen scads of death certificates that say that. Searching for it as an "olden days" cause of death, I've also found cautions to doctors about ruling out any other cause of death before just saying someone died of old age.

Cyrus' death certificate also lists a contributory cause of death. But it's the one I think probably killed him.

Chronic interstitial nephritis. In truth, he probably died of kidney failure and also had some form of senile dementia. The death certificate says he was attended by his physician from 15 Feb 1926 until his death at 3 a.m. on 3 Mar 1926.

His obituary said he was ill for six weeks. Makes me wonder how long people waited back then to call the doctor for an ailing 72 year old brother.

And about that "complication of diseases" noted in his obit.

I guess I'll find out on the other side.

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