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Dee Burris Blakley ([personal profile] dee_burris) wrote2010-11-02 07:44 pm
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We have strong women in the family tree...

One of them was Mary Emily Conner, and like the proverbial chip off the old block, her daughter, Maxie Leah Meek, followed in her footsteps.

Mary Emily Conner was born in Hernando, DeSoto County, MS on 12 Apr 1837. I do not yet know who her parents were, but I continue to look.

The day after her nineteenth birthday, Mary married James Alexander Meek, son of Jefferson John and Henrietta Ann "Hettie" (Donahoo) Meek. The Meeks were a large and well-heeled family, but that was not why Mary remembered her wedding day for the rest of her life. In 1910, she recounted how her grandfather-in-law, Alexander Meek, stole her thunder.

A ridiculous figure in a black velvet coat, with knee britches, silk stockings, and silver-buckled shoes, wearing a dusty wig and ill fitted false teeth carved of wood, he played his violin and carried on like an Irishman. From the attention given him, you would have thought him the center of attention instead of the bride. Upon this spoiled day my marriage began. Like all the Meeks, he lived forever and buried his wives. At the last reunion of Revolutionary Veterans in North Mississippi, only three veterans attended; two more carried to the reunion but old Alexander walked and danced the whole afternoon. Source: Guy Meek of Anne Arundel County, Maryland : descendants, intermarriages and neighbors, Vol 2. (1660-2004) by Melton P Meek, at page 405. Digitized at this website.

James Alexander and Mary Emily Meek separated before the birth of their youngest child, Maxie Leah, on 10 Feb 1869. Mary was now functionally the single mother of two children, having lost a daughter, Hettie Ann Elizabeth, before her first birthday in 1868.

The 1870 census found Mary and her children, William Thaddeus and Maxie Leah, in Grenada Co., MS, running a store where she employed a clerk. ...from being able to read French, M E Meek Webb learned how to make hats from a French fashion magazine. This was also how she made her living after the Civil War. She also manufactured cosmetics, a business carried on...for years. The factory was moved to Chicago and discontinued during the Depression. (See the same source cited above, at page 570.)

Photobucket
Mary Emily (Conner) Meek Webb, in 1873


Mary and James Meek divorced on 10 Oct 1871. Sixteen days later, Mary married Samuel Webb, and at some point during the 1870's, the couple moved, with William and Maxie, to Russellville, Pope Co., AR. The 1880 census for Russellville says Samuel's occupation was "confectioner."

Samuel Webb died on 28 Nov 1882 in Russellville, and was buried in Oakland Cemetery there. Although her children continued to live in Pope County, Mary returned to Mississippi about 1912, living in Sardis in Panola County, until her death on 27 Apr 1913.