March 2014

S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
161718 19202122
232425 26272829
3031     

Shakin' the Family Tree on Facebook

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, September 17th, 2011 07:56 am
I can only imagine it was great-grandma Maxie's idea to take photos of the Williams' family home in Russellville, and turn them into postcards.

So, in 1910, son Paul used one to write Mama from Little Rock:

Photobucket

Photobucket


Am leaving for H S (Hot Springs) in about an hour. Got here about 11.30. Stayed at Torrey House. Paul.


This is a Sepia Saturday post.
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, September 11th, 2011 01:43 pm
And so I ask - dear Great Grandma Maxie...

Why is Teddy Roosevelt in the Williams' family photo album?

Photobucket


Dang, I wish that woman would come to hang out with me for one hour.

I'd put her through her paces...
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, July 30th, 2011 02:03 pm
I finally took my camera and went in search of four homes where my Baldings, Chapins, and Williamses lived in Little Rock.

The first one - the address listed on the World War I draft registration card of my great grandfather, Victor Claude Balding - was at 223 Rice Street. He signed his draft registration card on 12 Sep 1918.

The house is still there - although I'm sure it looks a bit different today than it did 93 years ago.

Photobucket
Next, I went in search of the houses at 213 and 217 Dennison.

They are next door to each other.

My maternal grandparents, Joe Duffie Williams and Doris Geneva Balding, lived at 213. I found them at that address in city directories from 1940 to 1949.

Photobucket

A whole bunch of people lived at 217 for many years - including my grandother's parents and siblings, as well as her maternal grandmother, Eada Belle (Parrish) Chapin after the death of Fred Chapin right after Christmas in 1938.

According to Polk's Little Rock/North Little Rock City Directories, Fred and Eada lived at 913 North Valmar, and Eada was listed at that address in the 1939 City Directory. (I'll have to make another photo journaling trip to see if that one is still standing.)

But by 1940, Eada made her home with her daughter, Hattie Belle and son-in-law, Victor, at 217 Dennison.

Photobucket

In 1940, the house at 217 Dennison must have been full to overflowing, with Victor and Hattie Balding, Hattie's mother, Eada Chapin, and adult children, Ellington (Linky), daughter Marion (Murney), Marvin and Vera. All the children were employed except Linky, who was the youngest.
Across town, my grandfather's parents, Jo Desha Williams and Maxie Leah Meek, lived at 2310 South Ringo Street.

Photobucket

That was the home to which my grandfather, Joe Duffie Williams, took his bride Doris after they married on Halloween in 1926. They were still there when the census was taken in 1930.
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 09:11 pm
My maternal grandparents lived for at least 9 years in this tiny little rent house, still standing on Denison Street.

.
.
.


Photobucket
Image from Google Maps



Photobucket
1940 Polk's Little Rock City Directory


They were still there in 1949, which was the year they moved into the home they had saved for many years to build.

For cash.

Their "new" home never had a mortgage on it until it was sold to a new family after my grandmother's death in 1998.
Granddaddy's parents are shown in the left-hand column of the City Directory.

I couldn't find a decent Google Maps image of that address (or the one that I hope is still standing at 217 Denison), so my handy-dandy GPS and I are going to do some driving, cameras in tow.

The house at 217 Denison was a multi-generational home and will have its own entry, whether I can get a photo or not.

**It will be interesting to see how the GPS spells the street name - with one N or two...I find it both ways all over old documents...
dee_burris: (flag)
Sunday, July 3rd, 2011 07:50 pm
My email from Ancestry.com was illuminating.

The numbers are fascinating. About 6 in 10 of us have a family member who lived in America during the Revolutionary War period, while only 1 in 40 have ancestors who participated in the war. That’s a lot of Revolutionary War links; 183 million folks alive today share that connection.

There are several men in my family tree who are said to have served in the Revolutionary War.

I've only been able to research one of them so far - my 4th great grandfather, Jesse Williams.

Jesse was born on 19 Jun 1750 in Newcastle Co., DE. According to his Revolutionary War pension file, he moved to Baltimore Co., MD, where he enlisted about a year and a half after his marriage to Elizabeth Rachel Gott on 24 Nov 1774. At the time of his enlistment, his second child, Richard Gott Williams, was just a couple of months old.

In the summer of 1776, he was a private, serving for three weeks. Fall of 1777, he served as a private for five weeks. Spring of 1778, as a sergeant for five weeks, and in 1779, he was an ensign for four weeks. His service was with Col. Darby Lux' regiment.

By 1780, Jesse had moved his family to Culpepper Co., VA, and during the summer of 1781, he served two months under the command of Capt. Lillard and Col. Slaughter.

On 17 Aug 1833, he was awarded a pension of $21.26 per year for his service in the Revolutionary War - about the equivalent of $569 in today's money.

Jesse Williams died 29 Sep 1834 in Rockcastle Co., KY of a femoral hemorrhage while shoeing a horse. He was buried in the Phillips Family Cemetery, Wildie, Rockcastle Co., KY.
So I guess I'm one of the 1 in 40.

Doesn't really make any difference when you consider the reason we Americans celebrate this day.

Whether you had an ancestor who fought in that first American war or not, you probably have at least one who has served in one or more wars fought since then to keep the freedom won during the Revolutionary War.

And this date on the calendar shouldn't be the only time we remember that war, or the men and women who have served our country since then.

Our ancestors paid a price so we could be free. They gave us a gift that we have come to know as a right belonging to all Americans.

We should remember them every time we vote (you *do* vote, don't you?)...

Every time we get involved in a friendly little debate at the town cafe...

Every time we take our three minutes before the City Council or the School Board and tell 'em how we think they ought to do it.

Every time we write a blog entry.

Take some time to remember them today.
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, May 15th, 2011 09:24 am
An Old Citizen of Hollywood Dies

On Tuesday, April 9 God in His infinite wisdom removed from our midst our friend and neighbor, Mrs. Sarah A. Callaway, who resided on a farm near Hollywood.

Mrs. Callaway merited the esteem and confidence of all who knew her and whereas we desire to give some feeble expression to the feelings that stir within us.

Mrs. Callaway was born in Hot Spring county, December 25th, 1860, and later moved to Clark county where she was married to John Callaway.

To this union was born four daughters and a son. Surviving are three daughters, Mrs. Marion Francis of Mena, Miss Maude Callaway who lived with her mother, Mrs. Homer Francis of Amity, and a son, Johnnie Callaway of the Mt. Olive Community.

In addition to the immediate family, she is survived by two granddaughters, a niece and several cousins.

Mrs. Callaway had been a member of the Missionary Baptist church from early girlhood, having joined the Mt. Olive Baptist church soon after it was organized.

At the age of 32 she was left a widow with four small children, the youngest being only four weeks old.

Those days, with the care and support of her little ones, were perhaps her darkest days. Mrs. Callaway labored early and late. She knew no defeat. There were times when crop failures were evident, either from overflows or from insects, many gloomy days hovering over the Callaway home, but she never gave up. She fought her battle bravely, serenely and came out victorious every year.

Her love of out-door life was evidenced by the work she performed on her farm. All of her work was performed with an inspiring quality of faith, charity and intelligence. She made an effort to view life and its conditions from the brightest angle and she was able to live comfortably in her declining years.

Mrs. Callaway was a kind hearted, clean souled woman, whose sturdy womanhood made her the example of all who in their hearts love the thing that is right.

As a neighbor she was agreeable. As a friend she possessed love to mankind and a desire to promote their prosperity and happiness. As a Christian, she remained true to her plighted faith, duty and love for her Master. As a mother she was patient, kind and devoted.

To the bereaved ones whose hearts are burdened with grief which no tongue can tell we wish to say:
"When with our loved one we're parted,
Never to meet here again,
Anguished of soul broken hearted,
Seems that we can't bear the pain,
Till we remember that Jesus
Promised us life over there,
Death is the door to release us
From earthly sorrow and care."

A friend.


Originally published in the Southern Standard, 11 Apr 1929

Note: I believe the obit is in error on the year of her birth. In the 1860 census for Greenville Twp, Clark Co., AR, she was shown as a six month old child. The census was recorded on 28 Jun 1860.
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, April 16th, 2011 01:16 pm
Being unwilling to continue to tear my hair out to at least date these unlabeled photos, I was very intrigued by this post in Katherine's blog, Atlantic Roots.

So I ordered my very own copy of Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion, 1840-1900, by Joan Severa.

It arrived yesterday.

So you know how I spent my Friday night.


I think I have much closer dates for two photos, after studying the photos in the book, as well as the excellent narrative Severa gives about other fashion clues, such as hairstyles.

Photobucket


This is my great-grandmother, Maxie Leah (Meek) Williams. I'm going to date this photo about 1886 (she married on 11 Feb 1886) due to the rounded bodice of the dress, as well as the collar, and the hint of the bustle on the back of the dress.

Many bodices of this period had tight sleeves cut short on the forearm and featuring cuffs or half-cuffs. (Source: Dressed for the Photographer, at page 378.)

Severa goes on to say, In eighties photographs all bodices appear corset-fitted, many with very high standing collars. Similarly, sleeves are set very high, with the armscye cut somewhat in from the point of the shoulder in back, and are extremely tight... (Id., at page 379.)

There are also dating clues in the way she wore her hair. ...In the matter of coifure, the hair will be worn a good deal lower on the neck than it has been for some two seasons past...The style of dressing the front hair remains unchanged [in curled bangs]. (Id., at page 385.)


The puff sleeves on the dress and much shorter and tightly curled bangs make me think this photo was taken in the very late 1890's, and that theory is supported by the listing of the photographer, Jno H Ganner of Russellville, in the 1900 Arkansas Business Directory.

I believe this is still Maxie Leah, but do not have a clue as to the identity of her younger companion.

Photobucket



This book is making a formerly dreaded chore much more fun.

This is a Sepia Saturday post.
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, April 10th, 2011 11:35 am
Doris Williams was my maternal grandmother.


Photobucket


Doris Balding Williams, born July 9, 1907 to Victor and Hattie C Balding in Little Rock, Ark., passed from this life on Jan. 18, 1998. She was preceded in death by her husband, Joe. D. Williams and her son, Joe C. Williams. She was a lifelong member of Second Presbyterian Church.

Survivors are a daughter, Judith Williams Neumann and son-in-law, Edward W. Neumann of North Little Rock; a daughter-in-law, Sue K. Williams of Houston, Texas; two sisters, Vera B. King, Peoria, Ariz. and Marian B. Fox, Fallbrook, Calif.; and one brother, Russell E. Balding, Sun City, Ariz.; six granddaughters, Ruth W. Toda, Long Island, N.Y., Leah W. Lipshultz, Los Angeles, Calif., Desha W. Hardin, Corpus Christi, Texas, Dee L. Sharp, Mabelvale, Ark. and Victoria B. Hill and Lorraine Burris both of Alexander, Ark.; 10 great-grandchildren, three nieces and three nephews; four step-grandchildren; three step-great granchildren.

She was an excellent seamstress, beginning at age six with an old lace curtain. She was also an avid gardener. She loved anything to do with needlework and enjoyed giving her friends things she had made. She was admired by many and will be missed greatly.

The family will receive visitors at her home, #5 Lombardy Lane, Little Rock, today, Jan. 20, from 4 to 6 p.m. Graveside funeral services by Ruebel Funeral Home will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 1998 at Roselawn Memorial Park, Dr. Karen Akin officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to your favorite charity.
dee_burris: (Default)
Friday, April 1st, 2011 08:55 pm
I think my great grandparents, Jo Desha Williams and Maxie Leah Meek, were very proud and very happy with their home in Russellville, AR. They took quite a few photos of it.

The home was on East Main Street, although I do not have a house number.

Photobucket
Thanksgiving Day, 1899


Later, they added to it.
Photobucket


And again.

Photobucket


Unfortunately, through a combination of being underinsured after the 1906 Russellville fire, and extending credit to too many folks, after nearly 30 years in business, the Williams Grocer Co. folded.

By 1920, the Williams family sold their beloved home, and moved to Little Rock.


This is a Sepia Saturday post.
dee_burris: (Default)
Thursday, March 31st, 2011 09:25 pm
Comparing church and military records for the Dunns, Callaways and Williamses...

In July 1863, Julia Ann (Wingfield) Callway and her son, Mason, joined Bethel Union Baptist Church in Clark County.

In 1865, Mary Dunn was a member of New Hope Methodist Church in Clark County.
In 1866, Mary and Martha Dunn were members of New Hope Methodist Church. (Lucinda Hitchcock, mother of David Andrew Williams, was also a member, although I didn't find David in the membership list, but it's a fragmented one.)

A M Callaway and D A Williams appeared on a muster roll dated from 31 Oct 1864 through 28 Feb 1865 in the 10th Arkansas Cavalry Regiment, commanded first by Reuben C Reed, and finally by Col. Robert C Newton.

On 8 Sep 1866, Mary Dunn and Allen Mason "Mace" Callaway were married by an itinerant Cumberland Presbyterian minister in Clark County.

In August 1867, Martha Dunn, Mary Callaway and James Dunn joined Bethel Union Baptist Church in Clark County.

On 27 Jun 1869, Martha Dunn and David Andrew Williams were married by a Methodist minister in Clark County.

On 2 Nov 1876, Martha Dunn Williams died of tuberculosis in Clark County.

On 15 Feb 1877, Mace Callaway died - we presume in Clark County.

On 13 Jul 1878, David Andrew Williams and Mary Dunn Callaway were married by Isom Langley, a clergyman, in Clark County.

And all the while, Robert James Dunn was living two farms over...

And my cousin Jason tells me...Capt Nat M Jones and Pvt. L. O. Ross are the ones that signed the proof of service forms for Mary to apply for her Civil War widow's pension.
dee_burris: (Default)
Thursday, March 31st, 2011 07:03 pm
Which seems to be known variously as Capt Reuben C Reed's "old company," which was company A. (I have also seen variant spellings of his first name of Rubin and Ruben.)

Below is transcription of an article originally appearing in the Southern Standard, on 2 Apr 1908, and which was re-published by the Clark County Historical Association in its 1998 Journal.

I have been unable to find much information at all on the internet about this company, and Footnote searches for several of the men whose names are included in my family tree reveal no CSA muster roll records for them.

From another CCHA Journal article in the same 1998 publication, I saw a note that the enrolling officer for the regiment was Capt. M Crary, and the unit was comprised of mounted volunteers.

The men of most interest to me in the article below are A M Calloway (sic) and D A Williams.


Tenth Arkansas Regiment of Cavalry
Little Rock, Ark.
March 3, 1908

Editor Southern Standard:
Complying with a wish of some of the members of Capt. Reuben C Reed's old company, which was company "A" of the 10th Arkansas Regiment of Cavalry commanded by Col. Robert C. Newton, said company being raised in Clark County, some of whom are yet alive, I send you for publication the list copied from Muster Roll of October 31st 1864, now on file with General Jonathan Kellogg, Secretary of Historical Society.

The list is well preserved and is written in a good hand writing very plain and is as follows:
Reuben C. Reed, Capt.; N.M. Jones, 1st Lieut; James T. Sloan, 2nd Lieut.; W.R. Harris, 3rd Lieut.; A.G. Hearn, 1st Serg't.; K.R. Jones, 2nd Serg't.; Sterling Elder, 3rd Serg't.; W.F. Holder, 4th Serg't.; A.E. Rambo, 5th Serg't.; J.B. Smith, 1st Corp.; E.O. Rogers, 2nd Corp.; James Kellogg, 3rd Corp.; H.T. Harris, 4th Corp.

PRIVATES
Bates, H. M.; Logan, John C.; Berry, Levi A.; Logan, T.J.; Bethea, J.B.; Lawley, John; Bettis, Lauson; Lawley, William; Billingsley, C.C.; Mackey, J.W.; Brown, E. L.; Marsh, H.C.; Brown, V.O.; May, S.B.; Buck, James; Moon, H.D.; Calloway, A.M.; Osborn, G.C.; Carlee, John Z.; Pride, T.J.; Crump, W.H.; Ross, L.O.; Davis, John H.; Ross, W.D.; Drummins, Thomas; Ross, W.P.; Fite, A.J.; Rudisill, R.M.; Fite, John D.; Russell, A.J.; Gibson, John S.; Sloan, Donald; Gates, W.W.; Sloan, W.J.; Harris, W.K.; Stafford, J.W.; Hart, G.W.; Stafford, T.J.; Harvey, W.W.; Stevenson, J.T.; Heard, T.A.; Stoval, John; Holder, T.B.; Stroope, W.S.; Holmes, H.G.L.; Wallace, J.; Huie, R.W.; Watson, John; Hunter, R.W.; West, J.R.; Jones, D.E.; Williams, D.A.; Jordan, Alex; Williams, J.H.; Littlejohn, A. W.; Williams, P.H.; Wingfield, John.

It is probable that some names with "J" as an initial should be an "I" as all are made above the line and for that reason it is immpossable (sic) to distinguish the "I's" from the "J's".

There is interesting data in connection with many names, among which is the record of those who were on a scout with Lieut. Harris to Burton, I will mention them: Lieut. W.R. Harris, E.O. Rogers, E.L. Brown, Thomas Drummins, H.G.L. Holmes, J.C. Logan, G.C. Osburne, T.J. Pride, D.A. Williams, and B.H. Williams.

In noticing more carefully I see that this report comes from October 31st, 1864 to Feb. 28th, 1865. Lieut. Joe Sloan is reported as acting Adjutant of Regiment pro tem since Feb. 19th, 1865. R.W. Huie is reported as "scout as courier to Arkadelphia." Donald Sloan is reported sick at home in Clark Co., Ark. since Dec. 25, 1864. W.J. Sloan is reported sick in hospital in Washington, Ark. Feb. 25, 1865. I might continue this almost indefinitely.

All of the above names are familiar ones in Clark County, some of whom are alive and residents of the county now. Some few of them were from Dallas county. This list of names ought to be placed on record in the clerk's office of each county: when the companies were organized for reference and for presentation, as the state will probably never do anything toward their presentation, judging by the failure of every effort to have it do something on that line, under the administrations of the last eight years.

I am appealed too often to ascertain the company and the regiment to which certain men belonged in order that the wife of some confederate soldier may be placed on the pension roll, or the soldier himself seeks the names of comrades in order to establish his service in the Confederate army. It always affords me pleasure to investigate as far as possible for them, but I am often unable to find anything because of the incompleteness of many company rolls.

Stan C. Harley
dee_burris: (Default)
Thursday, March 31st, 2011 06:14 pm
Frankly, I was disappointed with the offerings at Ouachita Baptist University's Special Collections Section.

I did, however, make a few interesting discoveries.

A glance through the 1932 Southern Standard on microfilm did not yield an obituary I was looking for, but it did give up some interesting tidbits of local flavor about my Herrington relatives who lived in the tiny Clark County Arkansas community of DeGray.

I had never really considered it before, but what did you do for fun when you were dirt poor and the Great Depression sucked the life out of just about everything?

You went visiting...and it made the newspaper.


Searching through the conference minutes of the DeGray Baptist Church provided no information at all about where or how my g-g-grandfather, Mace Callaway died, or where he might be buried.

I asked for copies of all 17 pages of membership notes in the New Hope Methodist Church file for the years 1860-1869. There appear to be skips due to missing records, but they will be useful to my Williams cousin, Jason, and to a lesser degree, to me.

And while I was waiting for copies to be made, I scanned through the Clark County Historical Association's Journal index, and stumbled across a CSA Cavalry unit that seems to be unreported in the usual places, with alphabetized lists of troops who served.

Even more interesting is that it appears possible that Mace Callaway and David Andrew Williams may have served in that cavalry unit together, as shown on a muster roll covering the time from 31 Oct 1864 through 28 Feb 1865. (I'll transcribe that as a separate entry later.)

Another of the CCHA's journals provides more information about years in which Bob Dunn was mentioned in the minutes of the Red River Baptist Association.

So the CCHA made $45 off me today. I bought the 1991, 1993, and 1998 Journals.


Cousin Joe and I made an appalling discovery at the Clark County Courthouse.

We were looking for the letters of administration in the estate of one of our many greats grandpappies, John Callaway, who died intestate in 1834 in Clark County. Joe knew that John Callaway's estate was enumerated in an attachment to the letters of administration.

The probate clerk was able to provide us with a copy of the 6 Jan 1835 probate court order appointing John's widow, Amy, and his son, John S T, as co-administrators of the estate (they were, by the way, fined by the court in 1842 for failure to file an annual accounting of the estate - oops), but the clerk said we'd have to go to the books to look for the letters of administration.

So all three of us tromped over to the closet where the books are kept. 1840 was as far back as we could find.

So the clerk asked us if we wanted to take a look through the other books in storage.

In the attic.

IN THE ATTIC.

Books with documents over 175 years old are IN THE ATTIC. With no climate control.

And not just in the attic...they were just dumped in the attic in hodge-podge, helter skelter fashion...many looking as if they were thrown in there by whomever was assigned the chore of moving them because before they had been IN THE BASEMENT - where they kept getting damp.

Joe and I kept grimacing at each other over the clerk's head as we looked, each of us righting a book here and there.

We did not find the letters of administration of the estate.

I'm hoping that book was rescued by the Arkansas History Commission and filmed.

So I'll be squinting at microfilm there tomorrow.


The journey is good.

And it continues...
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011 04:52 pm
Photobucket

My office is undergoing renovation in stages.

There's a window of opportunity for me to try and fill in some pieces in the Bob, Mary, and Martha Dunn mystery.

It's time for the rubber to meet the road. Next Thursday and Friday, I'm taking leave from the office and going to Hot Spring and Clark counties to try and get some answers. My Callaway cousin, Joe, is going to shepherd me through the Special Collections section of Ouachita Baptist University.

I'm also going to be cold-calling a cousin who lives in Arkadelphia who has never heard of me. I understand he may have some answers - and maybe even some documents and pictures.

I can hardly wait...

You too can create a puzzle out of one of your own family photos by going here.
dee_burris: (Default)
Monday, March 21st, 2011 07:51 pm
There's no tombstone for Martha L Dunn of which I am aware. I have no idea where she is buried, and the places I would customarily look have left me empty handed.

I think Martha was the sister of my g-g-grandmother, Mary C Dunn.

As with Mary, and the man I suspect is her brother, Bob Dunn, I can't find her in the census as a child.

Martha L Dunn was married to David Andrew Williams in 1869. According to her obituary, she bore him two children, although I have been able only to account for one.

Photobucket
Martha L Dunn Williams' obituary as published in
The Southern Standard in Arkadelphia, Clark County, Arkansas
on 11 Nov 1876, on page 3 column 3.


Died,
At Hollywood, in this county, on the 2d inst. Mrs. Martha L., wife of Mr. David Williams, of this city, in the 28th year of her age.

She had been a severe sufferer, with that dread disease, consumption, for the past eighteen months, but bore her sufferings with that patience and fortitude known only to the truly religious, and died in the full triumphs of a well grounded faith. She leaves a husband, two children and numerous friends to mourn her loss.


Getting a generation behind these Dunns is one of my biggest brick walls.
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, March 19th, 2011 09:18 pm
.


.


Photobucket
Jo Desha Williams, with his sons Cedric and Paul, Thanksgiving 1899








This is a Sepia Saturday post.
dee_burris: (Default)
Thursday, March 17th, 2011 07:45 pm
.





Photobucket


Funeral Notice
The funeral service of
Cathrine Leah,
the beloved 5-year-old daughter
of Mr. and Mrs. J D Williams,
will take place at the Christian
Church at 2 o'clock this after-
noon, services to be conducted by
Eld. C C Cline and Dr G W
Harkey.
Friends of the family invited
to attend.

Russellville, Ark.., December 9, 1904


Photobucket





*I don't know who wrote the text for the card, but from the mis-spelling of her name, I am guessing probably it was someone at church or a family friend.
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, March 13th, 2011 08:32 pm
It was probably what I deserved for saving a pile of stuff to go through at night.

At the end of a work day.

The photo album and loose papers I inherited when my grandmother died stayed well-packed in a climate controlled closet in my home for probably a year after her death in 1998 - maybe a little more.

After I saw how the massive stacks of family group sheets, three rings binders and spiral notebooks in which I was keeping typewritten pages documenting my ever-growing ancestral lines were threatening my living space, I figured there had to be another way.

So I found and downloaded family tree software to my computer and off I went.

But I knew the boxes in the closet held the keys to more complete knowledge about Williamses, Meeks, Baldings, and Parrishes, so I went in and pulled them out.

I spent about two weeks categorizing things into piles, and extracting the information from them to input into the database. The Williams family photo album was (and still is) a monstrous undertaking.

I set the yellowed newspaper clippings aside, because they were undated and unattributed. They had been (mostly) very neatly snipped out of the newspapers in which they appeared, and I knew I'd probably have to study each one to match it up with a person, place, or event.

So that pile was last.


The *very* last clipping.

He had to be related. His surname was Williams.

But I had never heard anyone talk about him.

Photobucket


Frankfort KY is in Franklin County, where my Williamses lived for several generations after emigrating there from Virginia, and prior to the move to Arkansas around 1885.

But that name... U V Williams?

Ulysses? Surely I'd have heard if we had a Ulysses...

And the V...all I could think of was Victor, but the Victors in the family were Baldings.

I set it aside.

But I didn't put it away.


It was weeks before my Eureka! moment.

I was looking for Jacob Williams, father of Mildred Carleton Williams after his wife died in 1876. I was having a devil of a time.

But wait...could it be Jacob? He was not the head of the household. What's up with this?

Photobucket

Urban? A doctor and - apparently - a younger brother of Jacob.

What kind of name is Urban?

One that starts with a U...now where have I seen that before?

And that was how I met Urban Valentine Williams, M.D. Google turns up tons of information on him.

I think I'd have gone by "U V" too...
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, March 12th, 2011 03:08 pm
Photobucket
Jo Desha and Maxie Leah Williams family, Christmas Day 1900
photo by McLeod, the Wild West photographer


Every time I see this one, I just dissolve into gales of laughter.

Can't you just imagine the dinner table discussion a couple of weeks before the holiday?

"Honey, what shall we do this year for Christmas? After all, it's the first Christmas of the new century."

Oh, I don't know. . .hey, why don't we get that McLeod guy to take a picture? We could dress up and go sit outside on some rocks."

"Marvelous idea, darling! And we could put Paul and Cedric on a couple of asses. They've been acting like asses for a few days now. It would serve them right. . ."


The back of the photo has an extensive ad for "McLeod, the Wild West Photographer. . . the man who made Happy Hollow famous the world over."


This is a Sepia Saturday post.
dee_burris: (Default)
Thursday, March 10th, 2011 09:57 pm
As a child growing up, there were occasions at my maternal grandparents' house when the talk turned to family members.

If there was discussion of members of the Williams family, it was inevitable to hear Cedric's name.

Cedric was the Williams family's black sheep - a ne'er do-well, an embarassment. He drank too much, couldn't keep a job for long, had toasted two marriages.

Even in death, Cedric just couldn't get it right.


Cedric Hazen Williams was born on 29 Jun 1892 in Russellville, Pope Co., AR to Jo Desha Williams and Maxie Leah Meek. He was the second child of five, and until the birth of his younger brother Paul in 1894, was an only child.

Photobucket
Paul and Cedric Williams, about 1899


He never knew his older sister, Mildred Imogene, as she died on 28 Jan 1890, well over a year before his birth.

I've always mused that Desha Williams must have had some say in his first two children's names. After the death of his own mother in 1876, Desha was raised by his older sister, Mildred (called Minnie) and her husband, Josiah Hazen Shinn. I wonder if he chose those names for his children to honor his sister and brother-in-law.

If Desha and Maxie hoped that Cedric would follow in Josiah Hazen Shinn's footsteps, they were sorely disappointed.


I have to consider the time in which they all lived, and in which the tragic accident befell young Cedric.

A wagon rolled over his head when he was 10 or 11 years old. Imagine the terror of a parent to have such a horrible thing happen to a child.

But the child recovered. The physical wounds healed.

They must all have breathed a sigh of relief, and given thanks.

They just didn't realize that a traumatic brain injury was for life, and things would never be normal again.

And neither would Cedric.


Cedric married for the first time in 1915, and he and his wife had a daughter, Charlotte.

Photobucket
Cedric, Kathleen and Charlotte Williams, 1918


Things did not go well at home, and apparently not at work either, because Cedric asked his younger brother, Joe, for a large sum of money. His brother refused to give the money, and the brothers grew apart.

Cedric married again. He and his second wife had two sons.

But things had not been right since that day long ago when the wagon rolled over his head. The alcohol he consumed to take away the pain wasn't working.

Cedric attempted to take his own life, and failed.


On Thursday morning, 23 Aug 1951, Cedric was alone in Crosbyton, TX, at the Lawson Hotel, where he swallowed sodium cyanide, one of the most rapidly acting of known poisons.

It took the Williams family less than 24 hours to regain enough composure to keep Cedric from embarassing them again.

Photobucket
Arkansas Gazette, 24 Aug 1951


Cedric Hazen Williams, Traveling Salesman, Dies
Prescott, Aug. 23 - Cedric Hazen Williams, aged 59, former traveling salesman for Grunden Martin Manufacturing Company of St. Louis, died unexpectedly of a heart attack Thursday morning at Crosbyton, Tex.

He was a native of Russellville and a lifelong Arkansan, having also lived at Little Rock, Prescott and Texarkana.

Survivors include his mother, Mrs. J D Williams of 2310 Ringo Street, Little Rock; two brothers, J D Williams, Jr. and P M Williams of Little Rock; his wife, Mrs. C H Williams of Prescott; two sons of the home, and a daughter of Oklahoma City.



Sometimes things just aren't as they seem.

See you on the other side, Cedric.
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 06:17 pm
Just amazing the things you find when you are scouring old newspapers...

Apparently John W R Williams, my first cousin three times removed, from Franklin, KY was a ~ gasp ~ salesman. (This bunch of Williamses should not be confused with the Georgia Williamses who moved to Clark County and had no parents...I know, sometimes it's confusing to me, too...)


Photobucket
Frankfort Roundabout, 15 Jun 1895


Who knew that [c]onstipation causes more than half the ills of women?

I thought it was men...

Live and learn.