Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jesse Alvin Senter

Jesse Alvin Senter

March 27, 1924
Itawamba County News

Local Items
We regret to learn that Mr. Jesse Senter is at Tupelo Hospital suffering from blood poison which is said to have started from a small place on his hand. He is the son of the late T. A. Senter who died while serving the county as Chancery Clerk.

April 24, 1924
Itawamba County News

Mr. Jesse A. Senter, oldest son of Mr. T. A. Senter, former Chancery Clerk of this county, died at his home a few miles north of town the past week.  Mr. Senter was a progressive farmer and one who endeavored to do his duty in the community where he was reared and has always lived.  He was married several years ago to Miss May Dulaney, only daughter of the late A. Dulaney, who served the first district as supervisor toward the later years of his life.  He is survived by his wife and several children and a host of other relatives, including his mother and his grandmother, and a host of friends to mourn his departure.  We are sorry that we will see him in town no more.

May 28, 1924
Itawamba County News

On April 28, 1924, the Death Angel visited our house and called our loving father to a better land.

He was born July 9, 1875, died April 18, 1924 and was buried in Mt. Pleasant cemetery April 19, at 10 a.m., Bro. E. M. Young conducting the service.

He was a quiet and loving father, always ready and even sought the opportunity of emitting that saintly sunshine so soothing to those burdened with life’s toils and cares.  He bore the troubles and cares of life with a fortitude characteristic of those whose highest aim is to do good.  In his last agonies he meekly submitted to Him who giveth and taketh away.  He became a member of the Baptist church in early life.

Father has gone to a better land and home is so lonely without him, but we look forward to that sweet meeting up yonder where we will meet around that great white throne to part no more.

Written by his loving daughter,

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

May Dulaney Senter's funeral - 1951

Below are pictures of the funeral and grave of Nervia Mae Dulaney Senter who died in 1951 and was buried in Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church Cemetery in Itawamba County.  The successive photographs are particularly revealing and are an interesting contrast to the cemetery and surrounding area today.  They also provide an important historical record.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Nervia May Dulaney Senter

Nervia May Senter was widowed at a young age with nine children, the youngest child being Jessie Bane Senter who was named for her father, Jesse Alvin Senter, and who is seated in her mother's lap, above.  That little girl grew up, married Harlon Wilburn Jamerson, and still lives in the Sandy Springs community of Itawamba County.

May was born February 18, 1883, the only daughter of Alfred "Babe" Dulaney and Lucinda Alabama "Allie" Chilcoat.   "Babe" enlisted at the age of sixteen in the Confederate army, and that makes Jessie Bane Senter Jamerson perhaps the only living grandchild of a Confederate soldier in Itawamba County.  Babe also was a Supervisor of the first district of Itawamba County, while Jessie's other grandfather, Thomas Alfred Senter, served as Chancery Clerk of Itawamba County.

Children of Jesse Alvin and May Senter were (in order of their birth):  Jewell Estelle Senter (married Thomas Rex Dulaney, a distant cousin),  Prentiss E. Senter (married Ruth Johnson), Avis Grady Senter (married Edith Layla Graham), Lawrence R. Senter (died at the age of 17, two years after the death of his father), Victor Ray Senter (married Janna Fae Graham), Hershel L. Senter (married Gola Bates), Judie B. Senter (married R. C. Jamerson), Dessie Wayne Senter (married Trannie Etchel "Pete" Johnson), and Jessie Bane Senter (married Harlon Wayne Jamerson).

Based on the ages of the children, I believe that Prentiss is probably the one on the back row, far left, of the above photograph while his sister Jewell is standing next to him.   The other two boys on the back row are Avis and Lawrence although I don't know which is which.   The two younger boys in the middle row are Ray and Hershel, but again I don't know which is which (or who is who!).   On the left side, front row, is Dessie Wayne and on the other side of her mother is Judie.   Of course, the lap child is Jessie Bane Senter Jamerson who shared this picture of her family with Cousin Don.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas morn

Hope everyone has a happy morning this Christmas Day!

Beck and Fessie Pennington are seen here celebrating Santa's visit to Peaceful Valley on Christmas Eve in 1966 with their granddaughters, Vicky Cowley and Mona Robinson.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Menu - 1956 France

Menu from Army base in Sampigny, France during my parents' last Christmas overseas.  Compare and contrast to yesterday's posted menu from 1938 in Fulton.  Turkey?  check  Dressing?  check   Mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pickles and celery?  Yep, yep. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Real Old Fashioned Christmas Dinner -1938 Fulton

Fulton News Beacon
December 1938
ad for The City Cafe

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas from Luther and Alice

Luther and Alice Moxley sent this Christmas card to their friends and family, probably in the 1960s.   Luther was the son of Henry T. Moxley and Martha Arminta Sibley.   He was born in Itawamba County in 1893 and was a school teacher for a time, until he was called to the ministry.

Monday, December 20, 2010

1915 Itawamba teachers - fourth district

Notice Teachers

On the 3rd Saturday of November the teachers of the 4th district held their first meeting of the present scholastic year with the people of Mt. Pleasant.

H. L. Gillespie was chosen as president, J.F. Friday as vice president, and H. B. Kent as secretary.  It was ordered that the secretary keep a list of the names of the teachers for the fourth district and a record of their attendance at the meetings, the same to be filed with the county supt. at the end of the year.

After completing the organization the regular program was taken up.

Prof. A. M. Graham led the choir in the singing of a beautiful son, after which Rev. T. D. Clark read a selection from the Bible which was followed with prayer by Rev. Green.  Prof. W. G. (C.) Crouch, whose presence and ever readiness to help has always been an inspiration in our meetings forcefully showed the importance of district meetings.

Prof. W. V. Griffin gave some splendid ideas on how to teach.

Mr. Elmer Lessenberry showed splendid mastery of the subject, How to Teach Agriculture.

At the noon hour adjournment was taken in order that those present might partake of the beautiful feast prepared by the good ladies of the community.  After the dinner hour had been pleasantly spent the house was again called to order.  Mr. J. C. Whitehead, one of our most progressive young teachers, led in the discussion on school grading.  Mr. J. F. Friday made a good talk on duties of patrons.  On motion by Prof. Crouch, his advice to the patrons as to their duties was adopted by those present as a guide to secure better results in the schools.

Prof. J. A. Senter in his masterly manner pointed us to higher ideals and told what is expected of rural schools.  The following resolution was adopted:  Resolved, that we the teachers of the 4th district, express to the people of Mt. Pleasant our sincere thanks for the kindness shown us while in their midst and that we extend to them our thanks for their songs, for their interest manifested in our work and for their presence.  We hope that our benefits have been mutual.  After a spirited contest between Cherry Tree, Turon and Lone Star, Cherry Tree was chosen as the next meeting place.  On motion the association adjourned to meet at 10 o'clock the 3rd Saturday in Dec. at Cherry Tree.

The following program will be rendered there:

(1)  Welcome address by J. F. Friday,
(2)  Response by H. L. Gillespie,
(3)  The needs and lack of higher ideals by H. B. Kent,
(4)  School improvement by Elburne Phillips,
(5)  Need of better equipments for schools and how to get them, by J. A. Senter,
(6)  How to get pupils in school, by L. A. Moxley,
(7)  The use and abuse of authority, by Miss Clesty Suggs,
(8)  The art of teaching, by W. G. Crouch.

H. B. Kent, Sec. 

* * *
J. F. Friday - James Franklin Friday
H. L. Gillespie - Houston Lamar Gillespie
W. V. Griffin - Willard V. Griffin
H. B. Kent - Hillard Henry Burrel Kent
W. C. Crouch - William Carter Crouch
L. A. Moxley - Luther Altamont Moxley
J. A. Senter - James Alvin Senter
J. C. Whitehead - Jaudon Copeland Whitehead

* * *
In the early 1900s, teachers throughout Itawamba County held regular meetings within each of the five districts of the county.    Newspapers of the era usually contained minutes of such meetings, as above.  The photograph was shared with Don Dulaney by the Frank Neil Dulaney family.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas - 70s style

Fessie and Beck Pennington are all decked out in their polyester pant suits, ready for Christmas party in 1973.   We will have Fessie, Beck and other Penningtons in our memories as we gather tonight for our annual Pennington family Christmas party.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oakland Normal Institute

Below is a transcription of a community news item that appeared in the Hamilton Free Press on September 27, 1894.  Found at this link, the newspaper transcription was performed by Veneta McKinney.

W. C. Davis was William Columbus Davis, an Itawamba native about whom I've blogged before.  Born in Itawamba County, he moved as a child across the state line into Marion County.  He served as a state representative from Marion County and later was elected Lieutenant Governor of Alabama.

Lila Loyd, a student at Oakland Normal Institute, as mentioned below, was the niece of my great-great grandfather Isham James Loyd.  Her father was Sanford Marion Loyd and mother was Margaret Catherine Stone.   Mittie Senter, another student, was the daughter of Robert Thomas Senter and Malinda D. Priddy, both of old families of Itawamba County.

Jessica Moorman was the daughter of Dr. A. L. Moorman and Mary Ophelia Stone, of Bexar.  Just who Mr. A. W. Kearly was, I don't know.  Maybe someone could enlighten me?

Oakland Normal Institute was located north of Tremont, and a historical marker exists on the spot formerly occupied by the school.  You can read more about ONI at this post by Bob Franks at the Itawamba Historical Society's blog site.

Hamilton Free Press  
    Health tolerably good.
    Sorghum making and cotton picking has begun.
    We were to have had a joint discussion on the political issues of the day between Mr. W. C. DAVIS, of Hamilton, Ala., and Mr. A. W. KEARLY, of Fulton, Miss. the night of the 12th inst, but Mr. KEARLY failed to be present. The cause of the disappointment we don’t know; though the people were highly entertained by an excellent speech delivered by the Hon. Davis.  His speech was a perfect democratic feast.  The people of this community would have been much pleased that Mr. Kearly had been present.  However, the gentleman may congratulate himself on not being present, as we are confident Mr. Davis would have cleaned him up in good shape. He certainly did, and most successfully too, most all the arguments Mr. Kearly was likely to have made.
    Mr. Davis has won from himself in Alabama the name of one of the first and best defenders of its democracy.  He has just won a glorious democratic victory in Marion County and is also doing a big law practice, but he found time to come over into Itawamba and help his many friends to defend the democracy of his former home.  We are very thankful to Mr. Davis for his defense and wish to congratulate him no his grand success in this effort.
    The O. N. J. has had one of its most successful openings, and now pupils are coming in every day.  Among those who have come in are Miss VERA PEARCE, Miss JESSICA MOORMAN and LUCIAN LAWHON, of Bexar, Ala; Misses LILA LOYD, MITTIE SENTER, CORNELIA FILES, and Messrs ELBERT WHEELER, LEE GRAHAM, CARL DEOVERS, and J. M. LITTLE and wife, from different parts of Mississippi.
    We have a most excellent and accomplished young lady for a music teacher, Miss LILLIAN JOHNSTON of Meridian.
    By the way, the new piano will get here next week, and we are anticipating a large music class, as tuition is real cheap only $3.50 per month and use of instrument included.
    The Oakland saw mill will be running in the course of a week or so, and then the Yale post office will be finished also and adjoining room where books and stationary will be kept.  This will be very convenient for the school and neighboring communities who are in want of such articles.
    G. A. HOLLEY, Yale, Miss. Sept 22

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gid and Gaines Robinson - getting around

There are a couple of great little websites for genealogists with family connections to Marion and Lamar counties of Alabama.   Since the courthouse for Marion County burned in 1887, and with it the county's legal records, genealogical research there is difficult. 

It is because of this fire, and another fire at the courthouse in Abbeville County, South Carolina, that I have a brick wall with my Robinson ancestors.  Land records do not exist to examine and extrapolate family relationships dating back to Marion County's formation in 1818.  Because of the dearth of genealogical records, any historical information or document for those counties (Lamar - originally known as Sanford -- was formed out of parts of Marion and Fayette counties in 1867) can be an exciting find.  

Recently I spent some time going through online transcriptions of Marion County newspapers dating from 1893.  These old newspapers were transcribed from their microfilmed images by a volunteer, Veneta McKinney, who has also placed online transcriptions of newspapers from 1875 in Lamar County.  Many thanks to Ms. McKinney for her tireless efforts!

Below is just one example of information I found in the online transcriptions.  You might get lucky too!

The Hamilton Free Press
Marion County, Alabama
Thursday, April 26, 1894

From Detroit:
Messrs. Gid and Gaines Robinson of Bexar were in town Sunday.

Gid was my great-grandfather.  He married Arthusa "Thusie" Evans on November 25, 1894 in Tremont, just a few months after the above "news" was published in the Hamilton newspaper.   Bexar and Tremont were just a few miles apart, with most families of Bexar (including the Evans and Robinson families) claiming kinfolks over the stateline in and around Tremont.   In 1894, Bexar was a thriving little town with several businesses, doctors, a post office and even a hotel at one time.   If the above news article is correct, Gid must have been living in Bexar in 1894, or at the very least he was visiting relatives.  Gid and Gaines apparently were visiting over in the Detroit community in April.

Lucian Gaines Robinson was married to Theodoria Agnes Jane Bishop, who was Thusie's aunt, although Gaines and Agnes didn't marry until 1904.    Gaines was the son of Henry Johnson Robinson and Susan Florence "Sukey" Evans.    Sukey was also Thusie's aunt, on her father's side.  Gaines and Gid were first cousins, and it is easy to speculate that perhaps Gid was visiting his cousin Gaines in Bexar in order to court Thusie who was possibly visiting her Bexar relatives.   Courting was a lot easier away from the prying eyes of parents who were back in Itawamba County!

Monday, December 13, 2010

As True Today as It Was Back Then....

The Hamilton Appeal
Marion County, Alabama
April 17, 1896


    It has been a custom from time immortal for people to delegate power or authority to individuals to meet in council and consult and devise legislation for the benefit and government of the people, but it seems to me that this, like many other things, has grown beyond its sphere of usefulness and instead of being a benefit it has gotten to be a burden.  Don’t understand that I am opposed to legislation for I am not, but I content that we as a nation are being legislated to death.

    When we elect a man to congress or the legislature he must do something to commend himself to his constituents, and that something is generally to try to get an appropriation the proceeds of which will be spent in his county or district.  If successful in this he has accomplished something that will insure this perpetuation in office a the next election.

    Appropriations have gone on from one cause and another until it is said by some writers that we (the people of the United States) are paying a higher tax than any people in the world.  If this is a fact where, oh where is the advantage of living under a republican or democratic form of government?    I have always thought that government which exacted the least tribute from the people for its support was the most desirable government to live under.  When a man sees that his expenses are exceeding his income it looks to me like the reasonable and proper thing for him to do would be to reduce his expenses until his income and expenses will about balance.  But our government, both state and national, takes the other end of the dilemma and says that you are not paying taxes enough, and your taxes must be raised; and that you are swearing lies about the value of your property so we will appoint a commission to raise your own taxation.  There is hardly ever a law passed that is not a diminution of the liberties of the people and in addition to their taxation.  We have gone on legislating and legislating until we have some such law, and it is subject to so many different constrictions and we so often see it fail to mete out justice that people have almost lost confidence in the operation of the law, and this is the cause of so much lynch law a this day and time.  The practice of law has undergone a considerable change.  The time once was when a lawyer delighted to be employed on the side of justice but not so now.  The man who feels that he has the law and justice on his side is not disposed to pay as large a fee as the man who is trying to beat justice, consequently the lawyer studies the side to defeat justice because there is more money in it, and they are too often successful.

    If our legislature met but once in ten years, the people would then learn something about laws they were living under, and know which was good and which was bad, but this everlasting legislation we don’t have time to try a law until it is repealed, and anther enacted. 

We don’t need any more law but less law, and it better understood and better executed.

    I. J. LOYD, Bull Mountain, Ala, April 17

Note:  The above opinion was published in 1896, over one hundred years ago, by my great-great grandfather Isham James Loyd whose portrait is also shown.   Amazing that these same words could be written today and be as appropriate now as then.  It sounds to me as if Isham would have been a Reagan Republican if living in this age.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Card to Queenie and Jim

Christmas card found in my great-grandmother'Queenie Clayton Davis's trunk.  The card would have to date back to 1961 or earlier since Nancy Clayton Welch died in May 1962.  Nancy and Queenie were sisters, both daughters of Nathaniel M. Clayton and Martha A. Bowen.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Jamerson Christmas Table

A Christmas table set by Martha McDowell Jamerson in 1963, photo courtesy of Jessie Senter Jamerson, daughter-in-law of Martha and Edgar Jamerson.   Looks like there is more food on the countertop too.  Now that's what I call an Itawamba County feast!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Great-Great Uncle Bud Stewart

Laura Stewart Pennington was my great-great grandmother, and pictured above is her brother Daniel Hugh "Bud" Stewart.   Laura and Bud were the children of Daniel Stewart and Alpha Jane Jackson; two additional children were Lenora and Mary Jane.   Daniel and Jane were both Georgia natives who moved to Fayette County, Alabama before the start of the Civil War.  Daniel died during the war, and his widow eventually remarried to Francis Malloy and moved to the Shannon/Okolona area of Mississippi.   Jane is buried in Pleasant Grove Cemetery near Shannon.

Jane's oldest daughter, Laura, my great-great grandmother, married James J. "Jim" Pennington on December 24, 1879 in the home of her step-father, Francis Malloy.   Around 1890, Laura and Jim moved to southwestern Itawamba County, to the area known as Lost Corner.  They both died an untimely death from "galloping tuberculosis" and were buried in Wiygul Cemetery.

Jane's only son by Daniel Stewart is pictured above.  Daniel Hugh "Bud" Stewart was born in April 1860 in Alabama.   He was married to Peggy Elvira Berryhill, and in the early 1900s they moved from Lamar County, Alabama to Lee County, Mississippi.   Bud farmed and operated a country store just down the road from Pleasant Grove Methodist Church.  The cemetery across the road from the church contains the graves of Bud and Peggy and several of their children.  Bud died in 1931.

Many thanks to Bud's great-grandson, Paul Armstrong, for sharing the photograph and information with me.   I am trying to find out more information about Bud and Laura's father, Daniel:  his CSA regiment, service and place of death.  I also need information about Bud and Laura's sisters, Lenora and Mary Jane.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Amazing Grace

 In the age of the internet, information comes from many different sources.  Above is a photograph of the headstone for the grave of the first child of William Hugh and Ethel Dee Sloan Pennington.   A Find-A-Grave contributor contacted Cousin Bobby Gene about this grave marker that was found in Pine Grove Cemetery in Monroe County, Mississippi.   We knew that there was a child of Hugh and Dee who died as an infant, but the whereabouts of the grave was unknown even to her siblings. Searches for the grave in the past had been unsuccessful.  Until now.  Thanks to the Find-A-Grave contributor, my mother and Aunt Tootsie recently drove to the cemetery and found the grave site.  Aunt Tootsie was able to view the grave of her sister, a grave that once was lost to us but now is found.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A tribute to a good man

Randall Lowell Owens died this week, and Itawamba County lost a good man.   Cousin Randall was born June 8, 1919 in the Mud Creek community of northern Itawamba County.  He was the second child born to James Alfred Owens and Effie Eugeana Johnson; his sister, Dovie, was the oldest of their four children.  Born after Randall were his brother Marquis and sister Catherine.

Randall joined the Army's Air Corps in 1942 following the bombing of Pearl Harbor the preceding December.   After several weeks of training in airplane mechanics at Keesler Field on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Randall was specially selected to join pilot's school in Texas.   In December 1942, the Fulton News Beacon reported that two "aviation cadets" from Itawamba County graduated from the pre-flight school in San Antonio:  Randall L. Owens and Royce H. Franks.   Unfortunately a severe bout with malaria prevented Randall from completing the rest of his pilot training, and he spent many months in the hospital.

Mike's earliest memories of his flat-topped, square-shouldered cousin were from the Johnson family annual reunions in the early 1960's.  Randall had a playful smile and delighted in telling stories about mules and outlaws and kin-folk from the turn of the century and even earlier.  He was a kind man with a keen wit and genuine love of the good people who lived up the "North Road."  And he was a stout Republican who never failed to give President Roosevelt full credit for shutting down his father's saw mill in the Depression.

Randall was a precocious child who listened to the old ones as a child and was a link to the lore and myths of the early settlements of old Itawamba.  Much of our past passed with him in his death. 

Goodbye old friend.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Grandmother of John Claudus Todd

John Claudus Todd was married to a daughter of my great-great grandfather Jackson Samuel Sloan, Alvie Retha Belle Sloan.   Alvie Sloan Todd married John Claudus Todd about 1903, and they had seven children together before her untimely death in 1925.  The 1920 census indicates the family was living in Beat 3, Itawamba County, and based upon the previous 1910 census and John C. Todd's draft registration card for World War I, the family appears to have been living in Itawamba County from 1910 until 1920.  Below is the 1920 census which is absent a son, John A., who was born about 1910 and died as a child before 1920:

1920 Census
Itawamba County, Mississippi
Beat 3 (same neighbors as previous census, doesn't appear to have moved from Carolina)
John C. Todd 39 AL GA AL farmer, owns home
Alvie R. 38 MS AL MS
Sammie L. 15 MS daughter
Akeliss 14 MS son
Malissie L. 8 MS daughter
Bee M. 6 MS son
Effie O. 4 MS daughter
Robert A. 1 yr 5 mo MS son

Alvie Sloan Todd died in 1925 and was buried in Carolina Cemetery in Itawamba County, after which time John Claudus Todd moved to Jefferson County, Alabama where he died in 1971 at the ripe old age of 90. 

So, who is the woman in the picture?  She is Elizabeth Diadema (Trout) Morris, wife of John R. Morris.   Their daughter, Missouri Palestine Morris, married Jonathan Criswell Stokely Todd, and it was their son John Claudus Todd who married Alvie Retha Belle Sloan.

Elizabeth Diadema Morris was born in Georgia in 1825 and died in Fannin County, Texas in 1895. 

Many thanks to blog reader Sue of Chilton County, Alabama.  Sue has many connections to Itawamba County through the Spearman and Jamerson families in addition to Christian, Lesley and Rankin families and others.