Tombstone Tuesday: Anderson Street

001My fourth great-grandfather Anderson Street was born 5 May 1805 in Georgia, son of Joseph Street and Lucinda Key. His grandfather, Samuel Street was a Revolutionary soldier from Virginia, and died in Georgia in 1811. About this time, Anderson moved to Lincoln County,
Tennessee with his parents. Soon afterwards, his father answered the call for soldiers in the War of 1812, and died in 1815. Anderson married about 1822 in Lincoln County. to Keziah (pronounced “Kezzy”) McBride.

On 9 September 1826 Anderson sold his 200 acres in Lincoln County to his brother John Waller Street, and moved to Hardeman County, and lived there about nine years. They moved to Tippah County, Mississippi not long after the Chickasaws signed the Treaty of Pontotoc on 22 May 1834. When he arrived in North Mississippi, he cleared his newly acquired land for farming and built a log house for his family. He did blacksmith work for his neighbors. When Tippah County was lawfully created in 1836, Anderson was elected a justice of the peace from his district, with brother-in-law Daniel McBride and close friend Worley Linville standing surety for him. Both of these men are also my ancestors. He helped survey the new lands and as the patents were granted to the settlers, he carried these patents to the land office in Pontotoc to be recorded. Anderson owned 960 acres northwest of the Antioch community and also owned 160 acres west of Tiplersville.

In the 1840s Anderson and Keziah were members of the Primitive Baptist Church of Christ at Ephesus. Unfortunately, the location of this church is no longer known.

I know that he owned six slaves as of 1860 and there is only one I know by name: Sanko.

When the Civil War began, he and his seven sons volunteered for the Confederate Army, serving the duration. Three of his sons were killed, the other four wounded. I have been told that Anderson was in the 34th Mississippi, but I have never found his military record. Family stories also say he was imprisoned during the war in New York, possibly Elmira, where he was fed solely rice to the point he never wanted to see any rice again.

After the war, he returned home, signed an oath of allegiance to the Government, and resumed his farming. His wife died shortly, on 14 January 1866, and was buried in Antioch cemetery. Later, he married Abigail Surrat, but little is known of this marriage.

In later years, he lived with his children. One day when he was going out the back door, he tripped over the family cat, fell and broke his hip. He never walked again. He died 11 November 1888, at the home of his son, Calvin, in Saulsbury, Tenn, and because of bad weather and poor roads, he is buried in the Martin Cemetery there.

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Grandfather’s Diary, Part V

This is going to be the last entry for my grandfather’s diary because I deem most of what’s left too personal to publish.

“In October 1944 I entered Senatobia, Mississippi boarding school as I had never had the chance to finish high school. I graduated in August 1945.

I went to Memphis, accepted work with the U.S. [Army Corps of] Engineers. In a few years I got married. We have a son. In 1964, we decided to move back to Ripley, Mississippi, our hometown.

Mack and Hazel Holley, 1967.
Mack and Hazel Holley, 1967.

Everything has went wrong. I have not been able to get employment. Everything we tried to do has went wrong.

In June 1967 I decided to enter politics for county circuit clerk. I worked hard all the summer with my family. I received a good vote but strong politics overcame and I got left out. By hard struggle, we are still going. In November I came down ill [and] I entered the veteran’s hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

There I went through many examinations and tests which were very painful. It was several days before the doctors decided an operation was necessary. One day the doctor came in and told me that they had decided to operate and told me the exact day. I [was] very much upset for [the] whole night. I prayed to God to give me faith, courage, and stand by the doctors and guide their hands in the right way [so] the operation would be a success. By the next day I had settled down and [was] calm and I was not worried.

I continued to pray. My wife and son came to see me every weekend. That meant so much to me [to] have them stand by me, which they did the four weeks I was there.”

Over the past few weeks, I’ve come to a better understanding of who my grandfather was. He was a man you cannot label easily, even though I’ve tried. He was proud and deeply thoughtful. He was terrified of change but somehow muddled through it because that’s what life threw at him. He was human, just like me. He made mistakes that I don’t ever have to understand or approve of but most likely, if he were alive, he would say much the same about me.

I hope I’ve done right by him and by his memory.

10674157_127066708057

 

Black Sheep Sunday: Jesse Earl Linville

My great-grandmother’s younger brother, Jesse Linville, had a troubled life for reasons I don’t fully understand because nobody talks, even all these years later, about Uncle Jesse.

Jesse was born in 1908 in Tippah County, Mississippi. He was the tenth child of David Hezekiah Linville and his wife, Mary Frances Shelton.

He grew up farming with his father and brothers and all seemed normal growing up.

Jesse Earl Linville

Perhaps there was an physical injury whose pain caused him to seek relief or a mental one, I don’t know. But for whatever reason, Jesse got hooked on drugs as a young man. I don’t know when it happened, because I cannot account for him between the years of 1920 and 1935.

I find him living in Longview, Texas in 1935 with his brother Frank and working as a cook. It wasn’t long after that that Jesse was arrested for burglary. On 1 March 1936, he was sentenced to serve two years in the Texas State Penitentiary. He entered prison that June and only served just over a year. He was released on 25 June 1937. You will notice the drug addict notation in his record.

Convict Register for Jesse Linville, top entry
Convict Register for Jesse Linville, top entry

I find no record of his draft registration for World War II. I surmise he was considered unfit and ineligible for service because of his drug addiction.

Sometime in between all of these arrests and prison sentences, he found time to be married at least two times, probably three. I found no names of any of his wives, just prison records that he was married. Frank had probably had enough of Jesse’s troubles, family or not. A desperate drug addict is capable of anything and Frank had a wife and two children to think about.

So, Jesse finds his way back to Mississippi and the huge farm in the Delta owned by his oldest brother, William. It was here that the story of Jesse Linville took its sharpest turn. I’m sure Jesse was not the easiest person to deal with, being hooked on morphine. Wild and crazy in the high and violently angry and paranoid when it wore off. So his marriages didn’t seem to last long enough to be counted and children were out of the question. He had also lost both parents in 1934 and went wild. With his last (probably fourth) wife Christine and her two children, he tried to get his life back together.

In 1949, it all came to a head.

The microfilm copy of this article from the Southern Sentinel didn’t want to cooperate so this was the best copy I could get.A murder-suicide. How incredibly tragic. What’s worse is the fact that the children witnessed this. Jesse and Christine fought, probably a lot since he couldn’t afford the morphine lately. He was probably angry and paranoid and just shot her. Then the fact that he did caught up with him and he shot himself. Thankfully William was close by and could help the children.

 

Sympathy Saturday: Reverend Lorenzo Harper Jamieson

Reverend Lorenzo Harper Jamieson
Reverend Lorenzo Harper Jamieson

“Departed this life Sept. 27, 1901, Lorenzo Harper Jamieson was born March 20, 1820, in York District, South Carolina. He moved with his parents to Tenn., in 1832, where they remained 4 years; then moved to Mississippi and settled six miles south of Ripley, near Orizaba in 1836. He was married to Minerva Childers, daughter of Squire James Childers, Dec. 15, 1846, at the crossing of the Salem and Saulsbury roads. He then entered a place on the Saulsbury road 8 miles north of Ripley, where he lived until his death. He was 81 years, 6 mos., and 7 days old. He was a noble character; devoted most of his time to farming and fruit growing at which he was very successful. He turned from his sins and joined the Primitive Baptist church at Antioch, in 1868, was baptized by Elder Miles Moore, was licensed to preach May 1871, and ordained July 1876, by Elders J.W. Norton and H.T. Rowland. He was the father of 12 children, six sons and six daughters; nine of whom they raised to be grown. He leaves a wife, one son, and four daughters, a host of grandchildren and friends to mourn his loss. We are made to feel that he has paid the debt we are indebted too. Though we may miss his voice and his sweet smiles, yet we feel confident that our loss is his gain. It makes us sad to part with such a friend, a friend that has made home pleasant, and those whom he came in contact with to feel proud of his presence. His noble deeds should be a good example for his bereaved friends, and let them say, they will try to live so as to meet this beloved friend in the better world, where there will be no more pain or sorrow, but will forever be peace and happiness. We know that God’s power is beyond man’s and if he breaks the greatest human cord, we must think there is a greater attraction in heaven for us than before. And where we look at the longevity of older people and see what steps they have taken, while drifting down the stream of time, a thought is impressed upon our minds that we should live so as to walk in their footprints and share with them in the treasures of Heaven. This good man was taken sick the second day of Sept. and was sick nearly four weeks. He was taken with typhoid fever of which he suffered untold misery. His remains were laid to rest in the Little Hope cemetery, Sept. 28, 1901. There was a host of friends and relatives that followed him to the last resting place, and as they laid eyes upon this good man for the last time, it almost broke their hearts to part with him. Weep not dear wife, children, relatives, and friends, for his last words were, “I am going home.” We know he is better off, in that happy home than he was here. Now may God’s richest blessings rest upon the bereaved home and when God calls you from this world you can reach forth your hand and say, I have fought the good fight, and have let my light so shine, that those around me are illuminated by its beautiful rays and are ready to step on board the Ship of Zion and sail through the pearly gates of Heaven, where you can shake hands with this dear friend.

Life is but a moment time,
We cannot prolong the wave,
Let us live for God above,
And in Heaven we shall be saved.

By a friend,

J.T. Linebarger”

This obituary from the Southern Sentinel in Ripley, Mississippi is flat out amazing. I don’t think there’s anything else to say about it except it would be nice to have a friend that wanted to remember me like that.

Tombstone Tuesday: Thomas N Braselmann

IMG_0874Thomas Nathan Braselmann, Second Lieutenant in Company F, Second Mississippi Infantry. He died 21 July 1861 in the battle of First Manassas.

Transcription of the tombstone:

Beneath this silent marble sleep the remains of Thomas N Braselmann, son of Dr. T and H. Braselmann. Born in Newberry District SC Feb. 26, 1834, married Mary A T Rogers March 15, 1853, to whom he was a devoted and affectionate husband. He fell July 21, 1861, at the Battle of Manassas, defending the southern cause, which he felt was just and right, leaving a wife and three little children to mourn his loss. He was one of the first to sacrifice home and all that was near and dear to him, for freedom, and liberty.

We weep! Our earthly joys have fled,                                                                                 That once loved form is now cold and dead.                                                               But blessed hope looks far beyond the bounds of time,                                           When what we now deplore                                                                                           Shall rise in full immortal prime,                                                                                     And bloom to fade no more.

Grandfather’s Diary, Part IV

Mack Holley, 1940

Last week, my grandfather had been elected to cotton weigher for Tippah County. He skips some time and we’re now in the 1940s. His parents were separated and he was living with his mother, taking care of her.

“On Jan. 1, 1941, my mother passed away. That was the biggest change and the saddest day in my life. 13 months later my father passes away. My home was broken up [and] I was left alone for ten years, lonely and broken hearted.

In July 1942, I got my greeting from Uncle Sam. I was drafted. I went in a few days to be examined, passing the test with no trouble. This was another big change for a country boy that had never been anywhere, only in and around my hometown. Later in July I was inducted in [the] service at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. I shall never forget I knew nothing [about] what it would be like.IMG_1312 After my basic training at Camp Wheeler, Georgia for six weeks, I was transferred to Camp Sutton, N.C. for several months and finally it came to my time for going overseas. We got our order for overseas duty, going from there by troop train to San Francisco, California for a few weeks and then one morning we packed our bags and started to the docks.IMG_1314 Walking up that gang plank to the ship was another big change. That was a feeling and thoughts for me when that ship pulled out for sea. Three weeks later we entered the dock in Perth, Australia. There I was in another country thousands of miles from home. Everything [was] so different, even the people, but really nice and kind to a lonely American soldier.

In a few weeks, I was in an Australian hospital. The Sister came [and] said get dressed, [that] I was being transferred to Melbourne, Australia. In mid morning, me and one other American soldier in the Army car and headed away to the airport. This was a frightening change in life.

We started in the plane [and] I was really scared. When we were seated in the plane, soon we were given orders to buckle our safety belts. I thought many times what would be next. I could hardly tell the difference when the plane began to move.

Postcards from Melbourne
Postcards from Melbourne

Finally I decided to look out of the small window. What did I see? Nothing but clouds. We had done flew above the clouds. That is the time my eyes poofed out. I wondered if we would ever get down but we did. In a few hours we landed at the airport in Melbourne, Australia. We were met by [an] American soldier and carried to an American hospital which was far better.

In a few days I got a day of leave to visit downtown Melbourne. Everything looked so different. Felt like everyone was staring at me. What a change for me in a foreign city and country. Soon I was lost in everything, even the money did not mean anything to me.

IMG_1313
Australian penny, 1940

In a short time I was called up to return to the U.S. I was tickled and thrilled the morning we boarded the ship for home.

Finally in a few weeks, after seeing nothing but water, we spotted the lights in San Francisco, California, which grew bigger and bigger each minute. Finally we pulled into the dock.

It was several hours before we could go ashore. We were signed into the hospital for a few weeks [and] then we were transferred by troop train to Texas near Dallas. We were stationed there for a few weeks.”

This is the only clue I have as to his service as most of his service records were burned in the archives at St. Louis. From a news article I know he was awarded medals, but I do not have them. He seems to have spent most of his time in hospital, suffering from malaria.

“In October 1943, I was discharged from the U.S. Army in McKinney, Texas. It was a very happy [moment] of my life. I packed my bag and by bus went into Dallas, Texas. There I caught a bus for home in Mississippi, arriving in Memphis, Tennessee early the next day. There changing buses for New Albany, Mississippi, south of Ripley, Mississippi, which was my home at that time. Getting home was a big thrill although it was a restless peace. Different and strange. So many people had moved away. I was lonesome and restless, could not be satisfied anywhere doing anything.

Friend I met in N.C. during the time I was in the army called me to come and work for him in a railroad cafe. I tried that a short time. I could not be satisfied so I resigned and went back home, trying Sears Roebuck and Co. in Memphis. I could not be happy there.”

One theme I’ve noticed has been change. My grandfather seemed to abhor change. It made him nervous and upset. After the war, it seemed worse. I don’t know what he isn’t saying, what he doesn’t want to talk about. Even his friend, Billy Power, couldn’t help him be content.

I don’t know if he ever found his way.

Sentimental Sunday: Uncle Charlie and the Tricycle

Growing up, I didn’t have aunts, uncles, or first cousins. I had great aunts, great uncles, and second cousins. So most of the family I spent any time with was way older than me. So it was the case with my great uncle, Charlie Holley, my granddaddy’s brother.

For a few years, also, I was an only child. I got all the attention and that suited me just fine. I had a little red tricycle that I must have rode a million miles on. I went all over the yard with it, up and down the driveway, and even up and down the road if I thought I could get away with it.

When Uncle Charlie would come visit, I tried to be good and sit like a little lady and behave while grownups talked. But that was too hard and no fun. Uncle Charlie noticed and asked me if I wanted to go play. I said I did, but as long as he played too.

So we broke out the tricycle and up and down the hallway and around the house go, him pushing and me hanging on. He wouldn’t let me pedal much. I guess he wanted to spoil me a little. On good days, we took the fun outside too. Up and down the driveway. Uncle Charlie in my ear, telling me I could let go and trust him that I wouldn’t fall.

I did. I loved it.

That happened often until he got sick and couldn’t come play anymore. But I will always remember in my heart how safe and secure I felt on my little red tricycle with Uncle Charlie huffing and pushing along behind me.

Wednesday’s Child: Lillian Angeline Linville

Lillian Angeline Linville was my great-grandmother’s sister and the only one of her siblings who died as a child. If or that time, that was really good. It hardly ever happened. It would have been a perfect record, but for her death from appendicitis at the age of 13 in 1910.

What a set of circumstances for that to happen. A rural family with no stillborns, no early death from disease.

But life isn’t perfect.

Appendicitis was always fatal in the days before surgery. It was caused by a blockage of the appendix by infection or stool. Without surgery, it always ruptured and the person always died. Death was quick, but painful and brutal.

My great-grandmother’s sister was not forgotten. When my great-grandmother had her second daughter, she named her Lillian for the sister she lost.

Grandfather’s Diary, Part III

One of the things I noticed about this short diary of my grandfather’s is his way of slipping off subject and becoming very thoughtful to the point of being morose. The last part of the diary did just that but now he’s back on track and talking about days past.

Read here for part 1 and here for part 2.

my grandfather at 18

“I was reared as a poor boy on a farm until 1933 [when] we moved to town. I started to school and life was all changed again and [was] a big change for a country boy. After a short time I made new friends and everything was alright. Life came back again as I have had many changes in life.

I got the agency for the Memphis Press Scimitar for several months from house to house, trying to provide a living for me and my mother as a paper boy.

Finally, I accept work with the WPA as timekeeper for a few months. Soon it was finished, then I was out of work and no money. Finally I accepted a job as a clerk in a small grocery store, 75 cents per day. There I worked for three years, still tryig to provide a living for my mother and myself.

On Christmas on the third year my boss Mr. Ray Barnett gave me $10 for Christmas. I went on my way home by the county newspaper office and put my name on the ticket for county cotton weigher. Boy, was that a big change in life  for a poor country boy that knew nothing. I had a hard time and fun along with the hard times. Finally came the election night. I will never forget when I won over five other fine men in the outcome of the accounting of votes.”

Campaign Card