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Annie Rosa Coleman Castleberry
1841 - ca 1925
Wife of William Castleberry

Annie Rosa Coleman Castleberry's (1841 - ca 1925) family came to Mississippi from Coweta County, GA. She states in her Civil War pension applications that she "has lived in Mississippi all her life". So the Coleman family apparently arrived in Mississippi ca 1840, assuming "all her life" included being born in Mississippi.

Her family eventually moved to Pontotoc, MS, and it was there that the Coleman children grew to adulthood. She had four older brothers and five sisters, two older than she. If she was born in 1841 in Mississippi it was probably in Chickasaw County. She died ca 1925 in Lafayette County.

Her father, Daniel T. Coleman (ca 1800 - 7 Jul 1873), was a farmer and a judge in Pontotoc County. He moved to Mississippi from Georgia ca 1840. His wife, Clarinda Ann ? (ca 1805 - ca 1885), was also from Georgia. Annie Coleman's oldest sister was Emma who first married R. A. Weatherall on 8 March 1859 and later, after he died ca 1874, she married Major Henry C. Medford of Tupelo, MS (the town's first mayor). Emma had two daughters by both husbands.

Annie's youngest sister, Adeline or Lina, married Memory Gordon Leake. Adeline and Memory both died during the yellow fever epidemic in the summer of 1877 leaving a three year old son, Memory E. Leake, who was adopted and raised by Emma and Major Medford. An interesting account of Memory E. Leake's long and useful life has been recorded by Julius Garnett Berry [3] . In this biography mention is made [3, p. 16] of Memory riding all the way from Tupelo to Pontotoc on a new pony named Minnie that he received from his stepfather, Major Medford, to visit his Aunt Annie Castleberry and her family. He was only six or seven years old at the time and did this to please his stepfather who rewarded him by giving him the pony. Emma Medford died in 1885 when Memory was only eleven years old. At the insistence of his lawyer step-father Memory enrolled at the University of Mississippi where he completed his law degree in 1895. The legal profession did not suit him and he soon got into the hardware and lumber business where he succeeded handsomely eventually becoming a prosperous and prominent citizen in his home town of Tupelo. He was a life long member of the Baptist Church in that city. Memory was the first cousin of my grandfather, Charles Rufus Castleberry. They were born four years apart and grew up in towns twenty miles apart.

Stories have been handed down about how Memory was partly raised by my great grandmother, Annie Coleman Castleberry, especially after his Aunt Emma died in 1885 when he was eleven years old. Annie Coleman was married to William Castleberry in Lafayette County, MS, according to her last Civil War pension application that she filed in 1923, however her marriage bond was issued in Pontotoc County, MS, on 27 Jan 1862. During her marriage she resided in Pontotoc, MS, with her husband who was a merchant there. When he died in July 1882 she was left with seven children, the youngest, Charles Rufus, my grandfather, being only three years old. She later moved to Aberdeen, MS, and opened a boarding house on Washington Street. In the 1900 census she is listed as head-of-the-household with nine boarders, six of them being her own children (missing is Ann, the third oldest daughter). Also under her roof are her three granddaughters, the children of Clara Roberts, the oldest daughter, who is a widow. William, the oldest son, is an insurance agent, Robert is a dry goods salesman, and Charles Rufus, my grandfather, is a grocery salesman, according to the census records.

In 1900, at the age of 59, she filed the first of four Civil War pension applications for service by her husband, William Castleberry. By 1912, when she was 70 years old, Annie Castleberry had moved to Lafayette County, MS, evidently near Water Valley, MS (she moved before 1907) and was living with her daughter, Florence Anderson, and her family. She filed a second Civil War pension application on 15 August 1912. She gives the value of her property as $500.00. On the 9 August 1916 when she was 75 years old she filed a third pension application giving the value of her property as $150.00. Finally, on 27 June 1923, she filed her fourth and last Civil War pension application when she was 82 years old. She states that she is an invalid and is residing in Lafayette County, MS, Route 1. Her post office is given as Water Valley, MS. All four pensions applications were approved. I do not know when she died or where she is buried.


1. Gunboats and Cavalry - A History of Eastport, Mississippi, Ben Earl Kitchens, 1985
2. Hard Times, The Civil War in Huntsville and North Alabama (1861 - 1865), Charles Rice, 1994
3. The Life and Times of Mr. Memory E. Leake by Julius Garnett Berry
4.Story of Pontotoc, Part 1, The Chickasaws, E. T. Winston, 1931
5. Soundex to Mississippi Marriages, Huntsville, AL, Public Library

Submitted by: James K. Harrison
995 Gilstead Circle
Huntsville, Alabama 35802
(256) 882-8655
December 23, 1999

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