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W. P. A. History of Pontotoc County, Mississippi


Pioneer Families

WILLIAM BIGHAM, father of Hugh M. Bigham, grandfather of Samuel E. Bigham, and great grandfather of D. C. M. Bigham, emigrated from North Carolina and settled in Middle Tennessee in the latter part of the eighteenth or early part of the nineteenth century.

He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and w3as severely wounded.  It was said that so large a ball went through his thigh that for a long time a silk handkerchief was drawn through it when it was dressed.  His mother's maiden name was Orr.  His sons, Samuel and Hugh, moved from Tennessee to Pontotoc County in 1835 and 1839, respectively.  They were surveyors and divided a great part of Pontotoc County into townships and sections. 

Hugh M. Bigham was born in 1798 or 1799, and his mother's maiden name was Branley.  His first wife was Elizabeth Ramsey.  To Hugh M. Bigham and Elizabeth Ramsey were born Samuel Branley, William, John, Mary, David, and Hugh Jr.

Hugh M. Bingham's second wife was a Turner and the children of his second marriage were:  Malinda, Lee, Finis, Rufus, Erskine, Enoch, Nancy, and James.  Lee, the oldest son of this group, was killed at the battle of Chickamauga.  Finis was wounded in the War Between the States.

Hugh M. Bigham finally moved to Arkansas.

Samuel Bigham was born March3, 1822.  He married Rachel Jane Phifer, daughter of Margaret and Peter Phifer.  The Phifers also came from North Carolina to Tennessee and then from Tennessee to Pontotoc County.

It may be said that "A more hones man could not be found in Pontotoc County than Samuel Bigham", of the Harmony Community.

To Samuel Bigham and Rachel Phifer were born the following children:  David C. M., Margaret E. C., Amanda J., Mary Ann (Mrs. J. R. Robertson), Sophronia, and Veronia.

Samuel Bigham was a farmer and served three years in the Confederate Army.  He was the first lieutenant in Company I, Eleventh Mississippi Cavalry, under N. B. Forrest's command.  He also served Pontotoc County as county surveyor and was county treasurer for four consecutive terms, 1876 - 1884.  He lived to the advanced years of eighty, dying in 1902.  Rachel Bigham died in 1900, being about seventy two years of age.  They were both members of the Methodist Church for over a half century.

D. C. M. Bigham was born October 3, 1847, in the Harmony Community.  He also was a Confederate Soldier, receiving a wound in his right arm at the Battle of Selma, Alabama.  He was a private in Company I, Eleventh Mississippi Cavalry, under Forrest's command.

After the war he attended school for several years, receiving the degree of A. B. at the University of Mississippi in 1871.  He taught several years and was pastor of churches for several years, which he relinquished on account of throat trouble.  In 1889 he was elected superintendent of public education in Pontotoc County and continued to serve in that capacity until 1904.

D. C. M. Bigham and Lizzie Simmons were married in 1874.  Lizzie Simmons was a daughter of Dr. W. J. Simmons, who was born in 1815.  His wife was Miss Ann Cruikshank, whose father came from Scotland when a young man, and whose brother, Marcus, was a member of the Confederate Congress from Alabama.  He was thrown from a horse and killed soon after the war.

To D. C. M. Bigham and Lizzie Simmons were born the following children:  Eugene Newton, Samuel Walter, Virgil Lee, Florence, Lester Spurgeon, Clara May, Julius David, and Clinton Simmons.

Eugene Bigham and Lizzie Sample were married in 1904, and had the following children:  Eugene, Jr., Mattie Augusta, Elizabeth, Frances, and Samuel Branley; John McDuffie and Clara May Bigham were married in 1904 and to them was born a daughter, Florence; R. H. Knox and Florence Bigham were married in 1904 and the children of this union were Olivia and Elizabeth; Virgil Lee Bigham and Miss Claudie Turner were married in 1905 and the fruits of this union were Turner, VIrgil, and Claraman; Clinton S. Bigham and Miss Gertrude Francis were married in 1913 with the following children:  Martha Frances and Clinton Simmons; Clara Bigham McDuffie and Rev. W. L. Walker were married in 1914 with the following children:  Catherine, Elizabeth, and W. L. Jr.

The following is a list of the marriages of the grandchildren:  Samuel Turner and Laurette Caldwell, 1922; Mattie Augusta Bigham and Handel Fred Cooper, 1929; Olivia Knox and Jones Chambliss, 1930; Elizabeth Bigham and Wesley Ellis, 1930, Virgil Bigham and Ernestine Johnson, 1932; Eugene Bigham and Louis Spight, 1931; Elizabeth Knox and M. B. Swayze, 1931; Florence McDuffie and James McKellen, 1935; Martha Frances Bigham and James Belote, 1937. (1)

(1)Mrs. Virgil Bigham, Pontotoc, Miss.

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