Webster County Kin
from the Webster Progresss
by Louis Taunton

Webster Co. Kin, Mar 14, 2001
By Louis Taunton

        This article was published in the 1950 Webster Progress. Member of Pioneer Family and Grand Niece of Backwoods Poet Newt BERRYHILL tells of her girlhood days when Webster"s County Seat was young and booming. By Mary B. MILES of Crenshaw, MS:
        Long before the American public turned its attention to the special week idea such as Book Week. Go-To-Church Week, and so on, that without benefit of a radio, press, or pulpit, gripped the minds and hearts of people to an extent that present day propagandist would delight to equal. The isolation of Webster"s capital in the early days of this century, thought it was not then recognized as isolation, would stick the most adventurous heart now with utter dismay. The roads, into the place were almost impassable except during the summer months. The mail usually came in daily, but likely only on the tradition that the mail must go through. It was commonly accepted as fact that Milt FOARD could get the mail back over roads too difficult for anybody except George FINCH and Fred EUDY, who early became skillful in transporting drummers with their sample trunks, regardless of muddy roads or high water.
        Telephone service for the county seat was provided by a strange-looking box-like instrument screwed to the rear wall of Mr. Jim TAYLOR"s store. The line ran into the Grenada exchange and the message always had to be repeated. Perhaps that is why the news of President McKINLEY"s assassination required forty-eight hours to filter down that far. Few daily papers were received in the community. However, the Commercial Appeal and the Atlanta Constitution came three times each week to many avid readers. Harper"s Bazaar, Delineator, and Atlanta Monthly came regularly to connect the village with the great outside. Youth"s Companion brought many happy hours to boys and girls there. Of all the monthly periodicals of that era, Comfort was probably most widely read. It seems that failure to pay the 25-cents subscription fee did not interfere with Comfort"s regular appearance with its household hints and general advise. That modern semi-annual literary gem, Sears-Roebuck catalogue was not so popular then, but Nugent"s and Bellas-Hess met the same needs admirably. The most cherished periodical of the time and place was the Walthall Warden, worthy ancestor of the beloved Webster Progress. It was printed every week in the little fram building on the southwest corner of the square where Mr. Charlie and Mr. Richard SMITH, set up shop after the storm blew down the two-story building, north of the jail, which the paper had shared with Dr. ARNOLD"s drug store. In its columns folks in that locality read their own names in print and learned the doings of their neighbors without interpretations of street-corner gossip. It was their paper and they loved it. William Jennings BRYAN with is doctrine of free silver and Tom WATON, leader of the radical People"s Party, were political ideals, while Sam JONES and Dewitt TALMADGE were revered as suitable successors to the great Henry Ward BEECHER. But the mind eventualy becomes satiated with reading, and the talk of about a "cross of gold" and "gold bugs" were as remote from the life of the Webster farmer as are the forms and ceremonies of the Dalai Lama today; and few souls are inspired to great service by reading sermons alone. Only handshakes from Brothers Green CASTLE, Joel DORROH, Tom WILSON and Alf HICKS were infinitely more soul-stirring than the long distance messages of the ulpit masters. To be continued next week.



Webster Co. Kin --March 28
By Louis Taunton

        No wonder "Court Week: was the mecca toward which all faces turned twice each year. Then such notables as Anselm McLAURIN and A. H. LONGINO came to give account of their stewardship and the voters came eagerly to hear. Then impassioned pleas of lawyers like Mr. Tom LAMB and Mr. Shed HILL, and the discourses by Mr. Tobe DUNN and Mr. Harry GOULD insured justice to some and satisfied emotional and intellectual demands of others. Then the charge to the jury by Judge STEVENS or Judge McLEAN was thought well worth the battle with the muddy roads. "Court Week" came to have a peculiar weather significance. When Mr. Burse WILSON asked a fifth grade geography class what time most rain fell in that section, Otis BRANNON replied with conviction, "Court Week".
        One particular week seems the general pattern of all others: Great billows of clouds flattened themselves into a thick gray mask across the sky. The rain that had been a steady downpour for hours dwindled to an occasional drop. Men, hunching collars closer about their necks, began to emerge from Mrs. HOLLAND"s hotel. The crowd about Mr. Tom COOPER"s store sloshed through the deep red mud to join them. Homa HOLLAND scampered around the corner of the red "tin" store to open the post office for the day"s business. Throngs moved gingerly across the two boards linking Mr. Jim TAYLOR"s store to Marvin STEVEN"s. At the door of Mr. COOK"s unfinished office, a non-descript crowd paused for a glance at the fading sign above the door and splashed away. Mr. Bill CHILDS limped out to note the weather changes.
        Horses, mules, buggies and wagons were everywhere. They were hitched to the rack behind Mr. LEVERETT"s office. They were strung around the courthouse yard fence like charms on a friendship bracelet. Some with buggies attached were hitched to the drooping branches of Mr. Knox COOPER"s squirrel tree. Some linked together with plow lines in chains of twos and threes, were litterally dragged to the scene.
        Soon Happy Hollow, that horse trader"s paradise between the old jail and the Baptist Church grounds, was over-crowded. But clever trading could quickly correct that condition. Brother John EASTERWOOD, his saddle bags bulging with Moody and Spurgeon literature, rode into town. Mr. Foster GOLDING laughed heartily as he entered the courthouse with Brother J. J. EIDSON.
        Then the student body of the local school, led by Prof. E. Morgan SHAW, came around the corner of Mr. COOK"s office. Lake HAYS, his book sack swinging from the shoulder and slapping noisily aginst his knee at every step, puffed alongside the big boys and girls like Cragher TURNER and Lizzie GORE. Cute HOLLAND did a few cartwheels, but Kirk had him in line with the rest when Sheriff DeLASHMENT came to usher the group into the courthroom.
        The judge had shunted aside his "charge" to make room on the day"s schedule for speeches by three gubernatorial candidates. As soon as the sheriff had seated the school boys and girls, somebody introduced one of the trio. He rose in acknowledgement and surveyed the audience with calm dignity. Then he lifted his hands as if in blessing, threw his head back so that the long black hair fell in glistening folds on his collar, and launched into the first political speech ever heard by one in that assemblage. The other candidates spoke, but somehow E. F. NOEL and Frank A. CRIT lacked something that was abundantly possessed by James K. VARDAMAN. Mr. SHAW was right, except instead of one, two of the candidates eventually became governors of MS; and every kid present had been formally introduced! Novemeber "Court Week" was in full swing.



Webster Co. Kin -- Apr 4, 2001
By Louis Taunton

        The Legend of Wolf Creek was written and published originally in 1878 by S. Newton BERRYHILL. The story was reprinted in the Dec 21, 1950 edition of The Webster Progress.
        The Greensboro and Middleton road crosses, about seven miles from the former place, a branch of Big Black known as Wolf Crek. The swamp at this creek is generally gloomy and forbidding. The tall cypress, the gnarled oaks, and wide spreading gums interlock their branches overhead and together with the grape and muscadine vines which entwine around their stately forms almost shut out the light and the heat of the sun. Now and then a stray sunbeam falls in golden sowers through an opening in the dark green foliage, and here the poisonous moccasin warms himself, coiled upon some fallen limb. This spot was, many years ago, the scene of a shocking and most heart-rendering murder.
        In the year 183- there lived in the western part of Choctaw County two young men named L------S. They were industrious, frugal, and highly respected by their neighbors. By hard labor and wise economy they had amassed a small sum of money, which they prudently wished to invest in a home. Near them lived a man named L-----n. He was one of those characters too often found in the "flush times" of MS, who made their living by speculation -- a term often synonymous with villainy
        He would purchase lands on credit, taking bonds for titles. These lands he would resell to honest farmers who were then moving in from the Old States, taking care in every case to secure one-fourth of the price in advance. When the purchaser proffered the last payment and demanded a title, he would find that L-----n was unable to make a title, and being insolvent, action against him would gain nothing.
        Amongst those whom L-----n practiced his villainy upon were the young L------s. When they tendered the last payment and demanded a title what was their astonishment to find that L-----n had no title. At least, thought they, he will refund the money we paid him. But this L-----n refused to do. The brothers expostulated, entreated, but all in vain. The wretch was immovable. The brothers left in despair, but as they left they whispered that ominous word -- Revenge!
        Time wore on. Detected in his numberous villainies, L-----n was about to leave the country. His wagon went on, and he was to follow at night so as to overtake it at Greensboro. "Now," said the brothers, "now or never!" Taking with them their rifle they repaired to the spot I have described, the only route by which L-----n could reach Greensboro.
        At that time there was not a single house along the road. All was one dense forest, the home of the deer, the wolf, and the panther. It was Sunday night, the time of devotion, of holy reveries, of sweet repose. They took their stand about twenty yards from the ford, by the side of a large gum tree. All was silent, save the sighing of the September breeze and the hooting of an owl in a nearby tree. Hours went by and L-----n came not. Dawn began to streak the eastern sky. The young men grew impatient.
        But hark - the sound of horses" feet. It crosses the brink. It comes nearer. The rider checks the animal in the ford, and it begins eagerly to slake its thirst. One of the young men grasped the gun. His heart sickened for a moment at the thought of what he was about to do; but the memory of his wrongs nerved his arm. There was a quick flash, a sharp report, a piercing scream and a fall. The young men approached the spot where their victim had fallen. (To be continued next week)



Webster Co. Kin -- April 11, 2001
By Louis Taunton

        Originally published in 1878, reprinted in 1950 in The Webster Progress, by S. Newton BERRYHILL, continuted from April 4, 2001 Webster Progress
        "Oh, don"t kill me, don"t kill me!" spoke the weak voice of a child.
        "Merciful heavens!" exclaimed the rothers. "What have we done" "Who -- who are you we have slain"
        "I am little John H-----r, don"t kill me. For my mother"s sake, don"t kill me."
        The brothers threw themselves upon the earth and groaned aloud. In their
unholy thirst for revenge they had killed an innocent child. The child began to cry "water! water!" And one of the brothers raised the little sufferer in his arms while the other dipped water from the creek with his hands and held it to the bloodless lips. The child sucked the water eagerly. The brothers remained with him for some time, giving water and bathing his face, but fearing detection they left, and a few days departed to the West.
        L-----n reached Greensboro some time later the next day. By some chance he had been detained, and so a little child met the bloody fate intended for him. The old gum, from behind which the murderous shot was fired, still stands in Wolf Swamp. The belated wayfarer shudders as he views its tall form in the dim
twilight. Busy fancy turns each bush and fallen limb into the persons of the muderers and their victim, as memory recalls the melancholy Legeng of Wolf Creek.
        Obituary of A Pioneer by S. N. BERRYHILL written in 1870. WilliamCASTLES died at his residence, near Bellefontaine, MS on July 27, 1870, aged eighty-two years. Father CASTLES was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth CASTLES, and was born in Montgomery Co, NC, in 1788. In early manhood he married Jane BURLESON, daughter of Isaac and Martha BURLESON, who survives him. Soon after his marriage, he removed to Lancaster District, SC. He subsequently returned to NC, and removed thence to MS, settling in the year 1834 in Choctaw Co, on the place where he died. Father CASTLES embraced religion and joined the Methodist Church fifty-nine years ago, and was an official member --sometimes stewart, and sometimes class-leader -- fifty-seven years. Few men outside of the ministry have labored more for the cause of Christ. Though uneducated, he was gifted with a natural eloquence -- simple, chaste, and fervent -- that peculiarly fitted him for the station to which God called him, that of class- leader. He was an earnest Methodist; he delighted in the prayer meeting, the class meeting and the love feast. The writer has often heard him relate his religious experience. He was raised up in the Primitive Baptist belief, but was wild and wicked. There were no Methodists in the vicinity where he lived, and the people looked on the itinerant ministers of our Church, who occasionally passed that way, with suspicion and contempt. After he removed to SC, he was led by curiosity to attend the Methodist Church and put on the whole armor of God, to lay it aside only when the "Captain of our salvation called him to rest from his labors". His last days were peaceful and happy. He raised fourteen children, five of who crossed thestream before him. Two of his sons became able ministers of the Gospel. One of these has gone



Webster Co. Kin -- April 18, 2001
By Louis Taunton

        This article was written in 1950 by J. E. EUDY.
        On June 17, 1847, Captain E. L. ELDER; Lt. H. MIDDLETON; Cpl. A. E. NIGHT; Cpl. M. C. MIDDLETON; James GAGS; J. CHILDER; W. F. COCHRAN; C. CRENSHAW; W. M. COOK; R. W. DUNN; C. C. DYER; H. H. ELDER; D. E. ELDER; Isaac FOX; J. A. McQUARY; Josiah PRUITT; J. PHARES; W. A. SAMPLE, A. H. SAFFELL; J. A. STOKS; Frances SMITH; B. F. WEAVER; L. POE; Andrew WOODS; J. W. HILL and J. OSBORNE of the Choctaw Volunteers in the Second MS Regiment were reported killed in battles with the Mexicans. According to history, this company was mustered into service in January of 1847. The body of one of these MIDDLETONs was brought to HAWS Graveyard, which is just west of Hwy 9 and about a half mile south of Walthall, and there buried.
        The burial having been atttended by my grandparents, Wiley and ChaneyEUDY, who lived near said graveyard. The first time I ever heard of embalming was when I heard my grandma say that the government had the body of the deceased soldier "preserved". At that time I don"t suppose there was a railroad in MS and the funeral and burial of the soldier MIDDLETON must have been a long time after his death.
        A box in which the coffin or casket of this soldier was placed in was not put into the grave and those in authority gave the box to my grandfather, who put the box into his farm blacksmith where he used it for a coal bin, and when we grand- children visited the home of our grandparents, everyone on the place would tell us the blacksmith shop was haunted and it was hard to get any of the children to go about the blacksmith shop.
        In 1950 Mrs. Tom SPARKMAN, 99, of Tomnolen, told of her girlhood spent at Old Greensobro to Mrs.George BAILEY. The following article appeared in the Dec. 21, 1950 edition of the Webster Progress:
        There were two classes of societies in Greensboro: the law abiding and the lawless, with the latter predomination. Their custom was to drink, gamble and paint the town red. Cold-blooded murder was the favorite sport. But there was also those who lived in a nearby town -- those lawabiding citizens who were willing to bid their time, remaining aloof from the trouble makers and slowly, but surely, gaining a foothold in this new territory. This is as I remember Greensboro more than ninety years ago.
        It was at that time, the county seat of Sumner County (now Webster). Many prominent families lived there, and it was considered quite a town. We had a courthouse, jail, stores, and churches; also a large school house, at which I obtained my first schooling.
        How well I remember my teacher. Her name was Miss Lenora LOCKHART . She was a fine teacher and we all loved her. I also remember the names of several of my classmantes. Alice SINGLETON; Mary THOMPSON and Mary MORGAN. Our teacher told us to ask our fathers for money to buy new panes for the windows. When I offered her my money the next day she said they already had enough, for me to take it back to my parents. Well, Mary knew I had the money and persuaded me to go to the store and buy candy, which we did. After we had eaten all we wanted, I then divided it, placing my portion in a bag and putting it in my booksack. After awhile I wanted to eat the rest of the candy, but when I looked for it, it was gone!
        A fine old genteleman, named Mr. JOHNSON, also lived in Greensboro. One night a mob came to his house and began throwing bricks. He stood it as long as he could, and against the wishes of his wife, he went outside. When he reached the doorsteps, they shot him down. (Article to be continued)



Webster Co. Kin -- April 25, 2001
By Louis Taunton

        The folowing article is reprinted from the April 8, 1926 issue of The Webster Progress:
        Thirty-three Confederate Veterans living in Webster Co. were this week presented with Stone Mountain Memorial Coins, donor being Mr. Esco CASTLE, a native of Webster Co. now living in Wagoner, OK. One coin was presented to each veteran along with a letter conveying the gift. Mr. CASTLE is well known by many of the older citizens of Webster, although he moved to OK some 40 years ago and has been practicing law in that stateall that time. He also gave a coin to each Confederate Veteran in Wagoner Co, OK.
        The recipients of the coins here are as follows: Col. Sam COOKE; A. H. MITCHELL, both of Waltall; William SUGG; Ben POUNDS, both of Bellefontaine; Henry HITT: O. T. SYNOTT; John R. SHAW; John E. GORE; T. A. MIDDLETON all of Embry; E. R. COOPER; James SALLEY, both of Lodi; W. D. AMOS; Pin THREADGILL, both of Stewart; Sim BRIGHT; John R. CURRY, both of Tomnolen; J. S. DODD; Epps BROWN, Sr.; A. McALLISTER, T. W. FOARD; W. S. HARVEY; W. A. PEEBLES; G. P. CLEGG all of Mathiston; Dallas HENLEY; William FORRESTER, both of Mantee; E. P. SCARBROUGH of Hohenlinden; J. Taylor DUNN: John MITCHELL, both of Beauvoir; J. T. HARTLEY of Maben; James R. CURRY of Cumberland. (There were only 30 names listed in the writeup).
        Mr. CASTLE in his letter accompanying the gifts, says: "I take great pleasure in presenting to you as a Confederate Veteran this little token of my esteem and appreciaton to you and all other Confederate Soldiers who fought against over- whelming odds for the true principles of self government. I rejoice that I have a personal acquaintance with so many survivors of that heroic bank, and I am presenting to every Confederate Veteran of Wagoner Co, OK and of Webster Co, MS, one of the coins authorized and minted by the United States Government as a Memorial to the Valor of the Confederate Soldiers and I rejoice in this privilege.
        "Our Secretary of State of Ok, Col. R. A. SNEED, is a Confederate Veteran and a native Mississippian. He has recently announced his candidacy for State Treasurer, subject to the Democratic Primary Election in August, and no doubt he will be nominated and elected. There are so many many other Mississippians out here, some of whom you may know. One of this county, F. W. VIVIAN, was wounded near Atlanta, GA in July 1864, and was brought to Bellefontaine, MS, where for many months, he was cared for and nursed back to health, by the
HICKS Family. I feel a kinship with every man wo wore the Gray. God Bless You."
        (Continuation of the story about old Greensboro by Mrs. Tom SPARKMAN as told to Mrs. George BAILEY:
        Another resident was Dr. NEW. He was our family doctor. I certainly hadto take lots of his medicine, because I was sick so much. That is when I learned to hate vanilla, because you see, he flavored his medicine so it wouldn"t be so bad. He was accused of killing three men. He killed one, he said, because he wore copperas pants; another just to see him jump! I don"t know why he killed the third. Another amusing incident about Dr. NEW: It seemed that he was obsessed with the idea of ringing the courthouse bell, for as long as he wanted to. He even offered to pay to let him do just that. Well, the request was granted and he rang the bell all night; the next day it rang until the townspeople were begging him to let them pay him to quit. This he did, but "twas said he realized quite a sum of money out of the deal. (To be continued in a future issue of The Webster Progress)



Webster Co. Kin -- May 2, 2001
By Louis Taunton

        (Continuation of story by Mrs. Tom SPARKMAN as told to Mrs. George BAILEY -- Dec 21, 1951 edition of The Webster Progress)
        Killings were very common. I remember a young couple there (at Greensboro), by the name of GREENLEE. Not long after their marriage he was killed. Before too long his widow married a Mr. POWERS. It wasn"t too long
before Mrs. POWERS was a widow the second time, because of the murder of her second husband.
        Of course, the Yankees came through. They burned the courthouse, and the dstruction they dealt out to the property thereabout depended largely upon the reception of the households. For instance, if they entered a home, and weren"t ordered out, they took only the supplies needd at the time; but when they were ill-received, they took everything, destroying that that they couldn"t use. In some cases, feather beds and pillows were taken out into the  yard, slashed open, feathers flying everywhere.
        Very often here, as elsewhere over the South, prized quilts, silverware, gold and other treasured possessions were hidden underground until the soldiers had moved on. There were many instances of faithful servants fleeing to the swamps with the horses and mules, until the "all clear" signal was given.
        We didn"t live on the main road. We lived about a half mile from it, so they missed us. But we did kill our hogs in a few days after the soldeirs had been through, and we were preparing to sit down to breakfast the next morning, when someone called to us: " The Yankees are coming!" That announcement took the appetites of all but me. I proceeded to eat my breakfast, for as I told them, it might be a long time before I"d eat again, so I was going to eat all I could. (At this time Mrs. SPARKMAN, the former Miss Paralee ROGERS, was about thirteen or fourteen years old.)
        An incident in the family of Mrs. SPARKMAN"s Great-Grandfather, Mr. William ALDRIDGE: Customs, in many ways, have changed in the past hundred years, but a father"s wishes, in regard as to whom his daughters should marry, vary little. Mr great-grandfather was very angry because his daughter, Lucretia, had married a poor man; so angry, in fact, he declared he"d disinherit her. The other children refused their part of the estate unless Lucretia received her part. I have heard Uncle Alfred tell how, one day he was plowing. The mule was contrary, so he decided to take him loose from the plow and give him a whipping. When he had the mule securely tied to a tree with a rope around his neck, he lunged backward, breaking his neck in doing so. Of course, Uncle was frightened, so he decided to run away. He hid in a large cave, not too far away, and only left it long enough at night to hunt for food. He even killed a hog and ate it, along with any other food he was lucky enough to find. It was interesting, the way he dressed the hog. He said he built a big fire and when it died down he rolled the hog, which was thoroughly wet in the strong wood ashes, thereby causing the hair to slip off.
        After about six months of this life, Uncle Alf decided he"d like to go back home. So he got in contact with one of his friends telling him to tell his father, he"d be home Saturday morning, for, reasoned UncleAlf, he"d take his whipping on Saturday, rest on Sunday, and be ready to go to work on Monday. But it didn"t turn out that way! They came for him on Friday night; the friend had betrayed him.
        (Next week I will pick up with the reminisces of Mr. John O. PEEPLES, son of Mr. and Mrs. Pinkney PEEPLES, who were among the early settlers in the Greensboro area.)



Webster Co. Kin -- May 9, 2001
By Louis Taunton

        The following article was in the May 13, 1926 issue of The Webster Progress and I felt that it would be of interest to the readers:
Memorial Held at North Union:
        Annual Memorial Services were held at North Union last Sunday, bringing together people from all our adjoining counties, from the states of AR, OK, LA and TX. The address was delivered by Mrs. A. F. McKEIGNEY and the sermon was delivered by Rev. Harvey GRAY. Devotional by Rev. Joel DORROH and Mr. Noel SKELTON was master of ceremonies. North Union is the resting place of perhaps more relatives of people than any other cemetery in this section. The cemetery was established 80 years ago (1846) the records showing that the first person buried there was Seaborn J. SPENCER, son of William and Sarah SPENCER, who died in 1846. Since that time the Grim Reaper has called many more who have been laid to rest in North Union, the number of graves now being over 800.
        From the issue of The Progress Warden published ten years ago an interesting account of the early history of North Union is given. This paper was furnished us by Mrs. G. E. EDWARDS and contains the following account of its early history:
        "The next oldest graves here, the information secured from the tombstones, and from some of the oldest inhabitants, are as follows: Miss Mary EASTERLY died at the Nat LAMB place near the large artesian well and was buried here in 1850; Catherine HARVELL died 12 Aug 1851; Thos. J. BERRYHILL on 5 Nov 1853; a child of Dr. McGUIRE"s in 1854; L. L. PORTMAN on 10 Aug 1856; John PORTMAN on 30 Jan 1857; Callie E. BERRYHILL, on 23 Dec. 1857; a McGUIRE child also in 1857; Margaret STURDIVANT on 19 Sept 1857 and SarahSPENCER on 15 Feb 1859."
        An unusual item in the same issue of the paper: Bodies Brought Here for Burial:
        Mrs. Erin HESTER HALL of Muetnomah, OR, with her son Brandon, 11, and baby daughter, Shelia, arrived here last Saturday to make their home with the former"s sister, Mrs. A. T. PEERY. Mrs. HALL brought the body of her husband, Mr. C. B. HALL, and the body of an infant that died a year ago and buried them in the local cemetery. The service was conducted Saturday afternoon by Rev. Harvey GRAY immediately after their arrival on the 5:04 train. Mrs. HALL was widowed last Dec. when her husband was killed in a railroad accident. Relatives here for the brial ceremony were Mrs. Guy HESTER, of Winona; Mr. and Mrs. Joe YOUNG of Columbus; Miss Hazel PERRY of Leland and Miss Carolyn PEERY of the M.S.C.W.
        Faculty Named for Next Session: Webster County Agricultural High School faculty for the sessin beginning Aug 31, 1926: J. A. TRAVIS, Supt. and Math; A. H. McMULLEN, Agriculture; Miss Elie WILLINGHAM, History; Miss Josephone TROTTER, English; Miss Pattie LAMB, Latin; Miss Lola STACY, Education and Expression; Mrs. J. E. EUDY, Supply Teacher; Mrs. E. C. SORRELL, Matron. Eupora Grammar faculty: R. N. MILLING, Principal and Eighth Grade; Miss Elizabeth CAMMACK, Seventh Grade; Miss Mary MOORE, Sixth Grade; Miss Annie Lee BUCK, Fifth Grade; Mrs. T. C. TURNER, Fourth Grade; Miss Madge WILSON; Third Grade; Miss Spence, Second Grade; Mrs. A. F. McKEIGHNEY, Primary. The resignation of Mrs. A.N. DuBERRY as Director of Music is reported with sincere regret. Her successor has not been named by the Board of Trustees.
        Former Resident Dies in TX: News reached here this week of the death recently of Mr. J. W. KING of Galveston, TX on May 17, 1926. Mr. KING of Galveston, TX on May 17, 1926. Mr. KING was reared in Alva Community and moved to TX about 25 years ago. He is a brother-in-law of Mrs. Jim EUDY and Mrs. Dave HORTON.



Webster Co. Kin -- May 23, 2001
By Louis Taunton

Mozella Patridge Chason  is trying to find info on John and GeorgiaROBERSON and one that she assumes is his brother, George and CinthaROBERSON. She found these men in the 1910 Webster Co, MS census. Living in the John ROBERSON household was one William J. (John) PATRIDGE, age 17 and shown to be John ROBERSON"s nephew. Also living in the George ROBERSON household was his niece, Josephine PATRIDGE, age 17. William J. and Josephine (AKA Josie) were orphaned in 1910 along with several additional siblings when both their parents died and Mrs. CHASON would like to know how the ROBERSONs connect to the PATRIDGE family. Any help would be appreciated.

Wanda Henson Carlton  is a faithful contributor to this column. Mrs. CARLTON has a great interest in Webster and Choctaw Cos. because of her early ancestors settling in these counties. Wanda is seeking the parents and children of James K. ATKINS, who was postmaster of Sapa, Webster Co, MS from 26 June 1916 thru 10 January 1922. She is also seeking the parents of William F. ATKINS, who served in Choctaw Rebels, Company K, 24th Infantry, during the Civil War. Also, Wanda is seeking the parents and what the initials J. L. stand for of J. S. ATKINS, who in 1908 was the editor of The MathistonTimes. Wanda is seeking the parents of Jeremiah P. SIGLER, who served with the Choctaw Rebels, Company K, 24th Infantry from Choctaw Co. during the Civil War. Any help would be appreciated.

Raquel Thiebes, 2201 Angus St., DeRidder, LA 70634,  is compiling a history of Sturgis, in particular the Thomas DAVIS Plantation and its slaves and the Liberty Hill Church and its cemetery. Raquel is also researching the surnames of DAVIS, HICKMAN, ROGERS, QUINN, ALEXANDER, HEMPHILL, BARRON, HUDSON, LATHAN, LAMPKIN, McCRACKEN and JOHNS. Raquel is in the process of writing a book on these families of Sturgis and extending into Winston and Choctaw Counties. If there is anyone who would like to give an interview of what it was like in the "old days" or if anyone has links to any of these families or photographs, please write to the above mentioned address. All mail is welcome!

Rena Young  is looking for descendants of HARVEYs and CAMERONs from MS.Thomas (Toma Ha Jah) HARVEY was a MS Choctaw born probably in the late 1700s. He had two children that Rena knows about, Lucy HARVEY CAMERON, born 1816 in GA and William Clarion HARVEY, born 1 Sept 1824. Lucy HARVEY was married to Archibald CAMERON, who was born 1812 in NC. Children of Archibald and Luby HARVEY CAMERON were: (1) Mary Elizabeth CAMERON, born 1835, AL, married George Washington GORDON, (2) Cynthia Adaline CAMERON, born 1839, AL, married John L. HILLYER at Greensboro, MS; (3) Nancy Marie CAMERON, born 1842, MS, never married; (4) Thomas A. CAMERON, born 1844, MS, married name unknown who was supposed to be PA Dutch first, then married Fannie (last name unknown) (5) Kay Rufus CAMERON, born 1847, MS, married Willie M. BELL; (6) Flora Ann Bell Zelda CAMERON, 1851 Choctaw Co, MS, married Thomas Rufus HARRIS; (7) Zephaniah HARVEY, born 1859; (8) Estal Green HARVEY, born 1860; (9) William Mallard HARVEY, born 1862; (10) Walter Clifton HARVEY, born 1864; (11) Ida Lucy HARVEY, born 1867, died as an infant; (12) Rufus Wade HARVEY, born 1869; (13) Cisero Lake HARVEY, born 1872; (14) Lenora Bell HARVEY, born 1872; (15) Moses Eugene HARVEY, born 1876. William C. HARVEY, with his wife and eleven children came to Montague Co, TX, along with all the children and families of Lucy and Archibald CAMERON in 1874. Archibald CAMERON died before 1860 and Mrs. Young does not know the whereabouts of Lucy after that. This query involves many surnames to Webster and Choctaw Cos. and hopefully some of the readers will be able to help Mrs. Young.

Charles William Fry, Jr. is looking for family members who lived in Choctaw Co, MS. His grandfather, Thomas ROBERTS was born in Choctaw Co and that is all the info he knows about him. Thomas ROBERTS married Mewel Maudie HARRISON (grandmother of Charles). Thomas ROBERTS died some time in the late 1920s when Jewell Maudie HARRISON ROBERTS was 24 years old. Mr. Fry is looking for any information about his grandparents that anyone might know and he would appreciate any help.



Webster Co. Kin-- May 16, 2001
By Louis Taunton

        The following article was the remembrances of Mr. John O. PEEPLES of the earlier days of Greensboro. This article appeared in the Dec. 21, 1950 issue of The Webster Progress.
        Mr. PEEPLES reminisces: The pioneer struggle for freedom and survival here has had its counterpart in every section of America. Progress and culture have been goals sought for. Having been attained, they are being used to good advantage, not only here, but extend to lands across the sea. The comments recorded below are those of Mr. John O. PEEPLES, age 77 years, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Pinkney PEEPLES, who were among the early settlers.
        " I like to talk about the days when Greensboro was a town of considerable size and population. Although there were bad characters there, there were also many fine people, too.
        "Clearning Land: "My brothers and I helped to clear much of the land in cultivation, hereabouts. Wages weren"t very high. We could cut 1,000 rails a day and received twenty cents per hundred. Two of us cleared ten acres of new ground and were paid one steer; the steer being worth three cents a pound. We went into the woods with axes (we didn"t have saws) and cut trees two and four feet through. All that weren"t used, were burned.
        " When a neighbor needed land cleared, a barn or house raised, the people gathered together, and while the men worked, the women were busy quilting, spinning or weaving. Much work was accomplished in this way.
        "Another thing I remember quite clearly was when I was fourteen years of age, I was the assistant mail carrier from Greensboro to LaGrange. I rode a mule over the route, staying at Dr. HARRIS" at Greensboro, on this end of the route; and a Mr. Lewis SIEGLER"s at LaGrange when I couldn"g go back the same day.
        "One day I was on my way back to Greensboro. Suddenly a man with a wheelbarrow came into the road and straight toward me. I insisted he get out of the road until I could get by, for the mule was plenty scared, and was about to throw me from his back. This he finally did, for the man came straight on toward me! The mail was thrown off also. When I reported it, there was talk of prosecuting him for interfering with the carrying of Uncle Sam"s mail.
        "Another time, when I was at the post office at LaGrange there came a teriffic rain. When I reached the Big Black, it was overflowed from hill to hill. I attempted to swim across on my mule, but when we were a considerable distance the water was so swift the mule turned around and made for the shore, dislodging me and the mail bag. I received $5.00 per month.
        "Strange Disappearance: I remember one night at the HARRIS home in Greensboro. After supper, a young man, who was passing through the county, and spending the night in the HARRIS home, asked if there was any entertainment to be had anwhre in town. We noticed that he had plenty of money on him. Dr. HARRIS told him to look around; he thought he could find something to his liking. The young man went, and we never say him again. "Twas said he was murdered and robbed, the body disposed of in some unknown way.
        Brotherly Love: "Another custom I like to remember is the way neighbors visited each other. Many times when the distance was too great to walk, horses or oxen were hitched to the wagon, the whole family going to visit till bedtime or to spend the day with a neighbor. Nor was this the only way neighborly love was shown. It was customary for the heads of several families to get together, organize a wagon train and go to Winona or some nearby railroad town for supplies. This was usually twice a year. The women folks were busy the day befor departure preparing food to be taken on the trip, which usually lasted two to four days. In between times neighbors cooperated in the distribution of meat (beef and pork). More especially, if a member of the community had suffered a loss in his meat supply. It was quite naturally expected though, that when he again came in possession of meat to kill, he would see that his neighbors were supplied. I remember one man who had made plenty of corn, but his neighbors had not; nevertheless, that winter there was bread in the households thereabouts.
        "By helping each other, we have lived to see this section of the country modernized to the extent of paved highways, instead of roads cut out of the wilderness by countless wagon trains; electricity, instead of oil lamps; automobiles instead of ox-drawn wagons; radio to flash communications instead of horseback mail carriers; modern homes instead of log cabins; comfortable and up-to-date school buildings instead of using our churches or log houses for the purpose; as well as impressive houses of worship. Yes, we have come a long way; many changes have been made, all for the better."



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