Monthly Archives: February 2013

Military Monday – Courage, Home & Fireside

Meet Corporal James Adams.

Corporal James C. Adams

Corporal James C. Adams

I found this photo in the belongings of my 2nd great-grandfather, Rev. Francis Hereford Williams.  I have been researching Rev. Williams trying to prove his service in the war between the states in order to get him a headstone.  Finding this picture was the first bit of evidence that led me to believe he was in the civil war.

Here is the back of the photo:

Corporal James Adams back of photo

Corporal James Adams back of photo

It says:

Corporal James Adams
Co. D. 1st Rgmt LA Vol
C.S.A.

Lost his leg at the battle of Malvern Hill, VA.  July 2nd, 1862 Sunday.  Thus another brave young man commenced the weary march through life with one limb, having freely given the other for

Courage, Home & Fireside
F.H.W.
A Comrade

I did a bit of research on Corp Adams, and found him to be in the Confederate Home in Austin, Texas at the same time as my 2nd great-grandfather, Rev. Williams.  I found no evidence that he lost his leg in that battle, there in no mention of it in his muster rolls.  That doesn’t mean anything though, as my Rev. Williams suffered a head wound and I have not found any of his muster rolls, nor any that list a Williams with a head wound.  They did mention that Corporal Adams had severe eyesight problems, which is verified by this picture if you look at his eyes.

The rooster for the Austin Confederate Home, does list his disability as loss of leg.

Conf Home Register Corp James Adams

Conf Home Register Corp James Adams

I don’t know how he lost his leg, but it’s evident he suffered.  I would love to know more about my 2nd great-grandfather’s friend.  It’s evident he thought highly of him!

Susie

Sentimental Sunday – The Monkey in the Tree

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Guest post by Kookie Hemperley

 In memory of Don’s dad, John Raymond Hemperley

Raymond Hemperley 1961

Raymond Hemperley 1961

It was a typical Sunday afternoon on the farm at the home of Raymond and Sybol Hemperley. He was sitting in a straight chair beneath the large pecan trees in the back yard, which the family referred to his  ”office”, when I came out the screen door with a large glass of ice water in hand.  I guided Steve down the doorsteps and was met by Buck, the collie, who greeted and escorted us across the lawn to the “office”.

“Here you are, Pop,” I said as I handed him the glass and joined him in the other chair beneath the tree.

“Sure is hot today,” he said and drank the whole glass of water in one long gulp.

It seemed particularly hot to me too.  What breeze that was blowing was warm and dry that August day and we were trying to escape the hot house as it had no air conditioning and I was eight months pregnant with Kelly.

He took out his Bull Durham pouch and began rolling a cigarette.  It always mystified me how he could pour the tobacco; fill; roll and lick the tobacco stuffed paper; crimp the end; pull the pouch string with his teeth and drop the pouch back into his shirt pocket in one fluid motion.  As he lit up, he brushed the spilled tobacco off his khaki pants and it drifted in the breeze into his unlaced shoes.

His blue eyes smiled as he helped Steve crawl into his lap.  Steve dug into his pockets pulling out cigarette papers and ballpoint pins.  Pop (a name only Steve could call him as he required the other grandkids to refer to him as Pop Paw) looked high into the pecan trees and said, “Beauzook, what we need is a monkey for our tree.”

Steve smiled and I laughed.  Who could imagine a monkey running freely in a pecan tree on a farm in Caddo Parish, Louisiana?

“Pop, why on earth would you want a monkey?” I asked.

With a gleam in his eyes and bouncing Steve on his knee, he said, “I’ve always wanted a monkey.  Can’t you see one running from limb to limb, swinging in the tree for all the grandkids to enjoy?  “Sides that, red-butted monkeys are so funny.”

Through the next few years, the red-butted monkey became a joke between us.  Many times he told Steve and Kelly they needed a monkey and someday he’d get them one.

In August 1969 Don and I bought a house near Vivian which sat on a 3 ½ acre tree studded tract of land and we invited Pop and Me Maw over for the grand tour.  After they had viewed each room we finally made it out to the backyard where he pulled Kelly aside and said, “All you need is a monkey for your trees.”

Raymond died the following summer but not before he and I shared many special moments.  We had a closeness few fathers-in-law and daughters-in-law share.  He told me of his heritage, his growing up, living on a farm all his life, and about the earlier Hemperley’s that had moved from South Carolina to Georgia and then to the area in Arkansas known as Erie (near Doddridge). While it was interesting at the time, it would not be until a few years later, that I realized his grandchildren and the generations that followed them, should also know of the life and times of the Hemperley’s.  Suddenly I was bitten by the genealogy bug.  Suddenly I was running from place to place in search of documents, clues, photos, anyone who had known the family; anyone that was willing to share what they knew.  It was then I recognized that I had become the monkey, not in a living tree, but rather his family tree.  Hopefully some grandchild generations down will enjoy his story as much as he wanted a monkey for his grandchildren to enjoy!

Here are a few more pictures of Raymond Hemperley:

Raymond Hemperley with mules, Joe and Jeff

Raymond Hemperley with mules, Joe and Jeff

Raymond Hemperley 1929

Raymond Hemperley 1929

Raymond Hemperley (on right) picking cotton on his place 1961

Raymond Hemperley (on right) picking cotton on his place 1961

Kookie

Ground Hog Day Elopement

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On Groundhog day in 1935, while most people were worried about whether or not Punxsutawney Phil was going to come out of his hole and see his shadow, my grandparents could have cared less.  All they were worried about was getting to Marshall, Texas and getting married before they got caught.

I’ve posted about this story before which you can read here.  I just can’t help but think of them on this day.  Today, they would have been married for 78 years if they were both still living.

This is my grandparents, Bill and Mary Parks.

Bill and Mary Parks

Bill and Mary Parks

Bill, or Daddy-O as I called him, passed away when I was seven years old, in 1978 so I don’t have many memories of him.  I do remember him though, and I know how much my grandmother loved him because she mourned him until she died in 2007.  That is a long time to live without the love of your life.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures of them together.

Bill and Mary Parks

Bill and Mary Parks, my grandfather was in the Army in WWII.

Bill and Mary Parks

Bill and Mary Parks, I love this picture they look so handsome.

Bill and Mary Parks.

Bill and Mary Parks, going for a ride and they look so happy about it.

Bill and Mary Parks

Bill and Mary Parks, still in love and happy many years later.

So, today as they celebrate together in heaven, I celebrate them here.  They eloped after knowing each other for two weeks and their love endured a life time.  I admire them so much for that.

By the way, Punxsutawney Phil brought them six more weeks of winter in 1935 when they married, and today he says spring is coming so I am really celebrating now!

Happy Groundhog Day!

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