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Category Archives: Tombstone Tuesday
Last April on our way back from Dallas, cousins Nedra Harris Turney and Karen Ball Cowan and I decided on a whim to see if we could find the old Ball Cemetery a cousin had mentioned to me when we passed through New Boston, Texas.
We got extremely lucky because they had just cleaned the Ball cemetery up the prior weekend and uncovered only two headstones. One headstone was that of Bathsheba A Ball.
S A C R E D
to the memory of
Mrs. Bathsheba A. Ball
Isaac M. Ball
who departed this life
the 24th day of June, 1851
aged 21 years 6 months
and 26 days
Earth lost her, Heaven found her.
And you know what’s really cool about this being the one of the two headstones in the Ball Cemetery that they found? The fact that I had just heard this woman’s name two days prior when Karen shared a note written with me by my 2nd great-grandmother, Venetia Smith Ball. Here is part of the note.
I highlighted the area where she talks about Bathsheba. She basically states that she was the first wife of her husband’s cousin, Isaac Mitchell Ball. She also states that her name is Bathsheba Hooks and that she is her cousin.
Here is another view of Bathsheba’s headstone. The scratch marks are from the tractor that dug it up. It was broken as they removed it from the ground.
And here is a view of the cemetery after all the weeds and brush were cut back and the two headstones uncovered. You can still see the shovel stuck in the ground and standing up to the left of the other headstone. I wonder if there are other graves there?
Is that luck or what? I hope there is a descendant out there looking for information on Bathsheba and can find it here because I’m telling you, it was a small miracle to get the note, and find the grave all on the same trip. A grave that had been covered up for a long time.
My 2nd great-grandmother Venetia Smith Ball was the granddaughter of Warren Hooks, for whom the town of Hooks, Texas was named for. There have been several people that have done extensive work on documenting the lineage of the Hooks family. I did not find Bathsheba’s name in any of these, so I don’t know how she fits into the Hooks family.
I asked cousin Diana Smith Walker if she had heard of Bathsheba, and she had not heard of her either and did not have her listed in any of her information.
But, as Diana told me, “I love a good mystery!”
Maybe we can dig up more on Bathsheba besides just her headstone!
I need your help in locating Mary George Herring Bickley’s tombstone. First, I would like to give you a little information on her.
Please meet Mary George Hooker Herring Bickley, my 3rd great-grandmother.
She is the daughter of Alfred Hooker (1806-1893) and Martha Clark Hooker (1811-1875).
She first married Joseph F. Herring (1839-1875) on 19 Jun 1865 in Lafayette Co., Arkansas. She had five children with Joseph F. Herring: Alfred Smith Herring (1866-1943), my 2nd great-grandmother Martha Alice Herring (1867-1945), Owen Corinth Herring (1870-1878), Joseph W. Herring (1872-1943), and Mary Alga Herring (1874-1882).
She next married Jacob J. Bickley (1826-1884). They did not have any children together. Jacob had previously been married to her sister, Sarah Catherine R. Hooker (1831-1881). Jacob and Sarah had five children: Mittie B. Bickley Little (1853-1912), Samuel C. Bickley (1856-1865), Jacob Guy Bickley (1858-1935), Joseph R Bickley (1861-1866) and Matthew A. Bickley (1875-1886).
Now, please forgive if I got the spelling wrong Bickley/Bickly. At some point, some of them dropped the “e” and some did not. I can’t keep it straight as I have seen all the names spelled both ways.
I have been unable to locate the final resting place for Mary George. I have my suspicions that she is buried in Harmony Grove Cemetery, in Texarkana, Arkansas. Possibly in this plot. I could be wrong.
I also suspect this is where Jacob J. Bickley is buried, but I have yet to find a headstone. The broken headstone could be either one of them, or someone else completely. It’s also been broken for a very long time. I found this picture of Bobbie and Trudie (East) Harris at Grandpa (Major) Harris’ funeral. He died on March 10, 1955 and as you can see in the top right of the photo, it was broken then.
It’s directly in front of the tall headstone for Remica Bickly, Jacob Guy Bickly’s wife, and right behind it is the headstone for Matthew A Bickley, the son of Sarah and Jacob J. Bickley.
I have tracked Mary George to the 1910 census, widowed and 75 years old, living with her son Alfred S. Herring in Cove, Arkansas. She is listed as a Herring even though I believe her name was Bickley unless she changed it back after Jacob died in 1884. I lost her after this, and she was a no-show on the 1920 census.
If anyone has knowledge of whose broken tombstone that is in the Harmony Grove Cemetery, or where Mary George is buried, I would really like to hear from you. I also have quite a bit of information on the Bickley/Bickly family that Florence Bickly Crank was kind enough to share with me.
This is a photo of Dr. Josiah McGee Bland’s headstone from way back in the day. Dr. Bland is the great-great-grandfather of Nedra Harris Turney, through her mother, Katherine D. McJunkins Harris. Nedra’s cousin, Helen Marie McAdams had the photo above.
In the photo below you can see the difference in the cemetery, and how much it has grown, around his grave.
What a difference time makes.
This is a close up of his headstone.
Dr. Bland served in CO E. 4th ARK INF for the CSA.
This is Dr. Josiah McGee Bland.
He was born 19 Jan 1842 and he died on 14 Feb 1891. He is buried in Saratoga Cemetery, in Saratoga, Arkansas.
This is how Dr. Bland is related to Nedra.
If you would like to know more, or connect with Nedra, feel free to contact me and I will put you in touch.