Maude Gladys Hemperley, daughter of Jefferson Beauregard Hemperley and Louvenia Virginia Sheppard, was born in Miller County, Arkansas on January 5, 1896. There were thirteen children in the family. As you can see by this Ripley’s Believe It Or Not article, which appeared in the Shreveport Times on October 3, 1953, she was a little different than her siblings! It makes me wonder what color her parents’ eyes were.
Category Archives: Genealogy
The Henry Noil Stanley Family
Back row: Harold, James, Lillie, Henry, Rudolph, Jimmy and Travis
Front Row: Maxine, Jerry and Oneal
My first recollection of James Richard Stanley was when I met him at a Stanley family reunion in 2000 in White Oak, Texas. James’ father and my grandfather were half brothers, and while I do remember his father, Henry Noil, visiting my grandfather, I do not remember having met him, nor his siblings, until much later in life. My brother Tommy Stanley, had known most of Uncle Henry’s children, and invited them to our reunion. How glad I am that he introduced me to them!
Henry Noil was born to Thomas Jefferson Stanley and Mary Frances Whittington, Thomas’ second wife. James was one of eight children born to Henry Noil Stanley and wife, Lillie B. Law. He was born on July 8, 1935 in Kilgore, Texas. Most of life, he and his siblings, namely Ennis Harold, Rudolph Eugene, Jimmy Wayne, Travis Edward, Thelma Maxine, Jerry Lee and Noil Oneal, lived in East Texas where Henry worked in the oil fields.
James Richard was born July 8, 1935 in Kilgore, Texas. He entered the United States Air Force on July 1, 1954 where he worked in the operations work center. After twenty-one years, he retired with the rank of Master Sargent.
When he married Erma Maxine Sproles in Gregg County, Texas on December 24, 1977 he also gained a family of three children Maxine had from a former marriage. They are Tommy, Ruby and Barbara.
Following his retirement in the Air Force and returning to East Texas he was involved in the oil field business but always had time for memberships in charitable organizations such as being a 33rd degree Mason. He was a member in the Danville Lodge 101 AF & AM, the Valley-Hi Lodge 1407, was a Shriner, the East Texas Governor of Demolay, a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign War.
Through our getting acquainted at that reunion in 2000 he and his brothers shared that they didn’t know who their father’s mother was. Luckily I had gathered information on the Whittingtons, had located her tombstone in Ida and as only too happy to share it with them. My problem was that while I had located Mary Frances’ tombstone, I had been unable to locate Thomas Jefferson’s. James Richard had been to Munnerlyn Chapel Cemetery (as a child) and knew where it was! The tombstone search was on!!
I met James Richard and wife Maxine, his brothers Harold and Travis and his wife, Tricia in Gilliam in April 2012 where we had lunch before setting off to Ida to revisit the Munnerlyn Chapel Cemetery and Bethsaida Baptist Church Cemetery. Richard remembered there had been a cedar tree by our ancestory, Thomas Jefferson’s marker at Munnerlyn Chapel. Needless to say, we were all disappointed in not finding a single cedar tree in the cemetery! Nor a tombstone.
A few miles north on Highway 71 we stopped off at Bethsaida and located Mary Francis’ tombstone, made a few photos and then stopped in Ida at the gazebo for refreshments and me to read excerpts from the book Ida 2000 by James Allison that spoke about the Whittington history in that community. They bought a copy of that book for their family history while visiting at the Ida Library.
James Richard Stanley and wife Erma Maxine Sproles Stanley
James Richard, Tricia (wife of Travis), Harold, Maxine and Travis Stanley
James Richard passed away November 28, 2013 but not before he knew about his grandmother. He is buried at Lakeview Memorial Gardens in Longview, Texas.
In the words of Sofia Petrillo (Estelle Getty) as she was about to tell a story on the Golden Girls, “Picture this: Sicily 1925”. I am re-phrasing it to say: “Picture this: Brooklyn, New York, Christmas Day 1925 with Albert Walden Eason.”
Albert was dedicated to writing a journal daily giving a full accounting of almost every moment of his duties in the U. S. Naval, any mail he received or sent, and other activities of the day. The diaries, loaned to me by Lane and Winston Eason, his nephews, covered the years from 1924 through 1926. Prior to Christmas Day 1925 Pharmacy Mate First Class Albert Walden, who worked in the cantina, had already been aboard the U. S. S. Bridgeport in Kingston, Jamaica, San Juan, Porto Rico, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, Guantanamo Bay, Portsmouth, Hampton Roads, and Portsmouth, Virginia. The account of his activities on Christmas Day 1925 is as follows:
As you can see Albert had a wonderful dinner, saw a Vaudeville show, visited a lady friend and went to New York City before returning to base.
I have been told by family members that he continued journaling until his death. Unfortunately I do not know what those books revealed about his later life. On the bright side there are other stories from the diaries loaned to me and more to share regarding his civilian life, marriages and children. They will be forth coming.
At this point I feel grateful for his service as well as those men and women who serve today. Picture this: wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of our military personnel could return home safely to be with family and friends and enjoy a good meal on this Christmas Day?
I will never cease to be amazed by the research information, documents, and contacts to be found through internet! It is truly mindboggling that after extensive research in libraries and courthouses, traipsing through graveyards, genealogy websites, searching high and low, sometimes the “rest of the story” is just a click away. Such was the case when on October 1st I posted “Road Trip: Henry Fincher Eason”, which is also shared on Facebook. A long time friend shared that blog with a friend of hers, Lyndal Lane Eason.
Through email, Lane contacted me on Our Families Untold Stories, and told me his grandfather was the brother of Fincher! He also told me his family held the diary of another uncle, Albert Eason, which would enlighten me as to what lead up to Fincher taking his life. After several emails and phone calls it was time for another road trip!
It wasn’t long before my genealogy side-kick, Cheri Payton Atkins, and I were in the road to Three States, near Atlanta, Texas, to visit with Lane and his brother, William Winston Eason. My mind was racing as I drove along wondering of the secrets about to be unveiled; how I would be greeted by the Eason brothers; and would it be possible to copy parts of the diary. All I can say is how incredibly warm and sharing these two men are!
As we sat getting to know each other and chatting about my husband’s connection to the Easons, three diaries written by Uncle Albert were lying before me on Lane’s desk.
I could hardly wait until I had them in my hands. The diaries, all written in books issued by the U. S. Navy, contained daily entries about Albert’s naval career, letters from home, and relationships he had with family members. Scattered among the diaries were faded newspaper articles as well as memories recorded by Albert. I couldn’t possibly read it all within the timeframe I had that day. Graciously, Lane and Albert generously loaned them to me to take home to read and copy.
Almost as soon as I arrived home it began raining and so I settled in for the weekend as it would take a while to read all the books. Two contained close to 200 pages and the larger one 400. It was fascinating and like a good novel, I could not put them down!
The newspaper clippings below do not tell which newspapers they appeared nor some of the dates published. Some were entered into Albert’s diary with the dates of when he received them.
In this article you learn that he took his life by ingesting carbolic acid in his Court House office. It also states that he wrote letters grammatically correct, in his perfect penmanship and punctuation precisely accentuated, on the backs of prints of himself that he had planned on using to run for a state office. (Lane and Winston tell me he aspired to become Governor of Arkansas.) Letters addressed to his children and former wife were sealed. He left his wishes for the distribution of his property and speaks of his failing health, as well as accusations against certain individuals.
In this article it addresses those in attendance at his funeral, namely the Knights of Templar who conducted the grave services and about seventy-five (75) robed and masked Ku Klux Klansmen! It further states his was said to have been one of the high officials of the Klan. It seems as if he was so highly esteemed that despite his short comings, was regarded as a man with charitable heart and mind who was betrayed by some within his circles.
Before long Sheriff Barber filed claims against Fincher’s estate:
Walter S. Harris, administrator of the Estate brings suit to collect tax:
And finally, the Bondsmen pay taxes to Arkansas:
While there is much family speculation as to whom Fincher’s wife had an affair with, there is no name mentioned in Albert’s diary, therefore, I cannot document it. What I do know is that his children were taken from his wife at the time of divorce, remained in his custody until his suicide and then were awarded to his sister to rear.
Fincher wrote of his health in the letters he wrote during his last moments, however those letters are sealed and I have been unable to locate a death certificate. I suppose I will never know of his physical condition.
As I have stated in the previous post Fincher was a leader in his community having been a teacher, principal and superintendent. He was Chairmen of the Registration Board in Miller County during WWI; enlisted as a private and became a Captain. He served as Tax Collector and Clerk of Court of Miller County; held memberships in the Mystic Shrine, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Woodmen of the World and was a Baptist. Fincher was a high profile man in Miller County.
Perhaps he was overly ambitious; perhaps politics were his downfall. Perhaps there are things better off unknown. However what is known is that he was admired and forgiven for any wrong doings by the citizens of Miller County, Arkansas as demonstrated by the thousands in attendance at his funeral.
Almost a year ago I posted a story regarding a visit with first cousin Myrtle Virginia, better known as “Sissy”, Hanson Burge at her home in Doyline, Louisiana on the banks of Lake Bistineau. You will find that story, Road Trips: After the Estate Sale with Sissy Hanson Burge archived under the month of November 2013 on this website.
Yesterday I paid my final visit and respects to her at her funeral at the West Lake Baptist Church located in Doyline.
It was a chilly windy day however everyone in attendance was warmed by the memories of having known her, been related to her, having her in their lives or special places she held in their hearts.
Her obituary, which appeared in the Minden Press Herald on November 11, was written by her daughter, Barbara Burge and a friend, and pretty well sums up Sissy’s life story. It is listed below.
Her casket piece was one that incorporated things she used daily and reflected things she enjoyed; like tea bags; an ice cream container with scoop; a fishing rod complete with cork and a dangling fish; and her rolling pin that had made so many pies. Intermingled among the cattails and sunflowers were a jelly jar filled with kitchen utensils; plates; and a spatula. They represented the things she loved and told a lot about her life’s story.
After the funeral family and friends gathered in the fellowship hall of the church for lunch prepared by members of the congregation. There was a lot of catching up to do with the cousins and remembering when our families visited almost every weekend. No one called ahead to say they were stopping by; you just dropped in. We once had large dinners and annual reunions with families coming from near and far. And it was a time that we were together often enough that you recognized every one there without some parent having to re-introduce you to a cousin you had not seen in ages. It was a time of laugher, good food, funny stories, remembering those who have passed on and wonderful fellowship. This year we have gathered twice; yesterday for Sissy’s funeral; and in April when her brother, Claude Gingles, passed away.
I think Sissy would have loved seeing us all there yesterday. I think she would have had a warm sweet smile and invited us in for lunch. I also think she would say that we should take time to stay in touch, to send a card, to call, to share photos and anecdotes of our loved ones, after all the name of this website is Our Families and Their Untold Stories.
Rest in Peace Myrtle Virginia “Sissy” Hanson Burge.
Born June 9, 1930 in Ida, Caddo Parish, Louisiana
Died November 8, 2014 in Minden, Webster Parish, Louisiana
It was a beautiful late September day last Thursday when friend Cheri Atkins and I drove to Texarkana, Arkansas on a quick road trip to do some research at the Miller County Court House. Her goal was for Dial and Collins documents, and I would be searching for Martins and Hemperleys.
As we drove we talked about late blooming summer flowers and how it was difficult it was to recognize some parts of Highway 71 since I-49 construction had changed the scenery. We passed round bales of hay in fields, a pasture filled with a herd of buffalo, churches and graveyards. There was some construction and we even passed a group of prisoners picking up trash along the roadway. Cheri, who has a vivid imagination, commented on how she thought it would be easy for one of those convicts to escape. A short time later we passed a police vehicle heading South flying down the road with lights flashing soon to be followed by five more patrol cars.
Arriving at our destination of 400 Laurel Street, there it stood…… the Court House. My imagination ran rampant about the discoveries we were about to make. I could already smell the old books filled with Our Families Untold Stories.
The Court House is located in older section of town filled with homes of the same era and nearby beautiful churches. This was not the original Court House which initially served both Texas and Arkansas, but the one finished in the late 1930s to serve only Miller County, Arkansas.
Once inside we must have looked as if we were strangers to its halls as a man I recognized from the Court House’s website as County Judge Larry E. Burgess offered assistance by directing us to the Clerk of Court’s office. I can only sing the praises of those who work there as they were friendly, courteous and only too eager to answer our questions or offer assistance.
The search was on! Cheri and I both were able to obtain documents pertaining to marriage licenses, preacher certificates, deeds and other priceless pieces of our families’ history. Then it dawned on me that I was standing not only among history of Miller County but the history of one Henry Fincher Eason, former Clerk of Court and Tax Collector of Miller County AND his mother was a Hemperley!
(Photo owned by Susie Higginbotham Reynolds)
Fincher Eason (son of Seaborn Sidney) was one of fifteen children born to his father and mother, Luella Hemperley (daughter of Dr. Edward Thomas Hemperley, great grandfather of my husband). His family lived in Sulphur Township on his father’s farm.
He attended college at Louisiana State Normal School and at the age of twenty-two began a career in education. He served as teacher, principal and superintendent. Below is a photo of College Hill Ward School in Texarkana where he was a principal.
On December 23, 1908 he married Miss Ollie Minnie Walton and from this union there were six children born, two of which died in infancy.
In 1916 he became Miller County Clerk of Court and served for two terms before becoming Tax Collector in 1920. The 1920 Census shows him living at 414 Hickory Street with his wife and four children: Fincher, Jr. age 9, Sidney S. age 6, William Boyd, age 5 and Evelyn who is 1 year of age. On November 20, 1923 Fincher and Ollie divorced and he retained sole custody of the children.
During WWI he served as Chairman of the registration board; enlisted as a private and reached the rank of Captain.
Recently while looking over notes I had made while interviewing a Hemperley relative thirty years ago, I had jotted down “committed suicide” by his name. It was time to revisit Fincher and locate any information I could find regarding how he died. Below are a couple of articles I found on www.genealogybank.com relating to his death.
Why, I thought? Why would a man who was a pillar in the community commit suicide? He had to be well thought of as there were 2,000 people that attended his funeral and 4,000-5,000 at the gravesite! This man was a 32nd degree Mason, a member of the Mystic Shrine, served as senior deacon of the lodge, Member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythia, Woodmen of the World and Baptist Church. I had to know more and so I enlisted the help of one of the clerks to locate the probate records from his estate. Surely his will, one of the letters he had written, or the “To The People of Miller County” mentioned in the newspaper article about him being found dead would give me some insight.
His will was not in the Probate Records. None of the letters were. Nor was the “To the People of Miller County”. Nothing to give me a hint or understanding of his taking his life. However, what I did locate was a list of his debts, which amounted to $83,000. In 1923 that had to be comparable to millions today!
As you can see from this document, the administrator of his estate asks the Court to allow 35% payment of his debts or $29,050.
Did he commit suicide because of his divorce; his being the sole parent raising four children; ill health; or the amount of debt he owed? I suppose I will never know!
What I did learn was that the two ounces of poison he took changed the lives of his children forever. Fincher’s sister, Ida Hughes, petitioned the Court for custody of the children as set out by Fincher in his will.
The children’s mother sued for custody of two of the four children and according to the article below, the judge in the case awarded them to Fincher’s sister, Mrs. Ida Hughes of Bright Star, per his handwritten wishes.
One week later Arkansas State Police and other law enforcement officers are still looking for the escapee.
One week later I am still looking for more information on another escaped man, namely Henry Fincher Eason!
According to astrology, Virgo, the sixth sign of the Zodiac, runs from August 23 through September 22 (although some say the cusp day is the 23). It is the only sign represented by a woman. Virgos typically are reliable, practical, meticulous and do well in vocations of service, such as doctors, nurses, teachers, bookkeepers. They are also creative and sensitive. Do I, as a Virgo, believe all of this? I don’t put a lot of credence in it however I do read my horoscope daily!
In my family tree of most recent relatives, I have sixteen Virgos not counting myself. My grandmother was one. One aunt, one uncle, one daughter, one daughter-in-law, two granddaughters, one grandson, one great grandson, one niece and her husband, one nephew, one nephew’s wife, two great nephews, and one great niece are all Virgos. Whew! Not to worry only four are the subjects of this post.
Granddaughter Emerson Avery Hemperley (Emy) was born September 3, 1992 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Steve and Andrea Tanet Hemperley. As a child she took ballet but soon diverted her competitive spirit to sports playing tee ball and soccer.
The photo above shows her determination while playing at an arcade in Celebration Station in New Orleans in 1996.
Emy began school in Mandeville, Louisiana; graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana. Following graduation she traveled to Paris, France and has visited other large cities including New York City. She attended Ole Miss, missed New Orleans, returned and is currently enrolled at the University of New Orleans. She and her family enjoy spending time at their camp in Monterey, Louisiana however Emy is truly a New Orleans girl to the core! She loves the city and all it has to offer; Mardi Gras, clubs, good food, family and friends.
Zachery Tucker Hemperley, Emy’s brother, was born September 6, 1994 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Tucker first attended school in Mandeville, Louisiana and graduated from Jesuit High School in New Orleans. While living in Mandeville, he played tee ball and loved skate boarding.
Tucker likes to hunt and fish and can often be found at the family retreat entertaining friends.
Tucker’s first deer was taken in Monterey, Concordia Parish, Louisiana. The following photo was made while fishing in Mexico.
Tucker is in his second year at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge where he pledged K A. Below is a photo of Tucker and Southern Belle, Gabby Ray at the fraternity’s celebration of the Old South.
Nine days following Emy’s birth, granddaughter Lauren Elise Brown was born in Hobbs, New Mexico on September 12, 1992 to Scott and Kelly Hemperley Brown.
Lauren was active in scouting beginning at the age of four. Too young for the Daisys, she attended meetings where he mother was scout leader.
She went on to become a Brownie, Girl Scout, and earned the Silver Star award which is the equivalent to the BSA Eagle Scout.
She attended Herndon Magnet School in Gilliam, Louisiana and graduated from Caddo Magnet High School in Shreveport. Lauren enjoys Renaissance Festivals, Dr. Who, fly fishing and camping with family. They have traveled as far West as Colorado, North to South Dakota, and East to Florida and Washington, D. C. Lauren attended University of Louisiana Monroe and Louisiana Technical College in Shreveport where she studied the culinary arts. She is currently employed at a law firm in Shreveport.
Lauren married Christopher Wayne Dawson and on August 23, 2014 gave birth to another Virgo, a son, Benjamin Rhys Dawson in Shreveport, Louisiana. Ben enjoys being fed, napping, and being spoiled by everyone.
And the final featured Virgo is my daughter, Kelly Anne Hemperley Brown. Kelly was born on September 21, 1963 in Texarkana, Arkansas. She was a mischievous child who was always into something. The joke in our family was that had she been born prior her brother, he would never have been born! There was always impishness in her eyes as she was about to get into something. However, to this day when she hears me call out “Kelly Anna”, she knows she’s in deep trouble! Give her a challenge and she will eagerly accept it.
Kelly was educated in public schools in Vivian, Louisiana graduating from North Caddo High where she was a member of the Louisiana All Star Marching Band and the winner of the I Dare You award at graduation. She attended Louisiana State University-Shreveport for a short while before enrolling in business school. Prior to her graduation she was hired by the Caddo Parish Police Jury as personal secretary to the administrator; a position she held for seven years before moving to Hobbs, New Mexico. While employed at the Police Jury it changed to a Commission and a resolution was written into the Commission’s minutes, which was entered into Caddo Parish’s history, for her dedication and work during the transition.
In New Mexico she was employed by the City of Hobbs where she received special recognition as employee of the month.
In 1993 her family moved back to Caddo Parish and she returned to work for Caddo Parish; this time in the District Attorney’s office in the drug division. Since then she has been responsible for the training of all secretaries in the District Attorney’s office and most recently moved to the position of secretary for the Appellate Court.
Kelly’s dedication to helping others, lead her to become a Girl Scout leader for many years; church secretary; church youth leader; and exercise instructor. However I think she would say her most important job today is that of being wife, mother and grandmother. A job she does well!
Now that you have allowed me to give you a little insight to my favorite Virgos, I would also like to wish the others who share the sign a Happy Birthday. They are Andrea Tanet Hemperley, Marty Stanley Roberts and husband Jimmy, Damon Goodwin, Melissa Slaughter Goodwin, David Stanley, Greg Stanley, and Amanda Roberts Mather!