Tag Archives: Harris

Tombstone Tuesday – Dr. Josiah McGee Bland

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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.

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What a difference time makes.

This is a close up of his headstone.

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Dr. Bland served in CO E. 4th ARK INF for the CSA.

This is Dr. Josiah McGee Bland.

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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.

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If you would like to know more, or connect with Nedra, feel free to contact me and I will put you in touch.

Susie

Treasure Chest Thursday – Meeting Ross Perot

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Remember a while back when I told you I had some great things coming up in April?  Well, I did and I just now have time to tell you all about it.

Back when Ross Perot ran for president, I was laying on the floor in my grandmother’s (Mary Ball Parks) room and we were watching coverage on the elections.  My grandmother pointed to him on the television and said “That is my cousin.”  Well, lets just say I didn’t believe her at first.  She had never mentioned him before. At any rate, it turned out to be true.

Sort of.

Let me explain.

When my grandmother died and I got interested in all this genealogy, I always had this information in the back of my mind but I never really acted on it.  Then one day, Nedra told me about this news article that ran in the Texarkana Gazette about a barn that burnt down in Texarkana out on hwy 82, and this article mentioned Ross Perot.

Newsarticle about old Parks Barn

Just so happens this barn was built by my-great grandfather, Granddad Parks (John Triggs Parks).  This barn was magnificent .  Here is a picture of it back in the day, when Granddad Parks would show his trotting horses.

JT Parks Barn at his Farm on Hwy 82 Texarkana

Here is Granddad Parks, showing one of his horses.

JT Parks

When Granddad Parks sold the farm, he sold it AC Smith, a very good friend of his and now AC’s son, Lynn Smith owns the farm.  Anyway, the Perot’s came here to this farm and rode horses, and I’m not sure if it was the connection to my grandmother that brought them there, or if it was just the place to be.  My grandmother, Mary Ball Parks was married to J.T. Parks’ son, William Parks.

Anyway, this got me to thinking about my connection with Ross Perot, so Nedra got me the contact information for his secretary.  Rather than call, I printed up quite a selection of charts and genealogy and wrote a nice letter and sent it off to the attention of his secretary.

Three days later, (yes, only three days) my phone rings as I’m walking through Wal-mart of all places and I didn’t recognize the number but decided to answer anyway, and I hear, “Is this Susie Reynolds?” to which I reply, “Yes, it is.” and then I hear “Ross Perot, here.”

What, What???

You could have knocked me over with a feather, and I was very glad to have the cart to lean on.

I’m not sure what I really expected, but it wasn’t for him to call me up directly.  I figured that package of paper would go straight to the trash bin or junk pile, or I would get some kind of a form letter back.  That was not the case.  He called me personally three times that day and we finally figured out that our connection was through his grandmother, Maggie Anderson Perot Ball, aka Mama Ball.  Here she is.

Maggie Anderson Perot Ball aka Mama Ball

Turns out Maggie was married to Gabriel Elias Perot, with whom she had Ross Perot’s father, Gabriel Ross Perot, Sr.  After her husband died, she remarried my great-great uncle Wade Ball.  I do not have a picture of him.  Maggie and Wade did not have any children together, but my grandmother grew up playing with Ross’ father as cousins, even though there was no blood relation.

At any rate, Ross Perot had a wonderful lady in his office, Libby Craft call me.  She had been working on Ross’ genealogy for quite some time and she and I have traded information and she sent me the photo of Maggie above.  She graciously extended me an invitation to meet Ross Perot and I jumped at the offer.

So, Nedra Harris Turney and I, along with my cousins, Sam Ball III, and Karen Ball Cowan headed to Dallas and we met Mr. Perot, and Libby on April 15th.

Sam Ball III, Susie Reynolds, Ross Perot and  Karen Ball Cowan

Sam Ball III, Susie Reynolds, Ross Perot and Karen Ball Cowan

I don’t know why I didn’t get a good picture of Nedra with us, that was really goofy of me.  I guess I was just caught up in the moment but I did snap this picture of Nedra chatting with him while they were giving us a grand tour of his offices.

Nedra Harris Turney with Ross Perot

Here I am with Libby Craft.  I’m so glad that I got to meet her!

Susie Reynolds and Libby Craft

One of the things that struck me so about Mr. Perot is his obvious love for family which is why I’m so sure he was so gracious to us.  When I asked him about his father he smiled really big and he said, “He was my best friend!”

His father bought and sold cotton, and a long time ago he gave Ross a list of his thoughts on what it takes to be successful.  Ross had these printed up and gives each of his employees a copy of this.  Yes, he gave me one too!  Maybe now I can make something of myself! Ha!

All kidding aside, Mr. Perot has so many accomplishments that I couldn’t even begin to list them all here which is why Wikipedia is out there if you really want to know.  Also, he’s written some books, one of which he gave to me with his autograph, and it’s a great story of his life! Check amazon for that.

I have to say though, I have never met a more gracious, generous, or kind man.  As I walked the hallways of his office and looked at all the milestones and achievements of his life on the walls I was so amazed.  I’m a big supporter of our Veteran’s, but Mr. Perot is a man of action!  He gives freely his time, his money and his service to our Veteran’s and is instrumental in helping so many of them receive the care they need.

I’m so proud to have met him and that is why he is my Treasure Chest Thursday.

Here are a few pictures from around his office.  There were many hallways and we were there for two hours and only managed to see a few of them.

Hallway of Perot's Office

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Oh, yeah!  He has his own Starbucks!

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Maybe on another post I’ll share with you some of the military things that were hanging about, but for today these pertain to family.

His love of his wife Margo is obvious every where you go and this is just one of the many spots he has portraits of them hanging.

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Here are some pictures about his sister Bette.

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One of several family portraits he has hanging about of his family.

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And my favorite wall pertaining to family:

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Mr. Perot is a huge supporter of Texarkana College.  My cousin Karen Ball Cowan works there and years ago my father was a student there on a basketball scholarship.   Thanks to Mr. Perot and his generous heart, the college is still open.

I could go on and on about Mr. Perot and perhaps I will do another post in a day or two, but I thank Mr. Perot and Libby for so graciously welcoming us and sharing with us all things Perot.  It was such a great day and I am so glad to have been given the opportunity to meet a “sort of” cousin!

Susie

Just an Old Dress…

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I hope you have all had a wonderful New Years and that your Christmas was merry and bright.  Mine sure was.

I would love to post pictures, but guess what?

I did not take a single picture of our big family gathering.

I know, right?  Completely an epic fail!!

After everyone left and I realized we didn’t take our usual pictures, I was devastated.  How could I, the family genealogy freak, forget to take pictures?  Well, for once I just enjoyed myself and didn’t worry about the stuff I was supposed to do, I just did what I wanted to.  It was great in a way, on the other hand, I sure wish I had some pictures from the night.

Other than that it was a lovely time and now since I have delivered my last gift, I would like to share with you what I made for my siblings and some cousins.

A while back while I was in Texarkana, my cousin Nedra gave each cousin at a cousin’s party a dress that had belonged to my great-grandmother, Mollie Davis Harris.  Which meant she gave my Dad the dress and then I talked him into giving it to me.  Thanks Dad!

Then on another trip, she had found an old suitcase of my grandfather’s and inside was my grandmother’s square dancing dress.  She gave it to me.

When my Aunt Jane passed away I asked my Uncle Charlie to save me one of her shirts and he did, so I got her shirt.

Then on yet another trip, Nedra found another box of Mollie’s dresses while cleaning and she graciously gave me them to me.

I had great plans to make a quilt but the fabrics were so old and stained, I mean my great-grandmother Mollie, she worked in these dresses, so I had to come up with something different.

I took all the dresses to my mother-in-laws house and we had great fun putting them on a form and I took a picture of each dress.  I wanted a good picture before I cut them up.

Here are the dresses and shirts:

My Ancestors Dresses

Then I saw an idea on Pinterest where a girl had made a flower on canvas out of scrapbook paper.  I decided to do this with the fabric from the dresses.

For four weeks I would get the dresses ready to cut, and I just couldn’t do it.

Finally, the weekend before Christmas I decided I had better suck it up and get busy or these gifts would not get done.  Cutting those dresses was one of the hardest things I have ever done and I don’t even know why.

Then I spent two complete days and nights sitting at the kitchen counter cutting and pasting these flowers together.

Making the Flower

This my friends is the finished product of my Ancestor’s clothing.  These will always be near and dear to my heart!

All the Canvas'

I had originally wanted to make the ones that I made for my brothers a fish, but I thought that ended up looking too childish, so my son Michael ended up with that, he loves it, and it is proudly hung in his bedroom.  Everyone just ended up with a flower, boy or girl.

Here is a close up of the fish.

The Fish

And here is a close up of one of the flowers.

Dress Flower

I fully intend to make more for some of my other cousins, I still have plenty of material left.

So, when you look at your ancestors old clothing and think there is nothing else to be done with them, think again people!!!

These flowers will go a long way and now all of us can share in the dresses.

Booyah!

Susie

Veteran’s Day

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Field of Heroes at Cleburne Co. Courthouse in Heber Springs Arkansas

This picture is from the Field of Heroes at the Cleburne County Court House in Heber Springs, Arkansas.  What a nice way to honor our veterans.  Each flag has a tag on it with the name of the person who served with information about them on the tag.  They are taking the flags down today in a ceremony and the family will get to keep the flag.  I wish I had known about this in time to get a flag or two.  Of course if I honored every one in my family that served I would have gone broke.

I am very proud to say that there have been many of my family members that have served our country.

My husband, John Reynolds.

My father-in-law Al Reynolds, a cousin Erby Harris, and a cousin Harry Short, all of whom served in Vietnam.

My grandfather William John Parks, my great-uncle “Son” Sam Ball, my great-uncle Sonny Cowan, a cousin Hubert Aaron (gave his life), and a cousin Walter Harris who all served during World War II.

Four of my 2nd great grandfather’s served during the war between the states;  Rufus F. Higginbotham, Francis H. Williams (head wound), John D. Parks, and Kennedy Wade Ball (leg wound).

I even have an ancestor that served in the Indian Creek War, Sanford Higginbotham and one who served in the American Revolution, Thomas Bullard.

Others that have served are my cousin Gary Higginbotham, my cousin Lauren McKeehan, a nephew (still serving) Matthew Nold, a niece Jennifer Nold Bohannon, and many, many friends.

I’m sure I have accidentally left someone off the list.  If I did, please forgive me, they deserve recognition as well and please leave their name in the comment section below so I can keep our family list updated.

Some of the people I listed are long gone, and some are still here protecting our freedom.  I’d like to thank each and every one of them for their service.

I would also like to thank every service man and woman.  You are all heroes.  May God bless you.

As Elmer Davis once said, “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”

Road Trip!

I have been stuck at home all summer sick and now that I feel better, I have been itching to get out of the house.

So, I loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly.

Hills that is.

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Just kidding.

That’s not really Granny from the TV show The Beverly Hillbillies even though it looks like her.

That is my 2nd great grandmother, Venetia Carlissa Ball and I have come to Texarkana to visit some family and so that I can drive over to Hooks, Texas and try to find out more about Venetia as she is the granddaughter of Warren Hooks for whom the town was named after.

Nedra and Jerry Turney, graciously allow me to stay with them every time I come to town and so far we have had a great time. Nedra is my father’s first cousin.

Mary Beth Dwight, daughter of my father’s first cousin LC Chapman, a cousin I had never met, came over to Nedra’s today along with her daughter and we got to chat and look at pictures and we had a great time.

I’d post a picture, but since I have been sick this summer, it seems I have done nothing but gain weight and I look like the pillsbury dough boy’s twin sister. Not to mention I had neither the time nor the desire to go sit and get my hair colored so I look as old as I think the pillsbury dough boy actually is.

Errrr!

Oh well, at least my toes look good!

Nedra dug out some old pictures and I sent them through instagram and thought I would share them with you.

They are all of Nedra and Jerry.

This is beautiful Nedra a couple of years ago. ;)

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This is Jerry, more than a couple of years ago. ;)

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This is both Nedra and Jerry, last week sometime???

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I love the car Jerry!

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Aren’t they cute? King and Queen!

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Here they are today, better looking than they were yesterday, right??

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Having a great time and when I come up with more good stuff, I’ll post it here!

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