Tag Archives: McBride

52 Ancestors – #5 William Lynn Davis

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I have decided to accept the challenge of Amy Johnson Crow over at No Story Too Small blog. Amy challenges us: 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks.  I think this is an excellent challenge as I tend to focus on my brick walls, and this will force me to fan out in my tree and focus on other ancestors.

Please meet my 2nd great-grandfather, William Lynn Davis.  Week five and my fifth post in the challenge.

William Lynn Davis

William Lynn Davis

I would like to thank Tony Davis for his help with this week’s post. Lynn Davis is also the 2nd great-grandfather of Tony, and Tony is my 3rd cousin.

William Lynn Davis was born on 20 Mar 1854 in Lowndes Co., Alabama to John Thomas Davis and Jemima Jane (Bullard) Davis.

At about the age of ten he moved with his family to Sylverino, Lafayette Co., Arkansas, which is south of present day Texarkana.  This area later became Miller Co., Arkansas.

I have been unable to locate the family on the 1860 census.  On the 1870 census, not finding Lynn in the home of his parents, I believe I found him living in the home of the B.R. and Marguerite Attaway.  I’m not positive this is him though.

1870 Census Possible Lynn Davis

1870 Census, Beach, Lafayette Co., Arkansas. Possibly Lynn Davis.

On 13 Sep 1874 in Lafayette Co. (later Miller Co.), Arkansas at the home of Charles and Rachel McBride, Lynn married Sarah “Sallie” Magdalene Robertson, the daughter of James Robertson and Anna (Lamberson) Robertson. His parents John and Jemima Davis, and her stepmother Delphy Robertson were in attendance. The McBrides were early settlers of the area, and probably close friends of the family.

1870 Possible Lynn Davis

Sarah “Sallie” Magdalene Robertson Davis.

To see the family bible records which record their marriage, and the births and deaths of family members, you can view them here, Bible of William Lynn and Sarah M. Davis.

According to his testimony on his own behalf in support of his homestead claim certified on March 8, 1884, he was on the original farm in September of 1877 and in October of that year moved into a box frame house of three rooms. He originally cleared and cultivated about 22 acres, and cleared and fenced an adjoining patch of eight acres, in total worth about $400.00. He raised six crops, although these were not specified. The land patent was issued on 30 Jun 1884.

William L Davis Land Patent

William L Davis Land Patent

As you can see on the screen shot below, he was granted 80 acres in Township 16S, Range 28W. On the map at the bottom of the land information, you can see where the township and range is, highlighted in orange.  The darker block inside the orange area is section thirty-five where Lynn’s land was.  The actual description of his homestead was: the south-east quarter of the south-west quarter, and the south-west quarter of the south-east quarter of section thirty-five, in township sixteen south of range twenty-eight west of the Fifth Principal Meridian in Arkansas, containing eighty acres.

Land Patent Info William Lynn Davis

Land Patent Info William Lynn Davis

This is the original land survey from the area, done in 1843. I have highlighted section 35, where Lynn’s homestead was. This is the section that is highlighted dark orange on the map above.

Land Patent Map 1843 Miller Co Sec

The Miller County Personal Property Tax records of 1893-1894 list the following personal property and its value:  4 horses-$125, 20 cattle-#100, 1 mule-$65, 14 sheep-$15, 30 hogs-$30, 2 carriages or wagons-$60, total value of personal property-$770.

Before 1900, Lynn and Sallie had eleven children.  Three of them would not live to adulthood.

  • John Thomas Davis named after Lynn’s father.  John was born 10 Dec 1881 and died 20 Jul 1882 and is also buried in the Concord Cemetery.
  • An infant daughter, born and died in 1882 and buried in the Concord Cemetery in Fouke, Miller Co., Arkansas.
  • Mary Georgia Davis born 30 Mar 1891 and died 18 Feb 1892.  Mary is buried in Sylverino Cemetery, Miller Co., Arkansas.

The other children (also listed in the bible) are as follows:

  • Magdalene “Maggie” Isabell Davis – (1876-1900) married James Arthur Alexander.
  • William Harley Davis – (1877-1955) married Martha Jane Giles.  Harley is the great-grandfather of Tony Davis.
  • James Harvey Davis – (1879-1952) first married Lula Giles, then married Florence Higginbotham, my great grand aunt.
  • Jemima “Jennie” Davis – (1884-1966) married Alfred Alonzo Aaron.
  • Mollie Agnes Davis – (1887-1967) married Thomas Owen “Major” Harris. My great-grandparents.
  • Joel Almus Davis – (1889-1968) married Maggie Elena Ray.
  • Nora Ola Davis – (1893-1974) married John Wesley Bull.
  • Mittie Ann Davis – (1900-1991) married first Horace Greeley Grigson, Sr. and second Bryan McBride.

This photo is of Maggie, Lynn and Harley Davis.

Maggie, Lynn and Harley Davis

Maggie, Lynn and Harley Davis

In this family photo, on the front row, left to right:  Jennie (Davis) Aaron, Lynn Davis, and Sallie Davis holding Almus Davis with Mollie (Davis) Harris standing next to Sallie.  Back row, left to right: Harley Davis, Maggie (Davis) Alexander, and Jim Davis.

Lynn and Sarah Davis Family

Lynn and Sarah Davis Family

There’s no shortage of photos of Lynn and Sallie, and this one here is one of my favorites.

Lynn and Sallie Davis

On the 1900 census, enumerated in Days Creek, Miller Co., Arkansas. Lynn Davis, with wife Sallie and children Jennie, Mollie, Almus, Nora, and Mittie.

1900 Census - Lynn Davis Family

1900 Census – Lynn Davis Family

On the 1910 census, enumerated in Days Creek, Miller Co., Arkansas. Lynn Davis, with wife Sallie and children Nora and Mittie, grandchildren Albert and Calvin Davis, the children of Jim Davis, and a mulatto servant, Will Pines. Albert and Calvin were children of Jim and Lula Davis. Lula died in 1903, which is probably why their children were with Lynn and Sallie. In Oct of 1910 Jim remarried Florence Higginbotham.

1910 Census Lynn Davis Family

1910 Census Lynn Davis Family

This family photo, ca 1911 is amazing. What a great picture to have all the children and grandchildren in. Top Row – Left to Right: Osa (Alexander) Sloan, Doug Alexander, Almus Davis, Maggie (Ray) Davis, Leon Davis, Nora (Davis) Bull, Lynn Davis, Sallie (Robertson) Davis, Alice (Herring) Harris, Ed Harris, Elvie Davis, Mittie (Davis) Grigson McBride.

Front Row Left to Right: Alonzo Aaron, Jennie (Davis) Aaron, Jim Davis, Florence (Higginbotham) Davis, Albert Davis, Calvin Davis, Ruvelle “Man” Aaron, Arlie Aaron, Ruby (Aaron) Briggs, Exie Davis, Clarence Davis, Floyd Davis, Janie (Giles) Davis, Harley Davis, Vesta Davis, Major Harris, Mollie Davis Harris, Edna (Harris) Higginbotham.

Davis Family

Davis Family

I love the side view of the house.  In this photo, from left to right:  Doug Alexander, Osa (Alexander) Sloan, Nora (Davis) Bull, Sallie Davis, Lynn Davis and Mittie (Davis) Grigson McBride.

Lynn and Sallie Davis House

Lynn and Sallie Davis House

This photo, is of Lynn and Sallie with their children.  From left to right on the front: Jim Davis, Nora (Davis) Bull, Mollie (Davis) Harris, Mittie (Davis) Grigson McBride, Jennie (Davis) Aaron, Almus Davis, and Harley Davis. On the back row: Lynn and Sallie Davis.

Davis Family

Davis Family

There are a couple of cool things I learned about this photo, the first is that Melba Briggs Wood, a great-granddaughter of Lynn and Sallie through daughter Jennie (Davis) Aaron, has the original photo that hung on Lynn and Sallie’s wall.

Davis family picture, Melba Wood

Davis family picture, Melba Wood

The second and even cooler thing I learned is about the doll that Mittie was holding in the photo. Melba says that the doll was a gift from Lynn to Mittie, and that not only did he buy Mittie a doll, but he also bought Jennie’s daughter, and Melba’s mother, Ruby (Aaron) Briggs a doll at the same time. Melba still has the doll that belonged to her mother Ruby.

Melba Wood with Her Mother's Doll.

Melba Wood with Her Mother’s Doll.

What a great treasure!   I’ll speak more about other heirlooms that Lynn and Sallie passed down in a minute but first I want to continue to tell you what I know about Lynn, that Tony shared with me.

Lynn and his sons raised hogs in the bottoms near the Sulpher River in an interesting way. They would catch wild hogs (razorbacks!) by baiting a large wooden cage with corn. They would mark the hogs, and release them to forage as wild hogs will do. I guess after some period of time when they needed to eat some pork they would catch and slaughter a hog instead of releasing it back. The earmarks would let them know if they caught someone else’s hog or if it was theirs; the same if someone else caught one of theirs. At least this is what Tony was told.

The Davis family ear crop for their hogs was “crop, split, underbit right, underbit left.” A crop was a triangular notch cut off the top of the ear, a split is a cut in the ear at the top of the ear after the crop, and underbit was a little notch in the bottom of the ear.

Tony’s grandfather, Clarence Taylor Davis, told him the following about his great-grandfather:

“He owned about 280 acres along the Sulpher River, where Blackmon Ferry Road meets the river. A ferry used to operate there. He owned and operated a cotton gin, sawmill, and did a lot of hunting commercially, particularly ducks which he would sell to area restaurants and hotels. During the Depression he turned the operation of the businesses over to his sons. Harley Davis (Clarence’s father), operated the sawmill. It was a large operation, with logs brought in from Louisiana and Texas, as well as those cut locally.”

I love this picture of Lynn, with his dog sitting in the saddle.

Lynn Davis

Lynn Davis

On the 1920 Census, just two years before Sallie would pass away, we find Lynn and Sallie enumerated in Days Creek, Miller Co., Arkansas with daughter Mittie.

1920 Census Lynn Davis Family

1920 Census Lynn Davis Family

This next photo, is hanging in the home of Wesley Aaron, great-grandson of Lynn and Sallie. I imagine it also hung in Lynn and Sallie’s home.

Lynn and Sallie Davis

Lynn and Sallie Davis

Sadly on 11 Dec 1922, Sallie passed away in the family home.  When she passed, she and Lynn would have been married for 48 years.  Her obituary, from the Texarkana Gazette read:

Mrs. W.L. Davis, a native-born resident of Miller County who spent the whole 67 years of her life in the county, died yesterday morning at 5 o’clock at the family home on the Line Ferry Road eleven miles south of Texarkana.  Mrs. Davis is survived by her husband, three sons, Harley, Jim and Almus, and four daughters, Mrs. Alonzo Aaron, Mrs. Major Harris, Mrs. Wesley Bull and Mrs. Horace Grigson, all of the daughters being residents of Texarkana.  The funeral will be held at 11 o’clock this morning at the Sylverino church.  Rev. O.J. Wade officiating, with interment in the Sylverino Cemetery.”

I imagine after 48 years of marriage, this would have been extremely hard on Lynn. According to Melba Wood, Lynn remarried after Sallie died for companionship.  However, none of  Lynn and Sallie’s children were happy about this.

On 25 Sep 1927 Lynn remarried May Ella Temple, the widow of David L. Temple.  Melba shared this picture with me of May, as you can see “Love Birds” was written on the photo by one of the disgruntled children.

William Lynn Davis and his second wife, May

William Lynn Davis and his second wife, May

This photo of Lynn and May was in my grandmother Edna (Harris) Higginbotham’s photo album. It was not labeled Lynn and May, but I have a pretty good feeling its them.

May and Lynn Davis

May and Lynn Davis

On the 1930 Census, in Day’s Creek, Miller Co., Arkansas it’s just Lynn and May.

1930 Census Lynn Davis

1930 Census Lynn Davis

Then, on 19 May 1937 in his home, Lynn passed away. This is his obituary.

WL Davis Obit

WL Davis Obit

Notice the obituary doesn’t list May as a survivor? Poor May. She was listed as living alone on the 1940 census, and when she died in 1955 she was buried beside her first husband, David L. Temple in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Miller Co., Arkansas.

Lynn was buried beside Sallie, in the Sylverino Cemetery, Miller Co., Arkansas.

Headstone of Lynn and Sallie Davis

Headstone of Lynn and Sallie Davis

I mentioned earlier there were some other heirlooms that Lynn and Sallie handed down. One of which, I actually have. It’s their clock, and I have it hanging on the wall in my living room. The clock was given to Mollie, who gave it to my grandmother Edna, who gave it to my Aunt Jane. When Aunt Jane (Higginbotham Starks) passed away in 2012, Uncle Charlie gave it to me.  There was a note inside from Lynn stating the clock was to be given to Mollie, and he signed it “Papa”.

Lynn Davis Clock

Lynn Davis Clock

The next heirloom, is the family photo album. This is where all these great pictures were that Marilyn Metcalf Huber was kind enough to let me scan. It’s also a music box. Marilyn is the great-granddaughter of Lynn and Sallie through their daughter Mittie.

Photo Album of Lynn and Sallie Davis

Photo Album of Lynn and Sallie Davis

In the very back you can see the music box, it also has the songs written on it that it played. I don’t think it works any more. Neither does my clock, but maybe one day I will have it fixed.

Photo Album of Lynn and Sallie Davis

Photo Album of Lynn and Sallie Davis

Last but certainly not least as you will see, is the organ of Sallie Davis. It still works, and is in good condition after some maintenance and upkeep was done to it by Marilyn or someone in her family. I couldn’t really remember the story on how Marilyn ended up with it, or remember about them fixing it up, but as soon as I get in touch with her about it, I will update this story. Here’s the organ, it’s beautiful!  I can just imagine Sallie sitting there playing it.

Organ that belonged to Sallie Davis

Organ that belonged to Sallie Davis

Marilyn played it a bit for Nedra and I.

Organ that belonged to Sallie Davis

Organ that belonged to Sallie Davis

It still has books in it.

Organ that belonged to Sallie Davis

Organ that belonged to Sallie Davis

I hope you have enjoyed this long-winded post from Tony and I, and if any of you Davis descendants out there have an heirloom or more information that you would like to share, please let me know.

This is how I descend from Lynn and Sallie Davis.

Susie to Lynn Davis

Kookie’s 2012 Recap

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Today, I received a really great email from Kookie Hemperley, my cousin who makes guest posts here on occasion and I would like to share this with you:

Letter from Kookie Hemperley, my 3rd cousin 1x removed:

I really hate to see 2012 come to an end!  It has been such an amazing year in that through genealogy I have made new friends, found new cousins and made a few discoveries about myself.  Allow me to share some of it with you.

In December 2011 I connected with Susie Higginbotham Reynolds, descendent of Sarah Mildred Martin Williams, daughter of my great great-grandfather, Henry Washington Martin.  Early in January, Susie drove from her home in Mt. Vernon, Arkansas to my home on a quest to compare notes and share photos and stories on our Martin relatives.  From the moment she stepped out of her car, I knew she was my type of gal!!!  She was warm, friendly, and looked like a real go-getter.  Not only did she come bearing tons of photos, letters, etc., she also brought along another cousin, Gary Higginbotham and his wife Bessie.  I also invited Cheri Payton Atkins, a relative through Henry Washington Martin’s wife, Sarah Courtney (who remarried George Pill following Henry’s death).  We had a great day and have all become great friends besides being third cousins one time removed!

Kookie, Gary, Bessie, Cheri, and Susie

Kookie Hemperley, Gary and Bessie Higginbotham, Cheri Payton Atkins, and Susie Reynolds

Susie and I have spent countless hours on the computer emailing back and forth, texting, talking on the phone and sharing any hint of information that might lead to more discoveries about our ancestors. Sometimes we pull “all nighters” but together we have located her illusive Francis Hereford Williams and the history of his being the founder of the Highland Baptist Church in Texarkana along with another ancestor, Stephen Boullemet a native of Saint Domingue who settled in New Orleans. She’s also been back to visit several times during 2012.  How would I describe Susie?  She’s like a pugnacious little bulldog that just doesn’t give up!  Cheri and I have tromped around graveyards, visited cousins and made numerous trips to libraries and become “best buds”.

On the Stanley family tree, I was contacted by Michelle McBride during May.  Her great-grandmother and my grandfather were brothers and sisters.  Our Stanley relatives were also related to Pattillo’s and our genealogy searches have resulted in some results that one might not want to include in one’s history.  It seems my great-grandmother (a Pattillo) had a brother who shot and killed his father!  How could that be?  Well, after much research it seems the father had shot first and the son, who was charged with murder, was found not guilty of any charges at the trial.   Michelle and I agreed that it was a part of our family’s story and should be told and included in our trees.  While she and I have not had a face to face meeting, we have talked on the phone and are hoping a visit will be in store for 2013.  Michelle is also planning a visit with some of her older Stanley relatives shortly to gather more information and hopefully photos and family stories.

Then in November 2012 I was contacted by Kenneth Whitehead regarding the Hemperley family tree.  Ken is the curator of the East Point Historical Society. East Point was the area of Georgia many of the Hemperley’s lived during the 1800s.  Some of their ancestors remain in the area today.  In fact, the funeral home, which began in the early 1900s, is still offering service and comfort to those of the community.  More importantly the Hemperley’s left foot prints on the history of the area.

Ken has been most gracious in sharing documents, newspaper clippings, death certificates, etc. with me.  In fact, Lillie Ruth Hemperley has been written about in “Lil, In Celebration of Lillie Ruth Hemperley Stewart’s 99th Birthday on February 16, 2004”.  It was written by Regina Stewart.  One of Lil’s sisters, Ina Hemperley Short also wrote “As I Remember It” in celebration of her 90th birthday in October 1987. Ken has taken the time to scan over 600 documents, put them in a DVD and give it to me and other Hemperley relatives!!!  The DVD arrived a few days after Christmas and I thought, “What a wonderful belated Christmas gift”. How lucky can you be and wouldn’t it be wonderful if just one person in every family tree would save the treasures of their families and share with others.

Ken and I have also been doing a little research, via email, on members of the clan that he had not “fit” into the puzzle. Luckily, I found some information as well as did Ken.  Should you have relatives in that area of Georgia, I’m sure the East Point Historical Society would be willing to share information.  By all appearances, they have a great working society.  You can check them out on Face Book or check them out when you are in the area.

Ken Whitehead, Charles Chambers,  and Lee Barrett at the EPHS

Ken Whitehead, Charles Chambers, and Lee Barrett at the East Point Historical Society

East Point Historical Society

East Point Historical Society at 1685 Norman Berry Avenue, East Point, Georgia

While checking out the East Point Historical Society you might also want to visit Susie’s website at http://ourfamiliesuntoldstories.com.  Not only does she post genealogy there, she also is documenting her family’s day to day lives in the hills of Arkansas.

The persons mentioned here were contacts made through Ancestry.com.  Should you be contacted by someone through Ancestry, please take time to reply as you may never know what you are missing.  Don’t take everything you see on Ancestry as gospel for we all make mistakes.  And finally if you copy a photo or document from someone else’s tree, please give credit to the person who has spent endless hours collecting, proving and sharing with you.

As a reminder to those who search regularly for information on family members, I would urge you to make a New Year’s Resolution to (1) document each person in your family prior to adding them to your tree; (2) to label your photos; (3) to preserve your documents and (4) to share openly.

As sad as I am about 2012 ending, I am also happy for all the new contacts made and look forward to adding more “cousins” in the coming year.  To each of you I wish you a healthy, happy, prosperous New Year with lots of “green leaves”.

Kookie

Thank you Kookie, for sending me this letter and thank you for singing my praises.  I am so glad to have found you and all the other cousins that I found in 2012 and I look forward to 2013 as well so that I might know my family better and continue to share the stories here on this blog.

Susie

Osa Alexander Sloan

Two years ago when I started working on my father’s side of my family history, the first thing I did was write my Aunt Jane (Lou Jane Higginbotham Starks) a letter and ask her what she knew about the family.  She wrote me back that she had Big Mama’s (Mollie Davis Harris) bible and I could come and get it the next time I came to town.

I did, and took the bible over to Nedra (Harris) Turney’s where we went through the bible and found a letter that was from Osa to Big Mama (Mollie).

Osa Alexander Sloan Letter

Osa Alexander Sloan Letter

I didn’t know who Osa was, and neither did Nedra, but her letter tore us apart.  I was shocked to hear of the troubles that she suffered and wrote about.  Before I share the letter with you, I would like to tell you a little about Osa and what I have discovered about her since finding the letter.

This is Osa and her husband Walter J. Sloan.

Walter and Osa Alexander Sloan

Walter and Osa Alexander Sloan

Her parents, James Arthur Alexander and Maggie Isabell Davis Alexander, are seen here holding Osa’s oldest brother Willie.  Osa also had another brother, Arthur Douglas “Doug” Alexander.

Maggie James A and Willie Alexander

Maggie Davis Alexander was the oldest daughter of William Lynn Davis and Sarah Robertson Davis.  She died on 25 Jul 1900, just four days after giving birth to an infant that was born and died on 21 Jul 1900.  Osa was only two years old at this time when her mother died.

Osa (standing), is pictured with her mother Maggie’s youngest sister Nora Davis Bull.

Osa Alexander Sloan standing and Nora Davis Bull sitting

This family photo shows Osa with her brother Doug Alexander, her Aunt Nora Davis Bull, her grandparents, Lynn and Sallie Davis and her Aunt Mittie Davis Grigson McBride.

Doug Alexander Osa Alexander Nora Sarah Lynn Mittie Davis

I would much imagine that with Osa’s mother gone, her Aunt’s and grandparent’s stepped in and did what they could for her.  I suppose this is why her letter to her Aunt Mollie was so frank about her situation.

The letter was not dated but I think the letter was written between the time of the 1930 census and 1932.

On the 1930 census, she and husband Walter are living in Waco, Texas with their children, and her father.

1930 Census Sloan and Alexander Waco Texas

In 1932, I found Walter and Osa listed in the Waco, Texas – City Directory. I did NOT find a listing for James A Alexander in the directory.

1932 Waco City Directory Walter and Osa Sloan

I realize this doesn’t mean that her father wasn’t living with them, but it’s possible.  From the way this letter reads, Osa had no family with her during this crisis, and she was in a bad way without them.

Read for yourself:

Osa Letter Cover and Page 1

Osa Letter Cover and Page 1

Hello Aunt Mollie

I sure was proud to hear from you.  You all can’t possibly get as lonesome as I do because you have one another  you have sisters and brothers and a phone you can talk to your own blood kin, that is lots of difference to strangers.  Walter got out of work and stayed out about 6 months and you know any boddy in town like we are has to pay rent, watter, buy wood or gass and when you haven got        over

Osa Letter Pages 2 and 3

Osa Letter Pages 2 and 3

any money to pay with the rent man say get out, the gass man cuts off gass the watter is cut off so there you are and no money to get food with if you go to your next door nabor they will hand you 1 cup of beans for a family of 7 to eat on all day long if you go some where for something to eat for super they ask you 1 thousand questions before they hand you 2 or 3 potatoes they ask if I had any kin folks and Grandma taught me not to tell a story

I tried to tell the truth while she lived and now she has passed on but that don’t mean I half to start lying so when people I was forced to ask food from ask me if I had any kin folks I said yes I have 2 bros. and some aunts & uncles and a father well they got where they would tell me they was sorry they didn’t have anything and ask why I didn’t write to my people and have them send for me                    Over

Osa Letters Pages 4 and 5

Osa Letters Pages 4 and 5

Well I knew my kin folks was just like me hard up try to get by and I knew Walter would find work some time and at least we had a better chance finding work here than any where else so we just suffered a long and when some one would bring us something to eat or we would get some our selves it would be so so little they baby marrie would look at me and say mama I’m hungry can I have your beans or potatoes which ever it was and something in my heart ached oh! you will never know how I felt eather I had to eat to care for the children you know attend to them and

Watch over them or I would get sick my self but my heart hurt to think that my child was so hungry that it was forced to ask for its mothers food because what people were handing us was so little until we had to cook it and divide it out and then tell them that was all they could have. Well the out come was after 6 months of this (not day or weeks but months) I got weaker and weaker and every day the sherrif would come and say I am sorry

Osa Letter Pages 6 & 7

Osa Letter Pages 6 & 7

Mrs. Sloan but the man that owns this house is pushing us and we are going to half to sit you all out in the street well I am human like every body else and I could not help worring over all that if I had of had plenty for my children to eat that would not have worried me so bad but all of it to gether was more I guess than I could stand I was so weak until I went back wards every time I would start to walk and I call a Doc and he would not come made some excuse of corse it was because we had no money

And every day walter would say sure to goodness I ‘ll run into something to do to morrow, so one day I told Maggie to call me when diner time come I told her I believe I would lay down 3 or 4 hours and see if I would not feel better well I layed down and the next thing I knew was I was crying loud and hard and what made me mad at my self was I couldn’t stop I cryed and cryed some one sent for the city doc – and he said I had a nervious break down well Walter or any of the children did not know how to handle a case of that kind all you need is to be real

Osa letter pages 8 & 9

Osa Letter Pages 8 and 9

Quite not ask questions to make me talk so I could not get up for 4 weeks but I tryed to and I would take spells laughing if some of them said something funnie instead of me laughing a little bit if it was not much to laugh about well I would laugh as much over nothing as would over a whole lot because my nerves had broke you see and I could not control them I did not want to laugh hard but I was ignorant of how to hand a case like this my self so when the children would say something that would make any boddy else smile it

would make me shake the bed laughing and then I was all ways worse after that but I could not help it unless I had of had money to get a nurce and doc. And the nurce could have avoded lots of these laughs and crying spells and I would have been better but as you see it takes money to make things run smooth and we didn’t have one piny so that called for suffering on my part well not long after I got up Walter found the job he has now just enough to pay rent by food and pay gass and watter not a

Osa Letter Pages 10 and 11

Osa Letter Pages 10 and 11

Piny for cloths or any thing else but you don’t know how thankful we are to know that we can do that and not have to ask it of some one else you see Waco is a small town to what new York is or other places but in any town where there are so many people and no work you see we was not the only ones at that time or now that was out of work people next door to us out of work across the streets or 3 blocks away well by the time you cover the whole town like New York there were thousands of people out of work and they had to eat so it is in a city worse than

In the country where it is 9 or 10 mabe you here of so when thousands of people in one place are saying the same thing it get to where to other people is sounds like a song we got out of work because hauling was scarce no boddy wanting anything hauled and when we could not meet payments on the trucks so one day while Walter was out of them right in broad day light the company had there man to get them  Walter had a lot of tools in them and we couldn’t

Osa Letter Pages 12 and 13

Osa Letter Pages 12 and 13

get them back of course if we had of had some money to fight with but what was we by the side of a big truck company so Walter was out and so many people were out before that and at that time, so it was just hunt and hope and I am geting stronger every day I can see fine better than I ever could wash Irion sew scrub and any thing that needs to be done have not had any medician to take for 2 years no money to buy any so if God is not watching over us and helps us who does?  those that are

able wont because they love the dollar more that human and those that would cant so from the very fact that I am living to day after what I have just experienced teaches me that God lives also so there is my hope and trust is in God I sure would like to have been down there to Dougs and Grandpas birthday but you see how it was tell every boddy to please write to me and you write as often as you can so by and be sweet from your niece Osa.

The first time I read this letter, I was reading it out loud to Nedra (Harris) Turney, and we had to stop.  We couldn’t even finish it.  We came back to it later and finished it, but our hearts were broken for Walter and Osa.

It certainly put my whining into perspective. I’ve never even come close to having to make the choices they had to make.

When I look at this picture of Osa holding her oldest daughter, Maggie Sloan all I can think about is her heartache on trying to decide whether she should feed herself or her children.

maggie sloan and osa alexander sloan

Osa Alexander Sloan holding daughter Maggie Sloan

It really saddens me to know that Osa probably never got over this.  Her letter states how sick she was and had no medicine for two years.   It was very upsetting when I found her headstone in Sylverino Cemetery, directly behind that of her parents.

She died in 1933, only 34 years old.  I haven’t found a death certificate to know what she died of for sure, but I imagine it had everything to do with what she described in her letter.  Doing without food for long periods of time can do great damage to your body and maybe she just never recovered.

Osa Lee Alexander Sloan Headstone

Osa Lee Alexander Sloan Headstone

I haven’t found her father on the 1940 Census, but his headstone says he died in 1951.  I found Walter, Osa’s husband on the 1940 Census living in Houston, remarried to Ruby Mae Williams and living with a mix of his and Osa’s children and Ruby’s children from her previous marriage.  I believe they later had two children together.

I’m so sad for Osa.  Sad for her children that they lost their mother, just as she had.  Sad for Walter that he had to handle all this and pick up the pieces for his children.  It seems he did and I hope and pray their lives got better after this.  I imagine that would change a man forever so I was glad to see he had remarried.

This is how I relate to Osa. Relationship Chart Susie to Osa

Thank you to Nedra for always being there with me when we discover our families’ stories.  It’s never to late to tell them!!

Thank you to Marilyn Metcalf Huber, for sharing these pictures of Osa and her family with me.

While my Aunt Jane is no longer with us, I thank her too for sharing what she had with me!  We wouldn’t know at all about Osa’s struggles without her.

Most importantly though, thank you to Osa for sharing this story with Big Mama (Mollie).  It must have been very dear to her to have put it in her bible and saved it.  I can only imagine how she must have felt upon reading this letter.

Did Big Mama want to go get Osa?

Was it too late??

Will we ever find out???

If you are a descendant of Walter and Osa, I would love so much to hear from you.

~Susie~

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