Tag Archives: turney

Tombstone Tuesday – Bathsheba A Ball

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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.

Bathsheba A Ball Headstone

S A C R E D

to the memory of

Mrs. Bathsheba A. Ball

consort of

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.

Venetia's Notes Side 2

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.

Bathsheba A Ball Headstone

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?

Ball Cemetery - Old Boston, Texas

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!

52 Ancestors: #1 Ben Martin

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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.

First up in my challenge is Ben Martin.  My 4th great-grandfather.  Many years ago, my grandfather, Earl Higginbotham sold the house he and my grandmother were living in. The house is no longer there but it sat right where the gas station is in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Texarkana, Arkansas.  The house was moved down the road and is now a restaurant.  As they were cleaning out the barn behind the house, cousin Nedra saved a few things, one of which was a letter because her husband Jerry saved stamps at the time.  Lucky me, because when I started doing genealogy she gave me this letter.

Ben Martin Inquiry Letter

The letter, dated 1913 and signed by my great-grandmother, Dona Higginbotham, inquired to the Adjutant General about whether or not Ben Martin served during the War of 1812.

At first, I was wondering who Ben Martin was, but then on the inside of the letter, was a written out a lineage history of her sister, for my great-aunt Minnie Williams Hooks, Dona’s sister.  Here it is:

Ben Martin Descendants

The crazy thing is, Charles Augustus Hooks, Minnie’s husband is a 1st cousin 4x removed on my mother’s side of the family.

So I decided to see what I could locate on Ben Martin in War of 1812 records.  Nada on Fold3.com but I haven’t looked anywhere else.

Then I decided to look and see if I could come up with anything on Minnie.  Maybe she had found Ben’s record and was a member of the DAR or some other organization.  Since I was already in Texarkana when Nedra gave me the letter I decided to look for Minnie and Charles’ grave.  I found them at Hillcrest Cemetery, and what do I find on Minnie’s headstone?

Minnie W Hooks Headstone

A Daughter of the American Revolution symbol.  This is good news because maybe she has submitted lineage and proof!

So I headed over to the DAR database, promptly found her application, paid for it and downloaded it.

Ben Martin was her Revolutionary Soldier, and was apparently not in the War of 1812!

This is what I found out from her application.

Minnie Hooks DAR Info

So, Ben Martin, married 2nd Melissa Highnot.  I’ve tried at the time to locate some information on either of these two people and came up empty.

Then in August last year I went to DC and went to the DAR headquarters and was able to look in the file for Ben Martin so I could see all the paperwork that Minnie submitted with her application, and guess what?  There was not a single piece of proof submitted with her application.  I guess since she was a charter member of the Texarkana chapter, at a time when the application was good enough and no proof was needed so she didn’t submit any documentation.  She did write on the application that she had heard stories of his battles throughout her life.  What I wouldn’t give to hear one of those stories.

I’ll keep digging up information on them.  Maybe one day I will get to go to North Carolina and see what I can find in Hyde county, or maybe I’ll take a trip to Butler County, Alabama and find something on them.

Here’s my relationship to Ben Martin and Melissa Highnot, and I all I have for proof is the paper written up above by Dona and Minnie.  In fact up past Rev. Williams and Mildred Martin Wiliams, all my evidence is what you’d call shady!  :)

Ben Martin to Me

If you have any Martin’s or Highnot’s in your ancestry, I would love to hear from you!

I think I’m going to like this challenge!

Travel Tuesday – Trip Down Home

Where is Down Home you say?  Well, down (south) in Texarkana, and while I have never actually lived in Texarkana, I consider it down home because your home is where your heart is, or family is right? Considering this is where all the family is for both my maternal and paternal side, I just call it down home.

As soon as Knucklehead got off the bus on Friday afternoon, a week or so ago, we headed down home.

Knucklehead's Bus

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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

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