Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ahnentafel - #5 Mattie Irene Hendrix

My grandmother Mattie Irene Hendrix was born on 13 June 1897 to Warren David Hendricks and Lucinda Jane Gooch in Gaddistown, Union County, Georgia, near modern-day Suches.  Mattie was the next-to-youngest of 9 surviving children and in fact, her oldest sister married the same year she was born. She and her sister Maude always claimed that they were not given middle names at birth, with the expectation that when they married they would use Hendrix as their middle name.  Both of them chose to adopt a middle name anyway. The spelling of the family name was definitely in flux at this time, which is really obvious when you look at their college yearbooks, and see it spelled differently on the same page. 

Very little is known about her early years.  Her father ran a farm and took pride in being a somewhat stern taskmaster.  There was no high school in the area, but there was apparently a small country school that the children used to get the basics. Certainly Mattie and her siblings could all read and write, which was not a given for the area.   As they got older, several of the children, including Allen Luther, Vianna, Mattie and Maude, went to North Georgia Agricultural College (later North Georgia College, then North Georgia College State University, now University of North Georgia).   The college had a preparatory program specifically designed for local students who did not have other access to secondary education.  Mattie did the full preparatory program, then went on to get her domestic science certificate, which qualified her as a graduating senior in 1914.   All three of the girls played basketball while at the school.  According to the yearbook, Mattie "plays for all it's worth at guard's position.  Her speed is a feature in every game, and she plays the ball splendidly.." Mattie later used to tell her grandchildren that she was one of the first women in Georgia to play basketball in shorts (bloomers) rather than a skirt, something she was proud of.

Shortly after graduating, Mattie began working as a teacher in Emanuel County, Georgia, possibly as a home demonstration agent.  In newspaper reports, she is just noted as a teacher, while the census
has her as a U.S. vocational teacher.  Her photo of her first car, shown here, was labeled as "home demonstration agent".  She was the 1921 Attendance officer for education in Emanuel County and  heavily involved in literacy programs for the county, as well as demonstrating at the county fair and joining the Camp Fire girls on a camping trip.   She was also active with the county Georgia University alumnae association, attending their meetings.

Mattie married Charles Gordon Garner on 10 December 1921 in Swainsboro.  Apparently at the time this meant that she could not continue in her job, so this was the end of her professional career.  She and Gordon lived first in Lyons, Toombs County, where their first two sons Charles Gordon,Jr and Warren Hendrix were born.  About 1931 they moved to
Athens, where James Arthur and Robert Edward joined the family.   After her father died in 1940, Mattie and Gordon purchased his property in Gaddistown, Georgia. In the late 40s, she moved back there with Jim and Bobby.  Gordon joined them after his retirement.

Left a widow in 1955, Mattie continued to run the farm for many years, until finally selling the property in the late 60s.  She lived for some time after that with her sons in Kansas, Georgia and Oklahoma.  She died in 1975 in Oklahoma City, having been living at the time with her son Warren in Cordell, Oklahoma. She and Gordon are both buried at Mt Pleasant Church #2 (the Hill Church) cemetery in Suches, GA.

Friday, September 20, 2013

John Perry gift to Ann Perry Becham

In 1861, his wife having died a few years before, John Perry gave a portion of his land to his daughter Ann, then moved to Jefferson County to live with his widowed sister, Ann Daniel. 

Georgia, Crawford County

Know all men by these presents that I John Perry for the good will love and affection which I have and bear to my daughter Ann Caroline Beckham wife of Washington Beckham and her present and any future children she my said daughter Ann Caroline may have, I this day give remise release and forever quit claim unto her my said daughter & her children, free from the debts contracts or liabilities of her present or any future husband she my said daughter may have, all my right title interests and claims in and to lot of land number nineteen (no 19) containing two hundred two and a half acres more or less lying & being in the third district of originally Houston now Crawford County To have and to hold the said described land to the said Ann Caroline and her children as above conditioned in fee simple forever.
  In testimony whereof the said John Perry hath hereto set his hand and affixed his seal, this 9th day of December AD 1861.

Signed Sealed and delivered                         John Perry {seal}
in the presence of
 Alford Long
 James I Ray
 Clerk of the Inferior Court

The words nineteen and figures 19 interlined & changed before us to twenty nine (29)
Recorded December 17th, 1861
James I Ray Clk

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ahnentafel series - Charles Gordon Garner

I have decided to do at least a weekly post just working up through my Ahnentafel.  Since the point of this blog, among other things, was to let me see the gaps in what I know or have documented, at least some systematic approach, once in a while, is a good idea.

I'm skipping my parents (nrs 2 and 3 in my report), so the first one I come to is #4, my Grandfather Charles Gordon Garner.  Gordon, or C.G., Garner as he was known was born on 1 January 1893 near Sparta, Georgia, to parents Green Lee Garner and Hattie Gheesling.  He was the youngest of 4 boys born to them, but he also had an older half-sister Minnie, from his father's first marriage.  They were a farming family, which is probably significant considering Gordon's later choice of career.   Green Garner owned the family farm where Gordon grew up, but with 4 boys apparently did not need to hire outside help, at least according to the 1900 census.

By 1910, Green and Hattie had moved off the farm and were renting a house, still in Hancock County, Georgia.  Gordon was the only son still at home.  His father was working as a carpenter and Gordon was listed as a "carpentering laborer."   This was probably in the Granite Hill area, just outside Sparta, since that is where Gordon claimed to be from in college.

 In 1914, Gordon enrolled the University of Georgia.  There was no obvious reason for his enrolling at a fairly advanced age (21).  He was not in the military.  Considering that he was already known as "Co-op Garner" by his sophomore year, my speculation is that he was working in agriculture, became interested in the nascent co-op system and realized that he needed a university degree to work in that field.

 From the various yearbooks, it is apparent that he was active in student life.  He was noted as a photographer, as a member of the YMCA, as a Bible study member, as a member of the track team, and as an officer in the honorary agriculture fraternity, Alpha Zeta.  He was already known as "Co-op" Garner, and would be nicknamed that for the rest of his life.  In 1917, he received a bachelor's degree in Agriculture at the University of Georgia and was apparently hired almost immediately as a County extension agent, since he was working in Stephens County by June of that same year.

In the 1920 census, he is shown again with his parents, but listed as an agricultural demonstration agent.   He was still active in the State's efforts in agriculture, being listed as one of the delegates at a March 1920 conference which established the Georgia Association, a union of the chambers of commerce, farm bureaus and other industrial entities.  In newspapers from the era, it is obvious that he quickly established himself as an expert in agricultural marketing.  He was first interested in beef marketing with UGA.  Then after becoming a county extension agent in Lyons, he traveled throughout the state, appearing as a marketing expert in various meetings and agricultural gatherings.  About 1931 he started working directly for the  University, moving his family to Athens.  In 1940 he got his Masters from the University and spent the early 40s advising farmers on efficient ways to get their goods to market, taking into account shortages and rationing caused by the war.

In December 1920, Gordon married Mattie Irene Hendrix, who was working as a demonstration agent in Emanuel County.  They settled in Toombs, Lyons County, while he was the extension agent there and then moved to Athens, Clark County, where they raised 4 sons and where he lived until his retirement in 1955.   At that point, he joined Mattie in the Gaddistown, Union County area, where she had grown up and where she had moved with the boys some years earlier.  Sadly, he died less than a year later of a heart attack.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Van Evera connections

Archie, or A.K., Van Evera isn't actually an ancestor of mine but he is certainly well connected to the family, with him and two of his daughters marrying into the Wade family.

Some of these connections are very easy.  In 1915 (Bibb county marriage records), he married Annie Wade Fryer, a second marriage for both of them.  He already had 3 daughters from his first marriage to Daisy Owens, who had died on 19 January 1914 (obituary).  He remained married to Annie until his own death in 1927.

The other easy one is his oldest daughter Marion Gladys  who married Annie's brother John Henderson Wade on 27 September 1915.  John adopted Marion's daughter and he and Marion remained married until his death in 1956. 

The slightly more complicated connection is the youngest daughter, Julia Blanch.  A 1919 Macon Telegraph article talks about the marriage of Julia Van Evera and Walter Wade.  Since Annie and John had a nephew Walter, this was logically him, but Walter Wade is not a unique name and the article stated that they would be settling in Macon.  My Walter is found in the 1920 census living with his parents in Thomas County, GA.  There is a Julia in the family, the right age to be Julia Van Evera, but she is listed as a granddaughter.  Everyone in the family is listed as black, but the names and ages of the parents and childrens indicate it is definitely the right family.  Walter's grandmother was mulatto and it was possible that the census taker made an independent judgment that the family was black.  On the other hand, this could just be a mistake in recording the information.  

In December 1928, Walter married Minnie Alice Harper.  In the 1930 census, he and Minnie are still in Bibb, shown with 3 daughters, two of whom were born in 1920 and 1923 respectively.  The third one was a baby. This fits in well with him having been previously married.  Minnie's "age at first marriage" is consistent with the 1928 date but there is no such age for Walter.  He is, in fact, the only married person on that page or the ones on either side without an age at first marriage, indicating either that the person giving the information knew he'd been married before but didn't know how old he was or that he didn't want to admit to the previous marriage. 

With all these bits together, I have to conclude that Walter Wade (son of William and Camilla) was in fact the Walter married to Julia Blanch Van Evera, even though they are never clearly together as husband and wife, in the census or later records.  

I had long assumed that Julia had died between 1923 and 1928, even though no death record had been found.  However, recently I found her in California records, so they must have divorced.  She applied for social security under the name Julia Blanch Stokes, but by the time she died in 1980, her surname was Sorg.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Tiger Laws and the Wade Family

One of the things I have learned doing genealogy is the concept of "Blind Tiger" Laws, which were state or local laws governing the production and sale of alcohol.  "Blind Tigers" or "Blind Pigs" were terms for illegal alcohol (moonshine) or the places where they were sold.   As a result of these, prohibition in Georgia ran from 1908 to 1935.

Two family members managed to get caught up in these cases.  John Henderson Wade (1876-1956) got hit twice in October 1914.  He was first charged with selling alcohol in Crawford County.  Since he was living at the time in Bibb county, the warrant was sent there.  The police went to his grocery store, at 557 Telfair street, to serve the warrant, but discovered whiskey in the back of the store.  As a result, he was charged under Macon City laws as well.  There was no report on the final result of the case, but it was noted that the Macon case would have to be resolved before he could be sent back to Crawford county for the case there.

John's sister Anne Elizabeth Wade Fryer (Van Evera) (Cowherd) apparently turned to selling whiskey for a short while as well.  In December 1913, the police reported that they had found 45 bottles of "all different sizes and brands" of alcohol hidden in her attic.  This was actually on the second search of her house; nothing was found the first time.  She was not arrested since she was a "widow" with 6 children, mostly girls, at home.  Later press was closer to the truth, stating that she was divorced.  In fact, she was separated from her husband - they divorced in 1915 - but she was supporting 6 children.

In October 1914, Annie was arrested in Macon under both the city and state tiger laws.   The detectives asserted that 3 bottles of whiskey had been found in her home and that they had evidence of a sale.  After she was arrested, one of her neighbors informed the police that she had threatened to kill herself if arrested.  The police searched her and found a bottle of carbolic acid, whereupon she admitted that she would rather kill herself than be separated from her 6 young children.   After a night in jail, she was fined $50 for the city charge, which was dismissed when she was able to prove that she could not pay it.  She still had to respond to the State charge however and was kept in jail when she could not pay the bond.  The following Tuesday, four days later, one of her relatives paid her bond to get her out.

Both cases were "nol prossed" in March 1915, indicating that the prosecutor chose to not proceed with them.  No reason was given in the paper.  Annie had received her first verdict on her divorce petition in February, claiming desertion and non-support.  She got her final decree in late April, whereupon she remarried and apparently stayed out of trouble.