Tag Archives: Davis

Find Me Friday – Luther Higginbotham

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Find Me Friday is a blog prompt I use to post a picture of someone who is unidentified in the hopes that someone else will have the picture and know who it is.  I have solved several mysteries this way.

Sometimes I post a picture of someone who is identified in the hopes that someone out there might be looking for their photo and be lucky enough to find it here.

Sometimes I post information about someone in the hopes that I can find out more about them or what became of them.  This is the case today with Luther Higginbotham.

Luther is the first cousin of my grandfather Earl.  Luther was born to Rena (Peavy) Higginbotham and Charles S. Higginbotham in abt. 1899

This is a picture that was labeled Luther Higginbotham, and was among the photos that I got from my Aunt Jane. This uniform appears to be WWI to me, but I’m certainly no expert.

Luther Higginbotham

In this photo, Luther is the little boy in the middle and his mother, Rena (Peavy) Higginbotham, is on the left sitting down. Charles Higginbotham, his father is on the right sitting down. Standing behind them, I believe (but not positive) is Alice (Higginbotham) Crank and Florence (Higginbotham) Davis.

charlie rena luther higginbotham

This photo with Luther Higginbotham in the middle, was labeled by my grandfather, Earl Higginbotham.

luther higg

This photo of Luther as a boy was posted on Ancestry.com by a family member of Rena’s second husband. I believe Charles died sometime before 1910, as Rena was listed on the 1910 census as a widow, and then remarried in 1911.

Luther Higginbotham (3)

I’d love to know what happened to Luther, Charles and Rena.  If you are a descendant of theirs, I would love to hear from you.

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

52 Ancestors – #4 Rufus Francis Higginbotham, Sr.

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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, Rufus Francis Higginbotham, Sr. Week four, and my fourth post in the challenge.

This is a photo of Rufus with his wife, Margaret Florence Jacobs Higginbotham.

Rufus and Margaret Higginbotham

Rufus, or Civil War Rufus as I call him, was born 14th of March, 1839 in Alabama.  (Yes, Justin I hear you yelling “Roll Tide!”  Since he came to Arkansas, I hope you hear me yelling, “Woo Pig Sooie!”  He was the 8th of 12 children born to Sanford Higginbotham and Jane Harriette Holley Higginbotham.

The reason I call him Civil War Rufus is because he is the first of five generations of Rufus Higginbotham’s and he fought in the civil war which makes it easier for me to distinguish which Rufus I am talking about.  The last Rufus being my brother Butch, (nicknamed Butch because he always wore his hair in a flat top with Butch wax on it) whose name is actually Rufus Earl Higginbotham, III. He named his son Ben David Higginbotham because he (Butch) was teased merciless in grade school about his name “Rufus” and he didn’t want Ben to suffer the same fate, so they decided against naming him James Rufus Higginbotham and went with Ben David instead, thus ending the Rufus name in our line of Higginbotham’s.  I’m sure Ben thanks him!

I know there are other grandchildren of Civil War Rufus that carry the name Rufus.  In our line, it happens to be my nephew, Jonathan Rufus Higginbotham, and his son Skylar Mikel Rufus Higginbotham.  I know there are some other Rufus’ in Civil War Rufus’ son Sanford L. Higginbotham’s line that carry the name, for instance Rufus Merit Higginbotham. I hope to learn more about Sanford L.’s line in the future.

I have a copy of the bible of Sanford Higginbotham, Rufus’ father on this website, which you can refer to here, Bible of Sanford and Jane Higginbotham.  This bible is in the possession of Hugh Oliver Higginbotham, Jr. of Memphis, Tennessee.  Hugh, along with his two wonderful sisters, Joy Maclin and Marilee Whitten graciously agreed to let me photograph it and use it for family records.

The bible record is how I know Rufus was the 8th child of 12 children.  It’s also how I know he married Margaret Jacobs on the 4th of June 1865.

Backing up a bit from his marriage, I found Civil War Rufus on the 1850 Census living in Jackson, Dallas Co., Arkansas.  This was the plantation of his father Sanford Higginbotham which you can read about here, Walking Ancestral Land with Cousins. The census shows him living at this time with his father and mother, Sanford and Jane, siblings James, Joseph, William, Nancy, Elizabeth, and Amanda, with farm laborer, A.L. Barnes.

1850 Higginbotham Census

1850 Higginbotham Census, Rufus age 11.

Civil War Rufus’ father Sanford died in 1851 and so on the 1860 census he is found still living with his mother Jane on the family plantation with siblings, William, Nancy, Elizabeth and Amanda.

1860 Census Higginbotham

1860 Census Higginbotham, Rufus age 21.

Then, on March 1st, 1862 in Princeton, Arkansas Rufus joined Co. B, 18th Regiment Arkansas Infantry. You can find out more about this Regiment and the hardships they faced here, 18th (Carroll’s) Arkansas Infantry Regiment, CSA.  From Rufus’ muster rolls, I learned quite a bit of information.  I learned when and where he joined.  I learned he was absent sick in hospital, and sick at home.  I learned he was taken prisoner at Port Hudson, Louisiana on 9th of July 1863 and was paroled.   I learned he signed the Oath of Amnesty and Allegiance on 21 April 1864.

Rufus Higginbotham Muster Roll

Rufus Higginbotham Muster Roll

It’s hard to read, but if you look on the above muster roll for Rufus, you will see it says he has grey eyes, black hair, was light complected, 6’2″ tall and was 25 years old. Now I know where brother Butch who is 6’5″, brother Gene who is 6’5″ and sister BJ who is just shy of 5’9″ got their height. Evidently, I got the short end of that stick at 5’4″, ha!

Then in 1865 as mentioned above, he married Margaret Jacobs.  They had five children that I know of.

  • Harriette Alice Higginbotham (1866-1911) who married Merit Joseph Crank (2nd wife) and had no children.
  • Charles S. Higginbotham (1867 – bef 1910) who married Rena Peavy and had a son Luther Higginbotham.
  • Mary Florence Higginbotham (1873-1940), who married James Harvey Davis and had no children.
  • Rufus Francis Higginbotham, Jr. (my great-grandfather) (1876-1923) who married Dona Williams, and had my grandfather Rufus Earl Higginbotham, and Milton Francis Higginbotham.
  • Sanford Lullean Higginbotham (1879-1942) who married Minnie Ola Crank.  (Minnie Crank is the daughter of Merit Crank (husband of Alice) and his first wife Emma Francis Larey).  Sanford and Minnie had five children: Emma Pauline Higginbotham who married Paul Stockton, Sanford Aubrey Higginbotham who married Janis Plemmons, Muriel Higginbotham who married Holbert Manning, Richard L Higginbotham who married Ina Mae Brown, and Rufus Merit Higginbotham who married Alma Virginia Torrans.  There is an extensive book done by Patricia Cleveland called “The Crank Family, Past to Present 1595 to 2009” that has quite a bit of information and several photos of these Higginbotham’s.


This tin type that my Aunt Jane had is probably the youngest picture I have of Civil War Rufus. He is on the right, and my great-grandfather Rufus Francis Higginbotham, Jr. is on the left.

Rufus F Higginbotham Jr and Rufus F Higginbotham Sr

Rufus F Higginbotham Jr and Rufus F Higginbotham Sr

On the 1870 Census, I find Rufus farming in Precinct 1, Bowie Co., Texas, with his wife Margaret, and children Harriette Alice, and Charles S. Higginbotham.

1870 Census Higginbotham

1870 Census Higginbotham

I did not find him on the 1880 Census, and we all know the 1890 census was destroyed. In the 1900 Census, I find Rufus surprisingly as the Head of a Hotel (boy do I wish it said which hotel as I have not been able to figure this out), in District 0121 in Garland, Miller Co., Arkansas. Margaret also lived there with him, as well as children, Mary Florence, Sanford L., Rufus Jr. and wife Dona, and several other boarders.

1900 Higginbotham Census

1900 Higginbotham Census

If any of you Texarkana or Miller County historians know which hotel that might be, it would be great to know that.

It seems to me that Civil War Rufus wore many hats throughout his lifetime. Not only did he apparently run a hotel, in looking at the city and county directories for Texarkana, and Miller County, I have found him to be Justice of the Peace for Miller County (1905), County Coroner for Miller County (1915), and Oil Inspector for Miller County (1917).

In 1910, Rufus is found living in District 0070, Texarkana Ward 3, Miller Co., Arkansas and is shown to be a Justice of the Peace. His wife Margaret and daughter Mary Florence are also living there at the time.

1910 Census higginbotham

1910 Census Higginbotham

Imagine my surprise in 2011 when the Arkansas Democrat Gazette ran this article from “100 years ago”.

Justice Higginbotham Pours Whiskey on Broad Street

Justice Higginbotham Orders Whiskey Poured on Broad Street

Ha! I know one brother (who shall rename nameless but has not been mentioned yet in this post) that if he had been living back then, would have been trying to lick it off the street and would have gone home crying with a sore tongue. I’m pretty sure Civil War Rufus and this nameless brother of mine would not see eye to eye on that subject.

On the 1920 Census, Rufus is found living with wife Margaret and surprisingly, my great Uncle Milton, in District 0071, Texarkana, Miller Co., Arkansas.

1920 Census Higginbotham

1920 Census Higginbotham

I know that my great-grandfather Rufus F. Jr. died at a young age of 47. It’s possible that in 1920 he was sick and Milton went to live his parents. The weird thing is, Rufus F. Jr., died on 21 September 1923, but Civil War Rufus died just a few months before him on 29 Jun 1923. I can’t even begin to tell you how confusing it was to look these Rufus’ up and separate them with how closely they died together.

But, before we get to the end, so to speak, I have a few more things to share with you. I found this document is some pictures my Aunt Jane gave me. I have not researched it yet, but I have never heard anyone speak of it, and Dad knew nothing about it. It looks like the subdivision is somewhere around Broad St. I’ll have to do some research on this at the Miller Co. Courthouse.

Rufus Higginbotham Subdivision

Rufus Higginbotham Subdivision

This is another picture of Rufus and Margaret.

Rufus and Margaret Higginbotham

Rufus and Margaret Higginbotham

And then these next two, are a couple of my favorite pictures. This is Rufus on a donkey.

Rufus F Higginbotham Sr

Rufus F Higginbotham Sr

This is Rufus doing I don’t know what to the poor Donkey, but it looks like he is trying to get the donkey to not run off with his grandchildren. The boy on the front is my great Uncle Milton, I don’t know who the girl is holding him, but I think she and the other children are some of Sanford and Minnie’s children. My grandfather Rufus Earl is the next to the last boy. And what does the poor donkey have on his ears?

Milton, Earl and Rufus Higginbotham, other unidentified

Milton, Earl and Rufus Higginbotham, others unidentified but most probably children of Sanford and Minnie Higginbotham.

Sadly, Civil War Rufus died on the 29th of June of 1923 and this is the clipping from the Texarkana Daily News.

Rufus Francis Higginbotham Sr Obit

Rufus Francis Higginbotham Sr Obit

Rufus and his wife Margaret are buried in the Sylverino Cemetery, in Miller County, Arkansas. Their daughter Alice Crank and her husband Merit Crank are buried next to them as well as Sanford and Minnie Higginbotham, and Sanford Aubrey Higginbotham.

Rufus and Margaret Higginbotham Headstone

Rufus and Margaret Higginbotham Headstone

I’ve blogged about their headstone before here on Tombstone Tuesday – Knucklehead’s Ancestors.

If you are related to any of the above mentioned children of Rufus, I would very much like to hear from you. So far, we haven’t really connected with anyone from the other lines. It would be great to talk with some of Sanford Lullean’s descendants and I would love to find out what happened to Rufus’ son, Charles S. Higginbotham and his son Luther as I haven’t been able to track them either.

This is how I descend from Civil War Rufus. Now, you will see why I call him that. It’s easier to distinguish him.

Rufus To Susie

Norma Jean McClure Davis

Guest post by my 3rd cousin, Tony Davis.

Susie has graciously allowed me to post this brief article on my aunt, Norma Jean (McClure) Davis, who was married to my uncle, C. Gene Davis.  My father was Lynn Arthur Davis, and Uncle Gene was his older brother.  For those who don’t know, their father was Clarence Davis, son of William Harley and Janie (Giles) Davis.  Harley was a son of William Lynn and Sarah (Robertson) Davis.  Susie and I are related two ways: Harley’s brother Jim Davis married Florence Higginbotham, and Harley’s sister Mollie Davis married Major Harris! A small world, especially south Miller County in the early 1900’s!

With the recent passing of my Uncle Gene on October 30, 2013, my Aunt Agnes, who married Uncle Gene in 1973, gave me old photos that Uncle Gene had taken as a teenager, as well as photos of Uncle Gene’s first wife, Norma Jean.  Norma Jean was the daughter of Dan Henry and Oberia (McDonald) McClure.

Norma Jean McClure

Norma Jean McClure as a teenager.

She and Uncle Gene married in 1949, and she died unexpectedly on January 2, 1966 in Texarkana.  She is buried at East Memorial Gardens.  These are the facts of her brief life, but not really why I wanted to write this article.

Gene and Norma Jean Davis - Wedding

Gene and Norma Jean Davis – Wedding

My aunt and uncle did not have any children, so I guess I was in some way a substitute.  I was very close to them, as we lived in those early years in Texarkana, before my father joined the FBI and we moved away.  Everyone who knew her thought she was a very classy lady, always dressed sharply and elegantly, long red fingernails, cat-eye glasses, the epitome of 1950’s and early 1960’s style.  My mother, Sue, tells the story of the time I got into a nest of chiggers, and was literally covered with them.  I wouldn’t let anybody pick them off except my aunt Norma Jean.

When I first started reading Susie’s blog I found a picture she had posted of the “Radar Squares” square dancing club.  What I soon realized was that my Uncle Gene and Aunt Norma Jean were in the same picture with Edna and Earl Higginbotham!  Once again a small world!

Radar Squares 1965

Radar Squares 1965

It’s funny that you don’t usually know about your relatives growing up, unless you are inquisitive, as we genealogists are. When my father died, I knew he was a cheerleader at Texarkana, Arkansas High, but I didn’t know he was also part of a tumbling team, and played a lead part in the Senior High play.  When my Uncle Gene died, I didn’t realize he was such an avid photographer as a teenager.  Aunt Agnes gave me several photo books full of pictures he had taken of friends and activities in his life growing up in Texarkana.  I also didn’t know that my Aunt Norma Jean was a band majorette at Texarkana, Arkansas High School.  There are a lot of pictures of her that Uncle Gene took.  How young and carefree everyone looked!  I guess God allows most of us those easy times in life to help make up for the tough times.

Norma Jean as a Majorette

Norma Jean as a Majorette

I have included some of the pictures I was given by Aunt Agnes, who is also a very stylish (and fun!) lady.  Uncle Gene was a very lucky man to have married two such lovely women.  A tear comes to my eye when I think of my dear Aunt Norma Jean, and most recently my Uncle Gene.  Thank you for joining me on this trip down memory lane.

Tony Davis

52 Ancestors – #3 James Edmund Harris

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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, James Edmund Harris.  Week three and my third post in the challenge.

James Ed Harris

Grandpa Ed, as he was so affectionately called was the son of William James Harris and Mahala Valentine Harris.  He was born in August of 1864 but I have not found what day of the month he was born on.

In the 1870 census, I find him living in Ward 10, Caldwell Parish, Louisiana with his father, mother, and brother George Washington Harris.

1870 Census Harris Family

In the 1880 census, I find him living in Albany, Nevada Co., Arkansas with his father, mother, and brothers, George Washington, Jarrett R., and Levi Harris.

1880 Census Harris

On April 2, 1885 Grandpa Ed married Martha Alice Herring, the daughter of James F. Herring and Mary George Hooker Herring.

Ed and Alice Harris Marriage Record

I’m guessing here, but since they got married in 1885 in Miller County, and Martha Harris Horn and Butch Harris had these two letters from Dr. Ignatius Few, from 1891 and 1892, that he was no longer living in Nevada County but had moved to Miller County, Arkansas sometime between the 1880 census and the time of these letters. I looked up Dr. Few and he was a Dr. in Texarkana, Miller County, Arkansas.

James Ed Harris Dr note May 1891

James Ed Harris Dr note April 1892

Per the bible record of Martha’s mother, Mary Hooker Herring, Ed and Alice had the following children:

Martha and Butch also had this poll tax receipt from 1900 for the 1899 poll tax year. They also have land deeds, promissory notes, and other records but it would take me days to get all those put in this post.

James Ed Harris Poll Tax Receipt 1899

On the 1900 census I find Ed and Alice with their children, a servant and Alice’s mother Mary Herring, living in Boggy Town, Miller County, Arkansas and Ed is listed as a farmer.

1900 Census Harris

In 1905, my great-grandfather Major married Mollie Agnes Davis. In this photo, ca. 1909 or 1910 of the Davis family, you can see Major and Mollie Harris on the front row, far right with Mollie holding my grandmother, Edna Harris Higginbotham who was born in 1908. Standing above them on the porch you can see Alice Harris standing to the right of the pole close to the steps and Grandpa Ed Harris standing next to her.

Davis Family ca 1910

On the 1910 Census, I find Ed and Alice living in Garland, Miller Co., Arkansas with two boarders.

1910 Census Harris

I could not find them on the 1920 census. Martha and Butch have both told me how their father Walter Harris, the son of Uncle Doc was raised by Grandpa Ed, and Momma Alice as Walter referred to them. Uncle Doc and Pearl, Walter’s parents divorced and times being hard like they were, Pearl took Earl (Walter’s brother) with her, and Grandpa Ed and Momma Alice took Walter to raise until Grandpa Ed died in 1933. Somehow I missed what Uncle Doc was doing, but I know he was always around and I’m sure he stepped in when Grandpa Ed died. You know the old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Here are a few pictures that Martha and Butch shared with me.

This photo is of Grandpa Ed and Momma Alice, with Walter Harris. Martha and Butch’s father.

James Ed Martha and Walter Harris

This group photo has Grandpa Ed as the second man from the left, with Walter standing in front of him, Mollie Harris my great-grandmother standing behind him, Momma Alice next to Mollie, my great-grandfather Major Harris behind Momma Alice and I have been told that is Clarence Davis and family to the right of Major Harris but I am not sure.  If you see this Tony, let me know and I will correct this part of the post. I don’t know who the gentlemen is on the far left either.

James Ed & Martha Harris Walter Harris Clarence Davis

This group photo is again of the Harris Family.  Momma Alice is on the far left, with Grandpa Ed next to her.  Aunt Birdie Harris Williams is standing next to Grandpa Ed, and her husband T.E. Williams is standing next to her.  Walter Harris is in front of T.E. Williams. The woman behind the girl standing next to Walter is Rhodean, Uncle Doc’s second wife and to the far right, you can see Uncle Doc.  The children are Birdie’s I’m guessing, but I don’t know who the man is behind Aunt Birdie and T.E. Williams.

Martha James Ed Birdie Doc Rhodean and children

I called Martha last night and asked her if she had a story about Grandpa Ed and she shared with me that Grandpa Ed was always known to be very kind-hearted. The story had been told to her by her father Walter that when they would go downtown during the depression, Grandpa Ed would throw change out on the ground to the children on Broad St. and Momma Alice would fuss at him because she was “tight”.

I love stories like that, and I love that I have gotten to know Grandpa Ed through Martha and Butch, so a big thank you to them for sharing these photos, documents, and bibles with me.

On the 1930 census, I find them still living in Garland, Miller Co., Arkansas and indeed Walter, grandson, is listed as living with them as well.

1930 Census Harris

Martha and Butch also had a copy of his obituary, but there was no date of death written on it or in the obituary.

James Ed Harris Obit

Their headstone shed no light on specific dates either. Here is Grandpa Ed and Momma Alice’s headstone in the family plot in Harmony Grove Cemetery.

James Ed and Martha Harris Headstone

I went to the vital records office in Little Rock, Arkansas and requested a copy of his death certificate in hopes that I could find out his parent’s names but they couldn’t find his death record. I did however find his date of death eventually from the Bowden Funeral Home records.  According to the records, Grandpa Ed died on 30 Jan 1933, and Uncle Doc paid the funeral home.

Bowden Funeral Home Records

If you have more information on the Harris family, I would love to hear from you. Also, if you have a story to add about Grandpa Ed, I will be happy to do that.

Here is how I descend from Grandpa Ed.

Descendant Chart James Ed Harris to Susie

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