52 Ancestors Challenge...Week 2...Challenged Grandfather

Back to Family Trees in 2019 with '52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks' Challenge.
Week 2 prompt ~ Challenge

C.C. Pittman in 1944 at age 68
      Born in 1875, the third child of a father who returned home to Georgia at the end of the Civil War in 1865. The word 'Challenge' should have been one of the 'C's' in his name.  Had it been, it would have been a foresight to the challenges he would face in his future.
      Given names in that era were most often passed down from a parent, a family member or in grandfather's case, a historical figure or a place.  Columbus Chappell was named for both. 
      Columbus for Columbus County, Georgia, which was named in honor of Christopher Columbus.  Columbus County was significant to his name in that he was the 3x great grandson of a Revolutionary War soldier pioneer and settler of Columbus County located on the Chattahoochee River.  A Ferry on the Chattahoochee was established and named after his ancestor grandfather.
     Through out his life he was known as C.C. Pittman or Chapo.  Perhaps his historical named father, George Washington Pittman, who new the challenges of being named for a well known historical figure, gave him his nickname of Chapo.  However, the name Columbus may have been a foresight into the challenges he would face in the expeditions he would make from Georgia to Texas.

G.W. Pittman in late 1890's
     One of the greatest challenges after migrating to Texas was establishing a life in desolate West Texas.  Chapo traveled there in a covered wagon and joined his father as a dirt farmer.  Having lost all land holdings in Georgia to Reconstruction Taxation and the death of their mother prompted the long and arduous journey to Texas.  G.W. arrived in Ward County, Texas in 1898 at age 55.  His son Chapo followed several years later at age 34 and single.
      The challenges of making a life for oneself as a dirt farmer and being 41 years old in a town where there were few single women, was in itself a challenge.  However, in 1916 Chapo wed 16 year old Estella Carroll in 1916.
     Estella 'Stella' was the daughter of a pioneer widow woman who also arrived in Ward County in a covered wagon with her four children to establish a Homestead.
     Oddly enough, the widow woman herself was two years younger than her son-in-law Chapo. 
     In those days, it was not unheard of for younger women to marry older men especially in areas where there were few single women.

Willard C. Pittman at age 7

      Chapo and Estella had six children between 1917 and 1927.  My Dad was the youngest, and when he was 7 years old his parents divorced.   Perhaps it was the age difference along with the hard living conditions, but for whatever reason she left her 6 children for Chapo to raise.
     Then began perhaps the most significant challenge of Chapo's life...ensuring there would be a next generation.  My father's older sibling sisters helped raise him until they left home to marry.  One older brother joined the Army, leaving Dad and his two years older brother for Chapo to raise.
     Now well into his 60's and more the age of a grandfather than a father, the two boys pretty much raised themselves and became a challenge not only to their aging father, but to their teachers and friends who took to the two boys.
     As soon as he was of age the older brother known as MD joined the Army.  A few years later at age 17, my Dad, Willard, joined the Navy.  Chapo's last child challenge had come to an end.  But his life challenges were not over...they came in the form of grandchildren.  One in particular became his most loved challenge...his grandson, T.W.
Chapo holding grandson T.W. and son Willard C. in 1951
Thank-you Columbus Chappell for taking on the 'Challenges' in your life.
If not for you I would not be me, and one who loves a 'Challenge'.

1 comment:

  1. What a good story! You shine at story-telling, so it’s good you’ve taken on the 52 challenge. And I’m glad your grandfather wasn’t named Columbus Chatahoochee.


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