52 Ancestors Challenge...Week 9...Life and Death At The Courthouse

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Week 9  ~ prompt ~ At The Courthouse
Mordecai Monroe Pittman
 Jackson County Attorney and County Court Judge 1875-1877.
Jackson County Courthouse - Jefferson, Georgia
     A two-story brick building built in 1879.  It was one of the first post-Civil War county courthouses built in Georgia.  It's courtroom has a Cathedral quilt pressed metal coved ceiling and the building is unusual for surviving with little-alteration since it's construction. (photo public domain Wikipedia)

There have been a good many of my Georgia ancestors who spent time 'At The Courthouse'.  Courthouse records have revealed a few standing in front of a judge for sentencing.  Others for filing on property disputes, will and estate petitions, and various Civil Court issues.       Several have been lawyers with political aspirations through the higher courts of Georgia.  For example my 1st Cousin 4x removed the Honorable Daniel Pittman who wrote a scathing article in the Macon Weekly Telegraph concerning the Congressional Resumption Act of 1875.  His Honor, from the Courthouse Bench' ruled on the case of the Fulton County Greenback Party vs the Congressional Resumption Act.  Read more:  Ordinary Court Judge's Greenback Judgement.
     Judge Mordecia Pittman, 2nd Cousin 4x removed, and I share a Great Grandfather who was a distinguished and memorialized Revolutionary War Sons of Liberty Solider.
     Lieutenant Mordecia Pittman enlisted in the Confederacy in May 1862 and served in CoE 34th Infantry Regiment of Georgia.  Ten years after the end of the Civil War in 1865 he served as Jackson County Attorney and County Court Judge from 1875-1877.
     With so much of his life spent 'At the Courthouse', it seemed his death was destined to become an 'At the Courthouse' ending as his Obituary revealed.
     Excerpt from the Jackson Herald, March 8, 1896 (Jackson County Historical Society News, Vol.14,No.2, Jan.2007)
Judge M.M. Pitman Dead - Little did we think when we wrote an article in our last issue giving an account of the accident that befell Judge Pittman, that we would be called on to record his death this week.  Honest, sincere, plain spoken, Judge Pittman ha gone to that country from whose bourne no traveler ever returned.  His eyes were closed in death on last Sunday about noon.  He was surrounded by family and friends as the death angel came to that home and bore the spirit of Judge Pittman into realms of eternity.
     Judge Mordecai Monroe Pittman was born October 13, 1828, at Cabin Creek, Jackson county.  He joined the M.E. Church at Jefferson, and at the time of his death was the oldest member.  He united in marriage to Miss Mary J. Boggs February 6th, 1858. To them were born thirteen children, twelve lived to grown, eleven still survive.  
     He was admitted to the bar in 1858. He was Judge of the County Court in 1875.  He had been in declining health for years, and the accident hastened his death.
     Age 67 years, 6 months, 20 days.  Judge Pittman was buried in Woodbine Cemetery.  The funeral obsequies were conducted at the Methodist Church. 
    (Mention made of dignitaries speaking on the life and character of the Judge, and one of the largest crowds ever seen at a funeral in Jefferson, Georgia.  Only surviving child named was son Marcus M. of Cleburne, Texas, who was telegraphed for, and was at his father's bedside when he died.)
     Judge Mordecai M. Pittman was fatally injured when returning from court, February 1896.  His horse was frightened by an umbrella falling from his buggy and he was thrown from the buggy.


Sepia Saturday...Jack of All Moose Jobs

     Sepia Saturday458...now that is a well stocked bar...if you are there for a glass of wine or perhaps a cocktail.  There certainly are enough shelves of glasses as well as ones on the bar to serve a whole tour bus of wine tasters. 
      Let's hope the bartender has the tasting wine stashed under the bar.  He's going to need a ladder to get to the good stuff. 
      I haven't been to many upscale wine tasting bars.  As the daughter of an Iowa farm girl and a Texas cowboy growing up in West Texas, my idea of a fancy bar was 'The Jersey Lily'
       By the way, I should explain that in Texas...'Bars' were and still are known as Saloons, Watern' Holes, Cantinas and even Dives.  Some places you might not think of as a 'Bar' have names like 'The Blue Room' or 'Moose Lodge'. 
     Both of which gives the impression of either a cool, restful nights sleep or a vacation spot in Colorado.
     So, about the 'Moose Lodge'.  There may be one in Colorado, but it won't be for vacationers looking for a place decorated in a Early Log Cabin Hunting motif with moose heads hanging on the wall.
     I'm talking about the 'Moose Lodge' in West Texas where my Dad was the Jack of All Moose Jobs.  One of which was as Bartender where a glass of wine was never poured in a fancy glass.  There were no glasses.   Only bottles!
     On a good night, like when the Fireman's Ball was held, the bar was covered with bottles of Lone Star Beer.  There were other brands of course, but when in Texas...yada yada yada!
        Notice there are no bar stools in front of this Moose Lodge bar.  That's because there were lots of tables for the Moose (not Meese) to sit during meetings.  The tables could be arranged for a number of events including Moose Conventions, Birthday Parties,  Holiday Events and of course The Fireman's Ball. 

PS...About the 'Blue Room'...not a place for a cool, restful nights sleep. 
~But, a place where I learned to dance 'The Cotton Eyed Joe' and shoot a mean game of 'Eight Ball'. 
~My Dad was a 'Cowboy Minnesota Fats'
~Yep, we do have no frills, no deceiving named places in Texas like the 'Blue Room Bar'.


WordlessWed...Rolags Ready To Spin

FYI...Rolag is a roll of fibre used to spin woolen yarn.  From Scottish Gaelic word for a small roll.


52 Ancestors Challenge...Week 8...Three Generations of Family Photos

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Week 8  ~ prompt ~ Family Photo
My 3x great grandfather J.M. Leatherwood.  Pictured here with six of his seven adult children. 
     The seventh not pictured was my 2x great grandmother M.J. Leatherwood Marley (family photo below)
     J.M. Leatherwood was a veteran of the Civil War attached to CSA Elmore's 20th Regiment, Texas Infantry.
      He was born in 1833 in Spartanburg, South Carolina and died at age 80 in  Jack County, Texas.
     Known as one of the early Pioneers in that County, his descendants continue to live and farm his original homestead.
     HERE is a post of his early settlement days in Jacksboro, Jack County, Texas.
      My 2x great grandparents and 8 of their 9 children.  Not pictured my great grandmother Martha Jane Marley Carroll (family photo below).  Mary Josephine was born in 1856 in Benton, Alabama and died at age 68 in O'Donnel, Texas.  Elisha S. was born in 1849 in Wilksboro, North Carolina.  He ran away from home at a young age...his whereabouts unknown to his North Carolina family until 1914 when he corresponded with his sister...HERE is that story.
     Elisha and Josephine's children pictured in the portrait have all been profiled and their stories told as a result of their sister's, my great grandmother, Martha Jane's Photo Album...HERE is the Album.  The Marley Family Bible is a treasured heirloom and is in the possession of a Marley great grandson....HERE is the Bible post.
My great grandparents and three of their four children in 1900.  Their fourth child, Mary Ella was born in 1902.  My grandmother Stella, oddly enough, is not one of the children in dresses, but the baby in her mother's lap.  Great Uncles Othello Elisha and Mert Douglas are boys standing beside their father Stephen Bennett Carroll.  This Family Portrait was and continues to be the most important and significant photo in researching and establishing my father's maternal family tree.
     Great Grandfather S.B. Carroll died in 1903 leaving his wife to raise four young children.  At the time of his death they lived in Jacksboro, Jack County, Texas, near her grandfather Leatherwood and parents Elisha and Josephine Marley.  Shortly thereafter, Martha Jane and her children followed the Marley's to Borden County, Texas, where they established a cotton farm.
      Once again, Martha Jane's Photo Album led the way to finding S.B. Carroll's family in Tennessee with one photo in which she had written a name.  That story HERE.
 Sadly, that is the last of Studio Family Portraits.  Fortunately, there are a few Kodak snapshots like this 'Four Generations' photo of my great grandmother Martha Jane, my grandmother Stella, my Dad, myself and two sisters.  It is the last photo I have of Martha Jane. 
     If not for her and 'The Album', our Family Tree would be bare of my Dad's Maternal Branches and Generations of Family Photos.


Sepia Saturday...Family Doubles & 1920's Photo Restoration

     Sepia Saturday457's  'Oh la la etalage'...or as we say in Texas 'Oh la la window display' didn't bring to mind any photos or ancestors/relatives that spoke any more French than Oh la la!
     However, the mannequins on pedestals, and their 1920's style clothes and hairdo reminded me of a Sepia photo of my grandmother's sister and my grandfather's brother.
      On closer inspection of the Oh la la etalage, the reflection of the trees and landscape sealed my decision to Show and Tell their Sisters to Brothers marriage story.
      That sounds kinda incestuous, huh?  So hang with me and I'll sort it out for you.  Here goes.  My grandmother Stella had a younger sister Mary Ella.  My grandfather Chappo had a younger brother Cobb.  Mary Ella married her sister's husbands brother and Cobb married his brother's wife's sister.  Got it? 
     That made Mary Ella and Cobb my Dad's Double Aunt and Uncle and all their children Double Cousins who looked more like siblings.
     This photo of Mary Ella and Cobb taken around 1920 must have been a favorite of her mother, my great grandmother Martha Jane.  It looked like it had been handled often with it's worn and torn corners.  Here's where the landscape reflection in the 'Oh la la etalage' prompt photo reminded me of the restoration I did for Mary Ella and Cobb's picture.  After enhancing and lifting shadows out of Cobbs face to discover the goggle's, I've often wondered if there was a motorcycle just out of the picture.
Double Cousin Servicemen about 1946
Navy son of Chappo and Stella.....Air Force son of Cobb and Mary Ella


Valentine Box

Remember making Valentine Boxes for school out of a shoebox or Kleenex box?  I always loved going through my Mom's sewing stuff for pretty laces and buttons and cutting out construction paper hearts.  Those years of making Valentine Boxes came to mind when my grandson mentioned making a Valentine Box this year.
So, through my bags, boxes and drawers I went to gather everything to make a Valentine Box for a 3rd grader.  As you know, I do have lots of STUFF and lots of 'OverDoSue' trims, buttons, lace, fabrics etc. etc.....so excited to get to use them for yet another Valentine Box.  When all was said and glue gun done....here's his 2019 Valentine Box....
Happy Valentines Day!


A Climate Change

     We Texans are always bragging about our wide open spaces, everything bigger than Dallas, the weather, and a whole host of other stuff that makes Texas appealing to people from coast to coast.  You noticed I left out 'Sunsets', which is often at the top of the 'Bragging List', and just one of my favorite things about living in Texas and being a Texan.
     Now, I'm adding 'Sunrises' to the list.  Not that I don't see a sunrise pretty much every day as I am an early riser, but seeing a Texas Sunrise from the window seat of a jumbo jet was a first for me.  Lucky for me my window seat was far enough behind the wing to capture the sunrise and the glow it cast on the clouds as the plane climbed above the rising sun. 
     So what's this got to do with 'Climate Change'.
About 55 degrees!
It was 30 freezing degrees in San Antonio, Texas, when we boarded the plane at 7 am.
It was 85 balmy degrees when we landed in Cancun, Mexico, at 12 pm.
It didn't take us long to shed jeans, jackets, socks and boots for...
Sunbonnets, Sunshades, Swimsuits and Sister Time!


52 Ancestors Challenge...Week 7...Love At First Sight

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Week 7 ~ prompt ~ Love
     The Club Cafe's booths were finally empty. The customers were all back on the bus and on their way to the next bus stop in El Paso, Texas. The travelers left the Club Cafe in Fort Stockton tables full of burger baskets and coke glasses. Every salt, pepper and sugar shaker was empty, and the silver napkin holders needed refilling.
     Two waitress' stood with hands on hips, wishing they could take a break before the next bus pulled in and unloaded it's hungry travelers.
     Thel and Phyl were Iowa farm girls and had come to Texas to visit Phyl's sister. Best Friends and gals lookin for adventure in Texas, they took the waitress jobs so they could afford to stay in Texas and make enough money for bus tickets back to Iowa.
     So, with no time for a break, they quickly stacked baskets, loaded glasses in the dirty dish cart, filled the shakers, poured sugar, and stuffed napkins. The Cafe was back in order and ready for the next bus load of travelers.
     "Look, Phyl, sailors." Thelma pointed out the window where the uniformed guys had just gotten off the bus and were picking up their duffle bags. "I'll take that one," Thel nodded toward the tall, dark and handsome one who wore his Sailor hat set back and slightly sideways. "Okay, I'll take the other one," Phyl said as she filled the water glasses.
     Sailor Willard, on his way home on leave to Grandfalls, Texas walked into the Club Cafe, looked into the blue eyes of the waitress waiting to take his order, and fell in 'Love at First Sight'. Her name was Thelma, and she was beautiful with those blue eyes, long dark hair, pretty smile and Iowa accent.

     So, Willard and Thelma met, married, had five children, lived in lots of places, and loved each other for forty-two years. Their children had parents who loved and cared for them, who taught them lessons of life by example, and who left a part of themselves to carry on to future generations. 

Wedding Announcement from Thelma's Iowa hometown newspaper...
Thelma Klemish Weds Texas Man
January 6, 1947
Yuma, Arizona
The couple is now residing at San Diego, California where Willard is stationed with the US Navy.

Happy Birthday in Heaven, Mother.


52 Ancestors Challenge...Week 6...Heart~Breaking Down Brick Walls

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Week 6 ~ prompt ~ Surprise

 When one is raised knowing  aunts, uncles, cousins and in my case one grandparent, the sudden influx of a family history can not only be a surprise, but also shocking and heartbreaking.   That is how it was with my Great Grandmother Martha Jane.
     In 52 Ancestors Week 4 she was the person 'I'd Like To Meet'.  After inheriting her 1890's Photo Album and discovering my Dad's maternal family history, there were so many surprises I could...and have...written scores of posts. 
      Still, through all the research, all the photo identifications and stories about each and every person I could make connections to...Martha Jane's life after the release of the 1940 Census was a mystery. 
     Nothing, not a clue as to her whereabouts or when she died.  Not knowing when she died and where she was buried was more than a brick wall...it was heartbreaking.
     I so wanted for her to Rest In Peace along with her ancestors, her Marley parents and siblings, her sons and daughters and their loved ones.  After all, if not for the love, care and savings she put into the Album, I could not have shared our amazing family history with her descendants for generations to come.
      The mystery began to unravel and a few bricks began to crumble with the discovery of the old couple in the picture on the left.  Found in my Mother's Shoebox Album and marked on the back, "Willard's grandmother and old man 1953'.  The story was they had been living together for many years and it was assumed they never married as she never changed her name or used his last name on any legal papers or personal identification.
      Imagine not only my surprise, but also my distress in learning that I had spent countless hours...even years...searching for a great grandmother who did marry the old man and whose last name was used on her application to a sanitarium and subsequently on her death certificate issued by the sanitarium.
      Finally, I could identify the couples photo on the right that was found tucked under another photo in the back of Martha Jane's Old Photo Album.  Her wedding photo from 1942.  Date confirmed and documented from ancestry.com once I knew her last married name.

This was the last photo of Martha Jane and her daughters, my Great Aunt and Grandmother.  Several months after, her daughters committed her to a State Sanitarium Hospital.
     It was a matter of putting two and two together, gleaning land holding records, and the sanitarium death certificate records.  It all added up to the unfortunate and saddest tearing down of a brick wall encountered in all of my family history research.
      The circumstances of her being committed are understandable as the daughters could not care for their mother who was diagnosed with senile psychosis...known today as alzheimers.
      As it turned out, the 'Old Man' and Martha Jane had been taking care of each other for several years with both of their mental health declining.
     The 'Old Man' died a year or so after he and Martha Jane were separated.  He died in the Texas Home for Confederate Men.
     Martha Jane lived 8 years in the State Hospital.  She died of heart and renal failure at age 86 as stated on the death certificate along with the contributing condition of senile psychosis.

She was buried at the State Hospitals cemetery along side her sister. 
Yes, another Heart~Breaking Down Brick Walls.


Sepia Saturday...Gentleman Stetson Hat Tipper

     Sepia Saturday 455 had me wondering where in my family photos I would come up with anyone that would remotely fit the photo prompt.      
     The film aspect sure didn't work as none, nada, not one of my Texas ancestors/relatives/folks made it to Hollywood. 
   However, they were big fans of Western Movies and my Dad could have been a stand in for one of his favorites, John Wayne. 
     I could have used him as a 'Hat Tipper', but that black Stetson was a far cry from the film strip's Dapper Dude's hat.  So how about their attire?  Nope, Dudes and Cowboys aren't comparable.  Just imagine them switching hats or belts or boots.  Give a thought to them switching from a sidewalk to a cow patty pasture.  Guess I'll have to let that angle for a post...Go!
     Oh wait!  I do have a photo of a great uncle who made it to California, had a Dude friend, could dance in a chorus line, and was a gentleman hat tipper.
     Here's how I know he made it to California.  His first runaway from home happened in October 1908.  It didn't end well as he was picked up by the Sheriff who recognized the mule he was riding.
      Delsey belonged to Sheriff Christopher's father-in-law and the 'Wanted Poster' was the spittin' image of the 10 year old rider...the father-in-laws grandson.
       So, it was back to the farm, pickin' cotton and waiting for the next chance to head West and a life of exciting adventure.  It wasn't long until he hired out as farm labor cotton picker and worked his way to California. 
      He stayed in touch with his mother by letters with postmarks from across the southwestern states up the west coast and eventually from Canada.

     After that adventure he embarked on the next adventure... driving a team of mules pulling a covered wagon. 
     Destination...Ward County, Texas, where his mother, my widowed great grandmother, had acquired a parcel of land to homestead. 
     And homestead he did...several times across Texas and New Mexico with his final resting place back to that first homestead where all who knew him agreed with his headstone inscription.
     For sure, he was an example to his nephew, my Dad, as a seeker of adventure, a hard worker, and a gentleman Stetson Hat Tipper.


Key To Packing Bags In Baggage

      Many of January's days were filled with Fiber Arts.  That would be weaving on table loom Dorothy, restoring floor loom Sparrow, twinning on rug loom LibbyLula and rag rug crocheting on 'BigQ', and with all that 'Looming'...I managed to keep my one News Year Resolution of posting here on CollectInTexas Gal. 
My primary goal was the once a week 52 Ancestor Challenge...and I did it...5 of those post in January...only 57 weeks to go.  The other once a week Family History meme I participated in was photo prompt Sepia Saturday.  Again, I did it with 4 Sepia Saturday photo prompt posts.
     All together 2019 January's 20 posts are somewhat of a record after the record low posting in 2018. I'm sort of breaking my arm patting myself on the back. 
     Well, not really breaking...I need both arms and hands to 'Pack My Bags' in my Vintage Monarch Baggage. 
     Is this a cool piece of baggage or what?  About this suitcase, I can say, "They don't make them like this any more." 
     Although the company is still producing luggage today,  you don't see this made for train travel suitcase or it's companion piece the 'Train Case' makeup bag. 
     Saw a set on eBay for $65.  Don't know what the original cost was for a set, but I paid $4 for this one piece at Junktique Shop.
     Now if you are familiar with vintage/used luggage there is almost always one thing missing!
The Key.