Archive for July, 2012

The Charter School

July 31, 2012

There’s a charter school coming to this county.  You can read more about it here.

There was one small problem.  There was no school campus.  The charter school was offered the use of an elementary school campus that was abandoned, and it would need to be renovated.  Sugar had heard that the building had been vandalized and stripped of things that could be resold, like air conditioning units and copper wiring.  We were out and about a few weeks ago and took a side trip to look at the new campus.

It turns out that the old buildings were in such disrepair that they could not be brought up to code in time for the school year to start.  So trailers have been brought in.  Sugar said he thought that the trailers were cheap, but I reminded him that the trailers were possibly better than some of the homes the children live in. 

Here’s a little photo session of the past and the future.

Yes, all these photos were made out the car window, thankyouverymuch for asking.

We Interrupt This Blog, Year 2

July 31, 2012

Last year I drove 800 miles for lunch.

This year I drove 825 miles for lunch.  I must have drunk more coffee on this trip, and needed to make more pit stops.


Please ignore the “FREE” sign in the window.  We might be cheap, but we are not free.

Pauline, Wadie Lee, and Dorthy Sue

July 29, 2012

My father’s mother had six children.  Only three lived to adulthood.  My father told a story about when he was born.  He said that he was born prematurely small, and the doctor told his mother not to get attached to him, because he was not going to live.  Apparently he was small enough to fit into a shoe box, if they had had one, but I believe that they used a dresser drawer for his crib, since he wasn’t going to live. 

But live he did, for only 92 more years. 

Pauline, the first child.


Wadie Lee, the second child.


My father said he remembered when Wadie Lee died.  Her body was laid out in a room, and pennies were placed over her eyes.  That’s a bizarre memory for a five-year-old to have.  He wasn’t complaining or feeling sorry for himself when he told this story, he just spoke the facts. 

Dorothy Sue was the fifth child.


These little angels are buried, along with their parents, at Wesley Chapel Cemetery in Weakley County, Tennessee.

Sleep well, little angels.

Sue Nami, the Charm School Graduate, Part 2

July 28, 2012

Two years ago, I met this girl.

Occasionally, she visits the vet’s office.  On the last visit, I could not resist taking her photo.  People just love to let you take photos of their pets. 

If you click on the link above, you’ll see when Sue Nami arrived at the vet’s office, all ripped and torn and sad.  Here she is today.

What a beautiful girl!

John Ester and Tula Irene Hedge(s) Rawls

July 28, 2012

Have I mentioned that I’m severely behind on my tasks?  So that means I’m going to throw some random stuff at you in an effort to clear my plate a bit. 

Some photos will be posted, courtesy of the BigBroSteve.

If y’all need to steal this photo (or any of my photos), feel free.  Just give credit where credit is due, because it’s not like I could stop you anyway.

A Day in Pictures

July 28, 2012

Hill country.

Yesterday found me traveling to take photos.  I’m looking for a dead guy, or at least, his headstone.

I had ulterior motives because this trip was combined with a little get-together with some ladies from high school.  They were not aware that I was stalking a dead guy, which is hard to explain over lunch.

All I have to show you for today is the trip in photos before the camera battery began to fail.  So enjoy!  And if you don’t want to look at highways and mountains, just move along.  Nothing to see.

Lawton-Jones Mausoleum at Laurel Grove

July 25, 2012

We’ve been there before.  You can click here and here to refresh your memory.

Well, we went back again to survey the plot.  It was really overgrown, and Sugar’s cousin had a plan to refurbish and refresh the plot by enlisting a group of young people to trim the bushes.  When we arrived, we thought that SugarCousin had moved forward with her plan because the plot was trim and tidy.

Wow. That’s really, ummm, tidy. What did it used to be?

The sun really highlights the carving on the door.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Of course you are.

When we walked around the mausoleum, I was snapping shots of detail.  We got to the back of the building, I looked up, and realized that high up on the wall was a ventilation grate for the mausoleum.  Y’all know that I just put a camera against the glass panes when the window is up to high to peep in, but usually that’s for churches.  I’ve never thought about taking a photo of the inside of a mausoleum, and I couldn’t make up my mind if that was disrespectful or not.

So you already know what I did.  I caved, and Sugar was there to stop me, but he did not.  In fact, he gave me a boost.  You will be disappointed that there are no spectral images, just the amazing glow of the sun on the marble door.  You’ll see.

Here you go.

The keyhole.

See?  Nothing scary to see.  We continued to stroll around the lot, marveling at the changes made from the trimming and pruning.


Love this spring of greenery growing on the wall.


An insect colony of sorts on a crape myrtle trunk.

This old crape myrtle showed these two trunks that had grown together and grown apart over the years. They accomodated each other and allowed for growth and separation.

Several stalks of foliage were left behind on the ground.

And this little oleander branch is going home with me. I’ll try to root it. It probably will die, but it will certainly die if I leave it here. We’ll see what happens.

A few days later, we found out that the city had come by and done the trimming.  SugarCousin was surprised when she went to do a lot survey to see what needed to be done.  She reported that the city said they do that every few years.  Well played, SugarCousin.  Well played.

In Which Another Nut Is Found on the Tree

July 21, 2012

I’m looking at tonight, in conjunction with the Bible records of Theophilus and Fanny Holder Rawls.

And here’s a juicy tidbit!

They had 8 children.  One was named Francis Marion Rawls, which apparently was a very popular name after Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox in South Carolina.  (My mother’s side has a Francis Marion Webb, known as Merry, which is quirky in its own right.)

I found the death record for Francis Marion Rawls, in which it is stated that his father’s name was Theophilus *WARNER* Rawls.  You heard it right here first, folks.  I have never seen Theo’s middle name before.

Now, I’m off to find the Warner families…

Tennessee, Deaths and Burials Index, 1874-1955
about F Marion Rawls

Name: F Marion Rawls
Birth Date: 5 Apr 1840
Birth Place: Weakley County, Tennessee
Age: 74
Death Date: 8 Oct 1914
Death Place: Trenton, Gibson, Tennessee
Burial Date: 10 Oct 1914
Cemetery Name: Salem Cemetery
Gender: Male
Race: White
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: Farmer
Father’s Name: Theopholus Warner Rawls
Father’s Birth Place: North Carolina
Mother’s name: Frances Holder
Mother’s Birth Place: North Carolina
FHL Film Number: 1299621

The Family Bible Records of Theophilus and Fanny Rawls

July 21, 2012

In 1999, when I began my genealogy “career”, I was most interested in finding my father’s g-g-grandfather, Theophilus Rawls.  BigBroBob somehow found an elderly woman in western Kentucky named Sara, a descendant of Theophilus and Fanny.  (Mrs. Sara is since deceased, so y’all don’t call her or look her up on FaceBook.)

Mrs. Sara, in turn, found Mrs. Ruby in west Tennessee.  I’ll have to do a little more research to see who Mrs. Ruby’s husband was, but for now, what we are most interested in is the fact that Mrs. Ruby had the family Bible of Theophilus and Fanny Rawls in her possession. 

Mrs. Sara was a genealogy researcher herself, and she talked to Mrs. Ruby on the phone, who then transcribed the family Bible and mailed it on to Mrs. Sara, who then mailed it to my BigBroBob, who then mailed it to me.  This was all in the late 1990’s, right before Y2K was supposed to happen.  I’m guessing that these two elderly ladies did not have access to the worries of Y2K, and simply used the telephone and mail system.  No doubt there were no home copiers available then to these ladies, because why would they need one?  How times have changed.   

I then submitted the info to a genealogy site for that little county where Theophilus and Fanny lived and died.

 Below the Bible record, I’ve transcribed Mrs. Sara’s letter.

Theophilus Rawls born Sept. 1804, died May 23, 1871
Fanny Holder born Sept. 13, 1808, died Oct. 29, 1894

Their children

William D. born Feb. 2, 1826, died Aug. 24, 1900
Isaah W. born Jan. 30, 1828, died June 27, 1908
Martha M. born June 5, 1830, died Oct. 24, 1899
Washington L. born Jan. 27, 1833, died Aug. 19, 1910
James born July 25, 1835, died Feb. 19, 1910
Esekel H. born March 11, 1838
Francis M. born April 5, 1840
Benton F. born Oct. 1, 1843, died Oct. 15, 1868
Thomas P. born May 16, 1845
Doctor Riley Jasper born June 14, 1848, died 1940

Theophilus and Fanny were Married June 3, 1825

(The deaths are not in Bible that are not put down.)

Submitted by Ruth Rawls


Page 2. I apologize. I’ve lost page 1. I possibly left it on a public copying machine somewhere.

1880 Census Weakley Co. Tenn.

Theophilus & Fannie had a daughter Martha A. Rawls.  b. 1830 NC m. 21 June 1869 John Myrick b. S.C. 1809. 

Their children:

Edwin S. b. 1858 TN probably by first wife since he was so much older than Martha A.

Albert B. b. 1871 TN

Joseph O. b. 1873 TN

David W. b. 1876 TN

Also in HH (household) was Marita J. Rawdon, niece single, living there.

This also confirmed by marriage license records of Weakley County.

You may also note that the Bible Record of Theophilus Rawls & Fannie Holder does not list a Mary as shown on the 1850 census.  She was probably just living there – a poor relative, orphan or servant.  I could find no other reference to her.

I think that I have done all the digging I can do with the resources I have.  Maybe this will help you expand your search.

I have really enjoyed finding my new family members.  I had thought I would never know for sure who Theophilus was.

Page 3. There might be a page 4, but I don’t think so.

 Mrs. Rawls said she remembered Doctor Riley Jasper Rawls (whose name really started the search for all this).  She said he was a tall, big man, not fat, just big.  My grandmother had a very tall brother, Thomas Jefferson Rawls.  I remember him.  And other descendants are tall as well, even the women.

Mrs. Rawls gave me permission to give you her name and address in case you might like to check something with her.  (My note:  I removed that from this letter.  Privacy issues and all that.  She didn’t give *ME* permission.)  I haven’t met her but she sounds very nice on the phone.  She mailed the Bible record.


(Then as a bit of a P.S.)  Stay in touch, I’ve enjoyed the letters and conversations.  And please straighten me out about Washington Lafayette Rawls and his family.  I may be reading your report wrong.  Did he really have twelve children?


Let’s talk about Doctor Jasper Riley Rawls.  He shows up on subsequent censuses using any of those three names.  He wasn’t a doctor of any sorts, but I’ve seen people referred to, in the old records, as “Doc” or “Dock”, like Dock Rhea on my mother’s side.  Apparently that search led to the discovery of the Bible record for Doctor Jasper Riley’s parents.

And yes, Washington Lafayette Rawls and his wife Martha Trent Rawls (God bless her) really did have 12 children.  See that photo that serves as my header?  That’s the family right there.  To Washington Lafayette’s right is that very sister, the only sister in that huge family of boys, that Mrs. Sara mentions.  Her name was also Martha, just like W.L.’s wife, and she married John Myrick.  I’m not descended from these folks, but my 2nd great grandfather is W.L.’s brother, Isaac.  I can’t find squat on him, which leads me to believe that he was neither famous nor a criminal.  Just wish I had a photo (quietly shouting this to the universe…)


I received this correspondence in 1999.  Mrs. Sara died the following year, I presume a bit more satisfied with her search for family.

Mr. and Mrs. Z. B. Wilson in Lenoir City, Tennessee

July 21, 2012

I had just dashed off to root out the family Bible record of Theopilus Rawls, and I find this newspaper clipping.  Mr. Z. B. has a great-nephew in Georgia that would love to receive this.