Thursday, January 16, 2014
Happy Birthday wishes to Kay Wheeler
Get well wishes go out to Mary Ann Hurdle.
Big happy birthday wishes to Kay Wheeler, who flips a number Saturday! It seems like yesterday we were putting signs up on Chulahoma saying “Happy half a century!” Here’s to many, many more amazing years from one of the most amazing people I know!
Saturday, Marshall Academy hosted a peewee basketball round robin. Both girls and boys squads had games with Clarksdale Lee and Tunica. Ron Bolden and Kurt Sanders have been coaching the boys, practicing them hard twice a week. Their season started off a little weak, as they were just getting into the fundamentals of the game and learning plays. Saturday proved to be a great day for the boys, losing one only by one and winning the second game. The team played together, did their jobs on defense and showed their coaches that, for the most part, they do listen to them. A big thank you to the coaches who, in my opinion as a parent, are helping our boys love the sport of basketball by stripping it down to the basics and building from there. A strong foundation is how great things are built!
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Luke and Amanda Cantrell of Byhalia are proud to announce the birth of their son, Samuel Thorn Cantrell, born October 18, 2013, at 2:15 p.m. at Methodist Germantown Hospital. Sam was seven pounds, nine ounces, and was 20 inches long.
He is welcomed by big sister Kate and big brother Preston, maternal grandparents Jeff and Kathy Bousson of Collierville, Tenn., paternal grandparents Benny and Amy Hunton of Leesburg, Fla., and Larry and Nina Cantrell of Columbus. Maternal great-grandparents are Joyce Bousson of Arlington, Tenn., Dale and Ned Segar of Barton, and Doc and Trena Street of Collierville, Tenn.
Paternal great-grandmother is Audrey Cantrell of Tremont. Great-great-grandmother is Mary Bounds of Newton.
Yankee soldier sends persimmon seeds from courthouse square home for planting to remember Holly Springs
As I sit to write tonight, it is early January 2014. What might I write about that was happening in Holly Spring and Marshall County 150 years ago? For one thing Gen. Earl Van Dorn had raided Holly Springs on December 20, just before Christmas of 1862. Vast quantities of Gen. Grant’s supplies had been destroyed.
Everyone knows the rest of that story so I will not dwell on that today, but it did make me think of the topic for the first couple of paragraphs.
Yes, you guessed correctly, if you thought I was going to write briefly about persimmons. What led me to this thought? A couple of months ago I was walking from the Smiling Phoenix Building toward the “new” City Hall building, built in 1926 on a lot that had been occupied by the Mulcahy (pronounced Mul-kerry) family home. I have read (somewhere) that the lot was donated anonymously to the city for the purpose of building a city hall.
About halfway between the two I noticed a large number of persimmons which had fallen from a tree by the sidewalk, and had been smashed by citizens walking along on the sidewalk.
My first thought was “I hope no one complains about the mess on the sidewalk and causes the city to cut the small persimmon tree.” Another bit of history would be gone with that.
Back to Van Dorn’s Raid. One of the Yankee soldiers was George Cadman of the 39th Ohio Infantry. A couple of weeks before Gen. Van Dorn’s Raid on Holly Springs, his regiment had been stationed north of Holly Springs. In a letter home he described the huge quantities of persimmons and hickory nuts lying everywhere on the ground, bushel after bushel of them. He writes in a subsequent letter home from their camp at Waterford, that Holly Springs was one of the prettiest towns he had ever seen. In that same letter to his wife, he tells her he is sending a packet of persimmon seeds which he obtained from the public square in Holly Springs and asked her to have a friend plant them in order for him to have something to remember Holly Springs.
If they ever did grow, he did not see them; he died Sept. 17, 1864 without having gone home. Perhaps the county will plant one on the courthouse lawn, again. The last surviving Confederate soldier in Marshall County was Jeremiah (Jerry) Boone who died at 105 years on April 10, 1939, and is buried in Sylvestria Cemetery, located on Old Hudsonville Road. He was born Nov. 22, 1833, in Yancy County, NC, a grandnephew of Daniel Boone. Even at an advanced age he continued to participate in elections as shown by an article from the Dallas Morning News, dated September 1, 1935, in section one, page 7: “HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss., Aug. 31 (AP) – A 102-year old Confederate veteran, Jerry Boone, this week walked two miles to vote.” His voting precinct was Hudsonville.
He served as a captain of scouts with 55 men under him in the 5th NC Regiment, operating under Gen. Stephen D. Lee (one can read his account of his service in the Marshall County WPA Records). The late Eugene Colston, father of Marie Colston Smith, was a friend of “ Mr. Jerry” for the last 20 years of Boone’s life.
Mr. Colston told me that “Mr. Jerry” told him that he had been a sniper also, and he had killed a number of federal troops after they climbed up into persimmon trees to gather some of the fruit. He also described “Mr. Jerry” as a small man, with a beard, who rode a mule with a gallon jug of whiskey always attached to the saddle.
Mr. Colston told me he was in Holly Springs, standing on the corner where the tourism office is presently located, talking to Roland McAlexander and a couple of other men when someone came by and said, “Well Jerry Boone has died,” to which Mr. McAlexander replied, stamping his foot on the pavement, “I told him that whiskey was going to kill him if he did not quit that drinking.”
Among the many descendants of Jerry Boone still living in the area, the most recognizable one is my friend Paul McLeod.
Paul has a picture of Jerry Boone he sometimes shows visitors on their tour of Graceland Too.
The local church in the Sylvestria community was the Sylvestria Methodist Church. As with most early church buildings in the county there were two front entrances, one for the men and another for the women, the one at Sylvestria, I think having the women’s entrance on the left side.
Ben Gray Lumpkin was the grandson of Ben C. Gray and Cordelia Scales Gray. Mr. Lumpkin wrote about his Gray ancestors: “Uncle John told me another story about Grandpa. One hot Sunday, while Grandpa was preaching one of his spell-binding sermons at Sylvestria Church, Mrs. Ben Cheairs was sitting on the women’s side of the church and close to an open window. She was dipping snuff and listening with rapt attention to Grandpa, and (every once in a while) spitting out the window, without taking her eyes off Grandpa. One of the young sprouts in the community rode to the edge of the churchyard with some friends, hitched his horse to a swinging limb, and strolled over to the women’s side of the church to see what girls were there.
As he peered through the window, Mrs. Cheairs, with her eyes still fastened on Grandpa, let fly with a heavy emission of snuff spittle, and caught the young man squarely between the eyes. He began to jump up and down, running over the bushes, and yelling to his companions to bring him something to wipe out his eyes. On hearing the commotion, Mrs. Cheairs raised her hand and earnestly called out, “Bro. Gray, you’ve got a convert outside!”
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