Tuesday, April 11, 2017

April 11, 1941 - Good Friday

Bennie Henderson and 
Kennith Marlow Scoggins
were united in marriage
on the porch of
Mount Carmel Baptist Church
Tioga, Texas
on April 11, 1941

They were married 49 years and 3 days before he passed away. As extreme opposites as they were, they complemented each other well in their family life.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Cousins Reunited

The Cousins

On Saturday, April 1, Jerry, Diana, and I went to Cleburne, Texas to meet three of our cousins and their families for a mini family reunion. In February when we found out that one of our older cousins had passed away, Diana and I decided we would try to make contact with all of our living cousins on Daddy's side. Uncle Eustice's family was thrilled that she made the contact and wanted to meet up with us. Mary Jo, the  middle lady, is our oldest living cousin at 89 years young. She came all the way from Michigan with her daughter to meet up with us. Jane came from Branson, Missouri. Jimmie Charles and several of his children came from Burnet, Texas.
It was an enlightening experience to hear the many stories they told about growing up and stories about the different family members and our grandparents. Our favorite story was how they came to Texas from Michigan two years after their mother died. Uncle Eustice and Thelma had been married 21 years with five living children and one stillborn child, when Thelma died during childbirth with number seven. Around 20 years old Mary Jo, with Eustice and the three youngest children, drove the family to Texas in a Model A  for them to be with the rest of the family. The story is amazing of the trials and hardship of this journey.
Also they told stories about our Granny and Papa. Everyone thinks of their grandmother as the sweetest, loving person alive. By the time I came along, she was; however, she was OLD. (I am the youngest grandchild of all eleven living children. So I do not remember much about her.) But the truth of the matter is that Granny Scoggins showed favoritism in a big way. She raised eleven children and had her brother-in-law, Uncle Jesse, living with them, and a son or grandchild along the way staying with them. Uncle Eustice also lived with them after he came back to Tioga. So she really did have a busy difficult life on the farm. The stories told were how she treated her own children differently from each other and how she had favorites amongst her grandchildren. If she liked you, you got a present or an envelope with money in it for Christmas; if she didn't like you, you got nothing. Evidently she passed the envelopes and present out in front of all to see. They also said she spoke her mind and would tell you exactly what she was thinking or thought about a situation.
As always after spending time with others and hearing stories of the family, it just makes me more curious to talk to others to get more details.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Anja and Isabel

Greg, Lisa, and the girls came to Texas for a quick visit. Greg and Lisa went to Houston to meet up with Chad and Tara for them to go to Round Top Antique Show. Before they left on Sunday we had a breakfast party with ALL the family (except Chad and Tara). Oh what fun with all four babies - Anja, Marlow, Isabel, and Molly.

Anja and Lisa got to stay with us while their parents went to South Texas. We all had so much fun with the girls. M.e thinks that these two girls are pretty special.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

California - Spring Break 2017

Our spring break trip this year consisted of 1100 miles of California. We flew into San Jose, California and made a big loop. Highlights of the trip were:

  • Highway 1  coastline - including Carmel, Monterrey, and Pebble Beach
  • Hearst Castle
  • Sequoia National Forest and King Canyons National Park (still with snow)
  • Muir Woods
  • San Fransisco city tour with all the sites and history 
  • Tor House and "someone's" mission
  • the best and worst of hotel rooms
  • the best bakeries and diners - Trip advisor never disappoints us on food.
The weather was perfect while we were there. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Perigan (Perry) Taylor 1761 -1827( MY GGG Grandfather)

Perigan Taylor (1761 -1827) - Sarah Nelson (1764 -1821) buried Wilson Co., Tenn
John Nelson Taylor (1805 - 1862) - Cary Ann Shepherd (1812 - 1865) buried Wilson Co., Tenn
Thomas Leland Taylor (1829 - 1900) - Margret Nelson Hulme ( 1850 - 1911) buried Howe, Texas
Sallie Lucille Taylor ((1881 - 1976) - George Marlow Scoggins (1873 - 1967) buried Tioga, Texas
Kenneth Marlow Scoggins (1920 - 1990) - Bennie Henderson (1923 - 2005) buried Sherman, Texas
Marilyn (Me)

Perigan Taylor was born in 1761 in North Carolina, the son of Ms. Elizabeth and Thomas Taylor. He had three sons and seven daughters with Sarah Nelson. He then married Mary Williams on February 7, 1822, in Wilson, Tennessee. He died on March 23, 1827, in Wilson, Tennessee, at the age of 66, and was buried there.
Original house

Perigan Taylor was a cabinet maker by trade, who was born in North Carolina and through Virginia moved to Tennessee and settled in an adjoining county, not far from “the Hermitage”, General Jackson’s home.  Perigan Taylor was a small, active, high strung, excitable man, very dark complexioned.  His wife, whose was Sarah Nelson, was said to be a very beautiful woman of the pronounced blonde type, with a sunny disposition.  What a fortunate thing this was, otherwise she and Perigan might have had many a “scrap”.

(copied from one of his grandaughters off Ancestry.com)

Perigan Taylor was a fine builder. He built a double log cabin six miles north of Lebanon, Tennessee and is in perfect state of preservation.  The cabin is made entirely of cedar logs of good size, the bark all taken off, and look as sound as the day they were put in the cabin. 

Photo taken by me on February 16, 2017

A letter written by Perigan Taylor:

State of Tennessee, Wilson County
July the 9th, 1826.

Dear Children;

I embrace this opportunity of writing to you to inform you that myself and family are well at present, hoping that these few lines will find you all enjoying your healths.  I received your letter bearing the date the 11th of June, 1826, and was very much gratified to hear that you were all well.   I have been very sick last fall.  I was taken sick the 13th of October and was given out by the physician on the 15th, I was sick about ten weeks.  I was perfectly reconciled to go.  I started to go to Mr. McCorkles and met Matilda (Afflack) and she informed me that her father was killing her mother.  I immediately started and in going so fast overheated myself, which I think was the principle cause of my indisposition, and I have not recovered my health perfectly since.  I have had several attacks, but they were not so severe.  I am at present in a declining state of health and my difficulties that I have to encounter with is more than I ever expected, and death to me would be a welcome messenger.  I should be very glad to see you all once more, but unless I recover my health and if I should, I do not expect to stay here.  I should be very glad to see James BowmanHenry B. Maxey, and Elihu Maxey  (edit- his sons in law- rmt  dec 2009)  if it could be convenient and have some conversation with you all, which if I ever recover my health I hope to see you this fall.  I wish to inform you that crops are very promising, tobacco from $2.50 to $5.00, cotton from $6.00 to $10.00 per hundred, corn $2.00, pork $2.50, beef $3.50 to $4.00 per cwt.  There has been several deaths since I heard from you all, Benjamin Warren has lost his little son.  James Thomas departed this life the 4th of July.  The neighbors are very sickly.  Miss Sallie Davis is very low.  I wish to inform you that I still hold my integrity in hopes the last day I will find a better world and hope that you will all prepare to meet me.  Through all of my trials and difficulties I have universally kept my religious tenets in view.  I once knew what it was to enjoy pleasure but that time is past and I am constantly in torment.  Tell my daughters Polly, Peggy, Elizabeth, and Evalina that I think of them often times and their amiable mother that is now no more and I have wept and shed tears at the thought.  The spot of ground where your mother lies is sacred to me.  I often visit the place with tearful eyes and sad remembrance of past happy days which I enjoyed while she was living.  James will give you this letter and I want you to try to please James and get him in the notion to move, and write to John all the encouragement you can and if you can only get them in the notion to move to that country and then every difficulty will be removed.  If I conclude in James return to move, I will write you for help.  I want you all to write me every chance.  I have been sick and not able to work and I have no way to make money and my expenses are (?)considerably(?) more than my income.  I want to be with you all and enjoy your company with pleasure for I have no enjoyment here.  Remember me to all my children and grandchildren.

Nothing more at present, but remain your loving father until death.
Perigan Taylor

N.B. I want you to show this letter to all and anything that they want to know that I have not written , they can inquire of James and he can give them the necessary information.  I want you to remember me to William Maxey and family, Thos. Casey and family, Abram Casey and family.  I remain with the highest respect and veneration your loving father until death.

Perigan Taylor
Wilson County, Tennessee

This letter was written to Elihu and Burchett Maxey, who married his daughters Evalina and Peggy(Margaret-rmt).  James was his son who brought the letter from Tennessee and John spoken of in the letter was another son (John Nelson Taylor – rmt).  Perigan died not long after writing this letter and never even visited his children in Illinois.  The latter part of his life was pitiful.  His beloved wife gone, his children, most of them, in Illinois and he sorely afflicted.  No wonder that he said in his letter “Death would be a welcome messenger”.  This original letter, now the property of Horace Maxey of White Water, Kansas is well preserved and very beautiful writing when we consider it was written by an old man severly afflicted.

Perigan’s wife, whose maiden name was Nelson, belonged to an influential well-to-do family in Virginia, an Uncle of hers, Major Nelson, visited them in Tennessee when my grandmother was a little girl.  He took a great fancy to her and wanted her parents to let him take her back with him to Virginia.  He said he would educate her and make a lady of her.  Perigan Taylor and his wife had a big family, seven or eight children, and were poor, living in the wilds of a new country with no opportunities for their children, but they had none to spare.

“***Which shall it be?
I looked at John; John looked at me.”

Did you ever read that poem?  If not get it and read it; then you will read it again.  Your heart strings will be touched and you will know why my grandmother was not given to the rich Uncle.

In a little grave, on the old Tennessee farm, about a quarter of a mile from their cedar log cabin,  lie the remains of Perigan Taylor and his wife, in the peaceful valley of the Cumberland.  They died poor, but raised a large and respectable family and kept them together until they were married.  

(This also was copied from Ancestry.com)

We tried to locate the grave last month. We did find one possibility, but will definitely check it out again. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Shellye Cohagan Gressett

Today was the funeral and burial for Shellye, our great friend and traveling buddy's daughter. She lost her battle with depression and alcohol last Wednesday night,  February 22. The last six days have been an emotional roller coaster with many highs and lows - laughter and tears.

There are several things that we know for sure:
1. When we are in the valley is when we feel God's presence the most.
2. When we are in the valley is when we need God the most.
3. Surrounding yourself during grief with family and friends help the situation.

I found this song that spoke so personal to me. It is sung by Guy Penrod and Sarah Darling. (It's definitely worth "Googling" and listening to.)

                            "Knowing What I Know About Heaven"

I bet the trumpets played
And the angels sang every sweet refrain of Amazing Grace
And that heaven's hands opened up the gate
And the children danced when they saw your face
As happy as they were to see you coming
I was just as sad to have to watch you go

Where every single voice makes a joyful noise
How sweet the sound when the saints rejoice
To every broken heart and every wounded soul
New life begins on streets of gold
Where every tear is raining here from my eyes
I know the sun is shining where you are

Knowing what I know about heaven
Believing that you're all the way home
Knowing that you're somewhere better
Is all I need to let you go
I could hope that I could pray you back
But why on earth would I do that
When you're somewhere life and love never ends
Knowing what I know about heaven

This song expresses the great conflict we all face of giving up a loved one on this Earthly home for them to go to Heaven; where they are no longer in pain, and they are with Jesus with a perfect body in a perfect place. Even though they are in a better place, we still miss them and hurt, because we wish they were still here with us. Shellye, I know you are in a better place; and Diana and I will continue to be at your Mom's side. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Emma May Francis Henderson - February 22, 1896

Emma Mae Francis was born on February 22, 1896, in Weatherford, Texas; her father, Calvin Burgess (Byrd), was 20, and her mother, Cora Lee, was 18. She married Henry Eaf Henderson on September 28, 1913. They had three children during their marriage. She died on May 11, 1984, in Gunter, Texas, at the age of 88.

Byrd and Cora met and married in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. From there at a very young age they came to Texas and had several children, went back to to Oklahoma had several more children, then came back to Texas. Around 1910 they were in the Howe area, then they moved to Gunter. Henry's family was in the Collinsville area. Henry and Emma married September 1913 when she was 17. Oct 1914 - Blanch was born. Oct 1921 - Bonnie was born. June 1923 - Bennie was born. At first Henry and Emma moved back and forth between Gunter and Collinsville with each of their parents. They then settled in Gunter. Henry was a carpenter and farmer. Mother tells that they lived over by the Savage place while she was growing up. Byrd and Francis lived on what was called "Nigger Hill" or Strawn road today. 

At some point Henry (Pa) and Emma (Ma) bought the home place of 100 acres where I grew up. The story is told after Daddy and Mother came home from the war, Ma and Pa moved to 402 West Middleton in Sherman and let my parents have the farm to live on and farm. 

So this is where my memories start of Ma Henderson. These are just some random memories I have:

Every Saturday morning, Mother, Diana, and I would go to Sherman to visit Ma and Pa.
He would be sitting in a rocking chair beside a little chest. He would whittle off a bit of black brick chewing tobacco. She had a toothpick sticking out of her mouth that had been dipped in snuff.  No way was tobacco thought of as a sin or evil. 
Pa, Ma, Diana, and me

She was hardworking. I remember that she made her own Lye soap. We would go to the dry cleaners to get distilled water for some reason. She made her own clothes. She let us have coffee and milk with vanilla cream cookies. She had latte's before latte's were invented.  

She loved her flower beds. I remember lots of irises and chicken-and-hen plants. She had a big back yard with a little shed. There were pecan trees in the back yard. She had a rotary  lawn mower that she pushed around the yard.
Emma May Henderson

Diana and I made a many of mud pies at her house in tin plates and decorated them with little sticks. She had an old treadle sewing machine that we played at. (Diana has this sewing machine.) She taught us to make doll clothes. If we were at her house in the afternoon, our treat was the ice cream truck. We would go to the end of the block after we finally heard the music from the truck and get ice cream.

She kept peppermint stick candy for us. She had a clock that chimed that I inherited. She had another coo coo clock and a weather vane that told whether it was going to rain or not.

As children we went to her house on Christmas eve with all of Mother's family. At some point, the ugliest Santa Claus in the world would make an appearance. This is where our tradition of Santa coming on Christmas Eve was started.

Mother and her sisters were very neat and well-groomed, so I am assuming that this was also taught by Ma. I do remember that she kept a blue "rinse" on her hair to keep it from being so white.  

She always told us that she was proud of us, Jesus loved us, and to be good to our parents who also loved us.  She was very encouraging. 

Later in life, she had to leave her house in Sherman and come to Hilltop Haven, the nursing home here in Gunter.  I believe she was here about five years. It was arranged that Diana would pick her up on Sunday mornings and bring her to church. She was at First Baptist Church Gunter at a young age, moved her membership to Sherman, and then when she came back to Gunter she moved it back to FBC. Ma was one of the most Godly women ever. I believe it was 7 times a day, the perfect number, that she prayed. She was a dedicated Baptist to the very end with her spiritual and physical roots in Gunter. 

On May 11, 1984, I witnessed for the first time someone to pass from this place to a better place. We all knew that Ma was going to Heaven and that she was ready to see Jesus. I know the angels were singing as they welcomed her in. She was a Proverbs 31 wife with nobel character. This was read at her funeral, and the first time that I realized that these verses were in the Bible. I remember thinking, "Wow!  What a great description of her!" 

Emma May Henderson, Ma, thanks for the legacy and the role model that you left for our family. You were a great lady. My regret is that I did not ask more questions.