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. (Pictures are coming.)

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

Chorus:
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.


Monday, February 20, 2017

A Trip to Bountiful

Last week Diana and I got the chance to go to Franklin, Tennessee, to babysit Anja and Isabel while Greg and Lisa took a trip to Canada. Even though is was a short trip, it was a very abundant trip with great emotions on different levels.

Isabel - just being charming!
First, we got to spend a lot of quality time with my two precious granddaughters. Isabel, at 7 months old, is one of the most perfect babies ever. She has a smile that will melt your heart. She will cuddle with you and laugh with you. She is a very easy baby to keep. The only thing we found was that she was not as easy to feed as we were told. She liked her bottle much more than she liked food.

Anja is two years five months with wild hair and is so funny and "smart." We had a blast playing with her. She loves to be read to. We played with her stuffed animals - Micky Mouse, Peppa Pig, and some other animal. We had a tea party, played with her shopping cart and flash cards, and played in her kitchen. We built  towers with her blocks. She loves her blankets (Binky). Bed time is not her favorite time.

Anja and her "Binky"




Second, I had done research on the Taylor family before we ever went up there. I had the idea that we were going to do some genealogy while we were there. Thursday while Anja was at daycare, Diana, Isabel, and I went about an hour north east of Franklin to an area that was once a thriving community - Taylorsville. This community was named after my GGGGF. We found the original home that was built in the early 1800's. (I will do another post about the house and family - I promise.) We went to about five old family cemeteries. We never confirmed that the Taylors were buried in any of them. I think one was a great possibility. We talked to three interesting people while there - a neighbor lady with strange dogs, a farmer with a rifle in his hand as we talked, and an extremely nice lady mail carrier. We will come back to this area on another trip to Tennessee.
Taylor Cabin - Built in 1805

Cemetery with greatest possibility of Taylor burial ground.
Third, Diana and I had fun being together. You would think that as much as we are already together, how much more can we do or experience differently. We had several laugh-out-loud, belly laughs with hot flashes or tears or both, that most people do not get to experience very often. We had atleast one of these each day that we were there. We got to eat at the historical Loveless Diner and the Sunset Diner. Both of these meals were worth writing home about.

Other than sleeping with one-eye-opened, as she called it, this was a trip to bountiful!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Kennith Marlow Scoggins

Kennith Marlow Scoggins, my dad, was born on January 25, 1920. The 70 years that he lived, he enjoyed life to its fullest. As I thought about what I wanted to say, it was hard to get it down to this short space. So for this, I decided to touch on a few facets of his life.

1. He loved the land and animals. After attending Draughan's Business college and fighting in WWII, he returned to the place he loved - the farm. He took over my mom's parents land and started his life as a rancher/farmer. In his 40 years of farming, he farmed a large percentage of land around Gunter or had cows on the land. He had the patience of Job when it came to his cows.

2. He loved to hunt. The opening day of dove season was almost as big of holiday as Christmas to our family. Next would be the opening day of deer season. He was a good shot - even until the end. Tommy Kinnaird told the story that he was with Daddy on his last deer hunt to Big Bend country. Daddy told Tommy where to get that the big one would come by the stand. They were together. Sure enough, the big one came by; and Daddy told Tommy to take the shot that he was a little shaky. Tommy shot and missed. He said Uncle Kennith - your turn. BAM! One shot and the buck was dead. Tommy said he was a good shot until the very end. Many animals lost their life to Daddy.

He also loved the deer lease and the stories. Some great stories were told by Daddy and Uncle Jess.

One of the last hunts.
3. He loved to talk. Daddy never met a stranger. If someone came to Gunter looking for land, he would meet up with them and drive them around. He may have been one of Gunter's first realtors. His pay was to get to talk to someone new to tell stories to. If he was not farming, you could find him at one of the local hangouts for men - one of the gins, gas stations, the domino hall, or Martinek Grain.

After one of his first major heart attacks, he was in the hospital with a No Visitor sign on the door. The nurses realized they kept disappearing,  in which they found them in the drawer. He was taking them down, so he could have company to talk to.

Driving around was another of his past time activities. The local people knew to watch out for him. It was good that when he was alive, Gunter was still a rural community with not much traffic on 289. Today he would be run over easily.



4. He loved his family, and he wanted us around. One of the sweetest stories about him and mother was three days before he died was their wedding anniversary. He was recovering from surgery in bed at home. That morning before breakfast, he wanted Mother to bring him a one dollar bill. Of course she argued with him that he did not need it that he was not going to get to go anywhere that day. He kept on until she brought him the dollar. He had cut or torn a heart out of the Sherman Democrat and put a 50 dollar bill in it. He gave it to her and told her there was a dollar for every year they had been married - 49 years.

I could go on forever with stories about this man. He always had a twinkle in his bright blue eyes and a smile.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Joseph Carl Davis

Twenty years ago today,  January 16, 1997, Heaven gained a great man, and we lost a very special person.


I thought it would be fitting to copy the memorial that I did for him that was read at his funeral. I typed this about 5:00 AM Saturday morning after he had passed away. I didn't know that it would be read at his funeral nor that twenty years later, it would still be so accurate of the great memories we have of him.

Joseph Carl Davis

Carl came to Texas when he was 14. His stepfather and his family were painters, so he learned painting at a very early age. He also learned you had to work for what you get. When he got his first car, he was not allowed to drive it until he got insurance for it. He had to earn the money before this would happen. He learned work ethics at a very young age in life.

We met at Lake Texoma as teens. I thought he was the cutest guy I had ever met, and he knew then there was something special about me. We did not date at this time. After I graduated from high school, Diana and I moved to Gainesville for work and college. Rick and Diana were dating. Rick felt sorry for me being in Gainesville with no one to date, so he asked Carl to go to Gainesville to date me. Never did he realize that that was the beginning of a great love story. Carl was drinking and smoking at this time. He realized immediately that there was something different about our lifestyle, and he wanted what we had. He stopped drinking immediately. It took longer to break the nicotine habit; he did trade the cigarettes for chewing tobacco. When he had children later in life, he saw the importance to give this habit up. He said with God’s help and a lot of chewing gum any one can give it up. His message is do not start!

Rick didn’t realize by taking Carl to Gainesville that he was developing a new relationship that would be so binding and permanent. The Davises and Fergusons did everything together from that date on. Carl even taught Rick to sand, putty, and other painters’ tasks. Rick was always there to help when he got in a bind.

From the first date, that was it. Carl lived in Dallas, and I lived in Gainesville and then Denton. He came nightly for a home-cooked meal.

Marriage – We were too poor for an engagement ring because we had to have a transmission for the work truck.

We married at a very young age. We had just turned 20 and 23. We honeymooned at Beaver’s Bend State Park in the back of the paint truck with a camper shell. We were young and in love. Through the years when we visited Eureka Springs, we would still go back to our honeymoon spot.

Carl loved my daddy. It was a new lifestyle – hunting stories, farming, and cows. When we moved to Gunter, he got his first three cows. Peaches died this last summer. He had her for 18 years. He learned a love for the land and cattle. He watched cows for hours at the breakfast table as they grazed.

The children – He was a great father. From the time Greg was born, he always did the night feeding and put him to bed. He did the same with Chad. As the boys got older he carried on the same tradition of putting the boys to bed every night and saying their prayers together. He had d a strong faith in God, and he wanted the boys to see this. He loved Jenna and Justin, also. On weekends and summers, if they were not around, he would ask where they were.

He knew his business well. He was a very successful painter. People would literally wait a year or two on him just to have him paint their house. Usually the people who didn’t have the patience would end up calling and complain about the other painters. He knew colors. He could match or do anything, He had a critical eye and was always looking and critiquing. He could paint anything. He never learned to say “No!” and that is why he had to work so hard, He always said there might be a day when he needed that person, so he tried to keep everyone happy, He might go to two or three places in a day, He died doing what de did best. The spray gun was still in his hand.

He wanted the boys to learn his work ethics. He had started taking them to work this last summer, He wanted them to learn the trade, but he wanted them to go to college. He wanted the painting to be on the side or something to fall back to.

He worked hard but never, never complained, He might work 21 or more days straight without a day off, But he found time for going out to eat and church. He felt bad about working on Sunday mornings, but he would try to be there on Sunday nights when he did, He was never too tired to go out to eat, He may have worked 12 hours a day, but all he needed was a shower and he was ready to go to Sherman.

He was a good person. Not only did he not complain, he did not get upset. Very few people ever saw him mad. The boys, with bouncing basketballs in house while he was watching TV, would sometimes irritate him. But in life in general, he was a very laid back person, He did not live by a clock. He was always late, because he did not rush. He did not talk about people. He was a very positive person.

He loved music. He worked to the radio, He sang in the choir, and he loved to go to musicals. He loved the music shows in the Ozarks. He had a great ear for music, He knew who was on tune and who was off – ME!

He loved his farm -the cows, the grass, and the hay. When he first planted the grass out there, he went every day to see if it was growing. He took the family to see his grass. Someone finally told him it would be months before he ever saw his blue-stem grass. He got his lake built this year.

He provided for us well, but he never had money with him. He died with 36 cents on him. His favorite line was – “no money.”

He loved to go to stores. He was a shopper whether it was for groceries or a new shirt. We would always go to the grocery store after eating out on Saturday nights. He loved to walk malls and go to Wal-Mart. What a match for me!

He liked children and teenagers. He enjoyed all the senior activities, the banquets, the proms, the senior trips, the concessions stands, the FHA parties, and outings. He missed this with my new job.

He loved to travel and see God’s country, although the Ozark Mountains were always his favorite. He loved amusement parks, and we went to many.

He this last year picked up a new sport with the boys. He developed a love for golf, and he even bought a set of clubs.

He loved the church and God. He tried the other side of life, and he knew that true life was only found with a relationship with God. He had a strong faith in God. He always gave his success as a painter to God. He believed in giving God his portion.

He was a family man and he loved me. I was his best friend. There was nothing he would not do for me. He was close to being a perfect husband. He would rather be with us than anything or anyone else. He would always set with me at ballgames or where ever we were. He was a good husband. We made the bed together every morning. We said a husband and wife who share this - will share everything and will stay together.

He loved the simple things in life – cows, grass, music, God and family, He had a big heart, and he never tried to impress anyone. He worked hard, but he played hard. He truly enjoyed life. There are no regrets.

If he had a few last words, it would be to tell you to live your life as this was your last day so that you don’t have any regrets. He would also say to have a strong relationship with God and have strong family ties.

Written by Marilyn Davis January 18, 1997