The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

I so wish I could fix this…

grave marker. I wish I could place markers on all the unmarked graves I have found of ancestors and even more recent family members. I wish…

This is the grave marker for my great-great grandparents on my father’s side. Riley and Clemmie Vandiver were loved by family throughout the generations.

Matilda Clementine Allen was born and raised in Franklin County. She was the daughter of John Wesley Allen and Mary Ann Yocum Allen of then Franklin County. Her first marriage was to a Hurst. She was enumerated on the 1860 census in her father’s household. She was next enumerated on the 1870 census as Matilda Hurst with two young sons, John H Hurst and Arthur P Hurst. So, it is presumed that her first husband was killed during the War of Northern Aggression or died shortly afterward. No documentation of the marriage has been found to date. She married a second time to Ryland B Vandiver. Clemmie must have been a very special person to the family because she was the namesake of many descendants.

Riley Vandiver’s name has been listed over the years as Riley, Riland B Vandiver, Ryland B Vandiver. Vandiver has been spelled and misspelled every which way throughout what documentation exists. His name was Ryland O’Bannon Vandiver/Vandever. It got shortened to Riley Bannon Vandiver somehow. He was born in Alabama and was living at Factory, Lauderdale County, Alabama on the 1860 Federal Census record. I have always wondered just where this Factory community was located because I had one other ancestor from another family line that lived there as well.

I learned about Clemmie and Riley Vandiver from my Daddy’s Aunt Gene before she died at age of about 97. She said that Granpa Riley was a very skilled woodworker or cabinet-maker. She stated that he made each child a whole bedroom suite of furniture. She emphasized, suite, not just a bed and chest but a whole suite of bedroom furniture. I asked what happened to the bedroom suites and she said she didn’t know. If only a photo of the furniture remained…sigh.

Riley and Clemmie moved to around Memphis, along with Tyree and Mary Vandiver Glass or vice versa, after the death of Clemmie’s granddaughter which is a tragic story to be told another day. Her granddaughter Lila Ann Hurst was married to Robert Tyree Glass. Tyree Glass worked for the railroad, first in Tuscumbia and then in Decatur. Lila and Tye had four children but only three were living at the time of the murder of Lila 17 May 1910. Their children were Earl Petty Glass, Raymond Glass and Bessie M Glass. I believe that their fourth child was Mattie O Glass who is buried at LaGrange Cemetery in Colbert County but that is not a certainty. Mary and Tye had Carter Woodrow Glass and possibly a daughter or two (I am working on that line right now). Tye died in Louisiana and evidently Mary Vandiver Glass died near Memphis. Riley and Clemmie are buried at Hood Cemetery (I won’t bother you with how many years, no decades, I searched everywhere on God’s green earth for that cemetery) which is in a community named Warren in Fayette County, Tennessee. Their daughter Walker Vandiver is buried at the head of their marker in an unmarked grave. She never married. All that exists of Walker Vandiver is a little piece of paper called an obituary somewhere in a library and her name on census records. I have never seen or heard of a photo of her.

After the death of Lila, Tyree married Clemmie’s daughter, Mary Vandiver. Mary must have been a very good mother to those children of Tye and Lila as one of them reported back to family that Mary was the only grandmother he had ever known.

Three of us visited Hood Cemetery some years ago. The tombstone was crumbling from the bottom at that time. There were bits and pieces of it on the ground. I brought a piece home as a keepsake of Riley and Clemmie. Then in a visit in October 2009 the condition of the tombstone is as you see in the photos below. And that makes me want to cry.

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2 responses

  1. donna huffman

    My sister sent me a copy of my great grandfather’s obituary and I decided to do some research and lo and behold this site came up. My great grandfather was Robert Tyree Glass who married Mary Vandiver. My grandmother on my father’s side is Dessie (you have her as Bessie). She was one of Lila’s children as I also have the newspaper clipping of Lila’s death May 17 1910. She was just 28 years old. My grandmother was five years old when it happened and I’ve been told she was raised by her aunt. Dessie married Marvin Collier and resided in Memphis, Tennessee. She had four sons and one was my father James Collier.

    I would love any information you have of my great grandmother’s tragic death as you state in your article that’s another story to be told at a later date.

    I have photos and newspaper clippings in digital form if you would like copies.

    Warmest Regards,
    Donna HUffman

    January 27, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    • Please check out the newest article on Lila, you will like it. And,yes, info, any info, but especially photos are ALWAYS welcome.
      Please send to our email at rememberingtheshoals@gmail.com. Stay in touch.

      January 27, 2011 at 9:33 pm

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