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

No one knows, no one cares…

no one even remembers many who are buried in unmarked graves. As I live and breathe with every day there comes to my attention more that are buried and forgotten. There are some souls who work hard to remind the world at large that these people walked the earth at one time, just like you.

One of the historians from the Shoals area, Billy Joe Sledge, evidently collects records for those who have not been remembered and whose graves are even lost for the most part. To the point, he has many death records of those who

Photo of the gravemarker for Pink Prentiss Prenticeworked at the nitrate plants in the Shoals area. There seem to be many souls buried in one mass grave on TVA property on the TVA Reservation. For some the only record of their life may be the Alabama Deaths 1908-1974 kept on file at the state level. One of these caught my eye and I did a little further research. That one is Pink Prentiss, who at the young age of 20, lost his life after being admitted to the Air Nitrate Hospital in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. That was the year of the Spanish Flu just after the close of World War I.

John Pinckney Prentice was a tall young man with a medium build, brown hair and eyes as described in a 10 September 1918 WWI draft registration record. His parents were Zachariah F (called Zachy) Prentiss/Prentice  (1873-1950) and Annie Bell Smith Prentiss (1878-1943).  Siblings of Pink were: Lawrence Prentiss, Wade Prentiss, Irene Prentiss Grisham, Otto Prentiss and Murray Prentiss.  We thought it  likely young Pink was buried in a mass grave on the TVA reservation At Muscle Shoals Alabama. A little research proved differently.

There is a monument for Johney Pink Prentiss at Oak Hill Cemetery in Blackland Mississippi. It has a different birthdate, but the info written in the memorial seems to be talking about the same person. Is this an actual grave, or a memorial grave for the same man? Johney Pink Prentiss Memorial?

Grandparents of Pink were: John W Prentiss 1854 – 1928 and Pheba Blaylock Prentiss 1853 – 1933; and  Thomas Smith 1855 – 1891 and Annie E  Goudy Smith 1861 – 1891.  Great-grandparents were: Zacheriah “Zack” Prentiss and Nancy Elizabeth Must Prentiss who dies in 1910. Zack Prentiss died in 1880.

John W Prentiss was born in Shelby County, Alabama. Family notes read that John and wife Pheba, who married in 1873,

English: Large electric phosphate smelting fur...

English: Large electric phosphate smelting furnace used in the making of elemental phosphorus in a TVA chemical plant in the Muscle Shoals area, Alabama. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

separated sometime between the years 1900-1903 for reasons unknown. They are buried in different cemeteries. They had a large family of children, among them, Zachy F Prentiss.

Great-grandparents were: Zacheriah “Zack” Prentiiss 1813- 1870/1880 and Nancy Elizabeth Muse  1822 – 1910. Zack Prentiss was born in Sevier County, Tennessee and Nancy Elizabeth Must Prentiss was born in Alabama, likely in Shelby County. Most all the famiy lived in Mississippi and are buried there. Zack and Nancy Prentiss had a number of children. Two were named for presidents: James Madison Prentiss and Thomas Jefferson Prentiss. Another was named Henry Clay Prentiss but the family called him Harry.

Great-great-grandparents were: James Prentiss 1793 – 1863 and Margaret Pierce Prentiss 1798 – 1862.

Great-great-great-grandparents were: Zachariah Prentiss and Isabella Galloway Prentiss.

So for one who died so young, there was a long legacy in family history that goes from Jamestown Virginia, to Sevier County Tennessee, to Shelby County Alabama, through Muscle Shoals Alabama, and on  to Prentiss County and Tippah County, Mississippi.

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