IRBY U. SCRUGGS
Federal Prohibition Agent Irby Scruggs was shot and killed following a raid on a still in Knox County, Tennessee.
As he and a sheriff’s deputy returned to Knoxville the deputy took offense at an order by Agent Scruggs that none of the seized liquor could be drunk. After Agent Scruggs told the deputy to put away a gun he carried on his lap the deputy shot him. Despite being mortally wounded, Agent Scruggs returned fire and killed the deputy.
Irby U Scruggs was the husband of Willie Fullerton, and the son of William P Scruggs 1840-1896 and wife Laura O Upshaw 15 Dec 1845-12 June 1879. Laura O Upshaw was the daughter of Lewis Green Upshaw 1785–1860 and Priscilla Menefee Laughlin 1811–1875 of Elkton, Giles County, Tennessee.
Irby and Willie Scruggs were the parents of Gaston Scruggs, Laura Scruggs, and Willia Scruggs.
by Dr James Martin Peebles (1822-1922). Nancy Brown Peebles’ eldest son described his parents in detail in 1911 when he was 90 years old. The description will follow verbatim:
My mother lived in a log house, brought up seven children, did her own work, spun the flax for the household linen and helped raise the flocks from whose backs the wool was clipped with her own hands. She fashioned into cloth, and in turn cut and made into clothes for her family. At night we were lighted by the feeble but kindly glow of candles dipped by her own hand. When we were sick, the medicine came from her herbs, drying in the bunches over the fireplace, where also hung the red peppers and the dried apples on strings, and the ears of corn, the old flint-lock rifle of Revolution fame, and the powder horn, and in one side of the fireplace in a niche of its own was the oven where the many loaves were baked to feed the family. There was a room that was musical many hours, now and then, with the whirl of spindles and the shuffle of the handloom, and mother was here spinning and weaving. These were but part of her duties, as I look back, and not an hour of her long life – she lived to be eighty-eight- but her hands were occupied. She worked from dawn to dusk, and on Sunday with a sprig of spearmint and a rose in her hand she went to church and sang in the choir. The neighbors used to call her Aunt Nancy, and when a child was born they sent for Aunt Nancy, and it was Aunt Nancy that laid out the dead. In one corner she had a cabinet of simples, her old-fashioned remedies for the sick. She was strong in her faith, and one of her favorite hymns was, “While Shepherds Watched.” I can, in imagination, still hear her strong inflections as she emphasized important words, like “angel” and “glory.” She sang as though she could catch a glimpse of the other shore. And as she stood in the choir, with her little tuning fork to her ear, under her leadership the choir broke into such words as these:
- While shepherds watched their flocks by night
- All seated on the ground,
- The a-n-g-e-l of the Lord came down
- And g-l-o-r-y shone around
My mother was a strong noble character, severe but kindly. She raised five sons and two daughters, and brought them up in the fear of God. Misfortunes taught her many hard lessons! Father and mother, in temperament and to an extent in ambitions, were the direct opposite. Mother from her early youth had been taught to command, and she broke the horse on which she afterwards rode; and when she was a schoolteacher, she made her boys and girls mind the rules, or be punished. Father was a militia-captain, an easy-going, good-natured, honest jovial man, who loved pleasant companionships, and who sometimes drank more than was good for him; and so made bad bargains and at last his land slipped away. Mother and the growing children made another home, and late in life found them again independent, under their own roof-tree.
Source: Hours With Famous Americans, Little Books About Big Men * Life Portraits of Leaders Whose Creative work Has Made for National Progress * In this number – Dr James M Peebles – Being Peculiarly the Ideas and Observations of John Hubert Grusel,Peebles Publishing Company, Highland Park, Los Angeles, CA, 1911, unnumbered
are treasures that some families get to savor and keep over the centuries.
Here is a first hand account at the Battle of Shiloh by Chaplain J W. Collum as documented within the eyewitness series in mid-Tennessee during the War Between the States:
Cullom, Chaplain J.W.; 24th Tennessee, Cleburne’s brigade, Hardee’s corps
“Pastoral Sketches 1857-1907,” by J.W. Cullom; Williamson County Historical Journal, No. 27, 1996
Notes: 24th Tennessee organized at Murfreesboro in summer of 1861. Cullom was the chaplain; he resigned as chaplain after almost two years of service.
“On the night before the battle of Shiloh (Lt.) Colonel (Thomas H.) Peebles and I raked up a pile of dry leaves, spread our blankets over them, and lay down to sleep. We were in easy hearing of the enemy. … We listened to their brass bands and songs till a late hour.
“Awhile before day an order came to detail three men from each company to go down under the hill and make some coffee for the boys, but before their task was done an order came to march forward in line of battle.
“I ran down to where the boys were cooking and caught up two big army coffee boilers that held about half a bushel apiece, and as I ran along the line of battle the men held out their cups and drank. When the vessels were empty, we threw them down and fell into line.
“While the officers were placing their men, I said to Colonel Peebles that I would step over a little to the left and look for the enemy.
“I found them. The woods were blue with them, and they rose up from their ambush and poured a volley into us that was frightful.
“The men were ordered to lie down. …
“Gen. W.B. Bate, with his crack regiment, was held in reserve on the hill behind us, and Colonel Peebles called out to him in his stentorian voice to sustain our left wing.
“And so the Second Tennessee came charging into the fray and took me into their ranks about twenty men deep.
“Bate charged and fell back two or three times, and of course I went and came as they did. I was by the side of Captain Hemp Cheney. …
“General Bate was wounded and his horse killed. Major Doak and his horse were both killed at the same moment and rolled over down the hill within a dozen feet of me.
“It was frightful. The swish of the Minie balls seemed to be in our very hair, the dust knocked up at our feet, the shrubs cut down, and the cannon balls cutting off the limbs and dropping them among us….
“On the second day of the battle I was with the hospital. … From the amputation room I carried … out several times an armful of limbs and laid them in an old garden.
“One poor fellow was shot through the head, and his brain was oozing out; but he was still alive and seemed conscious of only one thing – his wish for water; but there as none to give him, as the old well had been dipped dry.
“The army that night fell back toward Corinth, and awhile after dark, the rain pouring down, I hitched my horse to an old peach tree in a little hamlet where a division of the army had camped.
“I first went into what seemed to be an empty tent, but stumbled over a sleeping man and lay down in my wet blanket.
“In a little while, however, the men to whom the tent belonged came in from the battlefield and pushed me out. I stood a minute or two in the drenching rain, looked at my shivering horse hitched to a limb, and it was the saddest moment that ever came over me.
“A few steps away was an old frame house in which there was a light. Looking at the door revealed … the floor was covered with wounded men, and a sentinel was sitting at the door with his gun across his lap; but he was fast asleep. Cautiously stepping over his knees, I picked my way over the wounded men to the fireplace and lay down at the edge of the ashes.
“It was late next morning when I awoke and was glad to find my horse still where he had been left.
“On my back to Corinth the straggling soldiers were picking their way over the streams. …
“I overtook … (Lt. Dick) Herbert, and he got up behind me and we rode double into camp.
“Colonel Peebles had heard that I was killed, and I had heard that he had been left dead on the battlefield. … When I walked up to him he looked at me a moment in mute astonishment, then threw his arms around me and wept like a child.”
An account of the regiment follows:
24th TENNESSEE INFANTRY REGIMENT
Organized August 6, 1861; Confederate service August 24, 1861; reorganized May 2, 1862; formed Company “F”, 3rd Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment April 9, 1865; paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina May 1, 1865.
- Colonel-R. D. Allison, H. L. W. Bratton, John A. Wilson.
- Lieutenant Colonels-Thomas H. Peebles, J. J. Williams, H. L. W. Bratton, John A. Wilson, S. E. Shannon.
- Majors-J. J. Williams, H. L. W. Bratton, S. E. Shannon, William C. Fielding.
- John C. Jackson, F. M. Jackson, Co. “A”. Men from Rutherford County.
- Thomas H. Peebles, Samuel E. Shannon, Richard N. Herbert, Co. “B”. Men from. Williamson County.
- John M. Uhls, I. W. Burrow, Co. “C”. Men from Macon County.
- John A. Wilson, Nicholas H. Lamb, Co. “D”. Men from Williamson County.
- John A. Baskerville, Jesse Gwinn, H. M. Austin, Co. “E”. Men from Sumner County.
- R. D. Allison, William C. Fielding, H. P. Dowell, W. H. Lincoln, Co. “F”. Men from Alexandria, DeKaib County
- James M. Billington, 1st Co. “G”. Consolidated with “B” May 2, 1862. Men from Maury County.
- William W. May, Isa
ac T. Roberts, W. M. Bennett, 2nd Co. “C” formerly “L”. Men from Hillsboro, Coffee County.
- Charles Wesley Beale, H. C. Campbell, 1st Co. “H”. Consolidated with “I”, May 2, 1862. Men from Hickman County.
- Henry W. Hart, Erastus S. Hance, 2nd Co. “H” formerly “M”. Organized June 22, 1861 at Nashville, Tennessee. Men from Smith County. Attached to regiment early in 1862, prior to the Battle of Shiloh.
- John I. Williams, Edward W. Easley, I. A. Holmes, Co. “I”. Men from Hickman County.
- T. C. Goodner, Henry C. McBroom, Thomas H. Ragsdale, Co. “K”. Men from Manchester, Coffee County. Some from Wilson County.
Of the field officers, Colonel Allison resigned in July, 1862 and organized a squadron of cavalry. Colonel Bratton was killed January 4, 1863. Lieutenant Colonel Peebles resigned in May, 1862; Lieutenant Colonel Williams declined re-election. Major William C. Fielding died May 10, 1864.
The regiment was originally composed of 11 companies which had been organized in June, July and August 1861. They assembled at Camp Trousdale, where they were organized into a regiment, and mustered into Confederate service. Company “M”, which had formerly been an independent company was not attached until early 1862, making twelve companies, which, upon reorganization, were consolidated into ten.
Soon after organization the regiment moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky. On October 23, 1861, Major General William J. Hardee reported the troops then on the line subject to his command were Hindman’s, Hanson’s, Hawthorn’s and Allison’s Infantry Regiments, two battalions of cavalry, and one battery, Hanson’s was a Kentucky regiment, Hindman’s and Hawthorn’s were Arkansas regiments. On January 31, 1862 the regiment was reported in Colonel Patrick H. Cleburne’s Brigade along with the 15th Arkansas, 6th Mississippi, 23rd, 24th, and 35th (also called 5th) Tennessee Infantry Regiments. The regiment left Bowling Green February 13, 1862 and on February 23 was reported at Murfreesboro, where in Cleburne’s Brigade, the 1st Arkansas had replaced the 15th Arkansas Infantry Regiment, and the Watson Battery had been added.
It arrived at Corinth February 27, and was engaged at the Battle of Shiloh, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Peebles, as part of Cleburne’s Brigade, Hardee’s Corps.
The brigade in this battle was composed of the 15th Arkansas, 2nd (Bate’s), 23rd, 24th and 35th Tennessee, and 6th Mississippi Infantry Regiments, Shoup’s Artillery Battalion, and the Watson Battery. The regiment re-entered the battle with 406 effectives, and was commended by Cleburne for steadfast valor; he also commented that Lieutenant Colonel Peebles possessed all qualifications necessary for a commander of troops in the field. No itemized record of casualties by regiments was found, but the brigade reported 1032 casualties out of 2750 engaged.
In May, 1862 the 6th Mississippi had been replaced by the 48th Tennessee Regiment in Cleburne’s Brigade. In Cleburne’s report of an engagement outside of Corinth on the Farmington Road on May 28, 1862, he severely criticized Colonel Allison, but commended Major Bratton for his handling of troops.
On July 8, 1862 the regiment was placed in Major General Benjamin F. Cheatham’s Division, Brigadier General Alexander P. Stewart’s Brigade, composed of the 4th, 5th, 24th, 31st, 33rd Tennessee Infantry Regiments, and Stanford’s Mississippi Battery. These five regiments remained together for the duration of the war. This 5th Tennessee Regiment was commanded by Colonel Calvin J. Venable, and was not the same regiment with which the 24th had been associated in Cleburne’s Brigade which was commanded by Colonel Benjamin Hill, and was early called the 5th, although its official designation was the 35th Tennessee Infantry Regiment. As part of this brigade the regiment participated in General Bragg’s invasion of Kentucky, and was engaged at the Battle of Perryville October 8, 1862, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel H. L. W. Bratton. Here it suffered 68 casualties.
The regiment was next engaged at the Battle of Murfreesboro, December 31, 1862, where the 19th Tennessee Infantry Regiment was included in Stewart’s Brigade. Here the regiment suffered 79 casualties out of 344 engaged. Colonel Bratton was mortally wounded, Lieutenant Colonel Wilson was wounded, and Major S. E. Shannon took command of the regiment.
By April 1, 1863, Stewart had been promoted to Major General in command of a division, and Colonel (later brigadier general) O. F. Strahl was given command of the brigade, composed of the same units. The brigade remained unchanged until after the Battle of Franklin, where Strahi was killed. At Chickamauga, September 19-20, under the command of Colonel John A. Wilson, the regiment suffered 43 casualties.
On November 12, 1863, Strahrs Brigade was placed in Stewart’s Division, moved to Sweetwater, Tennessee, for a short time, but returned in time to be engaged at Missionary Ridge November 25, 1863, where the 24th suffered 45 casualties.
On February 20, 1864, the brigade was returned to Cheatham’s Division, where it remained until the end. The 24th was part of a force which was dispatched to Mississippi to re-enforce General Polk, but was ordered back to Dalton, Georgia, when it had reached Demopolis, Alabama. This expedition was the latter part of February. As part of the brigade, it was actively engaged in the Atlanta Campaign under General Joseph E. Johnston, and the return to Tennessee under General John B. Hood. On June 30, 1864, Colonel J. A. Wilson was reported in command of the regiment, but on July 31, August 31 and September 20 the commanding officer was shown as Lieutenant Colonel Samuel E. Shannon.
On December 10, 1864, Strahl’s Brigade, commanded by Colonel James D. Tillman was composed of the 4th/Sth/3lst/33rd/3Sth and the l9th/24th/4lst Tennessee Infantry Regiments with the l9th/24th/4lst commanded by Captain Daniel A. Kennedy. As such, the brigade was engaged at Nashville in the Granny White Pike area, and formed part of the force under General Walthall which covered the retreat of the army to Corinth, Mississippi.
Then came the move to North Carolina to join General Joseph E. Johnston’s forces, where, in the order of battle at Smithfield, North Carolina March 31, 1865, Strahl’s Brigade, commanded by Colonel James D. Tillman, was still composed of the same regiments. In the final reorganization of Johnston’s Army April 9, 1865, the 4th, 5th, 19th, 24th, 31st, 33rd, 35th, 38th, and 41st Tennessee Regiments, commanded by Colonel James D. Tillman, formed the 3rd Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment in Brigadier General Joseph B. Palmer’s Brigade. The 24th Tennessee Regiment formed Company “F” of this regiment, and, as such, was paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina May 1, 1865.
This unit history was extracted from Tennesseans in the Civil War, Vol 1. Copyrighted © 1964 by the “Civil War Centennial Commission of Tennessee”
Thomas H. Peebles, the Lieutenant Colonel of the 24th, was from near Spring Hill, at which place and Franklin he had achieved great success as a teacher. He made up Company B in the southern part of Williamson County, and was elected its Captain. After Allison was chosen Colonel of the 24th, Peebles was given the next highest office, and Sam C. Shannon became Captain of Company B.
Col. Peebles commanded the regiment at Shiloh, and was highly complimented by Cleburne in his official report for the excellent manner in which he handled the men. Almost at the first fire his horse was killed under him. And he fought on foot throughout the rest of the battle, escaping unhurt, although his coat was pierced by three minie balls. Just after the battle he resigned and accepted a position with Cleburne and was not actively connected with the regiment afterwards.
Daring Work as a Spy.
A year or two later he was detailed on a hazardous secret mission into Middle Tennessee, then occupied by the Federals. He had accomplished the object of his trip, but just before reaching the Confederate lines was captured by a roaming squad of Federal cavalry. As they were proceeding to search him, he recognized one of these soldiers as having been a former member of his old Company, who, having deserted, had joined the enemy. The renegade prevailed on his comrades to desist, and treat the Colonel with more consideration. At the first convenient moment, Col. Peebles took the information he had been at so much pains to collect, and which, if discovered, would have hung him, and slipping the paper in his mouth, chewed it up. He was sent as a prisoner to Camp Chase, but was soon exchanged and returned to service. Col. Peebles was killed near Spring Hill in an unfortunate personal encounter in November 1870 on the very day on which he had been elected State Senator.
to document them all, but I try. William Henry Peebles 1871-1947, son of George Henry Peebles and Catherine “Kate” Rebecca Jane Terry Peebles and brother to our Robert Duncan Peebles, was married twice. His wives were Sally C Alexander and Eliza Holland Graham.
By his first wife William Henry Peebles had two known children: Maggie Peebles and Katie Peebles. Maggie Peebles married Benjamin Franklin “Frank” Terry and had a large number of children that included: Leonard R Terry born 1910, Clarence Terry born 1915, Bessie Terry 1919-1924, Cleveland Henry Terry 1922-1992, William Terry born 1923, and Bruce M Terry born 1928. They were all born in Lawrence County, Alabama. Daughter Katie Peebles married Isaac “Ike” Terry 1887-1963 as his first wife. They had three children: Willie L Terry 1911-1988, Katie F Terry 28 April 1913-19 Dec 1987, and John Henry Terry 1 Aug 1915-19 Feb 1992. John Henry Terry owned Terry’s grocery store in Decatur; and had worked as a carpenter helper in his younger years. Isaac “Ike” Terry was the son of George Washington Terry, Jr and Sarah V “Sallie” Watson, his third wife. Ike Terry had eighteen known children by his three wives.
William Henry Peebles married a second time to Eliza Holland Graham 1880-1939. They had the following known children: Ida Peebles born 1896, James Walter “Jim” Peebles 1898-1927, Lura Segalia Peebles 1899-1973, Nan Marie Peebles Maness 1903-1976, Velma Eren Peebles 1904-1990, Fannie Lavenia Peebles 1906-1971, William Henry “Will” Peebles 1908-1966, Elbert Lee Peebles 1910-1961, Buford May (Cook )Peebles 1912-1926, Robert McKinely Peebles 1914-1986, Houston Coleman “Buddy” Peebles 1919-1969. There are interesting histories with all but especially for Eliza Graham Peebles and Lura Segalia Peebles.
Elibert Lee Peebles married Naomi Lee Jinks born 9 January 1908 in Haskell County, Texas and died 14 December 1989 in Lawrence County, Alabama. Her parents were Allen Jinks and Lockie V A V Edwards. Elbert Lee Peebles was born 29 September 1910 in Lawrence County, Alabama and died 3 February 1961 in Morgan County, Alabama. Their children are: Annie Ruth Peebles who married an Evans, then an Adkins, Peggy Peebles who married a Chapman, Mildred Peebles 1938-2011 who married George L Madison, Pfc Elbert Lee Peebles 24 January 1929- 27 December 1949, James Alford Peebles 16 February 1931-22 August 1994, FREDrick Eugene Peebles 19 February 1933- 5 November 2010, Mildred Peebles 1938-2011, Wendell Houston Peebles 10 Mar 1941- 2 December 2002 (died in Georgia), Carl PRESTON Peebles 25 February 1943- 5 January 2011, Charles Russell Peebles and Shirley Jane Peebles 1948-1991 who married Jerry DeWayne Skipworth Jr. Shirley Peebles Skipworth’s eulogy was presented by Rev Houston Peebles; her middle name in her obituary states June, but is likely Jane.
Charles Russell Peebles, son of Elbert and Naomi Jinks Peebles, married Linda Christine Parker. He worked at Otasco and was lauded as a top salesman. They have two children: Angie Peebles Watson and Amanda Peebles.
is in order. News in the most recent of days send me back into time. Back to a time growing up in Sheffield, Alabama was like living in a Norman Rockwell painting. Good days. Good times. Big family.
My cousin Betty Bassham Porter was found lying on the floor in a coma in her apartment. She was not responding. So right this minute her family is sitting with her waiting for the transfer to hospice. It has been determined that she had a stroke and will not survive. Betty was born in Sheffield, lived in Tuscumbia and Sheffield. In the 1950s her mother remarried and they moved to Dallas, Texas. The family moved to Arkansas, with some of them migrating to Missouri, mostly in the Springfield area.
The photo montage below is my tribute to a beloved cousin. Family.
U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 about Elmo Tolbert
often remind us of someone else. This photo was made circa 1956 at Mama and Gran’s house at 1308 W 8th Street in Sheffield, across the street from Southwest Elementary School. That was the home of my grandparents, Robert Duncan Peebles and Betty Drue Jane Tolbert Peebles. This was way before Gran had the house remodeled It had been a sort of shotgun house with a long hallway going from the front door to the backdoor at the back end of the hall. There were four more doors, two on each side that led to other rooms. They had the area of the hall beyond the hall boxed in and it was where Mama’s icebox and hoosier cabinet was housed, along with her bonnets, her galoshes, some aprons and gloves for outside work. That wallpaper was a deep red and if I recall correctly was flocked. To the right of the front door was the telephone bench. This was a type of desk that had a small top for the phone and a seat attached to it for sitting while on the phone. The photo depicts only the structure for a telephone bench but does not really resemble the one that Mama and Gran had. They had one, and he may have built it, that was some sort of red naugahyde material. I believe there were gold thumbnails at the seams. The seat and table portion were positioned as you see, but the chair part was the red material and there were no legs visible as the whole thing went to the floor. Their first phone was on a four household party line as was ours. Now, that was fun.
This photo is of me when I was about five or six years old. For some reason as a girl at Easter, I always got a new dress, shoes, and an Easter hat. I guess that is what a girl got on Easter in those days. There I am with my Easter basket, my pretty dress, my Easter hat and my right eye parked next to my nose. As best as I recall we would go to Mama and Gran’s and Mama would always make pictures of us sitting on that same red bench in their hall. My eyes were blue and my hair had copper highlights. Later and for years I almost always wore my hair in a ponytail. There is a little girl who favors me and that makes me happy. This photo reminds me of her. I wanted her to see this photo.
those Peebles’ hands. I like to think that I carry a little bit of Gran around with me as I too have those hands. I have often wondered who gave those hands to Gran (Robert Duncan Peebles) and how many generations they go back. There are many of us who have those hands. I could name a few: mother,
Ellen,me, Gran, Rayburn, Sandra, and Chad. I never notice them on anyone else, but with age I have learned that they are a symbol of strength and so
what if jewelry and nail polish could never make them look more ladylike – every time I look at my hands I remember. I remember Gran. Gran as stated before was one who when he died left each and every grandchild believing that he/she was his favorite. And I consider that a great accomplishment.
Chad Peebles has those hands, as does his Dad. Chad is right now using those hands to grasp those big bullets (I guess they are actually grenades) and load them into those pop guns that could cause someone to meet Allah sooner than they may wish to ordinarily. He is a Marine, our favorite Marine, currently serving this country that we so love. His father, Anthony Peebles, served in the military and was one of those who went to Grenada; he is another of my heroes. And sure as God made little green apples, he would druther, if he had his druthers, be home holding those he loves in those Peebles hands attached to those Peebles arms.
One of Chad’s sisters, Beth, cross-stitched the following poem about her Daddy’s hands many years ago. It describes those Peebles’ hands pretty well, I think.
I remember Daddy’s hands folded silently in prayer,
And reaching out to hold me when I had a nightmare.
You could read quite a story in the calluses and lines.
Years of work and worry had left their mark behind.I remember Daddy’s hands, How they held my Mama tight,
And patted my back for something I’d done right.
There are things I’ve forgotten that I loved about that man,
But I’ll always remember the love in Daddy’s hands.Daddy’s hands, were soft and kind when I was crying.
Daddy’s hands, were hard as steel when I’d done wrong.
Daddy’s hands weren’t always gentle,
But I’ve come to understand,
There was always love in Daddy’s hands.I remember Daddy’s hands working till they bled,
Sacrificed unselfishly just to keep us all fed.
If I could do things over, I’d live my life again,
And never take for granted the love in Daddy’s hands
~ Unknown author
Godspeed Chad Peebles. Thank you for your service to our country. Your family anxiously awaits your return and the return of all those brave boys and girls who are serving in the military. I would wager to say that there will be a lot of those Peebles’ hands waiting to shake your Peebles’ hands when you get home.
we gather together to ask the Lord’s blessings. Thirty-eight years ago today. Sandra Gail Peebles and Douglas Aaron Pullen became husband and wife. And they have lived happily everafter. Mother clipped this from the paper 38 years ago. You can still see her scissor marks. Happy Anniversary Sandra and Doug Pullen.
in Lawrence County, Alabama even if the state has no record of her death. Conversely that means that she lived. Yes, she lived and died in Lawrence County, Alabama. She was born in 1884 in Lauderdale County, Alabama. Her family originally resided at a community named Rawhide, but she was born in the area known now as Center Star near Gabriel Butler’s Bluewater Creek cemetery and on Chief Doublehead‘s former Reserve property. She lived there until
shortly after the 1900 Federal Census was enumerated. Then she moved with her husband to his stamping ground in Lawrence County, Alabama. It was there she died in 1939. But, The state has no death certificate on file for Willie Viola Casey Peebles. Numerous attempts to obtain an official death certificate has resulted in a response of are you sure she did not die in another state. I would stomp my little feet and say, I am SURE she died in Lawrence County, Alabama. I can take you to her grave and show you her marker. I can show you her obituary from the Decatur Daily Newspaper dated 4 December 1939. OH, yes, she lived.
In 1888 records of Goodsprings Church in Center Star, she is listed as a member of the church. That is the same church that Gabriel Butler helped establish. It was a lovely little white wooden church and should have been of great historical value but since then it had been added on to and now is bricked, so how much of its historical value is left is not for me to say. I just know that every time I have driven or gone by that little church, I always think of her.
Her maiden name was Willie Viola Casey. She was undoubtedly named after her father Willis Robert Lucas Casey. A measure of how much she was loved by family might be indicated by the fact that at least two descendants were named in her honor. My mother and other grandchildren lovingly called her ‘Willmaw.” She married George Washington Peebles (Maj) and became the mother of eleven known children.
One of her grandsons recalled her fondly. He stated that she was a very religious woman. His favorite memory of her was her singing. He stated that she could sing every bit as well as Loretta Lynn. He recalled that on bringing the family cow up for milking that she would be singing the song “Amazing Grace.” He cherished that memory.
My mother’s memory of her always seemed wistful if her body language was any indication. Mother talked of her having breast cancer. As she recalled the next part, her face would show the pain she felt at the recall of those memories. She stated that her grandpa told Willmaw that if she had her breasts cut off she could no longer live in his house. Mother said that Willmaw did not have her breasts cut off; and that her grandpa got his way of her not living, at least living very long, in his house. She said Willmaw didn’t live long after that in his house, and I shuddered at the thought. Perhaps this is the reason that in my grown up years I am so adamant that only a woman can govern her own body as it has never been Government Issue.
Mother would go on to talk about going to Willmaw’s funeral. If I recall correctly, it was Luke who drove an old school bus and took all those who cared to ride to Willmaw’s funeral at Cottingham Cemetery. The cemetery is located just off the highway. Back in the 1960s when I would take Mother and others around to the cemeteries Cottingham Cemetery would pretty much tear your car up if you drove back to it. There was a little loop around the cemetery that circles the cemetery. After a business located and built their shop near it, they improved the road and a car could easily maneuver back there and all around the little cemetery.
Getting there was likely an adventure for the kids like my mother, but nothing would compare with the return trip. She stated that Luke drove the bus and that Luther would lean out the door of the old decrepid school bus and hold a coal oil lamp to try to illuminate the way to drive back home. It must have been a long, long trip back home under those circumstances. It left a little tear in her heart for the rest of her life.
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