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

Peebles

Officer down…

Federal Prohibition Agent Irby U. Scruggs

United States Department of the Treasury – Internal Revenue Service – Prohibition Unit, U.S. Government

End of Watch Saturday, April 30, 1921

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.


A beautiful description of mother…

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



So many Peebleses and so little time…

Photo of Wiliam Henry Peebles and great grandchildren

William Henry Peebles and some of his grand and great-grandchildren: Kenneth and Jimmy Jinks; and Tootsie and Betty Peebles children of his son Houston Coleman “Buddy” Peebles.

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.

Photo of Charles Russell Peebles


An Ode to family of my childhood…

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.

Betty Bassham Porter

A little Sheffield, Alabama girl.

 Betty Bassham Porter

Betty Bassham Porter

Family is forever


Elmo Tolbert World War II enlistment record…

U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 about Elmo Tolbert

Name: Elmo Tolbert
Birth Year: 1924
Race: White, citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country: Alabama
State of Residence: Alabama
County or City: Lawrence
Enlistment Date: 21 Feb 1945
Enlistment State: Alabama
Enlistment City: Fort McClellan
Branch: No branch assignment
Branch Code: No branch assignment
Grade: Private
Grade Code: Private
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source: Civil Life
Education: Grammar school
Civil Occupation: General farmers
Marital Status: Married [to Louise Jones]
Height: 00
Weight: 100

Photos from the past…

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 fourvintage telephone bench 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.

photo of Carolyn Murray about 1956


A lot of us have those hands…

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,
Free: Transportation to Allah
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.
 
Rayburn Peebles hugs his Marine, Chad Peebles
Daddy’s Hands
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.

Dearly Beloved…

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.

Sandra Gail Peebles Wedding Announcement


She did too die…

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

Willie Viola Casey Peebles' obituary

Obituary was published Monday, 4 December 1939 in the Decatur Daily

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.