Sibling Saturday: James, Elmo and Bebe Stone



James Stone, Minnie Lea Stone, Elmo Stone

James Stone, Minnie Lea Stone, Elmo Stone

I never met my adoptive grandmother. There was a rift in the relationship between her and my father. After my dad introduced my mother (his then fiance) to her and my adoptive grandfather he didn’t return to their home until well after she had left this world.

When my mother and I began packing to move at the end of last year, I discovered a treasure trove of photos and newspaper clippings that has helped me piece together some of the past. The above photo is of my adoptive grandmother, Minnie Lea STONE Frye (everyone called her Bebe) and her brothers, James on the left and Elmo on the right. James owned a service station and this photo was taken there.

While I’ve learned a great deal about her family, there are still a lot of gaps. I look forward to filling them in and sharing what I find with you all.


Tyrannical Forces at Work


The members of the Patrick Cemetery Board, who were elected at the August 11, 2012 public meeting, called for a special meeting of the public, as evidenced here:

The people who stormed out of that meeting, saying they quit have a rebuttal in the August 30, 2012 edition of the Madison County Record, page 6A:

Do you think these members should keep a post they bitterly and insultingly vacated of their own volition? I suggest you call each of these board members and the secretary and voice your opinion.

They want to sell you a burial plot, but don’t have the deed to the cemetery property and in turn cannot give you a deed for the plot. I suggest you ask them to provide the documentation that will allow them to sell you said property. There are federal laws of commerce being violated and they know it.

Letter to the Editor / Madison County Record

An abbreviated version of this letter ran in the August 23, edition of the Madison County Record:

by Missy Frye

Lord Acton once said, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This quote came to mind after a recent meeting of the Patrick Cemetery Board. You see, many people think this particular governing body has taken its power beyond the boundaries set forth through tradition and legalities.

As many of you may know, the Patrick Cemetery holds its annual meeting during the yearly decoration, the second Sunday of August. For several years now, there has been discontent among the public who donate to the Cemetery Fund and have family buried there. Some people won’t attend the meetings because they feel their voices aren’t heard. This year was no different.

This isn’t really about the discontent, or the reasons for people’s unhappiness. It’s about power and the spell it weaves. The five members of the board and its secretary have evidently held meetings without informing the public and made decisions without gaining input from supporters.

When I questioned the legality of one of their decisions mayhem ensued. Three of the members walked out of the meeting, stating they quit. One other member remained, but told the public he resigned.

An impromptu election was held to replace these members; the secretary took the minutes, recording the nominations as well as the votes for and against. During the election process, one of the members who walked out returned and stated he wanted to keep his position.

Before the meeting completely disintegrated, three new members were elected, myself among them. It was not something I expected, or even wanted, but ultimately I accepted. I’d hoped tempers would cool enough after a few days to resume business. With this thought in mind, I called the secretary and asked to have a meeting scheduled. The response? Flat out refusal. There were some things she needed to take care of before she could meet with us. Although her response hurt me, I didn’t argue.

A couple days later, I received a call from the secretary. She and one of the old board members had seen a lawyer and he advised them to retain the original board members, effectively nulling the election held during the yearly meeting.

To me, this exemplified the standard of conduct of the individuals making decisions for the cemetery. Do things behind everyone’s back and maybe no one will notice. I noticed. How hard would it have been to tell me they were seeking counsel? What did they expect me to do?

To insure full disclosure, I spoke to an attorney the day after the board meeting. This attorney works for the Arkansas Securities Department and has knowledge of the Arkansas Cemetery Act for Perpetually Maintained Cemeteries. My intention was to find options for maintaining the Patrick Cemetery that would place less of a burden on the public. I also checked into the possibility of applying for non-profit status. I did these things hoping to bring new ideas before the public. You could say I was doing my homework.

However, my efforts were for naught. It’s been proven that those with power, however minimal in the larger scheme of things, won’t let go willingly. Their desire to rule with absolute authority overshadows the wishes of a public that monetarily contributes to their imagined domain. Lord Acton was right.

Do I believe the cemetery board members are bad people? No. But, I think power does funny things to folks. Edmund Burke said it best, “Power gradually extirpates from the mind every humane and gentle virtue.”

Tombstone Tuesday: Blevins, Tony


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Tony Blevins
Brother of my maternal uncle’s wife
Walnut Grove Cemetery, Crosses, Madison, Arkansas, USA

Tombstone Tuesday – To participate in Tombstone Tuesday simply create a post which includes an image of a gravestone of one or more ancestors and it may also include a brief description of the image or the ancestor. This is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Funeral Card Friday: Albert John Armstrong



Albert John Armstrong
Husband of my Grand Aunt Frances Willard Fry

Funeral Card Friday – do you have a collection of memorial cards for your ancestors or family members, the kind that funeral homes produce and give out to mourners? Post images of these cards and stories about the person memorialized during Funeral Card Friday. Funeral Card Friday has been an ongoing series by Dee at Funeral Cards & Genealogy.

The Mystery Man in the Photo


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Left: Reed, Right: Tom Baker
Click on the image for a larger version

See that handsome fella there on the right? That’s my grandfather, Tom Baker. I don’t know the man on the left. All it says on the back of the photo is “Reed, a friend.”

Reed is a mystery man. In a lot of ways, so is my grandfather. He died when I was two and I have only one clear memory of him. Of course, I’ve heard stories about him and through those stories I’ve found a connection. I know he served in both the Army and the Marines, but little has been said about his actual service. That’s probably why this photo so intrigues me.

I’d like to know more about Reed. Is that his first name or last name? What made them have their photo taken together with their arms around each other? Were they celebrating something? Did they have each others back on a battle field somewhere?

They are both standing tall and proud. Yes, I want to know more about this Reed person. Do you recognize him?

Tombstone Tuesday: Bunting, Fred & Dru HAMMONS


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Frederick Arthur & Drusilla Edith HAMMONS Bunting
Dru was my paternal great grand aunt
Springfield Cemetery, Springfield, Baca, Colorado, USA



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In honor of Independence Day, I decided to share a few of my ancestors that I know fought in the Revolutionary War.

William Spencer Dorsey, my paternal 4th great-grandfather (1758-1818): According to the Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the Revolutionary War, 19 year old William enlisted int he Sixth Regiment as a fifer. On the 1st of Feb, 1780, he transferred to the First Regiment.

Marker commemorating the Battle of Camden

Edy Holbrook, my paternal 4th great-grandfather (1730-1832): From the Widows Pension Application File, I discovered that Edy was a Private in the Company Commanded by Captain Kirkpatrick of the Regiment Commanded by Colonel Haws in the Virginia line, for the term of the war, from Oct 1780 – 1783 (18 months). He was present at the battles of Camden.

Thomas Lane, my paternal 4th great-grandfather (1754-1829) was a private in Virginia’s 6th Regiment. Source: U.S. Revolutionary War Rolls

Memorial for Benjamin Drake

Benjamin Drake, my paternal 6th great-grandfather ((1729-1827) served with Colonel William Christian as a militiaman.

Captain John Cox, my maternal 5th great-grandfather (1739-1818). On his Monument: “Capt. John Cox was an officer under General Washington’s Command. […] Capt. John Cox was a Regulator, commanding a company and was called upon to assist in keeping order and peace. He did much to put a stop to bad conduct and Tory depredations.”

Jacob Shipman, my maternal 4th great-grandfather (1746-1794). He enlisted July 20, 1778 and served nine months in Captain Quinn’s Company, Colonel Abraham Shepard’s 10th Regiment, North Carolina Continental line.

Archibald Prather, my maternal 5th great-grandfather (1755-1831). Was part of the Virginia militia. Signed oath of allegiance, 1777.

Huntley Cemetery, White Store Township, Anson, North Carolina
Photo courtesy Shirley Overholser, Huntley Dobson and Find A Grave

Thomas Huntley, my maternal 6th great-grandfather (1745-1802) served as a private in the North Carolina Militia. He was a guard in the Battle of Camden and afterwards aided as one of a scouting party to subdue the Tories.

His father, Thomas Huntley, Sr. was also a contributor to the American cause in the Revolution by giving money and materials.

Jacob Mitchell, my maternal 4th great-grandfather (1760-1837). Served in Captain Bradley’s Company, North Carolina Regiment.

I’m very proud of my ancestors; their courage amazes me and they deserve to be honored, as do all veterans.

Anna Melissa GULLEDGE Prater


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Anna Melissa GULLEDGE Prater
My maternal great grandmother

Very little is known, to me, of Anna Melissa. I know I was named after her. As a child, that meant nothing to me. I never knew the woman. Come to find out, very few people did.

She died giving birth to my grandmother, Annie Roxie Prater, her only child. When I saw this picture at my Uncle John and Aunt Cathy’s house, I immediately said, “I want one!” Luckily, they had an extra copy. Gotta love John and Cathy.

I wish I had more to tell about her. She is listed in the 1900 census as a resident of Union & Vally Townships, Madison, Arkansas, age 13. She married Elijah Prater 28 Aug 1909 and they are listed in the 1910 census as living with her parents in Valley, Madison, Arkansas. She died 30 Oct 1910.

My grandmother always said her mother died the day she was born, 29 Oct 1910. Anna Melissa’s tombstone says the 30th. I wrote about the deplorable condition of the cemetery where my great-grandmother is buried: Cemetery Sadness of Another Kind.

I’m thrilled to have the photo of her to add to my family tree. Now, if I could only find out more information about her line of ancestors. I’m certain of her great-grandparents but from that point, the information becomes iffy and unsubstantiated. I’ll keep searching though; my curiosity won’t be abated.

Funeral Card Friday: Gordon Leroy Beck


Gordon Leroy Beck
My adoptive great grand uncle

As far as I can tell, Gordon never married. I’ve found a document where he entered the Battle Mountain Sanitarium in Hot Springs, Fall River, South Dakota for treatment of Arthritis. It was a place for disabled volunteer soldiers. At the time of his admission he was 47 years old and the paperwork listed him as single.

The form also listed his religion as Protestant and his occupation as Salesman. I really enjoyed viewing the document because it specified his dates of enlistment and discharge; unfortunately, I couldn’t decipher the cause for discharge. He was a veteran of the Spanish American War and discharged in January of 1899. Since he was a volunteer I’m assuming he was discharged because the war had ended.

I plan to do a military post in the future and will add Gordon Beck’s information to it. I’m still planning, so it may be a while before I get it finished.

Funeral Card Friday – do you have a collection of memorial cards for your ancestors or family members, the kind that funeral homes produce and give out to mourners? Post images of these cards and stories about the person memorialized during Funeral Card Friday. Funeral Card Friday has been an ongoing series by Dee at Funeral Cards & Genealogy.