"A Walk Through The Past"

Welcome to the
Fulton Co. Genealogical Society's

Fourth Annual Cemetery Walk
in Fairview Cemetery

September 20, 2008


    Good evening ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the Fulton County Genealogical Society, I would like to welcome you to the Fourth Annual Cemetery Walk - "A Walk Through The Past". You are standing in Fulton's Historic Fairview Cemetery. 

    The cemetery was first established in 1881, with its first burial in March of that year. The first acre of land bought for the cemetery was purchased with the proceeds from a minstrel show. In 1885, two sections were added for the Colored population of our community. Another three sections were added in 1898 and a fourth in 1930. The cemetery now contains approximately 8-1/2 acres of ground, that houses some 4100 burials. Of that 4100, a little over 1300 are unmarked.

    Tonight, you will meet some of the more prominent people in our town, in their day and time. You will learn facts that you never knew and hear many an interesting story. Your guide will point out other interesting facts on your journey, we hope you enjoy your tour and ask plenty of questions.

Enjoy your walk in Fulton history


Gathering for the walk into history

1st stop on your tour


Roy Walker
Edwards

portrayed
by

Shelby Patrick
Jones

Roy Walker Edwards
13 Mar. 1918 – 9 Dec. 1937

     Welcome everyone to the 4th  annual cemetery walk of historic Fairview Cemetery sponsored by the Fulton Kentucky Genealogical Society.  It is my honor to be included among this 2008 group of Fultonians being showcased and though my life here was brief by most standards, I think you’ll enjoy the story I have to tell.
       I was born Roy Walker Edwards (Bubb to family and friends) on March 13, 1918.  My parents were Samuel Wesley and Pennie Jones Edwards of Fulton, KY.  My dad was a long time employee of the Illinois Central Railroad here in town.
      I have one brother, William Henry Edwards who is three years older than me and a sister, Florence Jane.  We all attend Carr Institute (I believe you have renamed the building Carr Elementary now) over on the West State Line.  My family lives right up the street at 513 College Street (that’s North College to you in the 21st century) and our house still stands today. 
      Both Fulton and South Fulton have a rich history of competitive sports but let there be no mistaking the fact that the Edwards brothers are partial to the Fulton City Bulldogs in general and the football team in particular!  1922 marked the first organized football team at Carr Institute and both Henry and I have lettered for the Bulldog team in the 1930’s.  I suppose I am most proud of the fact that I made the Sun Democrat’s (just the Paducah Sun these days) all Kentucky second team my junior year (1934) and was on my way to a first team berth as Captain of the 1935 Fulton high school football team when I had to quit playing mid season of my senior year.  I started having some “dizzy spells” along with trouble in my vision both on and off the field.  The doctors discovered I had a brain tumor.
       I had to travel to the brain specialists (neurosurgeons as they are now called) in Memphis for surgery in the fall of 1935 with the hardest blow of all being the inability to ever return to the game I so loved.  The doctors have made it clear though that football played NO PART in my health issues despite what everyone is saying around town.
       Our school is based on the semester system and graduates students in both December and May.  My brother graduated in 1931 and I received my diploma in the spring of 1936.  That’s me in my senior composite photo over there on my tombstone.  You might even know one of my classmates, a good friend and fellow Fulton Bulldog football player, Dr. J.L. Jones, Jr.?
       After I graduated and in between traveling back and forth to Memphis for treatments on my tumor, Henry and I decided to buy a grocery store in town.  We’d both worked locally for other stores and felt like we could make a fair living in trade.  We called our place “Edward’s Grocery”…I know, I know, not the most original name!  It was up at the end of Main Street beside where the Fulton Daily Leader used to be.  Unfortunately our partnership did not last long.  I became very sick late November of 1937 and died in the hospital at Memphis on December 9, 1937 at the age of 19 from complications related to my brain tumor.
       My body was returned home and my family placed me here in Fairview Cemetery close to the house I grew up in and the school I so loved.  It seemed fitting that a football adorn my headstone as a symbol of my athleticism and Fulton City Bulldog spirit.

***************

       Roy Walker Edwards is portrayed by Shelby Patrick Jones, himself a fourth generation Fultonian and a third generation Fulton City Bulldog football player.  The Jones family has practiced dentistry in the Fulton community for 100 years (1909 – 2009).  Shelby’s grandfather, Dr. J. L. Jones, Jr.  was a classmate, teammate, and personal friend of Bubb Edwards, providing great insight in the writing of the narrative.  Shelby’s parents are Dr. and Mrs. Alan W. (Elizabeth R.) Jones of Fulton’


Crowd enjoying the Roy Edwards story by Shelby Jones

2nd stop on your tour


Ernest and Mary
Treas

portrayed by

Joe Mack Treas
and
Joanie Treas
Cavaness
(Great Grand
Children)

Ernest Roper Treas    &    Mary Naylor Treas
                                   2 Aug. 1885 - 24 Nov. 1950                      7 Jan. 1889 - 30 Sept. 1962

Ernest - Come on Neighbors and gather around. If you need to have a seat, then please do so. My name is
              Ernest Roper Treas and I was born August 2, 1885 in Fulton County, KY. My parents were William
              Henry Treas and Mary Victoria Roper. I grew up on my father's farm learning how to milk cows,
              plow fields and plant crops. Life was good. Then I met Mary and I was in love.

Mary -  Hello everyone. My name is Mary Naylor Treas and I was born January 7, 1889 in Fulton County,
              also. My parents were John Woodfin Naylor and Nora H. Oliver. Ernest and I fell in love when we
              were very young, as a matter of fact, we ran off to get married when I was just 14 years old. I knew
              my daddy would be mad, but I didn't think he would be as mad as he was. Daddy found out that we
              had run off and he started calling all the Justices of the Peace in the area and told them not to marry
              us. I think he threatened to kill them if they did. BUT, daddy couldn't call Justice of the Peace, J. W.
              Harpole, he didn't have a phone, and THAT is where we went to get married. See when people want
              to do something bad enough, they will find a way to do it. We married on May 22, 1904 in Obion Co.

Ernest - Ya, but it wasn't YOU that your dad was going to put in jail, it was me. After the Justice of the Peace
              married us, I took my new bride to my dad's place. That was where we were going to live. Well, up
              rides Mr. Naylor and he WAS MAD, threatening me with all kinds of harm. I think he would have
              hung me if he had a rope. He said that I falsified Mary's age on the marriage license, Wellllll, the pen
             slipped a little. Anyway, Mary was sent home to stay with the Sheriff and his wife and I spent my
             wedding night in jail, without my new bride. A couple of says later, my dad, being the good Christian
             man that he was, went to talk to Mr. Naylor. Dad said, "Now John, what is done is done and we need
             to make the best of it." Well finally, Mr. Naylor gave in and Mary came to live with me. We were
             never separated again.

Mary -  Ernest and I had two sons, Johnnie William and Naylor. Here is a picture of our boys when they were
             very young. Johnnie was born April 14, 1905 and Naylor was born November 10, 1907. Nothing is
             more devastating to parents than to lose a child. Our son, Johnnie was driving a horse and buggy,
             when the horse was spooked. It threw Johnnie into a pole where he received a bad cut on his shoulder.
             Before the doctors realized it, blood poisoning had set it. Back then there weren't the antibiotics that
             we have today. He was just 21 when he died.

Ernest - Mary, the boys and I lived with my parents until my dad fell victim to a scoundrel, who wouldn't 
              make good on a loan from  my father. With money like it was, we ended up losing the family farm at
              Rush Creek, causing us to have to move into town. I had to seek other employment, so I became a
              carpenter.

Mary  - Ernest and I lived together for 46 years. When we married, I know people said it wouldn't last a year.
             They got fooled.

             I hope you enjoyed learning about our lives. Have a good day.
 


Treas sons - Johnnie and Naylor

 


Learning more of the history of Fulton

3rd stop on your tour


Lt. Charles E.
Smith

portrayed
by

Karl Ivey


 
Charles Ercil Smith
10 July 1899 - 4 Apr. 1926

   The son of James William and Ann Eliza Callander Smith, I was born in Obion County, Tenn. on 6 April 1899. I  was the youngest of 8 children.  A  native of Fulton and a graduate of the Universwity of Kentucky. 
   I  served two years as a private with the American Expeditionary forces during World Ware I, and after my return, I attended the Coast Guard Academy and learned to fly at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas, where I was classied as a expert flyer, with over 700 hours of flying time to my credit. I was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Offiers' Reserve Corps on January 31, 1924.
   I was engaged by the Robertson Aircraft Corporation as chief pilot at their Chicago flying branch and was to have flown from  St. Louis to Chicago, on April 15th, on the first trip of the air mail service between the two cities and then be in charge of all the pilots at that end of the line.

      The following account of the disaster that took my life was published in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
   "Lieut. Charles E. Smith andf Private August Zwengrosch, of the Thirty-Fifth Division Air Service of the Missouri National Guard, met instant death Sunday afternoon, April 4, in a 1500 foot fall from a airplane, on Lambert-St. louis Flying Field at Bridgeton, when a wing of their plane cumpled while they were doing a "loop".
   "Zwengrosch jumped clear of the plane when the wing parted from the fuselage, but apparently was too excited to pull the rip cord of his parachute, for he dropped straight to the ground, his arms threashing madly about him".
   "Lieut. Smith attempted to jump from the plane also, but his foot was caught in a strut or guy wire and he was hung with the machine, falling with it, a little to one side".
   "The plane and bodies fell near the center of the flying field, in full view of 1,500 persons who had been watching the usual Sunday flying, and who had been entertained by the stunts which these two aviators had been performing during the afternoon. The machine was completely distroyed, the engine penetrating 6 feet into the ground".
   "The bodies of Lieut. Smith, near by, and that of Zwengrosch, about 200 feet away, were badly crushed by the impact. The crowd rushed onto the field and helped pick up the bodies, which were taken to the undertaking establishment of Coronor Bopp in Kirkwood".

   The remains of Lieut. Smith arrived in Fulton from St. Louis, Tuesday morning, May 26, 1926, accompanied by Lieut. Littlefield of the U. S. Air Service, and conveyed the body to the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Terry, where funeral services here held that afternoon. Smith was married Miss Mozelle Terry.
   A month later, on Memorial Day, May 30, 1926, his very close friend, Capt. Charles A. Lindbergh, came to Fulton and flying over Fairview Cemetery, dropped red roses on the grave of his dear friend. Lindbergh had taken Smith's place making that first airmail flight.
 


 

4th stop on your tour


Will Allen
Kerney

portrayed
by

Tramel
Kerney
(Grandson)

5th stop on your tour


Walter Wirt
Morris

portrayed
by

Eddie Crittendon

Walter Wirt Morris
10 Nov. 1856 - 16 Jan. 1966

      Good Afternoon neighbors, I am Walter Wirt Morris. The reason that I called you neighbors is because if  I could talk to each of you personally, I surmise that I would have known most of your parents or grandparents.
      I was born in Obion County in 1856. But let us travel a little farther back in time. It is said that an earlier relative, Robert Morris, signed the Declaration of Independence and his brother Joseph served at Valley Forge, where he died in 1778.
      My grandparents, George Woodson, Sr. and Mary Jarrott Smith Morris came to Rutherford Co., TN and later to this part of the country, from Louisa County, Virginia. He acquired much land and had many farming interests. Hale and Merritt History of Tennessee states that he came to Obion County in 1847 and bought 1000 acres, which he cultivated with forty slaves.
      My father, George Woodson Morris, Jr. was one of twelve children, all of which lived to adulthood. He married Willieana Lightner of Virginia. 
      My wife and I were married in 1885. Now let me tell a little about my wife. She is Florence Eugenia Martin of Martin, TN, a well to do lady. Her grandfather, Capt. Billy Martin is said to have brought the first tobacco plant to Tennessee. He was the first man to raise tobacco in Weakley County. When it was ready to sell, it was carried to Hickman by wagon and shipped by rive to New Orleans. Did I mention that the town of Martin was named for Capt. Billy?
      Shortly after our marriage we had a two story stately brick house built over on West State Line and Morris Street. It is one of the oldest homes in South Fulton and Fulton. When we built that house it was considered to be in the country. At the back of the house was a stable to keep a horse and a cow. There was a smoke house, chicken house and an outdoor toilet. Indoor plumbing was installed in 1900. It is reported to be the first house in the twin cities to have electricity and a phone.
      Our home has been nominated as a Tennessee Historical Site. In 1967, in honor of Kentucky's 175th Anniversary, the public was invited to tour our home.
      I became engaged in farming at an early age and took the management of my father's plantation and livestock business at his death. This is the land where I played and work on as a child. This land, at that time, was Weakley County but later made Obion County as District 16.
      My communities growth and well being has always been a focal point of our family. I was one of the committee members when South Fulton was incorporated in 1909. I was South Fulton mayor and a member of the school board. Though I lived in South Fulton, I practiced law in Fulton.
      In 1890, I was made President of The First National Bank. In 1907, I was elected President of the City National Bank. I held This office for thirty years, when ill health caused me to step down.
      Mrs. Morris and I had seven children, five living to be adults. They and their families have been planters, doctors, lawyers and business professionals. Some of them stayed in the area and some moved away, as far as Texas.
      I was active in the Christian Church, as my fore bearers were, and my wife was an active members of the Methodist Church.
      My grandparents, George Woodson and Mary Morris were first buried on the Morris Family Cemetery on the plantation. Much later, when the land was sold to make way for a new highway, their bodies were taken up and reentered here in Fairview Cemetery.
      As you can see, I died in 1943. My wife and many other members of the family are buried here. I hope to be remembered as a man who loved God, his family and the community.

      Thank you for listening and hope you enjoyed it.
 

The Morris home on West State Line

6th stop on your tour


William & 
Eunice Clanton 
Robinson 

portrayed
by

 Bob and Brenda
 (McBride) Mahan
 (Great Grand
 Children)

William R  &  Eunice Clanton Robinson
                                                1865 - 1912                     1870 - 1956

[Brenda]  - Hello everyone. Gather on around and make yourselves comfortable. My name is Eunice Evangelize Clayton Robinson, but everyone calls me “Nu.” I was born on February 11, 1870 in Feliciana, KY to Major George Wesley Clanton of the Confederate Army and Sara Micelle Clanton. My father was in the mercantile business with Mr. George Weeks but sold his part of the business when he went to fight for the Confederacy.   I was the youngest of 7 children. My father died in 1872 and in 1878, my mother was killed when she was thrown from her horse. I was only 8 years old at the time. My three sisters, Elf Puling, Jesse Lee, Lean Madrilène and I went to live with our mothers brother, Robert A. Mickle. I really don't know how an old bachelor got stuck with 4 girls, but I guess we didn't have anywhere else to go. Uncle Robert treated us very well and sent me to Lily Adams private school in Fulton. In 1890, I met my husband, William Robins and we married on June 14, 1891 in Fulton. 

[Bob]   - My name is William Robinson and I was born Aug. 11,1865 in Cobs, England to William Robinson and Margaret Harridan. My family and I came to America in 1868 and   settled in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. After June of 1880, my family and I moved to Springfield, Illinois. When Eunuch and I married, I took my new bride back to Springfield, but in 1904, we moved back to Fulton. 
      We had 3 children, which 2 survived, our daughter Glades and our son, William Clanton.
I managed the Robins Manufacturing Company in Fulton and I traveled a lot for business purposes. On a business trip to New York in March of 1912, I had a heart attack and died - - - - and here I lay. 

[Brenda]  -  I was 42 when my husband died and had two children to take care of.  I have been described as a strong, independent woman who was not afraid to work for hard for my family.  I worked as treasurer and bookkeeper for William's business, and also kept the books for the Fulton City Power and Light Company. For a while I managed the a hotel in Billow, Mississippi and then the Meadows Hotel here in Fulton.  However, my real passion was in the Order of the Eastern Star. I held many high ranking positions and in 1910, I was elected Grand Matron of Kentucky. I especially enjoyed the formal occasions I was required to attend as Worthy Grand Matron and requested that my family bury me in one of my formal gowns but I understand that wish was not carried out.  I do know that my granddaughter and namesake, Martha Eunice Moore Mayan loved to play dress up with those gowns. 
      I was also a life long member of the Fulton Methodist Church. I participated in the Susan Wesley Class and the East Fulton Circle of the Women's Society of Christian Service.  I have been described as being a child at heart and loved Christmas.  At holidays, I always insisted on blessing the food, because God deserves more than a short prayer.  I am also remembered by my family as looking forward to a little alcoholic flavoring in my boiled custard at Christmas and in the 20’s when Methodist Women were encouraged to sign a pledge not to consume alcoholic beverages, I refused to be a hypocrite and would not sign. People say that I am very conservative and I guess I am. I really started recycling before anyone ever heard of recycling. When the shoe fashion changed from a tall chunky heel  to a short chunky heel, I took my tall chunky heel shoes to the shoe shop and had the heels cut down and the toes turned up. They looked as good as what people paid big money for. I never skimp on make-up and jewelry and I do love to be on the go. 
      Well, I had a full and satisfying life living 86 years. After a long illness, God took me home on October 9, 1956.  If you ever met me, you never forgot me. 

      I hope you enjoyed learning about my life. Good day. 
 


 

7th stop on your tour


 Gideon Jeffrey
   Willingham

portrayed
by
                         Dan 

Voegeli 
Gideon Jeffrey Willingham
12 Feb. 1900 - 14 Dec. 1996

    Do you know what the best part of working is - - - RETIRING and playing golf anytime you want to. I love this game. Well, I'm not here to discuss my golf techniques; I am here to tell you a little about my life.
    My name is Gideon Jeffrey Willingham, but my friends call me "Id". I was born in Kentucky on February 12, 1900 to Edward Earl Willingham and Mary Sue Bransford. My father was a locomotive engineer for the Illinois Central Railroad and I acquired my love of the railroad from him. My parents are buried across the road at Green lea Cemetery.
    I started working for the I. C. right after graduating from high school. I started at the bottom of the ladder and worked hard. Now a days, young people want to skip the hard work and start at the top.
    Monette Thetford and I married here in Fulton on January 18, 1922. I have always said that "I married up" in the world. We loved children but were not blessed with any. My wife, Monette, was born on March 23, 1898 to Maud Reeds and James Thetford. She filled our home at 404 Carr Street with beautiful antiques and ornate Victorian furniture, such as canopied beds, a piano, an organ, harpsichord and a harp. I loved to take Monette shopping and watch her go from store to store buying whatever her heart desired. She had a wonderful sense of taste when it came to decorating and visitors could see this when they visited. I am very proud of Monette's collections and her art. She painted a large picture of "Jesus on the Cross" which hangs in the Methodist Church. 
    My mother-in-law, Mrs. Maud Parsons lived for many years. She was a great lady and I loved her. Mrs. Maud was a niece to Henry G. Wooldridge. Have any of you seen the Wooldrdige Monuments at Maplewood Cemetery in Mayfield? Well, Mrs. Maud is one of the little girl monuments there.
    Working for the I. C. had some advantages; I had a private railroad car, which Monette and I used to travel quite a bit. Th railroad moved us to several cities. We lived in Council Bluffs, Iowa; Champaign, Ill. and Chicago. We had a wonderful apartment on the South side of Chicago in Hyde Park. That is where most of the I. C. executives lived. While in Chicago, my career really took off and I rose up the ladder very quickly and became General Manager under CEO, Wayne Johnson. I remember watching the Presidental convention being held there on television, I think it was for Dwight D. Eisenhower.
    In the mid 1950's, we moved to Peoria and I became CEO of the Peoria and Pekin Railroad, which is a subsidiary of the I. C. While living in Peoria, I received a letter from Illinois Senator Everett Dirkson inviting us to a reception and dinner. That was a great honor.
    In the early 1960's, we bought an apartment in Fort Lauderdale on the ocean. I could play golf every day if I wanted. I am not one to brag, but I became fairly good and when I was in my 80's, I won a Senior Tournament. Wherever we lived, I joined the Country Club, so I could play. I belonged to the South Shore Country Club in Chicago, The Peoria Country Club and the Fulton Country Club and several in Florida.
    After Monette died in 1985, I played golf nearly every day. Afterwards, for lunch, I always had a straight up martini and a fried fish sandwich. Even though, retired, I read "The Wall Street Journal" every day, so I could keep up with the economy and the business news.
    Some interesting things about me are: I always loved to talk about my beloved wife Monette, more than myself, I could laugh at myself, and I loved to keep up with the careers of the young people of Fulton. I was extremely pleased about Bud White's success as a doctor. I was a modest man and did not boast about my financial situation. No one knew how successfully I had been financially.
    My love for Fulton and The First Methodist Church was very important to me. I started planning the gift to the Methodist Church several years before I died in 1996. I wanted a facility for the citizens of Fulton to use and now they have what you know as the Willingham Center. Enjoy.

    Thank you for your time and have a nice weekend.
 


 


More of the people learning the history of Fulton/South Fulton


 

The Fulton County Genealogical Society wishes to thank
all the actors and actresses for a wonderful job.

Also, we want the thank Trinity Episcopal Church for supplying
and distributing the drinling water.
 

Come back and see us next year.

Any Questions can be e-mailed to:
Don Livingston
at
donaldl@newwavecomm.net

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