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The Whitley Family

MEMORIES BY INEZ VIRGINIA (BUNCH) WHITLEY (AGE 92)

Born: 6 Dec. 1875 - Pulaski-Giles-Tenn
Died:25 Oct. 1972
Wife of Elon Edgar Whitley-Buford Station-Giles-Tenn; Mother of 10 children
Daughter of Enoch Houston Bunch & Mary Jane Smith-of Pulaski
Grandaughter of James R.Bunch & Kezia Cole Cashon;Pleasant Smith & Sarah Odeneal-of Pulaski
Great Grandaughter of Meredith Bunch &Tabitha Reynolds;Samuel Cashon & Elizabeth Wilkinson

Interviewed Aug 18,1968

MY HUSBAND ELON (Elon Edgar Whitley) AND I LIVED WITH MY HUSBAND'S PARENTS JORDAN WILKES WHITLEY AND MAHALA (KINCAID) WHITLEY FOR A YEAR AFTER WE WERE MARRIED, THEY HAD A BIG HOUSE FOR ELON AND ME TO LIVE IN; WE ALL HAD OUR SEPARATE BEDROOMS BUT WE COOKED AND ATE TOGETHER.

MAHALA AND I NEVER HAD A CROSS WORD WITH ONE ANOTHER; WE COOKED TOGETHER, TOOK CARE OF THE CHICKENS, GATHERED EGGS AND WENT TO THE COUNTRY STORE TOGETHER. MAHALA USED TO TAKE EGGS TO THE STORE AND TRADE THEM FOR CALICO; SHE WOULD ALWAYS GET ENOUGH TO MAKE A DRESS FOR HERSELF AND ENOUGH TO MAKE ME ONE TOO. MAHALA WAS A GOOD COOK, SHE COULD JUST TAKE A LITTLE OF ANYTHING AND MAKE A GOOD MEAL OUT OF IT.

MAHALA HAD BLACK HAIR AND SHARP BROWN EYES; HER DAUGHTERS SUE AND BEULAH HAD BROWN EYES AND BLACK HAIR. MOLLIE PEARL HAD BLONDE HAIR AND BLUE EYES. ZELIA HAD BLACK HAIR AND BIG BROWN EYES BUT NOT SHARP LIKE HER MOTHER' S EYES.

MAHALA AND JORDAN'S HOME WAS IN BRICK HOUSE, GILES COUNTY, TENN; IT WAS ABOUT 10 MILES FROM PULASKI WHERE MY MOTHER (MARY JANE SMITH BUNCH) LIVED.

ELON'S SISTER ZELIA AND BUD (David South) WERE MARRIED THERE IN TENN. THEY HAD ONE CHILD EDDIE WHEN ELON AND I WERE MARRIED. THE OTHER THREE SISTERS AND SAM AND WILL (ELON'S BROTHERS) WERE STILL AT HOME WHEN WE WERE MARRIED. ZELIA USED TO COME OFTEN TO VISIT. I LOVED EVERY ONE OF THE GIRLS AND THEY WERE CRAZY ABOUT ME; THEY ALL HAD THEIR BEAUS AND WE ALL WENT TOGETHER TO CHURCH, PARTIES, AND DANCES. I DON'T REMEMBER JORDAN OR MAHALA EVER GOING TO CHURCH, BUT THEIR GIRLS WENT TO THE BAPTIST CHURCH IN MT. ZION (ALSO CALLED BRICK CHURCH). IT WAS THE ONLY CHURCH IN THAT LITTLE VILLAGE CALLED "BRICK CHURCH". THE FAMILY MAY HAVE BEEN METHODISTS.

MY FATHER-IN-LAW JORDAN WILKES WHITLEY WAS SICK, (Jordan served in the Civil War ,53rd Infantry- Giles -Tenn. from 1861-1865 where he developed a severe respiratory illness.) HE HAD ASTHMA REAL BAD; HIS HAIR WAS GRAY THE FIRST TIME I SAW HIM. HE SAT IN HIS CHAIR ALL DAY AND MY HUSBAND ELON AND MAHALA MADE THE LIVING. THEY RAISED WHEAT,CORN, OATS, COTTON AND VEGETABLES. ELON HAULED LOGS TO PULASKI AND FARMED TOO. THEY HAD GOOD HORSES, 4 or 5 WHICH THEY OWNED AND THEIR FARMING EQUIPMENT, BUT THEY DID OWN THE LAND THEY LIVED ON AS THEY WERE SHARE CROPPERS,BUT THEY WERE POOR PEOPLE.

MY FATHER-IN-LAW (JORDAN) WAS A PLEASANT MAN AND I GUESS HE HAD WORKED HARD BEFORE HE GOT SICK, BUT HE HAD BEEN UNABLE TO WORK FOR YEARS. HE WAS NEVER CROSS AT ME AND ALWAYS LIKED ME REAL GOOD. HE USED TO COME VISIT AFTER WE MOVED AND HE LOVED TO PLAY WITH THE BABY.

I REMEMBER THEM TALKING ABOUT MAHALA'S PARENTS. HER FATHER WAS OLE DAVY KINCAID, (LIVED IN GILES & DAVIDSON CO.), BUT I DIDN'T KNOW THEM. MAHALA USED TO TAKE A TRAIN TO NASHVILLE AND GO VISIT THEM ABOUT ONCE A YEAR. SHE HAD PICTURES OF HER PARENTS THE KINCAIDS; SHE SHOWED THEM TO ME WHEN WE LIVED IN TENN. I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM. I NEVER SAW THEM AFTER WE MOVED TO TEXAS.

JORDAN'S FAMILY NEVER CAME TO VISIT, NONE OF HIS RELATIVES DID. I DON'T KNOW IF THEY LIVED IN ANOTHER TOWN OR IF THEY WERE DEAD OR WHAT. I DON'T KNOW OF THEM EVEN HAVING A LETTER FROM ANY OF HIS PEOPLE. LYNVILLE IS ABOUT 75 MILES FROM WHERE WE LIVED AND I HEARD OR KNEW NOTHING OF THEM. MAHALA WAS NEVER VISITED BY HER PEOPLE., BUT SHE DID GO SEE THEM.

WE MOVED TO OURSELVES BEFORE OUR FIRST CHILD EARL WAS BORN. JORDAN USED TO COME AND STAY ALL NIGHT AT OUR HOUSE AFTER EARL WAS BORN. JORDAN BECAME BLIND IN ONE EYE AS HE WAS WORKING IN THE HAY AND GOT A HAYSTICK IN HIS EYE WHICH CAUSED HIM TO GO BLIND.

ELON'S FATHER DIED JUST BEFORE WE MOVED TO TEXAS. ELON HAD GONE TO TEXAS TO GET LOCATED BEFORE SENDING FOR ME AND THE CHILDREN. HE WAS OUT THERE WHEN HIS FATHER DIED AND WAS NOT AT THE FUNERAL. JORDAN WAS IN HIS FIFTIES WHEN HE DIED. I WENT TO HIS FUNERAL. HE WAS BURIED IN ZION'S CEMETERY.

THE CHILDREN AND I WENT BY TRAIN TO TEXAS. AFTER MY HUSBAND AND I GOT SETTLED, HIS BROTHER SAM CAME AND LIVED WITH US. THEN HIS BROTHER WILL AND THEIR MOTHER MAHALA CAME NEXT. SHE LIVED WITH WILL AND BEULAH MOST OF THE TIME, STAYING SOME WITH ALL OF US AT DIFFERENT TIMES. SHE WAS WITH ME WHEN MY TWINS WERE BORN, SHE WAS A NICE WOMAN.

ALL OF MY HUSBAND'S BROTHERS AND SISTERS WENT TO TEXAS. HIS SISTER PEARL LATER RETURNED TO TENN., THEN MOVED TO KENTUCKY. SHE DIED THERE OF BLOOD POISONING.

WHEN MAHALA DIED IN FORRESTON,TEXAS, SHE DIED OF A CANCER THEY CALLED A ROSE CANCER, WHICH WAS ON THE LEFT SIDE OF HER HEAD NEAR EYE. I ATTENDED HER FUNERAL AND SHE WAS BURIED THERE IN FORRESTON,TEXAS AS HER CHILDREN DIDN'T HAVE THE MONEY TO SEND HER BACK TO TENN FOR BURIAL.

ELON'S BROTHERS WERE FARMERS. PEARL AND SAM AND ZELIA MARRIED IN TENN. HER SISTER BEULAH WAS MARRIED IN TEXAS. ELON'S BROTHER WILL CAME TO SEE US SEVERAL TIMES. HE WASN'T VERY WELL; HE HAD STOMACH TROUBLE. HE DIED OF CANCER. HE LIVED IN GREENVILLE AND SO DID SAM WHEN ELON DIED. NEITHER OF THEM WERE AT HIS FUNERAL THOUGH I DID INVITE THEM. AT ONE TIME SAM LIVED IN A LITTLE TOWN CALLED WAYSIDE WHICH WAS ABOUT 25 MILES FROM WHERE WE WERE LIVING IN HAPPY, TEXAS. I HAD A LOT OF FUN WITH HIS WIFE KATE. MY GRANDSON ODELL'S WIFE BONNIE REMIND A LOT OF HER. SHE WAS A FINE PERSON AND I LIKED HER REAL WELL, SHE TALKED A LOT. KATE LIVED WITH HER MOTHER AND HER BROTHER AS HER FATHER WAS DEAD

WE LIVED OUT ON THE PLAINS AND WILL WAS LIVING IN GREENVILLE. I USED TO WRITE TO HIS WIFE JOSIE BUT WE FINALLY LOST TRACK OF THEM. WILL WENT TO MEXICO AND TOOK UP SOME LAND WHICH HE HAD GOTTEN SOME WAY, BUT THE WIND AND SAND BLEW SO BAD THEY LEFT IT AND CAME IN A COVERED WAGON TO TEXAS, AND STAYED A WEEK OR TWO WITH US. WILL PLAYED BANJO AND VIOLIN. HE LEFT THE BANJO WITH US AND I LEARNED TO PICK IT FOR THE KIDS. I THOUGHT A LOT OF WILL AND SAM, THEY WERE AS NICE AS COULD BE.

JOSIE HAD A BONNET WITH PASTEBOARD SLATS IN IT. WE ALL WENT TO TOWN TOGETHER LEAVING THE KIDS AT HOME. I BOUGHT MATERIAL FOR HER A NEW BONNET WITH BUTTONS AND RUFFLES ON IT. JOSIE USED PASTE MAKE UP. I NEVER USED OR HAD ANY OF IT! I CAN SEE JOSIE NOW; I'D GIVE ANYTHING ON EARTH TO SEE HER AGAIN. ELON'S SISTER SUE WAS SUCH A PRETTY GIRL. SHE WAS BEAUTIFUL AND SHE COULD SAY THE WITTIEST THINGS. WE HAD A LOT OF FUN TOGETHER.

THE PICTURE I GAVE MY SON JIMMY (James David Whitley) OF HIS FATHER ELON AND ELON'S BROTHERS SAM AND WILL WAS TAKEN AT THE TIME THEY WENT TO THE FUNERAL FOR THEIR SISTER SUE AT WAXACHIE, TEXAS. WE LIVED AT HAPPY,TEXAS AND I SAW TO IT ELON WENT TO THE FUNERAL, BUT I HAD TO STAY AT HOME WITH THE CHILDREN.

AFTER MY HUSBAND ELON DIED, SOME OF MY CHILDREN (I HAD 10) MOVED TO CALIF. AND IN 1935 THE REST MOVED TO CALIF, EXCEPT FOR MY DAUGHTER BILLIE AND HER HUSBAND CECIL.

JIMMY WENT TO ARIZONA WHERE HE AND VADEINA LIVED UNTIL 1955, THEN THEY TOO MOVED HERE (CALIF.). BILLIE AND FAMILY MOVED HERE JUST AHEAD OF THEM; EARL WENT TO ARKANSAS WHERE HE MARRIED CLARA, AND HE DIED THERE IN ARK. HIS FIRST WIFE FROM WHOM HE WAS DIVORCED RAISED THEIR TWO SONS BY HERSELF HERE IN CALIF, WHERE SHE DIED. I HAVE JUST FOUR CHILDREN OF MY TEN LEFT NOW. FRANK, JIM, MADIE, AND NELL. I LIVE IN BUENA PARK, CALIF. WITH NELL AND HER HUSBAND ERNIE.

FINIS

MOTHER HAS A WONDERFUL MEMORY. HER EYESIGHT IS FAILING HER, BUT SHE STILL GETS AROUND VERY WELL. SHE ATTRIBUTES HER GREAT AGE TO GOOD EATING HABITS. (INCLUDES A LITTLE GLASS OF WINE EVERY MORNING AND A LITTLE SNUFF.)

SHE HAS A GOOD SENSE OF HUMOR, SHE IS ALWAYS QUICK TO SIDE WITH THE ONE SHE THINKS IS RIGHT,WHETHER IT BE THE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW OR SON. SHE IS VERY INTERESTED IN WORLD AFFAIRS, POLITICS ETC. SHE IS THE LAST OF HER FAMILY STILL LIVING UNTIL A YEAR AGO WHEN HER SON ENOCH DIED, SHE PREPARED HER OWN MEALS AND LIVED IN HER OWN APARTMENT NEXT TO ENOCH. SHE HAS BEEN AN INSPIRATION TO ALL WHO KNOW HER. UP TO LAST YEAR SHE HAS HAD A CHRISTMAS EVE GET TOGETHER FOR HER CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN,AND GREAT GRANDCHILDREN. SHE HAS PLAYED SANTA CLAUS, BUYING AND WRAPPING GIFTS FOR EVERYONE. HER GIFTS WERE PURCHASED AND WRAPPED WAY AHEAD OF EVERYONE ELSE. SHE'S ALL THE MOTHER ANY OF US HAVE LEFT, EXCEPT FRANK'S WIFE MARGARET AND HER MOTHER (DUCKY) IS STILL LIVING.

MY SON-IN-LAW JAMES G. MILLER AND MY DAUGHTER BERDEAN HAVE RECORDED MOTHER'S VOICE ON TAPE, THE DATA FROM THIS I'VE NOT TYPED. WE THOUGHT THE WHITLEY DESCENDANTS MIGHT ENJOY SHARING THE FOREGOING WITH US.

BY: VADEINA (GIFFORD) WHITLEY
(DAUGHTER-IN-LAW) AUG 1968

Submitted by Judy (Powell-Crotty-Whitley)Fox
grandaughter of Inez Virginia Bunch Whitley