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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Family Ties - Mary Frances Davis & Clarke Frances Davis

My maternal great grandmother was Clementa Davis Odom (isn't that a pretty name?)

Clementa had a sister, Mary Frances Davis, who is my great grand aunt. She was born June 24, 1892, the first child of five children for George Washington Davis and Frances Truesdell Davis.  She was born in Geneva, Alabama.

At the age of 8, she was living in Marl, Alabama (which was basically unincorporated Geneva, AL).  By this time, she had a younger sister (my great grandmother) and a younger brother.

On New Year's Eve, December 31, 1905 as the tender age of 13, she married John Kelly, who was 22 at the time.  Can you image a 13 year old getting married today, let alone to a 22 year old?!?!

Here is the happy couple, although I do not know when this photo was taken or how old they were.  Look at those Victorian clothes!  Oh how I wish this picture was in color.



Three years later in on October 9th, 1908, at the age of 16, her first child, a girl, was born and they named her Clarke Frances Kelly (after Mary Frances' great grandmother, Clarkey Moore).  More on Clarke Frances a bit later.

Then about 3 1/2 years later, when she was about a month pregnant with her 2nd child, her husband John died, just shy of his 28th birthday.  I wonder what happened to him? How awful to be a pregnant widowed mom with a 3 1/2 year old at the age of 19, can you even imagine?

A few month's later in May of 1912, she had her 2nd daughter, Johnnie Ozzie Kelly.  I do not know for certain, but I can only assume that when her husband died, she moved back in with her parents because in 1920, the U.S. Census shows that the 27 year old and her two daughters, Clarkie and Johnnie, living with George and Frannie (her parents) along with her two younger sisters (Lizzie & Susie).

But as luck would have it, Mr. Arthur McDade came into her life shortly after 1920.  I don't know when exactly, but they married, I am guessing around the late 1920's or in 1921.

Then in 1922, Mary Frances and Arthur were bless with a girl/boy twins, Frances and Frankie (boy they liked the letter "F" for names).  Three years later, in 1925, their son Bruce was born.

In 1930, according to the U.S. Census, Mary Frances, Arthur, their 3 children and Johnnie Ozzie were living in Chipley, Florida. Her oldest daughter, Clarkie (who I am getting to) was married by then.

Then in at the age of 40, Mary Frances Davis Kelly McDade died.  I do not know why she died or how but she was a young woman.  I have seen suggestions that she may have had an infant son that was born and died in 1933 but I not found proof of this myself.  If it were to be true, perhaps they both died while she was giving birth. I'm still trying to find out this information.


NOW... Onto Mary Frances' oldest daughter, Clarke Frances (Clarkie) Kelley.  I am only including this to say that it may have been a good thing that Mary Frances died in 1933, so she didn't live to see the tragedy that bestowed her daughter and their family.

Clarkie Kelly married Daniel Boone Dykes on New Year's Day 1927, when she was 18 years old.  Nine months and 2 week later, their first son, Johnny B was born, then then had Evelyn (1929), William (1931) and Kelly (1934).

On January 18, 1936 a horrible storm hit Vernon, Florida in Washington County where Clarkie and her family lived.  A tornado ripped through their home and killed them all.  From the accounts of the newspaper articles in the Holmes County Advertiser and the Lampasas Leader, the scene was horrifying.  Here is an excerpt from the Holmes County Advertiser:


Isn't that awful ?  It broke my heart when I read it.  Can you imagine, poor Johnnie Ozzie?  At the age of 24, she had lost her father (before she was even born), her mother, her sister, brother-in-law and all her nieces and nephews.  It just made me so sad to see the same date on all 6 of these graves.

They were all buried close together of course in New Hope Cemetery, where several of my other ancestors are buried.



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1 comment:

  1. this was so fascinating! i recently shared my great-grandfather's citizen papers on my instagram. love learning about ppl's heritages.

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