Thursday, August 07, 2014

More Family History...

Here's a photo of my grandfather on your left Caleb Lester Wiley and his brother Jim. Lester is my mom's father. We do not know the date of this photo.
Looks like the boys may have been joking around. I think this is a posed photo. I have done similar things taking photos like this with my family on vacation. Maybe they are goofing around in Memphis on a school boy lark. Trying to guess their ages I checked out census records. The 1900 U.S. census of district 6 Obion Country Tennessee  has Lester and Jim Wiley still living with their parents.listed as Caleb Thomas and Rebecca. Best I can tell Caleb Thomas later had a wife name Catherine Denton. In 1900 Lester is 21 and Jim is 25. 

I don't know why the guns. I do know that Davy Crockett of Texas history fame had a hand in organizing Obion County, was their elected representative in congress and killed a 103 bears in Obion County. Later on Davy told everybody to go to Hell while he went to Texas. We know that turned into a bloody mess but the bear record still stands.   Maybe there were still bears in the woods at this time is why the guns. I cropped up the photo to see the guns better. I do know that there was some violence in the area around 1908 concerning land rights to who owned Reelfoot Lake. That should have been well after this photo was made..Reelfoot lake was created by a big earthquake in the early 1800s. Land that was deeded and granted was underwater. Some tried to settle it with a gun. Like you might suspect the gun thing did not work. Reelfoot is now a great state park fishing and hunting paradise. 

I am guessing late 1890s. I don't know what happened to Jim Wiley. I know that in 1901 Lester married Pinky Ledbetter and in this next photo holds my mother's oldest brother Clay born in 1905. Looks like Lester cleaned up pretty good. Clay passed away about the late 1920s from spinal meningitis. Lester passed in 1951 and Pinky passed in 1970. Both were living in Lufkin at the time of their deaths. 


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