Return to Indexpage




Lamar County Kin


By: Barbara Woolbright Carruth

Appeared in The Lamar Leader September 1, 1999
wpeB.jpg (6902 bytes)

Mary Jane Evans Mosley picture taken on one of her visits to Alabama from Oklahoma

Mary Jane Evans, born December 21, 1858, the daughter of Richard Green and Nancy Noe Evans, married James Coleman Mozley on February 1, 1880. James Coleman, born June 5, 1861, was the son of Caleb and Mahala Mozley. The Evans family lived in north west Lamar County, Alabama. Mary Jane’s father gave each of his children a house and 40 acres of land when they married, so when Mary Jane and Coleman married, they received their house and forty acres. The Mozleys had 9 children, James Luther, Viola Jane, Mary Eliza, Nancy Clementine, Millie Louvenia, Sarah Mildred, Baby Boy, Richard Cleveland and Gladus Alvin.


In 1902 the Mozleys sold their house and land, loaded up their family and moved to Indian Territory expecting to do better. They traveled from Alabama to Oklahoma by railroad, carrying with them, all of their belongings, including farm tools and a team of horses.


The first railroad for north Lamar County was finished in about 1887. The train went through Beaverton, Crews and Sulligent, persons here could now catch a train and go to Birmingham or Memphis, TN. A railroad serving the south part of the county, Kennedy, Millport, Fernbank and Melbourne was in operation in 1881.


The Mozleys arrived in Maysville, OK , October 2, 1902 on the Santa Fe Railroad, the day the Santa Fe Depot was dedicated. In 1904 they lived near the Love Ranch at Story, OK, then moved to Lindsay, OK in 1906. It seems that they began spelling their name "Mosley" after moving to Oklahoma.


Daughter Clemmie was 15 years old at the time. On August 27, 1987 Clemmie celebrated her 100th birthday, she talked about the move. She remarked that she thought that when they got off the train, the Indians would be there to meet them. She remembered being afraid , but the Indians were educated and friendly. Her father, James Mozley farmed corn and cotton near Purcell, OK. All the children helped and each had jobs, picking and cleaning cotton.


It seems that it didn’t take Clemmie long to settle in Oklahoma, she met and later married Cordis Weaver after a "church brush arbor meeting". These structures were pavilions made by constructing an overhead frame out of saplings or small trees which was then covered over with "brush" or tree boughs. Logs placed in a parallel row served as seats. Brush arbors were sometimes constructed for use while a church raising was going on. Although the brush arbor would not give complete shelter in a downpour, it would give some shelter in a mist or light rain. The main purpose of the brush arbor, however, was to give protection from the sun. Brush arbors were often constructed annually in the spring or early summer just outside of a church and were used to escape the summer heat of the interior of the church. On occasion, the pews of the church would be moved from the church into place under the arbor. During summer revivals or "all day meetings" the brush arbors offered some relief from the midday heat.


Clemmie was 19 when she married. She and her husband filled their first home with a kitchen stove, a table and chairs, bed, dresser, a wash stand and two sitting room chairs all for $35. They lived on a farm south of Maysville, OK, where one of the crops was broomcorn. It wasn’t uncommon for Clemmie to feed 20 to 30 farm hands. She cooked whatever was in the garden, mostly green beans, corn on the cob, fried chicken, salmon cakes, chunked garden potatoes and iced tea. She loved Alabama and the trees, but learned to love the wide open spaces of Oklahoma. Clemmie lived in Moore, OK the last forty or so years of her life and died there on September 1, 1993 at the age of 106 years.

One of my cousins told me that Clemmie Weaver brought from Oklahoma to Lost Creek, the first can of fruit cocktail that she had seen. Fruit cocktail was a novelty item during the time of living on the farm and growing your own food. This sounds like nothing to us today, but think back, no large supermarkets around, everything you eat comes from your farm, except for maybe sugar, flour, rice and coffee,and then, your cousins comes to visit, with a can of small pieces of mixed fruit such as peaches, pears, grapes and a few cherries, now that is a treat!

One of the Mosley’s son , Gladus Alvin, "Bill" was a well known blacksmith in Lindsay, OK. At the age of 15, in 1913, he earned money sharpening hoes and other blades with files. He then invested his earnings in some Black Smith tools. He ordered his supplies and equipment from Sears Roebuck and opened his first blacksmith shop in a cave ner Purcell, OK. He married Louell Ward in 1922 and they moved to Lindsay, OK in 1925. It seems that in the year of 1926, Bill and a friend, R. D. Sawyer made a water well drill, from parts of an old Model T Ford. Before the year was over, they drilled Lindsay’s first water well and put the town of Lindsay on well water. After this, Bill did most of the blacksmith work for the town of Lindsay. In later years, Bill enjoyed a hobby of building minature stage coaches and covered wagons.

Our "Lamar County Kin" takes us to places like Oklahoma, families left this area hoping to find a better life. It took a lot of courage to pack up all your belongings along with eight children and travel to an unknown place. James Coleman Mosley died in Oklahoma in February, 1925, Mary Jane Mosley died in Oklahoma August 7, 1944.

Correction: I incorrectly reported the age of Leona Carden Lewis, she will celebrate her 98th birthday on February 23, 2000. I know Mrs. Leona’s age, it seems as if sometimes, I think one thing and type another!

Queries of the Week:

I hope you are fond of mysteries. Here is mine, my great-grandmother Minnie Kidd was born in 1879. She was married in 1893 to Doug Wells at the Lamar Courthouse. Her "father" Haywood Kidd signed his consent. Family oral tradition states that she was either an abondoned Indian child or that she was half sister to Deanna, and Arthur Culp of Vernon and yet also half sister to Claude Kidd of Sulligent. Haywood Kidd was married 3 times in Vernon, to Sarah Betts in 1868, Elvy or Slvy Sykes in 1872 and to Ellen Smithson in 1880 or so. He lived for a while (1870 census) I think with the family of a D.W. Hollis a white farmer. On Minnie Kidd's death certificate the information supplied by Claude Kidd states that her parents were Nelson and Minnie Culp! I did not obtain the death certificate until the day I was to leave Alabama. I was there with my parents in July and did a great deal of research. I was even fortunate enough to locate an abandoned family cemetery. My family in Lamar county are the descendents of Bud Wells. They live along Buck Jackson Rd in Sulligent. The areas I've heard the most about are Turkey Creek, Moscow, New Church and Yellow Creek! Bud Wells built the Rising Star Church and at one time there was also a school next door to the church. I would love to have any assistance you may offer in my quest for Minnie's parents. I have tracked down the slaveowner of my maternal greatgrandmother and some USCT veterans also. Minnie and her "siblings" were Native-American in appearance. The Culp/Kidd connection is the mystery. Thank you

Joyce in Arizona

I am trying to find information on Thomas Alexander who was born in Kentucky and moved to Tuscaloosa County after the Civil War, and then onto Lamar County. He was born 28 Mar 1842 and died Sept 13 1918. I cannot find any information on who his parents were. I am also looking for information on Peter Askar Weeks who married Florentine Vickery.

Lygia Dawkins Cutts


Hello My name Is Joe White, my father and the rest of his family were born and raised in Detroit Alabama, county of Lamar. My father was born in 1899,.What would have been the name of the school attended? Or do you know of this family? My father was Albert Joseph White; his mother was Sarah E. White; his

grandmother was Serena E. White; great grand parents were Albert Mahan White and Narcissis. Do you have any information on these Whites in that area?


If you have any information on the above queries contact me at 205 698 9427; P. O. Box 579, Sulligent, AL 35586 or email coco @ Suggestions for this column are welcome. If you have a community, place or family that you would like featured, call or write me. Thanks for your encouragement, your comments, and information that you have given me. Ms. LeDuke sent me 1929/1930 Shiloh North School pictures last week. Her sister Birdie LeDuke was a teacher there and boarded with the W. W. King family. These were greatly appreciated!

Check Lamar County Kin website htttp:// or

MS B’s Place

See you next week!

Return to Ms B's Place

Return to Lamar County Kin Index

Return to Just Across the Line

Return to Lamar County Kin