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 Thomas Alexander Standifer

 This lineage and biography was generously submitted by Jim C. Standifer.

The information, so lovingly written, is from his new book, Thomas Alexander and Sallie Elizabeth Hitchcock Standifer of Mount Airy, TN--Family History and Genealogy, pub. 1998. Jim can be reached at mailto:jimstandifer@pdcnet.com for those of you who have comments or information to include in this work.

Thank you, Jim!  This genealogy and biography is a wonderful addition to our website.


(26 SEP 1865 - 30 JUN 1931)

Thomas Alexander Standifer was the son of William Carroll Standifer of Bledsoe County and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Epperson of Marion County. Lizzie lived on a houseboat on the Tennessee River at a location near where Hales Bar Dam was later constructed.  Since they were not married (Lizzie later married a Jones and William later married Elvy Jane Austin) and she was unable to provide for the child, Lizzie brought the "baby-in-arms" to William to raise. William's parents, Skelton Carroll and Nancy King Standifer, took the child and raised him as their own. It is interesting to note that the baby was given the same name as Skelton and Nancy's youngest son, who was about 14 years old at the time.  In addition to their grandson, Skelton and Nancy raised 10 children on a farm on the Sequatchie River in Bledsoe County, TN that had been previously owned by Skelton's father, Congressman James Israel Standifer.

Thomas married Sarah “Sallie” Elizabeth Hitchcock (24 Jul 1870 - 17 Dec 1958), daughter of Loranzie Dow Hitchcock (1847-1912) and Frances Ray York Hitchcock (1847 - 1918) from Van Buren County on 2 Oct 1887 with Rev. James Hale officiating. They lived in Van Buren County until about 1899 when they returned to Bledsoe County to live with and care for Thomas' grandparents, Skelton and Nancy.  [The Deed of Conveyance from Skelton and Nancy giving the farm to Thomas and Sallie is included in the Deeds Section of Tennessee Deeds and Land Records on this website.]

Thomas and Sallie were farmers and active members of the Ebenezer Baptist Church. T. A. was on the building committee 28 Nov 1910, ordained Deacon on 3 Jun 1922, elected as a messenger to Association Meeting in Jasper 8 Jul 1923 and Ewtonville 12 Jul 1924, and served on several committees. Their children attended Lamb School, which was about two miles away by the field or three miles by the road.

T. A. “Pappy” stepped on a rusty nail in the barn yard and developed a sore on his foot that would not heal because he was a diabetic. He then developed gangrene which caused his death. This was over a two or three month period of time. During part of this time, Grady Ewton and Pascal Johnson took turns staying up with him at night. Sallie “Mammy” had a stroke and was bedfast for about a three or four year period prior to her death. Velma cared for her in her Red Bank, TN home during this period. They are buried in Pope Cemetery in Mt. Airy, Tennessee.

Their children were:

1. Wiley Leonard Standifer (25 Jul 1888 - 6 June 1966) Wiley’s first two wives, Sallie Beavert and Hester Whitehead, died in childbirth. He then married Octa McCulley (3 Jan 1901 - 14 May 1996) on 27 Jun 1925. Octa had one child, Pauline, by a previous marriage. Wiley was in the Army for about a year during WWI. Wiley’s family lived with “Uncle Bill” (William Israel) in William Carroll Standifer’s homeplace (built in 1898). Wiley and Uncle Bill worked in the Cannon Creek Coal Mine for Pikeville Coal Company. During this time, Wiley and Bill ordered a T-Model Ford from Johnson and Pope General Store, and it was shipped there by train. They used the car to travel to work in the mines. Wiley was later a farmer. Both Wiley and Octa are buried in Pope Cemetery. Their children were James Israel, Margaret Sue, Edward Lee, Thomas Elmore, and Wiley Leonard, Jr.

2. Albert C. Standifer (29 Mar 1890 - 27 Nov 1890) is buried in Long Cemetery, Van Buren Co. TN.

3. Maggie Cleo (13 Nov 1891 - 8 Dec 1964) attended school in a building that was previously Sequachee College located south of Pikeville. She later taught school in Bledsoe County. She married Thompson “Thomps” A. Andes who died and then Joe King. She had no children but raised John “Jack” Branhan. Mammy made here home with Cleo in Whitwell, TN for several years.

4. Tessie Elizabeth (10 Mar 1894 - 3 Jul 1976) Tessie married Arthur B. Smith (3 Feb 1879 -
28 Aug 1944) on September 25, 1914. They were both teaching in the same room of a one-room schoolhouse when Arthur proposed. They would court in the schoolroom by placing a note in a book and asking a student to take the book to the other teacher. At the time of their wedding, Arthur was boarding on Daisy Mountain and he and Tessie had gone to Daisy to have ‘Squire’ John Smith perform the ceremony - only to find he wasn’t home. As they headed back up the mountain, they met ‘Squire’ John at the second hairpin curve and he performed the ceremony as they sat in their buggy. They headed to Hixson to spend the night at the Tom Hixson place and drove through a pond to give Old Tom a drink. The buggy harness broke and Old Tom walked on, leaving them in the buggy in the middle of the pond.

Tessie ended her teaching career when their ten children began to arrive. Arthur completed a 44-year career as a teacher in Sequachie County, and as principal and teacher at Lewis Chappel, Mount Tabor, Bakewell and Mowbray Mountain in Hamilton County.

In her later years, Tessie cooked for the Bakewell school for a time, then became Postmistress for Bakewell for several years. Tessie’s home was always the place for Sunday and holiday gatherings of family. Often her children would bring along their friends from Chattanooga to enjoy a day in the country. Tessie was known to be a good cook, but the folks who came to these gatherings would usually bring a dish or two.Tessie and Arthur are buried in Pope Cemetery in Mt. Airy. Their children were Mary Genevieve, Mildred Violet, Elmer Leonidas, Sarah Dorothy, Ruth Evelyn,Howard Elbert, Thomas Anderson, Jessie Lee, James Alexander, and Edwin Lloyd.

5. Hettie Ray (23 Apr 1896 - 6 Jun 1979) Hettie taught school in and around Dunlap for ten years and served part of that time as assistant to the principal. In the summer she often attended classes at the Normal School in Murfreesboro, or at Tennessee Polytechnic Institute in Cookeville. It was at TPI she met Manasia James Presnell (23 Mar 1895 - 3 Apr 1969) who was from Erwin, TN. James, wounded in France during WWI, had met Charles Elliott while both were recuperating in a Georgia hospital. Both had gone to study at TPI, and Charles had married Hettie’s sister, Violet. Hettie and James were married 28 Jul 1924 at her home in Mt. Airy and went to live in Detroit, MI where he was already employed at Ford Motor Co. He worked there until he retired in 1960.

Hettie and James were well known in Garden City where they were active in the local Baptist Church, PTA, Scouts and many community activities. James served for a time on the local school board. Both enjoyed reading and instilled in their children appreciation of music, making sure all had music lessons. Hettie was a good homemaker and organizer. She knitted dozens of pairs of baby booties using the same pattern her mother had used. She also knew how to tat, and her tatting edged many pillowcases. In the last decade of her life she received a pension from the state of Tennessee in recognition and appreciation of her early years of teaching when there was no pension plan. She was very proud of this honor from her home state. Hettie and James are buried in Michigan Memorial Park, Flat Rock, MI. Their children were Loree, Mike, Jim, David and Tom.

6. Violet Lee (27 Feb 1899 - 31 Mar 1988) Violet married Charles Arthur Elliott (27 Nov 1890 - 26 Feb 1968) in Mount Airy, Tennessee 4 Jul 1920. She taught school, as did most of her sisters, while Charles Arthur was in WWI. He was wounded while serving in Germany. Upon completion of duty, he returned to Cagle, Tennessee and after their marriage, he attended Tennessee Polytechnic Institute in Cookeville, Tennessee. As a Civil Engineer, they moved to Birmingham, Alabama where he worked for the Alabama Power Company. In 1932, the Depression forced him to look for another job, which he found with the U. S. Corps of Engineers in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he mapped the Mississippi River bed and worked on plans for the Spillway there. Violet was a homemaker who was not only a great cook, but also was very talented in sewing, quilting, crocheting and knitting, and she loved working in her St. Charles Ave. Baptist Church. Upon Charles’ retirement, he returned to Dunlap and built a retirement home. Violet remained in New Orleans and continued with her job as receptionist at the Baptist Hospital long enough to complete enough quarters to qualify for Social Security income. This was her first and only outside job since she was married. They are buried in Rankin Cemetery in Dunlap, Tennessee. Their children were Dorthy Wanda, Charlsie Lee, Charles Martell, and Joy.

7. Loranzie Alexander Standifer (21 Aug 1901- 20 Jun 1978) Loranzie (Ranzie) left Sequatchie Valley in about 1920 and worked at a foundry in South Pittsburgh, an automotive assembly plant in Detroit, and then went to work for the Chattanooga Power Board in 1925. He was a line foreman there when TVA purchased the Power Board in 1938. He then accepted a job as lineman for TVA in Sweetwater, TN, in January, 1939. In 1943, he was promoted to line foreman for TVA and was moved to Cleveland, TN. He was responsible for the TVA transmission line maintenance for an area from the Tennessee River east to Murphy, NC, and from Lenoir City south to Ooltewah.

Loranzie married Mildred Irene Gibson (19 Apr 1906 - 26 Aug 1994) from the Five Points Community near Dayton on March 12, 1927. She was the daughter of Matthew Ramsey and Lula Hughes Gibson. Ranzie was boarding with Parker and Lucille while Mildred was working with Lucille at a hosiery mill when they met. Mildred was a highly respected seamstress and was a very creative and talented person. She enjoyed everything from sewing, quilting, crocheting, cooking, and canning, to hanging wallpaper, painting, and gardening. They were members of the First Methodist Church in Cleveland. After retirement, Ranzie and Mildred spent their winters camping in Florida. Ranzie became an avid fisherman and enjoyed gardening and whittling. They are buried in Hillcrest Cemetery in Cleveland. Their children were Helen Frances, Jimmy Claude, and Sally Elizabeth.

8. William Parker Standifer (2 Sep 1904 - 9 Jun 1997) married Lucille Ewton (15 Jul 1905 -
3 Jan 1998) on 12 Aug 1925 and had no children. They raised a niece and nephew - Bonna Fay and Wesley “Buddy” Ewton. They lived in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Parker worked for the Tennessee Electric Power Board and then for Sewanee Coal Company for 30 years as a dispatcher for ready mix concrete trucks. They were charter members of White Oak Baptist Church and Parker served as deacon and Sunday school superintendent. Parker sang in the choir for many years and had a beautiful bass voice. He was a member of the Chattanooga Dorcas Chapter of OES 333 and a 32nd degree Mason in the Red Bank Masonic Lodge 717.

9. Velma Lorene (24 Jan 1910) married J. Burke Shelton (died 8 May 1955) on 11 Aug 1940 and had no children. Burke worked for Combustion Engineering in Chattanooga. When Velma first came to Chattanooga in 1934, she worked as a housekeeper for the Ship Shelton family. She later worked for Loveman’s Department Store and then the Notre Dame High School Cafeteria. In addition, she baby sat and cared for sick and elderly people. She is now retired and lives in the Red Bank community. Velma enjoys crocheting and participating in activities at her Church, the Calvary Bible Presbyterian Church.

10. James Denton Standifer (5 Feb 1913 - 5 Jul 1994) married Ava Lee Burnette in Apr 1934 and had no children. They lived in Chattanooga, where Denton worked for the TNT Plant until about 1942 when he had spinal meningitis. After he recovered, he went to work as a route salesman for Stewart Potato Chip Company, which later became Wonder Potato Chip Company. Denton was a member of Hill City Lodge 603 F&AM and was a member of the Calvary Baptist Church. Denton was affectionately known as "The Potato Chip Man" because he always brought potato chips to family get-togethers. Denton always had an interesting story or joke to share with everyone.

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Mount Airy was probably named by the Johnathan Pope family who came from Mount Airy, NC. The Pope and Johnson Store was started 17 Sep 1906 by T. A. Pope and J. A. Johnson. They also operated “rolling stores” in Bledsoe and Sequatchie Counties.

In 1920, the total number of farms with gas or electric lights in Bledsoe, Sequatchie, and Marion Counties was 29 with only 9 radios in the same area. Electricity never reached the Standifer farm but they did have a crank-type telephone with a very limited calling area. To call outside the neighborhood, they would call Johnson’s store, who would receive the message on one phone and then go to another phone to relay the message. In the family photographs taken about 1930, a telephone pole is visible in the background.

When Thomas and Sallie Standifer’s second son, Albert, died at eight months of age in 1890, there was not enough money available to purchase a headstone. Sallie saved some of the money she earned sewing for others and after a long time (probably several years) she and Thomas purchased a marker and placed it on his grave in Long Cemetery. That was a memorable and meaningful day for them.

When Ranzie was about 8 or 9 months old, Mammy became sick and had to stay in bed. Tessie, who was seven years old at the time, had to carry him because he would not allow anyone else to touch him. Tessie said that she wished many a day that he would die so she wouldn’t have to carry him.

Each spring, the family drove their cattle to the mountain (Walden’s Ridge) to graze while they were growing hay in their own fields.

The children went to school when there was no work that needed to be done on the farm. Most of the boys went to school through about the 8th grade. Violet, Hettie, Cleo, and Tessie went longer and taught school as noted in their write-ups. In an effort to obtain a better education, Velma lived with Tessie and went to school in Bakewell when she was in the third grade.

violin.gif (2553 bytes)On Saturday nights, groups would get together at various homes and play their musical instruments. Uncle Bill was the fiddle player of the group.

The first money that Violet earned as a child was twenty-five cents. She was very proud of it and decided to purchase some material at Johnson’s Store to make a dress. It was a good beginning; she became a very accomplished seamstress.

Tessie and a childhood friend, Una Austin, liked to play in a pond on the road between Una’s house and Joel Austin’s house. Their favorite thing to do was to baptize each other.

Wiley had an early job delivering parcels that were shipped in by train. He picked up the parcels at the train station and delivered them with a team of horses and wagon. During this time, it was not illegal to order liquor by mail. One of the items that he delivered was liquor in wooden barrels.

Tessie and Hettie liked to play a game in which they would see who could get closest to the river without falling in. On one occasion Hettie, when she was about eight years of age, slipped and fell in. Tessie screamed for help because Hettie was going down. One of her parents rowed across and pulled her out by a plait (braid) of hair.

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The family occasionally traveled about 60 miles to the Hitchcocks in Van Buren County in their wagon. They would normally spend the night with Uncle John Hitchcock, who lived on top of the mountain. If they made the trip in one day, it would take from about 4:30 AM until 7:00 PM. In cold weather, they would heat rocks in the fireplace and place them under blankets to help keep them warm. Some of the children normally stayed home and were warned not to play with the clock. Before the wagon forded the river, some of those remaining would, of course, be playing with the clock.

music2.gif (1186 bytes)Singing Schools were still popular in the early part of the century, and some of the Standifer girls attended these schools where they learned to sing by the fa-sol-la and shaped note systems. They also learned the fundamentals of hymnody. Tessie and Hettie wrote hymns that were published in 1914. Hettie’s hymn was Workers Needed and Tessie’s was Christ is Passing By. They were published in the hymnal, King’s Praise. Velma remembers the schools lasting about a week with a session each night and riding her horse to the singing schools which were held at their church, Ebenezer Baptist.

Ranzie and Parker took their team of mules and wagon to the field to work. Since Ranzie was older, he had to be “Big Ike” and drive while Parker opened and shut the gates. One time Parker got back on the wagon with one foot on the brake and decided that when they got back to the barn, he would jump off and unhitch Old Red because Old George kicked. Parker was carrying through with his plan when Ranzie jumped on him and they started fighting. Pappy heard this and came out and got a limb out of the wagon and whipped them both, showing no favoritism. They were around 12 to 14 years old at the time. In addition to a team of mules, the family always had a saddle horse.

fireplace.gif (2399 bytes)The Standifer house was heated by two fireplaces and the kitchen stove. On one occasion, Ranzie was told not to play in the fireplace. He continued to do so and a hot coal came out and burned a hole in the floor. Mammy patched the floor, and the patch was there as long as the house stood.

Pappy always grew a lot of watermelons in the summer. In the winter, he kept a big fire going in the fireplace. Pappy was a big man - about 6’ 4” and 240 pounds.

Velma built playhouses in the yard by sweeping an area clean and lining it with rocks. Ranzie would ride his horse through the playhouse and tear it down. Velma also reports that Ranzie scratched the eyes out of her doll.

Ranzie and Parker once prayed for rain so they could go fishing instead of working in the fields. Their prayers were answered, but it came a gully washer and they had to spend

the next day rebuilding a rail fence that was washed out.

Ranzie was sent to the field to plant peas. In order to get through and have a little free time, he planted them all in one hill. This worked OK and he didn’t get into any trouble until the peas came up!

When Hettie started teaching, she took Parker to Chattanooga to get his first pair of glasses. When they returned to pick up his glasses, they went across the street and she bought him a New Testament. Parker said that it cost 10 cents and he was always very proud of it.

The children attended Sunday School each Sunday. Church was held only about every three or four weeks and on those Sundays, Mammy, Pappy and their entire family would attend. The Standifers normally walked about three miles to Ebenezer Church. One Sunday, when she was in her early teens, Velma dressed for church and decided to ride her horse that day instead of walking. She saddled her horse and rode through the river. Just as she reached the shore and started up the bank, the girth broke tossing Velma and the saddle into the river. The horse turned around and headed for the barn leaving her to yell for help. Someone came quickly with the boat, fetched her across so she could clean up.

The Standifers made molasses in October. Someone in the area owned equipment that was moved from farm to farm to make the molasses and the children always stayed home from school to help. It was during the molasses making time in 1920 that Mammy fell from the barn loft and broke a leg. Because local doctors could not set her leg, she was referred to a hospital in Chattanooga. Arrangements were made for the train to stop at Mt. Airy to pick her up for the trip. By the time she was examined in Chattanooga, gangrene had set in so the leg had to be amputated about 5 inches below the knee. She had a wooden leg and used a walking cane the rest of her life. Ranzie whittled her first cane from a tree branch. Parker kept this cane until shortly before his death, and then gave it to Jim.

Parker told of crossing the river in the wagon when the water was high enough to come up to the wagon bed. He said that the children were afraid they would get washed away. Velma remembers when the river flooded their home in the 1920s. The Graham family came and took the Standifers to their house for a night or two, then helped them clean up the mess. The living room rug had been made on the family loom and the squares or strips had to be taken apart and washed in water from drawn from the well. “It was fun,” mused Velma.

Velma reports that she made “green grape pies.” She said that they made pies out of anything that they could get their hands on.

One of Parker’s first jobs was janitor for Ebenezer Baptist Church. On 3 Dec 1922 he was paid 25 cents a week. Parker was baptized and became a member of the church on 28 Jul 1922.

Velma remembers her baptism in the river at the boat landing near their house. It was on a Sunday afternoon and people walked or came in wagons and buggies. They sang Shall We Gather at the River. Velma was 14 years old and wore a green dress with a midi blouse over a skirt. Ebenezer Baptist Church records indicate that Velma was baptized on 24 Jul 1924.

Hettie was baptized in 1914. Other children listed as members of the Ebenezer Baptist Church were Parker, Velma, Violet, Tessie, Cleo, Wiley. The only children not on the church rolls were Ranzie and Denton. Ranzie was baptized later in life and joined the First Methodist Church in Cleveland and Denton was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Chattanooga.

T. A. once served on a committee at Ebenezer Baptist Church to oversee the painting of the “Church House.” They spent $24.51 for 13 gallons of paint, 5 1/4 gallons of oil, and 4 brushes.

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Mammy was an expert seamstress and loved handwork such as crocheting, knitting, and tatting. She also made beautiful quilts and handworked hankerchiefs.

Pappy shaved with the same straight razor for his entire life.

Thomas tried for years to get a bridge built over the Sequatchie River near their home. Finally, about 1928 the bridge was built. An old saying about Thomas is that "after the bridge was built, his was the first corpse to cross it."

After Tessie was married, Mammy, Pappy, Velma and Denton traveled over the mountain in the wagon to Bakewell a couple of times a year to visit. They normally left early in the morning and the trip took several hours.

When Charles Elliott came courting Violet, he would tease Velma and it upset her. When meal time arrived, Velma made Denton sit by Charles so she would not have to be near him.

When Hettie was teaching in Dunlap, she boarded in the home of Dr. and Mrs. Smith. Part of that time, Parker lived with her so he could go to school. Possibly then, or on another occasion, Hettie planned to be absent from school on a given day and hired Parker to substitute for her. All excited, Parker prepared his math lesson, arrived early and got ready to teach. Just as he finished calling the roll, someone came to tell him school would be closed for the day because of so much absenteeism. Parker said, "That was the end of my teaching career!"

When Hettie married and moved to Michigan, she kept in touch with her family via letters and penny post cards. Like most folks back then, Presnells did not have a telephone. News of serious illness or death came via Western Union. On one such occasion, reporting successful surgery, a telegram came from Parker with a seven word message that all was well. Since one could send ten words for the same price, Parker added three words in closing, "Have new suit."

Cleo learned to drive after she married Thomps. When Pappy was in failing health and Mammy unable to care for him, Cleo drove over twice a week from Whitwell to help Velma with cooking, laundry and household chores. It also gave Cleo an opportunity to visit with her parents.

In early June of 1931, Hettie brought Loree, Mike and Jim home to visit her parents, knowing that her father was not in good health and realizing she would be unable to come to a funeral when that time came. They left Detroit by train, sleeping in a berth through the night to Cincinnati where they changed trains and stations. Continuing through the mountains they arrived in Chattanooga and transferred to a touring car with jump seats in the middle to travel over the mountain to Mt. Airy. When the car came to Whitwell, Cleo was standing out by the road (pre-arranged no doubt) waiting to greet her sister and children. The car stopped. There was a small reunion and the car continued to Mt. Airy. Thomas was waiting at the station with his team and wagon. Hettie and her children got into the wagon and started toward the "Old Home." Thomas stopped at the river, allowing his mules to get a drink, and then shocked his grandchildren by driving right through the water! That was an experience they never forgot. The following Sunday, there was a gathering/reunion of Standifers in the yard under the big tree. From that tree hung an entire stalk of bananas. (Some think Ranzie brought them). Violet and Charles were also there with their family and this was the first time the Presnell children ate peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Thomas died later that month, June 30, after Hettie and her children had returned to Michigan.

When Pappy died, Tessie was very pregnant with Lloyd (he was born 18 days later). Uncle Arthur piled as many kids as he could into their Model T and went to the Valley to the funeral. He took the older girls to sing. When the Smith family traveled, they put as many of the younger kids as they could inside their Model T and the rest got to ride on the running boards.

After they were grown and married, the children went to the Valley to visit on weekends/Sundays. Once when Velma was still at home, Mildred, Ranzie, Parker and Lucille and others were there for dinner on Sunday. After dinner, Velma always found something to do rather than help with the dishes, so Mildred and Lucille were left with a stack of dirty dishes to wash. On one occasion, they stacked up the dirty dishes, washing only the top dish and went back to Chattanooga. The next meal when Velma was setting the table, all the dishes were dirty and she had to wash them before they could eat.

In the early 1930s, Parker, Lucille, Ranzie, and Mildred normally went to Wiley’s for Christmas and brought toys for the children. Ranzie once brought a cap pistol and placed a firecracker in the barrel to make a loud noise. The pistol blew apart and James started crying. Mildred made Ranzie find someone in Dunlap to open a store on Christmas day to get a replacement. James said that when it was announced that Mildred was going to have her first child, it was a sad day for them because they thought that they had seen their last Christmas.

In 1941, Parker, Lucille, Tessie, and Jessie Lee drove to Michigan to visit Hettie’s family and to see Niagara Falls. Kidding with Jessie Lee, Parker told her that she could come along for 50 cents. Mary G. had planned to go but since war was probable, a birth certificate was required to cross the US border and Mary G. did not have one. When going through customs to cross into Canada, they were asked if they had anything to declare. The reply was "no" and the officer, sensing a happy bunch, responded, "no kidding." Parker then responded, "Tessie has ten!" Several presents purchased on this trip continue to be treasured possessions, including a cup brought to Tom, beads brought to Loree, and small plates with a picture of Niagara Falls brought to Helen and Jimmy. The comment from Parker is representative of the wit and sense of humor that he and his brothers and sisters enjoyed. There was always a one line joke or comment that would be followed by a good laugh by all.

In the 1940s and 1950s, Denton normally rode with Ranzie’s family to Homecoming at Ebenezer Baptist Church and Decoration at Pope Cemetery. Denton always entertained with jokes and funny stories. Probably, the riddle that Denton repeated most often was "Did you hear about the boy who lost his chewing gum in the chicken lot?" After a short pause, Denton would say, "He thought he found it eight times". Denton would then laugh with everyone and then go on to his next story.

Mammy "broke up housekeeping" in 1934. Velma and Denton were the only children remaining at home after Pappy died. After Denton got married in April 1934, Velma moved to Chattanooga and Mammy made her home with Cleo at Whitwell. Mammy stayed with different children for periods of time and provided a lot of help when several of the grandchildren were born. During the 1940s, she lived with Cleo at Whitwell. Cleo and Mammy moved to Nashville to live with and care for Mammy’s brother, Lee Hitchcock, in 1950. Soon after they moved to Nashville, Lee died but Lee’s son, Vertrice, asked them to stay on and live with him which they did until Mammy’s first stroke in November of 1955. She and Cleo continued to stay in Nashville for a few months during which time Velma stayed with them most of the time. Velma "burned the roads up between Chattanooga and Nashville" during this period. Mammy was transported to a nursing home in Chattanooga where she stayed for a few months and then was moved to Velma’s where Velma and Aunt Emma (Mammy’s sister-in-law) cared for her until she died in 1958.

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