Eugene and Mary Whitt – 50 plus years together Title # Title # SlidesChapter 1 Eugene’s Ancestors and His Early DaysChapter 2 Mary Annice’s Ancestors and Early DaysChapter 3 Their college years and early married lifeChapter 4 Kids – JudyChapter 5 Kids – JeffChapter 6 Kids – JackChapter 7 Kids – JamesChapter 8 Grandkids and miscellaneous
Descendants of David WHITT1. David WHITT was born in 1770 in VA. He died after 1850 in TN. He was buried in Smith Cemetery, Lincoln Co., TN. David’s 1st wife, born in Virginia, died 1 Jan 1816 on trail to TN. John Watson Whitt was the third of 3 kids of this union, and he was born the day his mother died, somewhere in the Cumberland mountains on the way to Tennessee.2. John Watson WHITT was born on 1 Jan 1816 in Cumberland Mountains, VA. He died on 4 Aug 1899 in Lincoln Co., TN. He was buried in Malone Cemetery, Lincoln Co., TN. John and his 2nd wife had 4 children. His 3rd wife bore 11 children, the 2nd of whom was Simeon, Eugene’s grandfather. (JWW put a lot of players into the game of life!)3. Simeon (Sim) WHITT was born on 2 Dec 1857. He died on 10 Nov 1897. He was buried in Smith Cemetery, Lincoln Co., TN. Sim and his 1st wife had 2 children, one of whom was Asa (depicted in this presentation). His 1st wife died in 1885, and in 1886, he married Minnie Louella Morrell in Giles County, TN. Minnie was born on 13 Sep 1863. She died on 1 Oct 1890. She was buried in Smith Cemetery, Lincoln Co., TN. The second of the three children born to Sim and Minnie was Walter Lee Whitt, Euguene’s father. Sim owned a sawmill and died after a band broke and seriously cut his leg. Infection set in, and after amputating his leg (probably with a disinfected saw) he died the next day, 10 Nov 1897, when Lee was 9 years old.4. Walter Lee WHITT 1 was born 1 on 17 Aug 1888 in Giles Co., TN. He died 1 on 8 Feb 1962 in Terrell, Kaufman Co., TX. He was buried 1 in Rose Hill Cemetery, Kaufman Co., TX. Walter married Annie Pearl TAFFER on 3 Jun 1915 in Limestone Co., AL. To this union was born Herschel Eugene in 1916 and Paul Edward Whitt in 1918.5. Herschel Eugene Whitt married Mary Annice White in Terrell, TX on 2 March, 1940. They had 4 kids, Judith Anne, Geoffrey Richmond, Jack Lenoir, and James Dyer Whitt.
Asa had an older sister, Lillie Mae, who was 5 years old (Asa was 2) when their mother died in Jan. 1885. Their father Sim married Minnie Louella Morrell on 6 Jan. 1886, and they had 3 children, one of whom died six months after Minnie died on 1 Oct 1890. Walter Lee (Eugene’s dad) was 2 and his sister Ellis Eugene was 4 years of age when their mother died. Their older sister Lillie Mae did the cooking and housework until her death in 1895 (aged 16), and at the age of 13, Asa took over as the cook. Two years later, their father Sim died in a sawmill accident. In a letter from Lee to an old schoolmaster many years later, he said that “Asa made a poor cook….Asa also did the milking.” After their father’s death, the kids stayed with grandparents, aunts and uncles. Asa went to a “prep school “, became a teacher, ran a store for a while, and married and moved to Athens, AL, where he was on the police force when he died at the age of 59 in 1942. Lee said in his letter “…He raised a fine family.” He sureAsa Whitt as a child. loved his brother Asa.
Asa Alfred Whitt (1882-1942),Walter Lee Whitt’s (half) olderbrother by six years, was Hoosie’s(Eugene’s family nickname) uncle.Buried in Gatlin Cemetery,Limestone County, AL. By thetime Asa was 15, he hadundergone the death of hismother, his step mother, an oldersister, an infant sister, and finallyhis father. If a child of today facedhalf of those losses, who knowswhat medications a psychologistwould have him taking? Asa wasa survivor. He married and raiseda family. Asas son Wayne waseditor of the TennesseanNewspaper. That he was able tosuccessfully live through all thoselosses speaks to a wonderfulexample of solid family values.
Walter Lee Whitt June 27, 1912 “My Last Time” – on back of this photo. This may have been the Beddingfield woman to whom he wasengaged before she died of pneumonia prior to him coming to Texas.
This sheet from the Census of 1900 shows where Bill Whitt took in his mother Polly, two nephews and aneice, and also had a brother Jack living with him and his wife and son.
In December of 2008 we gathered all the photos we could of our family to put this together. It was written on this picture that it was of W.L. Whitt (Eugene’s father), but I’m sure this is Carter Whitt. I remember Hoosie talking about this picture when I very young and he said it was a picture of Carter Whitt. Further proof is the resemblance to his brother Amos, on the next slide. In any case, the Whitt resemblance is there, and can clearly be seen in Bob Whitt’s features.Carter Whitt
Amos, brotherof Carter Whitt,(see the 13thcensus slide)son of GeorgeSterling Whitt,nephew of SimWhitt, 1st cousinto W.L.After Sim died, Lee and his siblings lived with their grandparents and aunts and uncles. In aletter Lee wrote late in his life detailing his early days, he says he “made his last crop” withUncle Bill in 1911 when it began to dawn on him he might be in the way as they had a familyof 3 boys, though he was much older than them. Pappy always had a fond place in his heartfor Carter, who lived with them in Terrell for a while. Carter had 2 brothers, Sherman, whodied in 1924 at the age of 24, and Amos, pictured above. These are the three boys thathe referenced in his letter. Curiously, Pappy calls their father ‘Uncle Bill’, but their father’sname was George Sterling Whitt. The only offspring of John Whitt I could find named WilliamWhitt was born in 1838 from his second wife, and he would have been far too old to have 3young boys in 1911. . (Polly Merrell, John Watson Whitt’s third wife, bore eleven children.)
Walter Lee Whitt, Pearl Whitt, Hurshall Taffer, Annie Hancock
J. A. Stephens, Eugene Whitt, Paul Whitt, Lola Stephens, Maxine Taffer (Notice a bit of resemblance to Corbett Taffer in Maxine?)
May, Cytnthia, and Sarah Taffer – Hoosie’s cousins – his mother was a Taffer and these are his first cousins.
Walter Lee Whitt, Eugene’s father (1888-1962) at the East EndGrocery, a business he bought in 1927, and later sold to H.E.Smith. Eugene later bought the store after a career in thenewspaper industry and ran it until his retirement in 1975.
Arthur P. Stephens, Ella Stephens, Walter Whitt, and Annie Pearl Whitt Ella was Hoosie’s aunt, Pearl’s sister.
W. L. Whitt (with Fibber) , Paul Edward, and Pearl Whitt
Jim and Frances Taffer (Front) Jim Taffer, Aunt Mina, Aunt Bill, (Back) Uncle Bud, Clara, Minnie, Corb These were Pappy’s brothers and sisters-in-law. He had a saying about them.
From the 1939 yearbookof Texas Tech – Hoosiewas the businessmanager of the Toreador,the college newspaper.Both he and Mary werejournalism majors.The next slide showsthey were officers in thePress Association.They first met in ajournalism class, whereHoosie sat behind Mary(White and Whitt arealphabetical neighbors).The first time she methim she didn’t like him atall.I’m sure glad that hepersevered.
Eugene (left) somewhere in the European Theatre of Operations in WWII. He was inthe 16th Tank Destroyers outfit. Was busted a couple of times for insurbordination.Wrote for the “Stars and Stripes”, the military newspaper, while serving.
Upon graduation from college, and later the TerrellMary and Eugene moved to Tribune. Eugene never didClovis, New Mexico and began like working for someonetheir careers in journalism. else, and in the early 1950’sWorld War II eventually altered he bought into the East Endtheir lives in a big way. Hoosie Grocery, located just outsidewas initially turned down when the main gate of the Terrellhe tried to join the army (due State Hospital. This was into flat feet) but was later the days before supermarketallowed to join. Mary followed chains were so dominant.him and worked in a steno Mary continued reporting forpool and various other stateside Tribune and part time for thecapacities for the military while Dallas Morning News. SheHoosie served in the ETO. later went to work as a social worker for the Terrell StateThankfully, Hoosie made it back Hospital and loved it. She washome, and they began raising a a natural at it, being the typefamily with the birth of Judith of person who loved helpingAnn Whitt in 1945. Geoffrey people.Richmond Whitt was born in1947 followed by Jack Lenoir in Both were very politically1951 and finally, James Dyer in active, and Hoosie later1953. served as mayor of Terrell.They both remained in the news- Mary was Kaufman Countypaper business as Hoosie was Republican Chairperson foreditor of the Terrell Daily Index a number of years. Eugene Whitt, Editor of Terrell Tribune 1947
Eugene and Paul with their mother Annie Pearl Whitt on her 95th birthday celebration.
Eugene “Hoosie” Whitt with Jordan and Jamie Whitt - 1984
Eugene “Hoosie” Whitt with grandaughter Jaclyn at age of 71 (1987).
Annie Pearl Taffer Whitt – W. L. Whitt’s “Cook”
This is a letter we found some yearsafter Walter Lee Whitt’s death. Itwas written (and evidently nevermailed) to an old schoolmaster hehad when he was living nearElkmont Springs, Tennessee.As he mentions in the letter, he andhis brother and sister wereorphaned at young ages and livedwith aunts and uncles.The letter provides a wonderfulglimpse into how different life wasback then. In 1850, farmpopulation comprised about 64%of the nation’s workers. In 1910,over 30% of the population wasinvolved in farming. Lee talksabout ‘making his last crop’ beforeheading to Texas.
Lee’s grandad and grandmother (John& Polly Whitt) referenced in the letter.
Here he talks about ‘making acrop every year’ and how theywould go to school for twomonths in the summer andthree months in the winter.
Asa had a son whowas in thenewspaperbusiness (editor ofthe NashvilleTennessean). Lee’sson Eugene waseditor of the TerrellDaily Index and theTerrell Tribune.
See the page from the 1910census (next slide) whichshows Lee and his motherliving in this household.Lee had three cousins inthis family – Sherman,Amos, and Carter. Carterlater moved to Texas andlived with Lee and hisfamily before establishinghis own residence andfamily. He was fond ofCarter who was the closestrelative he had. He says inthe letter that he hated toleave and that Uncle Bill’sboys ‘were like brothers tome’.See the slide of a youngAmos and older Amos.There is also a slide ofCarter as a young man.
A page from the 1910 census shows that George S. and Ada Whitt had three sons –Amos, Sherman, and Carter. Also living with them were George’s mother Polly and anephew, Walter L Whitt, who would leave for Texas the next year. Use your ‘zoom’feature to zoom in on the data on the chart. W.L. Whitt became known as Lee aroundTerrell, and through a connection he obtained a job at the Terrell State Hospital, wherehe began working and saving his money and investing it in real estate. He was asuccessful businessman by the time his sons Eugene and Paul were born.
Mrannice located herself for us from her college annual.
Mother was always avidly involved in politics. Here’s a shot fromher college yearbook. In her later years, the Republican Women ofKaufman County gave her a really moving tribute that includedvideos and letters from Ronald Reagan and George Bush (41),among other notables. I’ll post some clips from that on youtube.Knowing her and all she did behind the scenes, the tribute waswell-deserved. Her resolve for her beliefs was incredible.
Jim and Gerrie White (Mrannice’s brother and sister-in-law)
There is more to come, as this is a work in progress. Other things keeppopping up and getting in the way of me finishing this. If you have ideasof what you’d like to see (the next thing I’m going to do is scan picturesof my siblings after I finish with Mother’s section), let me know.Check on the progress at JackWhitt.com/whittfamilygeneologyI should have a place to leave comments / suggestions / questions soon.