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 miscellaneousEugene and Mary Whitt – 50 plus years together
Descendants of David WHITT1. David WHITT was born in 1770 in VA. He died after 1850 in TN. He was buried in SmithCemetery, Lincoln Co., TN. David’s 1st wife, born in Virginia, died 1 Jan 1816 on trail toTN. John Watson Whitt was the third of 3 kids to this union, and he was born the dayhis 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 diedon 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 whomwas 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 buriedin Smith Cemetery, Lincoln Co., TN. Sim and his 1st wife had 2 children, one of whomwas Asa (depicted in this presentation). His 1st wife died in 1885, and in 1886, hemarried 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 secondof 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 setin, and after amputating his leg (probably with a saw that wasn’t disinfected) he diedthe 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 1962in 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 unionwas 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 Whitt as a child.Asa had an older sister, Lillie Mae, who was 5years old (Asa was 2) when their mother died inJan. 1885. Their father Sim married MinnieLouella Morrell on 6 Jan. 1886, and they had 3children, one of whom died six months afterMinnie died on 1 Oct 1890. Walter Lee(Eugene’s dad) was 2 and his sister Ellis Eugenewas 4 years of age when their mother died.Their older sister Lillie Mae did the cooking andhousework 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 asawmill accident. In a letter from Lee to an oldschoolmaster many years later, he said that“Asa made a poor cook….Asa also did themilking.” After their father’s death, the kidsstayed with grandparents, aunts and uncles.Asa went to a “prep school “, became a teacher,ran a store for a while, and married and movedto Athens, AL, where he was on the police forcewhen he died at the age of 59 in 1942. Lee saidin his letter “…He raised a fine family.” Hesurely 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 WhittJune 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.
Carter WhittIn December of 2008 we gatheredall the photos we could of ourfamily to put this together.It was mistakenly written on thispicture that it was of W.L. Whitt(Eugene’s father), but this is a pictureof Carter Whitt.I remember Hoosie talking about thispicture when I very young and henoted what a dapper dresser CarterWhitt was.Note the resemblance to his brotherAmos, on the next slide.The Whitt resemblance is there, and inour generation it can clearly be seen inBob Whitt’s features.
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.)Amos, brotherof Carter Whitt,(see the 13thcensus slide)son of GeorgeSterling Whitt,nephew of SimWhitt, 1st cousinto W.L.
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 motherwas 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 WhittElla 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, CorbThese were Pappy’s brothers and sisters-in-law.He had a saying about them.
I don’t have a clue who any of these people are, but this picture was mixedin with a bunch of the Taffers. I’d appreciate receiving any informationabout these people if anyone has it. There were literally hundreds ofphotos like this (and much older) in the box Jeff had that I sifted through.All of them taken of people dressed up or gathered together for a specialoccasion. But we know nothing about any of them as there was noinformation on the back. How sad.
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.Hoosie was always areprobate. He later servedwith the 16th TankDestroyers Group in WWIIand was twice busted forinsubordination. He wrotefor the Stars and Stripes,the military newspaper.I do remember him being areally, really good editorialwriter. He had a knack forstating his point and closingit with an iron-cladsummative statement. If hehad spent one tenth of thetime writing that he spentreading, he would havebeen a prolific writer. Hewas an incredibly voraciousreader all his life. Iremember in his very lastdays, he sat up and tried toread, but his body justwouldn’t allow it anymore.I felt so sorry for him. Heloved his books.
From the 1939 Texas Tech Yearbook. They made a nice couple.
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.
Eugene Whitt, Editor of Terrell Tribune 1947Upon graduation from college,Mary and Eugene moved toClovis, New Mexico and begantheir careers in journalism.World War II eventually alteredtheir lives in a big way. Hoosiewas initially turned down whenhe tried to join the army (dueto flat feet) but was laterallowed to join. Mary followedhim and worked in a stenopool and various other statesidecapacities for the military whileHoosie served in the ETO.Thankfully, Hoosie made it backhome, and they began raising afamily with the birth of JudithAnn Whitt in 1945. GeoffreyRichmond Whitt was born in1947 followed by Jack Lenoir in1951 and finally, James Dyer in1953.They both remained in the news-paper business as Hoosie waseditor of the Terrell Daily Indexand later the TerrellTribune. Eugene never didlike working for someoneelse, and in the early 1950’she bought into the East EndGrocery, located just outsidethe main gate of the TerrellState Hospital. This was inthe days before supermarketchains were so dominant.Mary continued reporting forTribune and part time for theDallas Morning News. Shelater went to work as a socialworker for the Terrell StateHospital and loved it. She wasa natural at it, being the typeof person who loved helpingpeople.Both were very politicallyactive, and Hoosie laterserved as mayor of Terrell.Mary was Kaufman CountyRepublican Chairperson fora number of years.
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. In1910, over 30% of the populationwas involved 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.