Monthly Archives: February 2013

Pink Coffin

I was re-reading my previous article on Jesse Graham & Sarah Scott when I had the following conversation with my daughter.

“What’s that?” she asked, looking at a photograph of a grave marker.

“That’s the grave of my great great grandmother, and your great great great grandmother,” I said.

“What’s the coffin look like?”

“I don’t know. She died in 1928. That was 42 years before I was born.”

“Maybe it was pink.”

“Maybe it was!”


Obituary: Freda Scott

While researching the Scott family for yesterday’s article, I came across this obituary for their eldest daughter, Freda, who died one year ago. The obituary was published in the Appeal Democrat on 18 February 2012.

Freda Kelley


6-29-23 to 2-13-12

88 years old. A long time resident of Sutter. She worked at Del Monte and Sunsweet, and was a waitress at Hals Grubsteak.

Survivors include a son, Ron Kelley of Utah, daughters: Kathy Yarbrough of Georgia, and Brenda Howe of Sutter; 10 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, and 3 great- great grandchildren.

Surviving siblings include a brother Leonard Scott of IL; sisters: Evelyn Polk, Vonda Keith of MO, and Jeannie Broadway of IN.

Preceded in death by her parents, Lawson & Birley Scott; brothers: P.J. Scott, Leroy Scott, Wesley Scott, Lawson Keith Scott, Jerry Scott, sister Joann Scott, and many nieces and nephews.

Graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 at the Sutter Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Make-A-Wish Foundation; Sutter United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 550, Sutter, CA 95982; or any charity of your choice .

The web site for Lakeside Colonial Chapel & Crematory, who handled the interment, had only a brief notice of the service. Note the alternate spelling of Freda’s married surname.

Freda W. Kelly

June 29, 1923 – February 13, 2012

Family and friends are invited to Sutter Cemetery 7200 Butte Ave Sutter CA 95982 for a graveside service on Tuesday February 21, 2012 at 11:00AM

Sources “Freda Kelley,” Appeal-Democrat [Marysville-Yuba City, CA], 18 February 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2013. “Freda W. Kelly.” Retrieved 17 February 2013.

At the Bur in the Leah of the Forest

In a previous article, 1518 Wilson Avenue, I wrote that the 1940 census recorded Lawson Scott living as a border with William and Louise Watts in an apartment in Chicago. To quote myself:

William and Lawson were both employed as “wreckers” in the “building wrecker” industry, with Lawson apparently having left behind his wife to find work (Where was Birley in 1940?).

I have now answered that parenthetical question. While doing research for an upcoming article on someone else, I stumbled upon Lawson Scott’s wife, Birley Bohannon Scott, and their family in the 1940 census.

Lawson Scott 1940

1940 Census, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas

Birley and her children were living on a rented farm in Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas. Though Lawson was recorded as the head of the household, he wasn’t actually living in Arkansas at this time, as he had gone to Chicago to find work. The encircled X beside Berlie’s name indicates that she was the one who provided the enumerator with the requested census information. Berlie naturally named Lawson as the head of the household because he was providing for the family even though he was actually over 600 miles away. Indeed, Lawson’s occupation on the Red River census is given as “wrecking” in the “building” industry, same as on the 1940 Chicago census.

The title of this article comes from the alleged meaning of the surname Birley, “the bur in the leah of the forest,” which is a close approximation of where Birley Scott was in 1940.

Sources 1940 United States Federal Census. Place: Red River, Searcy, Arkansas; Roll: T627_173; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 65-13. Retrieved 16 February 2013.

The Internet Surname Database. Last name: “Birley.” Retrieved 16 February 2013.

Obituary: Effie Savage

I found this obituary at Barbara Van Camp’s WATTS Family group over at, where it had been posted (and probably transcribed) by Ann McDonald. I’m not certain in which newspaper it appeared, but I suspect it was the Sikeston Standard-Democrat.

Effie Savage Bohannon

Effie Eunice Bohannon, 96, formerly of Morehouse, Mo., passed away February 26, 2000, at the Missouri Delta Medical Center in Sikeston, Mo.

Born May 2, 1903, in Atlas, Ark., the fourth of eleven children to the late Robert Claiborn and Armelta Bellzora Watts Savage. She was a homemaker and member of the First Baptist Church of Morehouse, Mo.

On August 26, 1919, at Welcome Home, Ark. she was married to Euggie Irtle Bohannon, who preceded her in death on December 31, 1991.

Survivors include: four sons, William Alton of Morehouse, Mo., Lenord Odell of Fulton, Mo., Melvin Eugene of Sikeston, Mo., John Robert of Pana, Ill; one sister Lucy Thomason of Frostproof, Fla.

She is also survived by eight grandchildren, Amaryllis Ann McDonald of Malden, Mo., Donna Davidson of Scott City, Mo., Michelle Yahnig of Holts Summit, Mo., Cindy Brown of Dexter, Mo., Dennis Bohannon of St. Louis, Mo., Ann Little of Taylorville, Ill., Debbie Pohlmann of Lockport, Ill. and Kathy Brazeau of Sylvania, Ohio.

She also leaves nine great grandchildren; Shane McDonald of RAF Lakenheath, England, Spencer McDonald of Branson, Mo., Brent Miederhoff of Scott City, Mo., Caleb Yahnig of Holts Summit, Mo., Jacob and Aaron Little of Taylorville, Ill., Max Pohlmann of Lockport, Ill. and Mathew and Kaithlyn Brazeau of Sylvania, Ohio.

She was preceded in death by one son, Herbert Ray Bohannon in 1959 and five brothers and four sisters.

Funeral services were conducted at the Nunnelee Funeral Chapel in Sikeston, Mo., Tuesday, February 29, 2000. Rev. Dolan Rogers, pastor of Sikeston Community Church will officiate assisted by Rev. Kelley Grubbs, pastor of Murray Lane Baptist Church. Her final resting place is in the Garden of Memories Cemetery, Sikeston, Mo.

Graham Connection

Well, technically, there is no direct Graham connection here. As mentioned above, Effie was the daughter of Armelta Watts, who herself was the daughter of William Alexander Watts, Junior. Since I am also descended from William Watts, Jr., and Effie and I are first cousins twice removed, that’s an indirect connection good enough for Graham Ancestry!

Source The WATTS Family, “Effie Savage Bohannon,” obituary transcribed by Ann McDonald, probably from the Sikeston Standard-Democrat, posted 6 March 2000. Retrieved on 4 February 2013.

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