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m j . hollingshead

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Books by m j . hollingshead
G'pa's Romantic Marriage Proposal
By m j . hollingshead
Posted: Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Last edited: Wednesday, August 01, 2007
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.
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Will - William Washington Hollingshead - was born in 1881, four days following the death of his father James.

Will Hollingshead s/o James, s/o Eziekiel, s/o Benjamin, s/o of John who we think is the émigré

Will - William Washington Hollingshead - was born in 1881, four days following the death of his father James. He was born in Lauderdale Co. Tennessee, which I always heard as Laudadill as a child, this was not the county where his parents were living in 1880. The 1880 census indicated that James and Josie Summers/Sumner and their daughter Anna Elizabeth, one year old were living in Haywood County near Tom Hollingshead and his wife Sally Summers/Sumner. Over in Lauderdale County lived Uncle Bill - William Ezekiel Hollingshead and his wife Julie Averitt and Uncle Frank - Benjamin Franklin Hollingshead and his wife Susie Nicks .

In 1881 each of the four Hollingshead brothers were farming, raising young families and recovering from the ravages of The War Between The States. Times were hard, but life was improving.

Sally and Josie had watched their father Wash Summers and his two oldest sons, their brothers William Abner and John Marcus march off to join the Hollingsheads and others who were fighting FOR Alabama: – Bill 20 AL, FOR Mississippi: – Co. F 13 MS Frank, or FOR Tennessee 32d TN: - Wash, William Abner and John Marcus.

Not one of my Union or Confederate relatives and ancestors ever voiced anything regarding slavery ; neither for or against as a reason for their going off to fight. Reading their letters is found a common a theme; my union relatives fought FOR the Union AND my Confederate relatives fought FOR the state where they were born or lived.

Susie welcomed home her wounded husband Frank who would always walk with a limp after the war. Abner Sumner lost an arm. Each of them Hollingshead, Summers/Sumner and thousands of others marched away from home determined to fight to the death, if necessary, to insure states rights. Each returned home thin, often sick, with haunted eyes and nightmares that troubled their sleep until the end of their lives. Ezekiel’s brother John was not so fortunate; HIS sons John and James were KIA within a month of one another.

Hard times followed but, by 1881, each had begun to again hope for the future. All of that changed for Josie Summers and the unborn child she carried. Welfare was nonexistent, jobs were nearly so. Each of the Hollingshead and Summers/Sumner families helped as much as they could, however they all had growing families and mouths to feed. Women were left with few options, Josie kept house for strangers and when they allowed; kept her children with her. When the employer didn’t want her kids under foot she faced a horrible dilemma and farmed them out with ‘kin’.

BY 1890 Frank and 2 SONS Benjamin Franklin and Charles Wesley appear on tax rolls : CYPRESS TOWNSHIP near Conway AR. Will was fortunate; Frank’s son Benjamin Franklin – Uncle Ben was married, he and his wife Ola only had one son Ruben and were happy to provide a long term home for Will. Charles Wesley and his wife Nancy Alice Bearden lived nearby.

Frank’s children grew up, married and began families. Josie remarried and produced two more daughters. Will’s sister Lizzie and Frank’s son John Dee ran off to Alabama to get married, FIVE TIMES… but that is another story. Charles Wesley and Alice had a nice family of four children along with a new baby. And Will grew up into a hardworking young man engaged to a girl down at Lonoke. Will moved to Lonoke to be closer to Cora.

And, Charley took sick.

And, Charley died.

And at harvest time the family sent Will back up to Conway to get Charley’s crop in so that Alice and the kids would not starve. As quick as the crop was in Will hurried back to Lonoke.

Come spring the family sent Will back to Conway to get a crop in the ground so that Alice and Charley’s kids would not go hungry. Charley’s children were Geneva 9, Maren 7, William Grover 6, Mattie Lee 4 and Henry Ezekiel crawling size.

The crop was in the ground when nineteen year old Will got ready to go back down to Lonoke.

Aunt Mattie told me she and the other kids stood on the porch and watched G’pa get his stuff out of the barn where he had been sleeping and put it into the wagon. She said Grandpa came to the porch to tell them goodbye and she and the others flung themselves on him and ‘we went to squallin’

Alice, twenty-nine years old, heard the commotion and came to the door.

G’pa told me he said, ‘Well, Alice I guess if we are to ever get these kids to shut up we better ride into town and go to the courthouse and get married.’

And, so they did.


Reader Reviews for "G'pa's Romantic Marriage Proposal"

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Reviewed by Alan Cook
Great story, great history. We need to write our history so that future generations will know it.
Reviewed by Betty Jo Tucker
I love stories like this, m j. Great happy ending -- or beginning?!!
Reviewed by J Howard
good story and ...i would like to know about the five marriages!
Reviewed by JMS Bell
Reviewed by Mark Lichterman
Very interesting, M.J. And very informative, and very well written. This looks to me as having the possibilites of being somewhat of an outline for a novel with chapters introducing each of the ansesters then bringing them together as a common entity. I truly did enjoy reading this.
Reviewed by Inspire Hope
Excellent Mj! what a great tribute and so honorable! " Gpa's Romantic Marriage Proposal" I must stop by more often to read your stories, I so glad that I stopped by tonight! May the Lord bless and keep you. Keep on writing!!

Love And Prayers
Reviewed by Debra Conklin
What a history your family has. But, I would like to know a little more about John Dee. That story does sound like another story...and an interesting one at that.
Reviewed by Terry Michaels
Love the family history and your "down home" writing style. Fun read!
Reviewed by John Domino
What a GRAND tribute to your elders!
Where did you learn about such details?

God Bless You!

John Michael
Reviewed by Mariann Klimczuk
Molly, sharing your family history made me feel like a bit of that history...A well written narrative. Thanks
Reviewed by Barbara Terry
Thank you Molly for sharing this history of your family. There is a lot of rich heritage here. But it was the ending that made me really smile, when he simply said let's go to the courthouse and get married. Thank you for sharing.

May the Lord Jesus bless you, and those whom you love and who love you, and be with you always, and at your side constantly. With much love in my heart, joy to the world, peace on earth & ((((((((((MANY WONDERFUL SISTERLY HUGGGGSSSS)))))))))), your little sister, Barbie
Reviewed by A Serviceable Villain
Hello MJ,

Thank you for your recent reviews!

This is one exceptional write - I greatly enjoyed this read!

Best wishes,

Reviewed by Regis Auffray
I don't know how I missed this before. A fine literary sharing, Molly. Thank you. Love and best wishes to you,

Reviewed by Sandie May Angel-Joyce
Wonderful write!!! I like the ending!!!

Sandie May :o)
Reviewed by Sandra Mushi
Lol! What a proposal. Lol. cute indeed.

Merry Christmas and God bless,

Reviewed by Mary Coe
Heartfelt story. So many young men are still going off to war. Many are KIA, many are seriously injured. War is hard. The ending was cute, when G'pa proposed. Very interesting reading. I'm glad you shared this story.
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes
Great offering..thanks for sharing this history of your G'pa and ma!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan
cool, well written piece of history-every story such as this is important-they tell of life lived-precious simple and rich

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