Month: February 2016

The rumor that’s circulated for many years in the family is that Granddaddy Bill fudged his birth date in order to join the Army during World War I because he was under age. His Social Security Death Index, State of Georgia death certificate 1 and cemetery headstone all state 13 Jan 1898 as his birth date. His WWI service card shows that he joined the Alabama National Guard 3 Jul 1916 and stated his age as 18. 2  Proof enough that he was indeed 18…

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In the 1920-30s in the Southeast, textile mills ruled the manufacturing industry. Close on its heels were the burgeoning electric power companies lighting up the cities and rural towns. Both industries sought ways to lure workers, and one of the most popular was sponsoring commercial ball teams. In fact, according to Daddy, Granddaddy Bill McCune moved his family from Columbus to Manchester, GA, when he was recruited by the local textile mill based on his baseball skills. A bit strange to us nowadays, but they…

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On a hot, humid evening in a small, west-central Georgia city skirted by the murky Chattahoochee waters, a batter approaches home plate, knocking the red dust from his scruffy shoes with the tip of his wooden bat. Bottom of the ninth, and it’s now or never. Removing his cap to wipe the sweat from his brow, he grounds his feet into the dirt at home plate setting up for his left-handed batter’s stance.  After warming up with a few practice swings, he faces the pitcher,…

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Carrie Tillman McCune Baker wasn’t a victim of the raging 1918 Spanish influenza epidemic. On November 30, 1918, she died of pellagra, according to the attending physician who signed her death certificate . [1] What is pellagra, you’re asking? I’d never heard of it either so I ‘googled’ it. Wikipedia describes it as malnutrition from a vitamin deficiency resulting in the “three Ds: diarrhea, dermatitis, and dementia” and states that pellagra was once common in the poorer sections of the South . [2] I found…

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Since today’s post was a short one, I thought this would be a good time to share an additional post about our family tree. I recently sent those of you on my email list the password to access the Roots Magic public tree I’ve published for you. It’s password protected and living people are not identified on the site for identity theft protection reasons. That’s just a good practice for online trees even though mine is for family members only. The link to the Roots…

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Carrie Tillman McCune Baker was about 45 in 1918. Her two husbands had died, and her two sons were fighting in a world war. She was probably very anxious to see them alive and well again. But that wasn’t to be. Suddenly, our Great-Grandmother Carrie died. The Columbus Daily Enquirer dated 1 Dec 1918 contains her obituary notice, stating that she died Saturday afternoon [30 Nov 1918] at the city hospital, and was survived by a daughter, Rossie, and two sons, Frank and Will McCune,…

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We left Carrie, her sons, Frank and Willie, and little Rossie in Griffin, GA, with little means of livelihood after William’s death. What were they to do? Not surprisingly, Carrie finds a solution. She remarries. A wedding announcement in the Columbus Ledger of 6 Feb 1912 states that Mr. James Baker and Mrs. Carrie McCune were married in her home at 1013 Patten Avenue, Girard, AL, in the presence of a few friends. [1] The 1912 Columbus city directory shows James and Carrie Baker living…

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I became intrigued by the life of William (March 1875 – 1 Oct 1911) and Carrie McCune, Granddaddy Bill’s parents, when I found out that our great-grandfather, Will, was murdered in Griffin, GA, in October 1911. You may have first heard of this shocking, sad event at our family reunion in Thomaston several years ago; and I’ll share many more details with you soon in a future post. Yes, it’s a sensitive subject for any family to discuss, but the elephant  in the room can…

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A dark-haired, young woman, wearing a high-necked, long-sleeved dress of the late 1800s, stares off into the distance with large, hopeful eyes. Typical of the photos of that time period, she’s not smiling. Her hand rests casually on the arm of an ornate chair. This is the first photograph I’ve ever seen of our great-grandmother, Carrie Tillman McCune (26 Jan 1873? – 30 Nov 1918), mother of Granddaddy Bill McCune. Someone in our family had sent me copies of two old photos of Carrie several…

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