Category Archives: McCALL

THEOLOGICAL THURSDAY…..FINDING OF BIBLES


Do you know the faith of your ancestors?

I am sure many of us who are interested in family history, have inherited a bible or two. Or, perhaps five! Looking for information contained in those bibles can be more interesting than that of the age of the bible itself. Some websites are devoted to people reuniting them to their long lost family bibles.

FAMILY BIBLES

Tattered and torn, put away in the bookcase, I look at them every now and then. Still hoping to find some lost scrap of paper or handwritten notes on the pages of information on births, marriages and deaths.

I have one I can not identify who the owner was, and the others are from Ewing and McCall sides. I have some copied pages from the Ewing side that a cousin had researched that connect me to Alexander Ewing, the Patriot.

Have you strayed from what your ancestors believed? Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Wesleyan Methodist, Pentecostal, Judaism,Quakers or even Lutheran. Many times, religion was the community in which you lived. Now, there may be up to a dozen different faiths all in the same town. Most religion carried through the generations. You can see this at most church cemeteries. I am interested if you carried your family faith to your generation.

Military Monday…..our family heroes


I don’t come from what you would call a ” military family “

but, we have lots of family members who have served their country.

Hershel Pickens Enlistment

In doing my family research, I was most fascinated to learn of ancestors who fought in the American Revolution. Alexander Ewing for instance, on my mothers side.He was in Pennsylvania during the Revolution. I have since found other ancestors on each side that helped establish our country. I am quite proud of that fact.

In the civil war, my third great-grandfather, Joseph McCall was an Irish Immigrant. He came to America somewhere between 1829-1849. He married in Georgia, and fought in the 46th Georgia Regiment.

My father was enlisted in the Air Force. He was a photographer while enlisted, and took photos of plane events, such as recording plane crashes. He also played on the basketball team.

My mom’s brother, Albert Dean was in the US Marines. His son,  Bill Dean, was in the US Navy.

My grandmother’s brother, Thomas E. Ewing was in the US Army, during WW II. He enlisted June 9, 1942.

Aircraft photo by Hershel Pickens

Thomas Ewing, United States Army

Hershel Pickens Air Force Collage

Albert Dean USMC

MOTHER’S DAY REMEMBRANCES


THESE ARE SOME MOTHER’S DAY CARDS I FOUND IN

GRANDMA’S THINGS, CARDS FROM MY PARENTS TO

THEIR MOMS.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! TO MY MOM AND MOTHER-IN-LAW

CIRCA 1950’S

BLANCHE EWING DEAN AND MAMIE MCCALL PICKENS

WISHING MY MOTHER AND MOTHER IN LAW THE BEST MOTHER’S DAY EVER!

MY MOTHER

ALBERTA LOUISE DEAN PICKENS

LOUISE PICKENS MY MOM

MY MOM HAS BEEN AT THE HOSPITAL WITH MY DAD SINCE THURSDAY. WE ARE MAKING LUNCH FOR MARY NELLE WITH BROTHER SEAN AND SISTER SHANNON, AND DAD, THEN TAKING LUNCH TO MY MOM AND DAD AT HOSPITAL. THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO FOR US MARY NELLE!!!!! YOU ARE WONDERFUL!!

MY MOTHER-IN-LAW

MARY NELLE SMITH BLACK

MARY NELLE SMITH BLACK

THE BEST MOMS IN THE WORLD!!! HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY 2012!!!

WEDDING WEDNESDAY


WHO KNEW THAT TWELVE YEARS LATER THEY WOULD MEET?

My grandmother Mamie McCall and my grandfather Harvey Pickens. Mamie was 6 in this picture, which would make it 1916. My Papa looks to be about 12 or more. He was born in 1901, so these pictures were taken close to the same time. They were married in 1931 and were together 53 years, until my grandfather passed away in 1984. They never made a big deal about their 50th anniversary, nor did we know at that time when it was. THey had two children, my father Hershel Harvey Pickens and Ann Marie Pickens, and six grandchildren.

I regret I do not have a wedding picture or marriage certificate. I am going to request a marriage certificate from the state of Florida.

Photos, photos and more photos!!!


COLLAGE

ORGANIZATION PROJECT

TUESDAY TIPS


                                            CREATING YOUR TREE

If you have not already been bitten by the genealogy bug, this is of no use to you. Nor will you even be reading this. But, if you are thinking of starting your family tree, here are some beginning tips on what to do.

  1. Start with your parents. What do you know of them, where they met, lived etc.
  2. Your grandparents. Now if you are fortunate enough to still have them, ask as many questions as you can, and have a tablet. This is how I started. Learn about their siblings, where the grandparents lived, worked and who their parents were. The great-grandparents are key. This could take you back much further, probably Civil War time depending on your age.
  3. Photographs, hopefully mom saved a lot of these, and grandma too. Hope that the photos have names and dates on the back.
  4. Resource centers cemeteries in which your ancestors are buried, local LDS centers, death, marriage and birth certificates in your family.
  5. Join an online community , such as Rootsweb, Genealogy Wise, FamilySearch, Genforum or Ancestry. This is a great way to network your info.
  6. Research on Findagrave, I have found many headstones there, as well as other family buried in the same cemetery. This also gives you locality information on where your family lived.
  7. USGenWeb has great information broken down by state and county. There are volunteers there to help.
  8. Local libraries/archives has old census records, deeds and abstracts, as well as court records to help you in your search.
  9. Visit towns in which your family grew up, I did this recently and discovered a new world.
  10. Lastly, try to stick to one family at a time, if you don’t, you may stray and never get back to your original question……

WHERE DO I COME FROM?

MONDAY MOURNING, GREATS AND GRANDS


PEOPLE WHO HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE IN MY LIFE……..WHEN I WAS A TEEN, I LOVED SPENDING TIME WITH MY FAMILY. GRANDPARENTS ESPECIALLY. I WISH MORE KIDS WERE ENCOURAGED TO DO THE SAME. SO MUCH CAN BE LEARNED FROM THESE GIFTS. I AM MENTIONING IN THIS POST BOTH GRANDPARENTS AND GREAT AUNTS AND UNCLES. GREAT AND GRAND IS WHAT THEY TRULY ARE. 

MY NANA…MAMIE CHRISTINE MCCALL PICKENS, ONE OF THE LAST TIMES I SAW HER. SHE PASSED AWAY MAY 1, 2000. I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER THE GAMES WE PLAYED, THE CAKES WE BAKED AND THE MANY FLOWERS WE PLANTED.

MY PAPA….HARVEY HERSHEL PICKENS, I ALWAYS REMEMBER HIM IN THE YARD. HE GREW EVERYTHING IN THAT CITY YARD, GREEN BEANS, EGGPLANT, PEPPERS, TOMATOES AND SQUASH.HE PASSED AWAY AFTER A FEW SHORT MONTHS OF ILLNESS, OCT 9, 1984.

MY GRANDMOTHER, BLANCHE ELEANOR EWING  DEAN….MY MOM AND I SPENT A WEEK WITH HER BEFORE SHE PASSED AWAY IN NOVEMBER 2000. WE TALKED ABOUT FAMILY HISTORY, WENT THROUGH PHOTOS AND GOT A FEW STORIES. I LOST TWO GRANDMOTHERS JUST 6 MONTHS APART. WE DID NOT LIVE NEAR HER, BUT , SUMMER VISITS WERE FUN! BAKING, WALKING AND VISITING NEIGHBORS. SHE HAD LITTLE , BUT, GAVE PLENTY.

MY AUNT ANN IS AN EXCEPTION TO THE REASON FOR THE POST. I PUT HER IN BECAUSE SHE WAS A POSITIVE INFLUENCE ON ME. WE HAD A GREAT TIME TOGETHER BACK IN MARCH OF 2008. SHE HAD BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER, AND HAD THE MOST POSITIVE OUTLOOK ON LIFE. WE ENJOYED TALKING ABOUT THE FAMILY HISTORY AND LOOKING AT PHOTOS. I WAS ON A GENEALOGY QUEST THAT TRIP. SHE TRAVELLED THE WORLD AND I ALWAYS LOVED LISTENING TO HER STORIES OF PLACES SHE HAD BEEN. THIS IS A PIC TAKEN WHILE ANN AND HUSBAND TOM WERE VISITING ME WHEN I LIVED IN FRANKLIN PENNSYLVANIA. I THINK IT WAS 1988.

MY AUNT ODESSA AND UNCLE THEO, TWO REMARKABLE PEOPLE. WE WOULD SPEND TIME WITH THEM IN PLANT CITY WHEN I WAS YOUNG, AND WHEN UNCLE THEO PASSED AWAY, I FELT I HAD LOST A FRIEND. THEY BOTH WERE WONDERFUL PEOPLE.

AUNT RUTH AND UNCLE TOM EWING. WHEN WE WOULD TRAVEL TO PENNSYLVANIA, I WOULD STAY WITH THEM ON THEIR FARM, SOMETHING MY MOTHER USED TO DO AS A CHILD. THEY HAD A HORSE, NEIGHBORING DOGS AND ALL THE ICE CREAM AND BLACK RASPBERRIES YOU COULD EAT!!! AND THE BEST SOUR CREAM CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES!

AND LAST, BUT, CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, MY GREAT AUNT RUTH PICKENS. I ALWAYS ADMIRED HER. SHE DRESSED IMMACULATELY. ALWAYS FUN TO BE AROUND. SHE DIDN’T VISIT AS OFTEN AS WE WOULD LIKE THOUGH. SHE WAS ALWAYS OFF IN A BIG CITY SOMEWHERE.

SPEND TIME WITH YOUR ANCESTORS, YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT GREAT INFORMATION YOU WILL RECEIVE, AS WELL AS THE TIME ENJOYED TOGETHER.

THRILL RIDE THURSDAY


WING WALKER DAREDEVIL

My great-uncle Theodore Jeffers McCall, was an accomplished man. He did have a daring side though..

Barnstormer turned manager

Plant City fondly recalls adventurer Theo McCall

This is a story taken from the local paper in Plant City Florida.

PLANT CITY – The thrill of barnstorming was just a wing tip away for the late Theo McCall.

The young man, who later would manage Plant CIty for nearly 27 years, was looking for adventure.He had attended local schools, worked as a plumber with an uncle in Miami and in the Plant City Fire Department. But, hey, when you’re 24, that’s just a little too tame.So in 1929, McCall sold his roadster and decided to gn barnstorming with his pilot friend, Clarence McArthur.The two bought a World War I “Jenny” and instantly attracted a paying crowd at the Coronet runway. Located in a bumpy cow pasture off Coronet Road southeast of the city, the little airstrip preceded the present airport west of town.Like other barnstormer who traveled rural areas to give dramatic presentations, McCall and his friend sought to bring some excitement to their patrons.McCall would don helmet and goggles and, with the eyes of hundreds of men, women and children upon him, would Inch his way along the wings to a parachute packed on the underbelly of the plane.Slipping his arms into the parachute’s slings, he would pull a slip knot and, amid gasps and screams from those below, drift earthward.His descent was marked, not by smoke, but by a trail of plain cooking flour flowing steadily from a paper hag. Once, when McCall jumped at a Moultrie, Ga., airstrip, the wind was blowing in the wrong direction. He was covered with flour when his feet touched the ground.A woman rushed up to him and exclaimed, “My God, son, are you hurt?” He wasn’t. And he figured each jump was well worth the $25 he received. McCall later would say that collecting that amount. even during hard times, was like gathering golden eggs in a basket.Pilot MacArthur didn’t do too badly, either. He got about $2.50 a person for those brave enough to take a joy ride in the plane.

 

WING-WALKER, PLUMBER,FIREMAN,MANAGER-

PLANT CITY’S T.]. MCCALL WAS A MAN OF MANY TALENTS By Plant City Photo Archives & History Center FOCUS Magazine June 2010

Previously we wrote about Mike E. Sansone, after whom one of the City’s recreational parks is named, who was a WWI and WWIl veteran, and who dedicated himself to programs for the community through his work with the American Legion, and to the community’s youth through service with the Boy Scouts of America.

This story is about another impressive man, Theodore Jeffers McCall, who served as Plant City’s City Manager for nearly 27 years, from January 1941 to December 1967.

Born in Ocilla, Georgia, (in Irwin County, about 20 miles northeast of Tifton), October 20, 1905, Theodore Jeffers McCall is the son of Clifford Riley McCall and Maud Jeffers McCall. Clifford was a blacksmith, and in 1913 moved his family to Plant City and established what was to be the last blacksmith shop in Plant City; it was located on Pennsylvania Avenue between Baker and Reynolds Streets.

According to the Bruton and Bailey book on the history of Plant City, Clifford Riley McCall would ride his bicycle to the Methodist Church on Reynolds Street with daughter Mamie on the crossbar and his small son seated behind. They rode from the Sanders farm on Alexander Street, where they lived, east on Haines Street to the church.

Theodore McCall attended local schools, graduating from Plant City High School about 1923. Some of his friends knew him as “Theo”, some called him “Mac”, while others simply knew him as “TJ.” After high school, young Theo left Plant City to work in Texas and also worked as a plumber with his uncle in Miami. Returning to Plant City in 1926 he signed on with the Fire Department as a “fire laddie”, a colloquial reference to the brave young volunteer firemen from the early years.

With the economic collapse of late 1929, McCall and MacArthur decided to end their barnstorming, and Theo McCall returned to Plant City. He joined the Police Department as a motorcycle policeman. He reconnected to many old friends, including school mate Odessa Geer, older sister to Quintilla Geer. Quintilla Geer married classmate James Bruton in 1932, and Odessa Geer and Theo McCall were married in 1933.

McCall’s professional career with the city continued to consume him. He was appointed superintendent of the streets department and later superintendent of the combined sanitation department and jail. In 1939 he was appointed Chief of Police. During this time he was also an active member of the Olin Wright Masonic Lodge, then located on Evers Street at Mahoney,just behind the City Hall, and he was also a member of the Egypt Temple (Shriners). He and Odessa had two sons – James Clifford McCall born in late 1934, and Charles Raymond McCall born in 1937.

The City of Plant City at that time did not have City Manager-Commission form of government, and a city commissioner functioned as city manager with no additional compensation. In 1939 Alvin Hinson held this position and McCall was appointed to serve as Hinson’s assistant. By January 1941 this changed and the city commission appointed Theodore Jeffers McCall to the full-time post of City Manager. The city budget was approximately $150,000, and the population was just under 5,000.

At that time the City Hall was at the corner of Collins and Mahoney and housed almost all of the municipal services – including police and fire departments, and housed a court room on the second floor. There was a separate “lockup” and a small water department. Theo McCall was dedicated to his work for the city and its people; he knew the workings of every department and thought nothing of working side-by-side with other city employees – whether in a ditch or at a desk. He was a hands-on guy. You would see him everywhere, with his signature straw hat, and usually a coat and tie. His schedule was full and city staff and city residents knew they could call him at any time – and they did.

McCall worked for nearly 27 years as City Manager, retiring in December 1967. During that time the city grew from a population of about 5,090 to 17,000, it doubled in square miles, constructed more than 60 miles of paved streets and miles of sidewalks. The city saw growth with numerous buildings and businesses, with the formation of the Industrial Expansion Committee of 100, organized to bring in light industry; they also solicited the Hillsborough Aviation Authority for land for an industrial park, and they began construction of the .$1.6 million industrial waste-treatment plant. McCall also drew the floor plans for the new City Hall at Wheeler and Mahoney, and the floor plans for the two new recreation centers, which are now the Planteen and the MLK Rec Center.

In 1954 the Jaycees presented McCall with their Good Government Award, only the second they had presented. He has received recognition for his years of service from the International City Managers Association and the Florida City Managers Association. The Suncoast Girl Scout Council honored McCall for his assistance in securing their permanent location at Mike Sansone Park.

In November 1967, at the announcement of his retirement plans, the Plant City Courier editorial said this of Mac McCall:

“McCall stood by ready to help. He is that kind of man – kind, considerate, helpful, fair, and just. Above all he toiled, worked, and planned for the good of Plant City. “

On June 2, 1971, the city commission dedicated a park in the middle of the downtown business district to “Mr. Plant City”. McCall Park was expanded, made over and rededicated in 1998. It is the center of much of the downtown activities in Plant City. Theodore Jeffers McCall left this life on June 20, 1980, and is buried at Oaklawn Cemetery in his beloved Plant City. Odessa Geer McCall, June 8, 1906 – April 15, 1990, rests adjacent to Theodore.

Sources: Quintilla Geer Bruton and David E. Bailey, Jr., Plant City; Its Origin and History, Hunter Publishing Company, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 1984. The Tampa Tribune, Panky Glamsch, 1961, Panky Snow,

12/26/1994, The Tampa Times, 10/2511966, The Courier, 10/27/1966, Plant City Photo Archives “Oral History Project” 2009, Edith McCall Fountain, and Plant City Photo Archives & History Center photographic collections.

FRIDAY FINDS….WHERE’S THE DIRT?


I have been searching…….

for that elusive bit of genealogy that would make my family interesting. Did I have Patriots in my family? Yes, several, and have seen the grave of one ( Alexander Ewing ) of them in Pennsylvania. Did I have plantation owners? Yes, and would love to visit the lands of these former plantations. Were there notable men and women? Indeed, in several states, from South Carolina to Alabama. Perhaps, more I have yet to discover.

But, where is the dirt? I have found little. One usually strives to keep those things covered. I have only found one record of any scandal. A great-uncle that was connected to The Ku Klux Klan, proud of that I am not. Yet, in the mid 19th century and into the mid 20th century, this was common. He lived in Texas, and when his obit was posted, it stated that he had ” the ceremonies of the Ku Klux Klan”. What kind of ceremonies could they dispense at a funeral? That particular side of the family were not slave owners, nor did they ever have enough land that they would have owned a plantation. I guess he just believed the way he did for his own reasons.

I have an interesting story my great-aunt Edith told me of Henry Ford visiting her father’s blacksmith shop in Plant City. Offering him a job metal working for the trucks he was building.. This would have been somewhere in 1920’s. Clifford McCall and family moved there between 1915-1920. So, the time works out right. My great-grandfather owned a blacksmith shop and made tools, knives for friends and yard implements.

So where are the moonshiners, stories of indiscretion, felons and ne’er do wells? I will keep searching for that skeleton someone has harbored away to be found when all is forgotten.

I’M RELATED TO GEORGE WASHINGTON


NO, NOT THAT ONE…..

Yesterday I talked about George Washington Sullivan. He was my 4th great grand-uncle. Try to follow along. Builder of Charlton Hall in Laurens county South Carolina.

Well, I have another GW in the family. George Washington Mayberry. He was my 5th great-grandfather. I seriously doubt if either were named after our first president, but, it is coincidental. And there in the same line. GW Sullivan’s brother, William Dunklin married Mary Polly Mayberry, daughter of GW Mayberry.

G. W. Mayberry’s property was located near the Bibb/Perry Co line, and he and his family remained active in both counties. He was appointed Commissioner of Roads for Bibb Co on March 7, 1823, and appointed Bibb Co tax collector in May of that year. In the fall of 1779, at the age of 19, he enlisted as a private in the Calvary of Capt. John Cottrell and was assigned to guard the Tory prisoners in VA for 3 months. He enlisted again in the VA militia in the summer of 1781 and served 6 months in the companies of Capt. David Baird and Capt. Cummings, where he was at the Seige of Yorktown. He was very proud to have seen George Washington and Gen. Lafayette during this tour. After the surrender of Yorktown, he became ill and was discharged to return home in November, 1781. In 1832, the U.S. Government enacted a pension program for Revolutionary War Veterans and George Mayberry enrolled on December 18, 1833, and was granted an annual pension allowance of $32.

The two George Washington males above are directly related to my line, the GW Gunn I speak of below are by marriage only.

Another George Washington in my tree is there by marriage. One of George Washington Gunn’s children, well, actually two sons, married McCall sisters. Barnett Kingsley Gunn married Mary Alva McCall and his brother Charles Addison Gunn married Annie Clyde “Lena” McCall. These would each be a great grand-aunt to me. Their father in law, G W Gunn was an Alabama state senator , a Baptist minister , a lawyer and also the attorney general for the state of Alabama in the mid 1800’s.

Is it fate to be given a name as esteemed as George Washington and become some form of public servant? Are you predisposed by the name you are given? Perhaps they were as driven as our first President of these United States. To be named after the first President is considered patriotic.

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