Submitted by Bev Daly
Notes for John* Douglas Meeks:
He was called Doug by the family, and J.D. by some people. Grandpa Meeks once told me about the first car he saw. He said he and his brothers were working in the field and an automobile came down the road. They yelled and made jokes about it. They said it got stuck and they pushed it. I kinda doubt that part.
Grandpa and Grandma met at the Shady Grove school they both attended.
I asked Grandma what they did on their wedding day. She said they just went back home and picked cotton. I don't believe that they picked cotton in February. She said they were married in Custusha, Mars Hill, Philadelphia, MS by a Justice of the Peace. They were Methodist.
I was told that the Meeks boys all played instruments when they had a dance. Grandpa was the 'caller'.
I felt sorry that Grandma didn't get to dance, while Grandpa was 'calling'
Grandpa worked building bridges through the swamps. He was in charge of a gang of blacks. They called him Capt. Meeks. I know he carried a pistol. Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Charlie and Daddy all lived in a cabin near the work. Grandma said she cooked in the fireplace.
Grandpa got malaria. They called it 'the ole malarial fever'. So they moved north to Topeka, Kansas. They went by train. Grandpa was building bridges again. They lived on Branner St. near the Santa Fe Yards. Daddy was about 10 or 12. Across the alley lived my Aunt Pauline (Kyle) Horn. When Mama and Aunt Vivian went to Aunt Pauline's to visit, they threw rocks at those Meeks boys across the alley.
Grandpa 'got hurt' when he went to 'inspect' under the bridge they were building in Lawrence Kansas. The bridge caved in and he was buried alive. He told me he knew he was 'hurt bad' and he didn't want them to get him out. His back was broken. They sent him to St Paul, Minnesota to the hospital. He said they told him he would never get out of bed. He did. They told him he would never get out of the wheel chair. He did. He walked with two crutches for the rest of his life. He was in pain a great deal of the time. Sometimes the 'kirepracter' would come and give him an adjustment and he would get some relief for awhile. He suffered a lot from what I guess you would call bedsores. His skin was very thin, and Grandma would say 'He's got bad places'.
Grandpa was very friendly and everbody liked Mister Meeks. Most of the family called him Doug. But when asked his name, he would say J.D. While he was in the hospital, Grandma went to St Paul to be with him and the boys stayed with Unk and Onie.
After it was all past, they bought the house at 616 Monroe in Topeka. He must have gotten some kind of settlement from the railroad. They had a car, a Willys Knight. The boys wrecked it near Williamstown. I have seen pictures of it. It was a sedan, looked like a fabric top, but I am not sure. It had four doors.
Grandma rented out sleeping rooms and took in sewing. Later on she made two one room apartments in the attic, one three room apartment in the front part of the basement and another in the living room. They then used the entry hall for their living room. The apartment on the first floor must have had a sleeping-living room. It had a small kitchenette and small bath. The apartment in the basement, (we lived in it for awhile) had a tiny living room, tiny bedroom, kitchen and a toilet. We first lived in the front apartment in the attic. Uncle Charley and Aunt Muriel lived in the back one. It was one room, a tiny kitchenette and that's all.
Grandpa did the cooking and the laundry and the ironing. It was during the depression, and he could get two meals out of one chicken. The dark meat went for chicken and noodles. He made the noodles. And the white meat made creamed chicken.
In the winter he got a ton of coal. They put it through the basement window into the coal bin. He used to shovel the coal to the furnace by hand and then he got an automatic stoker. He was always fixing things and let me help. But, when things like painting, paper hanging and that sort of thing came along, it was hired out. This was before the 'do-it-yourself' idea came along. Grandma often had 'Old Mamie', a black woman, small and wirey, come to help out with heavy work. Grandma said 'Old Mamie' can use the work. She often sent her home with food and cast off clothing. My cousin, Wayne Lewis used to come sometimes to help Grandpa. I don't remember what with.
Grandpa really enjoyed following politics. He thought FDR was the most wonderful of presidents. He avidly listened to the speeches on the radio. He had many uncomplimentary opinions of Alf Landon and the Kansas Republicans. He was a Mason. Grandma belonged to Eastern Star. He also loved to listed to the fights on the radio. He would read me the funnies in the paper every day, and also the stories. In those times there was a running story for children in the paper. They were Uncle Remus Tales. We got two papers each day. The Topeka Daily Capitol in the morning and the Topeka Daily Journal at night. Young boys would come to the door selling the Saturday Evening Post Magazine or the Liberty Magazine. Milk came from the milkman with a horse-drawn wagon. The 'huckster' came by with a vegetable and fruit truck.
They moved to Monterey Park, California in about 1950 or 51. They had a triplex there and Grandma still sewed. A hospital was built across the street after Grandpa died. All of the property around them was sold for a hospital parking lot. Grandma refused to sell and they built the parking lot around her. She said she felt safe. It was really weird to look out the living room side window and see the cars headed up against the fence, not six feet away.
They are buried in Angeles Abbey Mausoleum, Compton, Los Angeles, CA.
Notes for John* Wesley Meeks:
Pappy was born in Whitfield, TN. His father William Thomas Meeks was with the Confederate troops in North Ga-SE TN. He married Annie Lorraine Clark Elizabeth JONES, and Pappy was born before they returned to MS.
"He was a prosperous farmer near Union, Neshoba, MS. He had 2 colored tenant farmers. He had a sawmill, gristmill, sorghum mill, general store, cotton gin and lots of cattle. He lived in the Hemlock Neighborhood. He was a Methodist.
His brother Joe was killed, his brother Mose lived near Laurel, MS and worked in a lumber mill. His brother Sam had sons who became Mormon and moved to Florida, one was called Pat. He had sisters named Isia, and May. May married Womack and lived in Laurel, Ms. His father was Bill Meeks, who was a schoolteacher and Bill had a brother Joe who lived in Texas. His sister Sid married Edcar.
(information from Vadie Meeks.)
"Pappy" is what we all called him..He was a tall thin man. I remember him coming to visit us in Topeka. Grandpa got out the spittoon. He lived in Louisiana with Uncle Wayne. He made me a basket just before he died. He is buried in the Stevenson Cemetery in Rayville, La.
Mammy Meeks died before I was born. All I remember hearing about her was that she was a Baptist.
See HARDY for her family. She is buried in Herbert Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery, Neshoba County, Mississippi. Her son Marcus Eugene is also buried there.
sources: John Douglas Meeks; Vadie Houston Meeks; Death Cert. John Wesley Meeks; Records, Wayne Meeks; Martha Ann Hardy Meeks' Bible; Neshoba Marriage Bk 2; Neshoba Cemt. Records.
Research of Beverly Meeks Daly , Fresno, CA
Notes for Martha*Ann Hardy:
"Mammy" died before I was born. I only remember them saying that she was a Baptist. I know that Unk had her Bible. When I started doing genealogy he copied the information from it and sent it to me. Grandma (Vadie) said she died at home on rural route near Union, Neshoba, MS.
Research of Beverly Daly, Fresno CA
Martha*Ann Hardy and John* Wesley Meeks had the following children:
Notes for Ida Louise Meeks:
Aunt Ida and her husband are buried in the Bloomfield Congregational Methodist Church cemt. Neshoba Co MS.
Notes for Marcus Eugene Meeks: "Gene" was killed in a cotton gin accident.
Notes for William Earl Meeks:
"Unk" is what we called him. He lived with us in Topeka, before he and Aunt Reba got married. He worked in the Santa Fe Railroad yards. When Grandpa got hurt, he and Aunt Onie took care of Joe and Charlie. I don't know if they moved to Kansas to do that or when or why they left Mississippi. They were divorced before I remember. Unk was very active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). He had been in France in World War I. He was very social, very much fun to be around, always kidding, always smiling, always outgoing. He had a lot of lady friends. He always instructed us not to tell one of them if he was out with another one. They telephoned him a lot. He lived in one of the sleeping rooms upstairs (front,south) that Grandma had turned the upstairs into. He was always smartly dressed, even had spats, when I was very little. He ran a dance hall downtown for the VFW. It was about a block west of Kansas Avenue on 6th St, It was upstairs and had springs under the floor. Art and I went dancing there in 1949 when we went back on a visit.
Unk had a house on Lafayette in the 600 block. He must have bought it before he and Onie were divorced. I don't know. He kept it rented. I rememer him talking about taking care of his house. He and Aunt Reba lived there after they married.
Uncle Wayne was having a tough time during the depression. So Unk arranged for Uncle Wayne's daughter Inez to come to Topeka and he would put her through business school, and Grandma and Grandpa would house and feed her. She got the back, east sleeping room. I was about 8 or 9 when she came, and I enjoyed her.
Unk kept in touch with the folks in Louisana, and would go down to visit them on his railroad pass. (Free Ticket) He would bring back sorgham and sugar cane. Grandpa was always tickled to get the sorgham molasses. I didn't care alot for it myself.
Unk drug his feet with Aunt Reba. She finally told him that if he didn't want to get married she was going to look for somebody else. So they got married. He usually had a nice car. I remember how proud he always was when he got one and would "carry us all for a ride". That's the way Grandma put it. If
she had someplace to go that was a good distance, she would try to get someone to "carry her". One time when Unk got a new car, he told Aunt Reba it had everything but running water. She replied, "Earl if you don't slow down, it's going to have that too!" This was a huge family joke and often repeated. It was really something in those days (1930s) to go a mile a minute. (60 m.p.h.) It was also a big deal to race with the train. The road ran parallel to the tracks. My daddy liked to do that when we had a car.
Unk died of Diabetes. I miss him. He was a good guy.
Notes for Eureka Ray Meeks:
Called Ray. Buried: Stevenson Cemt. Rayville, La
Notes for Jessie Wayne Meeks: Buried Stevenson Cemt., Rayville, La.
Notes for Covert Delone Meeks:
Buried Stevenson Cemt. Rayville, La
Jeff Kemp - State Coordinator
If you have questions or problems with this site, email the County Coordinator. Please do not ask for specfic research on your family. I am unable to do your personal research. I do not live in Neshoba Co., MS and do not have access to additional records.