Dear Cybervisitor, these articles may only be of interest to my own family but you may look at them; you will glimpse Southern life and death in the late 19th- and early 20th centuries.
Dec 11th, 1887
Dear aunt emma I am in the fourth reader we have got a great many fruit trees for you. Mr. --- and I went down to our old place and brought thirteen large fruit trees. little sister is quite well and very good for there is to be a christmas tree in the Tabernacle friday evening before Christmas. Uncle Johnie has got fifty dollars [???]. We have got a very smart little puppy Brother and I have a lot of fun with him. Kiss Uncle John and cousin Edna for us all I will close.
your nephew from Jamie Hightower
Of Mrs. Sarah D. Tervin, wife of George F. Tervin and daughter of Col. J. L. and Mrs. Catharine McKinnon
Bereft of a father's love in our early youth, before we had learned to know and love him as we would, our young bleeding hearts were kept aglow with a sunshine from a sphere immortal, born of heaven-- a mother's love.
We are five-two daughters and three sons-- all with growing families, save the youngest son. At times, we think we have seen much of real life, until now, in our loneliness, we recall the toilsome life of our mother.
Born in North Carolina , Oct. 2. 1825, coming here with her parents when only two years old, as one of the children pioneers of West Florida, she experienced the shocks and horrors of the Indian wars and massacres of this section.
At the close of this period her parents began to accumulate wealth. In her girlhood, she came out on the Lord's side, uniting with the Presbyterian church that she so much loved. Her sky grew brighter, and soon she married a wealthy young lawyer from Georgia, who settled on a farm near her home, all went merry as a marriage bell. But soon the clouds of the civil war began to thicken into gloom, and a darker pall athwart her extending horizon in the death of our father. well do we remember the weeds of her widowhood--how she toiled in honest labor through those four long years of multiple sorrows and paths to maintain us, and keep the property from waste, until at last the war closed, sweeping all away like an avalanche, save that inborn energy and industry that characterized her sweet, charitable life, and that lifts its brow above the dark skies and intervening shadow's along life's pathways.
Three months have gone since she fell asleep in Jesus. We mourn not as those who have known no hope-- we see her busy among the heavenly hosts inviting us to come up higher. We would emulate her life here, that we may commune forever with that pure spirit. none but those who have cherished a fond mother's love can know this pain of separation. Oh, how we cherish the kindness of those friends that she was thrown with in her last days. ---Her Children
DeFuniak Springs, Florida, Sept.23, 1891. Newspaper clipping (from DeFuniak Springs paper??)
I am better this morn than I have been yet I missed this fever. Am taking blue medicine in broken doses. We have a bottle for the baby. Have to ---(?) it most of the time. Aunt Kate says did you send Ma's hair if not please send tonight direct to me. I am very weak & have no appetite yet but am more comfortable otherwise. Hope Sallie is better. your sister, K
Note: Kate Tervin Hightower died 2 weeks later. I have the lock of hair from her mother she refers to.
(7/3/1892 from DeFuniak Springs or Freeport, FL newspaper??)
Father and son are buried beneath the waters of Perdido Bay.
A Sad Ending to a Pleasure Trip--The Eleven-Year-Old Son of Mr. W. R. Hightower is Knocked From a Boat by the Jib Boom--The Father Attempts to Save Him and Both are Drowned.
An accident occurred on Perdido Bay, near Millview, 9 miles from this city, about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, which has cast a gloom over that community and brought sorrow to many hearts in this city and other places.
During the day Mr. W. R. Hightower, an employee of Southern States Land & Timber Company's mills, at Millview, left the latter place in a sailboat. With him was his 11-year-old son Jamie, two young daughters of Mr. J. D. Gray and a young daughter of a Mr. Young, also an employee of the mills.
After going about 13 miles down the bay, Mr. Hightower started to return to Millview. When some distance south of Millview the wind began to die out and he ordered his son to hoist the jibsail.While the boy was engaged in doing this, the boom suddenly swung around and knocked him off the boat into the water.
When Mr. Hightower saw that his little son was in danger of drowning, he cried to the others to put the boat about and jumped overboard to save him. he reached the little fellow in time and no doubt would have been able to save his life, as well as his own, had the children in the boat known how to manage it, Unfortunately, they did not, and instead of putting about, the boat kept on its course and went ashore a long distance from where Mr. Hightower jumped overboard.
In the meantime, Mr. Hightower had secured his boy, and with him on his back, was struggling manfully to overtake the boat. After a long chase he saw that the effort was fruitless and changed his course to the Alabama shore of the bay, but he was thoroughly exhausted, and when near the shore both father and son were seen to go down beneath the waters never to rise.
When the boat went ashore the four children remaining on it were rescued and carried to Millview. All night, the bay was dragged for the bodies of Mr. Hightower and his little boy, but they were not recovered until about 9 o'clock yesterday morning. They were found about 60 yards apart in 6 feet of water near the Alabama shore.
Mr. Hightower was formerly an Alabamian, but had resided at DeFuniak, where he married. His wife died several months since. He leaves two children who are at Talladega, Ala. and an infant who is with its mother's relatives at DeFuniak. His sister was the wife of Mr. J. M. Ackerman, manager of the telephone exchange in this city. The funerals of the father and son will take place at Millview at 9 o'clock this morning.
(10/8/1912, Talladega newspaper??)
The Methodist church at Laniers was the scene of an exceedingly pretty wedding on Tuesday afternoon when Miss Troy Lanier was united in marriage to Richard Clarence Smith of Talladega. The church was a veritable bower of greenery; the altar and walls being banked with pine boughs and festooned with smilax, forming an effective background for a profusion of white chrysanthemums. Mrs. N. C. Lanier ably presided at the organ and Mrs. A. F. Brannon sang very sweetly, "Like unto a Star" by Coverly.
Promptly at the appointed hour the opening strains of the wedding march gave signal of the approach of the bridal party.
The bride in most becoming traveling costume of dark, blue, with small hat to match, and carrying white roses, entered upon the arm of her sister, Mrs. Lane, who was attractively gowned in a white toilet, with large white hat, and carried yellow chrysanthemums.
Miss Estelle Lanier, also in white with white picture hat, was maid of honor.
Master Walter Lanier and little Miss Lucille Lanier, the nephew and niece of the bride, held the ribbons, while little Gertrude Smith, niece of the groom was the attractive little ring bearer.
The ushers were Mr. Will Graham, of Talladega, and Mr. Nathan Atkins of Laniers.
The bride was at one time a resident of Talladega, and her many friends cordially welcome her return to Talladega's social circles. The groom is a popular young business man of our city.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith will be at home after the fourteenth of October.