Today's submission is a very old foto of my Great, Great Grandfather, David James Atkinson. He was my paternal grandmother's maternal grandfather. So, are you totally confused now?!
Maw McDonald had wonderful memories of her Grandpa and loved to tell us stories about him. He sounded like a fun loving, yet very firm individual. He was a Methodist Episcopalian circuit preacher until the day of his death. You will notice his arms and one hand are crippled. This happened at a cotton mill during the later years of his life.
David James Atkinson was born on 9 May, 1845 in Wayne County, TN, the son of John M. Atkinson, also of Wayne County, TN and Zilpha Martin of Eastern TN. He was one of ten known children of the couple. He, like many of his neighbors, served in the Union Army during the Civil War, although he resided in Wayne Co., TN at the time. He vehemently disagreed with slavery and was extremely vocal about his disapproval.
In January, 1868, he married Elizabeth Rachel (Jane) Smith in Tippah or Alcorn County, MS. The couple produced eight offspring, with only the latter four having survived to be aged 30 or older. After his marriage, Dave surrendered to the gospel ministry in the Methodist Episcopalian church and became a circuit preacher, preaching throughout Hardeman and McNairy Counties in TN, and Tippah and Alcorn Counties in MS, as well as various other locations.
I am blessed to have become the owner of his old hymnal. It was passed on to me by Maw McDonald and was in such a bad condition that I had it rebound and sheltered in a lobster claw box. The internal pages are those of the hymnal.
You can easily see the discoloration from years of having been carried in a saddle bag from place to place. The tunes and words to many, if not most, of the songs are unfamiliar to me, but I still love the hymnal because I know when I hold it in my hands, it was once held with so much love and pride by my great, great grandfather as he led his congregations in worship.
Although this is not a great picture, I hope you can see that my grandmother also treasured her grandfather's hymnal. In the earliest years of her marriage, she had no family Bible, so recorded the births in their new little family in the back of her grandfather's hymnal.
Grandpa Dave lived to the good old age of 83, having outlived all but two of his children and his precious Rebecca Jane. He died on 17 August, 1928 at the home of his daughter, Susie, and his son-in-law, Joe Morphis, near the small Hardeman County, TN town of Pocahontas.
He was a dear man, loved by many and buried among over one hundred mourners on a hot August day. Mourners walked, rode horses and mules, wagons and buckboards and a couple even had one of the new fangled automobiles to drive to the funeral and burial. My grandmother had just married in March, 1928 and was driven in the wagon by my Paw McDonald to be with her family as they mourned Grandpa Dave's passing.
Thank you for stopping by today.
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