Family Stories     page 4

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Written by Alice (Simpson) Lemons

A little about my father Noah’s mother, Mary Jane (Whitten) Simpson:

Mary Jane Whitten was born Jan. 25th or 26th, in Macon Ga., daughter of J.A. and Irene Whitten.  In childhood, she moved to Oregon County, Missouri.  She was married to Thomas C. Simpson about 1860.

Grandmother Simpson told me many stories about her life.  She was born of fairly well to do parents, Presbyterian in faith.  She had a sister, Harriet, who loved to ride her horse, but at 12 years of age, she fell off the horse and was killed.

Grandmother had three or four brothers, two of them, John and Drew, I knew because they came to our home to visit Grandmother when I was four or five, and since Harriet died, she was the only girl in the household.  Her parents wanted her to marry a famous man, and were put out when she fell in love with Thomas Simpson, a minister who was a widower ( his first wife died in childbirth and the baby died with her, the wife’s name was Irene)  . When her parents objected to the marriage, she ran away and married Tom.  She said he was always so gentle and kind.

When their first child was born, Granddad wanted to name her Irene after his first wife, and grandmother consented.

Grandmother would not go home or have anything to do with her family for a long time.  But she was a sickly woman, and during a long illness, the Whitten family came and carried her back because they all loved her, but she said if they had not, she would never have gone back.

She said Granddad was a good preacher, and had a wonderful great faith in God.  She said at one service they attended where he preached, there had been no rain for so long that everything was burning up, and they asked him to pray for rain.  He prayed for rain and after the service, they started home and after about an hour, the clouds became black and the rain came, and she said it was a big rain, and they were soaked before they got home.


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