I began putting historic photographs and documents concerning Maplewood online around 2010. ‘Til now the focus has been on families that once lived in Maplewood. I haven’t said much about my own family even though I have many interesting documents and photographs which this audience may appreciate.
I am aware of the danger of allowing this site to deteriorate into the blog of Doug Houser as one reader put it upon exiting my email list. Even though I wasn’t born here, I’ve been here for a pretty long time. Our founding pioneer, James Sutton, moved out here from the city in 1825 then died in 1877 – 52 years later. I’m working on my 48th year here.
Hopefully that gives me a pass to do what I’m about to do. What follows are some of our most important historic images from the collection of my family. We’ll start on my mother’s side – the Jacksons.
My great grandparents: Mary Stella Bundren (1881-1908) and John Lee Jackson (1872-1935). Great grandmother’s name is also recorded as Estella. Some of my Jackson ancestors came from Kentucky and settled around Golconda, IL where John Lee was born. They moved to Stonefort, IL when he started school.
Here they are again. Both of the images are undated. Mary Stella Bundren had a sister, Ida, who died when she was 12. She also had a brother, James Boyd. She is buried in Zion Cemetery, 3 or 4 miles outside of Stonefort, Il. (1 or 1/2 hours by horse and buggy from the town). John Lee Jackson married a second time after Stella died.
John and Stella had five children, four boys and a girl. The oldest was Lowell Hobart Jackson (born September 24, 1897) seen here on the left with two of his three brothers. Oldest to youngest, they were, Lowell, Dewey, Don, Margaret and Floyd.
What follows are the words of my grandfather, Lowell, from an interview conducted by my mother, Dolores Jane Jackson Houser.
“My mother died when I was just a little kid. I spent the night and the next morning at Uncle Crid’s. — Floyd was four months old when my mother died. We lived in Stonefort at that time.
Jim Campbell, his wife and three daughters, took Floyd to raise. Dad had to have a wet nurse for Floyd. They wanted to adopt Floyd but my Dad wouldn’t hear to it. Their oldest daughter became my stepmother.
Floyd and his wife, Mabel, now (1981) own 122 1/2 acres in the bootheel of Missouri, at Cardwell, Route 1, that are worth approx. $12,000 to $14,000 per acre. Their only child, Judy, is in Wyoming.”
Lowell Hobart Jackson (middle) with two of his brothers, Don and Dewey.
I remember George Kelley’s store in Stonefort Ill. Mrs. Kelley bought mufflers for all of us kids when my mother died.
I was always good with guns. My Father’s sister, Aunt Borum, and her husband, Uncle Tom, gave us a dog named Brisk. When he got old someone had to put him out of his misery. Since I was the oldest I was appointed the Executioner. I took him out behind the barn and as good a shot as I was, I didn’t get him on the first shot. He ran from me and I had to catch him and shoot him again. I still can’t talk about it without crying.
John Lee Jackson with his second wife and her children (on the left). Lowell Hobart Jackson, his child by his first wife, Stella, is in the rear on the right.
“My grandfather and his second wife are buried in the cemetery on the road between Paragould and Jonesboro, Ark.” Dolores Jane Jackson Houser
The John Lee Jackson family. I’m not certain but the small girl sitting on the bench may be my mother, Dolores Jane Jackson Houser. If so, she was born in November of 1921 so the year of this image may be 1923. (My sister says that, judging by the hair, the little girl is not our mother.)
The John Lee Jackson family in 1933. My mother, Dolores Jane Jackson, is standing on the right. She would have been about 12 years old.
The identities of these children are not known.
No names with this one either. Many of these images came from a stack of negatives that Mama had forgotten about. She had mistakenly believed that they had all been printed at one time or another but they had not. She went through these with me but there were many that she didn’t remember.
Lowell Hobart Jackson slicing watermelon most likely on his Dad’s farm in the bootheel of Missouri. South of Cardwell. The farm shared a border with Arkansas.
The young man and the two children with Lowell are unidentified.
Ora Layman and Lowell Jackson eating watermelon. Although I don’t see a ring on her finger in this image, they married at some point. Ora was my natural maternal grandmother.
The Laymans and the Jacksons both were families that owned farms. We’ll see much more about them in my next posts.
I hope everyone (in Maplewood anyway) has been enjoying the absolute top notch weather we’ve been having. I certainly have.
Doug Houser April 17, 2023
A late addition, our Jackson family tree. I hope you can see this on your telephones.