Hughes' Views & News

Obituary of Bama Louise Hughes Davis

Posted in Genealogy, Hughes, Peirce by tahughesnc on January 21, 2019

This obituary was published in the order of service that was provided at the funeral of my Aunt Louise.

Bama Louise Hughes Davis, 98, died of old age on Monday, January 14, 2019, at Northside Hospital Forsyth in Cumming.

Mrs. Davis was born July 2, 1920, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She graduated from the University of Alabama, earning advanced degrees in Education and eventually earning her Master’s degree and T-6. While earning her undergraduate degree she met C.C. Davis Jr., who she married in 1940. They celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary shortly before C.C. died in 2008.

During her near century-long life, she had many noteworthy experiences and marveled at many changes in the world both politically and technologically: Operator-assisted crank telephones transitioned to cell phones. Ice boxes evolved to electric refrigerators and that track contents and talk to you. Houses and cars added air conditioning and then transitioned to smart houses and self-driving cars. She delighted in all the advances.

During World War 2, while C.C. was on active duty in the army, she worked as a chemist in New York City. Afterwards, she taught Home Economics for many years in Atlanta, teaching at one of the first integrated schools. She encouraged people to learn even when she wasn’t in the classroom, realizing the value of continuing education throughout life. After retiring from teaching, she joined her husband in a real estate business, earned her broker’s license and enjoyed selling homes.

She was a proper Southern lady who thought that “tacky” was the worst thing one could be. She was traditional but loved going on adventures, always ready to have fun and participate in activities. For example, she took her daughter to the opening day of Six Flags in 1967, riding the rides in her work dress and high heels. She and C.C. vacationed to Cuba before the Castro regime. She regularly went to the beach even at age 97. Enduring the Great Depression and World War 2, she believed that the U.S.A. was the greatest country in the world where anyone with education and the willingness for hard work could succeed.

She loved to play the piano, cook and work in her yard. She always had a job and was a working mother even when that was rare. She was loyal to her family, delighted in her grandchildren and had a special connection with her great-granddaughter.

She is preceded in death by her husband, C.C. Davis Jr., her son, C.C. Davis III, her parents, Arley and Virginia (Doughty) Hughes, brother James Harvey Hughes, brother Herbert Lee (“Buddy”) Hughes and his wife Mary Evelyn Wilson Hughes.

She is survived by her brother, Arley Ezra (“Bill”) Hughes, Jr. and his wife Gloria Dell Breland Hughes of Mobile, Alabama, daughter and son-in-law, Virginia (Davis) and John Gaston of Dahlonega, four grandchildren, Barbara Gaston Zeller and her husband Ashton Zeller of Meridian, Mississippi, William Gaston of Atlanta, Charlotte Gaston of Atlanta, Rachel Gaston of Dahlonega, and a great-granddaughter, Lyra Marie Zeller.

Mrs. Davis’ funeral service will be held Friday, January 18, 2019 at Dahlonega Funeral Home followed by a graveside service and interment next to her husband and son at Mount Hope Cemetery in Dahlonega.

1899 Horse-Detacher Patent of John Tichnor Peirce, of Breland, Louisiana

Posted in Breland, Genealogy, Peirce by tahughesnc on May 3, 2018

 

On May 23, 1899, the U.S. Patent Office issued Patent No. 625,695, for a horse-detacher device invented by my great-great grandfather, John Tichnor Peirce (1846-1912), who at that time lived in the community of Breland, in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana. (He would later move from Breland to Warnerton, about 20 miles to the east.)

Also named in the patent was Adolphus E. Peirce, who was John’s son and my great grandfather. The first child of Adolphus and his wife, Etta Pearl Bailey, was Cora Peirce Breland, who was my maternal grandmother.

This patent is of interest to me for a couple of reasons.

First, his last name is spelled as “Peirce” throughout the document, and on the first page of the patent his name is written as “J.T. Peirce.” My mother has in her possession a handwritten letter that he wrote in 1891, and he signed that letter, “JT Peirce.” For me, these two documents present strong evidence that “Peirce” is the spelling that he preferred.

Some of his descendants have since chosen to spell the name as “Pierce,” while others have chosen to retain the “Peirce” spelling. For example, Adolphus spelled his last name as “Peirce,” and so did five of his six children. Adolphus had two sons. His first-born son, Richard Moore Peirce, retained the “Peirce” spelling all his life. Adolphus’ second-born son, Carl E. Pierce, chose to use “Pierce” instead, and Carl’s descendants use the “Pierce” spelling.

In my family, the “Peirce” spelling has been retained in the middle name of my late uncle, Robert Peirce Breland, and in the middle names given to some of my relatives who were born in the generations after Uncle Robert. Interestingly, my DNA matches include one match from this Peirce/Pierce line who was given the “Peirce” spelling at birth, and another who was given the “Pierce” spelling at birth.

Second, I love the fact that the patent document says John Tichnor Peirce “resided at Breland, in the parish of Tangipahoa, State of Louisiana.” As best as I can tell, Breland, Louisiana, no longer exists. But in the 1890s, there was a U.S. Post Office for Breland, Louisiana, and according to the 1891 letter from JT Peirce, “that office is at my house.

His second wife, Salissa Peirce, was appointed as U.S. Postmaster for Breland about a month before that letter was written. Then Adolphus was appointed postmaster for Breland on August 5, 1904. My mother’s aunt, Florence Peirce Peck, wrote that “my mother (Etta Bailey Peirce) and my sister Cora took care of the mail” until the family moved from Breland to Sunny Hill, Louisiana, about 1908.

After the move to Sunny Hill, Cora was a student at Sunny Hill School at the same time as my maternal grandfather, Robert Milton Breland. They became high school sweethearts, and later got married in Baton Rouge, in 1910.