Saturday, October 29, 2016

Surname Saturday

Clifton Columbus Coon

Clifton Columbus Coon taken when he was
on a visit to California with his son.
How does a person get a name like Clifton Columbus? Columbus must have been an important figure to Nancy Caroline Hodges when she named this son. Families sometimes had naming patterns and followed those in naming their children. However, I am not sure this is the case with Clifton Columbus. Clifton was born in Pike County, Mississippi January 18, 1882 to Nancy Caroline Hodges. On his World War I Draft Registration Card C his physical description was he was tall, slender, blue eyes, and black hair.

Clifton ancestors were immigrants from Zurich, Switzerland in 1739, and they arrived in Charles Town South Carolina in 1749. Lived in that area for many years then in 1811 Clifton direct line ancestor John Lewis migrated with his family to Wilkinson County, Mississippi. Clifton’s grandfather Jacob moved to Pike County, and his father Lewis Coon lived there until their deaths.
The 1890 Federal Census would have been a great help as I researched this Coon line. Clifton was born in 1882 and he would have been linked with his father Edward Zachariah Thomas Coon and his wife Jane Ann Mason; however, the next census was 1900 where Clifton was living in McClendon, Lincoln County, Mississippi with her sister Sarah and her husband James M. Lentz. Clifton is eighteen years old. Clifton can read, write, and speak English. He is single at the time of the census taking. However, not long after that 9 Jun 1900 he married Missouri Cowart in Lincoln County. That was such a young age to marry, but they did marry and later divorced. They had one child Henry Rowan Coon born 23 Oct 1901. By 1910 Clifton was married a second time to Mary Lavenia Ramsey Blunt.

Clifton and Mary were married about 1908 in Lincoln County. The 1910 census shows that he was married two years. How many children did they have six with six living. He was a farmer and lived on Brookhaven Road. He signed up for the World War 1 Draft Registration September 2, 1918 in Bogalusa, Washington Parish, Louisiana., and his wife Lavenia Coon was the contact for his nearest relative. Their address was Holmesville, Pike County, Mississippi. 
There is a confusing turn of events with Clifton Coon appearing in 1920 on the Marion County Census and states that he is widowed. He is thirty-nine years old, and is a boarder. Why is he living as a boarder and listed as a widow? A puzzling turn of events from when the 1910 census was taken. In 1920 Vennie, his wife is living in Ruth, Lincoln County on West Providence Road. She has all ten children living with her including Clifton’s son Rowan by his first wife Missouri. Three of those children are by her first husband W. G. Blunt. What is going on that Clifton is living in another county? His wife Vennie died about four years later suddenly, and Clifton, the children and some relatives are in West Carroll Parish on the 1930 census. Did he leave Vennie? Was he in Marion County looking for work? He was a farmer and lived on a farm. Clifton wasn’t a widow because Vennie didn’t die until about 1924.

Clifton has migrated from Pike County to District 7, Ward 4, West Carroll Parish, Louisiana with his children Alma, age fourteen, George age twelve, his step-son-in-law Edd Ethridge age twenty-three, Edd’s wife and Clifton’s step-daughter Mamie age twenty-two, children of Edd and Mammie, Hellen age four years and two months, Dorothy Lee age two years and three months, and Calvin Edgar age seven months. Clifton wasn’t a veteran and was renting his house. He again states that he is widowed. This time is most likely a widow from researching the children I estimate Vennie was deceased by 1930. They arrived in West Carroll Parish about 1926 or early 1927.

Clifton didn’t waste any time finding him another wife.  By the April 30th 1932 Clifton married Mildred J. Easterling a woman twenty-two years old and born in Mississippi. Did she migrate with him and his group from Mississippi?  On the marriage license, she stated she was an orphan. Clifton stated his former wife was Beanie and she was dead. Mildred was born in Mississippi so possibly she migrated with Clifton and his family to West Carroll. Mildred completed the fourth grade and in 1935 she lived in rural West Carroll Parish. She didn’t work but did housework. There were no known children from this marriage. By September 1946 Clifton signed up for Social Security. In 1942 Clifton signed up for the World War II Draft Registration in Oak Grove, West Carroll Parish. He was sixty years old and was born in Brookhaven, Mississippi on January 18, 1882.
When I looked at the witnesses on his marriage record, World War II Draft Registration and the people living near him on the 1930 and 1940 censuses those are people who were born in Mississippi. Therefore, I concluded there was a group of people who migrated from Mississippi and settled in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana.

Clifton left West Carroll Parish sometime after 1942. Oliver C. Coon son of Clifton’s son Rowan is listed in the City Directory and is living in Port Arthur, Texas in 1943. Morris C. Coon Clifton’s oldest son by Vennie is listed in the City Directory and is living in Port Arthur in 1951. Morris is a working as trucker. He and his wife Irma are on the 1940 East Carroll Parish census so they left for Texas sometime after the census was taken.

He lived in Silsbee, Hardin County, Texas near his sons Morris and Rowan for two years before his death. He died February 21, 1963 in Silsbee, Texas. The cause of his death was arteriosclerotic cardio vascular disease. He apparently was diagnosed with that a month before his death.
He was listed on the death certificate as a widow. So, what happened to Mildred J. the woman he married in West Carroll Parish in 1932? Did she die? Did he leave her for Texas? More research needed to answer those questions about this mystery.

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