Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ancestors in Heaven Vol. 2- LeRoy Anderson KIDD and Rebecca Adaline LONES

Earthly History of LeRoy Anderson Kidd and His Wife, Rebecca Adaline Lones

[this transcript appears to be the actual un-edited transcript from the hand written pages by Henry Mike Lee Kidd.  The hand-written pages are in the possession of Hollie C. Bevan]

Leroy Anderson Kidd

Rebecca Adaline Lones Kidd

Le Roy Anderson Kidd was born June 19, 1819, in Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee.  He died 15 Feb 1888, in a small community out of Manchester, called Ragsdale, Tennessee, and was buried in the Ragsdale Cemetery.  His father was John Kidd Jr., who died in Knoxville, Tennessee, and his mother was Lucy Logan.  She is also buried in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Rebecca Adaline Lones was born 7 April 1826 in Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee.  She died 13 April in Avon, Cache County, Utah, and was buried that same day in the Avon Cemetery.  Her father was John Lones and her mother was Evaline Hillsman.

Leroy Anderson Kidd

Rebecca Adeline Lones Kidd

LeRoy Anderson, at the age of twenty-one years became an overseer of a plantation, and was in charge of black slaves, and on  1 Aug 1844, at the age of twenty-five, married Rebecca Adaline Lones in Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee.  They became the parents of the following children while living on the plantation:

James Kidd
Leander Kidd
Evaline Kidd

KIDD Leander James Evaline b
Leander Kidd, James Kidd and Evaline Kidd

Traveling to Missouri

During the year 1850, LeRoy was in Knoxville, and was involved in a fight with three men. During the scuffle, two of the men were beating LeRoy on the head.  He killed one of the men and started after the other two men that were beating him.  He was unable to overtake these men.  However, he had killed a man in a fight.  Therefore, the Klu Klux Klan became involved. 

Fearing for his life, LeRoy Anderson Kidd left Tennessee, taking his family to Bolivar, Polk, Missouri. 

While living with his relatives at Bolivar, Missouri, the following children were born:
George Washington Kidd
Henry Kidd

George Washington Kidd

In the fall of 1855, after the harvest was over, LeRoy Anderson felt the problem in Knoxville might have disappeared. Therefore, he took his family back to Knoxville, Tennessee. 

His wife, had received some land, and also money from her mother's Estate (her mother had died when she was a small child). 

rural-scene-near-manchester-tennessee-south-of-nashville b
Manchester, Tennessee
LeRoy Anderson sold some of the property, and also used money from the Estate to become a breeder of fine horses.

During the Civil War, he kept the horses hidden in the swamps, so that the soldiers could not find them. 

Tennessee Swamps and Waterways

Civil War Swamp

Edward "Doak" Kidd

On March 20, 1856, their last child, Edward Kidd, was born in Knoxville, Tennessee.

When Rebecca Adaline Lones was born on 7 Apr 1826, a black mammy (who also had a nursing child) nursed Rebecca Adaline to her breast until she was old enough to be fed.  Her sister, Margaret Lawson Lones was born on 2 Dec 1828.  The mother of Rebecca Adaline and Margaret Lawson died during childbirth.  Both she and the baby are buried together in Knox County, Tennessee.

After the death of their mother, Rebecca and Margaret, were left in the care of their grandparents (Henry Lones, Sr and Sabilla Hessley).  When Rebecca Adaline reached the age of sixteen, she met and fell in love with LeRoy Anderson Kidd.  Her grandparents disapproved as he was considered poor (overseer of slaves).  They did not think he could care for her properly.  She ran away from their home (plantation) and married him anyway.  The Lones family disinherited her.  However, her father gave her two slaves for a wedding present (male and female).  Also, she received part of her mother's Estate.

Tennessee plantation
Tennessee Plantation

Rebecca Adaline was a short, dark skinned little lady, full of ambition, and very high strung.  She didn't know how to cook or do any kind of domestic housework as she had always had servants (slaves).  The years were hard for her and perhaps lonely ones too, after being cast out by her grandparents.  One of the slaves her father had given her, taught her many things about keeping a home, caring for children and cooking food.
The sister of Rebecca Adaline, Margaret Lawson Lones, stayed with the grandparents and went to school, got an education, studied law and became one of the first female lawyers in America.  She married John E. Helms, who edited the Morristown Gazette, and they sent copies of the Gazette to Rebecca Adaline until she died in Avon, Utah.
Morristown Gazettte
Margaret Lawson and husband, John E. Helms, had four children:  John Jr, Arthur, Will and Lucy.  All were educated.  The boys became publishers or worked in that capacity.  Lucy married a Gilchrist, and moved to California.  The two families never associated with one another.  They lived long distances apart for one thing.  Rebecca Adaline's children were deprived of an education because of the war (they could not afford being sent away to school).  Therefore, the two families lived in separate worlds.

There was Will Helms, the youngest of the Helms brothers.  He was a friend to the LeRoy Anderson Kidd family.  He was well educated and worked in printing offices, but also liked the wide open spaces.  When he would get enough money ahead (he tramped the railroad ties until his money would run out), then, he'd work again.  He loved the Kidd family and when means would permit, he would visit them.  He often sent gifts at Christmas time. And he did not treat them with disrespect because of their being poor and having little education.

On 8 Jun 1861, Tennessee joined the Confederacy.  War then became a reality to the people within the State of Tennessee.  Manchester tennThe LeRoy Anderson Kidd family would be right in the middle of the war.  The property that was purchased when they returned in 1855 was in Ragsdale, Tennessee, a small community outside Manchester, and within a short distance from Nashville, Tennessee.

Nashville and the surrounding countryside fell to the Yankee Soldiers on December 15-16, 1864.  The children of LeRoy Anderson and Rebecca Adaline were soon to learn that with the Civil War at their door, they were to suffer a hardship of pain, hunger, and sadness.  Their ages at that time are as follows:
Age 16    James Kidd
Age 14    Leander Kidd
Age 12    Evaline Kidd
Age 9   George Washington Kidd
Age 7  Henry Kidd
Age 5    Edward Doak Kidd

LeRoy Anderson Kidd tried to hide his horses in the swamp land for protection and live off the farm land.  They had nothing to eat at times but herbs and roots that they had dug and gathered.  Their son, George Washington, used to say that he grew so hungry and starved that he would reel as he walked and would crawl around in the yard and look for what they called “Joung Grass” to sustain life.  This grass tasted similar to mustard greens when it was boiled.  swamp b

George Washington Kidd would fall to the ground behind the plow as he was so weak from starvation.  Their bread was made from molded wheat flour.  It would make the children sick to eat it.  Their barns, shed’s and lumber they had stacked to build a new house was all set on fire by the Yankee Soldiers. quantrellraid4le The only thing left standing on their farm was their house and out house. The fields were also burned.  Many times the Yankee Soldiers would come into their home and if there was any food anywhere, they would eat it, or destroy it.

One time, Rebecca Adaline was making “cornpone”.  The soldiers came into the house a took it.  One of them dumped it in his hat.  She begged them to give it her children.  The children cried for it, but they took it.  Another time a group of soldiers (Yankees), came to their place and over took LeRoy Anderson and his sons  “James and George Washington”.  They were taking a load of corn to the grist mill in Manchester. battle_of_glorieta_pass_union_troops_destroy_confederate_supply_wagons

The mules were so poor that they had to ride them and use spurs on them to make them go.  The soldiers ordered James to take off the spurs.  He told the soldiers they could not drive  the mules without the spurs.  The officer in charge drew his pistol, cocked it at James, and told one of his men to take the spurs, which he did.

James told his father that he was going to get paid for the spurs.  That night, the best horse LeRoy Anderson had left the swamp with James straddled upon it.  He and some young southern fellows followed this group of Yankee soldiers to a church building they were using for living quarters.  They soon engaged in a small battle.  They was shooting all day Sunday and the Yankee Soldiers received help. gettysburgcavalryriver250 The Southern boys had to run for their lives. 

But James Kidd’s horse could out run those who came after him.  He was able to save his life.  He was paid for the spurs.  The Spurs were gold plated.  Then James joined the Confederate Army, and was in it until the war ended.  He was past nineteen years old when the war ended and he returned home.
Months went by.  Food was scarce.  People were hungry.  When there was a crop, the Yankee soldiers would come through the community and burn or destroy it.  That is the way the North whipped the South.

Times were hard for the LeRoy Anderson Kidd family and getting harder by the day.  They barely lived from one day to the next.  On one occasion, Rebecca Adaline had gotten hold of some cornmeal.  She made a “Hoe Cake”  (Cornmeal cake baked on a griddle in the fireplace-turned like a pancake when one side was baked.)  One “Hoe Cake”  was large enough for a small family. While she was cooking it, some Yankee soldiers came and took it off the fire and crumbled it on the ground outside the house.  In her words she said “Please, gentlemen, my children are crying for food.  Won’t you please spare them this little bit of food?”  But they gave no heed to her cries.
Lincoln_Nov19_1863_GettysburgAddress_CivilWarOn January 31, 1865, it was announced that President Lincoln had signed the Declaration to abolish slavery.  And on April 9 1865, General Lee surrendered to General Grant.  The war was finally over on June 2, 1865.
carpet baggers civil war

At the close of the Civil War, the “carpet baggers” came through Tennessee and caused a lot more of sorrow, burning houses and raiding farms for food.  LeRoy  and Rebecca’s youngest son, Henry, was about eleven years old.  He as very ill with fever and congestion of the lungs.  It would be pneumonia:  the “Carpet baggers” came into the house, rolled him off his bed and onto the floor and they ripped open the straw mattress to see if there was food hidden in it.  Henry died a few minutes after they left the house.  They took the deeds to the property and hid them under a rock.  LeRoy later found the deeds to their property.

After the war was over, LeRoy Anderson Kidd kept on farming. The slaves were freed. Some of them were glad but others would not leave even though LeRoy and Rebecca had no money to pay them. Most of the horses were sold for money. They needed the money.

KIDD Home in Tennessee     (Henry Mike Lee Kidd on the left)

geponicar bush a
Geponicar bush
LeRoy Anderson and his sons worked hard after the war trying to rebuilt their farm land into proper production.  Also, to rebuild sheds and barns that were destroyed.  The family stayed in the old home but also built a large two-room log house with one room large enough for two rooms but no partition was built.  The house also contained a guest room where relatives of friends slept as the case may be.  The house was nicely furnished and had a rag carpet which was used so much in those early days and the kitchen was separated into it’s own room.

A large Cedar tree shaded the porch of this house and each spring a spreading Apple Geponicar bush filled with red blossoms.  The apples it bore were so fragrantly scented and always at dusk came the call of the whippoorwill.  This house later became the residence of Rebecca Adaline with her husband LeRoy Anderson moving into the older home with their son George Washington and family.

Rebecca Adaline had a violent temper.  She and her husband quarreled and were separated for years but never divorced.  She would throw dishes of anything when she was mad.  On one occasion she went to the house of her son “George Washington” and just pulled the door off it’s hinges.  LeRoy said he never did do the things she accused him of, but they never went back together.  After LeRoy died, then Rebecca Adaline came to live with her son, George Washington Kidd.

Leander Kidd, Leroy Anderson Kidd, Edward "Doak" Kidd
When their son, Leander, was older (no actual age is really known), he became demented and lost his mind.  He was unsafe to be let loose and had to be placed in an institution on two occasions, which did him no good.  On his last return visit to home, he told his mother, Rebecca Adaline, they were mean to him and he didn’t was to go back.  She kept Leander at her house and cared for him for many years.

Leander’s mental state was such that he had to be chained.  His mother gave him such things that would amuse him or interest him. His room was so arranged that Leander could get out on the porch in the cool of the summer and exercise.  He was harmless toward the family members or visitors.  Even little babies crawling on the floor.  He would say “Take care! You might get hurt!” and lift the babies out of the way.  Then there were times he would walk the floors profaning, not conscious of what was going on around him, but those actions became common place with the family and no one was afraid of his unusual actions.
Even though Leander (Lannie to the family) had to be chained, he had free association with the family on occasions of family gatherings and dinners.  The dining table was always set in his room where he could pull up to the table and eat with the family.  Still, he lived in a world of unreality and paid little attention to what was going on or what was said.  He was a schizophrenia patient, therefore, unpredictable.

George Washington Kidd Family
As the children of George Washington Kidd grew up, each boy took their turn staying with Grandma Rebecca at night and taking her fresh milk each evening.  This was continued until a certain age - then another would take over.  Usually, however, it finally became the duties of Henry Mike Lee or George Clement to stay at their Grandmother’s for the night.  These two would take turns.

Rebecca’s whole heart and life surrounded her son, Leander.  While in her care, he got the best care she could possibly give him.  She seldom ever left her home because of him.

In 1877, Rebecca wrote to her sister Margaret, an attorney and also wife of the owner of the Morristown Gazette.  The response is as follows:
Quoting from the letter:
Morristown Tenn.   Sept 6th 1877
My dear sister:
Your very kind and welcome letter under date of August 31 came to hand a few days ago.  In reply to your inquiry about the two tracts of land in Coffee County, and your legality to them as the rightful owner.  I will state that I remember well the time your husband was negotiating for them and when he wrote you in regard to buying them - stating that he had a good bargain as he thought and requested you to draw your portion of money from the Lones Estate for the purpose to purchase with.  You did get the money, and through that money, the land -two tracts was bought by your husband.

The first payment on them was four-hundred dollars, which you borrowed from your Uncle Joseph Lones.  When your money came due from the Court, you returned to Knoxville and drew between six-hundred and seven-hundred dollars.  I think it was something in the neighborhood of that amount, and returned the four-hundred dollars borrowed money back to your Uncle Joseph with fifty dollars interest.

After being absent some time, you came back and drew nine-hundred dollars - the last draw from the Lones Estate.  I disremember how many draws you made, but think some four or five; also, think your share of the Estate was something over two thousand dollars.  It possibly may have been three thousand.

At any rate whatever amount it was, the books in the Clerk’s office in Knoxville will show.  Before departing for home, you remarked to me that you would have money left over after the paying of the two-tracts of land mentioned above, sufficient to buy a couple of horses and some furniture for your house.

Was very uneasy when you left for fear that you would be robbed on the way.  Before going, I warned you to have both tracts of the land deeded in your own name, as I knew the same was purchased with your money and that Mr. Kidd being a hard-drinking man would very probably run through with the property unless in your hands.

After you returned to your home in Coffee County, you informed me by letter that your husband had gotten the best tract of the land deeded in his own name and that you were greatly worried about it, for fear that he might eventually twist it from your hands through some reckless trades and perhaps deprive you and your children of a home.

I don’t think your land can
…..(The rest of the letter which is yellowed with time is missing, however by the date of the letter, it would appear that Rebecca Adaline was fifty-one years old, and that she was living in her own house, with LeRoy Anderson living with their son, George Washington Kidd.)

Rebecca Adaline, at this time in her life, always had plenty to eat, and when her grandchildren wanted something special for their school lunch pail, they would stop by, and if she had it, she would contribute a little specialty to them.  She had a little trundle bed by the fireplace for a grandchild to sleep in.  Then before the grandchild went to bed in the evening, she would toast cheese on the coals by the fire.  To say nothing of the coals being mixed with the cheeses.  This was a favorite and special night for the grandchildren. They sat in the twilight of night, and watched the flicker of the blaze in the fireplace, until their eyes began to get heavy.  Then they would go to bed and fall into a peaceful sleep.

Rebecca, in her girl-hood days, prior to marriage, was considered an excellent singer, and was always called upon by the ministers to lead the singing, however, she professed no religion denomination.

After the Civil War, it was very hard to make a “come back”, and ever harder for the Kidd family.  There were no schools during the war, and when schools were organized, the larger children had to work in the fields and help make the living to keep food in their home.  Many children never learned to read, or write.  George Washington Kidd went to school just long enough to read and write.

Prior to the marriage of George Washington Kidd to Mary Elinda Morrow, his father, LeRoy Anderson Kidd, sold the tract of land with the old home to his son.  They both lived together and worked the farm together.  LeRoy Anderson Kidd lived with his son and daughter-in-law until his death on 15 Feb 1888.  It was said of him by his daughter-in-law that he was a gentle, kindly old man, and he was so good to help her and care for the children when she went to the field to work.

Finally, the day came when Rebecca Adaline had to say good-bye to her son Leander.  Her son George Washington, was moving to Utah and she could not be left alone.  Her other son James, said that he would not be able to care of her.  She wept at the thought of leaving her son Leander, as she had done on two previous occasions when George would plan to go out west and each time, he would finally give in and not go.
James Kidd, Rebecca Adeline Lones Kidd, George W. Kidd and Leander Kidd

This time however, his mind was made up.  She was not very well at the time and was taking treatment for a liver ailment, but she was promised by her son, the best possible comforts attainable for traveling.
Her son Leander was placed in an institution.  Her property was sold.  The main place with the old house was rented out.  A trunk belonging to Rebecca Adaline was placed with clothing and pictures.  It was then placed on the train along with her favorite kitchen chair that had survived the Civil War.  A sleeping car was rented for the long trip to Utah.

Her daughter-in-law was with Rebecca day and night in the sleeping car to see that she was all right during the traveling.  The train arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The family changed trains at the depot and continued on to Logan, Utah on March 12, 1909.  Then, they had to travel by wagon to Avon, Utah the same day.

Kidd Home in Avon, Utah
On 13 April 1909, Rebecca Adaline passed away and was buried in the Avon Cemetery in a lonely grave where only a few others rest.  She was eighty three years old at the time of her death.  The only worldly possessions she left were the trunk and its contents, her chair and a special walking cane.  This cane was made from a shark’s backbone which later her daughter used.

LeRoy Anderson Kidd was 69 years old when he passed away in Tennessee.   His father was John Kidd Jr and had eleven children with his wife Lucy Logan.  His grandfather was John Kidd St and his grandmother was Celia/Selia Anderson (the first records of them) are on Indian Creek, Amherst County, Virginia.
Children of LeRoy Anderson Kidd and his wife, Rebecca Adaline Lones are:

James Kidd  b. 15 Sep 1845  Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee; d. 18 Aug 1920; md Margaret McMahan 18 Aug 1870

Leander Stidman Kidd  b. 18 May 1847 Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee; d. 1910; md Virginia Adelaide Wilson  [****NOTE: Another Leander KIDD md Virginia A WILSON - not our Leander Stidman KIDD]

Evaline Kidd  b. 17 mar 1849  Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee; d. 6 Dec 1931; md Francis Marion Gravitt 8 Dec 1892

George Washington Kidd b. 16 Aug 1852 Bolivar, Polk County, Missouri; d. 2 Feb 1929; md Mary Elinda Morrow 9 Nov 1879

Henry Kidd b. 1854  Bolivar, Polk County, Missouri; d. 1864

Edward Doak Kidd b. 20 mar 1856 Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee; d. 1 Mar 1892; md Mary Matilda Banks 8 Feb 1883


Veda said...

I finally had time to read the whole story! Thanks for sharing. I've read the letter, but now it makes sense after learning "the rest of the story". Keep up the good work!

bevanmission said...

Glad you're reading my family history postings. I'll do more later.

Donna Chester said...

Thanks for posting this. Fascinating photos. I am a descendent of these Kidds and grew up in Manchester! Small world!

bevanmission said...

Dear Donna: Thank-you for the kind words. I'm eager to find out more from your side of the family. Sincerely, -your newly found cousin, Hollie Bevan

Anonymous said...

I loved the trip back in time with you. I to was a Kidd born Mary Eugenia Kidd I married a Holt from Tn. I now live back in Ms.Mantachie ,Ms.Thanks again for your site it is great!
Mary Kidd Holt

bevanmission said...

Dear Mary: We are 7th Cousins and you and LeRoy Anderson Kidd are 4th Cousins!! It's wonderful to hear from you and meet new Cousins! Thank-you, also, for your genealogy postings which have been most helpful in sorting our KIDD families.
Sincerely, Hollie Bevan

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am a direct descendant of Henry Lonas, Rebecca Lonas Kidd's father. I grew up in Knoxville, TN and am very familiar with the Lonas and related families. My interest in the KIDD line is because we've just discovered the connection to our Lonases through autosomal DNA testing. I'm working with an adoptee who has a strong match with a gentleman named George Jackson KIDD, whose earliest KIDD ancestor was John Kidd, b.~1763. We've tried to contact George, but he has an incorrect email address. We'd loved to take a look at his entire lineage, as I suspect there are many more Knox County families involved. Do you know George? or have a link to his entire tree by chance? Thank you for any help you can give us! Amy Martin, Gainesville, FL (formerly of Knoxville, TN)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Rebecca was Henry Lonas' granddaughter. Her father was John Lonas, Henry's son. -Amy

bevanmission said...

Dear Amy: Hello Cousin! I'm responding to your comment by email message. Sincerely, Hollie Bevan

Teresa said...

I love your blog and was so excited to read the comment from "Amy". I gave her address to my cousin, who's a better geneologist than I! Last Saturday was our "Kidd Reunion" and I've had Grandmother Rebecca very much on my mind the last couple of weeks. (I grew up listening to stories of her devotion to Leander and I, too, am the adoptive mother of a schizophrenic son.)

Rebecca's buried in the Avon cemetery very near to where I've lived for the past 40 years. No worries about it being a desolate place anymore! She's in good company in a cozy, peaceful, well-tended cemetery on a hill with a beautiful view and more recently deceased family next to her.

I also was thrilled to see the old picture of the Kidd home in Avon. It is still standing--minus the roof. I have pictures of the east side of the house that I tried unsuccessfully to upload here as my profile picture, but will be back here with some pictures of the same western angle of the house that the old one was taken from.

George Jackson Kidd is my uncle. (I'm the daughter of Clark Jackson Kidd, George's younger brother.) "Jack" lives in Logan, UT. He isn't able to use the computer or write (his wife helps with correspondence) because of palsey--he shakes very badly, but you can email me if you have more questions. My cousin, Debbie (Daughter of Nelda Marie Kidd MacPherson, George's older sister) will be contacting you, Amy! I'd love to learn more about our family! ~Teresa Olsen,
P.O. Box 108
Paradise, UT 84328

bevanmission said...

@Teresa: Hello Cousin! You and I are 2nd Cousins! It's wonderful to hear from you. I'm contacting you by email. Love you newly found Cousin, Hollie Bevan

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