Mary Louise Paul was born May 17, 1878, in central Louisiana, the daughter of Matthew Tolbert Paul and Madeleine Bettevy. At the age of 21, she married a fellow Louisianan, John F. Vercher, and they became the parents of five children. It was a stormy marriage, ending in a bitter divorce (the first on either side of the family) in 1905. Mary soon met Lewis Franklin (Frank) Nichols, who had grown up in the area. Frank returned home to visit relatives and met the young divorcee. After their marriage, they had an additional eight children, seven of whom grew to adulthood. This combined family of Verchers and Nichols have formed a large extended family that is still close today.
The following picture of the extended family of Mary Louise Paul was taken in 1927 in Kemp, Texas, at the community called "Water Hill" and is a terrific snapshot of history.
1927 - Water Hill, Kemp, Texas
Starting at Bottom Row - Left to Right
|1. Louis Adams||18. Ellen Belcher|
|2. J. W. Nelson||19. Chester Belcher|
|3. Unknown||20. Margie Vercher|
|4. Ralph Adams||21. Johnny (Otto) Vercher|
|5. Ada Nelson||22. Roy Mooneyham|
|6. Inez Nichols||23. Elmer Nelson|
|7. Cecil Adams||24. Jack Adams|
|8. Helen Nelson||25. Lewis Nichols (far right side)|
|9. Lillian Adams||26. Frank Nichols (Poppy)|
|10. Pete Mooneyham||27. Mary Louise Paul Vercher Nichols|
|11. Paul Nichols||28. unidentified (between and in rear of Granny & Poppy)|
|12. Katherine Vercher||29. Azerine Vercher Nelson|
|13. Faye Belcher - right side||30. Lillie Nichols Mooneyham|
|14. Bee Belcher||31. George Nichols|
|15. Louise Vercher||32. unidentified|
|16. Ollie Nichols||33. Hattie Vercher Adams|
|17. Willard Nichols||34. unidentified|
Current Family Activities
The twelve children of Mary Louise Paul are now all dead, including my beloved mother, Inez Nichols Singleton, who died on November 9, 2011. On May 23, 2009, we gathered to celebrate my mother's 90th birthday. The following is a picture of most of my mother's descendants, with the exception of two great-grandchildren who were unable to attend.
Christmas gathering on December 24, 2010 including Nanny (Inez) who was 90 1/2 at this time, all of her living grandchildren, and two great-grandsons. We did not know at the time that this would be her last Christmas with us! Also see a current picture of Inez and her three daughters - Nancy, Debbie and Betty.
LAST UPDATED: December 13, 2011.