| Grandpa Dykes** was born after his father died. We have
no data on Great grand father Dykes. George W was taken into
his uncle's family; this was Benjamin B Dykes of Andersonville,
GA. In Sumter County near Americus, GA. He lived as a child
and grew up on this plantation.
When the infamous Prisoner
of War encampment was built by the Confederate Army in 1864,
the land was taken from one corner of Benjamin B Dykes' Plantation.
Grandpa used to tell us kids of seeing the Yankee prisoners
coming in by the train load (the reason the camp was built
there in the first place) and being marched up the hill to
the entry gate of "Camp Sumter" as it was already
called, there they were locked into the various areas of the
camp. This was a stockade made of pine logs put into the ground
and being 20 feet height. No way they could get out; although
At any rate, Grandpa Dykes
was taught how to make things of wood, and how to make
baskets... He excelled at cabinet making, but could do anything
with wood. He also was taught to farm, to tend animals
He was very good at all of these things.
He married Mary Lawson English on December 26, 1878 at Oglethorpe, Macon County, GA. This
union produced nine children as follows: Pittsy Eva (1881,
Mar 14), Ida Lawson (1883, Feb 17), Ann Verna (1884), Andrew
Jackson (Jan 2 1888), Joseph Edwin (Oct 18, 1890), Fannie
Jewel (Aug 18, 1892), Ruth Jane (Oct 11, 1895), Bertha Lee
(Aug 11, 1897), William Warren (Oct 1901), Katie Thelma (Dec
Grandpa left the farm and moved
to town, where he went to work for the AB&A Railroad
Co. as a car carpenter (all cars were made of wood in those
days). We saw a lot of Grandpa during our young years. He
maintained a small wood working shop in their back yard. We
would go to his shop and watch him working with his tools,
but knew better than to speak or to interrupt him in any way.
I have an encounter or two with a hickory "split"
(thin strips which he wove together to make baskets). This
was not real fun. He would not tolerate any touching of any
of his tools. But we were still most worshipful of him, and
were content to see him create something from very few others
in our knowledge could, regardless of the occasional whap
on the seat for getting in his way.
Grandpa made chewing tobacco. He
would visit some farm friend who grew tobacco and bring home
several strings of cured tobacco with him. He would then plait
these leaves into long whips of tobacco leaves. He would then
wind these into flat wheels and place them between white oak
planks, clamp the corners together and throw them into the
rafters of his shop and let them cure there all fall and winter,
take them down in the spring, and un clamp the boards and
have round plugs of beautiful chewing tobacco. He would cut
a "chaw" off with his pocket knife (a whole story
itself), and start chewing, after offering all us kids a chaw
of it, all of us declining in the offering. After many years
of loving and being loved by his grandkids, he developed heart
trouble; of which none of us knew anything.
In January of 1930, my brother Jack
and I went with him to where a large pecan tree had
been blown down by a storm, to recover some of the wood of
the limbs and the trunk, from which he could make tool handles
and splits to weave baskets. I remember quite well that mama
took us all out to the orchard where the tree was and left
us all day with our bag lunches and quart jars of fresh milk
and water, then return us all home. This was the last time
any of us spent any time with him because he became sick that
night and after several days of suffering, he died on January
10, 1930 of Congestive Heart Failure and other related troubles.
This is the same type of congestive heart disease that my
brother Jack and I both have and which killed our older brother
Joe in September 1999.
Grandpa was a gentle loving elder
relative and will never be forgotten
so long as anyone who knew him lives."
James Harding Morris, March 8, 2000
|"Fannie Jewel Dykes (MY grandmother), was originally married to my grandfather: Joseph Emery Morris.
He worked for the AB&A Railroad and was murdered on September
7th 1921 in Atlanta, GA. He was born 26 April 1887, Cobb County
GA. Because of some mix up of dates, etc., I haven't been able
to purchase any birth or death certificate. I have sent money
and attempted three times, only to have my money kept, and receive
a "no information found" letter (annoying to say the
least). This beautiful man, who looks so much like my dear
father, only had three sons with Fannie Jewel Dykes: Joseph
Emery Morris, Jr... , James Harding Morris..., and my dear father.
I have NO other information on Joseph Emery Morris. My Uncle
sent me a book on the history of the AB&A Railroad and copies
of the original newspaper (headline news, I might add) on the
day the train car was blown up and my grandfather died. Fannie
did not stay widowed very long and she married George Eaton
(a dear friend of my grandfathers). She went on to have several
other children. The one uncle that I knew was Uncle Robert Eaton.
He passed away last year
I would dearly love to find out more about Joseph Emery Morris.
I can find nothing. This man haunts me. I have a beautiful original
photograph painting that my Uncle Jim sent to me. He wanted
me to have this of my grandfather because he himself never had
any children and he wanted someone to remember the Morris name.
[Melinda Gardner; Apr 2003]