Descendants of Mary Ella Tolbert
Mary Ella Tolbert was born 11 March 1902 in McCrory, Woodruff County, Arkansas. She was one of three children born to Joseph Tolbert and Nancy Meleta Tarno. Mary Ella lived in McCrory during her early teen years. Her father died in McCroy on 23 August 1915 and her mother must have decided to move to Howard County to be closer to her family who were living there at the time. Mary lived in Howard County when the 1920 census was taken. She lived in Brewer Township in Howard County when she met her future husband, Louis Victor "Vic" Harding. They were married in the home of Robert L. & Avis Delia (Harding) Williams on 11 December 1921 in Nashville, Howard County, Arkansas. Vic Harding was the son of Oliver Perry Harding and Lucinda Alma Johnson.
Children of Mary Ella Tolbert and Louis Victor Harding are:
In the early years of their marriage, Vic worked in the oil fields of Wetumka, Oklahoma. A few years later, and after the birth of their first child, Mary Ella and Vic moved into the house with Mary's mother, Nannie, who was in her fifties; alone, and most likely needed a little financial help.
Mary Ella's children - 1932
Mary Ella & Vic bought land in Center Point, Howard County, Arkansas. They farmed the land, raised cattle, planted peach trees and eventually built a business from the crop. The entire family worked hard in the seasonal Harding & Sons Peaches business.
Like many other farm wives, Mary Ella worked hard to raise a family. They had a smokehouse out behind the homeplace. She worked a garden and canned food for the winter months. The jars were stored in a cellar that was beneath the back portion of the house; potatoes topped with lime were also stored there. Mary Ella was simple cook. I will never forget her strawberry shortcake that was made with a home-baked cake crumbled up, mixed with homegrown strawberries and whipped fresh cows milk. Ummmmmmmmmmmm. it was wonderful!
Louis Victor "Vic" Harding, died 09 April 1957 as a result of injuries suffered when he was pinned by a falling tree on Saline Bottom, near Mt.Carmel, Arkansas.
Mary Ella had larger commercial chicken houses built after Vic died. She kept them going for several years. Her family helped with that venture as well.
Mary Ella and her children
Mary Ella (Tolbert) Harding died 02 May 1983 in Nashville, Howard County, Arkansas. She was buried in Center Point Cemetery, Howard County.
Pictured below is Mary Ella's old homeplace in Center Point. It was taken several years after her death.
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