Elsberry B JACKSON and Christmas Day

Elsberry B. JACKSON was born on Christmas day about 1859 * in Georgia.

He married his first wife Mary (Mollie) J. COKER on Christmas Day in 1879.  The 25th of December was a special day. Marriage certificate of Mary "Mollie" J. COKER and Elsberry B. JACKSON

He and Mollie had the following children:

  1. Alma Josephine – born 9 July 1882 (mother of Eula Mae HOLDER LINN)
  2. Manson T. – born Aug 1885
  3. William Grady – born Jan 1890
  4. Lillian Amelia – born 1891

Elsberry B. JACKSON

The Way Things Were

According to the census records, Elsberry never learned to read or write.  It’s hard to imagine not being able to read a street sign, a letter, the Bible, a novel, directions;  never expressing your thoughts in a journal or letter.

From the book Race and Schooling in the South 1880-1950 by Robert Margo (Un. of Chicago Press) come the following statistics of those who were illiterate:

  • Year            Blacks          Whites
  • 1880           76%               21.5%
  • 1930           19.7%            3.8%

Elsberry fell into a pretty exclusive percentage of less than 4% by the year 1930.  It’s amazing to see how much work was done to educate people, especially blacks during this time period.  Before emancipation, it was illegal to teach slaves to read or write.

Family story indicates that E.B. had some type of walking disability as well.   Still, he was able to work as a farm laborer in his early years and when in his 60’s ran an elevator, probably at the local cotton mill.  Near the JACKSON family in Henry County was the  WEEM Plantation.   The largest slave burial site in Georgia was discovered there in 2011.   The 4000 acre farm estate, established in 1848 by Samuel WEEMS is now part subdivision and woods.  Click HERE to read more about the cemetery.

Mary (Mollie) J. COKER died in Jun 1891.  Seven years later, he married another Mary J. who’s last name was CROWELL.

Mary Jane CROWELL JACKSON (sitting) with daughters Luvene and Emmie

Mary Jane CROWELL JACKSON (sitting) with daughters Luvene and Emmie

They married in March instead of December.  Together they had three children:

  1. Raymond – born  July 1901
  2. Luvene – born  Sep 1905
  3. Emmie – born abt 1912
*All census records establish this date as his birth although his tombstone says it is 1849.

Mary ‘Mollie’ Jane COKER

Mary 'Mollie' J. COKER

Mary COKER was born the 4th of April 1857* in Henry County, GA.  She was a child during the Civil War and evidence indicates that her family was needy during those years.   At the age of 22 she married Elsberry B. JACKSON on Christmas day 1879.  Together they had 4 children:

1. Manson 2. Alma Josephine 3. William Grady 4. Lillian

Marriage certificate of Mary "Mollie" J. COKER and Elsberry B. JACKSON

She died within the year of Lillian’s birth in 1891 or 1892.  She was young.

Daughter Alma Josephine was mother to Eula Mae HOLDER

*The 1900 U.S. Census of Henry County GA records Mary’s birth as Mar 1870 but a family bible records her birth as 4 April 1857.

Sisters, Sisters . . .

Sisters.  There were three of them.  Eula Mae HOLDER was the middle sister of three little girls who lived in Locust Grove, Henry County, GA with their parents Alma Josephine JACKSON and James Solomon HOLDER.

Bertha Lane HOLDER

Bertha Lane HOLDER

Bertha Lane HOLDER born 1 July 1898 was the firstborn .  She married John H SPEIR and they had one child.  It’s believed that Bertha had some higher education beyond elementary school.  It may seem a funny thing to note, but higher education was not an expected privilege for most girls in the early 1900’s.  Bertha could also play the piano.  This beautiful young woman’s life was shorter than her sisters.  She died a few weeks after her 21st birthday on the 20th of Aug 1919.  It would be of interest to find out the cause of death.

Cemetary Marker with Little LambAlthough not a sister,  Lindon C. HOLDER, the only son of James and Alma was born on the 24th of Sept in 1899. He died at 15 months of age on 18 Dec 1900.



Eula Mae HOLDER was the 2nd sister born on the grand date of December 10th, 1900.  She would have been 8 days old when her brother died.  It can only be imagined what a difficult time Alma, the mother would have suffered. Eula married Max Augustus LINN. They had 4 children, 2 of whom reached adulthood. Eula had an elementary school education up to the 8th grade. She worked as a dressmaker until her retirement.  She loved to read, sew, crochet and tat. She died at her son’s house in Covington, GA at the age of 92.

Mamie Lee HOLDER as a Young Woman

Mamie Lee HOLDER

Mamie Lee HOLDER was the last sister born 4 March 1903 in Locust Grove like the other girls.  She would have been 3 years old when her mother Alma died in 1906 and was 6 years old when her father married Della HARKNESS.  Mamie married William Albert EVANS on Dec 2, 1919 and lived most of her life in Griffin, Spalding County, GA.  She and her husband owned and worked a general store that serviced the local community which included both blacks and whites.  Mamie and Bill never had children but hosted their niece many summers.  She was known to like cake.  Through the years, especially during hard economic times she employed her sister Eula to sew dresses for her which was mutually beneficial to each.  She lived to be 100 years old.