Saturday, February 25, 2012

Vintage Haywood County Photos

Click to Enlarge

front row: Jess Williams, Bobby Williams (my Dad),
Whit Smith, Billy Castellaw
second row: Frank Reid, Bobby Castellaw,
Joe Christmas, J. C. Castellaw
back row: Lyle Reid

I received some great photos this week from one of my Haywood County cousins, Roland Reid. I love it when I get photos like this. It's about as close to traveling back in time as we can get and these photos include members from several branches of my family tree. In addition to the Reid family, also  included are the Williamson, Williams, Watridge and Castellaw families, among others.

Above is a great shot of my Dad, Bob Williams (the little kid in the middle), his brother, Jess Williams (to my Dad's right), and many of their cousins. I'm not certain of the exact location but it was taken someplace in the Holly Grove or Providence community of Haywood County around 1946.

Click to Enlarge

Providence Sunday School Class, 1942

I've written in this blog in the past about how my ancestor, Beverly W. Williamson, donated the land for the Providence Methodist Church and Cemetery and how, years later, my grandmother, Elizabeth Castellaw Williams helped raise money for that church by sewing.

Above is a photo of many of the members of that church in 1942. Looking at this photo you can almost hear Jimmy Dorsey. Actually, if you click play on the video below, you can literally hear Jimmy Dorsey while you look at the photo.

The young man in the foreground is Lyle Reid who was Roland's uncle. To Lyle's right is another brother Frank. The girl leaning against the doorway on the far right is Jessie Mae Reid who married Edward Levi Castellaw. Next to her is Pauline Reid who married Basil Snider.

Directly behind the two young Reid boys are their parents, Willie and Jo Williamson Reid (he in the striped tie and she in a hat). When I was a young boy, more than 30 years after this photo was taken, Jo Reid was a widow, living across the road from my grandparents and she joined my grandmother and I many times on fishing excursions to ponds around Haywood County.

If you know any of the other people in the photo, let me know. I would love to identify more of them.

Update 3/17/12

Thanks to my distant cousin, Sonia Outlaw-Clark, we've identified a few more members of the Providence Sunday School class. If you know of others, be sure to email me.

Click to Enlarge

You can turn Jimmy Dorsey off now because we are headed further back in time...

Click to Enlarge

l to r: Malcolm Robert Castellaw, Aaron Sammy Castellaw
and James Francis Castellaw, 1916

These are three of the sons of John Frank Castellaw who was a brother of my great grandfather, Bob Castellaw. When this photo was taken, Malcolm was five, Sammy was two and James was eight.

I was always curious about Sammy. Once, after seeing his headstone in the Holly Grove Baptist Church cemetery, I looked him up. He was killed in action during World War II on January 30, 1945 near Colmar, France.

Click to Enlarge

Headstone of Aaron Sammy Castellaw in Holly Grove Cemetery.

Jean Mann included his obituary in her book about Holly Grove Cemetery:

Click to Enlarge
"Military services for Sgt. Aaron S. Castellaw were held at Zion Baptist Church near Brownsville, September 16 at 2 o' clock. Sgt. Castellaw was killed overseas January 30th after 9 years service in the army. He had been overseas six months at the time of his death. Sgt. Castellaw was born December 6, 1914. He is survived by his wife; mother, Mrs. Agnes Castellaw of Bells; four sisters, Mrs. W. C. Baily, Mercer; Mrs Jack Stewart, Bells; Mrs. George Yearwood, Alamo; Mrs. Finis Watridge of Brownsville; three brothers, Tommy and J. F. of near Brownsville and Malcolm Castellaw of Bells and other relatives. Burial was at Holly Grove in Haywood County."
According to, Sammy's brother Malcolm also served in the army after enlisting on April 16, 1941 in Oglethorpe, Georgia. Malcolm died in Nov 1976 and the oldest brother in the photo, James Frank, died 27 Feb 1989.

Click to Enlarge

Photo taken at Pin Oak Lake in 1992

The eight children of Willie and Jo Williamson Reid

front row, l to r: Pauline Reid Snider and Jessie Mae Reid Castellaw
back row, l to r: Joseph Roland Reid, Frank Reid, Noel Reid,
Lyle Reid. Terry Reid, and Russel Reid

In addition to joining my grandmother and I on fishing trips, Jo Williamson Reid was the aunt of my grandfather, Bo Williams. Jo's sister and Daddy Bo's mother, Janie Williamson Williams, died when my grandfather was only four, and I didn't really even know of her existence until I began doing genealogy research.

Click to Enlarge

When I first began looking for information, I found the above photocopy in the Reese J. Moses-Scallions Genealogy Room at the Elma Ross Public Library in Brownsville, TN. (Be sure and "like" their Facebook Page) It was an incredible find because it enabled me to add Janie and Jo's father, Joe Williamson and their grandfather, Beverly M. Williamson as well as the Dougan and Scoby families to my family tree. The Dougans and Scobys are well-documented Revolutionary War families that I have blogged about in the past.

It's great to get to see Jo and Willie's children and I always appreciate it when people send me photos. If you happen to be hanging off a branch of my family tree and have any old photos, please email me a copy and I can share them here on my blog.

For more, visit my Blog Home Page or the Haywood County Line Genealogy Page.

No comments:

Post a Comment