Edward Pyburn and Mary Ann Stephens

Edward Pyburn and Mary Ann Stephens

Mary Ann Stephens Edward Pyburn "Ned" Stephens (b. 4/9/1853-d. soon after 3/19/1900) was born in Fentress County, TN, the son of George Russell Stephens and Catherine Livingston Stephens. His grandparents were David Stephens, son of Thomas and Sally Miller Stephens, and Thomas Livingston and Jenny Beason. "Ned" married Mary Am "Polly" Scroggins,a daughterof John Scrogginsand Margaret Pults Scroggins, also born in Fentress County, Jan. 17, 1859.

Ned and Polly were the parents of Margeret Catherine, born Dec. 17, 1880; Dicy Ellen, born Oct. 17, 1884; Lizy Etter, born Oct. 25, 1886; Ester Ebbedell (died young); Mary Leona, born July 28, 1892; and John Russell, born Sept. 20, 1695.

They made their home in the 6th District of Fentress County, where Ned served as Constable for several years, was overseer of the roads in that area at one time and was tax collector for the 6th District (1892/4).

Ned was asthmatic and, at the age of 47, after playfully running a race with Polly, died from an attack of asthma. He is buried in the Bills Creek Cemetery of Fentress County. Mother remembered him as being tall and slender with dark wavy hair.

On Nov. 15, 1907, Polly married Manson B. Stephens. The marriage lasted only a few years.

Having been left with several young children to raise, Polly became well known in the area for peddling produce. She rode "side saddle" and peddled apples or whatever she had for sale.

She raised her Grandson Royce, son of Margaret Catherine and Raymond Wisener after Margaret Catherine died when he was two years old. Margaret Catherine is also buried in the Bills Creek Cemetery. Royce passed away in Muncie, IN, in 1984 and was buried there.

In the mid 1920's, Polly broke up housekeeping and moved to Jamestown to spend the remainder of her life with her daughter, Mary Leona, and her family. Mary Leona had married Porter Alien Spurlin, son of Clinton Barnet Spurlin and Samantha Jane Stephens on April 3, 1911.

"Aunt Polly" as she became fondly known to all who knew her lived to be 83 years old. She passed away Oct. 13, 1943, at home in Jamestown, and is buried in the Gunter Cemetery there.

The spouses of Ned and Polly's other children were: Lisy Etter mar. Edmund Claybum; Dicy Ellen mar. Abraham Lincoln Franklin; and John Russell mar. 1) Nora Daniels and 2) Oma Hurst. There were no children born as a result of either of John Russell's marriages. He was a World War I Veteran, and died Dec. 3, 1928, as a result of disease contracted while in service.

Polly, my grandmother, was a very selfsufficient person. She grew her own flax for Linen, raised her own cotton, and spun the yarns and dyed them with natural dyes. She wove beautiful materials. I was only 6 years old when she died, but I well remember helping her pick cotton, seed it (with our fingers -- there were just a few rows in the garden, so not enough to gin), and watching her card it so she could use it for quilt padding.

by Novella Spurlin Cravens
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Posted with permission from Curtis Media Corporation
This page was last updated on 08/09/98.