Edward Pyburn and Mary Ann Stephens
"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.
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
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
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