This page last updated March 1, 2014.
John Thomas Whitten (my direct ancestor) married Sue Mayo on Feb. 7, 1878 in Louisville, MS. Their first son, Jack Jr, was born in Nov. 1878; and daughter Carrie followed shortly thereafter in 1879. However, their family is not listed in the 1880 Mississippi Census for either Winston or neighboring Choctaw Counties. (Considering the hilly area in which they lived, I suspect spring rains prevented the census taker from making the trip down the "holler" to where they lived.) Six more children were born by the time the 1900 Winston Census was taken, and all eight children were still home for the census: Jack Jr, age 20, through Della, age 5. Jack Jr, Ed, and Bose were all married by the time tragedy struck the family on November 1, 1908. The Whitten Killing of 1908 is described in detail elsewhere, but a drunken argument at the wedding of John Thomas' nephew Meredith resulted in the deaths of John Thomas' brother Jack, Jack's son Meredith (the groom), and John Thomas'son Bose, while sons Ed and John spent prison time in the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Rankin County.
John Thomas died in April of 1911, and he was buried in Noxubee Hill Cemetery next to his mother Caroline and brother Jack. His obituary in the Winston County Journal (the local newspaper) read as follows: "Mr. John Whitten, one of the best known citizens in the community a few miles northwest of town, died at his home a few days ago. Mr. Whitten was a clever and accommodating man, a good friend and neighbor, and his many friends will regret his untimely taking off. He was the father of the Whitten boys recently convicted of the killing of their cousin and uncle. The Journal extends condolence to the bereaved ones." Grandson Pete Whitten said John was a blacksmith.
Sue Mayo was the daughter of Fanny Mayo. Her family first appears in Winston County on the 1870 census with her mother as the head of the household. I do not know exactly when Sue died. She is present on the 1920 census for Choctaw County living with her son Johnny, but one of her youngest grandchildren who was born in 1934 never knew of her. And she was not listed on the 1930 census with Johnny, so I suspect she died in the late 1920's, probably in Choctaw County, MS. According to grandson Pete Whitten, she is buried in Noxubee Hill Cemetery, near husband John Thomas and son Bose. Her only grave marker is a rusted, illegible, funeral home marker.
Born: September 1856 in Mississippi (1870 census shows birthdate as 1846)
Died: Between 1920-1930 in Choctaw or Winston County, Mississippi
Buried: Noxubee Hill Cemetery, Winston County, Mississippi (has only a rusted, illegible, funeral home marker)
Father: Stephen Dillon Mayo
Mother: Mary Fannie Mayo (maiden name unknown)
Pete Whitten, son of Ed Whitten, remembered his aunt "Sis", Carrie Whitten, as being the oldest girl born to John Thomas and Sue Whitten. According to Pete, she married a man named Summerford, but they lived together only a few weeks. She also had a premature baby that was so small that the family buried it in a shoe box in Noxubee Hill Cemetery. Pete did not remember his Aunt Sis very fondly. "She was as mean an old witch as there ever was. She would just as soon pick up a hoe and chop your head off that to look at you. At times, you could not ask her to be no better, but then she could get mad at you and be just like a witch." Sis lived with her sister Della and her family in the Mississippi Delta before dying there in 1957.
Pete Whitten said Hassie died, unmarried, around the age of 35. She was present on the 1920 Choctaw Census living with brother Johnny but was not present on the 1930 census with Johnny.
Bose fired the first shot in the Whitten Killing of 1908 and was fatally injured in the battle. Bose's wife Anna Taylor was a sister to the widowed bride, Betty Taylor Whitten. Bose and Anna had no children, and after Bose's death, Anna remarried to Dossie Kinard.
Marriage records of Pleasant and Caroline Whitten show they were married in Chambers County, Alabama in 1845. I think John was born in Alabama, along with his older brother James (1846), while his younger sister Lucinda (1850) was born in Mississippi, shortly before the 1850 census.
1850 Winston County, Mississippi Census: Dwelling 281, Family 284
John, age 2 (1848), born South Carolina
Living with Pleasant and Caroline Whitten
1860 Winston County, Mississippi Census: Page 61, Dwelling 384, Family 383
J.T., age 11 (1849), born Alabama
Living with P.H. and C. Whitten
John Thomas not present in 1870 Winston County, Mississippi Census with Pleasant and Caroline Whitten.
1870 Winston County, Mississippi Census: Buck Horn Post Office, Twp 14 Rng 14, Page 4, Dwelling 29, Family 29
Sue, age 24 (1846), born Mississippi
Living with Fanny Mayo
John T. and Sue not present in 1880 Winston or Choctaw County, Mississippi Censuses.
1900 Winston County, Mississippi Census: Enum. Dist 96, House 115, Sheet 7
John T. Whitten, Head, Born May 1851 (49) in AL, Married 22 yrs., Parents born in SC.
Sussie M., Wife, Born Sept 1856 (43) in MS, Mother of 8/8 children, Parents born in TN and AL.
Jack W. Jr, son, born Jan 1880 (20) in MS
Eddie P., son, born Mar 1881 (19) in MS
Carrie M., dau, born Oct 1882 (17) in MS
Hassie, dau, born Nov 1883 (16) in MS
Bosie, son, born June 1885 (14) in MS
John, son, born May 1888 (12) in MS
Luther, son, born Jan 1891 (9) in MS
Della, dau, born Oct 1894 (5) in MS
1910 Winston County, Mississippi Census: Enum. Dist 119, House 54/55, Sheet 4
John T. Whitten, Head, Age 61 (1849) in AL, Married 32 yrs., Parents born in SC.
Sue, wife, Age 55 (1855), Born in MS, Parents born in U.S., Mother of 8 children, 7 are living.
John, son, age 16 (1894), born in MS [my note: age should be closer to 22 (1888) per 1900 census]
Luther, son, age 14 (1896), born in MS [my note: age should be closer to 19 (1891) per 1900 census]
Minnie, dau, age 27 (1883), born in MS [my note: this is Carrie]
Hassie, dau, age 25 (1885), born in MS
Della, dau, age 15 (1895), born in MS
1920 Soundex for Mississippi: Choctaw County, Vol 10, Enum. Dist 61, Sheet 6, Line 83
John T. Whitten, head, age 28 (1892)
Carrie, sister, age 32 (1888) [my note: age should be closer to 38 (1882) per 1900 census]
Hattie, sister, age 22 (1898) [my note: age should be closer to 37 (1883) per 1900 census]
Della, sister, age 20 (1900) [my note: age should be closer to 25 (1895) per 1900 census]
Sue, mother, age 58 (1862) [my note: age should be closer to 65 (1855) per 1900 census]
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