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The Jasper Mashburn Wells Family

Jasper Mashburn "Mash" Wells (son of Hiram Phillip & Susan Alvina Pence Wells) was born in Gilmer Co., Georgia, on December 19, 1859. He grew up in Gilmer Co. with six brothers (Erastus Posey, Rufus H., John Yancy, Thomas F., Andrew Brinigard & Hiram Phillip II) and one sister (Mary Frances Elizabeth). Mashburn's father died in 1863 in the Civil War near Richmond, Va., when Mashburn was only 4 yrs. of age. His mother died sometime after 1870 when he was only about 11-12 yrs. old. The 1880 Census found his brothers who were still at home at the time their mother died living on different farms as farm workers/boarders; however, at this writing, it is not clear where Mashburn was following his mother's death.

Mashburn did eventually move from Gilmer Co. to Murray Co. in the Spring Place community where he worked as a farmer. On January 3, 1886, in Spring Place Mashburn married Mary Ann Marinthia "Molly" Hill. Molly was the daughter of Asbury & Mary Frances "Polly" Price Hill who had moved their family from Gilmer Co. to settle in Murray. Prior to their marriage, Molly taught school in Mt. Pleasant, Texas, where she lived with some of her Hill relatives before returning to Spring Place to marry Mashburn. She was not happy while in Texas and longed to be back in Murray Co. In a letter to Mashburn on August 3, 1884, Molly says, "Darling, do not allow yourself to be troubled about me. I have faith to believe we will meet before long and we will love each other more dearly because of our separation. And when I am safe with the friend I love and shall have rested my tired head against the bosom that is so dear to me, then will I forgive those that make me sorrowful today."

Mashburn & Molly had six girls and two sons born to them in Murray Co. It is said that Mashburn wanted all boys, so he named some of his girls names that would be appropriate for either male or female. Their children were:

Daisy Lee, b. 12/23/1886, d. 11/30/1963, taught school in Murray Co. and never married.

Ernest Arlan, b. 8/27/1888, d. 5/9/1934, worked as a farmer & in the talc mill in Chatsworth and married Maggie Beatrice Bradley (b. 1/10/1889, d. 8/9/1975). They had four daughters: Mary Opal (Moreland), Jenevelyn Ione (never married), Neysia Winona (Harris), and Lois Jean (Cole).

Jessie Mae, b. 2/24/1893, d. 10/12/1957, taught school and married Herbert Sylvester Watts. They had four children: Herbert, John, Mary & Willa.

Posey Franklin, b. 12/23/1893, d. 1/24/1969, taught school and married (1) Robert W. "Bob" Bradley (b. 1/15/1879, d. 12/26/1957); and (2) Ervin Petty.

Edyth Mashburn, b. 11/19/1895, d. 6/11/1960, taught school and never married.

Willie Belle, b. 8/17/1897, d. 10/11/1922, never married.

Carl R., b. Feb/1900, d. 1918, never married.

Agnes Claire "Prim", b. 2/4/1904, d. 12/6/1958 in Trion, Ga., taught school and married Bill Sprayberry. They had one daughter, Mary Elizabeth.

Mashburn, Molly and one of their children died during the influenza epidemic of 1918. Mashburn died in September and Molly passed away three months later. Their son Carl died two months after Molly at the young age of 18. They were originally buried at Harrison Chapel Cemetery, but the family later had them moved to Chatsworth Heights in Chatsworth where other Wells family members are buried.

Mashburn & Molly were very compassionate and giving people. Sometime around 1914 they brought a young child into the family after his mother had died of typhoid fever. They loved him as well as if he were their own child, calling him "Little Bob." There is a photo in the family collection of Little Bob and Ernest Wells's oldest daughter, Mary Opal who was about his age. Robert Taylor lived with the family for about five years until after the death of Molly & Mashburn. Their six daughters struggled to survive after the death of their parents and had to make a choice about Little Bob. It was decided with the help of their Pastor Dooly that they would contact the Georgia Baptist Orphanage for help. In his letter Pastor Dooly states, "Much as they love Little Bob, as they fondly call him, their circumstances are such that they do not feel they are in a position to take the good care of him they have every reason to believe he would receive at the Baptist Orphans Home. It is for this reason that they ask admission for this little boy. He is a very bright little fellow, and we all hope for him a bright future." Little Bob or Robert was admitted to the orphanage on Jan. 10, 1919, a little over a year after the death of Mashburn and Molly. Robert stayed in touch with the family and came back for visits after he was old enough to leave the orphanage.

This same type of compassion and love for family still remains in the hearts of the Wells family descendants today. This is true for many other families, as well. The hard times that our ancestors endured helped to create a bond of love and devotion for those around them that can still serve our neighbors today who are facing troubled times.


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