My Mother is an only child. Her mother
left this earth not knowing anything about her fathers family, so I would
like to try and help my Mom find out who our Ragland family was/is.
As told by Charles Thomas Ragland :
He had come home, possibly from a trip(?),
and his mother drew a hot bath for him. After he had lowered himself into the hot
water, she came in with a some type of stick and started beating him
with it..yelling something about what he had "done". Charles had no idea
as to what she was talking about, but he was given his inheritance, a horse,
and told to leave the family. He was being disowned.
What we found out:
We don't know exactly when Charles left his
home, but the 1880 census shows him living in his fathers household.
He would have been 36 yrs. old at that time. We were given info that
he may have stayed in Paducah, Ky for a short time at a boarding house.
That information is questionable but came from a friend that found a ďCharles
RaglandĒ in the boarding house listed on a census.
Charles traveled at some time to Arkansas,
settling in Ozark. He took up work as a book keeper in a store called
Conatzers. Coincidentally, my Grandfather Samuel Sanders, who would some
day be son-in-law to Charles, (but after Charles passes on), traveled down
the mountain from his home at Mountain Top, to sell goods in Ozark, and may have
even met Mr.Ragland.
While working in Ozark, Charles met my Great
Grandmother, Melinda Jackson James, (cousin to Jesse and Frank James).
They fell in love and married. In a strange twist to this story, a man
named George Edward Lingo JR. asked for the hand of Melinda from
her father, before she married Charles. He refused, saying it would
not be right for Melinda to marry ahead of her older sister Tiny. Edward
Lingo instead married Tiny, and became brother-in-law to Melinda. Remember
Edward, you are going to hear his name again in this strange story.
After Charles and Melinda married, they moved
to Tom Bean, Texas, where my Grandmother, Thelma Ioma Ragland,
her older sister Carrie, and brother Ray were born. Charles ran a store there,
or possibly in White Mound. [we have not seen proof on paper of this
yet] They were a very happy and successful family during that time.
He made it clear to his family that he did not want to talk about where
he had come from, or the circumstances surrounding his loss of family.
He only mentioned that he had a brother who was a Baptist Preacher, and
a sister, whom Thelma resembled. It wasnít until about 1961,
that Thelma found out from Carrie about the story of C.T.ís
mother whipping him.
Tiny [Melindas older sister] and Ed
Lingo [Tinys husband] lived in the same area in Texas near the Ragland
family. Sometime in 1913 Tiny became ill, and on her deathbed, Melinda
promised to take care of her children should Tiny not live. She died
February 13, 1913. [Mary Clementine (James) Lingo 1869-1913]
One day [not before 1914] *Charles
Thomas suddenly left for the home of J.W. Sanders in Atwood, Oklahoma.
[J.W. is brother-in-law to Ed Lingo, and father of Samuel George Sanders
who later marries Thelma] The story goes he was looking for
Ed Lingo, and took his gun with him. We donít know why Ed was
at the home of J.W., unless perhaps for a visit. We also donít know
what happened on that trip, except that Charles was sent back home to Texas
in a coffin, his pocket watch and gun missing. Thelma was 12 years old
when her father died. *As recalled by Thelma
Sometime after that [probably before
1919] Ed Lingo married Melinda, so that they could combine both families,
since Melinda felt she needed to care for her sisters children. They moved
the family to Durant, Oklahoma. [Itís possible the marriage took place
When Thelma was around 16 years of age, she
and Samuel George Sanders met for the first time when he came to her house
to visit his Uncle Ed Lingo. Sometime later, they fell in love, and
married in 1923. On the trip to their new home in Detroit, Michigan, the
train had a lay-over in St. Louis, Missouri. Samuel decided to get a haircut
there at the station, and had Thelma wait outside on a bench for him. She
noticed a woman walking back and forth in front of her on the walkway,
and as the woman would pass, she would look at Thelma in the face. Finally
the woman approached Thelma, and asked just one question: "Would you be
the daughter of Charles Thomas Ragland?" When Thelma answered, "Yes!",
the woman burst into tears and ran off. Apparently Thelma did look
just like Charlesí sister, or at least like her father.
In 1961, when Thelma and her brother Ray
were grown [Melinda had passed away] Ed Lingo called Thelma
and asked if she and Samuel would come and take him to see Ray, that he had something
to give him. At the thought of seeing her brother, she agreed. Thelma and
Sam would drive to Ed Lingoís house and spend the night, then drive on
to Rays house the next morning. They arrived at Edís house and spent the evening talking with him.
During the conversation, he mentioned again that he had something to
give to Ray, and decided to show them what it was. Imagine
their surprise when it turned out to be Charles Thomas' missing gun! Thelma was
seething, but did not show it. Ed didn't realize that she and her brother
Ray were aware that their father returned in a coffin without his gun.
That night, while Ed was asleep, Thelma went
in and took the gun, hiding it under Samuelís "medicinal" whiskey bottle
in their suitcase. The next morning when they were to leave, Ed couldn't
find the gun, and thought he had misplaced it. Thelma played a game,
and acted as if she were trying to help him find it, knowing all along that
it was hidden in her suitcase. When they arrived at Rays house, Thelma
gave the gun to her brother in private. The gun is still supposed
to be in the family, but we havenít actually seen it ourselves.
We have only one picture of Charles Thomas,
Exactly when, how, & where did Charles
Thomas die? [His death was not talked about, and according to Thelma, he
was buried in Old Whitewrite Cemetery, Whitewrite, Texas..but a stone
was never erected and there are no records of him being there]
Where are his siblings descendants?
A church in Grayson County, Texas who had
membership for C.T. and his daughter Carrie and her husband [Sam
Bruce] sent me a copy of a letter of request from C.T. and Mr.Bruce,
asking to have membership transferred out. The letters are dated
1914 which means C.T. was still alive, but apparently moving from the area.
We arenít sure.
Charles Thomas' parents, and siblings are
James R. Ragland
wife: Agnes A. Abernathy
Charles Thomas Ragland
wife: Malinda Jackson James
Sarah Elizabeth Ragland
husband: James Harper
Robert Luther Ragland (Baptist Minister)
[died of Pneumonia in Barlow Dec. 16, 1906]
wife & children: ?
Melissa Ann Ragland
husband: William H. Simpson
Martha Alice Ragland
husband: P.O. Foree
William N. Ragland
wife: & children: ?
Mary A. Ragland
husband & children ?