Jessie L Colson
I was born on March 201896, in Montgomery County, Georgia near Mt. Vernon and Allay. My parents, Wesley Davis Connell and Martha Lightfoot gave me the name Jessie. I was later to add the names Lang and Colson. I was not fed with a silver spoon or walked on a bed of roses, but my life has not been all thistles and thorns, either. I am very thankful to God for my life. He continued his blessings throughout my life. My father, Wesley Connell, was born in 1865, at Mount Vernon, Georgia and was raised in Montgomery County, Georgia, near Mt. Vernon. Dad was a strong influence in my life. He was strict in principles of the Christian faith. We were carefully taught never to lie, steal or to work on the Sabbath day. There was always much work to be done, but we could depend on Sunday being a day of rest. Dad always took us to church when services were held. At other times we would play simple games at home such as, drop-the-handkerchief, prisoner base, and others. We will always remember his profession of faith, when he was baptized in a creek with many others from our community. This made such an impression on us children that we often played "baptism" with Barry, my brother, being the preacher. My father was a farmer, with us children helping with the work. We spent much of time working for other people, picking cotton, gathering corn and doing other farm work. Daddy lived to the mature age of 72, passing on in 1937, here in Camden County. He is buried in Ceylon Cemetery at Ceylon, Georgia. My mother, Martha Lightfoot, was born in 1862, at Cob town, Total County, Georgia. I do not remember much about my mother, BUT, I will never forget the day when someone came to our one-room log school house to inform us children that our mother was dead. It was difficult, almost impossible, for me, a child of seven years, to understand that mother would no longer be in her usual place in the home. I loved her very dearly. She added so much warmth and depth to our family life, as most mothers do. Her death upset me deeply. I remember on the night of her passing that I cried myself to sleep and dreamed that I was in heaven with her. It was such a beautiful place, on a blue dome with water all around it, and I enjoyed playing in the clear water in her presence. Mother enjoyed beautiful hats. One of my favorites was the one with a green bird on it. Hats were popular then and I thought my mother was the most beautiful woman alive. At her death in 1902, she was 40 years of age. She is buried in the Connell Cemetery near Alley, Georgia. Burial customs were a little different then from how they are now. Friends would come in to bath, and dress the body in a nice dress or suit of clothes. A wide board or two narrow boards were prepared with a quilt and covered with a sheet. They were then placed between two chairs. The body was placed on the board and covered with a sheet. This was called the cooling board. Within a couple of days, a simple wood coffin was made or purchased for burial in the local cemetery I was the sixth child born to my parents (seventh to my mother). When mother married my dad she already had a son, Jeff Lightfoot, who was born in Total County at Cob town. Jeff had a general store at still more, Georgia, a two story red tin building by the railroad. Jeff died of typhoid fever at our home near Alley. He was buried at Connell Cemetery near Alley by our mother. He left a wife, Leila and two children, Annie and Willie. I never heard from his family after his death. Mother and Dad's first child was born in 1879, at Alley, Georgia and was named Mae. The second was Henry, born in 1883, Mattie came in 1890, Garry in 1892, Barry in 1894, I was born in 1896, followed by Ducky Belle and the youngest, Sallie born in 1898.When Sallie was born, we were entertained as most children are, when something like this takes place in the home. Dad took us out to the barn and made swings across the juices with his plow lines. I remember that we had a good time playing that day. All of the children, except Mae, were born in Mt. Vernon. After mother died, Mae was assigned the responsibility for the care and nurture of the family.