Judge Jerry Stokes was grandson of Noah Stokes

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Today's column will be a continuation of the descendants of Noah Stanton Stokes, namely his grandchildren. A brief biography of Noah and his children were presented last week. A correction to Noah's experiences is that at age 13 he rode for the Pony Express on the first such mail delivery between Andalusia and Baker, Fla., rather than Florala as stated earlier.

Twelve of Noah and Amelia's children reached adulthood and reared families. The three children who lived and reared their families in the Andalusia area were Johnnie, Jamie, and Rexford.

John Stanton "Johnnie" and his wife, Evelyn, daughter of Henry Evans and Ola Mae (Cook) Holland, reared the following four children: John Norman, b. 1936, d. 1999, m. Shirley Gayle Tucker; Mary Jenelle, b. 1937, m. James Cooper Kelsoe; Ruby Justine "Tina," b. 1944, m. Doyt Joseph Richardson; and Jerry Evans, b. 1947, single.

Johnnie engaged in buying and selling livestock and was regarded as one of the best at estimating the weight of animals. During the 1920s, he went to Birmingham to engage in real estate for a short time. Unfortunately, the depression forced him to abandon that goal, so he returned to Andalusia. He worked some in a grocery and meat market owned by relatives on South Cotton Street. He later purchased Tracy Wilder's grocery store, which was located at the corner of East Three-Notch and Henderson Streets, and he operated that business until he retired in 1960. He reared his family in houses on Dunson Street and later, at Lee Street.

James Austin "Jamie" and his wife, Cola (Huggins), daughter of George Washington and Zelemma Gertrude (Beasley) Huggins, reared the following children: Winifred, b. 1928, d. 1994, m. Willis Terry; Elizabeth Ann, b. 1933, m. Esker Elijah Thomasson; Betty Jo, b. 1935, m. Harrison Lafayette Vinson; George Stanton, b. 1937, single; Charlotte Gertrude, b. 1939, m. Murray Norman Bryant; Mittie Ethel, b. 1941, m. (1) Billy Lee Castleberry, Sr. (2) David Knowles; Amelia Carolyn, b. 1943, m. James Edward "Jimmie" Lindsey, Sr.; and James Austin Jr., b. 1944, m. Margaret Ann Cauley.

Jamie and his family lived most of their years at houses on Brooklyn Road. During World War II, he and his brother, Rexford, went to Mobile to work with the shipyards. He returned and continued his carpentry work and that as a butcher. He is known to have been a butcher in several stores: Johnnie Stokes's Grocery, Enfinger Grocery, and L.C. Stokes's Grocery.

Rexford Sr. and his wife, Ollie Mae (Mott), reared the following two children: Rexford Jr., m. Angela Morrow; and Janice, m. (1) Frank Goddard (2) J.C. ?. Rex's family resided on Woodruff Street where he operated a grocery store for many years.

At least two brothers settled their families in Birmingham. One, Samuel Sanford, and his wife, Bardee Claudia (Walker), reared the following children: Virginia Jean, b. 1926, d, 1965, m. Bill Byerly; Samuel Gilbert, b. 1930, m. Jimmie Ruth Blankenship; Lola Joyce, b. 1931, m. (1) Jack J. Bradford (2) Robert Nelson Bennett; Marlene Gail, b. 1932, m. Howard J. Turner, Jr.; Barbara Ruth, b.1933, m. Joe Merrill Davis; and Peggy Amelia, b. 1943, m. Arthur Lee "Sonny" Bullard. These six children gave them 16 grandchildren.

Samuel worked during World War I at TCI in the shell shop as a blueprint inspector. He became highly skilled as a carpenter and painter. He eventually worked for Birmingham Southern College in the maintenance shop where he did carpentry and painting. He volunteered the use of his time and talents in helping with the building of the Methodist Church in Central Park. It was there that he met his future wife even though she may have played a bit "hard to get." His interests and hobbies centered on hunting and fishing. He developed an interest in breeding, training, and selling beagle dogs.

Glady Raymond also reared his family in Birmingham. He and his wife, Eula Brooks, had two daughters: Edna Juanita, b. 1931, m. Charles Arthur Jett; and Sylvia, b. 1935, m. Thomas M. "Tom" Jett, brother to Charles. These two children gave them 10 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren.

Glady enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1920 at the young age of 16 years. He rendered four years of service and then returned home. It was not long before he met and was married to Eula Brooks on August 2, 1925. He worked for Bechtel Company, which later became Simco Service. The company maintained military aircraft. He next worked for the Birmingham Transient Company in its maintenance department. He helped to keep the buses serviced and painted. Also, he and a partner operated a painting business through which they painted houses on weekends.

Noah's other children moved to different areas to pursue careers and rear their families. The oldest daughter, Ivy Audrie, was married to Charley Storey, and they lived for a while in Birmingham. They had one son, Grover, who was in the Navy and was married to Lillie Holland of Andalusia. Grover and Lillie were divorced, and he left the area.

Elizabeth Georgia "Lizzie" and her husband, Nathaniel C. Cornett, had one daughter, Christine, who married Richard Van Buskirk. Christine had the rare experience of having worked in an aircraft manufacturing plant in Birmingham which built the plane used to drop bombs in Japan.

Flora Maybelle was married to N.B. Wynne, and they resided in Forseyth, Georgia. They reared three sons: N.B., Troxton, and Willie Frank.

Valdosta "Vallie" and her husband, James Bunch, eventually moved to Virginia where he worked in the shipyard. They had one son, James, who married Mickie ?.

Annie Myrtle and her husband, John A. Odom, reared three children: Albert; Gary; and Louise, m. Jack Oliver, Sr.

Charlotte Mims and her husband, Hugh M. Marks, had one daughter, Sarah "Sali," who married William "Bill" Turner. Charlotte and her family lived in Montgomery.

Ruby Clyde and her husband, Carey Etheridge, did not have any children. Carey worked in real estate.

Appreciation is expressed to the children of Johnnie Stokes, Jamie Stokes and Samuel Sanford Stokes for contributing their family records for this writing. After enjoying the recent get-together, these descendants of Noah Stanton Stokes hope to plan a family reunion in the near future and continue collecting and recording the family's history.

Anyone who might have corrections to the above or additional genealogy to share is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 21361 Rabren Road, Andalusia, AL 36420 or Email: chthom@alaweb.com.


The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 5, at the Andalusia Public Library.