Charles Nelson And Cordellia Mae Myers Nelson

By Nell Morisette

Hello readers! Hope all are well and enjoying the spring-like weather.

Charles was the son of David and Delphia Herndon Pafford. He was born October 7, 1875, and grew up with four brothers: Jimmy Oscar, Marshall, and Frank; and two sisters: Almedia (Media), and Cecil. They spent their childhood in what is known as Happy Hollow in the 10th Civil District.

Mae was the second child of James Lewis and Melinda Ann Cain Myers. Mae was born May 3, 1877, while the family was living in Indiana. She had an older brother, Walter, and a younger sister, Julia Pears. Before the birth of the two girls, James got into some trouble and escaped. For 28 years he was a fugitive. During this time he and his family lived by the name Lewis, moving from state to state. they arrived in Benton County sometime after 1890. The children married and the family lived in the Benton County. They were all married under the name Lewis, but were told prior to their marriage that their family name was Myers.

Charles and Mae married March 16, 1898, and lived in Benton County, mainly in the 10th and 15th districts, for most of their lives. To them was born a son, Harley Newell, and five daughters: Ivy Marie, Nellie Faye, Sylvia Pearl, Ina Gearldine, and Linnie Delphia.

Charles was called the proverbial "blacksheep" of the family. He thought the grass was greener on the other side of the fence. Mae said they moved thirteen times in one year. To his family he was a good husband and father; he was only trying to find the best future for his family.

During the year 1910 or 1911 they moved to Memphis, Tennessee, and Charles drive a street car. Shortly afterwards, plantation owners in Arkansas came to Memphis looking for overseers for the cotton plantation. Charles moved his family to Blackton, Arkansas, prior to 1913.

The move to Arkansas proved to be a tragic one. Harley died February 11, 1913, from injuries when his horse fell on him. Charles had a bad case of malaria fever, and died September 1, 1913, from hemorrage from the kidneys, caused by the fever.

Within a period of a few months Mae had lost a son and a husband, she was a widow, and faced the prospect of raising alone the five daughters ranging in age from three to thirteen.

Word of Charles' death reached Tennessee. Two of his relative attended the funeral as did Mae's father, who was now using the name James Lewis Myers. Charles' relatives returned home, and James stayed with his daughter and her children. James told Mae, "You can't stay here, if you do it will be some of the rest of you nest. The children are all sick now."

The only things they could bring with them was what could be carried on the train. Mae left her household goods and the livestock and crops in the field came home with her father.

Mae and her family lived with her father and her stepmother Sarah Melton Myers. Mae and the girls picked cotton and did other work to help out.

Charles was a member of the Masonic Lodge, whose purpose was to case for widows and orphans. He had a cousin, Blake Pafford, who was to take care of the lodge at the time and also a member of the Tennessee Legislature. Mr. Blake knew that James was a man of limited means who could not offer much to his daughter and her children. Mr. Blake talked to Mae and said he would try to get them in the Home. Mae talked to her father, who told her, "We don't have much but as we have a roof over our heads and food on the table, we will share with you and the children." Mae knowing her father didn't have much and not wanting to put a burden on him, told Mr. Blake she would place the children in the Home, but wanted to find a job where she could be close to them.

Mr. Blake did get them in and also secured passes for the train to Nashville. Mae was able to obtain a job in the Home where she and the girls shared the same room. As the girls turned 16 they had to leave, and after three had left Mae returned to Benton County with the two younger ones.

In April of 1920 Mae married Lewis Holland. This marriage when Lewis drowned in a creek near their home. By this time the girls had married local boys and lived in Benton County.

Mae's health, both physically and mentally, began to deteriorate quite rapidly. The children realized she was no longer capable of caring for herself, and offered to take her into their homes and take care of her. For a period of time the girls took turns in their homes caring for their mother. When it became Marie's turn, Delphia and her husband were bringing her a buggy. During the trip Mae suffered a stroke and never recovered. She died June 14, 1933. Mae is buried in the Flatwoods Methodist Cemetery. Both Charles and Harley are buried in Blackton, Arkansas, in the Pine Ridge Cemetery.

It is to my grandmother Cordellia Mae Myers Pafford's credit that she rose above her problems and sorrow. Her love for her children is shown by her decision and this love was returned in the respect of her children for her sacrifices and their care for her in her declining years.

As I stated earlier, Mae was my grandmother. Her daughter Nellie Faye Pafford Melton was my mother.

Myers Family
Front row, left to right: Nellie Mae )mother of the Firie girls), Gearldine.
Back row, left to right: Delphia, Sylvia, and Marie.

Thought for the week:

The lessons a Mother teaches or doesn't teach are the most important in her children's lives. I thank God for the wonderful mother He gave me.


If you have suggestions and/ or additions for these pages, please feel free to write County Host

Brian Nichols

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