April 4, 2013

Tragedy in the life of Hiram Dalton

Hiram Dalton, born Mar. 4, 1843 at Idol in Grainger Co., TN, was a son of Timothy Dalton and Delphia Coffey.  Delphia was the daughter of George and Margaret Rucker Coffey, natives of North Carolina, and Timothy was a son of Reuben and Elizabeth Shockley Dalton, Virginia natives.

In order of birth, Hiram was the seventh of at least 11 children born to Timothy and Delphia. Others were, in order of birth, George Washington, David, Thomas, Ollie or Ally, William Nelson, Green C., [Hiram], Colby Timothy, Manerva, Emeline and Harriet.  A couple of these children were married at least twice but, Hiram seems to have had an abundance of misfortune with his spouses.  He was married at least four times.

His first wife was Catherine Howerton, born c1843, died c1870.  They were married on Nov. 11, 1861[1] in Grainger Co.  Catherine was the mother of at least two children which survived to adulthood: Pleasant "Pleas" Dalton, born Aug. 5, 1865, died Aug. 14, 1942, and Mary Elizabeth Dalton, born c1866, died 1947.

Hiram's second wife was his first cousin, Mahala Jane Dalton, a daughter of Carter J. and Mary A. Coffey Dalton.  Mary was a sister to Delphia, wife of Timothy.  Timothy and Carter J. were likely very close kin but I haven't determined that yet.  This marriage occurred on Jul. 6, 1871 in Grainger Co.[1]

Mahala and Hiram had at least four children:  George, born c1874; Abner B., born 1875, died 1949; Rev. Carter J., born 1876, died 1939 and, Mary Margaret, born 1882, died 1968.

Mahala apparently died at the birth of Mary in 1882 because Hiram took his third wife, the widow Myra Mallicoat on Dec. 24, 1882[1] in Grainger Co.  Myra was about 37 years old when she married Hiram.  I do not know if she bore any children for Hiram but, in 1900 Hancock Co., a son by the name of Farnee or Tarnee, born in Apr., 1888 and then 12 years old, was in the household with Hiram.  In this census Hiram reported that he had been married for six years but a wife was not enumerated.

The excluded wife Hiram claimed to have in the 1900 census was likely C. J. Roberts [given names not found].  They were married on May 14, 1894[1] in Grainger Co.  I have not been able to locate Hiram in the 1910 census.  He died of unknown causes in Hancock Co. on Jun. 14, 1915 and was buried at the Wolfenbarger Cemetery in that county.

Perhaps some of Hiram's poor record with wives was passed along to Pleasant, his son with Catherine Howerton.  Pleas, as he was called, was born on Aug. 5, 1865 in KY and died on Aug. 14, 1942 in Hamblen Co., TN.  He is buried in that county at the Emma Jarnagin Cemetery in Morristown.

Pleas' first wife was Elizabeth "Bettie" Shockley.  They were married in Grainger Co. on Feb. 24, 1888.  She was the mother of at least three children:  Effie, born c880, James Carter, born 1896, died 1958 and, Neil, born c1902.  Bettie died on May 11, 1911 and was laid to rest at Emma Jarnagin.

A little more than a year later, Pleas married Viola Coffey on Aug. 10, 1912 in Grainger Co.  Viola was the daughter of Thomas and Martha Jane Shockley.  Martha Jane was the sister to Elizabeth Shockley, Pleas' first wife.  Their common ancestors were George and Margaret Rucker Coffey, Reuben Dalton and Elizabeth Shockley and Colby and Sarah Roberts Rucker.

Viola was the mother of at least six children: Claude Wilson, Lee Boyd, Lloyd Oliver, Paul Edam, Clifford and P. Henderson, all born between 1913 and 1926 in Hamblen Co.

The life that would eventually turn to tragedy for Pleas and Viola began with the birth of their first child, Claude Wilson.  He married Virgie Newman on Jan. 20, 1940[1] in Hamblen Co.  He was 26 then and perhaps had been previously married, but I find no record.  Neither do I know who their children were, if any.  Claude ended his life by gunshot on Jun.1, 1953[2] and was buried at Emma Jarnagin.

Their next son was Lee Boyd, born Nov. 17, 1917.  Lee died of "infantile paralysis" [known as poliomyelitis or, polio today] at the age of 10.[2]  He was buried at Emma Jarnagin.

Lloyd Oliver was next, born Aug. 30, 1919.  He died on Dec. 11, 1921[2] of burns when his clothing was ignited by the fireplace.

Paul Edam came next, born Feb. 1, 1922.  Paul died at age 12 on Mar. 23, 1934[2] of bronchial pneumonia.

Clifford survived to married Mary Lois Hall on Aug. 16, 1953 in Hamblen Co.  I have not found a death record for him or Mary.

Their last child was P. Henderson (Henderson), born Sep. 30, 1926.  Henderson died of pneumonia on Mar. 28 1939 at age 12.

It appears then that all of their children, with the possible exception of Clifford died before Viola passed on in 1969.  And, most died before Pleas' death in 1942.  All but Clifford are to be found buried at the Emma Jarnagin Cemetery in Morristown.

The Tennessee Daltons and Coffeys have a history of intermarriage.  Other of Hiram's children married into the Coffey family and I have information on those.  Additions and corrections welcomed.  Contact me via e-mail for more info.


[1]"Tennessee County Marriages, 1790-1950"
[2]"Tennessee Death Records, 1914-1915"

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