Monthly Archives: July 2012

Arkansas & Missouri 1940 Census Index Released has completed and released a searchable index of the 1940 United States Census for the states of Arkansas and Missouri. I did a quick search for Grahams from Searcy County, Arkansas and got a number of good results in both Arkansas and Missouri.  You can search their index for free by visiting

Obituary: William H. Clayton

My continuing research into the Coker and Copeland families turned up this obituary for William Henry Clayton, Junior, the husband of Dessie Coker, as published in the 26 April 1973 edition of The Odessa American of Odessa, Texas.


CRANE (Staff) – Funeral services for William Henry Clayton Jr., 74, a 28-year[1] resident of Crane, who died early Wednesday in Crane Memorial Hospital following a short illness, will be 2 p.m. Friday in the Assembly of God Church.

Burial will be in Crane Memorial Gardens directed by Larry D. Sheppard Funeral Home.

A native of Arkansas, Clayton was born Feb 24, 1899. He married Dessie Coker Oct 28, 1918[2] in Booster, Ark. A pumper for an oil Company, Clayton was a member of the Assembly of God Church.

Survivors include his widow; a daughter, Mrs. Dolan Tippton of Crane; two sons, E. C. Clayton of Crane and C. W. Clayton of Bellingham, Wash.; two sisters, Mrs. Ola Bell of Clinton, Ark. and Mrs. Mabel Alling of Dewey, Okla.; three brothers, Byron Clayton of Romoland, Calif., Glenn Clayton of Frederick, Okla., and Leon Clayton of Wittsprings[3], Ark.; nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.


[1] William moved to Crane, Texas circa 1945, based on this obituary.

[2] William and Dessie’s actual date of marriage was 27 October 1918, according to the digital image of the Van Buren County marriage record available online at The date was also stated incorrectly in Dessie’s obituary.

Clayton Coker Marriage

[3] Actually, Witts Springs.

Sources The Odessa American, 26 April 1973 , page 2A. Retrieved on 26 July 2012.

"Arkansas, County Marriages, 1837-1957," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 July 2012), William H Clayton, 1918.

A Small Source

Sometimes just a tiny line can fill in a lot of details.

I was searching at today and came across this very brief birth announcement in the Sikeston Herald.

Hospital Notes

Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Graham, of Route 3, Sikeston are the parents of a girl born Saturday at the Delta Community Hospital.

Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Graham were my uncle and aunt, whom we called Leroy and Lorice. This note announced the birth of their first child, Connie, though her name was not mentioned. This brief note confirmed the following for me:

1.)  Leroy and Lorice’s residence. They were living in Sikeston, Missouri in 1954. Lorice was from Missouri, so that’s no surprise.

2.)  Connie’s birthdate. The paper was published on Thursday, 25 November 1954. The note reported the girl was born the previous Saturday, which was 20 November 1954. I had previously recorded this birthdate for Connie, and this helped me to confirm that this was indeed my cousin’s birth announcement.

3.)  Connie’s place of birth. Delta Community Hospital in Sikeston, Missouri. That’s a fact I hadn’t previously recorded.

Source Sikeston Herald, 25 November 1954, page 4. Retrieved on 17 July 2012.

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