Monthly Archives: November 2013

Obituary for Bernice Martin

Obituary for Bernice Edna Martin from the Harrison Daily Times, 2004.

Edna Earwood

Edna Bernice Earwood[1], 79, of Harrison died Wednesday, Feb. 25 (2004) at North Arkansas Regional Medical Center in Harrison.

Funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 28 at Christeson Funeral Home with Rev. Charles Christian and Rev. Derwin Martin officiating. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27 at the funeral home. Burial will be in Mt. Judea Cemetery with grandsons and nephews serving as pallbearers.

The daughter of Frank and Stella Graham Martin[2] was born April 23, 1924[3] at Bear Creek in Searcy County. She was a prior resident of Mt. Judea. She was a devoted Christian and member of the Assembly of God Church, and was a homemaker and a loving, devoted wife and mother of ten children[4]. She enjoyed reading her Bible, growing flowers, quilting, and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Garlin Earwood[5]; a daughter, Evalene Smith; and a sister, Matilda Martin.

She is survived by six sons, Herman Earwood of Western Grove, Leon Earwood and Glen Earwood, both of Springfield, Mo., Bobby Earwood of Harrison, Paul Earwood of Russellville, and Tommy Earwood of Harrison; three daughters, Linda Carter, Kathy Redding and Robin Lane, all of Harrison; three brothers, Dalth Martin and John Martin, both of Hasty and Kenneth Martin of Mammoth Springs, Mo.; a sister, Emogene Davis of Vendor; 27 grandchildren; 36 great-grandchildren; eight great-great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends who will mourn her passing.


[1] Records suggest the order of her names was Bernice Edna. The obituary appears to have flipped her first and middle names. To wit:

  • The 1930 census for Shady Grove Township, Searcy County, Arkansas enumerated her as “Martin, Bernice E.” which suggests that Edna was her middle name.
  • Similarly, the Social Security Death Index lists her as “Bernice E. Earwood.”
  • The 1940 census for Big Creek Township, Newton County, Arkansas, enumerated her as “Martin, Bernice.”
  • On her record of marriage to James Rhynes, she was “Bernice Martin.”
  • On her record of marriage to Garlin Earwood, she was “Bernice Rhynes.”

[2] Stella Viona Graham was the daughter of John Henry Graham and Mary Matilda Bohannon.

[3] The 1924 birth year is supported by most of the records except for one. At her marriage to James Rhynes on 28 April 1940, Bernice’s age was recorded as 18, which suggests one of two possibilities. One, that she was actually born in 1922, or two, she lied about her age. Being 16 in Arkansas in 1940, she would’ve needed her parent’s consent to marry James Rhynes, but if she were 18, consent wouldn’t be required. Did she elope with James?

[4] Bernice and James had one child together, Nona Evalene Rhynes, mentioned in the obituary as “Evalene Smith,” her married name. The other nine children were from Bernice’s second husband, Garlin Earwood.

[5] No mention at all of her first husband, James Rhynes. Bernice and Garlin Earwood were married on 2 July 1942, so James must have passed away by then. I haven’t yet found a record of his death.


Harrison Daily Times. “Edna Earwood,” published 29 February 2004. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 1930 United States Federal Census. Census Place: Shady Grove, Searcy, Arkansas; Roll: 89; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 17; Image: 509.0. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 1940 United States Federal Census. Census Place: Big Creek, Newton, Arkansas; Roll: T627_158; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 51-1. Retrieved 15 November 2013. Social Security Death Index. Name: Bernice E. Earwood; Death Date: 25 Feb 2004; Issue State: Arkansas ; Issue Date: 1973. Retrieved 15 November 2013. Arkansas County Marriages, 1837-1957. Film Number: 2020696; Digital Folder Number: 004331498; Image Number: 00078; Page Number: 622; Names: James Rhynes and Bernice Martin. Retrieved 15 November 2013. Arkansas County Marriages, 1837-1957. Film Number: 2026575; Digital Folder Number: 004331503; Image Number: 00483; Page Number: 500; Names: Garlin Earwood and Bernice Rhynes. Retrieved 15 November 2013.

Obituary for Loye H. Bohannon

Originally published in the Harrison Daily Times in 1973.

Loye H. Bohannon, Aged 73, of Leslie

Loye H. Bohannon[1], aged 73, of Leslie, died at the Craig Nursing Home in Marshall Monday, June 11.

He was born April 6, 1900[2] at Bear Creek in Searcy County.

Survivors[3] include two brothers, Chester of Marshall and Neal of Leslie; three sisters, Pearl Jones of Harrison, Sylvinia Watts of California, Hester Bohannon of Leslie.

Funeral services were conducted at 2:00 p.m. today at the Coffman Chapel with burial in Bear Creek Cemetery.


[1] Loye was the son of Patrick Bohannon and his second wife Fannie Wilbanks.

[2] Loye’s birth year is likely incorrect here. For evidence, look to the 1900 census for Sulphur Springs Township, Searcy County, Arkansas. Enumerated on 18 June 1900, it recorded Loye’s “age at last birthday” as one. If he were born in April 1900, as the obituary stated, his age would’ve been 2/12 at the time of the census. Also, the census explicitly recorded his month and year of birth as April 1899.

[3] We’ve been through this a couple of times now. Chester, Hester and Neal were Loye’s half-siblings from mother Mollie Graham. Pearl was his full sister from mother Fannie Wilbanks. Sylvania, here misspelled Sylvinia, was a half-sister from mother Rixey Watson. It appears that Loye never married.

Sources Harrison (Ark.) Daily Times, page 7, published Wednesday, 13  June 1973. Retrieved Saturday, 9 November 2013., 1900 United States Federal Census, Database online. Year: 1900; Census Place: Sulphur Springs, Searcy, Arkansas; Roll: T623_76; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 123. Retrieved Saturday, 9 November 2013.

Obituary for William M. Watts

The following obituary was published in the Marshall Mountain Wave in 1988.

William Watts

William M. Watts[1] of Sutter died December 9, 1988 in Rideout Hospital. He was 72. An Arkansas native, he lived in Sutter for 35 years[2] and was a retired employee of the State Department of Water Resources.

He was a member of Hammonton Lodge No. 433, F. & A.M.[3] of Sutter.

He is survived by his wife, Tura Watts[4] of Sutter; a son, Ben Watts of Yuba City; three brothers, Vernon Watts of Pioneer, Cash Watts of Sacramento, and Earl Watts of Arkansas; and one grandson.

Services were held at Ullrey Memorial Chapel with the Rev. Robert Williams of North Highlands Missionary Baptist Church and Hammonton Lodge No. 433 F. & A.M. of Sutter officiating.

Burial was in Sutter Cemetery.


[1] William was the son of James Madison Watts and Sylvania Bohannon. His paternal grandparents were Siler Watts and Eliza Ann Graham.

[2] Based on this obituary, William moved to Sutter, California in 1953.

[3] Free and Accepted Masons. Hammonton Lodge No. 433 is now known as Corinthian-Hammonton Lodge No. 9.

[4] Tura Leona Ragland, James’ second wife.


Marshall Mountain Wave, “William Watts,” published 22 December 1988. Retrieved 8 November 2013.

Corinthian-Hammonton Lodge No. 9. Retrieved 8 November 2013.

See Also

For more information about James and his first wife, Louise Gertrude Turner, read the following previous articles:

Headstone Application for Erman Zebedee Graham

In honor of Veterans Day 2013.

Erman Zebedee Graham was the son of William Thomas Graham and Virgie Viola Copeland. He died on 15 April 1957 in Reedley, California. His widow Jackie applied for a military headstone based upon Erman’s service in the United States Naval Reserve during World War II.

Erman Z Graham Headstone

QMC Form 646, Application for Headstone or Marker for Erman Z. Graham, 1957.

Block 1, Name: Erman’s full name entered, with his middle name misspelled “Zebdee.” After his military records were checked, it was lined-through and the correct spelling “Zebedee” written above.

Block 2, Enlistment Date: 22 May 1944.

Block 3, Discharge Date: 29 November 1945. “Hon” was later written behind the date, indicating Erman received an honorable discharge.

Block 4, Service Number: 888 44 73

Block 5, Pension or VA Claim Number: C 1759 70 68

Block 6, State: “Arkansas” was originally entered, but then struck-out, with “Enl-Calif” written-in above, indicating that Erman enlisted in California.

The 1940 census, enumerated in April 1940, had Erman and Jackie living in Jackson Township, Pope County Arkansas. Taken with Erman’s enlistment date, this indicates they moved from Arkansas to California sometime between April 1940 and May 1944.

Erman Z Graham block 8

Block 8, Medals

Block 7, Grade: “Seaman 2/c” – Seaman Second Class.

Block 8, Medals: “None” written-in after his records were verified.


World War II Victory Medal. Erman should be eligible.

Based upon Erman’s period of service, he should have been eligible for the World War II Victory Medal, which was created shortly after he left the military.

Block 9, Branch of Service: “USNR SV” – United States Naval Reserve, Selective Volunteer.

Block 10, Date of birth: “8-8-18” – 8  August 1918.

Block 11, Date of death: “4-15-57” – 15 April 1957.

Blocks 12-14. The headstone ordered was a flat granite marker engraved with a Christian emblem, a Latin cross. It was shipped to Reedley Cemetery in Reedley, California.

Block 17. Claire Emerick, likely an employee of Cairn’s Funeral Home (which, per Erman’s obituary, conducted the memorial service), completed the application, signing for W. A. True on 18 April 1957.

Block 18. Jackie’s typed name and address.

Block 19. Jackie’s signature.

Jackie Graham Signature

Bottom of Block 19. Jackie Graham’s signature.

Sources Applications for Headstones for U.S. Military Veterans, 1925-1941. Microfilm publication M1916, 134 rolls. ARC ID: 596118. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, Record Group 92. National Archives at Washington, D.C. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 1940 United States Federal Census. Census Place: Jackson, Pope, Arkansas; Roll: T627_164; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 58-26. Retrieved 9 November 2013.

The Institute of Heraldry. “World War II Victory Medal.” Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. Retrieved 9 November 2013.

Marshall Mountain Wave. “Ermon Graham Died in California,” published on 3 May 1957. Retrieved 4 June 2011 from the Searcy County Library, Marshall, Arkansas. Transcription.

Obituary for Virgil Cornelius Bohannon

This obituary for Virgil Cornelius Bohannon was published in the Marshall Mountain Wave on 13 October 1977.

Neal Bohannon Died October 6

Virgil Cornelius (Neal) Bohannon, age 66, died at his home on October 6.

He was born in Searcy County February 5, 1911, a son of the late Patrick and Mollie Bohannon[1]. He was a member of the Welcome Home Baptist Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers and one sister, Lester, Loy[2] and Alex Bohannon[3] and Sarah Michell[4].

Survivors include a brother, Chester[5], of Marshall; three sisters, Sylvania Watts[6], Sutter, California, Pearl Jones[7], Harrison, and Hester Bohannon[8] of Marshall, and other relatives[9] and friends.

Services were held Saturday, October 8, at Coffman Chapel, with Earl Harness officiating. Burial was in Shady Grove Cemetery.


[1] Neal’s parents were Patrick Bohannon and his third wife Mary F. “Mollie” Graham.

[2] Loy was technically Neal’s half-brother, being the son of Patrick Bohannon  and his second wife Mary Wilbanks.

[3] Alex was technically Neal’s half-brother, too. He was the son of Patrick Bohannon and his first wife Rixey Watson.

[4] Sarah was Neal’s half-sister, being the daughter of Patrick Bohannon and Rixey Watson. Sarah married Jess Mitchell – their surname is misspelled in the obituary.

[5] Chester and Neal had the same parents, so they were full brothers.

[6] Sylvania was Neal’s half-sister, being the daughter of Rixey Watson.  Sylvania married James Madison Watts in 1917.  James was the son of Eliza Ann Graham, the sister of Sylvania’s step-mother Mollie Graham. This put Sylvania in the curious position of being her own husband’s step-cousin.

[7] Pearl was Neal’s half-sister, being the daughter of Mary Wilbanks. She married Bryan Jones in 1917.

[8] Hester and Neal were full siblings, having the same parents.

[9] Neal’s other relatives apparently did not include a wife and children. There is no record of him having been married.

Grave Marker

Virgil Neal Bohannon


Marshall Mountain Wave, “Neal Bohannon Died October 6,” published 13 October 1977. Retrieved 8 November 2013.

Grave marker photographed by Ashli Graham at Shady Grove Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas on Saturday, 4 June 2011.

See Also

For the complete accounting of Neal’s siblings, refer to the series of articles I wrote on the multiple marriages of both Patrick Bohannon and Mollie Graham.

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