Category Archives: Bohannon

Obituary for Loreda Graham

I was alerted to the passing of Loreda Graham via Barbara Van Camp’s Watts Family group on Facebook. Here is Loreda’s obituary, copied from the web site of Clinton Funeral Service of Clinton, Arkansas. My condolences to cousin Alpha Graham and family.

Loreda Graham

Alpha and Loreda GrahamLoreda Catherine Graham, 79, of Marshall passed away Friday August 28, 2015. Born January 22, 1936 in the Watts community of Searcy County to the late Lester and Ida Belle Thompson Bohannon, Loreda was a homemaker. She was most importantly a loving wife, mother, and grandmother, She enjoyed catching fish and eating them. She was an experienced seamstress and made many handmade quilts. She also enjoyed watching hummingbirds, but her greatest love was her family and friends.

Left to cherish her memory are her husband of 62 years, Alpha Graham; children Sheila Bixler and husband Ben of Alread, Roy Gene Graham and wife Dinah of Marshall and Cathy Carter and husband Ricky of Leslie. Grandchildren include Matthew Cotton, Nathaniel Cotton, Jessie Craig Graham, Jeremy Lee Carter, Christy Nicole Mosher, 6 step-grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, 3 great-great grandchildren, and 2 step great-great grandchildren.

Also surviving Loreda are her two sisters, Leola Judd of Brighton, Colorado and Joella Hagar of Sutter, California.

Pallbearers are Phil Graham, D.J Lathum, John Coppersmith, Greg Griffith, Brian Klunk, and Donnie Bert Watts.


Loreda was related to me in a number of ways. First, her father Lester Bohannon was the son of Patrick Bohannon and his third wife Mary Frances Graham, my great great aunt. This connection means Loreda was my second cousin once removed. Loreda married Alpha Graham, my first cousin once removed, and her own second cousin. I haven’t yet worked out the Bohannon relationships, but I’m certain there are many – Alpha’s grandmother on the Graham side was Mary Matilda Bohannon,  my great grandmother.


Clinton Funeral Service. “Obituary for Loreda Graham.” Retrieved on Thursday, 3 September 2015.

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 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.

1917 Draft Card of John Alexander Bohannon

Today, I added to my collection the draft registration card of John Alexander Bohannon, the only son of Patrick Bohannon and Rixey Watson. I’d previously written about Alex’s parents in The Many Wives of Patrick, Part One.

Card Front

Alex Bohannon Draft Front

Draft card front. Click on the image for a larger view.

Block 1 gave his name as Alex Bohannon. This is consistent with previous records: the 1900 census recorded his name as “Bohanon, John A.”; the 1910 census recorded “Bohannon, Alek.” He apparently preferred to go by his middle name as he got older.

Block 2 gave his home address as Watts, Arkansas. This is consistent with the 1910 census which recorded Alex living in Red River Township, where Watts is located.

Block 3 recorded 10 March 1895 as Alex’s birthdate, matching the 1900 census.

Block 5 gave Alex’s place of birth as Marshall, Arkansas. I’m not certain if this is accurate. The Bohannons were rural farmers and according to the census did not reside in the city of Marshall. The 1900 census noted their farm in Sulphur Springs, a former township that is now part of the modern Mount Pleasant Township, southwest of Marshall. Marshall itself is located in the modern Spring Township, but historically was in Bear Creek Township. Births were typically handled by midwives in Searcy County in the late 19th Century, so Alex was likely born on the Bohannon farm in Sulphur Springs Township. I suspect Marshall was given as Alex’s place of birth due to it being the county seat.

Blocks 7 and 8 recorded that Alex was employed as a farmer by “Jno Harrel.” That was probably John Harrell, the son of Elisha Harrell and Nancy Minerva Bohannan. Nancy was an older sister of Patrick Bohannon, thus Alex’s aunt, making John Harrell a first cousin to Alex.

The signature appears as “Alex Bohanan,” a different spelling than what was entered in Block 1. The “X” and the phrase “his mark” written around the signature block suggests that the registration card was filled out by the draft registrar, the Reverend Lewis Caddie Tilley, and not by Alex himself. It was a common practice for officials to complete forms for the illiterate and have them sign with an “X.” The 1910 census recorded that Alex, then 15, could not read or write and had not attended school.

Alex Bohannon Draft RearCard Back

The back of the card recorded a brief physical description of Alex: short, stout, blue eyes, black hair and balding (at age 22). It also included the registrar’s signature and the date 5 June 1917.

Graham Connection

Alex was the stepson of Mary Frances “Mollie” Graham, Patrick Bohannon’s third wife.

Sources World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Name: Alex Bohannon; Registration State: Arkansas; Registration County: Searcy; Roll: 1530578. Retrieved 13 July 2013. 1900 United States Federal Census. Census Place: Sulphur Springs, Searcy, Arkansas; Roll: 76; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0123; FHL microfilm: 1240076. Retrieved 13 July 2013. 1910 United States Federal Census. Census Place: Red River, Searcy, Arkansas; Roll: T624_64; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0111; FHL microfilm: 1374077. Retrieved 13 July 2013.

Find A Grave. Nancy Minerva Ann Bohannan Harrell; Memorial No. 37316818. Retrieved 13 July 2013.

Find A Grave. John Alexander Harrell; Memorial No. 41489940. Retrieved 13 July 2013.

Find A Grave. Rev Lewis Caddie Tilley; Memorial No. 70789852. Retrieved 13 July 2013.

At the Bur in the Leah of the Forest

In a previous article, 1518 Wilson Avenue, I wrote that the 1940 census recorded Lawson Scott living as a border with William and Louise Watts in an apartment in Chicago. To quote myself:

William and Lawson were both employed as “wreckers” in the “building wrecker” industry, with Lawson apparently having left behind his wife to find work (Where was Birley in 1940?).

I have now answered that parenthetical question. While doing research for an upcoming article on someone else, I stumbled upon Lawson Scott’s wife, Birley Bohannon Scott, and their family in the 1940 census.

Lawson Scott 1940

1940 Census, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas

Birley and her children were living on a rented farm in Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas. Though Lawson was recorded as the head of the household, he wasn’t actually living in Arkansas at this time, as he had gone to Chicago to find work. The encircled X beside Berlie’s name indicates that she was the one who provided the enumerator with the requested census information. Berlie naturally named Lawson as the head of the household because he was providing for the family even though he was actually over 600 miles away. Indeed, Lawson’s occupation on the Red River census is given as “wrecking” in the “building” industry, same as on the 1940 Chicago census.

The title of this article comes from the alleged meaning of the surname Birley, “the bur in the leah of the forest,” which is a close approximation of where Birley Scott was in 1940.

Sources 1940 United States Federal Census. Place: Red River, Searcy, Arkansas; Roll: T627_173; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 65-13. Retrieved 16 February 2013.

The Internet Surname Database. Last name: “Birley.” Retrieved 16 February 2013.

Obituary: Effie Savage

I found this obituary at Barbara Van Camp’s WATTS Family group over at, where it had been posted (and probably transcribed) by Ann McDonald. I’m not certain in which newspaper it appeared, but I suspect it was the Sikeston Standard-Democrat.

Effie Savage Bohannon

Effie Eunice Bohannon, 96, formerly of Morehouse, Mo., passed away February 26, 2000, at the Missouri Delta Medical Center in Sikeston, Mo.

Born May 2, 1903, in Atlas, Ark., the fourth of eleven children to the late Robert Claiborn and Armelta Bellzora Watts Savage. She was a homemaker and member of the First Baptist Church of Morehouse, Mo.

On August 26, 1919, at Welcome Home, Ark. she was married to Euggie Irtle Bohannon, who preceded her in death on December 31, 1991.

Survivors include: four sons, William Alton of Morehouse, Mo., Lenord Odell of Fulton, Mo., Melvin Eugene of Sikeston, Mo., John Robert of Pana, Ill; one sister Lucy Thomason of Frostproof, Fla.

She is also survived by eight grandchildren, Amaryllis Ann McDonald of Malden, Mo., Donna Davidson of Scott City, Mo., Michelle Yahnig of Holts Summit, Mo., Cindy Brown of Dexter, Mo., Dennis Bohannon of St. Louis, Mo., Ann Little of Taylorville, Ill., Debbie Pohlmann of Lockport, Ill. and Kathy Brazeau of Sylvania, Ohio.

She also leaves nine great grandchildren; Shane McDonald of RAF Lakenheath, England, Spencer McDonald of Branson, Mo., Brent Miederhoff of Scott City, Mo., Caleb Yahnig of Holts Summit, Mo., Jacob and Aaron Little of Taylorville, Ill., Max Pohlmann of Lockport, Ill. and Mathew and Kaithlyn Brazeau of Sylvania, Ohio.

She was preceded in death by one son, Herbert Ray Bohannon in 1959 and five brothers and four sisters.

Funeral services were conducted at the Nunnelee Funeral Chapel in Sikeston, Mo., Tuesday, February 29, 2000. Rev. Dolan Rogers, pastor of Sikeston Community Church will officiate assisted by Rev. Kelley Grubbs, pastor of Murray Lane Baptist Church. Her final resting place is in the Garden of Memories Cemetery, Sikeston, Mo.

Graham Connection

Well, technically, there is no direct Graham connection here. As mentioned above, Effie was the daughter of Armelta Watts, who herself was the daughter of William Alexander Watts, Junior. Since I am also descended from William Watts, Jr., and Effie and I are first cousins twice removed, that’s an indirect connection good enough for Graham Ancestry!

Source The WATTS Family, “Effie Savage Bohannon,” obituary transcribed by Ann McDonald, probably from the Sikeston Standard-Democrat, posted 6 March 2000. Retrieved on 4 February 2013.

Obituary: Myrle Cohey

I found this obituary at Find A Grave. I’m not certain where it was originally published. A slightly different version of it can also be found on the Roller-Coffman Funeral Home web site.

Myrle M. Bohannon

April 4, 1914 – February 23, 2005

Myrle Bohannon, 90, of Marshall died Wednesday. She was a homemaker and a member of the Harriet Assembly of God Church.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Chester[1]; parents, J. C. and Onia Bailey Cohey; brothers, Carl, Richard and Paul Cohey; sisters, Ray Renfroe, Mildred Harris and Willodean Lewis.

Myrle is survived by daughters Carolyn Sue and husband Ruby Horn of Marshall and Nelda and husband Dallas Weiher of Marysville, California. Also she had three grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Funeral services were February 26, 2005 under the direction of Roller-Coffman Funeral Home of Marshall, AR.


[1] Chester Alvin Bohannon was the son of Patrick Bohannon and his third wife Mollie Graham. Chester and Myrle were married in Searcy County, Arkansas on 21 August 1937. Chester died on 13 June 1997.


Find A Grave. “Myrle Cohey Bohannon,” created by OkieBran. Retrieved on 7 January 2013.

Roller-Coffman Funeral Home. “Myrle M. Bohannon.” Retrieved on 7 January 2013.

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