Sunday, October 19, 2008

Alice Floyd Ezell Bibb, 26 Jan 1882-17 Oct 1918

One of the first things I learned about Alice Floyd Bibb was that she died of influenza and pneumonia on 17 October 1918. The date in itself is eloquent - these were the early days of the Great Influenza Epidemic. Now the task that confronted me was to work backward from her death and find out whom she had married, what children she had, if any, and everything else I could find out about her life. I started with her death certificate. Originally I had a transcription, but now I could get an image at the Family Search pilot site. Alice died in Kleberg, Dallas County, Texas. This was the area where members of the Caswell Floyd family lived. The other two brothers who survived Caswell, Charles Augustus and Alfred Byrum, had lived in the Hutchins/Lancaster area of Dallas County. The informant on her death certificate was Ira Floyd, her brother. The undertaker who signed the certificate was E. O. Prewitt, the husband of Alice's niece Cheba Floyd. Cheba herself would die within four years after complications from an operation. The registrar who signed the document was W. S. Skiles, a distant relative by marriage through Charles Floyd's wife Angeline Matlock Floyd.

My next step was to find out precisely who Mr. Bibb was; at this point I assumed that he was the man that Alice had married by the 1900 census, making her an "invisible" Floyd. A simple search did not reveal the couple on the 1910 census, so I took another piece of information from the death certificate, Lee Cemetery, to see if I could find someone there. Through a bit of googling, I found a site which listed a number of graves in Lee Cemetery and even had pictures of the tombstones. One of the tombstones was for a T. H. Bibb, 1868-1818. This looked promising. I could find no Bibb family with that spelling in the Dallas area on the 1900 or 1910 census, but the 1880 census for nearby Kaufman, Texas showed a widower named Thomas H. Bibb with his children, and the oldest child was also named Thomas, age 12. The younger Thomas must be the T.H. Bibb in Lee Cemetery (and the older Thomas Bibb is also buried in Lee Cemetery), but was he also Alice's husband? With a little creativity I found a Tom Bib on the 1900 census, born November 1868, with his wife Nancy, born February 1877, and daughters Lora and Mabel. It appeared that he was not Alice's husband. However, I went back to the Lee Cemetery records, and the 1918 date of death for Tom was very suggestive. Then I found an important piece of information - one of the other Bibbs In Lee Cemetery was a Nancy Bibb, born 1873 and died in 1904. It struck me that perhaps Alice was Tom's second wife and, given no Alice Floyd on the 1900 census, Tom may very well have been Alice's second husband.

To find this couple (I hoped) on the 1910 census, I decided to work on finding Lora or Mabel, without the last name. That worked - this time the family members were listed as Thomas and Allice Bibbs, Thomas' daughters Lora and Mabel, and, what gave me the final clue I needed to find Alice with her first husband on the 1900 census, listed as Thomas' stepson (therefore Alice's son from her first marriage), James Ezell. Looking for an Ezell family on the 1900 census in Dallas County was fairly straightforward and produced Tom Ezell, wife Allice, and son Oran T. James Ezell was born after 1900, so Oran must have died by 1910. Oran's death, the early deaths of Tom Ezell and Nancy Woody Bibb, and Alice's early death were the first chapters I found in the tragedy-marked life of this family. I returned to Lee Cemetery to find out how the other Bibbs were related, and quickly found two daughters who died quite young, Elizabeth (1912-1913) and Frances (1913-1914). Their death certificates, which were also online, showed that they were Thomas and Alice's children and showed that Elizabeth had died of bronchial pneumonia and Frances of dysentery. Thomas Bibb's death certificate confirmed what his tombstone hinted at, that he had died in the influenza epidemic, and in fact showed that he died on the very same day as Alice.

A search on Ancestry turned up a third daughter of Thomas Bibb and Alice Floyd, but no name was given. Further census work showed that she survived (her name was Billie) and was brought up by Lora Bibb who, at the young age of 22, had been the informant on her father's death certificate. The 1920 census with Lora and Billie shows them with Lora's husband Arthur Glenn and their son Martin. The 1930 census shows Lora as a widow, a younger son Phillip K. Glenn, and Billie. At first I thought this was the continuation of the numerous tragedies suffered by this family, but Ancestry searches for Arthur and Martin to find death dates led me to believe that the tragedy that befell this family may have been one of separation, not death. I found evidence that a Charles Arthur Glenn from the same area of Dallas County as the Caswell Floyd family was the "right" Arthur Glenn, and this Arthur Glenn, his son Martin (both of the right ages), a new wife Anna, and Anna's daughters Lorean and Caroline Ray living in Cameron County, Texas on the 1930 census. Arthur's stepdaughters were of the right age for him to have still been married to Lora when youngest son Phillip was born. The interesting thing was that each parent had taken a son.

Lora Bibb Glenn did not completely escape further tragedy, however. On 30 June 1951, her younger son Phillip Keith Glenn died at age 26 in a prison camp in Korea. The following information is provided for him in the Korean War Casualty listings:

"First Lieutenant Glenn was a member of the 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division. He was taken Prisoner of War while fighting the enemy near Kunu-ri, North Korea on November 30, 1950 and died while a prisoner on June 30, 1951. First Lieutenant Glenn was awarded the Prisoner of War Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Korean War Service Medal." I believe that he may have married a woman named Millie Etta Reed and had a daughter named Donna; perhaps this was some consolation to his mother. I believe Arthur Glenn died 23 July 1943, but I do not know what happened to Martin Glenn. Lora Bibb died on 22 March 1969; the informant on her death certificate was Billie (Bibb) Kay, her younger half-sister.

The other Bibb sister, Mabel Bibb, died at age 37 on 8 December 1934, about three weeks after the birth of her seventh child, Nancy Mabel Walton, apparently from an infection that set in after the birth.

I have not been able to find out anything further about James Ezell.

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