Monday, March 24, 2008

Another photo to ponder

I found this photo on the internet by accident. It was taken in front of the "old" Hill Homeplace in Wheeler, Mississippi around 1935. Do you remember any of them? I'm sure you'll recognize "hizzoner" Bernard Coggins. Many of the others were prominent Baldwyn residents, especially the Coggins family. I thought at first the photo date might be wrong, but Bernard looks to be about 12 years old then and he was a veteran of WWII, so that could be about right. Clyde Hill (father to Ted Hill) later was school superintendent at Wheeler HS. Audie and Ollie Coggins helped pioneer the weekly newspaper and the first theatres in Baldwyn. My dad worked for them in both businesses, he told me.

Left to Right
- Back Row: Unknown, Ruby Robertson Hill, Columbia Hill, Jeffie Hill Brinkley, Essie Hill Coggins, Ollie Hill Coggins, Viola Hill, Clara Hill Stubblefied, Anna Lee Hill Leach.

Middle Row: Dora Hill Miller,child in lap-Bill Miller, Clyde Hill, Dock Hill, Almys Brinkley, Herman Coggins, Audie Coggins, Howard Stubblefield, Fred Leach

Front Row: Carolyn Miller, Bobby Miller, Doris Coggins, Bernard Coggins, Child, Kenneth Brinkley, child in lap-Conwell Coggins, Harole Stubblefield, Child in lap-Gloria Coggins, Malcolm Stubblefield, Lenoir Coggins.


  1. Doris Coggins was Miss Mississippi a bit later but Ruby Hill was prettiest in this picture - actually all the Hills were photogenic.

  2. Don't know how many of you out there had Bernard Coggins as a teacher, but for those who did,I 'm sure you remember that if you asked him at the beginining of class about anything involving WWII there was no more boring class but some wonderful stories about his adventures..

  3. Who was Bernard's mother? I think I'm sure his dad was Audie.

  4. Beck, that would be Miss Ollie. The wives are standing behind their husbands in the photo.

    The unidentified lady at the upper left is very familiar. Could she be Betty Sue Hill's mother? They lived in Pratt, across the road from Guy Mink.

    Just a guess???

  5. Thanks for posting this photo. We have had it on our Copeland, Hill, Morris family web site for years and no one has yet identified the "unknown" lady.
    The patriarch of the clan, my great uncle Dock Jordan Hill had a store in Wheeler around the turn of the century and was later a rural mail carrier for many years. He also wrote a regular column in the Baldwyn paper for quite a few years.
    His wife standing behind him was Columbia Ann "Willie" Gooch Hill

  6. "Miss Ollie" as we called her, drove an old Ford "woodie" wagon for many years. She looked at the road ahead THROUGH the steering wheel - she sat very low in the driver seat.

    On a cold or rainy day while picking her children up at school, she would load that old woodie up with kids without a raincoat and take them home, no matter where they lived.

  7. Bernard Coggins was born in 1920.

  8. Doris was voted Miss Congeniality in the Miss America Contest and was the daughter of Audie and Ollie (Hill) Coggins. Herman Coggins married Essie Hill and Audie Coggins married her sister Ollie Hill. Brothers married sisters. There was an explosion in Coggins's in Mississippi after that. Audi and Ollie: Parents of , Bernard, Lenoir, Doris, and Gloria. Bernard did love talking about ww2, he parachuted out of a bomber shot down over Germany and was shot in the leg by Germans coming down. Was freed by the English after being pow for 2 weeks. He was proud and he should be considering his sacrifice for all of us. Lenoir Coggins served in the Navy. He was ranked number 3 in tennis in Ms. His brother, Bernard called him Champ. Gloria is the only surviving member who currently resides in Bernard and Evelyns old house.

  9. I am one of the sons of Lenoir Coggins from Birmingham. I have never seen this blog before, but as you can imagine it is very interesting and familiar to me. I used to go to the summer baseball games and practices with my uncle Berney- as we used to call him- at the high school baseball field. He did that for many years, as I recall. My uncle had a cabin at the Sportsman Club Lake in Guntown and that was my Dad's favorite place to go on many weekends. Holly, Bernard's oldest daughter, as you may remember, has redone that "cabin" into a small modern house in recent years and we try to get by their at our annual reunion in Baldwyn or Wheeler. Bernard's dad, Audie, my grandfather who died before I was born, used to promote a few boxing matches way back in the 30's I believe, during the depression, according to uncle Berney. One weekend as Bernard told me, one of the contenders didn't show up and so Audie "selected" Bernard to replace him in the ring that night. My uncle was apparently willing and unafraid and got in the ring with this experienced boxer. To his dismay, he said he didn't last too long with the real boxer and actually got punched out in pretty pretty quick in the early rounds. I think that was his first and last boxing match! He was to be a war hero later in life as has been stated earlier. I too have heard the truely heroic things he did as a navigator on one particular flight mission over the Rhine river in Europe. As most of us know his plane was hit by German fire that hit the cockpit and knocked unconcious the two pilots. He dragged them back in the plane so he could keep the plane in the air. (he was originally a pilot in his training but crashed a couple of times or three in training and was made a navigator instead). That day he did everything perfect- he got the decending plane back up to about 1000 feet and told the rest of the crew to bail out that the throttle was stuck on wide open and the plane was going to crash. As they all began to jump he waited till the last man was at the jump door at the back and pulled by his hands(he couldn't walk because of a shrapnal injury to his leg) on
    the parachute wires back to the back of the plane. The last man was afraid to jump- so he helped him get over his fear by booting him out the door. He then bailed out and virtually saved everyone on that plane from a certain death. I know you probably have all heard this but I couldn't stop myself from repeating it!! Probably deserved the Congressional Medal of Honor- my last comment on the war!! I have very fond memories of Baldwyn although I have lived in Birmingham almost all of my life. My Aunt Dottie(Doris) and Aunt Gody(Gloria) have been great Christian role models for me and most of my family. Gloria could tell you many more stories about Baldwyn than I, but you'll have to go knock on her door or call her on the phone to get them. She doesn't like using computers too much, but she has many memories about living in that big brick house by with Audie and Ollie that happened long before I was born. one last thing- my Dad Lenoir was a champ at tennis as Bernard called him and he gave me my first tennis lesson. I believe he could have played for State if he had tried out, but he said he was too shy to try out. He is greatly missed by his four children as he was a great father to us. We will see you again soon, Champ!! Tony Coggins

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