Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Prather Family Record






 While looking for some other Baldwyn historical information, I ran across this marriage license for Mr. Brooks Prather. We have often wondered if he had any family - maybe some of you already know he had his own family at one time. As shown here he was married to Martha St. John in Tennessee on the 12th day of June, 1906. I really like the language of documents like this in those times - "has this day prayed and obtained License". At least no one was ashamed to invoke deity on papers back then.
  He also had a daughter born around 1909. The 1920 census lists him as head of the household, Martha as wife, and daughter Kathryn. Brooks was then 43, Martha 33, and Kathryn 11. He is listed as a retail merchant in a general store. That store was possibly owned by him and could have been located over the old bank building that was on the SW corner of main and second street where the Palmer pool room was in the 50s.
  The 1930 census shows Brooks (53) and Kathryn (21) living in Forrest Prather's home but Martha's name is not listed and her outcome is unknown at this time. I cannot find Brooks nor Kathryn listed in the 1940 census - maybe they were living somewhere else or did not get on the enumerator's roll for some reason. Brooks was a smart man, but hated to get beat playing pool and would have a hissyfit if he had to pay a dime for losing.

12 comments:

  1. Carl, on the 1930 census Brooks is divorced and he and his daughter Kathryn are living with his brother Forrest Prather. He is shown as bookkeeper for auto repair shop. Wonder if Martha remarried?

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    1. I guess I missed the divorced part. I wonder what happened to Martha.

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  2. It is good to know that he had a life when he was younger. In later years, he had a difficult time and I am ashamed to say that he was teased a lot by a lot of younger kids. Mr Milton Latimer used to take up for him and put kids in their place, but it was not enough.

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    1. I was amused by him but never said anything derogatory. His pat answer to a good morning greeting was "what's good about it"?

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    2. Mr Brooks was just naturally funny. I can still hear him singing "Jim Roper's body lies molded in the clay" to the tune of "Battle Hymn of the Republic". I can't remember Jim Roper but he was running for some office and Mr. Brooks was not a supporter.

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  3. Anything a bout them in the 1950 census and what he was doing then.

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    1. The 1950 census will not be published until 2022. They release census reports to the public after 72 years have gone by. The 1940 one has been published only recently...

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  4. E/mail from Bill HobsonSeptember 24, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    The Prathers had a country dinner bell that could be heard all over the town. When the cooks rang it, Prathers came running from every nook and crannie, even Mr. Brooks

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  5. Am I reading this correctly? Did Brooks Prather and H.D. Franklin take out a bond with Chester County in the amount of $1250.00 to certify that Martha St. John was a resident of Chester County and there was no lawful cause why she could not marry Brooks Prather?

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  6. Yes, although the actual fee paid was probably a small percentage of that $1250.

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  7. Just thinking... the nice home across the street to the south of where the Prather complex was - where the bank stands now- was Brooks' home I have been told. Maybe after the divorce he sold it to someone - possibly Rawdon McGuire - who lived there before building on West Main in the 1950s???

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  8. Right Carl, the house sat where the bank parking lot is now. I'm not sure if Rawdon sold it or just rented it out. My grandparents lived there for several years in the early fifties. Grandpa could step out the back door, go around the hedge and enter the back door of the Prather garage to go to work. There was a "coal oil" furnace in a small basement area and the heat was vented through floor grills, which meant you could always detect that kerosene odor. Grandma hated it!

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