Monday, August 6, 2012

Simpson Monroe Peak, c. 1879-1952, Marion County MS

Simpson Monroe Peak, my paternal great-grandfather, was born c. 1879 in Mississippi, the son of Thomas Peak and Elizabeth Boyte (Boyette, Boyd).  He was listed in the household of his parents on the 1880 and 1900 Federal Census, Marion County, Mississippi.  

1880 Federal Census, Marion County, MS, Red Creek & Wolf River, Dist 157, Pg 6

Note the discrepancies in age for Simpson between the 1880 and 1900 census.  The 1900 census states Simpson was born Sept 1882, which is incorrect because he was born before the 1880 census was taken.  I have said it often- the errors in census records never cease to amaze me.  

1900 Federal Census, Marion County, Mississippi, Beat 3, Dist 78, Pg 12

Simpson married Elizabeth "Lizzie" Miller on 21 August 1902 in Marion County, Mississippi.  She was born c. 1886 in Marion County, Mississippi, the daughter of Claiborn Miller and Frances M. Smith.  By 1910, Simpson and Lizzie are shown together on the federal census in Marion County, Mississippi with two daughters- Iva, age 3 and Eva, age 2.  The record shows Simpson and Lizzie had each been married once and they have been in the current marriage for 5 years.  They were parents of 3 children with 2 presently living.

1910 Federal Census, Marion County, Mississippi, Beat 3, Dist 0103, Pg 37

According to his World War I Draft Registration card, Simpson was born 28 Sept 1880, which is also incorrect because he was born before June 1880 when he was enumerated on the federal census that year.  The registration card also shows that Simpson resided in the Cheraw area of Marion County and his occupation was cutting wood, a common occupation during that period in rural Mississippi.  It was this record that identified his middle name- Monroe.

WWI Registration Card, 12 Sept 1918

The 1920 federal census shows that Simpson and Lizzie remained in Marion County, Mississippi.  Their family had grown to include three additional children- son James, daughter Iner (Ina) and son Kelley.  Daughters Iva and Eva remained in their household.  

1920 Federal Census, Marion County, Mississippi, Beat 4, Dist 116, Pg 7

A decade later, the 1930 federal census shows that Simpson and Lizzie had two more children- sons Hezzie and Freddie (Fred).  Their daughters Iva and Eva had married and moved out.  This record also shows that Simpson was 22 years old and Lizzie was 16 years old when they first married.  

1930 Federal Census, Marion County, Mississippi, Beat 3, Dist 7, Pg 31

In 1940, Simpson and Lizzie's household had diminished greatly, having only one child remaining at home- their son Fred, 11 years old.  Simpson was about 60 years old then and continued working seasonally in the paperwood industry.  That is a physically demanding job, even for a younger adult.  The census record shows Simpson worked 26 weeks and earned $186 for the year 1939.  The record also shows the highest grade of school completed was 4th for Simpson and 5th for his wife Lizzie.  Education was not a priority among rural families in the south.  Most had no formal education and worked on farms or logging industry by the time they were teens.  That was their way of life and they learned to labor on the farms, fields and forests from a young age.  

1940 Federal Census, Marion County, Mississippi, Dist 46-17, Pg 32

Residing next door to Simpson and Lizzie Peak in 1940 was their son Hezzie and his wife, Ethel Mae.  Hezzie and Ethel Mae were a young couple, he was 18 and she was only 15 years old.  On the other side, their son Kelly resided with his wife Beulah and their children.  A couple of houses below was their daughter, Ina Mae, who had married Robert Lewis Smith.  

Simpson died 05 April 1952.  It is unknown when his wife Lizzie died.  I have been unable to locate their grave sites.  

Children of Simpson Monroe Peak and Elizabeth "Lizzie" Miller:
i.    Iva Louetta Peak (1905-1980), married (1) Willie Furr  (2) Lewis Edward Stogner
ii.   Eva Mae Peak (1908-1988), married Dudley Alford
iii.  James Peak (1912-1996), married (1) Vera Mae Ratliff  (2) Della Mae Sanders
iv.  Ina Mae Peak (1916-1985), married Robert Lewis Smith
v.   Kelly Peak (1917-     ), married Beulah Sanders
vi.  Hezzie D. Peak (1923-1964), married Ethel Mae Whitehead
vii.  Fred Lee Peak (1930-2006), married Sylvia Maxwell

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