Saturday, February 21, 2009
Henry and Dulcenia Eddleman, Beulah Cemetery, Choctaw County MS
Henry and Dulcenia Eddleman were likely newlyweds when they were enumerated in the U. S. Census of 1850. He was 23 years old, born in North Carolina, and she was just 16, and Georgia-born. The couple was living in Attala County, on land that had been ceded by the Choctaw Nation and had been opened up for settlement less than 20 years before. According to the census, not one person living near Henry and Dulcenia Eddleman had been born in Mississippi, and their neighbors in this remote part of Attala County were born in places that ranged from Ireland to Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, and other states on the way to Mississippi. Henry was a carpenter by trade, and the couple had no children.
By 1860, the couple were living near Louisville, in Winston County, Mississippi, and Dulcenia had given birth to three children, one son, J. H., age 5, and two daughters, F. J. age 7, and N. C., age 1. Henry was now a farmer who owned real estate valued at $2,000, and his personal property was valued at $3,000. Just six years later, on July 19, 1866, the family's life changed; Henry died and left Dulcenia with three young children.
I searched census records for Dulcenia and her children for years after Henry's death. Although I did find two of the children in 1870, Dulcenia was not listed in the household. Strangely, I was unable to locate Dulcenia again on census records until 1910. At that time, she was a 77 year old widower and a "Boarder" in the household of Robert R. Hunt, his wife, Jennie, and their two young children, Robert W. and Anna M. Hunt. I also failed to locate Dulcenia on the 1920 U. S. Census taken just two years before her death.
In 1930, after Dulcenia's death, I did find John H. Eddleman, his wife, and a son named John Howard, living near Weir in Choctaw County. Based on his date of birth and the birthplaces of John H. Eddleman's parents, I am certain that he was Eddleman's son, "J.H," who was five years old in 1860. It is likely that Dulcenia's daughters were still living in the area, but without knowing their married names, I am unable to determine if this was true.
The double grave stone that marks this couple's grave in Beulah Cemetery near Weir, Choctaw County, Mississippi, must have been erected when Henry died in 1866. Its shape and ornate carvings are reminiscent of that era. Dulcenia Eddleman's date of death engraved on the tombstone indicates that she outlived her husband by almost 56 years.