The Susan Carillar Womack Story
|From Tallapoosa County, Alabama||to
|and then to McIntosh County, Oklahoma|
Susan Carillar Womack, the 13th and last child of Joel W. and Sarah Womack, was born January 6, 1862 in Tallapoosa County, Alabama. Her birth brought the number of children at home to 11 because Martha and William Harrison, perhaps others, had "already flown the nest". Although she was the baby in the family, her next oldest sibling, Joel Franklin, had only recently celebrated his second birthday. The choice of her middle name raises interesting questions. What was its origin? Does it honor a family member or friend? Later in the story, one of her children will have a similar if not the same name.
The circumstances of her early childhood can only be the subject of speculation because no written record exists to describe that period. But her childhood, while probably typical of other children born about the same time, it surely was not a broadly typical one for her arrival coincided with the onset of the Civil War, a bitter conflict that the country had never experienced before and would never experience again. Her older brother, William Harrison, joined the 3rd Georgia Cavalry in May following her birth and her other brother, John, may have joined too. So she spent her first four years with the terrors of war, surely a frightening experience for a small child. Many young men from Tallapoosa County went away to War, some sources report the number to be more than 2800, and more than a quarter of that number were killed.
Susan Carillar Womack was an eight year old in 1870 and the Census shows her in the household of her father and mother along with four sisters and her brother, Joel Franklin. Although her father had reported in 1860 that the value of his farm was $1200.00 and his person property was valued at $970.00, those values had dropped dramatically by 1870 with the farm's value now $350.00 and the personal property valued at $300.00. While the corresponding standard of living may not have declined as significantly, it surely would have had an effect. Whether or not that had any effect on Susan's childhood isn't clear. Although schools were available in a few places, the terms were short and often split to accommodate the farming needs. No doubt she attended what little schooling there was and she developed the ability to read and write. Probably the central community activities centered around the church but churches in 1870 were quite different from those in 2001. There was no full time church staff and services were held infrequently, usually conducted by a "local preacher".
And so, in this southern culture, tempered by a harsh and bitter Civil War, hardened by a period of Reconstruction that was onerous and often vindictive, Susan Womack grew up. Although the evidence is scant, it appears that her mother died when she was just a young teenager. So her formative years were marked with elements that could have caused a lesser person to become bitter. But that was not her nature and although the remainder of her life would be filled with hard work and plenty of difficulties, she "made the best" of the circumstances that she found.
Just before her 17th birthday on December 19, 1878, she was married to Henry Clay Walls, son of Zachariah and Armeni Adeline Jones Walls. Apparently on the same day or certainly within a few days, Susan's brother, Joel Franklin Womack, married Lucinda Walls, the sister of Henry Clay Walls. After the marriage, Susan and Henry lived with Henry's mother in Clay County, not a great distance from the New Site area where Susan had grown up. Their first child was born in October 1879, and two additional children were born before the end of 1881. Although her young life had already had its fair share of excitement and challenge, Susan and Henry were about to embark upon a journey that would take them far away from the eastern Alabama culture and into the mountain piney woods of western Arkansas.
The 1880 Census for Clay County sheds significant light on the early married years for Susan and Henry. At the time the Census was taken, she and Henry were living in the household of Anderson Calley, the husband of Elizabeth who was, presumably, the sister of Henry. Also in the household was Adaline Walls, the mother of Henry and Lucinda and, quite obviously, Elizabeth. By this time, Susan had given birth to the first child whom the Census enumerator listed as "Cilar" but experience has shown that the enumerators were notoriously poor spellers and often much worse scribes. Nevertheless, this child may be the C. C. "Aunt Lottie" Walls about whom little is known. Also in the same household, Frank Womack, listed as "Wamack" and his wife, Lucinda, were enumerated. Frank was the brother of Susan Womack Walls. All the males were farmers and all the females reported that they were keeping house. And so, in this household of eight individuals, Adaline Walls and her daughters, Elizabeth and Lucinda, and her son, Henry, the spouses of the three Walls children and the daughter of Henry were living happily. It seems quite likely that this had been their home since the marriage near Christmas in 1878 of Henry and Lucinda to the Womack siblings, Susan and Joel Franklin.
In 1881 or early 1882, Susan and Henry joined her sister, Georgeanna America, and her brother, Joel Franklin, along with two brothers and a sister of Georgeanna's husband, Eli Jasper Foshee, and moved from Alabama to Pike County, Arkansas. Joel Franklin, it will be recalled, had married Lucinda Walls, the sister of Henry Clay Walls. The circumstances that led to their decision to move, the reason for choosing Pike County, and other pertinent details are unknown. It is known that many families left Alabama in the years following the Civil War and made their way westward to Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. But these families chose Pike County and settled in the present community of Kirby. Many of their descendants still live in the area.
The 1890 Census was destroyed by fire and the first Census available after the move to Pike County was the 1900. Nevertheless, other family records show some of the major events in their lives following their relocation to Arkansas from Alabama. By the time the 1900 Census was taken, the three older children had married and had begun families of their own. Susan reported that she had given birth to 10 children, all living and seven were still at home. Although she was only 38 years of age in 1900, there were few women who had more experience at rearing children. There was no evidence that this experience had been achieved under anything but very modest circumstances.
|Walls, Henry C.||Head||W||M||Feb||1858||42||M||21||AL||GA||GA|
|Walls, Susan C.||Wife||W||F||Jan||1862||38||M||21||10||10||AL||GA||GA|
|Walls, Texas L.||Dau||W||F||Jul||1885||14||M||AR||AL||AL|
|Walls, Arthor C.||Son||W||M||Aug||1887||12||M||AR||AL||AL|
|Walls, Rosa R.||Dau||W||F||Jun||1889||10||M||AR||AL||AL|
|Walls, Ophelia D.||Dau||W||F||Nov||1891||8||M||AR||AL||AL|
|Walls, Rush S||Son||W||M||Nov||1893||6||M||AR||AL||AL|
|Walls, Mattie C.||Dau||W||F||Dec||1895||4||M||AR||AL||AL|
|Walls, Dewey D.||Son||W||M||May||1898||2||M||AR||AL||AL|
The 1910 Census sheds more light on the family. Susan reported that she had given birth to 14 children and that 11 were living. Three of the four children born after 1900 died as infants or small children. Two of those children are listed below but the third one is unknown.
|Walls, James O.A.B||Son||M||W||16||S||AR||AL||AL|
Descendants of Susan Carillar Womack
1 Susan Carillar Womack b: January 6, 1862 in Probably Tallapoosa County, AL d: August 3, 1918 in McIntosh Co.,OK Burial: Hitchita Lackey Cemetery, Hitchita
.. +Henry Clay Walls b: February 14, 1858 in Alabama m: December 19, 1878 in Tallapoosa Co.,AL d: June 4, 1942 in McIntosh Co.,OK Burial: Aft. June 4, 1942 Hitchita Lackey Cemetery, Hitchita
. 2 C.C. 'Aunt Lottie' Walls b: October 1879
..... +Erwin Simmons b: 1879 in Alabama m: Abt. 1901
. 2 Lillian Fruellen 'Aunt Tom' Walls b: October 2, 1879 d: September 2, 1964 in McIntosh County, OK Burial: Community Cemetery, Hitchita
..... +W. R. "Will" Foshee m: January 31, 1898 in Pike Co.,AR
. 2 Mae Beverly Walls b: December 8, 1881 in Alabama d: October 5, 1967 in Pike Co.,AR-Kirby Burial: Ebenezer Cem-Glenwood,AR
..... +Thomas Albert Self b: May 8, 1875 in Pike Co.,AR m: September 5, 1899 in Pike Co.,AR d: August 8, 1935 in Garland Co.,AR-Hot Springs Burial: Ebenezer Cem-Glenwood,AR
. 2 Texas L. 'Aunt Teck' Walls b: July 1885 in Prob Pike Co.,AR
..... +G. Bruston Moran b: 1881 m: August 31, 1902 in Pike Co.,AR
. 2 C. Arthur Walls b: August 15, 1887 d: in McIntosh Co.,OK Burial: Hitchita Lackey Cemetery, Hitchita
. 2 Rosie A. Walls b: June 1889
..... +Tom Fagan
. 2 Bertha Ophelia Walls b: November 8, 1891 d: May 2, 1976 in McIntosh Co.,OK Burial: Hitchita Lackey Cemetery, Hitchita
..... +Carroll Murray
. 2 James O. B. 'Uncle Bush' Walls b: November 8, 1893 d: 1918 in McIntosh Co.,OK Burial: Hitchita Lackey Cemetery, Hitchita
..... +Mary Houston m: Bet. 1916 - 1918 in McIntosh Co.,OK-Book 5
. 2 Mattie Constance Walls b: December 13, 1895 d: March 10, 1964 in Pottawatomie County, OK Burial: Shawnee Cemetery, Shawnee
..... +Benjamin H. Morton b: April 5, 1894 m: Bet. 1913 - 1916 in McIntosh Co.,OK-Book 4 d: November 18, 1926
. 2 C. Dewey Walls b: May 15, 1898 d: February 7, 1966 in McIntosh County, OK Burial: Hitchita Lackey Cemetery, Hitchita
..... +Agnes LNU
. 2 William McKinley Walls b: October 15, 1900 d: January 12, 1975 in Pottawatomie County, OK Burial: Shawnee Cemetery, Shawnee
..... +Minnie Watson
. 2 Harmon M. Walls b: August 14, 1902 d: January 10, 1903
. 2 Ova L. Walls b: January 10, 1903 d: April 26, 1905
Susan and Henry left Pike County, Arkansas after 1910 and relocated to McIntosh County, Oklahoma. Why that move occurred is not clear and the exact date is equally uncertain. Susan could not have lived long in Oklahoma because she died in 1918. McIntosh County was formed from Indian lands after Oklahoma became a state in 1907 and the motivation could have been the availability of land. More research might yield the answers and could shed more light on the life of a truly outstanding couple.
Susan Carillar Womack died in 1918 in McIntosh County, Oklahoma and was buried in the Lackey Cemetery at Hitchita. Henry Clay Walls died in 1942 and was laid to rest beside Susan. Several of their children were buried in the Lackey Cemetery.
Womack was a faithful product of the culture from which she came.
She was born at a time when the country was torn by civil war and she endured
a childhood filled with the bitterness of defeat and despair. But
she did not allow the difficult times to control her life. Rather,
she persevered. She gave birth to 14 children, reared 11 of them to be
contributing citizens, and lived long enough to enjoy many of her grandchildren.
Although she was the youngest child of that remarkable couple, Joel W and
Sarah Womack, she fulfilled every expectation they might have had for her
and she joined that distinguished company of siblings who gave birth to
many descendants who proudly carry the name "Womack:".
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